Against Magazine #3 (November 2013)

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AGAINST MAGAZINE P.O.BOX 527 EC ALEXANDRE HERCULANO 3880 OVAR PORTUGAL WEBSITE E-MAIL CHIEF EDITOR Joel Costa DESIGN Cátia Cunha (Head of Design) Joel Costa COVER DESIGN Joel Costa WRITERS / TRANSLATORS Andreia Figueiredo, Carlos Cardoso, Cátia Cunha, Cheryl Lynn, Christine Parastatidou, David Horta, Diogo Ferreira, Jaime Ferreira, Joel Costa, Jorge Alves, José Branco, Kevin “Junk” Kidd, Luís Alves, Luke Hayhurst, Mike Ritchie, Mónia Camacho, Nick “Verkaim” Parastatidis, Rute Gonçalves PHOTOGRAPHY André Henriques (And thanks to all the photographers whose name we couldn’t find in the credits)



n this month’s issue we bring you new and old stuff and we have decided to feature Portuguese renowned masters of sonic extreme metal progression MALEVOLENCE in our cover! That’s right! They’re back 14 years after the release of the critically acclaimed “Martyrialized”, this time with “Antithetical”, an album that will give you a brutal beating and make you its bitch! And speaking of comebacks! This month marks the return of Leather Leone to CHASTAIN. She’s the original vocalist and one of the originators of the female Power Metal vocal style! We caught up with guitarist David Chastain to discuss her comeback and their new album “Surrender To No One”. Against Magazine’s Jorge Alves also caught up with THE OCEAN’s Robin Staps in the Oporto city, as part of their last European tour with the current line up, to talk about all the changes and the new album. You really can’t miss this one! So, this and a lot more is waiting for you in this new issue of Against Magazine. We have been honoured to hear new music from all these bands we’re bringing to you and we’ll now start to work in the next one! Check us online at and See you next month!

Cover photography by Paulo Madeira & manipulation of original photo by KKStructures




ntithetical” is a strong and focused album! Are you happy with the way it turned out? It’s positively our most focused and accomplished work to date. It was a gigantic project considering the scale of commitment from all the intervening species involved. Every new project we engage into must include the music, the lyrics and the imagery while unifying in the process everything into one. “Antithetical” set the tone for the rest of our career and every detail contained within required a lot of dedication and determination. In 2003, four years after the release of your sophomore album “Martyrialized”, you released a demo entitled “Celebration of Dysfunctional Becoming” where we can find four songs which are featured in this new album. So, 10 years have passed since the release of the demo… Was “Antithetical” supposed to be released earlier than 2013? To be honest we never had a specific date on our agenda to release the album. We like to let things flow and we like to control our own production methods until we feel we are extremely pleased with the total sum of all its parts. On the other hand we are positively sure that if we had released this album a few years ago it would not demonstrate and exhibit the degree of maturity and development it encapsulates presently in 2013. And why did the band decide to rerecord those songs? In fact we did not re-record those songs. The fact people might assume that it’s because back in 2003 we recorded “Celebration of Dysfunctional Becoming” for our own consumption and at the request

of some labels that were interested in us. We were developing the material for “Antithetical” and a few labels were very impressed with the work displayed on “Martyrialized”. They asked us for new material and that’s what we did; we recorded the 4 songs that we had more or less developed in that period in time. A work that was never meant to be of the public knowledge but that somehow leaked from one of the labels we contacted in the process. What people can find on “Antithetical” relating to that material is a new complete approach in terms of song arrangements and structure aesthetics. Those who truly know the demonstration from 2003 will easily recognize the massive transformation those 4 tracks in particular have endured through the years. “Martyrialized” was well accepted by the media and the fans back in 1999 and once again you have done something ahead of its time with “Antithetical”. Do you believe this new album turned out better than “Martyrialized”? Thanks a lot for your compliments and for letting us know your thoughts denoting that “Antithetical” is in fact ahead of our time. We got the same feedback through the years relating to the previous work so this means we must be doing something right. Each album denotes what Malevolence represents in a specific period in time. We believe that “Martyrialized” inserted Malevolence into the global map of metal while “Antithetical” will push the circle still further and solidify the band as a strong metal entity everywhere. By all the reasons we have stated before “Antithetical”, at least for us, is way ahead of what we did in “Martyrialized” and we have no doubt we are at our creative FOLLOW US ONLINE

peak with the new endeavour. Can you talk us through 2003 to the moment MALEVOLENCE started to work on the new album? We constantly have to balance our extreme daily work routines with all our music pursuits. Contrary to what one might think this lengthy period between official releases had a completely positive result on the final outcome. We had the chance to develop the tools to mature the songs throughout the process while projecting the music beyond all our initial expectations. “Antithetical” was a project under development even before 2003 and still is at some extent a project expanding. We do not establish a specific day or a specific month to start working on something new. And how has the band evolved in the past 10 years? Ideas are constantly rising on our minds and every new concept develops as we develop every single day as human beings. A myriad of circumstances define every specific moment and every specific album we produce! Thinking back in reverse we acknowledge the period between 2003-2013 as a very specific moment in time that was absolutely necessary to focus energy into writing the best thing we’ve ever done: ANTITHETICAL. What’s the idea behind the album title? I sense this “Anti / against” feeling… Am I correct? It’s always on the screen of the imagination to generate multiple interpretations. The album in terms of significance goes beyond the simple aesthetic comprising the art of conflict, even if one of the main themes under representation radiates diametrical contrast to a given proposi-

tion. If we take for example the idea that we are not seen like so many others in this type of society or in this type of music, should we worry too much about that? Should we care about being more accepted because we are what we are? Or should we do what we want and not what they want? It’s a matter of perspective and different interpretation to the same matter but that does not mean that we have to be opposed to everything. It’s a lot more about the contrasts in nature or quality or form or degree. “Antithetical” might be seen as a parallel created to simplify all the living extremes whilst apprehending both the positive + negative views of existence. Yet in the end it’s always open to the observer and the audio nerd to make a relation between what might be wrong or right within a certain hypothesis. By comparing, reflecting and synthesizing from structural mapping each one can put up with a simple synthesis that transcends the relativity of every Momentum. That’s the beauty of pure entertainment if you ask me. “Antithetical” is an album with real,

powerful songs and not just two or three good singles with a pile of acceptable songs. It seems you have put a lot of effort on this one. What does MALEVOLENCE means to you personally and how do you know a song is finished? All musical and lyrical ideas contribute to the single overall theme and were produced and structured to exorcise songs radiating diametrical contrast. The body of work contained within “Antithetical” encapsulates a relationship between the lexical meaning of speech and everything that surrounds the musical scenario to keep the situational context identical. With that context in mind to make just one more ordinary song without meaning or purpose is out of the question within our frame of work. Everything we do exude strong effort pushing further our own capabilities both as human beings and musicians. We are not trying to impress people, we are trying to impress ourselves and on such a monumental task we are very demanding with every detail within everything we create. Albums are like any other kind of artistic expression. If not done in the real and powerful emo-

tions people go in the reverse direction of what we try to accomplish and that it’s not even worth of attention. Dirk Verbeuren joined the band to record the drums. How did this change the dynamics and the creative process within the band? Dirk is simply one of the most versatile and hard working horses I have seen out there in many years. A drumming extraordinary case if you ask me and exactly what we were in need to accomplish all the progressive and complex ideas comprised within the album. The structural mapping on each song did not get involved at all with his contribution as almost all the work was produced when he joined the creative process. The main difference between the drumming patterns on “Antithetical” and all the other albums he has recorded to this day is in a straight line beyond the borders of drumming insanity. During the process I remember him saying this was one of the most demanding works he has ever recorded. It was definitely a challenging process as I pushed him to do things he

has never done before but in the end we all got rewarded and we are all extremely in high spirits with the ending results and overall dynamics. For me, this is the best Portuguese album released this year and also one of the best of 2013 released internationally. Do you feel the same way? Thank for the colossal compliments and thank for putting the work in such a high end platform. We have experienced similar reactions like yours in the few days that have passed since the album release but what we all feel is not at all that important after all is said and done. If during the process we felt we were in the right direction and we felt extremely pleased with what we were attaining (while enjoying ourselves) that’s what really counts. As I said previously we are not even attempting to impress people but if the work affects people in such a positive way the better! As a musician it’s hard for me to compare and be sure there are way much better players than me out there. As a diehard fan of music with a vast collection of albums and a

vast knowledge on everything that moves within the market on a daily basis I have no doubt we have accomplished something quite extraordinary. Do you pay attention to the Portuguese scene? Which bands would you recommend to our readers? The Portuguese scene is like any other scene in the world in terms of bands. We have extremely good talents while we throw in the opposite direction the pure mediocrity of execution and style. One of the things that totally annoy me in our scene is the lack of funding we receive for being “poisoned” at the ass of Europe. But on the other end it also annoys me the lack of effort, commitment and direction a lot of Portuguese musicians force out. I have seen bands rising and vanishing within months, I have witnessed people jumping on bandwagon fashion just because it was cool at a certain period in time. Out of it we all know the ones that are really pursuing music as a passion. Those are the ones that matter after all is said and done and we can figure them out! I bow down to all the ones that are

on this pathway for the right reasons! My respect goes out to those few! You have cut a deal with Carbon Medien to release this album. How is this partnership going so far? So far so good! So long may it continue... Would you say MALEVOLENCE is an active band in the internet? Do you find it useful? If we do a search on Google these days using the expressions “Malevolence + Antithetical” we will find more than 1 500 000 individual results in less than 0.22 seconds. That to me speaks volumes and sure it represents a hell of an activity (grins). Internet these days is one of the most powerful tools at the service of humankind. At the end of the day it’s like any other device if used for the right reasons and purposes! Will you take “Antithetical” to the road? Our existing agreement with Carbon Medien Records includes that specific variation on the contracted terms. Not in a way we will be out there doing extensive


tours like so many others do these days because we think that’s pointless to a certain degree. On our perspective we have settled to make some selected appearances here and there. This will happen and materialize only when we will feel totally comfortable about the conditions to bring “Antithetical” live and we will be rest assured from the side of promoters everything is for real.

we feel extremely comfortable with the overall results “Antithetical” achieved so far on the media. The music seems to be incredibly invigorating and inspiring for many of you out there so thank you so much for all of your enduring support.

For a band which is so demanding with its own sound, are you also that rigorous with the stuff you listen to? For example, if you had to book your own festival, which bands would you pick and why? In fact I am very demanding with everything that surrounds me. And I do not expect less from the people that surround me! I consider myself a working horse and I have no problems in working both in filthy or under pressure environments. I move myself and attempt to adapt to a myriad of situations and circumstances ‘cause life is also very demanding and rigorous in the same way back to us. This is the reason why we lead our life and considering the time is our worst enemy I completely concur with the notion we must make a selection from all the “junk” that invades our senses on a daily basis. I have no pretensions to book a festival but be sure that if something like that would ever happen I would exactly be as demanding with the bands I would choose as I am demanding with everything else! What does the future hold for MALEVOLENCE? Will we have to wait another 14 years for a new full-length? A tough question to be absolutely honest with you! We never know what might happen considering a new full-length album and all we can rest assure to the real fans is that the process is already in motion (grins). We are of those few atypical bands that like to take one step at a time while caring effectively for the fucking detail. We all know to surpass the work depicted on “Antithetical” is now even a colossal task than it was to surpass all the power contained within “Martyrialized”. Is there anything you’d like to add? Considering albums like this are tremendously demanding, life consuming and sometimes extremely painful to create,


No matter if you are one of those - Love Us or Hate Us – Malevolence sounds like no other except for the similarities in the minds from where it has come up! All the best for all your family and future life endeavors Joel!




ou were working in a couple of songs when Marcus came to help last winter. At the time, were you just writing for a future without plans or already had something in mind for a project? I wrote with a doom project in mind with Michael Åkerfeldt, but nothing happened there so I approached Marcus. Then things started to evolve rather quickly. Some weeks later, few songs turned out to be a full-length. So, I guess you felt something glorious was about to come… The first songs we recorded sounded just great so we knew we had to form a new band! It would be a tragedy to waste good songs. Since you’ve already working with Marcus, how did Lars and Carl join you? Both Lars and Carl are good friends, so they joined rather naturally. Both were really moved by the strength of the material and now everybody is quite anxious to play live as soon as possible! You all have a past, and a present so to speak, in some dark bands like Candlemass or Tiamat, but Marcus, who happens to be your first help, has been a member of bands like Evergrey and

Royal Hunt – great bands, but no so obscure. How does he fit in Avatarium? Marcus is a very very good guitar player, but he has also got a really good ear, so he is very helpful with the arrangements of the songs. He puts on nice guitars and comes up with creative stuff regarding the stuff we record. And then we have Jennie-Ann Smith, a girl among men. Recently, a lot of contemporary doom bands have chosen to have a front-woman and Avatarium isn’t exception. How did you find Jennie-Ann? Well…I don’t think we’re jumping on any trend, since we were looking for a male singer to sing these songs. We had a few names in the air, but no-one seemed to fit. Then Marcus suggested we should try Jennie-Ann out, and she totally blew us away during her audition. She’s even better than any of the male singers we talked about. And she has a quite unique way to interpret the songs – sometimes smooth, sometimes deep without losing the feminine thing, other times acute… (please comment) The doom imaginary approaches mostly witches and old obscure tales, but Avatarium also talks about disgraced love

like in “Boneflower” or childish dreams in “Moonhorse”. Is this an attempt to refresh the doom concept? Not really, just a try to write something that’s not a cliché and done a thousand times before. Jennie’s bluesy voice is extremely suited for this stuff, and she interprets the songs like a true pro and makes them more interesting. Can you tell us if Avatarium is a band to keep working after the debut album or you just don’t know? I’m sure we will do another album. The response to this one has been quite overwhelming so we just need to do another one I think.



he record is clearly ahead of its time, with a peculiar vision of Black/Viking Metal with lots of progressive aspects pointing to different directions. How do you interpret the record today and how influential was it for what Sólstafir did next? I guess this was our “growing up” album. The bridge between faster, rawer material to slower, longer compositions is quite obvious, I think. Even to the point where the first half of the album is faster and the second half is slower. In retrospect we thought it was a mistake not to mix up the songs a bit more. This edition has lots of goodies, including a bonus second disc full of previously unreleased material from 1997 or 1998. Why have you included them? We thought it would be a nice bonus for die hard fans to hear how the songs and our sound evolved at that time. It’s our only album that we have demos of almost all songs before the album recordings (excluding “Árstíðir Dauðans”, which is the youngest song on the album). There was a lot of time to complete the record – more or less three years. I even read the band thought it was cursed? How do you see it now?

We still believe it was cursed, from the start! I think this album would have been the death of most bands, but somehow we stuck through. Did you recall the atmosphere when this “classic” record was made? Can you tell us some curious aspects, like, for instance, the recording sessions with guest musicians, the relation with the record label, etc.? Like you mentioned before it was a long, drawn out process with endless mishaps and delays. Also, we were mostly working at nights after work and at weekends, so often we’d be tired as hell. The long delays meant that we’d have to get everything started again, and this was before the time of Protools, so a lot of time was wasted just starting the whole thing up again.

2011, but yes, we’re entering the studio on December 1st 2013 and a new album is scheduled for spring 2014. In your opinion, what has changed in the icelandinc metal scene since 2002? Everything! Not many bands have survived from that time. The scene mostly consisted of hardcore bands back then but it’s mostly brutal/technical deathmetal today. And the biggest band in Iceland (not just in the metal scene) right now is a full on Viking metal band. Who would have seen that coming?

Do Sólstafir intend to play some of this material live? We haven’t talked about that. One or two songs might find their way to some special gigs but I doubt it would be more than that. Are there any ideas for a successor of 2012’s “Svartir Sandar”? Actually “Svartir Sandar” came out in




hank you for taking the time to do this interview. There was a recent line-up change in the band with the arrival of Josua Madsen in the drums and Michael Bastholm Dahl on vocals. Did they join the band in time to have some lasting impact on the new album, or were the ideas already there before they joined? Michael Stützer: It’s a pleasure doing it. Yes, both Josua and Michael contributed with a lot of ideas. Michael mostly in writing lyrics and Josh with a lot of good ideas concerning the drumming! Artillery were always known for a more melodic approach to thrash, many people still consider them a crossover between the more classic heavy metal and thrash. In the new album these melodic lines are very clear. Does the playing style of the Stützer duo account for this? M.S.: I think both Morten and I try to

make songs with variety keeping the melodic touch together with the thrashy riffing and combined with elements like middle-east inspiration for example! So we definitely try to have a kind of Artillery trademark in the songs! Between concerts in cruises and European tours, the band doesn’t seem to have a lot of free time. How did you manage to write and record an album in such a short period? Michael Bastholm Dahl: Well, we brought the energy and some of the frantic pace along into the studio, so the recording and writing process went really quick. But you piece ideas together all the time, whenever there is a moment for it, you’ll write down the bits and pieces you have in your head. M.S.: We really had to press ourselves to the limit this time because of all our touring, but it really gave us some fresh and very dynamic songs. So in the end we FOLLOW US ONLINE

were really satisfied how it all sounded on “Legions”! Usually bands have a set routine when it comes to recording an album. With the arrival of two new members, what changed in this process? M.S.: Not really much, maybe we recorded the drums faster due to the dedication of Josh for the new songs! But recording with producer Søren always works so easy and well! The sound in “Legions” is more organic and less over-produced than most thrash metal bands put out now. Was there a deliberate approach to this? M.B.D.: Yes, I would say that we wanted a sound that was organic. Søren Andersen is a rock n roll guy and his approach to sound is something that we really like. M.S.: Søren Andersen is in my opinion one of the best producers in metal right now and he really listened to what kind

of sound we wanted! Not every song in the album is fast and ripping like “God Feather”. “Enslaved to the Nether” has a curious approach to it, sometimes it even resembles old Scorpions hard rock ballads, as well as Iron Maiden. How did this particular track come to life? M.B.D.: I had the lyrics from a dream I once had – which may sound a bit scary, but it was all so clear to me, when I awoke, that I figured I had to use it for a song. The song came up before doing the lyrics intended for that particular melody, but once I heard it, I knew I had to fit them in there. M.S.: The first attempt of the song was made in 2008 but was never used, so when we had most of the songs for “Legions” ready, I could see it would fit perfectly for the new album and Michael had the lyrics ready at the same time! I like the old Scorpions so maybe you’re right, but at the same time it has those fast riffs in the middle parts also, which Scorpions never had! Artillery never got their huge media breakthrough when other thrash metal bands got theirs. However, most thrash and heavy metal fans have the name Artillery in mind when speaking of great European thrash bands. Do you feel you got less attention than you deserved at

the time? M.S.: Sometimes we think so, but on the other hand we also had a lot of ups and downs so we know there are a lot of things who had to work better, like support from the record companies, dedication of past members, etc., before you could have a huge media breakthrough. But now, signing with Metal Blade opens some of those doors again so hopefully we will get more out to the thrashers again! We still have a lot of fun playing! Even if the media didn’t pay attention, nowadays the internet seems to be the best media channel available, and many times fans are the new “journalists”. Does this kind of more direct contact with fans benefit the band in concert ticket sales, merch and album sales? M.B.D.: I would say so, also regarding the easy contact you can have with people overall. Although I still find this huge availability as something that takes a bit of the mystery away, sometimes I prefer the old days, where word of mouth and the amount of bands and albums weren’t as overwhelming as it is now. By that I don’t mean that there should be any less bands out there or any less albums, but these days you have so many options regarding new music and perhaps concerts as well, that you might have a tough time deciding, so Artillery is really pleased to know that there are fans out

there hanging on that do posts about us every day – it’s incredible! And yes, I do believe it helps tickets, merch and album sales hehe You guys have been around for 31 years, do you still have energy for nonstop touring? Are there tours in your future? M.B.D.: We still have the energy! Hehe – it’s so awesome to tour and yes, we have plans for future tours! We plan to tour South America in January/February, Russia during Easter and hopefully USA and Asia later this year – so we hope to see you guys out there! M.S.: To be honest we don’t feel old at all and we’re still having a lot of fun going on the road, so you better watch out because Artillery will come your way again sometime in 2014!




ongratulations on “Surrender To No One”! You have made a fantastic job with it. Are you happy with it? Yes, I think it is one of the better CHASTAIN albums Leather and I have recorded over the years. Of course I can’t really judge a CD until years after the fact. At this point in time I have heard this CD 100’s of time in the writing, demo, recording, mixing and mastering stages. So in other words it takes me time away from a CD to hear it objectively. I have a slight form of musical amnesia in that sometimes I can go back and listen to some old records and it is as if I am hearing them for the first time….

