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Xalpen/Wowk Otrr/Morbid Skull Records/2018 EP Review

mercredi 29 août 2018 à 03:52

  Xalpen  are  an  international  band  with  members  from  Chile  and  Sweden  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  very  raw  and  satanic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  ep  "Wowk  Otrr"  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  Morbid  Skull  Records.

  A  short  intro  starts  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling.

  Vocals  are  a  mixture  of  demonic  growls  and  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  also  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  as  well  as  a  brief  use  of  synths  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  at  times  the  music  gets  very  ritualistic  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly.

  Xalpen  creates  another  recording t hat  remains  true  to  the  raw  style  of  satanic  black  metal  from  their  previous  release,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Shamanism  and  the  ancestral  traditions  of  ancient  occult  knowledge.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Xalpen  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  satanic  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Ten  Hashpen"  and  "Wowk  Otrr".  8  out  of  10.


Source :

Era Distolas Interview

mercredi 29 août 2018 à 02:25
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

The band formed out of the ashes of a lame rock covers band I was in with the drummer. I grew increasingly tired of playing Pearl Jam and REM covers just to get a gig at the few places in Amsterdam where you can still play live music. We had a prima donna lead guitarist who was totally unreliable and once he left we decided to start playing black metal. It's the music I've been consistently listening to since my teens anyway. The replacement guitarist we were talking to for the rock band decided to give it a go and I knew our bass player via a mutual friend and liked the way he played. I wrote a handful of songs and over the next few months we crafted them into the songs you can hear on the EP.

2. So far you have released an ep, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you worked with on this recording?

 I had to take into account he fact that my bandmates have all been to music school and wanted to do something more intricate and creative than just aping the brutality of established bands. When it comes to musical training I'm the weak link in the band, which makes writing songs that will keep them interested somewhat challenging. When writing music I generally pursue atmosphere and a deeply melancholic melody. I didn't want any palm muting on the guitar riffs to avoid a 'thrash' sound. I took a risk in the sense that I wanted the riffs to be 'catchy', if they would stick in my head and if my girlfriend (who hates metal) would be singing them after hearing me play them then I'd be satisfied that I had something of sufficient quality. I wrote all the guitar parts on an acoustic guitar which I think gives you an emphasis on the melody - you can add the heaviness later. I am a limited guitar player so there is nothing too technical. The ending of the title track is an example of this - I wrote that riff for the rock band but I always knew it would make a wonderfully mournful black metal riff.

 The EP was produced by Abraham Sarache, a prog rock musician who lives here and was my singing teacher for a while. He really crafted a defined sound for us. I played all the rhythm guitar parts and we used a vintage tube effect for atmosphere and a Line 6 modern metal distortion underpinning that for power. I also made a point of clearly enunciating all the words, which I believe is pretty original in this genre.

3.You lyrics cover a Utopian society built on Satanic Principles, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in Satanism or Occultism?

I studied philosophy and political science at university and I am really rather worried about the way the world is heading at the moment. The 'Civitas Diaboli' is a call-to-arms for a society based on reason, wisdom and knowledge. I am by no means a LaVeyan Satanist but I like the stratification that Peter Gilmour has discussed and I feel that the current indulgence of the worst impulses of the masses in some developed countries is utterly revolting. I'm British and during the Brexit debacle we had a government minister declare that the British people 'have had enough of experts'. Well now we are pursuing a direction that risks great damage to the country so we indulge the xenophobia and ignorance of the uneducated. I had to disengage from social media recently as I couldn't deal with idiots who struggle with basic grammar overruling experts on global trade. The misanthropy I feel as a Satanist has been driven into overdrive by such events. Despite this I did want to present a positive vision in the EP, rather than just rant at the masses. I'd generally say that my Satanism is more philosophical than spiritual but for me the line between the two can be blurry. I am very private regarding my beliefs, after all it's hard to justify complaining about Christian evangelism if we are constantly proselytizing our objections to their creed. Let them bleat like the sheep that they are. My beliefs are for myself and my music.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Era Distolas'?

If you're a cynic you might say that Distolas is one of the only remaining obscure demons whose name has not yet claimed by a metal band. If you're not you might assume that the band's leader is well versed in medieval demonology.

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

It's a take on the cover of an edition of The Revolt of the Angels by Anatole France.

