Against Magazine #4 (December 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 Cátia Cunha WRITERS / TRANSLATORS Andreia Figueiredo, Carlos Cardoso, Cátia Cunha, Cheryl Lynn, Christine Parastatidou, “Cookie” Shemaly, David Horta, Diogo Ferreira, Eduardo Rocha, Estefânia Silva, Jaime Ferreira, Joel Costa, Jorge Alves, José Branco, Jude Felton, Kevin “Junk” Kidd, Luís Alves, Luke Hayhurst, Mike Ritchie, Miky Ruta, Mónia Camacho, Nick “Verkaim” Parastatidis, Nuno Babo, Rúben Pinho, Rute Gonçalves PHOTOGRAPHY André Henriques, Black Label Pictures, Samantha Stewart (And thanks to all the photographers whose name we couldn’t find in the credits)


For me Christmas was always about family and friends. I love to have a full table and to have my father singing and playing his guitar, while the kids are too excited with their brand new toys and everyone else is too distracted with all the sugar stuff my mother made to even notice that someone has farted and I’m laughing about it. Then it comes that time where I grab my cellphone and call or text my close friends. I call my best friend, he doesn’t return it. He doesn’t see my Facebook messages. Something’s wrong. I know he’s been sick for quite some time now but I always prefer to focus on the good times and think that nothing’s wrong. I was with him playing Command & Conquer and recording a dirty Christmas song just a few days ago, nothing must have happened... Then I get the phone call no one ever expects. “He’s in a coma, he’s in a very bad shape and if he doesn’t find a lung donor in three days he might not survive.” Fuck... What the hell is wrong with the world? How will his son be after this? How will his wife and family handle all this? What should I do now? I seek for a shelter. I know he has found his shelter too and he’s fighthing against everything to stand up and call me shithead again everytime I destroy his military base on that stupid game. Time is no longer the same and the only way to go through this is to find a place where all the bad and negative things in the world cannot enter. I play some Alcest and deep down I know everything will be ok. Music is something magical. A miracle... the best thing we have in this cruel world (weed and sex is good too). Deep down I know life must go on and I shall finish this issue; for me, for all the readers who have been supporting us since we first started... to spread the Alcest word so you can also find your shelter during bad times like this... and for you. I dedicate this issue to you my friend and I hope in a few weeks we will be laughing about this lame editorial so you can call me the names I know you’ll call me! Start the dance you fucker!

Cover photography: courtesy of Prophecy Productions


by Kevin “Junk” Kidd Who are they: Cap De Craniu (Grind / Death Metal) + Beathelast (Post Hardcore / Metalcore) Origin: Romania


Cap De Craniu + Breathelast “Split it Out” 2013


plit it Out” is an 8 track split album released by two of the biggest names in the Romanian Underground rock/metal scene – Post Hardcore/ Metalcore act Breathelast and Grind Death Metal figure, Cap De Craniu. Breathelast are a five piece group that have become true examples of devotion and commitment for the entire local scene, hard working artists, true supporters of the cause, thus rapidly earning their respect and building an over decent fan base after just three years of existance. Since then, they managed to release a self titled 7 track EP, which received positive feedback, being supported by a couple of tours in and outside the country borders. Compared to this EP, the new material presented on the split album tends to a more melodic feature, while technically Breathelast outdone themselves, making clear that a big amount of effort was inflicted in the creation process of the new songs. Thematically speaking, the band sticked to their roots, with most bands members

hailiing from Constanta (Romanian city located at the sea side), the Black Sea plays an important role in their music and the idea can be easily spotted even by simply judging some of the songs’ titles – “Flood” and “Sinking Ships”. Another notable aspect about Breathelast is their strong relationship with the fans and fellow bands from the underground as well as their excellent live performances everytime they walk on stage.

– Paul Nicolae on bass guitar and two vocalists – Mihai Ionescu and Vicentiu “Averac” Busuioc. The duo succeeded in figuring their roles in the songs’ structure which were written and meant to be performed by one vocalist. Furthemore they also succeeded in creating a strong chemistry and the result can be felt on the “Split it Out” tracks. On stage, their synchronization is always flawless – enthusiastic, energetic , proffessional.

Same as their brothers at arms from Breathelast, Death Metal/ Grindcore mean machine Cap De Craniu have been a strong pylon for the local underground scene. CDC’s journey began in 2007 and have released an EP entitled “First EP for a Surgery” and the full length “I’ll Kill If I Live”, after which the band struggled with line up issues, when 3 members (Costin Chioreanu – bass, Dragos Drunea – vocals, Radu Ionascu – guitars) parted ways.

In a nutshell, CDC’s music style can be characterized as brutal, technical and very dynamic, due to the frequent changes in riffing measures and tempos, while the lyrical themes focus on a variety of personal experiences, overall moral values and ol’proverbs. Last but not least, Breathelast and Cap De Craniu already jumped to the promotion part for “Split it Out” with a phenomenal gig held in fabrica (well known Bucharest venue) as well as releasing music videos – “Wolves” by Breathelast and “TWBDARATMWAS” by CDC.

But “Romanian brothers from hell” - Calin (guitars) and Razvan (drums) “resurrected” their project by recruiting new members FOLLOW US ONLINE


ongratulations on “Shelter”. Are you happy with the way it turned out? Yeah, I’m very satisfied! You know, this is probably the first time I can fully enjoy listening to my own music. Before I always had something to say about a song that doesn’t sound as good as I’ve imagined or something but this time it’s very cool. I really like to listen to this album just like it was from another band. I’m very exigent with myself and very critical but this time it’s fine. I guess it’s a good sign! What kind of shelter do you think we need? Is the sea the ultimate shelter, since it’s your preferred one? I guess it’s different for every people. For me one of the shelters, and there are many shelters, but the most important one to me was the sea because I used to go to the sea when I was younger and the sea is always here, you know? It’s something eternal. Even if you grow up and you change, if you go back to the sea you’ll still have the same feelings and it brings you back to your deep self. But yeah, it can be anything: a song, a movie, a person, a passion… During certain periods of your life you can get lost, forget who you are and take wrong directions but these shelters, for example, a movie you liked a lot when you were a teenager, if you watch right now it will remember the person you were before and prevents you to get lost. For me it was these holidays on summer, by the sea… I love just

being in the beach and just look… I don’t know, it gives me a lot of joy. I understand. I live near the beach and when I feel sad or empty I just go there and everything seems different. Exactly! It’s like the beach and the sea are cleaning your soul. Do you see “Shelter” as an escape from this vicious and cruel world? Yes, in a way! Completely, because I don’t want to do shitty politics or shitty criticisms about the world because nothing is easy and it’s very easy to complain and to be critical but I can’t say it’s not a very pleasant time to live, you know? The times we’re living now are very tough. Even my parents tell me that when they were younger it was much easier and now the world is very difficult. I think it’s important in this case to have precious things, like these “shelters”: things you like to do that keep you alive. Listen to “Shelter” is like crying (not in a negative way) and smiling at the same time. Because of emotions like these ones, do you think “Shelter” is the most complex album Alcest ever created? I don’t think it’s very complex. I think the most complex one was “Les Voyages de l’Âme”, which was too complex for me. Actually “Shelter” is quite simple, I wanted to be simple. Something that you can listen and feel good. In a way I wanted “Shelter” to be a shelter for the person who listens to it. It takes you from very

different emotions and the only common point between the songs is the seaside atmosphere but otherwise you can have songs like “Opale”, the single, which is very happy, hopeful and light, and then you have songs like “Délivrance” which is very sad and dramatic in a way, but it’s all about emotions. It’s very nostalgic and dramatic or very sunny, light and joyful. I also said it was complex because it’s like you have plenty of sound effects and layers but at the same time it sounds so simple like you’ve just said. It seems you’re using a lot of guitar layers… I am [laughs]. The structures of the songs are very simple but we use a lot of layers of different guitars and amplifiers, so maybe that’s what you meant by complex. Would you say all those sound elements were in fault until now in Alcest’s sound? In a way, yes. I think in “Shelter” it’s more a question of style and I’m very happy that we’re not Metal anymore. I feel much more honest with myself because I don’t listen to Metal since a long time so it feels way more sincere and it’s very funny because when you play something that is not Metal anymore, something softer, people tend to say “he’s not honest anymore and he’s doing mainstream music”. I think I would not be sincere if I kept on doing Metal but I am sincere because I decided to play the music I wanted to play.




So would you say “Shelter” is a farewell to Metal? There will always be very few Metal elements but if I show “Shelter” to someone who listens to Rock music he’ll not say it’s Metal, so I guess in a way is a farewell to Metal style. Since “Shelter” is very different from your old material, how will this work live? We’re trying to make a good mix, to adapt the songs to the stage and maybe to play a bit heavier or something, I don’t know. You already told me more or less what you think the metal orientated fans will think about a straight shoegaze album but the shoegaze fans also matter. Do you think this new album can be a novelty for some fans of that genre? Of course I really want the people that listen to rock to listen to “Shelter” because this isn’t an album that was just made for the Metal fans because this is not a Metal record. So I really hope we’re going to catch more people from this shoegaze, post-rock and indie rock scene because that’s the music they could like, I guess. The name Neige is what mostly appears, but what Winterhalter had to say about this new direction? In the beginning he was a bit surprised, you know? He told me it was really different and people were going to complain, but when we started working on the songs I think he totally understood the point. The more we were playing the songs the more he liked the new style and I believe he thinks the same as me. Imagine we did three albums in this

kind of post-metal genre… it would be completely ridiculous to do another one in the same style because we would just repeat ourselves. Of course and especially after “Les Voyages de l’Âme” which is a masterpiece… Yes, it’s very complex and I went as far as I could go with that style so that’s why now we’re going to another style. I think it’s important. “Le Voyages de L’Âme” was acclaimed a masterpiece and the best Alcest album. How can you move on forward in order to create new music with this given high status in your mind? As I told you, “Le Voyages de l’Âme” is an Alcest album so of course I’m proud of it but it’s maybe the album I like the less and when I recorded it I already was into the next style. It felt a bit weird to record the previous album and when I recorded “Shelter” it was only excitement because I wanted to do this switch since a long time. I didn’t feel any pressure. I was very sincere when I was composing “Shelter” so I just did my best. Having Neil Halstead (Slowdive) singing in this new album is an honor, I guess. Inviting some sort of a shoegaze icon was something you’ve had in mind for a long time? Not for a long time but for “Shelter”, since we were going completely showgaze. Slowdive is my favorite band, I just love them so I contacted Neil, he accepted the offer and it was like a teenage dream coming true for me. I think it was a good decision because his voice is beautiful.

Tell me about the idea behind the video for “Opale” and why have you chose this song for the first single. We wanted to go a bit away from the previous aesthetic of Alcest so we wanted to do something more indie, something modern. The color pigments comes from this hindu party called Holi and it’s a party where people throws pigments at each other faces, it’s full of colors, it’s very beautiful, very strange… very special and dynamic. I wanted to bring this to the video so we have these two characters throwing colors at each other faces because it’s part of the song, it’s pure happiness and with a very child-like atmosphere. Do you feel that people and the press have already understood that Alcest is all about nostalgia and dreams and doesn’t have a depressive message? Now yeah, they understand. But we got some many negative opinions about “Opale”, you know? It’s people that missed the more dramatic side and I think Alcest is mainly very joyful, but I think these people will like “Délivrance” because it’s a more melancholic sound and its end is so epic and very, very… I don’t know how to describe it! I’m very proud of its ending because it’s very emotional. Nowadays, how do you see or remember the young Neige and your black metal background? I don’t know [laughs]. It’s part of my past and my life. I regret some things but not everything. I am not thinking about my past, I only think about what’s coming next. Yeah, I’ve read you’re working on new


songs. How’s that coming? At the moment I’m in Montreal but Winterhalter (drummer) lives near Boston so in one week I’ll spend some days with him in Boston and we’re going to record some demos for the next album. I’m always composing new stuff so… we’ll see in a few weeks! Everyone knows about Neige but what about you as Stephane? What can you tell us about you? What do you like to do? [laughs] I don’t know! I guess I’m a very simple person. Even if I’m very dreamy I’m also very down to earth. Outside of music I like to spend time with the people I love, to watch a lot of movies, to cook and to eat a lot of food [laughs]. That’s the great thing about touring because you discover a lot of new food! I like local food a lot. To read books when I have time and when I have even more time – but it doesn’t happen often – I like to play old video games, like really old ones… that’s my teenage side. Are you a collector? I was a collector before but I have sold a lot of Super Nintendo and Megadrive games… I’m old so I like this old stuff. I try

my best to keep very down to earth and simple. You just told me you like to watch movies and I’ve just read the first interview you guys have published where you said that your dream is to create a soundtrack for a movie… Oh yeah, that’s my last dream. I have done almost everything I wanted to do: touring, releasing records, having a band… and now yes, the thing I want to do is a soundtrack. I think it’s completely my style of compositions. What kind of movies are you into? Two years ago I watched a movie that was so great… It’s a Swedish movie but the title in English is “Let the Right One In”. They did an American remake but it’s really shit. It’s a vampire story… it may sound a little cheesy but it’s about two kids so there is one little girl that is a vampire and it happens in the suburb of Stockholm and it’s much more than just a vampire story. It’s a love story between two children. It’s so beautiful and the aesthetics are perfect. It’s a masterpiece! My favorite movie is “American Beauty”… I love the first “Alien”, “Se7en”, the Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia”… a lot of movies.

