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- 11/13/12--08:00: _NEWS: MY DYING BRID...
- 11/13/12--20:27: _Daylight Dies - "A ...
- 11/15/12--08:29: _NEWS: Controversial...
- 11/15/12--15:08: _Dawn Of Winter - Th...
- 11/15/12--15:44: _All Hell Breaking L...
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- 11/16/12--14:16: _The ED BARNARD Dona...
- 11/17/12--10:21: _VIDEO: Spirit Carav...
- 11/17/12--12:31: _Monads - "Intellect...
- 11/18/12--19:08: _Praise The Lord - I...
- 11/18/12--19:16: _NEWS: BLACK BOMBAIM...
- 11/18/12--19:33: _Tons – Musineè Doom...
- 11/19/12--19:08: _Death & Despair - I...
- 11/20/12--08:43: _Doom & Sludge All D...
- 11/20/12--09:23: _ED Update: A Home H...
- 11/20/12--13:23: _NEWS: Official pres...
- 11/20/12--16:03: _Funeralium - "Decei...
- 11/20/12--16:16: _Ice Dragon – “Seaso...
- 11/26/12--08:32: _Zatokrev - "The Bat...
- 11/26/12--08:41: _Seamount - "IV: Ear...
- 11/13/12--08:00: NEWS: MY DYING BRIDE To Release Four-Track EP 'The Manuscript' ...
- 11/13/12--20:27: Daylight Dies - "A Frail Becoming" ...
- 11/15/12--15:08: Dawn Of Winter - The Skull of the Sorcerer EP ...
- 11/16/12--14:16: The ED BARNARD Donation Drive - A Final Plea From MARI ...
- 11/17/12--10:21: VIDEO: Spirit Caravan Saturday ...
- 11/17/12--12:31: Monads - "Intellectus Iudicat Veritatem" ...
- 11/18/12--19:08: Praise The Lord - Interview With UK's OVERLORD ...
- 11/18/12--19:16: NEWS: BLACK BOMBAIM TO TOUR EUROPE THIS FALL ...
- 11/18/12--19:33: Tons – Musineè Doom Session Volume 1 ...
- 11/19/12--19:08: Death & Despair - Interview with Patrick of MYRAH ...
- 11/20/12--08:43: Doom & Sludge All Dayer Set To Destroy Sheffield, UK ...
- 11/20/12--09:23: ED Update: A Home Has Been Found But ...
- 11/20/12--13:23: NEWS: Official press release: KONGH reveals new album details ...
- 11/20/12--16:03: Funeralium - "Deceived Idealism" ...
- 11/20/12--16:16: Ice Dragon – “Season of Decay” b/w “The Humble Titan” ...
- 11/26/12--08:32: Zatokrev - "The Bat, the Wheel and a Long Road to Nowhere" ...
- 11/26/12--08:41: Seamount - "IV: Earthmother" ...
Metal Forces recently conducted an interview with vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe of U.K. doom metallers MY DYING BRIDE. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On writing new album "A Map Of All Our Failures":
Aaron: "We had so much material that we actually started to put it together in what is recognisable song form. It's fun but it's also hard work as well, because you've gotta make sure that with all these great ideas you don't spoil the broth as it were, so we constructed the songs in the best way we thought we could. We recorded 13 songs in total, although only eight appear on the album. One will appear on a special edition of the album and the other four will appear on the new EP, which I'm guessing will probably come out around April 2013. We recorded at Futureworks in Manchester where we've recorded the last few albums. Mags (Robert Magoolagan) was the engineer again. I'd love to be able to tell you some funny anecdotes about it, but, to be honest, we kind of really nailed the songs before we hit the studio. It was all a case of 'Heads down. Let's get this over and done with. Let's not waste time. Let's be as professional as we possibly can.' We were in and out of the studio in a fairly quick time with a fairly polished piece of vinyl, which we are all chuffed with."
On the title track:
Aaron: "It's about a guy who has nothing left, and not just physically. The idea was he sat in a room which has a bed and a chair, and nothing else. Everything he's had in his life has gone through wrong decisions, bad decisions, dodgy characters, and so on. Now he has ended up with nothing, but it's a mental thing as well. He realizes he's got no love. He's never loved, and you could argue that if you've never loved then you've never lost properly. He feels like he's lost everything, so it's complete and utter desolation. I'm sure some people feel from time to time that the world is really against them, and in realistic terms it probably never really is. You've always probably got a roof over your head, or can find something like that. I wanted to write a song about someone who really has absolutely nothing, and that's what 'A Map Of All Our Failures' is about. He's realised that there is nothing there. The map itself if you want could be completely blank; it just contains nothing, and there's nothing left to live for. I'm not suggesting for one moment that suicide is on the menu for this evening, but you just wonder sometimes. If somebody actually has absolutely nothing, can they survive that?"
On political music:
Aaron: "You're not gonna see much political music in my CD collection — there's no BLACK FLAG in there, for example. There's a place for that kind of stuff, and it's simply not my place (laughs). I like my music to be a vehicle to transport me to somewhere else, somewhere away from the rat race, away from the taxman and the annoying neighbour and the car that won't start, the money that I don't have and the people who want my money. My music has to take me away from all that shit, so that I've got somewhere to go that isn't all nasty. Despite the fact that some of the music I listen to is quite morbid, it's morbid I think in a beautiful way. It's the escapism that's the most important thing for me though, and that's why I write things which some hard-nosed journalists might say is a bit airy fairy. Fine though; that's what I want. I want to be taken away to a different place and a different time for an hour, and I don't think that's too much to ask."
On violinist / keyboardist Shaun MacGowan:
Aaron: "Shaun's been great. He added a bit on 'The Barghest O' Whitby' which was fine, but we're trying to get him to come out of his shell a little bit more because he's quite shy. I think he was one year old when MY DYING BRIDE formed, so it's a bit weird him being in the band. He doesn't wanna tread on anyone's toes. He's joined a well established band, and the last thing we want — and the last thing he wants — is him saying 'I've got some shit hot guitar riffs for you guys,' because he'd get kicked out straight away no matter how good his riffs were. We want him to come out of his shell a little bit more, because he's still quite a shy, young lad. He's put some great, woeful violin parts on the album though, and they've really embellished the material that it's been played over. It's haunting and sounds beautiful, but in a tragic kind of way. With the violin it has always been like that for us, particularly in the early days. He added a real good amount to it. All the violin parts have been his own stuff; at no point has anyone said 'Here, play this.' He's said 'I've got this. Does it work?' We've said 'Yeah, bloody brilliant,' but we expect more from him in the future. Fingers crossed that on the next album there'll be a bit more of Shaun."
