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Valknacht/Le Sacrifice d' Ymir/PRC Music/2014 CD Review

mercredi 25 décembre 2013 à 07:37

  Valknacht  are  a  band  from  Quebec,  Canada  that plays  a  pagan  form  of  black  metal  with  elements  of  folk  music  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Le  Sacrifice  d'  Ymir"  which  will  be  released  by PRC  Music.

  The  album  starts  off  with  an  intro  which  utilizes  viking  chanting  to  bring  a  feeling  of  the  dark  waves  as  well  as  nature  sounds  and  once  the  synths  are  added in  the  album  starts  going  for  more  of  an  epic  and  atmospheric  direction.

  Once  the  album  starts  getting  into  the  real  songs  you  can  hear  traces  of  Graveland  and  Polish  black  metal  being  added  into  the  atmosphere  and  then  the  heavy  guitars  and  screams  start  to  kick  in  as  well  as  a  classical  music  feeling  which  adds  to  the  epic  qualities  of  the  recording  along  with  some  death  metal  influenced  growls once  guitar  leads  are  added  in  as  well  as  blast  beats,  then  the  album  takes  a  more  melodic  direction  while  also  remaining  heavy  at  the  same  time  which  enhances  the  folk  elements.

  Melodic  pagan  chanting  is  also  used  on  a  regular  basis  during  the  recording  and  once  acoustic  guitars  are  added  in  the  music  starts  taking  on   a  folk/black  metal  direction  along  with  the  medieval  sounding  flutes  and  as  we  get  more  into  the  album  the  melodies  start  adding  in  a  lot  more  emotion  and  sorrow  bringing  in  some  Norwegian  pagan  metal  influences  and  mixing  it  with  the  more  modern  folk  metal  sound.

  As  we  head  more  into  the  songs  they  start  getting  more  epic  as  time  goes  on  by  and  the  mixture  of  melodic  black  metal,  death  and  folk  metal  really  does  give  the  album  a  sound  of  its  own and  the  songs  really  do  the Pagan  Gods  justice  and  halfway  through  the  album  there  is  a  brief  use  of  female  vocals  that  really  enhance  the  aggressive  qualities  of  the  music.

  Halfway  through  the  album  traditional  metal  elements  start  mixing  in  and  adding  another  shade  of  color  to  the  recording  as  well  as  the  blast  beats  taking  on  an  even  more  brutal  approach  while  also  retaining  the  atmospheric  elements,  as  the  album  opens  with  an  epic  sound  it  also  ends  in  the  same  direction.

  Song  lyrics  are  written  in  French  and  cover  Paganism  and  Mythology,  while  the  production  has  a  very  strong,  powerful,  heavy  and  professional  sound  with  the  bass  guitars  being  mixed  down  low  in  the  mix  as  well  as  most  of  the  songs  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  In  my  opinion  Valknacht  are  a  very  great  sounding  epic  pagan/black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Bataille  de  Maldon"  "Le Sacrifice d' Ymir"  and  "Que  Le  Sang  Constelle  Mes  Mains".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.

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Suffering In Solitude/A Place Apart/Domestic Genocide/2013 CD Review

mercredi 25 décembre 2013 à 05:05

  Suffering  In  Solitude  are  a  band  from  California  that  plays  a  very  depressive  form  of  post  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2013  album  "A  Place  Apart"  which  was  released  by  Domestic  Genocide.

  Once  the  album  starts  acoustic  guitars  come  in  and  bring  a  post  rock  feeling  to  the  album     and  a  minute  later  melodic  guitar  leads  start  becoming  a  part  of  the  mix,  once  the  album  goes  into  the  second  song  heavy  guitar  riffs  that  also  use  melody  and  drums  start  to  take  over which  then  takes  the  music  into  a  faster  black  metal  direction  as  well  as  mixing  in  slower  parts  to  make  the  album  more  diverse  and  you  can  also  hear  clean  parts  and  bass  guitars  being  added  in  as  well  as  post  metal  style  guitar  leads.