You have toured extensively in the past few years. What did you took from the experience of travelling the world from one point to another? We took a lot of things! How to start? We have always lived in France so we have a certain way of thinking but when you go to another place everything is different. The people, the behaviors, the landscapes, the religion, the food… everything is different so of course you learn a lot and I think it let us be more open-minded and we realized the world is not that big and once you realize it it’s very strange. If you never went to Asia and the USA, for you it seems it’s so far and so big but actually it’s not that far. You realize it’s a small word and it’s a bit scary in a way. You learn a lot and you become a better person. It’s like there are no more borders anymore and you realize you’re just a world guy. Exactly! It’s a bit cliché to say that but travelling is the best school! You learn a lot from it.



“Souvenirs d’Un Autre Monde” (2007 - Prophecy Productions) Hype in 2007, Certainty in 2013 Not really shoegaze and not really metal. A fraud for puritans, a beautiful experience for open-minded ones. Not really dreamy and not really depressive, but in the purgatory of emotions. Alcest’s first album could be seen as hype in 2007, but they build their recognition as we see the band today. “Souvenirs…” is not an incredible piece, however it’s the first steps into an imaginary outer-world that took by surprise a lot of metalheads who were only used to bands like Katatonia or Anathema.

“Écailles de Lune” (2010 - Prophecy Productions) The Recognition With this second effort, Alcest featured some magazine covers and proved that they are serious stuff. The blackgaze labeling started to make sense, because Neige’s black metal roots were more evident – the “Écailles de Lune (Part II) and “Percées de Lumière” tracks are nice examples of that due to the growls, an element that wasn’t present in their debut album. The album driving is darker and less homogenous than the previous one. The aggressive moments are delivered with intention and the nostalgia/dreamy thing is somehow hidden.

“Les Voyages de l’Âme” (2012 - Prophecy Productions) The Masterpiece Alcest’s third album is the answer why is worth to listen to music – it’s a perfect album from the beginning to its end. This one includes songs like “La Oú Naissent les Couleurs Nouvelles” which I think to be the best ever written song by Alcest. “Les Voyages de l’Âme” is Neige and Winterhalter’s maturity coming to surface; it’s ripping off our superiority by showing us we are simple drops in a real world. Musically, the lead guitars are heard as never before having an important role about the genuine feelings the songs give to us and the fast drumming is used with a plumy execution. Brilliant!

“Tristesse Hivernale” (Demo 2001)

“Le Secret” (EP 2005)

“Aux Funérailles du Monde / Tristesse Hivernale” (Split w/ Angmar 2007)

“Le Secret” (EP 2012 Version)

“Les Discrets / Alcest” (Split w/ Les Discrets 2009)

“BBC Live Session” (Live Album 2012)


ould you tell us briefly how AENAON formed? Aenaon were created as an idea in 2005 by Thyragon. In 2007 the band started rehearsing with a full line up and after a while we recorded “Phenomenon” EP. Years passed and a lot of line-up problems occurred so in 2010 we reformed as a fresh band with new logo, new aesthetics and new goals. Up to day we still make changes and have finally reached a solid line up with great potential. “Extance” is a very impressive album! Are you guys happy with the way it turned out? Thanks for your nice words. Yes, we feel very proud of it and we are really confident that this album will make impressions. We have reached the point we wanted and even a little further. Of course you always find details or ideas that you want to improve next time, otherwise, you become stagnant. I am very happy the

way it turned out and even happier for the journey we lived to create it. And what did you set out to accomplish with this new record? When we started working on this album we wanted it to be extraordinary, something that at least few, good listeners, will remember as a classic piece of extreme music. Another goal for us was to manage to construct something original but at the same time to preserve our Black Metal identity alive. Artistically we wanted passion, anger, conflicting emotions and to push the boundaries further more. Listening to this album after a year of devotion and hard work, I feel we achieved it. Your 2011 debut “Cendres Et Sang” was critically acclaimed everywhere! Did you feel any pressure to make of “Extance” something even better? Yes of course. We didn’t consider “Cendres et Sang” as a flawless album. Nor “Extance” is. Perfection is something that an

artist should never stop chasing no matter how far. The pressure was from times to times suffocating us. We wanted a gigantic jump in every level, not just a step of improvement. Ideas, arrangements, performances, production - everything had to be better. If you don’t push yourself hard, you don’t improve anyway. I guess next album will be the same fucked up, painful working process. If not, that would mean we’re doing something wrong. “Extance” is going to be released on January 2014, almost three years after your debut. How much did your new line-up contributed to this new record? The answer is - very. Their musicianship is astonishing. Anax is an extremely talented guitarist and a very funny guy that always makes up our mood. Nycriz is a multitalented musician that brought into the band a lot of new elements. It was not easy to find them. New members had to be excellent musicians, people that we could hang out with, to be openminded, hardworking


and of course to respect at the same time the black metal culture. Without them “Extance” would not be the same. Ι feel we learned many things from each other. That’s for sure. For people who aren’t familiar with AENAON, how would you describe your sound? Labelling is not pretty but it is necessary. According to our press kit we are an Avantgarde, Progressive Black Metal band. I think in most of the occasions these labels, “avant-garde”, “progressive”, “post” etc, are misunderstood both from the bands but by people too. “Avant-garde” means that you push the boundaries of the specific art you perform. I think we do that in a way. We are also “progressive” as we give attention to the progress and innovation of our music, we are not phenomenal performers but we try to express ourselves without being controlled by our skills but by controlling our skills. Finally, we do use Black Metal as a foundation. So, i think these are enough elements to describe what we do. Describing more detailed can only be done by listening to our music. Who would you cite as influences? That should be a secret I believe (he laughs). Seriously, our influences come from many different genres but can be detected from good listeners. Still, there are other influences that are obvious to us but impossible for others to detect. Complex but also more minimal and emotional

sounds that we mix up in our minds to produce new material. If you go back at “Phenomenon”, the influences are more than obvious. Same applies at “Cendres et Sang” but with different artists as “guides”. “Extance” is in a much more abstracted level influenced, much more originality there to find. Success: I managed to trick your question almost like a politician. What touring plans do AENAON have? At the moment not much, just some gigs here and there in Greece to celebrate our newborn. This album did not only take much time and thought, but also money. Touring needs funding and we are unstable in that level. We must have patience to hit the right time if there is one. “Our fate has not revealed to us yet” - the old wise man of the village said. What are your opinions on the Progressive Black Metal scene at the moment? I really enjoy it and I’m really trying to follow every step, underground and more mainstream. On the other hand I feel that not many impressive albums come out every year so we could use some quality albums more for sure. Anyway, I think 2013 was a very good year with lots of good albums but I feel 2014 will be even better. Would you say the listeners taste is leaning into more progressive fields these days? Really hard question. To be honest, I don’t FOLLOW US ONLINE

have a clue. This new age has brought so much diversity but at the same time so much fashion movements. If I had to make a guess I would say no. I’m not seeing any bands getting rich in this scene. I see many new bands but not enough followers. It’s the nature of this music. There are no killings, no church burnings not any kind of social rebellion within the progressive fields. That makes us boring to simple listeners. I guess bands in our field need some fucking attitude to draw attention. What are your plans for 2014? There is an idea for a new split but that’s still a little blurry. Releasing our new album, promoting it and performing some gigs are definitely in our plans. We are going to release a videoclip too - I hope. Anyway, thank you for the conversation and support. Cheers!




ounded in 2010, a stable line-up was found in 2013. Is it the main reason of waiting three years for a debut release? GUERRA: Yeah, that was one of the reasons. Since then, we had three lineup changes (two bass players and one drummer) so we never had the chance to aim for the first album before. Our main goal was to create songs, play them live as much as possible, watch the crowds’ reaction and gather some experience to record the CD. Carlos Guerra leaving Holocausto Canibal may have helped to push the thing, right? GUILHERMINO: Well, with only one band I guess his focus moved entirely to Serrabulho. Also, since Carlos is so respected and well praised in the Portuguese underground scene, it kind of gave the group a strong initial impulse that almost instantly put this band in people’s mouths and ears. So, luckily, things are really going fast and strong, for now. Besides Carlos Guerra and Paulo Ventura, we also have Guilhermino Martins on bass and Ivan Saraiva on drums – both of them former members of well-known bands in Portugal. How did they ingress in the band?

GUILHERMINO: My involvement in this project started as producer, then evolved to studio session bass player. The natural step – ever since the trouble with the previous members – was to play live, an invitation I gladly accepted. Then, some months ago, they asked me to join the band and here I am. I really fancy the tunes and the vibe with these guys is just great! PAULO: As for Ivan, he’s a good longtime friend and by the time of our first drummer’s departure, he was returning to Portugal, after a period he spent abroad. Since we had some shows booked we called him at the last minute to help us out and avoid any cancellations. Mighty Ivan had a listen to our songs, liked them and played the gig. Then, after another couple of gigs, we asked him to join us as an official member. We knew he had some more other projects but we wanted him to join this circus – a condition he loved since he’s quite insane and of a unique breed. Usually, grindcore has to do with gore, sexual obscenities and horrendous deaths, but Serrabulho and the “Ass Troubles” debut give a new image to the scene… Explain your concept. GUERRA: First, we want our grindcore to be rooted on reality sketches that affected us, in real life. Also, we don’t see how

this kind of music must be rooted only in dark/horrific/deadly scenarios. We make a sort of happy extreme music so there was no point in exploring serious things. Not to criticize who does it, but that’s not the Serrabulho way, and we also like to add flavors of sexual obscenities here and there to spice up the thing. GUILHERMINO: The main concept is, I believe, true non-sense. Humorous nonsense with a hint of comic reality. PAULO: Yeah, the great majority of grindcore is seen that way but, for instance, some bands use some tools and apparatus on stage that enhance some kind of comic approach, even though their lyrics are quite macabre. In this band, we also value our image and its impact while performing live. And even during the songs’ composition we want the lyrics and the vocal lines to be as funny as possible. You’ve even “invited” Peter Griffin (Family Guy) and Google Translator, right? GUERRA: Peter’s a longtime friend and since he has those, let’s say, gastric problems, we thought we would fit the bill perfectly. PAULO: Who’s Google? Did it come with Peter? I didn’t see them coming! GUILHERMINO: Actually the first contact we had with that “Left Ball” intro was in its final stage, in an after-google translator mode. Since it sounded so weird and


funny, it became mandatory to use it. Funny thing I found in “Ass Troubles”: we never know what’s happening next. Squeaks, some sort of popular music on “Lèche Moi les Couilles”, movie quotes on “Disgusting Piece of Shit” and so on. Are they tools to keep using in order to fill Serrabulho’s concept? GUERRA: Definitely, yes! But on live shows we only make use of two of those intros – the funniest, we think: “Lèche Moi les Couilles” and “Toco Loco du Moi”. If I agree they are important for the dynamics of the album, I tend to think their excessive use can kill a live show. GUILHERMINO: The intros help the dynamics and their use on the CD was not randomly thought of. It’s all part of the big non-sense picture! Is there any chance that some farts in the hidden-track are yours? PAULO, GUERRA, GUILHERMINO (at the same time): Maybe!! Grindcore always was a great experience during live acts and each band has its own paraphernalia. What can the audi-

ence expect from Serrabulho on stage? GUERRA: The shows are always different. Our fans know we do our best and they recognize how important their presence is to make the party happen. We have this umbilical connection to them. PAULO: The whole concept is to expect the unexpected. People come watch us play for 30-40 minutes but they never know what’s going to happen! Last but not least, tell our folks abroad what’s the meaning of Serrabulho, a dish from your beloved Portuguese north side. GUILHERMINO: Well, there’s an annual tradition in Northern Portugal, approximately between December and January, of killing a pig. This millennia-old habit gathers several generations of families, knowledge, stories, jokes, friendships, and the great red wine from the previous year’s harvest! It’s a very important task in the villages, almost a sacred-profane gathering and it’s called Sarrabulho. We changed the first “A” to an “E” to become Serrabulho, since we live surrounded by mountains (Serras, in Portuguese), like Marão or Alvão. However, in some of the FOLLOW US ONLINE

most isolated villages, the word Serrabulho is actually used to describe the dish. The pig’s squeak never had such a literal relationship with the grindcore scene… GUILHERMINO: You bet! Even some of the vocal lines remind me of little pigs squealing while playing with each other. And yes, the name couldn’t fit better for a Northern Portuguese grindcore act, whose members have such a huge respect for secular popular traditions. It all fits perfectly!


