Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Onferno/Cathartic Offering/2014 Full Length Review


  Onferno  are  a  band  from  Italy  that  plays  a  very  unholy  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2014  album  "Cathartic  Offering".

  Rain  sounds  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  drum  beats  and  distortion  and  a  few  seconds  later  grim  screams  are  added  onto  the  recording  and  after  the  intro  the  music  starts  going  for  more  of  a  black  metal  direction  as  well  as  bringing  in  a  good  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  which  also  shows  the  vocals  getting  more  high  pitched  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Blast  beats  can  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  and  the  music  has  a  mid  90's  Norwegian  style  black  metal  feeling  at  times  while  also  having  a  more  raw  edge  than  the  bands  of  that  era  and  at  times  the  vocals  also  have  a  very  depressive  and  suicidal  feeling  to  them  and  as  the  album  progresses  you  can  hear  more  of  a  raw  and  atmospheric  approach  to  black  metal  being  utilized.

  All  of  the  tracks  stick  to  a  very  true  and  pure  form  of  black  metal  and  the  band  avoids  adding  in  any  modern  trends  from  the  past  10  years  and  focuses  more  on  a  sound  that  contains  a  great  amount  of  variety  while  also  remaining  very  raw,  dark  and  heavy  and  always  retains  a  very  black  metal  orientated  atmosphere  which  also  has  a  very  melodic  edge  at  times  and  one  of  the  later  tracks  also  shows  the  band  adding  in  a  brief  use  of  guitar  leads  and  spoken  word  ritualistic  parts.

  Onferno  creates  a  very  raw  and  dark  style  of  black  metal  with  their  musical  sound  as  well  as  showing  the  ability  to  bring  in  atmosphere  and  still  keeping  it  very  grim  and  there  is  never  a  soft  or  weak  moment  to  be  heard  anywhere  on  this  recording,  the  production  sounds very  dark,  raw  and  old  school  in  the  true  black  metal  tradition  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  blasphemous  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Onferno  are  a  very  great  sounding  unholy  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "At  Dusk  Came  The  Madness"  "Mat  Death  Bloom  In  My  Enemy"  and  "Cursed  Chant  of  the  Maniac  Mind"  which  is  also  an  instrumental.  8  out  of  10.           

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Vargsang/In The Mist Of Night/Obscure Abhorrence Productions/2014 CD Review


  Vargsang  are  a  1  man  band  from  Germany  that  plays  a  very  raw,  misanthropic  and  atmospheric  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2014  album  "In  The  Mist  Of  Night"  which  was  released  by  obscure  Abhorrence  Productions.

  Bell  sounds  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  epic  sounding  synths  and  a  few  seconds  later  guitars  and  bass  start  to  kick  in  along  with  some  grim  sounding  high  pitched  screams  and  blast  beats  which  also  takes  the  music  into  more  of  a  fast  and  raw  90's  orientated  black  metal  sound  and  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  amount  of  morbid  sounding  melodies  being  added  into  the  music.

  When  solos  and  leads  are  added  into  the  music  they  add  more  melody  into  the  music  while  also  remaining  true  to  a  raw  musical  style  and  after  awhile  the  music  starts  to  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  atmospheric  elements  and  there  is  also  a  good  mixture  of  slow,   mid  paced  and  fast  parts  present  throughout  the  recording.

  As  the  album  progresses  spoken word  parts  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  they  also  give  the  music  more  of  a  ritualistic  feeling  and  the  album  focuses  more  on  an  old  school  style  of  black  metal  keeping  everything  in  a  very  pure,  hateful  and  misanthropic  direction  while  also  being  atmospheric  and   melodic  at  times  and  a  couple  of  the  later  tracks  also  show  a  small  amount  of  clean guitars  being  used  for  a  few  seconds.

  Vargsang  plays  a  very  raw  and  old  school  style  of  black  metal  that  contains  the  best  elements  of  the  90's  style  taking  the  rawer  side  and  also  mixing  it  in  with  a  good  amount  of  melody  and  atmosphere  to  create  a  very  dark  and  true  style  of  black  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  dark,  raw  and  old  school  sounding  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark,  anti  religion,  hatred  and  misanthropic  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Vargsang  are  a  very  great  sounding  raw  and  misanthropic  black  metal  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Praise the  Dead"  "The  Cosmic  Gate"  "Captured  In  the  Dark"  and  "begotten".  8  out  of  10.

