Thursday, May 28, 2020

Sombre Heritage/Alpha Ursae Minoris/Sepulchral Productions/2020 CD Review


  Sombre  Heritage  are  a  band  from  Quebec,  Canada  that  plays  a  very  melancholic  and  contemplative  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  album  "Alpha  Ursae  Minoris"  which  will  be  released  in  June  by  Sepulchral  Productions.

  Wind  sounds  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams.  The  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  fleeing.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  clean  vocals  can  also  be  heard  briefly  on  a  few  tracks.  A  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  guitar  leads  also  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style as  well  as  music  also  having  its  melancholic  moments  and  a  later  track  also  introduces  clean  playing  onto  the  recording.


  Sombre  Heritage  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  raw,  melodic  and  melancholic  sounding.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  French  and  cover  darkness,  depression  and  nature  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Sombre  Heritage  are  a  very  great  sounding  raw,  melodic  and  melancholic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Polaris"  and  "Tenebres".  8  out  of  10.

www.facebook.com/sombreheritagebm      

Evil Warriors/Schattenbringer/Into Endless Chaos Records/2020 EP Review


  Evil  Warriors  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  a  very  aggressive  and  dissonant   form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  ep  "Schattenbringer"  which  will  be  released  in  July  by  Endless  Chaos  Records.

  A  very  fast  and  raw  sound  starts  off  the  ep  along  with  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats.  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  grim  yet  high  pitched black  metal  screams  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  A  lot  of  the  music  is  also  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  era  while  still  capturing  a  very  modern  day  brutality.  Dark  sounding  melodies  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  along  with  the  guitar  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  when  they  are  utilized  as  well  as  most  of  the  tracks  also  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length,.

  At  times  the  riffs  get  very  repetitive  which  also  captures  a  very  dark  atmosphere  along  with  some  semi  clean  vocals  also  being  utilized  briefly  as  well  as  the  music  also  adding  in  some  dissonant  structures  at  times,  clean  playing  is  also  added  on  the  closing  track  which  also  shows  the music  also  going  into  more  of  an  experimental  and  avant  garde  direction  as  well  as  being  an  instrumental.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  German  and  cover  dark  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  Evil  Warriors  are  a  very  great  sounding  aggressive  and  dissonant  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Fliege"and  "Schattenbringer".  8  out  of  10.



   

  

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Tristwood 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?



Deimon: Basically, we are busy to supply our fans and listeners with the new album, having various conversations about the sound and the lyrics. Especially this new Grim Dark Fantasy story is very well received. Then we have planned a visual project for the title track “A Blackcrowned Majesty” with a video artist, which will be released soon. We also get exciting feedback from various bloggers and journalists. What surprises us is that there are so many people who grew up with Tristwood as a band who are still interested in us. And it is fantastic to hear and know that they like the fact that we give every album a new direction and love exactly our sometimes strange and weird musical experiments. That gives us the strength to keep going. So Tristwood lives very much from the acceptance and interest of the listeners. Currently, we are working on an Ep with the working title "Vortex of Damnation", but with Tristwood a lot of things change mostly until the end. I also think I can say this: Jegger has already finished writing the lyrics for a complete album. We are also already composing a new album which will be the successor to "A Blackcrowned Majesty", while Neru, the other guitarist, is rebuilding our second studio, Hellsound 3.0, to work on another album from 2021 on. So, now everything is in flux.





2.Recently you have released a new album, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

Deimon: The album clearly differs from other albums in terms of approach. This time we wanted to bring a so-called "first take"-feeling to the record as you know it from many 1980s and 1990s records. So, the focus was on finding the most genuine riff and the truest moment that can be played out of an impulse. That was quite difficult for me as the producer of this album, because Jegger tends to play extremely complex, crazy and fast riffs. It is similar with Neru who mostly only plays riffs that are perfect. So, to convince these two that precision is not everything, but that feeling is also important, this was the biggest challenge.

Another aspect is that this time Jegger and I shared the vocals. We decided that impulsiveness and experimenting with sounds must be the most important thing. For the synths we used a lot of analog sounds from the 70s, 80s and 90s. This all influenced the production which should sound cool, clear and rough like a 1980s Industrial, First Wave Black Metal or Oldschool Death Metal recording. I think we succeeded, but you must be a sound freak to understand what this new album is all about.