On forthcoming four-track EP "The Manuscript", scheduled for release in April 2013:
Aaron: "They're very similar to 'A Map Of All Our Failures' because they were written and recorded at the same time, except for one song. That really stands out… [laughs] It's full-on sort of epic death metal; it's swords and axes, a proper warrior battle kind of track that's almost medieval in flavor. You can almost picture the scene; it's set in a snowy kind of mountainous landscape. There are sound effects and all sorts of mayhem going on in it, and death metal vocals not quite all the way through it, but near enough. It even has a Swedish title which because my Swedish isn't great, I'm not gonna repeat here. [laughs] I need to get the pronunciation right before I do that."
Read the entire interview at this location.
Daylight Dies have been accused in the past of being a little unsure of themselves in terms of style or sub-genre but there is no such questions marks surrounding this album. The band sounds really focused and thus has produced their most concise album to date. Of course there has never been any doubts over their musicianship but with this effort, you also get some fine songwriting (which is in my opinion) the best they have constructed since the aforementioned debut full length album.
The band are still in the vein of October Tide, Katatonia, Swallow The Sun, My Dying Bride and Draconian but they seem to be finally putting their own stamp on the genre. The album is eloquent, atmospheric, dramatic and mostly very charming in a depressive kind of way. The songs are mainly mid-tempo death-doom onslaughts with little variance but apart from a couple of ho-hum passages, this album is captivating for all of its 48:50. Starting with a track called 'Infidel' the band have a surprisingly large amount of catchy groove working for them. Grooves is usually the property of more stonerish doom acts but Daylight Dies prove they know how to build up a infectious groove as well. What does blow you away from the outset is the production which is simply stunning. It is loud, of course heavy but most importantly, it is the clarity of the mix that makes this album sound so powerful and magnetic.
From 'Infidel' going into 'The Pale Approach' and the amazing 'Sunset' - the band deliver a trio of mesmerizing pieces of work and I can't think of another album from Daylight Dies that has managed three scorchers like these in a row like this. 'Sunset' is especially noteworthy for its use of melody which despite the generic use of clean + death metal vocals sounds incredibly catchy and dare I say, almost mainstream. There are crying leads and the heavy emotional weight of the song is gripping right up to its very last notes. 'Dreaming of Breathing,' ' The Final Vestige' and 'Ghosting' are more your by-the-numbers Daylight Dies tunes, very good but nothing out of the ordinary for this band but another major highlight is right around the corner with 'Hold on to Nothing' which is insanely melodic but also very, very heavy containing some of the heaviest riff work this band have ever recorded.
Egan O’Rouke uses his clean voice to perfection while Nathan Ellis standard issue death growl is effective enough but par for the death doom course. The album winds down with a short instrumental and then a closing epic in 'An Heir to Emptiness' that isn't exactly the greatest way they could have finished the album but it is no loser tune either. The riff work from this band I have always found a little frustrating at times as it sometimes seems overly simple when you always get the feeling they could do something far more complex and interesting if they wanted to but blah, blah, blah, that is a personal gripe so I will leave it at that. When it is all said and done, this is the strongest Daylight Dies album released in the last 10 years. It is concise and has the strongest songwriting the band have ever mustered. The production is the best they have ever got and I think that point is hard to argue about as this album sounds amazing. As with their other albums the release isn't a instant winner but give it some time and you will soon find it an addictive listening experience. Check it out....8/10.
Words: Ed Barnard & Sally Bethhall.
"It was recently brought to my attention by a Warning fan that my 2006 album, Watching from a Distance, was being reissued on vinyl. ‘Would I be receiving any copies?’ he asked, ‘and would I have any for sale?’ I felt rather embarrassed to say the least as this was certainly the first I had heard of it. After a brief online search I came across the website of Kreation Records in America advertising pre-sales of a vinyl reissue of the album. I immediately telephoned the label and asked who the record was licensed from and what the deal was; to my knowledge Cyclone Empire had exclusive rights to the album. It transpired that Cyclone Empire had been licensed the album for CD release only. Miskatonic Foundation had licensed the record to Kreation for a vinyl reissue (the first vinyl release was the attractive but hard-to-find Metal Supremacy release in 2008). I was angry and upset that this record has been reissued without my band’s knowledge and consent, without our involvement in its conception and design, and that no offer has been made to us to participate in the profit of this release.
This morning I received a shipment of the reissued album from Kreation Records (our share of the deal, apparently) and I was heartbroken and utterly deflated. Everything from the bastardised cover art, badly photoshopped and redesigned text layout, bad quality packaging and even a new “thanks list” penned by The Miskatonic Foundation is reason enough for me to ask you that if you care about Warning and its music then to consider this statement before investing. While it is not in my nature to vent publically, I feel I have no choice now other than to offer an explanation and an apology of sorts for the poor-quality release which, regrettably, bears the name of me and my band. I was hoping to one day produce an “official” vinyl reissue of this album that we could be proud of. We have a small handful of bonus materials that I’d like to have been used, and would like to have overseen the release from its conception right through to the finished article. The bottom line is, I want it to be known that Kreation Records’ reissue of Watching from a Distance is, as far as I am concerned, unofficial, does not reflect myself or Warning and is not something that we are profiteering from in any way. The shipment of records I received this morning are going to be returned.
Thank you for reading.
The problem is the songs just plod along and apart from one song ('Dagon's Blood') there isn't much that could be considered memorable about these songs. The EP starts with that song which is heavy classic doom metal and is very infectious while being fairly short. There are huge riffs with the usual Candlemass vibe that Dawn of Winter are known for but the next three tracks seem all too meandering and kind of clumsy in their execution. The pick of these 3 tracks is the title track which follows 'Dagon's Blood' but at over 7 minutes it lacks the twists and turns to make it anything more than a band following a well-used formula. It is not helped by the vocals which seem to be all over the place at times. At their best, the vocals are dramatic and enjoyable in their epic, larger than life, over-the-top style but at their worst they warble and frankly are a bit irritating. Now that is not to say that this guy can't sing, he has a perfect tone to his voice for traditional doom metal but he seems to be enjoying himself a little bit too much on this EP. At times his high notes miss the mark completely and his growls seem to be out-of-place.
Despite that and the very rough production, there are still elements of excellence within these tracks. There are fine leads and better than average riffing but some passages sound like they would be served better in a power-metal band. The worst offender is 'In Servitude to Destiny' which is a power-doom ballad which simply goes off the rails right from the start and is so riddled with cliches including a acoustic intro, overly emotional vocals and of course a dramatic lead break that brings the track to a close. There is nothing really horrible about any of this but there is nothing too memorable either. The other track that I haven't mentioned is better - the very Candlemass sounding 'By the Blessing of Death' but it is still nowhere near as good as anything from 'The Peaceful Dead' album. After 4 years between releases, this EP does seem to be lacking in some vital areas of doom metal craftsmanship. EP's often get accused of being "filler" and with EP's like this one, it is no wonder.....5/10.
