Thursday, July 21, 2016

Twilight Fauna/Fire Of The Spirit/Ravenwood Recordings/Fragile Branch Recordings/2016 Full Length Review


  Tennessee's  solo  project  Twilight  Fauna  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues the  folk  influenced  atmospheric  black  metal  sound  of  previous  recordings  and  this  is  a  review  of his  2016  album  "Fire  Of  The  Spirit"  which  will  be  released  in  August  as  a  joint  effort  between  Ravenwood  Recordings  and  Fragile  Branch  Recordings.

Spoken  word  samples  from  a  southern  backwoods  church  start  off  the  album  and  after  a  few  seconds  acoustic  guitars  are  added  onto  the  recording  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  folk feeling  and  a  great  portion  of  the  tracks a re  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  also  mixing  spoken  words  in  with the music  at  times.

 After  awhile  heavy  guitars  make  their  presence  known  on  the  recording  along  with  some  black  metal  screams  which  are  mixed  down  low  in  the  mix  and  drum  beats  are  added  onto  the  second  track  while the  riffs  use  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  which  also  gives  the music  more  of  a  raw  feeling.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  dark,  raw  and  melodic  style  and  on  some  of  the  later  tracks  acoustic  guitars  make  their  return  and  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  Americana  feeling  as  well  as  some  songs  also  bringing  in  folk  instruments  and  melodic  singing  while  a  later  track  mixes  both  acoustic  and  electric  guitars  together.

  Twilight  Fauna  creates  a  recording  that  takes  black  metal  and  focuses  more  on  the  guitar  riffing  of  the  genre  while  also  mixing  in  elements  of  folk  music  to  create  something  very  diffferent,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  are  based  upon  the  Pentacostal  snake  cults  and  churches that are  all  around  the  backwoods  area's  of t he  south.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Twilight  Fauna  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  raw  black  metal  and  folk  music,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "A  Green  Moth  In  The  Midst"  and  "Tongues  Of  Knowledge".  8  out  of  10.

Styxian Industries Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
We’re going through some changes at the moment since the drummer decided to move to the other side of the world. Therefore machine based technology is even more important than before. However, we we are planning a few shows in the Netherlands.

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?
“Zero.Void.Nullified {Of Apathy And Armageddon}” is the soundtrack for the end of the world, a cocktail of 'classic black metal' 'experimental industrial and electronic elements', with a few small classic rock and metal touches. It is the logical continuation of our previous work.

3.While you have had plenty of releases they where mostly demo's, ep's and split's, can you tell us a little bit more on why you waited until 2016 to release an actual full length?
It wasn’t waiting. There was never a conscious decision. We just let things happen. When you kick a rock of a mountain top, you don’t immediately have an avalanche. It takes some time to build momentum. Just like a landslide, there is only one way for us and that is downhill.
4.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your newer music?
We capture and celebrate the demise of humanity. Downwards is where we’re going.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Styxian Industries'?
The name comes from one of the rivers that run through the underworld in ancient Greek mythology, the river Styx. This river separates the world of the living from the world of the dead. One could imagine an endless row of smoking chimneys separating this world from a dead and wasted land.

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?
You should ask the people who had the guts to endure our shows multiple times over the past few years. We try to to transmit our ideology both musically and visually. Turning the stage in a post-apocalyptic setting which will make you see, feel and hear what we want to carry out.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
At the moment, we’re planning a couple of shows in/around the Netherlands somewhere en October 2016.

8.In the beginning the band was a 5 piece but now has only 3 members, is it hard to find other musicians that share your same vision?
Decay is is the law of life and death and this definitely applies to us. As we devolved into the abomination we are now, we lost some members who couldn’t cope with the ideas and everything that came along with it. We tried to fill their places but discovered it was easier to adjust ourselves to the new 3 member situation. Like a democracy, the less voters, the more pure the chosen line.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal and industrial?
As the genre is still small, there is a small group of enthusiast that celebrate every additions. On the other side, you'll find people who can't stand the use of electronics. They can't grasp the concept of the added violence we bring with the distorted beats and glitches. However, a lot of people experience it as the right mix between conservative old black metal and modern electronics.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
As we like to maintain the organic feel of deterioration there will not be much of a shift into the more electronic side of the music. Deterioration is the keyword and downward is the way we go.  As it is now, everything in the music sounds like it performed by the last human remaining... Rotten and cursed. We don’t want to polish it up to a kind of music produced by machines after human downfall.

