Friday, August 31, 2018

Majestic Mass/Savage Empire Of Death/Caligari Records/2018 Cassette Review


  Majestic  Mass  are  a  band  from  Denmark  that  plays  a  psychedelic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Savage  Empire  Of  Death"  which  was  released on  cassette  by Caligari  Records.

  Atmospheric  sounding  synths  start  off  the  album  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  and  on  the  second  track  the  music  goes  into  a  heavier  direction  along  with  some  psychedelic  elements  also  being  added  into  the  heavy  parts  of  the  music  as  well  as  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  elements  of  black'n'roll  can  also  be heard  at  times  along  with  the  slower  sections  of  the  song  showing  an  influence  of  doom  metal  and  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  on  the  closing  track  a  brief  use  of  King  Diamond  style  vocals  can  also b e  heard.

  Majestic  Mass  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  mostly  mid  tempo  along  with  some  black'n'roll  and  psychedelic  elements,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  death  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Majestic  Mass  are  a  very  great  sounding  psychedelic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  cassette.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Clandestine  Supremacy"  "Majestic  Mass"  and  "Savage  Empire  Of  Death".  8  out  of  10.   

Blasphemy/Blood Upon The Soundscape/Nuclear War Now! Productions/2018 Rehearsal Demo Re-Issue Review


  This  is  a  review  of  another  recording  from  Canada's  Blasphemy  this  time  a  rare  rehearsal  from  1989  which  captures  their  very  raw  take  on  black  and  war  metal  and  the  demo  will  be  released  to  the  masses  in  September  by  Nuclear  War  Now!  Productions  and  called  "Blood  Upon  The  Soundscape".

  Distorted  amp  noises  along  with  some  evil  sounding  black  metal  screams  and  demonic  growls  start  off  the  recording  before  going  into  a  very  fast  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  harsh  noises  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  also  being  done  in  a  very  raw  and  chaotic  style.

  On  the  second  track  real  guitars  are  brought  into  the  music  and  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  the  tremolo  picking  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  and  early  war  metal  feeling  as  well  as  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  On  this  recording  Blasphemy  had  more  of  a  raw  approach  to  their  early  black/war  metal  by  making  the  music  more  distorted  and  harsh,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  war,  death,  Satanism,  rituals  and  darkness  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Blasphemy  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band,  you  should  check  out  this  rehearsal.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Hording  of  Evil  Vengeance"  and  "Goddess  of  Perversity".  8  out  of  10.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Ambrotos/ἄμβροτο/Sleaszy Rider Records/2018 EP Review


  Ambrotos  are  an  international  band  with  members  from  both  Greece  and  Mexico  that  plays  a  philosophical  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  ep  "ἄμβροτο"  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  Sleaszy  Rider  Records.

  Clean  playing  and  synths  start  off  the  ep  before  adding  in  a  powerful  sounding  bass  guitar  which  also  takes  the  music  into  a  faster  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams.

  Both  of  the  songs  are  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  old  school  Greek  tradition  while  clean  vocals  can  also  be  heard  briefly  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  as  well  as  both  of  the  tracks  being  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly.

  Ambrotos  plays  a  style  of  Greek  black  metal  that  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  era,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  pre  Socratic  philosophy  and  ideas.

  In  my  opinion  Ambrotos  are  a  very  great  sounding  philosophical  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Dimensional  Rivers".  8  out  of  10.

    

Heathid Equis Interview


1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
It is a project started by myself and T.W. We really just wanted to create music and honestly had no notions or ideas of what it would sound like. There was really no “vision.” Everything was created very spontaneously with very little communication about what it should or shouldn’t be. We just worked towards some type of finished product.

2.Recently you have released a demo, can you tell us a little bit more on what you wanted to achieve musically with this recording?
We just wanted to create some music. We agreed upon doing a recording and just went from there.

3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your music?
 Disappointment.

 4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name "Heathid Equis'?
Rather than find words to use for a name or debate over their significance, we opted to create our own.

5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the demo cover?
Simplistic and symbolic, it’s the way to go.

6.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you open to expanding your line up or do you prefer to remain a duo?
I think we started this project without really knowing or putting too much thought into where it would go. I don’t really think we know what will happen in the future.

7.The demo was released by 'Grey Matter Productions', how did you get in contact with this label?
That was all T.W. and they’re amazing for doing the release.

8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
I don’t really read much online metal stuff, but what I have seen has been positive.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I don’t think we know the answer at the moment. We will just have to see what happens.

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?
We never had any discussion about what we wanted as far as a particular sound going into the recording process. There was no writing session or brainstorming. We really didn’t have an influence or a list of bands we wanted to draw from sonically. I know on my end I just tried to translate how I felt into music. As far as what I listen to, it really varies from week to week. Mostly old metal, classic rock and 80s pop. I rarely listen to anything new.

11.Does Occultism play any role in your music?
 I’ve always been drawn to occult based visual imagery as well as lyrical imagery, but as far as it being a direct influence though, I’d say no.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
 Just a thank you to those who gave us a listen. 





Holocausto em Chamas/לָשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ/Harvest Of Death/2018 Full Length Review

  Holocausto  em  Chamas  are  a  band  from  Portugal  that  plays  a  very  raw  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "לָשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ"  which  will  be  released  in  October  by Harvest  Of  Death.

  A  few  seconds  of  silence  starts  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  which  also  introduces  grim  black  metal  screams  onto  the  recording  while  ritualistic  synths  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  music  also  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  style  as  well  as  synths  also  making  a  return  as  the  album  progresses  and  a  couple  of  later  tracks  also  adds  a  small  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  onto  the  recording  and  you  can  also  hear  some  touches  of  doom  and  death  metal  in  some  of  the  riffing.

