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EDITORIAL #267 JAN 2015

DARK ARTS LTD 48 Leigh Road, Leigh on Sea, Essex SS9 1LF, UNITED KINGDOM Tel: +44 (0) 20 7729 7666

PUBLISHER / MANAGING EDITOR Miranda Yardley miranda@darkartsltd.com

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WRECKING CREW Olivier ‘Zoltar’ Badin, Ross Baker, Adrien Begrand, J. Bennett, Steve Bidmead, Alex Boniwell, Dean Brown, Ed Chapman, Faye Coulman, Robyn Doreian, Jonathan Dick, Noel Gardner, Ian Glasper, Benj Golanski, Rod Hunt, Steve Jones, Kim Kelly, Mike Kemp, Connor Kendall, Ronnie Kerswell-O'Hara, Jim Martin, Andy McDonald, John Mincemoyer, Mörat, John Muskett, José Carlos Santos, Rob Sayce, Joshua Sindell, Kevin Stewart-Panko, Guy Strachan, Rich Taylor, Andy Walmsley

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©2015 DARK ARTS LTD. Terrorizer is published every four weeks. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the prior consent of the publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for the advertisements in this publication. TERRORIZER, ISSN 135-0677, is published Monthly by Dark Arts Limited, 48 Leigh Road, Leigh on Sea, Essex SS9 1LF, UK The 2011 US annual subscription price is 100.00. Airfreight and mailing in the USA by agent named Air Business Ltd, c/o Worldnet Shipping Inc., 156-15, 146th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Jamaica, NY 11434, USA Periodicals postage paid at Jamaica NY 11431. US Postmaster: Send address changes to TERRORIZER, Air Business Ltd, c/o Worldnet Shipping Inc., 156-15, 146th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Jamaica, NY 11434, USA Subscription records are maintained at Dark Arts Limited, 27 Hoxton Street, London N1 6NH. Air Business Ltd is acting as our mailing agent.

I

t was 2AM when I read the news that Lemmy had passed away. It was at the end of a festive night at home and needless to say I was pretty drunk. By that time, we’d already had (another, final) nightcap, but it felt appropriate to have another one in honour of the great man himself. Only a few days on, and social media sites continue to be flooded with stories, anecdotes and live performance archives of Motörhead in action. As I write this, I imagine this celebration will be the status quo for quite some time to come. It certainly feels heartfelt and no-one could doubt Motörhead’s impact on the world of music. But it wasn’t just the music, it was the lifestyle and the portrayal of the outlaw lifestyle that also captured our hearts too. As a kid, Motörhead scared you from just looking at the pictures on the album sleeves; when you stuck the needle on the groove, that feeling was intensified 1000 times, and it’s that feeling that made Motörhead so special and unique. At the age of 70, while not exactly ancient, considering the life style that he enjoyed, it’s a pretty amazing innings. Lemmy led the life he wanted, on his terms and he was the larger than life character everyone could vicariously live their rock ‘n’ roll excess through, so we didn’t have to. He’s also left an extremely rich catalogue of music for us to enjoy, time and time again. And that is the beauty of music. While the man himself grew old, the music that is left will never age. The video footage remains too. Albums like ‘Bomber’ are the sounds of three young men having the times of their life, while last year’s ‘Bad Magic’ is the sound of three mature men demonstrating that rock ‘n’ roll is indeed still king. Celebrate, enjoy and be thankful of the legacy – it is unique.

COVER PIC: ESTER SEGARRA

BACKGROUND ILLUSTRATION STEVE NEWMAN

WHAT TEAM TERRORIZER HAVE BEEN SCARING THE NEIGHBOURS WITH THIS MONTH… MIRANDA YARDLEY (PUBLISHER)

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The paper used in this publication is from a mill that carries chain of custody and is from sustainable forests.

AWARDS Print Media Management ‘Innovation in Publishing' Award 2005 - Highly Commended ACE Press Awards 'Circulation Excellence and Endeavour' - Gold, 2008

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TERRORIZER #267

ISSUE 268 ON SALE 11TH FEBRUARY


p76

SUNN 0)))

AMPLIFIER WORSHIP

TIM VAN VEEN

PETER BESTE

CONTENTS FEATURES 18. ABBATH

After a dispute with his former Immortal bandmates, Abbath is back

24. WITCHCRAFT

Magnus Pelander returns with another new Witchcraft lineup

26. ULVER

Composed of improvisations from numerous different shows, Ulver’s latest isn’t your typical live album

30. TEXTURES

The tech-metallers return with an ambitious new doublealbum

p32

SEPULTURA 30 YEARS OF RIFFS

32. SEPULTURA

Sepulura reflect back on the last three decades

36. VENOMOUS CONCEPT

With a brand new album and upcoming UK tour, Venomous Concept are ready to grind again

38. ÅRABROT

REGULARS

After staring death in the face, Årabrot may have just written their best album to date

4. FRONTLINE

70. DARK RECOLLECTIONS

40. HEXVESSEL

8. BAR RANT

74. HARD OF HEARING

42. BORKNAGAR

10. STUDIO REPORT

76. STAGEFRIGHT

We catch up with Amon Amarth in the studio to find out more about their forthcoming tenth album

We go for a pint with From The Bogs Of Aughiska and Coltsblood in the oldest pub in England

We get the latest on Katatonia’s upcoming slice of misery

12. FEAR CANDY

All the details on this month’s CD of mayhem and destruction

14. CHOICE CUTS

Celebrating 50 years of hard rockin’ lunacy, we catch up with Scorpions guitarist Matthias Jab to reminisce

Acid Reign and Xentrix go head to head in the ultimate test of metal knowledge

We report back from Utrecht’s Le Guess Who? Festival, featuring Sunn O))), Chelsea Wolfe, Today Is The Day, Goatsnake, Virus and many more

80. MIXTAPE MAYHEM

Tribulation offer up a mix of esoteric tunes for your listening pleasure

New bands this month include mind-boggling death metallers Chthe’ilist, Swedish marauders Degial, progressive doom quintet King Goat and more

Progressive black metallers Borknagar are still finding ways to challenge themselves on album number ten

44. PANOPTICON

Moving away from politics, Panopticon’s Austin Lunn gets personal on new record ‘Autumn Eternal’

46. OBSCURA

Tech-death champs Obscura have finally delivered the follow-up to 2011’s ‘Omnivium’

48. THE KING IS BLIND

UK death metallers The King Is Blind are taking no prisoners with their crushing debut album

50. DRAGGED INTO SUNLIGHT

With their new collaboration with Gnaw Their Tongues, Dragged Into Sunlight delve into some disturbing territory

56. INTO THE GRAVE

Our death metal round-up continues with Abominable Putridity, Grunt and Ares Kingdom

52. IGNITE

A decade after their last studio album, melodic hardcore heroes Ignite are back in action

58. SELECTED & DISSECTED

We check out new albums from Ulver, Abbath, Borknagar, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Conan and many more

Mat McNerney aims for optimistic pastures with his psychedelic/folk rock group

p70

54. ANTIMATTER

Taking inspiration from some dark times, Antimatter’s new material finds them at their most cathartic

TERRORIZER #267

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BULLET POINTS Mammothfest has announced its headliners, plus an entire stage dedicated to black metal for the three day festival, which takes place in Brighton on the weekend of Friday 30 September to Sunday 2 October 2016. Stage headliners announced so far include

Dutch prog-metallers Textures on the Friday, Venom Inc. on the Saturday and battle doom monsters Conan closing the weekend on the Sunday. Speaking of the decision to create the black metal stage. Festival Director Ashley Scott explained: “Mammothfest 2016 is all about creating a great atmosphere for our bands

and customers, we are doing all we can to support emerging UK talent. Offering a diverse and varied line-up is something we pride ourselves on and after a few discussions in the early meetings for the 2016 event, we decided to pull our socks up and to roll out our support for black metal this year by laying on a totally dedicated stage for it”. A number of other bands have been announced,

including The Infernal Sea, Sworn Amongst, Black Moth, Bast and Conjurer. Tickets for the festival are priced at £120 for all three days with accommodation included, earlybird tickets are £50. www.Facebook.com/ MammothMetalFestival

“THE BASIC STORY IS A YOUNG MAN WHO’S IN LOVE WITH A BEAUTIFUL GIRL, BUT SHE’S MARRIED OFF TO A POWERFUL MAN”

pressure for this one? “Not really, no. I didn’t actually even think about it till the other day when we were talking about it. I was so focused on getting the story together and getting the lyrics together and ten is just a number really, isn’t it? I guess it could mean something or it could just be another album. I choose to look at it as another album and I think it’s a really good album. If it does mean something, then this is the perfect album to be number TEN! [laughs]”

being 2013’s ‘Deceiver Of The Gods’ – and spent six weeks here, how’s it been? “It’s excellent, working with Andy is great. He’s so focused and relaxed about his work. He’s very into the details, he’s very supportive and very committed to making the best out of everything you do. He pushes you without actually forcing anything. I would say that rather than pushing, he pulls the best out of you, a very positive encouragement. And being here in the countryside gives you the opportunity to 100 per cent focus on your work. When you need to clear your head you just walk outside and sit for an hour and do nothing. You can look at the cows, you know? [Laughs] Clear your head and go for a walk and then come back in feeling pumped again. It’s beautiful, I love it.”

unfortunately there was just not enough time to have it ready. But maybe in the future we’ll release it as a separate book, you never know!” Words: Nik Alexander ‘Jomsviking’ is released on March 25 via Sony www.AmonAmarth.com

Tell us about the album artwork. “It’s by Tom Teal who we’ve pretty much been working with exclusively since ‘Twilight Of The Thundergod’. The album cover focuses on the main character but ties the whole album together with the whole picture. For this album we’re actually working on different pictures for each song, which will be in the booklet. One of the ideas we had, but we couldn’t

‘Jomsviking’ also marks the band’s first recording with new drummer, Tobias Gustafsson  from Vomitory. “Tobias had been playing with Vomitory for twenty-odd years and they just decided to call it quits. He’s been playing drums in a number of bands recently including a project he has together with Vomitory bass player Erik [Rundqvist] and a couple of other guys, called Cut Up, which is a really good old school death metal band. He’s also done stuff with Torture Division from Sweden and lots of other stuff!” You’ve worked with Andy Sneap for the second time – the first

follow through, was to make a comic book of it but

For daily updates check www.Terrorizer.com

TERRORIZER #267

5


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7


"WE WERE WATCHING THE MAN WHO DISCOVERED EMPEROR SINGING SONGS ABOUT POO”

FROM THE BOGS OF AUGHISKA & COLTSBLOOD Words & pic: Kez Whelan

Just before Ireland’s dark ambient/black metal provocateurs FROM THE BOGS OF AUGHISKA and Liverpudlian doom trio COLTSBLOOD laid waste to Nottingham’s Chameleon Arts Cafe, we popped round the corner for a pint in Britain’s oldest pub, Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem…

6

THE START OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP Jem [McNulty, Coltsblood guitarist]: “We’re actually working on a collaboration together.” Conchúir [O' Drona, FTBOA]: “Yeah, a From The Bogs Of Coltsblood kinda thing. We’re also doing an album next year and then an EP, which is all based on the guy who invented the submarine. He was born less than 10 kilometres from where I grew up, and the fact that he was so driven to invent the fucking submarine, it’s like Jesus, fair play to ya! I couldn’t invent a submarine at all. [laughs] We’ve got the singer from Mael Mórdha involved. It’s interesting, I’m happy with it.” John [McNulty, Coltsblood vocalist/bassist]: “He’s an excellent vocalist! As for ourselves, we’ve got that collaboration with From The Bogs, we’re gonna record a second album next year, so we’re looking forward to that. It’s probably about 80-90% written, so…” Conchúir: “…one note? All good, yeah?” John: “[laughs] No, we’ve progressed to two notes now. Two notes and blasts!” Conchúir: “Wait, what the fuck? You’re copying our style! We’ve got three notes, and… two blasts. [laughs]” John: “It’s a bit of a progression from the first one. Hopefully no-one will call us a fucking sludge band anymore!” Conchúir: “What does that even mean anymore?” John: “It doesn’t mean anything, absolute bollocks.”

TERRORIZER #267

Conchúir: “It pisses me off, that sort of stuff.” Jem: “Don’t start them on what pisses them off, or we’ll never hear the end of it!” Conchúir: “We’ll just end up listing stuff.”

TOUR BUS LISTENING Conchúir: “The new Killing Joke album! Fuckin’ yes, amazing… My album of the year is Leviathan, hands down. It’s ridiculous! My favourite band of the last few years is Sleaford Mods, and we’re playing in the Chameleon [Nottingham venue where Sleaford Mods played their first few gigs] tonight. I’m expecting to meet Jason [Williamson, Sleaford Mods vocalist] and Andrew [Fearn] and go [in a high pitched voice] ‘HELLOOO!’ I’m a pure fuckin’ fanboy.” John: “Yeah, they’re amazing, I only really heard them today and it was absolutely spot on.” Conchúir: “Yeah, I mean, I only really listen to black metal and extreme, weird dance music, but Sleaford Mods are the best fucking band of the last few years, and the fact that they’re in their late 40’s – there’s hope for us all yet! [laughs]”

TOUR SUPPORT Conchúir: “What was the first band that played last night? It was Caïna afterwards – their new stuff is fucking terrifying! Jesus Christ, it was like Prurient, that kind of shit.” John: “Caïna have been one of the highlights of the tour,

absolutely.” Conchúir: “I mean, Laurence [Taylor, Caïna vocalist] was on the floor, crawling around on glass bottles… Fuck!” Jem: “He grabbed a guy by the face as well, and just screamed in his face. The other guy was screaming back!” Conchúir: “He’s terrifying, those guys are fucking legends! What was the opening band? I can’t remember.” John: “Violet Action, it was their first show. Basically, it was the culmination of two guys who…” Conchúir: “…have no girlfriends!” John: “[laughs] …and it was sort of like a mid-’80s performance art noise project, so it ended up with them shouting at each other and grabbing each other by the hair. One of them squatted for the entire performance too! That was interesting. And then we got Chainsaw Enema on the first show.” Conchúir: “Oh yeah! That’s Steve from Candlelight Records, who discovered Opeth and Emperor.” John: “Watching the man who discovered Emperor singing songs about poo…” Conchúir: “He’s in his late 40s, singing songs about poo and having a wank. ‘Danger Wank’ was the highlight of the night.” John: “Yeah, we’ve been singing it since!” Conchúir: “Fair fuckin’ play, it was amazing.” www.Facebook.com/FromTheBogsOfAughiska www.Facebook.com/Coltsblood


ONLINE SHOP, BAND INFOS AND MORE:

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Artwork: KEN COLEMAN (WWW.ARTOFKENCOLEMAN.COM)

THIS IS OUR FIRST FEAR CANDY OF 2016 AND WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO BRINGING SOME OF THE BEST NEW MUSIC YOUR WAY THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. IN THE MEANTIME, IF YOU NEED TO CATCH UP, CHECK OUT OUR NEWLY-LAUNCHED FEAR CANDY BANDCAMP PAGE AT: TERRORIZERFEARCANDY.BANDCAMP.COM 1. META-STASIS

'Thorn' from the self-released album 'The Paradox of Metanoia' Crazy Meta-Stasis dropped their facesmashing new album ‘The Paradox of Metanoia’ earlier in the summer of 2015, which this moody track is taken from. ‘Thorn’ seamlessly merges demonic jungle with technical death metal, pure negative fuel for the inner darkness. Facebook.com/Meta-stasis666

2. KINASIS

'Ersatz' from the self-released album 'Kinasis' Southwesterners Kinasis bend the rules with their brutal technical metal, mixing death, thrash and grind with the credible vision of originality. Facebook.com/Kinasis

3. EMPIRINE

'Follow The Radiance' from the self-released EP 'The Vermilion King' Mixing up robotic vocals with a pinch of symphonic arrangements, some technical metal and a good amount of growling, Swedish duo Empirine make quite a noise considering there are just two of them. Enjoy this taster from new album 'The Vermilion King'. Facebook.com/Empirine

4. SKELETON PIT

'Nuclear Thrash Mutants' from the Gegentrend Records album 'Chaos at the Mosh-Reactor' These German thrashers just love their oldschool thrash. Their high-velocity music by-passes your brain, going straight to your neck. Enjoy! Facebook.com/SkeletonPit

5. GREENHORN

'Kentucky Boone' from the Black Bow Records/Hibernacula Records album 'Like Rows of Crooked Teeth' Making their third appearance on Fear Candy, Bournemouth's self appointed filthwizards are back with "Kentucky Boone" the gruesome tale of Wild West Cannibal and serial killer Boone Helm. Featuring vocals from Jon Davis from Conan who lends his distinctive vocal to Greenhorn’s ‘filthier than a tramps vest’ sound. Facebook.com/GreenHornUK

6. THE SHIVA HYPOTHESIS

'Caduceus' the self-released single Dutch band The Shiva Hypothesis combine black metal aesthetics with the, aggressive outpourings of 90’s death/ thrash with some strong atmospheric touches, and lyrically explore the esoteric concepts of creation and destruction. Facebook.com/ TheShivaHypothesis

7. DEMONS OF OLD METAL

'Fakeskin' from the self-released album 'Dominion' Sat somewhere between classic Exodus, Pantera & GWAR; theatrically tinged British metallers Demons Of Old Metal have been making an unholy din across the UK since 2011, and as their latest record ‘Dominion’ shows, they are just getting started. www.Facebook.com/ DemonsOfOldMetal

META-STASIS )PIC BY PETE WOODS)

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TERRORIZER #267

8. ROUNDTABLE

12. THE ROYAL BLASPHEMY

Facebook.com/RoundtableBand

Facebook.com/TheRoyalBlasphemy

9. ODETOSUN

13. KAINE

www.Facebook.com/Odetosun

Facebook.com/KaineBand

10. HUSK

14. END-TIME ILLUSION

Facebook.com/HuskUKMetal

Terrorize.it/EndTimeIllusion

11. MONOX

15. HEAVY GLOW

Facebook.com/MonoxOfficial

Facebook.com/HeavyGlowBand

'Corpulent Warlord' from the self-released album 'Dread Marches Under Bloodied Regalia' 'Corpulent Warlord' is a riff odyssey of psychedelic sludge/doom metal, which gradually builds up to a frantic pitch before finishing up with a desolate, droney refrain. Roundtable take stoner doom with atmosphere and mix it with with narrative-concept progressive rock.

