04 EDITORIAL 08 NEWS FROM THE UNDERGROUND 12 ARTWORK OF THE MONTH --INTERVIEWS 14 SOULFLY 20 SHINING 22 IN SOLITUDE 26 TURISAS 30 TÝR 34 ULCERATE 36 BLUES PILLS 40 HUMAN IMPROVEMENT PROCESS 42 KARUNIIRU 44 WINDHAND 46 WOLVSERPENT 48 LABEL PROFILE: DARK ESSENCE RECORDS --50 REVIEWS
AGainsT MAGAzinE P.O.BOX 527 EC ALEXandre herculano 3880 ovar portugal website http://www.againstmagazine.com E-MAIL email@example.com editor / Online EDITOR Joel Costa DESIGN Cátia Cunha (Head of Design) Joel Costa content managers Cátia Cunha Joel Costa WRITERS / TRANSLATORS Carlos Cardoso, Cátia Cunha, Christine Parastatidou, David Horta, Diogo Ferreira, Jaime Ferreira, Joel Costa, Jorge Alves, José Branco, Luís Alves, Mónia Camacho, Nick “Verkaim” Parastatidis, Rute Gonçalves, Sara Fernandes PHOTOGRAPHY Charlene Tupper, Ester Segarra, Fabiola Santini, Linda Akerberg Stephanie Cabral COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Charlene Tupper (And thanks to all the photographers whose name we couldn’t find in the credits)
ax Cavalera is one of those artists whose defines genres. Whether it was with Sepultura or now with Soulfly, Cavalera has always used his voice in protest, created revolutionary songs and is seen as a leader of a countless generation of metalheads.
Armed with his four-stringed guitar and his powerful riffs, Cavalera is back with SOULFLY’s 9th studio album, Savages, a record that melds the most brutal and unique components of each album in SOULFLY’s diverse catalog! I have never rode so many miles to see a band’s live show like I did for SOULFLY and being able to talk with someone who defined my Metal taste in my teenage years - I like some groove in my Metal, with rhythmic bounces and breathtaking riffs - was the high point of my yet short journalism career. To maintain the relationship with our readers spicy, we just had to include such names as SHINING (Niklas Kvarforth spoke with AGAINST about 8 ½ – Feberdrömmar i vaket tillstånd), IN SOLITUDE (Is Sister the album of the year or what?) and so many others great bands which are contributing more and more to the metal scene by releasing strong and unmatched records! See you next month! (And by the way... 25.000 readers in one month?? You are awesome!)
Photography: Charlene Tupper
CALL OF THE VOID: Denver Derelicts Kick Off Month-Long Live Takeover
FŌR announce release date for new MLP on IRON BONEHEAD
Denver derelicts, CALL OF THE VOID, embarked upon a massive run of live takeovers. Joined by labelmates Ringworm and Howl on select dates, the onstage audio lashings begin in Lincoln, Nebraska and will slaughter its ways through nearly 30 cities including a stop at the Delaware Death Fest next month.
IRON BONEHEAD PRODUCTIONS announced November 1st as the release date for FŌR’s Blakaz Asko Hertô 12” MLP. A unique, nearly-nameless entity from Sweden, FŌR create sepulchral black/ death metal from uniquely-located, surely-nameless depths.
Their Kundaz debut album appeared seemingly out of nowhere in early 2013, and now arrives the Blakaz Asko Hertô 12” MLP via IRON BONEHEAD PRODUCTIONS. Devoted to the Germanic black witch Gullveig and her Thursian bloodline of ravenous hordes of wolves and werewolves, the concept of FŌR ‘s music is based upon the sacred bindrune, Ulfhamir, and pursues to invoke the black wolf-spirit within. http://www.facebook.com/theravenouschasm
BOTANIST ANNOUNCES WEST COAST TOUR DATES IN OCTOBER
ABSU Announces Continuation Of North American Tour
In anticipation of the forthcoming split with Palace of Worms, San Francisco’s Botanist will play a string of West Coast shows in October. Beginning October 8th, this quick tour will take Bostanist from Los Angeles to Vancouver supporting Behold… The Arctopus. Check out a full listing of shows below and find more information on each date here: https://www.facebook.com/Verdant.Realm.Botanist/events
ABSU announced details on their upcoming tour, titled North American Connexus Continuation. The ten-city tour will see the band perform a complete set with music spanning throughout their twenty-two year recording career.
CALL OF THE VOID will be touring in support of their Dragged Down A Dead End Path full-length released earlier this year via Relapse Records.
Botanist is an unconventional one-man black metal band featuring vocals, drums, and hammered dulcimer instrumentation. The songs of Botanist are told from the perspective of The Botanist, a crazed man of science who lives in self-imposed exile, as far away from Humanity and its crimes against Nature as possible.
Vocalist/drummer Proscriptor shares, “Since the release of our latest recording, Abzu, the response has been extremely vehement and now is the perfect moment to continue spreading the album’s essence throughout unchartered regions the band did not perform in earlier this year. We purposely waited until the timing was ideal to embark on this additional journey, as we shall continue contaminating the communities with our craft of Mythological Occult Metal.”
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REMAINS IN A VIEW TRAILER VIDEO AVAILABLE Scheduled for October 17th, “Elegies” is probably one of the best surprises of 2013 in fact of metalcore in Europe. Passionate and visceral, “Elegies” has all the credentials to thrill fans of August Burns Red, The Ghost Inside and Darkest Hour. Trailer video of “Elegies”: http://youtu.be/
SOULFLY track-by-track video online Brazilian metal overlords SOULFLY have posted another video trailer for the band’s forthcoming album, »Savages«, in which iconic mainman Max Cavalera talks about the first half of the songs of the album.
ATLANTEAN KODEX Expansive Video Trailer Posted As the second album from German epic metal heroes, ATLANTEAN KODEX, is now just one week away, the band have unveiled a video trailer for The White Goddess (A Grammar Of Poetic Myth).
Surf to: http://youtu.be/qOW1ItoU2Ec
Check out the trailer at http://youtu.
DARK ESSENCE RECORDS DEBUTS TRACK FROM UPCOMING SLEGEST ALBUM
behemoth to tour the pacific rim in October
With a release date for SLEGEST’s debut full-length album “Løyndom” set for the 7th October, Dark Essence Records has today previewed a track from what will be the debut album from former VREID guitarist Ese. “Ho Som Haustar Aleine” is the opening track from “Løyndom” and can be heard at http://soundcloud.com/
BEHEMOTH will be travelling to the Eastern hemisphere in October to play shows throughout Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition to some of the more regularly toured regions, BEHEMOTH will be traveling deep into Asia to perform in Kathmandu, Nepal for the final date of the tour. Plans are in motion for North American shows in 2014, and will be announced within the next few months.
Recorded partly in Ese’s own Systrond Studio and partly at the Conclave and Earshot Studio with producer Bjørnar E. Nilsen, and mastered by ENSLAVED’s Herbrand Larsen, “Løyndom” (Secret), is a mix of classic heavy rock and old school black metal that has an distinctly down and dirty, and addictively catchy, groove running through it.
Founder and front man Nergal adds: “The anticipation is almost over. It’s been ages since we toured Asia and Oceania last. I know there are legions of devotees waiting for BEHEMOTH to return. Expect the best…we are hungrier than ever!” BEHEMOTH’s highly-anticipated new album, »The Satanist« will be released in early 2014. More information will be released soon.
RIVERS OF NIHIL stream new song on Stereokiller.com
Reformed CHASTAIN announces new album and track titles
Rivers of Nihil have unveiled the second track from their upcoming album, “The Conscious Seed of Light.” The brand new song, “Soil & Seed,” is streaming exclusively at Stereokiller.com here:
Guitarist David T. Chastain and vocalist Leather Leone have reformed the original CHASTAIN. The band has announced the release of a new album titled “Surrender to No One.”
Adam Biggs elaborates on the track: “Soil & Seed was one of the first songs we wrote for the record and it’s been a staple of our live set ever since. We wrote this one for two reasons; to outline the interconnectedness of the earth and all living creatures, and to get people to headbang and stomp around like fucking maniacs. Enjoy!” “The Conscious Seed of Light,” will be released on October 15th in North America and October 11th/14th in Europe/UK via Metal Blade Records.
David and Leather have been writing material since January and have solidified the tracks for the new CD. Also back in the saddle is original bassist Mike Skimmerhorn. The drum tracks were recently recorded in Norway by Stian Kristoffersen (Pagan’s Mind/Firewind) as original drummer Fred Coury is still touring and a full time member with the band Cinderella. For more info go to http://www.chastainmetal.com
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EPICA »Retrospect« trailer online EPICA celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a special concert dubbed »Retrospect«, playing an unforgettable 3-hours best-of set. Check the trailer here:
whitechapel new lyric video Whitechapel are streaming their new lyric video for “Prostatic Fluid Asphyxiation” from the remastered version of their debut album, “The Somatic Defilment.” Fans can watch the video now here: http://goo.gl/xreWvy
DARK ESSENCE RECORDS PREVIEWS TRACK FROM UPCOMING ALBUM FROM BLACK METALLERS SARKOM
GALAR STUDIO VIDEO Norwegian Black-Folk Metallers GALAR have been working on the bands third full-length album which will be titled “De Gjenlevende”. A video from the drum sessions can be seen on GALAR’s YouTube channel at http://youtu.be/bbNDHGFtoiY
Paradise Lost announces limited 10” for new compilation, “Tragic Illusion 25 (The Rarities)
From the harrowing doom of their 1990 debut Lost Paradise, to 1991’s genre-defining Gothic, to 1995’s break-out masterpiece Draconian Times, to 1997’s electronically-tinged One Second, to 2007’s return to a heavier form In Requiem, to last year’s opus Tragic Idol, PARADISE LOST has continued to evolve since their inception in 1988, inspiring countless artists throughout the years. To celebrate their influence on the scene, a special compilation will be released this fall to commemorate the band’s 25th anniversary landmark. - See more at: http://www.centurymedia.com/newsdetailed.aspx?I dNews=13463&IdCompany=3#sthash.6Ze7fdo3.dpuf
The title track from SARKOM’s upcoming album “Doomsday Elite” has been debuted today by Dark Essence Records.
This album will be released on October 21st in Europe (digitally on November 5th in North America) via Century Media Records. Deicide: release date of “In The Minds Of Evil” announced
With the album set for release on the 15th October, “Doomsday Elite” includes guest appearances from Psy Coma (THE KOVENANT), Haan (SVARTTJERN), Nachtgarm (NEGATOR), Thrawn (PARADIGMA, ex DØDHEIMSGARD, ex NOCTURNAL BREED) and V. Larsen, and was mastered by Tom Kvålsvoll at Strype Audio. Artwork for the eight-track album, which will appear in both CD and vinyl versions, is by MK. “Perv”. The track, “Doomsday Elite”, can be heard at http://soundcloud.com/dark-essence-records/sarkom-doomsdayelite Track listing on “Doomsday Elite” as follows: 1. Doomsday Elite 2. I Utakt Med Gud 3. No Loose Ends 4. Inside a Haunted Chapel 5. Predators in Disguise 6. Solemn Disorder ‘til Human Extinction 7. Cosmic Intellect 8. Stigma More information about SARKOM can be found on the band’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sarkom
Metal legends DEICIDE will release “In The Minds Of Evil” November 25th in Europe via Century Media Records, and frontman and founding member Glen Benton couldn’t be more proud of his latest offering of evil incarnate. The album is the eleventh studio recording of an illustrious career spanning more than 25 years, and is produced by Jason Suecoff (All That Remains, Triovium, Death Angel). The album’s jarring cover was taken from Australian artist Simon Cowell’s painting “Power Of The Mind” and offers a fitting face to the album’s 11 tracks.
