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Harm Wulf Interview

jeudi 5 mai 2016 à 12:47
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
HW: Hails! HARM WULF was founded by Ansuz (guitars), Zephirist (vocals and lyrics) and Völz (bass) in mid-2015. All of us have been actively creating music for quite some time before, but there was a  common passion for raw, atmospheric Black Metal that we felt we wanted to channel into a distinct form - thus this band came to be. The aim was, from the beginning, to deliver this music and all it stands for in uncompromising, pure essence.

2.In January you had released your first album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
Ansuz: "Endzeitnächte" is a very dense album, with thick layers of sound that evoke a certain kind of arcane, or "transcendental", if you like, atmosphere we aim for. The songs are connected through instrumental interludes that, like an overture, introduce the musical themes presented in the following song(s). Everything has a purpose on this recording, it is not a random collection of songs.
Völz: Raw German Black metal with atmospheric influences.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Ansuz: I am not sure if our debut can be called a "conceptual album" in the classical sense. Zephirist writes most of the lyrics. I wrote lyrics for "Sintbrand" on our album, about the inevitable purge of modern, as well as judeo-christian values - one day mankind will learn by force that our mundane lives are just masks we wear, in order to function within a fragile concept of "reality".
Zephirist: Well, the lyrics on this album are indeed not based on a single concept. They reach from hateful misanthropic visions of death and destruction to descriptions of endtime-scenarios and mystic nights in the woods. Sure, these topics are typical for almost every black metal band out there but in combination with the raw sound of the songs they fit just fine. 

4.I know that the name 'Harm Wulf' comes out of novel 'Der Wehrwolf' by 'Hermann Lons', can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this author?
Ansuz: HARM WULF stands for the irrational, the archaic in man - hardened by and filtered through the life we lead. In the novel, Harm Wulf is a peasant during the Thirty-Years-War (during this conflict from 1618-1648 more than half of the population died in some areas of Germany). The brutal reality he and his kinsmen face as their village is pillaged forces them to shed their petty issues and earn their survival. This is knowledge of a reality, a natural law, that the last generations in Europe failed to pass on to their descendants.
Völz: Nothing to add.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and alos how would you describe your stage performance?
HW: Unfortunately, we haven't played any shows yet.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
HW: Yes we do. However, we live in different parts of Germany and it is taking us quite some time, effort and also logistic problems to rehearse frequently. Nothing certain can be said as of now.

7.On the band camp page you had a 'Nokturnal Mortum' cover and on the album you had a 'Dark fury' cover, what was the decision behind doing your own versions of these songs?
Ansuz: Both bands, especially NOKTURNAL MORTUM were great influences to me. The song we covered will appear on a CD compilation released by Azermedoth Records and this tribute was the main reason we decided to record the song.

8.According to the metal archives page you are signed to 'Werewolf Promotion', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
Ansuz: Werewolf Promotion has been releasing quality music for a long time now, almost everything they release is guaranteed to be worth your time. It is a great honour to work with this label, and we plan to continue this cooperation. The quality of our album release on tape was absolutely flawless.
Völz: The cooperation with the label is working properly and they give us the necessary support we need. Moreover, Werewolf Promotion delivered perfect quality of the tapes!

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Ansuz: The feedback I received so far has been from average to very positive. I think we  have made a first appearance, a starting point from which we hope to set ourselves apart from the flood of releases in Black Metal.
Völz: Far better than I expected.

