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Amiensus/Ascension/2015 CD Review

vendredi 27 novembre 2015 à 03:06

  Amiensus  are  a  band  with  members  from  both  Washington  and  Minnesota  that  plays  an  atmospheric  and  progressive  form  of  post  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2015  album  "Ascension".

  A  very  distorted  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  before  adding  in  more  of  a  fast  and raw  black  metal  sound  that  also  utilizes  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  as  well  as  having  synths  in the  background  that  also  gives  the  music  more  of  an  atmospheric edge  and  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  screams.

  Most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic in  length  and  they also add  in  melodic  female  vocals  at  times  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  some  death  metal  growls  being  added  into certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  the  acoustic  guitars  give  the  music  more  of  a  progressive  edge.

  Elements  of  gothic  and  doom  metal  can  be  heard  in  the  bands  musical  style  while  the  guitar  solos  and  leads  remain  true  to  a  very  melodic  musical  direction  and  clean singing  male  vocals  can  also  be  heard  at  times  as  well  as  a  brief  use  of  whispers  and  some  songs  also  add  in  a  touch  of  symphonic  black  metal  which  they mix  with  the  more  modern  atmospheric  style  of  the  genre  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  some  of  the  growls  are  what  you  would  expect  from  either  a  modern  melodic  death  metal  or  metalcore  recording  and  they  also  bring  in  a  brief  instrumental  before  the  last  track.

  Amiensus  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  the  more  progressive,  and  atmospheric sides  of  post  black  metal  and  mixes it  with  a  touch  of  goth,  doom  and  melodic  death  metal  to  create  a  musical  style  of t heir  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  philosophy,  theology,  psychology  and  mythology  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Amiensus  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  and  progressive  post  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "On  These  Deserted  Plains"  "One  In  Spirit"  and  "What  Evil  Lay  Dormant".  8  out  of  10.


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Cryostasium Interview

jeudi 26 novembre 2015 à 18:23
1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the musical project these days?

These days I'm still recording, still writing songs like a motherfucker, all different styles, although lately I have been sticking to the good old early 90's Euro Black sound....these songs are to be on an album called "Radiate" which will be released soon.  A preview version of the album is up on the Cryostasium bandcamp page if anyone's interested in what I got up my sleeve.

2.So far this year you have released 2 ep's and a collaboration with 'Thor mallet', how would you describe your current musical sound?

This is kind of a hard one to answer but I'll do my best.  It's basically what I would call "dark ambient metal" -- sometimes it's closer to black metal, sometimes closer to D-Beat Punk, sometimes closer to dark ambient or neoclassical.  It's always under the banner of Cryostasium though, since it's not a misrepresentation.  No matter what the form of music. CURRENTLY - I would say it sounds like a very warped version of early Emperor mixed with Darkthrone and Dodheimsgard, and maybe some Bethlehem in there, love those guys.

The "Thor Maillet" project haha....that is not a project, that's a real band I do with my twin brother, Thor.  We call ourselves simply either "Cryostasium & Thor Maillet" or "CTM" for abbreviation.  OUR style is like a clash of his and mine, where he has a strong electronic/ambient background, and i use the heavy guitars. Like maybe dark ambient ritualistic neoclassical....  Sometimes we switch off instruments, you really can't tell who's playing what, it's kind of amazing.  We're very very similarly musically minded.

3.What are some of the concepts and images that you bring into your musical sound?

Throughout my career I have used abstract images, they all have a common thread which is solace.  Yes, I admit I do play the darker form of music, always have loved it and always will continue...and the music is about my life, and the darker aspects of it....struggle, depression, anger, sadness.  But in the end what I'm trying to do is create a sonic cocoon for the listener.  It's ironic I guess how my weird life can maybe turn into something ok.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Cryostasium'?

This is an old one!  Ok, so of course band names are difficult to be original with and overused occult terms, which I did not want.  I had a dream one night where I was walking around this ice this frozen museum, and inside of course on display were frozen people, statues....but not a display of a person, more a display of a different state of suffering.  And then suddenly the name "Cryostasium" popped into my head.  That is it.

5.Since 2012 you have released a great amount of music, do you put a lot of time and effort into writing and creating music?

Of course!  Music is my blood basically, I write it out of necessity, and I take the utmost care into creating the right type of atmosphere and sound.  Sometimes I'll do 20 mixes before getting it right though.   Time.....time you can see maybe from my catalog, time is not an issue.  I can usually get what I have in my head onto recording pretty quickly.

6.On the albums you record every by yourself, do you feel this adds more to the creativity of your musical style?

