Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hod/Book Of The Worm/Artic/2014 CD Review


  Hod  are  a  band  from  Texas  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  mixture  of  old  school  black  metal  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Book  Of  The  Worm"  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  Artic.

  A  very  heavy  and  brutal  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  blast  beats  which  leads  up  more  fast  parts,  grim  black  metal  screams  and  growls  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  after  awhile  the  band  starts  using  a  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  adding  in  some  guitar  leads  that  bring  a  more  old  school  death  metal  feeling  to  the  bands  musical  sound.

  There  is  a  great  amount  of  talent  and  skill  in  the  bands  musical  sound  and  they  take  the  heaviest  elements  of  black  and  death  metal  and  combine  them  together  along  with  a  great  amount  of  raw  mixture  being  done  in  the early  90's  tradition  and  the  music  can  also  be  very  brutal  at  times  and  after  awhile  the  guitar  riffing  and  leads  start  bringing  in  more  melody  into  the  chaotic  sound  this  band  creates  with  their  music.

  In  the  faster  sections  of  the  bands  musical  sound  you  can  hear  some  elements  of  war  and  bestial  black  metal  but  done  with  more  talent  and  skill  than  most  bands  of  that  genre  and  they  mix  that  style  with  the  rawness  of  thrash  and  the  album  is  heavy,  raw  and  brutal  form  beginning  to  close  of  the  recording.

 Hod  remain  true  to  their  fast,  heavy,  raw  and  brutal  mixture  of  black  and  death metal  on  this  album  and  there  is  never  a  soft  moment  presented  on  any  of  the  tracks  that  are  present  on  this  recording,  the  production  has  a  very  professional  sound  while  the  lyrics  cover  Occultism,  Darkness  and  the  writings  of  H.P  Lovecraft.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  album  from  Hod  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  fast  heavy, raw  and  brutal  black/death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "When  The  Ghouls  Feed"  "Death  Whores"  and  "Where  Are  The  Demons".  8  out  of  10.   

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Unchaining/Fornost Erain/2014 Full Length Review


  Italy's  1  man  band  The  Unchaining  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  that  continues  his  epic  and  atmospheric  approach  to  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of his  self  released  2014  album  "Fornost  Erain".

  Epic  sounding  synths  start  off  the  album  bringing  in  the  atmosphere  of  a  fantasy  movie  soundtrack  along  with  elements of  dungeon  synth  and  after  the  instrumental  ambient  track  programmed  beats  are  added  into  the  music  along  with  some  raw  guitar  riffing  and  grim  screams  which  takes  the  music  more  into  an  atmospheric  black  metal  direction.

  There  is  a  good  balance  between  synths,  guitars  and  vocals  throughout  the  recording  and  the  songs  stick  mostly  to  a  slow  or  mid  paced  musical  direction  and  all  of  the  tracks  have  an  epic  feeling  to  them  along  with  one  of  the  songs  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  synths  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  medieval  atmosphere's  into  the  musical  sound.

  Halfway  through  the  album  a  brief  instrumental  is  added  onto  the  recording  and  the  synths  use  a  variety  of  many  different  sounding  keys  and  bring  a  folk  music  feeling  into  the  song  before  returning  back  to  a  more  raw  and  atmospheric  black  metal  direction  on  the  following  track  along  with  some  influences  of  doom  metal  being  added  into  the  slower  sections  of  the  guitar  riffing  and  you  can  also  hear  some  acoustic  guitar  playing  being  added  into  the  music  briefly,  in  certain  sections  the  synths  bring  in  a  symphonic  feeling  while  the  guitars  always  remain  in  a  rawer  direction  and  on  some  of  the  songs  towards  the  end  they  start  adding  in  small  amounts  of  melodic  guitar  leads  and  the   album  closes  with  another  dungeon  synth  style  instrumental.  

  The  Unchaining  remains  true  to  his  raw  and  epic  atmospheric  black  metal  sound  on  this  recording  and  he  makes  the  music  more  interesting  by  always  keeping  the  vocals  grim  and  the  guitar  riffing  adds  a  raw  side  of  black  metal  into  his  musical  sound,  the  production  has  a  very  dark  and  raw  sound  while  the  lyrics  cover  nature,  spirituality,  myth  and  introspection.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  The  Unchaining  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  epic  and  atmospheric  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "A  Stream  Of  Silver  Swords"  and  "Fornost  Erain".  8  out  of  10.


