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Meneapneontes/Promachos/Satanath Records/Murdher Records/2015 CD Review

mardi 27 octobre 2015 à 08:53

  Meneapneontes  are  a  band  from  Greece  that  plays  an  epic form  of  Hellenic  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "Promachos"  which  was  released  as  a  joint  effort  between  Satanath  Records  and  Murdher  Records.

  A  very  dark  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  and  after  a  few  seconds  deep  and  grim  black  metal  screams  make  their  presence  known  on  the  recording  along with  some  solos  and  leads  that  also  utilize  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

   When  the  music  speeds  up  the  music  starts having  more  of  a  raw  black  metal  style  along with  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  and  when  classical  guitars  and  melodic  pagan  chants  are  utilized  they  bring  in  more  of  an  epic  and  medieval  atmosphere  and  the  songs  also   bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid   paced  and  fast  parts  and  some  of  the  riffs  and  vocals  also  bring  in  a  touch  of  death  metal  at  times  while  the  music  is  mostly  rooted  in  the  90's  style  of  Greek  black  metal.

  Meneapneontes  plays   a  musical   style  that  goes  back  to   the  melodic  side  of  Hellenic  black  metal  that  also  brings  the  epic  atmosphere  of  the  past,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  old  school  while  the  lyrics  cover  Greek  Mythology  and  History.

  In  my  opinion  Meneapneontes  are a  very  great  sounding  epic  Hellenic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should   check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Promachos"  "Sons  Of  The  Greeks"  "My  Earth,  My Water"  and  "Raise  The   Aspis".  8  out  of  10.   

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Funebria/Dekatherion: Ten Years Of Hate & Pride/Satanath Records/Darzamadicus Records/2015 CD Review

mardi 27 octobre 2015 à 06:56

  Funebria  are  a  band  from  Venezuela  that  plays  a  fast  and  blasphemous  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "Dekatherion: Ten Years Of Hate & Pride"  which  was  released  as  a  joint  effort  between  Satanath  Records  and  Darzamadicus Records.

  A  very  dark  and  epic  synth  intro  starts  off  the  album  and  after  the  intro  the  music  gets  getting  more  heavier  and  after  awhile melodies  are added  into  the  music  along  with  the  music  getting  more  fast  as  well  as adding  in  grim  black  metal  screams,  blast  beats  and  death  metal  growls  and  the songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  A  great  amount  of  melody  can  be  heard  in  some  of  the  riffing  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  you  can  also  hear  an  influence  of  thrash  in  the  bands   musical  style  and  the  solos  and  leads  also  add  a  great  amount  of  melody  into  the  songs  and  synths  also  make  their  return  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  one  track  also  brings  in  a  brief  use  of   spoken  word  parts.

  Funebria  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  a  very  fast  and  melodic  style  of  black  metal  and  mixes  it  with  death  metal  and  a  touch  of  thrash  to  create  a  style  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness,  blasphemy  and  Occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Funebria  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Serpent  Sign"  "Divide  &  Conquer"  and "Cult  Of  Cosmic  Destruction".  8  out  of  10.


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Ancient Spheres/In Conspiracy With The Night/Satanath Records/More hate productions/2015 CD Review

mardi 27 octobre 2015 à 05:52

  Ancient  Spheres  are  a  band  from  Costa  Rica  that  plays  a  very  raw  and  melodic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "In  Conspiracy  With  The  Night"  which  was  released  as  a  joint  effort  between  Satanath  Records  and  More  Hate  Productions.

  Nighttime  and  nature  sounds  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  tribal  and  shamanistic  elements  being  utilized  in  the  background  and  after  the  intro  the  music  goes  into  more  of  a  raw  and  melodic  black  metal  direction  along  with  some  grim  screams  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Blast  beats  can  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  and  the  music  is  very  heavily   rooted  in  the  90's   and  the  solos  and  leads  also  seem  to  be  very  heavily  influenced  by  the  melodic  Swedish  black  metal  style  and  some  of the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  touch  of  thrash  at  times  a  and  the  also  mix  the Native  American  sounds  in  with  the  heavier  parts.

