Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Barren Altar Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
1. Started in the fall of 2013 with the intention of blending depressive funeral doom with furious black metal elements, a style we felt was underrepresented in our local metal scene at the time. We all draw from our eclectic tastes, themes, musical truths, and strive to covey all of this in a live setting and on our recordings.

2.How would you describe the musical sound that has been presented on the recordings you have released so far?
2. We can only express a specific performance on a recording based on where we are all at in that moment in time. It's a captured essence of what we were channeling during the recording sessions. Each performance is an engagement along with those around us in a collective gathering coping with the harsh realities of the human condition that we are all dealing with at that moment in time. Each gathering is unique and fleeting.

3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical content that is presented on the full length that is coming out this year?
3. Each song is a meditation on destruction. Destroying our gods, destroying ourselves, and destroying each other.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Barren Altar'?
4. The Barren Altar is the ritual site where man in his desperation finally prostrates himself before the void. He begs for forgiveness and absolution. He offers prayers and sacrifices that are destined to go unanswered, for all prayer is vanity and no one is there to listen.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
5. Our first show out in the middle of a forest was an amazing experience. From the sweltering heat of the set to the epic late night adventure roaming the woods. There are still ripples from that set that affect us and our opportunities to this day. Also, some of our other early shows had a special magic to them when we were first galvanizing our band, seeing how the energy consumed yet rose higher than its sum, almost breathing a life of its own that we still conjure on stage to this day.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans once the album is released?
6. Yes, we're going on a 12 day west coast run up to Seattle and back and everywhere in between, June 21st to July 2nd.

7.Last year you where a part of a split with 'Argentavas', what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the recording?
7. Love those guys, stalwarts of the local scene. In fact, their bass player joined forces with us last year and is doing a phenomenal job.


8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
8. If the right label comes our way with an offer we'd be interested. We'd also like to have a label press our works on vinyl at some point in the near future.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and funeral doom metal?
9. Can't speak for worldwide response, but as far as the Bay Area metal scene is concerned we've received very positive feedback from bands that share similar ethos, concert goers that catch our live sound and energy.

10.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
10. We are all involved in other projects, either bands that existed before ours, or new collaborations with members of other bands in our local scene.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
11. Continuing down the same dark path until the coming storm pulls us into the void.

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
12. Anything from classics like Black Sabbath, King Crimson, and The Doors to modern day black metal, Enslaved, Borknagar, Death Spell Omega, Blut Aus Nord, Svartidaudi, to sludgy/doom bands like Hell, Yob, Thou, Sleep, Chrch, and Primitive Man.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?
13. Being disappointed every morning that we didn't die in our sleep and have to go to work.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
14. Fuck life, worship death, live for never.



Goat Disciple Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little about the band?

We're just a bunch of no good Heathens having a good time making music. We started about 5 years ago. We've added another guitarist to the fold since the e.p. was recorded as well as a new drummer...

2.You have an ep coming out in June, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

Ominous & Relentless.

3.When I listened to the ep you had a musical style that was closer to the 90's era of war metal which was different from the more modern era of the genre, which era do you prefer?

There are great bands and Influences of ours in both eras...  dont have a preference.

4.The band is from Salt Lake City which has the highest Mormon population anywhere, do you feel having to deal with these religious freaks on a level worse than the rest of the country adds  a lot of the hate into your musical style?

All of these religions are just as shitty and self centered as the rest. I personally came from a psychotic Christian family and another one of us, from a clueless mormon family and so on. it's not what our music is based around but could have definitely influenced our own aggressions...
-R.S.

5.One of your tracks deals with the Qliphoth while another one is about 'Mammon', can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the left hand path currents?

I am speaking personally as the one who wrote the lyrics, my interest in the left hand path is strictly observatory, after past participatory experiences (albeit they being mostly unintentional).  I am finding it difficult to name individuals who have followed these creeds and not slowly degenerated to excessive, habitual hedonism, ignorant to their transformations into dishonorable and contemptible clowns, or simply found themselves in complete ruin.  I have met those who would go on the defensive, alluding to the "Road of Excess/Tigers of Wrath" quote by Blake, I am not holding my breath for them, though.  Honestly, I those who had success with these methodologies are likely in positions of very high power, such as politicians, "secret chiefs", and would likely not speak about it altogether.  Each member of the band may have a different outlook on this, however. 
-A. Mire


6.You also have a track that covers the Siddhi, how would you compare the workings of Eastern Occultism to Western Occultism?

I have benefited greatly from delving into both.  Again, I am reluctant to comment in the context of black and death metal.  I think the forum for that content has been abused and diluted everything from infinite, meaningless obfuscations. 
-A. Mire


7.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical content on the song 'Black Skull Hypogogue'?

This song is inspired by sleep paralysis.
-A. Mire




8.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Goat Disciple'?

The name is what we came up with. A fairly generic black metal band name that we definitely like but weren't too concerned about assuming our music would speak for itself.

9.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

We have been pretty lucky with the string of shows we've gotten to open. Our first show was opening for The Mighty Archgoat followed by Hades Archer, Antichrist, Impiety and in July 2018 Mortuary Drape & Volahn. As for our stage performance not much into "gimmicks" or anything really. Again, we'd like to think our music speaks for itself. so theres no talking in between songs. Shout outs, or thank you's. Just us playing our set to the best of our abilities and enjoying our time.

10.Do you have any touring or show plans for the rest of 2018?

The only show booked is Mortuary Drape & Volahn in July 2018. Our hopes are to get on some good fests and keep playing shows with excellent bands, as we've done so far. 

11.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of war metal?

We have heard a lot of good feedback. How far our music has reached out, in the underground is unknown and I'm sure, as with anything, there will be people who hate it but that is no concern of ours. If people like our music then, Fuck Yeah. If not, we do.
-R.S

12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

No plans of change. We will continue down the path that we have chosen...