'Machine Horizon (Radio Edit)' from the self-released LP 'The Dark Dunes of Titan' This German progressive metal outfit return with their second album ´The Dark Dunes of Titan´, four tracks and forty-minutes long and inspired by Ben Bova’s 1972 novel ´As on a Darkling Plain´.

'Plague Of Man' from the self-released EP 'Plague Of Man' Husk are a four-piece metal band hailing from Wolverhampton and blend dark, groove-based riffs with infectious melodies, delivered with a furious, unrelenting stage show to be reckoned with. Their self-released EP ‘Plague Of Man’ was accompanied by a savage and gritty music video for the title track.

'Graced By Error' from the DIY label Fat Brek album 'Perception Changes' Monox make modern death metal band influenced by Gojira, Cynic and Death. The band are keen on their lyrics, and use these to explore themes like one’s struggles with inner demons, the search to constantly evolve as an individual and so are deeply personal and cathartic

'Injustice' from the self-released album 'Sanatorium:Freedom' Vomiting from the guts of Portugal out into the world, The Royal Blasphemy’s debut album reflects on the sorry state of the modern world and takes rock, metal and melancholic melody on a powerful raging rampage.

'Justice Injustice' the Revival Metal Records Single 'Justice Injustice' These East Anglians revivalists mix NWOBHM and thrash with classic metal. The band has released two studio albums, ‘Falling Through Freedom’ (2012) and ‘The Waystone’ (2014) and is currently working on it's third album.

'The Dissenter' from the self-released album 'Deities at War' Hailing from southern New England USA, End-Time Illusion mix the essential elements of modern heavy metal, aggression and technicality, with the polarities of melody and atonality, through blinding speed and breakdowns. They released their third album ‘Deities at War’ earlier this year.

'Headhunter' from the self-released EP 'Pearls & Swine and Everything Fine' Heavy Glow constructs ‘Pearls & Swine and Everything Fine’ on a foundation of fuzz-fuelled hard rock, adorned with psychedelically-tinged blues and an aura of Motown/Memphis soul. What a fine ending to this month’s Fear Candy.


T

“THERE IS MORE THAN JUST THE CELEBRATION OF DEATH”

oday in 2016, one could wonder what is left of the ‘Metal Ov Death’ gang that lurked in the darkest corridors of Sweden’s Uppsala for a few years. Centred around a dozen of close youngsters that all knew how their music should

sound AND look like, this gathering of like-minded spawned a bunch of sadly often ephemeral acts (In Solitude, Invidious, Anguish, Antichrist) with a diverse yet quite unique heritage. Degial may be one of their oldest representatives (they first roared

KING GOAT

CAPE OF BATS

“W

e begun with the idea of playing doom metal in a more traditional sense, but as we wrote together it became more and more evident that we could not stay as such,” says Joe Parson, guitarist for Brighton quintet King Goat, whose proggressive, psychedelic take on the genre sounds like the unlikely offspring of Candlemass and King Crimson. “We found sticking too closely to genre tropes was limiting what we wanted to do; it’s great taking influence from what has come before, but repeating the same thing? Not for us. We decided to generally push forward in a more progressive direction, resulting in the sound found in our debut album, ‘Conduit’.” It’s a record that’s as heavy conceptually as it is musically, containing “an overarching theme of both societal and self enforced isolation and, often, loneliness which is reflected in both the dynamics of the music and the lyrics.” [KW] www.Facebook.com/KingGoatBri

T

he Gothic moniker is a slight misnomer according to Francis Kano of US based Cape Of Bats. “It’s funny, we’ve gotten the ‘I expected you to be a shitty goth band’ a few times,” he states, adding “we most definitely are a ‘gothic’ outfit, at least etymologically, in the vein of those brutes who sacked Rome, lending their name to that abhorrent, sublime architecture which named that special, dreaded literature.” Foppish romance is far removed from this chaotic and snarly blend of black metal, death rock and punk and Francis describes just what people should expect musically. “I’ve started to say ‘vladcore d-bat’ to avoid getting thrown in with ‘black metal punk’ bands that are just lo-fi, uninspired, two-chord punk. Plus the vampyre atmosphere is one that we try to conjure from the actual music itself, vocals and aesthetics are secondary.” [PW] CapeOfBats.Bandcamp.com

OLIVIER ‘ZOLTAR’ BADIN ‘Savage Mutiny’ is out now on Sepulchral Voice www.DegialOfficial.com

MONSTRANCE

C

arlo Regadas, ex-Carcass guitarist and replacement for Mike Amott shortly after ‘Heartwork’ was released, is back with a new band that goes under the name of Monstrance, which should appeal to fans of the later Carcass albums and early Arch Enemy. “If some of the material sounds like ‘Swansong’, I guess that’s understandable as I wrote and arranged music on that album and performed on it too,” he says, “although the approach and delivery is nothing like that album whatsoever. To be honest, I honestly couldn’t imagine any of these songs being Carcass songs. These songs could actually be regular metal songs, without the down-tuning and extreme vocal style. I feel there has been something missing in this genre of music in the last twenty or so years and hopefully people will see this material as a welcome return to the music we all loved back in the halcyon days.” [KG] www.Facebook.com/MonstranceOfficial

TERRORIZER #267

Words: Kat Gillham, Kez Whelan, Pete Woods

DEGIAL

with a different and more basic outlook as Degial Of Embos back in 2004) but they nevertheless took their time, releasing ‘only’ one EP and two albums, right while two of their members were recruited by Watain as session musicians. But ‘Savage Mutiny’ sees them coming of age. While they’ve declared before that their art is dedicated to celebrate DEATH in capital letters, their guitarist Rickard Höggren now adds a subtle nuance, stating that “there is more in Degial than just the celebration of it, even if it is a big part. It’s actually one of the three elements we’re based on, the other two being darkness and chaos.” Ironically unleashed on Christmas day, this brand new fulllength is the first to feature their new bass player PJ from Vorum (who actually moved from Finland in early 2013 for the occasion) and was recorded in a cabin up north by their friend and former In Solitude bass player Gottfrid Åhman, who actually filled the same role on the latest Vorum EP, released through the same label. PJ admits there was “an instant kinship and deeper understanding” between the two but the new album still differs with its complex drums patterns and former eastern bloc like sounds, their drummer E. Forcas praising bands like “Master’s Hammer, Root or Imperator that had all those weird melodies and riffs that felt as if they were crawling in your veins and making you insane,” as influences.

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ABBATH

Paul Jones of extreme metal. He’s a fucking genius and he’s also out of his mind. I’m probably the only person who understands and likes him. When we did the I album [2006’s ‘Between Two Worlds’], he came in and we had just one rehearsal before we went into the studio. I recorded my guitars and I had to go to Oslo for something, and when I came back he had recorded all the bass parts. I didn’t have to babysit him or anything. Same thing now, I didn’t have to tell him how to do anything, he’s just great at it. I’ve lost a lot of focus on the bass in all of these years playing guitar, but the way he works around my riffs it’s like he’s a fucking snake. Every time he plays bass, he’s having sex with it. He lifts it up in the air like a baby. And not many people recognise that. They see it, but they don’t understand it. This guy, he’s as crazy as I am. We love each other as brothers. I don’t mean to say anything bad about Apollyon, he came in at a difficult time for me. Tom had been turned down by the rest of the band, and I didn’t know who to turn to, and that’s when he called me up. He came to my place, we listened to a few records, had a few beers, and we realised we have almost the same music taste, and he ended up joining the band. I met him recently when we were with Bömbers [Abbath’s Motörhead cover band] at a festival, and we were on the same flight back to Norway, and there are no hard feelings between us at all. The other guys didn’t give a shit if he was in the band or not,” he adds bitterly.

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r. King Ov Hell himself sees this partnership as a match made in total hell. “Abbath has asked me many, many times to be in Immortal, the first time was in 2005 I think,” he reveals. “I don’t think it has always been 100 per cent serious however, and then we worked together on the I stuff. Then last year the Immortal people withdrew from the rehearsal room and that was his situation back then. We started talking about maybe picking up I, and then the other guys ended up taking the name Immortal. I’ve been in a similar situation before with Gorgoroth, and I really think it’s better to just go forward with a new name and stop fighting, you’ll get your music out anyway, so it doesn’t matter. So we got into the rehearsal room and started practising, putting things together for this new band. This time we focused on his stuff and his riffs that he already had, but maybe in the future we’ll collaborate more in terms of the actual writing too. Although, of course, this is Abbath, it’s not God Seed or Gorgoroth. It’s his band, I’m more of ‘just’ a bass player in this band.” Tom also knows exactly what Abbath means when he says they’re both “crazy”. It’s the best kind of crazy, a crazy that we’re sorely in need of these days. “We are a dying species,” the bassist says. “We’re over 40 and still hungry to do albums, do gigs, get in the rehearsal room and work on our songs… most other musicians our age that have gotten older with us have kids, they want to relax and think they’ve done their part already, and I get that, but we’re a bit different. So it makes sense that we work together at this stage of our lives because we’re very similar, when all the others are falling by the wayside, we’re on our way to the rehearsal room!” As for the other “creature” in the rehearsal room, Abbath doesn’t mince words either. “He’s the best drummer in the fucking world,” he states, and he means it. “He’s like a demon on steroids, though he doesn’t do any drugs or anything. He hates triggers, he doesn’t use any at all. Which is exactly how I feel about it – this ‘trigger-perfect’ drum sound so many bands have now, I don’t get fooled by that anymore. Fuck that. Before we went

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The Pen Is As

Mighty As The Sword “S

imon is an alchemist. He’s a very special guy. I’ve known him since the early ’90s, when he lived in Bergen, though he’s English. He had a band called Bastard Son Of Buddah. He’s a philosopher and a very spiritual person. He’s very fearless – he lived in a desert for many years.” This is how Abbath describes an unseen but crucially important contributor to the ‘Abbath’ record – lyricist Simon Dancaster, who wrote all the album’s lyrics and developed the concept alongside the mainman.

How did you and Abbath first meet? “I knew Abbath back when the original version of Bastard Son Of Buddha were the closest thing to a Satanic black mass orgy with masks, chainsaws, barbed wire underwear and lots of (real) blood. The proto-black metal scene of Bergen gestated, you might say, at various bloody BSOB gigs. Abbath started in Old Funeral but I recall the ferocity and excitement of Immortal’s first gig in the early ‘90s. You could tell they were going places!”

What is your musical background? “Bastard Son Of Buddha were top of the local food chain but we kept getting arrested and harassed so criminal pursuits proved quite awkward to combine with music and political activism. My background is post-punk, I guess, of the Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel variety. We’ve experienced a renaissance and surviving members plus fitter replacements are recording a new album ‘The Only Way To Fuck Is Up’.”

You’ve already collaborated lyrically with Immortal on ‘Blizzard Beasts’, have you done this sort of thing with any other band or artist? “Yes. I’ve collaborated, among others, with the band Farmers Market for their albums ‘Backwards Into The Backwoods’, Surfin’ USSR and their latest ‘Slav To The Rhythm’ – the titles are mine. I’ve written poetic bollocks for some of the top contemporary music artists from Norway and performed in places like Paris and the prestigious music academy of Sophia, Bulgaria as a touted bullshit-artist. So I’m a poetic cunt, not just in name.”

What was the feeling of being invited to be the lyricist for Abbath now? “I hadn’t seen Olve for about seventeen years, since I moved from Bergen after being arrested for terrorism in ’97 – I was innocent. We met again at a party earlier this year. To check if he recognised me without my long hair I introduced myself as Steven and asked if he remembered fucking me as Stephanie in the mid-’90s before my sex-change operation. After a few seconds panic Abbath did indeed recognize me: “Simon!? Bastard!” It didn't take long to catch up and he asked me if I wanted to try out some brutal lyricizing for his post-Immortal Abbath project. So naturally I played hard to get… for about five fucking seconds! “Fuck yeah, mate!” It felt like the right thing to do. A great opportunity!”

What did Abbath give you to work with, exactly? “I received a barrage of rough-cuts of various songs where Abbath “voiced” the parts where he wished vocals. I counted syllables per line and set up a distinct pattern of vocal sequences and also used words with certain sounds which Abbath wanted for conveying dynamism and power. Many rough drafts were formed and even when he was recording the vocals in the studio I was there ready to alter, add and adumbrate lyrics until they felt right for Abbath. It has been the most intense writing experience of my life! We were on a deadly deadline as well. We discussed at length and used our mutual wellspring of aggressive frustration to create something that was different in an evolutionary sense to the Immortal lyrics. When it came down to it, it was war! The criteria being: to make music future generations will want wage war to! Blaring in headphones and loudspeakers as they cross international borders, through deserts, steppes, beaches and cities.”

What’s it like for you to hear your words as an integral part of these songs? “What it’s like hearing Abbath perform my lyrics? Like a thousand manic demons raping my soul through my limbic node! Wonderful!”

Will you keep collaborating with Abbath for future releases, do you feel you’re a part of the band’s whole personality by now? “Yes! We are planning the conceptual basis for the next album which will be nastier by far but with a more cohesive narrative. There will be a foul tale to tell. Abbath's intelligent and intuitive input has, I feel, brought out the best in me. His generosity and inclusiveness has made me feel a worthy member of the team. Being humble as fuck by nature, I am exceedingly grateful for this unique challenge and will hopefully rise to the occasion. Bayonet fixed, over the top – the only way to fuck is up!”


“WHEN ALL THE OTHERS ARE FALLING BY THE WAYSIDE, WE’RE ON OUR WAY TO THE REHEARSAL ROOM” TERRORIZER #267

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“I REALLY THINK IT’S BETTER TO JUST GO FORWARD WITH A NEW NAME AND STOP FIGHTING” to Sweden to record the drums we talked about it and we agreed on the tempo and overall things, and when I asked him if he wanted my guitar parts, he said it wasn’t necessary. He recorded the whole album without hearing my guitar. This guy is definitely not tone deaf, I can tell you that. It’s just like Tom. When the three of us sit in the rehearsal place, I play them something, they ask me to play it just a couple more times, and then they’re like ‘yeah, I got it’, and they come up with their parts for it. You can hear that on the whole album, their groove is amazing. Everything they did on the album is perfect, there isn’t one little thing that I can complain about. I never felt this way about any of my recordings before.”

T

he talk is big, but as you would expect from the typically flawless Abbath, the walk is even bigger. The eight songs on this debut obviously exhale a strong Immortal influence, but that’s just the beginning. The I project, featuring Abbath and King, whose only album ‘Between Two Worlds’ is still a sort of underrated gem, has been mentioned by the two men in this conversation, and for a reason – its looser, rockier vibe is also a big part of ‘Abbath’s infectious, even catchy nature. It’s not “between two worlds” this time, it’s actually the best of both worlds – it’s ferocious and epic, but also brimming with hooks that’ll stick in your brain for months. “Abbath wrote all the material, but since getting together as a band, we’ve worked on it together for a few months,” Tom explains. “We

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worked on the drum sound, trying to get it more organic, as opposed to Immortal which has a more triggered drum sound, and trying to get a band feeling out of it. We’ve had a big ’70s inspiration, at least in my bass parts, there are a lot of lines that really hark back to John Paul Jones kind of direction. It’s very authentic, there’s nothing triggered or programmed in this band.” Abbath continues: “If you hear the ‘Root Of The Mountain’ song, that could easily have been on the I album. ‘Count The Dead’, too. But I don’t want to over-analyse it, I’m just happy to have it out. Finally, you know?” he says with a sigh. “That’s what I’m thinking now. Finally. It’s a deep breath. I feel very proud, and it’s not only about the music. The last year and a half for me has been like a fucking rollercoaster. And it’s been a scary ride. Suddenly things started going much, much faster than what I had in mind, and I had to hold on tight. It’s a rush. This album, the whole process of putting the band together, it’s been a rush, and I’m not used to it.” Nothing that will break the iron will of the mighty Abbath, however. When asked if he had any kind of doubt during this whole rollercoaster ride, the answer is quick and as to-the-point as you can get. “No,” he says concisely, icily staring us down. Before we begin to sweat, however, he breaks into a laugh. It’s still good old Abbath, after all. “My music is my music. This is what I’m qualified to do,” he booms. “This is my life, it’s what I do. It’s my pride and sometimes my joy. If there is ever a biography on Immortal and Abbath, it should come with a sticker, as a warning – don’t buy this book if you’re

planning on starting a band! It’s a long way to the top if you wanna play black metal…” he laughs. Still, he’s reached it, and there’s no reason to stop anytime soon. “I’m moving on, you know? No matter what. My biggest hero will be 70 in a couple of weeks,” he says, obviously referring to a certain gentleman called Ian Fraser Kilmister but better known by a nickname. “Sure, he’s struggling a bit now, but he’s still out there doing stuff. I have material for two more albums standing by. I have so much material, and we already started to jam some of it. Simon [Lancaster, lyricist – see sidebar] has already started to write stuff for the next songs too, and it’s amazing. We’re also going out on tour with fucking Behemoth, they are true warriors.” “If we could release an album each month we would!” Tom throws into the conversation ring, which prompts both laughs and nods of honest agreement all round. Abbath concludes and we almost feel like raising a fist along to his words. “Success to me is having a band spirit, playing together and the whole process of it. If it’s ‘international’ or ‘commercial’ success, that’s only a bonus. As long as you don’t give up on what you believe in, there’s your success. Why is Lemmy still going at it? Why are Motörhead still together? Never give up!” Onwards! ‘Abbath’ is out now on Season Of Mist www.Facebook.com/AbbathBand


WITCHCRAFT

“IF CERTAIN THINGS HAD GONE BETTER DURING THE LIFE OF THIS BAND THEN WE COULD HAVE DONE MORE”

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Three years ago WITCHCRAFT were on a high, but then the sudden disintegration of the line-up meant the future looked bleak. TERRORIZER caught up with MAGNUS PELANDER to hear how he bounced back Words: Ross Baker

S

ince their inception in 2000, Swedish rockers Witchcraft have followed no one but the muse of head honcho Magnus Pelander. 2012’s ‘Legend’ saw Witchcraft forgo their “analogue only” approach as Magnus handed over guitar duties to guitar prodigies Simon Solomon and Tom Jondelius. ‘Legend’ marked a more hard rocking and urgent approach to songwriting which struck a chord with many, so it came as a surprise to hear of the departure of both guitarists and drummer Oscar Johansson. Ushering in a totally new line-up without missing a beat, Witchcraft’s seemingly revolving door recruitment policy might have had you thinking that modest yet intense songwriter Magnus Pelander was something of a control freak, a charge he doesn’t quite refute, being guarded and evasive about the reasons for parting ways with them. He praises Simon particularly highly. “I didn’t want to do it but it turned out that way,” he says. “I am glad I can do more playing guitar live again, after just concentrating on doing vocals live. Simon Solomon is insanely talented. He should be on the fucking cover of all the guitar magazines! In rehearsal I would watch him and feel really inspired. He was something different. They didn’t leave the band, I dissolved the line-up. Now let’s go back to what is important. Follow your breathing and focus on the music.” Mysterious line-up changes aside, Magnus recruited a new rhythm section and set about creating ‘Nucleus’. Witchcraft is undoubtedly Magnus’ baby but the vocalist insists that although he remains the sole composer, bassist Tobias Anger and drummer Rage Widerberg have some input on arranging what he has created.

