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    2nd album by Swedish occult ‘metallers’ YOTG named Angels’ Necropolis is a very fine achievement for these gentlemen. I put metallers between brackets because the sound is very retro occult soft so to speak. They made my top ten of 2012 for sure, and they should make yours too. Why? Because of two very good albums, and because their live show is amazing. I saw them at this year’s Roadburn and I was very impressed to say the least. Here is a video of this performance: HERE. Earlier this week while I was updating my CD collection (selling most of it), I gave Lucem Ferre (2011) a ferm spin again. Brilliant album I think, because of the nice arrangements, the right atmosphere and a very well execution of the songs.

    For The King starts with a signature YOTG riff followed by harmonious multiple vocals and a very good song structure to top things off. Angels’ Necropolis, the 2nd track, highlights precisely why the album Angels’ Necropolis is better than its predecessor: the musical breadth and width of the band has evolved dramatically. If this song doesn’t get your engine running, than I honest to God don’t know what will. Perfect song! Spirits Of Fire is as awesome as Angels’ Necropolis (the song). Heavy sing-along tactics go hand in hand with stellar songwriting here. A Circle Of Serpents starts with a ‘normal’ riff but quickly evolves into an almost reggae like rhythm. Again, a very fine song to say the least. Voice Of A Dragon is followed by This Will Be Mine: a classic YOTG song in the making. I’ll Die For You and closing track Thin Lines Of Broken Hopes are awesome too, what more can I say? ....9/10.

    Check Van Records’ site for the precise date of release!!

    Words: Sandrijn van den Oever

    Official Website
    Van Records

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    Perhaps the most amazing thing about this album is how it has been released and no one is talking about it. This album by the German funeral doom masters is a monster....not a perfect monster but certainly a menacing beast that you can't ignore. The world of funeral doom is complicated. The style is usually either mind-numbingly dull or it is hypnotic and emotionally moving and challenging. This Worship album falls into the latter class of crushing doom metal. The album is made up of four parts ranging from 10 to almost 18 minutes and like most funeral doom, it crawls along with the energy of a tranquilized slug but there is so much that ends up hooking you in. The guitars ooze sorrow and despair and is discordant and about as bleak as bleak gets and it is a album that has much depth that most of it goes over your head on the first few spins of the disc so it is an album that you must invest some time in to fully realize its magic.

    Now it has been 5 years since the bands last full length but the band have got more than one reason to take their time. The band lost a band member through suicide so it has been a rough ride for these doomsters but maybe that just adds some extra fuel to their cauldron of minimalistic doom metal. The wait between albums has also given the band a new fresh approach as this album while still funeral doom is a bit different from anything else they have ever released. There is far more atmosphere to 'Terranean Wake' than anything done previously and the production is much clearer and cleaner which some people may see as a issue but I feel it has help the band make a far more memorable release than what they usually come out with. The vocalist that goes by the name of The Doommonger really shines throughout the album, growling as most funeral doom vocalists do but in this case, it is emotive and unnerving which is perfect for the sinister soundscapes Worship unleash throughout this albums 55 minutes.

    What makes the album so hypnotic is the subtle way the pieces shift and move along. Basically if your mind drifts while listening to this you will miss some stunning and very clever moments of classy songwriting. It can be shit-your-pants heavy at times but there are tiny but very effective elements of melody and an almost progressive doom vibe that is rare for the funeral doom genre. The hardest track to get through is the last one with the sub title of 'End of an Aeviturne' because it is painfully slow, even by funeral doom standards and this is the albums only so-so moment. Funeral doom as odd as it may seem to the uneducated on the genre can be cliched and cheesy to a point and this track is the only time where this release suffers from that fate. The rest of the album however is nothing short of stunning. The vocals that are sung in English, French and German tell a heart-breaking story of utter depression and it is deliver with passion and authenticity.

    The album is predictable in a way but the attention to detail that Worship display in this album makes up for any of that. The band seemed to have matured musically and this album now puts them up there with the likes of Ahab, Ea and Mournful Congregation as these 3 bands scramble for the funeral doom crown. This is certainly more impressive than Ahab's latest and despite some of this album being a touch cryptic, both musically and lyrically, it is surprisingly infectious for a funeral doom release. This is a near perfect album from Worship and released just in time to fill a place in the end of year top 10 lists for 2012.....9/10.

    Worship | Facebook

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     Update: Ed and Sally are moving out of their house this Friday due to lack of rent money so it is back to homelessness for them. The money raised wasn't wasted, it has really helped with the medical situation but wasn't enough to secure any long-term accommodation so I thought it was worth re-posting this article from Mari. Keep in mind Ed is living with a death sentence by not having the medication he needs so donations are more important than ever.....Whitney Doomm@niac

    A bit more help for crawling back to decent conditions …

    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.

    Ed Barnard is finding himself in the middle of such nightmare in his life. After a troubled divorce (known to a few of his friends), the heart disease stroke his body already battered by a chronic lung disease. The latter is a burden I came to know years ago, as soon as I started interacting with Ed about one of his loves of life, music.  Ed had to go to the hospital for heart attack some months ago. This experience and the debts coming as a consequence, added to the costs of divorce and the weekly costs of medical drugs for his chronic lung illness, turned him and his partner, Sally, into a homeless couple, straight away and in a cruelly and shockingly short time span.  Ed is lucky, though: he still has got a job, even if a part-time one. Sally is working as well, full-time. But they don’t work at Wall Street. Homeless people with jobs? Weird, eh?  Actually I discovered about the existence and the high frequency of such incredible situation recently, after reading many accounts of people having gone through such stressing experience at some stage in their life. In their accounts many of these people tell they were able to overcome the disaster also thanks to the support of other people. In this period, after paying for Ed's regular medical drugs, Ed and sally are battling for making up the money for covering the costs for rental of a room instead of the tent that has been hosting Ed so far.

    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

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    Released Today ......

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    Mysterious Swedish buzz band GHOST will play a special a concert this Saturday, December 15 in their hometown of Linköping at Cupolen. Limited tickets are still available. Also this Saturday for those seeking redemption, GHOST cult leader Papa Emeritus (rumored to be REPUGNANT/SUBVISION's Tobias Forge, who takes the stage in the form of "a satanic pope") will bestow a special offering to those who sign up with their e-mail addresses beginning at 10 p.m. local time.

    GHOST is putting the finishing touches its next studio album, due out in 2013 on Loma Vista Recordings, the new record label founded by Tom Whalley in partnership with Republic Records, a division of Universal Music Group. Papa and his Nameless Ghouls have summoned Nashville-based Grammy Award-winning Nick Raskulinecz (DEATH ANGEL, DEFTONES, FOO FIGHTERS, RUSH) to produce this offering.

    GHOST's debut album, "Opus Eponymous", was released in late 2010 in Europe and in early 2011 in North America via Rise Above Records.