13.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

We are all fans of The underground war/black/death/thrash/doom. For me, personally Destroyer 666, Diocletian, Nocturnal Blood/T.H.P., Profanatica, Massacre, Arghostlent/G.B.K., Kerasphorus, Hypocrisy, Archgoat, Katharsis, Demoncy, Cemetery Urn, Order From Chaos, and many more have been a huge influence on myself and the music I write.
-R.S.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts? "You either get it or you don't"

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Moonreich/Fugue/Les Acteurs de l'Ombre Productions/2018 CD Review


  Moonreich  are  a  band  from  France  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  very  fast,  aggressive  and  melodic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Fugue"  which  will  be  released  in  June  by  Les  Acteurs  de  l'Ombre  Productions,

  Melodic  guitar  leads  start  off  the  album  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  along  with  the  riffs  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  as well  as  the  vocals  being  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  spoken  word  parts  are  also  used  at  times.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  acoustic  guitars  can  also  be  heard  at  times  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  at  times  the  music  also  brings  in  elements  of  post  black  metal.

  On  this  recording  Moonreich  takes  a  very  melodic  and  traditional  style  of  black  metal  and  mixes  in  some  of  the  more  modern  post  style  to  create  an  album t hat  really  stands  out,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  French  and  cover  war  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Moonreich  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  aggressive,  melodic  and  post  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "With  Open  Throat  For  Way  Too  Long"  and  "The  Things  Behind  The  Moon".  8  out  of  10.  

Pensees Nocturnes/Grotesque/Les Acteurs de l'Ombre Productions/2018 Vinyl Re-Issue Review


  Pensees  Nocturnes  are  a  solo  project  from  France  that  plays  a  mixture  of neo-classical,  experimental.  and  avant  garde  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2010  album  "Grotesque"  which  was  re-issued  on  vinyl  in  2018  by  Les  Acteurs  de  l'Ombre  Productions. 

  Neo-classical  and  militant  beats  start  off  the  album  which  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  along  with  some  audience  reaction  being  used  briefly  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling.

  Vocals are  a  mixture  of  black  metal screams  and  clean  avant  garde singing  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  at  times  the  music  gets  very  experimental  and  most  of  the  tracks a re  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Clean  playing  and  acoustic  guitars  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  music  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  some  stringed  instruments  also  being  utilized  at  times  and  the  songs  also  mix  in  a  great  amount  of  depressive  elements  and  the  tracks  also  mixes  in  a  great  amount  of  influences  from  other  styles  of  music  and  the  album  closes  with  an  instrumental. 

  Pensees  Nocturnes  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  depressive  black  metal,  experimental,  avant  garde  and  neo-classical  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  something  very  original,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  French  and  cover  nihilism,  solitude  and  nature  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Pensees  Nocturnes  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  depressive  black  metal,  experimental,  avant  garde  and  neo-classical  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should check  out  this  solo  project.Paria"  and  "Thokk".  8/5  out  of  10. 

Abominablood Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new ep?
Greetings! The band is currently preparing their second EP entitled "M.U.E.R.T.E.S" -Terminal Presence-, which will be ready by the end of July, we are also headed for our first album "Altar of Maximun Negative Spirituality" where we already declared the 10 years in this decadent plane.

2.Recently you have released a new ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
It is obvious that our new Mlp "Abomination Continue" has a more refined and more direct sound, but without losing its primitive and brutal essence. For example, it is recorded with microphones in the battery without any tricks or triggers etc .With respect to our other works we can only say that things are happening as they take their course and that is a very important evolution or whatever you want to call it. Each release recorded is to achieve a different sound for something that is "other material"


3.Over the years your lyrics have covered a lot of satanic and occult themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the dark arts?
My interest in dark arts not only comes from my influences in Black Metal or Dark Metal, there is an astral chart that connects me with several of my elements where my will and spirit works. Abominablood is the source of maximum power and manifestation of an entity that flows from the most macabre myths or is the key to the final vacuum.

4.Some of the lyrics on the new ep also deal with Pazuzu and Kali, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in Sumerian and Indian deities?
Yes, both are shown with great respect in our lyrics of the new MLP. Being from other lands (Argentina / Patagonia) we have other cultures and other demons, entities, shamans, witches, does not mean that we do not trust "our" ancestors here.Even several of the arts or photos of our previous works refer to much of the occultism here. Also the word Argentina comes from the Latin argentum ('silver') Austrum Argentum? I do not know if it reminds you of something? In short, the lyrics are very personal (nothing that the rest can not understand, if you are standing on firm ground) and are a tribute to them from us.


5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Abominablood'?
Well throughout these years Abominablood has taken a positive turn to all its goals that it has programmed. But in the beginning, it was not taken as a "serious" band, many compared Abominablood with Teitanblood as a mockery or a positive to the sound that the band offers.I will never deny that I am a great Teitanblood fan and it is obvious that playing Black/Death Metal, my music will sound similar, so it does not bother me in the least when Abominablood is compared to Teitanblood.On the contrary, if you have a good music sense you are going to realize that our band has something else to offer as we are from another country and not Spain (Europe is easier to play this kind of music). We live in a city that is practically a town where we have a very many closed minded metal heads, we have another approach to things. Abominablood is a mixture of Abomination (what the band was based about all this time) and Blood (for black magic ritual).


6.On the recordings you have worked mostly as a duo, is it hard to find other members that share the same visions as you?
Definitely it's always a problem to look for musicians, that's why we do not play live. The instruments are divided between
Venomous (Drums, Voice, Guitars, Concept) and F.D (Guitars, Bass).

