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Ulvdalir/Hunger For The Cursed Knowledge/Inferna Profundus Records/2020 EP Review

jeudi 27 février 2020 à 21:29

  Ulvdalir  are  a  band  from  Russia  that  has  had  music  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  an  orthodox  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  ep  "Hunger  For  The  Cursed  Knowledge"  which   will  be  released  on  March  20th  by  Inferna  Profundus  Records.

  Ambient  style  synths  start  off  the  ep  and  they  also  appear  on  the  later  songs  while  Gregorian  chants  can  also  be  heard  briefly  before  going  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  musical  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  along  with  seem  dark  sounding  melodies.

  Most  of  the  music  is  also  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  era  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  sounding  screams.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  an  old  school  style  along  with  all  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts,

 Slean  playing  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  as  well  as  some  songs  also  capturing  a  ritualistic  atmosphere  and  synths  can  also  be  heard  briefly  on  the  closing  track. The  production  sounds  very  dark,  raw  and  old  school  while  the  lyrics  cover  death.  the  devil,  nihilism  and  philosophy  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Ulvdalir  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  orthodox  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Road  Of  Knowledge"  and  "Out  Of  The  Darkness  of  The  Depths".  8  out  of  10.


Source :

Saarkoth Interview

jeudi 27 février 2020 à 20:35
1.Can  you give us an update on what is going on with the band since the recording and release of the new ep?

The recording and release of the EP is the most recent thing that we’ve worked on. Since the release we’ve just been promoting it on social media and trying to get it sent out to reviewers. Outside of that we’ve been rehearsing for some upcoming shows.

In terms of the recording of this release, though, it was very much done in the typical way that we do things where one of us will have an idea and pretty much write the entire song from start to finish, often without the other party even knowing, and then present their ‘finished draft’, as it were, to the other to add their flair and ideas to it. This process alone can change big parts of a song, just by us then being in the room together and being able to bounce ideas as to what could better off of each other, for example the section of the song where there’s a few seconds of just bass before it kicks back in wasn’t in the original draft. That section and the melodies in the bars before and after it were spawned entirely from us sitting down together with the first draft infront of us and just seeing what we could come up with.

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

It’s a much darker sounding EP than what we’ve previously released. Obviously it’s a single seventeen minute track, so by that point alone it’s a little bit more complex than anything we’ve released previously. The production is different too, since we went for a more raw sound inspired by more classic Black Metal albums, though admittedly not quite that raw.

It’s more melody driven, too. There less of the atmospheric side to it than our previous releases, those being Jera and Memories of You, which was on the ‘The Wanderer’ Single, both of which had much more obvious atmospheric sections. That’s not to say this is without atmosphere, but rather the atmosphere is more like a hillside at night with fog near choking you as opposed to a brightly lit, light filled forest.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores on the new release and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?

There’s some hints towards religion on the EP, a topic which we haven’t covered before and likely won’t touch much again in at-least the near future. Though, for the most part the lyrics are a collection of just what was going through my (Ellis) head at the time. I suppose I was angry and upset about some recent events which manifested itself through lyrics such as “As the rays of your holy love are hidden by gathering clouds” and “I feel the plague as it eats my flesh and rots me from the inside.” Though, the lines referring to “The Cult of Nature” have a sort of double meaning in that, without revealing anything, they are referencing future plans, but are also a bit of a commentary about how we’ve recently had a multiple amounts of natural disasters which seem to awake more and more people to the many crises affecting our world at the moment, hence “For once life has died, the cult of nature will arise.”.

As songwriters I’d say we’ve just gotten better at writing, I’ve become a better lyricist and we’ve found ourselves finding it easier to write shorter and longer songs, whereas before a typical song length was around the six or so minute mark, with not much in the way of deviation from that. Obviously this EP was an example of that progression.

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

I feel like this is quite typical for Black Metal, but it’s origins are actually a little bit geeky. It’s a slight rework of the name of an NPC from a game.

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

The artwork is the ‘Jera’ rune, which is the rune which symbolizes ‘Year’ and ‘Harvest’ in the Elder Futhark set of runes. It’s a rune we adopted as our symbol on our debut album titled ‘Jera’.  We wished to have a personalized version of that, one which had a bit of detail which will hopefully be recognisable as ours, to people who knows us, and not one that you could just be off of Google.

