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Tormentium Interview

mardi 12 avril 2016 à 20:01
Tormentium interview - April 2016
Sky (vocals, lyrics, visuals)
Wes (guitars, song writing, lyrics, vocals)

1.Can you give us an update as to what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?

Sky: Mainly just working on getting the album released, all the details and final touches. I know the guys have been diligent as always in writing new stuff, rehearsing and drinking beers.

2.You have a new album coming out, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording, and how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Wes: It's not a far cry from anything we've ever done. I think the production is the best we've had thus far. We've had several years to cut our teeth on some of these songs. So it was nice to finally record this material.

Sky: The production is definitely a major factor… We never really felt our songwriting had benefitted from an appropriate production in the end. Writing wise, I think we stepped up our game on all fronts. I feel like this chunk of music is more cohesive and well organized.

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

    Wes: There's definitely a range of subject matter. Our songs tend to have a common thread of misanthropy, depression, and hate. I'd say that the lyrics for "Requiem Within" are definitely the most overtly personal that I've gotten in this band.

    Sky: When I write lyrics for Tormentium, I definitely make an attempt to conceive of a narrative story structure, letting it lead me as it goes, and ultimately it represents feelings and situations that eat away at me internally. That way, hopefully the listener gets a compelling drama experience, fiction and nonfiction, depending how you look at it. That’s been my take on the lyrics on Bound To The Depths.

4.This is the first album to be released in 4 years, can you tell us about what has been going on during that time frame?

    Wes: We practice on the regular. Sky is in Portland[, Oregon] now, and we're still in Eugene[, Oregon] but we're always cultivating new riffs and new songs. I've discarded far more songs for this band, guitar wise, than we've ever learned as a whole band. It's all part of the writing process. We jam at practice and come up with a lot of the most potent riffs from working together as a band. That's why practicing regularly is important to us. Also, this shit doesn't happen overnight. We recorded this album a year ago. The 2 or 3 years prior to that we were writing it. So although 4 years seems like a long time, in hindsight it was just a blink. Sometimes shit takes a while in the underground. We're trying to find our stride though.
    Sky: Yeah, we take our time with this band. Our older releases have all been smaller projects, like splits and demos. But in all honesty this is our most ambitious release to date, and towers in size and detail over our older efforts. So, it doesn't surprise me that it’s been a few years since our last, but we do this project for ourselves anyways.

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?

    Sky: We’ve mostly just played shows in our home state, and sparingly since 2008 or so. Every few years we get the honor of playing alongside a big name band, but I feel like our best performances have been smaller ones. It's hard to always predict when you’re gonna have an “on” night, crowd on your side, and sound great... But we try like hell. Describing our stage show is a tough question, being that we’re always on the wrong side of the stage. But I can tell you there’s lots of blood, spikes, and loud noises.

    Wes: We've had many good times, and been lucky enough to share the stage with many great bands. I was drunk for all of it. After the smoke clears I'll let you know. Ha ha

6.Do you have any touring or show plans now that the new album is released?

    Wes: We did the tape release in our home town of Eugene, OR, last month. We're doing a CD release in Portland on May 21st [with Gloam, Daemoniis Ad Noctum, and Hiding]. We don't have any tours booked, but we plan on it in the near future.

    Sky: We’re eager to tour, but we’re all broke-workin’-geezers, so the stars must align.

7.The new album is coming out on Exile Musick, can you tell us a little bit about this label?

    Sky: Exile Musick is a tape label that specializes in small batch, hand made DIY releases. Real old school, cult style. They’ve believed in us since day one and it's great to have that kind of support.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been by fans of black metal?
    Sky: Well, the honest answer is that's not really something we’ve ever investigated. Our international reach has always been shit. But our material tends to be appreciated by fans of all kinds of metal; black, death, thrash, etc. It tends to be quite varied genre-wise. We get some of the riffy-heads and the atmosphere-lovers. Depressive-hobbits and blast beat duders.

9.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects that some of the band members are a part of?

    Wes: My band Hiding just released our first offering, a self-titled EP. We're actually on a West Coast Tour as I'm writing this. Ha ha. Cheers!

    Sky: I’ve been doing vocals for an older gore band named Splatterhouse, and we played Maryland Deathfest in 2015, but I’m waiting to hear new tunes from them. I’m also really looking forward to contributing lyrics and vocals on a secret new DSBM project.

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

    Wes: I think it's detrimental to the integrity of our music to overthink it. We have a wealth of material for the next album that we're currently cultivating. I know that as a guitarist I always want to keep progressing. So we'll see where it goes.

    Sky: I couldn’t say for certain. But I’d like to see our music keep getting darker, honest, and realized. The kind of stuff we wanna play, our own way, and rad as fuck.

