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Siete Lagunas/I + II/La Caverna Records/2018 Demo Compilation Review

dimanche 1 juillet 2018 à 19:49

  Siete  Lagunas  are  a  band  from  Columbia  that  plays  a  very  raw  and  depresiive  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  both  of  their  demo's  which  where  released  onto  a  single  compilation  by  La  Caverna  Records.

  A  very  dark  and  distorted  sound  starts  off  the  compilation  before  going  into  a  faster  direction  which  also introduces  blast  beats  onto  the  recording  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  crazy  sounding  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  the  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  raw  and  melodic  style.

  When  tremolo  picking  is  utilized  it  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  some  bestial  growls  also  being  used  briefly  as  well  as  the  screams  getting  very  depressive  at  times  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  small  amount  of  acoustic guitars  can  also  be  heard  on  a  few  tracks, some  of  the  songs  are  also  very  short  in  length  and  at  times  the  music gets  very  experimental  and  a  later  track  also  brings  in  spoken  word  parts.

  Siet  Algunas  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  raw,  lo-fi  and  depressive  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Spanish  and  cover  dark  themes  along  with  one  song  being  based  upon  the  poetry  of  W.B  Yeats.

  In  my  opinion  Siete  Lagunas  are  a  very  great  sounding  raw,  lo-fi  and  depressive  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  compilation.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Llegando  a  la  primera  laguna  /Carco"  "Los  bosques  de  Arcadia"La  reinade  las  moscas"  and  "Oscurece  en  la  segunda  laguna".  8  out  of  10.


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Nidstang Interview

samedi 30 juin 2018 à 06:21
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
1. Greetings. Nidstang is very raw black metal/punk band I started around the beginning of Winter 2017. I had been wanting to work on a new project while my main band was on hiatus and seeing as I've been a part of the underground punk and metal scenes for a very long time now, i wanted to create a project that could work as a bridge between those two aspects of my musical life. So far i have released 2 full lengths and plan to continue to write and record. To me, Nidstang is a musical manifestation of so many often conflicting feelings and themes: self-hatred, nihilism, freedom, destruction, strength, weakness, witchcraft, nature, ignorance, regression, misanthropy, violence, inner-peace and so much more. There is also a very conflicting vibe of both beauty and hideousness, which i feel the cover of the first album captured perfectly and which comes out musically through the use of the more serene synth focused tracks and interludes and the overwhelmingly harsh metal tracks.

2.So far you have released 2 full lengths, how do they both differ from each other?
2. I would say that one of the most obvious differences between the two albums would be the production. I recorded the first album by myself at home on a four track i had recently acquired and worked within the limitations of that format to produce "Retribution Will Come".  For "Angstloch" I decided to record with my close friend Joey Seward in his home studio, I had recorded many albums from different projects with him and wanted to try and give the 2nd album a heavier over-all production that i felt was lacking a bit from the 1st. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the low fi and necro sound of the 1st album, but just wanted to see what i could do with more tracking possibilities and a thicker sound.

Musically I would say that the two albums are fairly similer. The newer one uses a bit more different time signatures and beats but the general atmosphere feels very similer to me. I would say that the lyrics for  Angstloch are a bit more focused towards depression then on RWC but most of the same themes are still there. The new album definitly feels more emotionally charged to me but perhaps that just because the feelings going into Angstloch still feel fresh and familiar to me

3.A lot of your lyrics deal with Witchcraft and Occultism, can you tell us a little bit more about your interests in those areas?

4.I know the bands name comes from a cursing pole from Germanic Pagan tradition, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in Germanic Paganism?
3/4. Im going to cover these two questions in one answer as I feel the 3 subjects are heavily intertwined. I was raised in Cascadia and spent a lot of time in the forests and mountains around where I grew up. This deep love for nature and natural areas eventually gave birth to an early interest in Wicca, mythology and folklore from around the world. As I grew and became an adult these interests changed and continued to grow, particularly in the directions of chaos magic, celtic and nordic/germanic paganism. Nowadays I am particulalrly interested in runes/sigils and the magical energy that can be put forth through song and incantations and the way that this force can effect different people in different ways.