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?
We are influenced by both the old norwegian Black Metal, and the more modern Industrial Black Metal approach (Blacklodge, Aborym, etc.) We found there's a gap between these 2 styles to fill. For the majority the members of the band listen to the more extreme side of metal. Though tastes also expand to more obscure, experimental metal and darker psy-trance or Hi-Tech and Motorhead.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Final thoughts are for the weak and dying. There is only one way and that’s downwards. When you see the big bright light stop and wait till it hits you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Frigoris/Nur Ein Moment/Hypnotic Dirge Records/2016 CD Review


  Frigoris  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  an  atmospheric  form  of  post  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of their  2016  album  "Nur Ein Moment"  which  will  be  released  in  August  by  Hypnotic  Dirge  Records.

 Nature  sounds  and  clean  guitars  start  off  the  album  and  also  bring  in  touches  of  post  rock  and  after  a  minute  melodic  guitar  leads  start  becoming  a  very  huge  part  of  the  recording  along  with  some  depressive  black  metal  screams  and  the  riffs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  During  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  black  metal  feeling  and  acoustic  guitars  can  also  be  heard  at  times  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  progressive  feeling  and  the  songs  also  bring  in a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and fast  parts.

  A  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and violins  can  also  be  heard  at  times  and  some  songs  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  melodic  singing  along  with  a  small  amount  of  whispers  and  you  can  also  hear  a  lot  of  doom  metal  influences  in  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  and  the  music  also  brings  in  more  of  a  modern  and atmospheric sound.

  Frigoris  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  atmospheric  and  depressive  in the  modern  style  of  the  genre  while  also  mixing  it  in  with  elements  of  doom  metal  and  post  rock,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  German  and  are  a  concept  album  based  upon  isolation  and  depression  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Frigoris  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  post  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Truwen"  and  "Himeros".  8  out  of  10.

 
 

Aggressive Mutilator/Monster Decay/Carnal Records/2016 EP Review


  Sweden's  Aggressive  Mutilator  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues  the  raw  mixture  of  black  metal,  thrash  and  hardcore  punk  of  previous  releases  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  ep  "Monster  Decay"  which  was  released on  cassette  by  Carnal  Records.

  A  very  heavy  and  aggressive  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  vocals  that  are  in  between  first  wave  black  metal  and  thrash  and  the  guitar  leads  are  melodic  and  during the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  the  riffs  use  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  after  awhile  black  metal  screams  and  elements  of  hardcore  punk  are  added  into  the  music  and  most  of the  tracks  are  very  short  in  length  but  also  remain  heavy  and  they  close  the  ep  with  a  cover  of  Bad  Brains  "The  Regulator".

  Aggressive  Mutilator  creates  another  recording t hat  mixes  the  first  and  second  wave  styles  of  black  metal  with  80's  influenced  thrash  and  hardcore  punk,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  old  school  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and sickness  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Aggressive  Mutilator  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black  metal,  thrash  and  punk,  you  should  check  out  this  cassette.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "No  Right  To  Exist"  and  "Leather  Apron".  8  out  of  10.

   

Lord Impaler Interview

1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
Tragon: We are currently finishing the recording of our second full length album “In Full Regalia” and also working on new songs for a split release in 2017 and a third album.

2. Currently you are working on 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?
Tragon: “Admire The Cosmos Black” was an album we hadn’t planned and contained songs from different eras of the band. This time we had a more clear vision and there was only one main composer, which makes the songs more cohesive and homogenous. We also went a little more aggressive, there are songs in the new album that offer more time to headbang than what we used to have in the past.

3. Your lyrics cover some Ancient Hellenic Pride and Anti Christian themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?
Tragon: These are only some of the subjects that generally interest me and I spend time studying. The band is my preferred channel to speak about those specific issues. We are an anti-religious band, and since we happen to live in a Christian country our lyrics are antichristian. When I am not touching this subject, I either speak of the Ancient Greek world (we were always fascinated from the Greek mythology, and to be honest with you, I would personally prefer the “official” religion of Greece, if there has to be one, to be the ethnic mythos of Greece instead of the ethnic mythos of Judea that currently is) or the history of Vlad Tepes a.k.a. the “Dracula”.

