Site original : OccultBlackMetalZine
⇐ retour index

Gravstenad Interview

mercredi 27 janvier 2021 à 02:19


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

We started the band in 2015. Vråhl and Darth found each other on a forum and connected over the wish to play harsh black metal and drink beer. Music that smells like a heart attack. Darth already knew Sargaroth so he came in pretty quick, and Kråkfar found us a few months later. He quit soon after we recorded the album and went on to his own musical projects as Kråkfar and soon after Nocturnotto, who laid down the solo on Rök och Svart Magi and already played with Onoskelis, joined.

2. So far you have released a demo and a full length. In your opinion, how do they differ from each other musically?

Well the demo was one day of rough recording in the rehearsal studio and the album took about two years to complete! We'd say the album is more focused, more refined in a way, even if that's not really reflected in the quality of the mix. After recording we noticed we had lost one mic for the guitars on half the songs and the overhead mics were completely missing, so the cymbals are all through tom mics. We spent a week in the studio, sleeping on the floor, getting pissed at each other and drinking copious amounts of beer while consuming a doomsday prepper’s basement stock of ravioli. We were a combination of drunk and hungover throughout the process, recording through the worst storm in modern Swedish history. It's all recorded live except for the vocals and the solos.

3. When I listen to the new album I can also hear some elements of doom and stoner, do you feel this makes your songs stand out a lot more?

It's aggressive and filthy. Not really doom or stoner on purpose. There is no specific marketing thinking going into it, we just found that it fit well with these large cavernous sections interspersed with hysterical chaos! And honestly, who's to say black metal has to be extremely fast all the time? Everybody's just listening to De Mysteriis the wrong way (except for us)! Our guitarist and drummer do play in stoner bands as well so that probably bleeds over a bit, but we have our roots pretty firmly placed in black metal.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band has explored so far with the music?

Well for me, Vråhl, when I write lyrics I have all these concepts in my head I want to express, but when it comes time to put it into words to a song, the most important part for me is that it vibes with the song itself. I like to go on long walks putting a recording from the rehearsal on repeat until I start getting the words that fit coming to me. So basically it's a whole jumble of concept and ideas distilled through the sound of the music and filtered through my sense of what the song wants to say in a way.

5.I know that the band's name means 'Tombstone' in Swedish, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?

Hah, well it's actually "Tombstoned" or "Gravestoned". The idea that the music should feel like someone's throwing tombstones right in your face! Though you can also take it as someone smoking weed at a cemetary really. The music shifted but the band name just got more relevant with time.

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

It kind of evolved over time. We took a picture of some woods at one point, which we used together with the logo for making a backdrop to use on stage. At some point Perra, of Sunny Sound who mastered the album, added our faces to it. We then put it through some filter for the hell of it and figured it looked pretty fucking cool, so we decided to use it as the artwork for the cover. It sticks out from the numerous black and white contrast images and religious iconography at least.

7.Has the band had any opportunities to do any live shows or open to the idea?

Yes. Fucking hit us up!

8.Currenly you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

We haven't really been looking, but we're very open to the idea of having a distributor and some kind of booking agent to find us gigs! We have made contact with a distributor in Asia through which we might be printing some CD's. If anyone is interested, hit us up!

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

Well, the five people who have commented about our latest album have had positive things to say about it! I think our favourite so far is a guy describing it as "Bulldozers driven through a stone crusher being ripped apart by a black hole."

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

We'll be playing more, faster, and slower. More weird and more furious.

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?

Weed and black metal. The group has our root in nineties black metal, a lot of Mayhem, Darkthrone and Burzum. Our first rehearsal with Kråkfar was just jamming Jesus Tod and that's what brought the band together, but we all come from pretty different musical interests and I think it all bleeds over into the music. Skullwand by Serpent Omega was a song we listened to together at an early point and were all pretty floored by. That may have signaled a shift in the style of our music. It's about playing chaotic, raw and frenzied music, and we're very open to be influenced by whatever adds to that.