    In an early 2012 interview with Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show, one of the "Nameless Ghouls" from GHOST was asked why he thinks his band has garnered support from such high-profile musicians as James Hetfield (METALLICA) and Phil Anselmo (DOWN, PANTERA). "We like to think [it's because of] our playfulness in terms of not — I almost said think[ing] too much — obviously, we think, but we feel a lot and we try not to limit ourselves to genre," he said. "Even though we're a hard-rocking band, we try to mix everything from death metal elements to new-wave choruses. And I think that sort of resonates to… I wouldn't say only an older generation [because] we have a lot of new, younger fans, but I think that anybody who is older than 35 might have a stroke of nostalgia or whatever."

    On the topic of whether he can foresee a day when the members of GHOST won't be anonymous anymore, he said, "I think there is a difference between being anonymous and unmasked. Where SLIPKNOT actually wear masks still, while KISS during their unmasked days didn't. Obviously, it's a thing of the times. What we're trying to do, it's very hard to maintain. If the actual goal was to not be known, we try to maintain that, but in the long run we can't really expect that to be something everlasting. Most of our fans are actually quite keen on not knowing, which works to our favor, but I think there is a difference between people knowing who is behind the mask or being unmasked. We can't really see ourselves going up on stage and afterwards just dropping the masks saying, 'Oh, it's me, it's me, actually. Can you see?' No, no, no… We don't want that. We don't want to spoil it. That's the whole reason why we are anonymous and we try not to show ourselves. We try to eliminate, not the human aspects, but the humane aspects, if you want. We want to put Papa Emeritus in the limelight. He's supposed to be the living character, even though rigor mortis has basically set in in his poor old body. But that's the face of the band. He's the person, everybody else are just puppets."

    Regarding GHOST's future plans, he said, "These 18 months since we released the album has been a lot of touring. We play a lot of concerts and our goal has always been to put on a show that was way more theatrical than we have had the opportunity to, sort of, perform or display in this type of touring. Even though this is a tour where we're actually allowed to flex our muscles a little bit, you can't expect to have a production. We have our windows, we have a few things, but I'd say that our short-term goal, for now, when we have a new album out, will be to start bringing forth a way more theatrical show that will be a lot more intriguing with a few magic tricks."

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    Steven Le Moan is a guy who created amazing pagan stoner-trio Stangala glorifying his fatherland Brittany and it’s ancient legacy, oh, dark forests of France which is rich with mushrooms and ancient spirits! What else can they breed if not such merry and heavy magical tunes?.. Yet, there’s another project of Steven and it shows another side of our society, it’s an urban depressive black project Netra, let speak about it tonight!

    Hail Steven! We did an interview about Stangala with you and now is time for netra. As Stangala plays songs of psychedelic hooligans from deep forests of France, your other project – Netra is for urban pessimists. How did you come to idea of combination of black metal elements with trip-hop rhythms and tunes?

    I think I just write music that resembles the one I listen to, no big deal. It is all a matter of perspective I guess. I never had the intention to blend genres for the sake of being original. That being said, it is always a challenge to find the right sound, melody, lyrics to depict something as abstract as an emotions. Therefore it is necessary to remain open-minded in terms of music "styles" if you want to achieve this goal.

    Yet you have also jazz influences in netra stuff, are you a jazz fan?

    I do listen to a lot of jazz indeed. I have a few classic albums that I cherish particularly, such as Charles Mingus' "The black saint and the sinner lady" or Archie Shepp's "Blasé". But I am also fond of more modern stuff like The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble or Bohren und der Club of Gore, their music surely is something incredible.

    You played before netra in 2 or 3 black metal bands, what are the best memories of these times? And did that experience really help in your work with netra?

    I played indeed in several bands in the past, when I was not yet too "mobile". There are so many memories associated with these years as one can imagine, I cannot think of any that should be mentioned here. For sure, I learnt a lot from playing with different people. I learnt about how difficult it is to actually play together, to be on the same wavelength. You see, I always thought that a band cannot be good unless it has a leader. One guy must stand out, have a vision and bring it to life with the help of others. There are of course examples proving me wrong, yet I think this theory is sound in most cases, and, most importantly, it also supports my choice to work alone in netra!

    You told in one of your interviews that your lyrics are quite personal so you probably can’t describe their meaning, also you told that you compose music first of all for yourself. But what does drive you to share it with other human forms?

    Now that's a very relevant question! The most obvious reason is, to some extent, fame. Although this is quite embarrassing to admit. Everybody seeks some kind of recognition in life, hoping to, one day, achieve something good, that will raise the interest of the masses. I would be dishonest if I told you that there is not a part of this in my motivation. But sharing my art is more importantly a way of strengthening my ideas, my visions, based on the feedback, like in a large-scale psychoanalisis.

    What is conception of Netra? Did it change from your first album “Melancolie urbanie” to “Sørbyen”? What does inspire you to write such depressive stuff about city life?

    When it comes to city life, many feelings come to my mind. First, there is a lack, an absence. You see, I grew up in a small town, not far from the sea, not far from beautiful forests. This feeling of being surrounded with places where nature still reigns is somehow anchored in me, and when you take it away from me, I tend to become scared, almost claustrophobic. Then, and most importantly, city life calls to my mind the notion of fear. The fear of social interaction, of other people's thoughts and judgement. The fear of being different, just as much as the fear of being like everybody else. The fear of embarrassment, boredom and loneliness. The fear of violence and all the horrors we see on the news.

    Let me clarify this! You wrote Stangala’s stuff living in Brittany and Netra is a result of your moving to Norway?

    Not really. I wrote netra's first album in France, and only the second one was written in Norway.
    What are the main differences between “Mélancolie urbaine” and “Sørbyen”?

    Sørbyen is, in my opinion, less claustrophobic, more open-minded than its predecessor.

    What is your most important achievement as an author of “Sørbyen”?

    To make an album that holds so much! It's a real slice of life, put into a bit more than an hour of music.

    What are your favorite black metal and trip-hop bands?

    Not sure if my favorites but Rob Dougan and Manes for instance are some artists that I have listened to a lot, and for a long time.

    Oh, Manes… I see, yet I can’t say that you follow someone’s else path, do you feel that your way of self-expression through music is unique?

    Not at all.

    You have a video, “La Page”, did you take part in creation of it? Were you glad with how it was done?

    For this video, Nick Skog of Hypnotic Dirge Records did the filming and I edited it. It was a first try, and although I would certainly not do it again in the same way, I look back at it without shame.

    And look – you have two professional videos for Stangala, another one – for Netra yet it’s obvious that video=clips don’t work as it was before, conception changes and you can’t see it on TV – only via Internet. Do you like these changes in the musical industry as such unification – digital formats and streaming of video and songs via Internet?

    Yes, as long as it makes it somehow easier to share music, get feedback, get in touch with new people, I have no problem with these kind of change. I mean without this kind of means, I would maybe never have even thought of making videos at the first place.

    Netra “La Page”

    Both netra and Stangala have quite deep, well-thought compositions, both of the bands are original, how do you contrive to keep this balance of songs’ quality and quantity? How much time do you spend with both projects?

