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Die Kunst der Finsternis/Revenant in a Phantom World (Queen of Owls Addendum)/Lamech Records/Amor Fati Productions/2019 CD Review

mardi 17 septembre 2019 à 09:26

  Die  Kunst  der  Finsternis  are  a  solo  project  from  Sweden  that  plays  a  vampiric  horror  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2019  album  "Revenant  in  a  Phantom  World (Queen  of  Owls  Addendum)"  which  will be  released  on  Halloween  as  a  joint  effort  between  Lamech  Records  and  Amor  Fati  Productions.

  A  very  dark  and  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  grim  spoken  word  parts  a  few  seconds  later  which  also  evolve  into  black  metal  screams.  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.

  A  touch  of  the  first  wave  style  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  vocals  while  a  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  long  and  epic  in  length.  At  times  the  music  captures  the  atmosphere  of  a  horror  movie  as  well  as  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  dark  and  melodic  style.

  Synths  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  as  well  as  some  death  metal  growls  also  being  used  briefly  and  as  the album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  melodic  chants  can  also  be  heard,  one  track  also  adds  in  some  80's  metal  elements.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  vampirism  and  gothic  horror  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  Die  Kunst  der  Finsternis  are  a  very  great  sounding  vampiric  horror  black  metal  solos  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Carnival  Of  The  Undead"  "Raised  From  Decay"  "Exhumation"  and  "Vampirismus".  8  out  of  10. 

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Neptrecus Interview

mardi 17 septembre 2019 à 07:50
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?
Hello ! Actually, not so many things have happened since the release of our new album « Ars Gallica ». We have been booked on a couple of black metal festivals, but I will talk about that in the next answers. At the moment, we are just beholding and enjoying the positive reactions to this new record.

2.Recently you have released a new album, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
I would say that « Ars Gallica » is some sort of synthesis between « L’Aube du Déclin » (our first album) and « Frères de Sang » (the second one). It combines the epicness and « medieval » influences of the first and the more brutal and cold atmospheres of the second. Also, it took more time to compose it. The previous records had been composed within more or less a year whereas it took about 3 years to come up with the new songs for « Ars Gallica ». I think that the main difference is that I really did not urge into finding new riffs and ideas. For example, when I didn’t know how to finish a song, I just left it behind for a few months and would come back to it later, and the end would come almost in a natural way. We also experienced some new things like clean vocals and progressive instrumental parts (I’m mainly referring to the song « Aux Grands Hommes la Patrie Reconnaissante ») and tried to emphasize the contrast between very fast blastbeating parts and more mid-tempo sections.

3.Your lyrics cover history, mythology and war, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?
It is quite a vast interest to be honest. It started with writing lyrics more generally on French and European mythology, war periods and some historical facts. Our first album « L’Aube du Déclin » was some sort of homage to the European cultural background, thus the lyrics dealt with Gaul Wars, Roman Empire, the birth of the world in Greek mythology, French middle ages, and so on… « Frères de Sang » focused on the rivalry that existed between France and Germany from 1870 to 1918, so it was really more into exploring both the heroic and monstruous sides of war. And at the time we thought it just made sense to us as Europe was « celebrating » the 100-year anniversary of World War I.
« Ars Gallica » has a different approach. The lyrics have a lot of references to History, and especially the French Revolution and its royalist resistance, but don’t directly deal with History. They were written as some sort of poems and the historical references actually serve another goal.

4.On your facebook page you said you had some patriotic ideas, can you tell us a little bit more about it and also do you feel people are very confused on what this actually means in the more modern society?
Yes, I think it is an important thing for us to express our pride to inherit the fascinating culture of France. This is the main reason why we have been putting the slogan « Black Metal de France ! » here and there in our works since the beginning.
It is some sort of « response » (even though there is no rivalry !) to the Black Metal scene from Québec. I really admire this scene which shows to my mind a strong unity and it is even more interesting to be able to kind of taste their cultural background through their music.
Neptrecus is a patriotic band understood in the way that we really have deep interest, devotion and gratefulness in our ancestors’ culture and land. And it is our personal reaction to this absurd and shitty modern world that just wants people to behave like insane rootless consumers.
Of course, there are some people who are not able to understand that but we just don’t care, after all they are just a part of the system and have no importance.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Neptrecus'?
« Neptrecus » is latin for « Neustrie », which designated a Frank kingdom in the Middle Ages covering a great part of what is today’s French territory. At the time I was looking for a band’s name, I wanted someting that directly referred to where I came from, and this one just made perfect sense.