  Holocausto  em  Chamas  plays  a  style  of  black  metal that  is  very  primitive,  old  school  and  raw  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  a mixture  of  Portuguese  and  English  and  cover  dark  and  blasphemous  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Holocausto  em  Chamas  are  a  very  great  sounding  raw  and  old  school  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Death  Messiah"  "After  The  Crucifixion"  "From  The  Catacombs"  and  "The  Sombre  Disciple".  8  out  of  10.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Burial Shrine Interview

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

Greetings, and thanks for the interview! Burial Shrine is a black metal band from Vancouver, Canada. We formed in early 2014, and are comprised of members RW, EH, and CXM. This interview is being answered by the songwriter and lyricist of the band. My identity, and the instrumental roles of myself and the other full members are of no relevance. We formed the band with the intention of playing hard and furiously. This is exactly what we do. Burial Shrine plays Satanic black metal exclusively.

2. You have your first full length coming out in September. Can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on this recording?

It would be foolish to call our style anything other than black metal. And within that label, I would not view it as anything too unique per se. Tremolo picked guitars and blastbeats are the most common elements, and the sound is raw and abrasive. I think that most listeners will hear some nods to the western Canadian lineage of black metal, in bands like Conqueror and Blasphemy. However we tread our own path, and our overall sound is quite different. We play with a lot of melody as well, which brings some dynamics to bear. It is this back and forth between aggression/brutality and more melodic/meditative moments which ended up becoming the style on this record. In the end, we gave this everything we had, and I believe that the energy and intensity shines through the recording.

3. I have read that it took 4 years to write and complete the album. Can you tell us a little bit more about the process?

Indeed, its been a long run. RW and I had worked on previous projects together, but I wanted to do something more aggressive than those. As did CXM. This is where Burial Shrine comes in. Initially the project had this aggressive stylistic restraint on it. I actually wrote around 5 songs fairly quickly for the project from winter to spring 2014. I remember that we eventually recorded some scratch guitars and drums for them, but things moved slowly - I was living in another city at that time. Then hard drives died, rough demos were lost, and the project sat in limbo. This ended up being the best thing that could have happened.

A lot of living was done during the following years. I would occasionally work on the songs, tightening them up, but they remained largely the same. As time went on I grew a lot, and the songs began to feel juvenile and dishonest to where I was at that point. It wasn't until the spring of 2017 that I decided to remove all the stylistic restraints around the project, which was a very freeing thing to do. I then rewrote and reworked much of the material. A lot of the riffs and song structures remained the same, but many new parts were added as well. Some songs were discarded completely, and new songs were fully written in their place. The remains began to feel a lot more honest and personal to me, and they became much more representative of my own voice rather than trying to copy someone else's. They actually ended up being more aggressive than they would have been originally, interestingly enough.

The final breakthrough came when I killed off my other project. I had lost steam on it, although I thought the songs were very good. Those unused songs were written during the same years as Burial Shrine, and I began to see that they belonged to a singular vision. There was no need to separate my musical personalities anymore - the more melodic and the more aggressive. It was when I combined the two and reworked the other songs to fit into the Burial Shrine frame that things really began to feel finished.

4.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics you have explored on the album?

The lyrics on this album are quite personal. They deal with man's quest for truth in this dark age which often seems to be doing everything it can to obscure and bury it. They deal with conviction regarding the paths I walk, perseverance through struggle and suffering, as well as self-reflection and discovery. This results in coming to terms with the divine, finding wisdom in darkness, and strength in the guiding hand of Satan - the adversary. Of course the lyrics are often quite dark, but this is not their main focus. The focus lies in the endurance and the striving of the heart after spiritual ascension, which - as we see in the lyrics to the final track written by Johannes Nefastos - may not actually bring the comfort we seek.

5.One of the tracks has lyrics written by Johannes Nefastos. Can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the anti-cosmic, left hand path, satanic and occult arts?

Indeed. The writings of Johannes have been very inspiring to me and play a large part in my personal path. I reached out to him to see if he would be interested in contributing, and to my surprise and great gratitude, he was. It was an honor to have him write the words to the final song on the album. As to your question - I have no interest in being much of a spokesperson for the occult. I prefer to keep my views private and among those close to me, through more appropriate avenues than a band interview. I am a student, and not a very good one at that - and my views are ever evolving, but I will do my best to answer you very briefly. Here I speak only for myself, as other members of the band are free to hold their own beliefs.

I do not relate much to an anti-cosmic philosophy. Of course it is easy to feel hopeless regarding the current state of mankind & the world/universe at large, and to wish for the end of all. I often do myself. But these are emotions. Practically, to seek to bring about this end through violence and force, to strive towards destruction, can only bring about further suffering, both for the anti-cosmicist as well as others. I believe the "end" must come about naturally, as it will, thus beginning the cycle anew. I believe that release from the bonds of this world can only come about through serious spiritual work, striving and ascension - not through the violence and destruction of an anti-cosmic philosophy. I actually played with this a little bit in the lyrics of "To Scorch The Earth", which is full of apocalyptic visions of destruction. But the key to that song lies in the phrase "Igne Natura Renovatur Integra" (through fire shall nature be reborn whole). This phrase obviously fits into the theme of the song literally, but also esoterically in its alchemical meaning  - fire being representative of the spirit and fire in our hearts.

