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Ritual Interview

jeudi 13 août 2020 à 11:07
1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
1. Not a whole lot going on right now. Looking for some new band members. Writing and experimenting with new ideas.

2.When I listened to some of the more recent albums you have a very different style from the older releases, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical progress over the years?
2. People grow and change. That's just life. We were 17, 18 when we made "The Summoning" so yeah we were just kids. The world was very different then than it is now too.

3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the direction the lyrics have gone through over the last few releases and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?
3. The lyrics have always been a combo based in fantasy and real life. Some are about how I deal with my depression and some are just hateful, some are fantasy based. Only the first and second albums had the same members in the band. So the writing has gone through a lot of changes. I feel like I have gotten better at songwriting over the years but what do I know?

4.A lot of your earlier lyrics covered Satanism and Occultism themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the Left Hand Path?
4. We have always just been very anti-religion. Satanism was and is just a tool to put a middle finger in the face of this country's stupid obsession with Jesus and the bible. We never believed in any hokey pokey religious shit. We are just anti-religion. We do not believe in hell, god, satan or anything. We are basically just atheists.

5.For 12 years the band was on hiatus, what was the cause of the split and also the decision to reform?
5. We split up because we were all just at odds after the second album. Even before the second album. I got tired of arguments and beef and decided I wasn't going to pursue a third album with Robert and Mike. They went on to make "Soldiers Under Satan's Command" without me involved. To me it was basically a thrash album. I still had been writing material that was Ritual to me. In the early 00's I just thought nobody cared about Ritual anymore. Then I kept seeing interviews from the other members and somehow the internet kept the music and interest alive. A big question was always why did the the 3rd album sound so different from the first two. The answer was because I was not involved in the 3rd album at all. I was the main songwriter, keyboardist and vocalist of the first two. I felt that as the mastermind of the original sound I had to give people a proper Ian Ritual record with "The Resurrection". I asked Mike and Robert to be a part of it. Robert did actually put in a riff or two. Mike, again was not local and his material just didn't appear on "The Resurrection" although it was welcomed.

6.For a few years the band was a solo project but now has a line up, what was the decision behind working with other musicians again?
6. I like playing on stage, it's a great feeling. I just wanted to get the music out there in real life again.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
7. I think every show is great to me. It's always a wonderful feeling to play with bands you enjoy and respect and that have done it all. We have been fortunate enough to do that many times. We recently played Blackest of the Black festival with a bunch of amazing bands. We played with Marduk and Incantation a few years ago. Our stage performance is pretty raw. We come out and play our asses off and do our thing.

8.The last album was self released, are you open to working with another label in the future?
8. I am open to working with labels. I released the last album on vinyl only myself just because I love records and always wanted to have a Ritual record out. We have worked with Minotauro records out of Italy and Narcoleptica Productions out of Kazakhstan recently. It's all about the deal. What does a label really have to offer in this musical climate?

9.On a worldwide elvel how has the reaction been to your newer music by fans of black metal?
9. Honestly, I do not know. I have not seen or heard much in terms of reviews or anything like that so I do not know.

10.When can we expect another full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
10. Not sure on the timing of another full length. As of this moment I am solo again, doing everything myself. Things move slowly. I am not even sure if I will ever release another album at this point.

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?
11. I don't listen to much music anymore. I make so much of it that I just don't want to be actively involving myself in music all my waking hours. I sometimes just listen to the random people posting their music on Facebook.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
12. Buy physical copies of albums and band merchandise if you want bands to continue their craft. Sustaining a music career is difficult if not impossible.


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Ashlands/Ashlands II/2020 EP Review

jeudi 13 août 2020 à 08:32

  Ashlands  are  a  duo  from  Italy  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  plays  a  fantasy  orientated  form  of  atmospheric  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2020  ep  "Ashlands  II"  which  will  be  released  in  September.

  Acoustic  guitar  playing  starts  off  the  ep  and  also  introduces  elements  of  folk  music  onto  the  recording.  When  synths  are  utilized  they  also  give  the  songs  more  of  an  atmospheric  feeling  while  also  mixing  them  and  the  folk  elements  into  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs  and  the  riffs  also  add  in a   great  amount  of  melody.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling.  Vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  along  with  the  tracks  also  adding  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  the  solos  and  leads  also  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style,  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  instrumentals  and  the  closing  track  is  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length. 

  On  this  recording  Ashlands  remains  true  to  the  folk  influenced  style  of  atmospheric  black  metal  that  was  established  on  their  previous  release.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  are  a  concept  album  covering  the  travelers  saga  under  the  gentle  rains  of  the  Amber  Marsh  along  with  some  influence  from  the  writings  of  H.P Lovecraft.

  in  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Ashlands  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  folk  influenced  atmospheric  black  metal,  you   should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Mountain  Augurs"  and  "Engraved  in  Black  lava". 8 out  of  10.

