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Shadowdream/Um/WormHoleDeath Records/2014 CD Review

mardi 22 avril 2014 à 23:56

  Shadowdream  are  a  band  from  Serbia  that  started  out  as  ambient  black  metal  but  have  evolved  more  into  ambient  jazz  with  strong  black  metal  overtones  on  this  release  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Um"  which  was  released  by  WormHoleDeath  Records.

  Ambient  sounds  start  off  the  album  and  they  bring  a  haunting  feeling  to  the  recording  along  wit h programmed  drum  beats  and  on  the  following  track  spoken  word  parts  become  a  part  of  the  music  along  with  female  vocals  and  cries  and  the  recording  also  starts  utilizing  a  more  atmospheric  sound.

  Each  track  brings  a  very  different  sound  to  the  album  and  the  jazz  influence  really  starts  to  show  up  on  some  of  the  later  tracks,  as  the  album  progresses  one  of  the  songs  brings  in  tribal  beats  and  middle  eastern  style  folk  instruments  which  also  gives  the  album  a  more  new  age  feeling  and  the  songs  also  start  having  a  more  occult  and  esoteric  atmosphere  to  them  as  time  goes  on  by  and  when  the  album  gets  closer  to  the  end  you  can  also  hear  a  small  amount  of  chanting  and  grim  black  metal  vocals  in  one  of  the  songs.

  Shadowrealm  create  a  very  interesting  sounding  dark  ambient  album  with  this  recording  and  while  the  black  metal  sounds  of   the  earlier  release's  are  absent  from  from  this  album,  the  music  is  still  very  dark,  haunting  and  evil  sounding  along  with  a  dark  sounding  production  and  song  themes  that  cover  schizophrenia,  supernatural  and  dying  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  a  very  great  sounding  recording  from  Shadowdream,  and  while  some  of  the  more  close  minded  black  metal  fans  might  not  enjoy  this  album,  i  see  this  recording  appealing  however  to  fans  of  dark  and  black  ambient.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Theological  Agnosia"  "Pavor  Nocturnus  -  Death  to  Me"  and  "Ghost  Sickness  -  End  Of  Life".  8  out  of  10.

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2014/04/shadowdreamumwormholedeath-records2014.html


Old Corpse Road Interview

mardi 22 avril 2014 à 00:37
1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

Although the line-up hasn't changed permanently we have been touring with a new drummer – Box Head, who has been taking on drum duties whilst out long term drummer recovered from tendonitis which heavily affected his ability to drum.

In addition to this, our long term guitarist had to step aside whilst recovering from a hearing problem caused by prolonged exposure to loud music! We are pleased to confirm that both The Dreamer and The Revenant are now actively playing and rehearsing with the band again leading to some 3 guitarist line ups at gigs, as The Seer has remained in the line-up.

We have been diligently recording a new album, and now we are back to full strength it is progressing well. Artwork and lyrics are complete so we are edging closer to a release. At the same time we recorded a single song "The Sockburn Worm" which will be released on Three Swords Records as a limited edition 7" and will act as an interim release before the album.

2.Recently you where a part of a split, how would you describe the musical sound that you have used on the new recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

We took this opportunity to create a more raw and intense song, almost abandoning atmosphere for pure black metal. The time constraints of a 7" record meant we couldn't follow every path we wanted and kept us focused on a short song (for us). We like to exploit all atmospheres and aspects of a song when we are writing, especially if there is a complex lyrical aspect. This leads to our long journey like songs, however in this case we approached the song from a minimalist point of view.

3.The lyrics cover British Mythology and Folklore, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

Folklore is something that is quite timeless and is rooted in people and society. The connection between man and nature is very interesting and drives our passion for it. We all have a love of the outdoors, and where nature and man interact great folklore has been created, whether it be fantastic beings or simply the aura of places. Britain has a long and mixed history, but throughout all the different era's folklore has remained a constant so anyone can find a way to connect with it. Simply sitting in an ancient abbey or an oak forest will summon the feeling of awe that is apparent in all great folk stories and within our music. You can connect with folklore in a different way than you can with a lot of stories due to the real locations and atmospheres combined with a hidden magic.