 I believe that magic is all around us, all the time and that if trained, people can become more aware of it and potentially recognize how to harness it. I believe it is very important for people to learn how to utilize the forces of chaos in their favor and for people to recognize what they are unable to influence and accept what they cannot change. I honestly believe that there is life force in all things, animate or otherwise, and something i always strive for is focusing my energy towards harmonizing with the long forgotten spirits of the natural world.

5.On the albums you record everything by yourself but have used other musicians in a live setting, would you be open to working with a full band in the studio?

5. At this point in time I can not foresee a point where i would be interested in working with someone else in the studio. I have other musical projects as outlets for collaboration with others but am content working alone in this endeavor. I am very much interested in the ways that we can come together as a greater community and benefit each other mutually but I also have a great appreciation for self reliance and would not want to compromise this particular project by adding anyone else to the creative or decision making process.

6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
6. The cover of the new album is a photo that i took at a ghost town near where I live in Olympia. The photo is taken from the outside looking into a basement area of one of the few remaining structures that is left. When writing and recording the album i was going through a particularly bad period of depression and I decided on the name Angstloch for the album.  An Angstloch is an opening into a dungeon cell or similar area and i wanted the album to serve as an opening into myself and my frame of mind at that time. I thought that the photo that i had taken would be a fitting cover for the new album as it shows a facade that is dilapidated and unkempt with a portal entering into utter darkness, representing myself and the darkness that I am so often overwhelmed by from inside

7.So far you have done a couple of live shows, how would you describe your stage performance and also are there any plans for any future live shows?
7. I would describe the live performances as pretty raw and powerful. After RWC came out i got together a live line-up to do a few shows in support of the tape featuring myself on guitar/vocals, and my close friends Danny and Mirce on bass and drums respectively. We did 2 shows that were pretty well received and then split up. In preparation for the release of Angstloch I have gotten together another live line-up, this time featuring myself on drums/vocals, Mirce on guitar and another close friend Jaysen on bass. We have one show planned so far, we will be playing a tape release show on July 5th at Cryptatropa in Olympia supporting Icesword. We will probably play at least one other show here in Olympia this summer and possibly one in Portland as well before splitting up again. After that we may play a few shows here or there but wont have anything specific planned until I put out another album.

8.The new album was released on cassette by 'Einsamkeit Tapes', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
8. Einsamkeit is a label that i started in 2009 as a vessel for releasing music by projects that I'm a part of and other bands from the Cascadia area. I mostly focus releases on black metal and dark ambient but also release some neo-folk and punk as well. In general I keep the label fairly low key and try and let the releases speak for themselves. At this point I do not intend to put out any tapes by bands from outside of the Cascadia region but perhaps someday that may change. I feel that even though vinyl sounds good and is appealing to look at, it is becoming more and more expensive and is a rather fragile format for shipping. I want to make my releases available to people from all over the world and from all different economic backgrounds, therefor i fully support free downloads and I release tapes for people who would still like a tangible but comparatively inexpensive release to collect and listen to.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your recordings by fans of black metal?
9. It seems like the albums have been received pretty enthusiastically. The  first tape sold rather well and the few live shows we did seemed to get a great response. Since the release of Angstloch, there's been a lot of spreading of the album and the tapes have been selling rather quickly as well. Next week we are doing our first show with the new line-up and we'll see how it goes over. It has been interesting as well reading about people debating whether Nidstang is a punk or black metal band, or a combination of the two. To me the band sits solidly on the line between the two but some people only hear one or the other. I figure that I must be doing something right if people are debating whether it is punk or not.