6. Has the band had any opportunity to play an live shows and also are there any gigs planned for the future?

Amsterdam is a great city to live in, but is far from ideal from the perspective of performing any sort of metal music. Despite the reputation for rebellion here this City is as mainstream as it gets. We're talking with a few venues about performing. Halloween in a cellar club on the canals is a realistic option. The Dutch bible belt is where the scene is and I'm busy promoting the band to the venues there. (Well, as busy as one can be with a 7 month old baby at home). I am keen to play in France, Belgium and Germany.

7. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

I have discussed it with a few labels. I have an album written and we are able to craft a polished sound on a low budget which is appealing to labels. We cannot bring thousands of social media followers to a label to negate the need for them to actually do any promotion, however. Reviews from sites such as this really help. I believe that our music can be profitable. I have worked in sales for years and I think I can sell this band.

A friend of mine is a bigshot producer in Scotland who has worked with some big name rock bands. He's remixing our EP to give us an alternative mix of the tracks. This isn't because we are unhappy with the current mix, but this guy has an impressive CV and I am keen to see what he can do with it. I'd love to give his name but he doesn't want his good name to be associated with an unsigned black metal band!

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

I've sent it to people in the UK, Russia and the US and the response has been enthusiastic. It's pleasing to see people listening to it in different countries in Spotify. After the review on this site we got a nice boost in a few different places.

9. When can we expect a full length and also where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?

I have 3 new tracks written and am keen to record an album. Our bassist is off to South America for 3 months this autumn which makes things challenging but our producer is replacing him temporarily. The first challenge is to find time to record an album and find a label to support us. The other guys work and I stay home with my baby daughter most of the working week. Hardly ideal.

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?

The bands that have influenced me the most would probably be Watain, Belphegor, Funeral Mist and Deathspell Omega. Outside of black metal I like darker classical music; Mussorgsky for example. I come from the town in the UK where Edward Elgar lived and I love his cello concerto. It's in E minor like most great metal songs! The band's lead guitarist has a jazz background. You can hear that in his playing.

Recently I have been listening to some French black metal like Aosoth and Arkhan Infaustus.

11. What are some of your non musical interests?

I play a lot of sport. I used to be a cycle racer at an elite level and I have been playing rugby for the last few years. My team just won the Dutch championship.

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

I am deeply embarrassed by the links between some black metal bands and Nazism, nationalism and fascism. It's moronic. As well as being utterly vile, these movements are always bound up in religious and social conservatism and black metal musicians and fans would very quickly find themselves being persecuted under such regimes. The Nazis burned books and banned music. If you play black metal and support such policies you're a cretin. It makes no sense to me, but I am glad we live in a free society where people can speak out and make themselves look unpleasant and ignorant.

Many thanks!


Source :

Expurgatory Interview

mercredi 29 août 2018 à 02:08
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

We've been around for five years, aiming at the more uncomfortable elements of DSBM and depressive rock, and are firmly left wing. The band started with just two members - George and Alexander - who met whilst training to be librarians, and wound up sharing a love for a very wide spectrum of black metal (and other related extreme genres).

2.Since 2013 you have released a great amount of material, how would you describe your musical progress over the years?

There is much more structure to our songwriting these days, as well as a much larger line-up to draw creative energy from. Most tracks used to form one layer at a time, passed back and forth between whoever was able to contribute, until the song reached a finished stage, but we tend to lock in together to a particular melody more often these days.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

This varies a bit depending on who is handling the vocals. If that's the role you're taking for that track, you tend to write the lyrics too. For L, who provided guest vocals for the new track on the latest compilation, the source was an old and particularly violent Scottish folk song. For Susan, who sings lead vocals on half the tracks of the latest compilation, they the lyrics are a mixture of an exploration of a mood/psychological state and addressing places or events that have happened (ie: Fortress W, which is about the 'Battle of Wapping' in 1986, and Grand Union was inspired by a stretch of canal near where they grew up that's this mixture of wild and industrial that always made them feel excited and on edge at the same time). For Alexander, the vocals often comprise of almost randomly assembled latin sentences from our namesake, and, in one case, an extended set of questions aimed to provoke an emotional response in people applying for jobs in prison libraries.

