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Skyforger/Senprusija/Thunderforge Records/2015 CD Review

samedi 28 mars 2015 à 13:07

  Skyforger  are  a  band  from  Latvia  that  has  been  around  since  the  90's  and  plays  a  pagan  form  of  black/folk  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "Senprusija"  which  will  be  released  in  April  by  Thunderforge  Records.

  A  very  dark  and  medieval  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  clean  singing  pagan  vocals  and  you  can  also  hear  some  folk  instruments  in  the  background  and  after  the  intro  the  music  starts  adding  in  more  of  a  heavier  and  raw  black  metal  sound  along  with  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  and  high  pitched  screams.  

  You  can  hear  a  lot  of  melody  and  traditional  metal  influences  in  the  bands  musically  sound  and  the  vocals  also  use  some  rough  of  angry  shouting  type  of singing  and  you  can  also  hear  a  heavy dose  of  thrash  in  the  bands  musical  style  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  folk  instruments  also  mix  in  with  the  heavy  parts  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording.

  When  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they are  in  a  more  melodic  metal  direction  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  some  of  the  tracks  also  bring  in  the  sounds  of  war  from  the  middle  ages  and  as  the  album  progresses  clean  playing  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  the  pagan  vocals  and  folk  instruments  that  where  present  on  the  intro  also  make  a  return  on  some  of  the  later  tracks  while  one  of  the  later  songs  also  brings  in  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts.  

  Skyforger  creates  an  album  that  focuses  more  on  a straight  forward  pagan  metal  sound  this  time  around  while  also  keeping  their  black  and  folk  metal  roots,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  their  native  tongue  and  cover  Prussian  History  and  their  roots  as  a  Baltic  people  before  the  Germans  conquered.

  In  my  opinion  Skyforger  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  pagan,  black  and  folk  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Senprusija"  "Herkus  Monte"  "Melnas  Buras"  and  "Zem  Lietuvas  Karogiem".  8  out  of  10.  

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2015/03/skyforgersenprusijathunderforge.html


Nigredo Interview

samedi 28 mars 2015 à 10:52
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?

Nigredo were created in early 2013 by me (A.- guitars, bass, vocals) and Maelstrom (drums) in order to realize our own personal visions of black metal. In February 2015 our first mini album entitled “Facets Of Death” was released by Odium Records.

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

At the time the tracks of the mini album were being composed my constant aim was to always achieve the perfect balance between the straightforward black metal riffing and the most sinister dissonances I could come up with. The final result is riff driven black metal with many diverse moments, from very thrashy to very atmospheric and everything in between. Maelstrom’s contribution to how the album sounds is huge since he has a very distinct drumming style, extremely hard hitting and a very wide arsenal of drum beats and fills, and he’s also playing an important role in shaping the structures of the tracks. I must also mention the contribution of 210 Studios (Berlin) whose mix and master highlights and brings to the foreground the large amount of information our music contains.

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

I’m the sole lyricist in the band and I take my personal approach to some, not so unusual in black metal, topics. As the title of the album implies, the idea and the aesthetics of death are very prevalent in Nigredo lyrics. The murderer archetype, Cain, the ritual of infants immolation and the concept of death as a return to a state where all potentials arise from are some of the subjects covered.

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

Nigredo refers to a process of the alchemical Magnum Opus that expresses putrefaction and decomposition. Saturn rules over Nigredo and from my point of view he corresponds to negativity, death and the principle of aggressive disintegration-destruction. The above concepts and thus the name complement the band’s musical and lyrical direction.

6.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?

Probably one more person will be added to the line up, for live shows at least.

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

So far, most people’s first impressions of our music are positive. It’s too early though to comment on the general feedback.

9.The mini album was released on Odium Records, are you happy with the support they have given you so far?


The release turned out really good looking and Odium Records is doing a good job with the promotion of the album considering it’s our debut release so yes, I’m satisfied with our collaboration so far




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

We are already working on a lot of new material for our first full length album. Expect more aggressive, more dramatic, more dissonant and more straightforward music, we are pushing our style in every direction.

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?

Pretty much everything we listen to can be considered an influence and we both listen to many different stuff. Drummer Maelstrom listens to a lot more hardcore punk and classic heavy metal than me, for example, while we find a lot of common ground in black and death metal. But if I had to name a few bands that really helped shape our style I would say probably Deathspell Omega and Mayhem.
The last few months I have been obsessed with Negative plane and affiliated acts (Funereal Presence, Occultation, Ominous Ressurection) and I have been listening to a lot of classic Greek black metal like early Rotting Christ, Varathron and Necromantia.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Join the coven
https://www.facebook.com/NigredoGr
https://nigredogr.bandcamp.com
www.odiumrex.com

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2015/03/nigredo-interview.html


Black Flame Interview

jeudi 26 mars 2015 à 11:56
1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
Actually we just started the live activity in support of the new album, and we are planning more live dates.