       
  

Monday, July 21, 2014

american Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
1. Jim: We’re two guys from Virginia who live a few hours away from each other that like to make music we want to hear. I do vocals, drums, and power electronics. Mike does guitar, bass, vocals, and power electronics as well.

2.Recently you have released a full length 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?
2. Mike: The sound presented is very bleak and we experimented a bit more with noise. While we've kept up with the melody our music normally carries, I think this album is a lot meaner than anything we've written in the past. 

    Jim: We tried to make something that was absolutely relentless. I'd like to think we succeeded.

3.In the last year you have put out a full length, split, 2 demos and a couple of singles, do you feel that you put a lot of time and effort into the band?
3. Mike: We've definitely committed to this project. Since we both live about 3 hours apart any chance we could get together we'd just crank out as much material as we could. We've tried to consistently write for the past few years and we've been pretty good about keeping up with it.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
4. Jim: Suicide. Social Justice Issues. Crises. 

5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the band name and the decision to spell the bands name all in lower case?
5. Jim: We’d rather not talk about it.

6.Currently there is only 2 members in the band, are you planning on expanding the line up in the future or do you chose to remain a duo?
6. Mike: The two of us work really well together so the duo setup has been working for us really well for writing and recording. If we ever start playing shows though we would have to expand.

7.Has the band done any live shows or is this strictly a studio project?
7. Mike: We haven't done any live shows yet. I'd certainly like to at some point.
    Jim: Late 2015

8.A year back you where a part of a split with Crone, what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on this recording?
8. Jim: Anthony Vi is a god. He’s a great musician and an incredibly talented audio engineer. Crone is his solo post rock project he seldom releases music as. When he does, its great.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal and other extreme genres?
9. Mike: We've had some great feedback. All the reviews we've gotten exceeded any expectation I had especially considering I never thought we'd be getting reviewed any time soon.

 Jim: The support we’ve received was completely unexpected. We’re outsiders and the fact that people enjoy us and want to help us is wild. Sean at Cvlt Nation as been backing us since the demo. Mattia at Sentient Ruin is fucking awesome and the fact that he believes in us so much is awesome. We’re forever grateful for the support. 

10.Where do you see this band heading into musically during the future?
 Jim: The support we’ve received was completely unexpected. We’re outsiders and the fact that people enjoy us and want to help us is wild. Sean at Cvlt Nation as been backing us since the demo. Mattia at Sentient Ruin is fucking awesome and the fact that he believes in us so much is awesome. We’re forever grateful for the support. 


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?
11. Mike: I know we both took some influence from The Body. I've also been inspired by Wolves in the Throne Room, Bastard Sapling and Black Monolith. I've been listening to a lot of music as of lately like Type O Negative, Sleep, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Elliott Smith, Boards of Canada, Ministry, Black Breath, and Pantera to name a few.

     Jim: A lot of Tears For Fears and Skinny Puppy influence for me on Coping With Loss. Lately, I’ve just been listening to a lot of Lil Ugly Mane. 

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
12. Mike: Movies are pretty sweet. 

     Jim: I’ve been reading a lot as of late. That and writing in a journal as a form of free therapy. It’s great. Reflecting on yourself is important.

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

13. Mike: We're very grateful for all the support we've been getting. Thank you.

      Jim: Shout out to Unsacred, Bastard Sapling, God Suffers, Meth Lab, and Lil Ugly Mane

Misanthropic Might/Menschenhasser/Black Skull Records/2014 CD Review


  Misanthropic  Might  are  a  band  from  Austria  that  plays  a  very  raw  and  misanthropic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Menschenhasser"  which  will   be  released  by  Black  Skull  Records.

  Spoken  word  samples  start  off  the  album  before  adding  in  an  old  school  thrash  style  riff  and  powerful  sounding  bass  guitars  which  leads  up  to  a  fast  and  black  metal  metal  direction  along  with  some  blast  beats,  melodies  and  high  pitched  screams  and  deep  growls  and  they  also  bring  in  a  good  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  There  is  a  good  balance  between  the  more  raw  and  melodic  sides  of  black  metal  throughout  the  recording  and  they  also  use  some  real  spoken  word  parts  at  times  and  the  faster  riffing  has  a  warlike  and  armageddon  feeling  to  them  at  times  along  with  some  the  vocals  adding  in  more  grim  elements.

