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Draugen Interview

dimanche 21 juillet 2019 à 20:14
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
1.I am Arturo, I make bass guitars and vocals in draugen, draugen is a project born of the need to bequeath music and knowledge. Draugen is raw black metal noise that's experimental.

2.So far this year you have released an ep and a demo, musically how do they differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
2. Musically I think what's better now. First because I jave evolved a lot in black metal in my way of playing than it was before. Second, the discography differs in that the previous disc were recorded without giving a message or some preconceived idea, while the current discs are more based and the music I get much better if I have something to express.

3.On one of your tracks you showed soem inspiration from the writings of 'Clark Ashton Smith', can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in his work/
3. The lyrics contain names, words and concepts of Asenath Mason's Nekronomicon gnosis, those comcepts are intermingled with other concepts from the toltec shamanism. About that I usually read Carlos Castaneda's books and get into his work every night.

4.What are some of the other lyrical topics and subjects you have explored over the years wirth your music?
4. War, satanism, paganism, death, hate, extreme, darkness, gore, now I am with the witches of Mexico and their knowledge of the Toltecs, everything mixed poetically in my lyrics.

5.Your current project evolved from 'Belfegor', how is the music from 'Draugen' different than your previous project?

5. Belfegor was dysfunctional, there were lengthy experimental guitar passages there, sounds were quite calm for turning off in a fast tremolo picking and back to the dark melody from where started in a melancholic trastorned vein. Draugen contains still parts of those experimental sounds in Belfegor, they differ in that Draugen is black metal and Belfegor was instrumental blackned experimental noise/ambient almost without drums.

6.What is the meaning and insiration behind the name 'Draugen'?
6. The draugen are the ghost of the dead in the seas, I was inspired that peraphs we are all Draugens, dead in some metaphorically is the sea of life and march dead towards a system that preys on us, is something poetic, inspires me something impulsive in me that is not explained by words, if I tried to tell you what I would say is the pressure exerted by the fact of being alive.

7.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to remain solo?
7. I am working together with Kadesh of Deeper Villeness. Something is cooming soon, Winter Bristles... I've played in bands before, but today I would not, my task involves a lot of time.

8.In 2017 you where a aprt of a split with 'Cryptorsatan' 'Satanian' and 'Sycamore 3', what are your thoughts on the other bands or projects that had participated on the album and also do you have an interest in national socialism?
8. They are good bands and the results was very good, Cryptorsatan possesses the power of the old school, Draugen and Sycamore 3 have their rawness, Satanian is a live recording.
For me the politics is decadent, it is not ruined because it continues to work in most countries of Latin America: it continues trolling. I can not answer that question because I never lived under the yoke of national socialism, I can only comment om what I have lived, Argentina has been in democracy since I was born, I can only say that politics is in decline but is not ruined because it works and hooks thousands of people every day, that is seen here.

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

9. The reaction was right, from Belfegor to Draugen it started being very anti-commercial in tape in under places u know?, with handmade cover like Les Legion Noires... Then I just started to share the music in the networks and I got a circle of audience, also i  russia are cooming out copies of dark vermis under the label barbatos prods. Same with cvlminis and floppy noise records. There is planned release grim forest sky in germany and sweden by the end of this summer.

10.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?

10. Soon, I'm working on a new album, there's no place we should not refuse.

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?
11. Gorgonas, Ulfhethnar, Moloch, Throne, death metal, grindcore, Satanicum Tenebrae, Black Murder, Torgeist, LLN, Emperor. I  terms of influences the old Darkthrone, the new demo "grim forest sky" although it is black metal I get inspired by the "Brujería" fierce sound. Vocal referents are Gezol from Sabbat, Dead, Ash, Nattramn, Varg, and the Maniac of "Deathcrush".
Lately I listened Holokauston, black metal from India made by a 19 years old boy.

12.Does Occultism play any role in your music?
12. All days occultism play a role in my music, I am sure that my music was born by and for the purpose of the occult, I can not explain how, but symbolically it is close to all, the occult is what trascends reason to enter unexplored lands.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
13. Thanks Occult Black Metal Zine for the opportunity, I was reading the blog and you have a vast potential here.

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Sophist/Betrothal To The Stone: Conception Ff Mephisto/2019 EP Review

dimanche 21 juillet 2019 à 04:27

  Sophist  are  a  duo  from  Edmonton,  Canada  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black  metal  and  grindcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2019  ep  "Betrothal  To  The  Stone: Conception  Of  Mephisto "  which  will  be  released  in  August.