10.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that you are a part of?
10. Ive always played in multiple bands/projects but lately there's been even more then usual. Huldrekall is my main focus, we play a very fast and psychedelic style of black metal. We've been on a bit of a hiatus for the last year but things are beginning to pick up again and we've got a new split tape with Spektral Hatchery coming out soon. I've recently started a new solo dark ambient project called Mourning Cloak which should be recording sometime this summer. For many years now I've been playing in a neo-folk project called River, we've been fairly inactive for the past few years but have been recording a new full length for a while now that should see a release before the end of the summer.  A few months ago i joined a local BM band called With the End in Mind. They've been playing together for a few years but they asked me to join a while back on 2nd drums and its been pretty interesting experimenting with multiple drummers. On top of those I've also been playing drums in 2 different hardcore punk bands, No Reason and Hoarder. No Reason plays 80's American style hardcore in the vein of Minor Threat and Jerry's Kids and Hoarder plays fast hardcore in a similar vein to bands like Gauze and Infest. Both bands have new tapes coming out within the next few months.

11.Where do you see yourself heading into musically during the future?
11. As far as Nidstang is concerned, I intend to play a few more shows with the current line-up and then probably disband before the end of summer. Once the fall comes I intend to begin writing again and working on a new album. So far i don't have any particular plans for new recordings. I often will think of new ideas that i really want to try out and then when the time comes decide that it may be best for a different project or the idea just doesn't work how i want it to after all, so i try not to get too far ahead of myself. For me different seasons lend themselves to different styles of creativity and inspiration, typically with the Autumn and Winter being the most productive for me. I also am usually so busy throughout the Spring and Summer that i rarely have a chance to sit down and work on new material. Nidstang songs in particular have a tendency to hit me like an unforeseen blizzard that totally envelopes me and I will sit down and write many songs all at once or over the course of just a few days. The musical future to me remains unseen and unwritten but i feel comfort in that abyss.

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
12. There is a lot of music that has made huge impacts on me over the years. I got into punk/hardcore at a very young age and then got really into metal when i was around 15. From there things just kind of progressed and i continued to dig deeper. In general I have a tendency to take a lot of influence from melodic black metal, 70's kosmiche rock/ambient and punk/hardcore from the 70's-now.  When it comes to Nidstang, i feel that some of the bands that have had the biggest influence on me would be Ildjarn, Rudimentary Peni and Hellhammer.

Lately I've been listening to a lot of Paysage d'Hiver, Kitaro, Nagelfar, Ildjarn and Andreas Grosser but my tastes often change depending on my mood. Typically I fluctuate between mostly fast and harsh black metal and very soothing ambient but I also listen to quite a bit of hardcore, hip hop and folk music from around the world.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
13. Many thanks to my friends and collaborators, all the folks who have shown enthusiasm for the band and to you for setting up this interview. This world is a bleak and destructive place but there is still much beauty left in nature that is worth defending. 

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Mongrel's Cross/Psalter Of The Royal Dragon Court/Hells Headbangers/2018 CD Review

vendredi 29 juin 2018 à 23:49

  Mongrel's  Cross  are  a  band  from  Australia  that  plays  an  old  school  mixture  of  black  and  thrash  metal  and  this  is  a review  of  their  2018  album  "Psalter  Of  The  Royal  Dragon  Court"  which  will  be  released  in  August  by  Hells  Headbangers.

  A  very  dark,  heavy  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  the  solos  and  leads  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  songs  a more  raw  feeling.

  Elements  of  thrash  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  music  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  80's  and  90's  influences  but  keeping  everything  modern  as  well  as  some  tracks  also  mixing  synths  into  the  background  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  clean  guitars  are  added  onto  the  closing  track.

  Mongrel's  Cross  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  90's  era  black  metal  and  mixes  it  with  thrash  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  Occultism  and  Evil  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Mongrel's  Cross  are  a  very  great  sounding  old  school  mixture  of  black  and  thrash  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "King  Of  The  Beasts"  "Khara"  and  "Trail  Of  The  Serpent".  8  out  of  10.


