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Darkenhold Interview

vendredi 13 février 2015 à 12:21

DARKENHÖLD – interview pour Occultblackmetalzine – reçu le 8/01/015

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

Cervantes : “Castellum” has been released on september 2014, and then we try now to defend it on stage. Hopefully people will raise our banner high aside us, and help us to reach new horizons. These times are hard, but we try to give listeners the desire to discover us on stage. Futhermore, Aldébaran began to compose new song for the fourth album to come, but the next opus is in its early stages.

2.In September you had released a new album, how would you describe the musicla sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

Cervantes : From my point of view, “Castellum” paints more epic and glorious landscapes than “Echoes from the stone keepers”, which seemed to prefer the underground galleries, dark forests and wild creatures or characters roaming through black tales and thundering skies. It's about mighty castles, stories within old ruins, furious battles and, yes, also some caverns... and the wyvern, of course !

3.Your lyrics over the years have covered castles, medieval and fantasy themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?
Aldébaran : As for myself, this inspiration comes from two sources, from walking in castles, ruins, towers that are located near my home and the other source is reading (classic fantasy authors, history, old-school video games/RPG).

Cervantes : On our two previous albums, I only wrote about theses themes with fantasmagorical intentions : it was our way to take the listeners with us through oniric travels and evocative images... with “Castellum”, I present a more historical approach, as every song deals with one or many french castles. But I do like to present things on the fantastic side, following still my will to let the imagination get the upper hand. We're not historians... but yes, the medieval times and the way people were living inspires us a lot. It's a deep part of our secret mind.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Darkenhold'?
Aldébaran : A name that can be understand at the same time as “dark'n'old”, or close to the “stronghold” sonority.

Cervantes : The word Darkenhöld comes also from a song from Bal Sagoth, the great Barbarian Metal kings ! I'm a big fan of their early opus, and I loved this word... The band just asked us to make a little alteration to it, so the “o” turned to “ö”.

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

Cervantes : I loved the live we did at the end of 2010, with Taake, Vulture Industries and other bands like Aorlhac, an excellent french Black Metal band. I was invited to go on stage with them to howl “Le miroir des péchés” with their singer Spellboud ! A great souvenir for me ! We also had good times during our 2013 “french crusade” with Fhoi Myore and Angmar, even if it was very difficult to do all things, from driving to stage roadies work and, sometimes, sound engineering. An exhausting travel, but good memories. The Villeurbanne live we did at the end of 2014 was great too, some people did'nt even know us and were leaving the place with our three albums in their bag, so we think they appreciated !

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

Cervantes : At the moment, we have four dates planned for 2015, one in Switzerland, three in France, and we expect more to come. But our target is clear : we would like to be a part of festivals, and hope 2015 will be the year to fulfill this quest... hopefully !

7.Over the years you have been a part of compilations where you did some 'Emperor' and 'Enslaved' covers, what was the decision behind doing your own versions of these days?
Aldébaran : It was an opportunity to pay tribute to these bands and to be grateful for a special period when these songs were created. We keep in mind this glorious era full of great atmospheres but we are not passeistic and look forward, I think we have our own sound that is not intended to be compared to other.

8.Over the years how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Aldébaran : We see more and more people involved in our music through the years, even if our music still stays very underground and is confined in a small subgenre, it seems there are loyal fans that keep informed about our production, and we appreciate it.

9.Are any of the band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?

Cervantes : I only sing in Darkenhöld.
Aldébaran : I used to be part of bands such as Ysengrin or Artefact, but now I focus only on Darkenhöld.

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

Aldébaran : My main goal is still to compose the best music I can, two albums are in project, I hope there will be the more wonderful possible. An album with a wooden atmosphere, a romantic and a solitary essence , a second album in a more warlike sword and sorcery/medieval fantasy mood. In the two cases there will always be melodic black metal parts, choirs, some guitar solos, emphasizes in the atmospheres, and acoustic parts.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Aldébaran : Lots of music in different genres, the only criteria for me is the sincerity and a minimum of musicality, no matters which genre it is.
Obviously we have that background, influences composed of old Dimmu Borgir/Emperor/Satyricon's albums etc that will still be part of our heritage, but personally I can listen in parallel to classical music, new-wave, a bit of jazz, french songs etc... Nowadays in metal, I have listened to Satanic Warmaster (even if I'm not close to their political views), Empyrium, Goatmoon and Evilfeast !