kind of strange actually. You have managed to offer the good old 80’s sound with a modern approach. How important is for the band to try new things? I write the way I have always written music. Usually I record what I have written closest to when the recording actually starts. I literally write 100’s of songs per year. Fortunately over the last 10 years I have found an outlet for some of those extra songs: TV placements. I believe bringing in Stian Kristoffersen to play drums helped “modernize” the sound of the music. He is a bit younger than the

rest of us so his influences growing up were different from ours. We wanted to stay true to the classic “Chastain” sound but we knew we had to sound modern doing it or it would sound dated. Stian’s style helped accomplish that goal. How do you recall these almost 30 years of activity with CHASTAIN and what were some of the highlights that the band had along this three decade road? Actually the first time Leather and I met face to face was late December 1984. We worked extremely hard and close until late 1990. During those 6 years we recorded 5 Chastain CDs, 1 solo Leather CD and 1


solo CD from me. Plus we did numerous tours over those years. So I believe we were both burnt out from the hard work. We never had a big fight or blowout, we just went our separate ways. I decided in 91 that I wanted to concentrate on my instrumental career, which was doing big business and was a lot less stressful. In 94 I was actually out touring and doing the vocals. Then I met Kate French in late 94 so I decided to do a new Cd with her. When people heard I had a new singer they expected the same music with a different voice. What they got was pretty much the same voice with a somewhat different musical style on the first CD we did “Sick Society.” I think the Kate era CD “In Dementia” is one of the best Chastain CDs of all time. Definitely top 2 or 3. Highlights? Of course hearing our first album on the radio, having major labels pursue us, playing with KISS in a huge arena, continually selling out a 1400 seat venue in our home town of Cincinnati, OH, seeing for the first time our video on MTV’s Headbanger’s ball, being in about every metal magazine known to man, but of course the most important was the interaction and hearing from fans around the world. I have always respected their opinions more than reviews from writers who know nothing about the band and were just assigned to review the music. And speaking of the road, what’s your favourite city to play and why? Cincinnati, Ohio was always considered

our home base even though Leather nor myself was from there. As I mentioned previously we use to play to packed shows every time we played there. Other favourite cities would be Dallas, New York, Houston, Chicago, LA, Boston, San Francisco, and probably many others that slip my mind. 30 years after, what significance do you attach to the band’s name right now? Have any bands ever expressed CHASTAIN’s influence on them? I think a lot of female fronted metal acts owe a lot to Leather whether they even know it or not. She was the first really powerful female metal vocalist that could go toe to toe when the males. Our first CD Mystery of Illusion had no band pictures and the vocalist was only listed as Leather. I believe most people thought Leather was a man! I think we blew their minds when the second album came out and we did have band pictures! A few years back Hammerfall recorded the Chastain track “Angel of Mercy” and I think that reminded many people about classic Chastain. It also helped gain the band new fans whom researched for the original. And how was it to work again with Leather? It was actually as if we had never stopped working together. Same respectful cooperation and desires to get the best recording we could. It was eerie in that it was like it was really just a few months since we had FOLLOW US ONLINE

seen each other when actually it had been since 1990. Do you still keep in touch with Kate French? And how did she take this return with Leather? Yes I am in close contact with Kate. She actually lives in the same city I do of Atlanta, GA, although she is 90 miles away across town. She has her band VAINGLORY that she has devoted the last 8 years so she is quite busy with that. She is a big Leather fan and likes the new CD a lot. As I previously said, she definitely has been influenced by Leather like many of today’s female metal vocalists. As to how “she felt” I guess she would have mixed emotions. However we agreed years ago that there wasn’t going to be another Chastain CD with her on vocals. There were really no plans for another Chastain CD at all but when Leather came out of retirement she continually heard “If you and David record another CD let us know.” So we decided to give people what they wanted. It is kind of like the Van Halen situation, the majority of fans always wanted Roth back in the band no matter to what the quality of the singers that came after him. It is just “what they grew up on.” How do you compare this “Surrender To No One” to the other records with Leather on vocals? I think it fits in quite well. I personally like it better than most of the previous Chastain albums she sang on. However it

must be said in the old days we had very limited budgets so we had to take some performances of everyone that could have been better with more studio time at our disposal. With that said, it is kind of like someone asking a parent “Which of their children do they like best.” “Surrender To No One” is very intense”! How were you able to bring that energy and intensity to the studio? I think Stian drives the music and it is his performance that makes it intense. I told him before he started recording to play as much stuff as he wanted and I would let him know if he was overplaying. Mike always drives the music with his bass no matter what band he is in at the time. Of course any recording with Leather is going to sound intense as that is her nature. You have done a perfect guitar work in this record! Can you talk us a bit about your writing sessions? Do the other band members bring anything to the creative process? Thanks for the compliment. The writing process is as it always has been. I practice with recording equipment close by. When I hear something I like I put it down and

then accumulate enough ideas to form a song. Fortunately/unfortunately I have a creative river that has always run thru me so I can literally write 95% of the music for an album in 30 minutes. I can close my eyes and “see” the song even before I play it for the first time. While that might sound like a good thing it creates a massive amount of music laying around… so as I said before I usually record what I have written closest to the actual recording. That doesn’t mean there aren’t 100 better songs on cassettes somewhere in my collection languishing forever, to be heard by no one. I am always excited by what is the newest music I have written. Leather provides a lot of the melody and lyrical ideas on the new CD. I prefer not to have to write the lyrics and melodies if at all possible. After a 1000 songs it is hard for me to come up with something new that I haven’t already said in the lyrics before. What’s next for CHASTAIN? We actually have music written and recorded for at least one more CD in the future. Of course it all depends on the response to Surrender To No One. We

have been offered numerous festival slots around the world but I am not sure I will do those. Leather may play some solo shows instead playing mostly Chastain tracks. We will see. I advise everyone to go to for updates on the band. It was great to record another CD with Leather so we can satisfy the throngs of fans who over the years have been asking for another CD. So…this is for you!


ello Davide, thank you for the time you took to answer to our questions. “Hemmed by Light, Shaped by Darkness” is Ephel Duath’s first full-length album with Karyn on vocals. It feels like an expansion of the sound from your previous EP, and here you are dwelling even further into the maze of diverse musical soundscapes and dissonant riffs that you’ve created on “On Death and Cosmos”. How do you personally describe the sound of this record in comparison to Ephel Duath’s past releases? Hi Luís, thank you for giving space to Ephel Duath on your magazine. I agree with you, I would definitely say that the new ED album is stylistically born from the same mindset of the “On Death and Cosmos” EP and somehow it expands on its features. This is a very intimate and introverted record at its very core, but this is also a very ambitious and bold statement from the band. I expect to divide the crowd more than ever this time around and the reactions I saw so far are proving me right: either you are into this or not. There are no half ways, indifference seems to be out of the equation. I feel that these new songs showcase my will to bring Ephel Duath to a very specific path that follows nothing but my needs to express my introspection. This album was born from long walks inside my head through the tool of meditation, limiting every musical interaction with

the external world at the minimum, even for what concerns the contribution of the other musicians involved. This album is my complete fault, I directed every note of it with a clear vision and a blind stubbornness and I know very well that the price to pay for this will probably be to not reach the same public consensus that some previous ED’s albums got. You have dealt with such themes as loss, sorrow and abandon in your previous records. They were the conceptual basis for some of your past works. Can you tell us which themes have shaped “Hemmed by Light, Shaped by Darkness” musically and lyrically? In “Hemmed by Light, Shaped by Darkness” I focused particularly on three different musical elements: intensity, architectural structures and trip-like cadence. I wanted the songs to be long and shapeless. I wanted each of them to reach moments of music catharsis, where everything seems to fall apart because of the emotional weight but eventually returns to composure a few bars after. I wanted the songs to be layered and to do so I added guitars upon guitars, melody upon melody, harmonizations and juxtapositions. I wanted the songs to elegantly display a very personal use of dissonance and oblique measures, and at the same time I worked very hard to make the listening experience flawless. Lyrically, the songs are tied together by

metaphysical topics, even if there isn’t a proper set concept to be followed. Out of body walks, self empowerment through openness of mind, spirit awareness and communication, mental cleansing and grounding are some of the themes I have touched in the lyrics, all expressed through a pretty visual and sometimes gory approach. Going inside your own head, taking those paths that aim to the dark side of each of us could be a pretty painful experience, physically speaking too. My lyrics try to emulate that process, combining every element with brutal and down to earth consequences. Guts, puke, blood, broken bones included. You’ve chosen Erik Rutan to produce your album. I’ve heard he’s pretty meticulous, perfectionist and very detail oriented as a producer. Were all these aspects of his work that made you want to work with him? And also, what did he bring to the table in terms of song arrangements and studio performances? I expect a producer to be demanding when I record for Ephel Duath. You can’t be too loose when you deal with this kind of music. Erik is particularly anal about his recording sessions, his goal is to squeeze out the very best performances from the musicians he works with. This is fine to me and this is why I chose him as a producer in first place: he cares. A lot. He puts his name and reputation on the line for every band he produces and he


demands the best in terms of professionalism from each band that enters Mana Recording Studios. Erik’s perfect pitch is absolutely outstanding. It can drive you crazy at times, but in the end it pays back profusely when you listen to your album once it is completed. For “Hemmed by Light, Shaped by Darkness” I spent more time tuning and bringing back and forth my guitars to the guitar shop than actually performing and recording my parts. I play handmade 7 strings guitars and the level of care you need to put on those kind of instruments to be perfectly in tune is pretty high. Add to the equation Florida’s different crazy humidity level, plus a producer with super sonic hears and you’ll get an idea of what I went through recording this album. Closing, all the songs were well arranged prior entering the studio, Erik’s artistic contribution had most to do with the instrument tones and the final mix. How was the songwriting dynamic for “Hemmed by Light, Shaped by Darkness”? I know that you wrote most of the material in the past. Did Karyn had more of an active part in the shaping of the songs’ structures or did you write all the material? This band has been my own personal trip for many years. I compose every song and lyrics for Ephel Duath since 2001 and the other musicians involved follow my suggestions in their contributions. On this new album Karyn Crisis re-arranged the vocal lines I presented to her. Usually I go to the forest or to the park to write lyrics for ED. I take very long walks listening to some specific pieces of movies with a mantra-like cadence. Recently, I’ve been enjoying Wardruna to write words. Once I get home I enunciate the lyrics to Karyn listening to the instrumental version of the song and we discuss if the mood of the music and its words create a basis for work. Once we find an agreement, I record a vocal preproduction with the patterns and rhythms I would like her to work on. Finally, Karyn starts a long rear-

ranging process to adapt my parts to her specific vocal timbre. Speaking about the recording line-up, you’ve chosen to work again with the great Marco Minnemann on drums and you’ve brought Bryan Beller along to play bass. You’re now playing with the rhythmic section of “The Aristocrats”. How was the recording experience with them? Did they collaborate on song ideas and arrangements? As a songwriter, it is extremely refreshing and liberating to have such strong collaborators at my side. When I send the preproduction of my songs to Marco Minnemann I know that he will promptly send me back the files with his parts to listen to. It is incredible how professional, fast and efficient Marco is. I feel that he’s able to adapt his drumming to my guitar style in such an elegant and eclectic way. Every guitar accent is interpreted and enchanted by the drums and there is definitely a magic alchemy at times between us two. Working with Bryan Beller for the bass parts has been absolutely great too. His parts are literally locking guitars and drums to each other and they add power, attack and heaviness to each and every riff. Bryan’s bass lines are very rock music oriented and his tone is so warm, rounded and well balanced: it perfectly complements my guitar tones. As it happened in the past, the songs were ready FOLLOW US ONLINE

when I approached the musicians I chose to collaborate with Ephel Duath. Marco and Bryan composed their own parts based on my guitars and song structures. I know that you had a hard time dealing with demotivated personnel in the band’s line up in the past. Do you feel things have changed with Marco and Bryan? Do you feel like they are much more motivated and do you see them collaborating again with you in the future? I take my music very seriously and I expect nothing but full commitment by the musicians I choose to collaborate with. For many years I’ve dealt with musicians that after an initial enthusiasm, were getting less and less reliable and connected with the band. This music is demanding, either you embrace or it will push you out. That happened a few times and I decided I had enough: it was time to start working with professionals. I went overboard and I chose some of the best out there. I respect my band so much that I wanted to play with a rhythmic section nothing short of extraordinary. I really hope there will be a chance to keep working with Marco, Bryan or Steve di Giorgio in the next future. The new album’s artwork is absolutely incredible and besides being the perfect cover to represent its music it also looks


like something M.C. Escher would have done on a psychotic outbreak of inspiration. Where did the idea for the cover came from? I remembered that when I saw that image, I was fulgurated by it and I bought the rights to use it from the artist himself, Aeron Alfrey. That piece perfectly represents not just the album and its mood but the band itself, being so contorted, dark, detailed, cerebral, beautiful and appealing, but disturbing at the same time. The rest of the artwork, layout and booklet have been created and put together thanks to the talent of Dehn Sora, Ephel Duath’s official graphic designer, following the cryptic and slightly religious mood of the cover itself. What have been your musical influences for both of you over the years since the inception of Ephel Duath until today? Besides that, what are you listening to these days, and how did it influence you in the writing of this record? When we released the demo tape “Opera” we were playing with two guitars, a synth, a sequencer and a drum machine. I believe the first songs we recorded were in line with what Limbonic Art were proposing at the time. We were also heavily influenced by the first two albums of Emperor and by a fantastic Finnish band called Thy Serpent with whom I unfortunately lost touch with. Around the time we started working on our first album “Phormula” I firmly wanted to cut off most of the symphonic elements in our sound and go for a darker and experimental direction. I was into Arcturus, Diabolicum, Aborym, Dodheimsgard and Ulver. In 2003 “The Painter’s Palette” was recorded. It was the ED album that got the most positive responses in our career so far. I believe the key words to describe that collection of songs are jazz, progressive and metal. At that moment in time I was listening to King Crimson, Primus, Faith No More, Area, Fantomas, Opeth, and all these new inputs got reflected in the album. In 2005 we recorded the album that I’ve been proud of the most for a long time, “Pain Necessary to Know”. I was living in Venice at the time and I got into contemporary classical music, but also Neurosis, Converge and Dillinger Escape Plan. I wanted the new ED album to be dissonant, obscure, non-linear and almost fragmented, in terms of structure. When we started working on “Through My Dog’s Eyes” we were coming from many live shows as a trio, just guitar, voice and drums, and we firmly wanted to work on a three instrument based music. We felt it was time

for our most experimental and different album so far, and considering that the music we’ve played up to that point was pretty complex structurally speaking, we decided to go the opposite way: a blues infused, metal album with typical rock songs structure. That was the most difficult album to compose for me. Forcing my music to deal with verse-chorusbridge parts was a bigger challenge than I initially thought. At the time we were getting inspiration from Melvins, Danzig’s first three albums, QOTSA “Era Vulgaris” and Down’s first album. Nowadays I’m not able to pinpoint specific bands which I feel that are helping me shaping my own music. I believe, already for a few years, that what I want to express with my songs it is very clear and loud and comes from a very intimate spot eradicated in my head. There wasn’t anything in particular that I was listening to when I composed the music for “Hemmed by Light, Shaped by Darkness”. For what concerns the lyrics, I did a lot of soul searching and writing listening to Wardruna, Cult of Luna and Agalloch. Besides music, what other art forms and artists inspire you to create? I love movies, the darker and more cerebral the better. Some of the directors I feel closer to are Lars Von Trier, Steve McQueen and Darren Aronofsky for their peculiar ability of digging in the darker realm of human psyche. Movies had a direct impact on “Hemmed by Light, Shaped by Darkness”. The two closing songs’ main themes were inspired by Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus”. I was very touched by some of the scenes in the movie, especially the progenitors parts, I find them poetic, breathtaking and beautiful. Once I got home from the theatre, riffs poured out of me and the album’s grand finale I was looking for quickly and effortlessly took shape. Ephel Duath has always had a very unique sound and identity, and besides that, you’ve never been afraid to try something new, bold and different, even if it’s not necessarily easy to listen or to understand at first. Who do you consider your true contemporaries or who do you look upon with respect for showing the same kind of attitude through their particular means of expression? For many years I looked upon an incredible Italian band called Zu, they were an instrumental trio: bass, drums and baritone sax. The band was playing a very adventurous math rock that was shining particularly on stage during their incendiary live performances. For more than 10 FOLLOW US ONLINE

years I followed their career with respect and devotion and they were constantly pushing me as a listener to give more as a musician. I usually listen to music that is formally different than mine, I believe my ears need musical inputs that are on the opposite spectrum of what I play every day. On top of that I try to limit myself to get subconsciously influenced by bands that are in my same field. Zu were an exception. I couldn’t avoid listening to them or stopping myself from seeing them live any time they were playing close by. In what concerns other contemporary bands that I’m particularly impressed with, I feel like mentioning Gorguts and Deathspell Omega. Both bands play incredibly well crafted music, uncompromising, dark and out there, exactly what I’m trying to do with Ephel Duath. There are only a handful of successful heavy music exports coming from Italy. Due to your path, you can already be considered an ambassador of Italy’s extreme music. Can you tell us more about your trajectory and how Ephel Duath evolved from being a local Italian band to the worldwide avant-garde band that it is today? Thank you for your kind words. Ephel Duath’s trajectory has been mostly about hard work and dedication, passion and obstinacy. Since the very beginning I wanted my band to be unique, to sound like no one else. I wanted my band to be pure and sincere. I wanted my band to push boundaries and push buttons. The most important feature that I feel I was able to offer to my music is a blind, bold ambition: for more than fifteen years I’ve been presumptuous and naive enough to try paving my own path no matter how little I was getting back in return. This is what brought Ephel Duath out of the local Italian scene: a lot of people give up when they can’t see quick results, I simply don’t. I’m up for the long run, no matter what. I’m proud of my band. Finishing up, what are Ephel Duath’s plans for 2014? Do you plan on touring for the promotion of “Hemmed by Light, Shaped by Darkness”? We just started booking an April/May 2014 headliner European tour with a great experimental metal band from Italy as main support. I can’t reveal the name yet. During the summer we’ll debut in the US and we’ll play some European festivals. For updates and more info about ED shows please check ephelduathofficial.




ou spent three years recording and producing this album. Can you talk a bit about the process of creating “Augur Nox”? Aort: The first notes of the new album were written some five years ago now. Our songs are not ones which are written quickly so it is always a long period of time from cradle to grave. The songs all start with myself whereby I write and develop the music until such a point where I can create full demos of the songs. These are then sent to the other members of the band to work on their respective parts. For the first time we were able to work on the songs in the rehearsal room due to the members of the band living in the same country at last. This really helped to develop the songs organically. The recording process was very long and protracted too. This is primarily down to the fact that large budgets simply are not available these days, so we had to do much of the work ourselves. This included tracking all guitars and bass for later reamping, and tracking all vocals too. The drums were recorded in a local studio and following this, the album was mixed and mastered at Orgone Studios in London over a period of two weeks. It was a lot of work, but the results are pleasing so it was blood well shed.

Aort: I think putting a label on our music is becoming more difficult as time passes. We have developed our sound to a point were the music ends up sounding like Code through the the specific emotive and tonal qualities that we create through our songs. We don’t create music to fit in some arbitrary ‘progressive black metal’ or ‘avant-garde black metal’ genre, we simply create music to work in the sphere of what Code is. How our music fits in the wider world of music is probably best left to the thoughts of the listener.

“Augur Nox” offers a solid mix of a handful of music styles. Is it really possible to put a label on your work? Where do you think your music fits?