  As  the  album  moves  on  the  music  starts  getting  more  experimental  as  well  as  mixing  in  depressive  black  metal  screams  along  with  some  more  progressive  elements,  another  strong  element  the  music  has  is  when  it  goes  back  to  acoustic  guitars  and  then  returns  back  to  a  faster  direction  along  with  some  blast  beats  as  well  as  mixing  in  slower  modern  black  metal  riffing,  and  when  the  blast  beats  come  out  they  really  make  the  album  stand  out.

  By  the  time  the  album  hits  the  fourth  song  you  can  hear  a  small  amount  of  military  style  drums  being  mixed  in  with  the  slower  parts  as  well  as  an  atmospheric  background  which  really  brings  out  the  sorrow  and  depression  of  the  recording  and  it  also  evokes  a  psychedelic  feeling  which  you  can  hear  in  the  synths  which  are  utilized  on  some  of  the  songs,  and  the  album  has  a  mixture  of  instrumentals  and  regular  songs   with  the  whole  recording being  slightly  under  30  minutes.

  Once  we  get  the  last  song  song  acoustic  guitars  bring  a  very  powerful  beginning  before  adding  in  depressive  post  rock  synths  along  with  some  grim  screams  as  well  as  some  melodic  clean  singing  to  bring  a  perfect  ending  to  the  album.

  Song  lyrics  cover  dark  and  depressive  themes,  while  the  production  has  a  very  heavy  and  dark  sound  along  with  the  bass  guitars  being  mixed  down  low  in  the  mix  and  adding  more  power  to  the  guitars  and  vocals.

  In  my  opinion  Suffering  In  Solitude  are  a  very  great  sounding  depressive,  post  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Exit  (Time  Lost)"  and  "Placed  Apart".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.


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Hangatyr/Elemente/2014 CD Review

mercredi 25 décembre 2013 à 04:11

  Hangatyr  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  a  pagan  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2014  album  "Elemente".

  When  the  album  starts  tribal  style  drums  and  epic  synths  bring  in  a  feeling  that  reminds  me  of  fantasy  soundtracks,  then  the  album  goes  into  heavy  pagan/black  metal  guitars  that  bring  a  lot  of  melody  to  the  music  along  with  a  mixture  of  slow  parts  and  blast  beats  while  the  vocals  are  in  the  pagan/black  metal  mode  and  use  both  deep  and  high  pitches  while  the  blast  beats  are  more  in  a  semi  mode  and  you  can  hear  a  lot  of  emotion  and  homage  to  the  Norse  ancestors  with  the  music.

  Once  acoustic  guitars  become  a  part  of  the  album  they  bring  in  a  good  amount  of  prog  and  medieval  elements  to  evoke  memories  of  the  dark  pagan  ages  and  as  the  album  moves  on  you  can  hear  traces  of  traditional  and  power  metal  being  added  to  the  instruments  which  is  something  you  can  really  hear  in  the  solos  that  are  utilized  on  the  recording,  while  the  vocals  remain  in  a  different  direction  and  do  not  utilize  any  of  that  influence  but  they  do  add  in  some  death  metal  elements  and  the  music  really  starts  out  with  all  of  the  different  metal  elements  which  also  leads  up  to  a  sound  they  can  call  their  own.

  When  the  album  adds  in  slow  parts  it  brings  out  a  lot  of  darkness  and  sorrow  when  it  is  brought  in  certain  parts  and  the  album  once  a  few  songs  are  added  in  you  can  hear  traces  of  early  melodic  Swedish  pagan/black  metal  from  the  90's  being  a  huge  influence  on  the  guitar  playing,  another  great  highlight  the  album  has  is  when  acoustic  guitars  are  in  the  background of  the  heavier  guitar  riffing  and  it  evokes  a  folk  music  feeling.

  Song  lyrics  are  written  in  German  and  cover  Norse  Paganism  themes,  while  the  production  has  a  very  strong,  powerful,  heavy  and  epic  sound  while  the  bass  guitars  are  mixed  down  low  in  the   mix.

  In  my  opinion  Hangatyr  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  pagan/black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Die Sprache  der  Zwolf"  "Zersetzung"  and  "Sie  vergesson  nicht".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.