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?
Ansuz: I have a band called NOXIA. Founded in 2010, we play Post-Punk infused with some elements of Gothic- and Black Metal. So far, there's been one EP, a Split release (to be reissued on CD soon) and we have almost finished recording our debut album at this point.
Völz: Since 2015 I'm also a member of NOXIA, which has already been introduced by Ansuz. Besides I play bass in CH'AHOM. Black/Death Metal with pre-hispanic themes in the vein of SADOGOAT, PROCLAMATION and VON. We just released our first demo via Penetrationhammer and are working on further material.
Zephirist: My own project is called FREMDREICH and could be described as black metal with a pretty punk-ish attitude. I am currently working on the second full length which will go back to the more radical and misantrophic style like my debut since the last two releases were based on some personal issues of mine. But I figured out that black metal wasn´t the best platform to handle these topics.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Ansuz: I think we will continue the path we started. What I would like to do is broaden our lyrical themes and the musical depth to draw the listener further into our concept. Our inspiration is wide enough to realize this on future releases. Still, HW is - without compromise - dedicated to pure, traditional Black Metal and its values.
Völz: With our debut we created a distinctive sound. We'll try to pick up from this and develop our songwriting.

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?
Ansuz: Influential artists definitely are bands like BURZUM, early KATATONIA, LASCOWIEC, A. ART, ENSLAVED, NA RASPUTJE, SOMBRE CHEMIN... I also have a passion for 80's Post-Punk and Indie-music, like RED LORRY YELLOW LORRY, THE SMITHS, UK DECAY and contemporary bands of this style: HOLOGRAMS, VARSOVIE, LOVESILKPALEMILK, to name a few.
Völz:  As I started making music, I bought a shitty guitar and started learning DARKTHRONE and BURZUM songs. The greatest influence to me are primitive bands like BEHERIT, BLASPHEMY, ILDJARN, ØDELEGGER. The crude style is perfect to transport anger! Therefore, I'm also a huge fan of OHL, CHAOS Z and RASPBERRY BULBS. Other genres which I try to pick up are Ambient, Folk and Power Electronics.

13.Does Paganism or Occultism play any role in your music?
Ansuz: I am a pantheistic heathen and this is reflected in the aims I have with my musical creation - to evoke a sense for the irrational, archaic and untamed ways of nature.
Völz: Yes. HAIL SATAN!
Zephirist: I for myself do not believe in god or any other form of a “higher power”. People often use the excuse that religion gives them hope - but I don´t want them to have hope.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Ansuz: I would like to thank you for this interview and appeal to every reader and/or listener to treasure and develop BLACK METAL as a spiritual weapon against the modern world. Don't let it become part of the "regular" metal scene, which is full of troglodyte idiots raveling in ignorance. Support underground bands, labels and fanzines!
Völz: Thanks for the interview and keep supporting the underground!

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Krigsgrav/Waves Of Degradation/Bindrune Recordings/2016 CD Review

jeudi 5 mai 2016 à 11:14

  Krigsgrav  are  a  band  from  Texas  that  plays  a  melodic,  atmospheric  and  nature  orientated  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "Waves  Of  Degradation"  which  was  released  by  Naturmacht  Productions.

  Acoustic  guitar  playing  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some nature  sounds  in  the  background  and  after  a  minute  the  music  starts  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  where  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  and  after  awhile  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  make  their  presence  known  on  the  recording. 

  Growls  can  be  heard  in  the  music  at  times  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  it  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a raw  feeling  and  most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  when  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they are  done  in  a  very  melodic direction.

  Clean  singing  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  acoustic  guitars  also  give  songs  more  of  a  folk  and  progressive  feeling  while  the  heavier  parts  bring  in  more  of  a  modern  atmospheric  style  of  black  metal  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  violins,  mouth  harps,  post  rock  and  avant  garde  elements  and  there  is  also  a  brief  instrumental  track  before  closing  the  album  with  a  heavier  song  which  also  introduces  spoken  word parts  onto the  recording.

  Krigsgrav  creates  another  recording  that  sticks  to  the  atmospheric,  melodic  and  nature  orientated  black  metal  sound  of  previous  recordings  while  also  mixing  in  more  avant  garde,  progressive  and  folk  elements  this  time  around,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  nature,  existentialism  and  the  downfall  of  man  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Krigsgrav  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  atmospheric  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Son  Of  The  Stones"  and  "As  The  Color  Fades  From  the  Earth".  8  out  of  10.  