2.You have a new album coming out in the end of March, 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?
It might sound obvious at this point, but we are very proud of how “The Origin of Fire” sounds, I think more complete and in a certain way more mature than the oldreleases. In the two previous releases “Septem” (2011) and “Imperivm” (2008) we noticed that some aspects of our songwriting were leaving a certain incomplete feeling while listening the songs for a while, like not withstanding completely the test of time. So, for this new release we worked more on the “melodic” aspect of each track, adding more guitar layers and creating more variations, which transformed our sounds in something wider and deeper.

3.This is the first album to be released in 4 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
We played many gigs and we faced our first line-up change since the foundation of the Band in 1998, changing a bass player and including the live session guitarist in the permanent line-up, so this took a few time to be properly settled.

4.Your lyrics cover a great amount of Occult topics, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the Black Arts?
Black Flame have always been a Band with a deep and personal lyrical path. All our releases have been always enriched with lyrics inspired by our experiences and our philosophy, and “The Origin of Fire” is no exception in this. The new album is lyrically inspired by the cosmic creations which have been created by humans in order to search for a sort of divine self-elevation: the controversial relationship with Death celebrated through cursed cults forged in fire and blood. This thing could be seen as a direct metaphor of how we live and we conceive this Band : we summon Death and the destruction of all the demiurgic cosmic creations. We chant about instincts, we chant about lust, about fire, about ashes and destruction and our music in the altar upon which we sacrifice our human barriers so we can ride wild and unchained in the sonic realm we create.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Black Flame'?
The Black Flame is the primordial fire, the origin of the realm of the black shadows.

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 would always remember the mini-tour we made in Norway in late 2007, while supporting the “Conquering Purity” album. Norway has been always seen as a crucial land for Black Metal, and the bands coming from there have been widely praised and acclaimed, so for us it was a very important moment to bring our music in that land. The response from the audience was positively unexpected in all the gigs and it was a sort of a eye-opener for us, a sort of boost which gave us a big energy and confidence, which at that time resulted in the recording of “Imperivm”.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
Yes, we already have 6/7 gigs planned between Italy and Switzerland and more will come.

8.On the album you had done a cover of Kenneth Anger's "Lucifer Rising", what was the decision behind doing your own version of this song?
Kenneth Anger has always been a controversial figure, and many aspects behind the creation of the soundtrack for “Lucifer Rising” were and still are a mystery. Originally, Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin was recruited for the soundtrack writing and it looks like that some of the parts were completed by Page at the Boleskine House, during his most intense period of involvement in Black Magic practices. However, it looks like that his tracks were never used, and the soundtrack was credited to Bobby Beausoleil, which was a Charles Manson associate and that is serving a lifetime sentence for homicide in prison. This Luciferian cocktail of Occult practices, controversy, drugs, is perfectly captured in the track “Lucifer Rising”, which features some guitar patterns which, in the original version, are unmistakably the touch of Jimmy Page…. even though Bobby Beausoleil was officially credit. Who knows the truth can’t and won’t speak now, and we decided to tribute all this.

9.Also on the new album you had PK of Abigor and Iscariah of Dead to This world quest on a couple of your songs, can you tell us a little bit more about their contributions to the recording?
They are both long time friends, since PK already wrote some music for Black Flame in 2004/5. His contribution in “My Temple of Flesh” and “On the Trail of the Serpent” is exactly a tribute to the ten years of the first collaboration.
I played drums in the Norwegian band Dead To This World from 2008 to 2015, so it was very easy and natural to invite Iscariah for some vocals in the track “On the Trail of the Serpent”. They both had a clear vision of their ideas and the way to make them working in our style, I’m very pleased about the final outcome.

10.Over the years how has the feedback been to your music by fans of both black and death metal?
To be honest, during the years we’ve been more interested to get people attracted to us and develop our personal style, trying to avoid sonic speculations in order to gain more audience.

11.What is going on with some of the other musical projects or bands these days that some of the band members are a part off?
I’m currently drumming for the cult band Opera IX and for Janvs, while Tiorad is playing guitars for Adversam and our bass player Gnosis is the mainman of Mystical Fullmoon.
All this bands are active and on fire with new albums out or in the process of being released.