There are a lot of occult/horror-driven bands in the world today but few produce music as memorable as Bloody Hammers. Sounding like the bastard child of Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper, this band has produced some seriously twisted music on their debut album. The production on said album is amazing but it is the songs themselves that give this band the edge over most other bands trying their hands at spooky, haunting doom tunes. The band is very talented as players but also have the added bonus of having one very fine songwriter in Anders.Aleks tracked him down for this great interview. Now give in to your darkest of demons and read on ......... Ed
Hi Anders! How are you man?
Very good! I took the week of Halloween off from doing anything so I could catch up on some horror movies. I was a bit behind due to working on music stuff. BTW “V/H/S” and “The Woman” were very good for anyone who hasn’t seen them.
“The Woman”? What’s it about? I’ve seen only “Silent Hill – 2” if we’re talking about new movies, and I still think that I wasted my money paying for that film.
Ahh it’s sick, you should give it a shot. Lucky McKee did it with Jack Ketchum co-writing, I’m a fan of both these twisted guys. Lucky did that film “May” that was pretty popular for good reason back in the early 2000’s.
Not so long ago you had shown the world all power of Bloody Hammers as you record one of most catchy heavy doom rock albums of 2012! Do you realize that have you done?!
No I didn’t. Did I? Well it’s good to hear some people like it. People have said some positive things in emails and on my Facebook. I just wanted to make something that I would like but it’s a nice bonus if other people do as well!
Do you see in newspapers how high did raise the number of sacrifices, acts of black magic and dark rituals in States after releasing your full-length album?
Haha. We’ve managed to keep the sacrificial mischief to a minimum here. Besides, it nearly impossible to find a virgin these days!
And that’s why all young satanists start with cats! Alright, may you name a current congregation of Bloody Hammers sect? What kind of ominous intentions does tie you all together?
I played everything on the album because it was intended to just be a small project to do for fun in my small home studio. After I finished it I put a couple of tracks online but within 24 hours SoulSeller Records hit me up wanting to release it officially. We did a deal and it will be released Nov 23rd on CD and Vinyl. Since then I have put a band together and we are now rehearsing the material with intensions to play some shows. I am playing bass. My wife Devallia is organist and Curse is on Drums. They both also play with me on my Anders Manga project. I have a new guitarist, Zoltan who is a super cool guy.
Oh, man, now I see – you run that industrial / gothic project! What is his story? And does it mean that electronic music is more significant in your life then old good hard rock?
I like all kinds of music man. Metal to electronic to a dude sitting on a pumpkin with an acoustic ripping a good country song. If the song is good, it’s good. I’m not a scene snob, I’m a music lover and sniff around all types to see what’s happening. For me, it’s the triple B’s… Black Sabbath, Beatles and Bauhaus. I think those three bands are the roots of my influence. Black Sabbath for the power and sick riffs, Beatles for the sense of melody and Bauhaus for the dynamic dark atmosphere. The ‘Anders Manga’ stuff was all over the place. The first album in 1995 was more guitar driven deathrock and actually quite doom at times.
How long did you rehearse and compose the songs for “Bloody Hammers”? You know they sound too catchy, too good for a first album of the band that simply did jump from underground!
All of them came to me pretty quick. “Witch of Endor” and “The Last Legion of Sorrow” had been on my hard drive for a couple of years. I was going through songs I had been working on and rediscovered those two. I really liked them so I dedicated time to go ahead and finish a whole album. They just came to me one after the other. I love it when I hit that stride and everything just comes together. It was completed in September 2012. Bloody Hammers is a new and old project. I have been writing and recording heavier songs under that name on a small scale since the early 90’s. However none of that stuff was ever released worldwide and only available locally. Before the internet was common, it was much harder to get your music out beyond your local area, so I stopped and moved on to my other project. It’s more of a dark electronic rock project or ‘darkwave’ as they call it. It’s all synthesizer driven music. I’m also a synthesizer nerd. I’ve been doing that for well over a decade. However my first love is heavy hard rock so it’s nice to get back to it.
I grew up in the crazy southern USA in the 70’s and 80’s where the Baptists were trying to convince all parents that their kids were Satanists if they owned Ozzy records or whatever. It was a frustrating time but it was also a rush to listen to music that was so forbidden by my church and family. However, as a result I never wanted to have anything to do with churches or organized religion. The Christians that I knew were insane and scientifically unreasonable. I’m more influenced by horror. When I was growing up we had Shock Theater and other late night shows that played old Universal and Hammer Horror films that would scare the hell out of me. All that stuff has been so influential. Perhaps they look cheesy to some people now, but back then they were awesome to me. I’ve been writing horror and occult inspired songs for almost 20 years now. All the ‘Anders Manga’ albums are heavily influenced by horror as well lyrically. Music and Horror has always been my escape for as long as I remember. Many of the lyrics are laced with personal metaphoric meanings as well. However, it’s therapy for me in some way I guess to write horror stories and songs. All before I was 15 years old, my grandfathers both died of heart attacks. I discovered the body of one. My father was run over by a drunk driver and my mother died a few years later from taking too many pills, which I was also the first to walk in the house and discover. One year later my grandmother went… it was just every year there was death it seemed. It was too much death for a kid to have to deal with, but music pulled me through and horror movies seemed to make the real life horror easier to cope with.
The shorter answer to your question I guess would be, yes I prefer naked girls and good rock sounds.
One of main Bloody Hammers most colorful features is your voice, who did influence onto you manner of singing?
I think many people will agree that the first music we hear when we’re kids is the best music we will ever hear. It’s the stuff that influences you for the rest of your life and just stays with you. For me as a 10 year old kid in 1983 it was so many. I loved the power and melody guys like Ronnie James Dio and Blackie Lawless were bringing. All that stuff was just great, but then I found my neighbors vinyl collection who was an older reefer loving guy. He gave me life changing albums that I spun relentlessly on my shitty little Superman turntable. “Roky Erickson and the Aliens” self-titled album, Alice Cooper’s “Love it to Death” and Black Sabbath’s “Vol.4” and “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”. I quickly realized that even though I loved the music that was happening at the time in the early 80’s, I loved what was happening in the early 70’s significantly more.
Can you comment some of your favorite songs from Bloody Hammers first LP? And please tell personally for me – what is song “Trisect” about?
That song is a little neurotic steam of consciousness. The magic mushrooms might have been kicking in around that time. I like that song... I like all of them really. I was doing some healing and getting some aggression out. I’m proud of it all and would bother anyone with it if I felt otherwise.
You’ll release “Bloody Hammers” vinyl edition at 23rd of November, which songs will be included into that release and who will produce it?
I self-produced it but SoulSeller Records will release it worldwide and will include all the same songs as on the CD and digital release.
I see that even Nuclear Blast spreads a Word of Sin selling your CDs in Europe, this pact is much better than pact with the devil which singed the band… Oh, I did promise to tell it not… Okay, I would like to ask you about process of spreading “Bloody Hammers” CDs from very beginning. How did you start a promotion of the band?
