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Draugr/Dimensions Of Hades/Iron Bonehead Productions/2017 Cassette Review

mercredi 14 mars 2018 à 05:24

  Draugr  are  a  duo  from Finland  that  plays  a  very  raw,  occult  and  satanic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  demo  "Dimensions  Of  Hades"  which  was  released  on  cassette  by  Iron  Bonehead  Productions.

  A  very  fast  and  raw  sound  starts  off  the  demo  along  with  a  great  amount of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  while t he  vocals  are  mostly  grim  yet  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  as  well  as  the  music  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  second  wave  style  and  the  solos  and  leads  also  bring  in  a  very  raw  style.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  all  of  the  music  sounds  like  it  could  of  easily  been  recorded  and  released  more  than  20  years  ago  along  with  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  melody  and  as  the  demo  progresses  keyboards  can  also  be  heard  briefly.

  Draugr  plays  a  style  of  occult  black  metal  that  goes  back  to  the  second  wave  era  of  the  genre,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  old  school  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Occultism,  Necromancy,  Anti  Christian,  Norse  and  Greek  Mythology  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Draugr  are  a  very  great  sounding  raw  and  satanic  occult  black  metal  duo  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should c heck  out  this  demo.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Burning  Goat  Mayhem"  and  "Necromantic  Fortress".  8  out  of  10. 



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Christophobia/Antigogma/2018 Single Review

mercredi 14 mars 2018 à 02:53

  Christophobia  are  a  band  from  Brazil  that  plays  an  anti  Christian  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2018  single  "Antidogma".

  A  very  heavy  thrash  influenced  sound  starts  off  the  song  along  with  some  black  metal screams  a  few  seconds  later  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  as  well  as  the  song  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and fast  parts  and  spoken  word  parts  are  also  used  briefly.

  Christophobia  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  traditional  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  heavy  while t he  lyrics  cover  anti  Christianity  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  Christophobia  are  a  very  great  sounding  anti  Christian  black  metal b and  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  single. 

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Vorkuta Interview

mercredi 14 mars 2018 à 02:38
1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

Blizzard: Hails! We just released an anthology entitled ‘...Where Still Darkness Dwells’ on CD and tape this month, in order to commemorate the 15th anniversary of our existence. At the same time, however, it is also our return from the shadows after a 10-years hiatus.

2.For those that have yet to hear the music, how would you describe your musical sound?

Blizzard: Vorkuta has always been a formation loyal to its own and the genre’s roots. Therefore, tradition is an utterly important cornerstone in our way of thinking but on the other hand, especially on our later materials, I think Vorkuta have always had its own voice and understanding of Black Metal as well. To sum up, Vorkuta plays pure and traditional Black Metal, sometimes atmospheric, sometimes more direct but in general, has a dark and hopeless soundscape.

Inmar:  Our harsh, rasping sound envisions monochromatic scenery. We use very, very simple riffs and themes, with a particular focus on the atmosphere. Sad and sombre melodies are articulated, often in long musical sequences.

3.Since 2008 there has been no music released, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?

Blizzard: Well, we have been really active with Vorkuta in the period between 2003 and 2008, and I personally didn’t stop until a good while because I was also busy doing my other band called Drünken Bastards until around 2010–2011.(M.B. Hellspike was a member there as well but left the band short after our first album was released in 2007.) Since then,even though none of us pursued any musical activity, we followed the scene from a distance. Nonetheless, now we just felt the malicious urge to bring back our creature from the dead.

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

Blizzard: Vorkuta’s lyrical realmwas always based on personal topics, primarilystemming from the dark side of the soul: triumphant visions, hidden lores, and nostalgic moods.

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

Blizzard: Vorkuta is a remote town by the Northern Ural Mountains,where one of the most terrific Sovietdeath camps (called Vorkutlag) was located; according to historians, several million people have been killed there. A dark and haunted place in terms of its history, whereas in real life, a really depressing place to live in.

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?

Blizzard: Vorkuta never performed live, and I am not sure it ever will...

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

Blizzard: We have no plans like that.

8.Recently you have released a compilation, can you tell us a little bit more about the album?