“Rage is a really laidback kind of guy. Drums aren’t even his first instrument! He is a great drummer but also a guitar player and he knows how to arrange music. Tobias is also really instinctive and a great player. When we were rehearsing the songs, prior to recording, we turned to each other and knew we were really onto something. I tried to be more spontaneous and add a few new elements like the flute on the track ‘Nucleus’ itself.” Listening to the album, you get a sense it was created under great duress, yet was an extremely therapeutic outlet for Magnus, a quiet man who remains keen to express his politics and views on relationships via song. “I like to retain a bit of mystique when it comes to the lyrics. ‘Nucleus’ is a very personal album for me which was difficult to create. There are some periods of my life in this album that I don’t wish to reflect on for too long. You put so much into the music when you make it that when you’ve finished you want to let go.”

F

rom their inception Witchcraft were keen to champion the virtues of analogue production yet on ‘Legend’, as with the new album, a more modern approach to production has been adopted. Has Magnus turned his back on his original idea and lost his love of vintage sounds? “No, not all. It was more to do with the budget I had to work with. I love the sound of those old amplifiers but it gets harder to get things together. Back on ‘The Alchemist’ we recorded completely analogue but since then we have used digital techniques because it was easier to put the records together. It’s not a case of abandoning that

approach, it’s just so fucking expensive to find the right equipment. I love microphones from the 1950s but it’s fucking impossible to get them. It’s more a convenience thing. I think we can still capture the sound we want with a more modern production while retaining our particular sound.” Magnus is clearly not a fan of compromise. Unashamedly focussing on the ’60s and ’70s as inspiration, he is quick to dismiss accusations that Witchcraft is merely a retro act. “I like all kind of music not just stuff from the ’60s and ’70s. It is important to have a varied taste. As much as I like the sounds of instruments and records made in those days I am glad I am living in the modern era. This is not about being a throwback! We did a Nirvana cover recently, ‘Even In His Youth’. Kurt Cobain was a great songwriter.” Looking into the future, Magnus admits Witchcraft may not have experienced the success of some of their occult rock contemporaries but his commitment to creating music and touring remains unshaken. “If certain things had gone better during the life of this band then we could have done more but ultimately I am happy with how Witchcraft has developed over the years. I have always admired guys like Bobby Liebling and Roky Erickson who took a long time to taste success. That whole instant gratification thing doesn’t interest me anyway. If we only remain a cult band with a loyal following then so be it! I’d rather do that than chase success and be miserable doing so. I think it’s great that people are getting interested in these guys now more than they did twenty years ago. Roky Erikson was covered by Ghost and Pentagram are looking stronger than ever. I would love Witchcraft to have that longevity and hope that our music will survive. I don’t want to look too much into the future or the past because it’s easy to get lost. There are so many things we want to do that we haven’t done yet. We are still here!” ‘Nucleus’ is out now Nuclear Blast www.Facebook.com/Witchcraft/

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ULVER

“It Does Bear Witness Of Men With Beards An 26

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nd Record Collections”

After two decades of boundary-pushing music, ULVER are still finding new ways to challenge themselves, as evidenced by latest album ‘ATGCLVLSSCAP’, an 80-minute behemoth stitched together from live recordings Words: José Carlos Santos

W

e hope it won’t break the magic in any way, but by now it should come as no secret to you, dear readers, that us scribes are unfortunately not flown all over the planet to sit down with our wonderful interviewees in person, nor are they, much to their dismay as well we’re sure, transported in first class to our offices for a half-hour chat. Sometimes that is the case, yes, when the planets align in a specific way, but more often than not we have to exist in a world of phone calls and Skype chats. When this particularly embarrassed scribe confesses to the ever so patient Mr. Kristoffer Rygg that the reason for the first missed call was due to being way too involved in the reorganisation of a record collection to notice the time, a couple of minutes of a rather nerdy “been there” identification ensues. That’s when a light goes on – having been listening to Ulver’s new album ‘ATGCLVLSSCAP’ obsessively over the previous few days, it suddenly dawns that it is the sort of record that couldn’t have been made by anyone without a sizeable record collection, the sort of person that indeed spends hours alphabetising it and suchlike. “It does bear witness of men with beards and record collections, yes. It does reflect that. Musically it sort of moves in certain directions that reveal that to be the case,” Kristoffer agrees with a knowing laugh. You see, after years of subverting genres and style conventionalities, in the past few years Ulver have been going into a more exclusive path of uniqueness, shaking the very structure of what it usually means to record and release an album. Among other things, they’ve done a collaboration with Sunn O))) recorded over the course of a special evening, recorded a mass with an orchestra, reinterpreted obscure ’60s psychedelia tunes… and now, their creative restlessness has given way to ‘ATGCLVLSSCAP’ (you’ll notice those initials are the signs of the zodiac from Aries to Pisces, “just a way to be numerologically clever,” as Kristoffer puts it), a collection of mostly improvised songs that were recorded live during a specifically-for-the-effect tour in February 2014 and then put through the studio magic of Daniel O’Sullivan. Doing something like this requires a true love of music, and its final result exhales it too. If music was a house, if you’ll play along with our ham-fisted analogy for a second, Ulver are not content with just sitting in the living room; they’ve been to the mouldy basement, the cold attic and they’ve rifled through every drawer in every room looking for cool stuff. “It’s a good, fun way to make an album,” Kristoffer says rather nonchalantly, also reminding us that they took their cue from a particular golden age of music. “There are traditions for this. In this day and age things have gotten more separated, but in the ’70s, for a lot of the albums that we sit and listen to now, even by big bands like Led Zeppelin, they constantly recorded everything they did, whether in a rehearsal situation or their gigs, and they took bits and pieces of it that would find their way onto the albums. Things happen in that situation, when you’re with a group of people and you get locked into a groove or something, and they might happen just once. I guess that was the main idea: that we would track all these shows, in the best way possible from a technical angle, and then use that material unashamedly afterwards. We didn’t go about this thinking that

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strictly everything we did on the gigs had to go on the record, not at all. There’s a lot of overlapping, quite a few overdubs and stuff. The end result is a bastard child with all the post-production that we did. But of course, everything is pulled from that tour.” That eleven-date tour, two weeks from Helsinki to Rome, was triggered by the first of the twelve shows which contributed to the album. “The idea of this album was born because the first time we did it was actually in Oslo the year before, in the Autumn of 2013,” Kris explains. “That was a very special gig where everything just gelled, and we fooled ourselves into thinking that we could do that anytime, that that instant magic could happen effortlessly. But it seldom is,” he says with a sharp laugh. “But that gave birth to the idea itself. Then we had a short few days of rehearsal, felt that we could do it again, and went out. I have to say, the two first shows were pretty fucking sketchy! The first one was in a totally seated venue in Helsinki, a very nice theatre, I think some people really enjoyed it, but for me personally that felt a bit ropey. But after going to Germany things sort of gelled together, and the last nine gigs or thereabouts would have their really great moments.” Of course, the band did not go into the shows with a completely blank page. Though nothing was specifically designed beforehand, there were a few pointers discussed previously, namely the prevailing influences, which once again hark back to that delightful image of “men with beards and record collections.” “Since a lot of it was fleshed out as we were playing it, we needed some holding points,” he says, naturally. “Those holding points are informed

by the kind of music we like to listen to when we’re together, or toy around with and play. In this case it would be the kinds of bands we’ve nodded to, mostly German trance-y or electronic music that we all like to listen to, especially when we’re on tour. Especially being older guys in a band,” he laughs again. “It wasn’t an obsessive thing, but it was sort of tapping into it. Not trying to re-emulate or even replicate it, but it is a tributary record in that way. We tried to add our own flavour to that style of music.”

S

o, let’s get right down into the thick of it. How did it all happen, in practice? How were the rehearsals? And were there any awkward moments on stage where the improv just wouldn’t flow? “We rehearsed for three days, which is not a lot, at least for us, but we had a few ideas in mind

“In this way of working, you’re more focused on your own little microcosm"

already,” he starts. “In ‘Cromagnosis’, for example, there’s that bass loop, duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duhduh, but that was it, basically, those little things. We decided that, when playing, when those parts felt done, we’d nod at each other and get into the sort of second part of it, escalating the tempo and so forth. Some of the electronic pieces more or less just happened, often as afterthoughts to the more rocking tracks, and then we also touched on some older songs. We had simple things, essentially. Tore [Ylwizaker, keyboards/programming] had some samples too, that he could use to establish a tempo or a tone for everyone to revolve around. What’s weird about this kind of thing is that everyone would feel a bit differently about it every night. For example, the Tilburg gig, most of the guys in the band seem to bring that one up as the best one, but for me I wasn’t feeling that, whereas I was really feeling Rome. I talked to Dan about it, and he was like, I can’t really remember that gig. It’s different, to each his own. In this way of working, you’re more focused on your own little microcosm.” Dan is obviously Daniel O’Sullivan, Ulver’s crucial multi-instrumentalist who was then responsible for taking all this material, locking himself in his North London enclave – which, the press release reveals, was once owned by Coil’s Ian Johnstone – and building a record out of it. No biggie, right? “We were working on another project that we, ironically, still haven’t finished, because we’re much slower than Dan is,” Kris explains. “We thought it would be a good idea, because he really has a penchant for this kind of stuff. We thought it would be nice for him too, to give him some chief responsibility in this project, as he wasn’t a part of the ‘Messe I.X – VI.X’ thing. It was a great relief to us, because we’d probably spend half a year doing what he did in one month. It added some excitement for me personally as well, because when we got the stuff from him, it was in pretty good shape already, it was just then a question of going in and having lots of fun with the material, which isn’t always the case. You’re usually fed up with music towards the end of any process.” So, Ulver will now enter an extensive break… nah, just kidding. Their heads would probably explode with ideas if they did that. No, there’s another album on the way. There’s no music yet, but we know what it’ll be called. Seriously. “The next full-focus is to jump head-first into a new, ‘proper’ studio album, which we already have the title for. We decided to do it the other way around this time, to have the titles and the lyrics all in place before we write the music, so the album will be called ‘The Assassination Of Julius Caesar’. It’s the way that we want to approach the music, to put weight on the words, and we figured it would be good to try and revolve around, well, the limitations, if you will, but also the possibilities of it, in terms of the rhythm and the length and everything. Trying to be creative in a bit of a new way for us.” Being creative about their creativity. That’s Ulver all right. ‘ATGCLVLSSCAP’ is out now on House Of Mythology www.Jester-Records.com/Ulver

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VISION


TEXTURES

Back

after a lengthy break, tech-metal pioneers

back with not one, but two

TEXTURES are albums. TERRORIZER is all ears Words: James Weaver

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ack in 2003, Textures’ debut ‘Polars’ propelled the band into the spotlight as the wheels of the djent movement started to turn. Twelve years later, and after a five year absence since 2011’s ‘Dualism’, the band are preparing for their return with the hotly anticipated double album ‘Phenotype’ and ‘Genotype’, and for frontman Daniël de Jongh, the decision to make a double album was just a natural progression and the pressure of succeeding comes from within. “At first we didn’t really make a decision to make a double album, we had tons of ideas and it just went naturally,” explains Daniël. “We don’t feel that we are another djent band, the only pressure we feel is that we want to top our game. We want to show this to the world so that is the only pressure we feel. We don’t feel from the outside world, we make this record for ourselves but we wanted to make the best record we could. [There are] bands out there ruling right now like TesseracT and Monuments but we kept to our own style so we don’t feel pressured by these bands.” With a concept controlling the direction of

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the band's new path, Daniël reveals the subject matter the music explores. “The main focus for the concept for these albums came from Uri, it was the nature idea,” he explains. “The transition of cells to DNA structure etcetera, and the physical presence. The idea behind it took a long time for us, these songs take a lot of time and effort. They are built from tiny pieces of other songs and now I’m lost in our own back story! Because of all this time and eventually the other long song that becomes ‘Genotype’ that we said in our press release, the first record will be 45 to 60 minutes then the long song itself will be around 45 minutes. It just works naturally and the whole concept just seems to work. We always wanted to make this type of record but we never had the time, we just wanted to make something special for these two records.”

The music industry tends to follow trends and one trend that is becoming increasingly common within the metal world is for bands to release records on a two year cycle in order to afford the life of a musician. Textures defiantly broke this trend, taking more time and patience to write and Daniël hopes this patient approach has resulted in an album of sheer quality. “It’s all about quality over quantity for us. A lot of bands these days feel the need to produce more albums and they also need to bring some new and fresh ideas to the world,” says Daniël. “For us it doesn’t work like that, we just want to make the time to really bring out our creative ideas, we could also release a record every year but we just don't want to do that. We want to bring out records with a lot of fresh creative ideas, we like to shape and mould our music. We need a lot of time for these songs to grow.”  ‘Phenotype’ out now on Nuclear Blast www.Texturesband.com

“We always wanted to make this type of record but we never had the time”


CAGE - OUT NOW

DEATHDEALER - OUT NOW

Featuring members from Manowar, the Dictators, Halford, Lizzy Borden, Denner/Shermann and Cage, Death Dealer are a true heavy metal force to be reckoned with. The crushing new album HOLLOWED GROUND is out now.

Known as "The American Power Metal Kings,"  CAGE has earned that moniker over two decades, by releasing one award winning album after another.  Now, they´re getting ready to release their 7th album overall, and their most ambitious album yet - a horror-concept called ANCIENT EVIL. In stores now.

SWORN AMONGST - FEB 26

The bands savage new album UNDER A TITAN SKY see’s the band taking a step into much heavier territories, leaving behind their tenuous thrash roots, fusing together a multitude of genres, creating a unique formula of their own.

CHAINS OVER RAZORS - OUT FEB 26

Groundbreaking metal, produced by legendary Carmine Appice. In stores Feb 26.

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w w w. s w e d e n m u s i c g r o u p . c o m w w w. p e r e n n i t y r e c o r d s . c o m

A DIVISION OF SWEDEN MUSIC GROUP

MOLOKEN

All is Left to See - OUT NOW

VAK

Arguments with the Disease - OUT NOW

COLOSSUS

The Breathing World - OUT NOW

DIGRESSION ASSASSINS Merkaba - OUT NOW

DIA PSALMA

Från och Med Nu - OUT NOW


SEPULTURA

“We had to sound like Venom!” 70 32

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SEPULTURA

“we became so strong in ourselves” 34

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I’m not entrapped into anything” an example of someone who does his thing and that’s what he’s always done. But Brutal Truth never did the same kind of record twice, and to be quite honest I’ve never done the same record twice with any band. I’ve never made a lot of money off that, obviously as I have a day job, and I’m not entrapped in a blueprint of what I should sound like.”