7.The new ep was relased on 'Cyclopean Eye Productions', how did you get in contact with this label?
It was not me who got in touch with them, all this was through my friend Dagon of the magnificent band Inquisition! He listen to my music and immediately contacted Sandesh, so that this material could be put out on a professional cd format.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer music by fans of black and death metal?
Really good!There have been many mails and many messages to our page from Poland, Italy, Mexico, Germany, Usa, and many other places etc.

9.What is going on with 'Vomit Of Doom' these days?
We are recording our second long play entitled "Tormento Delirium" that will be available in the month of July on cassette and CDs format and possibly some copies on vinyl and we will try to promote the material as much as possible by hand or letter promos.


10.When can we expect another Abominablood full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
From both bands (Abominablood and Vomit of Doom) there will be new material this year. We will also work with the same musicians in a Death Metal project called Pure Massacre and the Immortal Fate style, Blood ..., soon we will release a promo demo.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Well my influences of all times are Sodom, Sarcófago , Beherit, Blasphemy, Conqueror, Naked Whipper, Angel Corpse, Baphomet, Krabathor, Master, Blood and Phlegm. But lately I'm very much into bands like Sacrocurse, Profane Order, Aima, Supremative, Black Blood Invocation, Vomit Angel, Altar Of Gore, Konflict, and many more that from around the globe.I'm always trying to get some demos or things from the underground scene world-wide.


12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Stay submerged in the depths of Metal Underground and devote your time in supporting and not criticizing, otherwise make your own band and let the rest work.

By Venomous

Monday, May 21, 2018

In Tenebriz/Winternight Poetry/Symbol Of Domination Productions/More hate Productions/2018 CD Review


  In  Tenebriz  are  a  solo  project  from  Russia  that  plays  a  mixture  of  ambient,  atmospheric  black  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2018  album  "Winternight  Poetry"  which  will  be  released  on  May  25th  as  a  joint  effort  between  Symbol  Of  Domination  and  More  Hate  Productions.

  Ambient  style  synths  start  off  the  album  and  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  while  the  slow  riffs  are  very  heavily  rooted  in  doom  metal  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  modern,  melodic  and  atmospheric  style  and  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  melody.

  Vocals  are  mostly  grim  yet  depressive  black  metal  screams  while  growls  are  also  used  at  times  along  with  a  couple  of  the  tracks  being  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  a  brief  use  of  acoustic  guitars.  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  instrumental  can  be  heard  and  all  of  the  songs  stick  to  a  slow  direction  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to   them.

  In  Tenebriz  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  ambient,  doom  and  atmospheric  black  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  his  own,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  poetic  themes.

  In  my  opinion  In  Tenebriz  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  ambient,  atmospheric  black  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "I" "III"  and  "VII".  8  out  of  10.

Autumnwind/Endless Fear/Symbol Of Domination Productions/More Hate Productions/2018 CD Review


  Autumnwind  are  a  band  from  Syria  that  plays  a  mixture  of  ambient  and  atmospheric  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Endless  Fear"  which  was  released  as  a  joint  effort  between  Symbol  Of  Domination  and  More  Hate  Productions.

  Ambient  style  synths  start  off  the  album  which  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  along  with  all  of  the  tracks  being  all  instrumental  and  there  are  also  a  couple  of  songs  that  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  The  synths  also  bring  in  a  variety  of  many  different  sounding  keys  while  the  music  also  gets  very  atmospheric  at  times  along  with  the  drum  beats  being  programmed  as  well  as  the  riffs   and  guitar  leads also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  the  music  sticks  to  mostly  a  slow  or  mid  paced  direction.

  Autumnwind  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  an  instrumental  form  of  atmospheric  black  metal  and  mixes  it  with  ambient  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own  and  the  production  sounds  very  professional.

  In  my  opinion  Autumnwind  are  a  very  great  sounding  instrumental  mixture  of  ambient  and  atmospheric  black  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Hallucination"  and  "Endless  Fear".  8  out  of  10.   

Aornos/The Great Scorn/Symbol Of Domination Productions/Ira Aeterna/The True Plague/Black Metal Records/2018 CD Review


  Hungary's  solo  project  Aornos  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues  the  atmospheric  style  of  black  metal  from  previous  releases  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2018  album  "The  Great  Scorn"  which  was  released  as  a  joint  effort  between  Symbol  Of  Domination  Productions,  Ira  Aeterna,  The  True  Plague  and  Black  Metal  Records.

  A  very  dark,  heavy  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  the  synths  also  give  the  music  more  of  an  atmospheric  feeling  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  edge  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams.

  Clear  vocals  and  spoken  words  can  also  be  heard  at  times  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  more  of  a  melodic  style  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  as  well  as  some  spoken  word  parts  also  being  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts,   their  is  also  a  brief  instrumental  before  closing  the  album  with  a  couple  of  tracks  that  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Aornos  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  the  atmospheric  style  of  black  metal  from  previous  releases,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  cosmos,  nature  and  existence  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  album  from  Aornos  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  atmospheric  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "From  A  Higher  Reality"  "The  Great  Scorn"  and  "Adamante  Notare".  8  out  of  10.

  

Aetranok/Kingdoms Of The Black Sepulcher/Symbol Of Domination Productions/Death Portal Studio/2018 CD Review


  Aetranok  are  a  band  from  Aztec,  New  Mexico  that  plays  a  very  atmospheric  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Kingdoms  Of  The  Black  Sepulcher"  which  was  released  as  a  joint  effort  between  Symbol  Of  Domination  Productions  and  Death  Portal  Studio.

  Militant  drum  beats  along  with  some  atmospheric  sounding  keyboards  start  off  the  album  which  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  blast beats  and  tremolo  picking  which  also  gives  the  songs  a  more  raw  feeling.

   Vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  while  growls  can  also  be  heard  at  times  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  the  riffs  also  using  a  decent  amount  of  melody  as  well  as  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  a  few  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  sci-fi  atmosphere  and  on  the  closing  track  the  music  goes  into  more  of  a  ritualistic  direction.

