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Moon And Azure Shadow Interview

vendredi 27 septembre 2019 à 09:37

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

Thanks for taking the time to interview me!  It’s actually my first interview so I probably have a lot to say.  Moon and Azure Shadow was formed in 2012 - at the time my two biggest obsessions were Japanese soundtrack composers like Susumu Hirasawa and also Atmospheric Metal like Bathory, Summoning, Burzum, Masters Hammer, Ildjarn, Darkthrone, Isengard, etc.  I thought if I could combine these passions I could make some truly dark and ethereal immersive music. 

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

The first album was a complete work of desperation.  I was around 23 and felt I had absolutely nothing to show for my life.  It came to a point I couldn’t even enjoy other peoples films or music anymore as I was so depressed I had no creative accomplishments of my own.  In 2012 there was talk of the end of the world coming and I really felt as if I should just end my pathetic existence if I couldn’t at least accomplish something by that date - December 21st, 2012.  I had never tried to do any black metal vocals or record guitar or anythings like that before.  But that feeling of desperation got me through the obstacles and the self titled album was completed. 

For the new album “Age of Darkness and Frost’ I knew that I could finish an album so I decided I needed to go all out and try and create some kind of epic personal masterpiece.  Not in comparison to other peoples work but just to push myself and try to create something I could be proud of.  It turned out to be a complete nightmare.  I was working on a 2007 laptop that was completely messed up and overheated and rebooted every 10 minutes or so.  I worked on the album for years with blood streaming from my eyes.  The laptop died and I lost a ton of the work I did and had to save up for a new one.  I had given up on it so many times, its a complete miracle there is any final product at all

3.This is also your first album in 7 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?

It’s called failing at life.  After the first album I moved to Los Angeles and had to get used to adult challenges like having to constantly move to new apartments and find jobs.  I was just defeated by the instability of life.  When things started looking up and I got a car and a more steady job and living situation things would take a turn for the worse 

Some random felon decided to target me and try and steal my car and rob me.  Basically he slashed my tires and when I started trying to drive to the gym he started ramming his vehicle into my car over and over again.  I tried to drive away and flee the scene but he smashed his vehicle into me and I was caught between his car and a pole.  He got out and tried breaking my window with a wrench.  Luckily I was able to shift into reverse and push his vehicle back a bit and get away.  The police got him but my car was completely totaled

Also I was in a relationship with a really cool girl for about 4 years but pretty much nothing got accomplished musically.  After a while I had to realize at the end of the day I don’t have time to commute to work, be in a relationship, and create music.  I decided I wanted to have a higher purpose in life and went monk mode and completely cut off any social life, relationship  and quit a job to get the album completed.  Over time I’ve learned that in order to achieve dreams some sacrifices have to be made

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the new album and also how would you describe your progress as a songwriter over the years?

Both are concept albums with a story.  The first album was set in a world of ruins and shadows.  It was more about isolation and depression.  The second album has a more epic dark ages type theme, this is because after the first album I discovered the music of Basque solo project “Elffor” and was completely blown away by it.  Back in Massachusetts I would drive home from work while it was snowing listening to “Heriotz Sustraiak” and was captivated, I felt I had to do my own take on a dark ages fantasy themed album.  I don’t like to say too much about lyrics or story because it’s best if the listener imagines what they want instead of me saying exactly what everything is about 

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Moon And Azure Shadow'?

The name Moon and Azure Shadow was taken from a Japanese Soundtrack by the composer Koh Ohtani who made the music for Shadow of the Colossus and Haibane Renmei among others. 

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

The artwork was created by M dot Strange, director of animated films such as “We are the Strange, Heart String Marionette, I am Nightmare”.  M dot was my creative hero after I graduated high school and was lost.  With his first film “We are the Strange” he realized and completed a massive dream.  The flame of this dream was so bright that it could be seen from afar by a lot of young creators just starting out.  And on his youtube channel he told everyone to pursue their passions, look down and start making small steps.  Even if you suck just keep going and do something cool.  Don’t be just another slave in the rat race wasting your life doing what the system tells you to.  Even though I am a complete failure most of the time, his message has guided me ever since

7.With this musical project you record everything by yourself, have you worked with musicians in other musical projects in the past or present?