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Shabti Interview

mardi 24 décembre 2013 à 04:04
 I formed Shabti with Greg (formerly of Gift of Tongues and Shabti, currently in Feral, ZUD (US), and Stones Tools) in Portland, ME in 2008.  Prior to playing in Shabti, I played in guitar and performed vocals in Kurixis from 2002-2006.  The original goal of Shabti was to create aggressive, visceral, uncompromising music.  Over the years we have released two eps (Self Titled and "Labors of the Dead") and we just released our first full length, "Paracusia".  We have also played live throughout New England and fairly consistently in the Southern Maine region.  Since the band's inception several drummers and bass players have lent their talents to the project.  Though other band members have occasionally submitted riffs I am the primary songwriter. "Paracusia" features Denis (also in Eastern Spell) on bass and Ray (also in Falls of Rauros) on drums.

2.How would you describe your musical sound? 
Most metal fans who have given me positive feedback typically describe Shabti as a natural sounding blend of death metal and black metal.  I think that this is a natural culmination of my influences as a guitar player and the types of music that I enjoy listening to.  When I originally started Shabti I wanted to go for more of a grind/black metal sound: fairly minimalistic and to the point.  As you can hear in our songs, however, our music is fairly technical, though this is not intentional.  I write riffs that I personally find interesting and rewarding to play and they just naturally evolve in that direction.  I have heard people go so far as to compare us to Necrophagist though I do not quite agree.

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

Religion, death, disappointment in humanity and the struggle to find something worthwhile in a universe with no apparent meaning are reoccurring topics.  Some lyrics are quite personal whereas others are just observations about society, the human race, and the world in which we live.  I am heavily influenced by "The Golden Bough" by James Frazer, HP Lovecraft, and books about ancient/classical/medieval civilizations. 

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name Shabti? 

Shabti (or Ushabti) are funerary figurines that the ancient Egyptians placed in tombs to serve the dead in the afterlife.  I am inspired by the mythology of many different cultures, though we are not explicitly an "Egyptian" themed band. 

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? 
We have not played many high profile shows but there are several that I have especially enjoyed.  Worcester, MA has a dedicated metal scene and I have always enjoyed playing down there.  Some of our best performances have been in small bars or obscure basements.  I would describe our stage performance as intense and straightforward without any gimmicks or catering to the audience.  My focus is on executing our songs to the best of my ability with precision and authenticity.  This is what I appreciate as an audience member.  Playing metal live for me is all about a sense of power and catharsis. 

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future
We currently do not have a live drummer.  Once we find someone suitable, I plan on playing in New England on a regular basis again.  I would like to plan a short US tour at some point.  In any event, I will continue to record and release music as Shabti.

7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest? 
I have never bothered to actively seek out record labels in the past with Shabti but with the release of "Paracusia" my interest in these kinds of collaborations has been reignited. At this stage we do not have any plans to work with a label but I am open to any offers that we might receive.  I think that a band in this day and age really has to work independently, promote themselves, finance their own work, and generate their own following. It seems to me that when a label is interested in signing us they are more likely to approach us after we have sufficiently proven ourselves.

8.What is going on with the other musical projects these days that the other band members are involved with?

Ray also plays drums (and occasionally other instruments) in Falls of Rauros, which is an atmospheric/folk/black metal band from the Portland area. Last I knew they were putting the finishing touches on a new cd and they also have some older material that they are putting out in the near future.  They do not play live very frequently but they have been pretty prolific songwriters over the years.

Denis plays bass in a doom metal band by the name of Eastern Spell.  They play out fairly often in the area and they are going to be releasing a split with Sylvia (another local band with former members of Ocean).
9.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
Shabti is always going to be my outlet for extreme metal, though the exact sound is subject to where ever my interests reside at the moment.  I think that there are plenty of things to discover in the world of distorted guitars, drums and bass, simply by driving myself to write interesting riffs and dynamic songs.  Though I have interests in other genres, I have no desire to incorporate them into Shabti in a direct way.  If I ever decide that I want to write something more straightforward with clean vocals, or electronic music, for instance, I will just start another project.  I have various riffs and ideas floating around.  One of the songs that I wrote more recently is very dissonant and jagged, with busy death metal riffs and sinister doomy parts.  Shabti is basically my homage to what I consider the best of extreme metal in its various forms.

