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Unholy Baptism Interview

vendredi 12 mai 2017 à 18:53
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?

Mantus –

Primarily, we have been focusing on marketing our album and just getting it into as many hands as possible. We have recently partnered with Clawhammer PR and are continually blown away by both their reach and professionalism. Being an underground band – as well as a studio project – there is only a certain amount of people we can reach with the resources we have, so we have been very impressed with how far our music has reached so far.

Outside of garnering attention from the underground, we have already begun the writing process of our next album. While our most recent album, …On the Precipice of the Ancient Abyss was kind of a standalone production. We did still write it in a way that it has a clear story arc, but it wasn’t intended to be part of something larger. Our next album, which will be titled The Bonds of Servitude, is going to be the first volume of what will eventually become a trilogy of albums. We can’t share too much of the concept right now, as it’s still being worked out, but it’s definitely going to be enveloped in the same concept and aesthetic that we’ve built with our first album.
2. In March 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 stuff you have released in the past?

Moloch –

…On The Precipice of the Ancient Abyss is an aggressive, harsh album in the style of early 2nd wave Black Metal. We chose to also mix in atmospheric and doom elements, which helps give it an overall sound that is dark and mesmerizing. This album marks a distinct shift in complexity from our demo, which is a much more straight forward, garage-style version of Black Metal.
3.This is your first release in 7 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?

Moloch –

During this time, the band was undergoing multiple transformations. Both Mantus and I were working on degrees while juggling jobs part time, which absolutely slowed the writing process. We were also updating our sound and trying to find ourselves musically and thematically. Add on top of that the fact that we had to build our own studio and learn the recording/mixing/mastering process from scratch, and we had our hands full!

Mantus –

Definitely. Our first album, which was a self-titled EP we released in a short run, primarily to support our live shows. The recording process was pretty rough for that one, and we were less than pleased with both the recording experience and the finished product. I had decided after that that I wanted to learn how to do at least the tracking process, so I could at least control some aspect of the session, and that eventually branched into mixing and mastering. But, as Moloch mentioned, learning all of that stuff takes time!
4.Some of your lyrics go into Theistic Satanism and Occultism, can you tell us a little bit more about what the Dark Arts means to you?

Moloch –

The “Dark Arts” is a good catch-all term for what is, to me, a combination of subjects. It includes an exploration of the natural world and the psychology of humankind that is more empathetically based and complementary to traditional science. It also includes deep, personal introspection and self-discovery. I think that these subjects are as diverse as the people who study them, and therefore difficult to give definition.

Mantus –

I’ve always looked at occultism as the key to unlocking the secrets of the universe, but not knowing where the lock is, or like having all of the answers without knowing what the question is. Those of us who walk the Left-Hand Path know that there is more beyond the veil of what most consider to be “reality,” and only we are willing to take the risks and make the sacrifices necessary to further our understanding and acceptance of that deeper reality. Black metal, I think, works particularly well in relation to occultism, because the music encourages the mind to transcend the mundane and become part of something larger than the miniscule, pitiful existence of worldly life that separates us from true knowledge.

5.You also have some lyrics inspired by the writings of H.P Lovecraft, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this author and also are there any other writers that have had an influence on your songwriting?

Moloch –

H.P. Lovecraft is a master of the horror genre, with an incredible talent for pacing, imagery, and atmosphere. These are all things we value in our music, so it felt natural to draw on his writing for inspiration. We are both big fans of horror and sci-fi/fantasy, so I expect there are many writers that influence our songwriting both lyrically and tonally, such as Edgar Allen Poe or Neil Gaiman.

Mantus –

I have always been fascinated with Lovecraft’s message in regards to human life. As you can tell from his most popular works, he writes about the Elder Gods and the Great Old Ones, who are by all accounts immortal and impossibly powerful, who use humans as their playthings, tormenting them for sheer pleasure, or for no reason at all. It’s all too common for major religious groups and human rights efforts to place the ultimate value on human life, but the reality is our lives aren’t even remotely notable in the grand scheme of time. The planet we live on is inconsequential compared to the endlessness of the universe, so how can we say in certainty that we matter? I think his writing really paints a picture of hopelessness and of de-valuing everything humanity holds dear, which is something that resonates with me.