3.From 2010 to 2019 there was no music being released, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?

Deimon: During this time, we worked mainly on Eps. We recorded our first EP "Armada Khaeotica" in the first half of the 2010s. Then the Ep "Lethe" followed around 2015/16. From 2017 on, we started the recordings for "A Blackcrowned Majesty". What followed next was a rapid succession: First we released the Eps as a compilation album entitled "Nyx" (2019), then came our experimental drone recording "Crypt of Perennial Whispers" in the beginning of 2020 and now our next step is to release “Blackcrowned Majesty” at the end of May (29.05.2020).



4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?





Deimon:

Every album and every recording have a different theme which is the focus of attention. So far, we have worked on philosophical, psychological, ancient oriental/historical, nihilistic, mystical, ironic and literary themes.

If you look at our development as lyricists or storytellers, I must admit that we have developed enormously as a band. Even though we have always been very independent as a band, we now act completely autonomously when it comes to creating ideas and texts. And we are very much guided by what inspires us ourselves.

As songwriters, we have evolved to the extent that we are always looking for something new, if it fits the style of the band. We don't let any genre set the boundaries for us. The band is partly genre itself.

For the new album, as mentioned earlier, we have developed a Grim Dark Fantasy story, which was worked out during talks between 2014 and 2018. At the centre of this album is the final part of a saga about the return of a legendary ruler, born out of pure blackness and disaster, which will only be presented in more detail soon.

You might have to imagine it that way:

150 lunar cycles ago, Ar’ath, that’s the name of the "Blackcrowned Majesty", according to the calendar of the lands of Yrlyion, whose center is the old rock city of Ka'ath, had covered an entire continent with fire and war until Ka'a himself, the all-brightening sky disk, fell from the firmament and broke the previously devastated continent completely. Ar’ath herself, the destroyer crowned by pure blackness, had been smashed into a thousand pieces and since then crawled to the north of the shattered continent Ma'haxul to unite with her followers and complete her work of destruction on this and all other worlds. Only a few had survived first this chaos and only slowly these beings, who had once inhabited the old continent, started to make a new home for themselves in Ma'haxul. Ka'ath, the City of Light, protected by the rocky garb of Mount Nepha'ul, was the only one to survive the all-destroying campaign of Ar’ath and her followers, and since that time, they have been preparing for the return of the Broken and Black-Crowned.

So, the album "A Blackcrowned Majesty" deals specifically with Ar’ath's return to Ma'haxul. It describes in a musical way how she flows to the north after her destruction and is crowned once again by her faithful. Rauthra, the dark hero and protagonist of this story, travels from the north to the interior of the country to join her. From up close, he witnessed the resurrection of Arath. Torn apart, disgusted and enthusiastic at the same time, he attends her return in the cathedral that had been carved out of the bones of the old continent in her honour, while Arath - now once again crowned - takes the final oath of allegiance from her followers, the hordes of the endless nightshade.





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



We are Tyroleans or Highland-Austrians, which means that we live on the slopes of mountains and have a close relationship with the dark side of the mountainous and forested landscape in the Alps. The fact that our sound is so electronic, lightning fast and elusive also suits us, because especially in the mountains there are many places that are simply inaccessible. And that's how we see ourselves: Tristwood's sound and the song structures resemble the mountain flanks, ledges and exposed mountain ranges of our homeland: they are challenging, sometimes overchallenging and, depending on the degree of difficulty, can be fathomed or climbed by quite a few.



6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?



The cover was painted by Ani van Sunjorck, a talented all-round artist. The cover is the starting point of the story. It shows, if you want to interpret it that way, Rauthra, the title hero of our Grim Dark Fantasy story, on his way into the unknown. He himself is a mythical being, whose outer form is clearly recognizable on the cover. What is particularly interesting, however, is the way in which he is portrayed, which is clearly recognizable due to the use of certain painting and drawing techniques. Perhaps, it is a combination of fantastically realistic and expressionistic elements that is so attractive on this cover. The picture itself was created in the context of an art session in the Alps.



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



Deimon: I know that for some reason many journalists believe that we are a touring band. But the fact is that we never toured, and we never will. It's just not in our interest, even though there are quite a few people who would be very interested in a Tristwood show.



8.Currently you are unsigned but have worked with a label in the past, are you open to working with another label again in the future?