  The  guitar  solos  and  leads  the  band  uses   enhances  the  melodic  black  metal  qualities  of  the  recording  and  some  of  the  growls  and  blast  beats  bring  a  brutal  death  metal  feeling  into  their  raw  black  metal  sound  at  times  and  on  of  the  tracks  sees  the  band  bringing  in  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing  in  a  couple  of  the  tracks  before  making  a  return  back  to  a  more  heavy,fast,  raw dark  and  melodic  direction  and  the  last  track  also  sees  the  band  adding  in  a  brief  use  of  back  up  shouts  which  gives  the  music  a  more  war  like  feeling.

  Misanthropic  Might  takes  the  rawest,  fastest,  heaviest  and  melodic  sides  of  black  metal  and  combining  them  together  as  well  as  invoking  an  old  school  feeling  to  create  some  very  great  sounding  black  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  while  the  lyrics  cover  misanthropy,  anti  christian  and  war  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Misanthropic  Might  are  a  very  great  sounding  fast,  raw  and  melodic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "War"  "Fallen  Kingdom"  and  "Becoming  the  Misanthrope".  8  out  of  10.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Siaskel 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?

Hi, guys from Occult Black Metal Zine. First of all, thanks for the support by asking us for our first interview in english language. Well, we spent a lot of time trying to release the first album, an album we are really pride of, basically because some labels did not want to work with us, and here we are now, destroying ears and bursting heads of our audience. Right now we are ad portas of finishing the recordings of our second album, the songs on this one are more powerful and vicious, and we gave the chance to ourselves to make some experimentation on the melodies. You may ask why "so soon for a second album", and the answer is because the first album are old songs that had to be recorded and released, since those ones were created 2 or 3 years ago. We are "non stop" music maniacs, so new stuff had to came up... In a couple of weeks we will ritualize the city of Rancagua in our country, Chile, as an official live release of our debut album "Jatenentolpen Thejin", and maybe a couple of more gigs later, who knows. After that, we plan to start compositions for the third album, the colossus Siaskel will not stop!!


2.Recently you have released a new album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new recording and also how does it differ from the demo you had released a few years back?

The promo cd we release on 2010 was a rehearsal recorded in multitrack, both of those songs are in the full length cd we already self release. There were not changes on the music, only a more professional recording and different vocals. 


3.This is the first release in 4 years since the promo demo, can you tell us a little bit more about the 4 year gap between releases?

At the beginning of 2011 we recruited Gorrge, the new vocalist of the band. By that time we had the music of Jatenentolpen Thejin already recorded and we had to wait until he learn the songs and work the vocal duties...After that he was ready to impregnate the songs with the darkness we were seeking and recorded his part. At the end of that year we had a pre-agreement with a french label on a vinyl release, but after a considerable delay on the answer, the label told us the release was cancelled by financial problems. That was the moment we decided to self release it by the back up of Gorrge, without his support and perseverance, the release of our first full length album maybe would have taken so much time to be done.


4. Can you tell us a little bit more about the song lyrics that are present on the recording?

Our lyrics are tales covered in blood, horror, war and destruction. We talk about stories of Selk'nam culture, natives from Tierra del Fuego, at the south end of Chile. We pray about their cosmogony and describe in a personal way, their rich mythology, so different to others, thanks to the cultural parallelism of primal civilizations.
 

5.On the album you sing in a mixture of Spanish and Ona which was the language of the Selk'nam, can you tell us a little bit more about the decision to write in these languages and also can you tell us a little bit more about the Selk'nam tribe?

As you say, the lyrics on the album are written in spanish, and we use different words and sentences of the Selk'nam language. We had a very hard work studying the Selk'nam culture, mainly reading old historical descriptions/writings of investigators, scientists and religious people made long time ago. The main point of this is because, this culture has so many shocking events, that, respectfully, we didn't want to disown and treat the themes lightly at all. We wanted that each phrase and story have their own weight and interpretation. Is in this moment we decided to sing in not another language but our own, and add the Selk'nam ingredient to give sense at what was being sung about the own creation, heroes, shamans, demons, spirits and gods of this now extinct culture. As the whole universe of different cultures, the Selk'nam had own special aspects related to their beliefs and the way to conceive life and death, so does their conception of the creation of the universe, the rites and shamanic invocations, between long aspects of history. Our songs deal with many of those aspects and specific stories of the past.


6. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Siaskel'?

