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Vermineux/1337/Purity Through Fire/2021 Demo Review

mardi 22 décembre 2020 à 04:41


  Vermineux  are  a  solo  project  from  Sacramento,  California  that  plays    very  raw  and  e[ic  form  of black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  demo  "1337"  which  will  be  released  in  2021  by  Purity  Through  Fire.

  Ambient  style  synths  start  off  the  demo  along  with  some  programmed  beats  a  few  seconds  later  while  the  second  track  also  brings  in  acoustic  guitars  which  also  adds  elements  of  neo  folk  onto  the  recording  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  as  well  as  a  great  portion  of  the  tracks  also  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  while  the  vocals  are  mostly high  pitched  black  metal  screams.  When  tremolo  picking  is  utilized  it  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling along  with  some  melodies  also  being  added  into  the  guitar  riffing  at  times.  

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  along  with  the  music  also  adding  in  a  touch  of  the  cascadian  style.  Some  of  the  tracks  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as well  as  one  of  the  songs  also  using  a  brief  use  of  sword  fighting  samples  and  as  the  album  progresses a  brief  use  of  melodic  vocals  can  also  be  heard  and  there  is  also  a  cover  of  Sol  Invictus's  "A  Ship Is  Burning".  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  the  plagues  and  warfare  of  the  14th  century.

  In  my  opinion  Vermineux  are  a  very  great  sounding  raw  and  epic  black metal  solo  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  demo.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  'Bloodline"  and  "Crecy".  8/5  out  of 10.  

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Heiinghund Interview

mardi 22 décembre 2020 à 03:22


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

Not much musically actually. Right after it was finished my studio pc broke down. Also it it quite normal for me to take a break after an album is made. In the process of making this album I made more than 40 songs which only 19 made it to the album. Making Heiinghunds music is a spiritual process and it takes a lot of energy to be a channel for Heiinghund. Heiinghund is an entity that first presented himself when we recorded Folkloric Necro Metal. So I don't make the music myself, rather than being a channel for the entity known as Heiinghund.

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

Dealing with the concept of time, both as entities and physical presentation, also reflects in the music. It was necessary to mirror these dimensions both into the music and into the mixing. You can say that it differs in depth and also complexity. Complexity in the form of the many layers and nuances that is expressed into the music. Some of them are very subtle and they do not disclose themselves at the first listen. Some of them are just emotions and hints that need to be discovered by the listener and translated to his or hers own mythical landscape. A lot is hidden and needs to be sought to be found.

3.The lyrics on the new recording are a concept album, can you tell us a little bit more about the story you cover with this release?

As already mentioned the album is dealing with the past, future and inbetween. In the Norse mythology these are not only a measure for time but living entities with their own expression and significance. Through the album they come alive and tell their story. A story concerning nature's anger against humanity for their senseless destruction with time as a witness. There are forces in nature that might be long forgotten by those who don't know. But if provoked enough they will go into war with humanity. At the same time these forgotten creatures are telling us about another time, when they walked among us being what they are. Forces of nature, Both the musical, lyrical and visual expression is laden with symbols, hints, references and meanings that aren't easily discovered. Nor should they be.

4.A lot of your lyrics also cover Norse Paganism, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?

Paganism is for me a way of living. It is part of my blood heritage and is written deeply into our culture. Norway isn't as christian as some people want to believe. The church has sought to eradicate this and thus uprooted us. A three without roots will fall in the first storm. Bringing the heritage and the culture to the new generations is an important work. The blood remembers, so both lyrically and in the music those strings are sought to vibrate in the listener.

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

The entity Heiinghund first presented itself in 94 and I believe it was Nidhogg who named him, The name translated means Heathen Hound.

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

Vinterheim SKS is the only artist that truly understands Heiinghunds demented visions and are able to express them visually. Her artwork creates a symbiosis with the music and adds depth to the dimensions. All the way since Sort Vokter, Heiinghund has been pushing borders, or rather not giving a damn in what the approved standards are. This reflects also in the artwork Vinterheim SKS has done. It is so dark that the record companies have problems accepting them. Actually I recently turned down an offer from a record company because they wouldn't accept it. Stubborn maybe to insist on full artistic freedom both for me and Vinterheim SKS. But pushing borders has often been what creates new definitions. Much like the music, the secrets in the artwork have to be unwrung. They are not willingly giving themselves up at first glance. It is like a story where the listener or viewer will understand the context differently according to each one's language and initiation of myth.