So, in that respect, consider that artwork as our ‘Second logo’, our emblem as it were. It’ll likely crop up again.

6.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you open to expanding the line up or do you prefer to remain a duo?

We’ve been trying to fill the ranks since 2018. We spent a year and a half as a trio with our bassist, Asa, but he left us at the end of 2019 to pursue other musical interests with his other band. But yes, we do want a full band. It’s been a thorn in our side ever since the drummer pulled.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Without a doubt, our best shows have been Oakfest 2019 and The Blackwood Gathering 2019. Those were two times where we walked off the stage just knowing we’d killed it. For the last two shows we’ve played, we have begun to add a small bit of flair to the show in the sense of a solidified dress sense. But I like to think that our show is engaging to watch, I know that I try to put on a bit of an aggressive presence.

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

Touring would be nice, but it’s a stage we aren’t at yet unless we were touring in support of a fellow band. This year we’re cutting down a little bit on the shows and we’re trying to be a bit pickier about the shows we play. We want to fit on bills, whereas there’s been a few shows in the past where we a bit left field and the crowd weren’t there to see that kind of music.

9.Currently the band is unsigned but has worked with a label in the past, are you open to working with another label again in the future?

Yeah, we’re more than happy to work with labels. We just decided we wanted complete control over this release so that we could just drop it. We didn’t want any beforehand promotion and we figured the best way to do that would be to self release, as it’s more than understandable that labels will want to promote beforehand in order to secure sales, they’re businesses afterall.

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

I’ve not heard anything bad so far! As of writing this we’ve had two reviews back, averaging out at 8.5/10 so we’re more than happy with that. On a one to one level, we’ve been told by multiple people that they’ve really enjoyed the release and the changed sound.

11.When can we expect another full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Hopefully this year. We’ll decide that when it comes to it. We’ve tried a planned release before, but it just didn’t work out, so it makes more sense to just see what comes out when you sit down to write rather than try and plan how you want to sound however many years down the line.

12.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/

I wouldn’t say our influences changed, when I was writing this I was mostly listening to the same stuff I always do, a lot of UK bands and a lot of old school bands. I think the only influence I tried to incorporate into this release was a bit of the more recent sound of Behemoth, specifically The Satanist era.

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

Just a thank you to yourself for offering us this platform to talk on and for the kind words in your review, as well as a thank you to everyone who has supported this release by either buying it or sharing it with friends. It all helps and we appreciate it all.


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Burzum/Thulean Mysteries/Byelobog Productions/2020 Double CD Review

jeudi 27 février 2020 à 10:45

  Norway's  Burzum  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues  showing  him  moving  away  from his  black  metal  style  and  bringing  in  more  of  a  mixture  of  dark  ambient,  dungeon  synth,  electronic  and  folk  music  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2020  double  album  "Thulean  Mysteries"  which  will  be  released  in  March  by  Byelobog  Productions.

  Dark  ambient  style  synths  start off  the  album  and  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  the  recording  as  well  as  using  a  variety  of  many  different  sounding  keys  while  a  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  instrumentals.  Some  of  the  tracks  are  also  very  short  in  length  along  with  the  music  also  adding  in  a  great  amount of  dungeon  synth  elements.

  Programmed  beats  are  also  added  on some  of  the  tracks  while  folk  instruments  are  added  on  some  of  the  tracks.  One  song  also  introduces  acoustic  guitars  onto  the  recording  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  good amount  of  variety  and  also  differing  from  each  other  and  at  times  the  music  also  captures  the  atmosphere  of  a  fantasy  movie  soundtrack.

  One  track  also  adds  in  some  tribal  percussion  and  ritualistic  chants  and  spoken  word  parts  as  well  as  one  track  also  introducing  clean pagan vocals  onto  the  album,  At  times  the  music  also  captures  a  very  medieval  and  dark  ages  atmosphere  and  as  the  album  progresses  there  are  also  a  few  songs  that  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length,  elements  of  electronic  music  are  also  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  while  the  lyrics  cover  Norse  Paganism,  Thule  and  Fantasy  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Burzum  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  his  dark  ambient  and  dungeon  synth  material  as  well  as  neo-folk  and  electronic  music,  you  should  check  out  this  double  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "A  Thulean  Perspective"  "The  Lord  Of  The  Dwarves"  "The  Road  To  Hel"  and  "The  Loss  Of  Thule".  8  out  of  10.

