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Ætheria Conscientia Interview

mercredi 31 mars 2021 à 02:19


1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

We are a sci-fi themed progressive black metal band from Nantes, France. We formed in 2016, on the ashes of our previous bands, willing to play black metal that embarks the listener on a journey through space. We try to incorporate various elements from progressive rock, doom metal, jazz and ambient in our music.

We released our first album, Tales from Hydhradh, in early 2018, and our new album, Corrupted Pillars of Vanity, is coming out on April 9th, 2021.

2. Recently you have released a new album. Musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

It’s the natural evolution of our first album, we pushed things further, breaking the codes even more stylistically, tried new things such as much more present percussions, more vocal styles, ambient layers, and a few other surprises. The songwriting is much better, the songs are more elaborate, with better arrangements and structures relating to the story we’re telling through our music and lyrics. The album’s story and music were built together, as we were trying to create a much more coherent record.

3. A lot of your lyrics cover science fiction and space themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those subjects?

The four of us are big fans of science fiction, over several media such as movies, comics, video games, books, visual arts etc… Our main influences are the BioShock video game series, Star Wars, H.P Lovecraft, Isaac Asimov, Fahrenheit 451, a lot of cyberpunk and sci-fi/horror movies…. all this stuff is our common background and has influenced us in the creation of our own universe, with its own story.

Everything revolves around the planet Hydhradh, a corrupted environment where humanity tries to survive, eons after our era, and each song we’ve written is like a small window opened on this world. Everything is part of a much bigger story and universe that is always expanding, and that we try to keep coherent.

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

It’s latin for “Ethereal Consciousness”, which is the divinity worshipped by the people of Hydhradh, and can be interpreted in many different forms. So religion and spirituality are pretty central in the themes evoked in our stories.

5. Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the album cover?

The artwork was created by our dear friend Amaury Pottier, who had already done the artwork for our first release, and managed to perfectly encapsulate the spirit of our universe in his works. It relates the most to the album’s final songs, forming the “Absurd Crusade” diptych, depicting the arrival of cultists into the depths of Hydhradh, looking for what they believe to be the answer to all of their questions, only to face the Kholoss, elder guardians devoted to the Ætheria.

And in addition to the album’s artwork, Amaury created illustrations for each individual song on the record, contributing to our visual universe.

(link to Amaury Pottier’s Instagram account :

6. Has the band done any live shows or open to the idea ?

We have done a few shows, some with big names such as Tchornobog, Borgne, White Ward or Uada, but obviously the global pandemic has put an end to the whole live industry. For now, we’d rather focus on creating new music and content. Maybe we’ll start playing shows again in the upcoming years, but it’s not planned in the near future.

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

We reached a few labels when we were planning the album’s release but we quickly decided to remain independent for this record, and it was an interesting and formative experience to keep our hands and eyes on all the aspects of the release. For now we’re happy as it is, but maybe in the future we’ll change the way we work, we’re not closed to a collaboration.

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

(At the time of writing, only our first album Tales from Hydhradh (2018) and one song from the upcoming album  Corrupted of Vanity (2021) has been publicly released)

To our knowledge, people seemed to understand that our goal is to embark the listener on a journey through our music, and the response to it has been generally pretty good. Maybe a few people were put off by our experimentations, but that’s something we’re expecting and fully okay with.

9. What is going on with 'Ediakara' these days, which shares some of the same members?

This band does not exist anymore, it was Paul and Alexis’ first band together, that merged with Cosmic Storm (Tristan, Paul and P.A. previous band) to become Ætheria Conscientia. These bands really weren't much more than teenagers’ first bands, even though some elements of it can still be found in the music we play today.

10. You also had a guest appearance from a member from 'White Ward', can you tell us a little bit more about his contribution on the recording?

We had the chance to meet the guys from White Ward when we played a few gigs together in late 2019, and they are great people. Given our mutual respect and common musical backgrounds, it seemed natural to engage in a collaboration. So we invited Dima to perform two saxophone solos (on Elevation in Arrogance) and Andrii to sing (on Asporos’ Altering Odyssey, the album’s opening track), and we’re really happy with what came from their participation. We look forward to doing more stuff with them in the future and collaborating with more people.

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

We’re planning to develop our whole universe, release new stuff more frequently and try new things musically, exploring new genres such as psychedelic, doom, sludge, maybe an acoustic release, those are a few things we have in the pipes. We have lots of ideas and look forward to presenting them to you !