The listeners (and where I’m included) might find easy to say CODE broke all boundaries with this one, as this is truly a beautiful album! But what’s your opin-

In which ways did the new line-up contributed for this fresh and refined sound? Syhr: The songs have been written for a few years now so it was really a question of letting the new guys bring their perspective into the fold. It’s been a really interesting process to see how the songs have evolved into what they are now, particularly with Wacian’s vocal takes. The original tracks didn’t feature vocals and what Wacian has done is nothing short of miraculous. That’s not to take anything away from the other guys who really bought their own styles to this record but inevitably the vocals are the most obvious change to previous records.

ion on this? Are you your biggest critic or you’re able to recognize what you did here? Syhr: Thanks! We knew we had a good album on our hands but I would say generally we tend to veer towards a modest outlook when it comes to reviewing the songs. It’s great that the reaction so far has been positive but although I wouldn’t say we’re our biggest critics, we certainly couldn’t be described as complacent. Aort: From a personal point of view, I find it very hard to be objective when trying to decide whether our music is good, or whether it is breaking any boundaries. When you work this hard on something for this length of time it tends to take on an almost abstract form to me. It is not something I can sit and listen to with a free mind as there has been so much personally invested in it. Every note and every sound tells a a part of the story from the last five years so I very much like hearing other people’s opinions on the album and especially pleased to hear how well received it has been. Do you care about the overall positive reactions towards “Augur Nox”? Syhr: Of course we want people to like the album and it’s great to see the positive reactions to it, but would an overwhelmingly bad or negative reaction stop us from doing another? Probably not. When the songs are constructed, written and recorded they are not open for criticism so essentially they are produced to


our tastes. It’s always a bit nerve wracking releasing new material, especially with new members, but as long as we’re happy we’ve made the best record possible I think that’s all we can really care about. What bands do you feel have influenced CODE’s sound? Aort: That is probably to broad a question to answer. Code is the result of five individuals with individual tastes and influences coming together to make a single musical entity. There are so many wide and diverse influences that have gone towards defining our musical makeup that it is impossible to isolate specific bands in this way. Indeed if it were easy for me to identify specific bands that influence our sound then it would defeat the purpose of what we are trying to do, which is to create an honest musical reflection of ourselves. It is more easy to say that certain styles have made more of an impact than others. For example, early 90s black metal had a stronger influence on our first album but that has become less obvi-

ous as we have moved on in our career. What would be the perfect live situation for CODE? Syhr: I think opinions on this would probably differ across the band, but for my part the perfect show is dark, intimate, crowded and loud. There’s a connection you can make with the audience in intimate venues which sometimes get lost on the larger stages. Of course the larger shows are great fun for all sorts of reasons but for me, a dark sweaty club with black walls is ideal! Any plans for touring abroad? Syhr: No immediate plans at the moment. We have the album launch on 30th November in London and one or two things in the pipeline for next year but no touring plans currently. That said we’ll hopefully get out and hit the festivals next year and possibly a short stint of shows at some point. Watch this space. Will we have to wait another four years for a new album? Syhr: We hope not! The delay in this


album was purely down to the changes in the band line up and the change in dynamic. That’s pretty sorted now so although no promises, we shouldn’t see the same sort of gap. Aort: I never intended for there to be such a large gap between albums, and the reasons for that are more circumstantial than premeditated. We have a much stronger line up now than we ever have done before so I hope you should see us stepping into more prolific territories.


our new record – the first one in ten years – is called “Revenant”. Was this merely a way to emphasize the fact that you’re back after a long absence, or is the title related to some lyrical concept? We just thought that it was a fitting title for the album since we spent such a long time without releasing something new. This also shines through in the artwork as well. You’re about to celebrate your return with a (pre) -release party, taking place in GHK, Gävle, Sweden, on November 16. Did you feel such a comeback had to be promoted in a big way? Especially in your home country? Nah, it was more like we felt that it was a perfect excuse for a party (laughs) We said that whenever this album finally gets done we will celebrate its release as

hard as we can. So we had this party and invited a whole lot of friends for dinner and we played a short set for the audience as well. It was a very nice evening together with friends, something I’ll remember for a long time! Still haven’t really recovered from the hang over (laughs). “Revenant” has been very well received so far. In the age of the Internet, where so many records and new movements are discovered every day, were you expecting such a warm reception? No, not at all! We are amazed by the response! I mean, ten years is a long time but it seems like a lot of people still remember us! That really warms our hearts. It feels a bit unreal in fact. Judging by the reviews, Ronny Hemlin has been fully accepted now as the

singer. Were you worried about the way the fans and journalists would rate his first work with the band, since Urban Breed was so adored? No I wasn’t. There are fans that think Urban is better and they miss him and so on but we came to the point where it was no longer possible to work with him. Ronny is in my opinion a better singer and an extremely nice guy. That’s very important! When bands change the singer, no matter how good the new one is, there will always be some who prefer the old singer. Speaking of Urban was his distance from the rest of the band a gradual change, or did it happen suddenly? I know it began after a support tour with Edguy. Well, Urban was always a bit different from the rest of us, which is totally okay. But if you ask me, it was a gradual thing that kept developing and on that tour


with Edguy something must have happened. I don’t know what it was. But after that I think Urban really changed. He left the band one or two weeks before you were supposed to go into the studio to record the follow-up to “Modus Vivendi”. You were able to pick up a lot of momentum with that release, so do you look at the whole situation as a big missed opportunity to maintain that level of interest and popularity? Well of course it felt like that back then. We had been working hard for a long time and slowly getting somewhere and then this happens. We totally blew it. But I kind of believe that things happen for a reason. So looking back at it now, I think that perhaps the follow up to Modus Vivendi just wasn’t meant to happen back then. You had Joe Comeau from Annihilator as your singer at one point, but that was short-lived. In the end, what happened? It was hard trying to be a working band with him in USA and the rest of us here in Sweden. He is a great singer and a very nice guy. We did a few shows with him and some demo recordings but in the long run it just didn’t work out. The new songs sound extremely powerful and passionate, leaning towards the

heaviest side. Do you think that is the result of the excitement you’re experiencing professionally? I don’t know, perhaps. Everything around you kind of gets into your music in a way, so I guess that all the hard times we have gone through are being reflected in the music on “Revenant”. But the fact that we have three new members in the band has of course a lot to do with it too since everybody contributes to the songwriting. Despotz founder Ömer Akay wrote that “Tad Morose is a band that I’ve followed since my teenage days”. How does it feel to have a fan as the “boss” so to speak? And how is it to work with them instead of Century Media? (laughs). well, I don’t know if he is a fan but obviously he has known the band for a while. But he is not our boss. We are our own bosses. He owns and run the record company. So far the biggest difference is that we can speak our native language with them. That makes things a lot easier. Last but not least – and out of curiosity is there any new band or artist (Metal or not) that you really like? No. (laughs). I guess I’m stuck in the past. To be honest I don’t remember when I last heard a new band that really got my attention. Well, my own fault I guess FOLLOW US ONLINE

since I rarely have time to search for new bands. I really miss that feeling when you hear something new and fresh that you never heard before. I think most of the new bands I come across sound pretty similar. It is usually either a very “modern sounding band” with growling vocals and then a female melodic voice in the chorus. Some do it good though. But to me it is just too much “Euro Disney metal,” if you know what I mean. Or it is just growling all the time and they seem to be soooo pissed. I can really enjoy watching bands like that play live since many of them are very good at what they are doing, but I don’t sit at home and listen to their albums.


Is right to say that “Asa” is like a retrospective once all creative periods are evident in the album? “Asa” is for sure an album of reminiscences, but actually not retrospective. However, I feel “Ok Nefnar Tysvar Ty”, released back in 2003, is the most revisited period. It probably depends on what you mean with «revisited» in details. “Asa” itself certainly doesn´t point to one single album of the past, but embraces them all, being the same without being the same, and being different without being different. In case you mean the people out there, I’ve to say that each single album lead to different reactions and feedback, but also each album has got its followers, and I couldn’t say that one of them was «above» the other ones. Since “Asa” is mellow in some songs

and harsh in others, do you think it’s the most embracing album you’ve ever created? It is indeed the most embracing album, but I’m not sure if this has to do with the difference between the single songs. It’s “Asa” as a whole, at least to me. Do you think that singing in a West Germanic dialect gives more meaning to the tales you tell than the contemporary German language or English? No, it doesn’t give more meaning. Words are words, and if someone reads the lyrics, if someone tries to understand them, it doesn’t matter which language was used. To use this dialect was a personal and private choice and mainly for me it’s part of my family, parents and grandparents. “Eweroun” was the first song to be shown a few months ago and it was very


well received. Did you feel a premonition that the album could receive the success it deserves? Falkenbach doesn’t aspire after success, at least not what people might understand by the word. Personally, “Eweroun” as well as “Asa” are a success, and both were far before they were released. «Well received» to me doesn’t mean «sold great», but «well received» means, some people understood it, or maybe it became somehow relevant for them. Since pagan metal has been so spread, how can Falkenbach still keep the untouched identity? The awesome thing is that no band can rip off your style… I do know far too less about this scene to answer this question correctly, I guess. The answer which makes most sense would probably be: because Falkenbach plainly isn’t pagan metal, I think.



irst of all, I would like to start this interview by discussing the line-up changes… Sure…

I know the split was friendly, but isn’t a bit strange to tour like this, knowing it’s the end of an era? Yes, it is. What can I say? There is nothing we can do about this, you know… It´s been clear for four or five months now this was going to happen, so we were not taken by surprise. When something like that happens you have to make a commitment, you have to say “Ok, this is going to be the last tour”. It could have been the one before, the world tour we finished, which would have made it difficult to find new musicians. So I was actually quite happy they committed themselves to completing this tour with us. But now it’s at a point where we’ve been on the road for almost four months- only with a week and a half break after we got back from China and Russia- and right now it is getting difficult. You see, the involvement, the passion... It’s not the same when you know someone is leaving. We’re trying to make the best out of this situation, and everyone is trying to enjoy it as much as they can. For them (Luc Hess and Jona Nido) it is the last tour, so I think they’re really trying to enjoy it one more time, and I’m doing the same while looking forward to starting a new era. But yeah, it’s not an easy situation. Despite the situation, do you still manage to have fun? You know, go out, talk to the fans and even drink with them… Oh yeah, It think we’re doing well in that regard. I mean, we haven’t really had much time to hang out the last couple of nights, because we always had to leave early and drive eleven hours to make it to the next city. Therefore, we really haven’t been going out much lately, but there are people sitting in the lounge, drinking and talking. Besides, it’s not just us there; it’s a four band’s package with two different buses, so there’s a mix between the bands too. I think it’s been a pretty easy atmosphere, apart from some shit going on that people outside won’t really notice, and it’s better that they don’t . Definitely. Let’s now talk about your next drummer, Paul Seidel. You wrote on Facebook that he was the only drummer you auditioned, and that you had no desire to try out anyone else. Would you say that was the result of a natural bond? Absolutely! I’ve known Paul for years. This is not an experiment, not like getting someone into the band that seems like a nice guy, but then three months down the road you find out that he is a fucking…. Jerk… Yeah, a jerk (laughs). You know, someone with issues you weren’t aware of. But I have no concerns regarding Paul’s initiation. He is a quite but really fun and self-conscious guy. And an amazing drummer as well… And an amazing drummer, exactly. He is able to play not only the slower songs, but the more aggressive ones as well… Technically, he is a machine. He is a talented jazz drummer, but with his main band (War from a Harlot’s Mouth) he’s known for playing really fast technical metal stuff, so he can do pretty much anything. I knew that he was a kick-ass drummer and I think he is more popular than his band; there are videos of his drum lessons that have over two hundred views on youtube, while his band was more of an underground thing, I think. What I didn’t know was


how he was going to cope with the more soulful and quiet parts of our music, like some of the songs on “Pelagial”. So it was really cool to watch him play those songs with a lot of feeling and energy, really into it… He interprets things differently and doesn’t play everything exactly like Luc does. He adds another dimension to it, and the way he played some of the parts… I was fucking blown away! I was like” this is awesome!” Still, I really love Luc´s drumming. He was the best drummer I ever played with, there’s no doubt about that, and he has a very hard- hitting and unique style, having contributed to shaping the sound of this band over the last three albums. Having said that, of course it was a precarious situation to decide to have a new guy, but I’m confident Paul will go on to do great things. He is such a fucking versatile drummer! I’ve never had as much fun playing those tracks as I did during the rehearsals. It must be a very rare thing in the music business to meet someone like that… That is very rare… To be fair, I hadn’t t auditioned musicians in a long time, since 2008 or 2009, and a lot of times it is usually a difficult process. With Paul though, there was an instant click. It all just felt natural. I’m not into making premature decisions when I’m not confident, but we went out afterwards to drink beer and talk about what we wanted to do, and we were all on the same page so we thought” Fuck yeah, why should we waste more time”? We were only going to rehearse with drummers worse than him anyway. Exactly. Now, regarding Jonathan’s replacement, I understand nothing has been officially announced, but would you be open to the idea of making a fan of yours a member of the band? A fan? Yes. By fan, I mean someone who… Knows how to play music? Yes, that’s what I meant… Well, to be honest I’m not too keen on doing that, because the fans look up to the bands. They have this kind of strange… I don’t want to call it strange, but for them the musician on stage is someone who is on a level above them, and so there’s too much respect which isn’t healthy. It’s like when you’re in a relationship with a girl and she has too much respect for you, then you can’t respect her back. I want to have people that are musicians. Of course they appreciate what we do musically, but they are not

fanboys. But in the end, it’s a matter of who is the right guitarist is and how you click with that person. It can be someone we’ve known for years or someone completely new. We have a couple of options, but we will see where we are at the end of this tour. On the other hand, some of my friends are people I got to know because they were fans. We ended up staying at their house, which they offered since we needed a place to crash in. We ended up hanging out, they started coming to more shows, and we became close friends, so that can also happen. Now they don’t have that level of respect I was talking about anymore, and they can give me a spank on the butt (laughs). Your upcoming DVD “Collective Oblivion”, features 130 minutes of band history, told by past & present members, 175 minutes of tour documentaries and live footage, among other things. Was it your goal to create a strong visual document of your history? It’s a project that was developed over time basically. Initially the idea was to just record the “Heliocentric” release show, which took place in March 2010 in Switzerland. On that date, we played with an extended line up with classical musicians, and we were able to rehearse on stage for about a week. At one point someone said” Why don’t you guys film that?” And I was like “Yeah, why the fuck not? It is a special event”. So we did that, but then the guy responsible for it disappeared from the map and his colleague (Alex Kraudelt) took over. After that show, he just said we should shoot some behind-the -scenes footage, so he came on tour for a week. We traveled to Eastern Europe, in 2010, and we simply clicked. It was a crazy tour, with lots of drinking and crazy stories, so it was the right moment for interviews as he captured a lot of cool moments. After that, we offered him the chance to come to the United States with us, and he accepted the offer. He ended up touring with us around the globe for a year and a half. He visited the U.S. twice, and also went with us to Thailand, China, Honk-Kong, Australia and Russia. By the end we had collected too much footage, although that wasn’t initially the plan. And of course we needed to have a band history, and Alex, who only discovered the band in 2006/2007, made the journalistic effort to research things and talk to past and present members. Speaking of touring, you `ve been pretty much all over the world. Like you just said, you even went to Hong-Kong at one

point, so are there any crazy road stories you could share with us? Ahhh…well, these things happen all the time… I was actually thinking of a story you mentioned once about a shop in HongKong that sold turtle testicles… Well, I guess that is the typical tourist attraction in Hong-Kong. To us it seems so crazy; to them it’s like Pizza. They sell what they believe it’s good, be it turtle testicles or crocodile cunt. It’s quite hilarious. Touring Asia was a blast, the first time we’ve ever done that, and my ideas of China, for example, were completely different from the reality I saw. I had this idea of the country being a very authoritative place where you have to be careful with what you say, where nothing works like in the western countries, but none of that is true. From the moment we arrived, we thought we were on a trip to the future. Everything was super efficient, we had incredible public transportation. We took trains in China that go almost four hundred kilometers an hour. Besides, entering Chinese territory is easy. The whole immigration process takes five minutes, there’s like a hundred and fifty counters with people working there, while entering north America takes six hours and you answer stupid questions , so I was really surprised with China in that regard. Also the shows and scene, well… everything is young and fresh, the hardcore and metal scene in China is like the European metal scene in the early to mid 80`s . So we felt like pioneers somehow you know. Besides, not a lot of bands from our genre tour China, so it felt pretty cool getting to some places. For instance, we played in a small city and they have like two venues. Our gig took place inside a coffee house, because the others were booked. If you look at a city like Berlin, there are three hundred and fifty venues. The infra-structures aren’t really there yet, but that’s what makes it exciting, you end up playing in strange places. People are really excited, they don’t really know how to behave yet… But then again, they don’t receive as many shows as we Europeans or the North American fans do… Yeah, exactly. And they’re very hungry for western bands. Let’s discuss your most recent album entitled “Pelagial”, which has more than one concept. The first one involves a journey from the surface to the lowest depth zone of the ocean, while the second uses the ocean layers as a metaphor,


for a journey into the inner depths of the psyche. Why did you address more than one meaning for the same idea? Yeah, that was necessary because the album was initially meant to be instrumental. The lyrical concept of the journey from the surface into the depths of the sea is a concept that does not allow much space for lyrics. I mean, what are you going to sing about? I don’t want to sing about ocean creatures (Laughs). So I was like” Yeah, what are we going to sing about”? I really wanted the album to be instrumental at first. I felt any lyrics would be cheesy, you know. You had the right concept, but not the right lyrics… Yeah, exactly. But we wanted to have vocals on it, because we have Loïc and he is an amazing singer. His voice recovered in 2012 after the health issues he was faced with, but for a while it wasn’t clear if he was going to ever sing with the band again. Luckily he made a great recovery. On the other hand, I was faced with the same problem again, of having nothing for him to sing about. That’s why we made the decision of creating a metaphorical journey from the surface to the abyss of the human mind. It’s about our wishes and desires, and where they come from and how much control we have over

shaping and changing them. And that’s exactly what the lyrics of this album talk about, kind of an introspective journey into myself, the one who wrote those lyrics, always guided by the question of how much control we have over the wish itself. Can we decide it’s a stupid wish and we don’t want to have it? I say no, these things are inside of us, and our control over their outcome and what we want to do with them is very limited. You know, that introspective journey you were talking about seems to be inspired by some of Freud’s work… Yes, of course. Some of the song titles are taken from Freud’s chapters or even books. “The wish In Dreams” for example. Yes, that’s the one I was thinking about… Yeah, that’s a Freud title right there, and there are a lot of Freud references in the lyrics. “Into the Uncanny” for instance, is a Freud term. Musically speaking, what I love most is the way the album gets progressively darker as the introspective journey goes on… It seems like everything is connected. Yeah, of course. That was the ambition


from the beginning. To make an album that is a continuous piece of music but not with a bunch of random songs, as our previous records. Although they were conceptual (the centric records) in those cases, the music was written first as isolated songs, and in the end I put them together in a way I though it would make sense. Here, the lyric aspect is what ties them together. On “Pelagial”, the surface parts were meant to be more lightly and playful, while the deep sea parts more spaced out, minimalist and of course darker, with lower tunings. I wanted it to have a claustrophobic atmosphere.


ou’re a young band but a very active one. What is the meaning of DAWN HEIST for you? What keep you so motivated and passionate? Our main idea for the band is to create music that we would want to play and expresses us as a collective and individuals. We have continued to be active and tour quite extensively to spread the music to as many people as possible. You play a very peculiar style of metal. What are you looking to bring together when writing your music and how important is this sense of identity for the band? The collective identity of Dawn Heist is a

mixture of everything we like to listen to individually and music that we connect with. There are elements of Djent, Metal, Hard Rock, Electronica and Pop. These styles put together create a signature Dawn Heist sound which will continue to evolve as we do as people. We all find it important to keep things different between each record and let the music change and grow as we do. You have just released “Catalyst”, your debut full-length. Can you tell us what the lyrics are about and what does this record means to you personally? The album is based around the concept of reality, both lyrically and musically to show 3 different forms of reality which

are i) subjective reality, ii) objective reality, iii) and virtual reality. The lyrics, specifically tell a story of an individuals journey from servant to saviour to outcast and is told completely in reverse just to keep things interesting. We also take great care to give each song the chance to engage and relate to the listener in their own right. What was the process of creation for this new album like? We spent approximately 4 months in the writing and pre-production phase. once we were all happy with the outcome, we locked ourselves in a studio for 3 weeks and recorded the whole album ourselves. This was the only way we could be sure to


get the exact outcome we were looking for without outside influence of a producer. Once it was all complete we called our good friend Antonio Hanna to come in and mix with us and bring the whole thing to life. And how it’s being received by your fans? The reactions have been amazing thus far. Both the album and new songs live have been generating a great response and people seem to get what we are trying to achieve which is fantastic. The album was released by Bastardized Recordings. How has this partnership started? Bastardized Recordings have been amazing to us from the very start. They are really supportive of what we want to present and have given us every freedom and confidence to really bring our creation to life. They also have an amazing work ethic like we do so the partnership has been fantastic. You guys have done a huge amount of

live shows. Which ones are most memorable to you? n 2012, we played Rock In Celebes in Indonesia and that was amazing. It was our first international festival tour and we had a headline spot with Suffocation(USA). I think the first big outdoor festival spot is always special and something you can remember forever. In October you have started your first European tour. How did it go? The tour was incredible. The crowds were really welcoming and that is always something we appreciate being so far from home. All the bands on the tour were amazing to watch every night and also amazing people. You have played live for 30.000 people at Hammersonic Festival. What do you want to transfer to such a big audience when you’re in the stage? We have a lot of energy in our live show and the bigger the stage and audience gets, the harder we play. We just love to show that we enjoy playing live and we really try and involve the crowd in the


fun. Playing big shows like that is one of the biggest highlights of being a band. What can we expect from DAWN HEIST in the near future? We will be touring extensively throughout 2014 to promote Catalyst worldwide.



ow Death Toll Rising came to life? Like many bands, Death Toll Rising started off as some long time friends jamming in a garage. That was before we even had the name. It took a few months for us to get a full lineup, but once we did and finalized some original tunes, we booked our first show in the small town we lived in. Death Toll Rising were formed in 2002 but you have only released your first fulllength in 2010. Why so late? To be fair, we didn’t really get going until mid 2003. We had put out our first demo in 2004, and then just played our asses off around Alberta for the next couple of years. A little known fact here: we had actually begun recording an album in 2006, but those tracks (which will likely never see the light of day) were put on hold because they just weren’t good enough. The band went through a

hiatus/transition over the course of most of 2007/2008. We returned with a better line-up and released our first EP, ‘Spontaneous Decapitation’. We immediately began recording ‘Defecation Suffocation in early 2009’, but as is tradition for us, we wanted to make sure everything was the best we could do at the time, which meant not rushing it. Hence the 2010 release date, and now 3 year gap to ‘Infection Legacy.’ So TL;DR – we take our sweet ass time to make sure the product is exactly how we want it. You’re currently promoting your new record, “Infection Legacy”. How did you approach this album and where did you got your inspiration from to write such good and violent songs? Inspiration is always an interesting thing for us to discuss. We are a band who literally wear our inspirations on our sleeve, and proudly so! What we try to do differently is bring in many different

influences at once, instead of just choosing one style. Some of these songs are now 3 years old, and were written before Tylor was in the band. All of the tunes had a different approach to how they came together. Some were written entirely by me, some entirely by Tylor, some collaborative…. And of course, Jesse and Bryan throw in their input if things need that extra touch. Some had full demos, some were written more spontaneously, some went through several revisions before being finalized….. there really is no set process. The new album was released a month ago. For those who haven’t listened to it yet, what can you say about it? What can our readers expect? What you can expect is to be floored! That is of course, very objective to which styles of metal you are keen to….. but fans of anything heavy and brutal and relentless should find something in this


album to latch onto. We are a big advocates of creating individual songs that have a purpose, as well as serve a greater purpose, so Infection Legacy definitely takes you through a journey of death metal, so to speak. Its not lyrically a concept album, but it flows like one.

that. We didn’t have the time to shop our album around before releasing it, just in hopes that someone MIGHT pick it up. Releasing albums on our own is always challenging, but we have a lot of help from industry contacts that we have made since our last release.