12.Does Satanism or Occultism play any rule in your music?

Hah, no, not at all really. We don't fuck with these Satanic LARP-witches. Lyrically we're more about human madness than anything religious.

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

Surf rock is just black metal before distortion pedals.


Source :

Vorkuta/Wandering Alone In The Forest Of Transcendence/Deathlike Noise Productions/Metal Or Die Records/2021 EP Review

mardi 26 janvier 2021 à 04:33


  Vorkuta  are  a  band  from  Hungary  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  plays  a  very  atmospheric  and  old  school  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  ep  "Wandering  Alone  In  The  Forest  Of  Transcendence"  which  will  be  released  in  March  as  a  joint  effort  between  Deathlike  Noise  Productions  and  Metal  or  Die  Records.

  Ritualistic  and  nature  orientated  soundscapes  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some  atmospheric  sounding  synths  a  few  seconds  later  while  the  first  track  is  also  an  instrumental.  On  th e second  track  the  music  also  goes  into  more  of  a  heavier  direction  but  also  keeping  the  synths  which  where  introduced  on  the  beginning  song.

  Most  of  the  music  is  also  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  era  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  yet  high  pitched  black  metal  screams.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  all  of  the  music  sticks  to  either  a  slow  or  mid  tempo  direction.

  On  this  recording  Vorkuta  goes  for  more  of  an  atmospheric  black  metal  style  as  well  as  keeping  true  to  their  old  school  roots.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Vorkuta  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  atmospheric  and  old  school  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Incarnations  Churned  To  Charred  Flesh".  8  out  of  10.      

Source :

Silenced Minstrel/Volume 6 - An Ode To A Sickening Year/2020 Compilation Album Review

mardi 26 janvier 2021 à 03:56


  Malaysia's  Silenced  Minstrel  has  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  consists  of  re-mixed  versions of songs from his first 3 albums and  this  is  a  review  of  his  self  released  2020  album  "Volume  6-  An  Ode  To  A  Sickening  Year".

  A  very  heavy  sound  with  goth  style  keyboards  start  off  the  album  while  the  slower  sections  of  the  music  also  show  an  influence  of  90's  era  doom/death  metal.  Vocals  are  done  in  a  very  aggressive  screaming  style  along  with  some  shouts  also  being  utilized  at  times  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

  Black  metal  screams  are  also  utilized  at  times  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats.  All  of  the  drum  beats  are  also  programmed  along  with  some  of  the  tracks  also  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Throughout  the  compilation  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  some  of  the  riffing  also  showing  an  influence  of  thrash  metal  as  well  a  couple  tracks  also  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  Whispered  vocals  can  also be  heard  briefly  and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  finally  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  yet  old  school  style,  a  later  track  also  adds  in  a  brief  use  of  death  metal  growls.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  occultism,  immortality,  vampirism,  forbidden  love  and  depression  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  a  very  great  sounding  collection  from  Silenced  Minstrel  which  shows  a  completely  different  style  from  the  previous  recordings  I  have  reviewed  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black  and  gothic  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  compilation.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Chaos,  Revisited"  "Another  black  year"  "Black  Hearted  Mystic"  and  "In  Memoriam:  October  Skies".  8  out  of  10.


Source :

Bestialis Interview

mardi 26 janvier 2021 à 02:16


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

We are Bestialis and we have just released our debut EP “Ritus” on November 13th, 2020, so our first sign of life is only two and a half months old. It would not be surprising if you have not heard about us yet, but then it is high time to give a listen to our music.

However, Bestialis was born already in 2012. The band is a duo consisting of Absorber (guitars) and me, Lastaurus (vocals). We do the songwriting for all the instruments as well as the recordings by ourselves (we only had some help regarding the drums on “Ritus” from O Grego). We are also working towards playing live with session musicians, but that is currently still in the future.