I am a pantheist first and foremost, deriving from my love of nature and its beauty. This eventually led me to hold an occult world-view. I also identify as a Satanist and left-hand path practitioner. This is the path that ended up making the most sense to me, arrived at from lived experience. However, I believe that the left-hand path's focus on individual freedom and the Self is missing a piece of the puzzle. Value can be found in the right-hand as well, with its focus on "the other". The two paths can be walked as one. This is something I am striving towards and am still in the learning stages of.

There is much more to say on these matters, but I will let our music and lyrics speak for themselves from here on out. I don't think anyone should put too much stock in my words. Obviously my answers are very simplified for these large subjects. If these topics are of interest, there are many books and avenues of exploration to follow. The reader should come to their own conclusions, from personal experience and study of those much more learned than I.

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

Quite literally, the name stands for a shrine to the dead. It could be a grave. For me personally, as time has gone on, it has come to represent a shrine to the dead aspects of myself that have fallen away and will continue to do so as I move forward along my path. Another way to interpret the name is to see our music as a shrine, an offering to this dying world. One can take from the name what one will. Of course, the shadow of the reaper hovers above our logo, which is of relevance as well.

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

The logo and the artwork of the album were created by my good friend Casper Macabre. We wanted to keep the album cover simple. The sigil on the cover was created by RW, sometime in 2011 I think. It is comprised of an inverted cross, with an equal armed cross running through it. The sigil seems to have the ability to mean different things to us at different times, and it is thus ever-evolving. Its meanings must be kept among the band members, but it remains a powerful point of focus for us. Thus it was the perfect centerpiece for the album. In this instance it was artistically rendered to be made of bridges, obviously due to the title of the album and the lyrics of Johannes.

8.In the one picture I saw of the band members you were in masks, and very little information is provided on the websites. Do you prefer to keep your identity a secret?

We do. It is our hope that the music and lyrics speak to each listener according to their own perception and experience. We do not believe that interpreting this particular work through the lens of the makers' identities offers any substantive or authoritative interpretation of it. 

9. Has the band ever done any live shows, or would you be open to playing them?

At this point, the band has never played live. There are currently a lot of logistical difficulties surrounding this. Were I able to assemble a feasible live line-up with the right people, I would be open to the idea. But should this happen, it would be far off in the future.

10. On the album you also had a few guests. Can you tell us a little bit more about who they are and also their contributions to the recording?

As we were recording - actually once the drums, all the rhythm guitars and vocals were done - there were still a few sections of the album that felt like they needed some fleshing out. I had toyed with the idea of playing the bass myself, but I wanted someone who would really add something to it. CM was the obvious candidate. We worked on the songs together for a couple months, and then he was ready to record. He really added a lot of needed sanity to the album. His bass added the necessary backbone which helped to make the frantic guitars more comprehensible, as well as adding a lot of dynamic to the songs. Often his basslines would start to wander and add their own melodies. CM is a very talented musician, and I'm grateful to have him on the album.

TS added the molten leads. He is another very talented musician. When we went to record him, we just played him the parts we were thinking about adding to. He would listen through a couple of times - and one take later we would have what we needed. He did this multiple times, and never repeated himself once.

The album closes with a solo from MT. He is a good friend of mine, and I'm a fan of his work in Paths. I knew that I wanted him somewhere on the album, and his solo was the perfect way to close things off. This final song also has a violin contribution from TO'S. The repeating melody you hear was written by RW on a piano, and then transcribed by T. The higher-pitched section he plays was improvised on the spot - this is actually my favorite part of the album.

11. On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal that have heard it so far?

Thus far, the reaction has all been positive. The album is not yet out of course. But those who have heard it, even just the preview tracks, have almost all mentioned the energy and the intensity behind the recording. I am quite happy with this. I have no illusions about it - the album will not be for everyone. But we accomplished what we set out to do, and I think that shows.

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

Going forward, I hope to explore the more dynamic and free-flowing territory that I began to tap into on certain songs of this album. This will be done while maintaining the existing aggression and intensity however. I've already written a new song which achieves this. Things are still in the very early stages and will take a lot of time (hopefully not another 4 years!), but it will be interesting to see what happens. I hope to explore darker territory musically as well. This album ended up as it needed to, and I am proud of it - but the sound I'm chasing and the one that echoes in my head is much darker still. Ever deeper...

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

This is a difficult question. It really just comes from our love of black metal as a whole, all its various styles included. For me specifically, this album is just made up of the sounds that come naturally to me when I pick up a guitar, filtered through my limited ability with the instrument. As I mentioned above, Conqueror was absolutely an influence. If this doesn't show musically, I believe it does in energy and intent. Our own music travels a different path though. I can't really point specifically to where the melodic side of it comes from. These are just the sounds that flow out of me.

As to what I'm listening to lately, I don't find much point in sharing. Lots of old bands, lots of new bands. I believe that underground black and death metal is as potent as its ever been, but I don't find much interest in talking about it outside of my existing circles. I listen to Mahler's 2nd, or Rautavaara's 7th and 8th symphonies more than anything else these days.

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

Thank you for the interview! And thank you to anyone who reads this, or listens to our music. Thank you to everyone who played a part in making this album happen - there are not enough words of gratitude. Labyrinth of Bridges comes out worldwide September 23rd on Saturnal Records.

Hail Sathanas! Hail Death!



Eosphoros/Self Titled/Iron Bonehead Productions/2018 CD Review


  Eosphoros  are  a  band  from  Portland,  Oregon  that  plays  an  occult  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2018  which  will  be  released  in  October  by  Iron  Bonehead  Productions.

