Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Wampyric Rites/Demo II/Inferna Profundus Records/2023 Demo Re-Issue Review

 


  This  is  a  review  of  another  recording  from  Ecuador's  duo  Wampyric  Rites  which  shows  the  music  going  for  a  raw  and  dissonant  style  of  vampyric  black  metal  with  elements  of  medieval  dungeon  synth  and  the  demo  was  originally  released  in  2020  and  will  be  re-issued  march,  2023  by  Inferna  Profundus  Records.


  A  dungeon  synth  style  intro  starts  off  the  demo  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  and  lo-fi  style.  When  tremolo  picking  is  utilized  they  also  give  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling  along  with  some  melodies  also  being  added  into  the  guitar  riffing  at  times  and  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams.


  The  music  also  has  its  dissonant  moments  while  most  of  the  demo  consists  of  dungeon  synth  instrumentals  which  also  capture  a  very  medieval  style  atmosphere.   When  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  along  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  demo  also  adding  in  some  influences  from  the  90's  era  and  guitar  leads  and  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard  briefly. 


  On  this  recording  Wampyric  Rites  brought  in  a  decent  mixture  of  both  raw,  dissonant  vampyric  black  metal  tracks  and  dungeon  synth  instrumentals.  The  production  sounds  very  dark,  raw  and  lo-fi  while  the  lyrics  cover  Vampirism  and  Darkness  themes.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Wampyric  Rites  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  raw,  dissonant  vampyric  black  metal  and  medieval  dungeon  synth,  you  should  check  out  this  re-issue.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "II (Los  oscuros  misterios  de  la noche)"  and  "IV (Un  espíritu  atormentado  que  no  encuentra  el  descanso  eterno)".  8  out  of  10.


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BlackStream/Whispers And Curses...A Journey In Darkness -2005 -2010/Eternal Darkness Creations/2023 Cassette Compilation Review

 


  BlackStream  are  a  band  from  Italy  and  on  this  recording  played  a  very  raw  and  old  school  form  of  black  metal  which  also  evolves  into  a  more  experimental  direction  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2023  compilation  album  "Whispers  And  Curses...A  Journey  In  Darkness  -  2005  -2010"  which  was  released  on  cassette  by  Eternal  Darkness  Creations.


  Clean  playing  starts  off  the  compilation  before  going  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  musical  direction  which  also  utilizes  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats.  Vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  while  the  music  is  also  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  early  90's  era  and  melodies  are  also  added  into  some  of  the  guitar  riffing.


  Throughout  the  compilation you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  some  of  the  tracks  are  also  long  and  epic  in  length.  Some  of  the  songs  are  also  instrumentals  along  with  one  song  also  introducing  synths  onto  the  compilation  which  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  recording  at  times.

  


  All  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  music  also  having  it's  lo-fi  moments.  Some  of  the  later  tracks  also  show  the  band  working  with  a  more  experimental  style  that  later  became  a  huge  part  of  later  releases  as  well  as  some  songs  also  bringing  in  elements  of  ambient,  death  metal  growls  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  on  song  also  adds  in  a brief  use  of  chaotic  sounding  guitar  leads.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Occultism,  Black  Magick  and  Nihilism  themes.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  a  very  great  sounding  collection  from  BlackStream  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  the  raw, old  school,  satanic,  occult  and  experimental  styles  of  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  compilation.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Forest  Of  The  Shadows"  "The  Ugly  Witches  Dance"  "The  Return  Of  The  Ancient  Spirit"  and  "Darkest  Night  of  The  Sleepless  Ghost".  8  out  of  10.


  

Bandcamp

      

Šakal Interview

 


Questions answered by V (guitars)


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


Currently we are getting ready to start with live shows to promote our album, but in the process we are always working on new material.


2.In November you had released your first album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you went for on the recording?


We didn't want to limit ourselves to a certain genre. We started writing and rehearsing different songs and ideas and it became what it became. We knew it was going to be black metal, since we have listened to it since our childhood, but we didn't want to make an advanced choice of what type it would be. 