Again, yes!  It's great to work with people but I find that my mind gets in the way and my creativity and ideas just start flying out at rapid fire speed.  Rather than have ill blood because of this, I choose ultimately to work alone. It allows me to use whatever the fuck I want to use for my music, and the end result only being judged by myself.  I'm a very creative person and also kind of a dictator....which is not good but it's it's better for me to work alone.

 7.While the albums are solo, you do have a line up for live shows, what are some of the best shows that band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Wow!  Thanks!  The best shows we ever played weren't in big venues at all, a place called Champions, O' Brien's Pub, Waltham SPORTS PUB haha!  Seriously, THAT was one of the most amazing Cryostasium gigs, it was a fest and we were the loudest, most oppresive band there.  No one could talk over it.  Success. It's a shame because that lineup is dismantled.  Things just weren't working out between the members.  I had to stop it before it got worse.  Anyhow, our stage performance is basically a band performance.  Loud, heavy, ambient, dark, a cocoon.  but what you will SEE is a hard playing rocking band.  No theatrics or extras.  Lately though I could do it just with my brother, a dual guitar set/or bass-and -guitars over drum tracks.  Time will tell. 

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

Yes I do.  Always will be open to playing shows, no matter what the incarnation.  I would like to visit and play Russia, Japan, more of the USA, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, hell, all over.  Would be really great to play for everyone. 

9.Can you tell us a little bit more about the collaboration's that you have done with any artists and also the split's with other bands that you have been a part of so far?

Well, one collaboration and the most prominent I believe is the band I have with my brother, CTM.  Another band I'm involved with, CME, is myself teaming up with Mirg from Macabre Enslaver, from Italy, respectively.  That is a very odd and interesting black metal band.  I would describe that as more like extremely dark prog rock from the 70's but very heavy and black metal influenced.  I have also done splits with of course Xasthur a while back, 2006.  Also Tenebrious and Earthenwomb, both from the USA.  Those splits came out recently.  My most recent is going to be a collaboration with the mighty Abigorum from Russia.  Really technical, but really dark and simplistic at the same time.  Should be very interesting, Satanath is a great musician, sometimes it is hard to keep up!

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

On a worldwide level, the interest and feedback hasn't been horrible.  I usually get bad reviews of my first record and the split with Xasthur, nowadays my records get good reviews.  Something I'm really not used to, people liking your stuff!!  on a worldwide level even.  I find I have some types of followings in Russia, Japan, the Netherlands and Brazil.  In the USA people kind of could care a bit less..

11.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that you are a part of?

Right now as I said I am working on a collaboration with Abigorum and the new CTM album is due out very very soon. Though lately, The other bands and collaborations have kind of taken a back seat to Cryostasium.  It's just the most important thing in my life.  I always try to to start work on another person's track and then something happens to me that's fucked up and I write a Cryostasium album.

12.When can we expect another full length and also where do you see yourself heading into musically during the future?

You can expect my next full length "Radiate" to be released within the next six months or so.  Musically in the future really it is up in the air but staying heavy and dark.  I will always stay heavy and dark.  Right NOW it's still in the early Darkthrone/Dodheimsgard thing...could change next week!  Could never change, only time will tell.

13.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?

The influences on my newer music, are the same as my older influences: Strid, Manes, Thorns, Darkthrone, Dodheimsgard, Zyklon-B, Abigor, Niden DIv. 187.  Also, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, lovesliescrushing, My Bloody Valentine, Discharge, Plasmatics, Disclose, Black Flag, Christ on Parade....lots of music.  These days I'm listening to a lot of Discharge, Disclose, Durutti Column, Jane Weaver, OFF!, Slayer, Mysticum, and Abigor.

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

Please check out my work at  Hope you like what you hear. 

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Satanic Assault Division Interview

jeudi 26 novembre 2015 à 18:17
Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

First and foremost we have been playing a lot of concerts and we have been writing new songs for our third album. We actually finished the song writing a while ago and we are already hard at work recording the album. We have also made a music video for the track “Bar Kokhba” and we have been working on making new stage props, t-shirts etc. So things are going well and there is much to do.

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

The sound is big, organic and brutal and the drums sounds very real compared to our previous album. You can say that Kill the Cross has a more thrashy feel at times, than March to Victory did. There’s also some rock ’n’ roll in there and some deeper growls. March to victory was more traditional black metal. I still think Kill the Cross is black metal, though. Just with some fresh influences. That’s the cool thing about black metal. You can do so many different things with it.  

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

We have thrown some different stuff in there. We have plenty of the good old antireligious stuff. There’s a lot of social criticism and tales about demonic possession, war and nuclear hazard. We try not to limit ourselves. It’s way too hard to write tons of new, interesting lyrics, if we have to stick to the same old subjects. 

how would you describe your views on Satanism?

