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Birkenwald Interview

lundi 19 juin 2017 à 03:36
For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
*H110413D – Birkenwald were born at the beginning of 2016. My aim was the creation of something which could give shape to the torments I felt and I still feel inside. I was already in touch with all the actual members of the band, but we had never played together before. Their empathy on the topics I wanted to express with my music pushed me to give birth to Birkenwald. We decided to release a promo single, called “Shrinking”, which was the result of several riffs I had composed through the past years. The good feedback from the audience conviced us to take the project to the next step. Some months after, the creation of MDD, our first album, started and, in 2017, our efforts were rewarded thanks to the great job of Federico Ascari of Wavemotion Recordings, who engineered our sound. So, here we are.
*H110311A – Birkenwald were created in order to express our deepest feelings through music. However, our songs mainly with the self-conflict which dwells in certain human minds and, therefore, our themes are also open to everyone who finds himself in the same situation.
*H081213S – The band was born in early 2016 by an idea of the bass player. We started recording our first song in june (the same period in which I definitively chose to join Birkenwald) and, in september, we released it. During january 2017 we started recording our first album, MDD, which can be considered as a concept album divided in four songs (in addition to an intro) representing 4 states of depression. It will be available from 22nd june.

How would you describe your musical sound?
*H110413D – If I should find a word to describe our sound, I would definitely say “schizophrenic”. Indeed, when you will listen to MDD, you will probably notice the constant alternation between those parts which we could define as “atmospheric” and some more aggressive parts, in which we decided also to experiment, introducing elements from other genres (it's not an usual thing to find so much breakdowns or slap bass parts in a black metal group). What is the result of this alternation? Probably in your review you went straight to the point, saying that we play “a musical style that takes atmospheric black metal and mixes it with depressive post rock to create a sound on our own”.
*H110311A – In my opinion, it is a very particular sound. When we create our music, we do it without respecting any criteria. We just follow our pulses, and this leads us to alternate some really obscure and heavy riffs to a lot of clean guitars, which aim to create melancholic atmospheres and, in many parts, seem to sound like voices. Black metal is not the most suitable definition for our music, according to me. Birkenwald are just Birkenwald.
*H170207C – From my point of view, our sound reflects the character of each member. Every song is just the reproduction of feelings and thoughts that we usually live and therefore are able to recall through the instruments we play.

What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
*H110413D – Our lyrics represent that empathy I was previously talking about. Indeed our convergence is based on themes like melancholy, sorrow, grief and, at the highest level, depression. These are feelings (or, in certain cases, illnesses) which are constantly present in our society. However, they are at the same time ignored, refused and not accepted, in spite of the fact that they exist and change radically people's lives. Our aim is to dissolve this mask of hypocrisy and to tell how our life's experiences cannot be controlled by it.
*H110311A – All the lyrics are really important and strictly closed to our life experiences. Indeed, who is going to read them, is also going to read a brief diary of our lives.

I know that the bands name means 'Birch Forest' in German, how does this name fit in with the musical style you play?
It was thought because of the bark’s very bright colour of these trees as a recall to the all-white walls of mental asylums; indeed, with the word “Birkenwald” we are supposed to find ourselves in a natural place of madness which, of course, may inspire our music.

What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance? - Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
*H110413D – We still haven't played on a stage. Anyway, we are finally ready to face the world outside and, for this reason, we're going to perform at In Tormentata Quiete's release party in Bologna, our native city, on 24th June. Be there, and join us for a extremely melancholic night!

Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
*H110413D – We received some offers, but they were not interesting enough. Therefore, we have decided to distribute MDD by our own. Our album will be digitally available on many web platforms like Spotify, Itunes, Bandcamp etc. from 22nd June and physical copies will be sold at concerts or sent worldwide, if ordered, at the price of 5 euros (plus shipping costs).
On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
*H110413D – As previously said, our promo single received a good feedback from the audience. Let's see how will be the reaction to MDD.
*H081213S – When we released Shrinking, many people found it interesting, and now, the preview of MDD seems to be appreciated by the first listeners.
*H170207C – We know that our sound cannot be properly defined. However, each of us is influenced by black metal and our listeners will be able to recognize this influence, despite our experimental approach.

Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
*H110413D – In a mental asylum, probably...

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?
*H110413D – Well, I kinda listen to a lot of genres, but, concerning to Birkenwald, I think that our deepest sources of inspiration come from Depressive rock (I am talking about bands like Vanhelga, Apati, Psychonaut 4, Joyless) and Atmospheric/Post Black Metal (Harakiri for the Sky, Woods of Desolation, Lantlŏs).

What are some of your non musical interests
*H110413D – Personally, I would like not to talk about this. Everything that people have to known about us is already told in MDD.
*H170207C - Music surrounds most of our time, but, personally, I have a great passion for cars, since, according to me, driving seems very similar to playing an instrument. Indeed, you have to feel the best part of it, experiencing and doing always better, as time goes by.

Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
*H110413D – Thanks both for the review and the interview. Enjoy our misery, listen to MDD and spread our madness.
*H110311A – We hope to see you at In Tormentata Quiete's release party on 24th june. It will be a special night. Spread our madness.

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Hate Manifesto/To Those Who Glorified Death/Fistbang Records/Unholy Distro/2017 FUll Length Review

dimanche 18 juin 2017 à 06:00

  Hate  Manifesto  are  a  duo  from  Greece  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  blackened  form  of  war  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "To  Those  Who  Glorified  Death"  which  was  released  as a  joint  effort  by  Fistbang  Records  and Unholy  Distro.

  A  very  fast  and  brutal  war  metal  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  along  with  some  bestial  growls  being  added onto  the  recording  a  few  seconds  later  and  the  riffs  also  mix  in  a  great  amount  of  black  metal  elements  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to them.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  at  times  and  the  music  also  incorporates  a  great  amount  of  old  school  influences  while  still  sounding  very  contemporary  and  one  track  also  adds  in  a  small  amount  of  guitar  solos  and  leads  and  the  album  also  remains  very  heavy  and  brutal  from  beginning  to  ending  of  the  recording.

  Hate  Manifesto  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  the  blackened  war  metal  style  that  was  established  on  the  previous  split,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  war,  hatred,  and  genocide  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Hate  Manifesto  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black  and  war  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "To  Those  Who  Glorified  Death"  "Wrath  Hammer"  and  "Conqueror's  Memorial".  8  out  of  10.


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Ljosazabojstwa/Sychodzanne/Hellthrasher Productions/2017 EP Review

samedi 17 juin 2017 à 19:17

  Ljosazabojstwa  are  a  band  from  Belarus  that  plays  a    mixture  of  black,  war  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017 ep  "Sychodzanne" which  will  be  released  on  June  30th  by  Hellthrasher  Productions.

  Horror  movie  style  keyboards  start  off  the  ep  and  after  the  intro  the  music  goes  into  more  of  heavier  direction  along  with  a  great  amount  of  90's  influences  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  and  after  awhile  death  metal  growls are  added  into  the  music.

  Touches  of  doom  metal  can  be  heard  in  the  slower  riffing  along  with  the  riffing  also  bringing  in  dark  sounding  melodies  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  along  with  some  black  metal  screams  and  war  metal  elements  being  added  onto  the  recording.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  remain  true  to  an  old  school  of  black/death  metal  while  the  songs  also bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  tremolo  picking  during  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  gives  the  music  a  more  raw  feeling  and  classical  guitars  are  also  used  briefly  along  with  a  small  amount  of  spoken  word  samples  and  most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  at  times  keyboards  are  also  mixed  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  and  they  also  bring  in  a  brief  instrumental  before  closing  the  ep  with  a  vocal  track.