  Aetranok  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  atmospheric  and  keyboard  orientated  while  still  being  very  aggressive  at  the  same  time,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  while  the  lyrics  cover  Nihilism  and  Occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Aetranok  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Ov  Precipice  And  Bestial  Purity"  "The  Lament  Of  Seraphs"  and  "Infernal  Vestiges   

Curse Upon A Prayer/The Three Woes/Saturnal Records/2018 EP Review


  Finland's  Curse  Upon  A  Prayer  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  with  the  music  being  more  of  a  blasphemous  and  anti  Islamic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  ep  "The  Three  Woes"  which  will  released  in  June  by  Saturnal  Records.

  A  very  fast  and  raw  musical sound  starts  off  the  ep  along  with  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  most  of  the  tracks are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Vocals  are  mostly  grim yet  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  while  the  music  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  but  modern  at  the  same  time  along  with  the  tracks  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  one  track  also  adds  in  a  few  seconds  of  synths  and  clean  guitars.

  On  this  recording  Cursed  U[on  A  Prayer  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  very  heavily  influenced  by  the  raw,  melodic  and  atmospheric  sides  of  black  metal,  the  production  sounds very  raw  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  blasphemous  and  anti  Islamic  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Curse  Upon  A  Prayer  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  melodic,  blasphemous  and  anti  Islamic  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Thous  Shalt  be  Cursed".  8  out  of  10.    

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Brahdr'uhz/Land Of Darkness/Grimm Distribution/Lepre Productions/2018 Compilation Review


  Brahdr'uhz  are  a  duo  from  Switzerland  that  plays  a  very  raw  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  compilation  album  "Land  Of  Darkness"  which  was  released  as  a  joint  effort  between  Grimm  Distribution  and  Lepre  Productions.

  A  very  fast  and  raw  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  along  with  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  a  few  seconds  later  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  yet  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  as  well  as  the  music  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  dark,  raw  and  melodic  style  while  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length    along  with  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  when  keyboards  are  utilized  briefly  they  bring  in  the  atmosphere  of  a  classic  horror  movie  and  as  the  album  progresses  more  modern  influences  can  also  be  heard  as  well  as  some  of  the  riffing  bringing  in  a  small  amount  of  melody  and  acoustic  guitars  are  added  onto  the  closing  track  which  is  also  an  instrumental.

  Brahdr'uhz  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  raw  and  traditional  sounding  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics are  written  in  Swiss  and  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Brahdr'uhz  are  a  very  great  sounding  raw  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  compilation.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Desmahavos"  "Stalegrada"  "Dejsstrina"  and  "Dsysjiflet".  8  out  of  10.  

Akhenaten/Goldern Serpent God/Satanath Records/Cimmerian Shade Recordings/Murdher Records/2018 CD Review


  Akhenaten  are  a  band  from  Manitou  Springs,  Colorado  that  has  had  an  album  reviewed  before in  this  zine  and  plays  a  mixture  of  black,  death  metal  and  middle  eastern  folk  music  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  album  "Golden  Serpent  God"  which  will  be  released  on  May  31st  as  a  joint  effort  between  Cimmerian  Shade  Recordings,  Murdher  and  Satanath  Records.

  Atmospheric  soundscapes  along  with  some  acoustic  guitars  and  middle  eastern  folk  music  elements  start  off  the  album  which  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  as  well  as  some  death  metal  growls  also  being  used  at  times.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  along  with  the  music  also  sounding  very  tribal  at  times  and  the  son gs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  few  instrumentals  can  also be  heard   before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  on  the  following  tracks  as  well  as  a  couple  of  songs  also  introducing  spoken  word  parts  and  melodic  chants  onto  the  recording. 

  Akhenaten  creates  another  recording  that  continues  the  black,  death  metal  and  middle  eastern  folk  music  mixture  of  previous  releases,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Mesopotamian  and  Egyptian  Mythology  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  album  from  Akhenaten  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  middle  eastern  folk music,  black  and  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Dragon  Of  The  primordial  Sea"  "Through  The  Stargate"  "God  Of  Creation"  and  "Apophis:  The  Serpent  Of  Rebirth".  8  out  of  10.          

Panchrysia/Dogma/Satanath Records/2018 CD Review


  Panchrysia  are  a  band  from  that  plays  a  very  modern  and  traditional  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Dogma"  which  was  released  by  Satanath  Records.

  Drum  beats  along  with  some  melodic  yet  heavy  riffing  starts  off  the  album  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  while  the  vocals  are  done  in  a  mixture  of  shouts  and  black  metal  screams  as  well  as  the  tremolo  picking  giving  the  songs  a  more  raw  feeling.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also h ear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  all  of  the  musical instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  as  well  as  some  songs  also  adding  in  spoken  word  parts  and  one  track  also  adds  in  a  brief  use  of  middle  eastern  style  instruments  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  atmospheric  sounds  can  also  be  heard  and  on  the  closing  track  early  20th  century  music  samples  can  be  heard  briefly.

  Panchrysia  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  modern  yet  retains  a  lot  of  the  more  classic  traditional  sound  of t he  genre,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  mythological  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Panchrysia  are  a  very  great  sounding  modern  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Each  Against  All"  "War  With  Heaven"  and  "Rats".  8  out  of  10.

Striborg/Mysterious Semblance/Satanath Records/Death Portal Studio/2018 CD Re-issue Review


  This  is  a  review  of  another  recording  from  Striborg  which  is  also  in  the  ambient  style  of  black  metal  and  the  album  was  originally  released  in  2004  and  called  "Mysterious  Semblamce"  with  the  re-issue  being  released  in  2018  as  a  joint  effort  between  Satanath  Records  and  Death  Portal  Studio.