    Thank you! Not sure how to answer this, but for sure I do spend all the time I can on my music.

    What kinds of emotions prevail in your personal life – those which you express with Netra or with Stangala?

    Hard to say, Netra is somehow more naive, like a contemplating child in me, whereas Stangala pertains more to a "hard truth" picture of my life.

    What makes you proud of your music? Can you access your contribution in the French underground scene?

    I am definitely proud of my music. I believe that it is a real achievement to go beyond the traditional communication channels and express things that my social awkwardness would not allow me to express otherwise. As for my contribution to the french scene, I have absolutely no idea! That is a really good question though, but I do not think it is mine to answer.

     Steven, what are your plans for Stangala and Netra for forthcoming future? Indeed this is my last question so you can add some words of ancient or urban wisdom for our readers.

    My plans are a bit fuzzy at the moment, but I will definitely be working on a new album and hopefully more video material next year. Meanwhile, I thank you very much for your interest and wish you all the best!

    Interview By Aleks

    Netra | Facebook

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    For those mourning the supposed demise of Candlemass and bemoaning the inactivity of Solitude Aeturnus, the arrival of Italy's In Aevum Agere from out of nowhere will be a blessed relief. Here, at last, is a true doom metal album...not angry swamp sludge, not groovy stoner rock, not more 70's retro-occult nonsense, but a monolith of pure DOOM carved from the same stone used to fashion the giants mentioned above.

    "The Shadow Tower" is Candlemass/Solitude style doom of such purity it will make your eyes water. Sure, it slavishly follows the templates of those two bands, but the execution is mind-bogglingly brilliant and I dare say I even prefer this to "Psalms for the Dead", the "last" Candlemass album. In Aevum Agere is the surprising brainchild of one Bruno Masulli, who is also responsible for the rather excellent Italian thrash band Annihilationmancer, along with some others. Bruno must really worship the doom masters of old, because right from the first doleful notes of "Umbra Vitae", we get plodding, melodic riffs that will send chills up the spine of anybody who loved "Nightfall" and "Ancient Dreams".  Bruno's vocals evoke memories of the first Candlemass singer Johan Langqvist but there are also some great solemn Gregorian style chants on "Domino" and "Il Poema Illusorio" that add to the great medieval feeling. On the restrained and gloomy ballad "Silent", he even recalls early Geoff Tate. This man is a serious talent, both vocally and on the frets.

    The album shows a little bit of driving aggression in places, particularly on the last two cuts "Ire of Solitude" and "Son of Unknown", merging a bit of slower thrash chug with the slow, probing riffs. Tunes like "Leave Me Alone", "The Last Farewell" and "Act of Faith" are just fucking brilliant, utterly lacking originality but showing total mastery of a style of music that is teetering on the edge of the abyss. The production does the songs full justice and really, this is one of the best pure doom records of the year, if not THE best. Only its excessive length counts against it, making it somewhat of an exhaustive experience.

    I expect to hear a Candlemass knock-off band when I first heard In Aevum Agrere, but what I didn't expect was to hear Candlemass' true heir and replacement make themselves known!

    Words: Dr. Mality ( Wormwood Chronicles )

    Official Website

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    To celebrate the band’s first ever live ritual at Roadburn 2008, and their much acclaimed performance at the 2009 festival, we’re are blessed to announce the return of the cult that is The Devil’s Blood for, not one, but two shows at Roadburn Festival 2013.

    On Saturday, April 20th, The Devil’s Blood will perform their occult ceremonies acoustically for the first time ever at Het Patronaat, while their fully-fledged, subversive, Pagan jams will reach new heights (or should we say dark depths!?) at the traditional Afterburner event on Sunday April 21st at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland.

    Over the past five years, The Devil’s Blood have not only gained a huge cult following, the band have also been at the forefront of the burgeoning Occult Rock scene by setting a new standard for unearthing the roots of proto-metal as laid down by their unholy forefathers, Black Widow and Coven. The Devil’s Blood‘s creative range includes a visionary blend of dusty psych-garage-rock, ’60s psychedelica, acid-folk-rock and even horror soul, underpinned by beguiling triple guitar harmonies and dripping with obsessively detailed Satanic ritual.

    The head-spinning diversity of The Devil’s Blood cult (and occult) has been captured on the Come Reap EP, The Time of No Time Evermore and 2011?s stunning The Thousandfold Epicentre, all of which offer up a golden balance between the band’s forceful danger, but also a sublime, demonic melancholy that guides its audience toward the left hand path.

    The Sleeping Shaman

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    You certainly didn’t see that coming did you!! Well, it’s true. Not only have DesertFest already reunited both the mighty Dozer and Lowrider for 2013, but we are now proud to announce that desert rock royalty UNIDA are Camden-bound this coming April to headline Desertfest 2013.

    I’m sure you all already know the story, but that isn’t going to stop it being told over again… Upon the dissolution of Kyuss and Slo Burn, the voice of the Californian sands John Garcia (vocals) hooked up with Dave Dinsmore (bass), Arthur Seay (guitar) and Miguel Cancino (drums) to add their biker punk-metal rhythms to his unmistakable, paint-stripping bluesy grooves behind the mic. Despite huge early promise, a glorious debut album in 1999’s ‘Coping with the Urban Coyote’, a storming split with Swedes Dozer and a follow-up record due with American Recordings in 2001, the band stalled and sank back behind the cacti’ shadows. The long-awaited second album, reportedly entitled ‘The Great Divide’, was never released; Dinsmore left the band to be replaced initially by Scott Reeder and then later Eddie Plascencia whilst Garcia concentrated more exclusively on his new band Hermano and some solo work. Unida was certainly left in-need-a’ something… until now!

    Back to blow us all away with the likes of ‘Wet Pussycat’, ‘Human Tornado’ and ‘Black Woman’ plus a whole lot more, this is one pick-up truck full of hulking riffs, fuzzed up overdrive and classic vocal majestics that you simply can’t afford to miss. Get ready to cope with the triumphant return of the urban coyotes themselves at DesertFest 2013!

    Desertfest 2013 takes place between 26th – 28th April 2013 over 4 venues in Camden, London and tickets are available at

    Chicago’s Bongripper play their own unique brand of steam-rolling stoner doom. They specialize in extended instrumental trips that investigate the far-reaches of gut-wrenching heaviness. Post-rock fans should take note, they also know the importance of using melody and atmosphere to bring their records into a cohesive whole.

    Since 2005 they have been building a steady reputation with five albums to date, their most notorious being ‘Heroin’ which was released in very limited quantities and came with a heroin kit, complete with a lighter, rubber band, and spoon.

    They have supported masters of menace such as EyeHateGod and Cough. On-stage they are something to behold, heads-down with the volume at 11, the ebb and flow of their soundscapes conjures up scenes of destruction, desolation and absolution.

    This is a rare chance to see a band that do not play live often, especially outside of the US, so count yourselves lucky for this for great opportunity laid-on by Desertfest 2013!