12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We’re not interested in ambitious dreams of fame, I see this band as a constant and sonic expression of our personal paths, so until we will be clear and focused enough to materialize our visions in music, this Band will exist.

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?
We listened to so many music that it is really impossible for me to point out at something, and when we write new music we have no other reference but ourselves.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you for this space and for the interest. Dare yourselves to discover what is “The Origin of Fire” ! Serpens Vigil Est !

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2015/03/black-flame-interview.html


Warnungstraum Interview

jeudi 26 mars 2015 à 11:47
1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

We're rehearsing some pieces that will be recorded into the next months for a three-way split album with italian hordes Infamous and Solitvdo. Then I've started to work on the next full-length which will be a challenging opus for Warnungstraum, surely its most laboured release.

2.In December you had 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?

I think that is hard to describe  "Mirror Waters" precisely. It's music that make me think to a journey between surreal landscapes, supernatural visions, painful emotions, melancholy and moments of deep calm and contemplation. The black metal songs are very much doomish like our first album, but this time I used the keys together with the guitars so in many moments the sound is more majestic and near to some old symphonic black metal bands like early Gehenna, or early Dimmu Borgir. The sound of our previous albums was raw and morbid, the structures where simple and minimalistic, and the music was a direct expression of negativity and pain. The latest album is a step ahead of all this, we take the direction of a more mature, narrative approach to extreme music.


3.According to the fb page you label your music as 'Introspective Visionaire Black metal', can you tell us a little bit more about this term?

I try with Warnungstraum to express some of my deepest thoughts, visions, pleasant and unpleasant obessions. Black metal music is usually associated with the devilish, the sinister, the horrid, the tragic.. I think that the first place where you could find all these elements is into yourself, during your moments of paranoid and your introspections, and I think it's a really visionaire experience to face your own dark thoughts, because you can't define them "clearly", you can't put them into an organized structure or ideology, the force of fantasy is bigger than every limit you could impose to your thoughts. They are like an ever-changing fluid, made by images that tremble in a water mirror. So I could say that my music is dealing with that kind of introspective and visionaire experience.


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

This time I explored two topics: the first is that of some oriental views about post-mortem experience and reincarnation, in fact "Antarabhava" is a term that indicates the intermediate state between one existence and another. I don't believe in such views but I like the idea of a dreadful journey for the coscience of a dying individual, starting from the separation with the body and ending in a painful re-birth into a new carnal body. Is something like a "catharian", pessimistic vision of earthly life with which I don't agree, but anyway I found the topic much suggestive for a black metal piece. The second topic was taken by the myth of Narkissos, that for me is a tale with great symbolic, spiritual and psychological meanings. In the whole of my life I was (and still I am) obsessed by the reflection of myself into my mind; sometimes I'm really fascinated by this alter-ego while in some other moments I feel it like my biggest enemy, a sort of illusion that enslaves me and prevent myself from becoming what I really am, inducing me to pursue false ideals. I tried to express this deep level of signification with the lyrics.



5.On the album cover you quoted Ovid, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this author?

Ovid is the latin source I used for the Narkissos topic. His opus "Metamorphosys" is one of the biggest source for greek-roman mythology, religion and spirituality of the imperial age. I'm always been very much into this things, is like "daily bread" for me. The quote into the album cover is a reference to the symbolical meaning of the myth.


6.Has the band done any any live shows or has this been strictly a studio project so far?

Warnungstraum is strictly a studio project. Never say no, but I think that it will remain as this.



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

The distribution of our works was always very much underground and limited to the circuit of small black metal labels, with promotion near to the zero. I received very few feedback, but maybe the people who appreciate and know Warnungstraum's music is more than I could imagine.


8.What is going on with some of the other musical projects or bands these days that some of the band members are a part off?

The new album of Obscure Devotion is ready to be released and I hope that into the next months it will be out for a good label. It's really a masterpiece of black metal art, the song writing is on a very high level and inspiration was deep and intense. I'm waiting also for the release of the new Aryan Art album of my friend Alexander Ivanov, in which I played all the guitars and acoustics part. Then from my side I'm working on the first full-length of Flamen, my extreme epic metal project.



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

I could anticipate that the next Warnungstraum full-length will be a very rich work, with a strong narrative and conceptual vein, with various musical elements that will go from the melodic black to the death doom, passing through atmospheric moments, ambient, symphonic neoclassical parts. I will try to gather all the past experience into one musical opus dealing with a specific theme, trying to give to the music and to the lyrics a precise structure like in a progressive concept-album. The theme will be obviously based on my own interior experience, but this time I will deal with a specific spiritual/psychological topic.