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

When we first started we were influenced by Mare Cognitum, Blut aus Nord, Voivod, King Crimson, mainly progressive rock or metal and atmospheric black metal. Nowadays, while it is still the music we love and an integral part of our musical DNA, we’re taking more influences from bands such as Oranssi Pazuzu, Aluk Todolo, The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble or Yob.

    Apart from the band’s influences, we all listen to a pretty large musical spectrum, from french disco-pop to avant-garde death metal, from dark-jazz to powerviolence. 

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

Thank you for the interview and your interest in the band, thanks to everyone listening to our music, that has been supporting us in any way. We hope you will enjoy Corrupted Pillars of Vanity, we’re excited to hear your opinion about it.


Alexis, Paul, P.A. and Tristan.

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Last Decline/...Cras Nihil/2020 Full Length Review

mardi 30 mars 2021 à 05:44


  Last  Decline  are  a  band  from  Latvia  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  very  raw  and  depressive  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2020  album  "...Cras  Nihil".

  A  very  fast  and  raw  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking.  Vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  yet  depressive  black  metal  screams  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  great  amount  of  90's  influences  without  sounding  outdated  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  the  main  focus  is  on  a  faster  direction.  All  of  the  drum  beats  are  also  programmed  along  with  most  of  the  riffing  being  power  chord  driven  and  only  adding  in  a  brief  use  of  melody  as well  as  the  album  closes  with  a  cover  of  Kino's  "The  Tree"  which  also  introduces  clean  playing  into  the  music.

  On  this  recording  Last  Decline  takes  their  raw  and  depressive  style  of  black  metal  into  a  more  aggressive  direction  than  what  was  presented  on  previous  releases.  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  death,  suicide,  depression,  misanthropy,  nihilism  and  occultism  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Last  Decline  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  raw  and  depressive  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "...Cras  Nihil"  and  "Necromantic  Ritual".  8  out  of  10.     

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Rituals Of The Dead Hand Interview

mardi 30 mars 2021 à 04:49


Answers by Isangrim

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

Well, to be completely honest, nothing much. We prepared everything that was needed for the release, like artwork, shirt designs and stuff like that, but that was about it, really. We are a band that doesn't rehearse much anyway, we only did that when shows were coming up, and those were quite rare on their own. So with absolutely no shows planned for the near future, there's isn't even much need for rehearsing. However, when the world will finally get back on its feet, we would like to play significantly more shows than we did in the past, so there will probably be more activity by the end of the year. Hopefully…

2.In May you have a new album coming out, musically how does it differ from your previous release?

In the first place, it's a continuation of the previous record since it still is a mixture of death-, black- and doom metal, but in general the songs are maybe a little bit more complex and, in their own way, sophisticated. There's a bit more happening in terms of dynamics and structure. Secondly, I think the atmosphere is even darker and more suffocating on this one, sometimes even downright unsettling. There are these, more or less, ritualistic parts, ultra slow crushing doom bits that tend to really get under your skin. We even used some string arrangements, done by a project of a good friend of ours called "Halls Of Stained Glass", to create a sense of epic and dramatic grandeur. It's little things like that tend to make a difference and I think it's important to do stuff like this from time to time. That being said, there's a big chance that the next record will be raw and primitive as hell. Who knows? Time will tell. 

3.The lyrics on both of the albums cover the myths and folklore of the Buck Rider Cult, can you tell us a little bit more about how you got interested in this topic?

When Lykaios and I started this band, we wanted a concept that stood out. We didn't want to be the umpteenth black/death act to dive head first into the occult and the typical "Blood, Fire, Satan"-stuff was also not particularly high on our list. Absolutely no disrespect to bands that use these themes, we quite enjoy these ourselves, but we just wanted something different. I was going to be responsible for the lyrics, so it was really important to me that there was some connection with ourselves in order to create some authenticity. Personally, I love history, mythology and folklore and I love bands who explore and incorporate this into their music. And I especially adore the ones that explore their own history, because in my eyes that makes the most sense. Why should we, a band from Belgium, sing about Norse mythology or something like that? Although very interesting there's no real connection. The Buck Rider mythos however, is the perfect match. Not only are the tales of ruthless gangs of robbers that sold their souls to the devil and flew around on the backs of billy goats horrifically dark, brutal and sinister, they happened, allegedly, right under our very noses. The historical buck riders, or at least the people who were branded with this name, were active in the borderlands of Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands and that is actually very close to where we all live. In fact, the place where some of the trials and executions were held, is merely a few miles from my home. Now, it's important to note that the real buck riders were a lot less "impressive" than the devil worshipping murderers from the tales, nowadays they would be considered mere petty criminals, but their trials were pretty brutal and violent. In our lyrics we have a good mixture of folklore and historical aspects, all bathing in the dark atmosphere that is typical for both.