If you have a vision for an album its like waking up from a beautiful dream and trying to remember and hold onto that dream.  Its easy to let the vision slip away.  I would be more open to collaborate these days but back then I felt like I needed to express something personal on my own

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

It’s been mixed as it should be.  I knew I was creating a rather inaccessible album.  When I hear most albums that have a cool atmospheric instrumental intro and then its just brutal metal for the rest of the time.  It kind of bores me.  I wanted to try and make a truly immersive experience where it was not just metal track, atmospheric intro track, but more interwoven together.  But I realize this is excruciatingly boring to some and just sounds like one intro after the next.  But at the end of the day, I made the album I wanted to make

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

I am 30 now and feel more woke than ever.  I feel like I made most of the obvious dumb mistakes in my 20’s but made it out on top and will be focused and dedicated now.  The future is bright 

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?

From Japanese soundtracks - Toru Takemitsu, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Yoshihiro Kanno - Angels Egg soundtrack, Susumu Hirasawa - Sim City album/Berserk, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Ico, Haibane Renmei, Akira, Vampire Hunter D, Testuo the Iron Man, Kenji Kawai, Koh Ohtani, Joe Hisaishi, Yasunori Mitsuda, Akira Yamaoka, Michiru Yamane, Masashi Hamauzu, Yoko Kanno, Nobuo Uematsu, etc.

From Atmospheric Metal - Bathory, Summoning, Darkthrone, Elffor, Paysage D’hiver, Ulver, Burzum, Celtic Frost, Master’s Hammer, Morrigan - Headcult album etc.

These days I’ve been obsessed with 60’s music, The Zombies, The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Strawberry Alarm Clock, The Left Banke, Sagittarius, Donovan, Lots of garage rock.  I just found out about this new Los Angeles band called “The Premonitions”  I’m excited to try and catch them live

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

Books, trying to check out more Yukio Mishima stuff.  Temple of the Golden Pavilion was super amazing

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

Thanks for letting me talk about the music.  I’ve always tried to let the music stand on its own and not say much so this is a first.  Your work is much appreciated!


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Myronath/Into The Qliphoth/Non Serviam Records/2019 CD Review

vendredi 27 septembre 2019 à 08:23

  Myronath  are  a  band  from  Sweden  that  plays  an  occult  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  "Into  The  Qliphoth"  which  will  be  released  in  October  by  Non  Serviam  Records.

  A  very  dark,  heavy  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  grim  black  metal  screams  being  introduced  into  the  music  a  few  seconds  later.  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of a   raw  feeling.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to them  while  growls  are  also  added  into  some  parts  of  the  music.  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  some  semi  clean  singing  and  spoken  word  parts  also  being  used  briefly.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  some  one  track  also  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  synths  and  clean  playing  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  ritualistic  feeling,  Gregorian  chants  can  also  be  heard  briefly.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Luciferian,  Qliphoth,  Left  Hand  Path  and  Santa  Muerte  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Myronath  are  a  very  great  sounding  occult black metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out t his  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Ancient  Slumber"  "La  Santa  Muerte"  and  "Hymn  To  Lucifer".  8/5  out  of  10.  

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Horse Drawn/Nonbeliever/2019 EP Review

jeudi 26 septembre 2019 à 20:14

  Horse  Drawn  are  a  duo  from  Ohio  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  plays  a  very  aggressive  form  of  black  metal   and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2019  ep  "Nonbeliever".

  A  very  dark  and  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  ep  along  with  some  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  a  few  seconds  later.  When  the  music  speeds  up a   decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling  and  the  tracks  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Touches  of  post  and  metal  can  be  heard  in  the  music  but  done  in  more  an  aggressive  style  while  the  slower  sections  of  the  music  also  show  an  influence  of  sludge  metal  and  both  of  the  tracks  stick  to  a  very  heavy  musical  direction. 
  On  this  recording  Horse  Drawn  sticks  to  the  raw  black  metal  style  of  their  previous  release  while  also  adding  in  some  more  influences  of  sludge  and  post  metal.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  depression  and  psychedelic  experiences.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Horse  Drawn  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  aggressive  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Cursed".  8  out  of  10. 