4.I know that the band got their name from a list of banned books that where banned from the Catholic Church, do you feel that the church has deprived a lot of people of knowledge over the years along with the Vatican also having a hidden library of hidden knowledge ?

The list in question - the Index Librorum Prohibitorum - ceased to be a thing around the same time as the last of the great book obscenity trials (ie: Howl, Lady Chatterley's Lover, Naked Lunch, etc), which I think isn't a coincidence. They probably realised that the days of them telling people - in such a direct and formal manner, at least - what they can and cannot read were definitely over. If you look back further at the volumes (stretching back to the 16th century), they just got thinner with every reprint, so perhaps even that monolithic global influencer could see their strength waning. They definitely have like to keep things covered up, for a wide range of disturbing and entirely predictable reasons that are only in recent years finally coming under the scrutiny they deserve.

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

It's a sourced from a 19th century photograph showing a woman from a psychiatric hospital. Knowing what we do now about how arbitrarily people - especially women - were sent to those places, God only knows what she actually did to warrant such a sentence. The more time you spend thinking about how fear and misogyny governed the make-up of those places, the worst you tend to feel about humanity.

6.One member lives in the United Kingdom while the rest of the band lives in Australia, how does this work out in the recording process?

Quite well, actually. Most of the recordings are done on very basic recording programs, and most of the vocals from Susan are synched up simply by having them count in to a click-track at the start of the track. Once we realised how well that works, it was really liberating. It gives us all more autonomy, and we don't need to go through a gate-keeper with access to and understanding of the more high-end recording software.

7.Has the band done any live shows or is this strictly a studio project?

We've done a handful of live shows, starting with the launch gig for our first album, X, in a zine store in Melbourne called Sticky in 2015. The space is small, but it was very well attended, and was in many respect the ideal location for us: claustrophobic, underground, and dimly lit. The next gig was also in there, and was the first performance to feature Leah on spoken word. The one after that was very different - six of us in person at an impro music night in Fitzroy (inner suburb of Melbourne), with Susan providing a noise backing track. That was the closest to a live metal performance we had done that far - first time with live drums, more than one guitar, particularly intense screaming vocals, Begotten screening over the top of us... it was pretty amazing. Our gigs since then have been similar to that later one. All our gigs so far, though, have improvisation in common. For our next approach to live settings, we'll be going against that approach by playing pre-planned songs with more traditional structure, which is nerve-wracking, but also pretty exciting.

8.In the last 5 years the band has released a great amount of material, do you spend a great amount of time writing and creating music?

It can take some time for tracks to come together, especially now that we've formalised the process, though as most of us are also rooted in noise music, we like to keep a random element to things - like, allowing for a layer to fall where it falls in the recording process, then work other layers around that. There was a one hour long collaborative track we did with a Sydney solo musician named Frances Piers, which involved a lot of montage, but also a reasonable amount of quiet precision. That was an amazing project. Often the most satisfying tracks are the ones that come easiest, but as we keep changing, it never quite feels right to stick with what's easiest.

9.The band has also been a part of a great amount of splits, can you tell us a little bit more about the bands and musical projects you have shared these recordings with?

Most of them have at least a member shared amongst them. Shallow, who put out a split demo with us way back at the start (recorded in late 2014), is the solo noise project of Alexander, that has stopped and started somewhat since 2010. The Church of Hysteria, which shared a split that featured the first live Expurgatory performance, is also another project of Alexander, though this time a loud take on stripped back indie rock. Colostomy Baguette? is a harsh noise group involving Alexander and the vocalist for Religious Observance - Wayniac - as well as Susan (performing as K-Hole) and a recently passed away member, The Shitter, who managed to make it quite surprisingly profound in recent years (which nobody expected when the name was chosen). Hadal is a more recent project involving George on guitar, Alexander on bass and vocals, and Wayniac on lyrics. Sludgy, sparse, funeral drone/doom, that was started to experiment with other forms of more direct heaviness.

10.On the last full length the band did a cover of Hellhammer's "Messiah", what was the decision behind doing your own version of one of their songs?

The song actually first appeared on an EP in 2016, though we wanted to put it out there again to honour the memory of Martin E. Ain, who died a month before the album came out. This was a favourite track for us for some time, so deciding whether to give it an extra polish and a chance to be heard didn't take much deliberation. It's probably the best track from the first wave of black metal (a tough call to make, and one that will likely enrage folks and/or make them do eyerolls).