  At  times  the  songs  also  bring  in a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  death  metal  growls  can  be  heard  and  on  the  bonus  tracks  spoken  word  parts  and  chanting  are  brought into  the  music  and  they  also  give  the  songs  more  of  a  ritualistic  feeling  and  on  song  also  brings  in  a  few  seconds  of  war  samples.

  Ancient  Spheres  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  raw,  melodic  and  old  school  sounding  while  also  mixing  in  the  culture  of  their  home  country  which also  makes  the  music  stand  out  a  bit  more,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  the  ancient  tribes  of  Costa  Rica  such  as  Bribris,  Darkness  and  Obscurtanism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Ancient  Spheres  are  a  very  great  sounding  fast,  raw  and  melodic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Invoking  Darkness"  "Emperors  Of  The  Night"  "My  Ancient  Spirits"  and  "Serkes".  8  out  of  10.

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Vision Lunar Interview

lundi 26 octobre 2015 à 17:23

1.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Vision Lunar'?

Vision Lunar was created on October 6th of 2006, a night of full moon. At the time I was part of a circle named Triskalyon. In this "supergroup", every member named their solo projects "Vision something", in reference to Les Legions Noires, who named their solo projects "Project something". Since my new project was to be my dedication to the moon, I named it "Vision Lunar". I thought it sounded proper for an atmospheric black metal band name.

2.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the musical project since the release of the new EP?

The new Vision Lunar EP, "Luna Subortus", was only released a month ago, so I haven't really had much time to do anything other than promoting it. I've been handling the distribution and promotion of the album in North America through Abridged Pause Recordings, while Winterwolf Records is taking care of Europe. Thus far I've done a few interviews and it's been great to talk about the band once again. The last time that I was interviewed about Vision Lunar was in October of 2010, when the "Phase One (2006-2009)" compilation was released. A lot has changed since then.

3.How would you describe the sound of the new EP? Does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

Better recording equipment is definitely the main change. I constantly had problems with the old setup at Mortified Studios from 2007 all the way through 2010. In 2014 I bought a really good external sound card so the recording session for the new material was almost flawless.

To compare the new sound to the old one, I'd say that the new recordings are a little thicker, more sludge/doom sounding, while remaining black metal. The old material was more tin-canny and sounded like primitive black metal, close to a Burzum production, which was not intentional, it was only due to poor recording equipment. In the future I plan to develop the thicker sound further. I'm a big fan of Black Autumn and Michael Krall's production.

4.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been of the new music by fans of atmospheric black metal?

Every fan of Vision Lunar from the 2006-2007 era vanished long ago. In fact I had to find a new market when I released, what was at the time a discography, the compilation "Phase One (2006-2009)" in October of 2010. The reception for that was great and so many blogs wrote and posted about it.

But now five years later, all those blogs are gone! I had to start from scratch once again and promote the music to a new market, to people who had never heard of Vision Lunar before. That's why I took the time to write an extremely detailed biography of the project, which I published at the same time as I announced the revival of Vision Lunar, in August of 2015. I also reissued "Phase One (2006-2009)" through Abridged Pause Recordings, on a limited edition CD, to give the new fans a chance to hear the old material.

The reception that I got with reviews of "Luna Subortus" has been amazing. I'm getting far more compliments than I was expecting! I'd love to find out what the old fans think of the new material though.

5.All of the music on the new EP is instrumental, are you planning on using vocals and lyrics again in the future?

Vision Lunar has been an instrumental band since the very beginning. I have never used any vocals on past recordings and I don't intend on exploring that in the future either.

6.This is the first recording to be released in eight years, can you tell us a little bit more about what happened during that time?

The final Vision Lunar recording session took place in November of 2007. I then spent a little over a year trying to find band members to expand the solo project into a full band. But that didn't work out. So in early 2009 I announced that Vision Lunar was dead.

Between 2009 and 2015 I played in a couple of metal bands (Lanterns Awake, Murder on Redpath) but mostly focused on my ambient projects. I released quite a few EPs and LPs from those projects, including "Echoes From Forgotten Hearts" and "The Last Great Torch Song" by Vision Éternel and "Memories of a City", "Bonjour Tristesse" and "Adieu Tristesse" by Soufferance. My ambient band, Citadel Swamp, has also released a few singles. I also collaborated on a song with Éphémère, which I believe is one of the best song I have ever done. Apart from my own music, I dedicated a lot of my time to my company, Abridged Pause.