4.Are there any other lyrical topics or subjects that you plan to explore on future releases?

Good question. In fact, my first idea was to use other local folklore tales for this album, but then I realized there was much more to tell about the riders. Also, our bass player Beleth, who offered to write some lyrics as well (and did a terrific job, by the way) had some fresh ideas about different aspects of the cult, so before we knew it, we had a full album of "Rider"-lyrics again. As for future releases, I'm not entirely sure yet. maybe we dive into the lore some more, there are a lot more stories to tell, or maybe we'll focus on some different stuff.

5.All of the band members also have experience playing in other bands, what is it that you bring into the music of 'Rituals Of The Dead hand' that you where or not able to do with your other groups?

To put it simply, Lykaios and I started this band because we wanted to play some old school death- and black metal again. We both grew up with these genres and we still feel a strong connection with them. Our other band, Hemelbestormer, also shows some hints of black metal, but there it is merely one aspect of a whole range of influences. We always listen to all these cool death- and black metal records, both old school and recent releases, on our way to rehearsals and shows and one day the idea of playing that stuff again ourselves just popped up. Beleth, who we've known for years and even filled in on bass on a Hemelbestormer tour, loved what we did on our first album and joined soon after the recordings. He has a deep affection for old school post punk and new wave, the ultra black stuff, but is also firmly rooted in the metal underground. We use Rituals Of The Dead Hand to manifest this shared passion.

6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?

Well, more then any other subgenre of metal, and maybe any genre of music as a whole, underground metal music relies a lot on the power of the visual artwork surrounding it. It is a - pun intended – sacred thing in heavy metal. When going through the album bins at a record store, it is just that which captures the viewer’s eye, don’t you agree? Beleth, our bass player and art academy teacher, created it. He wanted to make sure that the album cover was a solid reflection on the atmosphere and ethos of the album, and offer the listener further depth into the music. Instead of using a ‘complete’ image, he decided to depict a part of the whole, since in many cases such an image is more powerful. And it’s quite simple: a wide-eyed goat is staring at you, quite terrifying in all simplicity, with a cloak of ambiguity draped over it: it stands there, calmly, as a prelude for the pillaging acts which are about to begin as soon as the night falls. Even the medium used is very simple but dark as nigh: pitch black Pierre Noire pencil on paper. That’s it.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Ha, since we've only played three shows so far, I would say all of them! Originally, it wasn't our intention to play live, but we loved the material so much that we changed our minds and decided to play a few shows here and there. But if I have to choose, I'd go for our show at Culthe Fest in 2019. It's a small, but excellent underground fest organized by wonderful, dedicated people who believed in us from day one. Very nice bill as well. As for our stage performance, nothing fancy, really. Just old school metal heads giving it all they can in an energetic show.

8.Both of the albums also have been released on 'Dunkelheit Produktion' are you happy with the support that they have given you over the years?

Yes, we are. They're dedicated people who show nothing but respect and passion for the music. Integrity has always been an important factor for us, in everything we do. In this regard, Dunkelheit and Rituals Of The Dead Hand are a good match. We don't play extreme music to sell thousands of copies or to play big arena's and they didn't take us in because they were expecting to wheel in tons of cash. We play this music because we love it and they support us for the same reason. In the end, that is what matters.

9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black, doom and death metal?

Well, we are a very small and obscure underground band with no real ambitions and expectations, but the overall reaction on our first record was very good. We didn't get that much exposure because we hardly played any shows, but everywhere we came people seemed to like what we did. At this moment, our second album hasn't  been released yet, so reactions remain to be seen. 

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?