  Ljosazabojstwa  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  the  90's  era  genres  of  war,  black,  and  dearth  metal  and  mixes  it  with  a  touch  of  doom  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  old  school  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Belarusian  and  cover  anti  Christianity,  death  and  cruelty  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Ljosazabojstwa  are  a  very  great  sounding mixture  of  black,  war  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Zhuba" and  "Zabojstwa  Ijosa".  8/5  out  of  10.   

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Through Chaos & Solitude Interview

samedi 17 juin 2017 à 17:46
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?

Actually not too much story behind it... I just really love black metal music, but somehow never got to play in a black metal band (I currently sing in Castigator, which is more of a death/thrash metal band and play guitar and sing in Forward To Eden, which is more of a 90's style metalcore band). So, during the winter months of 2016/2017 I just started recording some Black Metal tunes for myself and eventually got my good friend Sebastian (Guitar of Castigator) to write and record me some drums. So, until now it's only a project, but I already started writing some new tracks which will probably recorded during the next winter months or so ;-)

2.So far you have released an ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

Idk, I guess with something like that everyone would hear another genre and different influences in it, depending on what he/she is usually listening to. But as far as I'm concerned, I guess I tried to create some melodic black metal tunes in the likes of Woods Of Ypres, Agalloch or Falls Of Rauros for example.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your music?

Actually they differ a lot... but they definitely were an equally important topic to me.
The first one is kinda personal, but still kept somewhat abstract, so that people can relate to it on different aspects and levels.
It is about the complexity of your own mind and how it deals with problems, like loss and grief... it is about forlorn love and the yearning for a healing sleep. It is about the ever ongoing quest for an answer that you'll probably never receive.
The second one is also pretty personal... again about forlorn love and the transformation of a persons heart and mind which can result from that. It is about feeling out of place and having the weight of the world on your shoulders. The person you are now is different from the person it was last year and also from the one it will be next year. We are all striving for something, for some kind of a transformation, to eventually become something else... but to achieve that, sometimes we first have to go through chaos & solitude.
The third one is different. It is about us all, about mankind... About the thawing winds of the morning sun and how we are our own blessing and our own curse. We are the stroke of wing which causes these winds to blow. We try to become god ourselves while declaring him for dead and still we deny our nature. We subdue the earth and it's children and still we strive for more. By now we already realized our purpose and we willingly choose to neglect it. We're flying directly into the sun and still we're accelerating...

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Through Chaos & Solitude'?

I guess I already broached the subject with my last answer, but for those of you who aren't familiar with this phrase (and also didn't yet felt like googling it), it comes from the pen of the magnificent David Gold (Woods Of Ypres) "I am equal parts blood and ice / I am just as much man as tree / through chaos and solitude I came / to become this black metal being" and to me fits just perfectly.

5.So far this project has been mostly solo with one other person helping out, are you open into turning the project into a full line up?

Yeah, of course! If you'll provide a band, I'll happily tour the world with it :D
But seriously, I'd love to have a live line-up for this, I already even thought about doing this live myself (solo)!

6.The ep was released by 'Bound By Modern Age Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

Sure, it's my label! So, after no other cool Black Metal label answered my demo submission positively, I just went to release it on my own.
I started with BBMA Records in 2012 as kind of a hobby. Did a 'zine, put on some shows and then started dubbing tapes for bands that I liked and yeah, before I even knew what was happening, I started doing vinyl releases and began shipping distro overseas. I still do everything completely DIY besides working a full time job and 3 bands... so, this probably isn't really the most productive way but I guess it's still just my hobby and I know that I won't get rich with it... hell, I'm still always glad when I have break even with a record!
Also, BBMA isn't really known for its killer Black Metal releases... it's actually more of an oldschool hardcore/metalcore label with a majority of vegan and straight edge releases, but yeah since I am the boss of it, I fucking decide what I put out on it! So, better keep an eye open for the future! ;-)

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

Kind of strangely contrary... I guess the first big problem is that people don't just give it a try. I have 56 facebook likes and the official youtube video has 161 views. I also never really got any bad feedback back to me... which probably is because only so few people even have heard of it. On the other hand, I already got 3 really nice reviews on really cool internet blogs/webzines and also got superb feedback from people who bought the tape/cd! ...but: I only sold like 10-20% of the press (slightly more cd's than tapes though) yet... which also is noticeably little.
Idk, I feel like people really like it, when they give it a try - but most of them don't...

