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Countess Interview

mardi 6 mai 2014 à 21:49
1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

After the recording of the new album, we got an offer to play at UTBS this year. We discussed this and decided to give it a go. So we have been looking for new members to join us so we can play live again. We have more or less completed this process and we’re rehearsing pretty hard now. Also, we’re working on a new official website that should be launched in the near future.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound of the new recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

It’s not all that different from previous releases stylistically, I think. Our sound has been gradually incorporating more traditional metal influences through the years and that evolution more or less reached its zenith on the previous album. On the new one, traditional influences are still very prominent, but at the same time there’s also some more old-fashioned stuff. There’s a lot of variety on the new record, all the songs are very distinct from each other. The biggest differences between the new album and the ones preceding it are the presence of Zagan and the production. We tried some new techniques and we’re rather pleased with the way the record sounds. It sounds very old-fashioned; no modern heavily compressed wall-of-guitars-sound but a sound where you can hear everything clearly.

3.You where one of the first bands to use the tag 'orthodox black metal' what are your thoughts on the bands that have taken that label over the years?

Actually, as far as I know we were the first band to use that tag, back in 1994. What we meant with that tag was: black metal loyal in style to the originators. Black metal true to the black metal ‘canon’ so to speak, as established by – first and foremost – Venom, Hellhammer and Bathory. We meant ‘orthodox’ in a literal sense, meaning ‘strict’ and ‘uncompromising’. When we started using the tag we mainly did so to set ourselves apart from all the new bands that were everywhere at the time, the so-called ‘second wave’ bands who played music that sounded like grindcore without bass and they called that ‘black metal’. We didn’t think that was black metal. It most definitely wasn’t metal. We were playing black metal the way we felt it should be played, hence the ‘orthodox’.
I know that there are now bands who are calling themselves ‘orthodox black metal’ where the ‘orthodox’ applies to the lyrical content and not to the musical style. I don’t have an opinion on that really, but it does appear they mean something different by ‘orthodox black metal’ than what we originally meant by it.

4.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new release?

‘Battle Sky’ describes the descent of the valkyries on the battlefield after the battle; ‘Burn The Throne’ is basically a story about overthrowing a monarch, ‘Cursed Seed Of Aten’ deals with the origins of monotheism and ‘Pray For The Cult’ is a typical hymn to metal itself. All the other songs deal with a desire to return to ways of yore, in one way or another.

5.The band has been around since the early 90's, what is it that motivates you to keep going after all of these years?

Well, I still feel like writing and playing metal. It’s as simple as that.

6.Even though the band started up with a full line up the project was solo for many years, what was the decision behind bringing back a full line up after all of these days?

Well, it wasn’t really a conscious decision. I was talking to Zagan in early 2013 and we both felt it would be cool to start playing together again. So we did, just the two of us, playing with a backing track (with drums and keys). Initially, we didn’t plan on anything; really, we just played songs we both like. But this went well and one thing led to another. We recorded some of these old songs again and released them as the ‘Sermons Of The Infidel’ EP; then we did the new album. When we got the offer to play at UTBS this year, we thought, well, why not? And of course, you need a full line-up to be able to play live. Another reason I was open to the idea of working with other people again was that I felt I had more or less reached the limits of what I could do on my own. The previous album ‘On Wings Of Defiance’ was all right, but it wasn’t really a step forward anymore from the one preceding it, ‘Burning Scripture’.

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?

It’s a long time ago we played live; our last gig was back in 1997. Some of our best gigs were probably the ones we played in Germany; where the crowds were really into the music. You know, they weren’t just banging their heads but they were singing along as well. Especially the gig in Berlin in 1997 was really cool. As for our stage performance, most of the time it was pretty basic. In the early days we played with face paint a few times and in 1996 we experimented with somewhat elaborate costumes but we quickly tired of that. We felt a live show should be first and foremost about the music. So our shows were mostly pretty basic as far as stage performance went. We just played the songs, as powerful and energetic as possible.