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Schrat Interview

vendredi 29 juin 2018 à 03:24
1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
Recordings were finished in December with some additional vocal tracking. Since then we have been pretty busy with mixing/mastering the album. Gerileme, with whom we already worked in the past (Drudensang, Unryht), took care of the technical aspects of this process. In parallel Gråin, who also runs Bavarian Black Arts (Layouts, Recordings, Mixing, Mastering), developed and ultimately finished the layout of “Alptraumgänger”, based on the front cover designed by Misanthropic-Art.
In January we played the last gig with our long-time guitarist Skilnir who left Schrat in February. Alptraumgänger is the last recording he participated in. Pestmeister Tairach of Pestnebel joined Schrat as session bass player, and Azag switched to guitar, so we had our live lineup completed pretty fast. It feels like there is a lot of change going on in recent time, but this also brings in some fresh momentum. So in general positive developments from our perspective.

2.You have a new album coming out during the end of 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?
The new songs certainly have a different atmosphere and sounding compared to our previous recording(s). The song “Beschwörung…” from Schattenwahn comes closest to the new stuff, though it is rather slow in comparison. The development, which took actually over 5 years, felt pretty natural to us. The new compositions have a more straight forward and aggressive attitude with strong links to the waves of 80’s and 90’s black metal. From a musicians perspective the level of playing has also increased considerably, which probably comes by the nature of things.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
The lyrical concept of Schrat has not changed too much since Schattenwahn. Lead topics are misanthropy, melancholy, annihilation, isolation, spirituality and the all including embrace of nature. Inspiration comes from what we experience in everydays life and what touches us emotionally. It’s hard to narrow it further down, since the lyrics do not follow strict rules, but more a general concept. The topics mentioned before are either directly or metaphorically elaborated.

4.I know that the band was named after a nature spirit from German myths, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this subject?
We feel a strong connection to nature in general. To us it’s like the complete opposite concept compared to today’s world: chaotic, yet beautifully rough and most importantly, balanced, from time to time free of human scum. We perceive this as a kind of utopia; it touches us on a very deep and primal level. Everyone who ever was out for a plain walk in the woods, probably experienced the liberating and relaxing effect this simple action has on one’s mind. Imagine the potential that lies in deeper interaction with the ancient spirits…
On a second thought, there is also significant importance when it comes to regional connection. Going back to the forest walk example it feels always different when you walk in new/strange regions compared to your homeland. Though other areas may appeal beautiful and inspiring as well, heart and mind are touched the deepest at home.
Taking this as the start point when thinking of a suitable name for the band, we looked for a term that provides the link to nature as topic as well as the regional aspect. That’s how we ended up with Schrat.

5.The cover artwork on the new album has the look of an ancient pagan ritual, can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork?
Actually, the story behind this is rather short. The artwork basically is an alteration of Schrat performing live, combining visual elements we use live as well as key elements of the lyrical concept.
The artwork shows the summoning of THE Schrat, the Alptraumgänger.

6.In the studio the band works as a duo, are you open to working with a full band in the studio again in the future?
For “Alptraumgänger” the drums were recorded by session drummers (Nefastus and Grond in this case). Same goes for Artefakt and Schattenwahn, for which the drums were recorded by Seraph. All other stuff was recorded by Gråin, Dragg and Skilnir, except some minor things like backing vocals. How we will handle recordings in the future is not entirely clear at this moment, but we are certainly open to work with a full band. It depends on musical perspectives and dedication of each individual. As always, we will do what feels most suitable to us to achieve our ideal musical conception. Working as a duo supported by session musicians as needed, will still be the basic set up if things mentioned before do not apply.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
When thinking back the shows in Olten/Switzerland and Barther Metal Open Air/Germany were probably one of the best we had so far.
When playing live the overall atmosphere is most important to us. We don’t limit this to the musical aspect, but also extend to the visual expression as well as other sensorial impressions. Therefore our stage concept comprises usage of candles (fire), rune trunks, skulls, bones, blood and incenses. Stage acting then naturally comes as true expression of the subconscious mind. Establishing the connection to these personal depths is the overall goal when performing live.

