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    It's a great time to be miserable. Never in history has there been so much music devoted to utter wrist-slitting throw-yourself-over-the-bridge despair, especially in the metal world, where bands are in competition to see who can be the slowest, most oppressive and depressive. On Pain Of Death have thrown their rotted hat into the ring of flies with their debut "Year Naught Doom", but I'm afraid they will not be able to claim the crown just yet.

    A few weeks back, I heard the mind-crushing debut from Serpentine Path and in comparison with that mighty slab of horror, On Pain Of Death just cannot compare. It's not due to the fact that they lack any authenticity or true doomy feeling, it's just that they are betrayed by a weak production and the fact that there's so much of this creepy-crawling doom-death on display right now. 5 years ago, this would have been a revelation, but after bands like Moss, Bunkur and the aforementioned Serpentine Path, it is no longer so revolutionary. The production I believe is deliberately low-fi and muffled for "atmosphere", but anything that is gained in atmosphere is lost in power. The drumbeats sound were "engulfed" and the wooly guitar sound needs more heft.

    Three miserable odes are on display and each one crawls in a puddle of its own blood like a dying animal, oozing towards the finality of death. It would take a pretty strong soul to endure "It Came From The Bog" or "Tell Your God To Ready For Blood". Melody is a stranger to this band, all is total suffocation.

    It's a painful offering of doom-death but could have been much more damaging.

    Words: Dr. Mality ( Wormwood Chronicles )

    On Pain Of Death | Facebook

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    Doomy folk from Seattle! Dark folk is the name of the tradition: think Blood Axis, Spiritual Front, Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio, Death In June, Sol Invictus and Current 93. And if you like later Johnny Cash, then this may be your thing too. Or, as they state on their facebook: [King Dude is] “Dark pagan-fueled folk wrapped tight with outsider Americana, steeped in themes of love, death and redemption.” King Dude has released albums on Avant!, Bathetic, Clan Destine and Dais. According to a nice interview on CVLT Nation, King Dude is also the singer / lyricist for the epic black metal band Book of Black Earth. Check the interview HERE.

         Burning Daylight is King Dude’s latest. I liked predecessor Tonight’s Special Death, and some loose tracks on different compilations. Speaking of ‘loose tracks’; this exactly seems to be the main charm of King Dude’s music. No doubt a live show will be very entertaining, but a whole album is simply to uneven to just yet make it into my top ten / top twenty something albums. It’s a perfect album when you love individual songs instead of the concept of an album. Of course, there are some musical pearls like My Mother Was The Moon, Holy Land, Barbara Anne, I’m Cold,  Jesus In The Courtyard and Vision In Black.

         There seems to be an enormous buzz on the internet surrounding King Dude’s latest album, and I sincerely hope this will make him strive for even greater musical achievements in the future. The whole production seems lo-fi, and this doesn’t help the overall impression of the album. Some of the tracks on Burning Daylight aren’t that memorable alas. Due to the echo, you can’t even make out all the lyrics. What makes this album special, is the dark, gloomy atmosphere. Plus, the tracks on which King Dude is accompanied by female vocals (featuring his wife Emily). Luckily, King Dude is recording some new songs together with Chelsea Wolfe. To sum it up: as an album Burniung Daylight is somewhat uneven but it has a couple of very good individual tracks and a very good promise for the future....7/10.

    Words: Sandrijn van den Oever

    Watch Jesus In The Courtyard HERE. And Holy Land HERE.

    Van Records

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    The third album of The Howling Void takes the listeners from the aerial and weightless previous album to the earth depths depicted by overwhelming sounds of epic funeral doom metal. Unique sound of the band is still magically attractive, its style is still recognizable; but this time heavy guitars combined with atmospheric keyboards bring the sense of moonless nights severity, ice-cold breath of dungeons and deserted landscapes. «The Womb Beyond The World», the album, the journey, the phenomenon. The cover artwork features another masterpiece of Russian art of 19th century, Nikolai Ge’s painting Conscience. Judas» which figuratively reveals the album concept: gloom, desolation, and despair. The album comes as a limited edition digipack. ( BANDCAMP )

    Certainly one of the more interesting bands on the Solitude Productions label. I have always thought The Howling Void would be an essential band in the doom scene if they could develop more of their own sound and I was hoping this would be the album to do that but it is not to be. This is still a very good funeral doom album but it sounds even more unoriginal as they have added more keys and in the process have ended up sounding like many other funeral doom bands. But of course originality is not everything and what they lack in that department, they more than make up for it in sheer, atmospheric epic doom works. If you are easily bored by long, slow songs that take their time in building then you might want to stay clear of this release. There are 4 songs that stretch this album out to about an hour and each of the tracks are repetitive and follow a similar pattern of adding layers of sound as they crawl along. The result is hypnotic but make sure you are sitting comfortably....this takes some patience to get through.

    Perhaps the most surprising aspect to 'The Womb Beyond The World' is it is the work of one man and considering the vast layers of sound on the album, it is a remarkable effort. The music is rarely threatening, it is actually kind of beautiful for a funeral doom album. The guitar work is spacey in a Planet Caravanish kind of way but it still has its moments of crushing intensity. There is a big emphasis on keys that does diminish some of the more doomy qualities even though the guitar sound is deeply distorted. The vocals are deep growls but are not over-done but are nothing special either. Thankfully there are real drums and not the usual one-man band drum machine and the production is of a high standard. There is no real standout track out of the four, they all have equal strengths and weaknesses.

    Funeral doom is usually about as bleak and depressing as doom gets but 'The Womb Beyond The World' is surprisingly hopeful and positive. Fans of classic funeral doom a-la Shape of Despair will dig this just as fans of more obscure acts like Ea will. It is rather predictable, even by funeral doom standards which is predictable at the best of times anyway but this is a way above-average release that will satisfy funeral doom and death-doom fans alike........8.5/10.

    Words: Doomm@niac

    Official site
    the Howling Void | Facebook

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    Finland’s psyche-sludge overlords, Demonic Death Judge, have closely followed the orbit established by 2011’s excellent full-length album, ‘The Descent’, with another earsplitting slab of progressive minded stoner metal entitled ‘Skygods’. Not to dismiss their self-titled EP, but the band has been on an upward trajectory since the release of 2010’s ‘Kneel’ EP. Each successive release has found the band layering impossibly heavy riffs with atmospheric passages and Jaakko Heinonen’s sinisterly harsh vocals. While their method of attack has remained consistent, the band’s sound has subtly evolved over the past three releases. The ‘Kneel’ EP was an all out attack of abrasive, mind-melting catchiness capable of leveling a skyscraper. ‘The Descent’ found the band branching out by coupling more complex arrangements with classic rock influences and an increased depth of psychedelic textures. ‘Skygods’, the next logical step in the band’s evolution, makes an incremental sacrifice of their acerbic sludge in favor of Sabbath-inspired riffs and a deeper investigation of ambient soundscapes.

    “Skygods”, the album’s namesake, kicks off the release in majestic fashion by layering post-metal guitar leads atop mesmerizing riffs. The element that truly elevates the opening track to greatness is the penetrating, fluid basslines of Pasi Hakuli, which is imprinted all over this release. The second track, “Salomontaari”, slows things down by featuring a more doom-oriented sound. The song twists and turns through its near eight minute run time, eventually breaking down not once, but twice into instrumental passages that selectively features lead-guitar jamming, Pasi’s infectious basslines, and even keyboards. The brief, dreamy, ambient passage “Latitude” gently lulls the listener into a false sense of calm before escalating into the onslaught that is “Knee High”, a tune that could easily have been lifted from the “Kneel” EP. “Knee High” competes as an album highlight due to the staggering, up-tempo riffing of Saku Hakuli which Heinonen’s vocals complement perfectly.

    The second half of the album begins innocuously enough with an instrumental passage featuring acoustic guitar before Heinonen’s shriek pierces the calm. “Aqua Hiatus” easily flows between calmer, acoustic inflected moments and doom-inspired riffing. Again, Demonic Death Judge knows how to mix things up and keep every composition interesting. The sludge-swagger of “Cyberprick” has a jazzy breakdown incorporating a brief spoken-word sample that menacingly claims: “You're looking at me and you're looking at the future. See, this country is gonna blow. And people like me are gonna light the fuse. The despised, the betrayed. We're gonna light the fuse and this country is gonna blow. This country is gonna blow…” Eerie lead guitar launches into “Nemesis”, another effectively atmospheric track in the vein of “Latitude” though more song oriented, which features a rarity from Demonic Death Judge…clean vocals. While the song embraces atmospherics in favor of the hard-hitting sludge that the band is notorious for, “Nemesis” really stands out as an album highlight. The longest track, “Pilgrimmage”, appropriately closes out the album. At ten minutes in length, it allows the band to really spread their wings and really venture into a moody composition that seems to combine all of the softer elements that make the other seven tracks on this album so great.

    Demonic Death Judge’s ‘Skygods’ is another addition to an already stellar discography. The band has managed to effortlessly combine seemingly disparate elements into a cohesive whole of psychedelic-inflected sludge metal. While this album may not be as immediately heavy as the ‘Kneel’ EP, it does manage to surpass that early recording in terms of songwriting, and overall mood. ‘Skygods’ is easily the band’s most mature and varied album to date. It’ll be interesting to see how the band continues to evolve on future releases and where their sonic explorations will take them.

    Words: Steve Miller


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    Avernus has been and will always be one of the more significant American Doom Metal bands of our time. Their history is a rich tapestry of sounds going from Doom/Death to Gothic to Funeral and back again. They announced they had disbanded back in 09 and just recently got back together for a reunion show. Founder, singer, falafle cook and burrito expert Rick McCoy recently decided to answer some questions.

     MV:Greetings Rick and thanks for doing this interview with Doommantia! How are things?

    Rick McCoy: Thank you for the interview! Things are good, busy preparing for an upcoming show, and dusting off some old tunes.

    MV: What made you decide to resurrect Avernus?

    RM: I would say that it really wasn’t me who made this decision alone. Erik Kikke(guitars) called me up one day and threw out the idea that why don’t we do a couple songs. We started talking, and then we were offered this show coming up, which we decided was definitely worth doing. When Macabre asks you to do a show, you do that fucking show, hehe! Also a series of events brought me back to Chicago around the same time. It’s wild how things come together sometimes…

    MV: Is the Macabre gig a one off show or are you planning on doing the band thing again?

    RM: We are focusing on this gig at the moment, and we are doing ¾ of the Sadness demo as we were asked to do. I can definitely see us playing out after this. I think we all really just realize how much we enjoy working together, and it shows in the live setting.

    MV: Is this show with the original line up?

    RM: The original guitarist left in 1993, but this is pretty much all of the Sadness line-up. I have to say that I have had a lot of different band members over the years, and while these different people brought something of their own into Avernus, this particular line up is the definitive line-up, and the one I think is the most creative as well. We just know how to work together and knock out material quickly. It’s an unspoken thing sometimes, and there is not any pretension or trying to change the way we write.

    MV: Any new material in the works? Will you be filming/recording your next show for release?

    RM: Yes, we are currently throwing some skeletons together, but right now it’s relearning the Sadness material. I believe we are going to try recording this show, what we have planned is going to be awesome.

    MV: What have you been up too these last few years?

    RM: I tinkered with music for a while, but not on this level. I was working with this band from Utah, NEVERTANEZRA, which is a great death/doom band. I’d call it a nice mix of the old English death/doom front with some progressive elements. I also have been working on my graduate degree, and just working on myself.

    MV: If there is any new material what can we expect to hear?

    RM: We are working on material, but when people should expect to hear it would probably be in 2013. We are taking our strongest elements and just letting it happen naturally, which is something we have not always done. All we care about right now is that it has feeling and it fucking rocks.

    MV: I've read that the guitar synth is dead, what will you do to compensate for its loss?

    RM: Actually, we just procured a new one! We’ve done the old songs with keyboards, and it just never sounded as good as the guitar synth. This will be the first time we’ve used the guitar synth in about 14 years…

    MV: Are there any new bands you've been digging as of late?

    RM: I love the new Ahab! For metal, I’m more of the Armored Saint, Judas Priest, Anthrax Asphyx, Deceased, Bolt Thrower, Old School Swedish Death metal guy. I would say I’m a fan of many genres, except Rap. I can’t resonate with busting caps in people’s asses, and calling women hos’ and bitches. I also can’t listen to country because I have no inclination to sleep with my cousins, and I fucking hate cowboys and rednecks. I do want to say that today’s lamestream music is so horrible, so lifeless. I feel bad for kids today trying to find something with substance. Good luck!