Cervantes : Speaking about Black Metal, my clear (I would even say “only”) influence is the 90's ! I'm an absolute fan of this period, especially the 1993-1998 years... too many bands to quote ! But I'm also a big fan of 1980's Heavy Metal, 1980's Thrash, Speed Melodic and Symphonic Metal, also some Metal prog and old Death Metal monsters, not really the new school... I read the metal press every month and take care of the topicality releases, but I can't say that the modern trends influence me a lot... Moreover, I listen to Classical music, some Soundtracks...

12.Does Paganism or Occultism play any role in your music?

Aldébaran : In a way yes, but only in an allegorical manner, as it is more an musical inspiration than a real way of life. The imagination plays an important role in our sound but in the other hand the music comes deep from my souls and is very true to ourselves.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

Aldébaran : History, news, hiking in the forest.

Cervantes : I love to write and read, and I am interested in psychology, mythology, animals, arts... and Formula 1 !

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

Cervantes : Thanks for your interest and the review you did on “Castellum”. Salutes to the readers who dedicated some time to glance at these words. We hope to see you live one day, it would be great. Support the undergrournd webzines and travel through old ruins to feel the winds of ancient time blowing your mind !

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Corpus Christii/PaleMoon/Folter Records/2015 CD Review

jeudi 12 février 2015 à 14:27

  Portugal's  Corpus  Christii  have  returned  with  a  new  album  that  continues  the  occult  black  metal  sound  of  previous  recordings  while  also  going  for  more  of  a  raw  style  this  time  around  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "PaleMoon"  which  will  be  released  in  March  by  Folter  Records.

  A  very  dark  and  raw  old  school  black  metal  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  blast  beats,  morbid  sounding  melodies  and  grim  yet  high  pitched  screams  and  the  solos  and  leads  are  very  dark  and  melodic  but  also  remain  true  to  a  black  metal  style  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  A  good  portion  of  the  music  shows  the  band  returning  back  to  more  of  a  raw  and  old  school  style  of  black  metal  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  but  done  with  more  of  a  modern  day  production  and  the  vocals  also  sound  very  angry  and  hateful  at  times  and  halfway  through  the  album  they  add  in  a  brief  song  that  brings  in  clean  playing  and  a  small  amount  of  melodic,  dark  chanting  before  returning  back  to  more  of  a  heavy  and  raw  style  on  the  remaining  songs.

  Corpus  Christii  returns  back  to  more  of  a  raw  and  grim  black  metal  sound  on  this  recording  and  this  is  some  of  the  most  aggressive  material  they  have  released  in  years,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while   the lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Luciferian,  Darkness  and  Misanthropic  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  album  from  Corpus  Christii  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band,  you  should  enjoy  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Under  Beastcraft"  "Last  Eclipse"  "From  Darkness  To  Total  Blackness"  and  "Carving  A  Light  In  Me".  8  out  of  10.


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Hagl/Lenket til Livet/Folter Records/2015 CD Review

jeudi 12 février 2015 à 13:26

  Hagl  are  a  band  from  Norway  that  plays  a  nihilistic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "Lenket  til  Livet"  which  will  be  released  in  March  by  Folter  Records.

  A  very  dark,  melodic  and  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  grim  black  metal  screams    and  after  awhile  the  music  starts  to  incorporate  atmospheric  elements  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  solos  and  leads  the  band  uses  utilize  a  great  amount  of  melody.

  Most  of  the  music  sticks  to  either  a  slow  or  mid  paced  musical  direction  and  at  times  has  more  of  a  modern  orthodox  black  metal  feeling  along  with  a  very  dark  atmosphere  and  as  the  album  progresses  classical  guitars  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  some  of  the  heavier  riffs  also  get  a  bit  more  catchy  and  up  beat  at  times  and  a  later  song  also  brings  in  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  and  there  are  also  a  few  tracks  that  are  long  and  epic  in  length  and  on  the  last  song  the  music  starts  adding  in  more  fast  riffs  and  drumming  along  with  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts.