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IN FLAMES release new video IN FLAMES have just released a video for the title track of their album “Sounds Of A Playground Fading”. The video, that is made of live material, was produced by Patric Ullaeus for Revolver.se
noctum premiere lyric video Swedish rockers NOCTUM will release their Metal Blade Records debut Final Sacrifice October 29th and they’re proud to to present their first lyric video for the song “Temple of the Living Dead”.
Check the video below:
The video can be viewed here:
Iwrestledabearonce new video Avant-garde metal band IWRESTLEDABEARONCE has released a new video for their song “Letters To Stallone”! The track is from the band’s new album “Late For Nothing” and can be seen here: http://youtu.be/XKvRVz2v7A8
In Solitude premiere new single “A Buried Sun” on Noisey
Dark Funeral: first three reissues of classic early albums OUT NOW!
Head over to the VICE’s music destination, Noisey, to listen to a brand new track from Swedish classic heavy metal band, In Solitude.
After recently signing to Century Media Records for their upcoming new studio album, DARK FUNERAL now present you a series of stunning reissues of their previous six albums which offer melodic yet blasting satanic hymns in absolute perfection.
The band’s new album Sister is dropping in North America on October 1st and will be available to fans digitally, on CD, and 180gram black vinyl. North American fans will have an opportunity to see In Solitude live this Fall. The band will be supporting Watain on their “Wild Hunt” tour beginning on October 8th in New York City. Stream “A Buried Sun” here:
The first batch of DARK FUNERAL reissues consists of the self-titled MCD plus bonus material, “The Secrets Of The Black Arts” (incl. the remixed/remastered 8-track Unisound mix as bonus) and “Vobiscum Satanas” (which comes along with killer live tracks). These titles are out now in Europe as CD, LP and Digital Download.
The black vinyl and exclusive transparent blue vinyl (only 100 copies!) can be found at CMDistro here: http://goo.gl/OQ6pqM
STRANGELIGHT: Alternative Press Premieres New Track From Geoff Rickly-Led Supergroup
AMON AMARTH: Deceiver of the Gods US Headline Tour Announced!
With the release of their poignant 9 Days EP less than two weeks away, today Alternative Press delivers a new tune from STRANGELIGHT. Named in homage to a track off Fugazi’s The Argument, STRANGELIGHT is an eclectic collective of souls forged in a small Brooklyn basement studio. http://goo.gl/VycUww
Swedish heavy metal titans AMON AMARTH have announced a headline tour of the US for January and February 2014 in support of their newly released album Deceiver of The Gods. Very special guest on the dates will be ENSLAVED with additional support from SKELETONWITCH (NO ENSLAVED ON SAN DIEGO).
Featuring the creative forces of Brendan Tobin (Made Out Of Babies, Red Sparowes), Cooper (Made Out Of Babies), Kenneth Appel (Goes Cube, Cleanteeth, White Widows Pact), John Niccoli (Mussels) and Geoff Rickly (Thursday, United Nations),STRANGELIGHT draws upon DC visionaries, Amphetamine Reptile destroyers and Touch & Go noisemakers, offering up all the signature stylings of an early ‘90s Dischord band.
Amon Amarth’s Johan Hegg comments, “After our successful part of the Rockstar Mayhem Festival this summer, it is with great confidence we’ll be heading back to North America as the headliner in January. We are proud and happy to announce that our friends in Enslaved and Skeletonwitch will be supporting us on this raid and pillage tour across the continent! Come and join us for all the fun of a real metal show! WE. SHALL.DESTROY!”
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as everything been working out well with the press? Do you enjoy talking about the new record? I like to promote the record. “Savages” comes out in 3 weeks; I’m excited and quite anxious with the record’s reception. I think it turned out to be a very power-
ful CD, there are many good things on it, some very cool collaborations with the guys from Clutch, Napalm Death and I Declare War, it has songs in Portuguese, in Spanish like “El Comegente”, it has it all!. It’s a complete record, the first one with Nuclear Blast and it’s very good. It’s strong!
“Savages” has in its genesis a little bit of all of the records that Soulfly have released so far. What did motivate you to make “Savages” something that sums up the great and diverse Soulfly discography? To tell you the truth I think it was because of listening to fan requests. A lot of fans
enjoyed “Enslaved” but a lot of people also like old Soulfly, the Soulfly I era, Prophecy, you know? And some people asked me to go back to those grooves, the old grooves and then I decided to make a mixed record. Half of “Savages” is Death Metal, quite extreme, similar to “Enslaved”, with “Cannibal Holocaust”, “Fallen”, “K.C.S.” which is with Mitch (Harris) of Napalm Death and the other half is more groovy, with “Bloodshed”, “Master of Savagery”, “Spiral”, “El Comegente” and it has some new stuff like “Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla” which comes from Mad Max’s film. It’s very different, it has a Southern Rock start, with Marc playing slide guitar and Neil (Fallon), the singer
from Clutch, speaking in the first part of the song and then a groove starts and it’s very good and different from everything that Soulfly has done so far. It has a bit of everything: old things, new things, things more similar to “Enslaved”… I think it’s going to please everyone who likes Soulfly. What leads to having so many different approaches from an album to another? It’s necessary for the band to grow. There will always have to be new and different things and give the fans what they are waiting for. Repetition is not a good thing for me, so there’s always that desire to do new things to show to the fans.
This is the first release by Nuclear Blast and the first one in 26 years that is not released by Roadrunner. What is it like to move “houses” after so many years working together? It was already the right time for us. A lot of things have changed in Roadrunner and it was no longer the same. The best thing that could have happened to us was for them to set us free so that we could search for a new label. Nuclear Blast, the greatest Metal record label in Europe at the moment and one of the greatest in the world, promised us to be one of the favourite bands in their catalogue and then it was good for me. The fact they are already promoting the new record and
have been doing a lot is a good thing. It’s great for me to be in Nuclear Blast and there are a lot of people I know there. Yes, in a certain way, in spite of changing labels, you end up being in the same family right? Some things end up being similar because we are working with some of the same people who were in Roadrunner and it looks a lot like what it was before. Concerning this new record, even in the Sepultura era, you used to pretty much always choose a singular word for the name of the record. Do you think the word “Savages” well describes what this new album is? I think so. I believe it’s a strong word, that sounds good and represents humanity, the state we all are in after 2000 years with technology, internet, and despite all that we’re still savages. We kill everybody, we cut off people’s heads in the Middle East… humanity is yet savage and that was the idea behind the title. It’s sad because I remember at the time of “Chaos A.D”, when you shot the music video for the song “Territory” in Israel and in the end many years passed and nothing has really changed, right? If it changed it was for worse I think. The situation nowadays is darker than ever, but when the world gets fucked up, it gets good for music! A lot of music can be made on top of the political ideas and this world history. For the musician, when the world is in conflict, you end up having a strong influence to make strong records. In the lyric part, it is possible to create quite strong lyrics and sing about those subjects. I am still connected to the world politics, I follow what happens around the world by the media, I followed the riots that took place in Brazil and I was one of the first ones to make a video sending my strength to the protestors. I’m still connected to all of this and creating music related to this, like “Bloodshed”, which is about a bunch of countries related to blood, with all of this fighting, really. It’s Iraq, Serbia, Bosnia, even Brazil, and it’s something really strong. This is something good for music; it’s not good that the
world is fucked up, but it’s possible to create some strong stuff in music. Do you think if there was no war, corruption, etc, Metal would have the same strength it has today? I think Metal has changed when Trash came, and it changed the lyric side. The old Metal was more like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, more obscure, things like dragons and magic and then Metallica appeared with different lyrics, about the electric chair, justice stuff and with a punk influence, right? That even happened with Sepultura with record titles such as “Arise” and “Chaos A.D”, we started talking about territory and about the Amazon, about Brazil… Different subjects started to exist and Metal even got better. Metal started having important lyrics. It is way more politicized than back in the old days. It ends up sending a message and raising awareness to the listeners… Logically. I believe it is good that bands make people think. There are even some new good things, like “Oceano”, that released a record called “Contagion” which is about air diseases. It’s a very good idea, very different and I think no-one had ever focused on that before. You also have Gojira talking about the oceans, about the world’s natural environment, right? It’s something that is being developed in Metal and bringing new themes. Metal is in a very good place right now. Soulfly has already edited 9 records in 16 years, going through several changes in the band’s line-up. When you decided to create Soulfly did you think you would get this far? I always liked the idea of the band continuing for a long time. Whatever is needed to be done will be done. If it’s necessary to change the musicians then we will change them but we are moving forward and the band won’t stop. Soulfly will never stop! We’ll continue to make noise, to take our message forward and create this music mixture that I love, which is Metal with other things. I have faith in what I am doing and I love Soulfly’s career! We’ve done a lot of good stuff already, since
the first record until “Prophecy”, “Dark Ages”, “Enslaved”… We’ve already done so many different things in the band and even in music and that makes me proud. But I believe I have much more to give, a lot more records to make and many more stories to tell! Do you think the day you decide to hang up your boots, as a matter of speech, is there a possibility to pass on the Soulfly legacy to Zyon and Igor and continue the band without you? I don’t think so. The way I work – and I am a really hard worker, really workaholic – I always love to keep on doing something… I can’t even stay chilled at home. Sometimes I go home on a 2 week vacation and I go crazy for not having anything to do! I end up grabbing the guitar and I record riffs, even when I don’t need to. This retirement thing doesn’t work for me. Soulfly ‘till death! Soufly ‘till death, fuck yeah! In a wheelchair if I have to! I will play forever! A month ago I interviewed Jeff Walker of Carcass and we talked about the importance of the riff and then I read that you wrote about a thousand riffs for this album. How do you describe your relationship with the guitar and how do you know you found the right riff? It was an obsession moment for me. I was very excited because Terry Date was the one to produce the record and I was even in a shock state, wanting to make the best record possible. I locked myself up at home and ended up writing about a thousand riffs. Then it was a matter of selecting the best ones. I don’t know how many riffs a record has because I never counted but I think it has around 60 or 70 riffs and out of a thousand I winded up using 70. It was a matter of selection. But for me some things happened in “Savages” that haven’t happened in a long time, like reaching a riff that I always wanted to make, which is the case of the opening riff in “Bloodshed”. It’s my favourite riff in the last 10 years and it’s in my top 3 riffs of all time from what I’ve done so far! When I reach a riff like that it’s really good! The feeling I have when I’m at home and
write that riff it’s really strong, it’s pride. “I found the right riff and it’s going to be fucking awesome!”. It’s similar to what I felt with the riff from “Refuse/Resist”, which for me is one of the best I’ve done until now and the one from “Jump da Fuck Up!”, which is the song with Corey from Slipknot. The opening riff of “Jump da Fuck Up!” is one of my favourites so far and now I have the one from “Bloodshed”! Writing riffs is an art! An art somewhat forgotten… it seems that people forget. They end up getting involved in other things and forget how important the riff is for Metal. The riff is the most real thing in Metal. It’s what solidifies and gives depth to music. I take this writing riffs thing very seriously and that’s why I only play with 4 strings. To find the perfect riff I have to do it with 4 strings and it’s harder. How is it for you having Zyon as the
drummer in Soulfly? Has anything changed in the father – son relationship? It didn’t change much. Zyon grew up with me and when he was little he slept in a guitar case. He has always lived in Metal and on tour. In that area not much has changed, what did change was the fact that we’re playing together now. I’ve got a very good musical bond with Zyon. I think he plays similarly to my brother Igor, and it’s easy for me to play with Zyon. It’s like I’m playing with my brother. It was quite easy to make “Savages” with Zyon. We stayed busy for a month and a half. At first it was me recording at home, writing the thousand riffs and later on in his bedroom, just the two of us, a guitar, an amplifier and a set of drums, father and son detonating, making music every day for a month and a half. I think it turned out great because there was this preparation which I didn’t have in the previous
records. Right and it’s something you can see because out of all the records this one turned out to be the strongest, also probably because there was this preparation. It was great working together. It was almost like an obsession trying to make the best record possible, also because Terry Date would be producing it. I was obsessed in trying to do the best possible. It was time for Soulfly to come up with a strong record. We made a perfect record! You’ve already told me that you keep following the news in Brazil, but what about football? Do you still follow Palmeiras? They were relegated. It’s an upsetting situation but next year they’ll go back to “Série A”. It’s really upsetting, it affects the players’ mind state but we’re going
to bounce back. It winds up being a good experience even for the team’s humbleness. I think we’re even going to come back stronger! (laughter) And since we’re talking about football, every time I’ve seen a Soulfly concert you wore a shirt of the local football team. How many football shirts do you have? My collection is big because we stated in our rider that they have to give me a football t-shirt anywhere I play, so my collection is huge! I must have about 5 thousand shirts! And do you keep them all? I keep them all! I have a storage place where I keep them all. I also use a lot of them on a daily basis but many of them are stored for prosperity. I really like this collection because it helps me remember
all the places I’ve been to. If I want to know where I’ve been to I just look at my t-shirts. I ask this as a fan and not as a journalist. Do you think it is possible for a reunion to happen with Sepultura? It is possible but we have to wait to see what happens. It’s not only up to me. To be honest, I’m already tired of that story. It was too much talked that I got tired. I don’t care if there is a reunion or not. I would like to do it for the fans, everybody knows that, but it doesn’t depend on me. It’s really complicated with the other guys; there are a lot of politics involved… I have a lot on my plate right now. I have Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy, and another project I’m recording in Los Angeles with the guys from Mastodon and The Dillinger Escape Plan… I have a lot to keep me busy. I don’t need this reunion and it’s
something that makes me upset and I no longer think about it.