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Toska/Self Titled/Eihwaz Recordings/2016 EP Review

jeudi 5 mai 2016 à 10:13

  Toska  are  a  band  from  Iceland  that  plays  a  raw  and  melodic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2016  ep  which  will  be  released  on  May  15th  by  Eihwaz  Recordings.

  Atmospheric  sounds  and  melodic  guitar  leads  start  off  the  ep  and  after  the  intro  the  music  goes  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  black  metal  direction t hat  uses  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  while  also  keeping  the  leads  from  the  intro  and  the  riffs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody.

  When  vocals  are  added  onto  the  recording  they  are  grim  black  metal  screams  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  influences  are  perfectly  balanced  between  both  old  school  and  modern  influences  of  the  genre  and  when  synths  are  utilized  they  give  the  songs  more  of  an  epic  feeling  along  with  a  brief ambient  instrumental  while  the  ep  closes with  2  black  metal  tracks  along  with  one  song  also  introducing  classical  guitars  onto t he  recording.

  Toska  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  raw  and  aggressive  while  also  having  its  atmospheric  and  melodic  moments,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  inspired  by  the  writings  of  Polish  poet  Tadeusz  Micinski  and  while  also  covering  nature  and  winter  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Toska  are  a  very  great  sounding  raw,  melodic  and  atmospheric  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Algrid  Gales"  and  "Blizzard  tales".  8  out  of  10.

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Draugur/By The Rays Of His Golden Light/Naturmacht Productions/2016 CD Review

jeudi 5 mai 2016 à 04:18

  Draugur  are  a  band  from  the  Netherlands  that  plays  an  orthodox  form  of  satanic/occult  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "By  the  Rays  Of  His  Golden  Light"  which  will  be  released  on  may  26th  by  Naturmacht  Productions.

  A  very  raw  black  metal  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  deep  screams  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  are  utilized  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  recording  and  the  vocals  also  get  very  high  pitched  at  times.

  Throughout  the  recording  you can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  dark  and  melodic  fashion  and  some  of the  riffs  also  utilize  dark  sounding  melodies  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  clean  singing  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  ritualistic  atmosphere  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  long and  epic  in  length  and  as  the  album  progresses  clean  guitars  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

  Draugur  plays  a  style  of  orthodox  satanic/occult  black  metal  that is  very  dark,  raw  and  melodic  while  also  done  in  more  of  modern  fashion,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Luciferian,  Left  Hand  Path  and  Occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Draugur  are  a  very  great  sounding  orthodox  satanic/occult  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS INCLUDE  "Entities  Of  the  Third  Dimension"  "Behold  the  Third  Eye  Vision"  and  "Bloodsoaked  Battlefield  Commitment".  8  out  of  10.   

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Horrenda Interview

mercredi 4 mai 2016 à 02:41

1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
The band is going from strength to strength; gigging the more recent demo, working on the full band EP and breaking in new live band members.

2. So far this year you have been a part of 2 splits and also have released a demo, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on those recordings and also how do they differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
We’ve released a lot of material this year; and I didn’t even see that coming. The two splits were a great chance to work on a different side of the music that I like to write without it interfering with what fans can expect when they come to see us live or check out one of the demos.
I am a huge fan of Tom DeLonge and his Angels and Airwaves project. He toys, plays around and smashes the pop-punk/space rock box to achieve something bigger but it still all ties together. I guess I am trying to do the same with Horrenda as a black metal version of this.
Horrenda is first a side project then an outlet for ideas and other musical ventures. I am using it to write what I want to write or to explore genres that I feel haven’t been explored in some time. That gives me a lot of scope as a musician; I can work outside the “black metal” box, bring in outside elements on one hand and on the other craft pure black metal for the band and live shows.
That would be the difference; the splits and other non-band based Horrenda releases are going to be more experimental than the band stuff by its very nature. But everything ties together; I am hoping that people can pick up on that. Everything I release Horrenda/32x ties together but every album, EP, demo, live show and spilt all tell different sides of that overall unit.