3.A lot of your lyrics cover Slavic Mythology and Heathen Heritage, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?


We have always found huge inspiration in Slavic mythology. It has always been our main interest. That is something which we feel deep within us, same as the music. 


4.I know that the band's name means 'jackal' in English, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?


We thought it sounded good, it was a spontaneous decision and we feel it perfectly resembles our music. A wounded old jackal willing to die fighting rather than fade away. A lot like us in a way :)


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


The artwork is done by our friend and a well known artist in the metal underground, Csaba Nemeth. We think he did an amazing job. It represents exactly what the album title represents: 


Jav - the world in which we live in the current moment (The thunder god), 

Prav- the path of truth (Rorag the firebird above all), and finally 

Nav - the realm of darkness and death (the snake and the jackal).


6.Most of the band members also have plenty of experience playing in other bands, what are your thoughts on the direction black or extreme metal has been going into the last few years?


There are really many awesome new bands. And when we say many we mean hundreds of awesome bands from around the world which all make relevant and really good music. We cannot remember a period in the past when that number was that big. There is a YouTube channel called Black Metal Promotions, and that's where we initially streamed our album. It has thousands of followers and those guys release something new and fresh everyday. Huge respect to them!


7.The band has yet to do any live shows, what can we expect musically when the band finally hits the live stage?


We are all more than eager to hit the stage. If we succeed in transferring the energy we feel when we are playing our music to the audience- we are going to take that as a win 


8.Currently the band is unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?


We got signed in the meantime. Our debut album is going to be released by Werewolf Promotion from Poland.


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


We are really pleased with the way people from around the world reacted to our music. In spite of the fact that we sing in our native language. And that has been really encouraging for us. Thank you all for the kind comments, it means a lot to us and we are very happy people enjoy our album.


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


We will never drift away from this initial sound. It's in our blood and we cannot just change that. If we want to write a thrashy song, we will. And if we want an 8 minute epic and melodic song- we are going to write that as well. All we know is that it's going to be 101% metal.


11.What are some of the bands or musical styles the band members are currently listening to nowadays?


We still listen to music actively and we still enjoy it as fans. These days the list would look like this: Prognan, Grima, Pantera ...


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


Well we would like to thank you for this interview. Thanks for all the support from all over the world. We hope to have more news soon!



Website: http://www.sakal-official.com/ 

Bandcamp: https://sakal-official.bandcamp.com/releases 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Official.Sakal 

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@sakal1370 

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/01ydxbdroZkvFNbjNtlasg 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sakalband/ 

VK: https://vk.com/sakal_official 


Saint Vermin Interview

 

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


For those who have never heard of Saint Vermin, it is a one man black metal band originating from Malta. It is considered my main solo band which is highly influenced by the traditional black metal bands. It started off with poorly recorded tracks on YouTube, which afterwards took a step forward with song writing and production in order to produce the EP “Together As None”.


2.Recently you have released an ep, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you went for on the recording?


On the 24th of January, the 6-track EP “Together As None” was released. Many listeners have come to many conclusions on the musical approach of it. The style I tried to go for this EP was that of extreme metal with mainly black metal influences, some of them being the early first wave of black metal bands (Bathory and Venom mainly!) and the infamous second wave of black metal bands (Immortal, Burzum, Darkthrone). Some tracks also have the influence of the rather modern sound of black metal, with bands such as MGLA and Watain. Each track from the album has its own traits, with some being fast and some being slow and melodic, I tried to balance out what I wanted to write. I did not really want to stick to a strict formula of black metal (fast riffs, distorted vocals, high pitched screaming, tremolo picking) but rather wanted to write the sort of black metal which stands out.


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


The lyrical topics in the songs all have a different meaning to them. Some go to an extreme level (Against God, Plague of Suicide) and other tracks take it into an emotional level (The Cosmic Eye, Together as None). Going back to the previous answer about trying to stand out and not follow a strict formula, the same applies to the lyrics. I tried to differ the stereotypical lyrics about Occultism and Satanism. Satanism was never really a topic I wanted to include in the lyrics, because in theory Satanism is a beautiful religion and I always wanted to keep lyrical themes dark and at an emotional level. So I took a step to deal with realistic topics such as:

• The lack of appreciation us humans have to nature.