    MV: What is your ultimate gig lineup?

    RM: Hmm, I’d say Macabre, Hall and Oates, and Entombed-Left Hand Path era? If it had to be a doom fest, I’d bring in Ahab, Doom Vs, Nevertanezra,reunite dISEMBOWELMENT, or bring in Inverloch, Evoken, shit like that…

    MV: Is there anything else you'd like to say to the doomed masses?

    RM: Look out for a new Avernus website, and merchandise, meanwhile, we are on Facebook. Expect something new in 2013 as well. Oh, and check out Nevertanezra!

    MV: Thanks again for talking with us Rick.

    RM: Anytime, thank you very much for this opportunity!

    Interview By Michael Ventura

    Avernus |

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    Evoken might be the heaviest band in the world and their new CD kicks major ass! Guitarist Chris Molinari was kind enough to let me interview him.

    Michael Ventura: Greetings Chris and thanks for doing this interview with Doommantia! How are things?

    Chris Molinari:Things are going pretty well. I am very glad for this interview opportunity.

    MV: How did you come to be in Evoken and what bands, if any, were you in prior to joining?

    CM:I have known Evoken for a very long time, and I actually did a gig with them as a live guitarist in 1996. In 2008 I was asked to perform with them again after Nick left the band, and eventually became a permanent member. Prior to Evoken, I was in a band called Divine Silence for a very long time, as well as with Grey Skies Fallen for a brief period.

    MV: How much of the latest album did you write?

    CM: As far as Atra Mors in concerned, I wrote an instrumental interlude and contributed a lot to the song writing, but the entire album was a creation of all five members of Evoken. I would say the major contributors to the basic song structures were John Paradiso and Vince Verkay.

    MV: I recently got the new CD and I love it but it's decidedly more melodic than I was expecting; was this a conscious move or something that happened by accident?

    CM: In all honesty, we did not intend this album to be melodic from the start, it kind of just happened. There actually was no real blueprint of how we wanted Atra Mors to follow. It just turned out the way it did during the writing and recording process.

    MV: How have the fans reacted to the new CD so far?

    CM: So far the reaction to Atra Mors has been overwhelmingly positive. I am yet to read a bad, or even indifferent review. I am sure there are people out there who do not like the album for one reason or another, but so far it is exceeding our expectations. We have received many compliments from fans at the handful of gigs we did shortly before and after the album's release.

    MV: Was there any one specific thing that influenced the albums lyrical or musical direction or was it an assortment of things?

    CM: I would say the biggest influence on the album was The Plague. Not to say Atra Mors is a concept album, but a lot of the imagery and lyrical content are influenced by this. Musically, we tried to convey the same atmosphere associated with this tragic time in history; cold, dark, and at times peaceful.

    MV: Are there any major touring plans in the works?

    CM: Right now there are no immediate plans for a full on tour, but we are taking part in the Decibel Magazine 100th issue celebration show in Philadelphia this coming January, as well as the 2013 Maryland Death Fest. I am sure Evoken will be on tour again in the near future.

    MV: The artwork for this album is pretty cool, who decided it was right for the album?

    CM: The artwork of the album was an idea we were thinking of for a long time. Basically, it consists of the dead rising from their graves and marching into oblivion. The artist, Robert Hoyem, really did a splendid job of bringing it to life.

     MV: Are there any new bands you've been digging as of late?

    CM: Most of what I listen to are bands from the 80's and 90's. As far as new bands are concerned, I am a really big fan of Ghost and The Devil's Blood. I eagerly await new releases from both bands. Of course there is also Trypticon. They are such a great band. We would love to do a gig, or a tour with them.

    MV: What is your ultimate gig lineup?

    CM: We have played with some really awesome bands. Katatonia and My Dying Bride were probably the best in the band's history. I feel if we could get Evoken, Skepticism, Esoteric, and Trypticon together; it would be a hell of a doom assault on wherever we venture.

    MV: Is there anything else you'd like to say to the doomed masses?

    CM: Thank you for your support of Evoken and Atra Mors. We look forward to seeing you all soon.

    MV: Thanks again for talking with us Chris.

    CM: You are very welcome. Best of luck to you!

    Interview By Michael Ventura

    Evoken | Facebook

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    Desertfest are super psyched to announce that stoner giants Dozer will stir from their deep self-imposed sleep to shake London to it’s foundations.

    Way back in ’95, whilst lovers of the down-tuned lick were in mourning at the split of Kyuss, another band was being formed far away in Borlange, Sweden, simply called Dozer. The titan 4-piece are made up of Fredrik Nordin (vocals, guitar), Tommi Holappa (guitar) Johna Rockner (bass) and Olle ‘Bull’ Marthans (drums) and the Swedes released five studio albums, the last being 2008?s ‘Beyond Colossal’ which featured guest vocals from Clutch’s Neil Fallon on ‘Empire’s End’. They went into hibernation in 2009, with Nordin returning to education while the other members worked on side projects, notably Tommi who joined up with Greenleaf once more and released ‘Nest Of Vipers’ earlier this year. So slumber they do no more! Dozer are back and ready for Desertfest 2013.

    Desertfest 2013 takes place between 26th – 28th April 2013 over 4 venues in Camden, London and tickets go on sale on the 13th November at

    Source: The Sleeping Shaman

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    Here is the latest update Mercyful Mike Smith- exciting news !!!!

    I know you’ve all been waiting patiently for this announcement, myself included! We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get to it, shall we?

    I am excited to say that my first announcement is actually breaking news, and this will be the first anyone has heard of it!!! It is with great honor that I announce Victor Griffin’s IN~GRAVED will taking part in Days Of The Doomed Fest III! Consisting of Victor Griffin (Pentagram/Place Of Skulls) on vocals/guitars, Guy Pinhas (The Obsessed/Goatsnake/Acid King) on bass, Pete Campbell (Place Of Skulls/Sixty Watt Shaman) on drums, and Derek Hall on keyboards, IN~GRAVED will be performing songs from their highly anticipated upcoming debut album due out early this spring, as well as a few choice Place Of Skulls tunes. Do not miss this opportunity to witness doom metal royalty and his brand new band! Victor Griffin’s IN~GRAVED will make believers of us all!

    Next up, something I wasn’t sure was going to be possible to pull off, but through several conversations and a great line of communication, I am announcing to all of you today to brace yourselves for the return of PENANCE!!! Here is the official statement provided by the Penance camp:

    “Not since vocalist Lee Smith sang with PENANCE in support of their 1993 European tour with CATHEDRAL & SLEEP have these two forces come together in a live setting. It has been nearly 20 years since PENANCE followed up that tour with their now legendary sophomore release Parallel Corners on Century Media records, long considered a classic record and the band’s strongest effort to date. Many consider it to be one of the greatest post Sabbath records of all time, including Fu Manchu who recently covered “Words To Live By”. With their rich lineage as pioneers of Doom firmly intact, the time is now right for the lineup of guitarist Terry Weston, bassist Rich Freund, and drummer Mike Smail to reunite with vocalist Lee Smith as PENANCE. Their exclusive appearance and only U.S. show will take place at Days Of The Doomed Fest III on the weekend of June 21st and 22nd, 2013 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. See you all there!” Parallel-fucking-Corners! That’s all I’m saying folks!

    As if this isn’t enough, we’ll also be welcoming back another Days Of The Doomed Fest alumni… PALE DIVINE! We’re all familiar with their stellar back catalog, but next June, we’ll all be treated to some of the instant classics off of “Painted Windows Black”, undoubtedly one of the top releases of 2012. So get ready… PALE DIVINE IS BACK!

    I’m also extremely happy to announce that Infernal Rock Radio will once again be sponsoring our Thursday night pre-show! Chicago’s SPYDERBONE is the first band to be announced for the pre-show, but others will be announced soon!

    I also have some bitter-sweet news to report. WHILE HEAVEN WEPT has been forced to pull out of Days Of The Doomed Fest III, but for good reason! There will be a new addition to the WHILE HEAVEN WEPT family due right around the weekend of the fest next June! So obviously, this is a “family first” situation! I wish the band and family all the very best! Congrats!!!

    The official Days Of The Doomed Fest website, HERE, has been updated, and you will want to check out the “Lodging Options” link! Best Western Milwaukee and Super 8 Milwaukee are the exclusive hotels of Days Of The Doomed Fest!!! There are links to both hotels, and each one has a special “fest rate” for rooms!!! They also offer free shuttles to and from the airport, and we are working on setting up a shuttle to and from the fest! I encourage you to take advantage of this special offer!!! Both hotels are only a 5 minute drive to the venue!!!

    I am also very proud to welcome back Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer as one of our main sponsors!!! Tallboy specials and PBR swag will once again be available at Days Of The Doomed Fest III!

    I should also mention that I am working on setting up a shuttle bus from Chicago to Milwaukee and back to help out all of our Illinois friends who would like to attend the fest but may not want to drive. More info on this as it becomes available!

    So get ready! Days Of The Doomed Fest III is returning to the Blue Pig Bar/Venue and is going to be the biggest one yet! Online ticket sales begin 12/1/12 – just in time for X-mas! Grab your tickets early and book your rooms! I am fully anticipating a sell out next year! Oh, and I’m not quite done yet… one more trick left up my sleeve! Big, massive, giant size bag of Ruffles goes to Kathy Reeves for creating our teaser trailer below! Cheers everyone!!! Happy Halloween!

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    With the exception of doommantia founder Ed Barnard, few people honestly bleed doom. Ryan Henry is one of those chosen few. Having made rumbles in the underground scene with both Necare and Reclusiam for years he has been kind enough to do an interview with us.

    Michael Ventura: Thank you for doing this interview with Doommantia! How are things?

    Ryan Henry: It's my pleasure to speak with you. As for "things," I'm getting by.

    MV: You had a few demos and one proper album with Necare, why didn't you release more & did you have any additional material written for Necare before its end?

    RH: This is a hard question. I think G.C. and I put so much time and attention into Ruin that we hit a brick wall in terms of creativity. I can't speak for G.C., but I felt that we had taken Necare as far as it could go. We got some good press, but the bad press we got for Ruin was all about how we 'weren't breaking any new ground.' For fuck's sake, that was never our intention to begin with. We were paying tribute to the doom/death bands we love. You know, we wanted to tap into those inscrutable feelings we had when we both heard Anathema and Saturnus for the first time. I don't know if we accomplished that, but at least we gave it a shot. The only thing that never got released to the public was a cover we recorded of Saturnus' "Christ Goodbye," namely because we didn't want to get sued. Aside from Jhon Ackerman (our producer/ sound engineer), the only other person who heard the cover was Chris Molinari from Evoken/Divine Silence.

    MV: Necare has been described by some to be in the same vein as early Anathema, was this intentional?

    RH: Very much so. Both G.C. and I are fans of their early material. I think his favorite album is Silent Enigma, while mine is a toss-up between Serenades + Crestfallen (the version with All Faith is Lost) and Pentecost III. Out of the Peaceville Three, we found Anathema's early material to be the most morose and flat-out heart-wrenching music on the planet. Hell yeah, I wanted to make doom like that. Funny thing, though. I listen back to Necare and I hear no Anathema in any of it. I don't think it's even in the same universe of quality as the early Anathema albums I mentioned.

     MV: Your Funeral Doom band, Reclusiam, is amazing, are you planning on releasing any more material for it?

    RH: Thanks for the compliment on Reclusiam. I am not planning any new material at present. I am actually on a medication that causes neuropathy in my hands as a side effect. Playing my guitar, bass, or keyboard is painful. I'm not as strong at fretting anymore. I can still play, but I won't put out any music that's half-assed. What I am plannin, though, is a re-release of the Reclusiam album with new art and liner notes. I'm seriously thinking about pitching it to smaller labels, although I burned a few bridges when labels offered support years ago and I turned them down. At the time, I wanted everyone to hear the music, and I wanted complete control over my creation. That has not changed. But I would not be averse to label support if it meant more people could hear Reclusiam. At present, the album is free for download at Reclusiam.Com.

    MV: Have any of these bands played live?

    RH: No. I had an idea for a live show for Necare that would be performed by candlelight only. You know as well as I do that kind of shit would never be allowed in any metal venue. An old chapel, maybe.

    MV: What inspired you to go from Doom/Death to Funeral?