How much did your writing style has changed over the years, since you have released your first demo? Since the first demo, it has changed quite a bit! Back then, we really didn’t know what we were writing. We had influences, but had no idea how to translate that, so as a result a lot of misguided songs came out. Once we matured as players, and writers, we’ve become much more meticulous and calculated when it comes to putting these songs together. The songs on ‘Infection Legacy’ went through much scrutiny to make sure they were, in our minds, perfect.

What type of music do you listen to at home? Do you listen to stuff outside the Metal spectrum? Sure do! Of course, metal is a good 7080% of my musical diet. I listen to classic rock, some prog rock, punk, industrial. I guess I don’t venture too far away though haha.

You’re currently unsigned. Are you fully satisfied by releasing records by your own or would you like to work with a label next time? Working with a label in the future would certainly something we would be interested in exploring, however as an unsigned indie band we can’t count on

And speaking of home… how much does Canada influence your sound? Not the scene in general but the surrounding ambient. I mean, stuff like Hockey and the Indie Wrestling circuit plays any role on your sound? I really can’t say that our Canadian surroundings affect our sound haha. Some of us are hockey and wrestling fans though. I guess it is worth mentioning though, that our singer, Jesse, has always based his on stage persona as if he were cutting a wrestling promo! “Infection Legacy” has a nice cover! FOLLOW US ONLINE

What was the first album cover you saw that blew your mind? One of the first album covers I remember really looking and staring at over and over again in my dad’s vinyl collection were Queen’s ‘News of the World’. I thought it was spectacular how it folded out into the larger piece of art. And then, you unfold it and have another perspective of the scene. I love layouts that tie in like that. What’s next on the horizon for you? Next for Death Toll Rising is to push our album over the winter, and then when Canada thaws a bit in the spring time we will hit the road and tour!


read you first started in 2001 but it took you eight years to release a demo. What took you so long? (145188): Well, this have always been a part of me since somewhere around year 2001. It have been a part of my life since I was born to be honest. This emptiness, melancholy and darkness that the band represent slowly started to get man-

ifested both in my soul and around me. This resulted in a need for me to explore and express this part of myself. It always fascinates me and it is a kind of love/hate relationship. First I had some other band names but after a few years I decided to stick with Vanhelga. The band is the expression or manifestation of the beautiful (and painful sometimes) melancholy and

darkness that dwells inside those who are blessed with it. Some music and lyrics was written during the years 2001-2004 and they eventually ended up on the demo named “Enslaved by darkness�. From the beginning I recorded a whole CD together with a drummer in his basement in a small city called Motala here in Sweden. But unfortunately everything got lost


for some reason. Around 2008 I thought it was time to finally release something and so I did. I recorded everything myself because I didn’t trust anyone else and I didn’t want to compromise.

(145188): Thank you! I don’t really care if it get any recognition. As long as it has some impact on people I am satisfied. (J Gabrielson): As long someone listens I’ve done my part. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

Now it seems you’re working the other way around as you have released two full-lengths, another demo, one split and three EP’s in just three years! Is this to compensate the eight years of inactivity with releases? (145188): No it’s not to compensate anything. I just get so much inspiration that I need to put down into songs. Sometimes there’s way too much inspiration and those times often involves a lot of anxiety and the creating process can be very painful. Luckily I’m heavily medicated.

Tell me about your latest full-length, “Höst”. In which ways does it differ from “Mortem Illuminate Mea”? (145188): “Mortem Illuminate Mea” is more of a “traditional black metal” release. It was our first album and I had tons of traditional black metal ideas that I badly wanted to express. Stuff that I had been influenced by while growing up, like Dissection, Mayhem and I guess I was more into that type of black metal back then. The album was one of those albums that I had always wanted to release sometime as a musician. I had to get it out of my system so to speak. When it finally was out of my system I could express my self in a more free way and the result of that is the one you can hear in “Höst”. While I wrote the music to “Höst” (and recorded

At the beginning this was a solo project of 145188 but now you have a complete line-up, featuring J. Gabrielson (exLifelover) on vocals. How important was Gabrielson to help you to accomplish

your musical visions? (145188): It turned out he was extremely important. Me and Johan works fucking good together and everything we do always turns out the way we had envisioned it even though we from the beginning had a lot of different ideas. He’s the only person I know who is also blessed with this emptiness, melancholy and darkness I was talking about earlier. Thanks to that we understand each other on an obscure level and therefore we are able to work creatively very easily. (J Gabrielson): As said, we work well together. This was a suprise to me, since I was rather doubtful. Not towards Vanhelga as a band, but the idea itself. After the split up of Lifelover I had promised myself to never again have to do anything with the music industry – instead focus on my poems and short stories, as well as struggling with my “illness”. However - when Vanhelga asked me to to contribute with lyrics , I thought to myself “hey, why not, I’ll give it a try”. At the time I was asked to do vocals it seemed natural to be a part of Vanhelga. “Sommar” is a great EP! I really loved it! Do you think it will get the recognition it deserves?

it) I had no specific requirements that I wanted to incorporate into the music. I just went with what I believed sounded good and did not give a fuck about what people might think about it. Also different methods was used while recording the albums. For instance, when “Mortem..” was recorded I used a standard setup with drums, two electric guitars, bass guitar and vocals. For “Höst” I incorporated a clean guitar on most of the track as well as clean vocals and spoken words. When “Mortem...” was recorded I was much into alcohol, meditation and self-injury in order to achieve a suitable state of consciousness. By the time I was recording “Höst” I added other kinds of drugs and recorded most of the vocals while I was cutting myself badly with a knife. In what way are “Höst” and “Sommar” related to each other? (145188): Both deals with the same darkness that I mentioned earlier. And inevitably you will hear some similarities in the guitars, drumming etc. because I always use my own style while writing and playing music.


Both the album and the EP were released by Art Of Propaganda, a record label that is becoming synonymous for quality. How would you describe your relationship? (145188): Our relationship is great. We can always trust each other and I believe Sven is doing a really good job. One of the best labels for sure. (J Gabrielson): I’m just glad I don’t have to deal with these things, since I have a hard time trusting labels. However, I trust 145188 and his decisions. What’s your opinion on current the black metal scene? (145188): I don’t care much about it to be honest. I don’t feel like I’m a part of the current black metal scene but from what I’ve noticed there are very few new bands that can deliver something unique and interesting. It’s extremely rare. Most of them are bad copies of bands that already exists. That is sad. And pointless. (J Gabrielson): I think the blackmetal

scene of today is quite interesting. For instance Peste Noire’s new album was amazing in my opinion. What are your plans for 2014? (145188): To do as much liveshows as possible. They are going to be really sick. Make sure not to miss them. And of course, we are soon done with our 3rd full length called “Längtan”. (J Gabrielson): Play live, hate life, finish “Längtan”.



ongratulations on your latest album! “Spartacus” is an outstanding record and you have managed to get a good amount of media coverage with some great scores! It wouldn’t be a surprise if “Spartacus” would be featured in some people’s “Best albums of 2013” list, but since it was released by a young and underground Canadian label do you think this will, somehow, make people forget that back in April they have heard one of the best albums of the year? Well, that’s flattering! I think that what really makes an album the year’s best


album is not the average score it gets but the sum. Our wish is to see Blast Head Records grow bigger and have the opportunity to bring more visibility for the label and the bands that have signed with them. There surely are a lot of interesting ones. For “Spartacus” you have worked with George Kollias (NILE) as guest-drummer for one track. Would you like to tell us something about this collaboration? When we started writing “Spartacus” we didn’t have a drummer, and while composing we were going faster and faster

on each song. When we were done with the pre-production we thought “who the hell is gonna drum this?”. We contacted George hoping that he would appreciate our work and when he agreed to work with us we couldn’t be anything but honoured and excited! Is there a particular reason you decided to make a conceptual album about Spartacus? And since you’re from Rome, how do you feel about the servile wars and the ancient Rome? Part of the reason we wrote about Spartacus was the very successful TV show, which we are fans of. Also, it is a great story and has everything I like to write about: battles, strength, angry Gods. I don’t know if being Roman gives us a different perspective on the matter, but my point of view is well exposed in the lyrics. I’m just passionate about Roman history. It seems you had chosen a neutral

approach for the lyrics and you wrote about the point of view of the gods. Can you elaborate on that? The lyrics celebrate the strength of the single individual. The Gods are pleased and favour a soldier instead of another because of the value of his actions. Taking the side of the winner would have been too shallow, while telling the story of a war seen by both sides and from above (the gods) is more satisfying. Is this a theme to return in future records?

I really like to use this point of view in my lyrics and that’s probably how I’m going to write the next album. Simone did a great job using traditional instruments. How did you came up with the idea to mix these ancient sounds with the brutal death metal you make? First of all, the urge of doing something new. Second, we wanted to bring the listener to the battle, or temple, or forest, and create the atmosphere that the theme needs. It’s quite a challenge to merge traditional instruments with a wall of raging guitars, and we’ve been lucky in finding a way to make it work. And can you talk a bit about your writing sessions? Is there a person who generally comes up with the main ideas or do you do everything together? It’s been an endless process and it took a lot of effort, but it was worth it! Rob and Fabio did a great job writing brutal tunes,

once and for all? The Italian scene is a mirror of Italian politics. It’s really hard for our musicians to leave the country and tour for a month, since most of us have no right to holidays or days off at work. At the same time playing in Italy is hard, seen the way that bands are treated by the venues’ owners. It’s hard to emerge when you have to pay for your own promotion and you don’t get paid shit when playing a gig. Any closing words? Just spread the word! It’s a really hard moment to emerge in death metal and people like Blast Head Records and the Italian bands need the support of everyone. This is the only way to have a stunning international metal scene that can amaze and stupefy constantly. It’s not just about buying, it’s about caring. Si vis pacem para bellum!

and I enjoyed reading again about Spartacus, the gladiators and Crassus. Having the opportunity to use Early Reflection Studio for all that time let us have a great time, though being there every day for the whole mixing process was really stressful, but we wanted to deliver some perfect brutality to the listeners and we hope we did! Media often talks about the amount of quality bands coming from Italy, yet, everything seems to stay the same. What does the Italy scene need to arise




our latest album was released two years ago. Do you have new material ready for a new fulllength right now? Yes, we’re working on the new album. Our newest song called «Para Bellum» will be released onto the internet very soon. This time we decided to record and master the track on our own. Such an experiment helped us to find SINFUL’s new sound. SINFUL has been a part of the Russian Metal scene for almost 15! How do you describe the extreme metal scene over there? Would you say it has matured since you have come together in 1999? Of course, a lot has changed since then. Over the years Russian musicians have grown technically. That’s the same case for the recording quality and musical equipment. Symphonic Black Metal is a hit or miss genre and it seems no one’s doing that much to innovate it. But you know how to do your music! What’s your secret? I just follow my musical intuition. Everything comes from inside and if it fires my imagination then it has a right to live. That’s the secret, I guess! What’s your opinion on Cradle Of Filth? For good or for bad, they got a lot of recognition and brought the Symphonic Black Metal genre to a lot of people but in my opinion you could teach the guys

one thing or two… Thank you for the compliment! Indeed, Cradle of Filth are worthy of recognition and respect. I do like their early releases, including «Midian». I personally think that the last few albums don’t have enough originality. It seems the band just composes the same music again and again; it makes you stay afloat but it keeps you away from any development. All of your songs are very intense and well produced. Could you talk a bit about your writing methods and the recording sessions as well? It all starts with an idea. Then I compose some guitar riffs to transform the idea into the form of music. Drums usually participate in this process, too. Next we compose parts for bass and keys. Finally, I write the lyrics. Sometimes it all starts with lyrics, however.

Touring is not so easy; it requires some sense of responsibility. The key factors are good organization and self-discipline. You arrive in a new city and you have to set things right with local gig organizers, set up your backline, make the sound check and play the gig. There’s still more to come; we usually have our own back line so after the show we spend some time tearing it down. Then you go to a hotel or go to another city. Repeat it every tour day. No time for sightseeing. Actually, you can do it only when you have a day off. What touring plans does SINFUL have? We have just came back from another European tour recently. We played in Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and Belgium. There are no tour plans for the moment, because we’d like to focus on new songs for the next album.

What did you use as your inspiration for your albums? My main source of inspiration is deficient, weak, fearful and vicious human nature. You have done many tours in Russia (and central/eastern Europe also) and since we’re talking about a country that is bigger than Europe, I imagine it’s not an easy thing to do. How were those experiences and what have you learned from it? Most people think that touring is like a long rock-n-roll party. It’s not like that.




ongratulations on your debut album! Was there something you wanted to express with this record? Thank you. Well, with “Generation Abomination”, we first of all wanted to express ourselves and our view on certain aspects of our life. It is a concept album, based on the Zeitgeist of our modern society. As mentioned on the infosheet, it does not have a constructive sense. It is a reckoning, a collage of elements pointing to a spiritual dead entity called global digitized society, bathing in disgusting superficiality. Because of its topics, the albums’ lyrics are also not diffuse, but clear and directly into your face, understandable for everyone. The main point of what we want to express with “Generation Abomination” is: We ARE part of this sick generation, we ARE part of this hollow constructed world with empty values and we ARE part of this degeneration, but, in

contrary to most of the braindead and brainwashed members of our society and of our time in general, we are fully aware of it. It is our way to say “Fuck you!” - in an artistic manner. We’re living in the digital era and we barely find someone recording music like in the old days, however I feel this organic quality in your record. Where does it come from? What was your approach for the production and recording sessions for this album? Of course we recorded the album digitally, but we tried to keep everything as natural and authentic as possible. Personally, I am absolutely tired and annoyed of those blockbuster high-end productions with completely triggered drums, massive synthesizer-soundscapes and a dozen of roaring guitars. “Generation Abomination” shall give you the impression of standing right in front of the stage

or in the rehearsal room while the band is playing. Right in your face, no cheating, no bullshitting. We also made some experiences with our former bands in the past where recordings got too unnaturally and too overreached, so it was clear that we wanted to take another direction with this album. Does Switzerland play any kind of role in the way you approach your music and the lyrical content? Tough question. I never really thought about that. I need a special mood to be able to write profound lyrics, and this time, all lyrical stuff is directly inspired by experiences I made and make in my daily life, it’s all very down to earth. “Neon Fade-Out” for example, a lyrical cooperation between me and a close friend of mine, is about getting lost in a dirty bar, surrounded by stupid, faceless assholes, wasting an evening again with cheap



alcohol, abominable music and senseless conversations with human junk that has nothing to say. “Endless Narcotic Fields” is describing the human creature as being nothing more than a grown up slave, unable to escape from its self-built prison. So obviously, yes, it plays a role that I live in Switzerland, because everything described in the lyrics of “Generation Abomination” is like a personal view, a personal photograph of what surrounds me, of all negative aspects of our modern, digitized and superficial society and its actors. But I am quite sure I would not have a completely different view if I lived in another country, at least in another European country. Because that is also part of what I am spitting at lyrically on the album: The melting and deleting of individuality and character, of borders, the death of a autonomy, the creation of spiritual and personal capability - thanks to globalization. It’s all the same, anytime, anywhere. Quintessence: Yes and no. It plays a role where I come from and at the same time, it doesn’t matter. And how do you describe the Metal scene in Switzerland? Since I am absolutely not interested in a so called scene anymore and according to that also no more part of it, I can’t give you a proper answer to that question. From my point of view, there are several VERY interesting and inspired bands in our home country. Namely Triptykon, Samael, Blutmond, Zatokrev, Bölzer, Khaldera and of course my second band Schammasch deserve attention. Extreme music on an extreme level. And we have some really good organizers, namely MehSuff!, Congregation of the Ruins and AMT. And that’s what counts for me, the music. All the internet (forum) gossip from people who prefer sitting in front of their screens and talking/writing bullshit instead of moving there asses and doing something more creative - I don’t care. All the silly, childish party Metal community which could not be more profane - dito. Pseudo musicians with a trveness-attitude - same here. I focus myself on the important aspect, and that is the music and all that is part of it. It’s like watching something (stupid) on TV - just switch it off and read a book, for God’s sake.

It seems we’re dealing with some emotive songs. Is it easy to take those feelings to the stage when it’s time to play live? That depends on the circumstances on stage. Yesterday we played a gig which was absolutely great: Excellent sound on the big stage, well crowded location, tight band… the atmosphere was intensive and I got immediately into the emotions transported by the songs. There were moments in which I completely forgot where I was and entered completely into the microcosm of the music and all aspects connected to it. These are the moments in which I know why I’m doing all this, it’s one of the best feeling I can experience. Unfortunately, the circumstances are often not ideal, shitty technique on stage, abysmal sound, childish and stupid crowd, bad organization, and that’s the point where I’m asking myself: “What the fuck am I doing here?” Because as you mention, the songs are emotive, directly from the core of myself, and I want to share those very personal moments in the best possible way. Sometimes I speak with band members that don’t like to spend time in the studio or writing songs. What about you? Do you get some kind of joy by creating music? Musicians that don’t like spending time in the studio or writing songs? That’s a very… special approach when playing in a band. For us I can assume that we LOVE creating songs in our rehearsal room, although there are some fights from time to time - which is absolutely normal, because we are five individuals with individual ideas, preferences, styles and whatsoever. But it is a very satisfying process to see how a new song evolves, changes its shape and is finally born. Sometimes it takes weeks, sometimes it takes months, and sometimes we kill a song after months of work, because it just doesn’t fit. We make no compromise - but only for ourselves. The work in the studio finally is the point where all ideas get fixed, like a painter who signs a completed work and puts it behind glass. When we enter a studio, all songs are completed, but still there

is space for some small experiments, details and re-arrangement. So both parts, creating music and working in the studio, is absolutely essential for COLD CELL. And if you, as a musician, don’t feel any joy by creating new stuff, you probably should stop it and start something else. Like collecting stamps or watching birds, for example. This is just your debut album but what mark on music do you want to have? We want to be considered as COLD CELL - nothing more, nothing less. A band with its roots in Black Metal, but open-minded for experiments and walking on its own path - musically and lyrically. Being as individual as possible, evolving, moving, staying authentic and real. Satisfying ourselves. That’s all that counts. Tell me about your plans for 2014… We almost completed the songs for the second chapter, so basically, we are going to enter the studio for the second time in spring 2014 and ban around ten new bastards on tape. To me, the songs sound like the next logical step within a natural evolution (what a cliché, haha), but I don’t want to reveal too much. That’s the first goal, the second is of course to play as much live as possible everywhere possible. To all organizers: get in touch under, we are a very cute, friendly, well-educated and handsome band from the European island Switzerland.



ou have just released your new full-length, titled “Lisbon Blues”. What are your feelings on the new record as a finished product? We are totally happy with the way the record came out. Artwork wise, music wise, etc. It was not really hard to work on it but there are always some setbacks and obstacles we need to overcome. In the end and with the help of Jacob

Bredahl and Paulo Basílio we were able to accomplish what we determined to do. When we got the master, we knew that this record is the mirror of what we are in 2013. FOR THE GLORY were formed 10 years ago. How old were you at the time and what do you remember most vividly about the Portuguese hardcore scene? I was 21 at the time. We were actually

all 21/22 and maybe our first drummer was like 19. Those were different times. I think that things were getting shaped in a lot of ways. I mean, we came up in an era where the aggressive mosh or aggressive music was something that was not normal for a bunch of young kids that were not from Southside or Loures, and we had a lot of shit because of that. Not from people from those cities/areas but from the rest of the scene. We were


never tough guys or whatever, but the scene was formatted to judge about the way you would go off at a show, what you would eat, drink, dress whatever. Well part of it still is… I remember that we did everything we could, played shows everywhere and tried to play as much as we could. In front of 10 people or 200, it was always unique. Young kids trying to follow their dreams. Not that we don’t feel like that anymore, is just that we were naive and we would do everything we could, sometimes even doing stuff that was bad for our own health, like sleeping in cars, in terrible houses, dirty floors and so on (laughs)

we make on the road. People you never saw before but treat you as a brother. And of course the time we spend together is always the best, ‘cause we get to talk about life and we grow up so much with just talking about our daily life issues. We are a strong group of friends and luckily we have a band together. So this is the best of both worlds. We are blessed to be able to play in tons of cities across Europe and create a bond with people from all over. But I’m not going to be an hypocrite, of course that there are some bad moments, but those we try to learn from them and move on. The good times overcome the bad!