4.The band is from the United Kingdom and while there has been more black metal band from there in the last few years, the country is still not as well known as other countries, do you feel that the black metal scene from your country is very underrated?

We would agree the UK scene is underrated and a lot of the bands here struggle to hit the European and international market for black metal. The UK has a unique approach to black metal, it’s very hard to pinpoint the aspect that makes something uniquely British but it is definitely there. In some ways our lack of a cohesive approach may act negatively (if you compare the concept of Norwegian Black Metal, the Gothenburg sound etc.). But that’s is what makes the eclectic UK mix so good.

5.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 have played many fantastic gigs over the years, it’s really hard to pinpoint exact ones. We tend to just love playing so once we are onstage we are at our best. We write all our music in a live environment in our practice room, this gives us the chance to make sure all our songs can be played live. The end result is that we try to create an enthralling live showing with many atmospheres from brutal to gothic to medieval. The bands main goal live is to capture the beauty and brutality of our music, and captivate the audience with the stories we tell.


6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Yes, we have a few shows coming up and also are working with our booking agent regarding a UK tour once our album is released. There’s also talk of us returning to Ireland and also hitting mainland Europe for the first time, namely Finland and Germany, but nothing yet is set in stone. See below a list of our confirmed dates:

Sat 26th April – Fell Foot Wood, Ulverston
Sat 17th May – The Blyth and Tyne, Blyth
Sun 18th  May – South Sea Live, Sheffield
Mon 19th May – The Snooty Fox, Wakefield
Sat 24th May – TBC
Sun 25th May – The Green Door Store, Brighton
Sat 31st May – The Fox & Newt, Leeds
Sat 19th July – Basement, Bridlington
Sat 4th October – Fell Foot Wood, Ulverston
Fri 28th November – The Turks Head, Darlington
Sat 17th January – The Snooty Fox, Wakefield

7.The split was released on Three Swords Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this record label?

Up until we were approached about the vinyl we knew very little about the label. The owner Dean is interested in a wide range of alternative music and I believe the label was initially set up mainly to deal with the hardcore scene.

Dean (a different Dean!) from The Infernal Sea was already in contact with TSR about doing a black metal split vinyl and they needed a band for the other side. We’d only recently played with The Infernal Sea and The Bearer (Guitar/Vocals) had been speaking to Dean about vinyl releases so it seemed we were the natural choice of band to ask.

Three Swords Records is only a very small label and this is only the second release for them so there’s not much more to tell, but I think we can see great things from the label in the future, in terms of underground releases.

8.Over the years the band has done splits with the Meads of Asphodel and The Infernal Sea, what are your thoughts on the other bands that have participated on those recordings?

Most of our band grew up listening to the Meads of Asphodel so to be asked to record a split with them was a dream come true. We are huge fans of the Meads and are proud to call them friends.

We played with The Infernal Sea in May 2013 whilst touring our last album. We were absolutely blown away by their live performance. They were very powerful, very talented and basically very grim. There’s nothing not to like.


9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and pagan metal?
We seem to have had a positive reaction to our music, which is fantastic and quite humbling. Judging things on an international scale is much harder as we are only just reaching beyond the shores of the UK however things have been positive so far.  We sometimes come across negative press when we are compared to Cradle of Filth, we don't deny the inspiration we have taken from them; those people should maybe get over it and enjoy what we do for what it is!

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

The new album is well into the recording phase now, with drums, bass and guitars almost complete, so hopefully later this year will see the release. Musically the new album is different from our past efforts whilst still retaining the classic elements of  Old Corpse Road. the best description I can give thus far is that the album is a reaction to the dark gothic atmosphere of Witching Hour. That is not to say this is a soft album, just that its atmosphere is very different, maybe more akin to our demo...

11.What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

The obvious choices for us would be  early Cradle of Filth, Bal-Sagoth, Emperor, Abigor and Bathory. We’ve also taken great inspiration from ambient acts such as Arcana and Rasion D’Etre as well as the early UK doom scene e.g. My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost. In addition to this film scores, classical and world music all play a part.

The band as a whole has a very eclectic mix of tastes and most of us are listening to the same albums we have been listening to for the past 10 to 30 years! We all keep up to date with modern  metal though. At the moment I am listening to Loits whilst writing this interview!