    RH: Hard to say. I took Reclusiam on as a personal challenge. I wanted to record something extremely heavy and slow, without the poetic lyrics of Necare. I was also listening to way too much Skepticism and thought I could pull something off that tapped into that vibe. That didn't really happen. Reclusiam usually gets compared to Shape of Despair's "Angels of Distress," which is probably my favorite funeral doom album of all time. I guess it made an impression on me.

    MV: Have you been working on anything musical since the release of the Reclusiam CD?

    RH: I've been using my computer, some VST plug-ins, and my keyboard to create dark electro/industrial. Music in the vein of early :Wumpscut: and Velvet Acid Christ. I doubt that will ever see the light of day. I just do it to keep busy, and it's easier on my hands than guitar and bass these days.

    MV: I know you wrote a book recently, tell us about it.

    RH: It's called Omega Zero and it's a character-driven story about two plague survivors in a post-apocalyptic world. Yet it has a Twilight Zone ending, so nothing is really what it seems. It's been edited and is in the "beta read" phase right now. I plan to offer it as a cheap eBook once I'm satisfied with the final manuscript. As with Reclusiam, it's not about making money. Just creating art for art's sake.

    MV: What are some of your interests outside of music?

    RH: I read a lot of books on WWII. I'm interested in all aspects of that conflict -- especially the war on the Eastern Front. I am a horror, sci-fi, and war movie fanatic. Whenever I have down time, I'm usually watching something from one of those genres. And I'm an unrepentant comic book geek and tabletop gamer.

    MV: What is your ideal gig line up?
    RH: If I could get a handful of musicians together to play a live Reclusiam gig, I'd want us to be the opening act for Evoken. That would flat-out kill.

    MV: Is there anything you'd like to say to the Doomed masses?

    RH: At the end of the day, we're all doomsters -- listening to bands that trace lineage back to a handful of riffs played by Tony Iommi. It's hard enough to get outsiders to understand why we like the music we like. So there's no need to play the "true versus false" game. That was a real problem a decade ago. I hope all of that is over with.

    MV: Thanks again for doing this interview with us.

    RH: No problem. Doom or be doomed!

    Interview By Michael Ventura

    Necare | Official Site

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    BLACK SABBATH will embark on an Australian tour next April. Confirmed dates are as follows:

    Apr. 25 - Entertainment Centre, Brisbane
    Apr. 27 - Allphones Arena, Sydney
    May 01 - Rod Laver, Melbourne
    May 04 - Perth Arena, Perth

    General public tickets go on sale midday Thursday, November 8 and an exclusive presale will be available to Live Nation members from 9 a.m. Friday, November 2 until 5 p.m. Monday. Original BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi, singer Ozzy Osbourne and bassist Geezer Butler are working with producer Rick Rubin on their first recording project together in 34 years.

    According to Metal Injection, 15 songs have been written for the CD, with 12 making the final cut and the additional three serving as bonus tracks for different special editions. The band has one songtitle confirmed: "God Is Dead".

    Apparently, Iommi completed all 15 guitar tracks during the band's sessions in England earlier this year, and judging by the way most bands record, that would mean drums are done as well. Ozzy and Geezer are working to complete the tracks in five-song increments, with the first five being worked on currently at Shangri La Studios in Malibu, California. Ozzy is tracking vocals, with Butler writing all the lyrics.

    As for Iommi, Ozzy told SiriusXM Liquid Metal DJ Jose Mangin that he spoke to the guitarist recently and he is in good spirits and recovery is coming along very well from his cancer scare earlier this year. Iommi, Osbourne and Butler discussed their new album in a video interview posted at Osbourne dropped a clue about the set's title, hinting, "Next year, 2013, is a good clue to what we're going to call the album." As for how Rubin influenced the band's approach to writing together again, Butler explained, "He sat us down, put the first album on and said 'listen to this', imagine it's 1969, you've just done that, what would you do next?" Iommi added, "It's taken on the flavor of the old stuff in the way we put things together, but with a different look on it." BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward announced earlier this year that he was declining to join his former bandmates for its scheduled 2012 dates, as well as the recording of a new album, due to a contractual dispute. In addition to Download, the members of SABBATH played at Lollapalooza in early August in Chicago, their only U.S. gig. The rest of the scheduled SABBATH tour dates were played by Ozzy and billed as "Ozzy & Friends."

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    Today is a perfect day for celebration! It seems not so long ago you used to scratch out on the desk the logo of your favorite band, copying it from the title of the tape – and then, while you were sneaking around, graduating universities, looking for the job, making the world better and cleaner (or at least thinking that you do so) – this very band has a considerable anniversary! So, quite unpredictably, this year we celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Swedish legendary natural philosophers of melancholic doom, heavy and progressive metal – The Lake of Tears. I suppose that musicians themselves would hardly remember the birth date of the band, but in default autumn is the best season for such jubilee. And the tribute album definitely would be the most wanted present in situation like this.

    The traditions of tribute albums in Russia were not successful from the start. Each time I shudder, remembering miserable “Moskvalika”, I’m puzzled reviving in my memory tribute to Russian metal legends Aria. And now – The Lake of Tears! Who even dared to do that! The formal Russian funclub dared – and I have to admit that these people were not only enthusiastic, they’ve showed convincing professionalism, picking up together 26 (twenty-six) tracks from Russian, Ukrainian, Swedish, Mexican, Finnish and Swiss bands. There were much more participants, who left the project after all, including ancient Cemetery, but it is already discussed behind the scenes. What are the main features of the tribute album? The songs included you can divide into three types: sung note for the note (“because we love the team”), sung in the own way (“because we love the team and we were able to add something from ourselves”) and sung somehow (“oh, damn… it’s happened”). This dividing is optional, but it is true, you have to agree. Yes, you have!
    So, “The Twenty Years in Tears” consists of two CDs. Songs are represented chronologically, thereby the album begins with compositions from significant death doom debut “Greater Art”, and ends with the track from last dark progressive opus “Illwill”. To be honest, there is also an interesting bonus track, but more on that later. As you understand, there was no way for teams, performing death doom part, to realize their own ideas – stylistic borderlines of “Greater Art” don’t allow that. However, neither Atra Hora, nor  Sacratus, who performed unalterable “Under the Crescent” and “Upon The Highest Mountain” practically without changes, have not disappointed. Grobut Neerg produced a real delight, reanimating the most driving track - “As Daylight Yields” – in origin it was not so rough, clear and therefore hard enough. But our compatriots added all of these ingredients, not exaggerating though. Adfail have covered “Evil Inside” in more wicked way – respect to the vocalist, the instrumental part has no changes, rather than reproaches, you can’t spoil porridge with butter. Aglarond (here comes Mexica) has added gothic apropos to “Tears” – you can hear piano, violins, keyboard arrangements, I can’t remember the original density of all this, but new arrangements are all on their places.

    Resuming, covers for “Greater Art” came out equally good, may be the reason is, that in 1994 the original songs were not produced ideally. It was a surprise to meet Mental Home from Moscow (recently comeback the almost contemporaries of The Lake of Tears, founded in 1993), who has demonstrated the creativity as it is. The lyrics of cult song “RavenLand” has rewrote in Russian, but this version is close to the original, not copying it, it is called “artistic translation”. The temp of composition became vivid, and the sharp vocal typical to Mental Home, has added a real darkness to the mood of the song. The Ukrainian Tectum has performed “Dreamdemons” without making unwanted faces, it turned out half-baked bur cordial. The capital track “Headstones” was undertaken by Hexentraum, and they justified all hopes, making that step! The song sounded in a “folk” way, because of the vocalist, but the main discovery became the accordion, surprisingly good in new arrangement. Zerokarma sends regards from the Far East with the canonical hit  “Burn Fire Burn”, fresh and striking, but I have always run through that song. Dominia from St.Petersburg were very facetiously in performing their part. Known by their concert doom hit “Mountains of God’s Depression”, they were logical in performing “The Path Of The Gods” (Upon The Highest Mountain II), but this song, with strong vocal in origin, sounded chilly, even considering the violin, which made all the other instruments sound colourless. Satanation has almost made a sacrilege, but after all their version of “Cosmic Weed”, seriously mutated, sounds hardly recognizable, but very attractive because of the excellent female vocal, and somebody may like the melodic death-final. The first part of the tribute is finished with Tartharia, who prepared “Devil’s Dinner” in the most unrecognizable way, putting the hard sound to the rock’n’roll dance hit, the result is confusing in my opinion, but the death metal fans may not agree with me.

     The second CD begins with ”Four Strings Of The Morning” – played by Finns Awake In Shades, they gathered together to make this only song, and, honestly, their cover hasn’t touched me – the vocal is too smooth as it really needs more emotions. Mexican Aglarond has performed two tracks for release, and the second one - “Raistling And The Rose” sounds as tragic and oppressive, as the original song. Draconian and Doom: VS has made “Hold on Tight” in the performance of Shadowgarden, their rather new project, you can’t tell it from the original song, and I’m satisfied with it. Inside You (Istra), who formerly followed the lead of German pop-team Crematory, has spoiled the title song “Forever Autumn” – the instrumental part is brilliant, but the vocalist might not listened to himself, and it is quite regrettable. By the way, Draconian not only presented the abovementioned project, they personally in their special way as much as possible overloaded with death doom grief a melancholic ballad “Demon You / Lilly Ann”. Those Swede has made a significant doom-monument from the second-rate song, and they knew what they have done, believe me. “All-stars” pagan thrash / death metal team “Put’ Solntsa” (Sun Path) has humiliated the “Return of the Ravens”,  completely changing it for their own purposes, well, if they had fun, I’m glad but I see no reasons to do such higgledy-piggledy black metal song of good prog hit… The compatriots of  the celebrators who appeared on the Swedish stage in 1989 -  dark and almighty The Equinox Ov Gods have performed two compositions at once. Their version of “Let Us Go As They Do” is ideal, full of absolute gloom from deep forests and wet graves, Fredrik Wallin’s assistants have always been successful in expressing their visions of darkness in all it’s forms. In addition, musicians have completely demonized “Planet Of The Penguins” – in their peculiar manner – cheerlessly, hard, oppressively. The members of gothic doom formation – Beseech – are known today as The Mary Major, and I’m so grateful for their version of “The Greymen” – it became more energetic, emotions are hot at their most, and this interchange of splendid female vocal (thank you very much, Lotta, you’re the best, Lotta!) with solid hard rock male vocal – it sounds just great! “Black Brick Road” is not among my favorite albums, but I have an intension to listen it again to refresh “Dystopia” in my mind, because Swiss Xicon produced a modern hit for dark electro dancing out of it. Handful of Stars (Ukraine) have started on a merry note (their “Sister Sinister” was tempting from the first accords), but finished on a sad one – the chorus was accompanied with unsuitable thrash and jeer, only willful Hammond is on his place as other instruments do a totally cacophonic touch. The bastard-rockers Egonaut appear twice in the album (if I understood correctly, their guitarist plays in The Lake of Tears) - “Children Of The Grave” sounds positively sharp and forceful, and a new one for me “Floating In Darkness” reminds the alternative teams of the 90-s with its anarchy and aggression. However, I’ve mentioned the bonus-track, released separately, it is the vigorous “heavy metal / drum’n’bass” version of “Burn Fire Burn”, performed by Kaliningrad team Type V Blood. They made it with all responsibility, smart and professionalism, so I have to listen the new edit again and again. Respect to the vocalist – his voice fits the mood of the song and its attacking metal character best. I’m just bloody happy with such surprise, and glad to hear this track on the album.

    So, I was not sure, that all twenty and a half tracks of “Twenty Years In Tears” turn out great and admirable. To tell the truth, the last albums of The Lake of Tears have not so many hits at all. Nevertheless I consider this tribute is successful. More than a half of bands have performed really interesting versions of old songs, the release has a great design, considerable efforts were applied to produce it. It’s much more preferable than to get another “greatest hits album”. So my best regards to all the participants and best wishes to The Lake of Tears!