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o does that mean the approach to songs is always different, be it for VC, Brutal Truth, Primate, Lock Up, or whatever else? “Yeah, the approach always changes,” Kevin confirms. “When I write music, it’s mathy and technical and stuff like that, but the lyrical content tends to always be more extreme, and the simpler the tune, the dumber the lyric. It all depends on what’s going on, because I play with all sorts of different people. Sometimes in Brutal Truth I’d write up Dan’s bassline, or I’d write up the drums, though not often because Rich never played the same thing twice, he was always all over the place, you couldn’t really count on him doing it the same way ever. So, there’s not a formula in terms of how I write, and what I write too, it’s just what rings in my ear, and that’s how I approach it.” It’s difficult to talk to Kevin these days and not ask about Brutal Truth, especially since it’s been more or

less a year since the final shows. Dude, how do you live without it? We’re still trying to figure it out. “Obviously, you do something for so long that you can get kind of nostalgic,” he candidly admits. “Especially now that Facebook reminds you what you did last year – this time last year we had just wrapped up Brutal Truth in Japan and we get to see all these memories of people. A friend of ours posted a video of the final party and I got to see the very last bits of it, so yeah, you get kind of nostalgic. But things happen for a reason, I feel fortunate that I can stand behind everything we ever did with that band, and I feel that we went out sounding good, playing well, and I don’t have any regrets. It would have sucked if we played past our expiration date. I don’t think that happened. The last songs we wrote were just as valid as the first, so I don’t have any weird feelings like that. I would have felt like shit if we would have put out crappy material just to [continue]. I don’t know, some bands just carry on and you’re like, ‘fuck’s sake dude, please stop’. That’s the fortunate thing about being a broke musician. It’s not like, ‘oh, great, let’s put out a bad record so we can crawl back to the van and eat dick for another six months’. There’s none of that. Danny thought he reached his creative limit with that band, and I get that. I think he’s right actually, we

did explore the limits of grind as much as we could.” VC’s good for Dan too. “Yeah, doing VC takes a lot of pressure off him. He can go out and do it for a little bit, and if he doesn’t want to do it, Shane can swap over to bass and it’s not a problem. Ironically, Shane does the same thing in Lock Up – if he can’t do it, he hands it over to Danny.” So, what now? Without Brutal Truth, it’ll be easier to sync schedules, so what will Venomous Concept be like from now on? “It’ll be whatever Shane and I decide we want it to be,” the vocalist booms with a laugh. “I think Shane wants to do a record where he plays drums on it, I think we’re going to do a party record with Iron Maiden songs and stuff. We did this really weird David Bowie cover and it was a lot of fun, Billy Gould played bass on it, Bill Kelliher also mentioned he’d love to jam on some VC stuff, so it might be a fucking nostalgia trip for old dudes!” And both old and young dudes might just tag along for the ride too. ‘‘Kick Me Silly – VC III’ is out now on Season Of Mist www.Facebook.com/Official-VenomousConcept-150740511612469/

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ÅRABROT

A brush with death hasn’t deterred KJETIL NERNES and ÅRABROT from creating their most accessible work to date. TERRORIZER spoke to the frontman to discuss ‘The Gospel’ Words: Ross Baker

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livewire of kinetic energy, on stage Kjetil Nernes resembles an escapee from an asylum, yet when discussing his art, Kjetil is warm and brutally honest. His group Årabrot won a Norwegian Grammy in 2012 and were gaining momentum until last year when Kjetil was diagnosed with throat cancer, threatening not just his career, but his life. “I thought that was me done. It was a very hard time,” he reflects. “That situation puts everything on hold. It was like drowning at the bottom of the sea before escaping to the surface. The way I wrote the songs was of course affected by that. The first thing I did after getting the all clear was do a few shows, then we went straight to the studio with Steve Albini! We had no idea what we were getting into. We recorded and mixed a session in four days and had no idea how shit we were! Steve, Bob Weston [Shellac] and I are good friends now. They took these snotty young punks and made something of us!” Refocused since his brush with death, the new Årabrot opus ‘The Gospel’ sees Kjetil describing the war with his illness and life after overcoming cancer. “The album is about the feeling of war within yourself. I am not a religious person. There is nothing religious about this band but I’m very interested in the

spiritual side of The Bible. I wanted to make the album very warlike and I asked Andrew Liles [Nurse With Wound/Current 93] to contribute samples that would give that atmosphere. I’ve been healthy for a year now and my singing is even better after my treatment. My surgery was done in a great hospital. The doctors watched Årabrot videos to check out the way I was singing to ensure I’d be able to use my voice in the same way, which was incredible!” After residing in Oslo for twelve years, Kjetil also attributes his regenerated creativity to relocating to the remote village of Djura, Sweden and in addition to Lilies, secured the contributions of some

artistically again! I have my studio in house and am so much more prolific. Back in Oslo I would be hanging out in bars with the same people, having the same chitchat. I didn’t plan this record to be a big collaboration but as things progressed, I had ideas like adding the Norse shouts to ‘Ah Feel’. I got my friend Erland from Kvelertak because he has the perfect voice for that. I called Stephen O’Malley [Sunn O)))] as I needed a guitar drone for ‘Faustus’. He recorded these amazing guitar patterns which sound much like a church organ. I knew Ted Parsons [Swans, Godflesh, Killing Joke etc] through Emil Nikolaisen of Serena-Maneesh. I’m influenced by the new wave and industrial bands like The Fall and Killing Joke and I wanted to do a more British sounding album. I wanted to produce some songs that were brutally percussive and who better than Ted Parsons for that?!” Bursting with enthusiasm after completing the seventh Årabrot album, Kjetil has several projects planned for 2016. “I’m talking to Tromsᴓ international film festival about a sequel to my live score of the Fritz Lang movie ‘Die Niebelungen’. I’m very inspired by filmmakers like David Lynch and Andrei Tarkovsky. ‘The Gospel’ is the more rock part of Årabrot but there is a strong art wanking side! I want Årabrot to become one of the most inspiring underground bands. I’m looking forward to playing loads of shows and recording a new album in 2017.”

“I WANT ÅRABROT TO BECOME ONE OF THE MOST INSPIRING UNDERGROUND BANDS”

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interesting guests. “It’s a tiny village with only 300 people. Since my wife and I moved to the church there I can breathe

‘The Gospel’ will be released February 26 on Fysisk Format www.Arabrot.com


HEXVESSEL

Delivering a message of hope and optimism, HEXVESSEL are here to save the planet with their intoxicating acid rock. TERRORIZER spoke to MAT MCNERNY all about it Words: Ross Baker

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n a turbulent world where the threat of global terrorism is thrust into our faces on a daily basis, one could be forgiven for feeling a lack of optimism. Never one for fitting in with the current zeitgeist, earthy folk rockers Hexvessel have followed the muse of leader Mat McNerney into ever more psychedelic realms. New offering ‘When We Are Death’ sees another shift in direction towards acid rock, but don’t be fooled by the gloom of the title, for this is the most focused and upbeat release Hexvessel have ever composed. “It’s a happy album,” Mat insists. “It still has darker tones but it has a positive message. It’s meant to be about spreading a happier vibe. I love dark music and I get put off by happier albums, but it has a positive undertone. It’s a natural step on from ‘Iron Marsh’. The second record ‘No Holier Temple’

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was written when the line-up had just formed. We wrote a lot of material when we entered the studio. There was a lot of improvisation going on, which in retrospect I felt was a bit messy. I really wanted to do an album that capitalised on the strengths of this line-up and showed what we could do as a band. When Century Media came to see us at a show in Germany, they signed us. They felt that the records hadn’t yet captured what we are capable of doing. We heard that a lot from fans too. ‘No Holier Temple’ was well received but it hadn’t shown what we are capable of.” Confident yet self-critical, Mat’s positive outlook has been influenced in part by the fact he and his wife (and Hexvessel bandmate) Marja Konttinen recently celebrated the birth of their first child. “I think it was a crystallization of what was

already there,” Mat reflects. “If you’re truly in love with someone and you’re building a life together and you have a kid, it just reinforces that. You’re a stronger unit and a family. It strengthens how you already feel, you have more love. You want to feel more positive about the world but you feel much more worried about it. I’m searching for what my convictions mean and trying to be as good a father and person I can be. That comes through with the music. Hexvessel are much more a lifestyle than just a band. We all live in the same town and we drink together and hang out. It’s like a family. I’m really tired of all the doom and gloom bands. It’s very easy to put together this gloomy negative music. It’s far more challenging to put together something that makes people feel uplifted and enlightened. It’s so important to champion the nature organisations we work with and the causes we fight for. I’m trying to make it more personal all the time to get a clearer vision of how I want to be. Marja works on pre-production with me. She’s the first person that will listen to those songs as she’s the only other person that knows Hexvessel inside and out. She’s my go to. She helped produce the songs from the beginning. She’s great to bounce ideas off of. She


chips in with lyrics and themes. She might not be at all the rehearsals and doesn’t really join in on the live show anymore but in terms of the way the songs come together and being in the band she is a very important part of the concept of Hexvessel.”

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or all the talk of the group being like a commune, Hexvessel is unmistakably Mat’s brainchild. Created by Mat as his ‘personal music I make in my room’, Hexvessel is a band created purely for the love of music, with no interest in releasing music for commercial interests. His other band, Grave Pleasures, is clearly dear to his heart, but any criticism Hexvessel may receive is met with little interest. “Our stuff gets sent to all these incredibly stupid metal sites and blogs who don’t know what to make of us. They laughed when we covered ‘Women Of Salem’ saying ‘Occult rock has got so bad, they’re scraping the barrel covering Yoko Ono!’ but she is an

amazing producer so they totally missed the point. I couldn’t really give a crap if no one listens to Hexvessel. If you’re digging it, that’s great. If not, it doesn’t matter and it can go back to the way it was before. I love to hear when people have connected with it. It’s like having a kid and watching it grow up. I enjoy writing, recording and playing live. What I like less and less these days is that the live period of the band is overshadowing the rest. I see bands like Graveyard who are a fantastic band and very talented, but the last two records diminished in quality. ‘Hisingen Blues’ was a classic record but the following two were poor. People need to make money by touring, but I think it can take away from the artistic aspect. If you’ve just been on tour for two years and go straight to making a record you aren’t going to have any interesting perspective on the universe. We don’t believe in just churning out records unless you have something to say.” ‘When We Are Death’ is certainly an ambitious

slice of psychedelic rock with a big agenda. A keen environmentalist, Mat is obviously concerned about the plight of the world. “We are bombarded with negativity in the media all the time. It’s hard to be optimistic when all we are given is bad news. The title of the record comes from the idea that when we accept the fate of death we’re untouchable. You may change form but you always remain within the universe. I was reading the Zen Buddhist Book of the Dead which says when you’re prepared for death then you have reached the highest level of enlightenment, but I’m much more concerned with saving the planet than saving humans. Early environmentalists like Henry Thoreau were promoting nature as something which must be protected and not just a resource for man to plunder.” ‘When We Are Death’ is out now on Century Media www.Facebook.com/Hexvessel

“It’s very easy to put together gloomy negative music – it’s far more challenging to put together something that makes people feel uplifted and enlightened ” TERRORIZER #267

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“I feel like we’re on track” success – although Brun’s vision may continue to form the foundation of their complex and captivating music, other hands also crucially shape its final gleaming structure. And as Brun reveals, when those hands (and vocal chords), belong to musicians as esteemed as Simen ‘ICS Vortex’ Hestnæs and Vintersorg, that contribution proves both inspirational and essential. “This is the other beautiful thing about music, to have such a resourceful, creative bunch of people working together with me, it’s just brilliant” Brun says of his collaborators – and the praises only extend when Brun is asked if he observes the defining impact his bandmates have made on his initial vision. “Definitely. And although I’ve composed most of

the music and the lyrics and in many ways I am the backbone of the band, we are still a unit. I spent maybe two months writing songs for the new album – it doesn’t take me too long to write the songs, I do it on a daily basis. I’ve done it continually since I was like fifteen/sixteen years old, so writing the music isn’t a big deal. What we actually spend the most time on really is the production; everybody together and bouncing ideas back and forth and all that, that takes much more time and much more mental energy. So the other guys, they have a huge impact within the band, so it’s obviously not just my achievement alone. I do the black and white drawings and the other guys colour in the picture, so to say.” With ‘Winter Thrice’ further displaying the

interplay of unblemished and multi-fronted vocals, avant-garde idiosyncrasies, and shimmering yet searing melody that Borknagar truly realised with ‘Universal’ and 2012’s ‘Urd’, it seems that this collaborative colouring is at a spectacularly vibrant peak – an observation Brun reflects in his typically understated conclusion. “In a way, now to me honestly it seems like a lot of pieces of this puzzle have come together in a miraculous way. It’s cool, it’s a great feeling, and I think actually, it comes out in the album. I think the listener will kind of be able to see that, and that the band is having fun and having a good time with the music.” ‘Winter Thrice’ is out now Century Media www.Facebook.com/BorknagarOfficial/

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PANOPTICON

With a newfound peace of mind, PANOPTICON’S Austin Lunn has just released his most introspective album to date in ‘Autumn Eternal’, shifting his focus from politics to more personal matters… Words: Dean Brown

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ustin Lunn, the multi-instrumentalist behind the acclaimed US black metal act Panopticon, was late to discover metal’s darkest subgenre. In his early youth, Austin became a huge fan of progressive rock/metal – he cites the 1990 album ‘Faith Love Hope’ by King’s X as having shaped the way he sees music – but during his teens he started binging on old punk rock and crust as well as throwing himself deep into grindcore and thrash metal. It wasn’t until he came upon Arizonabased anarchists Suicide Nation and a certain otherworldly classic by Emperor, however, that the

then-seventeen year old changed his opinion of black metal from “something the goth kids in my high school were way into,” to an art form he was eager to explore. “I’ll never forget hearing ‘In The Nightside Eclipse,’ for the first time,” Austin fondly recalls, now fifteen years on, “the recording was so reverbdrenched and atmospheric – it really threw me for a loop. I listened to it over and over again and got completely hooked.” A strong desire to find exciting new sounds has continued right throughout Austin’s life, and the

“I’m sick of the ‘call-out’ culture – it’s heavy metal McCarthyism”

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diverse range of the music this talented composer has consumed has informed his celebrated work as Panopticon. Taking the second wave’s established tenets as an unwavering axis, he has successfully integrated post-rock, shoegaze, melodic death metal, American folk, and most strikingly, bluegrass into Panopticon’s music at various stages over the course of six albums since 2008. Austin has blended those disparate styles with the attentiveness of a master craftsman, and his high level of creative consistency shows no signs of faltering. Particularly so if we are to go by this year’s yearning and highly traditional ‘Autumn Eternal’ – the excellent final album in an originally unplanned trilogy that includes 2012’s bluegrass-heavy ‘Kentucky’ and the icy Scandinavian chill of 2014’s ‘Roads To The North’. While ‘Kentucky’ was as politically charged as its three polemic predecessors, the two albums that followed have taken a much more introspective approach – especially ‘Autumn Eternal’, which deals with Austin trying to come to terms with personal issues that were not “situational or external”. The passionate musician confirms that he will always remain a political person but that he completely soured to the “dog-and-pony show in political music”, and so this caused a major shift in his thematic direction. “I’m sick of the ‘call-out’ culture and the straw


men being built up by the very bastards who will publicly light them up just to say ‘I told you so,’” Austin spits.  “It’s heavy metal McCarthyism. The accusations – you’re not kvlt, you’re a hipster, you’re a Nazi sympathiser because of some records you own, you’re PC, you’re this, you’re that… blah blah blah. I’m pretty sick of this shit. That is half the reason I generally keep to myself. “All in all, I said what I wanted to say as far as politics and social commentary goes,” he continues, “so I don’t feel the need to drill it into people’s heads by saying it over and over. In the end, I also need a creative space to process myself, and music is my preferred space for that kinda shit. Maybe one day I will do a political record again but I am sure it won’t be quite so pointed, as it will be observations and venting. Music is very therapeutic, and that’s something I have been benefiting from lately.”