8.What is going on with the other bands these days that you are a part of?

All good man! Castigator is up and running. We rehears once a week, what is really cool, and we're also working on some shows again for later this year. Besides that, we also wrote a couple new songs, which we'll hopefully manage to record in the not so distant future (and then release on vinyl). Forward To Eden is also going well, I mean, basically its likewise just a one-man-project of mine, but yeah... there is a new 7" coming up already and a bunch of new songs is currently being recorded.

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

If everything goes as I planed (what it rarely does though), end of the year. As I said earlier, I already wrote a couple new riffs and stuff, but I definitely won't get in the mood of recording them before the fall sets in ;-) ...also it needs to be good, because I really love the demo EP myself - I listen to it on a regular base - which is something I wouldn't have expected from me... so it will be hard for me to keep up with my own standards! ...and I'd also really want to have it on vinyl (and if possible on a cool label) then!
Myself, as a musician, in the future? Definitely not professional! I don't expect to able to live from my music or my label and I also don't want to get any more capitalistic with it... So, probably still where I am today? Recording a killer demo during the night, after a hard day of work - not getting recognized at all - crawling to the coffee machine - repeat.

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?

Definitely Woods Of Ypres... I mean, it's not just the name (as I just introduced), also the lettering and everything is inspired by them!
My top 12 band plays from the last couple of weeks (in no particular order): Woods Of Ypres, Agalloch, Panopticon, Falls Of Rauros, Caladan Brood, Thrawsunblat, Ancst, Immortal, Summoning, Winterfylleth, Cattle Decapitation, Amon Amarth.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

Besides Friends/Family and the label? Collecting records and band merch (and being a big nerd about it). Reading (and collecting) comics, graphic novels and mangas (and being a big nerd about it as well).
Watching movies (going to the cinema), series and animes. Going to the gym (whenever I have the time). The Vegan Straight Edge. Playing Guitar. Drinking Coffee... and definitely not sleeping at all! :D

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

Thanks a lot! I really enjoyed it - it was the first time I got to talk about TCAS :-)
Please check us out and give us a like:
...and if you also happen to be further interested in my weird and packed life:

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Zurvan/Gorge Of Blood/Satanath Records/The Eastern Front/2017 CD Review

samedi 17 juin 2017 à 04:42

  Zurvan  are  a  band  originally  from  Iran  but  now  re-located  to  Germany  that  plays  an  aggressive mixture of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Gorge Of  Blood"  which  will  be  released  on  June  28th  as  a  joint  effort  between  Satanath  Records  and  The  Eastern  Front.

  A  very  fast  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  before  also  adding  deep  black  metal  screams  onto  the  recording  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sound  very  powerful  and  the  riffs  also  mix  in  a  great  amount  of  death  metal  elements.

  Throughout the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  music  also  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  90's  influences  while  also  sounding  very  modern  at  the  same  time  and  one  track  also  brings  in  a  brief  use  of  clean  guitars  and  when  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  and  a  later  song  also  introduces  spoken  word  parts  onto  the  recording  briefly  and  when  tremolo  picking  is  brought into  the  riffing  it  also  gives  the  music  a  more  raw  black  metal  edge  and  one  track  is  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Zurvan  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  an  old  school  style  of  black  metal  and  mixes  it  in  with  death  metal  influences  along  with  a more  modern  approach  to  create  a  sound  of their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  nihilism,  paganism,  history,  misanthropy  and  anti  religion  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Zurvan  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Gorge  Of  Blood"  Isolation  Of  Sense"  "Hallucination"  and  "Massacre".  8  out  of  10. 

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