  A  horror  movie  orientated  sound  starts  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  heavier  grindcore  direction  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams.  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling.

  A  decent  amount  of  melody  can  also  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  while  death  metal  growls  can  also  be  heard  at  times.  The  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  guitar  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  distorted  style  when t hey  are  utilized  and  they  also  bring  in  a  couple  of  bonus  instrumental  tracks.

  Sophist  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  black  metal  and  grindcore  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own.  The  production  sounds  very  raw  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  Occultism  and  Alchemy  along  with  some  inspirations  from  an  alchemical  text  called  'Hermaphrodite  Child  of  The  Sun  And  Moon'.

  In  my  opinion  Sophist  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black  metal  and  grindcore  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Betrothal  To  The  Stone: Conception  Of  Mephisto"  and  "A  Captive  Of  Saturn's  Scythe".  8  out  of  10.


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Once Upon A Winter Interview

dimanche 21 juillet 2019 à 00:33
1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the musical project since the recording of the new album?

The recordings of the new album have finished around January I think. Since then we’ve focused on rehearsing a lot with the guys from the live line-up and we’ve played a couple of live shows here in Greece (Athens and Thessaloniki), alongside some great bands. Furthermore, I’ve composed some new songs and I’m starting to see how the 4th album will sound, but it is too early for that.

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

Hmmm.. I think it embraces the dark side more, while keeping the ambient and atmospheric parts. The core essentially is the same. And when I’m talking about a core, I mean melodies. I’ve always liked the idea of having melodies that people can sing along to, melodies that provide motion. No matter the orchestration, the ambience or heaviness of a song, what matters most to me is if you strip down everything and keep just the melody, the song should have the same emotional impact. And I think that is something that continues in the third album.

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

I draw inspiration from everyday stories that happen in life, while combining them with a variety of issues that I’m interested in. The first album is composed from different stories on the same concept.. the inner battle you have with yourself, while trying to reach something.. something more.. A “more” version of yourself, while interacting with everything around you. The second album is one story, but different moments within that story. It’s mostly regarding perception and expectation.. what do you expect from your life, what is the significance of you being here. It’s a love story for life and existence. The third album.. I think it’s the natural consequence of the previous love story. You end up having more parameters to examine like time, space, distance etc.

4.In another interview you mentioned an interest in the Big Bang and the writings of Arthur Schopenhauer, van you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

Well, I like to read. It’s part of my regular job as a researcher and PhD candidate in engineering, but I also just like to read as part of my everyday life. From music theory, to physics and philosophy. The Schopenhauer theme of the previous album, continues on the third album as well. Parts from “Studies in Pessimism” are present both in the self-titled track of .existence, as well as in the first track of the new album. I wanted the new album to continue where the last track of previous album left of. I just like this kind of philosophical pessimism.. I find it comforting in some weird way.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Once Upon A Winter'?

Basically it is a callback to the winter I decided to start this project. It was a weird period of my life, I had completely abandoned music for months, and I was in an empty state. And to be honest I was kind of hating this whole thing. Through discussions, walks, nights out with some booze, after some time, I managed to gather myself and started composing music again. So yeah.. that winter started everything. 

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

It’s something special to me because it was created by my mother. I think she did a brilliant job encapsulating the emotion of the music. It is a result of discussions regarding the music, what I had in mind, and my mother’s own perception and imagination. It was created as a full painting from scratch and it looks beautiful. 

7.On the albums you record most of the material by yourself, are you open to working with a full line up in the studio on future releases?

Well, this album was indeed recorded with a full line-up. I’ve worked with some awesome musicians and people for this album, and I believe it’s because of them that this album has more character and it feels more organic. In the final product it is me on guitars, vocals and synths, and:

Emi Path - Vocals on Nepenthe
Fotis Sitaras - Bass (he is part of the live line-up as well)
Ioannis Varelidis - Drums
Ntenia Vamvakou - Violins
Fifi Alexopoulou - Cello
Chrysa Kourenta - Piano on Forgotten (plus she was in charge of every string recording session)

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?

Since it started out as a solo project, and just recently the live line-up was assembled, we do not have that many shows under our belt, but for sure opening for God Is An Astronaut here in Thessaloniki was something special. I mean opening for a band you listened to as a kid, in your hometown, in one of the best live stages of the country… and all that on our first live as a live band… It was extreme. There are moments that I still don’t believe that it actually happened.