    Words: Aleks Evdokimov

    Lake Of Tears.SU
    Lake of Tears.Net
    Tribute sampler: HERE
    The Equinox ov Gods covers: HERE
    Nekroheart “tape” cover (not included in original edition): HERE

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    Eric Blair of "The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show" conducted an interview with legendary BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi at the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund's second awards gala, which was held last night (Wednesday, October 31) at the Avalon nightclub in Hollywood, California. You can watch video footage of the chat below. On the work that Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund — a charity organization dedicated to cancer prevention, research and education — is doing, especially considering that he is a cancer survivor himself (Iommi was diagnosed with lymphoma late last year):

    Iommi: "Well, I'm a survivor up until now. I'm still very new to it. It's great that there's somebody doing something about it and trying to get rid of this awful disease. You can't praise it enough. Things like this is what 'is needed] to make people aware of what is going on." On reports that he has laid down guitar tracks on 15 new BLACK SABBATH songs in the studio: Iommi: "That's wrong. When Ozzy [Osbourne, BLACK SABBATH singer] said it [in a recent interview], I think he meant what we've done. We've written 15 songs and we've played them all. But now, at the moment, we're recording them. We recorded them at my house first, in England, just as demos, but now we're doing them for real. So we're about six tracks in now, at the moment."

    On Rick Rubin's approach to producing: Iommi: "Well, he's just a vibe merchant, really. He vibes you up. He's not one that gets involved hands on. He leaves it to you to do it, and he sort of says, 'I like it,' or 'I don't like it.'" On whether he would like to see original drummer Bill Ward back in BLACK SABBATH: Iommi: "We'll always have a heart for Bill, but I think it's gone past that now, because it's gone on so long that I don't see that happening at the moment. Maybe at some point we might [play together again]."

    On his fondest memory of his late BLACK SABBATH and HEAVEN & HELL bandmate Ronnie James Dio: Iommi: "Oh, I've got a lot of memories of Ronnie. We had some great times. Particularly when we'd done the last album with Ronnie [HEAVEN & HELL's 'The Devil You Know'] and the last tours, it was a whole new world. We had such a great time and we were looking forward to doing another album. So there's a lot of great memories of Ronnie." BLACK SABBATH's new album is tentatively scheduled for release in April 2013 via Vertigo/Universal Republic in the U.S. and Vertigo in all other territories.

    Iommi received the "King Of Rock 'N Roll Award" at last night's event.

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    You may say that you like but Lake of Tears were one of the first doom bands in Europe, they have a good piece of doom in first album "Greater Art", they took first steps further in progressive realms right with their second LP "Headstones" and since then they do their best mixing progressive, psychedelic and sometimes doom elements in their songs spicing it with good yet dark sense of humor and aesthetic touch of Evil. Strange… but they have a big jubilee in this year for 20 years they make us cry with tears of joy and sorrow… Or something like that :-)
    Russian official fan club of Lake of Tears and label FONO Ltd released great double CD compilation "Twenty Years In Tears - tribute to Lake of Tears" with new versions of well-known hits of that Swedish legend. There're bands from Finland, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine who prepared their covers for the tribute and 13 of them are here today to say their words for heroes of the day. There were only 3 questions for them.

    1. This is a common question: where and how did you hear Lake of Tears for a first time?
    2. Why did you choose that certain song for a tribute and did you change anything in it?
    3. Last question is about band's current state and latest news, because we always try to give an opportunity to spread a word 'bout heavy tunes and thunderous riffs.

    But let us starts with few words from Lake of Tears and the guy who did most of the job to create that tribute - Andrew Hohlenko.

    b>Lake of Tears

    "We feel really honored by this. No bullshit!
    The fact that so many musicians have taken time to arrange and record covers of our songs is amazing. Of course the quality varies over the two cds, but we truly enjoy many of them. Some even contain ideas and arrangements that make us think something like: "Why the hell didn´t we think of this!".So, many, many thanks to everyone contributing and to the people behind the whole thing like Andrey. Thanks!"

    Lake Of Tears.Net
    Lake of Tears | Facebook
    Tribute sampler: HERE
    The Equinox ov Gods covers: HERE
    Nekroheart "tape" cover (not included in original edition): HERE

    Andrew Hohlenko

    Once on the old site LoT, which now does not exist, were released some cover of LoT from some obscure commands, and in a totally low quality. Well, then, I've found the idea of making a normal tribute to the band. At first there was the idea to make this as a web project without the involvement of any label. But as it turned out, not every group will agree to participate in this compillation because the record costs money, and everyone wants to get something in return, at least a few disks on storage... On that note, we decided to release a tribute to physical media and give two CD to every musician in the tribute. Proposals were sent to so many Western teams, both famous and not so, but in most cases managers raised the question of the end, only those few that you can see in the track list agreed. Some bands, incidentally, themselves expressed their desire to participate, but there is question of the duration of the tribute, and we even had to issue waivers as accommodate everyone on two CD was impossible, even with a fairly strict selection criteria, most of which was the quality of the recorded material.

    Am I satisfied with the end result? Of course yes. Three days when we used to hang out with  Lake of Tears musicians in Maloyaroslavets, I gave them to listen to yet unreleased tribute. They hardly learned even some of the songs :) But, all in all, guys are happy by the fact of the presence of this compilation, the name of which - "Twenty Years In Tears" - and they suggested it themselves. I would call it "Twenty Years On Stage". The artwork is painted by W.Smerdulyak (he also now works on a new site design) that I am also very pleased. And finally, a compilation group I would like to focus especially is The Equinox Ov The Gods. They made very emotional tracks! But in general, thank you, maybe in the future we will make a "part 2" to the 25-year anniversary!

    Lake of Tears | Official Website

    Atra Hora (Russia)

    1. Our first encounter with the music of Lake of Tears happened in 2000, it was a "Headstones" tape. It was an amazing feeling and it's still so. The album is an example of successful combination of simplicity in the arrangements with huge originality. I think much of "Greater Art", "Headstones" and "Illwill", but I don't quite understand their other albums.

    2. The fact is what we have chosen "Under the Crescent" because the most of the tracks which fit our style had already been used by other bands. So we decided to record "Under the Crescent" but with making little corrections. We tried to emphasize some similarity of early Lake of Tears guitar riffs with Swedish Melodic Death Metal of mid-90ths. In our view this idea has been implemented most successfully in the chorus when the original Swedish melodies are combined with fast double-bass drumming.

    3. At the moment Atra Hora are promoting the brand new album entitled "Via Combusta", which has been released on Darknagar Records. Moreover the band is actively rehearsing
    and preparing for gigs in the South of Russia supporting the CD. The recording session of the EP is planned on 2013. This opus will set the direction of our creative development.

    Atra Hora | ReverbNation

     Awake in Shades (Finland)

    1. First time I heard Lake of Tears from metal-compilation-cd called Metalliliitto 1999 (at the same year i guess) and the song was "So Fell Autumn Rain". It striked out for me from that compilation. I thought it was simple and honest. I liked the melodies with a melancholy and the atmospheric feeling in the songs. I started to listen the songs from Lake of Tears website (Crimson Book) and soon ordered all the albums. Since then Lake of Tears have been one of the main bands that have influenced also in making music.

    2. The Four Strings of Mourning had been a coversong with a few bands over the years - and it has always been nice to play it. In spring 2012 when I heard about this tribute-compilation I didn´t have a band active for more than a year or so. But i thought this was a great thing to be a part of as a fan of Lake of Tears. So on short notice I asked my old friends to come together to make this song. It was also the latest song from Lake of Tears that the band had played in rehearsals and it was familiar for all of us. The deadline was knocking on the door and I was actually surprised and clad that we had something in our hands for the tribute - to make a tribute.

    3. So this band with this line up was kind of a "rebuild-project" ( The Realization of Falling Apart / Shallowland ) only to make this tribute song to the compilation. But all the band members are still actively playing with different bands and more or less making music as a part of their lives.

     Aglarond (Mexico)

    1. The first time we listen to Lake of Tears was "The Greater Art", "Tears" was one of the first covers we play and was one of the biggest influences for the band.

    2. The song "Tears" was the first cover that Aglarond play, so we decided to record that song, and add a bit of our style to it. The second song, "The Raistiling And The Rose", is another of my favorite songs, so we decided to select it.

     3. We are currently finishing the new songs for the new album, and start recording this December. Thanks, and greetings from Mexico.

    Aglarond | Facebook
    Aglarond | Myspace

     Dominia (Russia, Saint-Petersburg)

    1. I liked Lake of Tears in my youth, especially album "Headstones", the first song was "Raven Land", I was watching video clips on a video cassette. Several years ago, we were invited to play with LoT in St. Petersburg. We were having a little chat with the musicians, the impressions of them remained. They are normal people. Among them are normal guys and guys with raised noses, so the same picture is in any band.

    2. "The Path of the Gods" - a slow song, epic, monumental and inspirational. This music is peculiar to us, and when we were invited to the tribute, we have chosen this masterpiece, because we know how it sounds when we record it. And, to be honest, this was my favorite track from the album '95, I have associated different memories with it. And when I asked the guys in the band, this is the track to record, and no one really did not argue.

    3. DOMINIA is in the final stages of recording their third full-length album - "Theophania", plans to release in the winter 2012-2013. Also release our first DVD - "Reincarnation". And very soon, we will please the public with our new video and single.

    Domina | Official

     Egonaut (Sweden)

    1. Well since they are from the same town as I am I initially heard of them through the local newspaper covering their first polish tour and I also remember listening to the headstones album in the local record shop just as it came out.
    By coincidence I walked past the stage when they were playing at Sweden Rock Festival and checked a couple of songs out there as well and a couple of years later I got a phonecall from Daniel asking me if I'd be interested in playing some live-shows with the band, something I've been doing since 2008 upto now.
    They haven't been that much of an influence to me musically as I come from a more death/thrash background but they were very much an inspiration as to seeing how a band from my hometown could come to get an international career.

    2. "Children of the grey" was a very obvious choice for me as it is one of my favourite LoT tracks and it also translates very well into the sound we have with Egonaut, so we could pretty much play it exactly the way as the original was played. The organizers of the tribute album wanted us to present two tracks; so for the second track we choose to transform "Floating in Darkness" into an Egonaut tune; changing the tempo and making it more a Rock n Roll song. Even when Daniel played me the riffs for that song the first time I sort of pictured it being redone this way so it was cool to get an excuse to rerecording it.

    3. We're actually entering the studio now in October to record our second full-lenght album, due for release in February/March, and then we plan to hit the road as much as possible playing our new material.

    Egonaut | Facebook

    Grobut Neerg (Russia, Ryazan)

    1. "Under the Crescent" was the first song I've ever heard, and the "Greater art" album was the first album that I've listened. As far as I remember it happened in autumn 2004. I had been interested in a series of books dedicated to "Magic the Gathering" card game. Since then I associate the album with those times, because I was listening it during the reading lots of times.

    2. We chose this song because many of us like the early works of LoT. We had some more variants, but "As Daylight Yields" was our common choice. We slightly changed the arrangement and recorded it in a lower tune. It was enough to gain the best result, so we didn't add anything extra.

    3. Now we make a new track "War Machines", that's the most extreme thing we've ever played. I think, it will be available soon as a single, which will also include our Lake of Tears cover.


     Hexentrauma (Russia, Ekaterinodar)

    1. First time I listened to Lake Of Tears in 2005. "Black Brick Road" was the first album I heard. I found it on pirate doom metal compilation. Then I bought some other albums that plunged me deeper into the music. The most interesting things I found in LoT music were the atmosphere, melodies and great song. I listened to LoT music for 3 consecutive years. So there was a huge period of my life. There are many emotions and memories inextricably linked to this music.

    2. "Headstones" is an iconic track. In my view, this is an outstanding ballad. Here is where it began my acquaintance with the guitar - that is, this is the first song I learned to play. Half a year ago I had fun recording different covers - just for fun and practice. And one morning I  spontaneously started to record Headstones.  I decided to make it into a cheerful folk sound and without synthetic instruments. I finished my work by the evening and saw the network news about the upcoming tribute album. So, this is an interesting coincidence.

    3. Our second album 'Idols' is ready to be released on "Shadowplay Rec". So, you can hear it  already this autumn. And now we can start working on the material for the next album - there will be a lot of work. And it would be very good to find a couple of people for the band, because it's difficult to play in the duo format :)


     Mental Home (Russia, Moscow)
    Answers provided by Michael "MAIDEN" Smirnoff - band keyboard player / manager

    1. Well... I used to listen to Lake Of Tears in the first half of 90s. I mean "Greater Art" and "Headstones". I can't say it had any influence on me or our band as let's say TIAMAT did back then. But I clearly remember I liked Lake Of Tears first 2 albums. At the same time I must tell you that after those albums I didn't listen to them much since "Crimson Cosmos" and didn't listen at all to their later albums.