Nuclear Blast will be selling it from their web shop. All this is SoulSeller Records doing. They have many retailers and distributors that they work with. The rest of the buzz is viral, I suppose.
True to say I was very surprised when I’ve seen an art-work of your album for a first time, it’s too simple, too trendy… and damn… it’s scary. I wouldn’t like to meet with girl who wears goat’s head. Where did you find her?
If you meet her she may find that you need to be tied up and spanked! Her name is Veronica Steam. She is a friend, local model and professional dominatrix in Atlanta. My wife Devallia is a photographer and took that picture a couple of years ago. When I saw it, I knew I had to use it for something. When I finished the album I grabbed it, put the logo across the top and it was done! Look her up online! Beware though… she’s NSFW!
Which role do music and occultism play in your life?
Music is everything to me. I live to listen, write and discover more music. Before I am a songwriter myself, I’m a fan. I wouldn’t say I’m an occultist but I am certainly intrigued by it. I think most people are.
As we see old style occult doom rock is bloody popular nowadays, do you see any reasons of that phenomenon? I’m starting to think that it’s kind of subliminal longing for safety of childhood which was full of those old bands, retro horror movies and comics stuff…
You’re probably right in some ways. It was just a cool fucking rebellious time period and many people miss it. Black Sabbath was in their prime. Alice Cooper was shocking audiences and horrifying parents. Hammer Films were putting out their best gothic horror stuff, Dario Argento, Jess Franco, Pentagram was just getting started not far from me in Virginia… just the coolest time ever. What’s not to love?
My favorite music is between 1965 through 1985. Of course I also like stuff from the 90’s to present. I just like simple good songs with melody, a groove and darker subject matter.
And after all man, what do you plan to do with Bloody Hammers? Will you just return to Anders Manga or will you continue to work in a vein of old school occult doom rock?
I really feel like I’m doing what I always wanted to do right now. I’m having fun with Bloody Hammers and want to hang around and annoy people with it for a good while.
Well, thank you for your time and your music Anders! I wish you all the best and I hope that both of your projects will get deserved attention of public. Do you have something to say to our readers before wishing them good night?
Hell I’ve talked too much already. I certainly welcome you all to have a listen at Bloody Hammers. I hope you’ll like it as much as I do and maybe make one of your days a little better. Adios Amigos!!
Interview by Aleks Evdokimov.
Bloody Hammers | Facebook
Bloody Hammers | Bandcamp
Hammerfest is also pleased to announce more additions including Heavy Metal favourites Angel Witch & LA gypsy punk metal act Viza, whose use of instrumentation like the Oud as well as percussion definitely brings something different to the event. Viza have been nurtured and co-managed by Serj Tankian from System of a Down . We are also pleased to welcome Welsh power sludge trio Hark to Hammerfest. Hark formed out of the ashes of seminal act Taint, and continue to take their legacy forward fusing punk attack with Sabbathian Dirge. Other acts also just added to next Spring’s event are Serpent Venom, Undersmile, Dyscarnate, Bloodshot Dawn, Bull Riff Stampede, Monument, Making Monsters, Goddam Electric, The Idol Dead, Arthemis, Attica Rage, Sansara, Deadman Sugar and Fire in the Empire.
M-Pire of Evil
Texas Hippie Coalition
Def Con One
Commander In Chief
Sacred Mother Tongue
Line of Fire
Bull Riff Stampede
Black Acid Souls
Fire in the Empire
Hammerfest takes place at Haven Hafan y Môr Holiday Park, Pwllheli, Gwynedd, North Wales.
With only 47 rooms left for next years event, HF 5 looks to be sold out by the end of the month ,which will mark it as the fastest selling Hammerfest to date.
For more details and tickets go HERE or call 08700 110034.
Our friend and doom guru, Ed Barnard, is experiencing a bad period of his life, you know this already. He received help from many generous people but he is still in need of some help.
I, Mari, tend to consider myself a rather lucky person because so far nothing really bad happened to me or my family. When things go, let's say, decent and rather smooth, one may feel confident as if things might go on well like this forever.
But winds can change, and often they change abruptly. And instantly our self-confidence may miserably crumble like a castle made of sand. Sometimes one meditates about this frailty when radical deeds happen, for example like when people close to us, friends of family members, are victims of tremendous diseases or car accidents. But rarely one starts thinking about frailty of life when seeing homeless people camping at train stations or poor people queueing up at charity places where free warm food is daily served. In Europe we often think that homeless people are "something else" totally detached from the life of "normal" people: people who have psychic problems, outlaws, or who were "born lazy". You can even hear crazy definitions of homeless people like those who "have all in all voluntarily chosen to live like that because they like freedom" …But in recent years more and more so-called "normal people" have been enlarging the army of poor and homeless people. And many of us probably started realizing that it may not be that difficult to fall into a critical or even desperate situation. For example, sometimes you just need a rather troubled divorce and some problems in your working place (e.g., industry slowing / closing down) for plunging into an actual nightmare. So these are not so weird situations, especially in these years of deep crisis.
If you add health issues, well, things may get worse.
Fortunately in Europe, and even in a fake-modern and troubled country like mine, Italy, health is not a tragic issue. Rich or poor, you'll be cured and you'll be given even the most advanced cures, if needed, without making you pay tens or hundreds of thousands Euros for them. Public healthcare is one of the most generous inventions of mankind. Narrow-minded or greedy people may criticize or even curse the system for its costs (from taxes that everybody pay) as far as they or their children are in good health. But sooner or later they will bless it. For us in Europe it is impossible to think about a world where hospitals and medicines are not free or low-cost. We complain or are worried if we have to spend a token of, say, 10 or 15 euros for purchasing a box of hyper-specialistic drugs for chronical diseases that would cost, say, over 200 euros. What if we had to pay the whole cost, as it happens in countries like USA? Of course, also in Europe we are told private health insurances are the alternative option, but it is well-known by now that many many people there are not safe and liable to cures even if they have insurances. Plus many people cannot have or afford private health insurance, especially when they have chronic diseases. In Europe we go at the hospital and get surgical operations, from simple to very complex ones, saving us from cancer, brain hemorrhage (a friend of mine, recently), kidney failure or heart attack, and we pay nothing extra. What if they come to you while you are still in your bed with bandages and ask to pay the whole huge thing, starting from the simple residence in hospital (cost is about 1000 euro daily just for being there lying on the bed)?
And what if you are not a millionnaire but just a normal person with a normal life and a normal bank account? Well, in USA people pay taxes as we do, but many of them suffered and suffer of such cruel system and situation, and can have their "normal" lives radically changed by loosing everything, quickly, incredibly quickly.
What would I do if I were in that scary situation?
While sitting on a sofa it is difficult, I guess, to think about what one would do if everything is lost and the prospective life ahead is being homeless. Pride will maybe prevail at least at the beginning, but then one has to try and ask for help.