  A  very  fast  and  raw  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  along  with  all  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  along  with  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  both  old  school  and  modern  influences  as  well  as  some  tracks  also  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing  and  they  also  bring  in   a  very  ritualistic  and  drone  orientated  instrumental  before  closing  the  album  with  a  heavier  track  and  when  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.

  Eosphoros  plays  a  style  of  occult  black  metal  that  is  very  raw,  melodic  and  traditional  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  Luciferian,  Gnosticism,  Paganism  and Anti  Society  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Eosphoros  are  a  very  great  sounding  occult  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Promethean  Fire"  and  "Sylvan  Apotheosis".  8  out  of  10.

  

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Xalpen/Wowk Otrr/Morbid Skull Records/2018 EP Review


  Xalpen  are  an  international  band  with  members  from  Chile  and  Sweden  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  very  raw  and  satanic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  ep  "Wowk  Otrr"  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  Morbid  Skull  Records.

  A  short  intro  starts  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling.

  Vocals  are  a  mixture  of  demonic  growls  and  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  also  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  as  well  as  a  brief  use  of  synths  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  at  times  the  music  gets  very  ritualistic  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly.

  Xalpen  creates  another  recording t hat  remains  true  to  the  raw  style  of  satanic  black  metal  from  their  previous  release,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Shamanism  and  the  ancestral  traditions  of  ancient  occult  knowledge.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Xalpen  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  satanic  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Ten  Hashpen"  and  "Wowk  Otrr".  8  out  of  10.

    

Era Distolas Interview

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

The band formed out of the ashes of a lame rock covers band I was in with the drummer. I grew increasingly tired of playing Pearl Jam and REM covers just to get a gig at the few places in Amsterdam where you can still play live music. We had a prima donna lead guitarist who was totally unreliable and once he left we decided to start playing black metal. It's the music I've been consistently listening to since my teens anyway. The replacement guitarist we were talking to for the rock band decided to give it a go and I knew our bass player via a mutual friend and liked the way he played. I wrote a handful of songs and over the next few months we crafted them into the songs you can hear on the EP.

2. So far you have released an ep, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you worked with on this recording?

 I had to take into account he fact that my bandmates have all been to music school and wanted to do something more intricate and creative than just aping the brutality of established bands. When it comes to musical training I'm the weak link in the band, which makes writing songs that will keep them interested somewhat challenging. When writing music I generally pursue atmosphere and a deeply melancholic melody. I didn't want any palm muting on the guitar riffs to avoid a 'thrash' sound. I took a risk in the sense that I wanted the riffs to be 'catchy', if they would stick in my head and if my girlfriend (who hates metal) would be singing them after hearing me play them then I'd be satisfied that I had something of sufficient quality. I wrote all the guitar parts on an acoustic guitar which I think gives you an emphasis on the melody - you can add the heaviness later. I am a limited guitar player so there is nothing too technical. The ending of the title track is an example of this - I wrote that riff for the rock band but I always knew it would make a wonderfully mournful black metal riff.

 The EP was produced by Abraham Sarache, a prog rock musician who lives here and was my singing teacher for a while. He really crafted a defined sound for us. I played all the rhythm guitar parts and we used a vintage tube effect for atmosphere and a Line 6 modern metal distortion underpinning that for power. I also made a point of clearly enunciating all the words, which I believe is pretty original in this genre.

3.You lyrics cover a Utopian society built on Satanic Principles, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in Satanism or Occultism?

I studied philosophy and political science at university and I am really rather worried about the way the world is heading at the moment. The 'Civitas Diaboli' is a call-to-arms for a society based on reason, wisdom and knowledge. I am by no means a LaVeyan Satanist but I like the stratification that Peter Gilmour has discussed and I feel that the current indulgence of the worst impulses of the masses in some developed countries is utterly revolting. I'm British and during the Brexit debacle we had a government minister declare that the British people 'have had enough of experts'. Well now we are pursuing a direction that risks great damage to the country so we indulge the xenophobia and ignorance of the uneducated. I had to disengage from social media recently as I couldn't deal with idiots who struggle with basic grammar overruling experts on global trade. The misanthropy I feel as a Satanist has been driven into overdrive by such events. Despite this I did want to present a positive vision in the EP, rather than just rant at the masses. I'd generally say that my Satanism is more philosophical than spiritual but for me the line between the two can be blurry. I am very private regarding my beliefs, after all it's hard to justify complaining about Christian evangelism if we are constantly proselytizing our objections to their creed. Let them bleat like the sheep that they are. My beliefs are for myself and my music.

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

If you're a cynic you might say that Distolas is one of the only remaining obscure demons whose name has not yet claimed by a metal band. If you're not you might assume that the band's leader is well versed in medieval demonology.

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

It's a take on the cover of an edition of The Revolt of the Angels by Anatole France.

6. Has the band had any opportunity to play an live shows and also are there any gigs planned for the future?

Amsterdam is a great city to live in, but is far from ideal from the perspective of performing any sort of metal music. Despite the reputation for rebellion here this City is as mainstream as it gets. We're talking with a few venues about performing. Halloween in a cellar club on the canals is a realistic option. The Dutch bible belt is where the scene is and I'm busy promoting the band to the venues there. (Well, as busy as one can be with a 7 month old baby at home). I am keen to play in France, Belgium and Germany.

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

I have discussed it with a few labels. I have an album written and we are able to craft a polished sound on a low budget which is appealing to labels. We cannot bring thousands of social media followers to a label to negate the need for them to actually do any promotion, however. Reviews from sites such as this really help. I believe that our music can be profitable. I have worked in sales for years and I think I can sell this band.