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ustin also attributes his recent mood and heightened creative focus to his family’s relocation from Kentucky to Minnesota last year in order to open up a craft brewery with his brother-in-law. Moving to the isolated woodland of Minnesota and becoming a father for the first time helped centre his mind during the writing process for ‘Roads To The North’ and ‘Autumn Eternal’, and it also took him away from the boozer. “When I lived in Louisville, I still made a lot of music, but I didn’t have children and I drank a lot,” Austin reveals. “I went to pubs with friends after work most nights and got drunk a couple of times a week, so I kind of feel like that clouded my mind a bit. Now that my life has kinda calmed down and I am more responsible, I feel pretty focused on what I am doing. “My time to play and record is pretty limited these days due to running the brewery and having children,” he further admits, “so I make it count and do my best. I have been demoing out a lot harder – everything before ‘Kentucky’ didn’t have demos – and being more critical when it comes to final recording time. Also, the help of experienced engineers like Colin Marston and Spencer Morris

have been a tremendous help for capturing the best performances I can give. I am forever grateful to those guys.” Outside of trusted engineers, Austin walks his artistic path alone. But while he prefers to keep to himself and stresses that he’s not a “scene guy”, he is conscious of the popularity of certain US black metal acts – bands who have been clearly inspired his adventurous black metal alongside the esteemed works of Agalloch and Wolves In The Throne Room – and he expresses a fondness for some of his peers from the US and beyond. “I will tell you there are some bands I absolutely adore,” Austin begins. “I make no bones about that and do my best to support them and spread the word. I don’t really see it as being region- or countrydefined, though. I feel like Waldgeflüster and Saiva have just as much in common and are just as much a part of our community as Falls Of Rauros and Alda. It is more about the common soul of this music; the love for nature, the feeling of solitude, the expressions of rage, sorrow and joy – that is what makes these bands different from the more traditional black metal style. Sometimes I feel like, in a lot of ways, the only commonalities we have with ‘black metal’ are blast-beats and production values. Which is why, more recently, I have been shying away from using the term to describe my music.” For the release of ‘Autumn Eternal’, the Panopticon polymath also shied away from doing a bunch of press to promote the album, which, it has to be said, is refreshing in an age where musicians (and everyone else) constantly plaster every inane thought on social media. “I don’t do a lot of press because I don’t want to make a spectacle out of myself,” Austin admits,

when asked about promoting his art. “There are a lot more interesting folks out there people could be reading about than me. So I figure if I can’t say it in a couple interviews, I ought not to be talking and wasting everyone’s time.” Now that the trilogy is behind him, Austin is immediately looking to the future, and he concludes by giving us some idea of where Panopticon’s inspirations will come from next. “I just want to make some music that sounds the way the Superior National Forest feels on an early, brisk, misty morning: cold but enticing… inspiring… majestic...” he says longingly. “I want to funnel the places that fill my life into music. Since I am going to be here anyways, I may as well extol its virtues and sing the praises of the North Woods. It’s better to write about what you love about something than constantly lament what you’ve lost. Life moves on, everything changes, and in a way that’s a beautiful and comforting thing.” ‘Autumn Eternal’ is out now on Bindrune/ Nordvis TheTruePanopticon.Bandcamp.com

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OBSCURA With a new line-up, and a stunningly good new album to boot, OBSCURA welcome 2016 with vigour and, in new album ‘Akróasis’, a logical growth in confidence. Frontman and founder STEFFEN KUMMERER explains Words: Rich Taylor

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usic grows from advancing your skills, sharing ideas and refining yourself again and again,” states Steffan Kummerer as he chats to Terrorizer about Obscura’s new album ‘Akróasis’. “Obscura will always be a death metal band with influences from other music, that’s what we have been doing since the very beginning. My vision is to evolve from the past without neglecting your roots.” If recent years have shown one thing about technical death metal, it’s that the genre seems to have finally played itself out of energy. Few bands remain particularly relevant or interesting, and those that do have retained their status by invigorating the style with distinctive flavour – Gorguts’ obscure and experimental dissonance, the all-out universe-collapsing carnage of Origin, Nile’s now unshakeable formula, or the terrifyingly nightmarish realms of Portal. Obscura are counted among this handful of heavies, thanks primarily to the obsession with progression, expansion and development that has defined the band’s identity since it sparked into life in Munich back in 2002. From the cosmological fascination that pervades their discography through to the trademarking of a sound that unites melodic and engaging songwriting with face-melting technicality, Obscura’s approach of focusing on grander themes has stamped them with a certain distinction amongst their modern tech-death

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compatriots, reflecting Steffen’s aim for both evolution and preservation. And, of course, also provided the band with a more nuanced and layered sound than all the tech-bros in the world could piece together with pro-tools. “I grew up with the records ‘Human’ and ‘Focus’, which continue to impress me to this day,” Steffen reflects with Terrorizer. “What Steve DiGiorgio and Sean Malone especially came up with at the time had a major impact within the death metal scene. My aim is to write and arrange songs that are structured, almost classic in some way, and while we use the technical abilities of each member to get there, it doesn’t matter if a riff or an idea is technical or easy to play. The song itself is most important – a fluent arrangement combined with a melodic, hooky approach but underneath the surface full of ideas, rhythmic patterns and challenging riffs. There is no need to write a technical song just for the sake of being technical!” However, for all their distinction within their genre, Obscura’s path has not been free of obstacles. While the strength and prowess of 2009’s ‘Cosmogensis’ brought the Germans global acclaim, and 2011’s ‘Omnivium’ cemented the band’s hook-laden and eerily resonant bass-driven sound, the subsequent departure of key members like guitarist Christian Münzner, fretless-bassist Jeroen Thesseling and prolific drummer Hannes Grossmann presented a challenge – not just in finding a new line-up, but assembling one that would fulfil the crucial characteristics of Obscura’s now established style. Steffen speaks confidently of the band’s current manifestation however, and somewhat appropriately, it seems that the new official line-up, comprising drummer Sebastian Lanser and guitarist Rafael Trujillo, as well long-term live bassist Linus Klausenitzer, captures that essence of refinement and preservation that is so important to Obscura, presenting an exciting and positive future for the band. “When we split with Christian Münzner and Hannes Grossmann in summer 2014, we received a huge amount of messages of musicians that would have been interested joining the band. We got in touch with a handful of


drummers we had in mind and Linus brought the idea to ask Sebastian Lanser of Panzerballett into the discussion. We shared some ideas how to develop our sound and recording a new album, had a first meeting and felt the right chemistry. Sebastian brought Rafael Trujillo to the table and after some meetings and a test of his abilities with old and new material we decided to let him join Obscura. He graduated from Munich Guitar Institute and just got accepted at Amsterdam Conservatorium’s University of Arts to study Jazz, so I am very curious what he might bring to the table for the next record.”

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rawing back from Steffen’s preemptive musings for the time being to the present day however, Obscura will begin 2016 by taking the next step in the celestial journey with the release of their fourth fulllength ‘Akróasis’ this February. True to form, the album retains the blistering fretwork, cosmic ambience and sci-fi-meets-philosophical musings of their prior releases, and yet preserves these links with the past while pushing the fringes of Obscura’s approach into new territory – both thematically as well as musically. “‘Akróasis’ is loosely based on [Hans] Kayser’s ‘Akroasis’” Steffen reveals, “the work of a Swiss professor who spent his whole life working with Pythagorean theories. He hypothesized that the structure of our universe is based on a harmonic scheme, linking everything from the planetary rotation to a macro perspective, how atoms, baryonic parts and evolution are structured. When I wrote lyrics for ‘Omnivium’ German naturalists such as Goethe and Schelling inspired me massively. Accidently I found writings and

poems that have been related to the earliest Pythagorean thoughts from both writers and was able to combine those ideas into my lyrics for ‘Akróasis’. For example, the thought to incorporate three different perspectives; a religious, a rational and present subjective view that I worked through in ‘Omnivium’ comes to the fore again on the track ‘The Monist’ of our new album. ‘The Monist’ stands for monism, the opposite of dualism where you have heaven and hell, god and evil. The thought of monism combines both, a bad and good, creator and destroyer, life and death at once.” This thought may well have more bearing on Obscura’s current manifestation than Steffen realises, with the smooth and seamless exterior of ‘Akróasis’ glossing over a relatively turbulent period for the band over the last few years, from line-up changes to an extended and unplanned intervening phase between releases. Yet, perhaps the experiences just factor back into Steffen’s aim of refinement and progression – a series of events that will only enhance the band’s drive and prowess. Certainly that seems to remain the goal, as Steffen concludes by reaffirming. “‘Akróasis’ is simply the next step for Obscura creating our own musical universe. I love bands that have their own sound, when you listen to a track in the radio or any playlist and within the first 10 seconds you know which group you are listening to – this is my personal aim for the future. Writing good music, elaborate yourself and stick to your roots.” ‘Akróasis’ is out on February 5 on Relapse wwwRealmOfObscura.com/

“MY VISION IS TO EVOLVE FROM THE PAST WITHOUT NEGLECTING YOUR ROOTS” TERRORIZER #267

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band with a rich pedigree creating forward-thinking extreme metal, THE KING IS BLIND have delivered one exciting debut album indeed. TERRORIZER speaks to vocalist STEVE TOVEY to get the full picture Words: Rich Taylor

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or a man that spent the weekend prior to chatting to Terrorizer bellowing to the Damnation Festival audience about the fundamental deficiencies and inescapable sinfulness of humankind, Steve Tovey speaks with an upbeat and candid positivity. The dichotomy isn’t all that surprising however – as the ‘pharynx and larynx’ of The King Is Blind, Steve’s diabolical orations, layered upon his band’s infectiously grooving doomtinged death metal, just earnt a whole new hoard of fans for a band emerging into the UK’s extreme metal scene like a particularly sacrilegious juggernaut. And, undoubtedly that process will only be furthered by the release of The King Is Blind’s debut full-length ‘Our Father’, a wrathful and adventurous offering from a band that despite forming just over two years ago, cast a shadow far longer than that. “Myself and Lee [Appleton, guitars] have known each other since secondary school and got into heavy metal together,” says Steve. “You know, getting kicked out of classes for listening to Ozzy on the shared headphone! So we’ve kinda been with each other all the way through our musical metal lives.” This theme of a long mutual history resounds throughout The King Is Blind, a band in which childhood friends, brothers and long-term collaborators have finally realised long-held musical dreams. Yet with the band’s quickly expanding acclaim, a couple of notable festival appearances, the ‘The Deficiencies Of Man’ EP which was released via Mordgrimm and a debut that vindicates it all, does it seem that 2013 was finally the right time for those long-smouldering embers to catch light? “Yeah, basically”, Steve agrees. “It was kind of a right time and a right place in our personal lives as well. Everything fit together, and we’ve able to work The King Is Blind around what’s happening outside the band. It’s just been a really mature, ego-free enjoyable thing to be doing, and I think the fact that it is enjoyable comes across in the music. There’s a lot of positive energy in the music that I think comes across because we are kind of more experienced; we’re happy, and we’re confident in what we’re doing, and we can enjoy all that at the same time – which then comes out in the sound that we’re creating.” And if the band’s ability to get a room full of people fist-pumping and head banging early on a November Leeds afternoon suggests a more explicit heavy metal positivity and confidence, the upcoming release indicates a deeper momentum and assuredness in The King Is Blind’s approach to their craft. The primary manifestation of this comes in the fabric of the album – a multifaceted and blasphemous narrative of apocalyptic battles between good and evil, infused with philosophical musings and profound questions tackling the nature of humankind, and expressed through equally bold musical designs (Steve’s dramatically eclectic vocal approach especially). ‘Our Father’ is not the output of a band hashing together a few riffs or a half-arsed concept. It’s a work that reflects the bands’ high standards for themselves and their art, as well as hints towards the camaraderie that encourages them to achieve their vision. “I think the thing about being comfortable with each other that means you’re not afraid to balls it up,” he laughs. “If you do something that doesn’t quite work in rehearsal, it’s fine, you laugh it off and you get on with it. But also in that supportive environment it works to push you to try that little bit extra, to try something you might not normally do. So rather than do an album with just death metal vocals, we were like, you know what, it’s a concept album, it’s got different concepts and characters in it – let’s put different nuances and elements into the voices so they all sound slightly different and they all work with the different emotions and the different feelings of each song.”

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et for all the laughs and potential balls-ups The King Is Blind – completed by Paul Alan Ryan-Reader (guitar – who was also in Cradle of Filth and The Blood Divine), Barnaby Joseph Monger (drums, ex-Extreme Noise Terror), and Ceri Monger (bass) – have enjoyed in getting there, the process of achieving their vision in the grandest and most fitting of ways held an external as well as personal musical value. “For me when it came to the lyrics it was very important that each line worked on several levels,” he says. “The first being purely a narrative level, to tell the story. Also then on the second level in expressing the themes of man being flawed, and being predisposed to sin and so on. But then it was also important that certain lines could be metaphoric and interpreted in different ways, allowing them to come out of that pure strict concept and underlying narrative, to touch on other more human elements for the individual listener. “Because we’ve all listened to so much great music growing up,” he continues. “Where by having that extra depth and message behind it, it contributes to making a stronger piece of artwork – a stronger album. That was something we wanted to do, to give something to those people that wanted something deeper to explore. We’re fully aware that some people will just be into the riffs and melodies – which is great – but for those that want to delve deeper the option is there.” It’s been a rapid course for The King Is Blind, and one that must seem relatively unexpected for its members – especially so for Steve, considering that by his own admission, that the band’s formation came at a time when he had been musically inactive for a number of years. This serves only to distil the experience into one of totally pure satisfaction however, bereft of bullshit and notions of glory, and more importantly for the listeners, that furthers the band’s fiery and hellish hunger. “It’s the most rewarding creative thing that I’ve been involved in,” Steve concludes, “and I think I can speak for the rest of the guys and say the same. We’re all feeling fulfilled by what we’ve done, but not in a way where we’re kind of sitting back on our laurels – we’re already discussing how we can go forward and expand on things further and better and where we go from here.”

“Having that extra depth and message behind it contributes to making a stronger piece of artwork”

‘Our Father’ is out now on Cacophonous www.Facebook.com/TheKingIsBlind

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fruits of their labour. “We go a long way back with Justin and he is a huge influence on the music that Dragged Into Sunlight make. You listen to ‘Streetcleaner’ and it still sounds so relevant 26 years on! It’s a massive honour for him to producer ‘N.V.’. He is a genius. When he mastered ‘N.V.’ for us he gave us two mixes; Justin’s extreme master and Justin’s normal master. The extreme version was so distorted and industrial, it was everything we wanted. It was perfect, so loud but clear and relentlessly harsh. We didn’t give the normal version a go! He worked with no restraints which is how we work. We don’t tell people how to do our art and we don’t tell others how to do theirs when working with us. Having him involved was so special.” painstakingly crafted all-consuming experience, ‘N.V.’ was meticulously whittled down from three hours to a mere 40 minutes of music. With such a lengthy period between releases, one could be forgiven for believing that Dragged Into Sunlight are only active sporadically due to being based in different locations around the UK but, as T confirms, there is far more going on, including altering their live presentation and the next album. “We rigorously analyse all our work. Every riff, every cymbal hit, every vocal line until we are completely satisfied. If we don’t get something absolutely perfect we don’t use it. We recorded ‘Widowmaker’ twice and then did it again because we weren’t happy with the production. In 2008-09 we finally recorded it. People have remarked that the drums on ‘N.V.’ sound a lot more industrial on this album which is how we wanted it. If people don’t

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like it that’s their problem. This record is so pure and concentrated. ‘N.V.’ took four years to put together but if you look at how Dragged Into Sunlight works that’s to be expected – ‘Hatred For Mankind’ took two years and ‘Widowmaker’ took three. Mories has so many projects and a tight schedule. After we toured Japan in 2014 we decided that we couldn’t do anymore shows because we wouldn’t get this finished. We don’t portray things externally. We are in a band that is constantly creating and releases music when we feel like it. “The first thing we talk about how we present ourselves live,” he continues. “We have something very special planned for Temples Festival! We have always played in a circle and as a collective. When I look and see the sweat and struggle on my colleague’s faces, they’re putting 200 per cent into it. We don’t face the audience because we are not there to please them. I only care about playing music with the people I started this with. Members have passed out onstage because we push ourselves so hard when performing. “We are working on the follow up to [2009’s] ‘Terminal Aggressor’, with Nate Hall. We met him when he was performing with Baroness at Roadburn. He’s an amazing musician and we couldn’t resist the opportunity to work together. We have several recordings we have done with Merzbow, but we haven’t decided what we will put out if we do. The new album changes direction again, it’s more of a raw, black, death metal record. An exorcism of pure frustration when you put your fist through the wall!” ‘N.V.’ is out now on Prosthetic Records www.Facebook.com/DraggedIntoSunlight

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IGNITE

A decade since their last studio album, IGNITE are back, re-ignited (excuse the pun), and ready to make waves once again in the hardcore world Words: Ian Glasper s gaps between albums go, the ten years since Ignite released ‘Our Darkest Days’ is verging on the ridiculous – after all, they’re a hardcore band, not Metallica, right? Well, in the interim, vocalist Zoli has fronted Pennywise, drummer Craig has played with Strife, bassist Brett with Nations Afire and guitarist Brian with Into Another, and Ignite have kept active on the live front, but it’s still safe to say that new album, ‘A War Against You’ is long overdue for fans of the band. “It is always a great opportunity to play with different musicians and experience new things,” offers Brett, on their lengthy hiatus from recording. “Life experiences, trials and tribulations make you the person you are. I think time away from Ignite, for all of us, let us realise how many people around the world Ignite touches. We received countless e-mails from people begging us to release a new album. This is something very special and something that not too many people get to experience in their lives and we really appreciate this. I also think playing with other people gave us a new perspective on chemistry regarding music. Sometimes there are unexplainable

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things that happen between a group of people when they get together to write, record and play music. For all of us, Ignite is one of those chemistries that works uniquely well when we step into a room together. But believe me, it is not easy; in the end though, the passion we each have for this music comes through because it is so important to us. We take a lot of pride in this craft.” From the get-go, with the harmonised vocal intro to opener ‘Begin Again’, it’s obvious this is classic Ignite, driven by that energy and unashamed melody that has made them such a unique voice in modern hardcore. With such a long wait for the record though, were they aware of heightened fan expectation for the new songs as they were writing them? “In the approach to this album we reminded ourselves that there are things that Ignite fans expect from us, and we feel it is important to keep a link to our previous work, but at the same time it is even more important to surprise our listeners with new and exciting elements that they do not expect. When bands try to make a copy of a previous record, they

always fall short because it is impossible to capture the magic of a previous work; that was a different time and place. We believe it is important that bands re-create themselves somewhat on each album and keep the energy and creativity fresh. And that is always the biggest challenge, to create something exciting and fresh without losing the sense of the band.” It’s safe to say that fans won’t be disappointed with ‘A War Against You’, and one Ignite tradition the band thankfully continues is that of intelligent, thought-provoking lyrics. “The album title is a line from the song ‘This Is A War’, which deals directly with the media and how their agendas skew the public perception of what is going on in the world. The media is typically either right wing or left wing; rarely do we get a true, centred and accurate view or report of the current events in the world. The media always has titles for current events that have the word “war” in it to scare and intimidate the public; there is always a war on something to help spread fear among the population. In the end, the media is waging a war against truth, and hence it is ‘A War Against You’.” ‘A War Against You’ is out now on Century Media www.IgniteBand.com

ga n i g a w s i a ” h t “The media u r t t s war ag in


ANTIMATTER

It’s

often said the best music comes from the darkest of places. ANTIMATTER’s MICK MOSS would probably agree Words: Darren J. Sadler