  Ambient  style  synths  and  drones  start  off  the  album  which  also  mix  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  A  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  tremolo   picking  riffs  giving  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling  as  well  as  most  of  the  drum  beats  being  programmed  and  as  the  album  progresses  an  ambient  instrumental  is  added  onto  the  recording  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  on  the  following  tracks  and  at  times  the  music  gets  very  depressive  and  there  are  also  3  bonus  tracks  that  where  not  included  on  the  original.

  On  this  recording  Striborg  took  a  very  raw  style  of  black  metal  and  mixes  it  with  a  great  amount  of  dark  ambient  and  drone  elements  to  create  an  album  that  was  very  different  for  its  time,  the  production  sounds  very  dark,  raw  and  lo-fi  while  the  lyrics  cover  nights,  misanthropy,  forests,  death  and  depression  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Striborg  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  ambient  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  re-issue.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Mysterious  Semblance  Of  Spectral  Trees"  "The  Ghostly  Pallad  Hand  of  Fear"  and "Lurking  The  Murking  Damp  Forest".  8/5  out  of  10. 

     

Vanhelga/Fredagsmys/Osmose Productions/2018 CD Review


  Sweden's Vanhelga  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues  their  atmospheric  mixture  of  post  black  metal  and  depressive  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Fredagsmys"  which  will  be  released  in  June   by  Osmose  Productions.

  Melodic  riffing  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  keyboards  a  few  seconds  later  before  going  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  musical  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  also  using  a  great  amount  of  melody.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  clean  playing  and  acoustic  guitars  is  also  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  the  music  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  depressive  rock  elements  as  well  as  some  melodic  vocals  and  spoken  word  parts  also  being  utilized  at  times  and  as  the  album  progresses  the  music  starts  adding  in  more  post  rock  influences,  death  metal  growls  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  they  close  the  album  with  an  instruemntal.

  Vanhelga  creates  another  recording t hat  remains  true  to  their  atmospheric  mixture  of  post  black  metal  and  depressive  rock,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  a  mixture  of  Swedish  and  English  and  cover  personal  issues,  suicide,  melancholy  and  hate  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Vanhelga  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  atmospheric,  post  black  metal  and  depressive  rock,  you  should  check  ut  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Somnparalys"  "Ensam  Mot  Alla"  "Keep  The  Window  Closed"  and  "You  are  Temporary".  8  out  of  10.      

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Tyhja Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

We formed the band in fall of 2016 after 10 or more years of trying to find the time and motivation for it. We played in The Republic Of Desire from 97 to 2010 when I left the band due to personal reasons. We began planning to form a band together somewhere in the early 00's but found out that there wasn't time or need for it due to things with The Republic going so well.



2.So far you have released one ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

Aggresive and raw burst of hate. It's recorded 100% analog and mostly on one take, we had only two days booked at Astia Studios for recording, mixing and mastering it. So there simply wasn't time to do overdubs or retakes. All the drum, bass and guitar tracks were recorded simultaneously, then the second guitar and finally the vocals.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

Lyrics for this EP were written and sung by Kylliäinen whit whom we've since parted ways. We had discussions about the lyrics and the subject matters, but ultimately he had the freedom to write what he wanted.

The four songs can be viewed as parts of a longer story in wich the main character is betrayed by his friends thus losing faith in mankind and humanity. He then tries to return to the world and to his fellow men wich he left behind but sees that it's become impposible due to reasons not in his control anymore. In isolation he then comes to an conclusion that he no more wants to be a part of this world nor mankind and chooses death by his own hand. But they were written as individual pieces.


4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Tyhja'?

Tyhjä translates to empty, void, nothing, blank etc. Wich can be viewed as the pure state of consciousness or the true infinite state of cosmos. Inspiration for the name arose from my long studies and experiements of Buddhist teachings and meditation, where silencing your inner voice with wich your ego speaks to you is crucial for one to exceed the limitations of ”normal”  consciousness. It resonated with the other members, wich I believe have their own explanations and views of the word, so we kept it. It was also the first that we thought of and finally decided to keep it, there were a lot of alternatives to choose from in the end.

5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the logo, it looks like there are a few runes in it?

The logo has double-crosses in first, middle and last letters wich is the symbol for the hermetic maximum ”as above, so below”. The runes are Fehu and Ansuz Murkstave.
I had a vision of the three double-crosses, with the middle one being a double double-cross in my head very early on. It has its own meaning wich, once again, differs from person to person and because of that should be left to the viewer to figure out.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Everyone of them has been great and a bit different. We like to keep as much of control in our own hands as possible, starting from the bands we share the stage with, lighting, props etc. So it depends a lot of the evening. Sometimes it's a whole show with smoke, intros, blood, lights, incense and so on. Sometimes it's just us giving everything we've got, not caring if our fingers bleed or teeth are broken.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

We've been asked to do some gigs with Kasvoton and Deadneck after the summer, wich we'll gladly  do because they're great bands and good friends with us. After those it really depends on the gig and the venue, squats, shitholes, whatever. If we want and are able to do it we'll do it and work with whatever we can find to create somekind of atmophere. But it all depends on the overall ”feeling” of the evening, organizer, other bands, venue etc. If it doesn't feel right we wont do it, we have no need to do gigs whenever it's possible, we do them when it's appropriate for us or the other bands and venue.

8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

The nameless/. EP  will be officaly released in co-operation with Void Wanderer and Goatlordth at the end of May as an limited edition digipack. We have the rights for the material and they keep whatever the income from the sales is.  We printed some promotional copies of the EP to send to companies and to sell at gigs, however none of the companies we sended them have responded.

White Wolf from Italy was the first to contact us about the release, at that time we were still waiting responses from the companies that we had send the promo records. Goatlordth then asked to release it in Filippines and soon after Void Wanderer proposed to release it as their first release under their own label.