A friend of mine is a bigshot producer in Scotland who has worked with some big name rock bands. He's remixing our EP to give us an alternative mix of the tracks. This isn't because we are unhappy with the current mix, but this guy has an impressive CV and I am keen to see what he can do with it. I'd love to give his name but he doesn't want his good name to be associated with an unsigned black metal band!

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

I've sent it to people in the UK, Russia and the US and the response has been enthusiastic. It's pleasing to see people listening to it in different countries in Spotify. After the review on this site we got a nice boost in a few different places.

9. When can we expect a full length and also where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?

I have 3 new tracks written and am keen to record an album. Our bassist is off to South America for 3 months this autumn which makes things challenging but our producer is replacing him temporarily. The first challenge is to find time to record an album and find a label to support us. The other guys work and I stay home with my baby daughter most of the working week. Hardly ideal.

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 bands that have influenced me the most would probably be Watain, Belphegor, Funeral Mist and Deathspell Omega. Outside of black metal I like darker classical music; Mussorgsky for example. I come from the town in the UK where Edward Elgar lived and I love his cello concerto. It's in E minor like most great metal songs! The band's lead guitarist has a jazz background. You can hear that in his playing.

Recently I have been listening to some French black metal like Aosoth and Arkhan Infaustus.

11. What are some of your non musical interests?

I play a lot of sport. I used to be a cycle racer at an elite level and I have been playing rugby for the last few years. My team just won the Dutch championship.

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

I am deeply embarrassed by the links between some black metal bands and Nazism, nationalism and fascism. It's moronic. As well as being utterly vile, these movements are always bound up in religious and social conservatism and black metal musicians and fans would very quickly find themselves being persecuted under such regimes. The Nazis burned books and banned music. If you play black metal and support such policies you're a cretin. It makes no sense to me, but I am glad we live in a free society where people can speak out and make themselves look unpleasant and ignorant.

Many thanks!

James

Expurgatory Interview

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

We've been around for five years, aiming at the more uncomfortable elements of DSBM and depressive rock, and are firmly left wing. The band started with just two members - George and Alexander - who met whilst training to be librarians, and wound up sharing a love for a very wide spectrum of black metal (and other related extreme genres).

2.Since 2013 you have released a great amount of material, how would you describe your musical progress over the years?

There is much more structure to our songwriting these days, as well as a much larger line-up to draw creative energy from. Most tracks used to form one layer at a time, passed back and forth between whoever was able to contribute, until the song reached a finished stage, but we tend to lock in together to a particular melody more often these days.

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

This varies a bit depending on who is handling the vocals. If that's the role you're taking for that track, you tend to write the lyrics too. For L, who provided guest vocals for the new track on the latest compilation, the source was an old and particularly violent Scottish folk song. For Susan, who sings lead vocals on half the tracks of the latest compilation, they the lyrics are a mixture of an exploration of a mood/psychological state and addressing places or events that have happened (ie: Fortress W, which is about the 'Battle of Wapping' in 1986, and Grand Union was inspired by a stretch of canal near where they grew up that's this mixture of wild and industrial that always made them feel excited and on edge at the same time). For Alexander, the vocals often comprise of almost randomly assembled latin sentences from our namesake, and, in one case, an extended set of questions aimed to provoke an emotional response in people applying for jobs in prison libraries.

4.I know that the band got their name from a list of banned books that where banned from the Catholic Church, do you feel that the church has deprived a lot of people of knowledge over the years along with the Vatican also having a hidden library of hidden knowledge ?

The list in question - the Index Librorum Prohibitorum - ceased to be a thing around the same time as the last of the great book obscenity trials (ie: Howl, Lady Chatterley's Lover, Naked Lunch, etc), which I think isn't a coincidence. They probably realised that the days of them telling people - in such a direct and formal manner, at least - what they can and cannot read were definitely over. If you look back further at the volumes (stretching back to the 16th century), they just got thinner with every reprint, so perhaps even that monolithic global influencer could see their strength waning. They definitely have like to keep things covered up, for a wide range of disturbing and entirely predictable reasons that are only in recent years finally coming under the scrutiny they deserve.

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

It's a sourced from a 19th century photograph showing a woman from a psychiatric hospital. Knowing what we do now about how arbitrarily people - especially women - were sent to those places, God only knows what she actually did to warrant such a sentence. The more time you spend thinking about how fear and misogyny governed the make-up of those places, the worst you tend to feel about humanity.

6.One member lives in the United Kingdom while the rest of the band lives in Australia, how does this work out in the recording process?

Quite well, actually. Most of the recordings are done on very basic recording programs, and most of the vocals from Susan are synched up simply by having them count in to a click-track at the start of the track. Once we realised how well that works, it was really liberating. It gives us all more autonomy, and we don't need to go through a gate-keeper with access to and understanding of the more high-end recording software.

7.Has the band done any live shows or is this strictly a studio project?

We've done a handful of live shows, starting with the launch gig for our first album, X, in a zine store in Melbourne called Sticky in 2015. The space is small, but it was very well attended, and was in many respect the ideal location for us: claustrophobic, underground, and dimly lit. The next gig was also in there, and was the first performance to feature Leah on spoken word. The one after that was very different - six of us in person at an impro music night in Fitzroy (inner suburb of Melbourne), with Susan providing a noise backing track. That was the closest to a live metal performance we had done that far - first time with live drums, more than one guitar, particularly intense screaming vocals, Begotten screening over the top of us... it was pretty amazing. Our gigs since then have been similar to that later one. All our gigs so far, though, have improvisation in common. For our next approach to live settings, we'll be going against that approach by playing pre-planned songs with more traditional structure, which is nerve-wracking, but also pretty exciting.

