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Reign In Blood/Missa Pro Defunctis/Iron Bonehead Productions/2019 CD Review

dimanche 21 juillet 2019 à 00:20

  Reign  In  Blood  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  a  very  satanic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  "Missa  Pro  Defunctis"  which  will  be  released  in  August  by  Iron  Bonehead  Productions.

  A  very  dark  and  ritualistic  orientated  intro  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  spoken  word  parts  also  being  utilized  before  going  into  a  very  fast  and  brutal  musical  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  When  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  chaotic  and  melodic  style  vocals  are  mostly  angry  sounding  black  metal  screams  and  shouts.  A  touch  of  old  school  death  metal  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  riffing  and  vocals  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  The  riffs  also  utilize  a  great  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  and  when  tremolo  picking  is  utilized  it  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling  as  well  as  a  couple  of  the  tracks  being  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  music  also  brings  in  a  decent  mixture  of  both  old  school  and  modern  influences and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  clean  guitars  can  also  be  heard.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Black  Magick  and  Occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Reign  In  Blood  are  a  very  great  sounding  satanic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Dawn  of  A  Dying  Soul"Missa  ProDefunctis"  and  "wolfhour".  8  out  of  10.


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Havens Interview

samedi 20 juillet 2019 à 06:13
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
Havens is the name I use to write and release music. I've written songs for years, but I hadn't ever released anything until some friends in 2016 showed me how to use computer software to record at home. In 2017, I put out "We Shall Meet Where There Is No Darkness" and most recently I put out "On The Verge Of Collapse".

2.Recently you have released your first full length, musically how does it differ from the ep you had released towards the end of 2017?
Besides the usual musical maturity that occurs as you write more material, "On The Verge Of Collapse" is a much heavier album altogether. The music is heavier, the lyrics are heavier and the vocals are screamed whereas the EP had clean vocals. However, I should mention that I plan to re-record the "We Shall Meet.." EP with screamed vocals at some point. I was less confident in my voice at the time, so singing was less of an artistic decision and more of a coping decision.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with your music?
I took a look at my own mortality and my anxieties of which there are many. There's also some personal and political topics which are interrelated. For example, Generation Enslaved is about the private prison system in America and how the US incarcerates so many people, but told through then lens of my father who spent a good chunk of time in jail when I was a teenager and how that impacted me, him and our relationship.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Havens'?
It's taken from a short instrumental song by Alcest from their "Les Voyages de l'Âme" album that I love. They're a favorite band of mine. But the word is perfect because, as I mentioned earlier, I have a lot of anxiety and I'm always looking for spaces that feel like a refuge or shelter, to give my brain rest. Listening to music, writing music and being a part of the music scene, has always been a sanctuary for me.

5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
It was done by one of my best friends Ken Miller who is an absolutely incredible artist. He had been hearing the songs in various states of completion for months as I was working on them, so he had a deep understanding of the lyrical content and sound. He did a great job of capturing a visual representation of both the music and the lyrics.

Ken is available to do artwork. You can find his portfolio and more information at and
He's also in a doom band called Seismic which you can check out here -

6.With this project you record everything by yourself, do you have any experience playing in other bands or working with other musicians?
I have been in a lot of bands over the years, but I usually quit pretty quickly. In fact, I've been in two different bands with Ken, who did the artwork for "On The Verge Of Collapse". Ultimately, I realized that I prefer having full creative control and work at my own pace so it was best for me to work on things on my own.

On the recording end, I've never worked with another band. I am the definition of a hobbyist here. I just have a couple pieces of equipment to record myself in my home office.

I will say that in the future, I hope to be able to work with some other musicians on Havens songs. I'd like to be chiefly responsible for songwriting, but for example, being able to work with and record a real drummer would be great. I've also talked to some friends and acquaintances about the possibility of learning the songs so that we can play a few shows if there's any interest.

7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
I am not actively looking for a label. And I haven't had any labels reach out to me. I don't expect that there'd be much label interest. Writing music is something I do with my spare time. I have no plans to start doing heavy touring or anything like that to promote my music. But who knows? If there was label interest and everything worked out, I'm open to it.