7.Can you tell us a little bit about Abridged Pause Recordings?

Abridged Pause Recordings is my record label. It was founded in February of 2008, while I was still operating Mortification Records (since 2006). In the beginning Mortification Records was to be the netlabel division, releasing black metal demos and my own music, while Abridged Pause Recordings was to release vinyls and CDs from indie, post-rock, sludge and post-metal bands. The first four bands to be signed to Abridged Pause Recordings in late 2008 were Black Autumn, Dreams of the Drowned, Ethereal Beauty and my solo project Vision Éternel (because I was planning a split 7" with Ethereal Beauty).

The first Abridged Pause Recordings release was "Diluvian Temperals", a compilation featuring exclusive songs from Black Autumn, Black Sand and Starless Nights, Dying Sun, Feos, Kailash, Last Minute to Jaffna, Omega Centauri, Parabstruse, Pet Slimmers of the Year, Semiosis, Smohalla, Somnam and Tower. After that I also worked with Beyond the Dune Sea, Kailash, Phlegma and Stagnant Waters on individual releases.

I closed down Mortification Records in 2010 (after the release of Vision Lunar's "Phase One (2006-2009)" compilation) and shifted the focus of Abridged Pause Recordings to release mostly my own music. I also established imprints under the Abridged Pause enterprise umbrella; Abridged Pause Publishing, a publishing company that protects the copyrights to all the music released on Abridged Pause Recordings on top of securing my own music's catalog; Abridged Pause Apparel, the merchandising division, which thus far has only produced a few t-shirts; and the Abridged Pause Blog, which is where my profession comes in. I'm a music biographer and archivist and I publish all my retrospectives and documentaries on that blog.

I am currently putting together a second various artists compilation, to be released through Abridged Pause Recordings, that should be out in early 2016. Some of the confirmed bands include Black Autumn, Black Sand and Starless Nights, Brainscan, Citadel Swamp, Éphémère, In Cauda Venenum, Pet Slimmers of the Year and Spectrale. I plan to settle with thirteen to seventeen bands, so more artists will be announced soon. There is also a Vision Éternel boxset in the works and two Soufferance boxsets in the distant future.

8.Are you currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?

I usually always have multiple musical projects active during the same period, but I never compose or record for more than one at a time. I will focus on a single album, finish it, then move on to the next band with another idea.

For example, in the fall of 2014 I composed and recorded the Vision Éternel EP "Echoes From Forgotten Hearts". It was released in February of 2015, by which time I was already demoing new Soufferance material. During this Soufferance session I accidentally composed two atmospheric black metal songs, which eventually became the new Vision Lunar material that sparked the creation of "Luna Subortus". But since I was focusing on Soufferance at the time, I put those songs away and forgot about them. I eventually finished the Soufferance session and in the spring I started recording a couple of new Citadel Swamp songs. But when I hit a writers block, I stumbled on the two atmospheric black metal demos again and jumped on a new Vision Lunar session instead. I know that this probably makes it seem like I am constantly composing, but I can sometimes go six months without picking up my guitar, before falling into a creative phase.

As of right now, in the autumn of 2015, I would say that Citadel Swamp is taking up most of my time. Citadel Swamp is an ambient band that I formed in January of 2011 with Valerio Orlandini (from Symbiosis and Norv). Over the years we've had a few other band members join, but we've remained the longest-lasting members. Some of those other members include Bruno Duarte (from Immundus) who joined in March of 2011, but was kicked out after collaborating on only one song, and Marc Hoyland (from Hoyland, Plaguewielder, Thornland, Ethereal Forest, Heathen Deity, Nefarious Dusk, Wither and 13 Candles) who had a brief and fruitless collaboration in February of 2014. The newest addition to the band is Lucas Martin (aka Unsilent, from Almofar, The Descent Of The Sun and Levrij), who I will be composing new material with.