  Hagl  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  dark  and  grim  and  also  sticks  to  a  slower  take  on  the  genre  along  with  a  good  amount  of  atmosphere,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Norwegian  and  cover  dark,  nihilistic  and  misanthropic  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Hagl  are  a  very  great  sounding  dark,  grim,  atmospheric  and  nihilistic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Askefast"  "Ulvehyrde"  "Ondskapt"  and  "Endelikt".  8  out  of  10.

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Wounds Interview

jeudi 12 février 2015 à 07:21
1. For those who have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about this project?

Firstly, thanks for your invested time and interest. I appreciate it.

I began writing/recording the early tapes in 2006 on an old Fostex 4 track. Those tapes contain several early songs, but it wasn’t until 2008 when my vision truly solidified and things began to sound the way they do now. The last rehearsal tape would eventually become “Unrest”, which I have plans to re-record sooner or later. There is a lot of unreleased material from the early days that may or may not see the light of day.

2. Recently you have released a full length album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the demo you had released in 2011?

The sound is “thicker” and more mature than how I sound on “Unrest”. I give my work the attention to detail I feel it deserves. I’m a very obsessive compulsive and disciplined musician, meaning, I am a perfectionist. As a general rule, the darker and weirder, the better. I hold my works to my own standards, and what I hear internally is exactly what should be replicated. I play guitar in a very specific tuning. All drumming for Wounds is my own; I’ll never use any programming. As far as my voice is concerned, I don’t like being human, much less sounding human.

3. The musical project has been around since 2006 but so far there has only been one demo and album, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap between releases?

The songs featured on II (Decay) were primarily written in 2009 and 2010. Those songs were originally intended to be released as a demo a few years ago, but as my vision for this release grew, it became the full length album instead. The “hibernation” as I like to put it, was intentional. During the silence I was very busy, musically and with other things. I spent a lot of time working on new material, which I have plans to release in the near future. The early tapes weren’t released because they weren’t good enough (as far as my standards are concerned) to merit a release, in my opinion.

4. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the music?

I’m not very good at putting my mind to words in a manner that exactly states what it is that makes me be, but my art is a manifestation of spiritual energy. Wounds is my outlet of escapism. It is the direct projection of (often) negative spiritual energies, a means to prey on human fears and weaknesses. There is an element of isolation, anger, and hate attributed to my art, a ghostly, death-like adaptation of those energies found in our physical plane of existence, found in you, and also in me. Wounds exemplifies the astral plane, the spiritual realm and its imprint on our physical world; a visual and aural representation of a dark and dismal afterlife/universe. I contemplate and dwell on a lot of esoteric and existential subject matter, but for the sake of being as coherent as possible and not sounding like I belong in a straitjacket: Wounds is a projection of my disdain for humanity. It is my vehicle as an artist to channel this anger. I am a firm believer that man has truly become that of a parasite, leeching and destroying nature for material and capital gain. The problem being that we don’t give back what we take from this earth. We as humans have lost sight of our spiritual existence, and we deserve to die as a result of our arrogance and lack of respect for the natural world. I’m sure any elemental spirit would agree the same.

5. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name ‘Wounds’?

I chose the name around 2008 or so, but the meaning behind it can be somewhat divulged from the previous answer.

6. With this musical project you record everything by yourself, how do you feel you stand out among all the other solo black metal projects that have come out over the years?