I don’t consider myself a Satanist. I’m not a big fan of isms, ideologies and religions. I haven’t got the need to put myself into some kind of box, in order to define myself. A very religious person would probably define us as Satanists, though. But they usually don’t know better. We mainly use the satanic imagery because it’s in opposition to the Abrahamic religions.

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 played a gig with Mayhem last year. That was definitely a memorable show. We also played some of our first concerts with our new line-up recently, and it has been great. Everybody is giving it 100 %. We are a very energetic live band and we don’t save on corpse paint and leather!     

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

Yes. We have a long line of concerts here in November and December. Mostly in Denmark, but also a couple in Germany. Furthermore we are going to support Horned Almighty on a handful of shows in March. We are also planning on going to Ireland and Bulgaria next year.  

The band has more of a traditional approach to black metal than a lot of the other bands I have heard from Denmark, do you feel that makes you stand out a bit more?

Maybe. We haven’t got many black metal bands like us here in Denmark. I haven’t given this much thought, but I haven’t heard any Danish black metal bands that sound like we do.

On the new album you did a G.G Allin cover, what was the decision behind doing your own version of one of his songs?

It’s actually not GG Allin. It’s from the album Road Killer by The Murder Junkies. They used to play with GG, but this album is from 2011. I think. We just did it because it’s a damn cool song! We are big fans of punk music and we will definitely be doing more covers like this in the future.

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

Generally it has been great. We have received lots of positive reviews from many different countries. We were in Germany recently and the crowd was really pleased with us. Things are going great and we are very happy that people like our music.

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?

Most members of Satanic Assault Division play in the Melodic Death/Folk metal band Sylvatica. We have just finished a tour with Heidra and Vanir. It was great! I also play bass in the black metal band Horned Almighty. As I mentioned earlier in the interview, we are going to play a line of shows together in March. It’s going to be tough to play two gigs, with two different bands every night. But I can take it!

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

I haven’t got a clue. It all depends on how we feel in the future and which inspirations we are exposed to. Some of the songs for the third album are longer and a bit more nuanced than stuff we have done in the past, but I have no idea how we’ll evolve in the future. The only thing I can say for sure is that we’ll always be playing black metal. 

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?

Musical styles that’s an inspiration apart from black metal is definitely death metal, thrash metal, rock ‘n’ roll and punk. I listen mostly to black metal at the moment. Behemoth, Immortal, Inquisition, Mayhem, Marduk, Carpathian Forest etc. I enjoy many different musical styles, but this is my thing right now. Can’t speak for the other guys.

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

Thank you for the interest in Satanic Assault Division! Check out March to Victory and Kill the Cross and look forward to our third album. It’ll probably be released sometime in 2016.

Answered by Haxen.

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Khmer/Livstid/Discilin Media/Halo Of Flies/LonglegsLongarms/2015 Split 10 Inch Review

jeudi 26 novembre 2015 à 05:14

  This  is  a  review  of  a  split  10  inch  between  Spain's  Khmer  and  Norway's  Livstid  which  was  released  as  a  joint  effort  between  Disciplin  Media,  Halo  Of  Flies  and  LonglegsLongarms  and  we  will  start  off  the  review  with  Khmer  a  band  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  mixture  of  black  metal  and  crust.

  Their  side of  the  split  starts  out with  an  avant  garde  and  experimental  sound  along  with some  acoustic  guitars  a  few  seconds  later  which  also  leads  up  to  a  heavier  musical direction  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to them  and  they  also  mix  in  high  pitched  black  metal  screams.

   Melodic  crust punk  guitar  leads  can  be  heard  in  the  music  at  times  while  the  faster  sections  have  more  of  a  raw  style  which  also  utilizes  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  and  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  amount  of  melody  in  the  riffs  and  the  song  which  is  also  10  minutes  in  length  also  brings  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  also  adding  in  some  clean  playing  at  times,  the  production  sounds  very  dark,  raw  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  are writeen  in  Spanisg  and  cover  angst,  rape,  corruption  and  introspection  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  track  from  Khmer  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  crust  influenced  black  metal,  you  should  enjoy  their  side  of  the  split.

  Next  up  is  Livstid  a  band  that  plays  a  mixture  of  d  beat  and  crust.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  aggressive  screams  and  melodic  riffs that  also leads  up  to a  grind  influenced  crustcore  sound  that  also  mixes  in  blast  and  d  beats  as  well  as  a  small  amount  of  growls  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  clean  singing  present  on  their  side  of  the  split  and  the  solos  and  leads  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody  while  some songs  also  bring  in  angry  shouts,and  the  tracks  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  both  mid  paced  and  fast  parts,  the  production  sounds  very  dark,  raw  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  angry  and  political  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Livstid  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  d  beat  and  crust  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Kapitalist"  "Daukjot"  and  "Stein  For  Stein".

