Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Narbeleth/Through Blackness, And Remote Places/Folter Records 2015 CD Review


  Narbeleth  are  a  band  from  Cuba  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  very  dark,  raw  and  blasphemous  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "Through Blackness, And Remote Places"  which  will  be  released  in  August  by  Folter  Records.

  A  very  fast  and  raw  black  metal  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  and  a  few  seconds  later  grim  screams  start  becoming  a  huge  part  of  the  recording  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  you  can  also  hear  some  morbid  sounding  melodies  in  some  parts  of  the  songs.

  Most  of  the  music  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  second  wave  black  metal  style  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  recording  and  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  in  some  parts of  the  songs  the  vocals  get  very  angry  and  menacing  sounding  and  all  of  the  songs  stick  to  a  heavy  musical  direction  and  they  close  the  album  with  a  cover  of  Judas  Iscariot's  "Gaze  Upon  The  Heaven  In  Flames".

  Narbeleth  creates  another  black  metal  album  that  is  in  a  very  fast,  raw  and  blasphemous  second  wave  direction  and  ignores  any  of  the  current  style  to  return  black  metal  back  to  its  roots,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and old  school  while  the  lyrics  cover  Darkness,  Occultism  and  Blasphemy  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Narbeleth  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  fast,  raw,  and  blasphemous  old  school  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Sons  Of  The  Grand  Cosmic  Emanation"  "The  Lightbringer"  and  "Gaze  Upon  The  Heaven  In  Flames".  8  out  of  10.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Deadspace 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?

So far we have released 2 music videos, have been filling up our performance calendar for the rest of the year and gearing up to record a lengthier follow up record very soon.



2.In April you had released your first full length, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

Well we would hope that it is perceived to be drenched with raw emotion and passion. Depression, triumph, pain, relief, despair, beauty, disgust and a whole range of other human struggles.



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

"The Promise Of Oblivion" is really an expression/celebration of being human. It allows you to feel a range of different emotions and never really quite know what you're feeling or why. In our opinion, that is the human condition. These are all things we live with.. depression, pain and at the same time struggling to keep these things suppressed. This record was our way of letting these things wild.



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

Deadspace actually started as an ambient project back when Chris was writing on his own. He used to write little loops that he could just put on and cease existence. It was kind of like his place away from reality.. or his 'deadspace'. So it just developed from there. There was no intentional relation to the video game. Although we like that it reminds a lot of people of something else they enjoy.



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

We've only played one show so far. Our stage performance, I guess, is just honest. It's really just how we feel the music, which we feel is intense so looking back on our performance I'd say that is the first word that springs to mind. That is a hard one to answer.



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

We have a few decent shows coming up in Perth supporting some incredible outfits from our eastern states. In October we're looking at heading over to Melbourne for a run of shows and eventually getting overseas on some tours..



7.In December you were part of a split with Onomy, what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the split?

Well this is back when Deadspace was just Chris writing ambient music. This is how Chris met Drew who was part of Deadspace for the debut album. So I guess that was really the beginning of a pretty big thing for this band.



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

We didn't really look for anything with our first record. We are currently looking into doing another record with a higher recording budget. We will see if we get any bites on this new one.



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

Surprisingly, people seem to get exactly where we're coming from. We haven't got one poor review yet (not publicly anyway).. which was a massive shock. As much as there are massive elements of depressive black metal, Deadspace is sort of coming from a different place. So we are extremely surprised we haven't been ripped to shreds (yet).



10.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?

Drew has a project called Ur Draugr. They are a studio project and have a new record coming out soon. Drew is always writing something, whether it be dark ambient or blackened death metal. Ben, our drummer, plays drums in a band called Sanzu who have a new EP out and an album on the horizon. One of the hardest working, tightest bands in Perth. Nish has his band Xenobiotic, they have an album on the horizon also and a few things in the works. And Oli plays in a band called Cloak And Dagger, an upcoming metalcore band who are about to hit the studio again.



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

We are 11 tracks into writing our next record. The raw material is basically all the elements of "Promise".. but taken to the next level. The black metal is faster and more powerful, the doom is slower, the emotion is all there, the ambience is bigger. We are going into Electric City Studios with our friend Sam Allen (Earth Rot, Wardaemonic, Cursed Earth) to record this next record. Everything he does sounds HUGE. So we feel like this record will actually be the perfect mix of more raw, and more polished, most likely all in the right ways.



12.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?