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

Currently we have two shows scheduled at festivals; Veneration Of The Dead in Rotterdam on May 25 and UTBS on July 5. We’ve been getting a lot of offers for shows recently, though. We’re currently considering these, so there may be more to come later this year.

9.The last few albums have came out on Barbarian Wrath, how would you compare working with this label to the other ones that you where a part of in the past?

Actually, all our full-length albums except the first one (which was essentially self-released) have been released by Barabarian Wrath and its predecessor, Nazgul’s Eyrie Productions, so we really can’t compare.

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

Both good and bad. We’ve always been a ‘love it or hate it’ band. This hasn’t changed in over two decades. Response to the newer stuff has also been divided. Some BM fans dislike it because it doesn’t sound like modern BM while others really appreciate it because it’s really metal.

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

I’m not completely sure, but we’ll probably go further down the same road we’ve been on for a while now. We’re always open to new ideas, though, so there may be some interesting twists and turns coming up. We don’t have any plans or concepts for the next record in place at the moment, since our newest record was only just released. We’re focused on returning to the stage right now.

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?

Our influences haven’t really changed over the past two decades. The main influences have always been first-wave BM and traditional metal, mostly NWOBHM and US epic. Gradually, the traditional influences have become more prominent; however, on the new album there are still plenty of first-wave BM influences as well. My listening habits haven’t really changed over the past two decades either: the influences I mentioned aside, I also enjoy good DM bands like Unleashed and Amon Amarth; metal bands that push the boundaries of metal while still being metal such as Therion and Blind Guardian, but also folky music like Loreena McKennitt and Blackmore’s Night and Irish folky punk like The Pogues and Dropkick Murphys. I also dig classical music; romantic stuff but mainly baroque.

13.How would you describe your views on Satanism and Occultism?

I have certain beliefs and these are, obviously, reflected in my music. Not always in a literal sense, though. And although I am expressing feelings and thoughts and ideas – as any ‘artist’ does, I suppose – I’m certainly not preaching or proselytizing or promoting any kind of ideology. I prefer not to go into detail as far as this subject is concerned. People who are interested in Countess should just listen to the music and read the lyrics – or not, if they don’t feel like it – and interpret the songs for themselves. That being said, I would not mind if my music would entice listeners to think and maybe look at things from a perspective they normally would not have looked from.

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

Thanks to you for the interview. Keep the flame of real metal burning!!!

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Tenebrositas/Embraced By The All Devouring Void/2014 Full Length Review

lundi 5 mai 2014 à 08:37

  Tenebrositas  are  a  1  man  band  from  Croatia  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  very  dark,  old  school  and  raw  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  self  released  2014  album  "Embraced  By  The  All  Devouring  Void".

  Bell  sounds  start  off  the  album  and  bring  in  a  very  dark  and  ritualistic  feeling  to  the  recording  along  with  some  more  clean  yet  musical  sounds  a  few  seconds  later  and  after  the  intro  the  music  starts  going  for  a  more  fast  and  raw  black  metal  direction  along  with  blast  beats  and  high  pitched  grim  screams.

  Just  like  with  the  previous  recording  the  music  on  the  new  album  sticks  to  the  early  90's  sound  of  European  black  metal  and  their  is  also  a  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  throughout  the  recording  as  well  as  a  good  mixture  of  both  Norwegian  and  Finnish  metal  metal  influences  from  the  earlier  days  of  the second  wave.

  The  old  school  black  metal  sound  dominates  the  album  from  beginning  to  end  of  the recording  with  the  music  being  very  dark,  raw  and  emotional  sounding  as  well  as  evoking  a  hateful  atmosphere  and  the  music  is  so  heavily  rooted  in  the 90's  sound  to  the  point  where  if  you  where  hearing  this  album  and  had  no  knowledge  who  was  doing  the  music  you  would  probably  think  you  where  listening  to  an  underrated  album  from  92  and  th e album  closes  with  some  clean  guitars.