our first full-length “Death Sigils” just got released online last October and the reviews seem pretty positive. Most of the reviews describe your sound with words such as “murder”, “homicidal” and “violent”. What’s the main inspiration for the band nowadays? Does Kerry write all the lyrics? Unfortunately the LP release date was delayed until November 27th due to an

unforeseen circumstance but the digital version had been up since October. In regards to the description of our sound, I’d agree that we have a violent sound and death plays a large role as inspiration but interpretation in the end should be left up to the listener. We have no main inspiration, there are many coming from disparate places all of the time, sometimes abstract, sometimes direct- often bleak, interesting or unsettling (hopefully)

- ranging from a man’s blood-lust due to the ghosts of war to the methods Zoroastrians used to honor their dead. Kerry writes most of the lyrics and all of us may individually or collectively come up with a concept or a narrative direction. We’ve even had a friend from outside the band (Justin Ryan) contribute to the lyrics as well. What are the main differences between


“Hell By Our Hands” and “Death Sigils”? I’d say the main difference is that “Death Sigils” is a much more expanded and varied take on the metalpunk spark we started with on “Hell By Our Hands” - it’s bigger and more adventurous. You claimed to follow the DIY ethics back when you released “Hell By Our Hands”. Do you maintain the DIY approach? I’d say yes and no. We are mostly selfcontained but Laura over at Primitive Ways Records, which is a low-key but hard working DIY operation based in Raleigh NC, has put out both of our releases - she has been a tremendous help. We met her the first time we played there, her label had one release out when we came aboard. Just about everything else we do on our own. We like what Laura has done so far and the reaction has been beyond our expectations, which were none to begin with. We are of course open to other options but everything should be one step at a time. You once defended the internet as being a good way of understanding if a band can succeed or not. Do you think the future of a band is less related to its record label these days? Although not in those exact words, I believe I mentioned something vaguely along those lines once in an interview from last year. Anyway, I believe that the internet can be a quick way of creating a buzz for an unknown band or release, but

it also has ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) so interest can be lost just as fast as it was generated. As for labels, I believe that depending upon the type of listener and the artist’s aesthetic tendencies that labels still hold a lot of clout. There are just certain labels that are seen as reliable in regards to good taste, so folks seeking a certain sound will gravitate more to whatever bands/artists these labels are willing to put their stamp on because the listener feels it is something they can trust. We can say that Ghoul took you under their wing when you started. Do you think going on tour with them helped you get noticed? I think that short run helped tremendously and we are still indebted to our Creepsylvanian brethren for being so kind. Be on the lookout for 2014 assaults with both of us together again. Can you describe the Richmond music scene as of today? Richmond is a music city and there’s almost everything here for the offering in every genre almost every night. I think people will look back at the past 10 or so years of Richmond music overall as another Golden Age period. I think particularly what has been happening in the DIY punk/ heavy circles here over the past decade is just as good if not better than ever historically in regards to quality bands that are constantly playing and FOLLOW US ONLINE

forming from this city. Here’s a few that are more under the radar that you should know about: Bastard Sapling, Street Pizza, Bermuda Triangles, Prisoner, Sinister Haze, Asylum, Mens Room, Ratmeat, Gritter, Unsacred, I could go on and on... Any news about the European tour? No, but we’d love to hear some! Any European booking or biz people interested in bringing us across the pond contact us here: Do you have plans for the next album? What’s next for Occultist? We have a split 7” release planned next, where we’re doing a Plasmatics cover. Shortly after, there will (most likely) be an EP released to serve as a bridge between “Death Sigils” and the next LP.


hat’s the story behind Crawling Chaos and what do you wish to convey with your music? We were born in the late 2005 in Rimini, Italy. In the following years we spent a lot of time rehearsing, playing covers and trying to find the right sound. In 2007 we officially began our live career. In January 2009, we released our first demotape based on original songs. It was called Goatsuckers, a completely homemade

20-minute EP. In 2011 the lineup changed and the band got its current arrangement: Manu (guitar, vocals), Andre (guitar, backing vocals), Gabri (bass, backing vocals) and Edo (drums). In December 2012, Crawling Chaos finally recorded its first full-length, “Repellent Gastronomy”, at Domination Studio. Musically, our main aim is to embody the mood of the tales we draw inspiration from. Some other times, as is the case in “From the Unsafe Shrines Cometh the Abyss”, we simply

try to evoke figuratively specific abstract issues. Your debut full-length, “Repellent Gastronomy” was just released. What themes are you exploring on it and what can you tell us about the recording process? We like telling stories. In the album we focus mainly on the horror literature of the late 19th-early 20th century and some sort of ancestral esoterism. For exam-


ple, “Premature Burial” is based on the namesake short story by E.A. Poe, while “Plate XII” is inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s The Picture in the House. On the other hand, songs like “Closing the Gates” and “Blind Fiends of the Ancient Evil” deal with rituals concerning primeval gods. It took about two years to put all the ideas in the right place while the recording process at Domination Studio went very smooth, thanks also to the awesome job of Simone Mularoni (DGM, Empyrios). And how has your sound progressed since the release of the 2008 “Goatsuckers” EP? Well, first of all now we are a lot more skilled with our instruments. Secondly, our sound is definitely more focused. Back in the “Goatsuckers” days we used to put in the songs everything which came to our minds. There is a lot of Heavy and Power guitarwork in that EP. Even though “Repellent Gastronomy” isn’t a straight edge Death Metal album and you still can find a lot of different influences, we think they’re sort of better merged into the music flow. Last but not least, “Goatsuckers” was a homemade, D.I.Y. album. We’ve learned a lot during the recording and mixing process, but the outcome was perhaps far from being a true professional product. “Repellent

Gastronomy” is truly on another level. THIS IS the fuckin’ sound we want, and we have to thank Simone Mularoni for being able to carve it out from our guitars. Where do you draw inspiration from? As said before, we draw inspiration from everything which ignites some sort of interest, being it fiction, day-life or historical events and personal considerations. From a musical point of view, the bands that inspire us are principally Lamb of God, Nile, Behemoth, Cannibal Corpse, Death, Carcass and many more. You guys use a lot of samples. What’s the reason? And is this something you also use on stage? Oh yeah, we do. Samples help to set up the stage for the songs and blend them together in a coherent flow. Even if “Repellent Gastronomy” is not a proper concept album, we wanted the listener to become the audience of a fictional theatre where various shows take place, everyone linked to the others via the same atmosphere. Or, if you prefer, the customer of a very gruesome restaurant. What are your personal highs and lows of being with Crawling Chaos? What we like the most is the opportunity FOLLOW US ONLINE

to play and revisit the music we love. This is due to the fact that everyone in the band takes part in the songwriting process, each one contributing with his own experience and inspiration. Personal lows of being in the band? …The awareness of being doomed to a horrible insanity. The artwork for this record is something worth of talking about! Who’s behind it? Indeed, we like it a lot! We think it’s really disquieting. It is based on several original illustrations by our drummer Edo which have been rearranged by Simone Bertozzi (Mnemic, The Modern Age Slavery). Our intent was to present the listener a sort of grotesque menu, and we think we made it. In your opinion, which underground bands are the future of Italy? We think the Italian underground scene has seen the birth of many interesting bands in recent years. We shared the stage with some of them, and it’s been a blast. Compiling a mere list would be reductive and unfair. What’s next for the band? A lot of gigs, and hopefully to come back in the recording studio soon. Huh, obviously we have to write some brand new shit before!




o Irminsul is a mighty pilar… is that what music is for you? Yes you could say that. It is very important and a big piece in our lives. Music is probably the most powerful force existing (except maybe for apache helicopters). Do you have any connection to the Germanic paganism beliefs? We are mostly in to Scandinavian heathen beliefs but they are strongly connected to the Germanic ones, so yes. But it should also be said that even if we have ended up in the pagan/Viking/folk genre our lyrics isn’t just all about that. Irminsul´s theme is history in general but we focus on the Scandinavian/European one because it feels relevant for us. So, Fäder, your newest album’s name, means father. What is the feeling of creating someone or something of your own? Fäder is plural and means Fathers. We choosed that title because we have all become fathers since our last album, so it isn’t actually connected to a specific song or lyric on the album. To make an album takes a lot of effort and you reallyhave to put your soul in to it, and when it´s finished and youfeel satisfied with the result… That is an awesome feeling! Except for our actual kids Irminsul is now proud fathers of two well-turned offsprings! How important are lyrics in your music? And why have you decided to have some in English? The lyrics are absolutely important. We try to obtain the wholeness of our music as good as we can. This time we had some English lyrics because we wanted to seehow people reacted to it. We don’t know yet if we will have some English lyrics in the future, but we will have Swedish ones for sure! In the cover of your album, the band’s name appears written in wood of living dark trees, whose roots dive into the IRMINSUL symbol, and in the end we see a kind of a tail. Is there a symbolism here?

I wish I could give you an interesting story here, but then I would have to come up with one first… Our logo is painted by Sebastian at Rebta2´s and he had free hands to do whatever he thought would fit our music. The tail isn’t a part of the logo but is put there by Samos as a part of the design for this specific album. Where did you met Samos of Folkingrimm Art? Somewhere in the deep and dark forest called internet. All kudos to that guy, we are more than satisfied with his work! Tell us a bit about the song “Letters from the past”. Do you belive in runes? Not in that wicca, haruspicy way or something, that is for new age peoples or what it´s called. Runes for us is justas the title of the song describes them, like letters from the past. If you can decipher them you can read messages left by people who has been departed for a long time. In some more isolated places of Sweden they actually used a special kind of runes as late as the 1800 century. Do all your songs have stories inside? Yes, sometimes more historically correct (like Clades Variana) and sometimes written with more fantasy. But almost always based on history or some existing myth. A lot of the songs in this album have a kind of a soft prelude. Or something like that… Was it a musical conception’s choice? No, we have even discussed that within the band that we always have those and should try to avoid it for variety. But for some reason we always end up with these preludes anyway! I guess that is just our style to create songs…

tomake it. But we try to make our songs not repetitive and always have something new to discover for the listener. Some songs are a bit enigmatic (and I mean the sound). What role does mystery play in your music? That is very hard to answer when you are so close to the music and have listened to the riffs a 1000 times while making the midi and melodies. For us who knows exactly what comes next and everything, it doesn´t sound so mystical. But if our music can transmit that feeling to the listeners it´s very cool because I like that feeling when I listen to music by other bands myself! Is there a bigger electronic scent in this album? No not really, ok in the first album we had real violins in some songs, but not all. In this album all odd instruments are midi. But this album has so much clearer and overall better production and we also use much more rhythmic and muffled riffs and I guess that can give you that feeling. The cover of Neverending story is full of electronic stuff though, but that not really counts. That song was just included because we know that movie was very popular by kids (including us) back then who listens to our music today. Did you choose Purity Through fire for label or did they choose you? They contacted us.

In this album we seldom have tunes in repeat (like hidden codes). It is a sound statement of just something to let us go through moments where power and strength take control? Actually I do not know what to answer to this question. Irminsul´s music is not created after a template and our creations is just made that way it felt natural for us




ou have released “Det personliga helvetets spiral” back in August. Are you happy with the way it turned out? And for the ones who haven’t listened to it yet, how would you describe your music? Yes, I am very happy with how it turned out. It was a very long process to finish everything up so it feels insanely good to finally have it out. Of course, as always, there are some stuff I’d like to go in and modify afterwards, but I guess I’m the only one hearing those tiny “flaws”... I find it difficult to describe the music to someone unfamiliar with this album since it is so diverse. Usually I just encourage people to listen and decide for themselves. But I guess fans of darker extreme metal music would probably find it to their liking.