    2. When I first got the invitation to participate in tribute album I wasn't much up for it but the rest of the guys decided we should be in. When it came to choose the particular song it was out of the question that it must be something off the first two albums since we are in our late thirties and we loved early stuff. But when I played that stuff now to refresh my memories I was puzzled because (to tell you the truth) I could not believe "how could I like this?!". 17 years have passed since I listened to Lake Of Tears and now those albums sounded a bit outdated and maybe even ridiculous. No offence to the band but that was my impression when I tried to decide which song to choose.
    Anyway we chose "RavenLand" but decided to make it more in the vein of our own modern up to date stuff. So we almost doubled the tempo and wrote Russian lyrics to the song since we were working on our first ever Russian language album (all those before now were in English) so we found it'd be pretty much interesting if the cover could fit our latest vibes and concepts. Russian lyrics for "RavenLand" greatly matched the concept of our new album that's dedicated to WWII. That's it I guess.

    3. We've just released our album named "Ugra" (it's the name of the river) and preparing to support it with gigs, interviews and radio appearances. After that we'd love to continue re-releasing our older stuff starting from "Funeral Service" (1994) album and so on. Also we are working on variety of T-shirts designs to fulfill many merch requests we've received over the years.

    Mental Home | Official

     Sacratus (Russia, Cherkessk)

    1. The first time I get acquainted with music of Lake of Tears in 1996. I have bought albums "Headstones" and "Greater Art". That time I constantly listened to My Dying Bride, Anathema, Crematory, Tiamat and Lake of Tears was a revelation for me. The album "Headstones" became one of my favorites. Lake of Tears differs from the other Doom bands.

    2. I have chosen the song "Upon The Highest Mountain" because its lyrics are very cognate to me. Honestly, we wanted to record "The Path of the Gods" (Upon The Highest Mountain part 2), because it is closer to our style, but unfortunately, the band Dominia had chosen it earlier. We tried to play "Upon the Highest Mountain" in the spirit of Sacratus. The solo was replayed by ex-guitarist Maximilian Del Rio. It's a pity that the old photo of the band has been used in the
    artwork while we had sent the actual one. I don't like artwork, but upon the whole, I like the work we and the other bands have done. As for us - cover on Upon the Highest Mountain is a bow to music of Lake of Tears. And I wish all metal fans listen for a good music, to be healthy
    and never war.

    3. In the moment Sacratus is recording the third fill-length album "The Life Like a Flover, as Birth, as Death", playing World of Tanks, working on the solo project and live to the fullest.


     The Equinox Ov The Gods (Sweden)

    1. It must have been during the glorious days of tape trading and demo swapping! Can't really recall any titles of our first encounter with LoT but it was with a delightful feeling of familiarity we begun to work with their songs. After all, both the Equinox ov the Gods and Lake of Tears came from that fertile soil of the underground scene of that time!

    2. It was actually quite hard! Within the band we had a lot of discussions which lead to that, one after another, our favorite tracks where taken by other bands! Fortunately, LoT have been around for 20 years and there were many interesting songs to choose from! It was important to us that both music and lyrics appealed to us otherwise it would have been hard to add to the songs that little extra that is the soul and the essence of the Equinox ov the Gods!

    3. At the moment we are working on new material for a new album.


    The Mary Major (Sweden)

    1. We're from the same town as Lake of Tears. So we have played together a couple of times. They are very nice people and when we got the question to be on their tribute album we didn't hesitate a second.
    I remember when I started to listen to their music. It was when "Blackbrick Road" was being recorded. Our old band Beseech was in the same studio recording an album, so we got to hear some of the songs that were in the recording process.

    2. We chose "The Greymen" because it's very driven, and we knew we could do something good from it. We just started to jam, and ended up playing the almost 70's like groove. We're very proud of the results. This song is the first Lake of Tears song that I've had on repeat at home, it's very catchy and the lyrics are just perfect.

    3. At the moment we are experimenting in our studio. Trying out new sounds and making plans for future songs. You should really check us out on Facebook so that you can follow the news.
    Cheers, and stay tuned!


     Type V Blood (Russia, Kaliningrad)

    1. With LOT met in '95 when they released their "Headstones". Great album. Frequent visitor to the cassette deck. Now, of course, difficult to describe all the feelings, much time has passed, and at 96 joined the army and somehow forgotten about this group at all. And in early 2012 the first proposal came from our old label - collect group to tribute to LOT, do not want to join? I, honestly, started frantically to remember what is the band? I remember the name, and what they plays - I do not remember. I had to download a couple of albums in order to refresh my memory. And finally remembered! Well, really wanted to do a cover.

    2. "Burn Fire Burn" - very catchy track! We fell in love with her the first second. Besides, under our performance is very well suited. Decided to make a heavy metal drum and bass with dubstep insert. It turned out, I think it is excellent and experimentally like everything that we do, ha-
    ha))) In the end, a cover were very happy and not just us. But, because of the fact that we are different from other groups of the collection, our version of "Burn Fire Burn" included as a bonus track.

    3. Recently on Artificial Sun released our fifth disc PENTA. So who is interested in our music, and the overall development of the same - order it and ask it in the shops. Well, we come up with new material, giving concerts, rehearsals, in general - do our own future. Good luck and thank
    you for your attention.

    Type V Blood | Fix Remix

     Xicon (Switzerland)

    1. It was just after the release of the album "A Crimson Cosmos". I saw the video for "Devil's Diner" on a French musical TV and I liked it a lot. Soon after, I bought the album Headstones and this is what really got me hooked. There are so many good songs on this record. I followed their carrier from this point getting every album they released. I think they achieve something most bands would dream of: they evolved slowly and constantly but were always able to maintain their typical sound.

    2. I'm actually the only one in the band to be a fan of LoT. So I was expecting the guys in Xicon would turn the offer down when I proposed to record this cover. Fortunately, they were quite enthusiastic about doing this. We wanted a song that would suit every musician in the band. I suggested several songs and we choose "Dystopia": it has a very catchy riff, a touch of electronic… Everything Xicon likes. We really wanted to bring our touch to this song and the result may sound quite different from the original but we're definitely proud of it. For example: there is no guitar solo on the original but we added one because it is something that is really part of our sound.

    3. Our second album, Monument, was released a few months ago and after that we were somewhat in a dead-end with very few concerts ahead. Recording this cover gave us the opportunity to get back to work and revive the enthusiasm. We have some new riffs and lyrics that we'll be working on in the next few months and meanwhile, we're looking for concerts… Why not a tour in Russia?



    Interviews By Aleks

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    Well Doom Metal.Com beat me to the punch on this one, the new album from Well Of Souls titled 'Sorrow My Name.' In their review, they mentioned a similarity to Solitude Aeturnus which is right on the money but they are also on the Brainticket Records label which is run by John Perez of Solitude Aeturnus fame. Without a doubt Solitude Aeturnus are one band that should be monsters in the metal scene, not just the doom scene. Why this isn't the case might be due to the slower than slow recording process that SA have for all of their career but the world of traditional doom has also been rather slow at producing the goods of late. Well Of Souls are not much faster than Solitude Aeturnus when it comes to releasing albums. After 15 odd years in existence, this is only their second full length but quality nearly always beats quantity and this new album is living proof of that.

    Another thing that Doom Metal.Com mentions in their review is the lack of epic doom metal bands in the USA but it is not only the USA. Do some Google searching and you will discover that the amount of traditional or epic doom bands in the world at the present time is actually very low in comparison with the other doom sub-genres. There is a pre-conceived notion that trad bands are everywhere but it is not the case, ask a Russian doom fan if you want more proof of this. That is one of the reasons that this Well Of Souls album is so refreshing. Here at Doommantia.Com death-doom bands wanting reviews are a dime-a-dozen so pressing play on this album spells total and utter relief for the ear-drums.

    Right from the get-go, Well Of Souls reek of class, quality musicianship, engaging and commanding vocals and exquisite songwriting. Vocalist John Calvin isn't the greatest singer on earth but his larger than life and over-the-top performance on this album is something that is becoming increasingly rare in the metal scene but especially the doom metal scene as it is getting swamped with (sometimes) childish and goofy growls. The energetic and passionate vocals are just one of the high-points the album has to offer. There are more killer riffs than the average metal album and the band have more finesse than most other doom metal bands. Sure it lacks originality; this is basically another Solitude Aeturnus/Candlemass kind of band but what it lacks in unique features, it more than makes up for in memorable songs.

    There is not a weak track in the albums 51 minute running time and the songs are indeed epic with most of the tracks running well past the 7 minute mark. However none of it strays from anything below the highest quality doom metal. If you have heard Candlemass then I need not go into details with these is more of the same but apart from the Candlemass debut, I don't think even they have released anything as consistently great as 'Sorrow My Name.' Along with two guitarists pulling off some amazing, captivating riff work, the atmosphere this album possesses is nothing short of magnetic. The bass sounds is also one of the features of the album. The sound of the bass is excellent but some of the bass lines verge on the orgasmic. At times the band gallop along, at other times they are relaxed and funeralistic but at ALL times, this album is full of drama.

    Not to be confused with Well of Souls from Chicago, Illinois, this band have released a minor masterpiece in the trad/epic doom vein with 'Sorrow My Name.' I hope it doesn't get swept under the carpet like so many other albums have been in the last year, this is a "must-hear" for all doomsters...9/10.

    Official Website

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    Health care costs are sky high in America, so it seems to me that having good health becomes a much more valuable matter here than anywhere else. This fact rings very true every time I come across a story about how someone goes bankrupt because of medical reasons. When you fall ill, not only do you lose your ability to earn a living (hence you need disability benefits of some sort), you also get squeezed dry by soaring medical costs. Besides all this, there is one other unfortunate statistic that needs to be reversed. That would be the number of lives that are lost due to the lack of accessible health care for American citizens. I’ve noticed a disturbing trend: more people are deferring medical treatment for life-threatening problems because they simply cannot afford health insurance or health care. This brings me to Ed. He avoided medical help for a long time and looked what happened. Ed lost almost everything due to his health issues and the ineffective and unfair medical system.

    Now The Good News
    Through the kind generosity of the readers of Doommantia and through the sales of the Doommantia Compilation, he is now able to afford housing. Just one more hurdle to cross which I will get to in a minute so please keep on reading. The success of the compilation download has been a kind of turning point, well almost. We THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for buying the download but we still need a lot of people to come forward and pay the $7. The hurdle I hinted at is all about maintaining the payment of medical bills. Ed's heart problems has already put him in over $40,000 in debt and that is likely to increase over the next year. The monthly medical expense for medicine alone is well over $1,000. How they can justify that kind of expense for sick, UN-insured people is a disgrace but I guess we are stuck with it.

    Ed's progress to a liveable health condition has been a slow and painful one but it is only because of donations, that there is any hope at all. The homeless situation has put his health in a dangerous place. Sleeping in a water logged tent for weeks and sleeping in the back of a freezing cold car are the last places any heart attack patient should be. Through donations, we were able to upgrade his situation to a motel but at $50 a day, it is money down the toilet. Again your kind donations have made this possible and without them, Ed would still be in that tent. Again we THANK YOU.

    We hope to move Ed into a house or apartment within the next few days, however we already have been turned away from a couple of properties, credit checks and the eviction from the last place we lived means not many people will take a chance on us. That is where you guys come in. The next step in resolving this matter is finding at least 40 people to donate $25 a month for a minimum of 3 months. This would ensure that rent and medical costs can be met. Our goal is at least $1,000 a month. This isn't about paying rent for us but rather help pay for Ed's medical expenses which is the number one priority. If those medical costs can be met, then solving the homeless problem could and should be possible.

    PLEASE give this some serious thought and PLEASE buy the compilation, donate some cash or even better, do both. We can't keep asking for money forever so the sooner we get this under control, the better for everyone concerned but especially Ed. Ed is still very much in "recovery" mode from his heart attack and has to be kept alive with meds. Without the meds, he won't last long and without a home, it just makes the recovery next to impossible. We thank you for everything you have done, now it is time to take the next step..........Please don't give up on us......

    The donation Paypal button and links to buy the Doommantia Compilation is in the sidebar.

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    Indesinence is a death doom band which is based in London, they gathered in 2001 yet since then release only one demo in 2003, pretty good full-length album “Noctambulism” in 2006 and EP “Neptunian” in the same year. They were waiting for six years gathering power to produce really epic and progressive death doom monolith “Vessels of Light and Decay”, this album was released only two weeks ago by Profound Lore Records and it’s a main reason to contact once again with Ilia Rodriguez who roars and play his distorted guitars not only in Indesninece. This gentleman was a part of Pantheist, he played few gigs with Esoteric and another band of him, Binah, released their debut in this year two. You see – this man has really something to tell. Bring it on, Ilia!