8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of atmospheric black metal?
It's been pretty positive so far that I've seen. To be honest, I am humbled that there's any any interest whatsoever. I make music to scratch my own itch and battle my own demons, so when others get something out of it, that's just icing on the cake.

9.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
In the near future, now that the album is out, I'm working on trying to get together with some friends to rehearse the songs and maybe play a few shows in our area. And as I mentioned earlier, I'd like to go back and re-record the older EP with better vocals. We'll see. I don't want to invest too much energy into that, since it's looking backwards and not forward, but it'll bother me if I don't do it.

As far as writing new material, I am always working on things. I already have a bunch of rough ideas in various states of completion. I don't make any plans ahead of time about how things should sound or anything like that so I can't comment on musical direction.

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?
I've always been a music junkie and I've always had a wide array of tastes which all find their way into the music I write somehow or other. I listen to a lot of metal, I think that's obvious, but I'm also into a lot of 1990s alternative bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Slowdive and Sigur Rós. And then there's stuff like Tragedy, His Hero Is Gone, Integrity and Assück - I enjoy the urgency that existed in the 1990s punk and hardcore scenes, especially the bands who were sorta on the fringe of those scenes and didn't quite fit in.

I still listen to all that stuff regularly nowadays, but if you're asking me what specific records I've been playing lately, I'd say:
Falls of Rauros - Patterns In Mythology. This album came out today and I've had it on repeat while I answered this interview. It's fantastic.
Slowdive - s/t. This English shoegaze band released a couple incredible records in the 1990s, broke up, reunited and released this amazing self-titled record in 2017. I listen to it constantly.
Woman is the Earth - Torch of our Final Night. I just discovered Woman is the Earth recently which is a shame because they've been around for a decade. This record is my favorite, but everything they've done is great.
The Ruins of Beverast - all. I went to Fire In The Mountains festival a week ago (that's why it took so long for me to respond, sorry about that). And this band's set was incredible, both musically and because of what happened during their set. I could explain, but you'd be better off searching for photos or videos.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
I like to go hiking, camping, canoeing... anything outdoors really. I try to partake in those types of activities as much as I can. They rejuvenate my spirit. My wife and I also travel a lot, usually to do the aforementioned activities.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you for the support. I really appreciate it.

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Draugen/Grim Forest Sky/2019 Demo Review

samedi 20 juillet 2019 à 03:58

  This  is  a  review  of  another  recording  from  Argentina's  solo  project  Draugen  which  shows  the  music  going  into  more  of  a  raw  and  lo-fi  black  metal  direction  and  the  demo  was  self  released  in  2019  and  called  "Grim  Forest  Sky".

  A  very  dark  and  lo-fi  sound  starts  off  the  demo  along  with  some  distorted  sounding  black  metal  screams  a  few  seconds  later.  Vocals  are  mostly  grim  sounding  black  metal  screams  while  the  music  also  brings  in  a  decent  amount  of  90's  influences  and  elements  of  ambient  are  also  utilized  at  times.

  Both  the  riffs  and  guitar  leads  also  use  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.  When  tremolo  picking  is  utilized  it  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling  while  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts,  keyboards  are  also  added  into  some  parts  of  the  recording  and  one  track  also  introduces  acoustic  guitars  onto  the  recording.

  On  this  recording  Draugen  goes  into  more  of  a  raw  and  lo-fi  black  emtal  direction  while  also  mixing  in  some  ambient  elements.  The  production  sounds  very  dark,  raw  and  lo-fi  while t he  lyrics  cover  darkness,  death  and  war  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Draugen  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  raw  and  lo-fi  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  demo.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  War  Should  Never  End"  and  "Forgotten  Mirkiness".  8  out  of  10. 

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Draugen/Dark Vermis/Floppy Noise Records/2019 EP Review

samedi 20 juillet 2019 à 03:16

  Draugen  are  a  solo  project  from  Argentina  that  plays  a  mixture  of  raw  black  metal  and  noise  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2019  ep  "Dark  Vwrmis"  which  was  released  by  Floppy  Noise  Records.