How did the writing and recording sessions go for the new album compared to your first two releases? It has always been me behind the wheel as far as recording, mixing and all that stuff goes. And this time around it was no different, except for that I have got better equipment and skills to work with over the years. This album, however, took some three years to finish. Mostly because of other musical priorities I have in my life but also because I was literally pushing my equipment to the limit, making the mixing a very slow process. No studio or anything like that was used. It’s all DIY. I did everything myself up until the final mixing and editing sessions. At that point I sent all the files to my friend Klas (who also mixed and mastered “Tills döden skiljer oss åt” by Acacia). Partly because I was so fucking tired of the FOLLOW US ONLINE

project files, partly because my computer could barely handle the size of them and partly because he knows what he is doing. And boy did he deliver. I owe him, to say the least... Also, the artwork has been almost all me in the past, but this time around I let Seiya of Ogino Design (formerly Ensamvarg Design) do the work. Also because I am simply tired of working in Photoshop, and I wanted an outsiders perspective on things. Which was a very good move in the end. That guy knows his craft. You have transforming your own sound album after album to come up with something different every time. How come? I guess each album represents where I am musically, and personally, at that point in time. I most certainly do not limit myself

to write music within a specific type of genre. Whatever comes out, comes out. Simply put, I do not see any reason to make the same album twice, if you will. If you like one of the older albums, then you can always go back and listen to that one if the new stuff is not to your liking. It’s not going away.

Ambition, maybe. Plans, no. I am in no rush whatsoever. It would certainly be a good thing as far as promotion and all that goes, but Art of Propaganda is probably the best label I have worked with so far, and I have no plans on leaving them in this writing moment.

What inspires you as a musician and lyricist? How do you come up with ideas? Such a difficult question to answer... As I said earlier, whatever comes out comes out. I try not to think too much when I am writing new material. Whatever I think sounds interesting will most likely be put on tape. Of course things that happen to you in your everyday life affects you not only as a person but also as a composer. You change and evolve throughout the years and that inevitably affects what comes out of your fingers as well. I do not fight that; I embrace it. The music is written before the lyrics in 9 out of 10 cases. I do have lyrical ideas from the start but I usually start writing them when I have the music finished to get the right feeling. For “DPHS”, the lyrics were written by my friend Ulf Nylin. We came up with the concept together and I gave him free hands since he is, in my opinion, a ridiculously underrated lyricist.

What are you most proud of with this new album? The orchestral pieces for sure. I will definitely continue walking down that path in the future... The last song, Agnosis, is my personal favorite on the album. I did not write the original notes for it but I did my own interpretation of it. It was written by Oskar Lindberg and is originally called “Gammal fäbodpsalm från Dalarna”. It is simply a piece that I find very beautiful, and there are a lot of fantastic versions of it out there.

What’s the reason to write your music in Swedish? And let’s exclude the obvious reason of you being Swedish haha. Well, I guess it is easier to fully express yourself in your native tongue, eh? I have a pretty damn good grasp on the English language but no matter how you approach things, some things get kind of lost in translation or lose their core essence, so to say For me, it would be no problem at all to write lyrics in English, so more people could absorb the songs more properly, but it just so happens that it is easier to express things in Swedish. I guess it also depends on what you are writing about. We’ll see what happens with that in the future. How do you compare Svart with Shining? What makes Svart different? I really hate comparing the two, since I am part of both. They are two completely separate entities, for reasons I shall leave undisclosed here. For Svart, however, I have absolute and total creative freedom. It is me, from the notes you hear and to the very production itself. But I would be a fool to deny the few musical similarities. Actually, one song on the “Redefining Darkness” album was originally written for Svart and was intended to end up on the “DPHS” album. You’re currently signed to Art Of Propaganda. Do you have the ambition to be picked up by a bigger label in the near future?

This is my take on it. I have worked quite a lot with orchestral arrangements as of late, and as I said, I will definitely keep working on that and incorporate more of that in the future. What about your plans for 2014? First of all to release a vinyl edition of DPHS. Second of all to, finally, release some merchandise. I hope that goes well. Other than that, I may or may not have started to dabble with some ideas for some new material. The problem is that I cannot decide if I should use it for Svart or something else, haha... I have some other musical endeavors coming up as well which will need my attention. We’ll see what the future brings. I am a creative person so you can expect pretty much anything.



For those who are not familiar with your work, please tell us how the band got together. Madness of The Night have been around for quite some time, under different names. However, we have kids and therefore, we put our career on hold until they were older. Musically, we are a gothic rock band with metal and punk influences. We focus on writing about politics, religion and Feminism, and we do have a very strong message, one that involves empowering women. We may not be lawyers or politicians, but we are ordinary people who want to create powerful songs. Besides being bandmates, you are also a couple who have children. In your opinion, did having a project together bring you closer? This is a serious question because we love each other. Our music connects us but has also been a problem. For example, Abir has enemies in Lebanon that try to destroy our relationship. There are crazy

people – mainly her ex-boyfriends and some extremely religious men in the Middle East – who will do anything to stop Abir from spreading her message. But in the end, we love each other and that’s what matters. Abir is bipolar. In what ways has this mental illness influenced the writing process? After all, there are studies which show a connection between bipolar disorder and creativity. Yes, it has greatly improved my creativity, but I don’t see myself as being mentally ill. I mean, Kurt Cobain had bipolar disorder. But sometimes I feel extremely low and sometimes I’m quite happy, and this, of course, changes the way I do things. I could never have written these lyrics If I wasn’t bipolar. I also feel I have been given a special talent, one that allows me to express my emotions in quite a unique way. Are you a band with strong political beliefs? After all, several of your lyrics seem to defend Feminism or discuss violence committed by men. The song The State of Madness for

instance, talks about a housemaid in Lebanon who committed suicide after being dragged by Lebanese men, while She Is the Demon is about a girl who transforms and kills a man who abused her. We are a very political band, yes. We try to empower women and people in general. We are not against men, but there are things in society that make us wonder just how much pressure women face in the Middle East and all around the world. It’s very unfair that women have to deal with this and our politicians offer no solution. That’s why we write about it. Those songs you mentioned are very political, and we also have others like” Voices of the People”, which is a protest against war and corrupt politicians, with lyrics supporting peace between Jews and Arabs. You see, there are bands that like to write about love or vampires, but we are not into that. We prefer to address politics and social issues, even though that decision has had its disadvantages. I mean, we did receive death threats on Facebook after we posted a picture of

assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. With Abir being Lebanese, did she talk about it? And were you aware of this? I saw that movie. In my opinion, the censorship had more to do with the sexual content and not so much with the assassination of Rafik Hariri. It’s not that Beirut isn’t open minded, but sex there is taboo. Basically in Lebanon, a couple can not live together until they are married. And having sexual relations before marriage is even worse. Take a look at what happened to that Lebanese model Nicole Ballan. She had sex with her boyfriend before being married and a tape was made, and soon it was all over the news. It’s a shame what happened to her but, as you can see, this is a very controversial subject in Lebanon. I thought the film director (Danielle Arbid) was actually very brave.

two boys, one Arabic and one Jewish, hugging as a sign of peace. Oh, and we also received a threat from the Assad regime. I guess that’s the price you pay when you speak your mind. It’s been an interesting experience though, with both positive and negative effects.

It’s a plan for the future. Some bands are willing to help us, but it will take time. Abir has a busy life and she has stuff she wants to get done. But like I said, sooner or later it will happen.

What about the song “We Are Gothrockers and We Don’t Care”? I understand you`re addressing a social issue, possibly Goths who suffer from bullying? Yes, Goths are bullied in mainstream society for being different. In Sweden, for example, there’s the Law of Jante that says everyone should eat the same, dress the same etc. The law states you’re not to think you are anything special or that you’re better than us. Even in Beirut, Abir couldn’t go out without being called “The Blackshadow” when she wore dark clothes. That type of discrimination makes you angry inside; you almost lose your temper. So the lyrics to that song are very powerful, we want Goths to know they can be whatever they want. The movie Beirut Hotel was censored in Lebanon because it mentioned the 2005 FOLLOW US ONLINE

You haven’t played live yet. Will you start doing it soon?

You are a gothic band, but musically speaking, are there any other influences we listeners might not notice? We enjoy listening to Sisters of Mercy, Dead Can Dance, bands like that. We also like post-punk, gothic rock, metal and punk .Abir is also influenced by Lebanese classics such as Fayrouz and Majida Elroumi. Would you say you play gothic rock or gothic metal? So far people have used both terms to describe your music. Both. It depends on the listener. We say we are a heavier version of traditional gothic Rock. What are your plans for the future? Playing live if possible, and making more albums, hopefully ten or more (laughs). And of course, empowering people!



ongratulations on the new album. “Nowhere” is your fourth full-length. Can you give us a brief history on how Ekove Efrits came into existence? Thank you, Well I think it’s all about a habit. Transforming your inner feelings from your dark side into something tangible for yourself and second for your audience. It could happen for any form of art with different mediums. And about me I chose to write music under the title of Ekove Efrits , completely as an experimental project many years ago somewhere between 2001-2005 but there’s no specific date because I started to recording some stuff without any specific name and it was only couple years after that I choose the name for my activity. How is Metal seen in Iran and what can you tell us about your country’s scene? Iran has a talented powerful Metal scene with many great bands but as you know in a underground level, and also it’s not limited to only metal stuff but a wide range from instrumental/Rock/Post-rock to electronic/ambient and any other style of music such as extreme one, Death metal,

ect . I think it’s normal because people in society have different tastes in music both in audiences and artists and that’s extendable to music too. I have heard many great bands in these past years and some of them have really surprised me! What are the advantages and disadvantages for having a Metal band in Iran? If you asked me this question years ago as a teenager I would definitely think about being famous among Metal fans as one of the advantages but it’s not something bold for me anymore. Things go normal during the course of your life and this is no exception too. I think the real advantage is rather something else. By having a band In fact you make a straight channel from your feelings to those ones that want to sit and hear that. You make a personal world and some people come to watch, that’s all! Sharing your own world.

About disadvantages I definitely say the situation here about unpopular forms of music. In addition of official limitations you won’t face a huge desire from people these days too. I know Metal music belongs to a minority in compared with rock or pop music and also by coming newer genres it becomes old and older somehow but in my country I can use minority of minority instead of minority fans of Metal music! Maybe absence of internal magazines and Web-zines is another negative aspect. You have a very distinct sound. What are the main influences for Ekove Efrits? Thank you, I just do my best to follow my own feelings. Of course I’m inspired from lots of bands but in the process of recording I just focus on myself and those inner sounds in my mind. I see this as an essential destination for art, discovering and knowing yourself through art. Can you tell us about the process of making of the new album? Usually I start each album when I have something in my mind, it’s almost always about melodies and the stories

behind them that make me curious to move forward and that was the case for “Nowhere” too. Of course I can’t depict a clear plan to show you how exactly things went there because I don’t follow a specific rule in my process. This time something very exciting happens for me and that was the participation of “Megan Tassaker” in some songs as the female vocalist which brought a new spirit to the album. To be honest before recording the lines I knew that I need to bring a new soul to the album and what could be better than some female vocals? So I got in contact with her and fortunately she accepted to join and sing over some songs on the album. Also my special thanks to “Jessica Enneby” that allowed me to put one of her stoning illustrations into the booklet of “Nowhere”, because that was so close to the atmosphere of my songs. FOLLOW US ONLINE

The female voice sounds amazing. What made you choose Megan for this position? I agree! Besides her beautiful voice, another reason was her understanding, amazing intuition and the variations in the way she sang. She understood the atmosphere of my music deeply and I’m completely satisfied with the results. What made you decide to go with drum programming instead of using real drums? I’m not a drummer and also I’m not easy to be in a band or work with somebody else in a long term, so it’s more comfortable for me to be alone and use drum programs. What inspires you lyrically? Everything that involves my mind one level more than normal things but I can say life and people have important role in between. Will you bring Ekove Erifts to the stage? I don’t really know. Years ago I was exciting about bringing EE to the stage but now it sounds a little bit unusual to me...