I guess it was difficult for a man like Ed to beg for help at the beginning, as it is difficult now. Ed has not been left alone, though, for sure. He has been helped a lot by the generosity of the community of doomsters, fans and bands, devoted to Doommantia. But he is not yet out of the tunnel, he still needs a bit more help. If you don't like to just give money away for nothing via a normal donation, you may help Ed's cause in a way that will be rewarding for you as well. How?
Well, you can donate by downloading the monumental Doommantia Benefit Compilation hosted on Bandcamp, 39 tracks by awesome doom bands from all over the world for a minimum charge of 7 US$. I think that this base amount is ridiculous for what you get and especially what's behind it. But the sea is made of water drops and any water drop on Earth is precious for life. So your help, even if small, even if a water drop, will be precious. Hopefully your water drops will make at least a balming, fresh water spring.
I hope in my life I will be spared of the nightmare Ed is living in this period. But if something equally bad will happen to me, I hope I'll be able to find the warmth and the help he got sofar and he will hopefully still get, for crawling back to normality.
Please don't give up supporting Ed. \m/
Words: Marilena Moroni
Download The Doommantia Compilation Right Here
'The Stars Are Screaming' kicks off 'Intellectus Iudicat Veritatem' with a brutal mix of funeral doom and black metal influenced doom. It is one part disturbing and an alarming slice of punishing doom but it is also kind of beautiful with moments of well-crafted melody and ambience. The more you listen to tracks like this, the more depth is revealed within its grooves. The band could never be accused of being "prog rock" but these tracks are quite involved in their own way. 'Broken Gates To Nowhere' is also in that vein. A devastating blend of black metal, funeral and death doom with hints of melodic metal and post rock ambience. Elements of the tracks have a Neurosis vibe about them but this band could be never be tagged as "post rock." The blend of styles, tempos and feels makes this a colorful listening experience that never loses sight of what makes a good melodic doom track. The next track 'Within The Circle Of Seraphs' is a major highlight with a great blend of crushing riffing and simple but effective melodies and while it has a black metal edge, it teaches the corpse-painted folks a thing or two about what good songwriting is all about.
'The Obsolete Presence' is more crushing doom riffage but with a unique, unconventional approach. The riffs are simple enough but are not your obvious doom riffs and that is what pricks up your ears and makes this addictive listening. Another very good track closes the album; 'Absent As In These Veins' which so heavy it can make your head spin in delight. Monads are not exactly ground-breaking but they are damn good at blending black metal with doom metal and making it seem like a natural, seamless musical approach. The band members all come from a black metal background and maybe that gives them a flair for the blending of styles. However the album is not without its flaws. At times it all seems a little recycled and if you are a fan of Mournful Congregation, Esoteric, Aldebaran, Ocean, Ataraxie and Ahab this band could seem like a clone of those bands but good doom is good doom and every track on this album is memorable in its own way. It also has the added benefit of always switching directions so even though four out of the five tracks past the 10 minute mark, the band seem to draw a straight line through all of the songs. 'Intellectus Iudicat Veritatem' is already an underrated gem in the doom scene because it has already been released as a demo but now with the digipak release, that status can be erased and it can finally be given the kudos it deserves.....8.5/10.
1. When did Overlord form-when did you get together?
We formed in May 2011, after Rhys (lead guitar) and I parted ways with our previous band due to artistic differences. We were fed up of playing the same old cover songs and wanted to take things seriously, in a heavier direction, and hence Overlord was born. We were pretty lucky to find each other, without making any changes to the original lineup of the band, considering our musical influences aren't the sort of thing most teenagers (even the ones who listen to metal) like!
2. Has the debut album been released yet? Could you tell us about the recording of the album?
We released our debut EP on June 1st 2012 having recorded it at TAD Studios in March. We had been jamming and songwriting for months before and decided we wanted to get something down on record. The recording process was really fun - we were in the studio from 9-5 over three days. After waiting a few weeks for it to all be mixed and mastered, we sent the tracks off to the duplicator. As it was our first ever run, we decided to limit the amount to 100 signed and numbered copies, each with some merch and bonus content. It was tiring and quite intense at times, but overall it was a great experience.
3. Could you name some of your influences in blues and rock? Any favorite albums?
As a band we, like a lot of other metal bands are heavily influenced by Black Sabbath. Personally, I'm a huge Graveyard fan, with "Hisingen Blues" and "Lights Out" being two of my all time favourite albums. Aside from Graveyard, and other bands, such as Wishbone Ash, Witchcraft, and Pentagram, I enjoy listening to many different genres of music, from folk to jazz to death metal.
4. Does the band have any interest in magic and the occult,that may inspire the band's music? who writes the band''s lyrics?
Nothing more than a passing interest, I'd say we're more interested in writing about the real, tangible world. As for lyrics, our vocalist Tal tends to write most of them.
5. How does the band work out it's sound-a mix of hard rock,metal and stoner rock? Is there any improvisation involved? Do you jam often to work out the songs for the album?
We write a lot through collaborative jamming - that's how the opening track of the EP 'Crawl On' was born. We'll head into the rehearsal room, and start jamming on a riff and try to make something of it. Rhys also does a fair share of songwriting himself - 'What The Hell' and 'The Valley' from our EP were almost completely written by him, though we all like to add our own touch.
6. Will the band be playing any live festivals over the upcoming year?
We have nothing booked yet but its something we'd love to do. Although it isn't a festival, we're playing at 'Till Death Doom Us Part' in Bristol in March 2013, alongside Witchsorrow, Khthon and Caravan Of Whores, which we're pretty stoked for. We're still booking gigs for 2013, so promoters and festival organizers, get in touch!
7. What genre of rock or metal is most popular in the UK nowdays? why is stoner metal popular? why this interest in retro-bands like Black Sabbath?
A lot of popular stuff tends to be really watered down and generally dull, but then within the metal world, people seem keen to push things heavier and heavier - I think Stoner is popular because its the antithesis to all that - its just about simple, groovy, powerful riffs.
8. What lies in the band's future?
We have to think short term. As we're still young, things such as University are always at the back of our minds, but we want to take things as seriously as possible for as long as we can, so we'll be doing as much more gigging as possible, and there might be some more recordings in the works as well!
Interview By John Wisniewski
Overload | Facebook
21.11. (ESP) SAN SEBASTIAN // Le Bukowski
22.11. (FR) PARIS // Les Combustibles
24.11. (D) BERLIN // White Trash
25.11. (D) HALLE(Saale) // Hühnermanhattan Klub
26.11. (D) - REGENSBURG // Winter-VOID
27.11. (D) - WÜRZBURG // Immerhin Würzburg
28.11. (LU) LUXEMBOURG // Rocas
29.11. (NL) UTRECHT // Le Guess Who? Festival
01.12. (B) GEEL -//Yellowstock Winterfest
02.12. (FR) LILLE // TBA
03.12. (FR) NANTES // TBA
04.12. (FR) TOULOUSE // TBA
05.12. (ESP) BARCELONA // Be Good Club
06.12. (ESP) MADRID // Space Cadet
07.12. (PT) CARTAXO // CentroCultural
08.12. (PT) BRAGA // Bracara Extreme Fest 2012
”Titans is the sound of an intergalactic sprawl, with every swirling shade of the known universe used to almost overwhelming effect. Rock-solid riffs, long, time-bending improvisations, those woobly-boobly synths – all present and accounted for, of course, but they’ve brought with them some unexpected yet very welcome guests."