Clear Vinyl:
Standard Vinyl:  

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Membaris/Misanthrosophie/W.T.C Productions/2020 CD Review

jeudi 27 février 2020 à 08:28

  Membaris  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  a  very  melodic  and  misanthropic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  album  "Misanthrosophie"  which  will  be  released  in  March  by  W.T.C  Productions.

  A  very  fast  and  raw  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking.  Vocals  are  mostly  grim  yet  high  pitched  black  emtal  screams  while  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Clear  vocals  are also  utilized  at  times  while  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard  on  a  couple  of  songs  along  with  some  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length.  Deep  growls  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  as  well  as  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  the  music  also  adding  in  a  good  balance  between  old  school  and  modern  influences  along  with  one  track  also  introducing  spoken  word  parts  onto  the  recording  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  acoustic  guitars  and  synths  can  also  be  heard.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  a  mixture  of  German  and  English  and  cover  fatalism,  nature,  darkness  and  anti  Christianity  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Membaris  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  and  misanthropic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Nebel  Haras"  "The  Only  Reason  To  Stay"  "Pulsar"  and  "Aus  Tiefen  empor...".  8  out  of  10.

Membaris @ Facebook    

Source :

Hecate Interview

mercredi 26 février 2020 à 20:34
1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?

Recording, mixing, mastering and all the organization behind have already required a lot of energy on our part, so for the moment, we are taking a short break, although we have already played two gigs since that. We are currently focusing on promoting the album and its release and are also planning some upcoming concerts.

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

Broadly speaking, Ode au désert suspendu follows on from Une voix venue d'ailleurs, but we tried to push the influences and overall quality even further. Our previous album laid the foundations for a style that we were trying to find before, by experimenting with different orientations, from a Black Metal tinted with Heavy or more epic roots, to a heavier and more ritualistic kind of Black Sludge. Now that we have defined the style of a Black Metal playing on musical chiaroscuro and based on a variety of emotions and tessitura, we wish to explore this path more deeply. Also, this latest album can be influenced by Black as well as Post-Rock, Classic, or even videogames and OST from Japanese animation. This is without a doubt the release we are most proud of since the creation of the band.

3.Your lyrics cover literature, myths and cosmos themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?

The informations written on Metal Archives are not up to date, alas. These themes were central for us several years ago, when we had a very romantic way to write our lyrics: influence of Baudelaire’s poetry, themes revolving around myths or literary figures, et cetera. But the more time passes and the more our lyrics are influenced by contemporary poetry, although they are still written in rhyming Alexandrines. About our lyrics, we try to focus more on formal beauty, plays of sonority or explosion of the meaning of language than on well-defined themes; but some of them can be recursive, as the flow of time, the matter of human desire and body, loneliness or oniric dreams.

4.I know that the band was named after an ancient goddess in Greek Mythology, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?

With Selene and Artemis, Hecate constitutes the lunar Triad. She is often associated with the new moon or the black moon, that is to say with death or shadows, but she cannot be taken independently of the two other goddesses that complete her ; hence the fact that it is often depicted with a triple body. But even in herself, she bears a kind of bipolarity: she is as much goddess of fertility, wealth and wisdom as the goddess of shadows and dead souls. This bipolarity perfectly illustrates the chiaroscuro we wish to embody in our music, solar and lunar as well. On the other hand, we do not associate ourselves at all with the meanings more versed in black magic that can be found in certain interpretations of this goddess; not that they are false, but we don’t fit into it.

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

As for our previous album, the artwork was made by Jibus, who already, for Une voix venue d’ailleurs, had perfectly illustrated the lunar and twilight glow that we wanted to transcribe. As far as the present artwork is concerned, we have taken inspiration from several existing works. First of all, from a preparatory illustration by Schinkel, dating from 1815, for the staging of Mozart's The Magic Flute (it shows the great starry vault that forms like a celestial cone). Another example is Friedrich's Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, for the compact mass that the perspective brings out, which seems as much liquid as vaporous. Thirdly, we wanted to include once again a female figure on the cover, already to create a link with Hecate (who remains associated with fertility), but also by drawing inspiration from the representations of the muses: here, the divine, manic inspiration comes from an unctuous juice that flows directly from the moon and lodges itself into the cup of the muse. We believe that this cover, in its richness and refinement, is a perfect representation of what our music embodies.