Anything from Shining, Taake, Lifelover to Beastmilk, God Is An Astronaut, Placebo. Basically anything emotive.. Jeff Buckley, Pink Floyd, Nine Inch Nails.



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

Thanks for having us.

You can pick up our album and merch here on our new BigCartel store:

deadspace.bigcartel.com

Monday, June 29, 2015

Minneriket Interview

Interview with Stein Akslen (Minneriket) for Occult Black Metal Zine.

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

Stein A: The first recordings started early 2014, and incorporated ideas that were a lot older. It’s a solo project, working in my own pace and treading on some new ground. I wanted an outlet for the more traditional and oldschool Black Metal sound, focusing purely on atmosphere, and decided not to tamper with any existing projects and rather start from scratch, letting the project shape itself as I went along. In a way, it’s a romantic and contemplative approach to Black Metal.

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

Stein A:, On the debut album «Vargtimen» the ambiences of instruments and their sonic position in the musical landscape takes precedence to fuel the creative process. Holistic songwriting, if you want. It’s raw, it’s lo-fi and partly nostalgic, combining the ambiences with the dynamics to present a unique dark sound.

3.Your lyrics cover some Pagan and Existentialism themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

Stein A: Somehow I think everything I touch ends up related to those labels, but I’d avoid labeling Minneriket as either of them. The lyrics are very introvert, consisting of both the contemplative existensialism and the pagan imagery as a catalyst for further reflection. Most of the lyrics are in Norwegian, some in English, and I think the ones in English might be more accessible for some, while the ones in Norwegian is closer to heart.

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

The meaning of «Minneriket» is, literally, «the realm of memories», which describes the romantic approach to the music, partly living in some kind of esoteric, transcendent past. I consider the name as an image for the Mímisbrunnr, the well located under the root of Yggdrasill in Jötunheimr where Óðinn sacrificed his eye to grow in knowledge. A timeless source of wisdom and visions. Several years ago, I released a book with the same title, a limited print-on-demand feature including translations and commentary of an Old Norse poem, and other artistic endeavours as poetry and photography. One of the texts there written almost ten years ago, is a poem in nine parts called «Minneriket», and gave name to the book, and now the band, and were used as the lyrics for the last track on the album.

5.With this musical project you record everything by yourself but have worked with other musicians in other bands and projects, how would you compare the two?

Stein A: Yes, I have collaborated both locally and internationally with other bands, and the creative process is completely different from each band to the next. It all comes down to finding the right combination of igniting sparks and filling voids. Blodsgard is perhaps the most unorthodox approach, where I focus on the lyrics and conveying a state of mind, then Rex, a musical mastermind, translates this into music to create the entity that Blodsgard has become. Working completely solo, like I do in Minneriket and in other ambient projects, has both it’s pros and cons. It’s total freedom, your own pace, and the process of creating from scratch is rewarding. At the same time, it creates limits and challenges, and the lack of input from others during the creation can be just as much a gift as a curse. Either way, the approach you take should be related to the art you wish to present, and in this case, it is a solitary work of art.

6.Your self released the album on 'Akslen Black Art Records', is this a label for your music only or do you plan on expanding by signing other bands?

Stein A: So far I’ve only released albums there by my own projects, Minneriket and V0id&Khaos, and I intend it to stay that way, at least for now. I wouldn’t have the time, or capability, to give other bands the focus they would deserve. ABAR is mostly there to enable an existence and to remain in complete control of the finished material, and not have external labels tear down what you try to do with their incompetence. For this project, freedom and control is a lot more important than the capitalist greed of the music industry, which really has nothing to offer anymore sans promotion. 

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

Stein A: When you work in a genre like Black Metal, catering to the very few, the feedback is irrelevant to your own sense of accomplishments. Some like it, some don’t. But I do appreciate the feedback when people tell their stories, how the music has touched or inspired them in some way. Moments like that are always powerful, and the best kind of feedback is when people actually connect to your music.

8.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that you are a part of?

Stein A: After we spent about five years recording «Monument» by Blodsgard we needed to take a time off from that, and reconnect to it when the time is right. We’ve been spinning plans for our sophomore album for a long time, and I already did some lyrical groundwork back in late 2013, but a new album is still a few years away. V0id&Khaos will have a new Dark Ambient release out in the not-so-distant future, and I’ve already begun the writing on the next Minneriket album.