Revolt of the Apes
"Black Bombaim are both exceedingly trad and ultra-revolutionary. A jam band? Kind of. Just believe in the power of these sounds and the matter of how they fit round your expectations will be an irrelevance."
"This is a hugely enjoyable and invigorating piece of old school cosmic excess and should appeal to any of you out there who are so inclined. More please." Terrascope
"What results are four shameless, galloping weed jams with great swathes of blown-out Heads-esque guitar tones, a pummelling tractor bass that’s nestled in somewhere between Bent Saether and Al Cisneros and simple, heavy, Bill Ward-ish drum grooves"
"Titans is a daunting record, not easily digestible in a handful of sittings, but the returns and rewards are bottomless and boundless. If ever a record lived up to the promise of its name, this is the one."
Sunrise Ocean Bender
Forget the vivid colours. The look of this album is dark and weird like the things that are told in it. Dark brown package, a blurred vintage-looking, yellowish, innocent-looking photo of a mountain. No devils, no goats. If you look carefully will notice just some simple geometric outlines overlapping over said blurred photo, some small saucer-shaped UFOs and a door floating in the sky over the top of the mountain. The only flash of color will come when uncovering the bright green vinyl of the limited edition LP version.
But don’t get me wrong: the layout of the album, both in the special digipack and the LP editions, is extremely well cured and tricky, that is absolutely smart. Then Tons’ music will blow you up: luscious, heavy and evil. The chilling feeling of evil will be especially conveyed by Paolo’s scary, banshee-like hissing vocals. Why this album about that innocent-looking mountain? Tons’ hometown, Torino, in north-western Italy, is probably the best-known and most intensely satanic city in Italy. In the past the imposing valleys dissecting the Alpine belt in front of Torino were a shelter for “heretics” escaping Inquisition, and were raided by armies and gold diggers for centuries. These valleys and mountains are therefore, more than elsewhere, secular sources of hundreds of scary, gothic tales about witches, profaned tombs, evil priests, zombies, werewolves, alien visitors, bloody deeds, monsters, etc. possessing the same repulsive charm as in Yeats’ as well as Lovecraft’s gloomy tales. So Tons’ Musineè Doom Session Volume 1 is a collection of dark, heavy ballads telling about some of the weird things and grim tales that populated these guys’ childhood. The blurred photo depicts Mount Musinée in front of Torino: a pyramidal mountain with an anomalously bold, sterile top and bearing signs of unraveled, ancient rites, dolmens, carvings, and sinister will-o’-the wisp-like light phenomena and apparitions. The booklet in the album tells much about what is believed to have happened around there. It is an ideal site for weird witches’ and esoteric tales to be told in gloomy rainy nights and, why not, to be played from a slimy green LP!
But after this long intro let’s go through the music. With its six ballads Musineè Doom Session Volume 1 will entertain you for almost 35 minutes with its trve, filthy swampy sludge and sabbathian doom vibe. Swampy music for a haunted mountain! But the inspiring “swamp” is not invaded by water lilies and dragonflies: it is a foggy swamp populated by slimy beasts that turn to blood-thirsty monsters after twilight, as in the old horror movies. The retro-looking cover photo and this swamp horror movie feeling is reinforced by the vintage spoken samples employed in the intro, like in an old episode of Cosmos documentaries. That’s your ticket for a doom trip to this mountain and its unraveled secrets. But the groove that invariably drenches Tons’ filthy sludge-doom heaviness suggests that these guys are having good time indeed and like to diverge excessive tension by means of shots of heavy blues psychedelia as well as with humour. As to the latter, check out the titles of some tracks: “Once Upon a Tentacle”, “Rime of the Ancient Grower”, “Tangerine Nightmare”, “At War with Yog-Sothoth” (obviously …) Anyway, Tons’ ballads are awesome slabs of distorted, weed-scented doom metal lead by sinister monolithic riffs, devastating drumming, killer dynamic accelerations reminding of the hardcore background of the band, and menacing, strained, wicked vocals. Paolo’s vocal style is unique in its blackened sickness although it shares some features with Weedeater, Bongzilla, Iron Monkey or, even better, with the “trve” banshee of black/doom, Vanessa Nocera in Wooden Stake. The generous acid psych and blues background in Ton’s style imparts a deeply infectious, retro groovy vibe to the riffs, the same swampy badassery as, for example, in Wo Fat, Down and in the more achingly bluesy moments in Eyehategod.
Try the opening eponymous track, for example, or else the second part of the stunning “Rime of the Ancient Grower”. Well, in “Rime of the Ancient Grower” you are bombed by molasse-like monotonic riffs acting like heavy dope, a bit like in Electric Wizard, while your mind is torn apart by the wild, ravaging vocals. The haunting ballad “Tangerine Nightmare” is the object of Tons’ official video. It is probably the most varied track with some radical tempo changes, variation in chanting and the evocation of truly obscure atmospheres where the pace is slowed down at maximum. Tracks “Ketama Gold” “At War with Yog-Sothoth” somehow share a similar dynamic structure as they are developed by some very tense, powerful plodding to galloping riffing. In “Ketama Gold” however I get thoroughly conquered, i.e. I’m definitely dragged into one of those caves and crypt of that nasty mountain, when those sick vocals are added in the last two minutes. The 7 minutes-long final, powerful instrumental track “At War with Yog-Sothoth” starts with a disturbing, wavy buzz but the plodding leading riffage will soon grow and develop in its full epic power. So, probably nothing new was invented but what is heard here is highly rewarding and very well done. Top-notch production and mastering were, respectively, in the hands of Danilo “Dano” Battocchio (in band Last Minute to Jaffna) and Lorenzo Stecconi (in band Lento). Tons’ debut album Musineè Doom Session Volume 1 is the fiftieth, number 50, release of the lively underground Italian label Escape From Today. A significant goal for an underground label and an excellent debut for Tons. We’ll hear more from them. I can see it in my crystal ball …
Words: Marilena Moroni
Escape From Today
This interview with Patrick Essman (vocalist and guitarist of Sweden gothic rock band Myrah) was granted to us by Evita Hofmane of P3lican webzine (HERE). Well, this band is dark enough for us, so if you’ll discover something new and their riffs touch your heart then it’s enough good for us too.
How could you describe Myrah to the person who has never heard your band?
