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Batushka/Раскол/Raskol/Witching Hour Productions/2020 EP Review

vendredi 14 août 2020 à 11:02

  Batushka  are  a  band  from  Poland  that  has  had  music  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  plays  a  very  atmospheric  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  ep  "Раскол/Raskol"  which  was   released  by  Witching  Hour  Productions.

  Clean  playing  starts  off  the  ep  along  with  some  Gregorian  chants  a  few  seconds  alter  that  also  become  a  very  huge  part  of  the  recording.  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling  and  elements  of  doom  metal  can  also  be  heard  in  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs.

  High  pitched  black  metal  screams  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  the  recording  while  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.  Melodies  are  also  added  into  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  along  with  one  song  also  introducing  spoken  word  parts  into  the  music  as  well  as  a  couple  of  the  tracks  also  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  On  this  recording  Batushka  remains  true  to  the  choir  style  of  black  metal  that  they  have  established  on  previous  releases  as  well  as  getting  more  raw  and  aggressive  this  time  around.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Russian  and  Old  Slavonic  and  cover  Religion  and  Eastern  Orthodox  Liturgy  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Batushka  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of t his  band,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  " ИРМОС  I  /  IRMOS  I"  and  "ИРМОС  IV  /  IRMOS  IV".  8  out  of  10.


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Thelemic Gates Interview

jeudi 13 août 2020 à 21:26
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Thelemic Gates was formed in 2015 By Ignis(Guitars, keyboards) and Ruho(Vocals, drums), later in 2018 we developed into a full line-up as Phobos(Guitar), Deimos(Bass) and Noitavasara(Drums.). In mid 2020 Ruho decided to leave the band and was soon replaced by Castor as our lead vocalist. Our style is rather progressive, varied and melodic blackmetal, quite a unique beast in the Finnish scene.

2.So far you have released a demo, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?

Sielun koettelemuksien porteilla was very much influenced by the more melodic and melancholic style of black metal. Bands such as Baptism, Blood Red Fog, Cosmic Church and Alghazanth are bands that were listened to a lot at the time. Ignis has always been a fan of movie soundtracks and symphonic music in general, so that’s why the keyboard tracks are quite big. Yet they didn’t become full on symphonic, which was done on purpose.

3.All of the other band members are involved with other bands, what is it that you bring into the music of 'Thelemic Gates', that you are not able to do with your other groups?

Only our drummer and vocalist have other active projects, actually. Thelemic Gates plays black metal, and just like everyone knows, black metal is defined more by the ideological and lyrical aspects than the actual music. This opens a lot of wide doors and therefore we are able to incorporate various different styles and combine them into one cohesive sound. That’s something we have never been able to with any other bands or projects we have been involved with.

4. A lot of your lyrics cover occult and witchcraft themes and the name 'Thelemic Gates' came from the writings of Aliester Crowley, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the esoteric arts?

The world we live in is not what it seems on the outside and there’s so much more than what the eye can see. It is by going below the surface and studying different traditions you can truly see how this existence is built and how it operates. This enables you to reach your true potential and become something more than one could have thought. For us this is essential: This band is about growth and we’re constantly going beyond. Being stagnant is just simply not an option for us.

5.Your also cover nature worship, misanthropy, and anti authoritarian free thinking themes, can you tell us a little bit more about what these subjects mean to you?

Misanthropy is just a natural reaction to the vanity and the general state of humankind of today. It is about choosing to live your life as a wolf rather than a sheep and living by your own morals and rules. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. It is a good rule to live by: Live your life as you choose. Let your destiny be filled and see the world as it is.

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

The original artwork was created by Artifex IC, who is best known from his solo project IC Rex. The cover symbolizes a new beginning and steps into the unknown, which is very fitting since it’s our first release and a beginning of a new era in our lives. The cover shows twin pillars between which is a scroll that reads ‘PLVS VLTRA’ (plus ultra, further beyond) and they represent what we just wrote: The twin pillars and the scroll express harmony and balance, but they also represent a gateway to sacred and mysterious places, to the unknown and a chance for a new beginning. The tape release of the demo has artwork made by Noitavasara, drawing a lot from his personal experience and knowledge of the occult, nothing on the album art is by chance, all with hidden meanings and layers of symbology. The release of the tape was a numerological ritual which closely ties in with the contents of the album art.

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

We have played two live shows, and one of them is released on b-side of ‘Sielun koettelemuksien porteilla’ cassette. and will do more in the future.