  Tenebrositas  remains  true  to  his  old  school  black  metal  sound  and  stays  away  from  any  3rd  or  4th  wave  black  metal  sounds  with  his  music  and  sticks  to  a  truer  black  metal  direction,  the production  is  very  dark,  raw  and  old  school  sounding  and  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  sorrow  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  album  from  Tenebrositas  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  raw  and  old  school  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Slavery,  Torment  And  Death"  "Forlorn  Path  to  Obscurity"  and  "To  Dwell  Among  The  Spectors".  8  out  of  10.


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Chasma/Codex Constellatia/The Path Less Traveled Records/2014 CD Review

dimanche 4 mai 2014 à 23:53

  Chasma  are  a  band  from Portland,  Oregon  that  plays  a  very  atmospheric  and  depressive  form  of  cascadian  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2013  album  "Codex  Constellatia"  which will  be  re-issued  by  The  Path  Less  Traveled  in  2014.

  Atmospheric  sounding  drones  start  off  the  album  along with  some  clean  playing  and  after  a  couple  of  minutes  the  music  goes  into  a  more  heavy  and  melodic  direction  along  with  some  depressive  screams  which  they  also  mix  in  with  some  distorted  and  atmospheric  sounding  elements  and  they  also  mix  in  both  the  clean  and  heavy  parts.

  When  the  faster  sections  are  added  into  the  music  the  album  starts  evoking  a  more  raw  black  metal  feeling  along  with  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  and  they  also  put  a  good  amount  of  melody  into  the  more  slow  and  depressive  parts  of  the  music,  all  of  the  songs  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  main  ingredient  on  this  recording  seems  to  be  depressive  black  metal.

  The  cleaner  sections  on  the  recording  bring  a  very  tragic  and  suicidal  sound  to  the  album  and  they  also  add  in  a  small  amount  of  whispers  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  an d you  can  also  hear  distorted  drones  being  utilized  in  the  background  at  times  and  the  band  also  brings  in  a  small  amount  of  synths  and  psychedelic  elements  which  also  gives  the  music  a  more  experimental  feeling  along  with  spoken  word  samples  before  returning  back  to  a  havier  and  atmospheric  direction  on  the  last  2  tracks  while  alos  keeping  around  the  other  parts  and  mixing  them  together.

  As  the  album  progresses  you  can  hear  some  progressive  and  post  metal  elements  being  mixed  into  the  music  at  times  which  does  not  effect  the  raw, atmospheric  and  depressive  nature  of  the  recording.

  Chasma  have  a  very  diverse  sound  with t heir  music  taking  the  cascadian  black  metal  sound  of  the  Northwestern  states  and  adding  in  a  more  atmospheric,  raw  and  depressive  approach  as  well  as  showing  that  they  are  not  afraid  to  experiments,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  powerful  and  the  lyrics  cover  scientific  and  metaphysical  themes.  

  In  my  opinion  Chasma  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  and  depressive,  cascadian  black  metal  and if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Burning  Shapeless"  and  "Wormwood  Horizon".  8  out  of  10.  

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Abomnium/Solace For The Condemned/UKEM Records/2014 CD Review

dimanche 4 mai 2014 à 05:15

  Abomnium  are  a  1  man  band  from  the  Netherlands  that  plays  a  very  atmospheric  form  of  black  metal  with  element s of  death  and  thrash  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2014  album  "Solace  For  The  Condemned"  which  will  be  released  by  UKEM  Records.

  Dark  sound  effects  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  more  blackened  death  metal  direction  along  with  some  grim  sounding  high  pitched  screams  as  well  as  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  and  the  music  also  utilizes  a  good  amount  of  melody  along  with  a  mixture  of  both  fast  which  bring  out  the  raw  black  metal  sounds  and  slow  parts  which  bring  in  the  doom  metal  structures.

  As  the  album  progresses  the  music  starts  utilizing  more  melodic  and  atmospheric  black  metal  elements which  also  have  a  cascadian  feeling  to  them  at  times  as  well  as  the  vocals  utilizing  more  death  metal  style  growls  while  also  maintaining  a  blackened  atmosphere  to  them  and  when  solos  and  leads  are  added  into  the  music  they  bring  a  more  traditional  and  classic  metal  feeling  to the  recording.