We turned down a lot of other offers because: Most of them wanted more money from us, on top of that wich we had allready spent on the studio and printing of the record. That's just not how it works in these modern days, releasing music by ourselves is so much easier than it was in the early 00s. How much I despise these modern times I can't deny the benefits of its fruits, one doesn't need a record company to release and sell their records anymore, ofcourse it helps a lot to have someone doing the business side for them though.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal and crust?

It's been suprisingly positive so far. We received some criticism about the lyrical subjects not including satanic elements and therefore expelling us from being Black Metal at all, wich I fully understand. It's been an eye opening experience to witness the exposure the EP had in such short time, bearing in mind the last time we released anything was the Tower with Republic Of Desire in 2008(?) and it was a lot longer proscess back then to get any feedback.

10.Are any of the other band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?

Our bass player Peuhkuri is busy with his main band Madred and some other groups he performs with. I'm doing some occasional gigs with noise/ambient group OK as KUOLT wich is my Noise project, TYHJÄ being the main band for me and Jarva.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Blacker and harder. We're focusing more on writing the songs as whole pieces, lyrical side being more in contact with the music and so on. The EP was written, recorded and released during the course of one year, during wich the band was formed. So it's an honest piece of work, us letting out all the hatred and disgust we had build up during the years. We're now crafting material for a full length, wich will be a more focused entirety.

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Black metal, past and present obviously, older Hardcore, Grincore etc. When 1349 released Liberation it had an huge impact. So did Tragedys Venegance and Mayhems Wolfslair abyss to name a few records.

Lately I've been listening to Grafvitnir, Theurgia, Iskra (wich was used as an reference to describe our music by one of our fans), Portal, Abigors latest, Schammasch, Nightbringer, Alkhlys and early WITTR. 

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

Studying the occult and the esoteric teachings, mostly trough writings of Star Of Azazels Nefastos, who've had an huge impact on my views of Lucifer and the left hand path since I and Jarva met him in the early 00s. I strayed away from all of it somewhere in 2007 but in 2011 we were on the beach with my wife and children when some guy rode a jet ski trough the lake and handed me the Vasemman käden tie (left hand path) book by Nefastos and  tried to convince us that in that book there's the love and the truth. And from that moment on I've been entering, or returning, deeper and deeper to the esoteric world, wich I'm convinced is true and the truth. 

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Know and respect your roots, grow to the full potential of thyself and don't be a fucking dick to others. Support the underground and the local scene. Use your time in this vessel wisly and preserve the land for future generations.
Ave Satan.

Imperious Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
We are very happy and excited about the signing with Massacre Records. At the moment we are busy with preparing the worldwide release of the “Tales Of Woe” and looking forward to it and the reactions it will get.

2.How would you describe the musical sound of the newer music?
Epic, melodic & atmospheric but also harsh, fast & aggressive. It depends on the mood and the emotions we want to create.

3.Your last 2 albums where based on Homer's "The Odyssey", what was the decision behind doing a black metal version of the classic novel?
The Odyssey contains a lot of inspiring substance to work with. Very detailed and versatile discriptions of emotions the characters go through and exhibit. In my opinion black metal suits very good for expressing different types of emotions and so it suits very good for setting music to Homer's Odyssey

4.You have also explored the Roman Empire on a previous album, do you have a huge interest in ancient history?
Yes, I'm very interested in history. There is a famous quote of Cicero, which I always like to use in that context: “Not to know what happened before you were born is to remain a child forever.”

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Imperious'?
“Imperious” is the same like “commanding” or “authoritative”. We thought that it sounds also a bit like “Empire” (maybe there is in fact a common origin, I don't really know) and we were and are also oldschool metal fans and have learnt that the name of a metal band should be a statement. :-)

6.Originally the band was a solo project what was the decision behind hiring a full line up?
I needed musicians to record my album with. After I found them and after a few sessions we all agreed to transform that solo project into a full band line up.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
There weren't that much shows because we have always focused more on writing songs than playing songs. But I think the best show of them was at the Ragnarök Festival 2012 with an early slot and a very good crowd.
Our stage performance in doing so is very passionate, epic and we have the ability to dive into our music also on stage.

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
No, not at the moment



9.In November, Massacre Records are re-issuing both of your concept albums, can you tell us a little bit more about the newer versions?
The newer versions will contain a new booklet design and it will be available in shops and stores all over the world while the first press was self produced by us and was only available in our own online shop. 

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
The reactions we got were very positive and came mainly from the underground by people, who have the ability to listen very intense and aware to music. Like us they are also able to dive into music. To get into our music you have to do that in that way, because our songs are mostly very long. I think fans of black metal possess that ability and are also used to songs with lengths over 4:50 min. 

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We are a band which keep all doors open. Our fundament is black metal but we also allow our minds to add all kind of ideas and styles to it, as long as it helps the songs going forward and expressing the emotions we want to transport. Our songwriting process is exciting every time because songs may develop in directions we never thought of in the first place.

12.What are some of the bands or musical projects that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
All three of us bring in different types of ideas and we don't want to stick to a certain genre or band. More variety brings more ideas. We allow everything from major oldschool heavy metal over swedish death metal to underground black metal and so on.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?
Sitting together, having a good beer and an interesting discussion about all kinds of stuff. :-)
14.Before we wrap up tihs interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you  OccultBlackMetalZine for the interview and thank YOU who reads this right now for your interest in those questions & answeres and in the music & words of IMPERIOUS. Pro Salute Omnium!
Sertorius on behalf of IMPERIOUS

Ancient Moon/Prosternatur/Secretum Secretorum/Iron Bonehead Productions/2018 Split CD Review


  This  is  a  review of  a  split  from  2  international  bands  from  Europe  Ancient  Moon  and  Prosternatur  with  the  album  being  called  "Secretum  Secretorum"  which  will  be  released  in  June  by  Iron  Bonehead  Productions  and  we  will  start  off  the  review  with  Ancient  Moon  a  band  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  and  on  this  recording  plays  an  atmospheric  and  ambient  form  of  occult  black  metal.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  some  melodic  guitar  yet  dissonant  guitar  leads  before  going  into  a  faster  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling  along  with  their  track  being  over  18  minutes  in  length.