4. I know that the band was named after 'Vlad Tepes', can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this historical character?
Tragon: When we started the band we were fascinated by the stories around Vlad, both the historic one, as well as the fictitious “Dracula” of Bram Stoker. Who doesn’t like brutal heroes who impale their enemies and vampire stories, right? Above all, the title “Lord Impaler” felt really fitting for a black metal band and this was the deciding factor…

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Tragon: Lord Impaler have only played live 3 times, the last one was 2 months ago, and the one before that was 16 years ago. Our latest show, supporting Rotting Christ, was certainly the best we have given, a traditional black metal show with blood, corpse paint and a great atmosphere.

6. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Tragon: We are in the talks for some shows in November but we don’t have any dates booked right now. We keep our ears open for opportunities to play more shows.

7. Recently you where a part of a split with 'Dizziness' and 'Hell Poemer', what are your thoughts on the other bands that had participated on the album?
Tragon: They are both an excellent sample of Greek black metal. Each one has developed their own brand, Dizziness are closer to the primitive Hellenic Pagan black (alongside cult bands like Nergal and Athos), while Hell Poemer are closer to the classic Greek black metal sound but expand on it in modern ways. Worth checking their other works.

8. Also on the split you had done a cover of Bathory's "Call From the Grave", what was the decision behind doing your own version of this song?
Tragon: Whenever we do a cover we are picking on songs that we would have done differently. We don’t really see the point in re-making a song of a band that plays similar music with us and just performing their song as it is. With “Call…” we felt we could really make it shine in our style and so we went for it.

9. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your current music by fans of black metal?
Tragon: People around the globe seem to genuinely enjoy our music. We’ve got a lot of positive feedback and it’s only getting better over the years. Of course there has been the occasional bad review every now and then, which we welcome and appreciate (that’s how you learn you need to improve usually), and it mostly boils down to “we’re not original enough”, which I am fine with: we never tried to innovate much, we’re playing the music we like to listen to. There are bands like Virus or Dødheimsgård who try to re-invent themselves every album. We are not this kind of band.

10. When will the new album be released?
Tragon: I really cannot give you an estimate. We hope to finish it in 2016, but even if all go as planned, it will then depend on any labels that may express interest in it. Generally, we hope for a release this year.

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?
Tragon: We have always been fans of Norwegian and Swedish black metal, and it shows. This isn’t something we try to do, it has become a personal style of composing (as far as I can tell at least, from working closely with Lord Nebulah, our main composer). Bands that shaped us, hmm, I will say Emperor, Immortal, Dark Funeral, Marduk, Satyricon, but again influences aren’t something we consciously choose, and we’re listening to lots of different stuff that might have crept in our minds in some way. Currently I am listening to Behexen’s latest album and recently added Imperium Infernalis’ “Imago Dei” on rotation. This last one is another excellent sample of contemporary Greek black metal.

12. How would you describe your views on Occultism?
Tragon: I am living in the age of logic, which means no gods, no devils, no fairies. However I do find occult theories somewhat fascinating and when I have time to spare I do read occult books. Whenever I reference anything religious in my lyrics, they mask something deeper, they are just a symbolic link to what I really want to talk about. For example, Satan is the rebellious free man, I am not a Satanist, but you will see him mentioned A LOT in our third album…

13. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Tragon: Firstly, I would like to point everyone to our official Bandcamp page at http://lordimpaler.bandcamp.com where you can listen to our entire discography. We recently uploaded a compilation named “Demology - The Decade of Obscurity”, which is free to get and covers our first decade, our demo era. Secondly, a word to all metal fans: SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SCENE. Going to a local concert, buying a DIY product, getting the word out, it makes all the difference in the world. Give the underground bands the time to stand on their feet for when the dinosaurs die off. Last (but certainly not least), thank you for this interview. We greatly appreciate the time and effort you put into it. ΧΑΙΡΕ!