What have been the high and low points of being part of FOR THE GLORY so far? Every trip we make and people we meet, those are always good moments. I mean, we had lots of good shows and some really shitty ones, but what we hold dear will always be the people and friendships

What were your influences and favourite bands that served as inspiration for your sound? We already loved bands like Strife, Madball, Biohazard, Sick Of It All and then in 2000/2002 bands like No Warning, Ramallah, Terror pop out and we started

listening to those bands. Along with Death Threat and other bands that sounded heavier, you could imagine what was going to happen. In Europe we had bands like Death Or Glory, No Turning Back, Born From Pain, Black Friday 29, that were also a reference. We had a different taste in music and we liked different stuff but we always managed to come together and do this thing we all loved. What’s the concept behind the title of this record? What is its meaning? We are a hardcore band, right? And for us hardcore is way more than just play some fast music and get the kids full of adrenaline. We believe that if we have the way (in this case music) to say something, we should use it. And that’s what we do, we use our music to express our feelings about lots of things. You can call it politics, we call it life. We talk about life and the experience we have and face through living. Lisbon Blues is that, is a


city that people know from postcards, a city that does not live up to the postcards idea. The real Lisbon wakes up in the morning, goes to work, lives in the suburb and I bet that 80% haven’t been in the castle in years! The real city is to focused on trying to survive. It’s hard to live in a place where you don’t even know your neighbours, where people do not talk to each other. We lost our human touch and personal relationships. We used the word blues, ‘cause blues is a type of music that expressed the anger and sadness of afro americans that could only use music to speak their minds. We want to use our hardcore songs to speak ours, to us our tracks are like our own Blues. How challenging was it to record 11 great songs and make of “Lisbon Blues” one of the best releases of the Portuguese

territory? I don’t consider it that way. I think we did the record we wanted to do. If it was going to be a record that people will talk about or not, that wasn’t even in our mind. As long as we were happy with the record, that was more than enough for us. I’m happy that loads of people liked the record, ‘cause the effort we have put on this release is having a good embrace by the critic. Good reviews are coming up, we have been playing decent shows, we are getting e-mails from everywhere with offers for shows and tours. We were working with a new drummer on this record, so you can see that there are some different parts, also we left the melody aside... I mean, not that we did it on purpose but the whole vibe of the record is aggressive. There are plenty of bands sounding melodic, we want to sound as FTG, and melody is cool but we can leave it to other bands. We keep focused on aggressive fast paced music. What are the themes approached on the

new album? We always talk about real issues. And this time it was not different. We have lyrics about the hard times that we are facing, this economical terrorism, the lack of values, also about our dedication to our scene. Some people already came to us saying that this lyrics have a real heavy atmosphere, but I don’t know, to me they are normal, they are about what I see, what we see. I could never write about a reality that I don’t know. I do not want to write lyrics to please people, to be accepted. I want to write about what I feel like. If people can relate to it, cool, if they cannot, we’re cool anyways! But I will never change what I am to please someone. The Portuguese metal/hardcore scene is very productive. Which bands do you

recommend to our readers? That’s a really hard question and I’m gonna have a political correct answer in order to do not forget any band and having people bustin on my balls ‘cause I forgot. The truth is that the Portuguese music scene is crossing a good period when it comes to new bands. I think that kids are now more focused on having a good sound, ‘cause times are rough due to the amount of bands playing and putting out records. Also technology is way more accessible to kids, and it’s easier to record at home, release a record, put out some tracks and sound ok. (It will sound digital but still pretty ok!!). I’m enjoying a lot of different music, from hip hop to black metal. We have great bands / artists. To be honest, I’m enjoying a lot a guy called Tio Rex and some kids called Juba. They are pretty good. Also the new Neighborz EP is gonna kick ass and there’s a new band called Push; they sound rad too.

We do have a tour coming up in May 2014 called True Spirit with our family No Turning Back along with bands such as The Setup, Traces Of You and straightedge youngblood Dogchains. The tour will cross several European countries and it promises to be epic. We cannot wait. We are currently doing a tour in Portugal with our brothers Switchtense and it’s being a lot of fun. Too bad that sometimes the portuguese crowd do not give much credit to bands from our own country and we complain about prices being 5 or 6 euros for a local show, but most of us go out to a bar and spend the triple on drinks. Well, I hope one day people realize that the local bands are the ones that keep the heavy music going on to create a movement, once there are no local bands, there will not be a scene. We are booking more shows for 2014 as we speak, and

we are working on hitting the UK to meet our friends that live there! Busy year, but always doing what we can and not rushing things. We are not a full time touring band; we are a bunch of friends having a good time.

What touring plans do you guys have for 2014?



houghtscanning” is a very melodic and introspective release. What were your expectations for this album when you were writing it? D: It might sound cliché and “fashion” these days to say catharsis, but I think that might be the word we need. Of course there was all this anger and willpower to explode limits for us. We sang, screamed, made noise, did plenty of things that we’d take normally 10 albums with other bands/projects to do. In this particular case, WADL is pushing those boundaries away and we did what we felt to do and what we had to do. A: The whole album is about depression,

lack of self-confidence, guilt, sadness… We felt we had to work hard on the interaction between music and words to recreate the way you feel when you’re down in the hole. Both of us were at a certain point of our existence where puking all that filth from our guts was a matter of survival. And I really mean it, I don’t want to sound cool or play the gothic whore. “Thoughtscanning” has been an exorcism in a way, yet it unfortunately didn’t work really well regarding depression. Once we were done with the recording, I haven’t been able to listen to it for weeks. It was endlessly taking me back to darkness. But I don’t want to sound like Niklas from Shining, I personally don’t wish anyone

in my audience unhappiness or brainsickness. In the info sheet for this release, we can read that “Thoughtscanning” is a future classic. Is this what you feel about this record? A: That’s of course a record label punch line, but I strongly believe that our album has a place in every dark metal freak’s shelf. D: Well, I might hope it would be a classic. But one has his/her own tastes and appreciations. Yes, we gave ourselves completely for this album, yes I still think it’s original, unique and appreciable by plenty of people, might them be fans of that so


called DSBM scene, prog scene, black metal scene, etc. With an open mind of course. I feel really good about this record, I hope people will like it. Classic or not, what the hell. When you start to work on a new song, do you already have an idea where you’re going or do you just go along and see whatever comes out? D: You have to know that it took more than one year to finish the song itself. I had this idea of something that starts and finish quite the same, with these huge variations but still coming back, not repetitive, more like a puzzle with some weird-look-a-like pieces you think you already saw. An impression of “déjà-vu”, without the bad feeling. Then music does its job: can be out of an impro, can be after brainstormings… You never really know. I just know that it took me 6 months to make the song, and then 6 months of work with Arno for arrangements, voices and so on. And believe me, we worked pretty fast. I just had to lose my backup-HD and to re-record again... A: It’s all about mixing our personal aims and record something that would sound like both of us, just like a new born child has the eyes of his mother and the smile of his father, if you see what I mean. Déhà and I have really different musical backgrounds as you may know. Though it quickly appeared we had a lot in common too: a taste for a certain groove, and some unusual instruments (I mean unusual on the metal scene) like electric piano and stuff. Therefore we tried to include some of these on the record without losing our initial goal. Every instrument can sound pretty depressing if you use it the right way. In the future I would like to use an accordion on some parts for example. I’m tired of hearing the same cello or violin parts on every dark metal album. Arno, you’re known for your great work with CARNIVAL IN COAL and France’s 6:33. How do you manage to move around through all those different bands and scenes? A: I love Italian food but I wouldn’t eat pizza each and every day. Music works pretty much the same way: I love death metal, I love funk, I love new wave, black metal… But I wouldn’t spend the rest of my days playing some versatile disco/death shit in the vein of Carnival in Coal just because that’s what I’ve been known for in the first place. Even if it sounds really arrogant, I do feel like an artist, so I have plenty of emotions to express. Maybe next year I will come out with a pop album based upon self-accomplishment, who knows? It’s not schizophrenia at all, it’s just the reality of life itself. You don’t listen to “Panzer Division Marduk” while having a breakfast with your fiancée on a lovely sunny spring Sunday morning, do you?

just put some light on this song. Then I came to this thought: never underestimate your own music, someone else might make it amazingly better than you do. A: To be perfectly honest, we were thinking of a cover and Nicolas from Kaotoxin came out with this idea. I’d never heard the song before, I thought we would give it a try and drop it. Yet it turned out pretty good, so here it is. If you were to record, for example, a 5-track Cover EP, which songs would you choose to cover? D: Well, if I have to think, it will be these (sorry for the non French speakers): . Michel Berger – Diego . Gorgoroth – Bergtrollets Hevn . Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World . Samuel Barber – Agnus Dei . Nostromo – Epitomize A: There would be much more than 5 songs but here are some clues: . William Sheller – Un Homme Heureux . The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy – Music and Politics . Stevie Wonder – Creepin’ . Accept – Breaking Up Again . The Haunted – Trenches There’s above all a famous French song I would like to cover but we already talked about recording it for a further album/EP so I don’t want to spoil the surprise. The artwork is stunning! What does it represent and who is the artist behind this piece of art? D: Maxime Taccardi! Amazing artist and musician who worked with half of the best black metal scene in the world, painting with blood, pencil and whatever you’d want. He’s a genius. He understood all in one shot and bam, you have this fantastic cover. Admit that yellow/ orange is not really what we can see in this scene, but still, he made it as dark as the night. A genius. I recommend to go on facebook, search for Maxime Taccardi, search for KFR (his black ambient noise project), and support the guy. A: I feel that Maxime’s art is 100% part of the project. I would like his work to become the visual signature of WADL, and hopefully we’ll go on working with him on our next releases. What’s coming next for WE ALL DIE (LAUGHING)? D: This first album is already something. We’re gonna take some time to make something else as I moved to Bulgaria, while Arno moved to France. That’s kinda difficult in a way but music has no boundaries. We might like to make an EP first. Then attacking the next album.

This record features a Amy Winehouse cover song, “Back To Black”. Why and how was the experience? D: The lyrics were going well with the concept of WADL, dark, some kind of dark humour and a pinch of depression, overall being beautiful. The experience was, concerning me, weird since I hated it in the beginning. The cover was annoying me, I thought it was a huge loss of time. But fuck it, I made it anyway. Then came genius-half-bearded blood-brother Arno and he FOLLOW US ONLINE



ou have just released your debut full-length, “Elegies”. What are your thoughts on it now it’s done and out there? Well, at the moment we’re very satisfied with “Elegies”. It represent the concretization of all our passion and efforts made during these years, all of this supported by Memorial Records, which is doing a great work! We’re happy with the result achieved and the public reaction toward the disc even it’s not the time to recline. We’re already at work to further improve our sound more than before. It took you six years to release your first full-length. How so? I’m aware of the fact that six years is a lot of time. Apart for some line-up problems through the years, everyone of us wanted to study the songs in every detail, from the music to the lyrics, to make it good as possible. We didn’t leave anything to chance and a lot of songs written in the past that could end up on the disc have been discarded because we believed they couldn’t fully represent the band.

I compare the genesis of “Elegies” to a sculpture, from which we removed the superfluous to bring out the most personality possible. How much of “Elegies” was written since you have joined the band as vocalist? When I joined the band a small part of the songs you can find on “Elegies” were already written, but as good as we’re picky, many of their parts have been completely distorted, even the vocals and lyrics. It was almost like writing them again. Did you change anything such as how you write your music since the release of your promo back in 2009? I’m in Remains In A View from 2011 but I follow the band from it’s birth, so I can surely say that a lot of things has changed from 2009, from influences to writing process. During these years the writing process has developed both guitar riffs and lyrics. The structures of songs became more complex and you can find more changes of tempo or beat. Also the sound is influenced by very different genre of FOLLOW US ONLINE

music. Regards the writing process it remained almost unchanged, we start, like in the past, from guitar riff or melody and we try to built song step by step from the first riff to the last scream! And what can you tell us about the lyrical content of “Elegies”? It seems this is a very personal album… can you talk us through it? In the ancient Rome the elegy poetry was a literary genre where poets analyzed their feelings(love in particular), dreams, passions and the escape from reality. Coincidentally one of the maximum exponents (Ovidio Nasone) was born in our city, Sulmona. I don’t feel absolutely to be a poet but I’ve tried to analyze, in every song, some of my personal views about human condition and feelings. So we can say that the album is conceived like a book(especially in the artwork), a collection of “Elegies” accompanied by a rough and dreamy soundtrack. You have entered in Hell Smell studio in Rome to record this one. What was the

recording process like? Before entering in the studio we recorded the preproduction of all songs in our rehersal room in order to train our selves and know how the songs will sound less or more. We entered in studio in March choosing the multi-track recording, beginning with drums, followed by guitars, bass and vocals. We want to sound as natural as possible so we didn’t used any computer effect or vst and each instrument required a day to be recorded exception made for guitars. The whole recording process took about a week then in April we take the road to Fear Studio to mix the album. After the mix was finished we sent all the work to Alessandro Vanara for the master that took a week to be completed. in addition to being a great experience it was an honor for us to work with people such as Alessandro Gavazzi, Massimiliano Canali, Gabriele Ravaglia e Alessandro

Vanara. In your opinion, what make you guys stand out compared to other metalcore/ modern metal bands? ’m aware of the fact that we didn’t create anything new, but we’re tried to improve our sound sincerely mixing all our influences (from hardcore to post rock passing through death metal) with passion and dedication avoiding as much as possible cliché. I think that this is a good starting point!

sible and promote “Elegies” the most! In the meantime keep on following us on our Facebook page, big news coming soon!

hat are your plans for the future? Do you have any plans to take REMAINS IN A VIEW on the road? At the moment we’re start working on our first music video while we’re searching for some gigs all around Italy and foreign countries. We hope to play as much as possible to bring our music as far as pos-



hough you’ve started in 2008 and your debut came out in 2010, you’re already pretty experienced musicians and Fatal Fusion began as a gathering of members from various other bands. How did you guys came to join each other and what was the common goal from the start? Erlend Engebretsen (keyboards) and Lasse Lie (bass) have played together since the mid 80’s, in various tribute bands. I wanted to start a band in the mid 90’s, and asked them both if they wanted to join. The three of us continued down the same path for a while, paying tribute to various 60’s, 70’s & 80’s bands like The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Toto, Deep Purple etc. We did a lot of live gigs doing that. At one point we wanted to make songs ourselves, and for a time we did our own

songs and tribute side by side, but at the end we ended up just wanting to make and perform our own songs. This was the start of the Fatal Fusion project in early 2008. Knut Erik Grøntvedt (vocals) was the first to join, and Stig Selnes (guitar) joined later that year and completed the line up. The common goal was to make progressive rock music, to be eclectic and try to throw many styles together into a mix, to be experimental. The songs that ended up on the debut album were the result of this experimentation. We were trying to find our path, sound and expression as a band. On “Land of the Sun”, you’ve developed a crossover sound which blended influences from bands such as Rainbow, Deep Purple and Pink Floyd, among others,

with some jazz and blues thrown into the mix. However, on “The Ancient Tale”, we can clearly hear a shift in the band’s direction. How do you look upon the evolution of your sound between “Land of the Sun” and “The Ancient Tale”? There was a conscious decision to move even more towards move progressive, epic and conceptual pieces. We had already made a few conceptual tracks for our debut album: Broken man, Out to the fields and the title track, but this time around we wanted to pursue that path even further. So the direction on this album is a bit different than our debut. On the debut we wanted to experiment and find our expression, but the new album has a more cohesive direction. I guess you can say we have what we were looking for, and you can tell that by listening to


the material on the new album. You’ve started writing epic progressive pieces on “The Ancient Tale”, stretching almost to the 20-minute mark on songs like “City of Zerych” and the title track. Did you always have the idea to do an epic and concept based record right from the inception of the band? I can’t speak for all the band members, but I certainly had this in mind when we formed the band back in 2008. The thought was from the start to experiment and make progressive rock music, and that meant having no barriers in style or length on the songs we wrote. In fact, ‘Out to the fields’ was the first song hanging around, and that was the longest track on the debut album, being almost 16 minutes in length. That says it all really, what mindset we were in. So the new tracks ‘City of Zerych’ and ‘The Ancient Tale’ are just a natural progress and continuation down that same road. How did the songwriting dynamic worked for the writing of “The Ancient Tale”? Did you had a concept and wrote all the five different pieces with a clear idea of what they were going to be, or did the album just started to come together through jamming sessions and the process of joining separate ideas? The initial idea for the new album was for the pieces to live their own individual lives. We didn’t plan to do a concept album, but it became quite evident during the process of making the new album that it would become one. I had the concept for this record in mind pretty early in the process. The first 3 tracks we had was ‘City of Zerych’, ‘Halls of Amenti’ and the title track, and I had written lyrics for all three of them, and I could sense that they all spoke about the same things, the same subjects. I presented the band with the idea for the concept, and we all agreed on doing it. With the concept in mind, we wrote the last two numbers ‘Tears I’ve Cried’ and ‘The Divine Comedy’. Can you tell us more about the story and concept behind the “The Ancient Tale”? The concept is about the idea of the primordial dualism: Order v/s Chaos. We are using this theme through the whole record. Lyrically we portray this through

fairy tales, religious and mythological themes, but on more individual and social levels. The underlying cause is always the same, the dualistic principle of Order v/s Chaos, and the root of all human conflict. Herbrand Larsen, the vocalist from Enslaved produced your follow-up album. Given the progressive nature of Enslaved’s music he’s not an unusual choice. How did you got to work together and what input did he had in all of the recording process? It was really Stig and myself that produced the album, and Herbrand Larsen was brought in by our record company Karisma Records to clean the album up a bit, and to master it for us. Unfortunatly so far we have never got a chance to actually meet him, we corresponded only by email. You sound encompasses a lot of different textures and it’s perfectly clear that it has an old vintage 60’s, 70’s vibe to it. What particular kinds of instruments did you use to achieve this sound? It’s mainly because of the choice of keyboard sounds I guess. We are very found of using the vintage keyboard sounds from the 60’s & 70’s. We are using a vintage Hammond organ and a Leslie cabinet, both dating back to 1938. Believe it or not, they need constant oiling and caring. We are also using a lot of sounds from Mellotron, Chamberlin, piano, Rhodes piano, Chembalo and Phrophet synthezeiser. Your debut, “Land of the Sun” was nominated for album of the year back in 2010 for the Prog Awards. How did you felt about being nominated immediately with your debut album? Did that honor gave you guys extra motivation to keep moving further with Fatal Fusion? That is correct, and we were all caught by surprise really. It was definitely a treat that gave us extra motivation to continue doing what we were doing, and it gave us a nice feeling of being appreciated by the progressive rock community. Other than the bands previously mentioned, which other ones, classic and current, do you consider as being influent


on your sound? Other than the bands previously mentioned, it would have to be classic bands like King Crimson, ELP, Marillion, IQ, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Rush, Genesis, Camel. Contemporary influences would have to be bands like Astra, Opeth, Spocks Beard. What do you think that differentiates Fatal Fusion’s sound from the sound of other contemporary progressive acts? Wow, that’s really hard to say. I think maybe the vocals are a little bit different than most bands. Knut has a very distinct voice. I can’t really think of anything else at the moment. When is the touring process for “The Ancient Tale” starting and where are you planning to take your music? That depends on the demand, really. We are having a release gig in Oslo, Norway November 27th, and there are plans for maybe doing a festival gig, and hopefully a few other gigs next year, all of them in Norway. We would love to do some gigs and festivals in other countries as well, but as I said, that really depends on the demand. To finish up, just a curiosity...If you could choose a 60’s or 70’s progressive outlet to tour with, with whom would you like to go on the road? Wow, another tough question to answer. There are so many great bands I would have loved to tour with. If I was to pick one just now, it would have to be Genesis, Peter Gabriel-era.