8.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
We are working with our label on some touring plans but nothing bigger fixed, yet. We will play some shows with our label mates Streams of Blood and Halphas in Germany over the next months until beginning/middle of 2019. We have some more shows scheduled for this year, amongst them the Under the Black Sun festival near Berlin. More will definitely come!

 9.The new album is coming out on 'Folter Records', how would you compare working with them to the other labels you have been a part of in the past?
Jörg has a very professional and dedicated way of working. The cooperation feels very energetic and prolific, just the right thing for us. The labels we have worked with in the past cannot be compared to Folter at all. No bad feelings or words to them, but this is just a different level.
In all aspects you can clearly see dedication and belief in what both sides are doing - perfect match for us.

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Overall, the music of Schrat gets very good feedback, probably not only because people like what they hear but also since band and music project a coherent image. There is nothing artificial about how we do things and that is the key element for this kind of music. Black Metal is and never was only about music, but also about ideology, presentation and integrity! It seems like many of the newer bands tend to not understand this strong link and try to generate bastard like abominations of extreme music and safe space attitude. Fuck them and fuck the people who embrace this as Black Metal!  You obviously did not understand a damn thing..

11.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that both of the band members are a part of?
We both are part of two more projects. In Drudensang, Gråin is acting as the main composer of their music whereas Dragg supports live with bass play and backing vocals.
Last year we founded a new band with Dark Fortress’ former vocalist Azathoth called Gráb. Gráb goes in a total different musical direction, though we consider black metal still being the fundamental musical base. For this year composing and recording of the first album is planned.

12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We will certainly proceed on the path we took on “Alptraumgänger” and develop this style further. Nothing more to say.

13.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Gråin: The songwriting and recording sound of albums from the 90s of bands like Gorgoroth (Under the Sign of Hell, Pentagram, Antichrist), Satyricon (Dark Medieval Times, The Shadowthrone, Nemesis Divina) or Tsjuder (Kill for Satan, Demonic Possession, Desert Northern Hell) have had a formative impact on me. Raw sound and a mangy recording which should neither be too bad or good in combination with simply ignored playing errors constitutes Black Metal sounding for me. The music needs to rumble and should not even remotely sound like superficial chart music.

Dragg: In terms of influences I would definitely name Endstilles former vocalist Iblis. Never saw a singer with such aggressiveness and presence on stage again, truly inspiring! Musically, bands like Urgehal, Krypt, Mayhem, Marduk, Horna but also Ascension, Helrunar (to name newer ones), influenced me. Looking up my current playlist, I listen a lot to Evilfeasts current output “Elegies of the Stellar Wind”, Riivaus - Lyöden Taudein ja Kirouksin and Perdition Winds - Transcendent Emptiness to name a few.

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

Death to all!

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Iskald/Innhøstinga/Indie Recordings/2018 CD Review

jeudi 28 juin 2018 à 23:04

  Iskald  are  a  band  from  Norway  that  plays  a  very  raw  and  epic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Innhøstinga"  which  will  be  released  in  August  by  Indie  Recordings.

  Tremolo picking  starts  off  the  album  which  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  utilize  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  along  with  the  riffs  also  using  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  the  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  along  with  some  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  one  of  the  tracks  also  introduces  classical  guitars  onto  the  recording  and  as  the  album  progresses  their is  also  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing  on  a  couple  of  songs.

  Iskald  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  melodic  and  epic  in  the  Nordic  Tradition,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  a  mixture  of  English  and  Norwegian  and  cover  a  story  about  those  who  have  lost  on  their  way.

  In  my  opinion  Iskald  are  a  very  great  sounding  epic  and  melodic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Atrocious  Horror"  "Even  Dawn  Drew  Twilight"  "From  Traitor  To  Beast"  and  "Innhøstinga".  8  out  of  10.

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