As far as our stage performance… I feel that we zone out. It’s us and the music, but in a way that helps the music reach out to people. We just wanna let the music do the talking. 

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

We are working on it. There are some booked shows, but it is hard because all of us have regular jobs, but we are definitely working on it.

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

To tell you truth, I don’t really know how to answer that question. There are for sure people who embraced this project from the beginning, since day 1 of the first album. And I think that the main audience could be found in the “post-rock” demographic, since every album was uploaded on post-rock related YouTube channels. Lately, with the addition of the more blackgaze/black-metal elements, once in a while I hear someone saying that “All good up until the vocals came” or “I can’t stand the vocals”, but that is an exception, not the rule. I’ve always thought that post-rock and black metal have a lot in common. Plus, I’ve been listening to black metal since I was 15 years old… it’s natural to have those influences. Generally, I think post-rock fans are open-minded people that welcome musical diversity, and consequently the slight change of pace of Once Upon A Winter music.

Now regarding black metal fans… I really don’t think that Once Upon A Winter’s music is on their radar.

11.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?

Who knows? Right now I’m focusing on the release of third album. I really want to tour with the guys and get the chance to perform these songs live. Moreover, as I’ve mentioned, I’m kind of working on new songs so I’d like to see where that road leads. I have some ideas on extra stuff, like a live rendition of some songs just on piano and classical guitar, but we’ll see.

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?

Lately I’ve found myself listening to a lot of synthwave stuff. I feel that there is some sexy, nostalgic and creepy atmosphere in there that I do enjoy. Artists like PERTURBATOR, GUNSHIP, Lazerhawk, Carpenter Brut, Magic Sword etc. I’m still scratching the surface since I’ve just dived in the genre. Besides that, I still listen to a lot blackgaze, atmospheric black metal, and post rock which are the main influences of Once Upon A Winter. 2019 had some amazing albums in those genres from artists like Deha, Suldusk, Numenorean, Crows in the rain, Old Solar and so on. 2019 is the gift that keeps on giving musically (and we are still waiting on the new Falls of Rauros, Alcest, etc).

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

Well, normal stuff. As I’ve said I try to read as much as I can. I enjoy good and well-written TV series. I really like nerd out with MCU and science fiction. I used to read a lot of comics, but I haven’t done that in a looong time. I do not have all the time in the world since I’m working, and trying to finish my PhD studies, so I try to do anything that helps me relax. Lately I don’t go out as much as I want to, and I need to fix that.

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

I would like to thank you for the interesting interview. Furthermore, I would like to thank everyone who embraced Once Upon A Winter from the beginning and keep showing their love and support in every way possible. We really hope to see a lot of you on the road!

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Reign In Blood/Missa Pro Defunctis/Iron Bonehead Productions/2019 CD Review

dimanche 21 juillet 2019 à 00:20

  Reign  In  Blood  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  a  very  satanic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  "Missa  Pro  Defunctis"  which  will  be  released  in  August  by  Iron  Bonehead  Productions.

  A  very  dark  and  ritualistic  orientated  intro  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  spoken  word  parts  also  being  utilized  before  going  into  a  very  fast  and  brutal  musical  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  When  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  chaotic  and  melodic  style  vocals  are  mostly  angry  sounding  black  metal  screams  and  shouts.  A  touch  of  old  school  death  metal  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  riffing  and  vocals  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  The  riffs  also  utilize  a  great  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  and  when  tremolo  picking  is  utilized  it  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling  as  well  as  a  couple  of  the  tracks  being  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  music  also  brings  in  a  decent  mixture  of  both  old  school  and  modern  influences and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  clean  guitars  can  also  be  heard.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Black  Magick  and  Occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Reign  In  Blood  are  a  very  great  sounding  satanic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Dawn  of  A  Dying  Soul"Missa  ProDefunctis"  and  "wolfhour".  8  out  of  10.


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Havens Interview

samedi 20 juillet 2019 à 06:13
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
Havens is the name I use to write and release music. I've written songs for years, but I hadn't ever released anything until some friends in 2016 showed me how to use computer software to record at home. In 2017, I put out "We Shall Meet Where There Is No Darkness" and most recently I put out "On The Verge Of Collapse".