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

Stein A: Expanding, I hope. I can’t stand being static or in a standstill position when it comes to creativity. My contributions to music will forever be rooted in the darker aspects of Black Metal and Ambient, but I’d love to approach the gothic and melancholic genres someday. I’m not much of a metal fan really, I prefer the black in Black Metal, and not the metal. Hopefully I’ll be able to shape Minneriket into the notorious outfit I imagine it has the power to become.

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?

Stein A: Mainly Burzum, without a doubt. But of course other bands like Gorgoroth, Mayhem, Seigmen, Trelldom, Vond, Shining (Swe), etc. All these bands cast large shadows, and that’s well deserved. I don’t listen to much music these days, not much new music at least. Mourning Ritual made a great cover of «Bad Moon Rising» that I’ve been spinning pretty much since it got released, and there’s a Norwegian melancholic rock/metal band called I Lit the Sun who released an excellent album called «Horizon» recently.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

Stein A: Virgin sacrifices and the destruction of public property of course. And a wicked sense of humour. I could list on and on about nature, contemporary art and litterature, but I have a feeling it would sound like a dating ad, so I’ll refrain from the namedropping.

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

Stein A: Thank you for your interest in Minneriket. The debut album «Vargtimen» was released recently on summer solstice both on cassette tape and CD as well as a digital download. There was also made a special box set, containing the cassette tape, a lyric sheet/logo posters, black and white feathers, graveyard dirt, bone dust, human bones and wooden carved runes. I find it important to offer something special to the true fans in this day of digital decay. For those interested, the limited box set is now sold out, but there’s still some CDs and tapes left at www.minneriket.bandcamp.com. The whole album is also available for streaming there. If there’s any wish to interact, Minneriket also has an official Facebook page.

C.O.F.O.C/Ortvsvs/Underground Resistance/Ater Lunae Templi/2015 Split Album Review


  This  is  a  review  of  a  split  album  between  Brazil's  C.O.F.O.C  and  Ortvsvs  called  "Underground Resistance"  which  was  released  by  Ater  Lunae  Templi  and  we  will  start  off  the  review  with  C.O.F.O.C  a  solo  project   that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  raw  form  of   black  metal  with  elements  of  punk.

  A  very  fast  and  raw  bestial  black  metal  sound  starts  off  his  side  of  the  split  along  with a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  demonic  guttural  growls  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  after  awhile  a  small  amount  of  screams  are  added  into  some  parts  of  the  songs  and  you  can  also  hear  the  raw  energy  of  punk  and  harsh  noise  at  times  and  the  music  also  brings  in  a  ritualistic  feeling  to some  parts  of  the  songs,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  alcohol,  darkness,  occult  and  blasphemous  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  C.O.F.O.C  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  raw  bestial  black  metal  with  elements  of  punk  and  noise,  you  should  check  out  his  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Beer  Blood"  and  "Ravold".

  Next  up  is  Ortvsvs  a  solo  project  that  plays  a  very  raw and  lo-fi  form  of  black  metal.

  His  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  a  very  dark  and lo-fi  guitar  riff  along  with  some  grim  screams  a  few  seconds  later  and  the  raw  style  of  black  metal  can  also  be  heard  in  the  background  and  the  songs  also  have  almost  a  primitive  garage  feeling  at  times  while  the  music  sticks  mostly  to  a  fast  musical  direction,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the lyrics   cover  darkness  and  blasphemy themes.

  In  my  opinion  Ortvsvs  are  a  very  great  sounding  raw  lo-fi  black  metal  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  his  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "I"  and  "IV".

  In  conclusion  I  feel  this  is  a  very  great  sounding  split  and  I  would  recommend  it  to  the  fans  of  true  underground  black  metal.  8  out  of  10.      

Tempers Creature/Si Vis Vitam, Para Mortem/Sturmglanz Produktionen/2015 CD Review


  Tempers  Creature  a  duo  from  Germany  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  depressive  form  of  pagan/black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "Si Vis Vitam, Para Mortem"  which  will  be  released  in  July  by  Sturmglanz Produktionen.

  Avant  garde  sounds  start  off the  album  along  with  some  haunting  keyboards  a  few  seconds  later  and  background  voices  and  after  the  intro  the  music  starts  to  go  into  more  of  a  heavy  and  raw  musical  direction  along  with  some  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  the  vocals  also  get  very  deep  and  demonic  at  times.