Myrah is a Goth Rock/Metal band with a dynamic and heavy sound with melodies and choruses that will stay in your mind for a long time.
Recently your band started to colloborate with a new record label. Tell us please about your future plans.
Yes that´s right Inverse Records, and they have done a great work to get the new album out there. We are currently rehearsing new songs for an upcoming release, but I don´t know if there will be a new album now, but we will record some new songs and maybe put them up for a digital release only this time. Of course there will be a new album out there for us, but maybe not until the end of next year or so, time will tell.
How is your new album "My Deliverance" different from your previous work?
The album is more versatile and we have worked much harder with it then the other recordings we have done, and also the songs are a bit longer and epic if you compare it to our debut album”Six Feet Down”. I think it´s a bit heavier too. And more songs that will stay in your mind for a while.
What is the message/general theme of your second album?
There are two main themes on the album, one is about a man who has lost everything and he is not feeling well and the other one is dealing with the matter that our mother earth is feeling very bad and we humans are torturing her with all our greed and filth and that we need to think about the future if we want to survive, if it´s not to late already. We are the most egoistic and destructive specie on earth so maybe there is no hope for us.
In the interviews journalists always ask – are you satisfied with a new album? But I will put this question from the different angle –maybe there is something you’re not sastisfied with?
To be honest I think the new album is the best recording we have done so far, but there are always things I hear in the music that I would change if we would record the album again, but I think that´s a good thing, because then the next record will sound even better. The new songs I have written is a bit heavier and a bit more progressive, so I think the next album will be more versatile and also I will work even harder with the vocals and the harmonies. We have already found our sound and we just have to tune it up a bit and then get it a little rougher and then it will be a killer record.
How do you percieve criticism? Or- so to speak- ideas how this or that should be? Every song – it’s a small microcosmos. And if you’re the creator of it, maybe it’s not easy to let somebody criticize it? Whether it is your band member or some other person?
If I think back of the early days when I was younger it was harder to hear people giving criticism on the music I was writing, but nowadays I like to hear what people have to say about the music and I´m always open to try things, if a member have some ideas and if everyone thinks that it sounds good we go with that. I think it´s good to hear what other people are thinking about the music and it can give me ideas for songs in the future.
Myrah have played in different countries. Tell us about most impressive gig – where it took place, time when it happened and audience.
Ohh, we have played so many great gigs now and when we are playing in Germany it´s always a great audience and I think that country is the best to play in, especially when we are touring with our friends in Mainpoint a german band, then it´s the most fun, but if I would choose just one gig, maybe it´s the gig we did in the UK last summer at Gosport Waterfront Festival, even that we just played five songs, it was very fun and there were alot of people that loved us so we gained many new fans there.
This spring Myrah was on tour. What were the impressions about concerts on this tour?
We had a very great time playing in Germany. We also played at a 2 days festival with only two bands per night and that was great, it was out in the countryside and the small venue was overcrowded, the venue took maybe 300-400 persons but I think it was like 500-600 persons in the audience and people were standing outside the venue as well and there was a very good feeling in the air.
Has your public changed during these years? Where are the best audience for Myrah?
I don´t think it has changed so much, we have always had fans from children age up to very old people, and people who don´t usually listen to metal or rock seems to like us as well. Our best audience are in Germany and we love to play there.
Have you had any funny, curious incidents happen on tour?
It always happens funny and strange things when we are on road haha, I remember one time in a place I will not tell, the band ended up all naked running around in the hotel, I don´t know why hehe but maybe to much alcohol was the reason J. We are swedes and love to drink alcohol so it use to be wild parties when we are around, but we don´t drink alcohol until after the show.
I have been on concerts in different countries, but I have never been on concert in Sweden. What is the audience in Sweden if we compare with other countries?
I think that it´s much more fun to play in other countries, often the people in Sweden just stands there and listen to the bands, they are not that active. And often they don´t want to go near the stage, maybe they are afraid of it or something, because the audience like to stand in the back with their arms crossed. So Myrah loves to be on the road abroad and to meet people that can show us their feelings when they are listening to us, that´s much more fun and we will get more energy from that too.
Whats going on on the Sweden metalscene? Which bands from Sweden we must know? Something not so well known but very worth to hear?
I see alot of Metalcore band popping up, but I´m not into that music at all. But the Swedish metalscene seems to feel very fine with alot of big bands touring around the world. But I don´t really listen to Swedish bands so often, when I do, it´s bands I know you have already heard, like Amon Amarth, Dissection and Dark Tranquillity, but I can tip you about a not so famous band, but it´s not metal really but more postrock which is a genre I like and the band is called pg.lost and they are very good. Otherwise most of the music I like come from Finland, I really like the melancholy and melodies in their music. I love bands like Insomnium, Before the Dawn and Ghost Brigade.
The gothic rock scene isn´t that big here and mostly underground bands and clubs, and we don´t have so many big bands but we have the band Tiamat and also some metal influnced bands like Draconian, Beseech(R.I.P), and Katatonia, but these bands are not typical gothic rock bands.
What is the reason for choosing gothic rock over other musical genres?
I really like the dark and melancholy feelings in the music, but I have some other musical projects too, and those are in different genres like blackmetal, doommetal, ambient and some shoegaze/postrock. But all music I write must touch my heart and give me special feelings when I hear it, otherwise it´s no meaning to go on.
In your opinion – why bands who have started their career in similar conditions, who are all talanted and diligent, why most of them doesn’t achieve their aims?
You must have some luck and also be prepared to have some setbacks and that you have a great core in the band that always sticks together even in the roughest of times. And also it´s good to play live as much as possible, even if you don´t earn any money from a gig it´s still worth it, you must sacrifice alot, especially time and money. So I think if you are really into this business you need to work your ass off to get somewhere, none will come and take you to the golden success, you must make your own way there. Eventually something great will come from all the hard work. I think many bands give up to easy when it´s not going as they planned, but you always need to have a second plan for everything.
What is the main dictum you have learned during these years about life and music as two inseparable things?
See the answer above, it applies on life as well. And also don´t take anything for granted, everything can happen in life.
Tell us an epically gothic joke!
How do you get a goth out of a tree?
Cut the rope!
The Green Wizard for a killer all-dayer happening in the UK on the first of December. The line-up includes Conan, Slabdragger, Moloch, Dead Existence, Meadows, Burnt Earth, Iron Witch, Tree of Sores, Jacknife Holiday, Trudger and Lord Misery. It is amazing line of doom and sludge metal so you UK people won't want to miss this..
Check out the event @ Facebook
"After a very long time of hard work, this album is finally ready for release. We couldn't be more happy with the way it turned out and I really think it is the best Kongh material so far. For our old fans, I am pretty sure it will be well worth the wait and I also think it holds great potential to satisfy a bunch of new listeners. In my opinion, the album is more dynamic and has much more emphasis on melodies than our previous works. At the same time it maintains the harshness and it's undoubtedly the heaviest slab of metal we've done as well."