11.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

We've released albums and splits through labels in the past, and both of these are sensational DIY focussed operations. We'd definitely be interested in getting an extra leg-up from a label down the track, as we've all got an absurd amount of commitments, and all work full time, so the completely DIY approach only takes us so far, exposure-wise.

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

We're mostly unknown, though we've had a couple of nibbles here and there. It's hard to tell these days. Social media gives you the sense that you can guage interest in and engagement with your art, but it also messes with you a lot. Getting a handful of direct responses from people means a lot more than a whole bunch of numbers, really. Also, when we're able to bring our approach to a live setting, the powerful response is especially humbling.

13.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?

Alexander is the most busy beyond this band, with his doom metal band Religious Observance getting a steadily increasing level of support and interest over th last couple of years. Their work with Shallow has picked up some more too, as has The Church of Hysteria, who are working towards recording their third full length album later this year.

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

Building on the volume we have produced, which will hopefully lead to a deal where we can get a vinyl LP of our new work put out. We're particularly interested in playing our take on black metal to adjacent crowds - ie: darkwave, queer electro, etc - which may very well blend back into our sound as we work with how that audience engages with us.

15.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 the music that influences us, the main acts that come to mind are Ildjarn, Urfaust, Hellhammer, The Body, Lifelover, Woods of Infinity, and Xasthur. As for what we're listening to, there's Ill, Wrekmeister Harmonies, The Ex, APARTHIVA RAKTADHARA, Meg Baird, Helena Espvall, Sharron Kraus, Shirley Collins, Wormlust, MMMD, V, Sarah Mary Chadwick, Uboa, Diploid, Bell Witch, Moon, Nekrasov, Deader, and Military Position

16.What are some of your non musical interests?

Esoteric films, books and artwork. Black metal theory is a growing interest, too - it's great that this genre can spread and seep into so many other areas of cultural interrogation and appreciation.

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

Thank you again for your interest and time. Hopefully you'll hear more of us in the near future.



Source :

Sjukdom/Stridshymner Og Dodssalmer/Osmose Productions/2018 CD Review

mercredi 29 août 2018 à 02:00

  Sjukdom  are  a  band  from  Norway  that  plays  a  Norwegian  style  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Stridshymner Og Dodssalmer"  which  will  be  released  in  October  by  Osmose  Productions.

  Dark  soundscapes  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  while  all  of  the  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  grim black  metal  screams  as  well  as  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats.

  Dark  sounding  melodies  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  tremolo  picking  giving  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling  and  the  music  is  also  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  Norwegian  second  wave  style  as  well  as  the  guitar  leads  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  when  they  are  utilized.

  Sjukdom  plays  a  style  of  Norwegian  black  metal  that  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  second  wave  style,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Norwegian  and  cover  anti  religion,  war,  disease  and  death  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Skujdom  are  a  very  great  sounding  Norwegian  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Dodssalmer"  "Med  En  Fot  I  Graven"  and  "Skudd  For  Skudd".  8  out  of  10.  

Source :

Noctem Aeturnus/Winter Spells/Naturmacht Productions/2018 CD Review

mardi 28 août 2018 à 03:59

  Noctem  Aeturnus  are  a  solo project  from  Argentina  that  plays  a  very  atmospheric  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2018  album  "Winter  Spells"  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  Naturmacht  Productions.

  Field  recordings  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  atmospheric  soundcapes  while  ambient  style  synths  are  also  utilized  at  times  along  with  the  heavier  riffs  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  as  well  as  the  vocals  being  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of   the  recording.

  Spoken  word  parts  are  also  added  into  some  parts  of  the  music  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling  along  with  the  music  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Some  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length   while  guitar  solos  and  leads  when  they  are  utilized   are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  classical  orientated  instrumental  can  also  be heard  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  and  nature  sounds  can  also  be  heard  briefly.

  Noctem  Aeturnus  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  atmospheric  and  epic  sounding  while  also  mixing  in  elements  of  ambient  at  times,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  heavy while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  nature  themes.

 In  my  opinion  Noctem  Aeternus  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  solo  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Winter  Spells" "Nocturnal  Mantle"  and  "The  Waning  Moon  Has  Fallen"..8  out  of  10.  

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