8.In the last 5 years the band has released a great amount of material, do you spend a great amount of time writing and creating music?

It can take some time for tracks to come together, especially now that we've formalised the process, though as most of us are also rooted in noise music, we like to keep a random element to things - like, allowing for a layer to fall where it falls in the recording process, then work other layers around that. There was a one hour long collaborative track we did with a Sydney solo musician named Frances Piers, which involved a lot of montage, but also a reasonable amount of quiet precision. That was an amazing project. Often the most satisfying tracks are the ones that come easiest, but as we keep changing, it never quite feels right to stick with what's easiest.

9.The band has also been a part of a great amount of splits, can you tell us a little bit more about the bands and musical projects you have shared these recordings with?

Most of them have at least a member shared amongst them. Shallow, who put out a split demo with us way back at the start (recorded in late 2014), is the solo noise project of Alexander, that has stopped and started somewhat since 2010. The Church of Hysteria, which shared a split that featured the first live Expurgatory performance, is also another project of Alexander, though this time a loud take on stripped back indie rock. Colostomy Baguette? is a harsh noise group involving Alexander and the vocalist for Religious Observance - Wayniac - as well as Susan (performing as K-Hole) and a recently passed away member, The Shitter, who managed to make it quite surprisingly profound in recent years (which nobody expected when the name was chosen). Hadal is a more recent project involving George on guitar, Alexander on bass and vocals, and Wayniac on lyrics. Sludgy, sparse, funeral drone/doom, that was started to experiment with other forms of more direct heaviness.

10.On the last full length the band did a cover of Hellhammer's "Messiah", what was the decision behind doing your own version of one of their songs?

The song actually first appeared on an EP in 2016, though we wanted to put it out there again to honour the memory of Martin E. Ain, who died a month before the album came out. This was a favourite track for us for some time, so deciding whether to give it an extra polish and a chance to be heard didn't take much deliberation. It's probably the best track from the first wave of black metal (a tough call to make, and one that will likely enrage folks and/or make them do eyerolls).

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

We've released albums and splits through labels in the past, and both of these are sensational DIY focussed operations. We'd definitely be interested in getting an extra leg-up from a label down the track, as we've all got an absurd amount of commitments, and all work full time, so the completely DIY approach only takes us so far, exposure-wise.

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

We're mostly unknown, though we've had a couple of nibbles here and there. It's hard to tell these days. Social media gives you the sense that you can guage interest in and engagement with your art, but it also messes with you a lot. Getting a handful of direct responses from people means a lot more than a whole bunch of numbers, really. Also, when we're able to bring our approach to a live setting, the powerful response is especially humbling.

13.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?

Alexander is the most busy beyond this band, with his doom metal band Religious Observance getting a steadily increasing level of support and interest over th last couple of years. Their work with Shallow has picked up some more too, as has The Church of Hysteria, who are working towards recording their third full length album later this year.

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

Building on the volume we have produced, which will hopefully lead to a deal where we can get a vinyl LP of our new work put out. We're particularly interested in playing our take on black metal to adjacent crowds - ie: darkwave, queer electro, etc - which may very well blend back into our sound as we work with how that audience engages with us.

15.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?

For the music that influences us, the main acts that come to mind are Ildjarn, Urfaust, Hellhammer, The Body, Lifelover, Woods of Infinity, and Xasthur. As for what we're listening to, there's Ill, Wrekmeister Harmonies, The Ex, APARTHIVA RAKTADHARA, Meg Baird, Helena Espvall, Sharron Kraus, Shirley Collins, Wormlust, MMMD, V, Sarah Mary Chadwick, Uboa, Diploid, Bell Witch, Moon, Nekrasov, Deader, and Military Position

16.What are some of your non musical interests?

Esoteric films, books and artwork. Black metal theory is a growing interest, too - it's great that this genre can spread and seep into so many other areas of cultural interrogation and appreciation.

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

Thank you again for your interest and time. Hopefully you'll hear more of us in the near future.

--

Cheers,
Expurgatory

Sjukdom/Stridshymner Og Dodssalmer/Osmose Productions/2018 CD Review


  Sjukdom  are  a  band  from  Norway  that  plays  a  Norwegian  style  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Stridshymner Og Dodssalmer"  which  will  be  released  in  October  by  Osmose  Productions.

  Dark  soundscapes  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  while  all  of  the  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  grim black  metal  screams  as  well  as  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats.

  Dark  sounding  melodies  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  tremolo  picking  giving  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling  and  the  music  is  also  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  Norwegian  second  wave  style  as  well  as  the  guitar  leads  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  when  they  are  utilized.

  Sjukdom  plays  a  style  of  Norwegian  black  metal  that  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  second  wave  style,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Norwegian  and  cover  anti  religion,  war,  disease  and  death  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Skujdom  are  a  very  great  sounding  Norwegian  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Dodssalmer"  "Med  En  Fot  I  Graven"  and  "Skudd  For  Skudd".  8  out  of  10.  

Monday, August 27, 2018

Noctem Aeturnus/Winter Spells/Naturmacht Productions/2018 CD Review


  Noctem  Aeturnus  are  a  solo project  from  Argentina  that  plays  a  very  atmospheric  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2018  album  "Winter  Spells"  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  Naturmacht  Productions.

