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Astral Path Interview

lundi 11 avril 2016 à 17:49
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Justin: Astral Path is a two-person Atmospheric Black Metal project consisting of myself, Justin Bourdeau and my bandmate, Ana Dujakovic. We are based in Canada. I live in Ottawa, Ontario and Ana lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We met online and I had asked Ana if she was interested in contributing some fretless bass to an Opeth cover I was working on. Ana has multiple musical endeavours going on so, understandably, she had to decline. After finishing the Opeth cover, I asked again if she would be interested in working on a cover together. Initially, we didn't plan on recording an album. We were simply going to record an Ulver cover together for fun. We spoke about our influences and found a mutual love for ABM so we thought it might be cool to write a song together and see where it goes. One song turned into five and now, over a year later, we are releasing our debut album with Avantgarde Music.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

We are influenced by a wide array of musical styles. Black metal and other subgenres of metal are our main influences, but we both have a love for well crafted music in general, regardless of the genre. Our album draws off our influences to create a sound that is firmly rooted in black metal, but is mixed with influences from Folk, Post and Ambient styles. We never really tried to stick to a specific sound. Our writing process was more on the spur of the moment, impulsive. This is why the album has a decent amount of tonal variation and the tracks themselves convey different moods. It was a very loose writing process which made it a lot of fun and we think the tracks themselves represent that.

3.Your lyrics deal with a lot of nature and cosmic themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?

Justin: Science is by far my favorite subject. Contemplating about Earth, space, and the universe is a massive well of inspiration for me. I'm sure almost anyone feels humbled by the universe every time they look up at night. I can't think of any topic that is more interesting than the natural world. From the subatomically small to the unfathomably large, there is always something to be amazed by in the cosmos: objects and concepts that will rock your understanding of reality and existence. Once you think you've seen it all, you get your world flipped on it's head by some new discovery. It's amazing.

4.On the fb page you had referenced Carl Sagan, what kind of impact does he have on your views of the world?

Justin: The first time I watched the original Cosmos: A Personal Voyage series was like revelation for me. I had never seen anyone speak so eloquently about science, preservation and the advancement of technology. Carl is the paragon of science education. Not only that, but he exemplifies such a high level of altruism and humanism that one can't help but be mesmerized by his lectures on cosmology, the search for extra-terrestrials and his dedication to the pursuit of truth. He was absolutely dedicated to education. You could hear it in the way he spoke about science. He wasn't ever acting on Cosmos. What you see is his genuine interest in the subject matter. It was clear that he was fully invested in the future of the human race and the preservation of the Earth. He was also a visionary with respect to space exploration. Sagan forced me to reconsider everything I thought I knew about society and the world. He made a massive positive impact on my worldview.

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

Astral Path is pretty self-explanatory. In other words, "A path to the stars". Even if mankind manages to avoid self-destruction and the destruction of our home planet for the next five billion years, our sun will eventually die, taking us with it. If we don't look to the stars for a safe haven in some other star system, mankind will be wiped from existence forever. Our survival depends on our ability to expand our horizons, like it always has. We thought that Astral Path was a fitting name for our music and our lyrics.

6.Both of the band members live in different parts of Canada, how does this work during the recording process?

Justin: We did all of the songwriting over the internet, sharing our ideas over Dropbox and Facebook. We were able to finally meet in person last summer. Ana made the long road trip from the east coast to Ottawa where we spent a few days tracking her bass lines. Other than that, this process was facilitated almost entirely through the internet.

7.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you planning on expanding the line up in the future or do you chose to remain a duo?

Justin: As it stands, we will moving forward as a duo. We aren't necessarily opposed to expanding the lineup in the future, but it's not on our minds at the moment. We would have to close the geographical gap between us first before Astral Path could become a live band.

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

Justin: Well, our album is still very new. As I write this, it is still unreleased. Having said that, the feedback that we have gotten from the internet community has been great. People seem to enjoy what we've cooked up and I'm happy. We hope people enjoy the rest of the album once it is released next weekend. We had a lot of fun writing this stuff and if we can get even just a few people to enjoy the record, it will be a success in my eyes.

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

Justin: We can definitely see another release happening in the near future. We haven't started writing yet, but if I was to guess, I would wager that the approach taken on this record will be preserved. With the way music tastes evolve over time, you might find we throw a curveball or two to keep things interesting. I'm not interested in making 'An Oath to the Void - Version 2" if you know what I mean. I think progression is important for bands to remain relevant. Seeing as both of us are prog fans, you might find we get a bit more adventurous on a future release.

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?