Deimon: This topic is discussed quite often among us. We have quite a big back catalogue and I think that this circumstance could be interesting for labels for sure. For us, the following basic rule applies: If the label owner and the label agenda is okay, then we are open for a cooperation. But a cooperation with a political record company is out of the question for us. The focus of our work is music, experimenting with sounds and art itself.



9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of industrial, black and death metal?



Our listeners are scattered all over the world, that's true. We are a reserved band, and between releases we tend to withdraw to compose songs. So, when we release albums, the surprise or the joy of our fans is usually pretty big. The reactions to the new album are good again. This is also connected with the fact that our listeners like it that we always try something new and are guided by our enthusiasm for metal music. But we must wait and see how the album is received in general. For some journalists, this new album is also heavy, too experimental and in musical terms too radical. Others understand our approach to create something new. And it's the same with listeners who come into contact with Tristwood’s wall of sound for the first time: Some people are completely confused because they're totally overwhelmed by our music. Others are enthusiastic because the music sounds refreshing and inspiring to them.

In general, however, our listeners tend not to prefer one genre.  That's probably why they like Tristwood.



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?



Deimon:  At the moment, only JD, our bass player, is active in two post black metal formations. One is the Austrian band Thine, who recently released the EP “I: Vergänglichkeit”. From my point of view, it's a masterpiece. And is he still playing with our brothers from Eschaton, the band that released incredible albums and Eps in the last 10 years.  It's a mystery that this formation has not yet been signed by a metal label. But just see for yourself. These are the links to the band camp pages of the groups: https://thineofficial.bandcamp.com/

https://eschatonchaosworks.bandcamp.com/



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



Deimon: The band will always change a little bit, in which direction that will be, you can never tell with us. Our next EP takes up some doom elements again. The last time we did that was about 15 years ago on our EP "Svarta_Daudi". Also, the sound has developed again. That is the exciting thing about our band. We have the courage to experiment and to penetrate sound-wise at places from which others rather leave their fingers for commercial reasons. But we can promise one thing: We will continue the fantastic saga we started with "Blackcrowned Majesty" on future recordings.



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



Deimon: We have been influenced musically by quite different bands. But bands we can all be enthusiastic about and that shine through Tristwood again and again are Kraftwerk, Red Harvest, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, Emperor, Nocturnus, Killing Joke, Morbid Angel, Skinny Puppy, Napalm Death, Gadget, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost and of course Bathory. Personally, I am a huge fan of old school death metal releases on vinyl. I started collecting tapes from real underground greats in the 1980s and I have done so until today. But at this point I would like to get rid of one more thing: The 1980s and 1990s were a time when extreme metal still had real artistic potential. By this I mean that many bands tried to create something new. This is not the case nowadays. Most bands are content to imitate other bands in their style and take over the musical identity of an already existing formation, because they hope for success. I would like to see more courage, even if it could mean getting bad reviews in magazines.



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



First, we would like to thank you for this interview. It is always good to be able to answer interesting questions.  For those readers who like experimental, real, pure, lightning-fast sound in the intersection of Blackened Grindcore, Hardcore and Post Punk, Industrial Black Metal and Death Metal with buzzsaw guitar tone, I recommend checking out our new album "Blackcrowned Majesty". You have the possibility to order a CD (first edition is limited to 50 pieces) via our Facebook page. You can also get a digital copy via Bandcamp.



You can reach us as follows:

https://www.facebook.com/Tristwood-117030138385682/

https://tristwoodofficial.bandcamp.com

tristwood@gmx.net






Bliss-Illusion Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

1. Hello, I'm glad to accept your interview. Recently, we are preparing for our second album. There's no news to tell. Anyway, it's been a tough year. I hope the world will be better soon and all of us will be safe。

2.So far you have released one full length and an ep, musically how do they both differ from each other?
2.First of all, my first album involves a lot of Buddhist themes. Generally speaking, it is a complete album. As for my EP, leave abhassara Deva, which is completely separated from the former theme concept, I want to continue it as a conceptual work. The theme of this song is from my personal novel "the kingdom of the north", which is full of divinity. I have been very interested in Romanticism and divinism since I was very young. This song is mainly about the love between two people in the Deva, which reflects the love between me and my wife in another parallel world. I love my wife very much in real life. She paid a lot for me in my most difficult days. She is like my teacher.

