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Narrenwind/Ja, Dago/Pagan Records/2019 CD Review

vendredi 13 septembre 2019 à 09:28

  Narrenwind  are  a  band  from  Poland  that  has  had  an  album  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  plays  a  very  epic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  "Ja,  Dago"  which  will  be  released  on  September  24th  by  Pagan  Records.

  A  very  epic  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  synths  and  spoken  word  parts  a  few  seconds  later.  Clean  playing  and  acoustic  guitars  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  the  second  track  also  shows  the  music  going  into  a  heavier  direction  but  also  mixing  it  with  the  more  atmospheric  elements.

  Some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  the  vocals  are  done  in  mostly  a  deep  black  metal  style  along  with  some  grim  yet  high  pitched  screams  also  being  utilized  at  times.  The  riffs  also  ad  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  as  well  as  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  some  horned  instruments  also  being  introduced  on  one  of  the  tracks  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  progressive  feeling,  elements  of  viking  metal  can  also  be  heard  in  some  parts  of  the  music,  all  of  the  music  sticks  to  either  a  slow  or  mid  tempo  direction  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  folk  instruments  can  also  be  heard.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Polish  and  are  inspired  by  the  "Dagome  ludex"  trilogy  written  by  Zbigniew  Nienacki. 

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Narrenwind  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  epic  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Zadza  Cynow"  "Tyrfing"  and  "Dolina  Smierci".  8  out  of  10.

https://youtu.be/uow5w7S8E2Y

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2019/09/narrenwindja-dagopagan-records2019-cd.html


Downcross/What Light Covers Not/Cavum Atrum Rex/219 Full Length Review

vendredi 13 septembre 2019 à 08:15

  Downcross  are  a duo  from  Belarus  that  has  had  an  album  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  an  anti  cosmic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  "What  Light  Covers  Not"  which  was  released  by  Cavum  Atrum  Rex.

  A  very  fast  and  raw  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats.  The  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  sounding  black  metal  screams  and  the  music  also  has  a  lot  of  roots  in  the  90's  style.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  the  vocals  also  add  in  a  small  amount  of  growls  at  times.  A  couple  of  tracks  are  also  instrumental  and   also  adds  in  dark  soundscapes  and  classical  guitars   before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  on  the  following  tracks  and  a  couple  of  songs  are  long  and  epic  in  length.

  On  this  recording  Downcross  remain  true  to  the  anti  cosmic  style  of  black  metal  that  was  established  on  their  previous  release.  The  production  sounds  very  raw  and  heavy  while t he  lyrics  cover  Anti  Cosmic  Satanism,  Occultism  and  Left  Hand  Path  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  album  from  Downcross  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  anti  cosmic  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "To  Cross  The  Path  Of  Fire"  and  "Folloing  Vama  Marga".  8  out  of  10.

Bandcamp:  https://downcross.bandcamp.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/downcrossofficial/ 

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2019/09/downcrosswhat-light-covers-notcavum.html


Serpent Column/Mirror In Darkness/Mystiskaos/2019 Full Length Review

jeudi 12 septembre 2019 à 21:01

  Serpent  Column  are  a  duo  from  the  United  States  that  plays  a  dissonant  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  "Mirror  In  Darkness"  which  was  released  by  Mystiskaos.

  A  very  fast  and  raw  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats.  Vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  along  with  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  great  amount  of  dissonant  structures  which  also  shows  up  in  some  of  the  solos  and  leads.

  Dark  sounding  melodies  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

 The  music   brings  in  mostly  a  modern  style  of  black  metal  along  with  one  track  which  also  introducing  acoustic  guitars  onto  the  recording  briefly  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  as  well  as  the  music  also  getting  very  technical  and  progressive  sounding  at  times  and  some  songs  also  add  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing,  harsh  noise  elements  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  a  couple  of  tracks  are  instrumentals.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  Greek  Mythology,  Philosophy  and  History  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Serpent  Column  are  a  very  great  sounding  dissonant  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Promise  Of  The  Polls"  "Amphiclasm"  and  "Warlords  Of  The  World  To  Come".  8  out  of  10.

https://serpentcolumn.bandcamp.com/album/mirror-in-darkness 

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2019/09/serpent-columnmirror-in.html


Arx Atrata Interview

jeudi 12 septembre 2019 à 10:53
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?