The legend says Siaskel was a merciless and vicious being, evil made flesh. This colossus was capable of terrifying every single being on the Onaisin (territory occupied by the Selk'nam). He was a destructive force feared by all of the souls on the firmament, as the story says. And well, the name by itself is so powerful we didn't have any doubt of calling the band like this.


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

Extreme Metal Festival, 2008 in Chile. This one was made open air. In that time, the vocalist of the band Occidens was singing on Siaskel, only for live performances purpose. In Chile, it is very difficult you get watched by much people at once, and to be in front of 1000 maniacs it's a lot...This happened basically because the line up of that fest was exceptional for those years: Magnanimvs, Denying Nazarene, Bellum, Melektaus, Gorgoth and Occidens between others. About the stage performance, it is very difficult to say since we have not played live at least in the last 3 years and the actual line up is very different from the past one, as we told you before, we will start promoting our album by live performances very soon, so probably you'll figure out yourself by watching some live videos people may upload in the future. And as a bonus: we are preparing to play some tunes of the second album on this year.



8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new release?

The first gig will be on Rancagua, on the second week of August. We hope to do a couple of more shows on the left months of 2014. About touring, in Chile it doesn't work, at least you have 3 or 5 gigs and that is not touring. We hope to play outside Chile someday, and following that, we have to keep working in our music since, obviously, is very difficult any promoter wants you if you are not well known to make people pay a fee to watch you.



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

Yes, we are currently unsigned, and yes, the idea for the next album (and the next after that) is to be released by a label. We hope a good and professional label get interested in our stuff, since releasing your own material is really exhausting, not only financially speaking, but it requires a lot of working time. By the moment we have not talk with any labels, since we are focused on distributing and selling the first release. As the new record is almost ready, we will probably send some promo stuff to labels of our interest or vice versa, if any label contacts us, we will have to discuss a deal. Time is running.


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

It's funny, since we have a better response of the audience outside Chile, than inside. The album has a lot of reviews by now and only positive ones (average 8 of 10) by the moment...for us that is surprising and very satisfactory. Our website is visited mainly by people of outside the country and the main request of buying the album are not from Chile as well. We thank our vocalist, who has worried of promoting our cd in different sites of the world, not only by "sending" the stuff , but by promoting our material in situ in a couple of countries he has recently visited. We prefer to call our music by the tag of "extreme metal" only, since the "style" of Siaskel has been very discussed on the media, about being black metal, death metal, blackdeath metal, and shit like that, but finally, the feedback has been very good. We released 500 copies in a professionally manufactured cd and right now we have maybe 100 or less left.


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

Our drummer and lead guitarist share a project called INTENEBRAS, and they are releasing a full length album very soon. Our vocalist used to sing in the band ANCESTRAL, a death metal band, but he is not longer part of that band, he is working in a black/doom metal project now, called CONCATENATUS, where he does vocals and drums. Our bass player and rhythm guitar belongs 100% to SIASKEL.


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?

Well, we have a wide taste in music, but the goal of Siaskel always has been to create extreme music, related to the roots of our music taste in the past years, bands like Dissection, Limbonic Art (old), Marduk (old), Dark Funeral (old), Infernal War, Thunderbolt, Ondskapt, Setherial (old), Kriegmaschine, etc. Every member has it's own music taste, but the usual and common thing is old school black and death metal.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?
As every member of the band are full grown adults, everyone has their own different activities, and a different vision of life of course... but taking beer outside of the map, we enjoy history and stuff like non-conventional movies. 

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
EVERYONE WILL BE BURNED BY THE LAVA OF SIASKEL'S BLOOD, EVERY SKULL WILL BE CRUSHED BY HIS DECIMATING SCREAM, EVERY CHILDREN, WOMAN AND MAN MAY HUNG ON HIS SCOURGING BELT!! THE CIRCLE OF EXISTENCE AND UNIVERSAL CHAOS MAY DESTROY EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF THE ACTUAL CIVILIZATION!! PREPARE TO BE JUDGED BY THE UNNAMEABLE ONE!!! SÓ'ONH HAS'KÁN!!!

america/Coping With Loss/ Sentient Ruin Laboratories/2014 CD Review

  american  are  a  band  from  Virginia  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black  metal,  sludge,  punk,  industrial  and  noise  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Coping  With  Loss"  which  was  released  by  Sentient  Ruin  Laboratories.