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
My personal interests are mountain biking and walking, as well as web design and graphics. The band as a whole has a lot of interest that are separate to the band but help support what we do. These interests range from repairing and fixing musical instruments and amps to marketing and graphic design onto music production and audio engineering. We are all heavily into gaming as well, be it Xbox or PC.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for the interesting questions. Further information on the band can be found at www.oldcorpseroad.co.uk. A big thanks to all the promoters, reviewers and especially the fans for supporting the band and buying our releases. Running a band is an expensive business and without this support the band simply could not keep running!
(The Dreamer)

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2014/04/old-corpse-road-interview.html


Countess/Ancient Lies And Battle Cries/Barbarian Wrath/2014 CD Review

lundi 21 avril 2014 à 03:47

  Countess  are  a  band  from  the  Netherlands  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  very  old  school  and  atmospheric  form  of  black  metal  with  a  strong  elements  of  traditional  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Ancient  Lies  And  Battle  Cries"  which  was  released  by  Barbarian  Wrath.

  Epic  sounding  keyboards  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  grim  black  metal  vocals  and  after  a  couple  of  minutes  the  music  starts  getting  more  heavy  and  old  school  sounding  along  with  some  melodic  guitar  leads  and  the  music  sticks  mostly  to  a  mid  paced  and  more  up  beat  direction  an d the music  sticks  to  an  early  90's  direction  from  beginning  to  end.  

  After  awhile  the  band   brings  in  a  heavy  Greek  influence  along  with  elements of  thrash  and  heavy  metal  as  well  as  adding  a  great  amount  of  melody  into  the  music  along  with  some  powerful  sounding  bass  guitars  and  the  keyboards  also  get  more  diverse  in  sound  as  time  goes  on  by  and  on  some  of  the  later  tracks  they  do  speed  up  a  bit  and  add  in  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  and  the  keyboards  that  are  utilized  on  this  album  go  back  to  the  early  beginnings  of  second  wave  black  metal  and  have  none  of  the  modern  or  symphonic  sounds  that  where  introduced  in  the  later  90's  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  a  small  amount  of  classical  guitars  are  added onto  the  last  track.


  Countess  show  a  great  amount  of  change  from  the  last  time  I  heard  an  album  form  them  with  the  music  being  a  step  away  from  the  raw  guitars  and  production  of  their  early  90's  releases  and  the  band  these  these  days  has  a  more  up  beat  sound  with  a  lot  of  traditional  metal  elements being mixed  in  with  their  black  metal  sound,  the  production  sounds  very  old  school  and  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Occultism,  Anti  Christian,  Ancient  History and  Heavy  Metal  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Countess  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black/heavy  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Battle  Sky"  "Beneath  the  Eye  Of  Wisdom"  "Pray  For  the  Cult"  and  :The  Last  Temple".  8  out  of  10.  

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2014/04/countessancient-lies-and-battle.html


Despot/Satan In The Death Row/2013 Full Length Review

dimanche 20 avril 2014 à 09:33

  Despot  are  a  1  man  band  from  Brazil  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  raw,  melodic  and  atmospheric  form  of  black  metal  with  elements  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  self  released  2013  album  "Satan  In  the  Death  Row".

  Dark  sound  effects  start  off  the  recording  along  with  some  synths  and  they  bring  an  epic  feeling  to  the  recording  and  after  the  intro  the  music  goes  into  a  fast  and  raw  black  metal  direction  along  with  blast  beats  and  high  pitched  screams  and  you  can  also  hear  a  good  amount  of  melody  and  atmosphere  in  the  music  along  with  some  death  metal  growls  being  utilized  at  times  and  you  can  also  hear  a  small  amount  of  experimental  elements  being  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

   As  the  album  progresses  clean  singing  is  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  more  death  metal  influences  and  the  guitar  solos  and  leads  also  having  a  technical  feeling  to  them  when  they  are  utilized,  after  awhile  traces  of  80's  Brazilian  black/death  metal  become  a  huge  part  of  the  recording  and  you  can  also  hear  a  small  amount  of  spoken  word  parts  being  utilized  on  some  of  the  tracks.