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?

    Wes: I'm very heavily influenced by some of the Swedish black metal greats like Dawn, Dissection, Dark Funeral, Lord Belial, and Shining. They are staples of my listening diet. There are so many good bands these days. Honestly, I just try to stay away from that hipster, bullshit scene mentality. There is no time for that shit. Stay true, and stay metal!

    Sky: Vocally, the kind of stuff that influenced me on the “Bound…” was odd, passionate shit. Shining was a big influence, as well as Dark Fortress - “Ylem”, Primordial, Maniac era Mayhem, Blood of Kingu, and Behexen. Lately, I’ve been listening to all sorts of random shit… obscure black metal, hip hop, classical, darkjazz… My mood decides.

12.How would you describe your views on Occultism?

    Wes: I prefer to observe the clandestine forces of this world in my own personal way. Occult philosophy is just one of many tools to help one come to terms with their existence and inevitable death. You can become a slave to your own absolutes. It doesn't matter what forces you pray to. They probably don't give a shit.

    Sky: It’s neat, but I invest 0% into all belief systems, even the cool ones.

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

    Wes:  HAIL!
    Sky: Art only justifies life.

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Eufori/Vardelos/Black Lion Productions/2016 EP Review

mardi 12 avril 2016 à 04:59

  Eufori  are  a  band  from  Sweden  that  plays  a  very  depressive  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of t heir  2016  ep  "Vardelos"  which  was  re;eased  by  Black  Lion  Productions.

  Clean  guitars  start  off  the  ep  and  mix  in  with  a  heavier  sound  a  few  seconds  later  along  with  some  angry  and  spoken  screams  making  their  presence  known  on  the  recording  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  after  awhile  the  vocals  start  utilizing  more  of  a  depressive  edge.

  At  times  the  guitar  riffs  can  be  very  melodic  and  the  music  brings  in  a  good  mixture  of  slow  and  mid  paced  parts  while  also  sticking  mostly  to  a  more  modern  and  dark  side  of  the  depressive  black  metal  genre  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  classical  guitars  and  they  also  close  the  ep  with  a  cover  of  Vanhelga's  "Lat  Son  Falla"  which  also  has  tremolo  picking,  melodic  guitar  leads  and  keyboards  being  introduced  to  the  recording  as  well  as  a  brief  use  of  blast  beats.

  Eufori  plays  a  style  of  depressive  black  metal  that  is  very  dark  and  melodic  while  also  focusing  more  on the  slower  and  mid  paced  style  of   the  genre,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Swedish  and  cover  dark  and  depressive  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Eufori  are  a  very  great  sounding  depressive  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Inget  mer".  8  out  of  10.  


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Sun Worship/Pale Dawn/Golden Antenna Records/2016 CD Review

lundi 11 avril 2016 à 23:39

  Sun  Worship  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  has  been  featured  before  in this  zine  and  plays  a  cascadian  influenced  form  of  atmospheric  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "Pale  Dawn"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  Golden  Antenna  Records.

  A  very  fast  and  raw  black  metal  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  while  the  vocals  start  out  with  a  more  of  a  chanting  style  and  you  can  also  hear    great  amount  of  melody  in  the  guitar  riffing  and  after  awhile  the  songs  start  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  All  of  the  songs  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  after  awhile t he  vocals  start  getting  more  aggressive  while  being  somewhat  mixed  down  low  in  the  mix  and  as  the  album  progresses  they  evolve  more  into  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  the  solos  and  leads  also  bring  more  of  a  raw  yet  melodic  style  to  the  songs  they  are  utilized  on  and  the  whole  album  also  remains  very  dark  and  heavy  from  beginning  to  ending  of  the  recording  while  clean  singing  is  used  briefly  on  the  last  track.

  Sun  Worship  creates  another  recording  that  is  still  influenced  by  the  atmospheric  and  cascadian  styles  of  black  metal  while  also  having  more  of  a  raw  and  heavy  approach  to t he  genre  that  is  very  guitar  driven,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  yet  heavy  at  the  same  time  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  nature  themes  along  with  some  songs  being  written  in  German.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Sun  Worship  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  the  more  raw,  atmospheric  and  cascadian  styles  of  black  metal,  you  should  enjoy  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Pale  Dawn"  and  "Perihilion".  8  out  of  10.       

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Malamorte Interview

lundi 11 avril 2016 à 18:00
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
The band is born as side-project, for the purpose to play something more extreme of that music sound normally with my main band.