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WinterheartH Interview

mercredi 12 août 2020 à 21:21

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?
As of now we are looking at different approaches to livestream shows. Covid 19 has turned the entertainment industry upside down and that’s just putting it lightly. However, the industry is always changing and it changes much faster as new technology becomes available to both consumer and prosumer. Other than that and constant rehearsals I’m always writing new riffs and music to archive and have for potential future releases. Always making sure I’m ahead and there’s no “what’s next” once tasks are completed.

2.Recently you have released a new album, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Well for starters with all albums the one goal I always had was a modern spin on a classic approach. It’s called classic for a reason because it never goes away. Our first album Curse the Summer was a Black Metal meets Thrash approach but adding a little technical spin. When we released Resettlement it was still the Blackened Thrash approach but I also incorporated my love for the Gothenburg and the Melodic Death Metal scene. With our latest release Riverbed Empire it still has that Blackened Thrash sound however, I’ve really began to show my love for progressive music. I love the textures of progressive bands like Yes or King Crimson but I still love the to the point punk rock sound to. The trick was how to incorporate both attributes. Honestly a great album I feel portrays what I’m saying would be Metallica’s - ...And Justice For All for example.

3.This is also your first release in 4 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?

The last four years have been a lot of highs and lows for sure. Right after the release of Resettlement unfortunately Michael Small and myself parted ways and Brad Ivany came into the picture. We played a bunch of festivals opening for bands like Cauldron and Warsenal. About a year into having Brad I really began to focus on brand new music and sadly our bassist Robbie Butler decided he needed to take a new path in life and left the band. During all this I was rehearsing in a Ramones tribute act and was talking to the vocalist Lenny Carey who I barely knew at the time. I realized he was a great guitarist and bassist so one day I ask if he would like to try out. The rest became history and we spent from April 2018 to now rebuilding the band so we wouldn’t just be the typical “yeah were back with new music but it’s really just two new good tunes and filler”. The chemistry in the new lineup is great and I can’t remember the last time I’ve been this happy from music.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer release and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?

A lot of my lyrics from the early days to now deal with where I’m from and Newfoundland folklore. Best things to write about is what you know and your surroundings plus I love being able to share with new fans where I’m from. I’m also a history nerd so you will see a lot of songs about certain points in history. I also try and write as if I was in a time machine and went back to view what’s happening as an outsider looking in. One thing in that department that always seems to be too common is corruption from those with power and the abuse towards citizens rather it be sending them to war for their agendas or just for monetary gain. It doesn’t matter what political system is in place there is always corruption no matter what. Absolute power corrupts absolute minds. The title track Riverbed Empire is a prime example because it’s about trout in their ecosystem being taken over by salmon and the trout let them because the salmon had the silver tongue on them. The salmon told them be under their rule and you’ll never have to worry. Eventually they realize they have less freedom and their poorer than ever. Talking about this now makes me wonder if in some way shape or form I was lyrically influenced by the Rush song The Trees haha!

5.Some of your earlier lyrics cover satanic and occult themes, do you have an interest in the dark arts?

Interest. yes! Do I practice? No. I can’t stop learning. I love to learn about different cultures and religions. The dark arts is always extremely interesting to me because growing up in an environment where that’s considered taboo. It goes hand in hand with my love for watching super natural horror movies or TV series. I’m a firm believer knowledge is power and the more you learn the less ignorant of a human you will become when seeing things from different perspectives.

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'WinterheartH?

First few rehearsals I’ve been lobbying to call the band something completely different. After one practise I was driving Robbie home and a snow storm was slowly coming. Robbie said man what about WinterheartH? I paused and said dude that’s an awesome name! So we use to say it means the cold atmosphere of Black Metal meets the intense fire of say Thrash or Death Metal.

7.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
The artwork was designed by Mark Richards of Heavy Hand Illustration. His design and attention to detail is fantastic. I wanted to do something that would represent life's beautiful darkness. I pictured an evil looking fortress and a riverbed of dead bodies. I talked to my manager one day on the basic idea of what I had in my head and he mentionned to me Inferno by Dante as well as the Furies. Now I'm not really up on my liturature especially from that era but when he explained the concepts, it made so much sense to what I was trying to describe in my mind.