    Salute Ilia! How are you mate? Did Profound Lore Records already release new work of Indesinence “Vessels of Light And Decay”?

    Hail Aleks! I’m OK, and I hope you are too. Indeed, the album came out two weeks ago. There were some setbacks because of delays from the pressing plant due to the packaging, but it’s good to finally have it out there.

    Ilia, I remember that you were saying four years ago (when we did our previous interview) that at this moment the band had 6 or 7 new songs which might be included in “next” album. Well, here we have our “next” album – how long did you write stuff for it?

    Song writing was constant; it just took a long time. Some of the material goes as far back as right after the “Noctambulism” sessions, whereas the last of the songs was finalized literally days before heading into the studio. Sometimes extremely intensive writing sessions were followed by weeks or even months of inactivity, in order to give the material space to breathe and for us to regain some perspective. Throughout this process we probably discarded at least three or four nearly completed songs, and re-wrote at least two others almost from scratch, keeping only part of the original riffs or structures. Also, the last song “Unveiled” was originally conceived as a clean guitar-only track, with no distorted guitar sections whatsoever. There is a lot of trial and error and a lot of experimentation with layers and tempos until things click in a way that feels just right, and it’s often an exhausting way to work, but it’s the only way we know how to, in order to offer our best. Songs really don’t take a linear and clearly defined route with Indesinence, because they are a direct result of our thoughts and experiences - and as such, they grow and develop together with us… with all the good and bad that this entails.

    Are these emotions which you did put in the songs still current for you? What is main motive of “Vessels of Light And Decay”?

    In a way, yes, because the songs usually capture the emotions and vibes that surround them at the time they are written and recorded, and hearing or performing them is like going back to some of those places… not always comfortable, but still necessary. The songs on this album touch on the inevitability of time, depression and awakening, the various passages and harsh lessons of life, and the common strife to overcome our self-imposed limitations and attempt leave our imprint on this world through our achievements, whatever the shape that they might take. It’s an album with a “cyclical” feel to it, and one that aims to convey a sense of gravity, but hopefully without taking itself too seriously. I guess that two albums that you could draw some parallels to thematically are Lou Reed’s “Magic and Loss” and Queen’s “Innuendo”; both of which I was coincidentally re-discovering a few months ago. Both Lou Reed and Mercury were top-league songwriters in their prime. “Magic and Loss” certainly has some of the best lyrics I have ever come across in Rock music, a huge all-time influence for me. I am not suggesting we could ever achieve something remotely in the same league, of course, but we can always try! If you are going to copy, you might as well do it from the best, hehehe…

    What kind of changes did occur in the band during last 4 years?

    The most important one, and the trickiest to overcome, was Chris James leaving the band. Chris loved the music we made together, and he was and remains our pal and brother, but I think the band was getting in the way of his personal happiness. It all became a bit too much for him at a certain point, all the logistical perks, and he already had enough on his plate, so he told us he’d taken time to think things through and would rather step out in amicable terms. Things looked very uncertain for a while, and to be honest I also entertained the thought of calling it a wrap, as I too had worries of my own to deal with. But the other guys had no doubt that they wanted to push on and complete what we’d started. Luckily our friend Andy McIvor from Code and Blutvial was up for stepping in on bass not long after, allowing John to switch to guitar. He was also already a fan, and quite familiar with the material. Chris was always going to be a tough act to take over from, as he is a master of the crushing riff as well as a true individual, but I feel Andy has done an admirable job of filling the gap in his own equally personal style. His bass playing is colourful and creative whilst retaining a very natural feel that sits well within our sound, and it takes the new material to really interesting places.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I feel that new Indesinence sounds even more aggressive, more powerful then it did on “Noctambulism” and “Neptunian” in 2006. Is it natural for you to hold this straightforward line through the years?

    Life has a way of humbling one with some difficult moments as well as the good ones, and over the past few years we’ve all had some intense experiences, and not all of them were good. I think this album reflects that, in a sense that it is also a rawer, more poignant, bitter and “real” album, but still maintaining that balance between abject dread and rubbing one’s face against the mud, and the dreamier, more transcendental element. Making it was that little harder, in a sense that it captures a lot of the energy that has sometimes made our personal lives a challenge, but it also reflects a want for release and for communion with the listener, which was also present on previous works.

    What is about instrumental part of new songs? Some of them sound torturing, some of them keep a primal human rage yet most of arrangements are quite complex and we could even say “progressive”.

    You are not the first to say that, and I can agree to an extent that there is greater variety of atmospheres, textures and tempo shifts. This is important; because having a wide palette of ambiences and feelings really helps achieve a better impact… it is from the utmost heights that you better appreciate the lows, and vice versa. At the same time we feel there is probably a better sense of flow and transition between the various parts, both within each song and within the album as a whole. We also spent good time trying to ensure there was the best possible symbiosis between music, lyrics and imagery, and that the compositions flowed and developed in a way that had a resounding emotional impact within the listener, because I think music should really aim to move the listener and connect with them on some level.

    “Vessels of Light And Decay” has 24-page booklet, man, it’s bloody lot for simple release. What did you want to show listeners of Indesinence with that posh edition?

    Do you think so? I have quite a few CDs in my collection with booklets that extensive, if not more; we’re not the first band to do this. I think our choice of presentation is neither that uncommon nor particularly over-the-top, but I admit that both band and label consciously went into this with the intention of exploiting the format and making it as nice as possible for the buyer. The reason is quite simple: we are massive music fans ourselves, and we like nothing more than to engage all the way with a good record; and if you ask me, this is still only achievable when absorbing it via the physical medium. Sure, the music is anything but physical, but the actual experience of being a music enthusiast has always been naturally enhanced by multi-sensory stimuli. I don’t care what anyone says, there is a clear difference between just listening to music and being a music freak. The former is simply an act, but the latter is a state of being. So I guess this was basically our way of saying: yes, you can find a way of downloading this – whether you cannot afford to buy the album or simply don’t want to, we can’t stop that. However, you won’t be experiencing the album as a whole; only a portion of what really went into it, and a limited-quality portion at that. The visual and conceptual elements have always been integral to Indesinence, and this time we’ve been lucky to be in a position to work with extremely talented artists and an photographers, and their output is every bit as integral to “Vessels of Light and Decay” as the songs themselves. So anyone wanting to actually experience the album really needs to get either the CD or the LP, simple as that.

    Would you like to have vinyl edition of your albums? It seems that this format is more suitable for stoner and traditional doom stuff, but death doom… well, why not?

    As a matter of fact, “Neptunian” was already released on vinyl in 2011 with fully new artwork, and there are plans to do the same with “Vessels…” and “Noctambulism” in early 2013. For all three releases, we are working together with the killer Death Metal label Me Saco Un Ojo, which is run by a long-time friend of ours. For “Vessels…” we are keeping the same cover and images as the CD, but “Noctambulism” will feature fully new artwork by Timo Ketola. We are really excited about these releases. I think vinyl is a great format to release and listen to music in regardless of genre, but then I am biased because I simply love the format.

    I think that “Vessels of Light And Decay” is better produced and I guess that it has another touch… Of course, it’s obvious Indesinence yet it’s another though I know that you did record new stuff again in studio of Greg Chandler (Esoteric) and he is the guy who keeps the standards of studio work very high always. What kind of differences do you see between your new and previous works?

    I personally think the production jobs in “Noctambulism” and “Neptunian” still hold their own very well, even when putting aside the many difficulties that came with the recording and mixing of both releases. We certainly did the best we could with the tools we had. But I agree that working in two professional studios has made a difference this time. We recorded the drums with our mate Jaime Gomez at Orgone Studios in London, most other instruments with Greg at The Priory, and also a few overdubs and ambient sections at John’s home and mine, but everything we tracked went through The Priory’s mixing desk, which clearly makes a huge difference. Greg knows our sound well, and succeeded in combining punch and grittiness with a degree of clarity in the mix, which afforded the material an enveloping and timeless quality that was further enhanced by James Plotkin’s mastering job. We are really happy with it, all in all.

    Indesinece “Paradigms”

    Ilia, you play in Esoteric and Pantheist besides Indesinence, how do differ methods of songs writing, rehearsing and working in studio in these three bands??

    I actually left Pantheist at the start of 2011, due to lack of the necessary time and capacity that the band required at its current stage (this happened amicably, and I remain friends with the guys), and I have only ever been an occasional live member of Esoteric, stepping in for some shows where either Gordon or Kris could not travel, so I can only answer this partially. From what I could observe with Esoteric, each member tends to write songs individually at home and then bring them to the table, with everyone offering feedback and naturally adding their own flair in subsequent performances. I was never involved in writing or recording for them, but my understanding is that there is already a very clear idea of how each part is meant to sound by the time the band hit the studio, and a very meticulous work ethic, whereas there was perhaps more of a window for improvisational methods in their earlier days. Pantheist, on the other hand, has mostly always been Kostas’ brainchild; with him taking care of the lion’s share of the songwriting duties but always providing ample room for the incorporation of people’s ideas and nuances; he’s a great band leader in every sense: a clear idea of what he wants for each album, and always sufficient openness to outside input and balance, and a good eye for what works in each case. I did co-write some of the material on “Journey through Land Unknown” and wrote a couple of full songs on the latest album “Pantheist”, but always tried to do so on a “Pantheist” state of mind: trying to work within the musical and conceptual frame of the band and those albums, in a way that didn’t detract from their vibe. Out of the two recordings, “Journeys…” is perhaps the more psychedelic and experimental, whereas with “Pantheist” we had a more thought-out plan of how we wanted everything to sound, down to each little detail. Pre-production work, however, was equally intensive for both albums. With Indesinence, there is no method; only chaos, haha! It’s true; the recording of our music is always planned carefully and in as much detail as we can, but its composition is at the mercy of a random combination of time, circumstances and inspiration that happens differently every time. We honestly don’t know when the next Indesinence album will happen, or if there will even be one. If you enjoy “Vessels…” then squeeze the goodness out of it, because there is no guarantee that it will not be the last… right now, the overall feeling is that we want to create more, but who knows when, or what the future will bring.

    We watched as Pantheist changes through the years, and its changes are cardinal as the band came from funeral doom through doom death and to original progressive stuff; we could say that Esoteric changes too yet not so fast as it seems; but what can you say about Indesinence? How does band’s evolution go?

    Because the songs and ideas develop together with us as people, there is no calculated plan at all to evolve one way or another. Of course there always needs to be an element of control, and we are careful with every idea, in terms of assessing whether it fits with the band’s ethos and with its present, but a very large part of what makes our songs is, literally, beyond our grasp: we summon a certain feel that we want to convey and share with the receiver, and we then become the vessels through which said feel manifests itself in the form of sound and words. It’s no different from a painter subconsciously choosing certain colors or shapes for a composition, or any other artform – I think the most honest expression requires a significant degree of letting yourself go, abandoning yourself to both your inner muse and the continuum of creation.

    Man, I see that you started another band not too long ago, I mean Binah. How do you find time and energy to bring doom and death through all these bands?

    I just don’t, hehehe – which is why I had to step out of Pantheist and rein things down on live collaborations with other bands; it was becoming really hard to keep up with everything and still invest the time that the new Indesinence album required. One must always put quality before ego, and something had to give. As for Binah, it was really Andy/Aort who was the main catalyst, and it is a much more low-key and relaxed affair overall. The Binah album was recorded at our homes in our own time before there were even any labels involved. We have also chosen not to make it a live band. So it is a very different experience to us in that sense, as it is quite removed from the dynamics of a more “full-time” endeavor.

    Binah released its first album in 2012, its name “Hallucinating In Resurrecture”, what kind of album it is?

    It is an album of pure Death Metal, plain and simple. Andy and I have both been fans of this music for the past 20 years, and each of us has always wanted to be part of a record such as this. I guess the right moment hadn’t materialized until now. Andy had an album’s worth of ideas in demo form, and asked me if I wanted to help out in realizing them into actual songs. Originally I was only going to contribute vocals, but I ended up recording half of the lead guitar work and some synths and ambient arrangements as well. We were also lucky to find the perfect drummer in A. Carrier; his style is a great fit, with the perfect balance between old and current. He is also a multi-instrumentalist with an open mind; always an asset. Inspiration for Binah came from bands we’ve been listening to over the years, such as Demigod, Abhorrence, Cartilage, Adramelech, Macabre End, early Therion, Mordicus, Desultory, etc. The overall feeling we sought was a combination of the atmosphere and sense of melodic development of the Finnish, Swedish and central-European bands, with the evil and swampiness of US classics such as Incantations or Autopsy, to create an album that paid due homage to the Death Metal spirit without becoming a mere regurgitation of the sound on auto-pilot. We wanted the album to come alive with occult energy. Hopefully we managed this, and listening to it will bring as much satisfaction to Death Metal maniacs as making it did to us.