irst of all, thank you for your time. Hope you’re doing fine. How was the feeling about giving a new outfit to old songs? What can I say? It was more of a necessity than a creative fulfilment to begin with. See, it’s actually somewhat the other way around, as these recordings date back to an even earlier stage than when I immortalized them in the studio. These demos, which are the basic foundations of the tracks, were bootlegged about a decade ago, and instead of letting this German company benefit more from my genius we decided to do something about it. Hence, 8 ½ was born. The outfit may be new, but the initial essence is there. The band is refining the sound on every album, but this “8 ½...” is raw as I like. Dirty, gloomy, dark... Was it important to you to capture the early days essence in the 21st century? Well, it is from the early days so that should explain why it sounds like it does. Although we have obviously added both new bass-lines, some fucked up keyboard magic and vocals. However, you added keyboards that aren’t in the originals. Was it a way to blend the raw era with the more progressive line of today’s Shining?
Not really. I have used keyboards here and there since the debut album. But once we got to work with Lars on VI, I started to appreciate the atmosphere of the hundreds of different key-instruments he had access to and, more importantly, have ideas on how to use them to enhance my music. As 8 ½ is meant to come off as one of my fever-dreams I didn’t have to think that long about asking Lars to do more than he usually does for us. The record is under Shining’s banner, but you’re the last member from those days. Do you feel “8 ½...” as a personal effort? Last member? I am the only member who has lasted and also the one who gave birth to Shining originally. The individual who has remained the longest in the band is Huss with his remarkable 8 years of service. The rest have all been replaced one by one throughout the years. Everyone is replaceable you know, although it’s quite a tough process, especially in our case. Now, we have had the same line-up for almost 2 years (!!!), which is beyond my understanding, but truly a satisfying fact. Every guest vocalist is an icon (e.g. Attila Csihar, Gaahl), so I guess it wasn’t hard at all to choose them. Any particular reason why you invited them besides they’re all icons?
I only consider these artists as my friends and I’ve known them all, with one exception, for almost 10 years each and have also worked with all of them on different projects throughout the years. It just happen that these “icons” as you call them, have more or less the same interests as myself, and therefore naturally belong in our universe. Back when I recorded VI and VII, we were initially planning on re-recording the debut, with six different vocalists doing their very own interpretations of the songs, but as this project was put on ice, I decided to reanimate the idea at a time when we were in dire need of showing the planet that the monster has not died yet. You gave them the opportunity to sing on their native language. Do you thought about it in a way to loose the pressure they might have about singing Shining’s songs? No, I asked each individual vocalist to do what they wanted to do. Some of them rewrote the lyrics in their own native languages while some decided to stay with the original. As I said, it was very important that the album itself ended up sounding unique rather than like the old records, and I also believe every one of them did a terrific job in recreating certain necessary atmospheres as well
as showing a huge amount of respect towards the originals. I’ve read an interview you gave almost a year ago and there was that Shining were the new Dimmu Borgir in terms of upcoming success. So, Shining signed a deal with Universal/Spinefarm to achieve the highlights, but the relationship ended in February. What went wrong? You read an interview conducted by a certain magazine which could be considered as the Vanity Fair of extreme metal, so you should try not to rely on sources such as theirs. You say one thing and all of a sudden they blow it totally out of propor-
tion. However, we ended our relationship with Universal Music / Spinefarm Records because of reasons we cannot discuss with people outside the band and label, and certainly not within the media. You also said they asked you to be calmer when performing on stage. Now that Shining is no longer under that label, do we have the chance to see the old Niklas in action again? Again, I said that that I have had to sign contracts from time to time promising not to physically hurt any member of the audience at whatever show we do. A “promise” I have tried to uphold ever
since. But not because a label says so, but rather because I am trying to reclaim our birth-right which isn’t a very easy task when promoters aren’t interested in booking you because of your reputation or rumoured past. Shining will always be violent on stage, whilst trying to avoid beating up people who have paid to see our show. And as I have always said, what happens on stage, happens on stage. There is really no way that we can control that as we do not sit down beforehand and plan what to do, you know.
ongratulations on the release of your third album! You’re about to tour North America in October, are you excited about that? We are tremendously excited about that. We’ll have a release-party for invited people in Stockholm on the night the album is released, and a couple of days after that we’ll be sitting on a plane to New York. So the American tour is really the start of a lot of things related to this album, and the years to come. And to do that in such fine company feels really appropriate. It will be a grand gospel. And you’re going to support Watain. The fact that you’ll be travelling with friends makes this experience better and easier? Because I guess it’s not easy to travel from one
point to another all the time and being far from home… We’ve been crossing conclusive ground together as people for some time. I mean, the latest two years have been quite intimate between the bands. And this tour is in a lot of ways a continuation of this. Which feels great. I am tremendously glad that it turned out that way. We couldn’t have asked for a better starting point for where we’re going. And hopefully it’ll harvest a few things that were planted during our last adventure through America together. Last month I had the opportunity to speak with Erik (WATAIN) about their new album, “The Wild Hunt”, and he told me great things about this release of yours. Do you feel the same way about Watain? I mean, do you consider yourself a fan of not only Watain but the whole black metal scene in general? Well, both of our records were more or less worked on simultaneously on two ends of the same place. And it was tremendously inspiring to see what these things did to people from an angle as up close as we were to eachother. Their record means a lot to me. I remember hearing it for the first time on a hill that lies next to this old observatory where we often sit at night. And I remember staring down at the small garden of apple trees and bushes below us, having this extremely intense notion of everything being covered in scoria. It was a beautiful thing. Now that media will start to write reviews about “Sister” and your live shows as well, do you think your music and your live shows, which are undoubtedly forms of art, it’s something that can be described? Is it fair to say it’s good or bad and score it from 0 to 10? Well, it will inevitably be entirely subjective in the end. But sure, anyone who feels the need to describe their personal experiences and conclusions of music or art are free to do so. I mean, why shouldn’t they? Whether or not that does any justice to the fundamental ideas of the artist
is another question. Which, on the other hand, is quite irrelevant in the context. Personally, I don’t keep track of our reviews in general. It’s not that I have anything against them or the people who write them, it’s just that I seldomly gain anything worthwhile from reading them. You told “Sister” was the most visceral album you have ever made. How was the writing and recording process for this one and in which ways it differs from your previous releases? The writing process was technically quite similar to how we’ve done things in the past. But we were in a different place. As people and as a band. And I think thats the important thing. It is visceral for me because of where it came from. Because of the breaking points that we reached with these songs that in turn resonated deeper in us than before. I’m not sure if these breaking points will be reached in others, but thats what it does for me, which means that it hopefully will in others. Death is very evident on this record, including in the artwork, which is simple and amazing! Why call “Sister” to death and how do you see death? Is it something we all should be afraid of? Death looms large because it’s place. Because of how, where and why it expresses iself. Wether you’re afraid or not is entirely up to you. The Metal genre suffered a lot of mutations and nowadays we can find countless sub-genres to describe a band’s sound. You’re obviously inspired by the classic NWOBHM but you add your own spin on it and that’s what makes you one of the best bands out there. But in general, do you believe there is still room for the good old Heavy Metal in the metal scene or are those days over? I think we’re getting lost in quite otiose things when trying to define the context of music at large based on it’s place in genres. It can be definitely be helpful in some respects, but
in the end, powerful music is powerful music. And I personally don’t think about these things that much anymore. To me, music is far more abstract and interesting than that. What kind of music makes you travel to a different world? Lately I’ve been listening a lot to Wojciech Kilar’s “Requiem Father Kolbe”, as well as The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation’s “Anthropomorphic” and Katharsis “Kruzifixxion”. To name a few. Any plans for 2014? Nothing that I can convey just yet. But there will be more sustainable information regarding that in the naerest future.
ou’re about to release your fourth full-length album, «Turisas2013». This title had a mix reaction over the internet and I must say I felt surprised too when the announcement was made. However, now I got the opportunity to listen to the record, I can tell the big difference between this new record and your previous releases, which is not so conceptual as “Stand Up And Fight” or “The Varangian
Way”. So, why this choice for the album title? Is this your way to point out this musical change? There was no single song name or other title that would have felt optimal... «Turisas2013» was the working title of the album and in the end it stuck. Kind of crazy name, maybe, but at the same time it’s anything but ordinary. It gets people talking and makes the album recognizable. Also, it bears the idea of this album being a ”snapshot” of this time and age,
the way the band sounds today. Since “Turisas2013” is not restricted by the fact of being a conceptual album, did this allow you to expand your musical limits while writing and recording? Not musical limits - we have hardly done that in the past, either. Maybe the lack of concept liberated us from a strict framework. Still, it also meant that there was no comfortable box, either. On some earlier albums we could rely on the storyline and
get inspired by that. Now it was all free and open. Some of your lyrics are very meaningful whereas others are more fun-related. What’s the philosophy behind Turisas’ lyrics? There’s a strong positive undercurrent... a kind of a working man’s ethic, perhaps. If you have 40-50 minutes to say something meaningful per 2-3 years, each album, then you might as well use it wisely and not just tell some cliché-ridden fantasy stories. Or at least we choose to do so. Sometimes we kick on the party mode, of course. “Stand Up And Fight” had some sort of musical atmosphere in it. Do you see Turisas as your own musical, like the soundtrack of your life? (laughs) Well, I’ve invested quite a few years to this band, so maybe. But at the same time I have done so much more stuff than only metal, that it’s not really representative. But yeah, I’m not ashamed of our material at all. It would make a good soundtrack for any person’s life! Some bands feel evolving is the thing to
do, however this is not seen as a positive thing for many fans. What do you think about this urge some bands have to try different things as the time passes by? I think very few bands have that, most are happy to feed the market. This is our way and I’m not to tell any other band’s way is worse. I think it is good to explore new waters every now and then. It’s like going for a trip... Going to some cool city is fun the first time, maybe even the second time, but if you keep repeating it and never change your routine, it starts to feel too familiar. I think most music, metal or not, sounds super boring and low-brow nowadays... at least we can try to keep our own material interesting. And how do you believe your fans will react once they get to hear this new record? There will be many who fall in love immediately, but probably some who will cry their eyes out. That’s fine by me. They’ll probably get it at some point. Tell me about the line-up changes. How was recording with the new members and do you already work as a whole on stage? It was super smooth. Jaakko and Jesper
took care of their own parts in studio like professionals, and it has felt good on stage, too. Easy. Mathias was responsible for the production and the recording of this album. What is the ideal Turisas sound? Mathias was responsible for the production on this album, like on the previous one and «The Varangian Way», too. He’s always looking for something new... He gets bored easily. It’s great, but it’s very demanding for the band, too. We also have to go through a lot of mixes and options before settling with a sound and arrangements, which is hard work. Tell me about your plans for the future… In about three weeks we kick off the Heidenfest tour with Ensiferum, which is great - it’s good to have some Finns on board! In October we’ll have a 5-date tour in the UK and then in December some Finnish gigs. Otherwise, a lot of things are still open. I think we’ll start focusing on writing new stuff pretty soon, too. Can’t let the creative flow go to waste!