  Field  recordings  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  atmospheric  soundcapes  while  ambient  style  synths  are  also  utilized  at  times  along  with  the  heavier  riffs  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  as  well  as  the  vocals  being  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of   the  recording.

  Spoken  word  parts  are  also  added  into  some  parts  of  the  music  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling  along  with  the  music  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Some  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length   while  guitar  solos  and  leads  when  they  are  utilized   are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  classical  orientated  instrumental  can  also  be heard  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  and  nature  sounds  can  also  be  heard  briefly.

  Noctem  Aeturnus  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  atmospheric  and  epic  sounding  while  also  mixing  in  elements  of  ambient  at  times,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  heavy while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  nature  themes.

 In  my  opinion  Noctem  Aeternus  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  solo  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Winter  Spells" "Nocturnal  Mantle"  and  "The  Waning  Moon  Has  Fallen"..8  out  of  10.  

Valdur/Goat Of Iniquity/Bloody Mountian Records/2018 Full Length Review


  Northern  California's  Valdur  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues  the  raw  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  from  previous  releases  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Goat  Of  Iniquity"  which  will  be  released  in  October  by  Bloody  Mountain  Records.

  Dark  soundscapes  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  along  with  the  vocals  being  bestial  death  metal  growls  as  well  as  the  riffs  also  utilizing  dark  sounding  melodies  at  times  and  some  of  the  tracks a re  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Elements  of  war  metal  can  also  be  heard  during  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  while  goat  sounds  and  spoken  word  samples  can  also  be  heard  briefly  on  a  couple  of  the  tracks  along  with  the  tremolo  picking  also  giving  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling  as  throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  At  the  music  has  its  ritualistic  moments,  as  the  album  progresses  grim  black  metal  screams  can  also  be  heard  briefly while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  finally  brought  onto  the  recording  they  are  done  in  a  very  raw  and  melodic  style ,  noises  and  synths  can  also  be  heard  on  the  closing  track. 

  Valdur  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  the  raw  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  from  previous  releases,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Valdur  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  raw  black  and  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Divine  Halls  Of  Obscurity  Pt.  1"  and  "Inhale  The  Floodgates  Open".  8/5  out  of  10.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Lifelost/Dialogues From Beyond/Transcending Pbscurity Records/2018 CD Review


  Lifelost  are  a  solo  project  from  Spain  that  plays  a  speellbinding  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2018  album  "Dialogues  From  Beyond"  which  will  be  released  in  October  by  Transcending  Obscurity  Records.

  A  very  fast  and  raw  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  while  the  riffs  also  utilizing  a  decent  amount  of  dark  and  dissonant  sounding  melodies  as  well  as  the  vocals  being  deep  yet  grim  black  metal  screams  and  the  music  also  gets  very  atmospheric  at  times.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  dark  and  melodic  style  along  with  some  spoken  word  parts  also  being  used  briefly,  one  track  also  adds  in  a  small  amount  of  dark  soundcapes  and  field  recordings  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  and  clean  vocals  can  also b e heard  briefly  in  the  background.

  Lifelost  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  modern,  spellbinding,  raw  and  atmospheric  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  death  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  Lifelost  are  a  very  great  sounding  spellbinding  black  metal  solo  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Sepulchral  Vault"  and  "Incorporeal  Gate".  8  out  of  10.

    

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Skyggefigurrer/Trader av evighten/2017 EP Review

 
This  is  the  final  review  of  a  recording  from  Michigan's  Skyggefigurrer  which  continues  the  atmospheric  black  metal  style  of  the  previous  release  and  the  ep  was  self  released  in  2017  and  called  "Trader  av  evighten".

  A  very  fast  and  raw  sound  starts  off  the  ep  along  with  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  while  the  vocals  are  grim  yet  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  along  with  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sound  very  powerful.

  Synths  can  also  be  heard  at  times  while  guitar  leads  are  done  in  a  very  modern,  melodic  and  atmospheric  style  when  they  are  utilized  along  with  some  acoustic  guitars  also  being  utilized  briefly  as  well  as  the  riffs  also  utilizing  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  elements  of  post  metal  can  also  be  heard  at  times.

  On  this  recording  Skyggefigurrer  expands  on  the  atmospheric  black  metal  style  of  his  previous  release,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark,  metaphysical  and  philosophical  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Skyggefigurrer  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  atmospheric  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Dodens  Flammer''  and  "Pakallelse".  8 out  of  10.   

Skyggefigurrer/Kryofolkemord/2017 Full Length Review


  This  is  a  review  of  another  recording  from  Michigan's  Skyggefigurrer  which  shows  the  music  returning  back  to  a  more  atmospheric  style  of  black  metal  and  the  album  was  self  released  in  2017  and  called  "Kryofolkemord".

  Ambient  style  synths  start  off  the  album  before  going  into a  heavier  direction  which  also  introduces  grim  and  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  onto  the  recording  while  the  tremolo picking  and  blast  beats  during  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling.

  Clean  playing  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  the  riffs  also  utilizing  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  when  guitars  leads a re  brought  into  the  music  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  as  the  album  progresses  whispered  vocals  can  also  be  heard  briefly.

  On  this  recording  Skyggefigurrer  goes  into  more  of  a  modern  style  of  atmospheric  black  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover   dark  and  philosophical  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Skyggefigurrer  and  if  you  are a  fan  of  atmospheric  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Blant  de  levende"  "Skumringstake"  and  "Sjelens  fengsel".  8  out  of  10.     