     

Friday, October 17, 2014

Einherjer/Av Oss, For Oss/Indie Recordings/2014 CD Review



  Einherjer  are  a  band  from  Norway  that  has  been  around  for  a  very  long  time  and  has  also  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  are  one  of  the  most  well  known  pagan/viking  metal  bands  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Av  Oss,  For  Oss"  which  was  released  by  Indie  Recordings.

  Ocean  sounds  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  synths  and  acoustic guitars  a  few  seconds  later  which  also  brings  a  medieval  and  epic  feeling  to  the  recording  and  after  the  intro the  music  starts  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  along  with  some  grim  black  metal  vocals  and  you  can  also  hear  a  lot  of  melodic  guitar  leads  being  added  into  the  music  and  they  add  a  more  pagan  metal  feeling  to  the  bands  musical  sound.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  album  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  after  awhile  the guitar  riffing  starts  adding  in  more  modern  Norwegian  black  metal  elements  and  most  of  the  music  sticks  to  a  slow  to  mid  paced  musical  direction  and  after  awhile  the  acoustic  guitars  make  their  return  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  enhance  the  folk  music  influences  of  the  bands  approach  to  viking  metal.

  When  melodic  chants  and  clean  singing  are  added  into  the  music  they  start  taking  the  music  more  into  a  pagan/black  metal  musical  direction  and  the  band  also  brings  in  a  couple  of  long  and  epic  in  length  tracks  and  they  avoid  using  any  fast  parts,  raw  riffs  and  most  blast  to  focus  more  on  a  melodic  pagan/black  metal  musical  direction.

  Einherjer  remains  true  to  their  viking/pagan  metal  sound  of  previous  recordings  while  also  bringing  back  some  of  the  more  black  metal  roots  to  create  an  album  that  is  very  melodic,  heavy  and  epic  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Norwegian  and  cover  Norse  Paganism  and  mythology  themes.

  In my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Einherjer  and if  you  are  a fan  of  this  band,  you  should  enjoy  this  album.   RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Hammer  I  Kors"  "Nord  eg  ner"  and  "Trelldom".  8  out  of  10.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

VIII Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
Nothing special to tell you. After the release we sent the work to some zines and webzines for reviews and to spread the project as much as possible.
Now, we're working on new songs for the future album.

2.In June you had released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the demo you had released in 2011?
When we started to compose the songs for "Drakon", we found the right balance between the dynamic groove of black metal and the sulphurous, pestilential atmospheres of doom, so we've combined and mixed these two "elements" to create our proposal.
Mainly, our intentions was to experiment within these two elements without any restriction.
The differences between our first demo and the Full Length are infinite;  the whole proposal was inspired by death metal with black metal and industrial elements. Also, the concept and so the lyrics of "Division Hate" were impregneted with anti-humanist attitudes anchored in a warlike revenge against God and Christianity.
To conlcude, these were trivial concepts that had to be overcome!

3.The lyrics on the new album had some occult topics, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in occultism?
It's very difficult to give an answer to this question, 'cause I should draw up much words to explain my interest.
Basically, the lyrics of "Drakon" are based on different aspects of my personality, as man, as GOD, as nihil and as totality of these elements. To "illuminate" this path I used various "methods of research" including some ways that are usually defined "occult".
A comprehensive answer to your question is given entirely by our title, "DRAKON"... understand this "term" helps to understand our concept.
Anyway, starting from the European Nihilism, I "killed God" and I search my way, my path like an orphan without guide, like an Acephalous.
Connecting me to this "path", I found very interesting "to study" the eastern philosophy and religious movements such as the Shivaism and the Krama and, so, the tantric school of the hinduism and buddhism.
"...I feel the happiness of a worm in the decomposition of the infinite body of God."

4.The band was originally known as 'Division VIII', what was the decision behind shortening you band name to 'VIII'?
Simply, as i said earlier , the word, the term "Division" was a part of an outdated idea that clashed with the new course of the project.