t has been 11 years, 7 albums and you guys show no sign of slowing down in your latest album. How do you keep it going after such a long time without having to take long breaks? I never have the urge to slow down, and I feel the brakes we have are plenty already. I would like to have circumstances to work at full speed all the time, but that is not always so easy. What keeps me going is my love for music, and I especially love to write it. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I think I have the capacity to write
the best music ever, and I don’t want to die without having given it a real run for the money.
expectations I had felt unrealistic, but we kept working at it and things turned out in our favour, so what can I say.
The Faroe Islands are somewhat small when compared to the fame you have gathered all these years. Have you ever thought that you would be here after all these years, coming from such a small (although beautiful) place? If I really thought so is a dodgy question, but I certainly intended it. I set out to become an internationally successful musician, and here I am. Still, back then the
Týr is known for being one of the least stagnant bands in the Folk/Viking genre (or at least people deem you as such), do you try to sound like a genre or is it much more intuitive? Your last album seems to be another stepping stone in your continuous mutation, is it deliberate or just natural? The only mutations we’re trying to make is to write better music. I seriously don’t
have any agenda other than that. Whatever else changes is a side effect from that. Over the years, and in “Valkyrja”, you guys have been adopting more of a heavy metal sound, with progressive structures while maintaining your Folk/ Viking heritage. How hard is it for you as a band to keep that balance? It’s not really a balance, at least it doesn’t feel like that. I love the traditional music of the nordic countries, and I will always base my music on that. Whatever I decide to do with it, the roots will still be the same, so the folk element will always be there. Are there any new influences in your sound? In “The Lay Of Thrym” you guys had a Rainbow cover, that type of sound is something that every now and then shows up in your sound, for “Valkyrja” were there new sounds that you discovered that had any kind of influence, or was it all something that just happened? On this album we have two covers. They may sound a bit different too. Also Terji provided more songs for this album than usual and that may also add to the variation. All other influences are the same as usual.
“Valkyrja” is a conceptual album, with a theme of a Viking Warrior that sets out to impress two goddesses in order to reach Valhalla. How do you work? Does the idea come first, or is it the sound that shapes the concept? The concept came very early in the process, as did the names of the tracks. Then the music is built up, in some cases also from musical ideas that predate the concept. And finally the lyrics are written. The introduction of a new member always affects a band’s sound. Did the arrival of George Kollias had any lasting effect in the creation of “Valkyrja”? Yes, it did. George is capable of incredible drumming, and for this album he found a brilliant middle ground between what Týr usually sounds like and what he’s capable of. But he was only there to record the album. He is not a permanent member of the band. Still thinking of things that affected your sound. How did the collaboration with Liv Kristine came to happen? Was it hard to incorporate her into the Týr sound? One year ago now I was at Wacken Open Air performing guest vocals with Leaves’ Eyes, Liv’s band. Liv most graciously of-
fered to provide guest vocals for our next album in return. After having a short chat about it in the band we all agreed that it was a great idea. So it happened. “Valkyrja” is full of sounds ready to be played live, I for one really hope to hear “Grindavi san” live. Do you expect the crowd to react positively to the new tracks, or is there any fear that they only want to hear the “classics”? (And do consider Portugal to play live, there are so many of us here that would love the opportunity to see Týr live). We’ve played four songs from the new album on this tour so far, and it has gone down really well, so we think we can see that people are content with a mix of old and new. As for playing in Portugal, we, the band, would be thrilled to play in Portugal. We think it’s long overdue, but nobody is going to arrange for it to happen unless the ticket sales support it. What you can do is to make sure your local metal booker or your local metal venue knows that you and your friends would buy tickets for a Týr show. Then it’s bound to happen. Please remember to buy our album and come to our shows when we play somewhere near you.
ermis” is now your fourth full length album, and it feels like a natural progression over your last three records. You have achieved a very distinct sound by now, do you think that “Vermis” can be looked upon as the album that truly defines your identity as a band? Yeah for sure, I think it’s a very good summation of everything we do in a single album. The overall picture it paints is exactly how we want to come across - aesthetically / compositionally / performance-wise and
production-wise. Songs like “Clutching Revulsion”, “Vermis”, “Confronting Entropy” or “The Imperious Weak” represent a well thought out form of controlled chaos with fierce, sometimes dissonant and truly relentless riffs over various progressive structures. What is your source of inspiration for composing a material which encompasses so much variety? The source of inspiration is the music itself.
It’s still extremely exciting and rewarding to write and perform music like this and it gives us endless drive to further our craft. Having people respond so positively to what we’re doing only amplifies this desire for us, so we’re in a very good place. Did you already had a clear notion of the sound or musical direction you wanted to get when you started, or did you achieved it via experimentation over the years up until now?
A bit of both for sure. We knew we wanted to create death metal that was very dark and full of emotion, and it’s just been trial and error to get to where we are today. I don’t think we ever envisioned how we would sound currently, it was just more of an overriding goal or aim. Though your musical basis is rooted on technical death metal, you clearly don’t follow traditional songwriting rules or even build your rhythms upon conventional structures. What were your influences as a band to achieve this kind of peculiar sound? Early on (demo era) we were influenced by bands like Angelcorpse, early Deeds of Flesh, Suffocation, and particularly early Cryptopsy with reference to your structuring comment in terms of arrangements. Later came Immolation, Gorguts, Today is the Day etc which really pushed us towards the more chaotic, violent and dissonant approach, as well as capturing a tangible atmosphere and space in the music. But once we found our feet, it’s really been
looking inwards a lot more and finding what does and doesn’t work within our own framework, as opposed to any real outside influence. You’ve switched labels between your last album, “The Destroyers of All” and “Vermis”, how is your experience with Relapse Records being so far? Working with Relapse so far has been outstanding. They’re fully behind what we’re doing and have really gone the extra mile in terms of executing everything, even down to the physical packaging which is such a crucial part of the process. As a native band from New Zealand, how do you see the panorama of extreme metal over your country? You guys surely got the attention of a lot of fans worldwide throughout these last years, but do you think its easy for bands from New Zealand to break out to the world through the medium of extreme metal? New Zealand has a handful of bands that for my tastes are doing great work. But from what I’ve witnessed over the years only the bands with an incredible amount of drive and vision have actually been able to spread their music internationally. Because of our
geographic isolation, NZ bands just don’t have the touring opportunities that bands from Europe and the States have - so asides from playing Australia we’re very limited with what we can do from a live perspective, and a ton of bands burn out quickly. It’s taken a long time to finally start feeling like we’re a recognised band internationally, and touring has only just started becoming easier for us this far in. Speaking of the songwriting process for “Vermis”, is the majority of the material written upon spontaneous jam sessions between all of you, or do you compose and perfect parts individually and start crafting your songs from there? Everything is crafted very meticulously for sure, but there is also a lot of jamming and iterating on the fly. The majority of the drum lines for example are figured out via improvisation (and in some cases stay improvisational to a certain degree) but melodically we’re very careful with note selection to be able to maintain cohesion and sustain mood.
Do you see your sound progressing further more into your progressive side in the future, eventually branching out to other musical styles in conjunction with your death metal roots? At this stage that’s too hard to say unfortunately. I think if and when we feel like turning Ulcerate into something else will probably be the time to begin work under a new moniker. It all depends how much we feel we want to stray from the core sound, if it makes sense in our minds then for sure we’ll have at it. But for me, I want there to be a very strong legacy associated with the name, and I don’t think any of us want it to be ruined by shallow experimentation. How would you describe the lyrical themes of “Vermis”? In which way is the artwork related to the message you tried to transmit in this new album? The overriding theme for the album is centred around the idea of tyranny and oppression in all its forms, and exploring this concept from all angles particularly via dogma, power, manipulation. We’re using the Latin worm version of Vermis metaphorically for the spinelessness / cowardice of tyranny from both sides. The art is both a visualisation of these themes and an il-
lustration of the sonic picture, an interpretation of how I see the music we’ve written. More than anything it doesn’t need to be anything specific or figurative, it just needs to paint a mood and correlate as perfectly as possible with the audio. Apparently all of you three have different careers other than music in such areas as web design, banking information analysis and pursuit of academic degrees. How do all of you find the necessary time to be able to maintain a double career? Do you feel, personally, that you will always have the need to do something else outside Ulcerate? We find time by having zero spare time haha! We all work 9-5, then rehearse 8-11 most nights of the week. We do it because we love it. In terms of having the need to work careers outside of Ulcerate - yeah 100%. Death metal is not sustainable at all income-wise, and having the band free from the corruption of the dollar is crucial. We have complete freedom and there’s
no pressures whatsoever to water down what we’re doing musically to try and gain a wider audience to make money etc. Money is not even a consideration with this band because of that, which in my mind is the only way it should be with underground music of any genre. So what’s coming up next for Ulcerate in promotion of “Vermis”, and how is your touring cycle defined for both 2013 and 2014? Immediate plans are Australasian touring beginning in a month or so, then North America either later this year or early next, we’re doing Hellfest in France next year, and then we’ll be retuning for a full European run later in 2014. Possibly some additional short runs in amongst all that as well. Thank you for your time to answer our questions! But before ending this interview, tell us, for someone who doesn’t already know Ulcerate, how would you define your sound? Crushing unorthodox death metal seems to suit.