7.With this project you record everything by yourself but also have experience working with other musicians ,how would you compare the two? Recording alone means that I really allowing Heiinghund to take over in full. Letting him come forward to the full extent makes the process more fluent. Whilst making music I am not very present except for the technical part of pushing buttons. Making music with others means making sacrifices in most occasions, also you cannot allow the trance or possession to become that deep. Both things have their strength I guess. Each way has its own dynamics that creates a different outcome. I am not ruling out that in an unforeseen future there will be cooperation with others, but if and when I don't know. The possibility has been discussed.

8.After 1994 you disappeared for more than 20 years after your previous band 'Sort Vektor', can you tell us a little bit more about leaving the musical world and making a comeback after a couple of decades? Disappearing from the scene was a natural progress of life I guess, I went away to school and then one thing catched another. The comeback was as much of a surprise to me as to others. It started out with me missing old school straightforward blackmetal and then I wanted to see if I still had it in me. And there he was, Heiinghund rerepresented himself. For a long time I thought that this was just making music for myself, but I guess Heiinghund had other plans since I am now on my third album.

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

There has been interest both from labels and from fans. Nidhogg is also «nagging» me to release in physical format. However I am not the easiest to cooperate with meaning that I am unbendable when it comes to artistic freedom. That has led me to turn down offers. But I am in contact with a german label that so far has been most understanding. But that's what you get when you meet people who are in it for the music. Experience has led me to realize that before the physical product is in my hand I do not take anything for granted. So I cannot confirm anything at this stage.

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

The raw and primitive type of blackmetal that is Heiinghund, are extremely narrow, even for blackmetal. Although the reactions to Urðrs brønn seems to have reach further than previous releases. It is surely getting more feedback from listeners than usual. It's still a fresh release so it's a bit early to say yet. Some of the feedback I have gotten is that it is nice to see that someone is still making straightforward old school black metal. Like me they have missed this in the scene.

11.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future? I have no way of knowing this. There are too many unknown factors. I really don't have any ambitions other than making music. Heiinghund is pretty much in control of what's happening. It might be over tomorrow or there might be new projects coming. Certainly this also gives a lot of freedom. There is no pressure or expectations that need to be met.

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? It might not be a surprise that classical music has been an inspiration, but then again it already was in Sort Vokter. It is obvious in for example tårers sang. Music that creates contrast intrigues me, that is both beautiful and ugly at the same time. Or simplistic and complex at the same time. I don't have to be a genre or a specific band. Although a lot is happening with Norse mythological music at the time that strikes a chord in me. Wardruna is probably the more known of them. I admire their work in revitalizing Norse culture.


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0-Nun Interview

lundi 21 décembre 2020 à 03:08


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

R: Well, I am a Portuguese expat living in Brazil since early 2019. I have been playing experimental Black Metal for about 5 years now, mainly through my main project Salqiu, with which I already have a “significant” discography. Meanwhile this year, a couple of months into the pandemic and in complete lockdown, my mind started wandering more into depressive thoughts and about what would be if nothing was real. I started imagining the “complete absence”, the true idea of void. That theme, with the need to try some new musical approaches led me to create 0-Nun. From that point on, all started becoming clear in my head: the concept and the way to express it musically. I can’t say that the final result is what I imagine at first, because of the specific creative process that I use, but it is close enough 


2.In 2020 you had released 3 ep's, musically how do they differ from each other?

R: The idea behind the EP’s was always that they would complement each other, both lyrically and musically. I always intended them to be a conceptual trilogy, and that was always the driver. As I started recording them, some elements were kept throughout the whole thing, but some started to differ a bit. I do believe that the final part is more “second wave of BM” oriented than parts 1 and 2. But the track construction follows a common structure and I used common elements in all 3 parts, namely the symphonic passages, the use of some mellotron and choirs, and some playing techniques, which are present in all parts. 

