Thursday, October 19, 2017

Halphas/Dawn Of A Crimson Empire/Folter Records/2017 CD Review


  Halphas  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  a  very  raw  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Dawn  Of  A  Crimson  Empire"  which  will  be  released in  December  by  Folter  Records.

  Nature  soundscapes  along  with  some  ritualistic  spoken  word  parts  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  direction  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  as  well  as  a  small  amount  of  clean  vocals.

  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  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  riffs  also  bringing  in  melodies  at  times  and  when  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they  are done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  and some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  a  couple  of  songs  also  adding  in  a  brief use  of  classical  guitars.

  Halphas  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  raw,  old  school  and  traditional  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  occultism,  death,  hate,  pain,  and  dark  desire  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Halphas  are  a  very  great  sounding  raw  and  traditional  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre, you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Call  From  The  Depths"  "Sword  Of  The  Necromancer"  and  "Empire".  8  out  of  10.  

Helvetestromb Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
1. The band formed in 2010 in a drunken haze by school buddies Jeppe, Tom, Sebbe and Axel. We loved black metal, hardcore and punk, and wanted to play music that fuse all that shit together. So we did.

2.How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recordings?
2. Our newly released album is best left for listeners to comment on, but basically it's a ravaging production by the guys at RealSound Studio, so I would say that it has the same feel as Sodoms late 80s, early 90s stuff and today's Iron Regan (the spin off of Municipal Waste). And there somewhere, with some Satyricon licks and riffs.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
3. We explore mainly the end of the world as a result of complete and utter human retardation and politics, resulting in the satanic and infernal cataclysm most of us deserve. Satan is also a lyrical theme, because Hail Satan!

4.Originally the band was called 'Skoll', what was the cause of the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Helvetestrom'?
4. We changed from Skoll during productions, because some folk metal Italian guy had a band called that already (Skoll is a wolf in norse mythology by the way, for those of you who are not versed in the old nordic ways). So we changed to the best name to fit the bands music, both soundwise and lyrical, and so it became "Helvetestromb" meaning Hell Tornado. Also, many of our lyrics are in swedish because duh, we're from Sweden, one of the most unholy lands in this world.

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. We've rocked Satan at Copperfields and Skeppsbar, those gigs where fucking amazing. Mostly thanks to the sound guy who enabled us to hear what the fuck we are playing! Our stage performance is something like 80's bad ass thrasher leather meets even darker 80's first wave black metal. So in short: lots of spikes and leather, black paint because fucking hell we're already white as it is. All in all, we deliver an onslaught of Satanic energy, like to give "the show", so no standing still or being all serious and shit. It's thrash attack party when we perform!

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
6. No, we did the release gig this saturday. So now, it's time to reach out to northern Europe and find places and bars to demolish. How the fuck does one get gigs in other countries anyways?

7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and extreme metal?
7. We've had our music on the american radio, other than that we are most heard in South America, Holland, and even the middle east. Honestly, I don't know how that even works but hey, must be the power of Satan.

8.The new album is coming out on 'WornHoleDeath Records', are you happy with the support that they have given you so far?
8. Yes, Carlo is a cool guy! When that guy snores, the dead rises from their graves! No but seriously, we've gotten very good feedback and backing from them, it's rather we lazy asses who doesn't get shit done!

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
9. If Uberfuhrer ov Sadistic Violationz decides, it's gonna be some wierd fucking shit with jazz influences. Luckily, he doesnt get to, and so we will continue to attack all that is holy with blackened thrash and punk tracks. Our musical skills has gone up on our journey, and we hope of course they will continue to do so.

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. Okay, we heavily endorse the energy and rocknroll in old school black metal such as Bathory and Venom, but also dig d-beat and hardcore punk like Anti Cimex and Discharge. Of course, the norwegian black metal from 90-96 is goddamned indestructibly good, but we don't do that shit ourselves, even though many riffs are influenced by it. Nowadays, we still listen to all the mentioned, because modern metal, I dont know like grindcore, blablablacore, modern rock and numetal or the fuck it's called is fucking shat out of Satans infernal anus. So we listen to Sodom's M-16 or Agent of Steel's Sceptics Apocalypse, because that's fucking brilliant!

11.How would you describe your views on Satanism?
11. We do not believe that Satan is a dark actual being, like a god you can summon with obscure rituals. However, Satan as an ideal and a mental force is right in there with our views on life as a whole. Satan is the freedom we experience when performing our music; the anti-societal, anti-christian critical force, the very symbol of rebellion, dark desires and individual power and human potency. We endorse all satanic symbolism just as much as tight leather pants and latex, and the best thing with Satan, is that he attracts likeminded people to come to bars, where we can all get drunk, talk about band patches and listen to goddamn awesome music with awesome people! That is our take on Satanism.