Arx Atrata plays atmospheric black metal inspired by a range of bands - Coldworld, Winterfylleth, Lustre, Agalloch, etc. I wanted to take the beauty of the slower and more synth-led atmospheric black metal bands and pair that with some influences from the more aggressive and faster acts.

Currently I write and record all the instruments myself, but one day I might assemble a live line-up if possible.


2.In October you have a new album coming out, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

I don't think that it does differ from past releases - or at least, certainly not deliberately. The songs are entirely new, of course! I always try to find new ways to express the moods and atmospheres that are important. But I want each album to be part of a cohesive body of work, so there are no big changes. I always listen to the previous songs while writing new ones, and it helps me keep everything coherent.


3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored over the years with your music?

The lyrical themes tend to be around fairly abstract concepts - the end of civilizations, the nature of mortality, the relationship between time and place, and so on. A couple of tracks tell a bit more of a story but they're the exception.


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

It is simply Latin for "blackened citadel". There is no deeper meaning to it, apart from just to create an image in the mind.


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

The artwork was produced by Namurian Visions for this album, and is an abstract piece that visually captures the same moods I try and capture with music - open landscapes, distant ruins, the sense of something
unsettling and otherworldly. The artist talked about "the concept of hallowed, ancient spaces as a bridge between worlds" and that sums it up. When you see a derelict castle or a centuries-old path across hills there is a whole history of people and events tied to that location. Many of Arx Atrata's songs relate to those themes.


6.With this project you record everything by yourself but also have experience playing with a full band, how would you compare the two?

It is much as you might expect; with a band you have to have lots of discussions and reach lots of compromises, but as a solo artist you just do what you feel is right. A band gives more opportunity to get on stage and share music with people directly but it is a lot of work to get to that point! I am glad to have both experiences.


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

I have received several offers over the years, most of them being very bad. The sad truth is that with fewer people paying for music these days, record labels have less money to invest in musicians. So I get offers like, "We'll print 500 CDs, and we pay you nothing, but you get 100 CDs to sell". Nobody should be accepting deals like that.

Maybe in future a better offer will come along, but as a solo artist it's hard to promote the music via live shows so bigger labels will be cautious to invest, and I fully understand that. So I'm open to offers but not holding my breath.


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

The first album Oblivion was received far more positively than I could have imagined, and the follow-up Spiritus In Terra got equally good comments, so it's been very humbling. I've had musicians whom I know and respect contact me about my work, which inspires me to continue.

9.What is going on with 'Twilight's Embrace' these days?

We're writing a second album. That has taken longer than I would have liked, mostly due to my commitments with Arx Atrata and also my role as a guitarist in Fjords (https://www.facebook.com/fjordsofficial/), who also have an album coming in November. I'm hoping Twilight's Embrace will be able to get back on the road next year and take our melodic doom-death back to the people.


10.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the
future?

I don't expect much to change, although I'd be interested in creating some dark ambient works, if time allows. The three main acts take precedence however!

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


Like many metal fans I grew up with Iron Maiden, but later on I discovered the Peaceville Three (Paradise Lost, Anathema, My Dying Bride) and really got into that kind of doom metal. It was years before I really learned to appreciate black metal but the UK bands that emerged over the last 10 years really inspired me - Wodensthrone, Winterfylleth, Fen, Old Corpse Road. Those, coupled with a lot of the explicitly atmospheric acts with heavy synths and often having a blackened doom aesthetic, gave me a good selection of influences to draw upon.

In recent years bands like The Great Old Ones and Der Weg Einer Freiheit have set new standards for me in how black metal can be fast and aggressive without compromising on complex melody and harmony, so I have their records on constant rotation.

Other notable mentions include the (relatively) recent releases by Fellwarden, Sojourner, and Pillorian. I've not found much time for records from this year yet, but that will change once this release is done!

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

I enjoy spending time in the countryside and walking in the Peak District area near my home is a great way to relax and get inspiration. When at home, I'm a video game developer by trade so when I'm not working on music I might be working on or playing video games, RPGs and strategy games especially.