• The vastness and beauty yet terrifying of the universe

• Suicide

• Anger targeted towards religion.


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


The meaning behind the name “Saint Vermin” goes back to many years ago when I was trying to find a nickname for myself. It’s quite a funny story actually, because I chose “Vermin” after playing a video game where you fight a giant as a tiny character. The giant keeps taunting the small character as “Vermin”, and it stuck with me. “Saint” was then added when I was taking a more serious musical approach. The name was also chosen because the country where I am from, Roman Catholicism is a tradition. Everyone is born baptised under the church, but the ironic thing is that the same people grow up to thank the saints and people who they think are saints, rather than God himself. So in other words, the “saints” that these people worship are “vermin”.

It's also very interesting to witness the reaction to your name coming from a group of old people.



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


The artwork takes a rather traditional approach to the black metal genre, with black and white filters added to a picture of myself in front of a black curtain I have in my room. I took the picture with my phone a few months prior to recording the EP. With all honesty, I did not actually think that the photo would end up being the cover of the EP, But after thinking it through, it does match the tracks and style.


6.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?


“Together As None” was recorded completely by myself. I am actually open to work with other musicians, considering I play in two death metal bands. Saint Vermin is a solo project because I feel like it is what I want it to be, so I am free to do anything. It is also very comfortable for me because I grew up listening to black metal so it is a genre I am way too familiar with. But I do have something up my sleeve regarding other musicians taking part in Saint Vermin…


7.The ep was released on 'Pesttanz Klangschmiede', how did you get get in contact with this label?


I got in contact with this label with the help of my good friend and manager Hellcommander Vargblod (Myronath, Ragnarok, Dodskold, Draugûl ). He had suggested this label because he had previously released albums from Dodskold and Draugûl under the same label. After doing my research and looking at all the incredible bands they worked with, I felt that I had to get in touch with Pesttanz Klangschmiede.

 .


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



On a worldwide level, the reaction was incredible! I had accomplished something I only dreamt of when I was younger. Many listeners where amazed and that was the biggest reward I could have ever asked for. Listeners who are familiar with the black metal genre were actually impressed with the music, and I could not be more happier




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


A full length is indeed on its way! This might take some time of course, maybe a year, maybe two, who knows! The songs are already being worked on and there also seems to be a maturity in the song writing which is something I was willing to achieve. Improving as a musician is something crucial and living through the process is part of the experience. I do hope that in the future I can stay appreciated and musically mature, find more artists and inspiration, and hopefully learn to master my own music.


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 styles that have had a big influence on me are mainly black metal, death metal and even progressive metal. Some bands in mind would be Mayhem, Burzum, Immortal, MGLA, Opeth, Dissection, Bathory, Myronath, Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth.


https://www.facebook.com/saintverminblackmetal/
https://www.instagram.com/saintverminblackmetal/
https://www.youtube.com/@verminsaint5706


Irrseele Interview

 

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


The only person behind Irrseele is Magnus Animusm, which is obviously me. This project is a very personal one for me, it allows me to explore all the shadowy corners of the human mind and nature, musically and lyrically without limitations. And because it is a solo project I can do that without any compromise or discussions with fellow band members.


 


2.Recently you have released your first full length, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you went for on the recording?


Irrseele is an atmospheric black metal project that follows the footsteps of the Scandinavian black metal of the 90s. It is raw and melodic and also filled with a lot of dark atmosphere. It is inspired by so much iconic releases of that time. They are too many to name them all.


 


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


First of all: the lyrics are in German. This is intentional because I think you can express yourself best in your native language. And German is a very poetic language, you can play with to create some double meanings and room for interpretations. The topics are madness, melancholy, death, spiritual worlds, the forces of nature, darkness and decay, but also resurrection and transformation into a new way of existence.