2.Recently you have released your first full length, musically how does it differ from the ep you had released towards the end of 2017?
Besides the usual musical maturity that occurs as you write more material, "On The Verge Of Collapse" is a much heavier album altogether. The music is heavier, the lyrics are heavier and the vocals are screamed whereas the EP had clean vocals. However, I should mention that I plan to re-record the "We Shall Meet.." EP with screamed vocals at some point. I was less confident in my voice at the time, so singing was less of an artistic decision and more of a coping decision.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with your music?
I took a look at my own mortality and my anxieties of which there are many. There's also some personal and political topics which are interrelated. For example, Generation Enslaved is about the private prison system in America and how the US incarcerates so many people, but told through then lens of my father who spent a good chunk of time in jail when I was a teenager and how that impacted me, him and our relationship.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Havens'?
It's taken from a short instrumental song by Alcest from their "Les Voyages de l'Âme" album that I love. They're a favorite band of mine. But the word is perfect because, as I mentioned earlier, I have a lot of anxiety and I'm always looking for spaces that feel like a refuge or shelter, to give my brain rest. Listening to music, writing music and being a part of the music scene, has always been a sanctuary for me.

5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
It was done by one of my best friends Ken Miller who is an absolutely incredible artist. He had been hearing the songs in various states of completion for months as I was working on them, so he had a deep understanding of the lyrical content and sound. He did a great job of capturing a visual representation of both the music and the lyrics.

Ken is available to do artwork. You can find his portfolio and more information at and
He's also in a doom band called Seismic which you can check out here -

6.With this project you record everything by yourself, do you have any experience playing in other bands or working with other musicians?
I have been in a lot of bands over the years, but I usually quit pretty quickly. In fact, I've been in two different bands with Ken, who did the artwork for "On The Verge Of Collapse". Ultimately, I realized that I prefer having full creative control and work at my own pace so it was best for me to work on things on my own.

On the recording end, I've never worked with another band. I am the definition of a hobbyist here. I just have a couple pieces of equipment to record myself in my home office.

I will say that in the future, I hope to be able to work with some other musicians on Havens songs. I'd like to be chiefly responsible for songwriting, but for example, being able to work with and record a real drummer would be great. I've also talked to some friends and acquaintances about the possibility of learning the songs so that we can play a few shows if there's any interest.

7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
I am not actively looking for a label. And I haven't had any labels reach out to me. I don't expect that there'd be much label interest. Writing music is something I do with my spare time. I have no plans to start doing heavy touring or anything like that to promote my music. But who knows? If there was label interest and everything worked out, I'm open to it.

8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of atmospheric black metal?
It's been pretty positive so far that I've seen. To be honest, I am humbled that there's any any interest whatsoever. I make music to scratch my own itch and battle my own demons, so when others get something out of it, that's just icing on the cake.

9.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
In the near future, now that the album is out, I'm working on trying to get together with some friends to rehearse the songs and maybe play a few shows in our area. And as I mentioned earlier, I'd like to go back and re-record the older EP with better vocals. We'll see. I don't want to invest too much energy into that, since it's looking backwards and not forward, but it'll bother me if I don't do it.

As far as writing new material, I am always working on things. I already have a bunch of rough ideas in various states of completion. I don't make any plans ahead of time about how things should sound or anything like that so I can't comment on musical direction.

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?
I've always been a music junkie and I've always had a wide array of tastes which all find their way into the music I write somehow or other. I listen to a lot of metal, I think that's obvious, but I'm also into a lot of 1990s alternative bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Slowdive and Sigur Rós. And then there's stuff like Tragedy, His Hero Is Gone, Integrity and Assück - I enjoy the urgency that existed in the 1990s punk and hardcore scenes, especially the bands who were sorta on the fringe of those scenes and didn't quite fit in.

I still listen to all that stuff regularly nowadays, but if you're asking me what specific records I've been playing lately, I'd say:
Falls of Rauros - Patterns In Mythology. This album came out today and I've had it on repeat while I answered this interview. It's fantastic.
Slowdive - s/t. This English shoegaze band released a couple incredible records in the 1990s, broke up, reunited and released this amazing self-titled record in 2017. I listen to it constantly.
Woman is the Earth - Torch of our Final Night. I just discovered Woman is the Earth recently which is a shame because they've been around for a decade. This record is my favorite, but everything they've done is great.
The Ruins of Beverast - all. I went to Fire In The Mountains festival a week ago (that's why it took so long for me to respond, sorry about that). And this band's set was incredible, both musically and because of what happened during their set. I could explain, but you'd be better off searching for photos or videos.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
I like to go hiking, camping, canoeing... anything outdoors really. I try to partake in those types of activities as much as I can. They rejuvenate my spirit. My wife and I also travel a lot, usually to do the aforementioned activities.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you for the support. I really appreciate it.

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