I often come across with bands from Modena, Italy. How do you describe your scene? Lorenzo: The scene in Modena (and the Italian scene in general) is full of good bands that try to do something interesting: the problem is that in Italy it’s very difficult to propose original music because often people wants to listen only cover bands, tribute bands, etc. So you can understand, the most important Italian TV show is X Factor where only covers are played. Another big hitch is our genre: metal isn’t very appreciated in Italy. How did the writing and recording sessions went for the new album? And since this is your debut album, was this your first experience in the studio or have you already gone through that with other bands? Federico: I had the original idea about this project in 2009 during a short period of my life in Rome. So, the writing sessions

started in 2009 and were concluded in the beginning of 2012 when Federica became the official singer of the band. The songs were not completed ‘till we decided to start recording the album. We started recording the album in April 2012 in my personal studio, so we had all enough time to decide and to chose the right parts of our instruments. After the album was recorded and mixed, we worked with Roberto Priori for the mastering of “Enlighten”. For me, this is not my first time in the studio: I’m the owner of a recording studio and I play in different bands (Synthphonia Suprema and Mechanical Swan) and we have already recorded a few albums. Lorenzo and Francesco are in Synthphonia Suprema too, so they knew what being in a studio means. Nicholas and Federica have recorded a few demos with their past bands. I must be honest here and say that I usually don’t pay attention to this kind

of sound, however, I loved the way you guys managed to make your Metal flow with this amazing orchestration in a natural way! What’s your secret? How do you manage to keep your music interesting? Federico: Thank you for your words, we really appreciate it! Our goal is to create metal music with music soundtrack influences... So, when we have started writing music we talked about images, pictures, movies and everything that is not “music” that fits with our songs. I believe that we don’t have any kind of secret. We love music, any kind of music (for example, I love classical, symphonic music and soundtracks), and we are trying to use it to speak to people. What inspired “Enlighten”, lyrically? Federica: When we started working togheter we felt this wonderful new energy in the air, so part of our lyrics are permeated by that feeling of hope. What


we like most of Enlighten in terms of lyrics in that is full of positive messages. So, I think that if you listen to our music, you can find strenght and power, and that’s great. “Enlighten” has been out since November 1st. What were your expectations for this record when it comes to feedback from the press and how that same feedback has been like? Lorenzo: Every band would like to have only good feedback from the press, so we were very happy for the positive reviews, but we knew that someone wouldn’t appreciate our work and that happened. We can learn something from the criticisms that often are constructive, the only thing that makes us really angry is the accusation of simply copying the most famous female fronted bands (sometimes it comes out of reading the reviews): obvi-

ously, we have some bands of reference, but we are truly committed to say something of our own! You guys have (or still are) touring with Theocracy. How was that experience? Federica: It was one of the best experiences of our lives! We could not ask more from the audience and from Theocracy too. We didn’t know each other before and now we are always in touch. Francesco: Theocracy are wonderful musicians and wonderful friends. They supported us so much in this first European tour of ours. And what about the audience? Warm and so involved. Wow! What does the future hold for the band? Nicholas Bonavoglia: So, we’re working hard inthe promotion of our debut album, like live shows, promoting videos and other great stuff. We’re really focused on


making the best for this album...but we’re also looking forward for the next one! I promise, we’re doing our best. Thanks for checking out the interview, and don’t forget to give “Enlighten” a chance, we hope you’ll like it!



hat inspired you to play Metal music, and symphonic deathcore in particular? In highschool, I think everybody looks for the most extreme music that they can. For some people it’s electronic, or hip-hop, for us it was Metal and Hardcore. Our sound developed over years and years and eventually we ended out playing in a symphonic metal band. All of our members listen to a variety of different music, but we are pretty set with our sound and are happy to be doing something a little different than most of our peers. How does each band member contribute to the song writing process? One person will come up with a riff, we will prepro it at my studio and start forming the song structure. Then Jon comes in and we start piecing together vocals. Afterward Alana will come in and add her symphonic flair on it. After we have a demo version we will tweak it over a few weeks until it is 100%. Usually once you get in the studio with a producer, they out their touches on it as well to take it to the next level. Do you have a specific method to writing your lyrics?

Usually Jon or myself will have an idea and we will bounce it back and forth and build off of it until we have a strong chorus, then we build the verses and other passages off of that. What is your favorite song from the new album? Sewer Mouth, No Man is My Master... Anything with guest vocals, I have a soft spot for collaborating with friends. Do you have plans for going on tour in the near future? We just finished the Bleeding Through Farewell tour and will be leaving in a week on our US headliner with Impending Doom, No Bragging Rights, City in the Sea and Destruction of a King. How do live concerts contrast with studio time? Do you prefer one over the other? I enjoy both, but playing live and being able to directly interact with the audience is an incredible feeling. Have you had any difficulties in the making of Resistance? We had a ton of difficulties during the recording process. When you’ve spent 8 FOLLOW US ONLINE

years straight in a van/bus/car/airplane, whatever with 5 other people you are bound to develop tension. Resistance is really the culmination of that tension and I think you can hear the angst and urgency in the record. In my opinion it helped us make our best album to date. Who are your musical influences? Behemoth, Hatebreed, Dimmu Borgir. What would you like to say to your fans? Thank you for the continued support, we’re excited to see all of you soon!


emorial Records has almost one year of activity. Looking back, what’s the best decision you’ve made when setting up your business? Yes, a year in the business. A year in which we have grown a lot, thanks to a valid roster and the excellent working relationship that has been created by the media all over the world. Basically the success of Memorial Records is based mostly on the great chemistry and relationship that is built with those who step into our world. Back to your question: after years spent working in the music business, setting up a label was the next step for those who - like me - needed new challenges.Memorial Records, believe me, it is an inexhaustible source of satisfaction. Memorial Records is in a growth process. How do you describe your daily activity with the label and what are you aiming for in this phase? Memorial Records occupies most of my time and is the core of a project that involve different figures and skills. From the promoter to Web assistant. We are

a good team, I have no doubt about it. We can and must grow and that is what we will aim to in 2014, we are born as a digital label but nonetheless we are trying to get to some physical distributions that might be a winning choice in terms of sales and chances to offer live opportunities for our bands, central and northern Europe in the first place. Most of the bands on the label are from Italy. Was that a deliberate choice? If yes, why? I have asked myself often, too. For a young label the first years of life are always the most complex. You have to grow and at the same time be professional and up to date. Basically you are being exposed to music industry experts, band and audience. And even if you work well, your geographic location somehow affects your business, so it make sense that the first bands you bet on are the local ones, it’s easier to bond and build a strong professional relationship. Currently we have only one foreign band on the roster, the Belarusians Hysteria which after the excellent EP “Trojan Horse” will give birth to their debut

album very soon. The Eastern Europe is an area on which we will focus our attention in 2014, it owns a solid music scene and local bands have now nothing to envy to those of the rest of the world. What do you look for in a band? First of all, a smart collaborative band with a great bond. If you have to deal with people not willing to work as a team and being collaborative it is hard to start a project that focuses on the band and the label. Even today we have to deal with unknown musicians whose “humility” is comparable to that of Lars Ulrich of Metallica, which in their projects says things like “we want to tour most of the year and sell well”. Sure, Lars can afford to say this, but not a band that hasn’t published a debut album, don’t you think? On an artistic level I wouldn’t want that Memorial Records ends up being listed as a single-label sector, it would not make any sense nowdays. I prefer to work with a band devoted to music that I personally would gladly listen, from rock to metal without distinction. An album must be beautiful in all its parts, from the sound compo-


nent to the visual part. Must hit. What can we expect from Memorial Records in the future? Any new projects in the pipeline? Talking about the future is never easy, especially today. We prefer to work hard every day, avoiding long-term projects. As already mentioned The first steps will be linked to the distribution and the inclusion of a figure A & R that will deal mainly East European market. We are currently working on the new website and on key

roster 2014. If you are interested to send us your material please contact us by writing to What are your favourite releases so far? I don’t like to make such choices, each band in our the roster has something of his own that struck me, the irrationality of Filth In My Garage, the melancholy vein of Circle Ends Here, the criminal clarity of Psychofagist, the desire to grow of Roots Of Pain, the extreme elegance of Gardenjia, the professionalism of Human


Improvement Process, the determination of Unconventional Disruption, the rationality of The Hysteria, the charm of Remains In A View and intelligence of the Crawling Chaos. You can find Each of those bands in the most important digital stores (iTunes, Amazon, Deezer, Spotify ...) and on our webstore. Memorial Records is a big family, where everyone has his own value and because of this our thanks goes to all of them.

ADE Spartacus [CD]

APOCALYPTICA Wagner Reloaded (Live) [CD]


CENTINEX Subconscious Lobotomy [CD]

Blast Head Records

BMG Rights

Svart Records

Pulverised Records





/10 “Spartacus” is the

sophomore album from ADE, a death metal band hailing from Rome (Italy) that are inspired by the history of their city. You all know who Spartacus was and once I found these guys were Roman I couldn’t wait to check the lyrics and understand their point of view on the matter. But what’s interesting here is the fact that they put themselves in the Gods’ position, like if they were watching all this through Jupiter’s eyes. “Spartacus” starts off with “Betrayer From Thrace” and it’s really all you need to hear to understand what this album is about! It’s a non-stop battle, with the fantastic drumming skills from George Kollias (NILE) and the ancient instruments beautifully played by Simone who gives “Spartacus” a whole new meaning. One of the best albums of the year! [Joel Costa]



/10 Let’s be honest

here: I have no idea where to start with “Antithetical” and it’s useless to say “start from the beginning” because this album is timeless. There’s no beginning or end and I can’t really review it track-bytrack as this is something you have to hear in its entirety to

/10 Taking ele

ments of Wagner’s life and re-arranging some scores of his music, Finnish cello enthusiasts and symphonic metal titans Apocalyptica have recorded their “Wagner Reloaded – Live in Leipzig” set and to great effect! This is the ultimate in classical music meeting heavy metal and the end result is a beautiful creation to behold. Ever wanted to hear Wagner in a classical/metal mash up with drums included? Here you can. Thrown in to the mix is a little Ludvig van Beethoven and the sounds of a truly appreciative crowd totally mesmerised by this sublime display. I’ve loved Apocalyptica for a very long time now but this is stunning, articulate and a rare breed of release that you have to experience to believe! [Luke Hayhurst]

get the best of it! But I’ll have to try to find something suitable to describe this one, right? So, let’s do it! “Antithetical” is the third full-length from Malevolence, your soon-to-be favourite extreme metal band, and it comes 14 years after the release of the band’s latest album, “Martyrialized”. It took some time for “Antithetical” to see daylight, however it seems the band really needed all this time to evolve and make the album of their career. It could have backfired but the truth is this record entered in my top albums of 2013 after knocking me out and leave me in the floor to die with all my teeth out of the place! Yes, it is that brutal! It is also way ahead of its time and I can’t really think of someone who’s doing the same thing or even similar to what Malevolence is creating right now. But wait... this gets particularly

/10 I’m a big fan of this

Finnish dark postpunk troupe since the release of “Use Your Deluge” EP and I must say that “Climax” took my breath away once I heard it for the first time! Everything here works perfectly: from the voice of Kvohst, who is also known for his work with black metal bands <Code> and Dodheimsgard, to the great songs whose feeling remind us of the new wave sound of the 80’s. But the difference here is “Climax” is damn well produced and has a modern approach, which will certainly please not only the post-punk fans, but the extreme metal ones too. This must be the best debut of the year! Just go watch their video for the song “Death Reflects Us” and shut up! [Joel Costa]

scary if you take into account that some of the basic ideas for “Antithetical” were first recorded in 2002! Seriously, did they sold their souls to the devil or what? If you think this can’t get better, once again I’ll ask you to wait a minute: “Antithetical” features Dirk Verbeuren (SOILWORK, THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, JEFF LOOMIS) as session drummer, who does a fantastic and unparalleled work. All the musi-


/10 Originally recorded

back in 1992 and released by the small Underground Records, Centinex’s first album is reminiscent of Roadrunner’s rooster at the time. Influences span from Sepultura to Obituary, from Pestilence to Malevolent Creation. Sounding pristine and not dated at all, Singapore based Pulverised Records did an excellent job with this repress, providing it with totally new artwork - replacing the naif but somewhat charming original one - and, as a bonus, the entirety of the “Apocalyptic Armageddon” 7” EP. Although Centinex, who disbanded over 7 years ago, never reached the first league, the were a competent and interesting band that managed a fair amount of success by their own merits. Thus, a good piece of history of European death metal. [Jaime Ferreira]

cians are perfectionists and did something they should be proud of! 250 words are not enough to talk about such a beautiful masterpiece. Just buy it and let Carlos Cariano’s voice haunt you! So yeah, 9.5 for “Antithetical. A big fat 10 if you’re able to understand that this is the reviewer’s opinion based on what he felt while listening to it... [Joel Costa]

COLD CELL Generation Abomination [CD]


CONVULSE Evil Prevails [CD/LP]


Gravity Entertainment


Svart Records

W.T.C. Productions





did not pay the attention this Thrash band with Heavy Metal/ NWOBHM nuances deserved. Despite their musical prowess, Artillery never caught their big break or signed a huge record deal. But the fairness of this misfortune is another debate. What goes on today is that Artillery are finally getting their worthy coverage. “Legions” is one hell of an album. Joining forces with Josua Madsen in the drums and Michael Bastholm Dahl on vocals, Artillery once again deliver an album where the Stützer duo can shine. Staying true to their style of melodic HeavyThrash, the band created a fast, powerful album where guitars shred like lightning through a tree. The track “God Feather” is the perfect example. Fast paced

guitars reminiscent of Bay Area bands pushes you through constant acceleration. The opener “Chill My Bones” and “Dies Irae” have Michael making his best Rob Halford impression, which shows his vocal range perfectly. “Doctor Evil” recalls the heavythrash-speed (call it what you will) that bands like Helloween used to do so well. “Enslaved to the Neither” starts out as a Scorpions inspired ballad that turns into an Iron Maiden epic, making it one of the most interesting tracks in the album. Artillery make it seem easy to balance all these sounds while keeping that Trash Metal identity that fans love. It may have some fillers here and there, but “Legions” is a journey worth taking. [Carlos Cardoso]

/10 “Generation Abomi-

nation” is the debut album from COLD CELL, a band that has been around since 2012 and hail from Switzerland. It’s brutal, it’s intense, it’s heavy... well, it has all the ingredients to be a great album, but... fuck the suspense, you already know the score! This is truly a great album! It starts off with “EndZeitGeist” and we can understand immediatly its essence. It has this Marduk-esque touch and has a multilayered approach that is modern and old school at the same time, showing that these guys really know what they’re doing. A fantastic and solid debut for COLD CELL. Go for it as fast as you can and you won’t regret it! [Joel Costa]

/10 India’s emerging

extreme metal scene is dealt another strong hand in the form of atmospheric black metal outfit Cosmic Infusion who blend raw power and aggression with mind expanding melodies and thought provoking undertones and musical backdrops. Rather than simply follow the crowd Cosmic Infusion tread their own path and to great effect. Vocally very diverse, things shift effortlessly between raucous fury and softer cleaner tones whilst musically the constant ebb and flow of their sound never gets old. This, backed up by an impressive talent for song craft and musicianship as well as a good production value makes Cosmic Infusions self titled debut one of the better black metal releases of the year so far! [Luke Hayhurst]

ARTILLERY Legions [CD] Metal Blade Records


/10 Artillery could be the

best kept secret in the European Thrash scene. There’s just one thing, they’re too damn good to be hidden. For the last 30 years, magazines, websites and critics alike simply

/10 Finnish death metal

beast Convulse has returned with their “Inner Evil” EP. Things have been kept decidedly old school from the vocals which rise slowly from the bowels and make their way through putrid filth in order to spew forth their rotten vile offerings, down to the drumming that stays clear of double kick repetition in favour of a more early nineties feel used by so many of the greats! The guitar and bass work too is as you’d expect from Convulse, played loud and strong and whilst the band have a pretty standard feel to their death metal there is no denying that they know full well what they are doing. So whilst it never threatens to stretch the boundaries of death metal it’s still great to have Convulse back! [Luke Hayhurst]


/10 Darkmoon

Warrior’s “Nuke ‘Em All” is the band’s manifesto for this unholy year of 2013. Even if I found this album a mature one, the beginning is quite juvenile as we have “Fuck Off” opening the record – the music composition is great with melodic black metal riffs, but the punk-oriented chorus… “Fuck off, we don’t care! Fuck off and die!”? Really? The album is filled with very fast tempos due to the bombastic drums – the mid-tempo is explored on “The Call” and “Black Tongues And Rusty Nails”. The title-track is a thrashy song that can sweep everyone in a battlefield. As the first track, the near-end song “Waves Of Salvation” gives us beautiful soundscapes similar to what Sargeist has been doing. [Diogo Ferreira]

ENDSTILLE Kapitulation 2013 [CD]

DAWN HEIST Catalyst [CD]


DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN Down Among The Dead Men [CD]

Bastardized Recordings


Cyclone Empire

Season Of Mist





/10 Australian Groove

Melodic metallers Dawn Heist really work their ass of! Formed in 2010, they have already two singles, one EP and one full-length in their luggage and have played countless shows and festivals like Hammersonic Festival and Rock of Celebes. “Catalyst” is the band’s debut full-length and takes us to a land where Metal and Electronic breathe together, offering some pretty decent tunes that are melodic, aggressive and catchy. They have also managed to build a great and sinister atmosphere, something good enough to make them stand out in the modern metal scene. If you’re a fan of Tesseract, you’ll love Dawn Heist with all your heart! And if you don’t like it you’ll have to deal with it because Dawn Heist are here to stay! [Joel Costa]

/10 Six piece EP,

“Momaentum” is the 2nd release of one of the most dominant bands in the Romanian underground scene – metalcore act – Diamonds Are Forever. Founded no more than two years ago, the band showed a big dose of passion and perseverance by releasing two great EPs and DVD(Live concert and documentary movie). “Momaentum” definitely overcomes it’s predecessor, and it’s clearly a sign of evolution from the band! Characterized by a precise buildup of the instrumentals, some spot on drumming backing the tracks, very creative riffing and modern sounds from the guitars, while the two front men flawlessly cooperated into emphasizing the songs themes. Considering the amount of effort these guys already focused on their music, “Momaentum” has enough muscle to turn out into quite a great path opener. [Kevin “Junk” Kidd]

AVATARIUM Avatarium [CD] Nuclear Blast


/10 Alive for about eight

months, Leif Edling (Candlemass) materialized his ideas into Avatarium and created an iconic doom record. If everything goes as a person wants, this could be Edling and Åkerfeldt (Opeth), but things

/10 Down Among

/10 Endstille’s 8th album,

The Dead Men is a new musical project coming from the genius minds of Dave Ingram and Rogga Johansson. Dave Ingram is well known from his time as vocalist for two of England’s great metal legends, Bolt Thrower and Benediction along with his Danish band Downlord and his current two online radio shows. Rogga Johansson is equally legendary with recognized work in multiple bands including Paganizer, Ribspreader, Edge Of Sanity, Putrevore, Revolting and The Grotesquery. Down Among The Dead Men’s self-titled debut album, just released by Cyclone Empire Records, is a great Crustriddled Punk musical experience, always with a precious death metal edge. Excellent! [Rute Gonçalves]

“Kapitulation”, is definitely capable of delivering a rough ’n’ raw dosage of black metal that might just meet your expectations or even exceed them. I do have to agree with the band’s description on their sound, “ugliest aggressive black metal with the fire-speed of an MG42 and the power of heavy ship-artillery”. Characterized by some killer high tempo drumming, sharp riffs and frantic vocals, specific to the genre however, lyrically and thematically, the songs (except ”Blasphemer”, Sodom cover) are related to Germany’s role and failures during and after the World War II, that seem to bring a more fascinating appeal to ”Kapitualtion”, which surely is one of the most interesting black metal releases one will encounter this year. [Kevin “Junk” Kidd]

didn’t go that way. In order to keep the idea on track, Marcus Jidell (Evergrey), Lars Sköld (Tiamat) and Carl Westholm (Jupiter Society) joined Edling and thus a super-group was formed. Last but not least, Jennie-Ann Smith is the icing on the cake as she’s one of the outstanding female voices out there, alongside with Christine Davis (Christian Mistress) and Alia O’Brien (Blood Ceremony). “Moonhorse” instantly reveals what Avatarium is about: fresh and catchy. Divided in stanzas smoothly sung by Jennie-Ann, every bloc in the song is filled with different guitar riffs and solos, being each one darker than the previous. The freshness given by Avatarium is also felt in the lyrics, because they opened a new door about

the classic doom imaginary. If you are used to hear tales about witches and ancient obscure tales, Avatarium offers you tragic love stories as in “Boneflower” lovers go into a forest to commit suicide. This debut album is so contemporary and daring that we can listen to double pedals on drums performed by Sköld in the “Bird of Prey” track. We’re all aware of what these musicians are capable; even so they gave birth – not literally – to a jewel called Jennie-Ann Smith as she blew their brains away during the audition. She has a smooth voice, but when the music needs she can become a doomster creature with furious vocals without losing the feminine touch. [Diogo Ferreira]