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he honesty of Mick Moss is refreshing. Antimatter’s sixth album ‘The Judas Table’ is layered in relentlessly dark subject matter, generally focussing on the notion of depression and emotional darkness. Ask him about the catalyst that sparked the initial writing inspiration for the album, and he’ll explain it’s something rather deep-rooted. “I’d had the initial idea years ago, when [former band partner] Duncan [Patterson] was still my other half, professionally speaking, I’d figured out that I was taking hits from people due to their callous behaviour, and those hits were causing me lost years due to depression,” he says. “That idea never went away, it just stayed and gained momentum. I’ve lost so much time with my head up my arse, mentally sick over the way some people have chosen to treat me that I just despise them. I also despise myself for being so easily led, and easily hurt. I’d love to have more of a ‘water-off-a-ducks-back’ mentality but that’s just not me.” He continues with little pause for breath:

“I was thinking about this recently, it’s been 25 years, a quarter of a century since the first parasite latched onto me. I was just a teenager. More recently I got suckered by this young girl who saw Antimatter as her ticket to quick success. She got me round her finger and then ran off with a load of my money. I think that was the final straw, the catalyst as you say that spurred me onto finally getting this very apt album recorded and released.” The end result however is a tremendously deep and accomplished album on all levels, from its musicianship and songwriting, through to its beautiful and (surprisingly) dark artwork, which sees Mick’s ideas realised by artist Mario Nevado. “As ‘The Judas Table’ deals with the umbrella concept of betrayal, I wanted the artwork to reflect that feeling of being treated like a fool, that haunting memory of being manipulated in the past whilst being in a toxic relationship, be it a friendship or a romantic, or sexual relationship, any kind of relationship.” As an album, it does feel like the natural

predecessor to 2012’s ‘Fear Of A Unique Identity’, which Mick would agree with too. “It’s also no coincidence that you can hear a connection, as at one point both ‘Fear Of A Unique Identity’ AND ‘The Judas Table’ existed in my head at the same time, like twins. So both albums share DNA strands. Though I often say that ‘Fear…’ is the evil twin, or the more[$itals] evil twin,” he says. Looking ahead for the New Year, for Antimatter the creative wheels show no sign of letting up, as Mick concludes. “The new album has strengthened the setlist, given it a real shot in the arm, so I’d like to just savour this moment on the stage before I ultimately gather my thoughts and get down to work on the next album. There’s also the small matter of an acoustic covers album that I’m probably going to record, under my own name, as soon as possible, to celebrate the music that has lit me up at various times in my life.” ‘The Judas Table’ is out now on Prophecy www.AntimatterOnline.com

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prove, twenty years after their initial split there’s never been a bigger demand for Order From Chaos – to the point it overshadows its former members current musical activities, including the greatly overlooked thrash/death gang Ares Kingdom, featuring two thirds of OFC line-up. But as their guitarist Chuck Keller dryly points out, “like OFC, Ares Kingdom tend to be overlooked in favour of bands du jour[$itals on: du jour], leaving us to be judged once they extricate themselves from the main flow of bands.” While resuming his work on exhuming the work of his first post-OFC band Vulpecula (“we’ll rerelease in 2016 the ‘Fons Immortalis’ album with the original ‘Phoenix Of The Creation’ demo material as bonus”), he’s

with latex from head to toe and engaged in various sexual games morale would disagree with. But don’t you call them misogynists: “Personally, I’m not a sexist, I’ve got too much respect for women, and I can’t even create distinctions between genres. And what happens in bondage is 100% consented by all parts involved, it couldn’t be otherwise! I accept that people feel shocked, some moments are specifically designed to get attention, but describing BDSM as some sort of genre discrimination is just not correct. An S&M roleplay can be performed by straight, lesbian and gay, couples, trios, quartets, it doesn’t matter the orientation.” Talking of their collective fascination for latex and their tight stage outfits, he confesses “it certainly has to do with a certain fascination about this shiny black texture. A Christian priest can’t go to the church wearing a hoodie with Anton Lavey’s face printed on it, can he? Same goes with us, we can’t expect to spread our message if we’re not committed to every detail.” See for yourself when the band will be touring the UK next March promoting their new album ‘Codex Bizarre’ (Bizarre Leprous) but don’t you be surprised if things get a bit kinky, ok?

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s the ravenous response to their recently released epic boxset and recurrent hope of a possible reunion (hint: it won’t happen)

also put out a new Ares Kingdom full-length called ‘The Unburiable Dead’ (Nuclear War Now!) after an already quite surprising covers album (‘Veneration’), where they dodged the usual Slayer or Black Sabbath reprises in favour of some more obscure acts, such as Mefisto, Slaughter Lord, R.U. Dead and, erm, Dokken. For their first set of originals in four years, they’ve settled for a red thread seemingly popular in extreme metal – war. Still, Keller feels that even from an American perspective they’re bringing something different to the table, first by focusing on WWI, a subject he personally worked on for quite some time. “Each song examines a particular aspect of the conflict. I’ve published on it in the past, as well as having been involved for a time with the USA’s National World War I Museum, on the board of trustees and museum accessions committee. In terms of how my academic experience with the subject matter manifested itself on the album, I tried to be as dispassionate and unflinching as possible with each subject. If anything the tone is stark, bordering on pessimistic: it was a war that shouldn’t have happened in the first place, so we pay tribute to those that sacrificed everything. For Europeans, this was a war of and for empire, the final crash of a delicate balance of power, underpinned and destabilized by nationalist competition, that had been building and teetering since 1871, if not before. The US was a small and unimportant player on the world stage in 1914 – we were still relatively isolationist, but our business class saw an opportunity and took it. While we were late to physical combat, what we brought was fresh blood, more treasure, and a liberal and democratic world view we were determined to impose on the rest. Of course in the end the vindictive old boys’ club won out and set up the next big crash.”

“A CHRISTIAN PRIEST CAN’T GO TO THE CHURCH WEARING A HOODIE WITH ANTON LAVEY’S FACE PRINTED ON IT, CAN HE?”

ARES KINGDOM

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10 PURE GENIUS 8-9 POT OF GOLD 6-7 PASSES THE TIME

4-5 PASS 2-3 PISS POOR 1 PILE OF SHITE

ALBUM OF THE MONTH ZODIAC MINDWARP

ULVER ‘ATGCLVLSSCAP’ HOUSE OF MYTHOLOGY

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t’s testament to both Ulver’s chameleonic nature and current cohesiveness as a unit that a decade ago, the idea of the band playing live – let alone recording an entire live album – would have seemed like some far-off pipe dream, yet now live performances seem to be the band’s primary mode of operation. After taking tentative steps back into the live arena with a handful of select shows back in 2009, Ulver’s first attempt at preserving some of these performances came in the form of 2012’s stunning ‘The Norwegian National Opera’ DVD, before treating us to a ‘Live At Roadburn’ record just a year later. Their last album proper, 2013’s ‘Messe I.X-VI.X’, could in some ways be seen as a precursor to ‘ATGCLVLSSCAP’, as it shifted away from that more traditional method of concert documentation to an approach more like sound collage, using a live performance as the basis for a record but editing it into an entirely new listening experience. As dense and evocative as that album was, however, ‘ATGCLVLSSCAP’ feels far more ambitious in terms of scope, compiling all-new, largely improvised material drawn from twelve different shows into a mammoth 80-minute odyssey. And yet, whilst ‘Messe…’s sombre subtlety and stark gothic undertones seemed to enrapture

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some and alienate others, ‘ATGCLVLSSCAP’ features some of Ulver’s most accessible material in years, dancing through breezy psych-rock (‘Glammer Hammer’, the glorious Popol Vuh-isms of ‘Om Hamunate Namah’) and sumptuous downbeat electronica (‘Desert Dawn’). There are more textural, drone based pieces here too (the glistening ‘Gold Beach’ or the morose and aptly titled ‘D-Day Drone’), but for those readers who saw the phrase “largely improvised” and instantly interpreted that as “aimless ambience”, don’t be put off; ‘Nowhere (Sweet Sixteen)’, for instance, features one of the most unashamedly anthemic choruses the band has ever written, harking back to some of Kristoffer Rygg’s vocal acrobatics on albums like ‘Perdition City’. Edited together by multi-instrumentalist (and member of the band since 2009) Daniel O’Sullivan, ‘ATGCLVLSSCAP’ ties these seemingly disparate pieces together seamlessly, and flows with an expressive and hypnotic elegance throughout. The breathtakingly beautiful ‘Ecclesiastes (A Vernal Catnap)’ is a perfect

penultimate song, featuring one of Rygg’s finest vocal performances to date and feeling somewhat like a further exploration of the sonic vistas unveiled in ‘Eternal Return’ from their recent collaboration with Sunn O))), whilst the grandiose orchestral swells and glitchy stuttering of outro ‘Solaris’ bring to mind Ulver’s own ‘Lyckantropen Themes’ soundtrack piece from 2002. For anyone who has been attentively following this band’s shape-shifting output, ‘ATGCLVLSSCAP’ is a real treat. Whilst of course not a traditional live album (the flow is more reminiscent of something like Faust’s chopped-up ’73 opus ‘The Faust Tapes’, albeit with a more relaxed and spacious pacing), it seemingly touches on everything Ulver have tried their hand at since 2000, but also stands as a completely new listening experience in its own right. At once invigoratingly fresh and comfortingly familiar, ‘ATGCLVLSSCAP’ feels like a celebration of Ulver’s recent past and a thrilling glimpse of what the future could have in store. [8.5] KEZ WHELAN


INNER SANCTUM ABBATH ON NORWAY’S INFAMOUS ‘BLACK CIRCLE’

“T ABBATH ‘Abbath’

SEASON OF MIST

‘A

bbath’ starts with the sound of marching troops before one of the great man’s most fist-raisingly best riffs ever kicks in, and this is most appropriate. Think what you want of the messy, almost painful to watch Immortal break-up of 2015, but one thing for now is true – “Immortal” are, as of now, a photomontage of a drummer and a lyricist, and a couple of provocative statements. Abbath are a

band, with a record, playing shows, and as Mr. Olve Eikemo tells us in this month’s cover feature, he’s got two or three more albums in the pipeline already. Abbath marches on, and what’s more, he marches strongly. Obviously ‘Abbath’ features traces of Immortal, but when left to his own songwriting devices, Abbath turns on the rock too. As much as many of you foolishly ignored I’s only album, 2006’s ‘Between Two Worlds’ (incidentally, the first time Abbath played with his now inseparable cohort Tom “King Ov Hell” Visnes, it touched upon a winning formula that shamefully wasn’t

explored further, until now. ‘Abbath’ is a sort of cross between ‘At The Heart Of Winter’ and I, with an extra epic-Bathory quality to it, particularly in the last, rousing cut ‘Eternal’ a sort of synonym of ‘Immortal’ if you read a bit more into it. If you need one extra nudge to climb aboard the Abbath ship, this also rules all over the insipid ‘All Shall Fall’ and, honestly, anything else we could imagine Immortal themselves coming up with had they stayed together. So, at least one band break-up might finally have been for the best. Let it be this one.

o me, the ‘black circle’, the black metal thing, that was a thing we had before ’93. After that, it was the end of that story. If all that fucking bullshit had not happened, I think the black metal scene would have been so much cooler today, it would have been a true scene. The press turned it into something all wrong – I don’t do interviews with newspapers because of that, they just want drama and to make everything look ridiculous. Fanzines and good magazines like Terrorizer are the only ones I care about, because they focus on the bands that deliver something with substance, something real.”

[8.5] JOSÉ CARLOS SANTOS

3 DAYS OF SILENCE

ANGEL OF SODOM

AOSOTH/ORDER OF ORIAS

BLOODIEST

SELF-RELEASED

IMUSICIAN DIGITAL

W.T.C.

RELAPSE

he first three tracks on ‘Sodium + Sulphur’ wouldn’t be out of place on a GGFH or Skinny Puppy album, the creepy crawl industrial aesthetic permeating this three headed opening before hitting a blistering black metal/beatdown/industrial metal hybrid that still retains that essential creepy atmosphere, that dirty club land stench, the sticky filth beneath your feet, the lurking fear in the dark. But it’s the final song ‘White Birds’ that combines all the album’s elements into a single blistering track, as the blast beats, squelching industrial glitches, Fear Factory chugs and well placed samples all gel to create a beautiful cross between Strapping Young Lad and Anaal Nathrakh. [8] ALEX BONIWELL

inland is not a country often mentioned when it comes to the subject of thrash metal and not exactly known for its exports in the genre, but Angel Of Sodom should prick up some people’s ears as their debut album is brimming with energy and has its roots firmly in the old school, bringing to mind the likes of classic Exodus, Testament, Death Angel, Forbidden. The razor sharp riffage and solo work is bolstered by a solid rhythm section and a barrage of double kick propels the Finn’s thrash metal attack along at a dynamic tempo. These newcomers know how to handle their instruments and this debut shows a lot of promise for the future. [7] KAT GILLHAM

ringing together two of black metal’s unholiest acts, the dual effort between Aosoth and Order Of Orias is one of the most engrossing splits to come out in a while. Despite having differing approaches, both bands are cut from the same bloody cloth. France’s Aosoth bring the strongest offering to the table with ‘Appendix B’, a ten-minute monolith which is the audio equivalent of being dragged down to hell by the hair and forced to worship at the altar of insanity. Order Of Orias’ ‘Ruinous Hope’ presents a relentless black metal assault which occasionally shifts into slow, terror-inducing doom; a worthy contribution for their first recording since 2011. Overall, nothing groundbreaking, but definitely recommended. [7] BETH AVISON

loodiest are all about high, sustained tension. The talented Chicagoan collective twist guts with their shamanistic take on sludge metal, using noise-rock’s rhythmic spine to form cyclic movements that even at their gentlest or most abstract, refuse to afford a sympathetic release. Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Corrections House) gives us his finest vocal performance on record to date; he equals Jaz Coleman, Scott Kelly and Nate Hall in terms of how his singing, chanting and screaming elevates every intoxicating moment of his band’s self-titled second album. While it does feel as though Bloodiest consciously choose not to tear your head clean off your shoulders, it’s this control that produces the paralysing anxiety that makes this album praiseworthy.  [8] DEAN BROWN

ADORAN

ANOPHELI

BLACK TUSK

THE CASUALTIES

CONSOULING SOUNDS

HALO OF FLIES/ALERTA ANTIFASCISTA

RELAPSE

SEASON OF MIST

eaturing the combined talents of Nadja’s Aidan Baker on drums and Northumbria’s Dorian Williamson on bass, it’s no surprise that the second Adoran full-length unfolds at the kind of speed that would make your pet snail look like Usain Bolt. For the patient listener, however, these two 22 minute pieces are exceptionally rewarding, gradually evolving from sparse, barely-even-there ambience to colossal, roomshaking drones. The amount of restraint shown from each player is remarkable, with Baker’s propulsive, nuanced drumming providing a perfect bedrock for the miasma of swirling, soul cleansing atmospherics emanating from Williamson’s bass. Highly reminiscent of Aaron Turner, James Plotkin and Tim Wyskida’s Jodis project at times, this is the kind of record that could completely envelope you if you’re not careful. [7] KEZ WHELAN

nopheli are fronted by Alex CF, formally of Fall Of Efrafa, so if you were a fan of FoE then you will not be surprised that this too is epic crust. From the sombre cello intro of opener ‘Awoken’ the feel of this album is firmly set, the sorry and damnation of man is apparent. This is no party album, it’s the sound of humanity’s betrayal of the planet on which it has squandered the rich heritage of. There are of course comparisons to FoE but also early Neurosis and that combination has produced a crushing and devastating barrage of neo-crust, an emotional and fierce attack that even with the melancholy, still fights to put things right. [8] ALEX BONIWELL

ticking to their guns in the wake of tragedy, Black Tusk commemorate their fallen brother Jonathan Athon with fourth full-length ‘Pillars Of Ash’. Featuring their late bassist’s final recordings, it’s just the kind of sludge-punk mayhem we’ve come to expect from Savannah, Georgia’s rowdiest trio: taking in all manner of crusty, grime-soaked riffs and throat-wrecking vocals, lodged somewhere between Motörhead and Kylesa. Not ones for undue elaboration, they charge out of the gate with ‘God’s On Vacation’ – drums rolling like thunder, amps surging with raw power. From the classic rock flourishes of ‘Born Of Strife’ to the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hardcore of ‘Punk Out’, it’s a riot from there on, and a fitting testament to Jonathan’s talents. [7.5] ROB SAYCE

‘Sodium + Sulphur’

T

‘Children Of Mars’

F

‘Divine Retribution’

F

‘The Ache Of Want’

A

‘Split’

B

‘Pillars Of Ash’

S

‘Bloodiest’

B

‘Chaos Sound’

T

he parallels between punk’s forty year lack of musical progression and the lack of meaningful social change its participants have instilled, despite having long ago figured out many of mankind’s ails, is tragically hilarious. Many bands, The Casualties included, keep railing on about war machines, political systems, corruption and the divided underclass using the same handful of power chords and four-on-the-floor beats since time immemorial. The more things change and all that gobbly-gook, indeed. But hey, things haven’t really changed – in fact, they’re probably worse – and when a band like The Casualties come ripping around the corner with two fingers in the air, we can all link arms and gloriously sing our off-keys hearts out in continued celebration of counterculture. [7] KEVIN STEWART-PANKO

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"BOWELWRENCHING SLOWNESS” CHAOS ECHŒS

CHTHONIC CULT

NUCLEAR WAR NOW!