8.'sfbm' also released your demo on cassette, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

SFBM is not really a label, nor are they a traditional distro either, but an alliance of black metal bands to sell their products through one channel. So they did not release the tape. They’re only distributing it. SFBM will, though, do some small runs of their own products. SFBM’s purpose is to gather black metal bands from the underground so that they can be promoted in unison. As said, it’s an alliance rather than a traditional distro or a label.

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

After setting on an extensive online promotion campaign not long ago, the response to everything from our music to lyrics to album art and concept has been overwhelmingly positive, there clearly is a wide and growing audience for us.

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

We have about an hour worth of unrehearsed material and we are looking to release them as a full length. The material is much more diverse than anything else we have done before. Influences include other styles of outside black metal or metal in general. Genres like occult rock, progressive rock, post-rock and even jazz and classical music are genres that have influenced these songs, yet they still have a strong extreme metal core. We would say that by the time we had written these songs we had found our style so we don’t see it changing drastically from what it is on these unrehearsed songs. The debut LP is well planned out in advance, but details of the release dates and formats are yet shrouded in mystery.

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?

As mentioned, the first demo was very much influenced by the more melodic style of black metal. Since then it has developed into a more diverse style with influences from other genres as well. Like occult rock, progressive rock, post-rock, jazz and classical music.
Nowadays our musical tastes are extremely varied. Some of these bands / artists / composers include Emperor, Deathspell Omega, Dødheimsgard, Oranssi Pazuzu, Gris, Miserere Luminis, If These Trees Could Talk, Syberia, King Crimson, Steven Wilson, The Devil’s Blood, Year Of The Goat, Blood Ceremony, The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, Bohren & der Club Of Gore, Message to Bears, John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Arnold Schönberg, Francisco Tárrega, Isaac Albéniz, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Queen and The Rolling Stones to name a few. Good music is good music and it would be foolish to limit yourself.

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

Greetings to Andras from A Mors Et Bello from Mexico and to the fantastic metal scene of the Americas!

This is only the beginning.


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Hengestaur Interview

jeudi 13 août 2020 à 21:13
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Hengestaur was created by me (Hesj) & Eirik in august 2016, at the time we was in another band together that played death metal, and we played a few gigs with them, but we grew really tired of some of them when we was set to record demos together. One of the members was dead set on making it «proffesional». And Our Vocalist couldnt make the screams he wanted. For my part it broke the whole shitshow, and me and eirik decided that we should make the best black metal there is, and a give a big FUCK YOU to all «proffesional» sounding, boring new bands.

2.Since 2018 you have released a good amount of singled,can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the songs?
Of course our musical style is fast grim black metal , But with the single like «Harahorn», the riffs sounded better as a more slow, hard-punching song. «Evige Straumar» and «To» are a bit simmilar to each other, with whirlwind riffs and blastbeats, most of our songs will eventually be more like them! On «To» you can hear a massive harmonica drone thing that Eirik calls a «Weeb» filter, so that listeners that cant stand our sound wont listen through all of it. I personally love that gimmick

3.So far all of your releases have been singles, are there any plans for an ep or a full length?
To begin with we wanted to release 1 Ep! And then 2 Eps, and now we are working on releasing 3 ALBUMS! Bold as hell, but we’ll see in the future what the final thing will be, we have tons of music, but i guess the most realistic thing we will do is release two eps, one light and one dark

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with the music?
So far with our singles we write about time and rebirth (Evige Straumar) Addiction (Harahorn) , be it alcohol, nicotine, whatever.. porn lmao and negation with our latest single «To». Eirik writes most of the lyrics, ive only written «Harahorn» so far. Its a very mindfull music.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Hengestaur'?
Hengestaur can really mean anything you want, its not a official word, but if you split them like « Henge Staur» it will translate to Hanging Pole in english. I came up with the name by actually wanting a part of my sure name «hesjedal» in it like «hesjestaur» but it looked and felt stupid as hell, glad i never made it like that, a hesje staur is a pole for hay drying lol. Much more grim with a Hanging pole, so i went with Hengestaur, and Eirik loved it.

6.Has the band done any live shows or open to the idea?
We have not done any live shows, and personally i do not see Hengestaur playing live, if Darkthrone and Bathory could resist it, so can we! I cant speak for Eirik, and he wont do interviews, and also we are at the moment just two people

7.Currently the band is unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
We have gotten a few offers, but we dont like the labels that like us! We almost got signed by a really cool norwegian label, but they would rather put their money into some random Glam woman band that will fade away in 5 years.. Hengestaur is forever, we are open to good labels, boomer record companies that want something else than the sound we make can fuck off!