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

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A Diadem Of Dead Stars Interview

mercredi 25 novembre 2015 à 18:05

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

After my latest release back in September The Mist Bearer pt.II EP I am finishing my next full length which will be ready in early in 2016. The biggest part of the music is recorded, only few additions left to be done and now I am working on the vocal parts. At the same time I am working the layout of the release.

2. In September you had released a new ep, 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?

I composed these two songs during the breaks of the recording sessions of my upcoming album. Actually the homonym track is a mixture of old riffs that I have rejected in the past and new ideas. I released this ep exactly one year after the digital release of my first album “The Mist Bearer” which actually marked my existence as a "celebration". This one I believe that combines melody, aggressiveness, uplifting moments which are heralding the darkest and more depressive ones, epic feeling and isolation. In general I believe that with every effort I walk a step further from where I was standing. I find a personal and a musical maturation through every release. There are differences among my works even if all are under the banner of atmospheric sound.

3. So far most of the music has been instrumental are you interested in adding lyrics into your music during the future?

Yes, as I mentioned above I am about to record vocals for my new album so I wrote lyrics dealing as always with Mother Earth and Nature, Enviromental Destruction...  

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'A Diadem of Dead Stars'?

The name was taken from the first full length of Wolves in the Throne Room. I paraphrased it. Beyond that there is a verse in John’s Apocalypse mentioning a pregnant woman clothed with the sun and moon and wearing a crown of 12 stars. The divine woman for me is earth, not any god not any demon, who gave birth to us, but the stars are dead cause we dethroned her, we raped her divine grace. We carved the umbilicus violently and through the years in the name of the rising progress we have forgotten where we come from. We are drying the wells of flora, we are muting the voice of fauna, and we are turning the womb of life to a sterile burning furnace.

5. Since 2014 you have released 4 releases, do you put a great amount of time and effort into writing music?

I like to dedicate time and effort on my music, after all is an urge that comes from inside. I like the procession of composing. New ideas taking shape in the real world. The journey and the passage from subconscious to conscious. Also every time that I am recording I discover new paths, completely unknown to me and that is something really fascinating.    

6. With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians in the future?

I had few bands in the past and I was working with other people. After a while I could see that we were not sharing the same vision or there where different paths us to follow. I couldn’t handle the lack of time, lack of interest, possible interferences on my music. So after a small break I decided to start something by myself with only purpose to compose music that satisfies me as I want and whenever I want. There is a risk you have to take and a cost to pay. It’s always easier to have other people taking care their parts of music, but that’s fine. There are several difficulties, but I am doing things in my way and I am glad about it. So there is no chance to add other members on this project.

7. I know that you have worked with Pest Productions before in the past, but which label will be releasing your newer music?

Pest Productions again! I was very satisfied with our cooperation and since they are interested for my new material I have no reason to search for something else. To be exact and honest they were embraced my music from day one! They believed my material and after all I was a fan of their releases. Their roster has powerful releases like Sadhaka, Alda, Vallendusk. So it’s very honoring to continue with them. I also cooperate with a small independent label from Germany named No Sleep Till Megiddo. They handled the releases of my EP’s. “The Mist Bearer” part II EP is about to be released sometime soon and also they’re going to release the tape version of ‘The Mist Bearer” in a limited number.

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

I must say that the support is very big and the words of people who come in contact is very encouraging! The copies I received from Pest Productions of my full length are almost sold! A great amount of supporters comes from USA. Europe is there too, from Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Norway mainly), Germany, Russia, Spain, Italy. I think that almost zero feedback comes from Greece, hahaha! Very few people know my project here and even fewer like it!

9. When can we expect another full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

The next album is about to be released in early 2016 in digital format at first through my bandcamp and during the year Pest Productions will release it as CD. I believe that this one has a more obvious Cascadian style, a more primitive aspect but of course all these combined with misty lowland’s atmosphere.

10. 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?

US black metal of early 00’s has a very strong impact on me. I find their perspective on black metal sound very refreshing, but of course Norwegian bands like Burzum, (early) Ulver are present…I guess I am inspired from anything I can absorb atmosphere. Allow me to give you my latest top 5 list: Alda-Passage, Spectral Lore-Gnosis, With The End In Mind-Thresholder EP, Grimoire-L’Aorasie des specters reveurs, Vallendusk-Homeward Path.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

I like reading. Poetry and horror / epic literature of the previous century, movies and small isolating trips in nature.

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

Thank you for the interview and the interest you saw on my project.

We have to be silent for a while and feel the pounding heart of our Mother in order to remember where do we come from…

Misty Regards!

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