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

12. Hail the Satan of Hell!

/Grym Ejakulator, guitars

Scour/Red/Housecore Records/2017 EP Review


  Scour  are    band  from  the  United  States  that h as  had  music  reviewed  before in  this  zine  and  consists  of  many  legendary  extreme  metal  musicians  and  plays  a  very  raw  form  of  black  metal  with  some  elements  of  thrash  and  grindcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  ep  "Red"  which  will  be  released  in  November  by  Housecore  Records.

  A  very  dark  and  heavy  sound  along  with  some  melodic  guitar  leads  start  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  black  metal  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  while  the  vocals  mix  demonic  growls  and  high  pitched  screams  into  the  same  songs.

  A  lot  of t he  music  is  very  heavily  rooted  by  the  90's  second  wave  style  but  with  a  more  modern  feeling  along  with  some  elements  of  grindcore  in  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  while  the  tracks  also bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  you  can  also  hear  a  touch  of  thrash  at  times,  synths  are  also  used  briefly  on  one  of  the  tracks.

  Scour  remains  true to  the  raw  black  metal  style  of  their  previous  release  while  still mixing  in  touches  of  grindcore  and  thrash,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Scour  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  raw  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Red"  and  "Shank".  8  out  of  10.

Cicida The Burrower/The Great Nothing/Blue Bedroom Records/2017 Full Length Review


  Cicida  The  Burrower  are  a  solo  project  from  Madison,  Wisconsin  that  plays  a  progressive  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "The  Great  Nothing"  which  was  released  by  Blue  Bedroom  Records.

  Melodic  guitar  leads  along  with  some  depressive  black  metal  screams  start  off  the  album  while  heavy  riffs  and  atmospheric  sounds  can  also  be  heard  as  well  as  a  small  amount  of  deep  growls  and  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sound  very  powerful.

  A  great  amount  of  depressive  melodies  can  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  while  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  along  with  the  music  also  getting  very  progressive  at  times,  some  songs  also  bring  in  elements  of  sludge,  doom  and  post  metal  and  melodic  vocals  as  well  as  some  clean  guitars  are  also  used  briefly  and  when  the  music  finally  speeds  up  a  small  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  Cicida  The  Burrower  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  progressive  while  also  adding  in  elements  of  sludge,  doom  and  post  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  are  a  concept  album and  cover  depression  and  significant experiences.

  In  my  opinion  Cicida  The  Burrower  are  a  very  great  sounding  progressive  black  metal  solo  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Incidental"  "Walls,  Bent  ANd  Broken"  and  "Nihilism  Fuck  Wave",  8  out  of  10.

Joyless Euphoria Interview

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

 We founded Joyless Euphoria in May 2016. In the beginning, there were three of us, but frankly, our visions didn't align quite as well as I had hoped so I decided to go my own way and record all instruments myself.
After looking for a singer, I ended up talking to Lorand from the Post-Hardcore band False King, who fell in love with the music and decided to handle vocal and lyrics duties, which I think worked out perfectly.

2.Recently you have released your first album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

We play a blend of a various styles culminating in something we like to refer to as Post-Black Metal. Of course we have the blast beats and the harsh vocals, but we also have gazey parts as well as rock and blues solos, and notably, ethereal clean vocals that give the whole thing an otherworldly feel.

We recorded the music with the help of our good friend Robert Gutmann here in Vienna and had it mixed and mastered by Rob Marshall at Canvas in San Francisco.

We think the heavy and intense production really suits the music.

3.You refer to your music as 'Posthuman Black Metal', can you tell us a little bit more about this term?

The term "posthuman black metal" refers to the concept of the album and the lyrics. It is a record about a father who loses his daughter to suicide, dealing with all the emotions that come with this, be that grief or just (trying to) remember the good times.

Losing a child is probably one of the most painful things a person can experience, we tried to put this into music.

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

Please refer to Q 3

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

Joyless Euphoria is quite the contradiction. In life you stumble through a vast array of emotions, some pleasant, others, not so much. And of course everyone hits these at different frequencies. You can be happy one second and be a total wreck the next. And conversely, even in your deepest depressions you might be able to see a light. We are not a true DSBM band, for that we have far too many positive aspects and melodies in our songs, and we tried to express that when naming the band.