3.A lot of your lyrics cover Buddhist, Taoism and Confucianism themes, which aspects of these religions do you bring into your songwriting?
3. I respect all faiths in the world and I think they should be equal. It's just that people's ways of tolerance and acceptance are not equal. My first album is about equality. I want people to feel calm when they hear our music. That's the concept 

4.You also cover some poetic themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

4.My mother is a Chinese teacher, she has a deep influence on me. I like Chinese very much, but when I was a child, my academic performance was very poor. Almost all the teachers thought I was crazy. They found that I hate all the other courses except Chinese. I have great respect for Dante Alighieri. He is a man full of divinity, my EP inspiration is from him. I think he must have gone to an eternal place, with his Beatrice forever. And Beatrice, for Dante, I think she's gone beyond belief. I also like Johann Wolfgang von goehe, a German writer, who also has a good mother.

5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the releases?
5. The first album is mainly about the equality of all things and the pursuit of nirvana in Buddhism. The essence of everything we live in this world is void. Although they exist, the way they exist is not real. The concept of time is an illusion of people. Without time, time is just a representation point of the state of the universe. There are only innumerable present moments, which are our thoughts, our thoughts, all of our previous lives, this life and the next life, all of which are causality. As for the theme of that EP work, I would like to say that it is my vision for another space, but I know that the place is still an illusion, which can not be called nirvana in Buddhism, but it is really beautiful

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
6. The band's work is mainly innovated by guitarist Wang Xiao and me, but he is in charge of the main part. Our EP work was almost created by him alone. He is really a very good guy. He always brings surprises to everyone. As for the live performance, we just express as we like, there is nothing to say. As for myself, I hope I can enter a state when performing: a state without self-awareness, a state of being able to accept and understand everything, but it has not been successful yet, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

7.So far you have worked with Infected Blood Records, Totenism Productions, Anesthetize Production and Tear Water Records, do you feel these labels have been very supportive when it comes to getting your music out there heard?
7. I really appreciate the brands that help me release songs. They are really great. I really appreciate the people who helped me. And our French good friend William, who is a very kind person, I am very grateful to him

8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of post black metal?
8. I seldom surf the Internet and pay attention to people. I only know that there are many people supporting us in China. I'm really happy. I hope we can bring our works to everyone in the world and make them feel happy.

9.When can we expect another full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
9. We have said before that we are planning the next album, we can't guarantee anything, we will try our best to finish it. Recently, I am also doing my own single band: 水树. At present, only music platforms in China can hear it, and I haven't registered for bandmap.

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?
10. Sigur R ó s is a band I will never forget, and J ó NSI is a great man. My wife recommended this team to me when I was in the toughest time in 2012. They are really great for me.
Lifelover
Sun Devoured Earth
Hypomanie
Nocturnal Depression Anadopin(China)
Lantlôs
Alcest
Coldworld
Envy
Sadness
Archivist
Gris
Gorgoroth
Dark Throne
Celtic Forest
Violet Cold
Falaise
Cult Of Fire
Silencer
Airs
DeadWood
Nord Frost
Marunata
Mpamop
Møl
Eyelessight
Akaitsuki
Tanpopo Crisis
Claro De Luna
An Open Letter
Kauan

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

11. I like playing games very much. I like collecting old game consoles: FC, SF, Atari, praystation1234, Nintendo 64, NDS, GBA, wonder swan, Nintendo game cube, Mega Drive, sat Saturn, Dreamcast, Xbox, Nintendo switch PSP, psvita, hahaha. I like to watch movies at home with my wife. We seldom go out. I am a goalkeeper in an amateur football team. If I go out, I will play football. Ha ha

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
12. Thank you very much for your interview. I hope we can take good care of ourselves and our family and cherish everything we have. The thing you want to look for all the time is actually looking for you. It will be good together. Finally, please say hello to your family on behalf of me. Thank you.

  https://www.facebook.com/Bliss.Illusion.cn/

Above Aurora/The Shrine Of Deterioration/Pagan Records/2020 CD Review


  Poland/Iceland's  Above  Aurora  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  shows  the  music  going  into  more  of  a  pessimistic  trance-like  style  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  album  "The  Shrine  Of  Deterioration"  which  will  be  released  in  June  by  Pagan  Records.