Vision Éternel is still active but I'm not working on any new material. I plan to release a boxset entitled "An Anthology of Past Misfortunes" in 2016. The box will contain all the previously released EPs, each featuring a bonus disc with the b-sides and alternate takes from the recording sessions. The box will have extra room for the future EPs to easily fit in. Soufferance on the other hand is on an unofficial hiatus and I don't know what the future holds for it. There will be at least two more boxsets, one entitled "Tristesse", another entitled "Memories", which will (together with the already released "Travels" boxset) encompass everything ever recorded by that project.

9.What are some of the bands and musical styles that have influenced your new music? What are you listening to nowadays?

My favourite band has been Faith No More since the early 2000's. It would be difficult to pinpoint how their sound influences me in a black metal project, but their impact is definitely there in my subconscious creativity. In the early days of Vision Lunar, that would be October of 2006 to November of 2007, Necrophobic, Nachtfalke, Dissection (specifically "Storm of the Light’s Bane"), Immortal (specifically "At the Heart of Winter") and Burzum (specifically "Hvis Lyset Tar Oss") were particularly influential.

In the new phase I would cite Black Autumn, Eliminator (from New Jersey), Brainscan (from New Jersey), Enslaved (circa 2000-2006), Negură Bunget, Dordeduh and Bathory (circa 1988-1991) as major influences.

Other than what's listed already, I've been listening to Den Andre Lys, Sorrowbringer, Seas of Years, Brave the Waters and Semper Dolens. I also really like the Toronto band Pile High, but that's another genre far away from Vision Lunar.

10.With this musical project you record everything by yourself. Do you prefer working solo to working with a full band?

On one hand, I like the idea of working alone because it's a no-compromise situation. I only have myself to please and I don't have to keep anything in the song that I don't truly like. On the other hand, I do enjoy the creative boost that comes from working with other talented musicians.

In 2008 I tried very hard to transform Vision Lunar from a solo project into a full band. A few people tried out and were interested, including Phillip Altobelli of Triskalyon, Josh McConnell of Mad Parish and Mike Dyball of Priestess. Nothing materialized, but had this happened, I would have likely changed the band's name. Not because my approach to the music would have differed but because the end result with outside creativity would have been much greater than what Vision Lunar encompassed in the beginning.

11.To wrap up this interview, what are the future plans for Vision Lunar?

Had this question been asked a month ago I would have answered that I had two more EPs already in the making. I had originally planned to follow up "Luna Subortus" with a three-song "post-blackend sludge metal" EP, made up of reworked, unreleased Lanterns Awake material. Following that I would have released another three-song "frostland sludgecore" EP, made up of reworked, unreleased Murder on Redpath material.

But when reading the reviews for "Luna Subortus", one thing kept being mentioned almost every single time; people want a full-length album. So I decided to go for that idea. It's a new direction for Vision Lunar, since initially I was only releasing singles in 2006 and 2007. This year I attempted an EP and people still want more songs! It's very flattering. I'm not sure if all, or any of the songs planned for the other two EPs will be used on the full-length. One thing that I am confident about is that it will be a concept album. I would also like to have a few guests on it. Thanks for this interview and thanks for caring!

