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Svartalfar Interview

vendredi 24 décembre 2021 à 00:11

 

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


Blot: We are trying to promote our album and hope that the people support it.


Mallorn: We have not been lazy since then, but are already working on our next album for which most of the songs are already written. We are rehearsing on a regular basis and thus working on or refining our material.


 


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


Blot: The big difference is that in the past I used to play guitar for svartalfar and  wrote the whole music. Since the reunion I have switched to drums and Mallorn is the main songwriter so maybe he can explain the difference between the past and now.


Mallorn: Personally I think, that the music on our new album is not vastly different from our two previous releases. I’d say, compared to „Raunacht“ it’s a bit more subtle and sophisticated, which has also to do with the overall concept of the album. While „Raunacht“ was about traditions and folktales of the Alpine regions, which is reflected in a more straight forward kind of song writing, capturing the atmosphere of bonfires in a snowy winternight,  „Geisterwerk“ echoes haunted forests and abysses of the psyche. Thus, it has more of an eerie, spectral vibe to it. Take for example the main riff of the opener „Von Geisterhand“, which has this ghastly, yet mournful melody that sets the stage for what is yet to come.


 


3.The band was broken up for 14 years, what was the cause of the split and also the decision to reform?


Blot: A few different things came up in 2005. Our drummer went to America to study and the other members were more focused on their other bands. So we lost our rehearsing room and there was a lack of motivation. I had wanted to reactivate svartalfar for a long time, so I got in touch with mallorn so we were able to come back from the dead.


Mallorn: It was Blot’s idea to come up with something to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band and I immediately liked it. We had barely ever seen each other in the years since the split, but when we met in the rehearsal room, the old magic was still there. We started jamming and straight away the first songs for our ep „Von Niedergang und Neubeginn“ began to develop. Hence, it soon became clear to us, that this was more than just a nostalgic meeting of former band members, but that we wanted to continue making music together. At first it was a bit disappointing that none of the other members shared our motivation and dedication, but now I think that everything works perfectly well with our current line-up as a duo.


 


4.The lyrics on the new album where inspired by the writings of  Gerhart Hauptmann', can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in his writings?


Mallorn: Gerhart Hauptmann was a German writer of the 19th century with a focus on poverty and social criticism. Although he was by no means an author of horror or gothic fiction, many of his works have a very dark and eerie atmosphere and „Bahnwärter Thiel“ is a prime example for that. It is the story of a simple, pious protagonist from the working class, who gets mentally unhinged by the early death of his wife. He finds consolation in the woods where he cherishes her memory to such an extent that he starts having visions of her. After the death of his son in an accident he totally loses his mind and becomes a murderer. It’s not so much the plot itself that I found intriguing, but rather the way Hauptmann tells it – the detailed and beautiful descriptions of the forest and the protagonist’s longing for his deceased wife; his visions of her and how you can’t be certain whether they are just in his mind, or actual spectral apparitions; the overall melancholy and hopelessness of the story. I found all of this very inspiring and fitting to the music we wrote at that time.


 


5.What are some of the other lyrical topics and subjects the band has explored over the years with their music?


Mallorn: Since we are looking back at a fairly long band history and three different lyricists, our focus has naturally changed over the years. The lyrics for our first albums were written by Firnwulf and mainly deal with paganism, when Herr Grimm took over, the focus shifted to topics dealing with mental issues and nature. I have written the lyrics for our three most recent releases and my approach is largely inspired by philosophical and literary topics. Generally speaking I’d say that the lyrics have always played an important role for our music and we never tried to adapt the typical black metal chlicés, but create something of our own.


Blot: We have always dealt with topics like sadness, darkness and misanthropy but were also influenced by prose or classical literature.


 


6.I know that the bands name comes from the 'Prose Edda', do the band members have an interest in Nordic Paganism and Mythology?


Mallorn: In one way or the other, mythology has often played an important role in our music. It’s true that our band name derives from Norse mythology where it refers to dark creatures who shun the light and are generally up to no good. Alberich of the Nibelung circle is probably the most well-known example. However, I’d say that our focus has shifted over the years, as our lyrics deal with mythology from our home country rather than with that of Northern Europe. As already mentioned, our ep „Raunacht“ is an example for that and the lyrical concept of our upcoming album might also go in that direction.


Blot: I have been very interested in this topic since my youth. I also like to read about nordic mythology. I love nature and like to roam through the forests, lakes and mountains. i would say I am nordic spiritual. I am also into runemagic.