 


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


The name is made from the words Irre (mad/crazy/insane) and Seele (Soul). You could maybe translate it with lunatic or lost soul or something. The idea is that this lost and insane soul wanders through a world of darkness and explores the abyssal deeps of nature.


 


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


There is the famous painting 'The Wanderer over the Sea of Fog' by Caspar David Friedrich, probably the most important painter of the early Romantic period. The cover is my very own gloomy interpretation of this painting. It represent the melancholy of the wanderer lost somewhere out in the nature.


 


6.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?


For this project it is best to do all by myself. But I play in other bands together with musicians. Both is great, but you have to decide what fits the kind of project best. For Irrseele it is all me and I can’t see that to change.


 


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


Well, I’m fine with doing it all by myself, although it is a lot of work! But I’d be open for collaboration, especially for releasing the album on vinyl.


 


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


It has been great so far, much better that I ever hoped. I’m getting messages from all around the world. People really seem to like the music. Surprisingly also the atmosphere and the ideas behind the songs translate on an emotional level even to people who don’t understand the lyrics.


 


9.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?


Well, you always improve as a musician and you learn from every album you make, especially when you play all the instruments. For me there is still a lot to explore in terms of guitar work, keyboards and production techniques. We’ll see how the next Irrseele album will sound.


 


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?


I listen to the same stuff as 25 years ago. Black metal and melodic death metal from Scandinavia, Germany and UK. Those old albums from the 90s still inspire me cause they captured so much atmosphere and emotion, while new releases often sound sterile and overproduced. So, to name a few bands: Immortal, Satyricon, Dark Funeral, Dissection, Burzum, Mgla, Darkthrone, Borknagar and many many more.


 


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


Thanks to everyone who keeps the underground and the old spirit of black metal alive. Stay heavy and have a beer!


 https://irrseele.bandcamp.com

Moonthoth Interview

 


  1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the solo project since the recording of the new album?


Generally, I was waiting for the album release. The whole release process has been delayed. "Uroczysko" was ready in July and I've been really pisted off becouse of delays. But in the meantime I had done an EP with 5 songs. The songs were made mostly  during  the "Zmora" and "Uroczysko" recording sessions. Except the one bonus version these songs were never released. They aren't one hundred percent new so I would like to release them only as a digital version. I also started to compose brand new material.


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


I think that album is more symphonic than previous ones. I've taken some traditional Slavic sounds and synths that sounds "slavonic" to underline the main concept behind the album. Whole music is slower and heavier. Also the main difference is the fact that I've cooperated with a vocalist, and some guest musicians. So it is an "extended solo project".


3.Your lyrics cover Slavic Mythology and Demonology, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?


I studied history, and mythology and history of religion were my favorite topics. The main concept behind Moonthoth project generally is based on mythology, occultism, eschatology and history of religion. At the beginning I was using some Sumerian and Egyptian themes, so English lyrics were more accurate.

Now  I like  to use some  Slavic mythology and demonology themes, because  these topics are underrated, also in the Polish education system. The same motivation is hidden behind my Polish lyrics. Lyrics in English might be more understable, but they would not provide the proper atmosphere. Also my favorite book is the Witcher, which is inspired by Slavic demons and myths.So I like these topics very much.



4.You have gone through a few name changes, what was the cause of the changes and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Moonthoth'?


I've started  with the name Nigra Missa (black mass in latin) as a regular band, not a solo project. When Nigra Missa broke up, I decided to start a solo project. Name change was an obvious step for me.

Moonthoth is a wordplay, combination of moon and Thoth who is Egyptian lunar deity and  also the first month in the Egyptian calendar. At first I used an older translation of Thoth's name, which was Thot.

The project was shut down after "Dark requiem of Twilight" recording, because of some typical life cycles. I put down my guitar for about 10 years, and I haven't made any music since then.

After reactivation of the project in 2019 I had spread "Dark requiem..." in remixed version through the internet. It appears that "thot" is some kind of slang word that definitely doesn't fit black metal and project concept. I thought about the project name change but finally I decided to add "h" at the end, to make sure that it is interpreted as a lunar deity.