EPHEL DUATH Hemmed by Light, Shaped by Darkness [CD/LP]


FATAL FUSION The Ancient Tale [CD]

FÖR Blakaz Askõ Hertô EP [12” MLP]

Prophecy Productions

Karisma Records

Iron Bonehead Productions

Agonia Records




movements lead to disappointment. “Surrender to No One” is the new album of CHASTAIN that marks the comeback of Leather Leone, one of the best female metal voices of the 80’s. I think that the obvious question that rises in everyone is how CHASTAIN sound on this album. Having in mind that it is almost inevitable to sound the same as back in the 80’s, I could say that CHASTAIN have kept the essence of their sound close to the one they had in the 80’s. This means that you will listen to U.S. heavy/power metal that involves a lot of good leads and solo parts. In a few words the guitar work on this album sounds great and it is almost perfect. The band, however, has also some modern touches and these are the

grooves that you will listen to in some of the compositions here. Now, as for the voice of Leather Leone I think that it’s decent and a bit hoarser. Don’t expect to listen to good old Leather Leone, but she still sounds good and gives to the songs the necessary balls that will make you listen to it again and again. “Surrender to No One” might not reach the quality of the classic releases of the band, but it still is a very good album of traditional heavy/power metal with some modern touches. [Nick “Verkaim” Parastatidis]


/10 Once again

Davide Tiso and Karyn Crysis present us with another avant-garde piece filled with dark, profound and entangling music. “Hemmed by Light, Shaped by Darkness” sounds like we’re walking through a maze of somber and dissonant sounds, where a constant tension and conflict can be heard between the complex arrangements of Tiso’s dual guitar harmonies. The trepidation and unpredictability on each of these songs make us feel like we’re constantly turning corners onto various unknown streets, not knowing exactly what to find. Ephel Duath was always Tiso’s primary vehicle for his self-expression, and he never tried to appease to any audience. In consequence, it’s another bold artistic statement from this band, but also a demanding album that will need repeated spins for the listener to be able to fully grasp its scope. [Luís alves]

/10 Sung in an almost

extinct West Germanic dialect, the pagan metal pioneers Falkenbach released “Asa”, the new album which approaches all the periods of the band’s career. However, it’s very easy to feel that the mainly direction recalls the “Ok Nefnar Tysvar Ty” album in songs such as “Vaer Stjernar Vaerdan” or “Ufirstanan Folk” because of the slow and mid pace combined with clean and melodic vocals so characteristic of Vratyas Vakyas. The harsh vocals and the dark passages are visited in tracks like “Wulfarweijd” or “I Nattens Stilta”. The most cold guitar riffs are delivered in “Bronzen Embrace”. The album exponent is indubitable “Eweroun” because of its mellow and mystical ambience. All songs are accompanied with an acoustic guitar. [Diogo Ferreira]

CHASTAIN Surrender To No One [CD] Leviathan records


/10 Come backs and

reunions of good old metal bands always move the interest of the fans and also make them anxious to listen to how their old favorite band sounds in the present. The fact is that most of the times such

/10 Norway’s Fatal Fusion

sound is influenced by the likes of Yes, Camel, Pink Floyd and Rainbow, and the epic five songs from their second album “The Ancient Tale” show us moments of fusion between the styles of these bands. Their adulation of the classics is clearly present on the keyboard sounds evocative of Don Airey and Jon Lord’s styles and on its tasteful bluesy guitar work which, while not being too flashy or overall technical, fits the mood of the songs perfectly. The album lacks a little bit of punch and flair at times due to the fact that the band is being too conservative and stuck to the sounds of the past, but overall, “The Ancient Tale” ends up being a pretty solid album, and a good listen for progressive rock fans. [Luís Alves]


/10 FÖR are a Swedish

raw black metal band who has returned with their new EP “Blakaz Asko Herto”. For offer much to enjoy and experience and the mysterious nature of the band and their whereabouts only adds to the allure. Opening with a demonic title track intro the scene is duly set for the four tracks that will follow. Merciless grinding fury in musical form, a mystical occult message and out right savagery from start to finish, spewing forth a vast concoction of vile sinister foreboding. Yet this isn’t your average black metal rampage at society in one long procession of hate, and whilst the music is dangerous and prowling, song titles such as “Descending Obfuscated Realms” and “Lineage of the Amorphous” demonstrate a much higher level of thinking at play. [Luke Hayhurst]

FUNERAL CIRCLE Funeral Circle [CD] Shadow Kingdom Records


/10 Funeral Circle is

trying to mirror Candlemass with the self-titled debut album and I don’t blame them, but saying their hero’s name a lot doesn’t help. The production approaching to the old days, which made me recall King Diamond’s “Abigail” in a worst version (note: I love “Abigail”), wasn’t a good idea – the instruments are far from each other and the drums don’t possess enough strength. After the opening track, “Scion of Infinity, which is heavy metal oriented, I’m obliged to say that the good juice only appears near the end with “The Charnel God” track which is the closest to the epic imagery. Modern doom guitar riffs are heard in the “Black Colossus” track. And, mates, change the vocalist please. [Diogo Ferreira]

GUTSLIT Skewered in the Sewer [CD] Coyote Records


/10 Hailing from Mumbai

in India, brutal death metal sewer dwellers Gutlit have unleashed their “Skewered in the Sewer” album and it hits home hard like the prison shower treatment of a freshly incarcerated child fucker! With an appropriate amount of gore soaked sound effects in tow, Gutslit laden their sound with as much blood gore and guts as you’d expect from an album of this nature and then proceed to obliterate any further doubts as to their intention with a crushing display of ferocious vocal work, venomous riffs, carnage strewn drumming and thunderous bass. In a year when both Devourment and the UK’s own Unfathomable Ruination have unleashed killer albums, this one sits very nicely in that company and may even be an improvement. [Luke Hayhurst]

<CODE> Augur Nox [CD/LP] Agonia Records


/10 There’s no doubt

about the fact that the extreme metal scene has an abundance of bands and it’s also no secret that the vast majority do nothing more than reproduce worn out or tried out recipes of the past. Few are

HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY Harakiri For The Sky [CD] Art Of Propaganda


/10 I’m not sure what was the goal of M.S. (all instruments) and J.J. (lyrics, voice) for Harakiri For The Sky, but I believe it’s safe to say that whatever it was, they achieved it! Released by the german record label Art Of Propaganda, this is a very good self-titled debut full-length, with a total of five high-quality songs filled with melancholy and sorrow, both in the music itself and in the lyrics as well. This is Black Metal as its finest, with grieving harsh vocals and powerful riffs leading the way down to the darkness. If it wasn’t for the fact that due to the length of the songs I can’t help but find some songs very similar, this record would deserve a better score. Can’t wait to hear new stuff from this Austrian duo! [Joel Costa] the bands which try to bring something new and create an innovative and unique sound. However, in an oversaturated scene like this there are bands like CODE that come to ruffle the waters and unsettle us. So, this UK based band that features musicians from both England and Norway is here to deliver a state of the art blend of black metal with progressive music which they infuse and enrich with some gothic and depressive, atmospheric a la KATATONIA parts as well as with some ANATHEMA atmospheric doom touches. “Augur Nox” is their third official release that comes out four years after their sophomore, “Resplendent Grotesque”, and finds them at their best. So, we can say that the band has no boundaries and cares for no


IRON DOGS Free And Wild [LP] Iron Bonehead


/10 Formed in 2011, the

Canadian three-piece collective known as Iron Dogs is back with the new “Free and Wild”, following to the band’s well-received 2012 album, “Cold Bitch”. The current lineup of vocalist/guitarist/bassist Jo Capitalicide, guitarist Aidan Donovan and drummer Dan Lee delivers a powerful discharge of speed and heavy metal, always sticking to the self proclaimed title: “Total Stratocaster Metal played loud, fast, and raw!” With stated influences from bands like “Angel Witch”, Medieval, “Cirith Ungol”, “English dogs”,“Heavy Load” or “Omen”, “Free and Wild” it’s a 8-track 80’s heavy metal crazy party, where all the head bangers long to be! [Rute Gonçalves]

such things. All they care about is delivering interesting and pioneering music that is founded on black metal principles. The tempos, themes and rhythms are complex; the guitar work is intricate while the execution is technically flawless. The vocals are other times tormented black metal screams and other times they are clean reciting passages, thus creating an ominous, claustrophobic atmosphere that surrounds the songs. CODE has managed to create a mesmerizing, dark piece of work unlike most things you’ve ever heard before. If experimental, progressive black metal is something you are into and you want to listen to something extraordinary, then “Augur Nox” is awaiting you… [Christine Parastatidou]

LAMB OF GOD reissue As the Palaces Burn [CD] Razor & Tie


/10 Looking back upon Lamb

of God’s discography, it’s curious that the album whose production suffered the most was the one that made everyone’s ears turn to them for the first time. It was not Devin Townsend’s production fault as the heavily compressed sound of the record was a consequence of the original mastering process. Ten years later, Josh Wilbur re-isolated each track and did a whole new mix. The end result is “As the Palaces Burn” as it should have been heard, with crystal clear drums and all the different layers of guitars thoroughly noticeable this time. It’s one of the best remastering jobs I’ve ever heard for the fact that it makes us listen to this album through a whole different perspective. Highly recommendable, even for fans who already own the original. [Luís Alves]

LORD FIST Wordless Wisdom of Lord Fist EP [CD]

MASSACRA reissue Day Of The Massacra [CD/LP]

Ektro Records



/10 Leaving no doubts

on their intents, as soon as you pick up Lord Fist’s first EP, the logo, the artwork and the promo pictures let you know instantly what’s coming traditional heavy metal, totally immersed in 80s influences. Comprised of 4 songs just under 20 minutes, the recently formed Finnish quartet take you on a nostalgic ride where all the expected elements are present. Packed with an epic feel where catchy choruses and fast paced rhythms abound, “Wordless Wisdom of Lord Fist” is not original, but neither is that the purpose. Well played and with a decent production, it comes as a good introduction for a band who might come to strike a name on the whole 80s revival. [Jaime Ferreira]

DEICIDE In the Minds of Evil [CD] Century Media


/10 Mr. Benton & Co. once

again unleashed the hordes of hell upon all Christians, this meaning, of course, that we have a new Deicide album on our hands. “In the Minds of Evil” is no “Legion”, but rest assured, “In Torment in Hell” this is not!

Century Media Records

/10 The French death/

thrash metal band Massacra, active between the years 1986 and 1997 and considered legendary by many, especially because of their 1991 album “Enjoy the silence” that caused massive sensation in the underground world, are back to the records with a reissue from Century Media. “Day Of The Massacra” compiles the demos “Legion Of Torture” (1987), “Final Holocaust” (1988) and “Nearer From Death” (1989) remastered at DMS by Ulf Horbelt (Morbid, Asphyx, Grave, Necropsy) retaining the original raw charm. The record will be released as a standard CD jewelcase with an extensive 24 pages booklet, rare and commented photos, digital download and LP on 180g vinyl with a LP booklet. Great news for fans and collectors! [Rute Gonçalves]

Its their best effort since “Stench of Redemption”, even reminding us of classic Deicide at times, in the sense that it feels like it could have been released in between “Serpents of the Light” and “Insineratehymn”. The songwriting is solid and the band presents itself very proficient in their performances. Jack Owen’s guitars are quasi-mechanically tight, Steve Asheim pounds his drums viciously, playing blast beats at faster tempos than usual and Kevin Quirion provides the perfect kind of soloing for Deicide with a very appropriate, methodic and melodic style with no resemblance to the Hoffmans random note spitting or Ralph Santolla’s “too neo-classic-for-Deicide” types of shredding. The title track has all the makings of a classic Deicide


MAYFAIR Schlage mein Herz, schlage... [CD] Pure Steel Records


/10 “Schlage Mein Herz,

Schlage...” is the fourth studio album from Austrian prog metallers Mayfair, who are back after almost 15 years of silence. It is a decent release, where the band creates some good moments. They are not creating challenging and intense music but then again that’s not a requirement and we’re still able to enjoy their music for what it is: melodic, raw and very, very passionate! Overall, “Schlage Mein Herz, Schlage...” is a quiet album but without leaving too much to be desired. It has good riffs, great vocals and sometimes they go a little bit into the ballad territory. I liked it! [Joel Costa]

track while “Thou Begone”, “Godkill”, “Trample the Cross”, “Kill the Light of Christ” and “End the Wrath of God”, with one of their best guitar solos ever, make up for the album’s highlights. Though some songs might be reminiscent of their past efforts, “Minds” doesn’t sound as spontaneous as some other Deicide records, mainly because at times, it appears to be too overproduced and “death metal” by the numbers, but at the same time one cannot deny that the overall intensity of the songs is relentless. Its not the great reinvention of death metal as we know it, but its a healthy new dose of some good old “Hate all things Christian” Deicide songs, and its sure to please most fans of the band. [Luís Alves]

OLD CORPSE ROAD ‘Tis Witching Hour... [CD]


MORTIFERA Bleüu de morte [CD]

Discouraged Records

Apparitia Recordings





/10 “Rural” is a 50 minute

length album divided into seven songs and it has several stuff to explore in here. The band play Sludge Metal with some Hardcore influences and atmospheric elements. Sounds weird, right? It really does, but that’s a good weird. It’s somewhat depressive and slow. In fact, sometimes it seems we’re not going anywhere with it and that’s when it gets real good! The bottom line is: Moloken are not for everyone, but if you ask me I’d say they also don’t want to be. It has some creepy moments, that’s for sure, and that’s what makes me appreciate this album so much. “Rural” is an incredible debut from Moloken and would love to check how this works live! [Joel Costa]

/10 Mortifera is

Noktu’s soloproject – the guy who is also a founding member of the wellestablished black metal band Celestia, back in 1995. “Bleüu de Morte” is Mortifera’s third album and I would say the underground depressive scene was missing such band. Oscillating between melodic and beautiful guitar passages, like in “Prison de Marbre” or “Désespoir”, and odious fast movements, like in “Night Eternal” or “Chute Invisible”, this new album also gives us the feeling of loss in “Triste Spectre”. If “Asphyxii De Couleur Bleüu” gives us a nostalgic yet furious kick to start the album, “Souvenirs Macabres” ends it with the sea sounding back there and waving farewell with sadness and repentance cried by the guitars. Noktu does it again! [Diogo Ferreira]

KORN The Paradigm Shift [CD] Universal


/10 2003: A group of five

talented yet noticeably tired musicians release their sixth studio record with the original line-up, called “Take A Look In The Mirror”, on an obvious attempt to recapture old fans that were disappointed with

/10 Hailing from the

north of the UK, black folk metal brigade Old Corpse Road have delivered their long awaited debut album “Tis Witching Hour... As Spectres We Haunt This Kingdom” and it was certainly worth the wait! If the four minute spoken word intro doesn’t grab you, the blitzkrieg style black metal rampage/folk harmony keyboard passages blend of “Cauld Lad of Hylton” most certainly will. Mixing their hypnotic cocktail of furious riffs, peaceful ambient keyboard undertones and the intriguing spoken word vocals which themselves mould around the harsh screams and guttural growls of this tri-vocalled band! Artistically, musically and creatively Old Corpse Road are ahead of the curve and one of the UK’s most promising black metal prospects! [Luke Hayhurst]

their latest studio efforts. 2005: A serious split-up with one of their founding members dictates what would become as a dark period in Korn’s career, as they attempted to reinvent themselves with each new release, only to fail miserably to remain loyal to the original sound they’ve crafted years ago, tearing their fanbase even further and eventually loosing themselves in dark alleys, like 2011’s eerie “The Path of Totality”. Fast forward: 2013. Brian “Head” Welch returns to the band, after a long period of drug-addiction recovery, a mission to God and two solo-releases that demonstrated where the real Korn gem was. “Paradigm Shift” brings back some of the heavyness, chunky-riffs and solid grooves


PURTENANCE Awaken From Slumber [CD] Xtreem Music


/10 Following on

2011’s repress of their first - and only - album up to date, this Finnish cult horde decided to reunite and compose new material. So, 21 years after the original release of “Member of Immortal Damnation”, its follow up is finally upon us. Apropriately titled “Awaken from Slumber”, Purtenance’s new offering sounds tight and technical as ever, delivering fast riffs and pounding death metal rhythms. However, the main problem resides on the vocal approach. While on the first record they were diversified, original and definitely one of the highlights, here they are just a continuous, monotonous and imperceptible growl, something like a bored Chris Barnes. Not awful,though. Just disappointing, especially after so much hype around it. [Jaime Ferreira]

that characterized the Kornsound for years. Although not as exquisitely “funky” as their first records - nor as bizarre – this new record brings a reinvented Korn-sound into the table, almost revisiting the “Issues” and “Untouchables” era, just with even more power. Themes like “Prey For Me”, “Love and Meth” or “Punishment Time” bring back that old raw, groove power, while songs like “Never Never” or “Lullaby For A Sadist” bring a more radio-friendly glitter into the mix. All in all, this ends up being a pretty decent Korn record, even if exceedently commercial at times, with formulabased songs that were obviously created for extended radioplays. [David Pais]

SALEM Forgotten Dreams [CD]

PUTREFACT Of Those Who Were Deceased EP [7”]


Pulverised Records

Memorial Records

Pure Rock Records




/10 I have a lot of time for

the Mexican death metal scene due its recent tendency to produce some truly excellent bands. Hailing from Queretaro comes another new band active since last year and going by the name of Putrefact. Initially the band released their debut demo entitled “I Shall Die upon This Putrefaction” which was also released last year and hot on its heels is the band’s first EP release, two songs under the banner of “Of Those Who Were Deceased”. Opening track “We Were Deceased” the band hit immediately into an old school death metal vibe, fast paced, echoing growled vocals and a dark ominous sound. In stark contrast closing song “II” is slow, lurking and deadly. Over all too quickly there is very little else to say other than Putrefact definitely add to Mexico’s blossoming death metal tradition! [Luke Hayhurst]

/10 Remains In A View

were born in Sulmona, Italy, in the year 2007. They have now released “Elegies”, their debut full-length and what we have here is a modest record that meets the standards of the metalcore genre. Basically they follow the metalcore formula but manage to add their own spin on it in all its pace and fury. Remains In A View are a welcome addition to the modern metal scene however it seems they haven’t reached their potential which means they might come bigger and angrier next time. The only thing that doesn’t work out very well for me, is the voice, which seems it doesn’t have the adequate feeling on it. [Joel Costa]

KUOLEMANLAAKSO Musta aurinko nousee EP [CD/LP] Svart Records


/10 Finnish death/doom

outfit Kuolemanlaakso and their new EP “Musta Aurinko Nousee” is centred around the writings of Finnish poet and journalist Eino Leino whose poetry was considered to be pioneering in its use of

/10 It’s hard to believe

that “Forgotten Dreams” is the first fulllength to be released by this NWOBHM kult band, taken into account that they first started back in 1980. Actually they disbanded three years later and have returned 27 later for a second run, but still! Salem offer a convincing debut with a fresh sound. Oh well, it’s a good and memorable take on the good old British heavy metal, something we can’t really say about the majority of the bands from the 80’s that are still out there. A lot of effort has clearly been put into this record and we can’t do anything but appreciate it! [Joel Costa]

folk elements as well as touching on such moods as love, despair and being Finnish, of course nature! Of this EP the first thing to take note of is the fabulous artwork, one of the best I have seen on any release in years. Listen to this EP a few times as I have and you’ll fall in love with “Musta Aurinko Nousee”. It has many subtle layers that won’t reveal themselves to you on the first two or three plays so patience is required. The band set a nice flowing tempo with a steady comfortable riff dominating the sound, yet with the odd flaring keyboard undertone that unsettles your balance and makes you take a much closer listen. Typically controlled death/doom growled vocals


SEPTICFLESH Ophidian Wheel [CD]