ongratulations on the new EP! Blues Pills were formed in 2011 but the name is already in everyone’s mouth! Do you believe this has something to do with the fact that Classic / Occult Rock is back in full power and everyone seems to love it? Thank you so much! Yes, I think it definitely has something to do with it. Of course a band has to work hard and be talented, just because you play in an old school styled rock band doesn’t mean your automatically going to make it big. Still, timing is really important, and right now this kind of music seems to be really popular. We feel lucky to be playing our music right now, cause it feels like it was just the right time while it’s making a comeback, but also this music has been around for a long time and it has a timeless quality to it. I also think it’s really important to bring something new and unique to the music, it gets boring pretty fast if you sound like a Led Zeppelin cover band, of course I love them and get inspired by them too, but it’s a difference between inspiration and copying. Dorian Sorriaux is only 18 and already plays the guitar like a legend. It seems like a lot of young people is now discovering the great bands that commanded the 60’s and the 70’s. Is this related to some sort of “fashion” or is something bigger involved in this? Of course, because the style has grown and become popular, it gives younger people an opportunity to discover the music, when they wouldn’t have otherwise without growing up in the 60’s and 70’s. In Dorian’s case he has been listening to blues since he was a toddler, and at 3 years old ZZ Top became his favourite band, so I think it’s safe to say this wasn’t because of any fashion. To say it’s just a “fashion” puts it in a box which insinuates that the listeners don’t really love the music deeply, but that it’s just “hip” and “cool” to like it. I don’t think that’s the case because I think the listeners of this music truly do love it. Part of the reason for this “retro revival” maybe because people are getting tired of this digital age in music, with all the overproduction and computerized music. Often at live concerts, the artists aren’t even performing, the are lip syncing, or it’s a DJ who just stands on stage with his computer. People want to see something raw, natural, and real, where the band makes mistakes once in awhile, as opposed to being auto-tuned and super humanly perfect, because we aren’t. That’s why I don’t think it’s about a fashion, but rather that people are starving for something that feels real. Of course some might take advantage of this and play/release this kind of music for the sake of money but you clearly do this for passion! What drove you to create Blues Pills? The only thing that drove us to start the band was that we love to make music. We had no idea where it would lead or what the band would become. We had no expectations going into it, but I can promise one thing, if you are planning to start a band with the hopes of getting rich, you are getting into the wrong business! When we started Blues Pills, our goal with our music was to write songs with
as much emotion as possible. We wanted it to touch the soul, and make the listener really feel some sort of emotion. We all agreed that it felt like today’s music was lacking that feeling, so that was kind of our goal with our music. Musically, if you compare the genius of someone like Ray Charles, to a modern “star” like Justin Bieber, it’s like comparing the IQ of Albert Einstein to that of a monkey. If Jimi Hendrix could be resurrected what do you think he would say about today’s music? I think Jimi would be speechless, and then shed a single tear, but then again what do I know. Looking at underground retro music I think he would be proud, to see how many people he has inspired, and he is still a guitar legend 40 years after his death. He is probably the single most influential guitarist of all time, to this day. You can hear Jimi in so many guitarists playing especially in the retro music scene. It’s amazing to see how many guitarists he has influenced, and I highly doubt he expected it back then, so I think he would be really surprised to see that, if he was resurrected. Who is the “Devil Man”? It’s whoever you want him to be. It’s in the eye of the beholder, and up to the listeners perspective. The Devil Man can be the government, your boss, or neighbour. You decide! How did you start this cooperation with Nuclear Blast and what are your expectations for this partnership? We first got into contact with them just through an email. We were sending out the usual “hopeless” band emails to people saying “check out our band!”. The ones you usually never get any response from. To our amazement they actually responded. Still, after that it took a long time before anything materialized. Around 6 months later they came to see us live when we were on tour in Germany. After that they made us an offer, and we finally were able to sign to the label. We are really excited to start this partnership and see where it takes us. Nuclear Blast is a really big label, so they have the power to promote us and get our music out to a much bigger audience. In addition, they can help support us financially, which helps us to be able to record our albums in professional studios, among other things. They also have a massive network so it creates lot’s of contacts and connections for the band, so these are a few of the things that Nuclear Blast has to offer which we hope will help bring the band to the next level. After the release of the EP’s “Bliss” and now “Devil Man”, will we finally get the opportunity to hear a full-length album in a near future? Yes, we are just beginning to work on our full length album. We have about 15 song ideas and will be recording during the whole month of October, with producer Don Alsterberg who produced Graveyard and Jose Gonzalez. Deciding to work with a producer can be a bit scary because they have the power to change the sound of the band a lot, but when we got in contact with Don it changed because he really understands the kind of music we play, and we truly believe in him that he can help us to become a
better band and improve as songwriters. We are fans of Graveyard and Jose Gonzalez, who he has been producing in the past, so it’s exciting to get to work with the same producer as them. We also both like to record live and on analog equipment, so we are on the same page with each other about things like that. It just feels right with Don, and everyone in the band is really looking forward to working with him. The album is supposed to be released in early 2014. How do you describe your live shows? Do they have this 70’s atmosphere as well? There is this 70’s atmosphere since our music is in that style, and for us at our concerts it’s all about the feeling and music, just like it was back then. It’s a lot of energy and joy when we play. It’s a bit hard to say since none of us actually lived back then, but if you missed out on the 70’s, we aim to recreate something similar with our show. Raw, natural, and real. You won’t be getting any lip syncing or auto tuning, that’s for sure! What about your plans for the future? Any tour coming this fall? After we are done recording our album in October, we will be on tour for all of November. We will spend the first two weeks in Europe with our label mates Orchid and Scorpion Child. Then we will go to Australia for two weeks with our other label mates Kadavar. We are beyond excited to get the chance to go on tour
with such cool bands and we know there is a lot of good times ahead of us. We have something in common with these bands, in that they also get inspired by old music, but I think we all have very different sounds, which will make for a great combination. Finally, we will finish out the year with some shows in Scandinavia in December!
ongratulations on the new record! What’s the feedback been so far? Marcello: Thanks a lot, man! We’re receiving lots of good and enthusiastic responses about DDM: that’s truly awesome and a bit unexpected. Fabio: Thank you Joel, we really appreciate this! We’re receiving really positive feedbacks from reviews and from fans first, beyond all our expectations.
What are the main changes you’d point out to 2011’s “STARS”? Marcello: There have been several changes since 2011 in our way of approaching to music and conceiving it. I think that one of the most evident difference is what concerns the songwriting: we tried to improve our compositions not forcing ourselves to follow a determined pattern or trend but letting everything flow naturally and then giving it a solid and convincing shape. Fabio: STARS was our first EP, so the songs were obviously more
metal fan won’t never enjoy our music, but honestly we really don’t care about that. And do you think it’s possible to be original in today’s metal scene? Marcello: for sure! In every field of art you can always be original if you have something interesting and new to tell and you do it with passion. Fabio: I think that too many bands nowadays think that playing 8 strings guitars ripping off Meshuggah’s riffs means playing new and original stuff, but this is everything but original. If you really have something to say with your music, you won’t need to play like other bands. What are the main emotions present in this album? Marcello: there is a vast range of emotions in this album but I think that the dominant one is rage, also sadness and melancholy play a big role in the songs. As you can notice in tracks like “Deafening Dissonant Millennium” we love to combine different emotions in the same song, starting with rage and ending up with melancholy. Human Improvement Process are composed by 5 musicians. Do you always agree on what a song should sound? Describe me your writing process. Marcello: the writing process for DDM was simply the following: I wrote most of the songs with the help of our previous guitarist Lorenzo, then I asked the others an opinion about the music and if there was something they didn’t like or they wanted to change. When the songs were finished we started doing preproductions and then I wrote the lyrics. For the new songs the writing process is almost the same; this time Fabio helps me with some riffs and I do pre-productions directly at home. What’s the meaning of the artwork and who made it? Fabio: the cover was done by the talented artist Federico Musetti ( http://www.federicomusetti.it ). We asked him to represent something futuristic, something that goes beyond a normal CD art; and he just did an AWESOME work. Marcello: The main meaning of the artwork is what you merely see: a futuristic landscape representing some biomechanical columns: a portrait of the melting between man and machine.
In which areas do humans need improvements and why? Marcello: Humans are improving their lives thanks to technology and development but they are losing, at the same time, what makes them human: feelings. Humans don’t have to improve in a material way, but in a spiritual one; we all have to make a step back to recapture our mere humanity, which has been blinded by the promises of a material and impersonal heaven.
Since you have such a complex and distinct sound, if you had to record a cover album, which songs would you pick? Marcello: Wow! That’s a cool question! I’d probably go for something of Decapitated like “Mother War”, “Long-desired Dementia” or “Post Organic”, or a great death metal classic like Suffocation’s “Pierced from within”. Would also be interesting doing a cover of Metallica, Slayer or Pantera. Fabio: Pretty nice question Joel! Of course “Blackened” (Metallica), “Season in the abyss” (Slayer), “Nihility” (Decapitated), “Disciples of the watch” (Testament), “Thorns of crimson death” (Dissection) and many many other songs I used to listen to since I was a child.
Do you believe it’s difficult for some purists to accept this kind of sonority because of its complexity and fusion with other styles? Marcello: This sound can’t be easily approached by purists of metal. I’m sure that you’ll always find someone who tells that DDM is not fast, brutal, heavy enough, but we don’t mind and keep on doing what we like: we wanted to create something different and we are satisfied with what we did. Fabio: Absolutely! I’m pretty sure that 90% of the true death
Final words for Against’s readers! Fabio: We worked hard on Deafening Dissonant Millennium to release an album which can be various and complete, and according to what many people and reviewers told us we did it. Thank you for the space you granted us, we really appreciate this. Keep supporting our music ( http://humanimprovementprocess.bigcartel.com/ ) and keep purchasing CDs and merchandise from bands, because your iPhone library doesn’t support the artists you love.
generic than now. In the last 2 years we worked hard on our songwriting to find our personality and so Deafening Dissonant Millennium took shape.
an you explain where or how you came up with the name “KARUNIIRU”? Karuniiru is the possible japanese phonetic translation for the word “Carnille”. It has several meanings: preseverance, the colour red, mars, passion, struggle and untameable spirit. How did Charles Sangnoir and Melkor end up in this project? I met Sangnoir in a cemetery, in Romania, where he was playing a grand piano, in a private funeral, with many gothic, vampyric people around. That same night we went to a Martelo Negro gig, where we ended up drinking some shots with their guitarist Melkor. We thought it to be a sign and a few months later we joined hands in Karuniiru. Is Cyberpunk a fusion album? It’s the fusion of three lost souls, each one with its main musical influences. Musically , we ended up by concocting a volatile cocktail of Electronic, punk goth and metal.
You actually have something new in your sound. We feel as if you had an electronic background with a metal vocalization and something more. But even vocals are slightly distinguished because they are hard and soft at same time. This perception matches what you intended for this project? Or not at all? Completely! The vocals by themselves express this hybrid child of ours: somewhere between hard and soft, sweet and sour, lies the best cocktail. We had only a slight idea of where this panzer was headed - the rest of the musical spectre gained life on its own and we just nurtured it and enjoyed the ride. We hear sounds like clocks or recordings of telephone messages as part of the songs. The intentional use of quotidian sounds as musical elements attracts you? Domino: For me it is a temptation all types of looping sounds whether are everyday sounds or not. Ghosts, aliens, religious sounds and sounds of sex also fascinate me. Sangnoir: If you go back to the early years of industrial music, to its very essence, you’ll understand that the origin is there; the genesis of CG music, of industrial music - more specifically - is the sound around us. Cyberpunk has a cinematographic atmosphere? Yes, indeed. You can absolutely understand that when watching our live shows; you won’t be going to a concert, you’ll be going to a spectacle!
Who writes the lyrics in Cyberpunk? The band: Domino Pawo does the job on his own, and quite well, we think. Is there a certain social analysis in some of Cyberpunk’s themes? There is a social, political and religious analysis. There is a great cry against what is wrong in the world and in people’s heads. The lyrics are also a warning of what is to come, and a warning for people to wake up and free themselves before it is too late. In “Jorra” we hear the very interesting expression “love erection”. Is that how love should be? It’s how love is in our present world. We live in a porno-sex-guerrilla-superstore feeling, where explicit sex is present everyday. We only show the world as it is, not in a pinkish fluffy way, like the majority people most stubbornly insist on portraying it. Do you have a favorite song in this album?