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Grand Demise Of Civilization Interview

jeudi 26 septembre 2019 à 09:12
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

    Grand Demise is a 4-piece band with two guitarists, bass player and drummer.  With no true lead vocalist, both guitarists and bass player switch vocal parts throughout each song, making a 3-headed attack on vocals.  Our style is mostly based on black metal style chord riffing with melodic melodies and harmonies between the guitar players, but we use seven and eight string guitars to add the extended range of notes. Drumming style uses a lot of blast beats, but still adding plenty of diversity in drum beats and groove oriented parts in our songs.

2.So far you have released 3 albums, musically how do they differ from each other?

    All three albums have a bit of a different style to them; our first album "Black Goat Apocalypse" was written with a different group of musicians in the band at that time, Songs consist of a lot of different riffs in each song, but yet flow together nicely. The album has more of an aggressive sound to it, lots of speed and driving force to each song.
    The second album "The Repent of the Sentient Being" was done as more of a solo studio project, the band was basically broken up at that point, but I wrote and recorded a one 43-minute track with the other guitarist from the band, Shawn Jensen, consisting of breaks and interludes between chapters.
     The third album "Below the Feet of Kings" was written when the band decided to reform with a new drummer and a new guitar player, and Shawn Jensen switching to bass. The style to the "Kings" album is more melodic and diverse through each song, we started to use seven and eight string guitars to give us a wide variety of sound to it. The album has songs that are very fast with blast beats, but also with a good mix of groove oriented double-bass beats. Almost all the songs are around the ten minute mark, except one being around six minutes, with lots of sections in each song, bringing the listener to feel like there's little repetition, and each song has its own "sound" to it.

3.There seems to have been either a 4 to 6 year gap in between releases, can you tell us a little bit more about it?

    I think it takes a while to write good material, we always demo our songs first, set all the different vocal styles and parts and really listen to it and how it sounds before we start to learn the songs as a band. I've seen a lot guys talk about how they wrote two songs in twenty minutes, or have a new song written and completed in one night at practice, but how good are those songs going to be? A guitar has six to eight strings and twenty-four frets for a reason, if all your songs are written on the two low strings and the first five frets with nothing but chunka-chunka-chunka riffs, there isn't going to be much quality or diversity to your songs. We tend to compile and record a lot of riffs or sections and put stuff together in sessions on our computers. The material is written by myself and Dan Lerach, demoed and recorded and then presented to the band where we learn the songs and make any changes we feel are necessary at that time.

4.You refer to your music as being 'hell metal', can you tell us a little bit more about this term?

    We call our style "Hell metal" because we took elements of mostly black metal and the chord driven big, full sound of it, but also use seven and eight string guitars to get those low heavy notes from death metal. We also have a mixture of vocal styles to our songs, based mainly on the higher screams of black metal, but also use the gutteral lows of death metal, also using a lot of triple vocal parts to create a hellish combination. When you see us perform live, you don't know where the next vocal part is coming from next, we try to produce what we do on our albums in our live performances as best we can.

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

    We like to cover darker topics or scenarios in history, we're not a satanic band, but we still like to have dark topics to our lyrics. Below the Feet of Kings has songs with different topics; The song "The Trough" is about ancient times where slaves were forced to work, Nostrigoi is about vampires, Curator of the Wicked is about the Zodiac killer. The music style definitely progressed on this album, long songs with a lot of different sections, making the songs always moving forward and progressing to a new sound or feel. When Dan Lerach joined the band, he brought his ideas and style of adding a lot of guitar parts with multiple harmonies and melodies written over other parts, which is something we had not done a lot of on previous albums.

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Grand Demise Of Civilization'?

    The name Grand Demise of Civilization is basically what it sounds like. All our songs have been based on scenarios or topics involving the destruction of the human race, in one form or another; some are real scenarios and others are more fantasy based, but that is big part of what we write about.

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

    The artwork depicts a pile of crushed bones, below the feet of kings. A big theme with this album, in one way or another, is leadership and ruling over a group of people or person.  I think all our album covers kind of depict something that has to do with what the main topic of that album is.

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?