--Tragon

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Nulla+ Interview

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

I had the idea of Nulla+ at the end of 2014. The project born in order to connect the 90's black metal minimalistic sounds with the hardcore sounds, using lyrics born by improvisation and inspiration of the moment related to the "Stornelli", a kind of folk poetry grown in the Middle Italy at the end of the Middle Ages/begin of the Reinessance (for those who don't know, Nulla+ is an Italian band). The "Stornelli" are composed of satirical topics with an indefinite numbers of verses in very simple form. Riccardo Mencarelli (drums) was called to help in the construction of "Stornelli Distopici": eleven tracks, eleven sinisters "Stornelli" written and recorded during 2015. Every one of them is inspired by a micro or macro situation, and on whatever trivial there's in the world: to live and to die in this dystopia which is the human being.

2.In May you had released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

I really love hardcore punk and his power to express concepts and also black metal for his bleak gloomy atmospheres. Both of them are often visceral and primitive and their strong influence give me the possibility to communicate, as best as I can, what I had to say. Essentially our debut is a very raw concentrate of this two genres.

3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

Currently I write the songs so I wrote down all that I see around me: the human misery that create a real dystopia where we all flourish into the chaos and desperation. The world could be a better place, after all, but we cannot live in a different world where there are no more wars and hunger. This is a fact. But I've tried to be sarcastic and ironic in my songs: this is the reason why I chose my mother tongue so that I could have more possibility to express myself even if this is an obstacle for our success.


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

In English you will say "Nothing More", this is to remark the pessimistic and simplified way that is inside our music. We try to synthesize concepts in music, with no thrills, straight to the point and....Nothing More!

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

We are not a live band for now but we are working on it: we should be ready in autumn.

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

Work in progress...

7.The album was released through both 'Symbol Of Domination Productions' and 'Metal Throne Productions, are you happy with the support they have given you so far?

It wasn't easy to find someone that could believe in this project. The help we had from both labels, gave us the right rush to go ahead and try to spread our music the more we can, as well as the economic help for the print of CD's. We are DIY philosophy fans, so we are the first who must give to do.

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

Let's say, without shame, that for now there's a very quiet situation but it was expected: our debut album was released on May and, before then, no one knew us. Also, don't forget that we are not a live band. We've had a very good review on CVLT NATION talking about some recent Italian releases and we were very glad to be there. For now is going better that we can imagine and, for this reason, me and Riccardo, decided to transform this homemade project in a live band.

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

I'm sorry but I don't know what to say...Stornelli Distopici was released just 2 months ago, I have all the time to understand where we will go!

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?

Both me and Riccardo listen to all the kind of music. About Stornelli Distopici my influences were Ulver, Darkthrone e Mayhem but also some historical Italian bands from 80's and 90's such as Wretched, Indigesti, Underage e Negazione. Riccardo likes more the thrash metal. Recently I listen to Italian bands: in the past few years there's a lot of good, powerfull stuff (Hungry Like Rakovitz, Loia, Genocidio Chimico, Carnero, Hierophant, Nudist, Naga, Stasis, LVTHN, Viscera///, Hornwood Fell) that deserves to be listen to.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

I read a lot: Anthropology, Horror literature and Pulp are my preferred reading. I also love movies even if, after the 90's, there's a lot of sh*t. I try to stay healthy...with no results!

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

Thank you for the chance and don't forget to listen to us!

Ruho/Mouth Of Extinction/Truimph Of Death/2016 EP Review


  Ruho  are  a  band  from  Finland  that has  had  their  music  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  very  raw  and  old  school  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  ep  "Mouth  Of  Extinction"  which  was  released  by  Triumph  Of  Death.

  Clean  playing  starts  off  the  ep  before  getting  more  distorted  and  going  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  black  metal  direction  that  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking,  blast  beats  and  high  pitched  screams  as  well  as  mixing  in  a  great  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  and  you  can  also b eat  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on the  recording.

  Most  of  the  music  is  rooted  in  the  90's  second  wave  era  of  the  genre  and  clean  playing  also  makes  a  return  in  certain  sections  of t he  recording  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  some of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  when  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they  stick  to  a  very  dark,  raw  and  melodic  style.

  Ruho  creates  another  recording that  remains  true  to  the  raw  and  old  school  Finnish  black  metal  style  of  previous  releases,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  death,  Occultism  and  Anti  Christianity  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Ruho  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  raw  and  old  school  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Remnants  Of  Wisdom"  and  "Perpetual  End".  8  out  of  10.