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

Nothing more except to say thank you for your interest in my work, and I hope you enjoy The Path Untravelled on October 11th.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNEZjQcGJn0

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2019/09/arx-atrata-interview.html


And Now The Owls Are Smiling Interview

jeudi 12 septembre 2019 à 10:37
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?

And Now The Owls Are Smiling was born from needing a vent to scream. A way to release deep-rooted frustration, melancholy, despair and isolation.

2.In November you have a new album coming out, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

I don't know if it differs as such from stuff that has come before. I like to think of it as the next step on the ladder of maturity with the sound. If you listen to the first demo 'The Brooding', it's very raw and basic. 'Desolation' took that sound and honed it somewhat and I think last years ep 'Ignis Fatuus' carried that on. I don't want to do anything too different. Just keep progressing and polishing the sound that has come before. I still want everything to sound like ANTOAS, but each release, a little more grown up.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with the music?

Three words: Misery. Nature. Misery. I try to write lyrics about what I know. I'm not going to write Satanic Black Metal because it would be untrue to who I am and what I'm trying to do. I have always loved the outdoors and the natural world. And I have always been a miserable fucker. For me to try and write about anything else would be a mockery because I don't understand anything else. I dislike falseness. I don't worship Satan and it would be ridiculous for me to sing that I do.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'And Now The Owls Are Smiling'?

I have been asked this many many times. I live in a rural village in North Norfolk. My commute to work takes me through some beautiful countryside. One morning as dawn broke I saw a Barn Owl in a tree. As I went past, it looked at me and I swear it smiled. It made me think, if the animals are now so unafraid of humans as to smile, then we as a species are totally doomed. The song 'An Idictment' on the new album deals with this very theme.

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

The front cover of the new album was taken at Castle Acre priory one gloomy winter afternoon. The reason I chose it is because I can't be bothered with finding pictures and trying to obtain permission to use them so it's a lot easier to use my own photographs. It's a bleak picture and it fits vey well with the bleakness of the sound of the album. I hope anyway.

6.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?

In theory, I'm not adverse to working with other people. But I do prefer working alone. I'm very much a loner anyway and I can take my time. For example the new album was complete back in February, and then I ditched half of it as it wasn't quite right. I don't have to show anyone new songs I've come up with or feel like their time has been wasted. Also, this is a very personal preject and if someone else tried to give me their opinion of how a riff/melody should be, it would piss me right off. So it's easier for me to be alone.

7.The new album is coming out on 'Clobber Records', how did you get in contact with this label?

I met the guys from Clobber after I had done a one off show at Darkness Over Cumbria back in June. I did some acoustic versions of songs from previous releases and Rebecca mentioned that they would possibly be interested in releasing future stuff and it went from there. They are great to work with and seem to really 'get' what I'm trying to do, which is so helpful.

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

I have very limited experience in regards to this if I'm honest. Everything I've done before has been self-released and therefore hasn't had much exposure around the globe. But what little feedback I have had has been mostly positive. It's nice in a way. I write music and lyrics that a) I would enjoy listening to, and b) I can connect with on a personal level. If other people dig that, then great. Working with Clobber I think is going to really help with getting my music heard by the right crowd. Not all black metal fans will like it, I understand and accept that. But the ones that do 'get it', they're the ones I write for. Anyone who wants melody and despair.

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

Doing this really. Again, I think I'm done with playing with other people so as long as the drive is there for me to continue and there is a strong enough desire from others to hear what I have to say, I'll still be making music.

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

I basically listen to Atmospheric Black Metal and traditional Folk music. Hopefully you can hear that in the sounds of ANTOAS. Both have had an equal effect in the music I create. If you can get it right, the harsh dirtyness of ABM mixed with the melody and feel of trad music is such an exciting recipe. From an outside stance, Folk is just morris dancing and drunk people playing fiddles, but 75% of the lyrics are dark, like really really dark. I try to combine the two genres. Artist wise, hmmm to describe ANTOAS sound take 20% each of Lustre, Nocturnal Depression, Steve Knightley and the melancholic side of Drudkh. I think that's a decent enough description.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

Photography and alcohol.

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

Not really no, other than thank you so much to anyone and everyone who has checked out and understood what I'm doing. It really is appreciated.
Thank you,
Nre / And Now The Owls Are Smiling.

Bandcamp
Facebook

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2019/09/and-now-owls-are-smiling-interview.html