  Vocals  are  grim  black  metal  screams  which  also  uses  some  melodic  singing  at  times  while  the  spoken  word  parts  gives  the  song  more  of  a  ritualistic  atmosphere  along  with  the  song  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts,  the  production  sounds very  dark  while  the  lyrics  cover  Western  Occultism themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  track  from  Ancient  Moon  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  atmospheric  and  ambient  occult  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  their  side  of  the  split.

  Next  up  is  Prosternatur  a  band  that  plays  an  occult  form  of  black  metal.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  some  dark  ambient  style  synths  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  ritualistic  feeling  before  going  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  musical  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams.

  Synths  also  mix  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs  at  times  while  melodic  leads  is  also  added  into  some  parts  of  the  music  along  with  the  tracks  also  bringing  in a   great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  a  couple  of  songs  also  bringing  in  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing  and  ritualistic  spoken  word  parts,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  Sumerian  Occultism  and  Ritualistic  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Prosternatur  are  a  very  great  sounding  occult  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  their  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Zi  Dinger  Isatum  Kanpa!".

  In  conclusion  I  feel  this  is  a  very  great  sounding  split  and  I  would  recommend  it  to  all  fans  of  occult  black  metal.  8/5  out  of  10.       

 





  

Friday, May 18, 2018

Griddam Arghamath Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Griddam Arghamath is composed by Vladavhel (all pads and ambient sessions) and Arghvarât (all instruments and voices).
It was formed in 2015 with the intention of recording many ideas that we had dispersed for years.
At first I thought that this project would only last a while and we even thought about the idea of releasing each album with a different name.
Then we realized that the project had more strength than expected and we decided to keep it.


2.How would you describe the musical sound that has been presented on the recordings that you have released so far?
We intentionally look for a raw and dirty sound for the most chaotic moments, and a clean sound for the darkest moments.
The chaotic sound is very important because it represents the stage for the concept, everything that can be heard, seen or read in Griddam has a meaning.


3.I see a lot of occultism and esoteric themes in the lyrics that I have read, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the dark arts?
I believe that everything in our reality is questionable, even what has an answer; esotericism raises many interesting concepts of introspection, it is a way of looking at ourselves.
We are not practitioners of any kind of magic but we use occult concepts as a means to get answers and express a message.
Behind all the darkness and occultism of Griddam's letters there is always a philosophical concept.


4.You also have an album concept involving the Tarot Arcana, can you tell us a little bit more about it?
The album "Abysmal Hexagram" is the first part of a conceptual work of four albums.
The conceptual work will have a total of 22 songs, each one representing the darkest part of a major arcana of the tarot.
This work of four albums would be like a guide to understand the Tarot, the letters are inspired by the drawings and their meanings, and at the same time they can be interpreted in many ways, from a literal sense, to a more abstract, philosophical or spiritual one.


5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Griddam Arghamath'?
The name comes from "Valakalad", a language created by Vladavhel; Griddam Arghamath doesn´t have a literal translation, they are two compound words using names of rituals and invocations.


6.On the recording you work as a duo, would you be open to working with other musicains if the oppurtunity came around?
Definitely not, we tried to incorporate other musicians repeatedly but it didn´t go well for us.
Our way of working is very orderly and we don´t have much patience; we have found the perfect way to make the recordings as we want them to be done.
We have collaborated on other musicians' projects, but in our personal projects we only work for ourselves.


7.You have also been a part of a couple of splits, can you tell us a little bit more about the bands you had shared these recordings with?
The two Splits that we have are a mixture of our two projects, we found it interesting to mix the ambient music of Valakornag with the sound of Griddam, "Spectra of the Black Beyond" is a conceptual album in which the two projects are perfectly mixed.
This year (2018) we will have finished a new Split; we're not dropping the possibility of creating a Split with other bands, but the opportunity hasn't appeared yet.


8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
We don´t do much promotion but we have received very good reviews not only from black metal fans, Griddam has influences from Ambient, Death, Thrash, Doom, etc. so it is accessible to a larger audience, the reception has been very good.


9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
That's something I think a lot, the raw sound is something that will always be maintained, and as for the compositions we can assemble an album with more ambient parts; we plan to create at least one album per year, as long as possible we will, so we are constantly creating new ideas, and really the amount of material we have is very large.
I want each album to have a unique identity and at the same time not lose the essence of the previous ones.
We have ready our second LP (Offerings for Witches) that will appear at any time, and we are starting the recording of the third, Griddam is a project that doesn´t stop.


10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
The influences are many, I knew the music through rock bands of the 70s, 80s like Black Sabbath, The Cure, David Bowie, etc.
Perhaps there is some melodic influence of bands like that, but the sound and the compositional form are mostly influenced by black metal, bands like Bathory, Burzum, Marduk, Emperor, etc.
And some things from other styles like Asphyx, Obituary or even Kreator... Really the amount and diversity of bands we listen to is very broad, there are influences from everyone and at the same time we try to create unique songs that do not look like anything.


11.What are some of your non musical interests?
I enjoy my time in solitude, I dedicate my free time mostly to music but I also like literature, especially about mythology and esotericism.


12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for the support and your time!

Striborg/Spiritual Catharsis/Satanath Records/Death Portal Studio/2018 CD Re-Issue Review


  Striborg  are  a  solo  project  from  Australia  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  an  ambient  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2004  album  "Spiritual  Catharsis"  which  was  re-issued  in  2018  as  a  joint  effort  between  Satanath  Records  and  Death  Portal  Studio.