    Source: The Sleeping Shaman
    Desert Fest | Offical Website

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    Evoke Thy Lords was born in amidst of Siberia as they gathered ten years ago under an old banner of Russian Doom/Death Metal. The band is known for their appearance in three Doom-Art.Ru Compilations. Moreover, you may listen to their release, Escape to the Dreamlands, or split EP Twofaced with Lefthander’s project Riders on the Bones. If Evoke Thy Lords had worked further in the field of Doom/Death Metal, this interview wouldn’t have happened. But their music has changed greatly. Now the band may be fairly proud of their nontrivial, smart and heavy Sludge Doom with some Death Doom Metal impact, but the main features are the renewed, progressive sound and the remaining flute. Unfortunately, only one new track is available on the Evoke Thy Lords band camp page yet you won’t waste your time if you listen to it! Is it the breakthrough? I guess, at least, it has good chances to win the audience. Alexey Kozlov (vocal, bass) is our guest today so I give him a word.

    Hi Alex. What’s new in the life of the band and its musicians? How is it going?

    Hi! We’ve just finished our new record Drunken Tales; it’s the main event in our band life, I think. As for musicians, everything is going its course; most of us have settled down and started a family.

    Your band exists since 2002 but the first album Escape to the Dreamlands was released only in 2008. If I’m not mistaken, the CD has brought together all the band’s Death/Doom stuff recorded by that time. But you seem to be not very happy with this release. That stuff was too overstayed and irrelevant to you at that moment, wasn't it?

    You got the point. Our debut recording process was too long. By the moment of Escape…’s release, we had completely finished the stuff for Twofaced and, I think, even for Cause Follows Effect. Finally, when the album was out, we completely turned away from the sound represented on the record; our key points and musical values had changed. At that moment, we started to realize what we wanted from our music.

    How did the ‘enlightenment’ happen? Did the idea 'damn, everyone plays Death/Doom here' come to all band members simultaneously or anyone tried to stand against the changes?

    It was not so radical. We simply came to the idea that we needed to keep moving. We didn’t intend to choose specific musical framework. Deep down, everybody thought that playing as we have been doing was not interesting for us at all.

     For a long time Evoke Thy Lords was a part of the Russian Doom-scene, which in the world of music community, was considered as purely oriented to Doom/Death at that time. Indeed, at the beginning of 2000’s that genre just appeared in our country and very few bands played that kind of music. Why do you think it happened and how much the scene has changed since then?

    It’s, basically, clear why it has happened:  for the same reason as why only few people in our country understood what the traditional Doom Metal genre actually was. Anyway, I think the scene has changed a lot. On the one hand, a lot of Doom/Death bands are now out of sight, and on the other hand, there appeared some new bands playing Traditional Doom, Stoner and Sludge Doom. As for me, the current situation is much better than before.

    Why do you think, with such strong and mass wish to play Death/Doom, there is no new My Dying Bride or Mourning Beloveth?

    Maybe because there are no new Peaceville Records. I don’t hold these bands as some pillars or mastodons of the genre, and I have come across some very interesting bands in our country. Perhaps, the main challenge that those bands are facing is their further existence and progress after their first albums and the first few years of their work. But I find it difficult to provide a universal explanation.

    Are those bands that you started with alive? As far as I know, very few of Doom-Art.Ru compilations participants are active, most of them have disappeared.

    You know, we really are quite distant from this scene, so it's hard to comment. Yes, I’ve heard almost nothing about the bands from any of these compilations. And vice versa, if you ask this question to any of these bands about us, I think, the answer will be the same.

    Your last official release called Twofaced came out three years ago; it was a split-album with the Voronezh Lefthander’s project Riders on the Bones. There, the band's sound had already changed. It had become more aggressive and, at the same time, it was clear that Evoke Thy Lords followed the early Amorphis, and it was expressed not only with the cover of Black Winter Day. What do you think about this stuff today?

    I like it better than our first release. We had much less problems recording this EP as compared to our debut; the main reason why I can take it adequately. My point is: that the more you stick with the material, the worse you hear the music taking it to pieces. This EP for us is a kind of farewell to the past. It includes all the unreleased stuff that had been composed before we changed our sound. In fact, by that time, we had already written some groovy themes and started playing in lower tune, which we eventually used for the recording Twofaced, the guitars there were lower than in the Escape .... This stuff is not close to us today, but I think we’ve done a good job.

    What do you think of Lefthander work? He appears to be a rather interesting phenomenon of Russian underground stage. Although he regularly produces lots of inventive ideas, I’m not sure if his projects are popular.

    I’m not well informed about his other projects and I can’t tell much about his popularity, as well. When we were looking for another project for our split album, Riders on the Bones seemed to be a good choice. In my opinion, Twofaced came out as a solid match both in music and visual appearance.

    And how did you promote your band? Evoke Thy Lords is from Novosibirsk. How do you get to your audience? Do you use only the Internet or maybe mail?

    Our main problem is that we release our records with a considerable delay. Therefore, it’s hard to talk about any promotion strategy. For example, how can we position our band as Sludge Doom band when, at the same time, we release the records in a completely different genre? I’m not sure if this situation is unique, but it’s not typical. As a result, the labels distribute our records in their own way. People digitize our records and upload them to the Internet, such a word-of-mouth marketing. Of course, we have made some obvious steps, for example, we have created the site and some other profiles on the Internet, but mostly, our audience finds us on their own . Moreover, we’re biased against spam and other methods of aggressive marketing. All in all, the things are the way they should be.

    The latest records of Evoke Thy Lords (represented, for example, with the song on the last Doom-Art compilation) make a good impression with multiversity and substantiality. Now it's powerful groovy Sludge Doom with elements of Psychedelic and Progressive Rock. You managed to keep the flute which sounds particularly smooth in the systematic chaos of growl and guitars. How have you come to such a combination of genres?

    Thank you for such a response. We have the flute in our music from the very beginning, and it has come through all our changes along with other instruments. We didn’t plan such a mixture of genres in advance; it was an evolution. When, after first two releases, we decided to step off the road and make something new, we were not sure what we would get as an outcome.

    Ok, but why did you keep the flute? It’s a great finding, although, such an instrument seems to be hardly compatible with the Sludge music.

    We were not aimed particularly at Sludge music. We composed the new pieces for all our instruments at once. That's why the flute didn't fall out of the sound.

    Did your lyrics change simultaneously with genre?

    Yes, of course. But the reason may be not the change of the genre itself, rather the personality development; the main idea evolves with each album. Actually, we have some recordings between Twofaced and Drunken Tales. We are still working on it, although the pieces have been composed and recorded earlier. There was the most radical change in our lyrics. If you look for the parallels in literature, they will be moving from Lovecraft ideas to Ray Bradbury and Philip Dick. Drunken Tales are mostly instrumental work. The role of the vocal has changed as well, as its standing in our music. Here we don’t express any literary ideas but mostly everyday life experience. Such a midlife crisis of the common man in meditative way.

    The new material hasn’t been released yet. What are your plans? Are there any interesting labels? How soon are you going to release the album?