Blizzard: As mentioned above, ‘...Where Still Darkness Dwells’ is an anthology, a selection of the most important Vorkuta tracks released in the 2003–2008 period. Some of those releases have been very limited and long sold-out. Thus, in terms of our return,we thought making such a compilation would be the best step – as a result, ‘...Where Still Darkness Dwells’ was born. First and foremost, it contains our very first demo entitled ‘...Where Only Darkness Dwells’ in its entirety,along with several other dark hymns from different split materials, remastered by Winterlord Rabenaas of Witchcraft fame, exclusively for this compilation.
The CD version was released by Metal Ör Die Records with an 8-pages booklet that contains photos, articles and liner notesnever seenbefore. Concerning the subsequent tape version, it was released by Fekete Terror Productions, with a 4-panels J-card and an exclusive outer slipcase.Both versions turned out to be fantastic; the design is just as dark as the music. Real Black Metal.

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

Blizzard: Vorkuta isn’t the most overrated band for sure, however, it is a quite respected one based on the feedbacks that reach us. This makes us proud of course, but at the same time we still don’t think it’s that important what others say, since we do it predominantly for ourselves.

10.When can we expect new music and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Blizzard: We follow our own way, there won’t be significant changes. Vorkuta is, and always will be, a Black Metal band. We plan to release our second album this year.

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?

Blizzard: I listen to my childhood faves, all forms of oldschool Metal. Our most profound influence is probably Darkthrone.

Inmar:  We do listen to a lot of Metal bands, including Black Metal of course, but nowadays – at this distance of time – I have to say my influences weren’t only these bands. For instance Dead Can Dance’s decadent ‘Spleen’that I discovered at that time, or The Cure’s three albums they did with Simon Gallup, especially ‘Pornography’ – along with a lot of non-Metal musical formations including classical composers.

12.How would you describe your views on Satanism?

Blizzard: I never really cared about it. I see life, existence and the whole cosmos in a dual way. There are evil and good forces around us but I cannot link these to Satan or God. I am myself a believer but not in terms of Satan or God. I rather believe in my own God. It is such an ignorant thing not to accept higher forces than men. However, I have always been fascinated with folklore as well(especially the dark side of it), and there you can find the same kind of duality, for example the devil’s character who isn’t always necessary evil. 

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

Blizzard: ‘...Where Still Darkness Dwells’ CDs, tapes and T-shirts can be ordered, either directly from the band or from our labels. Currently we are composing new hymns of darkness for our follow-up second album;even I am curious about what we can come up with after 10 years of silence. In addition, we also plan to re-release our first album entitled ‘Into the Chasms of Lunacy’ from 2007.
Thanks for the interview! Hail Darkness!

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Scarificare Interview

mercredi 14 mars 2018 à 02:25
1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
Since the end of the entire recording process we have been preparing all the design issues for the Album and of course rehearsing to play live as soon as possible.

2.You have a new album coming out in April, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
For this third album I wanted to accomplish a natural evolution from "Postulado". In "Tilasm" we have a lot of keyboard parts and plenty of clean vocals and acustic guitars..and I had to modify lots of tempos and parts on most of the musics.. even through the recording sessions.. That has never happened before. In the first and second albums, things were made a little bit more "in your face", and not so studied and delineated. I describe "Tilasm" as an album with an atmospheric and mysterious aura..balancing between those melodic and transcendental parts and the most old school origins of the band.

3.This is your first album since 2013, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame/
 In 2013 our drummer "Njiord" has left the band, and since our bassist "Inverno" was already living in Austria, I had to find new musicians to keep the band alive. Since then, I´ve started to compose new stuff and making auditions for a bass player and a drummer. After our bass player "Eligos" and our drummer Luis joined the band, we started rehearsing the new tracks.

4.You refer to your music as 'gnostic black metal', can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in Gnosticsim?.
 Gnosticism designates a set of beliefs of philosophical and religious nature whose basic principle rests on the idea that there is in each man an immortal essence that transcends man himself. Its a matter of finding the truth of all things. I am truly interested in the persian gnosticism and i am still studing the codex within. 

5.Your lyrics go very deep into occult, scientific and philosophical topics, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those subjects?
 I have personnaly been interested in ocultism for many years. My father had several books in his colection that made me "wake up" for those matters.  I think science is still "inside" the occult! There are many things that we dont know...yet to discover. And other already discovered but that "we" dont know...

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Scarificare'?
 The name was given by our first drummer "Sothis". The purpose was to have a name that no other band had. A name not in english nor portuguese. A name with a ritual kind of significance. So, he came with the name Scarificare and we all accept!

7.I have noticed that the band members have taken the names 'Quetzalcoatl' the Aztec God and 'Eligos' the Goetic demon, can you tell us a little bit more on how you decided to use those names/
 My artistic personification was always Quetzalcoatl. Since I´ve read a book about meso american 
mythology and learned about the myth of the Quetzalcoatl divinity I was amazed and decided to use it has my artistic name. That was back in 1995 and of course I still use it! About Eligos I cant answer because I dont know his personal reasons.