Looking into the past, we met and started playing metal together in 2008. After experimenting in previous bands, we decided to start anew together in 2012. The main characteristics of Bestialis were created back then: the name, a first logo, the basics of the concept behind the name, and the first song drafts. Over the years we recorded a few demo songs, discarded some of them, and took our time to let it all grow. We never felt any pressure to release a first record, concentrated on other things in life that were important at that time, and generally focused on slow but mostly steady work.

In 2020, to come to the present, we felt it was about time and we are happy that “Ritus” is out now, released by Vendetta Records and us digitally and as a beautiful 12″ screen printed vinyl (B-side), thanks to Stefan and Olli.

2. Recently you have released an EP, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you went for on the recording?

Well, actually we did not go for a specific musical style. It was not a question of which style we chose, but ‘the style’ was simply what we did, what Bestialis stands for. I think the best thing is to listen to the record, but I will try to describe it. We play black metal music that deals with the animalistic in humans, or human animality, and with humanimal origins, so to speak. It is about primeval and generally other forms of living and becoming together, about needs, feelings and instinctive behavior. I can tell you more about our concept later.

To give our topics the appropriate musical expression, as we think, we have incorporated acoustic elements like guitars, percussions, chants and throat singing. We tried to build up kind of a strange ritual atmosphere, or as Islander from No Clean Singing put it: “[…] the feeling that we have been transported into the midst of a dark ceremony.” I quote him because I think he described our music very well and really got “Ritus”.

Bestialis is rooted in traditional black metal, no doubt about that. However, we do not think that our music actually is traditional black metal, nor that we belong to this subgenre. We do not stop at supposed genre boundaries, but go beyond by using traditional folk music elements on the one hand and unconventional, progressive arrangements on the other. This is not only for reasons of appropriate expression, but also because we draw inspiration from black metal as well as a lot of other music, just as cultural influences in general. I like to describe us as black metal border crossers.

And let me add, this musical approach also reflects our world view. We as individuals as well as Bestialis are convinced of a transcultural, progressive society that must be developed further. And, to point this out: If you are not with us in this respect, Bestialis cannot be for you.

3. The band has been around since 2012 but waited until 2020 to release any music, can you tell us a little bit more about the long wait?

As said, we took our time. We did not wait for something to happen from the outside whatsoever. No, we took our time to experiment, also to discard drafts, and to develop the music, the lyrics and the concept behind all of this. And we have done so alongside other, sometimes stressful things in life, with passion for what we do. Otherwise we would not run Bestialis at all.

But do not worry: Now that our debut EP is out, it will not be long until the release of the album, provided everything goes smoothly.

4. On the EP you covered the “Epic Of Gilgamesh” and prehistoric bull cults, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

Right, the song “Ur-Veneration” puts into narrative bull cults from the Stone Age, while “Non-Domestication: Fall Of Gilgamesh” covers a mythological tale from the Babylonian “Epic Of Gilgamesh”, titled “Gilgamesh and the bull of heaven”.

Before I get to our interest in it and go into the conceptual background, it is important for me to say that both songs do not reproduce original evidence though. There actually is not a lot of evidence of prehistoric bull cults, but this subject seemed so interesting to us that we could not resist the appeal of a lyrical interpretation. In the other case we even used original lines from the “Epic Of Gilgamesh”, but tell a completely different story. Our figure of the bull of heaven rebels against its divine rulers, no longer allows itself to be tied up by their web of intrigue and power, and throws off the yoke of their oppression.

This may already give a first idea why we are interested in these topics. We have transformed an old tale of enslavement, exploitation and lawlessness unto death into a narrative of liberation from our (own) chains that is still relevant now and here. This myth from the past travels as a ‘rebel story’ into the present, offering a glimpse even into the future. It is universalized and expresses an emancipatory striving. I said that our music is about other forms of living and becoming together. It is a search for a different conception of human being and being human. Further, it is a formation against post-industrial functionalism, against belief in progress and supposed civilization. A post-modern motivated ‘back to the roots’ in the sense of a ‘back to the future’: We overcome the limits of time, look back from the present, into the past, and ahead into and for the future – without getting stuck in the past.