6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
The front cover artwork was made by Calvaire Drach (, a very talented French designer.  As « Ars Gallica » basically means « French art », we wanted an artwork that would be some sort of an homage to French artists we admire (at least, a few of them as they are so many). So you can find three main references in this drawing, namely « La Pastorale » and « L’Angélus » by French painter Millet and an engraving by the famous Gustave Doré (the church in the background). It combines elements that are present in the lyrics : peasants, religion and old stone works. I think they are a good representation of old times’ French deep country.

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?
We haven’t toured a lot since we have been performing live, but some of the best memories definitely are our gig in Rouen (Normandy, France) in December 2017 which was just crazy as the audience were unchained and maybe our latest gig in Paris, in January 2019, as we were playing in front of more than 250 persons and with very good sound conditions, on a very nice stage. Actually most of our gigs our quite good memories to us, but I won’t talk about them all, it would be pointless !
About our stage performances, I think we can call them « straight into your face ». We don’t really have a proper stage show, we do it the old school way : it is just us with our energy, strength and hate, and of course the heavier sound we can get at the venue with the provided backline.

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
For the moment we only have two booked shows, namely on 14th December 2019 in Lille, France (Black Flame of Hate festival) and on 25th January 2020 at Heretic Metal Fest in Belgium.
We are looking to perform further shows in France and Europe so feel free to book us ( if you are a gig organizer/promoter reading these lines.

9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your newer music by fans of black metal?
It has been excellent ! We had orders from everywhere in Europe, but also in the USA and Japan, and everyone seems to be very enthusiastic about this new record, so it is very rewarding to us. There also have been a few very nice reviews here and there, it has all been absolutely positive at the moment.

10.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 also plays in French bands Griffon and Hats Barn that are both currently working on new albums, which should come out next year. I also advise you to check A/Oratos (involving our guitarist) and Anus Mundi (two of our members involved), they have released some nice stuff lately.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
It is hard to say, as for the moment there is no new material written for any next release…I have some ideas, some riffs which might suit the next songs to come, but it is definitely way too early to tell what it will sound like in the end. From what we have now, I would say it will be some more « progressive » material, longer songs with longer instrumental parts and more work on harmonies, maybe more complex songs. That’s at least what it feels like today. But once again, we really don’t know for now, and it may sound completely different.

12.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 have a very wide range of influences actually. But what influenced mostly Neptrecus’ music is definitely black metal from the 90’s with of course, the classics from Scandinavia (no need to say more, we all know them), but also the early French black metal scene, especially bands like Himinbjorg, Crystalium, Belenos, Forbidden Site, Anorexia Nervosa, etc. There are also bands from Eastern Europe like Nokturnal Mortum, Drudkh or Hate Forest that had a huge impact on us as composers. Otherwise, our music takes its roots into more « general » genres like classic heavy metal from 70’s and 80’s or early thrash metal bands. We actually are not only into black metal. We also like and listen to various genres of music, as long as it has a musical interest and it comes from the guts.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
No special words needed, just thank you for this interview ! Our new album « Ars Gallica » is available on German label Purity Through Fire ( and our Bandcamp page. And of course we are looking forward to performing on stage wherever it may be possible !

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Grand Demise Of Civilization/Below The Feet Of Kings/2019 Full Length Review

lundi 16 septembre 2019 à 09:46

  Grand  Demise  Of  Civilization  are  a  band  from  Minnesota  that  plays  a  very  aggressive  and  melodic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2019  album  "Below  The  Feet  Of  Kings"

  A  very  fast,  dissonant  and  raw  sound  starts  off t he  album  along  with  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats.  Vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  along  with  some  deep  guttural growls  also  being  used  at  times  and  most  of  te  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  technical  and  melodic  style  as  well  as  some  clean  playing  being  added  into  some  parts  of  the  music  and  as  the  album  progresses  some  atmospheric  and  depressive  elements  can  also  be  heard  as  well  as  some  parts  of  the  recording  also  having  their  progressive  moments,  one  track  also  introduces  spoken  word  parts  onto  the  recording..