IRON BONEHEAD

‘A Voiceless Ritual’

‘A

‘I Am The Scourge Of Eternity’

I

Voiceless Ritual’ is a five-track live recording, their first as a complete live act, from 2013 that showcases this French avant-garde death/ doom metal band’s penchant for improvisation. The initial release was limited to 50 copies and sold out quickly. This expanded vinyl version – the third and final installment under what is being called ‘The Occursus Series’ – is being offered by NWN! in an attempt to expose more listeners to the brooding experimental “genius” of Chaos Echœs. Unlike most contemporary death/doom-oriented bands, Chaos Echœs’ approach throws out structure entirely to concentrate solely on tone and texture. And they succeed, admirably, by creating expansive, constantly undulating, free-flowing dirges painted in varying shades of subconscious-altering murk. [8] JOHN MINCEMOYER

f you love thoroughly unclean death metal, German label Iron Bonehead is pretty essential, but – let’s be honest – some of their releases sound like a swarm of hornets attacking a ride cymbal. Not so Chthonic Cult, a trio from Wrocław in Poland whose debut album is a vicious blackened death metal assault – yet one that has splendid production, interesting song structures and a strange grandiosity amidst its barrage. With ‘I Am The Scourge Of Eternity’s four songs clocking in between eight and fourteen minutes, and not seeming concerned with wafty prog excursions or the like, these epic churns could easily outstay their welcome, but by virtue of both putridity and rapidity, they command attention. [8] NOEL GARDNER

CHTHE’ILIST

CHUGUN

PROFOUND LORE

SELF-RELEASED

‘Le Dernier Crépuscule’

C

anada’s Chthe’ilist hark back to the demented, hallucinatory death metal of bands like Demilich and Timeghoul on their debut album. Gruesome riffs convulse violently beneath Philippe Tougas’ throaty roar in songs like the frantic ‘Into The Vaults Of Ingurgitating Obscurity’, whilst the off-kilter bass twangs in ‘The Voices Beneath The Well’ sound like Atheist if they were inhabited by one of the parasitic lifeforms from ‘The Thing’. ‘Vecoiitn’aphnaat’smaala’ introduces some eerie Akercocke-esque clean vocals into the mix, whilst closer ‘Tales Of The Majora Mythos Part 1’ (yep, that’s a ‘Legend Of Zelda’ reference) packs more great riffs into thirteen minutes than some bands manage in thirteen years. Atmospheric, head-spinningly proggy and filthy as fuck [8.5] KEZ WHELAN

‘Virus’

T

hey may be a relatively new name, but this Tel Aviv band certainly have their chops down, as they knock out some truly ferocious thrash, made all the more formidable with an injection of brutal death. Denise’s ultra-harsh vocals veer from guttural low-end bellows to a higher-pitched abrasive shriek, and will no doubt garner the band lazy comparisons to Arch Enemy, but Chugun are no mere knockoffs. The riffing and song-writing on display here suggests they could grow into a force to be reckoned with if given half a chance. This is an impressively produced and mightily intense debut, which utilises plenty of thrilling dynamics to keep your attention for the duration of the nine songs. [7.5] IAN GLASPER

A

colossal wall of sound, impenetrable and suffocating, ‘Revengance’ isn’t here to take any prisoners. Beginning with the bluster and might of ‘Throne Of Fire’, this monolithic release imposes its will from the off. The gallop of the opening number fades before adopting a churning, trance-inducing rhythm which becomes horrifically addictive. Shifting like tectonic plates, the occasional break of pace makes for an engaging experience but it’s when they wallow in bowel-wrenching slowness that they are truly at their most devastating and effective. The Liverpudlian trio have distilled the essence of negativity into grueling epics that will have many other outfits shuddering. ‘Every Man Is An Enemy’ has the clout of Sleep or Celtic Frost whilst allowing for a marginally faster pace. The addition of producer Chris Fielding on bass has paid dividends as he harnesses the might of Jon Davis’ riffs for molasses thick sound. The dual vocal attack doesn’t quite convey the stench of

‘southern fried’ flavour than usual, and Katz’s anguished vocals are a force to be reckoned with. Agoraphobic Nosebleed go sludge: whatever next? [7] ED CHAPMAN

despair that permeates the riffs but there’s no arguing with crushing moments like closer ‘Earthenguard’, where the gargantuan drum sound augments the low end throb exquisitely. Swathes of feedback see it off in epic style like an earthquake penetrating the earth’s crust, exposing a volcanic underbelly of spewing molten magma. Hypnotic and all-pervading, this grinding monolith outlines the ‘tune low, play slow’ manifesto in ritualistic and literal detail. Having gradually gained a fearsome reputation in the UK scene, Conan look set to join Electric Wizard as one of our most revered doom exports. [8] ROSS BAKER

Total Conquest

CONAN ON NEW ALBUM ‘REVENGANCE’

‘R

evengance’ is a collection of songs that we (Jon, Chris and Rich) are really proud of. These tracks were written in the period between October 2014 and September 2015 and we’re excited to get them out into the

CRUCIAL BLAST

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TERRORIZER #267

NAPALM

‘Manifestation’

RELAPSE

60

‘Revengance’

CLOAK OF ALTERING

AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED ‘Arc’ ver wanted Agoraphobic Nosebleed to sound more like Crowbar or Iron Monkey? Then you’ve got your wish. No, we’re not joking: the band infamous for releases like their 100-track kaleidoscope of grind madness ‘Altered States Of America’ are embarking on a series of four EPs reflecting the musical preferences of their current line-up, and vocalist Kat Katz’s choice is this first offering, a three-track, 27-minute sludgefest. Although it’s not what you might expect from the band, musical mastermind Scott Hull can obviously be trusted to deliver crushing riffs, albeit at a slower pace and with a bit more of a

CONAN

N

ope, it’s not something worn by Harry Potter but it will scare the hell out of most Muggles. Cloak Of Altering is one of a legion of projects ‘manifested’ by master magician Mories of Gnaw Their Tongues and it’s a miasma of electronic, black soundscapes and misanthropic, rabid screams, summoned up from the very pits of hell. Injecting everything from breakcore beats to classical fugues into the volatile cauldron, it’s a constant shape-shifting audio nightmare set to torture listeners and bewilder all but the hardiest Cenobites of extremity. Seemingly structured at random, songs such as ‘Stretching Infinity’ do just that and overall ‘Manifestation’ is akin to staring into the very mouth of madness. [7.5] PETE WOODS

open. The album will contain one or two surprises but one consistent factor is our eternal devotion to heaviness. We are looking forward to playing these songs live at a venue near you – see you there…”

COLD NIGHT FOR ALLIGATORS ‘Course Of Events’ PRIME COLLECTIVE

C

old Night For Alligators from Djenmark (oh come on, there’s always room for one more djoke) have been honing their unique take on djent for the last five years, culminating in their mightily impressive debut album ‘Course Of Events’. The quintet combine ultra heavy eight-string riffage with beautiful jazz-inspired clean sections, above which the powerful vocals soar through memorable melodies before descending into guttural gutters. Their songs meander through a maze of massive choruses, pit-friendly mosh-ups of hardcore and techdeath, with occasional ambient soundscapes along the way, all tightly packaged up courtesy of producer Daniel Braunstein (Volumes, Fall in Archaea). This is a truly remarkable first step in their djourney. What? [7] RAY HOLROYD


"TORN FROM A PARALLEL UNIVERSE” CULT OF LUNA/THE OLD WIND

EYE OF HORUS

PELAGIC

his second installment of Pelagic’s split series sees Cult Of Luna teaming up with relative newcomers The Old Wind. CoL’s contribution (a seven minute track entitled ‘Last Will And Testament’) is a reasonably solid yet curiously thin sounding number that could have easily been an outtake from ‘Eternal Kingdom’, and thus something of a disappointment after the new directions they hinted at with ‘Vertikal’ and last year’s ‘Eternal Music’. By contrast, The Old Wind veer closer to the denser, heavier sound of older Cult Of Luna albums like ‘The Beyond’, albeit with higher pitched, strained sounding vocals and a very muddy bass tone. Probably one for completists only. [5] KEZ WHELAN

echnical death metal’s formula has been done to death, and more often than not bands often fall into the trap of copying what came before. That’s why it is so refreshing that Eye Of Horus’ blend of technical soloing and thrashing riffs makes the Canadians’ debut such a treat. From the pummeling barrage of riffs on ‘Divination’ to the slick riffs of ‘The Self-Slaughter Affair’ that screams influence from Obscura, there is enough variety to keep the head banging. With a ferocity that doesn’t dilute the melodic intricacies from lead guitar play, ‘Infernal Calling’ is a remarkable debut from a band that is poised for a bloody successful campaign in death metal. [7] JAMES WEAVER

DIAVOLOS

FALSE FLAGS

HELLS HEADBANGERS

SELF-RELEASED

iavolos, a new band featuring Tas Danazoglou (Satan’s Wrath) and Taneli Jarva (ex-Sentenced/Impaled Nazarene), are all about vicious blackened death/thrash, covered in bulletbelts and firmly in league with Satan. Opener ‘Diavolos Rising’ sets the tone and pace with a Possessed style aural onslaught, as raw demonic rasps spew vitriolic, blasphemous sermons and the music is a whirlwind of galloping picking, thunderous drumming and bestial bulldozing bass. With songtitles such as ‘Bapitized In Vomit’, ‘Piss In Holy Water’ and ‘Demonwhore’ you know this isn’t going to be polished or pretty, and although they have an ear for melody which is evident in some Maiden-esque style riffing, Diavolos are delightfully grimy and grotesque overall. Pure hellish death metal, for pure hellish death metal maniacs! [8] KAT GILLHAM

ormed from the ashes of Red Stars Parade, Whores Whores Whores and Year Of The Man, False Flags dig into their closets for baggy jeans and tali beads while riding a time capsule bound for those glorious days of fifteen or so years ago when Hydra Head and AmRep were big names on campus and you could walk around wearing an Isis shirt/hoodie and not find your phone tapped by the end of the week. ‘Hexmachine’ takes cues from Helmet’s tunnel-vision staccato and Unsane’s lumbering, throwing in bits and pieces of Botch-like fretboard leaps on ‘Namedropper’. Sometimes though, the idea of hypnotic sensibility-via-repetitive grooves gets taken a bit too far making chunks of ‘Phone My Wallet’ more endurance test than need be. [7] KEVIN STEWART-PANKO

‘Råångest’

T

‘You Lived Now Die’

D

‘Infernal Calling’ SELF-RELEASED

T

‘Hexmachine’

F

‘When We Are Death’ CENTURY MEDIA

W

eaving tapestries of beguiling, Canterbury-esque folk rock and rustic mysticism – with a regard for the forests of their Finnish homeland and a decidedly poetic approach to songcraft – Hexvessel occupy a unique place on the fringes of our world. While mastermind Mat ‘Kvohst’ McNerney finds himself with more on his plate than ever, given the excitement surrounding his icy post-punk project Grave Pleasures (formerly Beastmilk), he’s somehow found the time to work some magick over ‘When We Are Death’. It’s a record of rich, organic tones and cosmic blues, torn from a parallel universe where little of note has happened since the 1970s. Whether opening a vortex of lurching grooves and shifting tempos on ‘Mushroom Spirit Doors’ or sweeping through the sparse, string-laden lament of ‘Mirror Boy’, Hexvessel prove masters of their craft. On ‘Cosmic Truth’ they balance lilting brass flourishes and pianos with a mournful vocal from McNerney, while the

GUITARIST GUITARIST PETER PETER ADAMS ADAMS ON ON THETHE WRITING WRITING OF ‘PURPLE’ OF ‘PURPLE’ “I “J “J

really want music to address where selves. I have used inspiration from guys like we are in life but to also assure us (noted occultist) T.C. Leftbridge when I was that things will be alright. That’s why we young [but] I am less into listening to what John’s personal memoir, and ‘Purple’ really sums ohnohn [Baizley]’s [Baizley]’s basement basement waswas the the included a Captain Beefheart quote in the spiritualists, occultists and esoteric dudes where he’s at now: mentally, physically, how he least least ideal ideal place place to write to write music. music. It’s It’s inlay of the album: ‘The stars are matter, we have to say. I am much more interested in windowless, windowless, but but something something awesome awesome waswas bornborn felt about the crash. And where we are going. are all matter but it doesn’t matter’. For me gaining my own insights. It’s like a black metal out out of that of that basement basement thisthis winter, winter, spring, spring, summer summer Everything looks really positive and has been. that’s perfect, it says we are all connected musician listening to Edvard Grieg rather than andand fall.fall. There There waswas thisthis record record —— andand you you can’t can’t Shit, we have made a record and we are moving but we can’t be so concerned with our earthly other black metal bands to inspire them.” beatbeat thatthat withwith a stick. a stick. Every Every Baroness Baroness record record is is on. Can’t get any more positive than that?”

GILEAD

D

detracting one iota from the overall experience, like a theatrical production held together in eight flowing movements. Resplendent in their unequivocal glory, Borknagar have presented a supremely regal collection of heathen triumph. [8.5] ROSS BAKER

[8] ROB SAYCE

Strictly Personal Board BoardUpUpThe TheHouse House

‘Weltschmerz’

CENTURY MEDIA

organs and fuzzed-up riffs of ‘When I’m Dead’ evoke everyone from The Doors to Jethro Tull. And while the frequently melancholy subject matter is often heavier than the music itself, ‘Drugged Up On The Universe’ sees McNerney and Co. providing a starry-eyed counterpoint to Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats’ creeping menace. The atmospheric, meditative feel of songs like ‘Green Gold’ and ‘Teeth Of The Mountain’ won’t be to everyone’s taste, of course; but if you’re willing to give ‘When We Are Death’ the time to soak in, it’s a powerful experience. Turn off your mind, relax, float downstream…

MAT MCNERNEY ON HEXVESSEL’S SPIRITUAL SIDE

FÓRN

BORKNAGAR ‘Winter Thrice’ ynamic and complex, Borknagar’s 2012 opus ‘Urd’ saw the unholy marriage of I.C.S. Vortex and Vintersorg on vocals. This demonic union produced a stellar collection of progressive black metal and classical folk melodies which were seemingly unsurpassable – well, until now, that is. Featuring hymns to their Nordic homeland conveyed with utter sincerity and boundless passion, ‘Winter Thrice’ doesn’t so much pick up where they left off as catapult it into the stratosphere. Original frontman Kristoffer ‘Garm’ Rygg lends his pipes to the spiralling title track and the heroic ‘Terminus’ to great effect. Opulent but never overblown, Øystein G. Brun’s towering arrangements never fail to reflect the looming tundra of the winter season. The greater emphasis upon the rock and choral elements has been achieved elegantly without

HEXVESSEL

B

oston’s Fórn return with their second EP ‘Weltschmerz’, which translates to “world-weary” – an emotion aptly demonstrated on the two song-suites that make up the EP. The most impressive thing about Fórn is the way they create soul destroying doom with a poignant emotional undercurrent, weaving clean and supremely distorted riffs that transition elegantly across these four tracks, so much so that ‘Weltschmerz’ could easily be taken as one long conceptual song. As the beautiful ‘Saudade (Part II)’ threatens to fade into oblivion ‘Dolor (Part I)’ crashes down upon you, with Chris Pinto’s guttural growls giving way to a riff so monumental that heads are going to snap away from their necks. Essential listening for fans of doom and sludge. [8] TOM MCKIBBIN

HAG

‘Fear Of Man’ DNAWOT

T

here are a pleasing number of bands like London trio Hag in the UK at the moment. When we say ‘like’, we mean bands who deal in volume and low end, influenced by doom, noise rock and pre-‘Nevermind’ grunge without exactly being any of these things. ‘Fear Of Man’ is Hag’s second release, and first for five years, so while it’s understandable that they’ve flown under the radar, they bring ample hairy fun to the party. ‘Trauma Yauma’ spends half its duration hailing Big Business, the other half Melvins; ‘White Lion’ has the burly, surly woodchopper vibe of prime Tad. Assuming they don't keep schtum for the next five years, Hag are a welcome addition to the fray. [6.5] NOEL GARDNER

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“CHARGED WITH GENUINE FURY” HEADLESS CROWN ‘Time For Revolution’ MASSACRE

F

HUMAN DESOLATION ‘Mind Grind Paradigm’ SELF-RELEASED

Y

or every ’80s-inspired metal band that writes strong songs, there are ten others that shouldn’t have left Blackie Lawless’ womb. Headless Crown are with the majority. The title to the Geneva-based band’s debut, ‘Time For Revolution’, makes for a very empty statement, because while Headless Crown are competent enough to write a solid hook, as on ‘Here Comes the Night’ and ‘Reach Out (For The Light)’, it’s nothing you haven’t heard done before with more passion and individuality. Taking direct influence from Accept, Scorpions, Maiden, ’90s Metallica, and Guns N’ Roses is easily achieved, but to create something worthwhile using those inspirations requires another skill level altogether. Sadly this is beyond Headless Crown's capabilities.  [4] DEAN BROWN

ou’d think with all the different strains of Scandinavian blood running through Human Desolation’s Swedish/Finnish membership that, when they decided melodic death metal was their calling, they’d have had a better handle on what comprises sonic effectiveness and potency. The touchstones the quintet have jackhammered shavings of influence from include some of the bigger Viking brethren names; Meshuggah, (old) In Flames and Sentenced, but the manner in which their original compositions are cobbled together leaves a lot to be desired. The recognisable, riffing style often detours as attempts to get fancy with arrangements result in halting sequences, disrupted flow and clunky musical non-sequiturs thrown in under the guise of thoughtful, progressive passages. [4] KEVIN STEWART-PANKO

HELHEIM

IGNITE

‘raunijaR’