8.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Some highlight shows would be Maritime Metal & Hard Rock Fest 5. It was our first time in Nova Scotia playing and we made so many new friends who I still keep in touch with today. 709 Metalfest was great when we opened for Cauldron. We also played with Nova Scotia's Dumpster Mummy on Victoria Day weekend last year. We played a show in Clarenville which is a small town two hours away from the city. Great crowd and great reaction. Early days I would be just running around and headbanging and getting the aggression out. Some shows I've chilled a little, kept my glasses on and still put off a rocking performance. Makes me feel like Burke Shelley from Budgie when I do that haha! I always try to not speak very much in between songs because I want to cram in as much music as possible in my time slot.

9.The new album was released on 'Still Heavy Productions', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
Still Heavy Productions is a shitshow of an operation where only WinterheartH can survive HAHA!! Actually, consider it as a mix between a label and a management company. Helping young and upcoming talent who got their priorities straightened out as well as being able to help them get their music on the market.

10.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your newer music by fans of black metal?
So far so good! From what they heard from the teasers from album three the response has been past my expectations.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
You know lately I've been listening to a lot more post-rock/metal bands. Who knows maybe future music will have a more post- flare to it a long with the Blackened Thrash sound.

12.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?
I've been listening to a lot of Yes, Genesis and Camel when writing a lot of the songs from Riverbed. I listen to everything from the bands I mentionned to rap music to country to even more artsy acts like Kate Bush or Bjork. On the metal side I've been listening to a lot of Mikael Akerfelt rather it be Opeth or Storm Corrosion. Also a huge fan of Entombed and I love listening to riffs by the one and only Trey Azagthoth. That guy is insanity for riffs. Now a days like I mentionned previously I am listening to a lot more in the post-rock/metal direction. Last few days I've been on a hard Mercyful Fate/King Diamond kick. Sherman, Denner and LaRocque are all extremely talented and underated guitarists.

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

Follow us on Facebook at . We also have Instagram. Keep an eye out for latest news in the WinterheartH camp. You will be able to order our album online and our store will be up very soon(if not now already pending when this gets published). Stay safe and we're all in this together!

Source :

Cross Bringer/The Signs Of Spiritual Delusion/Consouling Sounds/2020 CD Review

mercredi 12 août 2020 à 21:04

  Cross  Bringer  are  a  band  with  members  from  Belgium  and  Russia  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black  metal,  crust  and  hardcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  album  "The  Signs  Of  Spiritual  Delusion"  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  Consouling  Sounds.

  Atmospheric  sounding  drones  start  off  the  album  along  with  a  brief  use  of  whispered  spoken  word  parts  before  going  into a   heavier  musical  direction.  Vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling.

  Elements  of  hardcore  and  crust  can  also  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  while  the  songs  also  add  in a   decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid paced  and  fast  parts.  A  couple  of  the  tracks  are  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length  along  with  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  as  well  as  the  riffing  also  adding  in  some  dissonant  structures  at  times,  a  later  track  also  introduces  synths  onto  the  recording  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  musical  direction.

  Cross  Bringer  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  black  metal,  crust  and  hardcore  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  illusions,  delusions,  anger,  grief,  agony,  deprivation,  self-loathing  and  obsession  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Cross  Bringer  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black  metal,  crust  and  hardcore  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Battle  of  The  Weak"  "Temptation  Of  Naivety  (Untamable  Black  Dog)"  and  "Self-Inflicted  Martyrdom".8out  of  10.


Source :

Ildskaer Interview

mercredi 12 août 2020 à 10:17
1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

Skóggangr: - We are currently in the process of setting up vocal sessions for our following release. All music and lyrics are ready, and we think it will be a great continuation of the story we tell on "Den Rædsomste Nat".

2. You have your first full length coming out in September, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?

Garðarsson: As I am a huge sucker for Finnish Black Metal, I wanted to write an album with a more melodic and epic approach. But still keep it in the vein of the 90’s. So you can definitely hear the Scandinavian sound throughout this album.

3. The lyrics on the new recording are a concept album, can you tell us a little bit more about the story you have covered with the music?

Skóggangr: - The story covers the fateful days of the bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807, from the landing of British forces in late August, the 3 night bombardment itself between September 2nd - 5th, and the resulting subsequent theft of the Dano-Norwegian navy from Copenhagen. I've wanted to strike a good balance of historical truth and the romantic spirit of the poems of the early 1800's, and I think I've come quite close to a perfect balance in capturing the defeatism and anger of this unjust act, as well as the language of that time. Unfortunately it's all in Danish, so all my linguistic care is all lost on our international listeners, sadly. Just know that I've cared immensely for the lyrics! (laughs)

4. The band also has a lot of interest in history, can you tell us a little bit more about the historical events that have the most interest to you?