  When  we  get  more  into  the  album  the  songs  start  getting  a  bit  more  diverse  and  you  can  hear  a  good  amount  of  old  school  thrash  metal  influences  being  utilized  in  the  guitar  riffing  along  with  some  of  the  vocals  adding  crust  style  growls  in  the  black  metal  screams,  once  acoustic  guitars  are  brought  in  briefly  the  album  starts  having  an  even  more  epic  feeling  but  they  are  only  used  rarely  and  the  album  focuses  more  on  fast  and  heavy  parts  while  also  adding  in  traces  of  traditional  metal  and  a  good  amount  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Despot  show  a  great  amount  of  growth  and  diversity  with  this  album  and  while  it  is  self  released  it  has  the  same  quality  of  sound  some  of  the  bigger  label  black  metal  bands  have  and  could  become  a  well  known  name  in  the  future  is  he  keeps  up  this  progress,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  and  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Atheism  and  literature  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Despot  and  i  would  recommend  it  to  all  fans  of  black  metal.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Matriarch"  "Satan  In  The  Death  Row"  and  "Egregious".  9  out  of  10.

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2014/04/despotsatan-in-death-row2013-full.html


Stoic Dissenstion/Autocthon/Rain Without End Records/2014 CD Review

dimanche 20 avril 2014 à 06:04

  Stoic  Dissenstion  are  a  band  from  Colorado  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  mixture  of  black  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Autocthon"  which  will  be  released  by  Rain  Without  End  Records.

  Dark  ambient  drones  start  off  the  recording  before  adding  in  a  more  slow,  heavy,  melodic  and  dark  sound  along  with  powerful  bass  lines  and  grim  black  metal  vocals  an d the  guitar  leads  add  a  depressive  and  post  black  metal  feeling  to  the  recording  which  is  also  added  into  the  cleaner  sections  of  the  recording,  as  time  goes  on  by  the  doom  metal  element s really  start  to  kick  in.

  When  the  vocals  start  utilizing  death  growls  the  music  starts  evoking  a  more  funeral  doom  metal  atmosphere  and  the  spoken  word  parts  bring  in  a  ritualistic  feeling  to  the  songs,  on  some  of  the  later  tracks  synths,  tribal  style  drumming,  ambient,  and  psychedelic  elements  are  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  small  amounts  of  melodic  chanting  and  all  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic   in  length,  and  as  the  album  progresses  you  can  also  hear  some  of  the  more  progressive  and  avant  garde  side  of  black  metal  being  utilized  in  the  music  an d the  guitar  leads  also  start  getting  a  bit  more  diverse  in   sound.

   On  all  6  of  the  tracks  the  band  brings  in  a  different  sound  showing  that  they  are  not  afraid  to  experimental  while  also  being  very  heavy  and  dark  all  at  the  same  time  and  on  one  of  the  tracks  acoustic  guitars  are  brought  in  and  the  music  gets  more  progressive  and  psychedelic  in  sound   along  with  a  small  amount  of  clean  singing  male  and  female  vocals   as  well  as  mixing  the  heavy  and  acoustic  parts  together.

  After  awhile  the  band  goes  into  a  more  fast  and  raw  black  metal  direction  along  with  some  high  pitched  screams  and  blast  beats  while  also  keeping  around  the  slow  doomier  sections  of  the  recording  and  some  of  the  slower  sections  also  bring  in  a  depressive  black  metal  sound  at  times  but  with  a  more  grim  approach  on  the  vocals  and  on  the  last  song  flutes  are  added  into  the  music  and  the  track  takes  on  a  very  heavy  blackened  doom  metal  approach.

  Stoic  Dissention  show  a  great  amount  of  diversity  and  growth  with  their  new  album  taking  their  mixture  of  black  and  doom  metal  and  adding  in  more  psychedelic,  post  and  experimental  elements  which  all  make  the  recording  sound  very  professional,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  powerful  and  you  can  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  the  ancient  past  of  mankind  and  exploring  the  mystical  nuances  of  ritual.  

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Stoic  Dissention  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  both  black  and  doom  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Wolcnum"  and  "The  Eldritch  And  The  Atavistic".  8/5  out  of  10.     

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2014/04/stoic-dissenstionautocthonrain-without.html