8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
I suck at promo, but the «fans» we have love it! Harahorn took a bit of in australia wierdly enough, and when i say «took of» its not thousands of plays, maybe around 50, haha.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I see Hengestaur just making a little name of it self, nothing more. Its mainly music for ourself, the more people who like it the merrier

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?
For my part in influence its Slayer, Judas Priest, Turbonegro, Darkthrone, Burzum, Taake, Immortal/Abbath and Motorhead. Nowadays i listen much to Drittmaskin (Svart Pønk) / «Black Punk» and  try to find new stuff within the underground, but often fall back to the great old ones, I cant really answer for Eirik on this question

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
I really hate «russemusikk», but im quite open to new things. And again cant answer for Eirik, he refuses to do interviews.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Final words? We proclaim that we bring the next wave of Norwegian Black Metal, Blast us! Thanks
Hesj, Drummer/Vocalist Hengestaur

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Perisynti Interview

jeudi 13 août 2020 à 20:54
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Perisynti plays non compromising, raw and aggressive Finnish black metal, born from the need for me and Krimm V. to find a way to search for the most extreme musical expression imaginable. We had the idea for the band along with suitable riffs piling up since the late 90's. Around 2004 we felt that the time was ripe to make it into something bigger, to give our music to those who deserve it.

2.With this band you released a demo, ep and a full length, musically how do they differ from each other?

The overall sound has stayed the same all the way through as our vision hasn't faltered one bit, but each release has been an experiment for the perfect cold atmosphere and the extremes of where black metal sound can go, without compromising our mostly straight forward approach to it. We are traditionalists, we do things old school. Fast and simple. On our coming release we're going for a bit more mature approach you could say, with more musical variety than before. Overall we're not about so much progression, we don't feel a need to reinvent the wheel.

3.There has been no new music since 2010, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?

We do music when it happens naturally, when the inspiration hits us. We're not a band in a hurry. Also in the last decade, we have been very busy with our lives, including other musical endeavours. We felt that now its the time to raise from the grave and let the fires of hell burn bright once again. We have unreleased material from years ago, riffs and ideas have been piling up, waiting for this moment in time. We are not a commercial band, so the only meaningful driving force is our dedication and passion for this music. We do things in a spontaneous way, we might write a full album, record and mix it in few months if we feel like it.

4. A lot of your earlier lyrics covered satanic themes, how would you of described your views on Satanism back in those days?

We stand against all abrahamic rot. All of it. Satan is the adversary, the God of rebellion, the master of free will. I can only answer this question for myself that my personal philosophy is very much in line with Satanism, it was back in the day, it is now and so shall it stay.

5.What where dome of the other lyrical topics and subjects you have explored with this band?

A lot of our lyrics have double meanings, layered symbolism and metaphors. Far deeper than what you will see on the surface. There's an element of anti authoritarian and anti religious theme going on in many. Also glorifying free will if you can read between the lines. The lyrics are more than just the words.

6.I know that the band's name means 'original sin' in Finnish,how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?

Perisynti is a perfect name for us ,we are the original sin, not just any sin, the deep rooted pagan sin that lives in us. The idea that all are born as "sinners" is something so foreign to anyone with a functioning brain that we thought to pick is ours, aligns perfectly with our musical vision and style. We don't give a fuck about correctness, to hell with correctness, to hell with those who push this kind of moronic ideas. If being a critical thinking, free will glorifying pagan is to be born as a sinner, that's what we're about.

7.What where some of the best shows that the band played in the past and also how would you describe your stage performance?

We do not perform live. Will we ever be seen on stage, time will tell...

8.On your releases you worked with 'Varjot Productions', 'Northern Silence Productions' and 'Fog Of the Apocalypse Records', do you feel these labels were very helpful when it comes to getting your music out there heard?

Yes, the record labels have done excellent job in the past and hopefully will keep doing so in the future.

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

The reception has been overwhelmingly positive, I can't think of a single negative comment on our music, so good has it been. This is part of the reason why we are now reaching out to a wider audience, there are a lot of deserving dedicated fans out there with whom we wish to celebrate the black flames of our creativity.

10.When can we expect new music and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Soon. We have secured a deal for several vinyl releases, most likely first of which will be a 12" gatefold vinyl release of our debut album Hiilenmusta lammas with new artwork. We are also on the finalizing touches of a new 7" vinyl release, two songs originally written around 2007, but only now recorded as cohesive songs. Also we have agreed upon writing and recording our second full length album carrying the title Pimeytemme (Our Darkness.) All these will be released on vinyl, through a reputable label with an extensive catalog. The release dates are still obscure, but expect the re-run of the debut before this year has passed. Second LP will likely be released in 2021. We are quick to write and record music so the process will likely be rather fast. But we take no pressure for it, let the inspiration and the fire burning within to keep the pace. We are on the lookout to release the new material on other formats also as the contract is non-exclusive and includes vinyls only. So any respectable labels who are interested in releasing us on tape and cd, contact us.