10.What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Bands that have had a significant direct influence on me over the years are Emperor, Dissection, Morbid Angel Carcass, Kreator, Mayhem, Anaal Nathrakh, Napalm Death, Enslaved, Gorguts, Bethlehem, Neurosis, Angelcorpse and Death.  Bands that I enjoy that do not fit into the metal genre include The Cure, Unto Ashes, Skinny Puppy, Dead Can Dance, Nick Drake, The Dead Boys, Christian Death (just the Rozz Williams era), etc. 
11.outside of music what are some of your interests? 
I enjoy reading.  Some books that I have recently read which are a pretty good representation of my interests are "The Greatest Show on Earth" by Richard Dawkins, "Thermopylae" by Ernle Bradford, and "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil".  Over the past couple of years I have rediscovered old school pen and paper rpgs and "ameritrash" board games  (such as Arkham Horror, etc).
12.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?

Thank you for the interview.

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Cold Crypt Interview

mardi 24 décembre 2013 à 02:36
1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
1. Cold Crypt is a one man metal project that concentrates more on the atmospheric side of black metal rather than the fast paced-hail Satan side, its much more industrial now then it was in the beginning and in my opinion far more haunting.

2.How would you describe the musical sound that has been present on all of the recordings that you have put out so far?
2. Each release has been quite unique in its own way really, the first release (Devil May Scream) was a very standard style of black metal and the following album (Darkest Symphonies) kind of expanded on that with more synth and vocal experimenting.
the split album and the latest release (Bearing The Light) are the best of what the project has to offer so far, it would be a waste of time trying to describe it, you'll just have to listen to it and find out for yourself.

3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical content of the music?
3. The lyrics have always been about madness, negative emotions and exposing faith in a heaven as a fairytale fantasy, Bearing The Light is a concept album meant to remind people of the witch hunts in religious history and hopefully shed light on the madness of the church.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name Cold Crypt?
4. Actually in the beginning the project was called Cold Veins, I just wanted a name that no one else had used and was able to reflect the feel of the music, but one day I was stuck in traffic next to one of the many old graveyards near my home and by just staring out the window at all those graves the name Cold Crypt entered my mind, it sounded so much more morbid and chilling then the original name so I changed it.

5.With this musical project you work all solo, do you have this gives you more room to be creative?
5. To be honest I just hate relying on other people for things, they would just slow me down and try to change the music in a way that seems shitty and over used by others, that's why I use a drum machine half of the time because I don't want to have any one else in on this project. Half of the songs in Cold Crypt have real drums played by me and the other half programmed drums.

6.A few  months back you put out a split album with Smorg, what are your thoughts on the other musical project that that was involved?
6. Smorg is a great band, it has punk, grindcore and black metal all rolled into one. The style has become a lot more like grindcore these days and in my opinion the quality of the music is improving with each release, some people seem to pick holes in the crusted rehearsal like quality of the recording they do but I think that just makes them sound more old school so hopefully they wont change that.

7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
7. So far the response has been pretty positive actually as far as I can tell there has been only had one bad review at this time so that's good enough for me.

8.What is going on with your other musical project these days?
8. Marahkain has got a lot in the pipeline, we have a split album, a single and a full length album all lined up, we are also preparing to try a new sound but its just trying to find time to do it that's the problem, I'm always busy and so is Khalvst Ov Mhurn.

9.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
9. Well I'm currently working on a new and more mechanized album called Utter Contempt For Life which will hopefully be released late 2014, the album artwork has unfortunately already leaked on to the fucking internet so its there for anyone who's interested.

10.What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
10. The bands that influence me the most are Fear Factory, Xasthur, The Berzerker, Nosvrolok, Leviathan and Striborg. The album that actually pushed me to try and make my own music was Leviathans Tentacles of Whorror. Right now I'm listening to Lunar Auroras album Hoagascht.

11.Outside of music what are some of your interests?
11. well I've recently become a father so that takes up most of my time but whenever its not family or music I just play video games.

12.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
12. yeah if you like a band then buy a CD, don't be a prick and go looking for torrents.

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