    Ilia, what do you feel playing your music live? What kind of energies does flow through you during gigs? And is there difference if you play your songs or songs that composed someone else?

    It really depends on the gig and the conditions. A good show with the right atmosphere is an experience like few others. A perfect communion is established with the audience; the musician absorbs the energy of each and every person present, who in turn feels that the music is happening for them alone. It works both on a visceral and a subconscious level, and the timeless force of rock and roll is unleashed… just pure raw energy. It is a very powerful experience for everyone, a great feeling when everything clicks in the right places. I have greatly enjoyed playing both the material I’ve written or co-written, and other people’s compositions. They might feel like different things to begin with, but after a while you can become very familiar with someone else’s composition to the point where you also feel it as your own – just as easily as you can sometimes forget your own songs if you stop performing them for long enough! I guess it largely depends on the level of connection you establish with each song to begin with.

    That’s all Ilia, thank you for your time and for this conversation. I wish you all the best man, if you have something to say to our readers and your listeners then it’s right time and place. Good luck!

    Thank you again Aleks, and a massive hails to anyone else who’s supported the band throughout these years; cheers for bearing with us!

    Words: Aleks Evdokimov

    Profound Lore Records

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    And once again I must thank Sven of Doom Metal Front for I've that great doom act in one of his compilation (it was DMF 6: "Crossing the Alps")! These reverend brothers in Doom do amazing and crushing riffs as if they live through their music, France must be proud of her sons as we must know of their Gospel. The Gospel of Suffering, Hope and Salvation which sounds all over the world since 2011 when their first self-titled album has been release. Heed their call, repent yet do not fall on your knees! Because it would be uncomfortable to read this interview with Saint Stéphane, the man who plays guitars in Barabbas.

    Hail to devotional congregation of Barabbas! Sorry yet I'd like to start with common question: what did drive you to gather under this name in 2007?
    Hail Aleksey! Many thanks for giving us the opportunity to introduce Barabbas to the Russian doomsters. Back in 2007, the idea was just to play slow and heavy music for the sake of it. We had toyed with the idea for a long time and suddenly, the timing was just right. We didn't even think about releasing a demo or doing gigs, we just wanted to have a good time and maybe get a few tracks on a MySpace page. Guess Ambition is not our greatest sin…The name "Barabbas" comes straight from the Richard Fleischer movie, with Anthony Quinn staring as Barabbas, the thief sentenced to death that the crowd chose to free instead of Jesus. The movie depicts how Barabbas, unable to understand why he was released instead of "the son of God", slowly change his ways and begins a painful quest for redemption (don't expect no happy end : ). We thought it was a great doom theme :everyone, even with no particular religious belief, can relate to this idea of trying to find your way in what could be sometimes perceived as a meaningless existence.

    Yes, your band wears the name of criminal who suffered with Christ at Golgotha, each of band's members have a title "saint" before real name. Are you so pious indeed or is it kind of mockery over institute of church?

    The "Good vs Evil" imagery is strongly tied to the doom genre, so using it is a way to pay tribute to the Great Old Ones (Black Sabbath, Cathedral, Saint-Vitus, Trouble…) who inspired us. Besides, a name like "Barabbas" calls for this kind of references. In fact, we're neither pro nor anti religion. We are not into blasphemy and we do not preach. We're using religious references as images, metaphors, kinda like when Ronnie James Dio sang about fire, darkness and rainbows. But we do believe in the power of Music. It can lift up your mind, make you feel stronger, heal your soul, unite people… Music is a spiritual force (Huuu... I think I'm beginning to sound like an old hippie), hence the idea of worshiping it through our Sonic Church of the Holy Redeemer Riff (which, to be true, is a rip-off of Jimi Hendrix's concept of Electric Church). Regarding our "saint" names, it's just self irony: "saint" is synonymous with utter perfection and we're far from perfect, as musicians (and as humans, I'm afraid).

    Yet "it doesn't hurt - it doesn't count" as one literary personage told about redemption scourging and purging lost souls in some forsaken planet. Your music is heavy, it's a fact, do you see this purification as a process of intensive catharsis or is it just a smooth release for you?

    "Intensive catharsis" would be overstated, we're far from experiencing that kind of spiritual redemption or enlightenment during our rehearsals. But music sure has cathartic virtues, as every mean of expression. Of course, there's this kind of physical release you reach when you bang the drums or you shout your lungs out at the microphone. But music also allows you to turn all your bad feelings into something creative. And bringing positive out of negative is always good for the mind, it's kind of bringing light out of darkness, order out of chaos. Let the light prevail ! : ). And besides, there's also the magical power of distortion and low frequencies that set your brainwaves right!

    My congratulations - your album "Barabbas" has an excellent art-work, please give few hints for those who're uncommon with microprocessor technologies - how is it connected with your songs?

    Glad you dig the artwork ! "Redemption through headbanging" is the credo of our Sonic Church. This symbol of electrical power sums up our "theology": turn the amps louder, let's crank it up and let music purify your mind and soul, wash your troubles away and take you "elsewhere" !

    It seems as a good credo :-). What are your main requirements to band's sound? Barabbas sounds bloody heavy, sometimes dirty, you have well-tuned groovy bass - what else is important for you in your songs and how did you embody it in your first full-length?

    No special technical requirements, really : as long as we got big amplifiers and distortion pedals, we're happy ! The most important for us is to preserve the right balance in terms of composition : we want to keep it slow, heavy and gloom but at the same time, we want to keep it melodic. We really try to write songs, not just riffs, with verses leading to chorus you can sing along to, and we hope our demo is an accurate testimony of what we're trying to do. Granted, we don't reinvent the wheel, we're rather old school, that's the way we want to stay and we hope the demo is true to our intentions. Don't expect a drone album from us !

    Songs of Barabbas have French lyrics, it's good for me because I like and respect bands that are able to combine great music and texts in their natural language. But after all I'm interesting that do they sing about? Therefore I would like to ask you to comment on the lyrics of "Barabbas" songa.

    Singing in French seems indeed natural for us. Some people like it, because there aren't many French doom bands singing in their native language, but other people find it a bit old fashioned (back in the 80's, French metal bands did sing mostly in French). What is really funny is that sometimes, French listeners ask us why we sing in French... But in the end, it's not a question of language but a matter of emotion. Maybe you know this great French band called Magma: they sing in their own personal language they invented ("Kobaïen"), but you don't need to understand what they sing to feel all the power and emotions of their music. The song "Barabbas" is, of course, inspired by the movie. It depicts the tragic fate of Barabbas and ends with the idea that, in a way, we're all Barabbas because we all struggle to find our path in this world.

    No, I've never heard of Magma, yet I know Stangala who sing in Breton language! Stephane, what's about other songs from the album? What are they about?

    "Horizon Golgotha" is about confronting the tragic consequences of your actions. The song depicts the crucifixion of Jesus, from the moment he is taken to the cross until his last breath, The lyrics focus on the absolute loneliness of a man facing death, his despair, his faith destroyed.
    In "Réssuscité", it's a bitter Jesus that comes back from the dead. The song adopts his point of you: "You killed me just because I preached love? Well, next time, Mister, I won't turn the other cheek!". You can also take the song on a more personal level, as in the "Resurrection" song by Rob Halford: you've been down in the hole, you've lost your friends, your self respect, your faith in yourself, everybody says you're out, finished and suddenly, you come back in style !"Quatre Cavaliers" deals with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse unleashing their plagues on Earth and destroying mankind. Underneath is the idea that, no matter how rich or powerful you are, all your power and possessions won't mean nothing when Death will call you. So the lyrics have a kind of "memento mori" vibe to them: "Remember you're a mere mortal". The track "La question de Pilate" is a sample from the movie "Barabbas" enhanced by some synths works from Saint-Jérôme, our bass player. The dialogues come from the scene where Ponce Pilate asks the crowd if he should free Jesus or Barabbas (we all know the name of the winner, don't we ?). That's a way to show the listeners "where we come from". We also use this track as an intro when we hit the stage.

    What kind of your personal features are revealed through the band?

    Every creation being a reflection of its creator, there's certainly a fair amount of ourselves in Barabbas, even though we can't tell precisely "who brings what" to the table. Guess you'll have to ask our girlfriends... Or our mums!

    Hah, are they proud with their sons bringing tunes of doom all over the world?

    I don't think they even suspect the word "doom" applies to a musical genre. And they probably wouldn't call what we play "music"! For me, my parents are into classical music. Only music I listened to when a kid and I did like it. It trained my ears. Then, one day, I was exposed to "We will rock you" by Queen and my life changed : ) But I still enjoy some classical music so, thanx for the discovery Ma and Pa!

    You did release your first (and only) album by yourself - without any labels. Can you describe this process? How much time, efforts and money did you spend onto it?

    Jérôme, our bass player, is our Wizard of Sound. He has recorded and produced the whole demo and we think he really did a great job. It's really hard to estimate the time spent because we recorded the album through short sessions over a 5 months period. Having free access to recording facilities, we were able to concentrate the money on the artwork and the pressing. The demo was self released, we hope to find a label for our future album. If Russian labels are interested, they're welcome!

    You released "Barabbas" a year ago, what do you do now? Did you get enough positive feedback from world doom community to start working over new songs?

    We are currently working on a new batch of songs. We'd like to release an album before the end of 2013 (which will prove difficult if the world is going to end in 2012 : ). We indeed get some good reviews from magazines (Metallian), websites and compilations (Doommantia, Temple of Perdition, Doom Metal Front Zine...), radios (Toby Mearing Radio Show, etc.)... PsycheDOOMelic records has been kind enough to add our cd to its webstore, And we also did some cool gigs with great bands like The Wounded Kings or the French masters of Huata and The Bottle Doom Lazy Band. Oddly enough, the only rather bad review was on a French webzine. As the saying goes, "No man is a prophet in his own country".

    Thanks for a hint, I see that I must check Huata! Well, and Bottle Doom Lazy Band too because if I do not err they promised new songs in nearby future. But what about you? Do you expect some special releases or events in this year?

    I really dig Cathedral (too bad they disbanded, because sharing a stage with them was one of our secret dreams) so I hope we'll soon see the release of that posthumous album Lee Dorian spoke about when "The guessing game" was released. A new Black Sabbath album would be cool too, but I don't set my expectations too high on this one, just wait and see, (after all Saint-Vitus made a winning come back with their last offering). Of course, I'll be happy to listen to the next albums from Orchid, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats or Evangelist to name a few but my love of the genre comes from the Great Old Ones so their records have always that something "extra" for me (I should be careful, nostalgia is the first step to aging : )

    What do people usually tell you after listening your songs?

    It's always hit or miss: it's either "Hey, great!" or "Hu, boring !". But it's often the case with "non consensual" music. Some people think we are more doom than stoner and we indeed have a few songs which could be labelled that way. No one ever told us we were original (but as I wrote above, it was not our plan) but on the other hand, no one ever told us we did sound like this band or that band, so I guess our honor is safe : )

    You live in Combs-la-Ville, not far away from Paris; some people still think of it as of capital of fashion, like it's fantastic city which is full of romantic shit and etc. I've heard about suburbans where only immigrants dwell, the big city which is bloody expansive to live and I see that insane propaganda of tolerance on zombie-box. What can you say? Is it comfortable for you to live where you do?

    We're not that close to Paris (around 40 kms) so we're kind of preserved from the troubles of Babylon. Our region has kept a strong "country" vibe, it's still quite rural: wheat and corn fields, farms, forests, small villages… You can easily forget the Dark Side of Modern Times ! Besides, everything we see on TV isn't always 100% true. Media sometimes tend to emphasize problems just to get more audience.

    Then I'm glad for you, Stephane! Thanks for you time man and send my best wishes to you comrades at arms from Barabbas, don't forget to let us know when new album will be ready. Good luck!