We love all of them, no ugly ducklings here. Where does your creation process begin? The band: Individually each one of us has a diferent creative process - as far as this album went: Charles usually came up with a beat or a synth lick - a basic structure, then Melkor would listen and top it up with guitars. When the creature had its skeleton and limbs, Domino would come up with the lyrics and everything would mingle perfectly like magic! Who do you think are the people that feel your music? How do you imagine them? Which characteristics must they have if they enjoy this music? Domino: I think that intelligent and independent people will listen and feel our music. People that don’t believe in the LIES which media, politicians, extreme ideologies and religion spread througout the world. People not afraid to speak out against dogmas. Sangnoir: Everyone who listens to Karuniiru is most certainly glamourous and intelligent.
orgive me for I have sinned! I missed your debut album but I am now a devoted follower of WINDHAND’s work and I think “Soma” is one of the best albums of 2013! Do you believe you have what it takes to make “Soma” a future classic? It’s certainly a milestone for us as a band but ‘classic’ album status is up for the listener to decide over time. We’re all pleased with the outcome and that’s good enough for us.
In your info sheet we can read that “the guitar sounds like the glorious misfit offspring of Black Sabbath and Nirvana”. Do you think it’s a fair statement? Because I see you more as Soundgarden guys… I don’t think any one of those bands has influenced us more than the others. It’s refreshing to see somebody processing information and forming a unique opinion instead of just labeling us as an Electric Wizard rip off. Seems like 2013 has been a great year for you guys. First you’ve released a split with Cough, signed a record deal with Relapse, then you record and release “Soma” and you were also confirmed for Roadburn 2014! How did you started your cooperation with Relapse and what are your expectations for being part of their roster? We started talking after the split LP but they were already fans of the self-titled LP. Our only goal is to continue to play music that satisfies our creative urges and Relapse is willing to help us do that. I wasn’t expecting to listen to acoustic songs at all but it fits very well, actually. How was the writing/recording process and why did you chose to include acoustic songs? Out of convenience, a lot of the stuff we write is first played on acoustic guitars so it didn’t seem like a stretch to include acoustic guitar on the album. Dorthia Cottrell’s voice is beautiful and brings this ghastly feeling at the same time. Do you believe you would get the same result if it was someone different doing the vocals? Absolutely not. She has a great voice but she also has a gift for layering her own melodies on top of the riffs. Once I listened to your debut album I found it cleaner than
“Soma”. Seems you have created this cold atmosphere for the new record which really embraces us. What changed from “Windhand” to “Soma”? Our practice space is a pretty cold, dark place in the winter and spring months. Maybe that came through in addition to Garrett’s commitment to his craft. He did a lot of recording between the albums and he’s always experimenting with new techniques. “Boleskine” is a fantastic 30 minute song with a lot of elements in it: acoustic and electric guitar and natural sounds as well. Are you going to play this live and maybe create a shorter version? We would probably rearrange it if we decided to play it out but we haven’t come to an agreement on that yet. Tell me what you’re going to do next… Finish our current US tour, do a few weeks in Europe with Pilgrim and then a couple weeks with High on Fire in the US and Canada.
ow would you present Wolvserpent to those who don’t know you? I like to say we are a new age band that listens to a lot of Bathory. Or Dark Adult Contemporary (hehehe).
What changed mostly from your first record “Blood Seed”? What is the concept behind the new record? The new album is more developed. We did another album called Gathering Strengths that was released with the CD version of Blood Seed on Crucial Blast. Perigaea Antahkarana is an evolution of those two albums. I like to think of them as a trilogy,it makes sense musically and conceptually. The best way to understand the concepts on this album is to listen. You’ve recorded the ‘Perigaea’ 2012 demo between December 2011 and January 2012 and nine months later a full-length version ‘Perigaea Antahkarana.’ Why this process? We continued to revisit this material until we felt that it was finished. We wanted to create the best album that we could.Before we recorded the demo we did a series of mini demos as we wrote the music. Recording everything onto tape and reviewing later in order to change or approve of the compositions. After we finished the official demo we realized that the album was still not what we wanted it to be. But both versions warrent a listen in my opinion. They are similar but still differ greatly and each has some material that the other does not. How was it working with producer/engineer Mell Dettmer? Working with Mell was great. She understood where we were coming from on this album and was able to offer many skills and insights. When did Relapse Records approached the band? Relapse had received the demo version and liked what they heard. They liked it enough to take on this somewhat risky project of genre-less music. How do you intend to transpose these occultist/ritualistic songs
in a live format? One of the interesting aspects of this new album for me was our attempt to write to the album live setting and then perform for the recording. Most of the material is exactly the same live as on record. However the visceral experience of live performance cannot be captured on a home stereo. What is the message you are trying to pass through your music? This is always a difficult question to answer without seeming extremely long winded. A lot of our focus is on using a different part of our minds and hearts than one would normally use. As a society I feel that we are mostly stuck in a state of fight or flight existence. There is another way that the mind works and we are trying to create something that helps tap into that. There are so many ideas,messages and feelings on this piece. The best way to understand really is to listen to the album. It may take some patience and practice but I personally think it is worth it. How do you picture your listeners? I picture my listeners as a diverse range of people who are looking for something more than a fear based, fast food, fight or flight existance. What kinds of feedback have you getting so far from the fans? Feedback from fans has been overwhelmingly positive. This has been very satisfying, we worked really hard to make this album the ultimate experience for those who are seeking. From where you grab inspirateion to write this kind of music, influenced by so many genres, but cohesive when you put it all together? Yes we draw inspiration from many kinds of music but the focus is on a thread of truth and honesty that comes from all music that is real . We are simply trying to play the music that comes from our truest selves the best we can. Do you think that there are more and better experimental musical projects these days, combining Metal with other genres, especially in the USA? I think there are many amazing underground acts in the USA and the world. I am interested most in music that is honest and expresses deep emotions and insights. I am happy to see music developing in the metal and non metal genres. Originality and evolution of music should be valued as much as roots, tradition and honesty in music. Perhaps someday someone will make something new that is equally as valuable as something old but less disposable than a carbon copy of what has been done before. I think there are many that are working toward this.
WEBSITE: http://www.darkessencerecords.no COUNTRY: Norway
special scene. It’s small and everyone knows each other, and there’s a lot of collaboration and support. And that has been healthy I think. As for Dark Essence Records, it was quite natural for us to start working with some of those bands, like Taake, Helheim, Aeternus and Hades Almighty, since they’re good friends and we enjoy their music a lot. Then newer bands came along, like Vulture Industries, The Batallion, Krakow, Galar and Dead To This World and others, so there’s been quite a few bands from the area that we’ve worked with. However, we do have worked with bands for other parts of Norway, like Cor Scorpii, Nidingr, Dimension F3H, and now Slegest and Sarkom. Also, we work with bands from other countries as well, like Shining (S), Rattenfänger (UKR), Ravencult (GRE), Skaldic Curse (UK) and Alfahanne (S).
ow did you first get into listening to heavy metal? My first introduction to harder music was Kiss through my older brother. I was 5 years old at the time. It was no turning back.
So far you have been working almost exclusively with bands from Bergen. How do you describe Bergen’s metal scene and how important is it for the metal world? The scene back in the early 90’s was really important with a lot of innovation and bands that followed their own style with in the more extreme metal sound. Bands like Immortal, Enslaved, Taake, Gorgoroth, Aeternus, Helheim and Hades Almighty are still a big inspiration for a lot of bands. Bergen has a quite
Some countries have difficulties to export their bands and succeed outside their own territory. Since Dark Essence Records has worldwide distribution do you believe it’s easy for Norway to export their bands? And would you say Norwegian Black Metal is responsible for that? Well, the Norwegian metal scene build up a very good reputation, at least for extreme metal, in the early 90’s, so that still helps. Also, Scandinavian bands in general has a reputation for being good musicians and being professional, so both distributors and press has often their eye on the Scandinavian market. And for a lot of European countries, the US and other parts of the world, it seems a lot of fans look at Scandinavia as something exotic and different, so I guess there’s an interest because of that as well. What are the bands that made you proud to work with? That’s almost impossible to answer, since most of the bands we’ve worked with has something special going for them. Taake is unique for their black metal, Vulture Industries for their twisted and progressive style, Shining (S) for their darkness etc.
All the bands have something unique and special, and they’re all quite different, both in the way they work, present themselves and the way they play. Is there any record you regret to have released? Not really. Some albums have been pushed out too soon without much of a plan, and some albums have had all the plans go wrong for some reason. So, there’s some releases that should have been done differently, both from the label and the band, but no release that we regret.
What’s next for Dark Essence Records? The releases we got this autumn is Shining – “8 ½ - Feberdrömmar I Vaket Tillstånd”, Slegest – “Løyndom” and Sarkom – “Doomsday Elite”. We’re also re-releasing the 2 first Sarkom albums. Next year, we have the debut album from Sweden’s Alfahanne coming out, as well as there will be new albums from Taake, Galar and hopefully Black Hole Generator.
Taake “…Doedskvad” BUY: http://goo.gl/L5jnYE
Vulture Industries “The Malefactor’s Bloody Register” BUY: http://goo.gl/MtpehW
Helheim “Kaoskult” BUY: http://goo.gl/c5AVk3
Krakow “Diin” BUY: http://goo.gl/wmbiSK
Shining “8 ½ - Feberdrömmar...” BUY: http://goo.gl/sWYCkq
BLOODY CEREMONY The Eldritch Dark [CD]
Bloody Climax Back To The Wall [CD]
blues pills Devil Man [CD/10”]
Eibon La Furies The Immoral Compass
Rise Above Records
Pure Steel Records
/10 There is no
denying the influence that Black Sabbath have on Blood Ceremony – that comparison has been made explored ad nauseam. There is however more to it. With their latest album, “The Eldritch Dark”, Blood Ceremony show that although they still know the Sabbath lesson by heart, they have also learned well from such masters as Coven and Jethro Tull. You’re not going to see anything new, but then again, good music doesn’t have to be innovative. While “Drawing the Moon” belongs on an album by Coven, tracks like “Goodbye Gemini” and “Faunus” place us in the woods that Ian Anderson used to roam. Teleporting us straight to dark forests in the 70’s, “The Eldritch Dark” is a great journey for people who feel out of time. [Carlos Cardoso]
SOULFLY Savages Nuclear Blast
/10 “Savages” is
genuinely the best Soulfly album in years! I didn’t enjoyed a Soulfly record that much since the 2005’s “Dark Ages” and what we have here is a strong and very complete record which has in its essence all
/10 Originally released back
in 1985, “Back to the Wall”, Bloody Climax’s only album, ﬁnally gets the digital treatment. Fairly unknown, the long disbanded German quintet followed the NWOBHM genre, sounding much like some of their contemporary peers. Raven and fellow countrymen Accept instantly come to mind, but so many more could. Not groundbreaking at any level, most of the songs have however a lively and powerful drive, which inevitably takes the listener straight to the 80s. Not as a revival - this is the real thing. Complete with 7 bonus tracks from a never released second album, this reissue is a true collector’s item for any heavy metal scholar. Kudos to Karthago Records for putting this out. [Jaime Ferreira]
the things that made Soulfly what they are today. That’s right! All of the things you’ve enjoyed in previous efforts are combined in “Savages”, resulting in something brutal, heavy and diverse, yet unified as a whole at the same time. It’s the perfect union between Thrash, Death, Groove and Tribal, combined with Max’s unrecognizable harsh growling. We also have to mention that this is the first record with Max’s son, Zyon, behind the drum-kit, who already plays like a true Cavalera! There’s no repetition with Soulfly and everytime a record is released they find a way to break all the rules and create something innovative, pure and extremely solid. Produced
/10 Blues Pills are
an AmericanSwedish-French quartet that learned their lessons from their progenitors of the 60s and 70s and creates a harmonious effect by mixing Blues with Rock’n‘Roll. Simple but catchy riffs with amazing melodies, combined with intense bass lines and grooving drums, „Devil Man“ preserves the incredible and preposterous work that Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin – to name a few – did, and for my great pleasure, it seems they all live within Blues Pills very own sphere of Rock. Elin Larsson’s voice has a huge impact in this record and it’s only overcomed by Dorian Sorriaux’s guitar skills. Blues Pills’ journey begins now! [Joel Costa]
by Terry Date (PANTERA, DEFTONES), “Savages” immediatly reaches its perfection point with the opening riff of “Bloodshed” and henceforward the madness never stops! As usual, some songs features guest vocals, like “Bloodshed” with Max’s son Igor Cavalera, “Ayatollah of
/10 Somewhat comparable
to the earliest releases of famed UK bands such as Cradle of Filth or Bal-Sagoth, Eibon la Furies’ output is engulfed in the same kind of ambient / epic black metal developed by the aforementioned acts. Alternating between harsh and melodic vocals, aggressive rifﬁng and laid back, progressive passages, “The Immoral Compass” boldly subjects the listener to an amalgam of diverse sections which, eclectic as they might be, mingle nicely as a whole, making for a cohesive ﬁnal result. Unfortunately the production is somewhat thin and although Eibon la Furies might not be up to their peers just yet, they do prove to be a name to be reckoned with, and a good promise for British black metal. [Jaime Ferreira]
Rock ‘N’ Rolla” features Neil Fallon (CLUTCH), Jamie Hanks (I DECLARE WAR) appears on “Fallen” and Mitch Harris (NAPALM DEATH) is featured on ‘K.C.S.’ Max said this is a perfect album and who the fuck are we to deny it?