  Ambient  sounds  start  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  very  fast,  raw  and  lo-fi  direction which  also  uses  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking.  Vocals  are  mostly  grim  sounding  black  metal  screams  along  with  some  melodies  also  being  added  into  the  guitar  solos  and  leads.

  A  small  amount  of  melody  can  also  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  while  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.  Spoken  word  samples  can  also  be  heard  briefly  along  with  some  elements  of  noise  also  being  used  at  times  as  well  as  the  ambient  sounds  also  returning  in  other  parts  of  the  music  and  the songs  also  get  very  experimental  in  some  parts  of  the  recording.

  Draugen  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  raw  black  metal,  ambient  and  noise  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  his  own.  The  production  sounds  very  dark,  raw  and  lo-fi  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness,  necromancy  and  death  themes  along  with  some  inspirations  from  the  writings  of  Clark  Ashton  Smith.

  In  my  opinion  Draugen  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  raw  black  metal,  ambient  and  noise  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Death  Defiers"  and  "Submission  Over  the  Castle".  8  out  of  10.


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Imperator interview

samedi 20 juillet 2019 à 02:23
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?

Imperator is a one man experimental black metal band, with me being its only member, the project takes a lyrical focus towards introspective reflection, pondering upon my personal struggles, fears, faith and desires, while musically it tries to resemble as much as possible this reflection, while having certain catharsis from the emotion, thus having an odd mixture between ugliness and beauty, in a chaotic song structure which incorporates elements from other genres and takes inspired by other musical expressions.

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

Recently I released my last full-length album "The fifth volume of Evil" (stylized simply as "V"), it is an album that takes some elements from my previous releases, and delivers them in a more mature way, one of the main points of this album is that the main tracks are pretty long, so all of these elements are better developed, and are delivered in a more structured manner.
Then, you have production, I shifted towards a different way of recording my instruments, and I feel that this is by far my best sounding album, while is not a particularly great achievement, I feel that it fits the whole character of the album, as well as it becomes easier to listen for those discovering my music (opposite to what "Éléphant" was).

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

My lyrical topics have varied greatly through the years, from tales I write, to the teenager realization of the frailty of life, the desire for our world to end, occultism, dreams, depression, suicide, perversions, eating disorders, loneliness, wisdom, et cetera.
As I pointed out before, this project is mostly a form of expression, a cry into the void, and is impregnated with my own struggles and dreams, though is to be noted, that lyrical style and themes have shifted over time, as I have grown and developed myself into a more mature being, a change that has also reflected in the musical approach of the project.

4.The musical project has also went under different names, what was the cause of the name changes and the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Imperator'?

The first name this project has was "Nocturnal Toxin & Carnage", it was a stupid name, I was 16 (or 15? I don't remember) and I didn't know how to name what I was doing, as the project was originally concieved to play grindcore, I decided it was going to be a temporary name until I thought a better name, but it stuck for around 3 years until 2015, when the idea came to me, as I shifted towards "Vore" (suffix for "vorare", latin for "devour"), didn't have any meaning for me, it didn't define any musical change for me either, as the music was already changing from the previous name, but it was short and easy to remember, but is not the kind of word most people would like to type in a web browser, not a problem for me, but certainly the name wasn't going to help with the spread of my music.
So, in 2018, after a lot of interactions with other projects, musical evolution, and certain major shifts in my personal life, I felt that the time for "Vore" was over, it meant nothing for me, never did, and I felt the need to capture the essence of my music and my own being in a name, so, I adopted the name from one of my other passions (a source I'd rather not tell), and it was perfect, as it captured power, and it is the musical and lyrical approach I want to adopt, triumph over adversity, and the impending darkness invading an empowered soul, life seen not as a simple spectator, but as its master, as its Imperator.

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

Some of the artwork I have used in my albums has been made by me, some have been paintings or pictures I find on the internet, and I have also played with digital edits of photographs playing with VHS styled aesthetics and vibrant colours.
For the most part I have tried to create aesthetically pleasing covers, some of them even contrast with the visceral sound of my music, playing with the "ugly and beauty" mixture I mentioned before, but aside from that, and some esoteric images places here and there, I wouldn't say that album covers play a huge role in my productions, that's probably why I have been so careless about keeping a constant aesthetic or trying to keep them in line with usual black metal paraphernalia.

