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Countess/Fires Of Destiny/2016 CD Review

mercredi 13 juillet 2016 à 14:51

  Netherlands's  Countess  have  returned  with  a  new  album  that  continues  the  old  school  orthodox  black/heavy  metal  style  of  previous  recordings  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2016  album  "Fires  Of  Destiny".

  Atmospheric  sounding  keyboards  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  heavy  guitars  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  while  the  riffs  also  use  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  after  awhile  the  music  goes  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  black  metal  direction that  uses  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats. 

  Vocals  are  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  and  the  songs  bring  in  a great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  traditional  metal  influences  while  the  black  metal  elements  are  more  rooted  in  the  90's  second  wave  style  and  they  also  mix  both  the  keyboard  and  heavy  parts  together.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  remain  true  to  a  melodic  yet  old  school  direction  and  as  the  album  progresses  classical  guitars  and  clean  playing  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  some  of   the  tracks  bring  in  back  up  vocals  and  the  last  track  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Countess  creates  another  album  that  remains  true  to  the  keyboard  orientated  black/heavy  metal  style  of  previous  recordings,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  old  school  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  a  mixture  of  Dutch  and  English  and  cover  European  History,  Germanic  Paganism,  Occultism  and  Anti  Religion  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Countess  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band,  you  should  enjoy  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Fly  The  Battle  Flag"  "Rise  Of  the  Horned  One"  "Choir  Of  The  Valkyries"  and  "See  The  Ravens  Fly".  8  out  of  10.     

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2016/07/countessfires-of-destiny2016-cd-review.html


Gravespawn Interview

mercredi 13 juillet 2016 à 08:10
1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

We are currently finishing up a new EP entitled "Inexorable Grimness" that should be out either late summer or early fall depending on how long it takes to get it mastered. Of course, the most recent event for the band was the release of the 4-way split with Wormreich, Diabolus Amator, and Vesterian which is now available.

2. Currently you are working on a new ep, how would you describe the musical progress with the newer material?

The way I see it, the new material is what I would consider to be a continuation of where we left off in 2005 with the "Forged in the Malice of Stygian Fire" album. Gravespawn have once again incorporated atmospheric keyboards and epic elements into the music as opposed to the straight forward brutality of recent releases. Gravespawn would have continued in this direction with "Praetorian Maleficus" but I ended up selling my keyboards just to pay for the recording. Strictly musically speaking, all five songs on the new EP were inspired by my recent trip to Europe as I was able to walk through castles, Alpine forests and mountains, ancient ruins, and pagan burial grounds. It was a life changing experience for me to see not just a piece of my own heritage, but also of a past that has fascinated me since childhood. Within a week of returning home I composed and recorded the five rough draft songs that would become the new EP.

3. On the newer material the lyrics are very dark and go into the occult a bit, can you tell us a little bit more about the songwriting?

I sent you two songs from the new EP entitled "Old Dragon's Domain" and "Oath of the Annihilator", so we'll discuss just those two. The song "Old Dragon's Domain" is symbolic of mankind's defiance of the natural order and the resulting punishment for it by elemental forces, personified as the dragon in the song. "Oath of the Annihilator" is about Hannibal and his march on Rome. There is a brief part in the song about the religion and sacrifice rituals of ancient Carthage. For the new material, I write about my interests in ancient history and mythology while incorporating some of my own opinions or beliefs into the lyrics. However, it isn't really my intention to spread a message anymore so much as tell a story. This is primarily the direction Gravespawn's lyrics will take from now on.

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

I really wish I had a more interesting answer to this question, but I don't. The name was simply born out of the frustration of trying to find a great name with meaning only to find out every time that it was already taken. So at one point I just said the hell with it. I'm going to just go with the first pointless, cliche, black metal name I can think of and just stick with it. Out came Gravespawn and sure enough it wasn't taken as fate would have it.

5. Originally the band started out as a solo project, what was the decision behind forming a new line up?

I first conceived the idea of Gravespawn around 2003 and wrote the first riffs while I was in the Army, stationed in Fort Sill, OK and recorded my first demo while finishing my last year in Korea in 2004. At the time, I was playing keys for another band back home in Kansas so I really wasn't taking Gravespawn very seriously. It was just something to do. My main band split up not long before returning home after my discharge so I gathered what was left of it, including current bassist Advorsus, and recorded "Forged in the Malice of Stygian Fire." Since then the lineup and direction of the band has changed quite a bit over the years which is why, after the most recent series of lineup changes, I decided to take back the sole control of the creative and writing direction. I pretty much write the foundations and arrangements of the songs (lead guitars, keys, basic drum beats, lyrics, etc.) and afterwards Advorsus, Verigo, and whichever drummer I'm working with at the moment will put their own creative input into their respective instruments. Its entirely possible that I may decide to take over as studio drummer myself for future releases though.

6. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

So far my absolute favorite show has been Kansas City Black Death Fest. That is my hometown so I am pretty biased. Portland was a hell of a show with a great crowd, and I think our very first show (as well as my first live performance ever) opening for Horna and Bloodstained Dusk was pretty memorable. As far as my stage performance goes, I would say that my performance as the front-man is reflective of my passion for the music that I create. It might be considered eccentric but what's the point in holding back?