    The plans are to publish it. There are some labels that are interested. Right now we are discussing some details. I can't definitely tell you the date, it depends on the label. I just hope that the release is not too far off.

    Then, I wish you good luck to make all your plans come true. I hope when the new album comes out, it will be a timely one, both for you and for your audience. Take care!

    Thank you for the questions and your interest in our band. Listen to our new stuff while our music hasn’t changed again.

    Interview By Aleks

    Official Website

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    The cover art is so tricky, with that menacing black crow leaning on that cemeterial stone cross in a blood-red twilight sky. You read the name of the band and you think “oh, they too went into doom!”. But no, they didn’t. US Mos Generator trio, i.e. Tony Reed on guitars/vocals (plus keyboards), Scooter Haslip on bass and Shawn Johnson on drums, came back with a load of their “hybrid” classic rock vibes during the twilight of this year. Nomads is the Mos Generator’s much awaited new album, out via Ripple Music, the hard rocking US label that cured Mos Generator’s 10th Anniversary Edition last year(HERE) as well as the latest releases of one of the other bands involving Tony Reed, Stone Axe (HERE)

    Hence, in spite of the doomy-gloomy cover, munchies in Nomads are made of that creative blend of by now classic styles in heavy music for which Mos Generator are known and appreciated.
    Nomads is distilled deeply groove-laden, distorted rock finely conjugated in its heavier as well as lighter, passionate melodic shades. The nine tracks of the album will involve you for about 40 relaxing minutes. Tempos may vary and riffs do dominate but in a whole Nomads is a calming album where you are being made slow down and enjoy tunes like wine tasting.  In almost every track and, anyway, throughout the album, sounds shift between heavily rocking or even metal riff charges and meditative to trippy moods introduced by somber interludes. Tony Reed’s great gritty vocal style is surely made for hard rock. However vocal parts are always able to adapt to the changing mood and contribute vivid passion to melody.  Mos Generator’s style here is probably more classic and more hybrid than ever.

    With the powerful opener Cosmic Ark the band pay their tribute to stoner masters and cool down by inserting some great retro heavy blues jamming. Torches is slow classic rock. Echoes of the musicians’ militant past into grunge are caught particularly in the intense tracks Lonely One Kenobi and Can’t Get Where I Belong. These and the other tracks are lead by a perfect balance of tension and soulful melodies where blues and vintage rock riffs inspired by Thin Lizzy or Led Zeppelin are added as well. Riffs and melodies may also be thoroughly sabbathian, like in Step Up, the most doomy track of the album. There distortion and the tone of the guitar sound probably more severe than elsewhere in the album, but introspection instead of morbid feelings are evoked by the slow and sinister plodding rhythm. Classic retro heavy metal is particularly hommaged by tracks Solar Angels (Judas Priest cover from one of the minor releases of these heavy metal fathers, album Point of Entry) and  For Your Blood, although in this album riffs often remind of heavy metal from the glorious decades. Track For Your Blood in particular is badass and is there for headbanging with its infectious speed and distortion. The short track Nomads is a moody acoustic interlude sandwiched between Can’t Get Where I Belong and the final epic, 7 minutes-long epic ballad This Is The Gift Of Nature. The band left a jewel for closing the album. This final track is the re-recorded version of the one originally included in the vinyl edition of the 2007 album Songs For Future Gods. The ballad is cross-genres and is graced by great riffs and a central interlude with some truly seducing Hendrixian, retro-heavy blues jamming.
    So Nomads is 40 minutes of thunderously relaxing rock, balanced and charming mix of energy and melody, just  perfect for conveying some warmth in these foggy and snowy winter days. Or else, if you are amidst summer heat, Mos Generator’s new tunes will sound like a balming shade. Mos Generator are eclectic classic rockers who apparently do not like to crystallize their music according to a rigid standard. On the contrary they apparently like to explore the gifts of forty years of heavy music in freedom. With such attitude they still have a lot to say …

    Nomads is out on Ripple Music. It is also available through Nail Distribution in North America, Code 7 in the UK, and Clearspot International throughout Europe.

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Ripple Music

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    Midryasi, one of the most appreciated underground bands of the Italian psych-stoner-doom scene, is about to release their new album, the third one, called Blue and Violet.

    The coming of Midryasi’s new album had been announced during the interview that our Aleks did with the band last October and that you can read HERE
    The album Blue and Violet comes after the success of the 2009 album Corridors, much live activity (e.g., the MiOdi festival in Milano with Eyehategod and Boris in 2011) and the involvement in the massive compilation that recently Doom Metal Front Zine dedicated to the Italian doom scene (HERE).  Moreover the new album marks over ten years of activity of the band.

    The new album includes seven tracks for almost 40 minutes of powerful, intense keyboard-driven, proggy psych doom tunes:
    - The Counterflow
    - Diagonal
    - Behind my Eyes
    - Back in the Maze
    - Black, Blue & Violet
    - The Nuclear Dog
    - Hole of the Saturday Night

     “In a time when so many bands are rediscovering the sounds and atmosphere of the 70s heavy and rock vibes, creating an authentic revival of the genre, Midryasi turn over on themselves to produce an album that - while making full use of their handful of influences - is (if possible!) even more varied and personal than the previous ones.
    Heavy and dark, psychotic and soft, Black, Blue and Violet is like a sombre and glossy brick left in the hands of the listener. The colors evoked by the seven songs that make up the album are black, blue and violet. Black, as night and the visions evoked by Hole of the Saturday Night; Blue, as the violent fluid feelings of The Counterflow and violet, as the reflections and flares captured by Diagonal.
    Once again Midryasi give birth to an album that draws heavily on their Sabbath sources of inspiration, but at the same time does not sound exactly like any of them, giving rise to a new multicolored creature of the crazy saga begun 10 years ago.”  (release notes)

    Album Blue and Violet will be out in January 2013 via RockWolf Records as LP and via My Graveyard Productions as CD.

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Midryasi | Facebook
    Midryasi | Myspace

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    Here we have a great EP from two of my favorite bands, Sardonis and the criminally underrated Eternal Elysium. There are 2 versions of this EP and this review is based on the CD version which is fine by me because it contains a extra track from Sardonis titled 'To The Barn' that also featured on another split they did with Holland's Tank86. Anybody that has heard the song will tell you it is a steamroller of a track, a whirlwind of heaviness that runs right over the top of the listener senses but it has been released before so maybe you are more interested in hearing their other track 'Ascending.' Here we have one of the bands most epic tracks at over 9 minutes in length. It kicks off with a slow atmospheric intro before the main riff comes in and destroys everything in its path. The track builds, slows down and then builds again before hitting the gas for a punishing conclusion to the track. The track has sometimes subtle but interesting added elements like keys but at the end of the day, it does what this band does best and that is knocks you to the floor with pulverizing, energetic riffing. Never has a two-piece band sounded so lethal.