I have an extraordinarily vivid, creative, and dark imagination. I think the passion for what I do is evident, and is only paralleled by those who also spend time perfecting their craft rather than releasing every single miniscule idea that comes to mind. Musically, I strive to be myself, and only myself, so I don’t really pay attention to other bands for that reason. I prefer to limit external musical stimuli in favor of inspiration found through introspection, images, emotions, and the contrasting beauty of nature and its ability to kill us. I only listen to a select few bands, so I don’t really pursue other music because I’m just swallowed in the work of my own output. I see a lot of aimless musicians in the underground, striving to belong to something, hopping around through countless variations of the same project, without any clear, concise vision. Sheep who flock when the herd moves, the ones more concerned with image and releasing demo upon demo in order to satisfy a subconscious hunger of the ego. That mindset has unfortunately plagued black metal as a genre, resulting in a profound lack of musical integrity. It’s sad, but this is a lot of what I see. Because of this, I prefer to keep to myself. I have very few connections as far as this style of music is concerned, but that is ok with me. Many of my songs are written inside of my head while out or doing something unrelated, so I spend a lot of time piecing these works together in coherent structure to replicate what I want to hear. Ultimately, this endeavor is about me, myself and I, and I slave at my art for personal fulfillment, enjoyment and escapism, primarily. I believe every true artist in any genre can relate to this mindset as well.

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

I haven’t received much interest, but that’s fine. I am not opposed to inquiries, but for now I am content with releasing my music on my own terms. I like doing things alone if you haven’t noticed.

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

I really am not sure, aside from the few initial album sales. I suppose time will tell. My only hope is that others might enjoy the escapism that my world offers in order to alleviate the pain and frustration of being human.

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

Many places. The ability to play music, to hear, to dream and to subconsciously write music is a gift I was born with, and it is my life’s passion right now, so I am utilizing this ability to every extent. I am highly productive lately. As far as my sound goes, I guess you’ll have to hear for yourself. I’m not one to stay in the past, though. My efforts will always remain diligent. What I can say is that it will become increasingly oppressive.

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

A lot of the second wave has played a large influence on me, I think that can be heard. Lately I am into more dark ambient than anything else.  Over the years though I have been influenced by more than just metal and ambient. I find influence everywhere, from everything. Due to my productivity lately I only listen to my own stuff, because that’s really all I have time for.

11. How would you describe your views on Occultism?

Playing with demons comes with an obvious risk. I think those who find it impressionable – young people who jump into the practice of it without adequate knowledge of what inhabits the spiritual plane tend to lack the strength required to truly continue the practice. What I’m saying is: If you’re getting into it because your friends are into it, don’t kid yourself.

12. What are some of your non musical interests?

Over the years I have had several encounters with spirits, one including a demonic oppression. Due to those experiences I take avid interest in the paranormal. I study a lot of science and quantum physics. I've been playing Age of Empires for about 16 years so I find inspiration from that. I also spend a lot of time in the GWNF (George Washington National Forest), hiking, or otherwise lurking about. Trees and animals are my friends. I like the woods. It is a place generally devoid of humanity, and that is ultimately where I wish to be.

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

Sure. Be true to yourself. Don’t succumb to societal norms and expectations. Expand your mind. Observe, learn, study, grow. Seek enlightenment. Worship your mother earth, the elements. She already has plans to wipe you from this planet anyway, so you might as well incite revolution, spiritual or otherwise, while you are human.

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Celestial Rite Interview

jeudi 12 février 2015 à 06:57
1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new ep?
1. Hello and thanks for the interview. Well, it has been almost 3 months since ''Bearer of Dawn'' was released on CD and during this time I focused to promote the EP to the right people. The EP will be also released on cassette by Old Graves Productions next week.

2.In August you had released a new ep, how would you describe the musical sound on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
2. The EP was released in August only as digital form for free download though Bandcamp. The musical style is of the 90's Hellenic black metal sound mostly, my bandmates helped in making the sound closer to that style too, I'm a big fan of that sound and to be honest this comes out naturally when I play my guitar and doing the vocals. My previous work was in the late 90's and it was more like let's say the Burzum way.