  Melodic  guitar  leads  start  off  the  album  while  the  heavier  riffing  also  adds  in  a  decent  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  along  with  the  music  also  having  its  atmospheric  moments.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Vocals  are  mostly  deep  yet  angry  sounding  blackened  metal  screams  while  the  music  also  gets  very  hypnotic  sounding  at  times.  During  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  recording  more  of  a  raw  feeling.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  a  couple  of  the  tracks  also  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  the  music  also  bringing  in  more  of  a  modern  black  metal  style,  clean  playing  and  acoustic  guitars  can  also  be  heard  briefly  on  a  couple  of  songs.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  the  various  dimensions  of  pessimism.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  album  from  Above  Aurora  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  modern,  aggressive  and  atmospheric  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Virus"  and  "Splinters". 8 out  of  10.

https://www.facebook.com/aboveaurorapl        

Falhena/Insaniam Convertunt/Hidden Marly Production/2020 Full Length Review


  Falhena  are  a  band  from  Italy  that  consists  of  current  members  of  Adversam  I  band  I  interviewed  in  the  past  and  plays  a  very  old  school  and  Swedish  influenced  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  album  "Insaniam  Convertunt"  which  was  released  by  Hidden  Marly  Production.

  A  very  distorted  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  also  introducing  melodic  guitar  leads  onto  the  recording  a  few  seconds  later. Vocals  are  mostly  grim  sounding  black  metal  screams  along  with  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling.  Most  of  the  music  is  also  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  Swedish  style  along  with  the  tracks  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Xlean  playing  and  acoustic  guitars  can  also  be  heard  briefly  on  some  of  the  tracks  of  tracks  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  instrumental  can  also  be  heard  which  also  adds  in  some  nature  and  chaos  sounds  before  closing  the  recording  with  a  heavier  track.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  Darkness  and  Occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Falhena  are  a  very  great  sounding  old  school  Swedish  influenced  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Voices  Are  Whispering"  and  "Ritorneremo".  8  out  of  10.

https://hiddenmarlyproduction.bandcamp.com/album/insaniam-convertunt          

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Chzustch Interview

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

- Chzustch is first of all not a band. At least, it did not start as a band. What the future brings will show. The project was started as a spin off on some of my other art projects. The idea was to create a band without members. (Instead of Chzustch, we should have coined the name Sessionary (haha)..So to take to the birth of this project/band I have to tell you a little story. I was just finishing an other art project, a digital art installation, with flashing pictures of people in front of fountains, with this censor bar over their eyes. Happy, sad, angry, a lot of emotions where going on around the world, and in front of fountains. I have used forums, Fiverr, Splice, and a lot of these services to buy authentic materials form both everyday users, to highly professionals artist. I put these together and made an installation. It was a great success, for me, not as great success for my wallet.. haha.

So, That project aside, I was planning a new. This time, go full audio. I used my network again, but wanted also to participate myself. So I recorded some plain guitar riffs, and started buying bass lines, drums, vocals, synths etc. When you do it this way, the only name I know on most of the participants, on «They believed us and perished for it», is their online username. Everybody was told that this was an art project, and I could not tell under which name nor banner this release would be under, and that I own the rights to all material. (Until the end of the project)

After putting things together, which by the way was a hell of a job, since I did´not pay attention enough to hear that things was in tune, tempo and such, I sent this off to mixing, and It came together as good as it gets. Due to the mailing and online forums, I got to know a few of the folks that participated, but we kept our true identity hidden, in respect of the project. So to the new release I have managed to keep some of lineup intact.



2.So far you have released a demo and a single, musically how do they differ from each other?

The Demo/EP is a result of the first batch of files. The mailing extravaganza and file sharing. Hours of recorded material put together as a jigsaw. The new single, «Where the deceased one lived», which was released on bandcamp, is done in a much easier way, and had a better workflow. I think the song turned out quite well.  The file sharing was better, with longer takes, and mapping with right tempo and tune. I had to arrange the guitar tracks for the whole song first, before sending it out to put it together. And we have tried some online features to try live recording as well.  The rest of the new release we have some cool plans. I have managed to have two of the guys who participated on TBIUAPFI to help out writing and arrange songs, and not the mashup like last time.



3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band has explored so far with the music?