Justin: Some of our influences are very apparent. One of those would be Wolves in the Throne Room. Two Hunters blew my mind when it came out. At the time, I wasn't listening to much of that style of metal so it was a pleasant surprise. I really love the vibe of the tremolo picking creating harmonies between two guitars. Counterpoint is also essential to that sound. You can hear that influence in certain parts of our album more than others. Mare Cognitum also has significance to us. Jacob's work on Phobos Monolith was awesome to say the least. It really set the bar high in terms of atmosphere and composition. Black metal is such a broad genre. There are so many unique sounds and approaches to creating music in this style. Almost any niche musical craving can be found within black metal. My good friend Graham Cwinn actually suggested the Avantgarde roster of bands to me last year, before this project was even rolling. I've been pretty fixated on the Avantgarde releases ever since. Working with Roberto and Avantgarde is just the cherry on top of this musical venture. Sivyj Yar's 'Burial Shrouds' gets a ton of plays as of recently (amazing bass guitar performance). Darkspace and Mesarthim are great bands too. Mgla albums are constantly stuck in my head. Taake is fucking amazing. Hoest blew the doors off my local venue this year. Outside of Black Metal, I absolutely love progressive music. Most recently, I've been listening to the new instrumental guitar-driven progressive metal movement. Intervals, Plini, The Helix Nebula, Gru, Animals as Leaders, and many other artists are doing some really amazing things with the guitar right now. It's awesome to watch these guys break new ground with every release. Like I said before, I'm not picky when it comes to genres of music. All that is required is musicianship. If I can tell your band is good at what you are doing, I'm probably listening to it. Oh, and Guthrie Govan. That dude is amazing.

Ana: My bass playing is heavily influenced by Death which is why I picked up the fretless bass and began exploring other bands such as Beyond Creation, Gorod, Augury, Illogicist, Atheist, Cynic, etc. I listen to mostly black metal though, especially ambient and atmospheric or depressive black metal. My biggest black metal influences would be Spectral Lore, Mare Cognitum, Chaos Moon, Basarabian Hills and Midnight Odyssey. These bands have great synth work too which made me want to have good synth on our album.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

Justin: Personally, music takes up the majority of my time outside of work. When I'm not jamming, writing or recording, you can find me cycling in the summer or discussing science with friends. I used to play video games pretty often but I find myself lacking the time (and interest, to be honest) to keep up with modern gaming nowadays. If I am playing any video games, it's probably a racing simulator like Assetto Corsa or Richard Burns Rally. I love racing. Strategy games are awesome too.

Ana: I am a full time student and training to be a registered nurse. Aside from that I play video games, work out and create music. My other band is a darkfolk/neofolk band called Ulvesang. Justin actually did the mastering for us with that project and it's been an unexpected success. I hope Astral Path will have the same fate.

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

Justin: Well, first of all I have to thank Roberto at Avantgarde music for taking his time to listen to our album and Tryfar for designing our CD package. These guys did an awesome job, the CD package is amazing. These guys are supplying fans with amazing quality releases and we are very grateful to be working with them. Our album artist, Andrew Lachance C created a beautiful piece of art to accompany our music, thanks dude! Jason Jaknunas, our mastering engineer did a stellar job as well. Jason showed me most of what I know about music engineering and production so he gets a big thank you from me! To everyone that listens to even one second of our music, thank you. I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2016/04/astral-path-interview.html


Nazghor/Death's Withered Chants/Satanath Records/2016 CD Review

dimanche 10 avril 2016 à 04:19

  Nazghor  are  a  band  from  Sweden  that  plays  a  very  raw  and  melodic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their 2016  album  "Death's  Withered  Chants"  which  was  released  by  Satanath  Records.

  A  very  dark  sounding  synth  starts  off  the  album  giving  the  music  more  of  a  ritualistic  feeling  and  after  awhile  thunder  sounds  and  female  vocals  are  added  onto  the  recording  and  after  the  intro  the  music  goes  into  a  very  fast,  raw  and  melodic  black  metal  direction  along  with  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  angry  and  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  you  can  also  hear  a  lot  of  tremolo  picking  in  the  faster  riffs and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  acoustic  guitars  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  and  samples  and  synths  also  make  a  return  on  a  later  track  and  some riffs  also  bring  in  a  touch  of  thrash  and  melodic  vocals  are  added  onto  the  last  track.

  Nazghor  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  raw  and  melodic  and  also  continues  the  Swedish  tradition  of  the  genre,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Anti  Cosmic  Satanism  and Devil  Worship  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Nazghor  are  a  very  great  sounding  raw  and  melodic  satanic  black  metal  band  and if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Requiem  Black  Mass"  "Road  To  Dead  Meadows"  "Complete Unholyness"   and  "Death's  Withered  Chant".  8  out of  10.