3.You also had a 3 part trilogy with these recordings, can you tell us a little bit more about the concept?

R: Like said, the idea was always for the 3 EP’s to become a conceptual journey. The lyrics are all about interpretations of the void, the absence, the idea of inexistence. I tried to use the lyrics as if they are provided from a personal perspective as result of deep meditation (a nervous, enraged meditation) but in a way where they could be transported into a collective/shared meaning. To be more direct, I wanted the lyrics to be something that various people in the same psychological conditions would feel as if representing their own feelings, something they could relate to. This always within a state of deep consciousness that the meditation provide. 

My perception is that the various types of shamans around the world, despite their different cultures and experiences, do share the understanding that true consciousness is something that is achieved individually but that is sharable in a collective way. Meaning that despite individuality, there are “higher truths” that are singular. 

Musically, the concept has always been the creation of atmospheric Black Metal with some twists, running away from the clichés of the genre. Even when I try to play more direct BM, I always end up adding some uncanny elements to it. It’s in my musical genes, like a curse.    

4. A lot of your lyrics also cover occult and shamanism themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

R: My objective was to address the idea of void and nothingness in a philosophical way, trying to use a narrative that would combine cosmology with personal sentiments and feelings in a “shamanic” way. I try to present personal thoughts that occur while in a state of meditation in a way that people can relate to, allowing those thoughts to be collective.

In a different perspective, the idea is also to try and picture the notion of inexistence in a conscious way, which by itself is a countersense.  

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name '0-Nun'?

R: The name 0-Nun is based in the conceptual lyricism that I wanted to implement, namely in what concerns the feelings of nothingness and the attempt of putting the idea of void and absence of being into words. In ancient Egyptian mythology, Nun means “primeval waters” from which the creation was began, therefore 0-Nun (zero nun) is the absence of it. This totally fit the lyrical theme I wanted to address.

As a bonus, 0-Nun is actually also an anagram of my real name… 

6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the ep and compilation covers?

R: The artwork in the album to be released by Brucia Records has been created by the artist that works in collaboration with the label, even if based in a black and white picture that I provided. It’s a black hole that contrasts with the colorful and blissful surroundings and absorbs it. It’s nothingness feeding on existence.

Each EP presents a type of shaman from around the world. There’s an Indian Ascetic, an Amazon Shaman and a Tibetan Monk – all representing the holders of “higher collective knowledge” achieved through different methods of meditation and life experience. This is in close relation with what I was trying to achieve lyrically, as explained in my answer to question 3.

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

R: I always prefer to have people collaborating with my music, either as guest musicians like in Salqiu where every album has guests, or as in another project that I am involved in – Thermohaline – which is a full collaborative work with 2 other musicians and therefore not solo.

The circumstances behind this trilogy were very specific and the EP’s were recorded in a way where there was neither time, nor did I felt the need to have other people involved. They also represent the specifics of the time when it was recorded: the solitude of the pandemic lockdown.

I intend to work a lot more on 0-Nun, and I do have plans to have guests on it, so that means that this trilogy was completely solo but does not mean that will always be. 

8.Recently 'Brucia Records', released your trilogy as a compilation, can you tell us a little bit more about this version?

R: Brucia Records release is the complete trilogy. Each one of the 3 EP’s had 3 tracks and had an equal time of 22 minutes and 22 seconds. This compilation is, actually, not a compilation but a complete release of the combined EP’s.

Brucia approached me in late November, showing me their interest in releasing the complete trilogy and presented me some cool ideas for doing it, so it was really a no-brainer for me. Very cool label with a great roster, so it was a privilege for me. 

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

R: That is one hard question. I honestly don’t know. Have had some good feedback from local sites and vlogs in Brazil, but I do not have a clear idea about the real exposure of 0-Nun at a worldwide level. To be honest it is something that is not a driver for me. I just want to make music because it is a cathartic and healing process for me. If people like it, it obviously makes me feel really great, but it’s not what makes me continue.