2.Recently you have 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?
The past release have a raw sound and inspired by bands like Deathspell Omega, Lunar Aurora and so on. The past album was made with no special claims or objectives, but the songs are varied and with good ideas

3.The band has been around since 2009 but so far has only put out 2 releases, can you tell us a little bit more about the first 5 years?
My main band is Lord Vampyr, in the meantime i realized 3 albums with 3 tour in Mexico. Actually I'm working in some projects and i think back to work on the new album of Malamorte after summer.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
In this release I'm focused on satanic emotions, mental health and the lies of christianity and bible

5.The band labels it's music as 'Satanic-Horror black metal, can you tell us a little bit more about this term and your interest in Satanism and Occultism?
In the past i was more interested in Occultism and modern Satanism (Crowley, Dion Fortune....).  Now the word "Satanic" is only a way to define something against Christian religion, lyrics, attitude...

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Malamorte'?
Malmorte is one of the names by which was called the plague, in the logo you will notice that there are two doctors of the plague.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We are a not a live band, cause that is my project and i play some instruments, i don't know if i will play in the future some songs of malamorte in my shows

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
No, for the moment

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
I don't know, it is early to say, the CD was released a few day ago, but the first reviews are all positive

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?
Actually we are working on the new album of Lord Vampyr and I'm working on two projects that will be announced in the coming months

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I think there will always be a black metal component in the bottom, but with an eye toward an occult metal very close to Mercyful Fate/Kind Diamond

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?
Mercyful Fate, Metal Church, Savatage (old), Iron Maiden, Slayer and so on...I listen several bands but in this moment I'm back to hear old school death metal.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Take a look at our first video and listen our album, will reserve you many surprises and Support the  Underground!!!

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Astral Path Interview

lundi 11 avril 2016 à 17:49
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Justin: Astral Path is a two-person Atmospheric Black Metal project consisting of myself, Justin Bourdeau and my bandmate, Ana Dujakovic. We are based in Canada. I live in Ottawa, Ontario and Ana lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We met online and I had asked Ana if she was interested in contributing some fretless bass to an Opeth cover I was working on. Ana has multiple musical endeavours going on so, understandably, she had to decline. After finishing the Opeth cover, I asked again if she would be interested in working on a cover together. Initially, we didn't plan on recording an album. We were simply going to record an Ulver cover together for fun. We spoke about our influences and found a mutual love for ABM so we thought it might be cool to write a song together and see where it goes. One song turned into five and now, over a year later, we are releasing our debut album with Avantgarde Music.

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

We are influenced by a wide array of musical styles. Black metal and other subgenres of metal are our main influences, but we both have a love for well crafted music in general, regardless of the genre. Our album draws off our influences to create a sound that is firmly rooted in black metal, but is mixed with influences from Folk, Post and Ambient styles. We never really tried to stick to a specific sound. Our writing process was more on the spur of the moment, impulsive. This is why the album has a decent amount of tonal variation and the tracks themselves convey different moods. It was a very loose writing process which made it a lot of fun and we think the tracks themselves represent that.

3.Your lyrics deal with a lot of nature and cosmic themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?

Justin: Science is by far my favorite subject. Contemplating about Earth, space, and the universe is a massive well of inspiration for me. I'm sure almost anyone feels humbled by the universe every time they look up at night. I can't think of any topic that is more interesting than the natural world. From the subatomically small to the unfathomably large, there is always something to be amazed by in the cosmos: objects and concepts that will rock your understanding of reality and existence. Once you think you've seen it all, you get your world flipped on it's head by some new discovery. It's amazing.

4.On the fb page you had referenced Carl Sagan, what kind of impact does he have on your views of the world?

Justin: The first time I watched the original Cosmos: A Personal Voyage series was like revelation for me. I had never seen anyone speak so eloquently about science, preservation and the advancement of technology. Carl is the paragon of science education. Not only that, but he exemplifies such a high level of altruism and humanism that one can't help but be mesmerized by his lectures on cosmology, the search for extra-terrestrials and his dedication to the pursuit of truth. He was absolutely dedicated to education. You could hear it in the way he spoke about science. He wasn't ever acting on Cosmos. What you see is his genuine interest in the subject matter. It was clear that he was fully invested in the future of the human race and the preservation of the Earth. He was also a visionary with respect to space exploration. Sagan forced me to reconsider everything I thought I knew about society and the world. He made a massive positive impact on my worldview.

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

Astral Path is pretty self-explanatory. In other words, "A path to the stars". Even if mankind manages to avoid self-destruction and the destruction of our home planet for the next five billion years, our sun will eventually die, taking us with it. If we don't look to the stars for a safe haven in some other star system, mankind will be wiped from existence forever. Our survival depends on our ability to expand our horizons, like it always has. We thought that Astral Path was a fitting name for our music and our lyrics.

6.Both of the band members live in different parts of Canada, how does this work during the recording process?