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2016/04/nazghordeaths-withered-chantssatanath.html


Nox Aeternum/Incipiunt Oblivionem/2015 EP Review

samedi 9 avril 2016 à 05:38

  Nox  Aeternum  are  a  solo  project  from  Pennsylvania  that  plays  a  very  raw  and  melodic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  self  released 2015  ep  "Incipiunt  Oblivionem".

  Dark  sounding  ambient  synths  start  off  the  ep  bringing  in  the  atmosphere  of  a  70's  horror  movie  soundtrack  and  after t he  intro  the  music  goes  into a   heavier  musical  direction  along  with  soem  melodic  guitar  leads  which  also  leads  up  to  more  of  a  fast  and  raw  black  metal  direction  that  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats.

  Swedish  style  melodies  can  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  along  with  the  fast  riffs  also  using  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  after  awhile  classical  guitars  are  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  both  of  the  main  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  are  all  instrumental  and  atmospheric  sounds  are  added  onto  the  last  track  along  with  some  clean  playing  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  progressive  edge  while  some  of  the  riffing  also  has  an  American  style  at  times 

  Nox  Aeternum  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is very  raw  and  melodic  and  owes  a  great  amount  to  the  Swedish  style  of  the  genre  while  being  a  little  bit  different  and  avoiding  any  vocals  and  song  writing  and  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  for  being  a  self  released  recording.

  In  my  opinion  Nox  Aeternum  are  a  very  great  sounding  instrumental,  raw  and  melodic  black  metal  solo  project  and  if you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Drawn  Through  the  Lungs  Of  The  Aeons".  8  out  of  10.  

  

  

   

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2016/04/nox-aeternumincipiunt-oblivionem2015-ep.html


Ancst/Moloch/Halo Of Flies/2016 Full Length Review

samedi 9 avril 2016 à 05:00

  Ancst  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  that  continues  the  mixture  of  black  metal  and  crust  from  previous  recordings  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016 album  "Moloch"  which  will  be  released  on  April  15th  by  halo  Of  Flies.

  A  very  heavy,  raw  and  aggressive  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  angry  black  metal  screams  and  after  awhile  melodies  make  their  presence  known  on  the  recording  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  Tremolo  picking  can  be  heard  in  the  faster  sections  of  the songs  and  the  music  also  mixes  in  a  great  amount  of  crust  and  post  hardcore  elements  while  the  solos  and  leads  bring  more  of  a  melodic  style  to  the  recording  and  throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  on  later  tracks  the  vocals  start  using  more  growls  that  also  expand  on  the  hardcore  influences  of  the  bands  musical  style  and  later  songs  bring  in a  small  amount  of  clean  playing  and  spoken  word  parts.

  Ancst  creates  another  recording t hat  takes  raw  black  metal,  crust,  post  hardcore  and  screamo  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  another  very  heavy  recording,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  while  the  lyrics  cover  modern  world  issues. 

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Ancst  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band,  you  should  enjoy  this  album.  RECOMMENDED TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Moloch"  "In  Decline"  "Turning  Point"  and  "Lys".  8  OUT  OF  10.

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2016/04/ancstmolochhalo-of-flies2016-full.html


Vindland Interview

vendredi 8 avril 2016 à 08:42
For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
The band was formed in 2005 in Paimpol, which is a small coastal city in western France, in a region called Britanny. It has a strong cultural identity which has roots in Celtic heritage. The story of the band’s formation is quite classic: we all met in high school and found common interest in Black Metal. I guess we also all shared a level of frustration that’s suitable for that kind of creativity. We started playing together and after we covered a few of our then-favorite bands (Dimmu Borgir, Mayhem, etc…) we quickly moved on with our own compositions.

Recently you have released a new album, 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?
First and foremost I think the sound and the production is a lot better, our previous recording had a very poor production and we never really promoted it because of that. The compositions on the new album are also more structured, less repetitive and more personal, even though I am sure a warned ear is able to point out what are our main influences are. We always cared about the quality of the melodies and the riffing, and more than ever in this new album we strived to never give in to the easy option of having recycled or “filler” riffs. I think the melodies and riffs in this new album almost always succeed to be both deeply emotional, epic and “unheard before”. Rhythmically speaking there are also a bit more of complexity, although we always try to keep complexity as mean to an end.