8.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 had played many good shows through the years..Our first show in the old MetalPoint venue was great because we were so enthusiastic to show our music for the first time. Then the presentation of the album "Perpectual Decline" was also very good. In Spain was great too. And of course in the biggest venue of Oporto with Inquisition was something to remember.
 We are not a theatrical band.. We dont use corpse paint any more... Its only the music that matters now. ..

9.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
Unfortunately we do not have any kind of tour or show planned yet. We are still working out on our rehearsal room.

10.The new album is coming out on 'Helldprod Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
 We already sign with them in our 2d album "Postulado" and they made a very good job in promotion. They are very professionals and great guys! Its a label that has grown a lot lately and have lots of great nacional and international bands from several metal styles.

11.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
 Mainly since "Postulado", we have had lots of very good feedback. People from webzines, radio shows, magazines and from other bands contacted us giving their support and good critics. There is no doubt that since promoted us world wide the band has been more knowed outside the county...but still a very long road waits..hehe

12.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 bass player "Eligos" plays guitar in a thrash metal band called Stucker and sometimes live guest in the blackmetal act "Sonneillon BM". I have myself a one mans band called "Gorgonian" with a few releases, but my old bands "Serpent Lore" and "Wrath" broken up decades ago.

13.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
 I really dont know. For now, we are focused to get ready and play live. But i can tell you that we will never lose our purpose to make dark and heavy music!

14.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 really like to explore every kind of genres but honestly black metal and death metal were always my faves.  There are so many bands that i like that its impossible to list them all here...But my fave of all time and the biggest influence for me, that i still listen every single day, is Bathory. Nowadays,besides metal/rock, i am listening to some blues and classical music.

15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or
Thank you for this interview and all the very best for you and Occult Black Metal Zine!!!
Stay aware for our realease "Tilasm" at 20 of April! You will be surprised!

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Norn Interview

mercredi 14 mars 2018 à 02:20
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

NORN was born out of a fascination with the second wave of Norwegian Satanic Black Metal and the British and Continental Anarcho CrustPunk movement from the early 90s. These are our roots both musically and ideologically. NORN started in 2010 in a basement in Reykjavík, but me and Vltimvs Diabolvs Gvitaricvs had been playing in BlackMetal and DeathMetal projects in Iceland for many years before that. We were both the type of musician who dabble with all instruments, playing drums, guitar, bass and doing vocals. This led to us working together in different constellations before NORN. This was very helpfull for developing a common language when discussing (arguing) about arrangements and composition and has given us common reference points when moving forward. At one point we were writing songs through text messages, played once through at practice and then played live the day after. Whats fascinating about BlackMetal and AnarchoPunk is that both have very strong ideologies. Both are of course  riddled with contradictions, but thats something I personally embrace and I think is an important part of the creative energy of both genres. The tension between contradicting elements is an important ingredient in the energy that feeds NORN.

2.How would you describe the musical sound that has been presented on the recordings that you have released so far?

We have been through a wild ride fighting with, and for, our sound. It may sound counter-intuitive but we have been working hard on becoming more primitive with each release. Yes this is a BlackMetal cliche I know. I don´t mean mindlessly primitive. Primitive in the sense of getting to the core. This is again a question of the creative energy when trying to balance contradicting elements. Firstly its not easy to find sound engineers that will not eq and compress the sound to death! On the other hand, if you lack clarity the music looses power. So its a tension between having the dirt that makes it ugly and aggressive without getting lost in the mud. We have learned much along the way. Writing music is one part of a creative process. Recording and producing it is another. That is why we will never stop making music. Its a journey. No matter how much you learn, you always see the next frontier.

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

The lyrics are very personal. But the topics vary. Some are existencial, expressing in various ways our dissolutions. Others are more expressive and political. Its important to me that the lyrics are always authentic, even if there is a touch of humor at times. We have songs that are about the alienation of the modern human in an industrialised capitalist society returning to the warm embrace of nature, and then we have lyrics that are dedicated to our genitals. One is naive, the other is childish. But both are 100% honest.

4.I know that the bands name comes from 'Norse Paganism', can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?