11.What where some of the bands or musical styles that had an influence on the music of 'Perisynti'?

There are many, you can clearly hear the influence of Carpathian Forest, Horna, Behexen, Darkthrone, Burzum among others with little effort. But our influences are wide and far reaching, we do not limit ourselves on what to get influenced by.

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

I would like to give a shout to all magnificent, dedicated fans out there, you know who you are. Also greetings to Andras from A Mors Et Bello and the fantastic metal scene of Americas!

Expect us.

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Black Communion Interview

jeudi 13 août 2020 à 20:38
1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

Cheers!!! Here Necropervertor, guitars & vocals from Black Communion, by now just returning to the rehearsal room since we have practically 5 months without any rehearsal! Putting things together and recovering all the time this pandemic took away...

2.This year you have released a full length and also where a part  of a split, musically how do they differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

Personally the BC releases I like more are the Split with destroyer attack, the Funeral Incantation EP and the recently released MIASMIC MONSTROSITY, these 3 last recordings defer from demos and other releases because we started song-writing about death, Graves, Cemeteries and the darkness of the afterlife...

3.A lot of your lyrics cover satanic and occult themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the dark arts?

At BC we all are interested in Black arts, ancient rites, weird cults and Lovecraftian literature, I think those topics are the ones that identify a Band as a Black metal act so we wanted to follow that path of exaltation of demonic legions and blasphemy, as I mentioned on last question right after the FUNERAL INCANTATION EP we're more interested about death , Graves and afterlife horrors...

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

Besides Blasphemy and Demonolatry... death, Lovecraft literature, horror, gore...

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Black Communion'?

Just wanted a name based on our initial Black metal influences, nothing special... Just one day I came up with that name and the drummer and Guitarist back then liked it.

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

Artwork was commissioned to a talented person in Peru ( Temple of Kaligat arts) who actually transformed into art the ideas I had about a demonic figure formed by the emanations of the dead, on medieval times people thought that the miasma was the cause of all sickness so we just wanted to portray a death-like figure coming from the deceased.

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

We played with mighty Mystifier from Brazil in 2015 it was killer! Also we played last December in a couple of cities near to Bogota ( capital city of Colombia) people was kinda impacted that a band from our city can do such extreme sound, this because our region has not a huge metal-rock tradition... Performance in stage is basically spikes, blood and war paint!

8.Recently you where a part of a split with 'Destroyer Attack', what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the recording?

Destroyer attack is the band from Jonathan Amaya who also owns TANATOFOBIA PRODS. he was the first person who released BC material (morbid defilement demo + envenoming the Graves live tape) we feel infinite respect to him and his horde... Hail DESTROYER ATTACK!!!

9.You also have done some 'Von' and 'Impetigo' covers, what was the decision behind doing your own version of their songs?

VON cover represents our devotion for old Black acts and is one of our main influences, also we honor a great gore/death/grind act such as Impetigo... We decided to start editing our songs with horror movie samples just because of them,  so basically we praise Black and death metal through exaltating those bands.

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

Always have been maniacs around the world buying our releases, people from South America, USA, Spain, Germany, Mexico, Canada have been always in contact with us so I'd say that we have acquire sort or international recognition... We hope our music will be widely distributed by DUNKELHEIT PROD. On this recent release so I hope even more people around the globe will be in touch...

11.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?

Mortum plays vocals and guitar at a local black thrash band called SOLDADOS DEL INFIERNO, Tortor and me besides BC we're doing a new death metal project called FUNERAL VOMIT , will release something really soon...

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

Probably touring Europe or South America when it comes to shows, We're not planning or song-writting a new release, bnad will be on hold when it comes to that but actively rehearsing for maybe upcoming shows but I have in mind maybe a compilation taking tracks from EP Funeral Incantation + Ominous malignant EP... Let's see if any label is interested in releasing it...

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?

We started strongly influenced by VON, IMPALED NAZARENE, BEHERIT, BATHORY and PROFANATICA, we keeped the Black Metal sound but now with a new lyrical content related to horror and death as I mentioned previously.

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

Keep supporting your local bands and favorite acts! Buy their records! Thanks to DUNKELHEIT PRODUKTIONEN for releasing our Full length and thanks to worldwide maniacs that have been in contact with us!!! Thank you for this interview and supporting underground Black Metal...

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