7. Do you have any touring or show plans once the newer material is released?

We have nothing set in stone for the immediate future just yet considering that Verigo lives in North Carolina, Advorsus lives in Kansas as well as the fact that he has a family to take care of first, and I live in Los Angeles. One show takes a lot of planning for us. I'd like to put something together next summer probably.

8. Recently you where a part of a 4 way split between Vesterian, Wormreich and Diabolus Amator, what are your thoughts on the other bands that have participated on the split?

When my guitar player Verigo, who is the founder, front-man, and guitarist of Vesterian, approached me about doing the artwork for the split as well and the possibility of putting Gravespawn on there, I wasn't familiar with Wormreich or Diabolus Amator. For me at the moment, doing a split with Vesterian was an inevitability so I was quick to jump on board. After that I did my homework on the other bands and checked out their music. All the bands on here are great in my opinion and cool people as far as I can tell despite only knowing them through online contact. I'm honored to be a part of it.

9. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer material by fans of black metal?

Well sir, you are one of the fortunate few to have heard the brand new material. As far as past material goes, the feedback has usually been pretty positive. It's rare I hear anything negative. I tried to promote in Europe while I was over there and got some positive feedback there as well. The amount of promotion that the split got worldwide was pretty impressive. The labels, as well as Wormreich and Vesterian's management company certainly seem to have done their job well. The songs on the split were re-recorded to fit the new direction of the band and also so I could present something new without just throwing old material on there. So far the reception for those songs in particular has been pretty great.

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?

Well, our session drummer for the recording, Jackson Ferris, is more well known for his work in LA based black metal band Ritual Combat and Kansas City based Viking Black Metal band Stonehaven. Vesterian just signed on to Alpha Omega management recently. I think there were plans to release a vinyl but I'm not sure how that is progressing at the moment. Advorsus' main band, Dark Apostle, is putting out a new album soon which I am also mixing for them. Advorsus and I also work on another project together called Ben Morgh which is sort of like a combination of pagan metal and dungeon synth you might say, inspired by Robert E Howard's Conan stories and Hyborian Age. We've written some new stuff for it but we're a long way from putting out anything new.

11. What are some of the bands or musical projects that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

The albums that influenced me during the "Forged..." era, which continue to inspire the creation of the newer material, are albums like Emperor's "In the Nightside Eclipse", Dimmu Borgir's "Stormblast", Satyricon's "Shadowthrone", and Dark Funeral's "Secrets of the Black Arts." I was also pretty inspired by early Bloodstained Dusk and Crimson Moon because, at the time, they were the only US bands I knew of that were doing the "symphonic" thing, if that's what you want to call it. I also listen to a lot of pagan metal as well as pagan black metal or black metal with "medieval" undertones. Two bands that I listen to a lot these days are Elffor and Kawir.

12. How would you describe your views on Satanism and Occultism?

I suppose the answer to that depends on how general a definition of "occult" you're willing to accept. I love pursuing knowledge of ancient history and mythology. It has been a passion of mine since childhood. Most kids played kickball on the playground, I played Barbarians vs Romans on the playground which obviously didn't earn me any popularity points. I am also active in a nationwide living history organization called the SCA where I fight in competitive armored combat. If you define occult as a pursuit of hidden knowledge than nothing is more hidden than the past, and if black metal is an expression of darkness then there's enough darkness throughout history for a whole lifetime's worth of black metal albums. As far as Satanism goes I can't really comment. That is a path that, for my own reasons, I personally haven't walked since the "Praetorian Maleficus" days.

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

We have a lot planned for the future so keep your eyes and ears open for any news.

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2016/07/gravespawn-interview.html


Mist Of Misery/Abscence/Black Lion Productions/2016 Full Length Review

mardi 12 juillet 2016 à 18:57

  Mist  Of  Misery  are  a  band  from  Sweden  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  symphonic  form  of  depressive  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "Absence"  which  was  released  by  Black  Lion  Productions.

  Thunder  sounds  and  symphonic  style  synths  start  off  the  album  which  also  gives  the  music  a  very atmospheric  feeling  and  after  the  intro  the  music  retains  its  symphonic  elements  while  also  going  into  a  heavier  direction  after  a  couple  of  minutes  along  with  some  high  pitched  depressive  black  metal  screams.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  it  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  which  in  return  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  black  metal  edge  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  clean  playing  along  with  classical  guitars  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

 All  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  when  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  more  of  a  melodic  fashion  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  all  instrumental  and  the  synths  also  bring  in  touches  of  dark  ambient.

  Mist  Of  Misery  creates  another  recording  that  takes  a  depressive  style  of  black  metal  and  mixes  it  in  with  the  symphonic  elements  of  the  mid  90's  while  also  showing  more  progress  this  time  around,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  while  the  lyrics  cover  depression  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  album  from  Mist  Of  Misery  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  symphonic  and  depressive  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Euthanasia"  "Whistful  Twilight"  and  "Mist  Of  Misery".  8  out  of  10.

https://mistofmiseryblacklion.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/MistofMisery

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2016/07/mist-of-miseryabscenceblack-lion.html


Stilla/Skuggflock/Bindrune Recordings/Nordvis Produktion/2016 CD Review

mardi 12 juillet 2016 à 15:45

  Sweden's  Stilla  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  also  continues  the  melancholic  style  of  black  metal  from  previous  recordings  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016 album  "Skuggflock"  which  will  be  released  in  August  as  a  joint  effort  between  Bindrune  Recordings  and  Nordvis  Produktion.