As a part of the «mysterious» thing around Chzustch (not in a lame Ghost-way, where we hide behind mask) but the reality, that we don´t really know who each other are, the lyrics is also outsourced. We´re like the Reservoir Dogs of Rock´n Roll. I´m Mr Pink. Haha. I have no clue, what the lyrics are, beside what you hear. But the unidentified thing with the clean vocal that's going on, which I think is great, makes it a bit hard to really hear. It´s what I truly fell for, and gave me a lot of boost to carry on. When I got the vocals the first time, and I could not fucking understand what the hell he was singing. Haha. After son time, I have learned a way to crack the code (as you do with distorted vocals and growling and shit) and I have a decent overview of whats going on. As for the lyrics part, I said that that also was outsourced, and that turned out to be a little nut. I had to get the lyrics from the writer, and have him to send this to the other guys with the vocals, but to keep them anonymous from each other, I had to receive help form a third guy to be the middle man. (necessary idiot) We called him the Broker. So to keep everybody separated, include me, to the things I did not wanted to see, or hear we used the Broker. He was a goldmine to the project. And is still with us. We should honour him (or She) a song.



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

In the process of doing this band, I have involved over a dozen people. The Broker, as mention before, was asked to retrieve a logo for the band. I mailed him and said: We need a logo. Fell free to use whatever name you want, but I want the letters to look a bit similar. Make it evil..» The Broker sent me three (or four) suggestions. First was a lame logo, old english font, and the name Suffocation. (HAHA) the next was some Disney-shit and I think it was Sore Swallow or something. I had to stop him. I Mailed him, and said, just take some crazy word, or make something up, or ask your granddad for a word they used when their was kids. To try to be evil, make it look evil. So he sent me Chzustch. It´s a killer logo. I did not ask what it mean, but I must say I have tried to google it, but it sends me to some technical IT-shit, and I don´t know, maybe The Broker made it all up. I have tried to come up with some way to pronounce the word, but it all fall back on «SHUSHT»



5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the demo cover?

As an artist myself, I wanted off course to make the artwork, but again, The Broker played a big role. He managed to talk me out of it, and wanted to give it a go. He contacted Wiz, a dude at Cult Tape Productions, And from there the artwork was done. So I guess I have to credit The Broker this. (maybe I own him money?)



6.Most of the band members are also involved with any other bands, what is it that you bring into the music of 'Chzustch' that you are not able to do with your other groups?

Everything! Haha. I have played all kind of music in the last 25-30 years. I have played in several bands, and some soloprojects as well. When you are in a band, the writing often is similar when you do all things yourself. You make demos, and you do your things to it to make it work. In a band, you take your sketch to a rehearshal and the song is arranged with the band. Some parts in, some left out. With Chzustch, I wanted to loose all control. Just send som riffs to somebody, and take it from there. As the finishing EP was a bit Experimental Black Metal, is maybe a accident. Haha. It could have been shoegaze, or some oldschool doom also, but when I started to put things togheter it came to me that I was aiming for an extreme, but melodic soundscape.



7.Most of the band members also like to keep their identities unknown and some also have not meet each other. does this have a huge impact on the musical style that you play?

You bet, but the anonymous part is not that big ordeal, but it adds another dimension to it in the way of making music. The style was always secondary, I had to make things fit. The clean vocal, who really gave me the boost to carry on, should have taken us to a more doom-genre, but when I balanced it with the screaming vocal (that I think is a girl) It was clearly that we are over in the more experimental avantgarde black metal bla bla shit. It´s not important what it is, but what it really is, that matter. So put it in a genre pipe and smoke it for all I care. As long as you love it, hate it, or think its ok. (Hedberg)





8.You also refuse to release your music on digital format, do you feel black metal is better suited for physical format?

Yes. Black metal should always be released and listen on tapes or vinyl. I refused to release Chzustch on a digital platform such as Spotify and iTunes and such, but, since this is a living, and almost an organic project, I give all music away to labels. I prefers small DIY-labels, that can make from 30-150 ex tapes, maybe vinyl, CD, even CD-r... The format it not a big deal for me. I have my own copy, and I would not probably listen to it for at least a couple of years. When I´m done, I´m done. So is the deal, and the only demand and guidelines I gave The Broker, was, any label can do whaterver they want with the release, We (or I) don´t want anything in return. Release it as you wish, but not digital. I have agreed on bandcamp (you win some,  you loose some,..)