Signs of turning into an old man haha! But I don’t really know as I said. Maybe… not impossible at all. What are your plans for 2014? At this moment I just think about having a break!



ongratulations on the release of “Wild years of remorse and failures”, which is a reissue of 24 featured in previous releases. What can you tell us about the title of this double album? Is there any deep meaning? Thank you very much! About the title we could say that “Remorse” is obviously a reference to our first album “Songs of Remorse”, while “Failures” reminds of our second one “Life Failures Made Music”. “Wild Years” should take you straight to the well-known Tom Waits album “Frank’s Wild Years”, a real cult album for me. You know, kind of stuff linked together. And why have you decided to remaster the tracks of those previous albums and re-release it? Was there any particular thing that influenced this decision? It was Nick Skog’s (Hypnotic Dirge Records) idea to release such a monster, and I couldn’t agree more: those albums are hard to find, the EP “The Wild Hunt” is even sold out. Moreover they were all released on the now dead label God Is Myth Rec. (run back then by Todd Paulson) and mark a window of time now closed for many reasons, so it is the perfect seal. My last album “Sound Graveyard Bound” came out on Hypnotic Dirge in 2012 and another reissue called “A break in the day” was also released this year on Pest Prod., so I didn’t really think there was a great need of new music from me. Many bands release albums once a year...

maybe that could be cool when you’re young, now I just want to think slower about my recordings. What has inspired your sound? It has this kind of emotional/aggressive feeling. Was it something premeditated? Not at all, I just kind of write the music I’d like to hear. Inspiration may come from books (Cormac Mccarthy), movies (Herzog, von Trier) and of course, other music (Townes Van Zandt and the likes). Which aspect would you consider to be the most important to your music? I think it’s the general feeling. Stroszek is all about feelings, I don’t want to be technical, I don’t care to sound perfect. I am not flawless, not even my music is, and I’d prefer it to be perceived as much “live” as possible. All in all, I think it’s honest stuff. And what would you like to do differently in future albums? I’d like to focus on the singer/songwriter style, I think it’s the right dimension for me... I mean, I am not getting younger so I have to think about music in a different way, according to my age. I’d also like to have more guests, music is a learning process and it’s good to have always new people working on your songs. On “Wild Years...” there’s a Dick Curless cover called “Bury the bottle with me” where I have Chris from Thayer Cabin on dobro and that adds a cool vibe. You know, stuff like that.


What’s your opinion on the Folk scene at the moment? This year there were many good albums released, like Chris Eckman, Andrea Schroeder, Marissa Nadler... Glitterhouse Records always releases some very cool stuff. Otherwise you could always stick to the classics, Townes Van Zandt, Mickey Newbury or even Nick Drakes... too many to mention. What plans do you have for this upcoming year? I will promote “Wild Years...” the best I can and I may do some solo shows here and there while writing a new album. Let’s see what happens step by step. Those interested could check what I am doing on my websites:

Thank you very much for this space.

ALGHAZANTH The Three-faced Pilgri

DÄNG Tartarus: The Darkest Realm

DEEP Vol. 1

DEMON EYE Leave The Light

Inverse Records/Secret Entertainment

No Remorse Records

Transubstans Records

Soulseller Records





/10 While not being

particularly known for being awfully ground-breaking, Alghazanth is one of those bands that managed to stay solid even after several years and several albums under its belt, and “The Three-Faced Pilgrim” is no exception to this rule. This album, their 7th full-length, is mature, polished, melodic, and a highly enjoyable listen. While not being drastically different from their previous releases by any means, a sense of maturing and progression is still noticeable when in comparison to said previous albums. ‘To the Pearl of High’ and ‘As is fated’ are probably the highlight tracks of the album, notably for their guitar work and depth of sound. Definitely not for those who dislike BM with crystalclear production, though. [David Horta]

ALCEST Shelter Prophecy Productions


/10 Alcest is

already an established musical institution, at least in Europe, and they will begin 2014 with their new nostalgic flashlight and with their demand to unite us all in one dream – “Shelter” is the title in homage to the sea. This

/10 Here’s the debut

album of this U.S. hard rock/heavy metal band released by a Greek label. It’s a concept story based on the ancient Greek mythology. Däng are somewhat original, but the album left me with mixed emotions. Almost all the songs have a doom metal character, so they have influences from Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Candlemass, but they also have some experimental passages with a psychedelic touch close to that of Hawkwind and Tool. The problem with this release is that from a point on it becomes repetitive. The good thing is that they do a much better work when they play straightforward heavy/doom metal like in the song “Salmoneus”. I think that Däng have something interesting to say musically, but they are not entirely ready. [Nick “Verkaim” Parastatidis]

time there’s no blackgaze labeling or some sort of musical fusions – “Shelter” is a straight and modern shoegaze album. “Opale” is the mellowest song in the album which of course should be used as single and to present “Shelter” in the first news. The echoed guitars are a constant and a very well used artifact, like in “La Nuit Marche Avec Moi” or in “L’Eveil des Muses; in the last one as a background atmosphere combined with a set of voices driving our feelings with a smileon-your-face hypnotic way for near three minutes. The “Voix Sereines” track may express some stagnation during the first half, but evolves into a powerful climax creating in our imagination colorful apocalyptic skies and vivid green mead-

/10 Deep are a new

coming Italian based band that has recently decided to self release its debut work. Music-wise they belong to the doom/stoner metal genre, but let me clear out that their sound has no place for innovations or modern elements. “Vol. 1” carries on the legacy and pays tribute to those ‘70s stoner metal pioneers who have paved the way. So, Deep deliver old school doom/ stoner metal which they enrich with a great deal of psychedelic elements. The riffs are heavy, the tempos are mid paced and have volume, the rhythm section is solid and the vocals enhance this trippy atmosphere permeating the songs. I’m genuinely impressed by their work! Deep are one of the finest stoner/doom metal bands I’ve heard in a while! [Christine Parastatidou]

ows where trees are born, die and born again. In “Shelter”, Neige and Winterhalt also wanted to add new elements like stringed instruments that can be heard in the “Away” track sung by the guest of honor Neil Halstead from Slowdive (one of the most important bands within the shoegaze genre). “Déliverance” closes the album featuring just in one


/10 Debut albums are

almost always polarizing in the genre of Classic Doom/Heavy Metal. You either love the homage that bands pay to the great masters of the genre, or you hate the fact that there is no originality whatsoever. Demon Eye take their name from a track in Fireball, the fifth album by Deep Purple. However, it is from Traditional Doom that they draw most of their influences. The imagery of an ancient evil forest is set by the Pentagram vibes in “Witch’s Blood”. The groovy and thunderous rhythms however are provided by Black Sabbath in “Hecate” and “Secret Sect”. Demon Eye do not reinvent the ritualistic themes of Doom, but they don’t offend the Gods of old with their offerings. [Carlos Cardoso]

song all musical elements I’ve pointed before – this grandiose ending led by a celestial choir takes our heavy bodies from the ground and there we are levitating into Alcest’s dreamy world. Ultimately, listening to “Shelter” is like becoming a bipolar person: smiling and crying at the same time... [Diogo Ferreira]

DEMONA Speaking With The Devil




Infernö Records

Naturmacht Productions

Hypnotic Dirge Records

Transubstans Records





/10 Demona started out

in 2007 as a one woman project of singer/guitarist Tanza, who later gathered a couple of new members for the band. The current lineup worked like crazy to improve their brand of Speed Metal and, in the process, deliver Demona’s 2nd album, “Speaking With The Devil”. There isn’t much one can say about this record. It’s average at best, with some interesting details here and there. “Malvenidos”, “Dirty Speed Metal” and the title track are filled with good fast riffs with occasional thrashy influences, as well as classic style guitar solos. Still, halfway into the album you think “when will it end” and notice that it gets boring. Ultimately, tedious is a cardinal sin when it comes to Speed Metal. [Carlos Cardoso]

/10 Formed about

a year ago by two members of Epitimia, Depicting Abysm’s first album is now unleashed. Comprised of four lengthy compositions of atmospheric and depressive black metal with an underground feeling, the Saint Petersburg duo shows some interesting ideas, but continuously stretch them for far too long. The rasping vocals reminiscent of Nattramn work up to a limited extent, and many of the riffs lack powerful lines to make them memorable. To put it bluntly, “Immersion” has several promising aspects - most evident on the well conceived “Anxious Waters” -, but is just nothing special, that hasn’t been heard a thousand times before and better, as done by fellow Russians such as Walknut or На Распутье. [Jaime Ferreira]

AENAON Extance Code666


/10 On “Extance” Aenaon

have set out to explore the boundaries of the black metal genre by incorporating diverse styles within its traditional structures. The band frequently jumps between metal, alt rock

/10 Saman N. is back with

/10 With an EP

“Nowhere”, the fourth full-length from his Iran based solo project Ekove Efrits. This name may not be very familiar yet since Hypnotic Dirge Records has only introduced the band to a wider audience in 2011, however if you take the time to check this project you’ll find a solid album, with black metal and atmospheric patterns, also bringing to the mix some electronic and trip-hop elements that will send you to a surrealist mind trip! Also, and for the first time ever, Saman is joined by Megan Tassaker, the vocalist of the Australian Gothic Doom band Lycanthia whose vocals appear throughout the album and really contributes for the great listening experience that “Nowhere” is. [Joel Costa]

(2012) in their discography, the Italian rockers Elevators to the Grateful Sky release the debut “Cloud Eye”. This is a rock album, but stoner nuances deliver us a different perspective if listening carefully. The guitar riffs aren’t like the typical stoner ones when we hear a note-tonote flowing – in Elevators’ case full guitar chords are often used and the distortion isn’t fat as usual. While “Mirador” puts us in a near-psychedelic calm scene, “Handful of Sand” delivers us a rock’n’roll vibe with four different riffs – being each one heavier than the previous – and a shredding guitar solo. “Upside” differs from the stoner rock stuff as it’s punker than the rest and we even have a reggae-oriented passage in the title-track... [Diogo Ferreira]

and bluesy territories on a sophisticated manner, but even when stripped of all their different incursions through all these musical avenues, one also notices that this isn’t your typical black metal act. Sure, the musical ethos is present, but the song structuring occasionally meddles with death metal’s precision and places an outstanding emphasis on melody and arrangements without any kind of gratuitous aggressiveness. Most of the riffs sound dark, imposing and malevolent, but they end up serving as bridges between all the stylistic changes and throughout “Extance”, its not unusual to hear them connect saxophone solos, unorthodox keyboard sounds, bluesy guitar interludes and acoustic dwellings with surgical blast beat discharges. It’s an amalgam of bold ideas, which

are often happening within the same song and will present the listener with several ”wow, this is odd” or “this shouldn’t exactly be here” thoughts. As strange as this may appear, it all connects, these being the symptoms of a perfectly healthy musical schizophrenia. If you listen to the whole album from one end to the other, there’s a coherence to their sound that works astonishing well, as if “Extance” was a showcase of different sides of the same beast. Aenaon deserve the greatest of compliments: There are times when they certainly sound like nothing else out there. “Extance” is masterfully executed and represents a clear sign of defiance on some of the musical norms and constrictions of the black metal domain. A must listen. [Luís Alves]



GANDREID Nordens Skalder

GRAVEBORNE Through the Window of the Night


Naturmacht Productions



Crank Records





/10 “Nordens Skalder” is

Gandreid’s ode to the Norwegian heritage personified as a black/folk metal album. Unfortunately, the album isn’t as consistent in the production department as in its thematic. Each song production differs from each other especially regarding vocals – in “Skaldens Sønner” it’s like singing in an empty corridor and some songs have abrupt endings. “Efter Moerkets Frembrudd” and “Visjoner…” are dark folk metal oriented songs reminding me of Isengard’s “Høstmørke”. The guitar riffs can be melodic ones, but can also be fast reminding me of Bathory in the “Voyage Towards Redemption” track. In spite of the nice melodies, the creative brainstorming should be rethought because it seems the majority of the riffs base is already heard in other veteran bands. [Diogo Ferreira]

/10 Strongly inspired

by the Scandinavian symphonic / melodic black metal scene, names such as Dissection, Emperor or Satyricon easily come to mind while listening to Graveborne’s new work. Blast beats and raspy vocals mingle with harmonious guitar tunes in 9 intense anti-christianity anthems, of which “Burn the City of God”, “Misericordia” and “Todkrieg”, with its ghostly choruses, can be pinpointed as highlights. Three years since they’ve debuted with “Pure Negativity”, this Finnish quintet engineered a mature record that, not being highly original, easily stands on its own merits and proves them ready to break out the borders of their motherland. Very recommended for everyone with a penchant for the gloomy sounds of the 90s. [Jaime Ferreira]

INVIDIOUS In Death Sepulchral Voice Records


/10 Hailing from the

extreme music hotbed of Uppsala, Sweden, Invidious are a band that revel in some truly malevolent death metal. Within the short, sharp assault of this 4 track EP, they barely pause for breath,

/10 Hail Spirit Noir have

/10 Nine years since

done with their second album what most close-minded metal fans wish Opeth had done: a fluid combination of Metal and Prog Rock. Oi Magoi is a time machine that destroys the space-time continuum by carefully selecting the best of old Hawkwind and combining it with modern Black Metal. The result is mesmerizing. “Demon For A Day” brings the warrior on the edge of time to 2013 where he can marvel at the creepy and groovy melodies that are being played in “Hunter”. However, the time machine often seems to malfunction, carrying the listener straight to the 70’s with “Satyriko Orgio (Satyrs’ Orgy)”. Oi Magoi is an enticing piece of work, bringing different genres into an unlikely, albeit successful mix. [Carlos Cardoso]