Skóggangr: - Personally I have a huge interest in the First World War and its aftermath, as well as the Roman Empire and Asia around the time of the Mongol conquests. I don't think we'll get around to cover any of that since we, for the time being, will remain focused on Danish events, which might be smaller in scope, yet they are still important and close to us.

Garðarsson: Growing up, the only thing I would read about was World War 2. So that definitely has had a huge interest for me. My historical interest is now more focused on Denmark in the 19th Century, which also was the driving force to create this band in the first place.

5. You have also mentioned an interest in poetry, which poets have had the most influence on your music and worldview?

Skóggangr: - That would be Christian Winther, who wrote "Matrosen", and N.F.S. Grundtvig who was one of the most productive poets and writers of his time. "Matrosen" is in many ways the spark of this album, the emotions which it conveys carries on in many of the other lyrics in one form or another. Grundtvig is equally fascinating due to his influence; He experienced many of the pivotal Danish events of the 19th century (The bombardment, the signing of the constitution in 1849, the Danish defeat of 1864) and wrote about them, and he was close to many of the important figures of the day.

6. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Ildskær'?

Skóggangr: - The name translates into something like "Fire-glow". Considering the subject of this album, it's appropriate, and we will probably keep having at least a nod to fire and devastation on subsequent records.

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

Skóggangr: The artwork is painted by the Danish golden age-painter Christian August Lorentzen, and it is one of his most well-known works. "Den Rædsomste Nat" is almost like a complete snapshot of the bombardment; the church is on fire, grenades are tearing through the sky and landing in the square, all the while the citizens are beside themselves in fear. A very dramatic and eye-catching scene indeed and an obvious choice for cover artwork.

Garðarsson: Fun fact about this: I randomly came across this artwork, when I saw that the Danish National Museum of Art was having an exhibition with this artwork among others from the Golden Age. I instantly saw our album cover (which was originally thought for my other band Ì Myrkri), and I contacted the museum asking for permission and they took a photo of the original painting for me. That’s how this whole project came to life.

8. Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you open to expanding your line up or do you prefer to remain a duo?

Skóggangr: - We will probably expand with a few session members for concerts, but so far it works with just the two of us making decisions.

9. The new album is coming out on 'Wolfspell Records', can you tell is a little bit more about how you came in contact with this label?

Garðarsson: I already had a deal with Wolfspell, with my other project, Ì Myrkri. So it came naturally for me to ask if he was interested in Ildskær. I am much honored to work with him and have my music alongside many of my favorite acts.

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

Garðarsson: There have been quite large interests I feel. Especially after we released the first single and we explained the whole concept of the band and album. So a good reaction I would say.

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?

Skóggangr: Genfærd is currently gearing up for a few concerts in a few months (providing they will actually happen due to current circumstances), and we are starting to slowly write new material.

Garðarsson: I am not very active with my other project Ì Myrkri, as all my focus has been on Ildskær. As mentioned earlier, I have been writing and recording the next album to completion already. But I just signed a deal with Vendetta Records for a Vinyl Release of my first album with Ì Myrkri; Black Fortress of Solitude. And my second album with Ì Myrkri; Drivende I Dødens Æter, also gets a Vinyl Release with Wolfspell Records. Both will see the light of day this Fall. I am planning a single release though, which will be a part of a 7” compilation of local bands from Aalborg, where I’m based.

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

Garðarsson: I can’t really say for sure, but I will continue with the melodic, old-school and Scandinavian sound. Exactly how I like my Black Metal. The next album will probably define our whole sound musically.

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?

Skóggangr: - I listen to a lot of the new black metal emerging from Iceland and Poland, and I'm always on the lookout for new interesting releases, but sometimes the Norwegian classics does it for me as well. Beyond metal I listen to a lot of jazz, ambient, new wave and post punk. I consider Agalloch, The Cure, Fields of the Nephilim, Emperor, Leviathan and Ulver some of my greatest influences

Garðarsson: Musically I’ve been inspired the most by the Finnish and early Norwegian Black Metal scene, bands like Sargeist, Behexen, Satanic Warmaster, Burzum etc. Right now I’ve been listening to a lot of Black Metal/Dungeon Synth – Paysage d’ Hiver, Evilfeast and some new bands in the likes. Dungeon Synth and Dark Ambient is probably what I listen to most, when it’s not Black Metal. But like Skóggangr I also listen to a lot of other genres. Drone, Psych, Doom, Stoner and Dark Wave etc.

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

Garðarsson: We’ll see you all to the full album premiere August 29th via Black Metal Promotion. This album has been a huge effort for the both of us, we have put everything we have in it, to make it as an accomplished concept album as possible, the physical copies will especially signify this.

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