Season Of Mist


/10 “The Ophidian

Wheel” was captured in time as the portrait of a band trying to define its sound while moving away from traditional death metal onto its symphonic variant. The performances are fairly enjoyable, and while the songs have an eclectic and artistic quality to them, a division between death metal, symphonic pieces and synthesizer experiments has turned this album into an inconsistent mesh of styles, making it sound directionless at times. If you like Paradise Lost’s “Gothic” you will enjoy this, as the female vocals and keyboard sounds heard throughout the album will sound very similar. The remastering made the album sound a little bit more “cleaner”, but not very different from the sound of the original and the three unreleased mixes are only good mostly for collecting purposes. [Luís Alves]

enter into the mix and backed by a sturdy bass and drumming display the stage is set, the seeds firmly and deeply planted for Kuolemanlaakso to expand their sound. The EP ends with “Musta aurinko nousee” which is a Juice Leskinen cover and in both vocals, bass play and overall vibe the slower style of Type O Negative is never more evident than here in the band’s sound. Yet despite this the band make the song their own, atmospheric, catchy and a perfect ending to a gripping release. [Luke Hayhurst]

SINFUL The XIII-th Apostle [CD]

SERPENT OMEGA Serpent Omega [CD]



Transubstans Records

MSR Productions




/10 The self-titled

debut opus from Sweden’s sludge outfit Serpent Omega has the potential to take pride of place in many a writer’s end of years top ten. Mixing down tunes sludge savagery with an ice cold black metal influence within its vibe, Serpent Omega batter away the cobwebs with the head bangers paradise “Skullwand” before the echoing haunting presence of “Smoke Ritual” adds another layer of darkness! Tracks such as “Warmachine” blend doom and black metal influences to produce a rabid cocktail of harsh, surging riffs and as a whole the album is a showcase of a band who knows how to create doom and create it superbly! Serpent Omega, one of the albums of the year without a doubt, worship the riff! [Luke Hayhurst]

/10 In a nutshell, Priest and

Sabbath meets Alice In Chains and Clutch! That’s what I felt after the first listening of “IV Monument”, the 4th album of Swedish stoner/classic hard rock act, Sideburn. Their journey began in ‘97, and since then, they’ve managed to combine classic heavy metal patterns with deep psychedelic stoner vibes, wrapped and delivered through a modern sound that also adopts sludge/ doom characteristics, in “The Last Day”, as well as southern rock, in “Tomorrows Dream”. Northern influences in the vocal section can be also heard as well!With all that being said, Sideburn is the kind of band that “whispers” to the ear the ol’ hard rock/metal from the late 70’s – early 80’s, without being called “too old school for me”. “IV Monument” is one heavy piece! [Kevin “Junk” Kidd]

WARBRINGER IV: Empires Collapse [CD] Century Media


/10 The advantage of

spending the last 9 years writing albums and touring with the greatest Thrash metal bands of all time (Exodus, Megadeth, Testament, Overkill, Kreator) is that, if you pay close attention to what surrounds

/10 “The XIII-th Apostle”

is the latest album from Russian symphonic black metallers Sinful. Yes, it’s a 2011 release but we had to bring this back to you! They’re not the new Cradle Of Filth and that’s only because they’re even better! And nicer! Unfortunately, since they come from Russia and from a small label like MSR Productions, my word will not mean nothing. Yet, for those who are interested in listening some excellent stuff, Sinful’s sophomore album is a delightful listening experience with some killer tunes, dangerous riffs and a great production. “The XIII-th Apostle” screams professionalism all over the place and that’s what the symphonic metal scene really needs! [Joel Costa]

you, you might actually learn a thing or two. Warbringer did exactly that: observing and absorbing. Everything that they experienced has lead to their fourth studio album, “IV: Empires Collapse”. No longer boys, Warbringer finally step up to become grown ass-kickers. Showing tremendous growth, this work is so diverse, and yet so cohesive that you can’t really point out any flaws. Take the opener “Horizon”: it’s progressive in their attempt to incorporate different sounds outside of the Thrash realm. “One Dimension” on the other hand is so punk that it could be mistaken for Municipal Waste. “Hunter Seeker” speaks for the album’s ideology, an Orwellian message conveyed through


SLEEPING ROMANCE Enlighten [CD] Ulterium Records


/10 I usually avoid the

symphonic sound if it doesn’t have “black” right after it. But Sleeping Romance, a quintet hailing from Italy, really caught me with their impressive debut “Enlighten”! I often dislike those operatic vocals that symphonic metal bands insist to have but Sleeping Romance did the best call ever on trusting the vocal duties on Federica Lanna. And once you get to hear the magnificent orchestration work from Federico Truzzi, oh my! A big journey awaits you! They’re not redifining the genre but at least they aren’t following the same formula over and over. They really know how to create good music and something tells me they will return with much more strength next time. A 9/10 is waiting for you, guys! [Joel Costa]

massive riffs and melodic guitar solos. Want another one? How about “Iron City”? It’s bound to make headbangers remember Overkill, while raising their fists and screaming at the top of their lungs we’re gonna play it loud and drink some shitty beer. Closing the album we get probably the greatest track ever written by Warbringer, “Towers of the Serpent”, with brutal riffs made for moshing. This is a breakthrough album for a band that is trying to escape the label of Thrash revivalism. “IV: Empires Collapse” has a lot of words for the nay-sayers: if you don’t like it just shut your mouth and drink your fucking beer. [Carlos Cardoso]


SMOTHERED The Inevitable End [CD]

SÓLSTAFIR Í Blóði og Anda [CD]

Soulseller Records

Season Of Mist

Vic Records




/10 Stockholm based

Smothered fuse their death metal sound with elements of thrash and black metal. The bands focus and inspiration is drawn heavily from the well of Lovecraft and in keeping with this passion the opening sequence of “The Ritual” begins with the chanting of “Chthulu Fhtagn”. Smothered have an instantly catchy, fast flowing and overly old school sounding blend of death metal takes a full grasp on its audience with some technical prowess in the form of mind warping guitar solos thrown in for good measure. As well as these elements, the bands excellent use of dark melodies created by slower guitar play and woven into the undercurrent of the song is both atmospheric and brooding. Does it get any better? [Luke Hayhurst]


/10 This was how

it all started. Before these Icelanders became one of the most inspired Post-Metal acts in Europe, they produced in 2002 one of the most underrated Black Metal albums from the past decade. This reissue contains a full disc of demo material from the sessions of “Í Blóði Og Anda”, an album that took three years to complete. Cursed or not, this hidden gem kicks with fiery anger tracks, filled with intricate drum parts, sludgy vocals and incredible guitar melodies, verging the now popular Black n’Roll subgenre. The last four and lengthier tracks reveal more effectively the path the band was pursuing. Brilliance and experimentation. [José Branco]

/10 Recorded in a concert

hall in order to catch the live power, Sordid Flesh’s debut “Torturer” strikes with the intention to refresh the Swedish death metal scene. They’re trying to catch the essence of the old-school days without repeating what great extreme names have already done. The opening guitar riff in “The Thelema Way” shows why Sweden is the death metal realm: fast, sharp and blackened. “Rites at the Cemetery” is all about blending the title with the music itself as the end of the song is filled with a passage that recalls undead creatures rising from their tombs. “Gravebitch” is Sordid Flesh’s sick pornographic tale – awesome! A distorted and strong bass line is a constant presence. [Diogo Ferreira]


STALLION Mounting The World EP [CD] High Roller Records


/10 Drawing inspira-

tion from the early works of fellow countrymen Helloween and Running Wild, Stallion came to being only this year, and the present EP is already their second release. Opener “Canadian Steele” sets the tone for 6 anthems of intense, high quality heavy / speed metal. With a typical German 80s sound, the duo’s expertise as musicians is evident, both in the diverse vocal attack of Paul and the flawless playing of Axl, who handles all instruments. If you’ve never been a fan of Noise Records’ classic rooster, “Mounting the World” is, for sure, not going to make you change your mind. If otherwise, this is, undoubtedly, a delight to the senses, totally unmissable. [Jaime Ferreira]


TAD MOROSE Revenant [CD]

TERRORTORY City of Ghosts EP [CD]

Despotz Records

Discouraged Records

Art Of Propaganda




/10 Ten years after the

release of “Modus Vivendi”, Swedish progressive/power metal band Tad Morose return with the appropriately named “Revenant”. Given the line-up changes that occurred, the fans were curious to see if the beloved Urban Breed was replaced carefully. New singer Ronny Hemlin (ex Steel Attack) makes sure the answer to that question is a firm “Yes”, displaying a raw and soulful voice, combined with the amazing dual guitar work from founder Christer”Krunt” Andersson and newcomer Kenneth Jonsson. Musically speaking, this is darker than some of their previous efforts, and not as up-tempo as other albums of the genre, adopting a slower approach. “Revenant” can be seen as a nice return from a veteran group living a second life. [Jorge Alves]

/10 Swedish melodic

death metallers Terrortory did quite good in the press with their debut “The Seed Left Behind” and 2013 was the year they decided to release “City of Ghosts” EP and here they are their own influence. That’s right! They have managed to create a world of their own and explore it at their will. Johan Norström voice really gives this album a strong identity while joined by poweful songs that convey their own personal touch and the old school vibes at the same time. They chose to take a risk and they really got the best of it! If the EP sounds like this then I can’t wait to hear the new album! Great job guys! [Joel Costa]

/10 “Sommar” shifts

between distorted and clean guitar riffs/passages where the flow tricks us as I noticed some happy movements in “Another Side (Of Me)” - those movements trick us because it changes instantly into rage, and if there’s happiness is because all is lost. “Välkommen In” throws us into an empty room as 145188 slowly speaks and a desperate crescendo is felt as the song rolls. “Levande Begravd I Pffitvingad Fffingenskap (8mmcl)” is probably the best track as all Vanhelga’s characteristics are in this song: melancholic, miserable, angry and mellow when the poverty of life reaches its climax. A nice release if you are a Lifelover fan or if you haven’t already reached the deepest depression, but still in the path to. [Diogo Ferreira]


WE ALL DIE (LAUGHING) thoughtscanning [CD] Kaotoxin Records


/10 “Thoughtscanning”

from this Belgian progressive metal duo might have been one of the best surprises of the year. This is the new project from Arno Strobl, who is known for his past work with bands like France’s 6:33 and Carnival In Coal. “Thoughtscan” is the only song featured in this record and will be your best companion for over 30 minutes, where you can listen to progressive metal, rock, jazz, depressive black metal, with some of the best melodies of the year! It’s a 33 minute song but you’ll never guess it once you have finished it! You’ll be invited to Arno’s own mind and experience his dark emotions and feelings. Truly a masterpiece, in all ways! [Joel Costa]



WOMBBATH Internal Caustic Torments [CD]

Century Media

Pulverised Records

Debemur Morti Productions




/10 Symphonic deathcore

juggernaut known as Winds Of Plague will soon release their fourth album, Resistance. This is cathartic music for the angry, devastated masses. The singer oscillates between snarling death growls and hardcore vocals. The guitars wail like banshees, shift to fast-paced shredding, then shift to the requisite deathcore chugging, and back to the wailing again. Resistance is merciless noise, with overlapping sounds that sideswipe the listener with contrasting musical nuances. Delicate keyboard melodies accompany ruthless death metal, resulting in a haunting, poignant dichotomy. The lurid, bloody lyrics are integral, living up to the title “Resistance”. This album revolves around rebellion, autonomy, and righteous indignation. The music is simultaneously tragic and violent, sure to satisfy fans of their previous albums. [Cheryl Lynn]

Title: Suspiria Year: 1977 Genre: Horror Director: Dario Argento Stars: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Alida Valli, Udo Kier Dario Argento’s “Suspiria” is the best known film directed by this Italian filmmaker and an icon in the horror scene. Recently, one of Ghost’s Nameless Ghouls picked up

/10 In January 2014

Pulverised Records will re-release “Internal Caustic Torments” ... the debut and sole album of Swedish death metal band Wombbath originally released in 1993. So what do we have? Eerie zombie flick style electronic intro? Check! Eighteen tracks of pummelling brutalising death metal displaying all the finesse of a dumper truck to the crotch? Check! As you’d expect from an album originally released back in 1993 this is as old school as old school death metal gets! Thick chugging riffs supported by the steady rumble of fast thundering drumming and the confident dominance of the bass, all topped off with meaty gruelling lyrics that would shred a mere mortals throat to pulp! Yet it’s the bands slower tempo numbers that hit me the hardest and the deepest, sinister brooding affairs that make the blood boil. It may have been twenty years but this album is as relevant and impressive now as it was then! [Luke Hayhurst]

six horror movies and “Suspiria” featured in his strict list. The plot is very simple: an American girl lands in Germany to ingress in a famous ballet academy, but things are going very wrong, such as girls being murdered or missing. So, it’s obvious this fresh-girl will try to solve the puzzle. I must say the acting of most of the actors and actresses is horrendous. Jessica Harper never reached the stardom, no one knows Stefania Casini and Alida Vali’s recognition was about to end. However, Udo Kier, who has a small role as Dr. Frank Mandell, has been very requested to perform since his first appearance in

/10 There are those

bands that always seem to elude a conclusive genre pinpointing. Year of No Light are usually lumped together with ‘post-metal’, even though their music demonstrates elements from Doom, Sludge, Stoner, Shoegaze, and even Post-Rock. However, whatever genre this album is, there is one thing we can be certain of; it is crushing. Tocsin is YONL’s 4th studio album, laid out in the form of 5 relentless tracks, each with their own twist but all converging into an atmospheric, hypnotizing experience. Among the crushing riffs however, some shoe-gaze-ish, post-rock-ish otherworldliness may also be found, particularly on ‘Désolation’-which is probably the album’s most recognizable track-, its crescendo being a testament to the band’s skills when it comes to progression and atmosphere. [David Horta]

the “Road to Saint Tropez” short-film, back in 1966. In

compensation Argento delivers a unique way of playing with colors. This horror film hasn’t to do with frenetic camera movements, but with colors – reds and blues fill the


screen. A beautiful achievement! But the best is the original soundtrack composed by the Italian progressive rock band Goblin. I can easily say this OST is the most tenebrous one I heard in a film – I even dare to say the OST is scarier than the film itself. Remember Carpenter’s “Halloween” theme song? Well, add witch’s whispering with lullaby rhythms and you have the scariest OST ever. “Suspiria” rests in the cinema history as a horror cult movie that everyone should watch. If you travel back to 1977 and sit in a huge cinema room, I guess “Suspiria” would scare the hell out of you, but not in 2013.



good ol`Rock and Roll session on a cold Wednesday night. Sure, with these intense winter temperatures staying at home certainly sounds better, but is it worth missing a great gig? Probably not. The venue, while not sold out, was far from empty, and those who were there made sure Samsara Blues Experiment, touring to promote their most recent release “Waiting for the Flood’, had a very warm reception. In support of this German Stoner act, Solar Corona started things off. . Hailing from Barcelos, Portugal, a city famous for its dynamic underground movement, this young band – who released an EP entitled “Innerspace” this past summer – were up to the task. Having seen them live in July, their significant improvement in quality is clear. If back then they had too many ideas floating around, now they sound tighter and more confident. There is still room for improvement, but the passion is there, and they are talented musicians, especially the bass player Tiago Campelo.

This gig might have begun the band’s journey into musical greatness, and it’s up to them to reach their potential. After this good yet short performance (30 minutes) Samsara entered the stage, ready to celebrate their fifth anniversary. Just like their first time in Portugal, at last year’s Sonic Blast festival in Moledo, dirty riffs and bluesy guitar solos, not to mention a very groovy, sometimes even funky, rhythm section were the ingredients used to create a delicious musical meal. It’s interesting to note that this four-piece band sounds more aggressive on record than on stage. Live, they create what seems to be a long jam session, at times heavier, other times slower and melodic, but always retaining that improvised feeling. Musically speaking, most may say they are nothing more than a regular Stoner rock group, inspired by the Californian scene of the 90s that had Kyuss and Sleep as its pioneers. While their legacy is certainly an influence, Samsara offer


something a bit different than the masters of the genre, emphasizing their blues and psychedelic roots and incorporating Indian Raga as well. And they do it well, writing extremely solid songs and showcasing their technical abilities effectively. In other words, the audience is able to understand they are strong musicians without having to go through endless guitar solos. But the instrumental is not the only highlight of their sound. Singer and guitarist Christian Peters deep voice is a crucial element as well, and his guitar work alongside Hans Eiselt is absolutely fantastic. When all these pieces are put together, they form an outstanding puzzle, with anthems such as “Army of Ignorance”. A heavy yet relaxed musical night, with an enthusiastic and polite crowd, and lots but lots of beer. What else could anyone want? Words: Jorge Alves Photography: André Henriques

Tuesday November 5th, The Legends Of Thrash Tour presented by Columbus Events Group ColumbusEventsGroup swept through Columbus stopping at the Alrosa Villa www.facebook. com/alrosavilla like a loud sonic whirlwind as bodies crashed and collided into each other in the pit like a human tornado of souls. LA’s young guns Warbringer brought the early battle cry with Germany’s Eurothrash hero’s Kreator www. screaming in at over 30 years of devastation and New Jersey’s green lit thrash veterans Overkill OverkillWreckingCrew who’ve been on a screeching batwinged blitz-krieg since 1980. Tonight was stop number seven on the twenty-four date North American Tour. It’s a double fisted metal spiked, thrash hammer to the face and guitar shredding to the ear as Overkill continues touring in The Electric Age and Kreator brings America the Phantom Antichrist. With Warbringer bringing their new October released Warbringer IV: Empires Collapse to the state capital, promoting their new video for Black Sun, Black Moon. Filmed in the forbidding desolation of the Mojave Desert under pitch-black nightfall, Black Sun is a vintage highway throwback to Judas Priest. The war begins as they open

fire with the razor-sharp riffs and cutting edge technology via science of the hunter-killer, the Living Weapon. The pit opens immediately as we wake into the nightmare of Severed Reality staring into the black murky void before us. John Kevill hand chops the crowd samurai style summoning their energy ready for a throatslicing good time. The Turning of the Gears is what we hear tonight but for them it’s day after day, year after year. When it’s over John Kevill’s yell, John Laux and Jeff Potts’ guitars will still be stuck in our ears. They tear across the dusk lit illusive highway under the mystic fading blaze and rising glow of the Black Sun, Black Moon. Scars Remain from the pit of inner pain, as you’re Living in a Whirlwind of addiction and mother nature’s metal fury. They break out classic Exodus, Sepultura inspired Combat Shock. As Laux and Potts throttle blasted their guitars, Kevill called for one more pit before the show ended. Want musical pestilence, famine and conquest, Warbringer cometh. Kreator bathed in a feast of strobes came forth as Mars Mantra played, opening with the obliterating Phantom Antichrist conjuring up a pit at will. Destroy this fucker! Mille Petrozza yelled starting From Flood Into Fire harnessing the energy from all sides. Columbus, The Kreator has returned! They bring out the madness of the Reich on Warcurse, splitting

the crowd in two, preparing the biggest pit of the night. Counting to four in German he wanted to see what a floor wide Ohio Coma of Souls circle pit looked like, in return they gave us Endless Pain. Are you ready to kill? Are you ready to kill, each other… Pleasure to Kill. It’s everyone against everyone in the Hordes of Chaos, a Necrologue for gladiators and ‘pit’ fighters alike. Petrozza shreds reveling in the roaring feedback before calling for a dance floor thrash pummeling Riot of Violence. Purity and innocence are killed by the Enemy of God. A paranoid Phobia forms, is someone following you? The Patriarch roars over its metal family warning of Violent Revolution. Sami Yli Sirnio plays the acoustic into United in Hate. Let there be darkness tonight with the Civilization Collapse. Petrozza brings the flag of Kreation on stage waving its emblem high and proud. They tease Billie Jean’s bass intro and drums on Painkiller before finishing with Flag of Hate and unleashing the Tormentor. The Kreator will return! The legendary East Coast wrecking crew opened old school with Deny the Cross. We get modern-day Ironbound with Bring Me the Night. Blitz asks for/demands crowd noise, he’s got fuckin’ high standards, you better fuckin’ remember that shit. We watched them shake and bake with the Electric Rattlesnake and

got knocked on our ass like a Hammerhead via 1985. Blitz grins announcing “it’s an old school fucking show tonight. You motherfuckers get uglier every year.” Because Columbus is Rotten to the Core! From the back alleys and street sludge of Franklin County, welcome to the mother fuckin’ gutter! Ohio’s one hell of a metal state and together we’re strong, together we’re Ironbound! Wrecking necks for over 30 years with 16 records, 2 live albums, 2 DVD’s and a video-documentary; you know they’re doing fine, basking in the light of the Necroshine. The days Horrorscope said, Thanx for Nothin’ so take a trip with the pale rider at midnight to Overkill and seal your fate. Time to quit fuckin’ around and pay attention, long ago and far away like a runaway train the record was called The Years of Decay. Time for some E-limination! Encoring with Horrorscope, Skullkrushers worldwide know when you go see the ‘kill and it’s time for the last song, you don’t wanna sound like a pussy. Columbus, we don’t care what you say, FUCK YOU! Words: Mike Ritchie Photography: Samantha Stewart