“Redimus”, 2013 marks Hecate Enthroned’s full force return: new album, new label and new singer. Refining the sound they embraced nearly two decades ago, the sextet delivers an intelligent and tasteful blend of brutality and mellowness in eleven horror fuelled compositions where fast riffing and blastbeats blissfully intertwine with sorrowful gothic keyboards. A very positive note goes also for new member Elliot Beaver, whose diverse vocal performance is 100% adequate for the band, and one of the highlights of a record that is definitely an instant classic. Steady on the path Cradle of Filth should have followed after their first couple of albums, Hecate Enthroned reemerge with “Virulent Rapture” as the stalwarts of British symphonic black metal. [Jaime Ferreira]

instead their intent is one of raw, guttural old school death metal played at a blistering pace. What becomes apparent, right from the opening of the first track, Black Blood, is that you are not going to hear an EP full of technical wizardry. All four songs are very well structured, but the focus is on memorable riffs, screaming guitar solos and demonic vocals. It’s a sound that harkens back to the savage, unbridled beauty of the origins of death metal, and Invidious deliver it in spades, creating songs that assault the listener with no apologies made. Stand-out track for me would be Throne of Death, with its early Death feel to it, which comes at you like a battering ram, whilst also

mixing it up in terms of pacing. As an EP, In Death is helped no end by a production quality that helps retain the raw sound of the material, yet it also allows the songs to be heard in all their demonic glory. It’s an intense listening experience that is over all too soon though, and really whets the appetite for more from these Swedish marauders. Overall though, this is a damned impressive outing from the Swedes, and In Death should sit well with fans of fellow blasphemers Necrowretch and Degial, as this ever so black death metal really does hit the spot. [Jude Felton]





LEGIONS OF WAR Forced To The Ground

Pesanta Urfolk

Closed Casket Recordings

Purity Through Fire

Infernö Records





/10 Pesanta Urfolk have

unveiled their latest release, an Amarok and Hell split. Amarok has a brutally slow pace, intense desperate vocals and an extremely down tunes riff-age sound, mired in murk and feedback. Amarok keep things at a crushingly heavy slow drawl and where this differs from your more generic brands of sludge is that this is more monolithic, more intense and with a far more aggressive, growled vocal style! Hell on the other hand whose drone influenced style of sludge takes the pace ever lower if you can believe that offers a nice element of groove and a shed load of fuzz and static like feedback. Everything about Hell’s sound is abrasive, carnage personified and the epitome of drawn out and dragged up from the depths! [Luke Hayhurst]

/10 Chicago’s Immortal

Bird have unleashed their own little apocalypse in the form of four track EP “Akrusia” and now they are looking to spread their diabolical plague worldwide. Thick old school beats and abrasive throat scorching growls and screams assail you whilst deliciously catchy riff-age and sturdy rumbling licks add to the clamour! Sporting a gritty, raw sound, this is a far cry from the polished production of some big budget bands and has a destructive rush of violent thrashing death metal, you’ll be glad of the bands filthy grime laden sound! A superb debut then from a band who takes the best elements of death/thrash, add more than just a hint of darkness and finish their sound off with a raw black metal streak through its! [Luke Hayhurst]

NIGHTWISH Showtime, Storytime Nuclear Blast


/10 Losing a key

member of a band is

/10 If you’re an enthusiast

of old pagan symbolism then you should know that Irminsul means “Great Pillar” that legend has it, united heaven and earth. The pagan imagery of the lyrics sung in both a clean and raspier tone mesh perfectly with the progressive tendencies of the instrumentation. Some songs are direct and others are more long and experimental and show some progressive tendencies, ever so light. A band that is still to derivative to be called original but given time, could find their sound. It is curious that on the songs in which they use the violin in the instrumentation, they sound almost like Skyclad if Martin Walkier ou Kevin Ridley, depending on which of the lineups you are referring to, had a raspier voice. [Nuno Babo]

always problematic because for the fans that musician is irreplaceable. The fans of the band where shocked when Tarja announced she was leaving Nightwish to persue a solo career.


/10 Sweden’s Legions

of War, one of those bands who decided to center their whole image around the war theme, are back with “Forced to the Ground”, which is a considerable quality leap compared to the Black/Thrash merger of their debut “Towards Death”. The band decided to venture further down the thrash path and on “Forced” they’ve recorded a solid batch of songs with groovy riffs and interesting guitar harmonies, always maintaining a fine equilibrium between melody and aggressiveness. If this description doesn’t cut it for you, just think of Legions of War on “Forced” as a slower version of Witchery with a Sabaton type of lyrics. It doesn’t have any truly memorable moments, but all in all, “Forced” still manages to be a decent thrash record and worthy of a few listens... [Luís Alves]

Obviously the next singer had big shoes to fill and the position was filled by Anette Olson. She recorded two albums with the band but it seemed like something was missing, because she was never fully accepted by the majority of the fans. In 2013 it was announced that the singer would be Floor Jensen first only as a session musician and later as a full member of the band. She revealed herself to be an excellent singer capable of following the melodic and orchestral lines of the instrumentation with class and ease as this live record / DVD recorded in Wacken attests. [Nuno Babo]

LETHE When Dreams Become Nightmares Debemur Morti Productions


/10 Trapped in a cave of

evocative hymns, struggling to find your way out of the temples of the ultimate paranoia? You must have checked Lethe’s album “When Dreams Become Nightmares” in this case. The metal/triphop/ambient project by Tor-Helge Skei and Anna Murphy is haunting, emotional, and intensely incredible. This is the first album by Lethe, a 10-track album released by Debemur Morti Productions that can be portrayed as original, unique, and multi-textured. The composition is atmospheric, vivid and heavy. The band comprises ambient, metal, and acoustic elements, Anna’s vocals are tough yet amazingly elastic, and the vibe you get is both artistic and gloomy, which even adds more enthusiasm to the listening experience. [“Cookie” Shemaly]

LVCIFYRE Svn Eater Dark Descent

Massacre Records



/10 Opening with the

nine minute Night Seas Sorcery, this four-piece from London slowly lull us into the album. The first four or five minutes are a slow and tortured visit through Hell; conjuring up something very evil in the process. Do not be fooled though as, once we pass the five minute mark, Lvcifyre proceed to unleash pure Hellfire upon us; the intro was a warning, with the rest of the album being an all-out assault. With Svn Eater, Lvcifyre play an abomination of unholy death, with an unbridled fury. Where some bands lose some of their power, within the speed, Lvcifyre are heavy as hell, and make for seriously oppressive listening. Sure, you will find a smattering of doom, and a definite black metal influence throughout the running time of this slab of musical murder, but it is death metal at its very purest and most refined. [Jude Felton]

BLACK SABBATH Live: Gathered at their Masses Universal Republic [2013]



/10 So, after releasing “13”

and proving that they still “got it”, the reunited 3/4 of the original Black Sabbath released a new DVD, “Live: Gathered in Their Masses”, the first in 14 years from the heavy/doom metal godfathers, after the great “The Last Supper”. Before watching this DVD and even before Sabbath’s “13” tour cycle began, a few questions popped on my mind. Would Tony Iommi be able to pull off hourly long sets in between leukemia treatments? Would Ozzy be up to the challenge of

/10 Gothic rock isn’t all

about fantasy, it can also be political. Madness of the Night, a band created by Daniel Dante (Sweden) and Abir Blackshadow (Lebanon) are two artists with strong moral principles. “The Asgarda” is not specifically a concept album, but women’s empowerment seems to be a recurring theme. For example ” The State of Madness” talks about a housemaid who committed suicide in Lebanon after being dragged by Lebanese men, while “She Is the Demon” tells the story of a girl who, in order to kill the man who abused her, transforms in the middle of the night. On the other hand, bullying of Goths is also mentioned. In the end, what we have here is an awesome and extremely promising gothic/darkwave band (think of a darker version of Sisters of Mercy or Dead Can Dance) that has something to say and wants to spread that message. [Jorge Alves]

singing some of his most demanding material ever again? Would the band sound “right” with a different sticksman? Well, within the first two or three songs, “Gathered in their Masses” answered these questions promptly. Truth is, their performance is near to flawless throughout the DVD, but it is not without its hiccups. Iommi and Geezer Butler still deliver Sabbath’s iconic riffs with the same stage assertiveness and precision they’ve always shown, but age is really taking its toll on Ozzy. His singing is up there with the rest of the band, but I suspect that this was only made possible by studio trickery, as early tour videos showed him out of key practically every night, and his stage presence has also seriously deteriorated, spending most of the time static while grabbing the microphone and reading lyrics thought a telepromptLIKE US ON FACEBOOK

MOON COVEN Amanita Kingdom Transubstans Records


/10 Moon Coven hails

from Sweden with a fantastic stoner/doom outfit. “Amanita Kingdom” is their debut, but it already shows huge maturity. “Ruler of Dust” is like walking with mud up to the knees – it’s slow and the guitar riffs are hypnotic yet melodic with a fine dose of doom. The title-track pushes us into the north-American desert as the slow and mid pace gives us the sensation of heat and thirst. “East” is the most instrumental track in the album with a lot of ambitious and frenetic guitar solos. Overall, the distorted guitar fills the environment which gives a well-nourished body to the songs. Those elements combined with the echoed and outerspaced voice builds a somehow unexpected soundscape that works brilliantly. [Diogo Ferreira]

NERONOIA Sapore di Luce e di Pietra

NAXAL PROTOCOL The guilty should get what they deserve!

NEGATIVE CORE PROJECT Spread the Disease Self-Released

Eibon Records

Eibon Records




/10 A new incarnation of Cazzodio, who ceased to exist around 2001, basically Naxal Protocol is the Italian noise / power electronics project resurrected under a new monicker. Sounding pretty much digital, present are ten compositions that mix harsh electronic sections with softer ambient parts, topped here and there with spoken word - all the usual elements of a genre that needs more innovation than what we get here. Less dark than Atrax Morgue, less rhythmic than Haus Arafna and less sick than Sutcliffe Jügend, “The Guilty Should Get What They Deserve!” is a fairly decent record. Probably it will appeal the majority of noise fans out there, especially considering the “comeback factor”, but for sure it’s not going to break any ground.. [Jaime Ferreira]

/10 Activating under the

name “Tarantula” and a couple of lineup changes, Negative Core Project began its journey in 2008 and since then they’ve managed to release one killer full length entitled “Spread the Disease” in 2012. Negative Core Project hails from Romania and they’re well known for the amount of power and corrosive rawness in their music - nasty deep gutturals that yammer some pretty harsh lyrics, all supported by a well-produced instrumental that varies from groove metal to old school death. The single song, “Psalm of Mockery”, is clearly the backbone of the album but I would also like to note “Blood God”, “Defector”, “Outburst” and “Unholy” as my favorites as well, although every track make “Spread the Disease” one tight, technical and violent record. [Kevin “Junk” Kidd]

er. The somewhat good surprise is Tommy Clufetos who replicates Sabbath’s drumming very proficiently and even had the right to a nice, though kinda cliché drum solo. The setlist is what you would expect from this line-up as from its 15 songs, it shares 10 with the 13-song “Last Supper” setlist. The new songs are quite imposing in the midst of the classics with “End of the Beginning”, “Methademic” and “Loner” standing powerful. Other performance highlights among their classics go out to “War Pigs”, “Into the Void”, “Black Sabbath” and “Iron Man”.