    Eternal Elysium are a band that always seems to sneak releases out without little fanfare. This split is a good example of that but they also recently released a new EP titled 'High Flyer' which is up to the usual Eternal Elysium high standard, in other words..........exceptional. This band from Japan have been called "the heaviest band in the world" which is a little off the mark. Let's face it there are heavier bands out there but they certainly push the "heavy" to a level most other bands don't even come close to. 'Unbound (Kai Hoh)' is the first of their songs for this split and as usual it is a eccentric blend of different styles. It is pure stoner doom but with sax and that is not a misprint, I typed sax not sex. 'Circulation (Jun Kan)' is another great track which features one of the bands most bluesy riffs ever before leaping into a strong groove and heavy psychedelic vibes.

    Another bonus track for the CD version is '"The Spiral Conclusion' which some readers may have heard from the vinyl version of the 'Searching Low and High' album that was released in 2011. This split is more of what is to be expected from both bands but you wouldn't want it any other way with these two combos. Both bands deliver the goods with Eternal Elysium proving once and for all they are one of the most consistently good bands in stoner doom history while Sardonis prove once again they are the real deal and that a 2 man band can just as brutal as your typical 3, 4, or 5 man band line-up. In a word..........ESSENTIAL. ......9.5/10.

    Both bands recently did a tour together. Here is two lengthy videos of both bands sets from one of those shows....enjoy.

    Sardonis | Official
    Eternal Elysium | Official

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    Well what happened, the Chip-In campaign isn't exactly happening at the moment but at least 8 people have donated for a total of $347 but it still has a long way to go to meet the November 30th 2013 deadline. The hotel whose best and only feature is the famous road-sign you see here is Ed and Sally's current location. This hotel paid for by a kind friend is to be their home for the next week but after that the future is again looking very bleak indeed. The house for those who haven't heard didn't work out. Despite living there for a month, they couldn't even raise the funds to turn the power on, let alone pay the second months rent so it is back to the drawing board.

    I have been informed of some confusion over their present situation even though it is all stated clearly here in black and white. Ed has had 2 heart attacks and now several hospital stays which has pushed the debt out to past $40,000 and anyone that thinks that sounds fishy obviously has never stayed in a hospital without the benefit of insurance. I personally know someone with a $85,000 bill resulting from a car accident and they too are surviving with the help of friends, family and donations but that is the subject of another fundraiser. I started the "Chip-In" campaign out of love for my two friends, I am the one asking for money on their behalf so to those pointing fingers and making accusations, don't go there - the situation is far worse than any of you can imagine and I am just trying to help.

    With that personal gripe out-of-the-way, I hope you consider the plight of people like Ed who live day by day, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. You should also consider his two children who Ed has to support even though he has no money. With Christmas coming up, it is time to give some thought of those who are less fortunate than yourself. It doesn't take much to make a difference and this is the time of the year to do it. This isn't a money-making scheme, this is a question of survival. Give a donation if you can and you can also download the excellent 4 hour plus compilation album.

    If you have any questions, you can contact me directly via the email address. Just remember to put "Doommaniac" or "Whitney" in the subject line. Again please help.

    Words: Doomm@niac

    To those who have donated...........WE LOVE YOU.

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    Hi Bill! It’s a fact that Eggnogg is well-known band in States and Europe, but our goal to spread a Word even further! For we spread a Gospel of Doom as far as we can reach! You play loud psychedelic doom metal for about 4 years as Eggnogg, but as I know you played in another band before it. What is your musical background?

    We had a band throughout high school named GonZo, which we renamed Eggnogg just before the release of our debut album “The Three.” GonZo was conceived out of a mutual admiration for Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd. Our songs were typically mid-tempo riff rock with bluesy, space-rock lyrics. From the beginning though, we found ourselves delving into territory that lay far beyond the confines of 60s and 70s rock ‘n roll. We wrote a song called The Hive early on, which stood out as being quite a bit heavier than the rest of our songs. The Hive became a staple of our live shows, and it was an exciting new direction to take the music. We became more concerned with creating music that was new, personal, and valuable to us, and less concerned with playing in the style of our heroes from back in the golden days of rock music.

    How does the band change through the years? Can you say that you really develop as composer, as a poet and just as person?

    To me, it is more a matter of “development” than “change.” We’re putting out a lot of music that sounds different, but with each release, we’re getting around to expressing things that have been long planned, instead of consciously trying to change what we’re doing. So in the new songs, we’re developing ideas and influences that we’ve always had, to make them fit in the context of everything we’ve previously released. The songs that make it onto our albums are always years in the making---we let the ideas sit, to see what else may come along that fits. For example, the opening track on our upcoming LP, Rituals in Transfigured Time, was being written long before we even recorded the Moments in Vacuum album---I only got around to finalizing all the parts these past few months, and now we’re in the mixing process. We know we have a new album written when we’ve gathered a list of songs that flow together satisfactorily. If we come up with a new song that stands out too much from the others, we put it on the backburner, and sometimes rework it, until we have some other songs to complement it. In this way, our albums are not necessarily concept albums, but they are certainly more than just a haphazard collection of songs. We organize our track listings with regard to themes, and I’m never shy to dig far into the past to round out an album. It’s easier to speak about the creative process than about my individual development as a person. I can say with confidence, though, that I still strive to improve as a songwriter, musician, and as a person, and that likewise Eggnogg’s music will continue to reach new heights.

    Man. Look, you live in Brooklyn, New-York, but art-works of Eggnogg mostly consists of some farmer’s stuff: there were a bull (“The Three” album), a goat (“Nogg” album) and now you got a goose (“Louis” Ep). Do you have a country-side background? What do these images symbolize?

    I lived in the decrepit neighborhood of Corn Hill in the city of Utica, New York, until the age of two. After this, I lived out in the farm country of Marshall, New York for a big portion of my childhood. My childhood memories are of the country, cows, hayfields, etc., and not the concrete landscape where I was born and where I currently live. I never gave much thought to the overarching animal symbolism in our album art, but it certainly is influenced in part by where we grew up. But the bull upon the cover of “The Three” is, for me, a reference to the Sinai story, and its significance in the modern day. Justin has explained to me that the “goat” he drew for the Nogg EP cover is a markhor (he hasn’t divulged to me its significance). The cover of the Louis EP calls to mind the old West. An interpretation could be that the bird, a part of nature, is being disrupted by the introduction of railroads and industry, while the kneeling man is both mourning the change, and perpetrating it.

    Your last Ep “Louis” includes songs from 2006 or 2007, how much did you change in these songs before go and record it in a studio?

    The songs Baras Mogg and The Onceler were ones we had played back in 2006. Very little was changed concerning the arrangements, but our individual musicianship was tighter and more refined by the time of the “Louis” recordings. That’s not to say the songs didn’t sound good back in 2006, but there are things you can learn only through years of playing. My voice is a little deeper than it was six years ago (likely from years of shouting over heavy riffs), and my overall singing abilities have greatly improved. I’ve got more soul, and I’ve done much to “find my voice” since the earliest days of the band. The Squid/Fandangler was another song we had played back in the day, but for “Louis” we added quite a bit, and rearranged some of the riffs. Vermicious Knidds was a completely new composition in 2012.