5.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you planning on expanding the line up in the future, or do you chose to remain a duo?
No, absolutely, VIII is and will be a duo. We don't feel the need to include other members in the line up. VIII will only ever be a studio-project, we don't feel the need to play live so we are fine just as we are.

6.The new album was released through both black plague Records and Metallic Media, do you feel these 2 labels have been very helpful when it comes to getting your music out there heard?
Black Plague Records and Metallic Media have been essential for us. Without their help "Drakon" would not have been pubblished.
These labels have helped us in a moment of utter stagnation, we had the album ready for many months but we don't found any label willing to publish "Drakon" in a reasonable time.
Then, thanks to BPR and MM, "Drakon" has been published in the early Summer and now we can speak about it.

7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Globally, we have not received much feedback so I can't answer to your question.
In Italy the work has been reviewd very well and, overall, we are satisfy.

8.Are the band members also involved with any other musical projects these days?
I don't have others musical projects, all my efforts are directed to VIII.
Mark has several projects; he play the drum with some bands of our island and now he's composing new songs for his new project called "GAIRO". Really interesting stuff, stay tuned!

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I don't know.  We want to make music without limits, we don't want to fix VIII within certain rules or music genres. I think that, relying on the directives of black metal, we will compose the new songs leaving free rein to instinctivity. Let the "Akephalos" create and destroy.

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
About our newer music there are not bands or musical styles that influence us. I take inspiration from humanity and its miserable struggle, the rot, the sinister and deafening sound of the gears that are no longer able to move this wretched existence called life.
Anyway, lately I'm listening a lot of industrial, martial industrial, neo-folk and dark ambient like MZ 412, Rome, of the Wand & the Moon, Current 93 and Nordvarg just to say a few names.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
If I'm not playing usually I'm reading. I love to read, if I can, I read the whole day.
Any interest is fleeting, we waste our time to bustle about the nothing to feel us alive.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you John for your interest to VIII. If someone wants to listen and buy our full length, can do it going to our bandcamp page: http://divisionviii.bandcamp.com/album/drakon or following us on facebook: www.facebook.com/VIII.drakon .


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sivyj Yar/From The Dead Villages Darkness/Avantgarde Music/2014 CD Review


  Sivyj  Yar  are  a  1  man  band  from  Russia  that  plays  an  epic  and  atmospheric  form  of  pagan/black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2014  album  "From  The  Dead  Villages  Darkness"  which  will  be  released  on  October  20th  by  Avantgarde  Music.

  A  very  dark,  medieval  and  epic  sound  starts  off  the  album  and  after  the  brief  into  the  music  starts  going  into  more  of  a  pagan/black  metal  musical  direction  which  also  starts  incorporating  some  melody  after  a  few  seconds  as  well  as  getting  more  atmospheric  and  when  vocals  are  added  into  the  music  they  are  very  grim  sounding  black  metal  screams  that  also  have  a  very  depressive  tone  to  them  at  times.

  When  acoustic  guitars  are  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  they  add  in  traces  of  both  folk  and  progressive  music  as  well  as  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  violins  at  times  while  the  lead guitars  and  solos  stick  to  mostly  a  melodic  musical  direction  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  most  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  A  small  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  at  times  you  can  hear  a  small  amount  of  spoken  word  parts  in  the  songs  foe  a  few  seconds  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  you  can  hear  the  more  raw  side  of  black  metal  being  added  onto  the  album  and  they  start  having  more  of  a  powerful  sounding  presence  as  the  album  progresses  and  at  times  you  can  also  hear  a  touch  of  post  black  metal  in  the  music.

  Sivyj  Yar  creates  a  very  epic  style  of  pagan/black  metal  with  his  musical  style  taking  the  raw,  melodic,  atmospheric  and  depressive  sides  of  the  genre  and  adding  in  elements  of  folk,  progressive  and  pagan  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  his  own,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  Slavonic  Mythology,  Paganism  and  poetry  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Sivyj  Yar  are  a  very  great  sounding  epic  pagan/black  metal  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Now  Only  Abyss  hears  us"  and  "Distant  haze  Was  Arising".  8  out  of  10.