3.Your lyrics go very much in depth with Satanism, Occultism, paganism and the writings of Lovecraft, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?
3. About the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, what can I say, I love all his works and everything around the Cthulhu Mythos. Now, about the occult themes in the EP like the track ''Ave Samael, Ave Lilith'', I was very fond of this tale of those two figures and the equality of man and woman in the world, against the Christian way which demonized woman through the centuries. The title of the EP it actually means Eosforos or Lucifer in its latin form but at the same time not exactly, Eos is the personification of Dawn while Lucifer means 'bearer of light'. In my mind through the stuff I read, Eosforos or Lucifer or Satan or the devil, called him whatever you like is the savior of mankind and not its enemy, just like Prometheus, not far from it really. I do read stories of the occult and pick the good stuff that I like and try to make my life the way I want based on this stories, I have nothing to do with witchcraft or anything in practice, just reading. About pagan themes, well, I was born in a country that has rich customs and lore since the ancient times. I'm inspired by these customs and use them in my lyrics.. I like all mystical stories no matter they are satanic, pagan or lovecraftian.

4.The band was split up for 12 years, what was the cause of the split and also the decision to reform?
4. Mainly work, then the army and the I was moving in Norway and back. I didn't had time to play or write music, I was just scratching my guitar. Then I moved in Norway in 2010 this time for good and got myself a new guitar and had more time to play and write music, although now I'm back in Hellas but things are different and hopefully I will have more time for music.

5.I have read that the band was reformed in Norway, is the band still located there or have you moved back to Greece since then?
5. Like I said above, yes, the band reformed in Stavanger, Norway and most of the EP was written there, plus the Promo 2012 was released while I was there. Now I'm back in my home island of Rhodes.

6.The band was originally known as 'Necromayhem', what was the cause of the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Celestial Rite'?
6. The band was called Necromayhem but this name didn't apply to the direction I wanted to take, I wanted something more mystical. I came up with the name Celestial Rite when I was only 15 years old but to this day I think it sounds great and feats my state of mind and music. The name applys to those rites that ancient Hellenes did for their gods, the gods of the sky.

7.The band has never played live, do you feel this also gives your music more of a dark atmosphere?
7. Maybe it does, I don't even care really. I do what I want to do and if others thinks that gives an atmosphere that's a plus.

8.On the new ep you had done a cover of  Varathron's 'unholy Funeral', what was the decision behind doing your own version of this song?
8. Varathron is my main influence and one of the best bands worldwide. I remember I was always playing that song when I was young cause it had quite easy riffing and I choose to make a proper cover of it and pay homage to Varathron and my friend Necroabyssious. Allthough, after a while, I realised that there were a lot of covers of ''Unholy Funeral'' circling the Internet but who cares, the song was one my favorites and I had to do it.

9.The new ep was released on Old Graves Productions, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
9. Actually, ''Bearer of Dawn'' first released on CD independently in October 2014 and this month will be re-released by Old Graves Productions on tape format. The label is new and comes from Hellas too, our EP will be the first release of the label. The guy behind it was very fond of my work and choose to re-release it on cassette to reflect a more cult atmosphere to it. The layout of the tape was done by Infernal Lord from another black metal band from Hellas called Hell Poemer.

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
10. To be honest the biggest response was from Hellas and they were all satisfied by this traditional Hellenic sound. It was also reviewed and I was interviewed from another U.S. webzine and the guy was impressed. I got a great feedback for the song ''Ave Samael. Ave Lilith'' even though this song is very simple and not complicated. Old Graves Productions said to me that was a lot of pre-orders for the cassette from Latin America, well, we will see what the response will be from them next month.

11.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
11. I don't think it will be a full-length soon, maybe a split or even another EP. I don't have plans for the near future, we'll see. The musical style I believe will stay on this pattern that the EP marked.

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
12. Mainly Varathron, early Rotting Christ, Thou Art Lord, early Samael, early Tiamat, I do like some of the early stuff from Norway like Burzum, Hades and more. These days I'm very much into the new album of Caedes Cruenta called ''Ερείπια Ψυχών'', it has this early Hellenic black metal style that I'm interested in and I'm amazed by it. Also, I'm waiting for the new demo from a new band called Ithaqua which the one song I heard from them I thought it was great. To be honest, these days I also go through my old demo tapes since I found a playable cassette player again. Keep an eye on the new band called Katavasia featuring Necroabyssious of Varathron.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
13. Thaks for the interview my friend and good luck with your webzine. RECALL THE FIRST FLAME.

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