Elision Of Animus Dementia [CD]
for the glory lisbon blues [CD]
/10 It’s been a long
time since metal made Ílhavo famous in the 90’s for all the wrong reasons (the media sure played their part). Years later, two talented kids (Daniel Pio and Rafael Moreira) took it upon themselves to shake things up. Their talent is undeniable, their imagination is without limits, and they are somewhat inexperienced. With their debut EP “Dementia”, Elision Of Animus give us a mixture of Deathcore and Prog made with tremendous ease. Their sound is fluid, the balance between aggression and peacefulness perfect. However, the drums are programmed and have a tendency to distract the listener because of their aggression. EoA are talented enough to put Ílhavo back on the Metal map, so let’s hope that they continue to grow. [Carlos Cardoso]
/10 What the hell did I
just listen to!? I tell you what: a band that goes by the name “For The Glory” and delivers a powerful hardcore sound with all splendour. The portuguese hardcore scene is growing fast and we must credit labels like Rastilho Records for their effort and passion in releasing such distinguishing records and raising their own standard of excellence everytime. As we listen to “Lisbon Blues”, it’s clearly evident that this five piece like to do their stuff in an intense, passionate way (is there any other way?) not forgetting about the raw and agressive elements that defines the true nature of the hardcore genre. Prepare to be taken by storm as these guys are the future of the European Hardcore scene! [Joel Costa]
IN SOLITUDE Sister [CD/LP] Metal Blade Records
/10 It’s a well known
fact that Sweden has one of the strongest and most prolific metal scenes. Naturally this means that we sometimes get overwhelmed
Human improvement process Deafening Dissonant Millennium [CD] Memorial Records
hybris Heavy Machinery [CD] Candlelight Records
/10 Hybris are a Technical
used to see Italy giving birth to countless bands filled with quality, and well, let me present you another one! Human Improvement Process is an italian five crushing piece that combines death metal with hardcore and electronic elements, therefore creating an unique and distinguishing sound. The songs are complex and composed of a varitety of conflicting components. Wait, did I say conflicting? Yes, for an ordinary band. But Human Improvement Process blend it all together into this complete atmosphere creating something excellent and delightful in all respects. A must! [Joel Costa]
Progressive Thrash metal band and they have two girls (it’s a non-factor). As for “Heavy Machinery”, it’s a very good indicator of what they want to achieve, but they are spreading themselves too thin. Hybris projects old-school Thrash, with tracks like “Hypertube” and “Shadowplay”, where the vocals are a throwback to the Bay Area days. “For our Friend” shows us their attempts at incorporating progressive structures, and “Insidious” is a perfect example of technical prowess. However, the album sounds confusing at times, trying to excel at everything and ultimately failing. They have the talent and the ideas, they just need to focus on their next attempt and they will continue to grow. [Carlos Cardoso]
by the abundance of bands hailing from there, so the competition is big and for a band to stand out it has to really prove its value. IN SOLITUDE is a band that took the worldwide metal scene by surprise when they released their first self titled full length album in 2008 and approximately three years later they continued with another good release, “The World. The Flesh. The Devil.”. Now, they strike back with their third studio work that marks a turn in their sound towards more occult rock forms. Let me explain myself more thoroughly… While in the beginning they kicked off as an extremely accurate version of early MERCYFUL FATE, nowadays we see them explore different paths with “Sister”.
The cornerstone of their music is still the early years MERCYFUL FATE heavy metal which they enrich with a great deal of occult rock elements, but upon it they also add doom and gothic metal influences as well as some post rock parts. The whole thing is wrapped up pretty nicely and has a bleak, melancholy, oppressive and artistic approach ideal for those who like occult rock, but for me personally the end result sounded a bit pretentious and nerveless. “Sister” is an album that differentiates and alienates IN SOLITUDE from the more traditional heavy metal genre they belonged to and this may put off some of their listeners including me. [Christine Parastatidou]
/10 We’re getting
INCANTATION Mortal Throne of Nazarene [LP Reissue]
karuniiru Cyberpunk [DIGITAL]
MASTER The Witchhunt [CD/LP]
Necromessiah The Last Hope Of Humanity [CD]
Punishment 18 Records
/10 For those who don’t know Incantation and are probably asking what separates them from other 90’s death metal outlets, if you listen to the sheer brutality and relentless sonic beating of “Mortal Throne of Nazarene” you wont be indifferent. Incantation was one of the first bands to plant the seeds of brutal death metal but their execution was always more chaotic, favoring the creation of a violent atmosphere instead of a technical kind of approach as shown in “Mortal Throne of Nazarene”, one of the darkest albums ever created in the genre. This new remix sharpened the overall instrumentation and vocal work in comparison to the original, making this reissue a pleasant rediscovery for avid connoisseurs of this album. [Luís Alves]
/10 Karuniiru is a
Portuguese art project led by the inconformist spirit of Domino Pawo. Born in 2005, the band released two EPs and two singles and provided countless live luxury performances with due recognition of the underground press. After a brief break, the group appears renewed in 2013 relying on the precious contributions of Charles Sangnoir (La Chanson Noir, Tertúlia dos Assassinos) and Melkor (The Firstborn, Neoplasmah, Martelo Negro), creating a perfect mixture between electro, punk, gothic and heavy metal. With a touch more and more avantgarde and innovative, “Cyberpunk”, the debut album with the official release planned for September 14, is a vibrant and always surprising record. Emphasis on the songs “Rosa Cruz”, “Cocaine Song” and “Jorra”. [Rute Gonçalves]
MOTHER ABYSS Burden EP [CD] Self-Released
/10 “Burden” is
Mother Abyss’ debut EP and believe me when I say that this is a great first introduction from this committed collective as it has all the prime ingredients to Mother
/10 The New Elite”
has only 1 year old and US veterans Master are already back with a new album, “The Witchhunt”, which is the 12nd of their career. As usual, the band led by Paul Speckman presents us with a strong and ambitious Death Metal album, with fast, violent songs and strong riffs, with the drumming resembling a machine gun shooting fiercely in a chaotic combat zone, as we can see in “Plans Of Hate”, “Another Suicide” and “The Parable”. There is no doubt that experience is a key factor in this making-music thing and that Master do it masterfully. After 12 records, it’s already clear that Master can’t release a bad record! [Joel Costa]
Abyss be a big player in the current metal scene. Hailing from Viana do Castelo, Portugal, and given the fact that they didn’t form until late 2012, it’s really surprising how great their debut EP is. What you’ll find here is a polished, sludge record with traces of hardcore, and heavy riffs that absolutely tears you down through the entire running time of this record, making a sound that can only be described as “fucking unique”! It starts with “ The King”, where elements from the above mentioned genres immediately come to the surface, pretty much establishing their core fan base right away, and their
/10 Hailing from
Italy, Necromessiah play Black/Thrash metal and are a force to be reckoned with. The first track of the record, entitled “Opening the Gates”, despite being short, gives you an idea of what you are about to go through musically. Infernal and chaotic, the intro is followed by “ Returned from Hell”, beginning with an exciting bass line and presenting thunderous riffs which sound like Entombed. In fact, the Swedish group’s legacy is present throughout the album, and some of these songs seem to have a healthy and more than welcome Motorhead influence as well. The vocals are much more hellish though, in the vein of extreme acts such as Venom. In other words, play it and rock out. [Jorge Alves]
energy never ceases to exist. Mother Abyss seem to be keen on developing their sound organically, with a raw but refined approach and this is something that should be praised once it’s coming from such a young band. The vocals emphases on brutality rather than melody – something that might be a defining feature of the band in the future - and the songs are genuinely well-written making of “Burden” a great debut album. Give it a listen and prepare to be pleasantly surprised! [Joel Costa]
Pyhä Kuolema Kevättuulisormi [CD/LP]
RANGER Knights of Darkness [LP]
scalpel Sorrow and Skin [CD]
stainless steel Metal Machine [CD]
Pure Underground Records
days and re-recorded them inviting some black metal icons to sing – Attila Csihar (Mayhem), Gaahl (God Seed, Wardruna, ex-Gorgoroth) or Maniac (Skitliv, ex-Mayhem) are the most wellknown names. Kvarfoth also gave them the chance to sing on their native language as we have Famine (Peste Noire) singing in French in the opening track, “Terres Des Anonymes”. The songs have a new outfit and we would expect a polished production since Shining have refining their sound from an album to another, but it didn’t happened at all. The outfit may be new, but the old essence is there: dark and raw. The guitars can easily translate what I feel when listening to: it’s like lacerating the flesh with a blowtorch and having nightmares which never end
even if you wake up. It’s even more evident when Csihar sings in “Szabadulj Meg Önmagatól”. Not forgetting the somehow progressive line Shining may be taking at least with the two latest albums, Lars Fredrik Fröslie (Angst Skvadron, Wobbler, Asmegin) was invited to add keyboards to the songs, a component which isn’t present in the originals. So, a hypnotic spiral is felt in “Selvdestruktivitetens Emissarie”, sung by Gaahl, as the guitars together with the keyboards deliver us a mad and a mental claustrophobia making you unable to be unlocked from the depths of darkness. If you like Shining’s unusual way of doing things, this is an item you must have in your shelf. [Diogo Ferreira]
/10 Pyhä Kuolema (mean-
ing Sacred Death in English) is the solo project of Mikko Pöyhönen, founded shortly after the Neo-folk duo “Tuhat Kuolemaa Sekunnissa” decided to call it quits. What we have here is the aforementioned musician’s own vision, his personal journey through dreamy Folk territories. Dreamy is the right adjective to describe the music produced by this Finnish artist, a dozen songs so visual that you can actually picture Mikko singing these lovely tunes surrounded by beautiful lakes and forests in his home country. His acoustic work is intimate and spiritual, sometimes reminiscent of Americana acts such as Townes Van Zandt, but North European at its core. A piece of art that captures the essence of this composer’s roots. [Jorge Alves]
/10 Born in 2009 in Helsinki,
Finland, initially under the name “Turbin”, Ranger come now with the release of the EP “Knights of Darkness” by Ektro Records, after 3 demo recordings issued over the past few years. Composed of re-recordings of “Touch of Death” and “Supreme Evil,” as well as three brand new songs “Steel Dawn”, “Ranger” and “Knights of Darkness”, this record will make Speed and Thrash Metal fans very happy. With strong influences from bands like Manowar, Slayer, Venom or Tormentor, “Knights of Darkness” is a record that despite not bringing anything very innovative at the musical level, reveals an energy and hostility rather interesting that cannot be ignored. [Rute Gonçalves]