  Drones  and  clean  playing  before  adding  in  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  a  fast  and  raw  musical  direction  which  also  brings  in  blast  beats  and  dark  sounding  melodies  and  then  the  music  slows  down  and  adds  some  sludge  influences  into  their  depressive  black  metal  sound  while  they  also  keep  around  the  fast  parts.

  Bass  guitars  have  a  very  powerful  sounding  presence  on  the  album  along  with  the  slower  sections  bringing  in  some  very  heavy  doom/sludge  metal  and  spoken  word  samples  are  also  brought  in  briefly  on  a  couple  of  the  tracks  and  the  band  also  brings  in  a  good  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  band  also  adds  in  a  good  amount  of  drones  and  harsh  noises  with  the  guitars  and  amps.

  Sound  effects  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  they  make  the  music  sound  a  lot  more  experimental  as  well  as  giving  the  album  a  more  underground  industrial  edge  while  the  faster  and  raw  side  of  black  metal  is  the  most  dominant  sound  to  be  heard  on  this  recording  and  they  also  add  in  some  of  the  more  modern  elements  of  this  musical  genre  into  their  sound  at  times,  one  of  the  later  tracks  sees  the  band  stepping  away  from  black  metal  for  awhile  to  create  some  dark  and  evil  sounding  drone  before  making  a  return  back  to  that  direction  as  well  as  sounding  more  raw  and  vicious  as  well  as  adding  in  a  few  seconds  of  acoustic  guitar  playing,  the  last  track  sees  the  band  adding  in  melodic  Gregorian  chants  in  the  background  and  the  song  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  goes  for  more  of  an  ambient  noise  direction.

  american  creates  a  very  interesting  sound  with  their  music  with  their  style  being  mostly  in  a  raw  and  depressive  direction  and  they  make  their  sound  more  diverse  by  adding  in  sludge,  doom  metal,  drone  and  harsh  noise  elements,  the  production  has  a  very  dark  and  raw  sound  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark,  violent  and  depressive  themes.

  In  my  opinion  american  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  raw  black  metal,  sludge,  punk,  industrial  and  noise  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Ritual  Suicide"  "Lamb  To  Slaughter"  and  "Solace  in  The  Silence".  8  out  of  10. 

Visions Interview

1. Recently you have released a new ep, how would you describe the musical sound of the new recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

We have recorded this time at Traste Cero Studios , the difference between  this record and the old ones is that now we have a sound more appropriate with that we have in our minds. The old recordings were just amateur ones in comparison

2. The bands earlier material was more blackened death thrash and the new ep is more in an old school or more traditional style of black metal, what was the decision behind going into this musical direction?

The idea with this band was taking a different point of view in each recording, but always into the extreme metal stuff. I hate those bands who record the same song with different names in all their releases. I will really get bored working always on the same idea

3. Your song lyrics cover a good amount of satanic, occult and pagan themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

In this EP we use these topics as a provocation and a sample of intolerance against those Judeo-Christian sects who corrupts the natural values and the moral of the human being

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

Visions name came from the enormous influence that the Sepultura’s greatest “Morbid Visions” gave to me. At the beginning, the band name would be Morbid Visions, but I prefer using only one word on a name

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

I have good regards of all the shows we have perform, our bass player broke his leg on his first show, that’s the way we want to do the things! I will define our stage performance as “cold and direct”. I hate those stupid frontmans who are always interacting with the public and doing monologues. People goes to the shows to see you playing at live, not to hear your jokes!

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

We’re planning a national tour to present the new Ep. At this moment we have some confirmations, but we can’t say anything more about this. Let’s see what we can do!

7 .The new ep had a cover of Burzum's  "Journey  to the  Stars" what was the decision behind during your own version of this legendary track/

As you have said, it’s a legendary black metal song, and we think it fits perfectly into the atmosphere of this Ep

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

At this moment there isn’t much demand nor follow up far beyond our country. We hope this recording can change this situation

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

We want to spread the words about the new Ep and make some noise at live first. Then, and if we have enough money, we’ll be able to record a full length album to make more chaos! The future is simple, our path is chosen, the extreme way is our way

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 classic ones, from Black Sabbath to Beherit, going on Celtic Frost and Morbid Angel. Right now I’m interesting in very extreme things like Teitanblood, Katharsis… and those bands who are doing that new sound like Malthusion or Bölzer…amazing!!


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

Thanks a lot for your time and the time of those who have dedicated a few minutes to read this