    We don't play a lot of shows, probably the best show we played was when we opened for Mayhem in Minneapolis. We got a phone call a couple days before the show asking if we would open the show, apparently all the opening tour bands had left the tour for some reason so we were given the chance to be the opening act.
    When we're on stage we try to represent our songs as accurate as possible, I always hated seeing a band that could not play their own material because it was all studio tricks.  We present a well coordinated three-headed vocal attack that gives the audience a lot to look at. We don't usually see a lot of mosh pits, but more of the crowd just watching us being interested in what we are doing.

9.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

    No, we don't have any plans to tour, we don't really play a lot of shows and are mostly interested in playing in the Minneapolis area at this point. We want our albums to be distributed and enjoyed by as many people as possible, but the live aspect is not a big focus for us.

10.Currently the band is unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

    We are looking for a label to do mostly distribution. We always record all our albums ourselves in our own studio so we don't need a label to pay for recording, but distribution is tough, we want to get our music out there and would love to get signed with a label that can really help us with that. The hardest part is getting a label to listen to our album, give it a chance, I think we have a quality product.

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

    We get a lot of positive reactions to our music, people seem to really enjoy our vocal attack and style to our music. Because our music style is mostly black metal based, we get labeled as a such, but there are a lot of elements to what we do that are not traditionally considered black metal; but generally if you're a fan of that kind of music, you'll like what we're doing.

12.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?

    Our drummer, Pat Ruhland, is the only member in Grand Demise that is involved in other projects. He has another band called Obsolete that is more of a tech death/thrash style, it's with a long time friend of his, Lucas Scott, from the band Sunless, also out of Minneapolis.

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

    I think the next step for us recording an EP. We have some ideas written and assembled, but nothing is in full song structure yet.  Style wise, we'll have to see where the songs take us. We will always have our "style" but there are other elements we may add to that, we're all fans of tech death and great guitar players, but not sure if we'll ever introduce some of that to our music, you never know.

14.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?

    Influences come in many different ways. For us, classical music plays a big part in the big sound, dynamics and section based writing. In metal, I've always liked the chord style riffs that a lot of Swedish black metal bands like Dawn or Dark Funeral do, but also the melodic parts and harmonies that bands like Death, Dissection and Carcass do. I think that Black Sabbath has always had an influence on the heavy groove aspect in many of our past bands we've been in, and something we still like to incorporate. We tend to listen to a lot of black metal or tech death bands, like Spawn of Possession, Alkaloid, Dodecahedron, Deathspell Omega, Nightbringer, Opeth, Ne Obliviscaris, Dodheimsgard, Emperor, Necophagist, really anything that is interesting and not too repetitive.

15.Does Occultism play any role in your music?

    No, not really. We like dark topics and art, but to say we are into the occult or satanism would not be correct.

16.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
    If you like aggressive metal, check us out. We're playing music that we like; we're not reinventing the wheel, but we try to do our own thing in this genre. You can find our stuff on bandcamp for sale. Also, some of our albums are on Spotify and we have songs and live performances available on Youtube. Connect with us on Facebook to keep up with latest news and updates.


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Ancient Flame/Tyrant Blood/Morbid Chapel Records/2019 CD Review

mercredi 25 septembre 2019 à 21:01

  Ancient  Flame  are  a  solo  project  from  Pennsylvania  that  plays  a  traditional  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2019  album  "Tyrant  Blood"  which  was  released  by  Morbid  Chapel  Records.

  Melodic  guitar  leads  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  grim  sounding  black  metal  screams  a  few  seconds  later.  Synths  can  also  be  heard  in  the  background  on  all  of  the  tracks and  also  gives  the  music  more  of  an  atmospheric  and  epic  feeling  while  the  riffs  also  add  in  a great  amount  of  melody.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling.  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast parts  along  with  the  music  also  having  a  good  amount  of  90's  influences  as  well  as  a  couple  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Ancient  Flame  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  raw,  melodic,  atmospheric,  epic  and  traditional  sounding.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  paganism,  barbarism and  darkness  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Ancient  Flame  are  a  very  great  sounding  traditional  and  epic  sounding  black  metal  solo  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Arrow  Of  Truth  And  Hate"  "The  Drid"  and  "Tyrant  Of  Blood".  8  out  of  10.


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