Cult Tape Productions, made a DIY cassette, with an awesome foldout cover, almost like a 7´´ and a DIY CD-r release with hand made screen printed covers. In different colour. Strictly limited. I was told the black version only had two ex. Haha.



9.The demo was also released on 'Cult Tapes', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

The Broker sent out som emails, and came back to me with Cult Tape. I said, I would have nothing to do with it, since I have done my part of the work, so he could do whaterever he wanted,  So everything that happened after I sendt The Broker the final files, is in his hands. He also is responsible for the emailaccount, and answering all mails. Some shit he sends to me, like your questions, and some he fix himself. I guess The Broker is the band boss now. Cult Tape cut a deal with a small distro, Unborn Productions, and you can order the tapes and CDr thorugh them.



(https://unbornprod.limitedrun.com/products/662113-chzustch-nor-lux-they-believed-us-perished-for-it-tape-cd-r)



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

Very good actually. The Broker has received a lot of cool mails from around the globe, but has also been threatened.. a dude from Italy said that if he ever found out who we really are, he would make soup and drink it from our knee sockets. He hated this band some much. It was the worst thing he have ever heard, and was quite angry. The Broker is a cold fuck so he answered him, and after a few mails back and fourth he offered the italian to send him a check on ten dollars, to say I´m Sorry. The italin was pleased, and sent the Broker his address. The Broker sent him a new ex of the EP.. (haha) So, Italy is off limits now.



11.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Full length. Oh my goat. That is too much work, (and money) to give away. Since Chzusch is more of an art project, that finish up when I send The Broker the mixdown. I do this on my spare time, and with cash raised from my other bands and projects, but never say never. The new material is written, and I´m awaiting some vocals, I had to replace the distorted vocal on the new release, since the girl who was screaming her lungs out on the first EP, has deleted her account, and I can´t find her. Too bad, but hey, a new obstacle I did not think of, and i had to overcome. So a new vocalist is on board. And you can hear it on the single «Where the deceased once lived» on bandcamp. I have received enough clean vocals for two songs now, and it looks like we´re more over in a doom-genre, but I hope to balance it with the distorted vocals to get back on the evil track.



11.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?

I listen to all kinds of music. When I wrote riffs to the EP, I was in a Pentagram/Witchfinder General-mood, and when I went to sleep I had to have Leviathan – Howl Mockery at the Cross on my ears to really relax. I listen to music every minutes of the day, and now, when writing back tou you, I´m listening to Devil Master – Satan Spits on Children of Light. A really cool album!

Other influences is everything. If you look at my playlist since breakfast I have been through this: Moody Blues, Blut Aus Nord, Slaid Cleaves, Abba, Spectral Lore, Hedenvandret, Nick Lowe, River Mathews, Xasthur, Ulver and Anthrax. I really dig tapes, and have just got a hold of a vintage double deck. So I can overlap. I still make mix tapes on cassettes and use my Walkman when I´m working at my workshop, or are out in the woods making campfire and fishing.



12.Beforewe wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

After a few years of hiathus online and missing the underground scene, I am really glad to se the scene still has a lot to offer. Back in the days, when we started to upload our demos online, at Myspace. And chating on msn, we thought this was the shit. And we where finsihed with tapetrading, and went all-in on the web. And then Facebook and shit came along and killed myspace, and the underground forums (I attended)

Soundcloud and Bandcamp came along. And I just.. fuck.. Bah.. I´m to old for this. I have a band, record deals, and we do our thing.. But somewhere inside me, I was longing back to the times of Myspace, and the tape trading. So I logged into our bands bandcamp account and started browsing. A week later I made my own, and started buying and trading. I spend most of my online-time on bandcamp. Looking for new artist. Listen to demos and such. I have a playing love for the «one man black metal bands», and the demo-format. I´m not a collector, but I really take time to give these guys a fair chance. I rather listen to an indonesian guy making evil shit with his Casio and drum machine, on a four track, than go on a Sabbaton concert. I guess my favorite format is a honest demo, released on a reused cassette, with taped  holes. That is effort and a will to make music. And that´s what´s important. When you are in a big band, or due to release your fourth or fifth record, it´s not the same thing as when you wrote music for you debut, or demo for that matter. The drive, the will and the idealism that is put into these self-release music, is what I have tremendous respect for.  Thank you! Keep up the good work on your webzine!