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?

We really have great memories of a gig we played in Paris alongside Deathcode Society and Acherontas; all the bands made excellent sets, and our performance was clearly up to all our expectations. Very recently, we also played a private concert for our tenth anniversary, in our homeland, side by side with Wyrms, Devilspit and other Black formations: we had planned a special one-hour show covering all the periods of our career, and it was frankly moving to play on this occasion. Aside from that, our shows remain very regular, there’s not a lot to tell about them. We sometimes try to experiment with specific sets or costumes, but it really depends on the capacity or regulations of the venues. In general, we focus more on the effectiveness of our performance than on formal details.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?

For the moment, we have already planned a few concerts in France, alongside bands such as Aetheria Conscientia and Smerter. About another project we're working on right now, we'd really like to do a small tour with two great French bands, A/Oratos and Étoile Filante, but that's still very much in the embryonic stages at the moment. Finally, we may have another tour planned in the coming year with our label, but we'll reveal more in due course.

8.The new album is coming out on 'Mourning Light Records', how did you get in contact with this label?

They're the ones who contacted us, quite simply! We hadn't even originally planned a label for our previous album and released it independently. Mourning Light liked it very much and contacted us asking if we were interested in joining their roster; they had just been created and we were one of the very first bands to join them. But we don't regret a single moment, the collaboration always went very well, we have a lot of latitude to act and they are very attentive to our requests; so we sincerely hope to keep on this way.

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

Apart from the comments we can read on the links where our music is broadcast, and a few messages we may receive, we don't really know what the listeners think about us, even if the echoes we may get are always very positive, enthusiastic and warm. We ourselves are very demanding of our own band, and we always know which points to improve first. So the pressure for Ode au désert suspendu wasn't really the opinion of the public, but our own satisfaction, and that was something much more difficult to achieve! We can in no way control the opinion of Black Metal fans, so the reactions will be as they will be, no more.

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?

Libra, our bass player, is extremely invested in his Folk/Pirate project, Toter Fisch: they play a lot of gigs throughout France and even Europe, so he doesn't have time to get bored. F.V., our rhythm guitarist, is also doing some gigs with his Slam/Death band, Scumbags, and will be playing a few dates in France with them during the mouths to come. For the rest of the members, Nox, Veines Noires and Silence are still part of the Depressive Black Metal band Ostium, which is at a standstill for the moment, although new compositions have been written. Nevertheless, with the evolution of everyone's personal and professional situation, we can't do too much either, so from now on, we give priority to quality over quantity.

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

We have absolutely no idea, and all the beauty lies here. Our existence is a constant renewal of surprises, and we prefer to wait to see where the destiny leads us rather than to multiply plans which will never succeed

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?

We can't really talk about well-defined influences for the band because in fact, Hecate has never claimed to fit into this or that particular lineage or to follow a trend that works particularly well at a given moment T to run out of steam later: the goal remains to make music with our guts; even if there are undoubtedly multiple unconscious influences that have forged each album as it is. We think it clearly depends on the steps we’ve gone through: at the very beginning, we were more influenced by bands as Dissection, Immortal, Naglfar or Lord Belial, bands that mix Black as well as Death or Heavy with their music. We have crossed a very short period in which you could find more Sludge or ritualistic roots (in particular on our EP from 2017, Apeiron). For the last two albums, we can just as well base ourselves on totally experimental bands like Krallice or on much more traditional and efficient schemes, coming from the Quebec Black from Forteresse or Csejthe, as well as bands like Mgła, Plaga, Misþyrming or Naðra. Nowadays, about the bands we’re listening to, and without mentioning the bands even quoted here, we could quote others like Blut us Nord, Deathspell Omega, Yeruselem, Borknagar, Atlantean Kodex, (DOLCH), Midnight Odyssey, and many more…

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

Absolutely none, thank you for your interest!

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