  

Skyggefigurrer/Venter/2017 EP Review


  This  is  another  review  of  a  recording  from  Michigan's  Skyggefigurrer  which  shows  the  music  going  into  more  of  an  atmospheric  post  black  metal  direction  and  the  ep  was  self  released  in  2017  and  called  "Venter".

  Clean  vocals  start  off  the  album  along  with  the  music  going  into  a  very  fast  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling  along  with  a  great  amount  of  post  metal  elements  and  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  the  recording.

  At  times  the  music  gets  very  atmospheric  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  as  well  as  mixing  in  elements  of  shoegaze  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  blackgaze  style  and  acoustic  guitars  are  added  onto  the  closing  track.

  On  this  recording  Skyggefigurrer  takes  his  musical  style  into  more  of  a  post  black  metal  and  blackgaze  direction,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  depressive  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Skyggefigurrer  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  post  black  metal  and  blackgaze,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Venter".  8  out  of  10.       

Skyggefigurrer/Ensomhet Pa Havet/2017 Full Length Review


  This  is  a  review  of  another  recording  from  Michigan's  Skyggefigurrer  which  shows  the  music  going  into  more  of  an  acoustic  instrumental  and  the  album  was  self  released  in  2017  and  called  "Ensomehet  Pa  Havet".

  Acoustic  guitar  playing  starts  off  the  album  while  all  of  the  songs  are  instrumental  with  no  vocals  are  song  writing  either  utilized  along  with  the  guitars  also  using  a  great  mixture  of  both  finger  picking  and  full  chords  as  well  as  capturing  the  atmosphere  and  darkness  of  black  metal  and  acoustic  guitars  are  the  only  instrument  utilized  on  this  recording.

  On  this  recording  Skyggefigurrer  moves  away  from  an  atmospheric  black  metal  direction  to  go  into  more  of  an  acoustic  and  instrumental  direction  and  the  production  sounds  very  dark.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Skyggefigurrer  and  while  some  black  metal  fans  might  not  be  into  it,  I  can  see  it  appealing  to  fans  of  acoustic  music  and  neo-folk.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Ankor"  "Ensomhet Pa Havet"  "Stormen"  and  "Sjomerke".  8  out  of  10.  

Friday, August 24, 2018

Skyggefigurrer/Rivet Av Tomhet/2017 Full Length Review


  This  is  a  review  of  another  recording  from  Michigan's  Skyggefigurrer  which  continues  the  atmospheric  style  of  black  metal  from  his  previous  release  adn  the  album  was  self  released  in  2017  and  called  "Rivet  Av  Tomhet".

  A  synth  oriented  intro  starts  off  the  album  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  and  melodic  direction  which  also  introduces high  pitched  black  metal  screams  onto  the  recording  along  with  some  clean  playing  being  used  briefly  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  When  tremolo  picking  is  utilized  they  give  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them,  spoken  word  parts  and  death  metal  growls  can  also  be  heard  briefly  as  well  as  the  guitar  leads  being  done  in  a  technical style  when  they  are utilized  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  small  amount  of  acoustic  gutiars  are  added  onto  the  recording.

  On  this  recording  Skyggefigurrer  goes  for  more  of  a  guitar  driven  style  of    black  metal  while  still  having  some  atmospheric  elements  and  a  touch  of  death  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  death  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  album  from  Skyggefigurrer  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  atmospheric  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Spokelse"  "Udodelighet"  and "Besittelse".  8  out  of  0.   

Skyggefigurrer/Selvtitulerte/2017 Full Length Review


  Skyggefigurrer  are  a  solo  project  from  Michigan  that  plays  an  atmospheric  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  self  released  2017  album  "Selvtitulerte".

  An  acoustic  guitar  intro  starts  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  musical  direction  which  also  utilizes  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  while  the  vocals  range  from  grim  growls  to  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  along  with  some  clean  vocals  also  being  used  at  times.

  When  synths are  utilized  they  give  the  music  more  of  an  atmospheric  feeling  while  the  songs  also  bring  in a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and fast  parts  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  as  well  as  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to them  and  acoustic  guitars  also  appear  on  some  of  the  other  tracks,  psychedelic  elements  are  also  utilized  at  times  and  the  album  also  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  acoustic  instrumentals.

  Skyggefigurrer  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  raw  and  atmospheric  along  with  some  psychedelic  and  death  metal  elements,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while t he  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Luciferian  and  Anti  Christian  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Skyggefigurrer  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  black  metal  solo  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Henrykklelse"  "Trolose"  and  "Lognen  som  dutror".  8  out  of  10.

    

Era Distolas/Civitas Diaboli/2018 EP Review


  Era  Distolas  are  a  band  from  the  Netherlands  that  plays  a  very  satanic  form  of  occult  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2018  ep  "Civitas  Diaboli".

  Clean  playing  and  distorted  amp  sounds  start  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  musical  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  vocals  range  from deep  to  high  pitched  black  metal  screams.

  Spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  at  times  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  also  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  as  well  as  the  second  track  also  adding  in  more  of   a  middle  eastern  atmosphere  which  also  makes  the  music  have  more  of  an  occult  feeling  and  keyboards  are  also  used  briefly  and  they  are  done  in  more  of  a  90's  style. 

  Era  Distolas  plays  a  style  of  occult  black  metal  that  is  very  raw,  melodic  and  atmospheric  style,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  a  call  for  an  Utopian  society  founded  on  Satanic  principles celebrating  reason,  wisdom  and  knowledge.

  In  my  opinion  Era  Distolas  are  a  very  great  sounding  satanic  occult  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "The  Nailed  God".  8  out  of  10.