Outside of Lovecraft, I also take a lot of literary influences from Medieval and Renaissance writers. Particularly, I have taken a lot of inspiration from John Milton’s Paradise Lost, which I still think is one of the most Satanic books ever written, as well as Dante’s Inferno. In fact, the opening lines of our song “Descent of Eternal Sorrow” uses a few lines from Inferno. When I wrote the lyrics, I wanted to invoke that sense of despair that is palpable in that section of the poem.
6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Unholy Baptism'?

Mantus –

I think that the big inspiration behind our band name is the inversion of a normal Christian baptism. My opinion of baptism in Christianity is that it makes you a slave to God, and so the Unholy Baptism, to me, lets you open your eyes and rise against the master that society tries to force upon you and choose your own destiny. Instead of being shackled to traditions of the past, we should be opening our eyes to the light of the universe and walking the path that few dare to tread.
7.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you open to expanding your line up or do you chose to remain a duo?

Moloch –

When it comes to the writing process, we work best as a duo. We have a strong friendship in addition to our creative partnership, so it would be difficult to incorporate any more voices into steering the band. That being said, having only two members makes live performance virtually impossible. If we come to a place where we feel that putting on live shows is worth it to us, we would almost certainly need to add a drummer.

Mantus –

We’re definitely open to adding members into the band, but I think some projects can be crushed under their own weight when too many people get involved. For both Moloch and I, we have a set of standards that any new member should meet, and we just unfortunately haven’t met many people that really fit that bill. I think with black metal in particular, the musicians need to stick with the vision of the band as a whole. Not every black metal band wears corpse paint or sings about Satan, but if half of the band wants to be more traditional and the other half wants to be more progressive, tension can build pretty quickly. Unfortunately, we just haven’t met others that want to commit to the vision we have for this project.
8.I have read that the band is no longer doing any live shows and is only a studio project these days, what was the decision behind going into this direction?

Mantus –

It was definitely a hard choice to make. We had a discussion about it after a small show we did in November of 2010. I should mention, we have a “pay-to-play” culture where we are, and when we would get on a bill, it would cost us about $100 every time we played a show. We weren’t ever compensated for the shows we did, and I think our corner of the southwest didn’t get where we were coming from with our black metal aesthetic, so we weren’t selling merchandise either. Prior to the departure of our drummer, Hate, we determined that playing live in Flagstaff wasn’t propelling the band further.

9.When the band was still doing live shows, what where some of the best shows that you have done?

Mantus –

I will always remember our first show more than anything else, as that was when I realized we really had a good aesthetic. This show took place very shortly after Moloch joined the band, but I don’t think we had done our EP yet. There used to be this club downtown called Studio 111. I used to play there when I was in other bands throughout the years, and I think it’s a coffee shop now. Nobody knew who the hell we were, the sound guys didn’t know what to make of it, but we just got on stage and put on a show anyway. When we started, there were a handful of people standing around, but once we started playing, you could see disgusted looks on people’s faces and everybody left in a hurry. We ended up finishing that set to an empty room!

Moloch –

Despite our focus on recording, we really enjoy performing live. There is a unique feeling to the level of connection you get on stage, staring out into a crowd and just unloading your deepest, darkest thoughts onto them. One of our best shows was opening for Cattle Decapitation at a little dive bar in Flagstaff, AZ. We certainly don’t align with the band philosophically, but they can draw a crowd and put on a good show! The floor was packed, and the audience was responding to every word and every riff. It was a powerful experience.

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

Moloch –

We are not actively looking for a label, but we are also not ruling out a partnership if the terms are right. We are able to independently create and release anything we want, and we have strong feelings about creative autonomy, so it would probably need to primarily be a distribution/promotion deal to draw our interest.

Mantus –

We haven’t seen any label interest yet, but I would definitely like to have some discussions around that. We ended up self-releasing this whole album, and I think that was a good choice for an unknown black metal band from the States. I know that us not doing tours might scare a few labels off, but the amount of money they have to put in is so negligible. We’re doing all of the production and we work with graphic designer to get the aesthetic we want, all they have to do is print and sell the albums!

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

Moloch –

Our feedback from fans of Black Metal has been great! I think they understand that we are genuine, and that our sound has a place within the continuum of Black Metal. Our audience continues to grow, which makes us very proud.

Mantus –

Just to quickly add to that, my biggest concern has always been being part of the black metal underground. I’ve always said that, if my music can help one person to change or understand things in a different way, then the whole thing was worth it.