  Dark  yet  melodic  riffing  starts  off  the  album  while  the  vocals  are mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  along  with  the  music  also  adding  in  elements  of  ambient  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  songs  a  more  raw  feeling.

  A  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  drum  beats  being  programmed  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  as  well  as  some  of  the  tracks  being  ambient  instrumentals  and  another  instrumental  is  more  in  the  black  metal  style  and  as  the  album  progresses  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

  On  this  recording  Striborg  took  a  very  raw  and  atmospheric  style  of  black  metal  and  mixed  it  with  dark  ambient  to  create  a  sound  of  his  own,  the  production  sounds  very  dark,  raw  and  lo-fi  while  the  lyrics  cover  night,  misanthropy.  forests,  death  and  depression  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  was  a  very  great  sounding  recording  from  Striborg  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  ambient  black  metal  you  should  check  out  this  re-issue.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Within  The  Depths  Of  Darkness  And  Sorrow"  "Spiritual  Catharsis"  "Misanthropic  Necroforest"  and  "Black  Metal  is  The  Forest  Calling".  8/5  out  of  10.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Asgrauw Interview

1. Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

Asgrauw is busy rehearsing and writing new material. Since our new album ‘Gronspech’ was finished, we blasted off writing a couple of icy tracks for a new concept split or EP.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

In 2010, Asgrauw  started as a raw, straightforward no-nonsense old skool black metal band. Since, we went in a more atmospheric direction that you find on ‘Krater’. The new album ‘Gronspech’ builds on this and is more varied. With added spoken words, synths, field recorded samples and distorted bass lines. Asgrauw worships 2th wave of Scandinavian Black metal. We’re heavily influenced by bands from the golden era like Ulver, Arckanum, Dodheimsgard, Emperor and Dimmu Borgir. But we break those nineties boundaries by adding personal touches to the music. Every band membe adds something unique to our sound. Kaos is rooted in pissed-off streetpunk, while Faal likes raw and unpolished black metal. Batr is nostalgic about atmospheric 2th wave black metal, while he’s into fusion jazz and psychedelic music. Throw these influences in a rusty old concrete-mixer and there’s Asgrauw.

3.On the website you have also cited an infleunce from the People's Temple suicides in the 70's, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this cult?

We’ve released the “Utopia” 7 inch split with Meslamtaea. Both sides of this vinyl record deal about our pessimistic view on mankind. The Peoples Temple was guided by the charismatic megalomaniac Jim Jones that became a ‘God’ for his brainwashed, fear-filled community. At the end, their rainforest paradise was crushed and Jim accompanied his people to death with poison. In our views, this is not much different from what’s happening with the world on a global scale.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore on the new album?

We always write lyrics about topics that interest us, and those often differ from the average black metal themes. We keep all the lyrics for ourselves. The second album 'Krater' is about the post-apocalyptic world after an exploding supervulcano, which is unfortunately a realistic vision (Yellowstone). The new album 'Gronspech' is something different and it sounds more nature-inspired. Gronspech was the first name of the town Groesbeek: a name that was written on a document from year 1040. Asgrauw is rehearsing in Groesbeek, and two of our  members have their roots in this town. Hence the above-average interest in local history, old stories and legends from Groesbeek.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Asgrauw'?

The band name Asgrauw has multiple facets. Asgrauw is a ash-grey color, a state of mind and a moonphase. Every meaning of the word is negative. Just like us.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Good performances? Well, most of our gigs are in local dirty shitholes for a handful of drunken people. ‘Sathanas in Gloriam’ in Baroeg was definitely a highlight for the band (as far as one can speak about a highlight), and Diabolical Echoes in Maddogs (in our hometown Groesbeek). Both are quality black metal festivals. We perform our shows with lack of any stage-entertainment. We only play for ourselves. In a number of live reviews we are blamed for that. Good! For us it’s only about the music and the negative atmosphere that it breaths. There’s no fun involved and the band is introvert and apathetic. Don’t like it? Don’t book us. In a live-situation we are a completely different band than on our records. On a stage we are a rancid black-punk trio. We play everything (too) fast, dirty and loud, while on the records we are much in control. 

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

No.

8.In 2017 you where a part of a split with 'Meslamtaea', what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the recording?

Meslamtaea is a one-man project and that guy is our drummer and producer. So we can’t say what we really think about his music, haha!  Meslamtaea is a unconventional black metal project that was raised 20 years ago. Everything has been played by Batr himself. On the 7 inch, though, Kaos contributed with spoken poetry. This went out so well, that he did this on our new album Gronspech very frequently.
Ward Theunissen

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?

It’s always pretty much quiet and silent around the band and that is because we do not put effort into promotion. We’re in the rehearsing room rather than on Facebook, where the whole black metal thing seem to happen these days. Fuck that shit. Asgrauw was raised only for ourselves and we have no ambition to become Internet pop-stars. Black metal is a bit of a thing from the past for us, we're nostalgic about the times of cassettes and vinyl and copied black/white zines. Asgrauw’s only purpose is to expose our induvidual negative emotions in an expressive way.

10.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the other band members are a part of?

We don’t have 10.000 noisy drumcomputer projects going on, desperately hoping for one that becomes the new hype. Asgrauw is no #1 priority for every bandmember. Faal is also guitarist in Walpurgisnacht and Batr is multi-instrumentalist in his projects Sagenland & Meslamtaea, while he's doing session work for bands like Cultus and Heervader.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

We follow our own individual and egocentric path and we never know what happens next week. We are working on new material that is more difficult and diverse to play than what we’ve done before. But a hateful, cold and atmospheric sound always predominates.

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

We listen a wide variety of music. Of course old skool black metal, mostly 90's stuff. But we also put much inspiration from street punk, fusion jazz and 70’s psychedelic stuff.  Don’t like it? Good!

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

No