10.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?

The influence for our newer music is coming maybe from bands like italian Tronus Abyss, early norwegian melodic bands like Gehenna, Limbonic Art, first Dimmu Borgir, some classic doom like Katatonia, plus some ambient and psychedelic music like Tangerine Dream, Coil, Popol Vuh. I always listen to tons of music of various kind so is something difficult to quote the influences.. nowadays I'm listening very much classical music like that of Arrigo Boito, Giuseppe Verdi, Igor Stravinsky, plus some old rare heavy metal classics and the latest Laibach works. Extreme metal near to zero.


11.Does Paganism or Occultism play any role in your music?

In past times I was very interested into such things, but into the last years I've changed my mind and now I could say that I don't see paganism or occultism as good things. I will always be interested in true spirituality, and my own inner research will always go on, but I think that some things are a great obstacle for a real spiritual growth. Actually Paganism is a false tradition: is only an ideology, a mask for a materialistic vision of life and if you analyse the neo-pagan visions and ideas you will find only a different way of expression of such concepts that are derivated by the modern science that is materialistic, the modern philosophy that is nihilistic and the modern anthropology-sociology that are a sum of the previous disciplines. It has nothing to do with the true ancient spiritual Traditions. Occultism is much more dangerous: usually when you go into occultism you're driven by the desires of your ego, by a long list of false ideals that are covering your lowest impulses, that have nothing to do with your true personality and self, because they are only a transitory "reflection" of your coscience into the organic, biological plane. So it's obvious that your individual ego, that is a transitory illusion, will never be able to dominate the invisible forces and the errant psychic entities that are active on the intermediate level which is the operative field of occultism. Occultism promises powers and exaltation to the ego, and liberation from an earthly life that one can't accept because it seems without sense. There is no benefit for me into all of this.


12.What are some of your non musical interests?

When I'm not operating with music usually I read and study a certain kind of books, or I do some manual labour or sportive activities that helps me to be not too much "intellectual" and philosopher, that is not a good thing... especially for my body! I like also to walk in natural places, exploring mountain paths and woods.



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

To all black metal people: don't lie down on your illusions. Extreme music means independence, autarchy. Reject the cliches and the ideological dogmas if you want to fight really against this world. If not, be calm and patient, the end will come anyway. All the best!

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2015/03/warnungstraum-interview.html


Macabre Omen/Gods Of War - At War/Van Records/2015 CD Review

jeudi 26 mars 2015 à 09:09

  Macabre  Omen  are  a  band  originally  from  Greece  but  now  resides  in  the  United  Kingdom  and  plays  an  epic  form  of  pagan/black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  album  "Gods  Of  War  -  At  War"  which  was  released  in  2015  by  Van  Records.

  Water,  thunder  and  rain  sounds  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  spoken  word  parts  and  melodic  pagan  chanting  a  few  seconds  later  which  also  leads  up  to  a  very  heavy  musical  direction  along  with  some  guitar  solos  and  leads  that  are  very  epic  and  melodic  and  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  most  of  the  songs.

  When  vocals  are  added  onto  the  recording  they  are  very  deep  and  grim  sounding  black  metal  screams  that  can  get  very  high  pitched  and  times  while  the  melodies  gives  the  music  a  90's  Hellenic  black  metal  feeling  and  the  music  also  has  a  very  raw  feeling  at  times  along  with  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  A  good  portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  clean  singing  vocals  can  be  hard  in  certain sections  of  the  recording  and  they  also  give  the  music  more  of  an  epic  vibe  when  they  are  utilized  and  some  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  small  amounts  of  acoustic  guitars  at  times  and  as  the  album  progresses  folk  instruments  are  brought  onto  some  of  the  tracks  giving  the  music  more  of  a  medieval  feeling  while  some  of  the heavier parts  also  use  a  small  amount  of  deep  and  demonic  growls

  Macabre  Omen  plays  a  style  of  pagan/black  metal  that  is  very  epic,  raw,  heavy  and  diverse  in  the  Greek  tradition  of  the  90's  but  done  with  more  of  an  up  to  date  feeling,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  while  the  lyrics  cover  war,  death,  Hellenic  Pride,  Rhodian  antiquity  and  lore.

  In  my  opinion  Macabre  Omen  are  a  very  great  sounding  epic  pagan/black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "I  See  The  Sea"  "Man  Of  300  Voices"  and  "Rhodian  Pride,  Lindian  Might".  8/5  out  of  10.  

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2015/03/macabre-omengods-of-war-at-warvan.html