  Grand  Demise  Of  Civilization  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  aggressive,  melodic  and  technical  sounding.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  death,  destruction  of  humanity  and  anti  Christian  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Grand  Demise  Of  Civilization  are  a  very  great  sounding  aggressive,  melodic  and  technical  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out t his  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Path"  and  "Decipher  the  Lie".  8  out  of  10.  

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LvxCaelis/Maher Shalal Hash Baz/Lamech Records/2019 CD Review

lundi 16 septembre 2019 à 07:47

  LvxCaelis  are  a  band  from  Chile  that  plays  a  spiritual  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  "Maher  Shalal  Hash  Baz"  which  will  be  released  on  Halloween  by  Lamech  Records.

  Ritualistic  soundscapes  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  sounding  black  metal  screams.  A  decent  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  can  also  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

 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  being  influenced  by  both  the  modern  and  old  school  era  of  black  metal.

  Some  of  the  riffing  also  shows  an  influence  of  90's  era  death  and  doom  metal  along  with  some  guitar  solos  and  leads  also  being  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  dark  and  melodic  style,  one  track  also  adds  in  a  brief  use  of  semi  clear  vocals  and  the  last  track  also  adds  in  clean  playing  and  spoken  word  parts.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  The  Black  Lodge,  Luciferian  Gnosis  and  Left  Hand  Path  themes.

  In  my  opinion  LvxCaelis  are  a  very  great  sounding  spiritual  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Beyond  the  Fading  Stars"  "The  Beginning  Was  The  End"  and  "Awakening  The  Final  Chaos".  8/5  out  of  10.


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Ashlands Interview

dimanche 15 septembre 2019 à 20:09
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?

We’re a newly formed Atmospheric Black Metal duo, hailing from the green wastes of Umbria (Central Italy). Ashlands are: me (as in the one that’s typing these words, nom de guerre: Wanderer) who composes and produces all of the music, as well as the visual and conceptual aspects behind it; Vanguard, who’s responsible for the main vocal assault, and also partakes in shaping the songs, both lyrically and structure-wise.
I have been steadily ruminating this project’s material for years now, but only in 2018, after joining forces with Vanguard, I felt that Ashlands was mature enough to come out of the shadows, in the form of a three-track EP that will confront the light of day on September 30th as “Ashlands I”: “An Entrance Beneath the Dunes” (10:23); “Pyre” (7:57); “Amber” (6:27).
A lot of effort and passion went – and is going – into this project, and we hope that some of that energy ends up resonating with the listeners!

2.You have an ep coming out during the end of September, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?

In its earliest incarnations, Ashlands’ musical focus was the no compromises, cinematic brand of Epic Black Metal forerunners like Summoning are known to deal in. In time, while remaining to some degree faithful to this formula (mainly in certain orchestral passages and in the fantasy-oriented lyrics), a broader set of musical influences and stimuli, along with a drive to experiment with the genre boundaries, pushed our music to strange new landscapes, until it ultimately found its form: a balance between an unyielding Black Metal heart, and a folk-tinged, ever present surge towards atmosphere, melody and introspection.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with your music?

The thing that always fascinated me about epic fantasy, is the constant duality of its every meaning: there’s the distance, the remoteness of the “superficial”, outermost narrative – with its magnificent vistas, its marvels, the boundless freedom of the imagination; and then there’s the “ocean beneath the waves”, and that ocean is Us, as Mankind – a direct and powerful representation of our sincerest emotional core: love, grief, nostalgia, pain, happiness, hope, despair.
And this is basically what we strive for, in our lyrics: through the medium of high fantasy and the epic narrative topos of the journey, we try our hardest to illuminate, for a brief moment, the intimate corners of our communal human nature.

4.The new ep is also going to be a part of a 3 part ep trilogy, can you tell us a little bit more about this concept?