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Tundra Interview

samedi 24 octobre 2015 à 23:08
> 1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
> First of all, thanx for your interest in our band.
> The new album "The Burning Fanatism" is completed from some times but will be released in the next days by Avantgarde Music. The recordings started in december 2011, and due to many shit happened during the following years, it seems that only now we have arrived at the end of this tunnel. Of course in the meantime we have done some other split releases as usual, ad there were many line-up changes as always in the story of the band. Actually we are putting the last touches on the material for a split album with italian band Vardan that will be released probably at the end of the year, and we have already completed works for a new full lenght album. There is always lot of ideas and stuff coming.
> 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?
> Due to some delay with the pressing plant, the album will be released during the last week of october. The music is always the same, as everything in the album was written by me (except one riff). The differences of course are into performance, as the musicians involved are the top for this genre: I found useless to write any kind of adjectives regarding Shatraug and Thorns. They are just the best. Differences can be found also into recording: we are raw as usual, but in a more professional way thanx to the help of the friends involved like Davide from Frostmoon Eclipse.
> 3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
> I usually write always about the same things: hate towards the society surrounding me. Its the same since the beginning, sometimes it comes in a different way and wrapped into a sort of little fiction story, but most of the time I go straight to the point. I don't like this philosophical way into black metal, I prefer a fist in the face. New stuff is more or less the same, also if the subjects could seems different. For example, the next full length is a concept album based on tv series Twin Peaks, exploring the human side of it, the connection between the evil and obscure subjects with the humans.
> 4.A few months back you where a part of a split with 'Korium', what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the recording?
> I simply love Korium. I feel a deep respect for Koronas, one of the few individual totally devoted to to a certain way to intend black metal. We need more projects like this into the black metal music.
> 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?
> Since the beginning of the band, our live activity is too little to pick up a best show. I can say at a personal level that I will never forget playing some of our old gigs because we shared the night with some of my favourite bands, but its just something regarding me, its not about a memorable concert for fans, like Kiss or Maiden. We go on the stage and we just try to unleash the same vibes that we have when we create our music.
> 6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
> The idea is to organize a number of selected shows to support the new album during the year 2016. One is already confirmed for June the 2nd, the Howling At The Moon Festival, together with our czech brothers Inferno and others bands to be confirmed. We hope to confirm some other gigs in the next months. Actually I am trying to work on a more solid stage persona image for the whole band, to support visually the same impact of the music. Nothing particular anyway, we don't need and nobody need it.
> 7.I know that one of the band members also runs 'Slava Satan Records', can you give us an update on what is going on with that label these days?
> I am behind the label, that was, is and will be always an hobby. As every little underground label, the activities are strictly connected with the problems related to  private life, so actually is in a sort of "on-hold" status. I will release for sure Tundra stuff under this name, and some other little things strictly connected with my close contacts, but for the rest I am not searching new bands and new releases to press.
> 8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to the newer music by fans of black metal?
> The term "worldwide" seems so weird when connected with my band. We are a very little entity, of course we have our little amount of followers (and I am glad and honoured of it), so I can't really talk about a worldwide feedback. I can say that everytime we have a new release out, some maniacs are interested to get it, so I am feeling great.
> 9.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?
> I sometimes help a friend of mine with the black metal project Agonia Blackvomit: there is a new album based on an interesting concept out on the end of the year. I also help my brothers in Lost Reflection, an hard \ rock bands, so I can entertain myself playing my Precision Bass as my hero Steve Harris. The actual Tundra guitar player is involved into the black metal project Under (they have a split cd out the past september) and also play bass into the hardcore band Galera, they have a strong sound and a very dedicated underground approach.
> 10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
> We are heading nowhere. As usually most of the music and lyrics are coming from me, and I am not going to change my style, I don't feel the need. Sometimes stuff will be more raw and lo-fi, sometimes will be more atmospheric, but its always the same story: we have a strong derivative and unoriginal style, but with every new releases people tell me that it sounds Tundra. 80% of my lifetime I listen to Iron Maiden, so for sure you will forever find melodies in our music.
> 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?
> As I have already wrote, I listen mainly Iron Maiden since I was a child, I totally worship their works, also the new ones and the Blaze-era. Of course I am a sort of music-addicted, I buy cds every week, most of the times I don't pay the bills of my house to buy cds. I like many styles, but Black Metal is still my favourite, and I smile when I read or listen people telling that the genre is dead. My musical influences are all here, into Iron Maiden and into Black Metal. Films and books are also an inspiration, but mainly the daily shitty life.
> 12.How would you describe your views on Satanism and Occultism?
> Regarding Occultism, I was always fascinated by this topic. Unfortunately I never had the time, and probably the guts, to examinate it in a deep way. Talking about Satanism, I use this word to convey a personal way to intend all the aspects of my life. I don't tend to be part of any religious circle (apart when we talk about my favourite soccer team).
> 13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
> Again, thank you for interest in Tundra and for the interview, really appreciated. You can find info about our activities through our official website or following our facebook page. My last thought is for Vlad Blasphemer from Maniac Butcher, that recently left us forever.

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