This approach feeds our humanimalistic perspective, and the other way around. Behind this lies the desire for the supposedly alien, animalistic other: which is nevertheless always profoundly our own. Our basic premise is to understand humans as – primarily and in the most positive way – animal beings, and thus, at its essence, to explore, proclaim and worship the bestia or beast in man. We set this against a widespread image that devalues inhumane behavior as animalistic. And we turn this image around by welcoming the animal in humans.

Bull cults, or cultural engagements with cow and bull, appear again and again in different cultures in the mythological explanations of the world. This of course has a historical basis: Encounters with bull and cow are among the most important early human-animal relations. As we became aware of these things rather by chance, they would not let us go and quite organically became ‘our field’.

We implement this concept in our songs primarily in stories that often have a concrete starting point within literary history, such as the “Epic Of Gilgamesh”. Overall, myths and mythologies, including later reinterpretations, have proven to be an interesting field of inspiration for us. We take the teachings they contain, take them apart, and put something new together on that basis, another piece of the puzzle of a strongly individualistic and, in our way, animalistic worldview.

5. According to the press release of the record labels bandcamp page you are also going to be exploring Greek, Egyptian, Roman, Indian Mythology, Ancient History and the literature of Dürrenmatt, how long have you been studying those subjects?

Your question concerns our first album that we are currently working on. By now we finished writing the music in its basics and are currently working on the details of the songs, the lyrics, and doing prerecordings. Lyrically, this album will explore some narrations from the fields you mentioned, as well as from Dürrenmatt, and probably other authors, right. Of course we will present you the reworked Bestialis versions of the subject matters once the album will be released.

Since it is me who has laid out our concept and writes our lyrics for the most part, your question is a personal one. I think tales, history and mythology have accompanied me almost all my life. More than that, story telling is to be human. When I was a child, my parents told and read stories to me, not only from a classical-humanistic educational canon, but also greek myths. I took books from them and elsewhere, and read more tales myself, when I grew older. A cultural curiosity was awakened, which, besides other factors, led me to study history and literary studies. The tools and methods I learned give me the access to the topics that interest me, that I like to have. However, in terms of content, it is all a kind of self-study. And everybody can do so, but I think its easier and gets more direction, when you learn to use some methods – which everybody can do as well.

I have been doing this in my personal life for a long time, but it is the same procedure with Bestialis and has a great influence on what we do as a band. I do not see myself as an expert – but who needs experts? Over the years the picture naturally expands, the approach becomes more differentiated and the hunger for stories still continues to grow.

6. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name “Bestialis”? 

We have chosen this name because Bestialis is dealing with the bestia or beast in man. ‘Bestialis’ is a latin word, which means: bestial/beastlike, animallike, wild like animals. When we were looking for a name back in 2012, we thought about it and researched for a while, before we came across this. And since a name and logo always carry meaning, in other words stand for something, we found ‘Bestialis’ suiting us. Of course we still feel that this represents us and our concept well.

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

The cover artwork shows a circle of figures grouped around a piled up fire against the background of a forest silhouette and the night sky with a dark moon and the constellation of Taurus. One of these figures in ritual garb holds a shaman drum and a mallet, also wearing a mask with horns. The scenery is a visualization of my imagination of an ancient bull cult ceremony in the wild and therefore an iconic sign and depiction of the musical heart of “Ritus”, which is “Ur-Veneration”.

The 12″ vinyl edition features more than the cover artwork: There is another illustration on the inside of the cover that refers to “Non-Domestication: Fall Of Gilgamesh”. We printed the lyrics too and of course there is a backcover. Special feature of the vinyl edition is the screen print on the vinyl B-side, again a ritual scenery, but more personal, more intimate than the one on the cover. Technically, it is a digital rework of a copper engraving (artist and title of the original n/a).