Justin: We did all of the songwriting over the internet, sharing our ideas over Dropbox and Facebook. We were able to finally meet in person last summer. Ana made the long road trip from the east coast to Ottawa where we spent a few days tracking her bass lines. Other than that, this process was facilitated almost entirely through the internet.

7.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you planning on expanding the line up in the future or do you chose to remain a duo?

Justin: As it stands, we will moving forward as a duo. We aren't necessarily opposed to expanding the lineup in the future, but it's not on our minds at the moment. We would have to close the geographical gap between us first before Astral Path could become a live band.

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

Justin: Well, our album is still very new. As I write this, it is still unreleased. Having said that, the feedback that we have gotten from the internet community has been great. People seem to enjoy what we've cooked up and I'm happy. We hope people enjoy the rest of the album once it is released next weekend. We had a lot of fun writing this stuff and if we can get even just a few people to enjoy the record, it will be a success in my eyes.

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

Justin: We can definitely see another release happening in the near future. We haven't started writing yet, but if I was to guess, I would wager that the approach taken on this record will be preserved. With the way music tastes evolve over time, you might find we throw a curveball or two to keep things interesting. I'm not interested in making 'An Oath to the Void - Version 2" if you know what I mean. I think progression is important for bands to remain relevant. Seeing as both of us are prog fans, you might find we get a bit more adventurous on a future release.

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

Justin: Some of our influences are very apparent. One of those would be Wolves in the Throne Room. Two Hunters blew my mind when it came out. At the time, I wasn't listening to much of that style of metal so it was a pleasant surprise. I really love the vibe of the tremolo picking creating harmonies between two guitars. Counterpoint is also essential to that sound. You can hear that influence in certain parts of our album more than others. Mare Cognitum also has significance to us. Jacob's work on Phobos Monolith was awesome to say the least. It really set the bar high in terms of atmosphere and composition. Black metal is such a broad genre. There are so many unique sounds and approaches to creating music in this style. Almost any niche musical craving can be found within black metal. My good friend Graham Cwinn actually suggested the Avantgarde roster of bands to me last year, before this project was even rolling. I've been pretty fixated on the Avantgarde releases ever since. Working with Roberto and Avantgarde is just the cherry on top of this musical venture. Sivyj Yar's 'Burial Shrouds' gets a ton of plays as of recently (amazing bass guitar performance). Darkspace and Mesarthim are great bands too. Mgla albums are constantly stuck in my head. Taake is fucking amazing. Hoest blew the doors off my local venue this year. Outside of Black Metal, I absolutely love progressive music. Most recently, I've been listening to the new instrumental guitar-driven progressive metal movement. Intervals, Plini, The Helix Nebula, Gru, Animals as Leaders, and many other artists are doing some really amazing things with the guitar right now. It's awesome to watch these guys break new ground with every release. Like I said before, I'm not picky when it comes to genres of music. All that is required is musicianship. If I can tell your band is good at what you are doing, I'm probably listening to it. Oh, and Guthrie Govan. That dude is amazing.

Ana: My bass playing is heavily influenced by Death which is why I picked up the fretless bass and began exploring other bands such as Beyond Creation, Gorod, Augury, Illogicist, Atheist, Cynic, etc. I listen to mostly black metal though, especially ambient and atmospheric or depressive black metal. My biggest black metal influences would be Spectral Lore, Mare Cognitum, Chaos Moon, Basarabian Hills and Midnight Odyssey. These bands have great synth work too which made me want to have good synth on our album.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

Justin: Personally, music takes up the majority of my time outside of work. When I'm not jamming, writing or recording, you can find me cycling in the summer or discussing science with friends. I used to play video games pretty often but I find myself lacking the time (and interest, to be honest) to keep up with modern gaming nowadays. If I am playing any video games, it's probably a racing simulator like Assetto Corsa or Richard Burns Rally. I love racing. Strategy games are awesome too.

Ana: I am a full time student and training to be a registered nurse. Aside from that I play video games, work out and create music. My other band is a darkfolk/neofolk band called Ulvesang. Justin actually did the mastering for us with that project and it's been an unexpected success. I hope Astral Path will have the same fate.

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

Justin: Well, first of all I have to thank Roberto at Avantgarde music for taking his time to listen to our album and Tryfar for designing our CD package. These guys did an awesome job, the CD package is amazing. These guys are supplying fans with amazing quality releases and we are very grateful to be working with them. Our album artist, Andrew Lachance C created a beautiful piece of art to accompany our music, thanks dude! Jason Jaknunas, our mastering engineer did a stellar job as well. Jason showed me most of what I know about music engineering and production so he gets a big thank you from me! To everyone that listens to even one second of our music, thank you. I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed creating it.

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