/10 Since Canaan and

Colloquio released new records in 2012 and 2013, respectively, the third record of Neronoia, cooperation between members of the two bands, came as a surprise. Picking up were “Il Rumore delle Cose” was five years ago, “Sapore di Luce e di Pietra” still is the perfect companion to pitch black inner demonization, managing to be more minimalistic and electronic, and yet more focused on details, production and composition wise. With the participance of Mauro Berchi as second vocalist, the record is a collection of prayer like hymns, so very well represented in the art cover. Darkly philosophical and poetic, but also very comforting and sophisticated, this is for the ones with an open mind. [José Branco]

for the fact that as much as Tommy Clufetos delivers and does his job well, he is not Bill Ward. The choice for a new drummer is more than understandable given the fact that Bill Ward isn’t exactly in his 20’s or even 40’s and that his drumming suffered with age, but we all can’t help to feel that he had his rightful place in what might probably be Sabbath’s last tour, and this DVD would be certainly of more value with his presence. Still, as a Sabbath fan, I’ve enjoyed this concert a lot, and though it might not receive as many spins as other of their live works, it’s still worth the watch. [Luís Alves]

Though it’s better produced and the all the live staging seems much more elaborate, ”Gathered in their Masses” doesn’t feel as fulfilling as the 1999 “The Last Supper” video, FOLLOW US ONLINE

OCCULTIST Death Sigils Primitive Ways


/10 From Richmond,

Virginia (USA), Crust Punk/Crossover Thrash group Occultist released on the 1st of October their second record, “Death Sigils”, a powerful piece that overcomes the prior release in every aspect. Occultist has been around for no more than 4 years and so far they’ve managed to develop an indisputable fast and aggressive sound delivered in a gloomy/ horror type of atmosphere, specific to the black metal genre. The sharp thrashy riffs and technical high bmp drumming emphasize a violent characteristic of this 8 track album; and while the vocals are mainly delivered through harsh shouts and screams, they’re frequently backed by low gutturals, thus enhancing a very dark ambient. [Kevin “Junk” Kidd]





Hells Headbangers

Vomit Your Shirt




/10 Founded nearly

two years ago, a young band but filled by experienced musicians from the Romanian music scene, Stoner figure RoadkillSoda are described to be “the reflection of the 70s American hawk, of the dusty Dodge, ragged T-shirts, tattoos, beards, booze, naked chicks and good vibes.” Very bluesy and chilling, their debut album released earlier this year - “Oven Sun” - nails it in every aspect, worth to be listened from the first to the very last second. With that being said, this is definitely not your average stoner rock piece, it’s an unmistakable complex and dynamic record, a story teller and one that incorporates different patterns and themes on almost every song – from desert/psychedelic rock n roll to a pretty heavy and sludgy output. [Kevin “Junk” Kidd]

/10 Released in

2010, the 4th full length, and one of many, many releases by Satanic Warmaster, “Nachzehrer” is definitely part of the crowd, so to speak. While one does not necessarily expect bands like SW to be particularly ground-breaking, growing “samey” is a very real danger, despite how we all may enjoy a good ol’ old-school worship now and then. While the track ‘Warmaster Returns’ has some undeniably sweet riffs and isn’t a bad track by any means, and while there is overall some good guitar work throughout, this album reeks of stagnation. While it may please loyal fans of the band, it’s a disappointing album that stands in the shadow of Werwolf’s previous (and superior) work. [David Horta]

SLAYER 66 2/3: The Jeff & Dave Years Publisher: 6623 Press; v1.2.5 edition [2013]


/10 Writing a good biographical

book about a band isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do, and if that band is Slayer, the task becomes even harder. If you’re talking about bands such as Metallica or Megadeth, giving a detailed look on their activities and individuals is rather easy because a lot has already been said and documented over the years. But when you’re talking about Slayer, a band which has always been ace at keeping their personal lives and interpersonal work relations separated from the band’s public affairs, the writing of a eagerly awaited and detailed book about their trajectory since ’83 up till now, is a tremendously difficult undertaking.

/10 “Ass Troubles” is

Serrabulho’s debut album, a band with a name based on a traditional dish from Portugal. “Atomic Fart” opens with a concertina tune complemented by a Peter Griffin saying about gas through anus. With a mid-pace death metal flow combined with supersonic passages, it explodes when an unexpected happy moment fused with the concertina appears from nowhere. “Lèche Moi les Couilles” starts with a pimba intro which progresses into a devastating track – an ironical song. “Quero Cagar e Não Posso” is a 23 second song where a man wants to shit and he’s not able to – hilarious. “Ass Troubles” is an original release blending the violent grindcore spectrum with very fun addictions like a Google Translator conversation in “Left Ball”. [Diogo Ferreira]

D.X. Ferris, the writer of this book certainly did the best with what he had to work, but that still doesn’t turn “66 2/3: The Jeff & Dave Years” into the definitive book Slayer fans have been waiting for. For that we still have to wait either for Tom Araya or Kerry King‘s detailed memoirs if they ever decide to write them. The title is really self-explanatory about which part of the band’s career is discussed throughout the book. Ferris covers the band’s history since their humble beginnings in ‘83 around California up to the recent third, and possibly final departure of Dave Lombardo from Slayer. It can really be divided into three major sections, the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s up until a few months ago. The most interesting part is the beginnings of Slayer, the section on which Ferris clearly had the most material to work with, either through band interviews or recollections of former associates, label mates, roadies and graphical artists Slayer has worked with. Ferris paints us a portrait of Kerry King as the unofficial leader of the band, an early on straight-edge


STROSZEK wild years of remorse and failures Hypnotic Dirge Records


/10 “Wild Years of Remorse

and Failures” is the new double-album compilation from the Folk/Acoustic project Stroszek. What you’ll find here is nothing less than 24 remastered songs that were previously released in Stroszek’s “Songs of Remorse”, “The Wild Hunt” and “Life Failures Made Music” as well as two covers from Dick Curless and Townes Van Zandt. It is a nice compilation and a great invitation to discover what the musician has to offer. You’ll find that each song has its own identity, drawing out several feelings and while you can relax a bit with the calm that is present in this record, you must keep an eye open as well because its darkness will surround you faster than you imagine! [Joel Costa]

ZERO Nothing Self-Released


/10 Zero, the mysteri-

ous live member of Alcest, the sharp-edged guitarist with the serene voice, gives a staggering new anecdote via his first album “Nothing”. An ocean of melancholy and tears, a glistening tear for every song, the album sounds like an atmospheric, progressive and extremely gloomy version of Nirvana. Under the genres “slow doom grunge with the post-metal influences”, lies this profound composition. The riffs sound average, but at some point they can be unique, bass lines are sneaky yet expressive, and the drums are a great bonus that adds this concentrated power. Zero conserved his angelic voice, but he brought out the heavy side as well. This album is a MUST, job well done Zero. [“Cookie” Shemaly]

Title: Taxidermia Year: 2006 Genre: Comedy / Drama / Horror Director: György Pálfi Stars: Csaba Czene, Gergely Trócsányi, Marc Bischoff György Pálfi’s “Taxidermia” is an unfortunately hidden jewel in the European film industry. It’s a non-sense tale about sex, food and dead animals – three generations of Hungarian men. Have you ever imagined a guy shooting fire from his penis? That’s Morosgoványi, the first man of that generation. He’s a soldier who serves his superior and lives with his family in the countryside. He has a sexually obscene powerful mind and loves to put his cock in-between the wooden walls of his barrack to masturbate while the girls are taking a bath. He also has pedophile dreams. His fate is sealed when he’s dreaming of fucking his boss’s wife, but

persona, very focused, and the member without whom Slayer would not have achieved the level of success they have today. Jeff Hanneman is described as a shy person, but also as a rebellious soul with a big “fuck you - my way or the highway” attitude and the creative soul of the band who always managed to have the final word on all decisions, from songwriting up to cover artwork. Tom Araya was also portrayed as influential in raising the band’s shock appeal in live concerts and helping the band get off the ground financially, but the most interesting member in terms of band dynamics, as shown on this book, is indeed Dave Lombardo. The drummer is depicted as the band’s outsider who always had issues with other members of Slayer, especially with Kerry King, with whom he always maintained a difficult relationship from the start. We get detailed explanations about his three splits from the band, with two of them involving a near knife fight, problems with his wife being constantly on tour and a big speech on which all hell broke loose between him and the guitarists. Although the book’s first section is fairly interesting, the second and third sections

he’s actually fucking a dead pig. Perhaps, that’s why the second man of the generation has born with a pig’s tail. Kálmán Balatony is a very fat kid who tries to become a speed eater athlete – and he has indeed accomplished it. Full stadiums applaud those heroes who eat till they throw up. Kálmán is Hungary’s pride, the face of the soviet world regarding sports. He eventually falls in love for – guess who? – a fat chick. The third man is Lajoska Balatony and he has nothing similar to his ancestors. He’s very skinny and he’s a taxidermy master. His life isn’t an exciting one – he spends his time on stuffing animals and taking care of his ultra-obese grumpy father, Kálmán. Ultimately he becomes a big sensation in the art universe when some sort of tycoon finds him after a self-taxidermy job. György Pálfi gives us a mix of emotions while watching “Taxidermia”. With Moros-

goványi we can get a boner and shout some laughs due to his stupidity and somehow innocence. With Kálmán the laughs may continue, but a disgust feeling starts to ferment in the stomach. Lajoska can be seen as the normal fellow with a hollow life, subservient to his father and his mastery – with him we feel intrigue and maybe some pity. A must-watch, an obscene pearl to be unveiled!

already see Ferris recurring even more to excerpts from interviews, extensive biographies on other people related to the band, concert reviews and setlist postings which don’t exactly give us an inside look on the recording sessions of most of their albums or other interesting details about the members’ personal lives. As a result of this, you really feel that this book is for the most part a compilation of press material, which, and credit where credit is due, Ferris masterfully collected and assembled coherently to try to tell the story of Slayer’s path of musical destruction and thrashing chaos over the years.

macht” skull figure, but they’re very few and far in between the book’s pages. Ferris justified this by saying he wanted to get more pictures in the book, but or he didn’t had the rights, or they were just too expensive. Also, the key articles are tending more towards “MetalSucks”, one of the websites for which he prominently writes, and those citations could use a little bit more of facts and a little less of opinion making journalism. Ferris also lets his Slayer fanboy persona come out at times when rating the band’s albums, something done to fill up a little bit more of pages, and something he could have avoided as well.

The book is available on Paperback and eBook formats, but the big advantage of the eBook format (the one on which I’ve read it) is that some of the citations or concert descriptions were backed up with instantly accessible YouTube videos or articles from a great range of websites, and those really helped to do more than just paint a mental picture of the events. The photo galleries have some never seen before stills and even conceptual drawings from albums such as “Hell Awaits”, “Live Undead” and the beginnings of the “Slaytanic Wehr-

However, In defense of the author, the writing of the definitive book about Slayer is something that only the two surviving members who’ve been there since the beginning can really do, so its easy to see that if Ferris had access to any more material he would have included it. It’s not the most complete Slayer book ever, but it will be a long time before any book more complete than this manages to appear. Not an essential buy, but nevertheless, a good read for Slayer fans. [Luís Alves]





eipzig, in the East of Germany, was one of the cities blessed by the visit of one of the most devastating tours of this year. The mighty Carcass, which have released one of the best and most awaited albums of the year, joined forces with rising viking giants Amon Amarth, and brought along the legendary Hell with them, who are also promoting their new album. This scribe of yours was lucky enough to witness the devastation unleashed by these three bands.

Hell, with a set of approximately 30 minutes, played to a already quite well composed venue. Opening with the single of their latest opus, “The Age of Nefarious”, it was notoriously easy for the band to grab the attention of the audience and the first head banging signs became quite noticeable among many of the present. With a quite theatrical front man, very solid songs filled with contagious riffs and a very well defined sound, Hell were quite a pleasant surprise for an audience that screamed in approval. Closing with the title from their 1983’s “Save Us Those Who Would Save Us” EP, the band left the audience screaming for more. But it was now time for one of most awaited comebacks of the year: the legendary Carcass, who’ve returned with a refreshed line-up, and came to town to present us with their latest batch of devastating anthems. When the instrumental “1985”, from their latest record, started to echo thought the PA, the public was already going insane and the band immediately went out for the kill and shot the venue with “Buried Dreams”, from the legendary “Heartwork”, which was then followed by “Incarnated Solvent Abuse”, from the non-less legendary “Necroticism” album. Jeff Walker proudly shown his German skills while addressing the audience for the first time, which reacted euphorically. German people usually like when musicians show them that they know how to speak their language. The band then went back in time and unleashed “Incarnated Solvent Abuse”. With three of their most iconic tunes unleashed right in the beginning, Carcass showed the audience how it was done, how it is done and how it will be done, leaving no room for doubts of their capacity to reclaim,

once again, the throne of death metal. With videos in the background showing suggestive images from autopsies, it was then time to present a new tune from “Surgical Steel” and the band played “Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System” before returning to Heartwork with “This Mortal Coil”. After this they’ve stepped further into the past with “Genital Grinder” and “Exhume to Consume”, reminders of the band’s history and influence on what is made today. “Unfit for Human Consumption” and “Captive Bolt Pistol” were the next hymns to be heard and the new songs fitted perfectly with the old repertoire, making the audience go insane. Some minor issues, such as an unclear sound and some issues with Ben Ash’s guitar, prevented this concert from being a flawless experience which ended with “Ruptured in Purulence” and “Heartwork”. Despite Carcass having a great reception from the audience, it was clear that the vast majority was waiting for Amon Amarth and the band did not disappoint, at all. With an epic entrance, the band started with two new tracks from their new album, “Father of the Wolf” which was followed by the new album’s title track, “Deceiver of the Gods”. The public was already singing the song’s first notes when Olavi and Johan started to play them, a clear indicator that new album is already quite well absorbed and was duly approved by the fans. The whole venue was smashed by the power unleashed by the Vikings who then presented us with the mega-hit “Death in Fire”, from the “Vs the World” album.

a bit down next with “Warriors of the North”, both from their latest record. Amon Amarth are proud of “Deceiver of the Gods” and they have reasons for it – it was considered by many one of the best albums of the year and the fans know all the new tunes by heart already. “Surtur Rising” was revisited with “Destroyer of the Universe” and “War of the Gods”. In-between there was time for “Cry of the BlackBirds” which the venue received with grand enthusiasm. When time came for the encore, the band left the stage and were left with thunders and lightnings, a warning for those who were there to know what awaited them, the brutal “Twilight of the Thunder God”, which broke down every single brick of the “Haus Aueensee” hall. It was then time to march back home with the sound of “The Pursuit of Vikings” during which the public sang every single note of the song’s memorable riff. All in all, this concert showed that Amon Amarth already has a pretty extensive discography filled with anthems which allow for the band to play with their set and please every single soul on their concerts. The band has evolved into a devastating stage machine which indeed deserves the status that it has earned nowadays. We hope for more tours joining giants like these three bands.