I did the complete artwork for the EP myself under the name Lastaurus Logo/Artwork Design. It is a mixture of hand drawings and digital drawing and design. Everything was screen printed in the end, so this is hand-made work. And well, we are very happy with the result. All the better that other people seem to like it, too.

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?

Both of it is true someway. We will certainly continue the band as a duo. We have made the experience that we can work very well just the two of us and perhaps best in this way. We simply are in tune with each other, and we like to not have to be considerate of anyone else.

However, we prepare to play live on stage in the future, and therefore we will establish a live line up with additional session musicians, as said. It still feels a bit distant, but we are curious how this will succeed.

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

The reactions to “Ritus” are almost all positive, as far as we are aware. During the premiere by Black Metal Promotion there were many friendly comments, the video has now +6,5k views and a lot more thumbs up than down. In the other official and adorably detailed presentation (and a review) by No Clean Singing, we also received very kind words. The reviews so far are good to very good overall, and if there are ratings, we have mostly received 8/10 (or more). Most of the reviews, not all, come from Germany or the USA. Cvlt Nation made a short feature in which they spoke of our music in high terms.

There were also a lot of positive messages and comments on social media and orders. A fan from Mexico City made a small video in which he discusses the record. We still have to translate it, but of course we are very happy about all of this. Many thanks to all our supporters out there!

10. What can we expect musically once the full length is released?

Well, we have taken a musical path that we will not leave any time soon. The same goes for the concept and the lyrics, which will be continued on the album. But it is still at the beginning and everything else remains in the stars for now.

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?

We listen to practically anything we can get our hands on, whether it is randomly confronted or specifically sought out, as long as it seems interesting. Accordingly, we have broad, diverse listening habits and are naturally inspired in turn by what we hear. This does not only concern black metal, just as Bestialis is beyond old school black metal, even though we are rooted in the traditions of this genre. Our ears are always open for new, progressive, and sometimes also a little crazy music in and beyond metal. We are also interested in folk, acoustic and world music.

I mention the following names to illustrate this a bit (in alphabetical order): Black Space Riders, Borknagar, Dark Fortress, Emma Ruth Rundle, Enslaved, Faran Ensemble, Helrunar, Khusugtun, Marcel Khalifé (the instrumentals foremost), Maud the Moth, Melechesh, Nàttsòl, Negură Bunget, Satyricon, Tenhi. We could add tons of artists, but we leave it at this cross section for now.

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

Thank you very much for the interview. I hope I was able to shed some light on Bestialis, the things we do, and the background behind it all. Thanks to the readers, thanks again to our supporters. Looking forward to hear your thoughts on the album once it is out. Bestiae sumus. And the hunted become hunters.

Source :

Wolvencrown/A Shadow of What Once Was/Clobber Records/2021 EP Review

lundi 25 janvier 2021 à 04:38


  Wolvencrown  are  a  band  from  the  United  Kingdom  that  plays  an  atmospheric  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  ep  "A  Shadow  Of  What  Once  Was"  which  will  be  released  in  February  by  Clobber  Records.

  A  very  dark  yet  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  ep  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams.  At  times  the  music  also  gets  very  atmospheric  sounding  along  with  the  music  being  mostly  rooted  in  a  more  modern  style  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  When  tremolo  picking  is  utilized  it  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling  while  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody.  Synths  can  also  be  heard  in  in  some  parts  of  the  tracks  and  also  gives  the  recording  more  of  an  epic  yet  old  school  vibe  while  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  closing  track  is  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  is  also  an  instrumental.

  Wolvencrown  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  atmospheric  and  epic  sounding  with  the  use  of  synths.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Paganism,  Nature  and  Ancient  Battle  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Wolvencrown  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "A  Shadow  of  What  Once  Was  Part  2".  8  out  of  10.   

Source :