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

R: I will go with the flow. I make music because I like it, as a hobby and as a creative expression. It has never been about money or exposure. So I'll just continue doing it that way and see what comes from it. I do have plans to release a 0-Nun follow up in 2021, but again, I’ll do it my way and as a result of what will be my feelings at the moment of recording. And I will try my best to never fall into the trap of making music “up to the expectations”, because that normally ruins the fun of free creativity. 

11.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?

R: In the specific case of 0-Nun, mostly avant-garde Black Metal and atmospheric BM. In a wider perspective, all metal since the 80’s because that’s when I started listening to it. I’ve been listening to metal since the mid 80’s (yes, I’m that old)

Currently I’ve been listening to tons of Death and Black Metal. I could say that bands like Lychgate, Sjálfsmorð af Gáleysi, Schammasch, Mephorash, Blut Aus Nord, Wills Dissolve, Esoctrilihum, Panzerfaust, Afsky, Anaal Nathrakh, A Forest of Stars, ID:Vision, Almyrkvi, Beltez, Iku-Turso, Bríi, Vukari, Rebirth of Nefast and all projects by Naas Alcameth (Ahklys, Aoratos, Nightbringer, Bestia Arcana) are those that mean more to me as musical muses.

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

R: I want to thank you for this opportunity to allow me to explain some of the ideas and characteristics behind 0-Nun. Would obviously also take this opportunity to ask those that like 0-Nun to check my other projects, namely Salqiu (which is more experimental and every album is completely different from the previous) and Thermohaline, the collaboration with the guys behind IER (from Argentina) and Druon Antigon (from Belgium).


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Somnium Oblivionis/Rytual pierwszy: Zmierzch krwawego przeobrazenia/2020

lundi 21 décembre 2020 à 00:05


  Somnium  Oblivionis  are  a  duo  from Poland  that  plays  a  very  raw  and  depressive  form  of  pagan  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  ep  "Rytual  pierwszy:  Zmierzch  krwawego przeobrazenia".

  Ritualistic  soundscapes  and  synths  start  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  yet  depressive  black  metal  screams  which  also  get  deep  sounding  at  times.  

When  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  recording  more  of  a  raw  feeling  as  well  as  adding  in  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing  and  spoken  word  parts  and  a  small  amount  of  melody  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing.  

  Somnium  Oblivionis  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that is  very  raw,  depressive  and  ritualistic  sounding.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Polish  and  cover  Paganism  and  Ritual  themes.

 In  my  opinion  SOmnium  Oblivionis  are  a  very  great  sounding  raw,  ritualistic  and  depressive  pagan  black  metal  duo  and  if  you  are  a f an  of  this  musical g enre,  yuo  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED TRACK  "Druga  czesc  i  zarazem  ostatnia".  8  out  of  10.   

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REM/Berek/2020 Full Length Review

dimanche 20 décembre 2020 à 23:22


  REM  is  a  solo  project  accompanied  by  session  musicians  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  goes  for  more  of  a  mid  tempo  style of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  self  released  2020  album  "Berek".

  Dark,  melodic  yet  heavy  riffing  starts  off  the  album  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.  All  of  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  yet  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  as  well  as  being  done  by  different  singers  throughout  the  recording  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.

  Most  of  the music  also  sticks  to  mostly  a  slow  or  mid  tempo  direction  while  one  track  also  introduces  clean  vocals  onto  the  recording.  The  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  90's  influences  as  well  as  keeping  it  modern  at  the  same  time  along  with  some  touches  of  doom  metal  in  the  slower  sections  of  the  tracks.  Whispered  vocals  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  and  a  couple  if  later  tracks  also  adds  in  a brief  use  of  banjo's  and  nature  sounds.   

  On  this  recording  REM  brings  in  more  of  a  slow  or  mid  tempo  style  of  black  metal  that  still  captures  some  of  the  rawness  of  the  previous  recording.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Hungarian  and  cover  traditions  from  Hungary. 

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  REM  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  mid  tempo  black  metal, you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Dereng"  "Avar" "Meder"  and  "Zala".  8  out  of  10.    

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