    Thanks again to you, Comrade Aleksey, for opening your columns to the Sonic Gospel of Barabbas. Salute to all Russian doomsters and metalheads, hope some of you will join us in the celebration of the Holy Redeemer Riff! Also don't forget to check all those cool French doom and stoners band: the aforementioned Huata, Bottle Doom Lazy Band and Stangala but also Hangman's Chair, Children of Doom, Northwinds, Zardoz, Ataraxie, Wheelfall and all those I forget. And as Mr Spock said, "Live long and prosper". Peace!

    Barabbas "Barabbas": HERE
    Barabbas | Facebook
    Barabbas | Myspace

    Interview by Aleks Evdokimov
    Photos by Karine Sohier

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    While it’s probably just a mere coincidence, one can’t help but notice that Baltimore, Maryland doom legends, Revelation, have churned out—counting the 2009 self-titled release, aka the ‘Unreleased’ LP— a seventh full-length album that is somewhat of an anomaly amongst their discography just as Black Sabbath’s seventh album, ‘Technical Ecstasy’, marked the beginning of a noticeable departure form the signature Sabbath proto-doom sound. Not that Revelation are mere Sabbath clones, but the band admittedly draws much of their inspiration from the doomy, Iommian riffs of Black Sabbath and the progressive tendencies of Rush. Where one of the biggest faults of ‘Technical Ecstasy’ seems to lie in that album’s terribly thin production, Revelation’s ‘Inner Harbor’ maintains a thick and heavy sound that has graced the majority of the their releases.

    One of the most noticeable elements of ‘Inner Harbor’ is that the songs are spacious and have more room to breathe compared to previous albums. Seemingly missing are the forlorn, dirge-like wall-of-sound meditations that made ‘For the Sake of No One’ and ‘Release’ so memorable. Instead, ‘Inner Harbor’ embraces even more deeply the progressive side of the band and perhaps blurs the identities of Revelation and their alter-ego, Against Nature. It’s always been difficult to classify Revelation as simply a doom band…they have always seemed to transcend the confines of genre conventions based on their synthesis of influences and their solid musicianship. Much of the spaciousness of ‘Inner Harbor’ can be attributed to the band’s focus on progressive rock opposed to the doom that many fans have grown accustomed to and to startling effect. ‘Inner Harbor’ may initially dash expectations, but that isn’t a bad thing at all.

    Another element that really separates ‘Inner Harbor’ from the band’s previous works and, at the same time, exhibits more similarities with Black Sabbath’s ‘Technical Ecstasy’ is the pervasive use of keyboards. In the case of both bands it’s initially a tough pill to swallow due to the consistency of earlier recordings. In Sabbath’s case specifically the band wasn’t necessarily healthy or in working order and ultimately succumbed to drug use, weak production, and the use of keyboards or synths that didn’t quite coalesce like on previous albums. Revelation, on the other hand, have managed to craft songs where, f the use of keyboards, for the most part, act as accents to the tunes and provide additional atmosphere and vibes as is the case with the second track of the album, “Terribilita”.

    Many consider ‘Technical Ecstasy’ as the beginning of the end of Ozzy-era Black Sabbath. The same cannot be said in regards to ‘Inner Harbor’ and Revelation. ‘Inner Harbor’ may take a few listens to fully appreciate the slight shift that the band has made from doom to more hard rock, progressive territory, but Revelation’s latest remains wholly and unmistakably a Revelation album. If there’s any album this year that deserves the tag of “grower” it’s ‘Inner Harbor’ which includes some of Revelation’s strongest compositions and is embedded with some blisteringly amazing guitar leads courtesy of John Brenner. ‘Inner Harbor’, as well as the rest of the band’s discography, is available for download through the band’s own Bland Hand Records website. Be sure to later this year either pick up the vinyl which is going to be released through Pariah Child Records or the CD through Shadow Kingdom Records.

    Words: Steve Miller

    Facebook: HERE

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    Fuoco Fatuo is the Italian phrase for that phenomenon known in English as “ignis fatuus” or “will-o’-the-wisp”, that bluish short-lived flames emanating from swamps, marshlands or cemeteries due to the combustion of methane or other gases from decaying organic matter. Although you can spot these pale flames also on modern-day waste dumps in the darkness (nowadays they are called “bio-gas”), invariably the “ignis fatuus” phenomenon recalls grim images of old cemeteries where the pale flames emanate from the soil over the tombs like restless souls. Or at least this is what metallers are inspired for …

    Hence if a band adopts a name like this, well, the name says it all: you know what you possibly have to expect.  Fuoco Fatuo is a young, grim, unsigned Italian band from Northern Italy, Varese, that has been attracting quite some deserved attention as of late on webzines and cult underground magazines (Rumore) in Italy. The line-up involves Milo Angeloni on vocals and guitars, Giovanni "Ken" Piazza on bass (plus back vocals) and Fabrizio Moalli on drums.

    This is not the first time I mention Fuoco Fatuo here at Doommantia. I had first evoked them when I wrote about a sort of trend, a “new wave”  in today’s Italian doom scene towards particularly obscure, vicious, slow and sickening sounds. There’s a growing circle of  nasty slow bands devoted to suffocating, tortured, sick, funereal blackened sludge doom metal, certainly more indebted to SunnO))), Corrupted, Disembowelment, Celtic Frost, Bathory, Morbid Angel and Italian keyboard-driven morbid horror doom/prog rather than to Saint Vitus or Paradise Lost. Some names already known here at Doommantia: SaturninE, Black Temple Below, Blood Red Water, Grime, … This is not a new phenomenon and not confined to Italy, obviously. Think about several monster bands declinating the most obscure and crushing sides of blackened doom-sludge metal: Hell, Thou, and Reclusa, as well as Bruja from USA, Meth Drinker, Baboon King, Open Tomb or Backward Zombies from the southern hemisphere, the fierce Karcavul and Cult of Occult from France, Moloch from UK, etc …In spite of being a sludge-doom band with guttural vocals, Fuoco Fatuo had started playing with a rather groove-laden doom style although their sound, especially when seen live, was a bit like a volcano which is ready to blast. In the early gigs and in the fine debut self-titled EP inspired by Dante’s epic poem about Hell, Milo’s vocals have always been too deeply roaring, too dark, too tortured, and the riffs too painfully distorted and dragged for finding an adequate expression in stoner-doom realm.

    An energetic steer towards frankly more daring, obscure, occult and crushing , when not insane sounds probably resulted from Fuoco Fatuo’s professional interaction with extreme prog/blackened drone-ambient multi-instrumentalist Adamennon, a.k.a. Adam van Maledict, and his impressive recording/mastering laboratory SFR Studio located in the woods on the mountains near Parma, in North-Central Italy.  And Fuoco Fatuo’s new EP with its paranoic title, “33 Colpi di Schizofrenia Astrale” (that means “33 blows of astral schizophrenia”), is the first present of this fruitful wicked collaboration.  The EP includes three rather long tracks summing up to almost 20 minutes: Abisso (= abyss), Vuoto Nero (= black void) and the eponymous suite 33 Colpi di Schizofrenia Astrale as closing track. The “Abyss” where Fuoco Fatuo are welcoming you is nothing less than scary. Obsessive drumming and sick riffs are coupled with Adamennon’s synth sounds into the black, mind-warping psychedelic vortex that opens the track and dominates it with its nightmarish dynamics. The horrific hypnotic trip is periodically broken by the invasion of doom-death darkness driven by deeply downtuned, plodding riffs and gruesome growling vocals. Growling singing occasionally interacts with the evil black metal-styled screams colonizing the dynamic vortex in a sort of scary dialogue between lost souls at the gates of Hell. A final, occult touch is given by the overwhelming introduction of keyboards. Atmospheres were already dark and wicked: with Adamennon’s sepulchral keyboards we know that the gates of Hell in your nightmare are open right in the middle of an old, foggy, mossy cemetery …

    Track “Vuoto Nero”, Black Void, is fierce and painfully opened by a dragged monotonic howl of guitars, drums and cymbals which will make you hold your breath in expectance. Expectance of something evil or just sick … The powerful, almost martial  drumming will lead the entrance into the “black void”, the core of the suite. The leading suffocating melody is developing around a sinister, distorted cyclic riff which is either slowed down into gloomy, funereal invocations, or else accelerated by frantic excursions into crusty, raw black metal. The double vocals, deeply growled and hellishly screamed, are often coupled and howl like hyenas made crazy by blood over a fresh corpse.  The final track, the paranoic slab “33 Colpi di Schizofrenia Astrale”, opens by means of a huge and strained wall of noise where the incredibly audible pulsating bass line acts like the pale flame leading you out of this noisy chaos into … darkness! Doomy darkness again comes via that slow, occult hypnotic melody built up by the oppressive repetition of the cyclic crushing riffs already heard in the previous track Vuoto Nero. But here guitars and keyboards are coupled into majestic and tremendously occult, morbid atmospheres smelling of incense and rotting bodies.

    Moreover, in this impressive suite guitars possess a wide spectrum of shades and sounds ranging from deeply roaring when strongly downtuned, to icy-cold and almost “acid” in the buzzy post-metal-like ossessive wall of noise, and even to groove-laden fuzzy Sabbathian distortions. The latter surprisingly pop up where the band indulge into some hot swampy sludgy diversions just before the end of the suite. Roaring doom-death sounds will bring darkness back before silence will swallow everything like a black hole.  The production of this EP is amazing for the sick, murky and chilling “old”, raw flavour that Admennon’s taste and skills in elaboration of sounds are able to create. Raw sounds exalt distortions but, at the same time, maximum care is given to the contribution of each instrument or musician. This allows you, for example, to pick bass even out of walls of feedback and to impart a tri-dimensional characted to the overall sound. Adamennon’s contribution to the EP is also as guest musician with keyboard and synth for materializing the common love for retro- and extreme prog and experimental music shared with the band’s members.
    Fuoco Fatuo are quite active gig-wise and shared the stage with Eyehategod, Kylesa, Ken Mode, Circle Takes the Square, Saviours, Planks, Aesahaettr, Thantifaxath, Gottesmorder, Black Temple Below, Grime, Saturnine, Shinin’ Shade, Agatha, etc.

    Tracks Abisso and 33 Colpi di Schizofrenia Astrale are also included in the split with Black Temple Below. The band is busy preparing their debut full-length album (ready in 2013) and is looking for a label for producing it. And those who saw or are going to see this valuable young band live in these autumn-winter months will be able to hear some of the gut-tearing new tracks during the shows. Fuoco Fatuo’s EP “33 Colpi di Schizofrenia Astrale”, as well as the debut self-titled EP, are available on Bandcamp. Solid CDs, and probably still some copies of the cool limited edition, hand-painted poster with the logo of the band, are available by contacting the band.
    The dark, suffering age of Fuoco Fatuo has started …

    Words: Marilena Moroni


    Fuoco Fatuo - Vuoto Nero (official video)

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    One thing us music critics sometimes forget is that it is impossible for every single album to be a stonecold classic. That would be like expecting every baseball hitter to hit a homerun every time at bat. We need to back off the quest for perfection and sometimes just lean back and enjoy a good metal album.

    So here's the latest from the scruffy beard-rockers Bison B.C. from Canada. It is not a home run but rather a solid double right up the middle. The style is dirty, sludgy metal with some twists...nothing revolutionary, but easy on the ears. In terms of unique songs that are easy to tell apart, this is the band's best yet. Every track has its own identity and feel and for that alone, the guys deserve kudos. Opener "An Old Friend" starts with twin guitar melodies almost in the Lizzy vein before turning into a more standard sludge metal pounder with that groovy Southern feel. It really jams hard towards the end.  "Anxiety Puke/Lovelessness" turns up the intensity a bit and definitely has a more punky touch to it. "Last and First Things" is a very druggy, psychedelic tune built around tribal drumming and some very cool riffing. By now, you find yourself anticipating what twist is next to come and you are not disappointed with the very ominous and heavy "Blood Music". "Clozapine Dream" is relatively short and is a cranked up ass-kicked with a bit of that High On Fire feel that Bison B.C. has always had.

    What really makes the album is the last song "Finally Asleep", which is just a perfect example of epic sludge metal. Fantastic riffing! This one really carries you along to a mighty climax...not original in the least but one hell of a powerful tune.

    If the whole sludge metal/Mastodon inspired genre wasn't so over-saturated at the minute, I might even rate this higher, but as it is, "Lovelessness" is a nice album to loosen the neck muscles.

    Words: Dr. Mality (Wormwood Chronicles)

    Bison BC | Facebook

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