NORN is WITCH in Icelandic. It is true that the northern pagans (rightly) believed reality to be governed by the witches of fate (old norse/icelandic plural: nornir). We ourselves however are much more interested in the symbolism behind witches from a historical perspective. On the one hand witches represent mysticism and superstition, on the other hand they represent nature and pragmatism. So they are both a symbol for realism and romanticism and even a symbol for the difference between good and evil, life and death. Then there is of course the whole political aspect centered around feminism and individualism. This connection between nature and mysticism is really the most important aspect to me though. But it all comes down to yin and yang really. Our world may be black and white, but there is goodness in evil, and there is evil in goodness. If the God has a sense of humor I am sure it is irony. Just look at world religions.

5.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 have had a couple of interesting shows over the years. We often try to work with "noise" artists when we perform, to add something unique to each performance, they often have a new perspective on the soundscape, so thats always a plus. Because our songs range from pure Black Metal to more Crust/Punk elements we have sometimes shifted our focus somewhat depending on the venue and the occasion. Our most extreme performance was probably at Mayhemisphere 2013 where we switched instruments and played naked covered in sheepsblood that we then also poored over the audience. But its not often that a venue offers such performances. In Reykjavík we don´t shy away from playing with punk bands and just showing up in our street clothes and blast through the riffs. Making a show is part of delivering the music, but the riffs are more important than what you are wearing. Playing at the Norðanpaunk DIY festival has been a personal highlight for me over the years. The most fun we have had was probably at the Slow Club in Freiburg Germany. I thought the organiser was joking when he said at 2 AM, after the show, that now the party was just getting started. Well he was not joking, at 6 AM we, and what was left of the crowd, were still headbanging to a metal DJ who lay passed out over the mixer table.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

We are currently picking up the pieces after our bassist and co-songwriter passed away recently from a heart attack. Untill we find a way to deliver the songs he took part in writing in a satisfactory way we will not be booking any shows.

7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal and crust?

We are a small band obviously. So our exposure worldwide is quite limited. Most of our listeners are from the Icelandic scene and we are quite happy with that so far. We are however happy to have had positive feedback from metalheads in central Europe, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal; and from overseas, Canada, USA and even a fan-letter from South-America. Most of the people that hear about us are people listening to BlackMetal. I have to admit that it is quite moving when complete strangers like the music you are pouring your heart and soul into. Although we are very confindent in the music we are making, our expectations of people actually understanding or liking what we strive for are modest. Our work ethic is that it is more important to be proud of what you achieve than people understanding what or why we do what we do.

8.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?

I am quite proud of an Album I took part in making with the swiss BlackMetal band ColdCell titled "Those" and released on Czar of Crickets. Its honestly one off the best BlackMetal releases from 2017. Also my part in Aria Lamia over the years where I play bass and vocals. You should also check out Grafir and Otto Katz Orchestra that we share members with. Grafir is definetely one of my favorate Icelandic bands.

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

We are looking for ways to incorporate more D-Beat punches into our songs. But somehow we always end up playing in 3/4ths. Why do riffs sound more agressive when you accelerate to 3/4th?!! Just try taking a 2/4 riff and slowing it down to 3/4 or speeding 4/4 up to 3/4 and you will know what I mean! I´ve also been been working on a colder guitar sound and a return to a higher bpm count. At the moment we are finishing a split release with english bred maniacs Krupskaya that we are very excited about. Very, very aggressive guys (musically) so it is quite a challenge to keep up with them! After that our first priority will be to finish the songs that our recently deceased bassist had been writing with us. Its really important for us to deliver them in an appropriate way.

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?

We are obviously very influenced by Norwegian Second Wave Blackmetal. Who isn´t? Those early Darkthrone and Burzum releases is something you can dig into again and again (despite the fact that Varg was born braindead). Personally the second big influence are industrial artists such as early Ministry, Berzerker and Static X. There is something about the tension in that kind of music that really gets me hooked again and again. Then there is the whole D-Beat genre. Mix that up and you have an endless array of different combination of styles and sound and tension. This is still the music we listen to today. Obviously we also "go exploring" in other styles of music. There is interesting stuff happening in the whole Cold Wave/Dark Wave scene of course. Native Folk Music is also a bottomless pit of inspiration. I´ve been journeying through mongolian and slavic traditional music and its quite inspiring. I would not try to copy their sound or melodies of course, but the music is intrinsic and purposefull. So much of music we are exposed to is very superficial and metal is no exception. We really try to stay away from music by numbers. Just because something is fun to play at practice doesn´t mean its good music.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Well its hard to watch the world flouting towards certain doom and not take an interest. So I guess we would have to say anarchism and environmentalism. But then again, no matter what kind of fascists and idiots rule the world, in the end, nature always wins. So that is a small comfort at least.

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

There are no limits to what a small group of dedicated people can achieve. This is not only good news.

Arni Thorlakur

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