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

Moloch –

We are intending to continue along the path we began when we first started this album. We will continue to evolve our style and add in more atmospheric and doom elements, as well as add more thought and complexity to our lyrical themes and composition. We are already moving forward on our next album, the first in a trilogy, so keep an eye out in the future!

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

Moloch –

We are very heavily influenced by 2nd wave Black Metal bands such as Darkthrone, Mayhem, Satyricon, and yes even Burzum. However, as we evolve our sound we have incorporated elements of many other styles, such as Atmospheric, Doom, and even some Black&Roll. Some big modern influences are Inquisition, Marduk, Leviathan, and Wolves in the Throne Room. As far as what I am listening to, it varies widely, but when I am writing music I usually don’t listen to much of anything outside my own stuff.

Mantus –

Definitely the early Norwegian scene. Everything that came out of that era is just amazing to me. I also take a lot of influence from Inquisition and Marduk, both of whom are absolutely stellar bands.

Right now, I’m listening to a lot of DSBM. Bands like Psychonaut 4, Forgotten Tomb, Happy Days, etc. I definitely love listening to it because of how raw it is. DSBM really sums up the human condition to me very succinctly.

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

We definitely want to thank you for taking the time to interview us and write up that review. We really appreciate all the work that’s gone into this production and we are eternally grateful.
Our album is still available for streaming and to download. You can check it out over at releases.
Give us a like on Facebook ( UnholyBaptism) or on Twitter (@UnholyBaptism).
And keep walking the Left-Hand Path!

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Amputator/Deathcult Barbaric Hell/Greyhaze Records/2017 VInyl Re-Issue Review

vendredi 12 mai 2017 à 06:17

  Amputator  where  a  band  from  Florida  that  has  had  music  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  played  a  mixture  of  war,  black  and  thrash  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2007  album  "Deathcult  Barbaric  Hell"  which  will  be  re-issued  on  vinyl  on  May  18th  by  Greyhaze  Records.
  A  very  heavy  and  raw  sound  starts  off  the  album  before  going  into a   very  fast  war  metal  direction  that  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  while t he  vocals  add  in a   mixture  of  grim  black  metal  screams  and  bestial  growls  and  you  can  hear  a  touch  of  the  Australian  style  in  the  songs.

  When  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  remain  very  true  to  a  chaotic  war  metal  style  and  movie  samples  are  also  used  briefly  while  some  songs  also  mix  in a  decent  amount  of thrash  elements  and  they  also  do  a  cover  of  Repulsion's  "Slaughter  Of  The  Innocent"  and  all  of  the  songs  stick  to  a  very  heavy,  fast  and  brutal  direction.

  Amputator  played  a  style  of  war/black  metal  on  this  recording that  was  very  raw,  brutal  and  aggressive  while  also  mixing  in a   touch  of  thrash  and  grind,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  death,  war  and  murder  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  this  was  a  very  great  sounding recording  from  Amputator  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  war  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  re-issue.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Rape  Kill  Annihilate"  "Obliteration" "Extinction  Deathmarch"  and  "Creed  Of  Persecution".  8  out  of  10.



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Forefather/The Meads Of Asphodel/English Steel/Godreah Records/2017 SPlit CD Review

vendredi 12 mai 2017 à 02:34

  This  is  a  review  of  a  split  album  between  United  Kingdom's  Forefather  and  The  meads  Of  Asphodel  called  "English Steel"  which  was  released  by  Godreah  Records  and  we  will  start  off  the  review  with  Forefather  which  continues  the  Anglo  Saxon style  of  pagan  metal  from  previous  releases.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  a  very  heavy pagan  sound  along  with  some  melodic  guitar  leads  and  the  riffs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody  while  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  at e present  on  their  side  of  the  recording  and  after  awhile  grim  black  metal  screams  make  their  presence  known. 

  Melodic  pagan  vocals  are  added  into  their  songs  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  split  and  traditional  metal  influences  are  also  utilized  at  times  and  as  their  side  of t he  split  progresses  acoustic  guitars  are  also  used  briefly  and  they  also  add  in  a touch  of  folk  music  and when  the  music  finally  speeds  up a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  music  a  more  raw  black  metal  feeling  and  synths  are  added  onto  the  closing  track  which  is  also  an  instrumental.