    Who are those guys behind Palaver Records? It seems that they produce only Eggnogg’s albums, it’s suspicious… Did you threaten them?

    Palaver Records is an independent label based in Nashville, Tennessee. Located where they are, they’ve put out more country-oriented music. A lot of the stuff takes inspiration from classic rock though, particularly the band Buffalo Clover.

    The main and latest news from Eggnogg is your desire to release your third full-length album “You’re All Invited” as vinyl edition, why did you decide that it’s a right time for such release?

    It has always been my dream to put our music out on vinyl. A lot of people have contacted us trying to get our music on vinyl. It’s time to satisfy these fans, as well as ourselves.

    And what’s about new songs which will be included into “You’re All Invited”? Track-list consists only of three songs… Are they really so long?

    Well, The Rituals is around 22 minutes, but it’s more like seven different songs that flow together nicely. This song will have it all, from crushing doom to creepy psychedelia, and everything in between. The song Meshes of the Afternoon is quite long as well, but we’ve always had long songs on our albums. The final track Egg Nogg is more typical Eggnogg length, and we’ve decided to include a fourth track, entitled 100,000 B.C., which will be comparatively brief---three to four minutes in length. So everything we do will be represented on this new album---from the drawn-out epics to the shorter, straight-ahead heavy rock sound.

    Bill, I’ve heard that you have your own solo-project, what are main differences between it and Eggnogg? What is it’s state now?

    I put out an album entitled “Phillip’s Head” last March, as Bill o’Sullivan. The album is just me playing acoustic guitars and singing, so the instrumentation is the most obvious difference from Eggnogg. On top of that, I wrote every piece of music on the album, which makes it different from Eggnogg, because Eggnogg is more of a musical songwriting collaboration between Justin Karol and I. While there are certain Eggnogg songs where Justin writes all the music, or I write all the music, Eggnogg at its best has always been a combination of our best ideas.  The solo releases are an outlet for the music I write that doesn’t exactly fit with what Eggnogg is doing at the time. It simply wouldn’t make sense for a lot of the songs on “Phillip’s Head” to be on an Eggnogg album. But I’ve been writing and performing my own stuff since before Eggnogg had even released any music, and it is necessary for me to express these other aspects of my songwriting. I write all kinds of different things, and some of them can easily be reconciled with Eggnogg’s style, and some cannot. I figure anyone who can appreciate my singing and lyricism in Eggnogg would also enjoy my solo work, because they come from the same creative place. Right now, I’m working on doing another solo album, this time adding other instruments like drums and keyboards, and probably some electric guitar. “Phillip’s Head” was very stripped down, but I plan on doing this next album the justice of a full band.

    Interview By Aleks

    Official Website

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    Burning World Records is proud to present another signing for the new year. Virginia based WINDHAND are joining ranks with Conan, Slomatics, Black Magician and Lustmord among others. Commented label head honcho Jurgen about the release “Why we signed them? Just read some quotes below from reviews for their first album, then listen to it on Bandcamp ( and tell us what is not to like. The album is scheduled for a June 2013 release so you’ll have to wait a while before it’s out but we heard through the grapevine there will be some other WINDHAND releases to keep you warm till the summer.

    For those not in the know about the band, who share a bass player with the mighty Cough, read the excerpts below: ‘In the awesome graveyard of doom, another epic corpse has risen to bring the universe a new sound of black magic! They go by the name of WINDHAND. Every motherfucking thing about this album is straight Ultramatic Doomtastic – not one feeble or weak song in the bunch. WINDHAND’s songs are like watching a mystic candle, when the dancing flame has you under its’ spell, then you put some of the hot wax on your finger so you can be at one with the flame. This band’s slow, groovy bass lines are on fire, and trust me, you will not mind if they burn you just a little. ’ (CVLT Nation)

    ‘But what really makes Windhand stand out is singer Dorthia’s vocals which float omnipresently over the primal, molten riffing below her like a toxic vapour. On first listen I thought the singer was a man with a Perry Farrrell/Ozzy Osbourne-by-way-of-Mike Scheidt style delivery but further spins revealed the inherent and unique femininity in Dorthia’s warm voice. Even more impressive are her vocal melodies which are memorable and instantly familiar, particularly on “Heap Wolves” where the vocals weave in and out of the riffs in the way that Layne Staley worked his way around Alice in Chains’ twisted melodies.’ (The Sleeping Shaman).

    Source: The Sleeping Shaman

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    British doom legends CATHEDRAL are putting the finishing touches on what will be their last-ever album. Produced by Lee Dorrian and Garry Jennings, with assistance from Jaime Gomez Arellano, "The Last Spire" is scheduled for an April 20013 release via Rise Above Records.

    The track listing for the CD is as follows:

    01. Entrance To Hell
    02. Pallbearer
    03. Cathedral Of The Damned
    04. Tower Of Silence
    05. Infestation Of Grey Death
    06. An Observation
    07. This Body, Thy Tomb

    Non-album track "Vengeance Of The Blind Dead will appear as a flexi disc on the front cover of Decibel magazine in their March issue (on sale February 7). The band also recently shot a promotional video for the track "Tower Of Silence", which will be available to view some time in January. A photo from the shoot can be seen below. The song will appear on an exclusive Rise Above Records CD sampler to be given away with Classic Rock magazine towards the end of the same month.

    In related news, SEPTIC TANK, a band featuring CATHEDRAL members Scott Carlson, Garry Jennings and Lee Dorrian, will make its live debut at The Garage, Highbury & Islington on Friday, May 3. They will be openning for Carlson's legendary institution of grind, REPULSION, which will be performing its first U.K. headlining show. Special guests are NECROPHAGIA.

    SEPTIC TANK will release a very limited vinyl-only EP titled "The Slaughter" via Japan's MCR Records to coincide with the show. They will have a limited number of colour copies on sale exclusively at the event.

    "The Slaughter" track listing:

    Side A

    01. Fatal Eclipse
    02. Forest of Bones

    Side B

    01. Gotesque Cavalry of Mankind
    02. The Slaughter

    Influences for SEPTIC TANK range from CRUCIFIX to SEIGE to SLAUGHTER (Canada).

    Source: Blabbermouth.

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    Arkansas’ backwoods doomsayers RWAKE have announced a series of year-end shows to close out 2012. The festivities will commence December 19 in the band’s hometown of Little Rock. The band will then hit Nashville on December 28 and wrap up with a special show in Atlanta with Neurosis, Primate and US Christmas on December 29.

    RWAKE recently premiered their disturbingly controversial new video for “It Was Beautiful, But Now It’s Sour” via Noisey at this LOCATION. The 12-minute short film, directed by Danish horror aficionado Casper Haugegaard, features devastating slow motion close-ups of actual pig fetuses being absolutely annihilated by a variety of implements.

    RWAKE released Rest, their first album in over four years, last year to immense critical acclaim. The harrowingly beautiful progressive/doom/sludge masterpiece is currently available for streaming HERE.