The trilogy will follow the earthly odyssey of a group of nameless pilgrims, who’s fleeing from their homeland devastated by war: first through the ominous Ashlands – once the home of a myth-shrouded ancestral civilization; now, after centuries of tremendous volcanic eruptions, a suffocating landscape of ash and gaping underground ruins –, then through the many perils and wonders of an increasingly hostile yet spellbinding world.
An equally physical and spiritual journey towards their doom (the duality we spoke of earlier), as the shadow of Death closes in upon them – and then beyond.

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

The distant inspiration behind it is a volcanic region, precisely the Ashlands, surrounding the Red Mountain in Morrowind, third entry in Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls game series – even though our concept doesn’t rely in the slightest upon the lore of the Elder Scrolls in the way, just so we’re clear, Summoning or Caladan Brood do respectively with The Lord of the Rings and the Malazan book series.
Way back when I played Morrowind a lot, I was always struck by the sheer evocativeness and the desolate, almost alien beauty of that area of the game. So much, in fact, that an echo of its name, Ashlands, came naturally to mind upon naming the fiery, barren starting point of our trilogy’s journey, during the embryonic stages of “An Entrance Beneath the Dunes.”

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

It depicts the Ashlands: scorching hot, vast, constantly shrouded in an ashy mist; and I think it does a good job of capturing their hellish, indefinite allure – or even better yet, the impression it makes on the conscience of our pilgrims, as the region and the great volcano seemingly hold a towering spot in their collective image and mythology.

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

Ashlands will remain, at least for the foreseeable future, a duo, but we don’t necessarily rule out the possibility of a line up expansion. We’re also considering the possibility of drawing up a live-oriented formation of Ashlands, although at the moment this is not much more than a beguiling idea.

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

Not presently: what matters the most to us as of now is to get our music out there, and we feel it would be premature to start contacting labels without anything to show for ourselves, or even knowing in the slightest if what we play has an actual impact on the public of a such a crowded musical scene, on which scale, if any. That’s why we decided to go the self-produced, digital route for the time being – even though we’d love to collaborate with a label in the future, or to see a physical release of our music.

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

Since we almost finished recording “Ashlands II”, and “Ashlands III” is in the final stages of its composition, we can actually give you a pretty clear indication of where the trilogy is going, musically: while the overall style won’t change radically, “II” will certainly be somewhat heavier; “III” on the other hand  – following a drastic twist in the Ashlands storyline – will be more meditative and introspective, and the music will at times approach Ambient territories.

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?

Again, our music’s first beacons were Summoning and Caladan Brood, then Black Metal at large: the atmospheres of Agalloch, Ulver, Dimmu Borgir and Falls of Rauros; early-to-mid Alcest (especially 2012’s “Les Voyages De L'Âme”), the emotional weight of Der Weg Einer Freiheit, the claustrophobic guitar sound of The Ruins of Beverast; influences from Moonsorrow, Bathory, Falkenbach and Elvenking are also definitely present in some of the more folk-oriented passages and melodies.
What we’re listening to nowadays: as for me, very little Black, with the exception of The Clearing Path’s excellent “Watershed Between Firmament and the Realm of Hyperborea”. A lot of Wagner, mostly; Devourment’s new mind-shattering beast, “Obscene Majesty”, and Fat White Family’s “Serfs Up!” also get regular and frequent spins. Vanguard is really digging the new Mgła’s “Age of Excuse”; also Doom:VS’ “Earthless” and Messa’s “Feast for Weather”.

11.Does Paganism or Occultism play any role in your music?

They both do, in the sense that they hold a rather extensive importance when it comes to the world of Ashlands and the way that we present it lyrics-wise – which is to say from the point of view of the pilgrims themselves. Their outlook on life is clearly pagan, and they also have to confront a world in which supernatural forces play a very prominent, often active role.

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

Nothing other than thank you for the space you gave us, both in this interview and in your review of “Ashlands I”, and that for anyone interested – while we remind you that the full EP is coming out on September 30th (Bandcamp, name your price) – you can already listen to the second track, “Pyre”, which is premiered right now on our BC page ( and on YT ( Hail!

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