6.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you open to expanding your line up or do you prefer to work as a duo?

Big time. Works super well. I mean obviously if we ever want to play live we'd get some peepz to fill in but for now this is how we'll keep working.

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

I am currently working on composing songs for a second record which is going to have similar vibes as our debut. I'm guessing it'll be done in about 18 months. These things take time, you know ;)
(Thanks for letting me know ;) -Lorand)

8. 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've loved metal since I've heard Iron Maiden's "Number of the Beast" for the very first time in 1989. Which I bought. On tape. Because I'm an old man.

The more extreme side of Metal took hold of me when I've heard "Ablaze in the Northern Sky" in 1993.

For this Album, my influences ranged from Alcest, Deafheaven and Oathbreaker -- whom I have a lot of respect for -- to old Norwegian black metal from the early 90s.


9.What are some of your non musical interests?

Martin:  Hockey. Love it. Play myself, actually. And, of course my kids.

Lorand: Comedy and video games are my jam, when I'm, you know, not jamming.

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

 Thank you so much for giving us a chance. It's incredibly difficult to make people listen these days since there are so many bands out there.

Support us, buy the album or, at the very least, take a listen or two. We put a lot of work into it!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Imperious/Tales Of Woe The Journey Of Odysseus Part II: From Hades To Ithaca/Massacre Records/2017 CD Review



  This  is  a  review  of  another  recording  from  Germany's  Imperious  which  continues  the  epic  and  atmospheric  style  of  black  metal  and  the  album  was  originally  released  in  2016  and  called  "Tales  Of  Woe  The  Journey  Of  Odysseus  Part  II:  From  Hades  To  Ithaca"  which  will  be  re-issued  in  November  by  Massacre  Records.

  Acoustic  guitar  playing  starts  off  the  album  along  with  all  of  the musical  instruments  sounding  very  powerful  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  and  melodic  musical  direction  while  the  solos  and  leads  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody  as  well  as  a  couple  of  the  tacks  being  instrumentals.

  Most  of  the  songs  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  some  songs  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  female  vocals  and  as  the  album  progresses  grim  black  metal  scrams  start  to  make  their  presence  known  and  when  tremolo  picking  is  utilized  it  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling  as  well.

  Synths  are  also  mixed  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  while  stringed  instruments  can  also  be  heard  briefly  along  with  most  of  the  music  sticks  mostly  to  either  a  slow  or  mid  tempo direction,  one  track  also  brings  in  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  and  when the  music  finally  speeds  up  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  as  well  as  a  small  amount  of  growls.

  On  this  recording  Imperious  slow  everything  down  a  bit  to  a  more  mid  tempo  style  of  atmospheric  black  metal  while  still  being  very  epic  at  the  same  time,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  continue  the  story  of  Homer's  Odysseus  and  his long  journey  home.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Imperious  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  epic  and  atmospheric  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Sirens"  "The  Isle  Of  The  Solar  God"  and  "Bloodbound  -  The  Bow  Of  Odysseus".  8  out  of  10.

      

Imperious/Tales Of Woe - The Journey Of Odysseus Part I: From Illion To Hades/Massacre Records/2017 CD Re-Issue Review


  Imperious  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  an  epic  and  atmospheric  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Tales  Of  Woe -  The  Journey  Of  Odysseus Part  I: From  Illion  To  Hades"  which  will  be  re-issued  in  November  by  Massacre  Records.

  Epic  sounding  keyboards  start off  the  album  along  with  some  spoken  word  parts  a  few  seconds later  while  female  vocals  are  also  used  briefly  and  after  the  intro  the  music  goes  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  musical  direction  that  utilizes  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats.

  Vocals  are  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  while  the  songs  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  melodic  fashion  as  well  as  mixing  the  synths  and  spoken  words  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  and  the  riffs  also  incorporate  a  great  amount  of  melody,

  A  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them   as  well  acoustic  guitars  being  heard  briefly  on  a  few  tracks  and  instrumentals  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction,  some  tracks  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  growling  vocals  and  some  songs  also  add  in  a  brief  use  of  clean  male  and  female  singing.

  Imperious  plays  a  style  of  black  metal t hat  is  very  epic  and  atmospheric  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  a  concept  upon  based  upon  Homer's  The  Odyssey".

  In  my  opinion  Imperious  are  a  very great  sounding  epic  and  atmospheric  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  re-issue.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "To  Abjure  Temptation"  "Insidious  Winds"  and  :Where  Cimmerian  Darkness  Dwells".  8  out  of  10.