  The  true  black  metal  side  of  the  music  really  starts  to  kick  in  as  the  songs  go  on  by  as  well  as  getting  more  depressive  sounding  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording,  the  band  also  shows  that  they  have  some  technical  death  metal  elements  in  some  of  the  later t racks  which  they  also  mix  in  with  black  metal  and  some  of  the  cleaner  sections  of  the  music  have  a  very  progressive  feeling  to  them.

  After  awhile  a  brief  use  of  pagan  style  chanting  finds  its  way  onto  the  recording  and  when  the  album  returns  to  a  heavier  direction  the  music  starts  evolving  more  into  a  blackened  thrash  metal  direction  which  also  dominates  the  last  few  songs  on  the  recording  as  well  as  utilizing  a  more  modern  day  approach  to  atmospheric  black  metal  and  the  last  track  brings  in  a  small  amount  of  synths  towards  the  end  of  the  album.

  Abomnium  shows  a  great  amount  of  diversity  and  originality  with  his  music  with  the  sound  being  based  more  in  modern atmospheric  black  metal  while  also  being  heavily  influenced  by  thrash  and  death  metal  as  well  as  incorporating  in  a  great  amount  of  melodic  structures,  the  production  is  very  professional  sounding  where  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  included  on  this  album  and  the  lyrics  cover  science  fiction,  religion  and  mind  control.

  in  my  opinion  Abomnium  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  black  metal  project  with  elements  of  death  and  thrash  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Condemned"  "Witchlight"  and  "Solace".  8  out  of  10.


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Scourge/Hate Metal/Greyhaze Records/2014 CD Review

dimanche 4 mai 2014 à 00:31

  Scourge  are  a  band  from  Brazil  that  plays  a  mixture  of  death,  black  and  war  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Hate  Metal"  which  will  be  released  by  Greyhaze  Records.

  Thunder  and  rain  sounds  start  off  the  album  and  a  few  seconds  alter  evil  sounding  synths  are  added  onto  the  album  along  with  some  black/death  metal  growls  and  screams  which  leads  up  to  a  more  brutal  sounding  death  metal  direction  along  with  some  technical  elements.

  The  vocals  seem  to  be  equally  influenced  by  both  death  and  black  metal  and  the  music  has  an  old school  feeling  that goes  back  to  the  mid  80's  and  early  90's  along  with  the  guitar  leads  having  the  more  morbid  ancient  style  and  the  band  also  utilizes  a  good  amount  of  blast  beats  along  with  the  music  also  incorporating  a  good  amount  of  melody.

  The  band  also  brings  in  clean  playing  and  spoken  word  ritualistic  parts  on  some  of  their  songs  as  well  as  adding  in  some  of  the  more old  school  Brazilian  black  and  death  metal  influences  into t heir  music  and  the  war  metal  elements  do  show  up  in  the  faster  sections  of  the  music  while  the  main  element  is  still  death  metal,  one  of  the  tracks  has  Wagner  Antichrist  of  Sarcofago  doing  some  back  up  vocals  and  alter  on  the  recording  the  bass  guitars  start  to  sound  more  powerful  and  you  can  also  hear  some  thrash  elements  being  added  into  to  brutal  approach  to  extreme  metal  and  they  also  bring  in  a  brief  use  of  acoustic  guitars  on  a  couple  of their  songs  before  returning  to  a  heavier  direction.

  Scourge  take  the  old  school  Brazilian  death  metal  sound  and  updates  it  with  a  more  war  like  blackened  metal  approach  to  make  the  music  sound  more  modern,  the  production  is  very  powerful  and  heavy  sounding  and  the  lyrics  cover  Occultism,  Anti  Religion  and  Hateful  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Scourge  are  a  very  decent  sounding  mixture  of  death,  war  and  black  metal  and  if  you a re  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Bread  That  God  Crushed"  "The  Ancient  Ritual  Of  The  Dead"  and  "Hate  Metal".  8  out  of  10.


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