6.With this project you record everything by yourself but have experience working with musicians in other musical projects, how would you compare the two?

I have shared a few projects with other musicians, being Vfanhthore the only one that was actually good.
I'm not a great team player, I have to admit, and that's one of the many reasons that have made other projects I have collaborated in, fail, when you create music with other people, you have to be open to what other musicians bring to the table, being capable of accepting other people molding your ideas, and being capable of doing the same with other people's ideas, so in the end, you get a product that is result of the combined efforts, however, I'd say that when it comes to creative work, I am more of an individualist, I have a focused idea of what I want to do, and I am not a great fan of letting other people mess with that idea, losing the focus I had.
It all depends on being open to accept other people's ideas in your vision, and it is something I am not.

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

Not really, very few labels have released my material with the quality I want, that's why I personally have very few of my own recordings, that's another part of "not letting people disturb your vision", and when it comes to materialize any of my recordings, I've been the most satisfied with my own DIY recordings released via Cónclave Curatorial Records, though my shipping times, and overall quality clearly state that I lack the resources or manpower to keep up with regularly released productions.

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

I don't know how far has my music reached, but I had spoken to some listeners, and for the most part their reaction has been positive, people enjoy the randomness of my music, the lyrics, some have even stated that the music makes them feel as if they knew me personally, and I have even experienced the joy of having inspired a few of my colleagues to try some different ways of black metal, so in my limited experience, people have liked what I do.
Black metal as a genre has been quite stagnant since the 90s, for people looking for something a little different, my music is an enjoyable rendition of the genre, as it mixes elements from other styles and more than often goes out of the usual sound of the genre.
But of course, there's always the purists who prefer music being more akin to the classics, certainly I can't blame them, and while I have never had a bad review or problem with them, I can imagine that they wouldn't find anything interesting in my music, and it really is something I don't plan to change.

9.Are you involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?

As I mentioned before, the last project I was involved with was Vfanhthore, and that idea is kind of dead by now, I think that what we managed to create with the original line up cannot be achieved with different people, and as we split up, I'd prefer to keep that project untouched.
As for other projects, I don't think I'll be making something with anyone for a while, I've had little time lapses for my own project, and I'd like to commit to my own music for now, so I don't think any future projects with me in the line up will come for a while.

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

For now I am working on a new album, based mostly on self hatred and desires, so musically I am expecting to create very slow, yet sensual melodies, combining this dark and dissonant passages accompanied by rather delicate transitions, developing all of the ideas that I had in all of these years, while trying to gather some elements from other genres that have captured my imagination lately.

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?

In black metal, I'd say that my major influences are Leviathan, Xasthur, Rope (R.I.P.) and maybe Ulfrinn, but I also take a lot of inspiration from electronic music, HNW, vaporwave, baroque music, psychedelic rock, some 70s ballads, videogame music, traditional music from my region, and a lot of stuff, quite frankly, my music wouldn't be what it is if I didn't listen to other music and thought "how would this sound if I tried to play it myself?", trying it, realizing that it sucks, and then play it with lots of distortion.
Nowadays I've been listening to lots of ballads and pop music from the 70s, an era that keeps my imagination circling and has gave me some ideas for new music, though executing them won't be easy.

12.Does Occultism play any role in your music?

It does, however my beliefs and practices are something I'd rather keep to myself, but some of that experience has been poured across my music, being the most heavily influenced by this part of my being, albums such as "Aggrahmmageddoh'n", "ISOLATION", "Éléphant" and my split album with Kur Extorquere.

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

First of all, I'd like to thank Occult Black Metal Zine for the space and the interest in my music, and aside from that, I'd simply like to invite the readers to listen to my last album "V", or anything else from my discography, if they wish to dive into madness and noise, my music may satisfy the means.

Thank you for taking part in this musical journey, and expect more in the years to come.

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