  Clean  guitar  playing  starts  off  the  album  and  it  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavy  and  melodic  sound  that  gets  in  a  few  seconds  later  which  also  introduces  deep  and  grim  black  metal  screams  onto  the  recording  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  it  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats.

  During  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  the  music  brings  in  more  of  a  raw  black  metal  feeling  while  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  and  stringed  instruments  can  also  be  heard  in  some  parts  of  the  songs  and  the  music  also  brings  in  a  great  mixture of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  clean  sections  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  progressive  feeling  and  when  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they  remain  true  to  a  melodic  style  and  atmospheric  synths  can  also  be  heard  in  the  music  at  times  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  classical  guitars  and  melodic  singing  on  some  of the  tracks  and  there  is  also  a  perfect  balance  between  both  old  school  and  modern  black  metal  influences  and  there  are  also  traces  of  70's  progressive  rock  in  some  of  the  tracks.

  Stilla  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  the  melancholic  black  metal  style  of  previous  recordings  and  also  mix  the  raw,  atmospheric,  melodic  and  progressive  sides  of  the  genre  to  create  something  very  original,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Swedish  and  cover poetic  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Stilla  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band,  you  should  enjoy  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Varens  Sista  Onskan"  "Til  Den  Som  Skall  Komma"  and  "Av  Maran  Riden".  8  out  of  10.     

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2016/07/stillaskuggflockbindrune.html


Ordo Omagae Absolatae/Compendium Ordinis/Altare Productions/2016 Compilation Album Review

mardi 12 juillet 2016 à 14:38

  This  is  a  review  of  a compilation  of  black  metal  bands  from  Belgium  that  belong  to  a  collective  known  as  'Ordo  Omagae  Absolatae'  which  also consists  of  the  bands  Morkenatten,  De  Vermis  Mysterious,  Sepulchrum,  Odibilis  Signatus,  and  'Necrosophia',  and  the  album  will  be  released in  September  by  Altare  Productions  and  we  will  start  off  the  review  with  Odibilis  Signatus  a  band  that  plays  a  very  raw  form  of  black  metal.

  Their  music  starts  out  with  acoustic  guitar  playing  and  after  a  minute  the  music  goes  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  black  metal  direction  that  also  utilizes  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  along  with  some  high  pitched  screams  and  the  music  also  has  a  lot  of  Finnish  influences  and  both  of  their  tracks  bring  in a   great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as w ell  as  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  melody  and  both  of  their  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  along  with  the  second  song  bringing  in  melodic  leads.

  Next  up  is  Morkenatten  a  band  that  plays  a  raw  and  atmospheric  form  of  black  metal.

  Their  music  starts  out  with  some  dark  guitar  riffing  which  gets  heavy  once  the  black  metal  screams  kick  in  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sound  very  powerful  and  you  can  also  hear  some  melodies  in  the  musical  style  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  melodic  guitar  leads  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling  and  there  is  also  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing  and  both  of  their  tracks  are  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  second  track  shoes  the  music  getting  more  atmospheric.

  Next  up  is  De  Vermis  Mysterious  a  band  that  plays  a  Lovecraftian  inspired  form  of  black  metal.   

  There  music  starts out  with  ambient  style  keyboards  as  well  as  some  clean  playing  and  after  a  minute  fast  tremolo  picking  and  melodic  guitar  leads  are  added  onto  the  recording as  well  as  some  blast  beats  that  give  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling  while  the  vocals  are  grim  black  metal  screams  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  sound  very  powerful  and  both  songs  bring  in  a  perfect  mixture  of  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length and  the  clean  parts  also  make  a  return  at  times.

  Next  up  is  Sepulchrum  a  band  that  plays  an  anti  cosmic  form  of  satanic  black  metal.

  Their  music  starts  out  with  a  very  fast  and  raw  black  metal  sound  that  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  while  the  vocals  are  very  deep  and  grim  screams  while  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  in  their  music  and  both  tracks  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.

  Closing  the  compilation  is  Necrosophia  a  band  that  plays  a  very  ritualistic  form  of  black  metal.

  Their  music  starts  out  with  distorted  amp  sounds  before  adding  in  dark and  melodic  riffs  as  well  as  some  clean  singing  occult  chanting  and  after  awhile  the  music  goes  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  black  metal  direction  that  uses  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  as  well  as  introducing  high  pitched  screams  into  the  music  and  both  of  their  songs  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  both  of  their  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  In  conclusion  I  feel  this  is  a  very  great  sounding  compilation  and  I  would  recommend  it  to  all  fans  of  raw,  atmospheric  and  occult  black  metal.  8  out  of  10.          

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2016/07/ordo-omagae-absolataecompendium.html