    RWAKE Tour Dates:

    12/19/2012 White Water Tavern - Little Rock, AR w/ Sound of the Mountain, Peckerwolf
    12/28/2012 Exit In - Nashville, TN w/ Forest of Tygers, Hellbender
    12/29/2012 The Masquerade (upstairs) - Atlanta, GA w/ Neurosis, US Christmas, Primate [Tickets]

    “...ingenious, forward-thinking metal.” -- Pitchfork

    "Uncompromising and true, the band led by vocalist CT...have never wavered from their goal: exacting sonic hell on the listener." -- Metal Army America

    “It’s profoundly ugly music capable of great catharsis and, therefore, great beauty." -- Austin American Statesman

    “...dementedly brilliant.” -- Rock Sound

    “The most dangerous thing to come out of Arkansas since Bill Clinton's libido" – Terrorizer

    Relapse | Official Website
    Rwake | Facebook

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    Dragged Into Sunlight is not content to stay locked in a comfortable groove. Nothing about this mysterious English band is comfortable. Their last effort "Hatred for Mankind" was a volcanic eruption of ferociously extreme music merging death, black and doom metal into a musical holocaust. It was going to be very tough to surpass that record in terms of  rage, so "Widowmaker" doesn't really try.

    This is one of the bleakest and most challenging albums that's ever crossed my path. The amount of despair that this inflicts is pretty much beyond words and a good deal of the album doesn't even fall under the "metal" banner at all. I cannot say that it is leaves more of a mark on me than "Hatred For Mankind"...but it does leave a mark. A sullen bruise instead of a bleeding gash, let's say.

    The 40 minute effort is divided into three nameless movements. The biggest challenge almost every listener will have is making it past the first 15 minutes. That movement is downbeat and suicidally depressing more than anything I've heard. It's not metal at all, but a somber, gloomy funeral march built upon a piano foundation that keeps increasing in decrepitude. It reached a point where I finally started getting bored and then another point beyond that where it was almost too much to take. I understand the process of tension in music, but this pushes it past the breaking point, as you keep waiting for the ferocious monster we heard on "Hatred for Mankind" to emerge. It does, but you have to force yourself past this wall of gloom to reach it.

    It's almost a relief when filthy, roaring guitar explodes in the second movement. But here also there's a change. "Widowmaker" is much more of a pure sludge record in this second part, with only occasional bursts of high speed. It is punishing filth in the vein of Eyehategod and Iron Monkey. Lots of brutal riffs here, but some are quite catchy and there's none of the total cacophony the band has indulged in previously. The second movement is the most "orthodox" part of the record, but still very suffocating and oppressive.

    That feeling continues in the third and final movement, with monolithic doom riffing, hate-filled screams and roars and some fast thrashing. But then it becomes more angular and spiky and unorthodox. There's a drop down in a more melodic but still bleak soundscape until the album builds back up to its final movement, where I can compare the music to a rusted iron tower collapsing slowly into rubble. The end.

    Not too many will be able to endure this colossus of crushing despair. The opening movement will really test your will. But for those who can take the journey, "Widowmaker" offers brutality of a more emotional kind. This is a very intriguing second release from Dragged Into Sunlight.

    Words: Dr. Mality

    Official Website

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    Underrated and incredibly consistent, Dali's Llama have put out a dozen or so releases in a dozen or so years that have never been anything less than excellent. Whenever I sit down to listen to this band I can't help but think about the hey-day of the Mans Ruin record label and the birth and peak of the stoner-rock movement. It was a time when you could close your eyes and blindly pick out an album from your local music store's stoner section (if they had one) and you would be satisfied every-time. It was a magical time, a time when band after band would emerged seemingly out of nowhere and with a killer album recorded and released. Maybe we were just lucky and maybe we were just spoiled at the time but the stoner/desert rock scene back then was amazingly solid and nothing like the patchy stoner scene that exists today.

    When you first hear this band, you think Fu Manchu, Dozer, and of course Kyuss and just like those bands at their peak, this band never releases inconsistent albums. 'Autumn Woods' is a no-holds barred start to finish riff-a-thon that avoids following any one formula and yet this is one of the freshest sounding stoner-rock/metal albums released all year. Their official website describes this album as ....."Heavy Metallic Punk Rock on the Doom and Roll. The 10th Dali's Llama album Autumn Woods blends punk aggression and energy with metal doom heaviness. Produced by the legendary Scott Reeder (bass player - Kyuss, The Obsessed) and mastered by JJ Golden (mastering - OFF!, The Sword). This cd has a similar vibe to Danzig, Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Witch, Zeke, The Damned and Killing Joke". As accurate as that is, they actually sell themselves a little short with that description. One song on this album ('Blowholes and Fur') has a distinct Deep Purple flavor for example but that is only one small piece to the puzzle.

    It could be argued that the best stoner/desert rock had a punky quality and after all, the original stoner bands all had one foot in the punk rock scene of the 90's and Dali's Llama do have the metallic-punk meets stoner/garage rock thing perfected in every possible way. However the band isn't your typical stoner-metal act as this has more nods to the 70's hard rock scene than it does 90's desert rock. There is a quality to the songwriting and musicianship that is usually only ever heard from 70's bands which puts this head and shoulders above most other similar bands. I almost feel like song-titles and a track by track review is almost pointless with a band like this. They rarely produce anything that could be classed as "filler" but I will name a few highlights.

    The opening 'Bad Dreams' sounds like Motorhead after too many bongs but it kicks total ass. Original band member Zach is again in top form, playing like a demon and with a voice to match. 'Goatface' is next and is one the albums more "retro-rock" sounding tracks with great infectious grooves. 'Nostalgia' makes the marrying of punk-like energy and stoner blues seem effortless while the almost 10 minute marathon which is the title track is simply a orgasmic romp of traditional doom and bluesy 70's proto-metal and is possibly the darkest, doomiest track the band has ever recorded. The albums most sabbathian moment quite appropriately comes in a tune called 'The Gods' which is more than a fitting title for this riff-fest of a tune. Elsewhere the songs range from stoner blues to doom to bludgeoning punk-metal and there is not a nano-second wasted.

    After so many years together and with so much music recorded already, it is remarkable that Dali's Llama have still yet to make a wrong turn in their recording career. There is NO other stoner-ish band band with this much consistently good music under their belts. Even so-called gods Kyuss had some iffy moments just 3 albums into their career while Fu Manchu were making some questionable musical decisions a decade or more ago (and still are in my opinion). Dali's Llama continue to satisfy all these years later and now I have read somewhere that someone is making a documentary about them and about time. There are not many other bands within the stoner-rock scene that deserves a film made about them like the Llama do. The band will continue to carry on under-appreciated which is the only tragedy to speak of here. The album is a near perfect example of how to make passionate hard rock music without following a specific formula but without avoiding what makes heavy music so great as in great riffs, vocals and melodies. 'Autumn Woods' is no better or no worse than anything else they have released, in other is excellent...check it out....9.5/10.

    Words: Ed & Sally

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