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


The artwork is hand drawn by Paulina Przybylska. She also drew the artwork for my last album "Zmora". Every song on "Uroczysko" has its own drawing, which illustrates the lyrics.

Some of these drawings represent  real places and landscapes.


6.With a few exceptions you record most of the music by yourself but also have experience playing with a full line up in another band, do you prefer to work solo?


It depends. Working solo is good for artistic expression. I don't have to make any compromises. But it is also bad because you don't have a different perspective to your music, and you sometimes think that this is great, but it is a shit instead.

In a band there is a higher chance to construct criticism. I'm seriously thinking about evolving Moonthoth to a regular  band.


7.You also had a few quests on the new album, can you tell us a little bit more about how they are and also their contributions to the recording?


First of all, I started to cooperate with a session vocalist Mateusz Sibila. All men's vocals on this album are made by him.

I also invited Kiriake from Zgroza to sing on "Popielnik". We cooperate before with a single which was a version of the "Hymny nocy" song, with her vocals.

On final track "Chram Chorsa" sang "Meren". Her clean voices and whispers are kind of "witchy", and they fit perfectly for this song theme.

There is also a very expressive guitar solo on "Żercy pieśń krucza" played by Witek Nowak, who also made mixes and mastering.


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


For now I have only dealt with EastSide for the "Uroczysko"  CD release. I'm also looking for a tape and vinyl publisher. So, yes I'm still searching.


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


I can tell that I'm satisfied by their reactions. But opinion is like ass, everyone has its own.

We are talking about the underground so I'll never expect spectacular reactions. Making music is my hobby, I don't earn money on music, so I am really pleased when someone likes my music, listens to it, and even buys.

I try to be realistic, and I'm grateful for any positive reaction. I try to ignore negative ones, because mostly they are not constructive and lead only to frustration.

Making black metal is a "safety valve" for me, so if some like my expresions - is great, when not - fuck it.


10.What is going on with 'Black  moon' these days?


I don't know. It's a Metal Archive mistake. I never played in Blackmoon. And I have nothing common with them.


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


It's a hard question because I tried to create my music by impressions. I don't plan my albums before I grab the guitar.. My main purpose is to provide a specific gloom and dark atmosphere through sounds. I also dream of making Moonthoth from a solo project to a regular band.


12.What are some of the bands or musical styles you are currently listening to nowadays?


There are many of them. I mainly listen to black metal, and I had a crush on the last Djevel album. I also listened to the last Witchmaster album which is great musically and incredibly mixed and mastered.

From other styles I've gone back to Carbon Based Lifeforms. Their albums have a great atmosphere and incredible sound.


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


Deeply thanks for this interview opportunity. As I said, I'm really grateful to everyone who supports Moonthoth and listens to my music.

Keep the black flame alive with your zine.


 

Monday, February 6, 2023

Imperial Demonic/Beneath The Crimson Eclipse/2023 Full length Review

 


  Imperial  Demonic  are  a  band  from  Northern  Ireland  that  plays  a  very  aggressive  and  melodic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2023  album  "Beneath  The  Crimson  Eclipse"  which  will  be  released  in  April.


  A  very  dark,  heavy  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  the  solos  and  leads  also  add  in  great  amount  of  melody.  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  lot  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast b eats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling  and  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  sounding  black  metal s creams.


  Most  of  the  music  is  heavily  rooted  in  the  classic  Swedish  style  while  also  being  very  modern  at  the  same  time.  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  a  couple  of  the  tracks  also  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length,  growls  can  also  be  heard  at  times  and  the  whole  album  also  sticks  to  a  heavier  direction.


  Imperial  Demonic  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  melodic  aggressive  and  fast  in t he  classic  Swedish  style.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Anti  Christianity  and  Darkness  themes.  


  In  my  opinion  Imperial  Demonic  are  a  very  great  sounding  aggressive  and  melodic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  ECOMMENDED  TRQACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Furnace"  and  "Beneath  The  Crimson  Eclipse".  8 out  of  10.


  https://www.facebook.com/imperialdemonic