3. The lyrics on the demo dealt with Irish paganism, History and Politics, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?
Sure thing; I’ve always been into these things growing up and it just comes naturally when I sit down to write my lyrics. I feel that in this day and age in Ireland, and Western Europe, national identity and culture is being demonized and discouraged. It is something that is timely but also something that as an Irish person, it is close to my heart. I admire what Valfar did with Windir; and seem to be working a lot of the same things into my music.
I guess it’s all the Megadeth and Anti-Flag I grew up listening to. But I find it more rewarding to write about something that is important. Rather than what other black metal bands do: write about demons, devils and so on.
Horrenda is not about that stuff; it is about challenging the listener/viewer to think about their environment, their past and their place in the world.

4. Also on the fb page one of your interests was Phillip K. Dick, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this author and also are there any other writers you have an interest in?
Philip K. Dick is the greatest author of the 20th Century and understood the world, reality and concepts like the “multiverse” and “time” better than a normal man ever could. That’s why I dedicated the first 32x album “Simulacra and Simulation” to him.
His books are timeless, yet forward-thinking. And as a man he is very complex. There are some great books, like “The Man Who Remembered the Future” by Anthony Peake, that talk about his life and the overall themes that I toy with on the 32x side of things.
These great figures don’t come along very often so if I can get someone to check out his work based on a reference, clip or something else from this band than awesome. Everyone should know this man’s work on some level.

5. Since 2015 you have released a great amount of material, do you put a great amount of time and effort into the band?
A lot of the early stuff was written in some forms over the past two to three years, for other bands or projects but due to creative problems they just stayed on paper or on very rough demos.
I decided to just go for it and do this myself and start making music for me. When I started doing this for real, I found that the creative tap was on and I could use it.
I guess, after being a bassist for so long, playing other people’s songs you forget what it’s like to play something that is your own, something that means something to you.
Now, things have a different dynamic because I am writing for a band instead of just me and trying to make this stuff possible to play live. Thanks to Brian Colfer from Scrawb who really helped make a lot of the new sound of Horrenda click. He is like an unofficial member at this point as he did most of the drums of the last demo.
Ha, too much time. I have to stop sometimes or they’d be double the releases on the Horrenda bandcamp page.

6. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Horrenda'?
Originally, I wanted to use “Synodus Horrenda” as a band name. This was the name given to an event when a Pope put a dead ex-Pope’s corpse on trial in 897 AD in Rome. But, like most things, it was taken and when I was renaming the project, Horrenda worked and fit even better than I had thought.
Horrenda is a form of the Latin word for “terror” or “frightful”; so the concepts and themes that I write about deal with the darker nature of us as humans, our history and forgotten pagan identity.

7. Originally the band started out as a solo project, what was the decision behind forming a full line up?
I like to gig, that’s about the size of it. Honestly, the best thing about playing music is performing it for people. So I decided to add the live band side of the project last year and the shows are very fun and people seem to enjoy them.
However, as I said above, the live side of Horrenda is just one element and that’s good because we can still be active as a “band” without gigging all the time. But we’ll never turn down a show that’s for sure.

8. 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 been extremely lucky so far that all the shows that we have played have been rather big, had a great crowd and supporting awesome bands. My favourite has to be our first ever show with the Norwegian band Incipit and fellow Irish bands Aeternum Vale, & Saint Slaughter.
That was huge was us, and it was kind of weird as I was playing bass for Saint Slaughter too, it set the tone of what we wanted to achieve as a live act plus proved for me that these songs work live.
Our live show is a straight black metal assault; fast, heavy songs with few breaks picking the best from the “Neronian Times” demo and give an even more aggressive flavour. We work in samples, something that I owe to my time with Axial Symmetry, use corpse paint and really make a show for our fans. I want anyone who comes to see us live to walk out thinking they’ve seen something unlike anytime that is on the Dublin scene today.

9. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
We have a few gigs lined up, still taking bookings, then it’s going to be heavily focused on a follow up to the last demo with a full band release.
We’re playing two huge gigs in June; the 18th June at the “On The Rox” venue in Dublin with very good friends of mine, and the band’s, the amazing Outright Resistance from the UK. And a cracking line up of Irish acts: Words That Burn, Symptoms of Silence and A Letter to Jane.
And our last gig that is confirmed is again in Dublin on the 25th of June in Fibber’s, we’re playing the Black Midsummer Night with our Irish pagan brothers in Corr Mhóna and the killer Skullthrone and Nonserviam.
We don’t play live a lot but when we do, you don’t want to miss us and the outstanding talent that we a sharing a stage with.

10. Recently you were a part of some splits with 'Harsh Discipline' and 'Mort aux Guex', what are your thoughts on the other bands that had participated on the splits?
Paul from Harsh Discipline, what can I say about the guy, man? He is a true artist and one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. We still work together and are at this moment, working on something very neat indeed.
There is nobody that you want to work more with on a “noise” based ambient project than Harsh Discipline. What he did with my tracks, and his own, on the release was unreal.
The Mort aux Guex release was one of the chances that I took to release some very much solo based Horrenda material to a wider audience and it worked. Our two styles of black metal matched and I love that split; Mort’s style is unforgiving and if you’ve not hear of them, do so! It was a true pleasure working with Francois and I hope to again someday.

11. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been so far by fans of black metal?
Very positive; a lot of black metal fans around the world have embraced the material but for various different reasons. People seem drawn to the old school approach I think, the production values and the overall feel of the band. And that’s awesome; I am directly inspired by old school black metal and that’s what I want to try and revive.

12. What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that you are a part of?
A lot; in all seriousness, may be too many but I make it worth. I love to play music and will never turn down the chance to work with others. However, that’s why Horrenda is side project; the other lads, Creachta in particular, is in loads of bands as am I.
I play with Saint Slaughter and Skewered and I also fill in with Axial Symmtery. While Daragh (Creachta) plays in Svet Kant, Morality and Three Armed Decoy. While Arron (Nomad) is only in Horrenda but he is an excellent singer and I am sure will have other projects soon. We seem to have a rotating bassist/drummer at the moment but that’s the fun of it, right?

13. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Let me know, say this much, if you liked the last demo then you’re going to love what comes next. We’re going more in that direction; like a mix of Gorgoroth, Windir, Abbath and Burzum.
A few words from Nomad – I was a fan of Horrenda before I joined.  They’re my first band but I can’t wait to bring my own style to the group in the future.

14. 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?
There is so much, dude. I love all sorts of music except rap and metalcore. And that wide range of tastes boils over into Horrenda in some form, and a lot of the time on a solo or 32x release.
But for the band stuff, I draw a lot of inspiration from Varg’s and Abbath’s projects; a lot of Burzum, Abbath, I, Darkthrone and so on. I like to fuse the hate and rage of second wave Norwegian black metal with the melodic breaks of Gorgoroth with a gloss of esoteric, political or historical lyrics.
I listen to mostly some kind of extreme black metal (Marduk, Nargaroth, Tsjuder, Windir etc), Burzum once a day when I am writing, loving Abbath’s side project “I” and their album plus a little Robots with Rayguns/Angels and Airwaves to balance it all out.
Nomad adds that his vocals are drawn from those of Mayhem, Gorgoroth, Pig Destroyer, Napalm Death and Sepultura.

15. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Firstly, thank you for your time, support and review. And secondly, if your readers like what they’ve heard from Horrenda already that is nothing as to what is coming next. We’re doing our best to bring pure black metal back; so hopefully you guys will be us for that ride
Darragh “Outis” O’Connor

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