 


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


Mallorn: The artwork was made by Varises Otak, who is an incredibly talented artist and has already worked with big bands, such as Amon Amarth. When the lyrical concept developed it was clear to us that we wanted a cover artwork that represents the vibe and atmosphere of the album. Especially if you make a concept album, it is vital that each part of it fits and supports the overall atmosphere and usually the album cover is the first impression people get. So we summed up the most important aspects of our concept and sent it to Varises. It only took two or three sketches for him to come up with the perfect artwork for our album. In my opinion it perfectly expresses the dark, mysterious and melancholic vibe of our songs.


 


8.Currently there are only 2 members in the band but the band had a full line up in the past, are you open to expanding the line up again in the future or do you prefer to remain a duo?


Blot: I am fully satisfied that we have only been acting as a duo since the beginning of the year. For me it definitely has more advantages than disadvantages. There are also other great black metal duos like Darkthrone or Satyricon, hehehe; and for live performances we get support from a other band.


Mallorn: I definitely agree that at the moment we are perfectly fine with working as a duo. We are both very motivated and invest a lot of time and energy in our music and personally I think it’s better to have two members with 100% motivation each than four with 50%. However, it was not a conscious decision to be a duo, but rather the outcome of a natural process. When Blot reformed Svartalfar in 2019, the two of us were the only ones who really were into making music. Hence, it might be possible that other members join us in the future, if they share our motivation and vision.   


 


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


Blot: We did a few live shows back in the days before the hiatus and yes, we would actually be very motivated for live shows. We rehearse regularly as a duo, but because of covid it’s very difficult to do live shows at the moment. But if anyone wants us on their show, they  should just contact us or Pesttanz. We would love set your stage on fire with our songs!


 


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


Blot: we got great feedback from all over the world and there is a massive support from (fan)zines, youtube channels and listeners. We are really grateful that after our long break there are so many people out there who like our music.


 


11.What is going on with 'OnlyBadEndings' these days?


Blot: At the moment i'm writing a few songs if I have time and there is still enough unreleased stuff. But it is not yet clear when it will be released or in which constellation. I don't want to limit myself with onlybadendings and have also planned songs with other musicians. At the moment all my other bands have to accept Svartalfar’s priority, hehehe.


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


Mallorn: As in the past, we do exactly what we want. When we released „Von Niedergang und Neubeginn“ there were people calling us „anachronistic“ and „nostalgic“ because we didn’t heed any trends or what was popular at that time. Others perceived „Raunacht“ as extremely raw, which is equally weird if you take the subtleties in songwriting and songstructure into consideration. When it comes to our music, we follow our individual path, regardless of what people might expect or what is currently on vogue.


Of course there are also certain elements of continuity. Since our reunion both of us have developed as musicians and certain ideas that we couldn’t quite realize by the time we recorded „Von Niedergang und Neubeginn“ work much better nowadays.


 


13.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?


Blot: I listen to a lot of different styles and music: Spectral wound, Maiden, Grab, Paysage D´hiver, older stuff like Lunar Aurora, Taake but also the new Killers album is great. Listen also to the album by our friends Plaguepreacher. Really great black metal


Mallorn: As far as black metal is concerned, my favourite bands are Dissection, Naglfar and Emperor. But I also listen to other genres a lot, such as melodic death metal, power metal and classical music. To me, it’s not so much a question of the genre, but rather of the atmosphere.


 


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


Blot: Thank you for your time and the interview and we hope to see you soon on some live shows. And get our album it's worth it.


Mallorn: Thanks a lot for the interview and your interesting questions. Be sure to check our new album „Geisterwerk“!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ thetrveSvartalfar/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_ trve_svartalfar/

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2021/12/svartalfar-interview.html


Mur/Cut The Rivers Vein/2022 Full Length Review

vendredi 24 décembre 2021 à 00:01

 


  Mur  are  a  solo  project  from  Minnesota  that has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  goes  for  an  esoteric  mixture  of  black,  sludge  and  funeral  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  album  "Cut  the  Rivers  Vein"  which  will  be  released  in  2022.


  Acoustic  guitars  start  off  the  album  and  also  bring  in  elements  of  folk  music  while  the  heavier  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody.  Clean  vocals  can  also  be  heard  in  some  parts  of  the  recording  along  with  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  being  heavily  rooted in  funeral  doom  metal  and  capturing  the  heaviness  of  sludge  metal.


  Spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  while  most  of  the  vocals  are  high  pitched  black  metal  screams.  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  along  with  some  death  metal  growls  also  being  utilized  at  times  and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.