  You  can  hear  a  decent  amount  of  melody  being  utilized  in  the  guitar  riffing  and  some  songs  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  spoken  word  parts  and  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  throughout  the  recording  and  a  good  portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  a  great  amount  of  depressive  black  metal  elements  can  be  heard  in  a  great  amount  of  the  tracks  and  the  screams  also  sound  very  suicidal  at  times.

     Clean  playing  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound   to  them  along  with  a  great  amount  of  atmospheric  elements  and  they  also  do  a  cover  of  Blutkinge's  "Eines  Geistes" and  the solos  and  leads  the  band  uses  are  very  dark  and  melodic  and  also  bring  in  more  of  a  modern  black  metal  feeling  and in  some  songs  a  small  amount  of  clean  singing  is  utilized  and  they  also  bring  more  of  a  pagan  and  folk  metal  atmosphere  to  the  music  as  well  as  a  brief  use  of  female  vocals.

  Tempers  Creature  creates  a  very  diverse  black  metal  album  that combines  the  atmospheric,  depressive  and  pagan  styles  of  the  genre  while  some  songs  also  bring  in  folk  music  elements  and  they  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the lyrics  are  written  in  German  and  cover  dark,  depressive,  misanthropic,  Germanic  and  Suebian  folklore and  Paganism.

  In  my  opinion  this is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Tempers  Creature  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of t he  atmospheric,  depressive  and  pagan  styles  of  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Tranen  auf  nacktar  Haut"  "Dance  Macabre"  "Dammerung  der  Abendsson"  and  "Si Vis Vitam, Para Mortem".  8  out  of  10.       

     

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Ungoliantha/Through The Chaos, Through The Time, Through The Death/2015 CD Review


  Ungoliantha  are  a  band  from  Ukraine  that  plays  a  very  raw form  of  black  metal  with  orchestra  elements and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015 album  "Through The Chaos, Through The Time, Through The Death".

  A  very  epic  sounding  synth  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  choirs  in  the  background  and  after  the  intro  the  music  foes  into  a  fast  and  raw  black  metal  direction  along  with  some  hateful  screams  and  blast  beats  as  well  as  some  melodic  guitar  leads  and  they  also  mix  in  a  great  amount  of  classical  musical elements into their  musical  style. 

  A  lot  of  the  riffs  use  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  and  some  songs  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  singing  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  an  avant  garde  feeling.

   There  is  also  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing  being  used  at  times  and  there  are  also  a  couple  of  tracks  that  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  some  of  the  later  tracks    also  brings  in  a  small  amount  of  death  metal  growls  and  spoken  word  parts and  they also  do  a  cover  of  Lucifugum's  "Pressed  Down  by  The  Fallen  Pivot  Of  Life.   

  Ungoliantha  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  raw  and  melodic  in  the  second  wave  tradition  but  also  mixes  the  style  in  with  classical,  orchestra  and  avant  garde  music  to  create  a  very  original  sounding  album,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark and  blasphemous  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Ungoliantha  are  a  very  great  sounding  raw  black  metal  with  elements  of  classical  music  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Following  The  Black  Kindness"  "Black  Essence of  Christ"  "Reckoning"  and  "Armageddon".  8  out  of  10.

 

Helde/Suaren gerizpea/Negra Nit Distro/2015 Full Length Review


  Helde  are  a  band  from  Spain  that  plays  a  very  raw  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "Suaren gerizpea"  which  was  released  by  Negra  Nit  Distro.

  Thunder  and  rain  sounds  start  off  the  album  and  a  few  seconds  later  the  music  goes  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  black  metal  direction  that  also  uses  a  great  amount of  blast  beats  and  high  pitched  screams  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  music  is  heavily  rooted  in  the  mid  90's  style  of  black  metal.

  Dark  sounding  melodies  can  be  heard  throughout  the  recording  and  all of  the  songs  stick  to  a  very  heavy  and  raw  style  of  black  metal  throughout  the  recording  and  they  also  avoid  using  any  solos  and  leads  which  also  gives  their  music  more  of  a  heavy  attack  and  there  are  no  soft  parts  present  anywhere  on  the  recording.

  Helde  remain  true  to  the  fast  and  raw  black  metal  style  that  was  established  on  the  previous  recording  and  create  a  very  heavy  recording,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Basque  and  cover  mythological  and  misanthropic  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  album  from  Helde  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  fast  and  raw  black  metal,  you  should  check  out t his  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Belearen  hegeldia"  and  "Sasikume".  8  out  of  10.