Track-list for Sole Creation is as follows:
1. Sole Creation
2. Tamed Brute
3. The Portals
David Johansson - vocals, guitar, bass
Tomas Salonen - drums
Olle Hedenström - bass (live)
Band's facebook: Here
That is where major improvements have been made. The bands first two releases were sickly heavy but didn't break any new ground and sounded like many other bands in the extreme doom scene. 'Deceived Idealism' sounds more original but it is a long drawn-out painful album to sit through. There are only two songs that could be considered concise or anything remotely near being straight-forward, they being the opening 'Blood, Phlegm and Vomit' and another track midway through the album titled 'Hang These Bastards.' The rest of the album contains 4 epic pieces of sickness and filth that will have the more depressed music listener reaching for the nearest razor-blade. As dramatic and extreme as these tracks are, there is really not a hell of a lot of variation and it can get pretty dull at times. The albums 2 longest tracks, both of which past the 20 minutes mark are the worst offenders.
When the tracks are at their best, it is a interesting blend of extreme styles that works well. The band are obviously still in love with the 90's doom era and much of this album does have a old-school extreme doom vibe whether it be traces of early Cathedral or other passages where they seem to be channeling bands such as Wormphlegm. One of the most extreme facets of the bands sound and style is the vocals which are not "real" vocals at all, more like a series of tortured screams and growls. There also isn't one track that stands out as being better than the others as this album is consistent in its approach but you are more likely to be swept away by passages within the songs than the songs themselves. As a exercise in extreme doom self-indulgence, this album is almost flawless but whether you will want to revisit this level of doom sickness too often is questionable....7.5/10.
One of the most impressive aspects of “Season of Decay” is simply the growth and maturation of the band’s songwriting and their ability, as a collective, to continually churn out high-quality tunes at such a quick pace while not falling into the pitfalls of convention. “Season of Decay” displays the band’s uncanny ability to branch-out and include a variety of sounds while still maintaining an overall aesthetic. At its heart, the opening track is a laid–back acoustic tune, but the inclusion of country-inflected lead guitar and Ron’s high-pitched croon really elevates the song to a whole other level. Despite the languid, relaxed feel of “Season of Decay”, the opening lines effectively betray that sense of calm by staying true to much of the band’s previous lyrical explorations, “They made us weak/They made us wait/For our bones/To push through the gray/Earthen tomb/In which we lay”.
In contrast to the easy-going, country-vibe of “Season of Decay”, “The Humble Titan” delves deeper into trance-like psychedelia and ultimately climaxes in an oscillating, krautrock fueled freak-out. Dreamy vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboard, and a staggered drumbeat effectively coalesce into a mesmerizing dissonance that ultimately turns itself inside-out leaving the listener seemingly stranded in the middle-of-nowhere. “The Humble Titan” is reminiscent of some of the darker psychedelic explorations found on ‘Tome of the Future Ancients’, but rather than trying to crush the listener with heavy doom, Ice Dragon adopts an earthy, acoustic approach that is just as effective.
While Ice Dragon may have potentially alienated a few listeners over the span of their last few releases, the band’s chameleon-like ability to channel a variety of sounds and make them their own cannot be denied. Very few bands in recent memory are able to so drastically change-up their sound and approach while maintaining the quality (and quantity) that Ice Dragon is able to achieve. Both “Season of Decay” and “The Humble Titan” are welcome and strong additions to the band’s catalogue, but it poses an important question: How many more releases can Ice Dragon fit in before the New Year?
Words: Steve Miller
The initial attack of Zatokrev is thick and lava-like sludge riffing with a direct and simple feel, revealed in the opening to songs like "Goddam Lights" and "Medium". But as each lengthy song unfolds, melodies and experimentation begin to arise...not in a way that overtakes the sludge, but which compliments. The excellent opening cut "Goddam Lights" is hammering, nasty and filthy, with a very "spiky" sounding guitar sound, but the sadness gradually increases as the track goes on and the ending is powerfully melodic, with layers build up on that original bludgeoning feel. "Medium" has much the same kind of opening but the mid-section has a long section of abstract, abrasive noise ala Khanate before returning to the original riff in devastating fashion. It goes without saying that the vocals are painful screaming, that's de rigeur for this stuff.
The tunes are long but Zatokrev knows just when to pull the plug. Only "Medium" comes close to the breaking point. The ten minute plus "Angels of Cross" makes great use of an apocalyptic rumbling in the background to add the feeling of approaching doomsday. And some tracks, like "The Bat", are just flat out sludge monsters...this last cut is a virtual template of how to do a dragging, doomy, depressing metal song.
This is certainly one of the sludge highlights of 2012 and those into the heavier side of post-metal/slowcore music will also find it a worthy purchase.
Words: Dr. Mality
This is the bands first ever concept album. That concept that deals with peace, love and the realization that being positive is actually not a bad thing after all. To be honest as a concept album, the concept itself seems to get lost about halfway through the album or maybe I just lose interest in it after a while. The switch to a more 70's rock approach may seem like a cliched thing to do these days, after-all look at how many bands are doing it but in the case of Seamount it seems to work for the most part. The guitar sound is my only major gripe but again whether this is a accident or was done on purpose is hard to say. Either way, the guitar sound here is clean, almost too clean for my liking. Some riffs cry out for a big meaty sound but it doesn't arrive. Instead you have a sound that seems restrained and clean, preferring to sit in the background at times rather than ripping your head off with crushing power.
Complaints out of the way then, the first half of this record is great. Opening tune 'Surrender' sounds like mid 80's doom rock, much like early Trouble or even Martin-era Black Sabbath.'The Fool' and 'Echoes' are two of the albums most "retro" tracks while 'Just for Fantasy' and the title track are a modern take on 80's epic heavy metal much in the same way bands like Grand Magus and Spiritual Beggars do it. These songs are instantly catchy and even 'Echoes' which is pretty close to a power-ballad kind of tune has a certain anthemic charm about it. Enter the albums second half and the songwriting quality takes a bit of a down-turn. Songs are not as catchy or as memorable and part of the problem is some of the songs no longer sound like Seamount.' Aphrodites Child' and 'Isolation' could pass as mid 90's alt-rock songs with a lack of emotional vocals to match. Even a Witchfinder General cover doesn't save the albums second half from being a tad dull.
One thing Seamount have working for them is they don't fit in a neat box. They have a retro feel to some of the songs but don't sound like your typical retro band. They are also modern-sounding in places but don't sound like a typical modern band either. The hybrid thang they have going gives them something unique at least and even if you don't like some of these tracks (like me), all of the tracks are easy enough to get through without any dramas. The albums first half is good enough to make this a worthwhile album to buy especially if you are already a fan of the band but other people may find some of it a bit too clean and lacking in guitar crunch...7/10.
Seamount | Facebook