A very communicative Johan also addressed the audience proudly showing his German skills. “Free will Sacrifice”, “As Loki Falls”, “Runes to My Memory” (with shining runes on stage) and “Varyags of Miklagaard” were thrown at us without mercy and proved that the band rightfully earned the status they own nowadays. It was then time for “Guardians of Asgard”, another mega-hit from the Twilight of the Thunder God. Amon Amarth are pure giants on stage, with the three axe men of the band on a frenetic head banging, while Fredrik delivered the thunders of the Gods behind his drum set and Johan Hegg was constantly interacting with the public. The band then proceeded with “Blood Eagle” and slowed


Words: Eduardo Rocha Photography: Black Label Pictures


Gorguts Bring Colored Sands of Tibet to Columbus


aturday December 14th, mother-nature was in a piss-poor bitchy mood, showering Ohio with sleet, rain and snow making travel difficult to nearly event missing for many motorist, metal heads and death metal players. The Columbus and surrounding scenes really showed the heart, will and passion it takes supporting heavy music, coming out to the Alrosa Villa www.facebook. com/alrosavilla for Unkured Band UnKured-Band/127769993918598 , Dismemberment www.facebook. com/DISMEMBERMENTohio, Nero Di Marte www.facebook. com/nerodimarte , Origin www. and Gorguts presented by Columbus Events Group www.facebook. com/ColumbusEventsGroup . Indeed, the top three touring bands drove 10 hours through mother-nature’s fury to play for the people. Nero almost didn’t make it, arriving just in time, going directly from vehicle to stage, but they made it. Fiercely devoted fans also trekked from Indianapolis, KY, PA and Cleveland to see the return of Gorguts. Other crowd devotees included Nathan Garnette & Dustin Boltjes from Skeletonwitch www.facebook. com/skeletonwitchmetal. Unkured Band from Cincinnati opened the frigid wet evening with an old school death throwback feel, harkening back to the late 80’s early 90’s thrash attack of Sepultura, good, given their

name is taken from a lyric in Mass Hypnosis. (The fear grows as a sickness un(k)ured). They start, overthrowing the gates of hell Taking the Abyss, becoming the new dark lords of damnation. Breaking out the triple windmill head-banging barrage, they play with a sound that started way before their years, when file sharing was called tape trading and eyes and ears were your ‘recording devices’. It’s a young metal heads world and they spread their Dark Dominion to all who came to hear. Influenced by Death, Immolation, Vector and Nocturnus AD (formally Nocturnus) they finish with Before Us, Heaven Trembles. Guitarist C.J. Washington’s red pants and matching Danzig cross just kick ass on principle as singer/ guitarist Cody Knarr yells with Schuldiner Leprosy era youth, why do you kill? Because I Can! Next up Columbus death metal hero’s Dismemberment. Guitarist/vocalist Luke Shively sporting a blood stained/splattered white strummer, brother Jacob sporting all black with bullet belt meaning things were about to go dark and brutal Dexter style. Though bassist J.D. Henderly wore white with jeans, gotta add a little light and color to the show. Shively has some old school working man’s basement black metal in his voice. Looking a bit like metal director Sam Dunn doesn’t hurt his metal cred either. Guest drummer James Watson filled in for the injured Taylor Emerine. They opened Possessed by the music from the Condemned EP and possibly the Seven Churches. Gateways to the Past and the rampant marching Reap What You Sow were repre-



sented from the Denied Salvation EP with a reaping intro from the holy Sabbath via the devils tritone. They play new tune Eye of the Keeper then pay respect to the godfather of technical death high on the Crystal Mountain, prompting pit number two to open. They finish with an untimely, live burial on Cryptic Isolation. Their first full length, Embrace the Dark is coming soon. Jacob has toured with Acheron and Dismemberment will be opening an upcoming mini-tour for Skeletonwitch. The first of the touring bands, being fashionably late, Nero Di Marte, formally Murder Therapy made it just in time to play some experimental, weird but very cool avant-garde metal, Italian style from their new self-titled CD. The chilling intro to Convergence starts with tribal drums and the cathartically brilliant disjointed sound of Tool meets Opeth fills the room. The icy whispers of guitarist/vocalist Sean

Worrell begin pulling us closer to the abyss’ edge, after the disturbed, pursuing drum beat is joined by clanging chime guitar sounds and the voices of the gods. Now join and fall forever. They could be the art-rock version of Dillinger Escape Plan and Meshuggah meet Mastodon. Time Dissolves sounds like Rush going to the ultra-dark side of uber-prog. Their 12 minute plus namesake takes us through the many demented twists and turns of a nightmarish roller coaster ride through the subconscious of a decaying mind, sucked and trapped in a maze with no escape. It’s what a band would sound like playing in ‘the further’. Nero Di Marte an opaque, intense black pigment from iron oxides has been used in paintings since the beginning of the XX century. It originates from the mythological god Mars and the planet, in processing the iron according to alchemical tradition. The band has three releases under

Murder Therapy. Part of their sound came from guitarist Francesco D’ Adamo’s first listen to Bathory’s Blood Fire Death on vinyl, the intro chilling him, inspiring his own beginning of musical evolution. Kansas pummeling death shredders Origin come out to destroy and bring the crowd to them, literary. Starting out immediately in blitzkrieg blast beat fashion opening the Portal to the sea of waiting death metal dancers. Wrath of Vishnu starts with some machine gun fire Fear Factory guitar shots spiraling into decibel busting chaos. Origin is music of perpetual aggression, volume and speed. Singer Jason Keyser mourns the loss of Peabody’s, admitting to getting knocked on his ass there, a few times. He dedicated Staring From the Abyss to the former Cleveland metal hub with guitar sounds squeaking/ squealing their way into frayed eardrums. Stage diving into the crowd he welcomed


Columbus to join them. Spreading arms wide, waving them up proclaiming ‘our stage, is your stage’. The gates of hell and controlled reckless abandon quickly opened as the first of several metal heads took the initiative, climbing up and sailing off. Keyser interacted with several, even shaking hands and head banging with a few. It was a scene straight out of an old school 80’s hardcore, thrash documentary, when fans made the show happen as much as the band did. It was definitely an Expulsion of Fury in the vulgarist display of power as the crowd performed a ‘silent wall of death’ their war cries filling in for the music. Then they bring it down a little (for the first few seconds) of Purgatory. Sweep picking, YouTube video Aftermath pummels the eardrums with insane frantic high pitch notes and drums that signal the warp speed marching of the oncoming cyber-damned. The deadly speed of the Swarm comes without warning infesting humanity and Saligia is Fear Factory played a thousand beats, notes faster. You could almost hear Paul Ryan’s guitar screaming for mercy as he fondled its frets break-neck speed. Colored Sands is a concept album of sorts telling intelligent, emotional stories of the history of Tibet and the origins and teachings of Buddhism. The record itself is a comeback for the band and founder/ singer/guitarist Luc Lemay, being the first release for the hailed Quebec tech-death metal band since 2001’s From Wisdom to Hate. Since their formation in 1989 they’ve released five records and had their share of turmoil and down time. Roadrunner signed them early on then dropped them after 1993’s The Erosion of Sanity; a five year break up ensued, returning in 1998 with the critically acclaimed Obscura followed by From Wisdom to Hate. 2005 saw them split up again after a band member’s passing. They reformed in 2008 by Lemay encouraged by Steeve Hurdle of Negativa, a band they were both in at the time, preparing for the 20 anniversary. Colored Sands (Seasons of Mist was inspired by Opeth and the album The Incident by Porcupine Tree, also featuring Kevin Hufnagel and Colin Marston of Dysrhythmia www. on guitars and bass with Origin’s John Longstreth on drums. Lyrically the songs tell historical stories of

conflict, war and death in Tibet’s history along with Buddhist customs and mythology. Le Toit Du Monde discusses Tibet’s geographical prowess as the highest region on earth, almost touching the sky with its vast mountain peaks and mass expansion. It’s an almost impenetrable land of mystique and mystery surrounded by a mountain range six times bigger than Western Europe, adding to its aura. ‘An Ocean of Wisdom’ the English translation for Dalai Lama tells of the monks search for their reincarnated 14th leader. After the 13th passed, his body was kept and preserved while they searched for clues. His head was discovered turned northeast several times on its own from the prepositioned south ‘direction of long life’ position. They consulted oracles going to the sacred lake of wisdom for guidance. Forgotten Arrows takes inspiration from a Matthieu Ricard book.The title track means The Kalachakra Sand Mandala aka the Wheel of Time which gives peace and healing to all beings and the planet. The wheels intricate construction consists of delicate sifting of colored sands into elaborate patterns and symbols rich in meaning and represents a visual sculpture and vital key to the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. Enemies of Compassion told about the mythical beast of Tibetan legend, the Snow Lion. Known as a protector, its image once emblazoned on the Tibetan flag is outlawed today. Embers Voice are the last words of Tamding Thar, an elderly Tibetan who set himself on fire in protest of the Chinese Government hoping for the Dalai Lama’s return someday. Absconders is dedicated to Kelsang Namtso a 17 year old Tibetan killed by border guards in a group fleeing to India via Nepal that was witnessed by mountain climbers scaling Cho Oyu. Reduced to Silence is inspired by the words of Martin Luther King Jr. Instrumental, The Battle of Chamdo about the Chinese campaign to seize Tibetan forces and incorporate Tibet under Chinese sovereignty wasn’t played. Colored Sands has made several top ten metal records of the year lists (#5 Rolling Stone, #1 Loudwire). Le Toit Du Monde immediately crashes into Opeth guitars and drums playing into the spooky, dreary musical moor quickly clearing into much heavier, faster territory with twisting, convulsing dementia guitars. An almost hyper-speed hammering of pans effect turned into death metal poetry, back drifting away into the noise void of the unknown. An Ocean of


Wisdom begins sounding like the gears of a possessed animatronic jazz band of the damned borrowing the Nile-istic breath of the god’s mid-way. Forgotten Arrows takes a few samples of the pharaoh’s sands mixing with Tibetan colors to form the sounds trapped in a Nile-Opeth hourglass before exploding from within. Colored Sands starts slow with the haunting tranquility of a simple grain of guitar chord with a light, pleasurable melody approaching, before deep haunting notes take over. Probably the most tranquil a death metal song can be with bits of apprehension and ascending majesty of its lyrical inspiration. Enemies of Compassion musically describes the feeling of a huge wood block hammer back-smashing during a medieval pillage, with demonic, morbid, screaming guitars five minutes in. Embers Voice inferably captures the cries of a tortured, agonized soul from the flames. At a little over nine minutes Absconders sounds like a massacre in slow-motion, playing every wound, stab and open slash slow and red to appreciate the intricacies and bloody details of the ugly guitar violence. Reduced To Silence starts with mellow melancholy notes quickly exploding into machine gun speed guitar/drum pummeling, slows down a bit then heads back to more cranial clobbering. Lyrically Colored Sands is a historical portrait of the conflicts, struggles and ideologies of Tibet and Buddhism. Musically it’s a thudding sound wallop hammering at your brain until it cracks open. A fan politely yelled for Obscura (all of it) on the encore. They went back to 1993 on Orphans of Sickness. Then dedicated Inverted to Origin and a Happy Birthday to lights and soundman Blacky from Voivod, finishing with the ex-halted death metal finger-dancing diamond Obscura. Gorguts will return to Columbus in April on the Decibel Magazine tour

Words: Mike Ritchie Photography: Samantha Stewart