  Forefather  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  the  Anglo  Saxon  style  of  metal  established  on  previous  releases,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Anglo  Saxon  History  and  Heritage.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording f rom  Forefather  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band,  you  should  check  out  their  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Two  Sacred  Oaks"  and  "In  Victory  We  Feast".

  Next  up  is  The  Meads  Of  Asphodel  another  band  that h as  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  an  experimental  style  of  black  metal  on  this  recording.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  folk  instruments  and  a  medieval  atmosphere  and  after  the  intro  the  music  goes  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  musical  direction  along  with  a  great  amount  of g rim  yet  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  blast  beats  and  atmospheric  synths a re  also  added  to  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads a re  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them a long  with  operatic  female  vocals  also  being  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording,

   After  awhile  the  music  gets  more  experimental  and  acoustic guitars  are  also  used  briefly  while  some  tracks  also  adds  in  a  small  amount  of  spoken  word  parts  and  clear  male  vocals  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  also  adding  in  Candi,  Stanton,  Sham  69,  The  Saints  and  Desaster  covers  which  also  display  elements  of  punk  rock.

  The  Meads  Of  Asphodel  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  the  experimental  style  of  black  metal  from  previous  releases,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Anti  Religion,  Bible  Apocrypha,  Death  and  War  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  The  Meads  Of  Asphodel a nd  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band,  you  should  check  out  their  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Infidel"  and  "Perfect  Day".

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

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The Ruins Of Beverast/Exuvia/Van Records/2017 CD Review

jeudi 11 mai 2017 à 04:38

  The  Ruins  Of  Beverast  are  a  solo  project  from  Germany  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  an  atmospheric  mixture  of black  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2017  album  "Exuvia"  which  was  released  by  Van  Records.

  Melodic  yet  shamanistic  chanting  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  clean  guitars  a  few  seconds  later  before  mixing  in  drum  beats  and  heavy  yet  melodic  guitar  riffing  and  female  vocals  and  after  awhile  deep  growls  and  black  metal  vocals  are  added  onto  the  recording  along  with  the  music  getting  more  atmospheric.

  Most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  slower  sections  a  more  raw  feeling  along  with  the  slower  sections  of t he  tracks  being  very  heavily  influenced  by  doom  metal.

  A  great  amount  of  atmospheric  synths  and  neo  classical  elements  can  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  while  clean  singing  can  also  be  heard  at  times  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  acoustic  guitars  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  some  tracks  also  shows  the  music  getting  more  experimental  as  well  as  adding  a  tribal  touch  on  a  couple  of  songs,

  The  Ruins  Of  Beverast  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  the  atmospheric  mixture  of  black  and  doom  metal  form  his  previous  releases  while  also  adding  in  more  tribal,  shamanistic  and  neo  classical  elements  this  time  around,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  esoteric  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  The  Ruins  Of  Beverast  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  atmospheric  black  and  doom  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Exuvia"  and  "Towards  Malakia".  8  out  of  10.


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Thus Defiled/A Return To The Shadows/2017 EP Review

jeudi 11 mai 2017 à 01:38

  Thus  Defiled  are  a  band  from t he  United  Kingdom  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays a   very  raw  and  melodic  form  of  satanic  black  metal  and  this  a  review  of  their  self  released  2017  ep  "A  Return  TO  The  Shadows"  which  will  be  released in  June  and  consists  of  covers  from  Death,  Metallica,  W.A.S.P  and  Morbid  along  with  one  original  and  unreleased  track.

  Atmospheric  soundscapes  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some  demonic  voices  a  few  seconds  later  which  also  leads  up  to  a  more  heavier  and  melodic  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  black  metal  screams  and  death  metal  elements  and  when t he  music  speeds  up a   decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  All  of t he  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  solos  and  leads  have  a  vintage  black/death  metal  style  to  them  along  with  a  few  growls  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  spoken  word  parts are  also  used  briefly  and  on  the  cover  songs  they  retain  the feeling  and  atmosphere  of  the  originals  while  also  mixing  in  their  own  style.

  With  this  ep  Thus Defiled  bring  in  one  original  track  that  is  in  the  direction  of  their  albums  while  adding  a  black/death  metal  touch  to t he  cover  versions,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  Occultism,  Demonology  and  Horror  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Thus  Defiled  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black  and  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Armagedda  In  Rupture"  and  "Hellion".  8  out  of  10. 

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