  Most  of  the  tracks  are  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  the  music  also  mixing  in  90's  influences  with  the  more  modern  era,  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  acoustic  guitars  also  make  a  return  on  some  of  the  later  tracks  and  a  small  amount  of  tremolo  picking  can  also  be  heard  on  the  closing  track.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  Romantic-Era  ideas,  Existentialism  and  the  Apocryphal  Hellfire  of  the  writings  of  William  Blake.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black,  sludge  and  funeral  doom  metal  with  some  elements  of  folk  music,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Lowered  Cloud"  and  "Breach  &  Bitter".  8  out  of  10.


        Bandcamp:    https://murmn.bandcamp.com/album/cut-the-rivers-vein    

             Facebook:      https://www.facebook.com/murminnesota        

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2021/12/murcut-rivers-vein2022-full-length.html


Midnartiis/Sinew Of Sol/Naturmacht Productions/2021 Full Length Review

jeudi 23 décembre 2021 à 05:55

 


  Midnartiis  are  a  solo  project  from  Texas  that  plays  a  very  atmospheric  form  of  black  metal  with  some  elements  of  folk  music  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2021  album  "Sinew  Of  Sol"  which  will  be  released  on  December  31st  by  Naturmacht  Productions.


  Heavy  yet  melodic  riffing  starts  off  the  album  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  also  adding  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  as  well  as  the  vocals  also  being  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  at  times  the  music  also  gets  very  atmospheric  sounding.


  When  acoustic  guitars  are  utilized  they  also  bring  in  elements  of  folk  music  while  stringed  instruments  can  also  be  heard  briefly.  A  couple  of  the  tracks  are  also  instrumentals along  with  a  great  portion  of  the  songs  also  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  some  death  metal  growls  also  being  utilized  briefly  and  when  the  music  finally  speeds  up  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard,  clear  vocals  are  also  added  on  the  closing  song.


  Midnartis  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  atmospheric  and  mid  tempo  as  well  as  mixing  in  some  folk  music  oriented  instrumentals  to  create  a  sound  of  his  own.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  esoteric,  occultism  and  nature  themes.  


  In  my  opinion  Midnartis  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  black  metal  solo  project  with  elements  of  folk  music  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of   those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Sinew  of  Sol"  and  "Faustian  Pact".  8  out  of  10.


Video link


  


   

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2021/12/midnartiissinew-of-solnaturmacht.html


Krvvla/X/Brucia Records/2022 CD Review

jeudi 23 décembre 2021 à 05:02

 


  Krvvla  are  a  band  from  Belarus  that h as  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  plays  a  dissonant  form  of  post  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  album  "X"  which  will  be  released  in  2022  by  Brucia  Records.


  A  very  dark  sounding  intro  starts  off  the  album  while  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard  in  some  parts  of  the  recording.  Demonic  voices  can  also be  heard  briefly  along  with  the  heavier  riffing  also  adding  in  a  decent  amount  of  dissonant  structures  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.


  When  tremolo  picking  is  utilized  they  also  give  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams.  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  some  death  metal  growls  also  being  utilized  at  times.


  Elements  of  hardcore  can  also  be  heard  in  the  mid  tempo  sections  of  the  songs  along  with  the  music  also  being  heavily  influenced  by  post  black  metal.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  despair  and  oppression  themes.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Krvvla  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  dissonant  post  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "XII"  "XVII".  8  out  of  10.    


    

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2021/12/krvvlaxbrucia-records2022-cd-review.html


Clamosum/Kosmoksen Morsian/Drakkar Productions/2021 EP Review

jeudi 23 décembre 2021 à 04:00

 


  Clamosum  are  a  band  from  Finland  that  plays  a  very  raw  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  ep  "Kosmoksen  Morsian"  which  was  released  by  Drakkar  Productions.


  Clean  playing  starts  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  while  the  tremolo  picking  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling.  Vocals  are  mostly  angry  sounding  black  metal  screams  along  with  the  faster  sections  of  the  tracks  also  adding  in  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats.


  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  melodies  are  also  added  into  some  of  the  guitar  riffing.  The  songs  also  show  influences  from  both  the  old  school  and  modern  era's  of  the  genre  along  with  the  clean  guitars  also  making  a  return  on  the  later  tracks  and  the  closing  song  is  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length  which  also  adds  in  a  brief  use  of  keyboards.


  Clamosum  plays  a  style  of  black  emtal  that  is  very  raw  and  traditional  sounding.  The  production  sounds  very  raw  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Finnish  and  cover  existentialism  themes.


  In  my  opinion  Clamosum  are  a  very  great  sounding  raw  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Kosmoksen  Morsian".  8  out  of  10.


https://drakkar-productions-official.bandcamp.com/album/clamosum-kosmoksen-morsian

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2021/12/clamosumkosmoksen-morsiandrakkar.html