  

Nostalgie Depression Interview

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

A: Well, since her first demo called "Underneath of the Fullmoon I", there has been a lot of people following this project ... give us their unconditional support and that I really appreciate it. Then the time came the "November Moon" which is a tribute album to Mayhem, Burzum and Morbid ... more people really knew the band and album that caused some impact, and had mostly good reviews. Support continued to increase when freed "Lamentos de la Tierra Lugubre" and it has continued until now that I released my last album called "Grays Days... Sad Happiness", the support has been incredible and I appreciate that very much. From this release, the band has had more popularity, people take the time to listen to our music, and most importantly, we are not so unknown.

2. Recently you have released a new full length, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the new recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released so far?

A: True, few weeks ago, we released the fourth full length album called "Grays ... Sad Days Happiness". This album define it as the darkest of all, also the most friendly I've ever done, besides being original in style, when I made this album, Silencer was my inspiration, my mood was the worst, so this album reflects that ... the darkness, anger, depression, melancholy and nostalgia. This album differs entirely November Moon for example, by way of composition and creation, but everything is set, there are spaces in the song that is totally dedicated to the ambient sound, no elaborate parties, this album is full of nuances and variations in the dark and depressing. For me it's the best album I've done.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have brought into your so music so far?

A: The lyrical content I put into the songs is lost love, depression, misanthropy, conspiracies, nostalgia, sadness, hatred. Sometimes I write stories and put too, but he was not very satisfied because I like to write things that happen to me or things I feel, falsehoods and stories invented for me, not going into a song, do not feel themselves so ... entire lyrical content goes in my songs, are things that have happened in my life and even though things are so, I'm very proud of all.

4. In 2014 alone you have released a great amount of material, do you feel you spend a lot of time and effort with this musical project?

A:It is true that I have released a lot of material for one year, but I remember that this project began in 2012 and since then have been doing music. For when it started in 2014 I already had 3 full albums, just missing where I have a label to release all my stuff, luckily, I found the best label "Depressive Illusions Records". This project is and will be my life and as such, I spend all my time, plus I'm doing what I love, which is music, so my efforts are going to 1000%.

5. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Nostalgie Depression'?

A: The inspiration for the name of the project comes from two bands that I like as "Nostalgie" which is a French band or Canadian and of "Depression" was more for my mood, the full name was inspired by "Nocturnal Depression" which is a very good for my band. Not that the name means much, but it is a combination of things we like.

6. On the recordings... you record all of the musical instruments by yourself but you use 3 different vocalists, what was the decision behind having 3 people on vocals instead of just settling on one singer?

A: Actually I have only two vocalists, one left the band for child's play, it was very childish but ... things happen for a reason. It is true that I play all the instruments and also I would be the singer, but the microphone input of my computer is broken, so I can not record anything about voices ... then in my mind the idea of looking for a vocalist and it was ... I'm very happy with the results of the vocalists. The three vocalists in the band were doing their job flawlessly!

7. Recently you have been a part of 3 different splits, can you tell us a little bit more about these albums and also the bands that have participated on these recordings?

A: Exactly ... any of the splits proposed by me, such as 'Dias Grises de Soledad & Depresion'. This split is made up Nostalgie Depression and Darlamente Norvadian of El Salvador. Both bands are part of Depressive Illusions Records label, so we got in touch and gave us the idea of doing something together, and well, the result is the split. The second split called "Memories in a Mystical Story" is comprised of Nostalgie Depression and Nicrotek of Indonesia, this was the first split I did with another band, after I contacted Darlament Norvadian. The last split is made with four bands, three of them are from Indonesia ... Nazaroth, Crying September and Hellvete. This split is very good, has the best of each band and represents very well his name "Kill your Memories With the Pain". I invite you to listen to these three works, will not be disappointed.

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

A: Many people support my project, many of the criticisms that have been made to my albums have been good, mostly to people like the music I make and that makes me very happy, because that's what I expect from this, I want this music and my music is made known to the whole world that is valued and that the world can join listening to music. I think Nostalgie Depression is on the right path and that sometimes does not happen. I will continue making music until you can no longer live.

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

A: I see myself as a normal person who expresses his feelings clearer now. I see myself as a person who loves music and does what he likes. I do not think much will change the picture if I'm more famous or less famous. There are some who go crazy or imbeciles with fame but I have clear that however famous it is, nothing will change and I know that I will remain the same as now. That if I see myself as a musician with more capacity now in terms of creativity and quality of recording, I hope it is so, I always fight for what I want and if it must be so now, it will.