This is the first album to be released in 7 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
I think the main fact is that I started living in Finland in 2010. It became obvious that the distance was a big problem to exist as a band. At the time Marc (the drummer) and I were also session members of Belenos. I had to also quit Belenos for the same reasons. However I never really stopped composing. Composition is for me a long process as I am rarely satisfied with what I come up with. I think a long period of composition is needed to come up with something both unique, emotional and catchy. So yeah, I think that the composition process could have been faster, but not a lot faster.

Your lyrics cover Nature and Nordic Folklore, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?
I guess at the beginning we admired so much the Nordic Bands that we thought that the only topics suitable for a metal song would be Nordic-Related. We still admire the Nordic metal but I think we are more influenced by our own surroundings and our own lifestyle. For example the life in our small town, with lots of alcohol and frustration, deeply marked us when we were young and are still a part of us. We all were very much alike in a sense that, back then, not much made sense except maybe drinking heavily and listening/playing black metal. The lyrics deal with nature in a very abstract way, mainly in the relation between the men and their nature in pre-capitalistic times. In those time men had a close and symbolic relation to their environment.

What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Vindland'?
At first we wanted to call it Vinland because it is both one of the first territories discovered by the Vikings in america and also a famous fishing area where 18th and 19th century fishermen from Paimpol (our birthtown) used to spend months to fish the “morue” (“cod” in English). I think the idea of sailing far away, surrounded by the nature still translate a romantic living that’s adequate to our music. On a side note, the woman that’s photographed on the artwork of the last album is a widow mourning her husband who died during one of these fishing trips.
After that I read somewhere that one alternative spelling for that region was “Vindland”, and we thought it simply sounded better. Although now I think maybe Vinland is maybe closer to the reality because we all drink a lot of wine (Wine is Vin in French)!!

What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
I think when we played before Turisas in Nantes was a good show, well received by the audience, and our biggest show so far. However, for those who have been following the band for a long time, the gig we played in Braspart for the Metal Breizh Fest is the most memorable because all of the people from Brittany’s metal scene were there and we really bonded as a community.

Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
Not immediately although we have received a few offers. We want to perfect our set before starting promoting the album on stage. We are currently working on it and started rehearsing.

On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of pagan and black metal?
It’s really hard nowadays to measure the real feedback as everything is more a matter of communication and promotion. However the feedback has been very good so far from the fans we know and the ones who send us comments about the album. I think the album is still pretty confidential but we hope to get more promotion from our deal with Black Lion Productions and thus get more reviews and so on. I think lot of people have compared it to Windir. We don’t suffer from this comparison because we are all big fans of the band and only a few bands practice a style that’s close to sognametal. Anyway, I think with this album we have developed our own brand of Epic/Pagan black metal.

Are any of the band members also involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
Marc has been involved with Belenos for a long time now. He also plays the drums for a local black metal band called Hentgarm. He was also the drummer for the “Chant de Nihil” for a long time. We are all very close to these bands and I personally value them a lot musically, and this not only because they are also friends.

Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I think we’d all like to go back on stage in a couple of months and we’d like to have the proper promotion in order to get the album the attention it deserves. Our new deal with Black Lion Productions is a big step towards this goal. They have been so far very dedicated and nice people to work with. As for the new compositions I think it has the same vibe in it with maybe a tad bit more complexity in the melodies with richer arpeggios. Regarding the structure of the songs and the riffing/drumming I think it will be also a bit more black metal and less melodeath than before.

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 think the 1990’s black metal scene had a big influence on all of us, I personally consider that emperor really opened the way to what black metal is nowadays. Most of their early songs are more innovative than most of the black metal (even the bands praised by the critique) you hear nowadays. Windir was a musical revelation for me and I the first time I listened to it (the year Valfar died, ironically) I knew that my musical objective was to create something that could be as deep and emotional as some of Windir’s songs.
As of nowadays on a personal level I have recently really liked the last Keep of Kalessin, all the Der Weg Einer Freiheit albums but also Deafheaven, which has its own innovative blend of black metal. Insomnium also knows how to make simple songs that have a strong emotional feel.

What are some of your non musical interests?
I think we all like drinking too much, even though the hangovers are becoming hell! However, as Guy Debord (a famous French writer and philosopher from the 1960’s) famously said:  "One might think that  drinking left me very little time to write , but that's just how it works : writing should remain rare, since before finding excellence one must have drunk a long time." Yet, no, we are not alcoholics!!! I also dabble into social critique and political philosophy.

Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I’d like to thank all the people who were still there to listen to the album even after we were gone for so long. I’d also like to thank the guys from Black Lion Productions who have been very professional and supportive!

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2016/04/vindland-interview.html