Well, Hemelbestormer is about to release its third album in September, so that is something I'm really looking forward to. Without a doubt it's our darkest, heaviest and most dynamic record to date and anyone who's into doom/sludge/black/ambient stuff will surely not be disappointed. Furthermore, Lykaios is unleashing his new project Lhaäd upon the world in a few months and I can tell you that it sounds absolutely amazing. Think of Hate Forest mixed with Akhlys and Mysticum and you'll get an idea. Seriously, keep your eyes peeled for this one.

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

I think it's safe to say that we are a band that doesn't feel the urge to reinvent the wheel every time we make a new record. We have chosen our path and we most likely will stick to it. We're extremely happy with that. Of course, there can be some mild experiments to freshen things up, but like I said before, maybe we take it down a few steps and make the next one extra raw, brutal and primitive. 

12.What are you currently listening to nowadays?

Oh man, where to begin. Right now, I'm completely obsessed with the new Mare Cognitum-album. Highly recommended! The last couple of months gave us a treasure of great releases, by the way. Alkerdeel, Wolvennest, Emptiness (all from Belgium), The Ruins Of Beverast, Akhlys, Yoth Iria, … The list is almost endless and there's a lot more to come. But it doesn't have to be extreme stuff all the time, sometimes I really long for tranquility. Crippled Black Phoenix, Lunatic Soul, Nick Cave, … they all do the trick when I'm in that mood. Still mostly dark, atmospheric music for sure, because somehow I don't seem to like uplifting music that much. Still, there's a lot of great stuff out there for he who wants to look for it.

13.How would you describe your views on Occultism?

Fairly non-existent, to be completely honest. It can be an interesting matter and I enjoy listening to a lot of bands that embrace the occult and try to escape the mundane, but I'm not a practitioner or expert on the subject, nor will I pretend to be. It can create a fantastic atmosphere and, when done right, also strengthen the escapism that is music. Something about it feels very pure and honest and I can appreciate and love that for what it is.  

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

Thanks for the support and keep up the good work promoting real music!

Source :

Esoctrilihum/Dy'th Requiem For The Serpent Telepath/I, Voidhanger Records/2021 CD Review

mardi 30 mars 2021 à 04:38


  France's  solo  project  Esoctrilihum  has  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  shows  the  music  going  for  a  symphonic  and  occult  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  with  some  touches  of  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2021  album  "Dy'th  Requiem  For  The  Serpent  Telepath"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  I,  Voidhanger  Records.


  A  very  heavy,  dark  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  the  solos  and  leads  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  melody.  Symphonic  sounds  are  also  mixed  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  grim  sounding  black  metal  screams  as  well  as  some  whispers  also  being  utilized  at  times. 

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  while  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.  A  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length  along  with  the  slower  sections  of  the album  also  adding  in  elements  of  doom  metal.

  Stringed  instruments  can  also  be  heard  on  some  of  the  tracks  along  with  some  death  metal  growls  also  being  utilized  at  times.  When  tremolo  picking  is  utilized  it  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling  as  well  as  the  vocals  also  getting  more  high  pitched  in  some  parts  of  the  recording.

  Clear  singing  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  as  the  album  progresses  an  instrumental  can  also  be  heard  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing  and  pianos.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  a  concept  album  based  upon  the  story  of  the  death,  transfiguration  and  rebirth  of  the  serpent  Telepath  which  is  also  divided  into  four  different  chapters.   

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Esoctrilihum  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  symphonic  and  occult  black  and  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Sahln"  "Eginbaal"  "Dy'th"  and  "Nomines  har".  8/5  out  of  10.



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Forsmán/Dönsum i Logans Ljóma/Van Records/2021 EP Review

mardi 30 mars 2021 à 02:53


  Forsmán  are  a  band  from  Iceland  that  plays  a  very  melodic  and  melancholic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  ep  "Dönsum  i  Logans  Ljóma"  which  will  be  released  in  April  by  Van  Records.

  Apocalyptic  soundscapes  start  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  while  the  vocals  are  done  in  more  of  a  deep  black  metal  style.  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  When  tremolo  picking  is  utilized  it  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling  while  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody.  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  guitar  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  when  they  are  utilized  as  well  as  the  music  also  having  its  dissonant  and melancholic  moments,  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

   Forsmán  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  melodic,  melancholic  and  dissonant  sounding.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Icelandic  and  cover  dark  and  melancholic  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Forsmán  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic,  melancholic  and  dissonant  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Falsgod"  and  "Hanfarir".  8  out  of  10.  


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