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

A:Well, my influences are Burzum, Mayhem, Silencer, Uaral, Moloch, Nocturnal Depression, Nostalgie, Lustre, Drowning the Light, Psychonaut 4 Emperor, Darkthrone, Hellhammer, Bathory, Aaskereia, Summoning, and many more bands. Whenever I listen to everything really. One of my new albums called "Beaucheff Street Sessions" is influenced entirely by classical music. Today I listen to classical music, metal, power metal, pop 90s, 80s music, rock, endless good music for me and my ears, but classical music is the law.

11.Does Occultism play any role in your music?

A: In my new album "Luciferi Rituum" speaks on Satanism, church conspiracies, occultism, necromancy and all those songs I like apart from the depression and all those things. Always wanted to do an album with lyrics like that, I'm not a Satanist, or maybe if we all have light and dark inside of us depends on how we use it, is how it goes in life I think. The art of this album I finished yesterday and is incredible! On my Facebook page are all the news, please visit the website to know more about the project.

12. What are some of your non musical interests?

A: So far I have nothing outside of music, I live for my music, plus it's the only thing I know to do, sometimes I play sports and I write novels and poems, but nothing more! It's like being alone, but I prefer it this way because I like what I do and as I have my life.

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

A:I would like to thank this zine, for making me the interview and review my new album "Grays Days... Sad Happiness" thanks to all the fans who support us, thanks to the labels and everyone for reading this . Support and keep alive the flame of Black Metal Underground!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Darkspace/Darkspace III I/Avantgarde Music/2014 CD Review


  Darkspace  are  a  band  from  Switzerland  that  plays  a  very  atmospheric  and  ambient  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Darkspace  III  I"  which  will  be  released  on  October  20th  by  Avantgarde  Music.

  A  very  dark,  atmospheric  and  ambient  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  avant  garde  elements  and  after  a  couple  of  minutes  the  music  starts  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  musical  direction  along  with  some  melodic  guitar  leads  as  well  as  retaining  the  atmospheric  elements  and  you  can  also  hear  a  touch  of  industrial  in  their  musical  style  with  the  programmed  beats  along  with  some  electonica  elements  later  on  during  the  recording  and  at  times  some  of  the  heavier  material also  brings  in  elements  of  thrash  metal.

  All  3  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  after  awhile  the  music  starts  to  speed  up  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  also  brings  in  high  pitched  and  grim  sounding  black  metal  screams  and  after  awhile  the  music  starts  to  alternate  between  slow,  mid  paced  and  heavy  parts  while  also  keeping  everything  in  a  very  atmospheric  and  ambient  orientated  musical  direction  and  at  times  the  vocals  get  very  deep  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

 As  the  album  progresses  you  can  hear  a  good  amount  of  the  mid  90's  era  atmospheric  and  ambient  black  metal  sound  in  the  music  with  the  repetitive  parts  that  go  on  for  a  few  minutes  which  also  makes  the  music  sound  more  ritualistic  along  with  some  drones  being  added  into  the  music  at  times  and  the  atmospheric  parts  also  bring  in  a  science  fiction  and  cosmic  feeling  at  times  and  on  the  instrumental  track  the  band  also  shows  how  talented  and  skilled  they  can  be  as  musicians  and  on  the  last  track  spoken  word  samples  are  added  into  the  music  at  times  while  the  black  metal  riffing  stars  to  bring  in  more  of  a  raw  and  dark  atmosphere  to  the  recording.

  Darkspace  creates  a  very  original  style  of  music  on  this  recording  taking  a  very  melodic  and  atmospheric  style  of  black  metal  and  mixes  it  in  with  a  great  amount  of  experimental  and  dark  ambient  along  with  a  touch  of  space,  electronica  and  industrial  elements  as  well  as  a  touch  of  death  metal  to  create  a  musical  style  they  can  call  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  dark,  epic,  raw  and  heavy  sounding  while  the  lyrics  cover  Space,  Darkness,  and  Cosmic  Mysticism  themes.

  In  my  opinion Darkspace  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric,  ambient  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Dark  4  20".  8  out  of  10.