SHINING 8 ½ - Feberdrömmar I Vaket Tillstånd [CD/LP] Dark Essence Records
/10 “8 ½ - Fe-
berdrömmar I Vaket Tillstånd” is under Shining’s banner but I see it as a Kvarforth’s personal effort. He picked up six songs from the “Livets Ändhållplats” and “Angst”
/10 “Sorrow and Skin” is the
debut album by death metallers Scalpel, a band which clearly read upon the wise teachings of Dying Fetus and Mortician. Though not thoroughly innovative, “Sorrow and Skin” is quite enjoyable, and Scalpel’s five years of work since their inception are clearly shown in the cohesiveness of their songwriting. This is a total breakdowns fest with several speed shifting sections, demolishing double bass drumming and a surprising musical sensitivity of melodic soloing on top of an arsenal of technical death metal riffs. “Sorrow and Skin” constitutes a brutal assault to the senses, but there’s hoping that with such talent, they will be able to produce something more of their own on their sophomore release. [Luís Alves]
/10 STAINLESS STEEL formed
in Germany in 1985 and released 2 albums, but for reasons unknown to me they disbanded. In 2013 they take us by surprise and releases a new, third, surprisingly good album. Often bands from the 80’s tend to sound more modern or different, but STAINLESS STEEL are not the case. “Metal Machine” sounds as the natural continuation of their previous 2 full length albums and it is actually a traditional high quality release characterized by variety. All the elements we love in the German metal sound are here… good melodies, heavy guitars and passionate performances. I think that they have similarities to groups like ACCEPT, GRAVESTONE, SCORPIONS, JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN. “Metal Machine” delivers what it promises… and that’s good traditional heavy metal! [Nick “Verkaim” Parastatidis]
STONEGRIFF Prologus Magicus [CD] Metal On Metal
/10 Listening to
“Prologus Magicus”, hardly anyone would say Stonegriff were formed just 4 years ago and released so far only 3 demos and one EP. Comparable to Krux and to the typical Rise Above sound, and bearing just enough hints to the 70s, this young Swedish quartet deliver a debut album rich in maturity, dexterity and good taste. Although never straying too much from the doom path, a nice breath of fresh air is provided with “Devil’s Daughter”, nigh on covering Judas Priest’s “Turbo Lover”. Highly professional, the band knows where they’re aiming at and deﬁnitely hit the bullseye. By placing the bar this high, expectations on what will come next are inevitably huge. Extremely recommended [Jaime Ferreira]
The Ruins Of Beverast The Blazing Gospel of Heinrich Kramer [LP]
the safety fire Mouth Of Swords [CD]
VISTA CHINO Peace [CD/LP]
/10 TROB has always been one of those “special” bands, as often one-manbands are. Although being clearly and strongly cemented in Black Metal roots, it has always been able to add an extra dimension to its music, either by borrowing from Dark Ambient or Funeral Doom, the latter being one of the directions Alexander von Meilenwald (vocals and all instruments) clearly intended this album to take. The word ‘atmosphere’ needs to be stressed here, since it is clearly the main focus of this band’s music, and it is executed near flawlessly. The mood is grim and thick, tortuous at times, as we’re bombarded with lengthy tracks filled with crunchy doomy riffs, eerie organs and ritualistic chanting. A bit more polished than earlier albums, but every bit as good. [David Horta]
TÝR Valkyrja [CD] Metal Blade Records
/10 12 years have passed
since their first album, almost 10 since the craziness around the folk/viking scene exploded, almost 10 since the avid readers of Tolkien tasted their first sip of mead in a plastic horn in a concert. During all that
/10 Technical and perfect
ly executed as it should, “Mouth of Swords” is the second album for this London based quintet, yet The Safety Fire’s approach to progressive metal couldn’t be farther from emulating the genre’s masters. With infuences spanning from Björk to Killswitch Engage, they manage to produce a creative, appealing and innovative mix. The band’s maturity is evident throughtout the nine songs fraught with a multiplicity of tempo and signature changes making for a perfect balance between aggressiveness and mellowness.In a style where bands often tend to be stuck in the past and sound much like the next one, The Safety Fire unashamedly embrace the 21st century, and rightfully so. [Jaime Ferreira]
time bands have come and go, some are still going strong but without actually risking anything, others are slowly withering, playing the same old tunes, hoping to raise some imaginary axe in battle. In the meantime, Týr continue to evolve, leaving behind the cheesiness of über-folk and the tired rhythms of beer sing-alongs. There is, as always, a theme. A Viking warrior leaves his woman and off he goes to impress other women (such as gods, like a Valkyrie and Freyja). “Valkyria” is epic and impressive; tracks like “Lady Of The Slain” will make you roar, “Blood Of Heroes” and “Mare Of My Night” are sure to be played in concerts. The one thing that feels out of place is “The Lay Of Our Love”, a collaboration
/10 Kyuss may have been
put to past and Josh Homme (QOTSA) may fill as many lawsuits as he wants, but John Garcia and Brant Bjork are alive and well – the proof is Vista Chino. “Peace” is released via Napalm Records and this album is the finery of stone rock / desert rock. The several instrument distortions can be very hypnotic and kicks you to a psychedelic highway. The album is captivating from the beginning to its end. A beautiful vinyl edition completes this extremely good musical experience. Brant Bjork can be easily one the most interesting drummers in the world. Bruno Fevery turns sound into gold when holding a guitar. One of the best releases this year. [Diogo Ferreira]
with Liv Kristine that disturbs the flow of the entire album. “Grindavísan” is the one that stands out, as it clearly shows how the band evolved towards their prog influenced Viking heavy metal sounds. Throughout the album the riffs are amazing, never hiding their love of progressive metal sounds, and not even the departure of Kári Streymoy changed that. In fact, Heri Joensen believes that George Kollias’s collaboration (Nile) helped to better integrate the more progressive structures in the drums. Overall “Valkyria” is a well constructed conceptual album, where the listener is carried into battle in a perfect mix of myth and metal. [Carlos Cardoso]
Ashencult / Mephorash Opus Serpens [Split 10”] Unholy Anarchy Records
WOLVSERPENT Perigaea Antahkarana [CD]
/10 “Opus Serpens” is a split release featuring Ashencult and Mephorash, two young and
impressive black metal acts. While Ashencult delivers a glimpse of what’s to come from this US act, Mephorash steals the show with their unique, haunted-esque, “Atramentous Ungod Aspect”, which features guest vocals from Acherontas’ V. Priest. Two exceptional pieces that make this split a must! [Joel Costa]
/10 Hailing from Idaho
(USA), this duo, formerly known as Pussygutt, praises us with a five song 80 minute album. Their Drone/Doom Metal sounds like the fist of God trespassing all the earth and irrupting with all the four elements of nature. Their debut for Relapse Records, ‘Perigaea Antahkarana’ is performed by Blake Green (guitar, vocals, keys) and Brittany McConnell (drums, percussion, violin, viola). Produced by Mell Dettmer (Sunn o))), Boris, Earth, etc.), this record takes the listener to an apocalyptic and hopeless place, through funeral doom, drone and chamber music. This is a dark, epic, cinematic and atmospheric voyage for the ones who are waiting for the end to come. [José Branco]
Emblazoned The Living Magisterium EP [CD] Deepsend Records
/10 This beast that goes by the name of Emblazoned really nailed it with this 90’s Death
Metal sound, with some Black Metal signature in it, creating a memorable and brutal EP. These guys really do music with passion, talent and skill in a visceral, brutal way! Buy them a beer already! [Joel Costa] KONGH Counting Heartbeats
/10 Agonia Records decided to re-release Kongh’s critically acclaimed debut, adding over
50 minutes of additional playing time in comparison with the original version since this re-release includes the split LP with Ocean Chief and their “demo 2006”. “Counting Hearbeats” is a crushing record that goes through Doom, Sludge and Progressive Metal, with smooth and unconstrained transitions from one genre to another, resulting in powerful, expressive rhythms. [Joel Costa] Part 2 > next page
ULCERATE Vermis [CD] Relapse Records
/10 While some bands
feel fulfilled pursuing a formulaic path over the years, once in a while there are those who wish to transcend barriers through a process of reinterpretation, disassemblement and
reconstruction of nearly everything within the realm of a musical genre. “Vermis”, the fourth album from New Zeland’s Ulcerate is a powerful example of that process of redefinition and a step up in the progression shown on 2011’s “Destroyers of All”. Though not as ear friendly as the previous effort, it’s a carefully thought form of controlled chaos which unravels itself upon eerie and dissonant musical soundscapes, with unpredictable time changes and violent shifts presented on the form of razor sharp riffs and crushing drum passages. Tracks as “Clutching Revulsion”, “Confronting Entropy” and “The Imperious “Weak” show
us that there is an element of unpredictability to “Vermis” which ultimately makes it a very interesting album to dissect, for sensing that is so much going on beneath the surface. Ultimately, this is indeed a truly “violent and monolithic piece of work” as aptly described by the band and, though it might be defying and difficult to assimilate at first, it will probably pave the way for new ways of experimentation to come in the next years, within the confines of its genre. [Luís Alves]
Malignant Asceticism Ascensum Serpens EP [7”]
Qui Incenditur Doctrine of the Six Regions
Nekrogoat Heresy Productions
/10 Blood Harvest has become master when it comes to
/10 “Doctrine of the Six Regions” is Qui Incenditur’s debut.
deliver merciless Death and Black Metal records packed like snacks. This is raw, is aggressive… is Swedish Black Metal with an old-school approach played by Chileans. “Ascensum Serpens” is a decent 10 minute-long ordeal filled with intense and cloudy melodies. An obscure record that really serves its purpose. [Joel Costa]
This is a complex, insane and strange album which is fully digital, no instruments were recorded. It’s more aesthetical and theoretical than musical. The lyrics are like teachings with profound studying. The flow created by the guitars makes us feel as we are travelling through dimensions, but in overall the tracks are too homogeneous. [Diogo Ferreira]
mASADA Hideous Rot
WILD La Noche Del Pecado
/10 Embedded in the glory days of death metal, the
follow up to the promising “Suffer Mental Decay” demo is ﬁnally upon us, two years past, offering proof that Masada are on the right path. Suffocation’s inﬂuence is still clear, with a ﬂute track by Clive Jones of the 70’s British prog rockers Black Widow providing nevertheless a nice surprise. [Jaime Ferreira]
/10 Featuring four tracks (one of them is a cover song), “La
Noche Del Pecado” is Wild’s effort for 2013. Straight heavy metal with speed, typical melody, contagious solos and twin guitars. Sung in Spanish it gives the songs a nice flow and a trademark for Wild. Polished production and nice artwork. A future icon for Spain’s metal scene. [Diogo Ferreira]
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