DARK ESSENCE

M

uch like the Vikings inspired expansive sagas within Scandinavian folk tales, Helheim are continuing to carve out their own story almost 24 years into the game, particularly in the new chapters of ‘Asgard’s Fall’ from the 2010 album of the same name that adorn this record. While it’s got its fair share of Norse choirs and guttural rasping à la the usual suspects of Bathory and Enslaved, it’s the more unorthodox vocals, more akin to gothic gloom and snotty punk (as evidenced on campfire opener ‘Helheim 9’) and feel-good, wah-flecked guitar licks that sets them apart from their more bleak contemporaries and results in an album that’s arguably innovative, definitely irreverent, and often immersive. [6] ANDY MCDONALD

‘A War Against You’ CENTURY MEDIA

W

e’ve waited a decade for an album from these melodic hardcore legends. Formed in 1993, Ignite kept their spark alive with this “break” that saw singer Zoli Teglas join Pennywise and record ‘All Or Nothing’ (2012), drummer Craig Anderson play with Strife, guitarist Brian Balchack record with Into Another, and bassist Brett Rasmussen tour with Nations Afire. Ignite re-entered the studio in early 2014 and remained there for 18 months to write these songs, and it shows. The music is as mature and epic as it is catchy and fun, while the lyrics are as political as they are positive. Their last album ‘Our Darkest Days’ ruled hardcore in 2006, this new masterpiece wins 2016. [8] RAY HOLROYD

here’s something perversely timely about Venomous Concept’s latest shipment of hardcore/grind filth, ‘Kick Me Silly – VC III’. From a recent surge in support for rightwing groups across the world to the endless tide of aspirational bullshit reaching our ears, you can detect more than a whiff of the soul-crushing ’80s around our era. VC are clearly informed by the most incendiary punk bands of that decade (Poison Idea, Discharge and the like), but as with their previous two albums, this feels like more than just homage. Rather, it’s fun, irreverent, and charged with genuine fury. You’d expect as much, given the calibre of the folks involved. Napalm Death’s Shane Embury (guitar) and Danny Herrera (drums) and Brutal Truth’s Kevin Sharp (vocals) have been on board from the beginning, with Dan Lilker (Brutal Truth/Nuclear Assault, bass) and John Cooke (Corrupt Moral Altar, guitar) also now along for the ride. They take no prisoners here, from short sharp shocks like ‘Johnny Cheeseburger’ to the thrashing

VOCALIST KEVIN SHARP ON THE NEW ALBUM

“I

’d say that [‘Kick Me Silly…’] is a bit looser. There’s probably a little bit more melody on it than most people would expect, although there’s some simpleton, butcher block kind of

A

T

religious-sounding moods… which only make those big bass riffs hit harder. Being unique in 2015 isn’t easy, but Orthodox nail it. [8.5] JOSÉ CARLOS SANTOS

guitars and breathless tempos of ‘Potter’s Ground’ and ‘Leper Dog’. It feels like proper DIY stuff, Kevin yelling and growling like a man with spleen to vent, and shooting the likes of ‘Anthem’ through with biting social commentary. Even at 21 tracks, the record whirls by. Some of it is strangely infectious (notably future crowd-favourite, er, ‘Head On A Stick’), all of it is fast and frantic as hell, and while the quality does dip on occasion, missteps are quickly forgotten. If you’re looking to down beers and wreck your neck, this’ll do nicely. [7] ROB SAYCE

Grind Your Mind

IRON BONEHEAD

ALONE

TERRORIZER #267

T

‘SeroLogiikal Scars (Vertex Of Dementiia)’

‘Axis’

62

SEASON OF MIST)

KHTHONIIK CERVIIKS

ORTHODOX he artistic restlessness of these Spaniards has been a joy to behold in their first decade as a band. They’ve evolved and twisted themselves into a curious hybrid of proto-metal, doom, folk and jazz, swinging wildly between these and other fields, but on ‘Axis’, while still being shifty category-wise, they’re at their most focused ever. Reduced to a core duo of bassist/vocalist Marco Serrato (who still produces some of the eeriest tremolo vocals) and drummer Borja Díaz, this is their most straightforward, metallic offer so far, but even that deceptive simplicity is constantly being passed through a filter of oblique strangeness and uncomfortable,

VENOMOUS CONCEPT ‘Kick Me Silly – VC III’

fter listening to this album for a few minutes, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Khthoniik Cerviiks had been around for a long time. On the contrary, ‘SeroLogiikal Scars (Vertex of Dementiia)’ is their debut fulllength since their formation in 2013, and what a debut it is. Blackened death that is inherently malevolent, their sound is so organic and never succumbs to monotony. Crawling death/ doom passages, barrages of technical skill and delightfully horrifying vocals, all tied together with an old school production make for a killer listen. Khthoniik Cerviiks don’t have to try to sound evil, they just are and that’s what makes this album so special. [8] BETH AVISON

stuff going on too, like ‘Head On A Stick’ or ‘Busy With Your Debt’ that’s more like Infest or whatever. But this band gives me and Shane the freedom to do whatever the fuck we want.”

KIELTOLAKI

‘Vapauden Illuusio’ VOX POPULI

A

wesome old school hardcore punk done the Finnish way that is sure to appeal to fans of Terveet Kädet, Mellakka and Rattus. If you like your punk rock stripped of all frills and with the intensity ramped up to eleven, this tears along like a runaway train, a wreckage of battered ride cymbals, bloodied guitar strings and shredded vocal cords. It’s pure d-beat mayhem done the way Discharge and Anti-Cimex used to do it in their heyday, a heads-down race to the finish (no pun intended) line, with a red hot and raw production that perfectly suits the gnarly material. And these guys are apparently touring the UK in February, so do not miss them. [8] IAN GLASPER


“GIVING FREE REIN TO PROGGISH EXCESSES” KOSMOKRATOR ‘To The Svmmit’ VÁN

O

KVLTIST

‘Catechesis’ W.T.C.

P

riginally released on cassette last year, this demo recording from Belgium’s Kosmokrator gets a lavish vinyl reissue. The quintet seem to have been belched forth from the bowels of hell pretty much fully formed, as the murky black/death on offer is not only very well executed, but the sound quality itself is surprisingly clear for a demo of this variety. That’s not to say the whole thing doesn’t exude an utterly filthy, cavernous quality, but you’ll actually be able to make out what’s going on underneath all those blastbeats and reverb smothered growls. Situated somewhere between Void Meditation Cult and Teitanblood (but with a few more Incantation riffs), this is a very promising start indeed. [7] KEZ WHELAN

ent up Satanism and hatred for vitamin D can’t hide the deficiencies plaguing this dastardly Teutonic duo’s debut. The hype machine, along with the automatic cred given by basement dwellers because of their moniker, won’t masquerade ‘Catechesis’ firing off in a million directions without stopping to latch on to anything structurally song worthy. It’s not only multi-instrumentalist MZI and vocalist Amon Xul (did you see what he did there?) putting all their eggs in one basket, but tossing in bacon, power tools, light bulbs, bottles of crème rinse conditioner and trying to make sense of it all after a long day spent climbing pine trees. Imagine 11 As Adversaries and Deathspell Omega running around with these baskets and no emergency brake and there’s your disappointing end. [4] KEVIN STEWART-PANKO

KULT MOGIŁ

LIFER

‘Anxiety Never Descending’ PAGAN

K

ult Mogił’s death metal is indicative of their Polish homeland, as plenty of black metal effluence seeps in. As their fellow compatriots in Behemoth have proven over the years, those two styles can be combined to devastating effect – provided the band know how to harness their powers. The problem with Kult Mogił’s debut, ‘Anxiety Never Descending’, is not in how they balance both but rather it’s a more fundamental, and terminal, issue: the Tarnów four-piece seem incapable of writing punishing riffs, and what they do piece together rarely makes compositional sense. It’s a pity, because guitarist Karmiciel Wszy Zdrowych’s vocals, similar in theatricality to Marduk’s Mortuus, deserve better – and quite frankly, so does the listener. [3.5] DEAN BROWN

‘Black Mountain Rising’ HAND OF DOOM

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pening with the mournful ‘Sorrow Bloody Sorrow’, you might think Lifer have mellowed out somewhat for their second album, but ‘Bastard Sons Of Sabbath’ soon crushes that misunderstanding in spectacular fashion, a huge rampaging beast of a stoner anthem summoning the vibe of New Orleans via South Wales. Fucking brutal is the only way to describe it, and once the band have you by the throat, they don’t let you go, every song assaulting the senses with monster rock riffs (call them ‘sludge’ if you want, but that’s selling the dynamics of this seriously short) and Anselmo-like intensity, with ‘Year Of The Hog’ and ‘Burn Them Down’ being particularly wild nods to Motörhead in their glorious prime. [8.5] IAN GLASPER

vidence that Witchcraft are putting away bellbottomed things and lumbering, slothlike, towards the 21st century is apparent not so much on this album, more its lead-off single, ‘The Outcast’. Its B-side is a cover of Nirvana deep cut ‘Even In His Youth’, almost unthinkable when they emerged from Sweden in the early ’00s as a self-confessed tribute to Pentagram and Roky Erickson. While Witchcraft’s first two albums are the finest exhibits for the validity of retro-modern doom, time hasn’t frozen around them. Frontman Magnus Pelander, having changed the rest of the lineup for 2012 album ‘Legend’, has had another clearout for this 69-minute followup. The trio which recorded ‘Nucleus’ are working with shinier production values than the Witchcraft of old, which may disappoint long-term fans, but it works well with Pelander’s slower, heavier riffing. ‘Malstroem’

WITCHCRAFT AREN’T THE ONLY BAND TO SURVIVE DRASTIC LINEUP CHANGES

NEGURA BUNGET

section (Reifert handling both vocals and guitar this time around), bred and fed through a thrash metal tube with Fog Of War. A meaner, funnier and swearier version of Circle Jerks for the whole family! [7] OLIVIER ‘ZOLTAR’ BADIN

TODAY IS THE DAY

Drummer Negru is the sole original member of these Romanian black metallers, who have had numerous lineup shuffles in recent years

Despite featuring more different members than you’ve had hot dinners, Steve Austin’s insatiable drive to create remains totally stable

NAPALM DEATH

Though their lineup has been steady for the past decade, Paul Speckmann kept Master going despite several member changes in the ’90s

Famously absent of any original members, Napalm Death’s lineup troubles have never deterred them

D

E

and ‘An Exorcism Of Doubts’ have as much in common with, say, Pallbearer than Witchcraft’s perkier mode of old, while ‘The Obsessed’ may or may not be named after the Wino-fronted band but has a lumbering swing worthy of the name. The running time has given free rein to proggish excesses, too: the title track and the glacially slow ‘Breakdown’ (featuring the intriguing lyric, “I know you could go on and on / Ironically you wrote part of this song”) clock in at fourteen and sixteen minutes respectively. ‘Nucleus’ feels very much like Witchcraft 2.0 – at least – and while endless rewrites of ‘Firewood’ would have doubtless yielded diamonds, you can’t blame Pelander for wanting to move forward a tad. [7] NOEL GARDNER

still standing

SEASON OF MIST

HORROR PAIN GORE DEATH

TERRORIZER #267

E

‘The Horror Of Existence’

‘Broken Idol/Elimination Time’

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NUCLEAR BLAST

THE LION’S DAUGHTER

VIOLATION WOUND ven if this is sold as a double album, these two separate yet very close in time recordings are to be seen as part of the same beer & pizza binge party. Don’t be mistaken in case you haven’t heard Autopsy’s Chris Reifert latest adventure in punk rock: apart from its ‘fuck you all’ attitude, this has little to do with Abscess. If the latter was fuelled by hallucinogenic drugs and a desire to let everything fly and see what stuck, Violation Wound has a much more straight-forward attitude. With only a handful of tracks trespassing over the two minutes barrier (and there are 36 of them!), this is by far his most immediate and in-your-face project, something cemented by the sharp nature of his rhythmic

WITCHCRAFT ‘Nucleus’

escribing themselves as “unpleasant”, it’s not really the shock of the century that this St. Louis mob live up to their billing so well on ‘The Horror Of Existence’. Pulling together every filthy genre that ever spat in the face of nicety – d-beat, sludge, black, crust et cetera et cetera – and then vomit it on the feet of a complacent corrupted world and punch it in the face. The hook is the excellent songwriting and knowing when to ease off the claustrophobia just a little before slamming the boot back onto your face, like on the corrosive ‘Four Flies’. If 2016 is going down the shitter, then we already have the perfect soundtrack. [8] STEVE R. JONES

MASTER

LIVING WITH DISFIGUREMENT

‘Posthumous Indignities’ EXTREME ULTIMATE

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his London based band deal in gore soaked death metal brutality, amputating a few early Carcass riffs and putting them through a blender of their own creating quite a symphony of sickness. Similarities could also be drawn to the likes of Autopsy, Impaled and Exhumed, the vocals coming across like the bastard lovechild of Chris Reifert, Jeff Walker and Matt Harvey. It is not all-out grotesque grinding though, as melodic death metal riffs played with surgical precision rear their ugly heads and the playing is as tight as a tourniquet wrapped around a severe wound. The production is also as sharp as a scalpel but it isn’t too clinical and doesn’t lose that organic old school vibe. A gruesomely great debut album. [8] KAT GILLHAM


AVAI L A BL E NO W f r o m

n e r v e g a s . c o m . a u

“AN UNPRECEDENTED LEAP FORWARD FOR THE GENRE OF PROGRESSIVE METAL,..EXTREMELY MEMORABLE, UNIQUE AND TECHNICAL” — HEAVY BLOG IS HEAVY

W W W. G O D S O F E D E N B A N D . C O M


SHORT & SAVAGE

EP ROUND-UP

LYCUS

MIRROR

RELAPSE

METAL BLADE

‘Chasms’

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A

ournful, meditative, crushing – Oakland’s Lycus have encapsulated the true essence of American deathdoom since their 2011 demo. ‘Chasms’, their Relapse debut/second full-length overall, is a further refinement of their chosen style. Most strikingly, the violin – a complimentary neo-folk accompaniment to funereal music – has been fully engrained to give their lengthy, dynamic compositions further gravitas, whilst ‘Solar Chamber’ and the expansive title track display a welcome, albeit subtle undercurrent of death-rock. This plus Lycus’ ability to seamlessly move from statuesque doom to pummelling death metal while also channelling the deep spiritual yearning of both post-rock and black metal is astounding. ‘Chasms’ is therefore essential listening for fans of extreme metal that cuts you to the core.  [8.5] DEAN BROWN

lbum number three of the year for Tasos ‘Tas’ Danazoglou, former Electric Wizard bassist, tattoo artist extraordinaire and eclectic musician. Except that unlike Diavolos which felt like a mere digression of Satan’s Wrath, Mirror is an entirely different yet more enthralling trip. It may also be rooted in the past and featuring a disparate line-up that includes one third of Repulsion, a bombastic vocalist from Cyprus and a producer-cum-drummer yet they all somehow remain cohesive. ‘Mirror’ sounds like a cool retro-hard rock album that knows when to quote both Rainbow and Deep Purple but doesn’t forget to play its cards right by exhibiting a very aggressive (aka ‘metal’) edge. Let’s hope it ain’t just a one-off then. [7.5] OLIVIER ‘ZOLTAR’ BADIN

MAMMOTHWING

OPPROBRIUM

BIOLCATION/KOZMIK ATEFACTZ

RELAPSE

ombining amp-blowing psych rock freakouts with tunes you’ll be humming in the shower, Nottingham trio Mammothwing are a cut above your standard stoner/blues outfit. Gargantuan opener ‘Cosmic Vagabond’ offers some free-flowing Acid Mother’s Temple-esque guitar heroics, whilst ‘Tinned Up & Fuzzed Out’ and the sublimely funky ‘69’ showcase the band’s genuine love for the blues. Humongous, melancholy centrepiece ‘Black Woman’ is a real showstopper, demonstrating their sharp ear for dynamics and giant riffs. The dual vocal approach works brilliantly too, with bassist Bill Fisher’s silky smooth croon contrasting perfectly against guitarist Marty Fisher’s coarse, whiskey drenched howl. Oozing with soul, this is one of the finest heavy blues records this country has produced in a long time. [8] KEZWHELAN

riginally released close to thirty years and a name change ago (they were formerly known as Incubus), ‘Serpent Temptation’ emerged from a clumsy era where mixing thrash and death metal wasn’t the tool of precision it is today. Often heralded as a genre classic, the reality is large portions of the Louisiana trio’s debut haven’t aged well. There’s an unbridled and youthful passion, especially when it comes to the tempos the band were forging forward with, but their naiveté precludes the ferocious, chromatic mayhem of ‘The Battle Of Armageddon’ and ‘Sadistic Sinner’ from making a long lasting impact beyond the novelty of mosh riffs being furiously sped up. But as an historical artefact, ‘Serpent Temptation’ serves its purpose. [6] KEVIN STEWART-PANKO

MESSENGER

PARADISE LOST

MASSACRE

‘Morning Light’

C

‘Star Wolf – Pt. II - Novastorm’

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hile power metal is continually pushed by the jesters of the genre into tongue-in-cheek joke territory, Massacre are the sort who stand by its exuberant traditions and call themselves “true” with no trace of irony. And hey, it works for them, as it long since has for their Germanic countrymen like Helloween. With little deviation from 2013’s ‘Star Wolf – Pt. I…’, it’s all hyperactive adventure anthems and tours of the fretboard. Granted, there’s the degree of kitsch value invariably attributed to ’80s metal worship in this day and age, and it probably goes two or three tracks past making its point, but as far as keeping the spirit of the old guard goes, Messenger are the real deal. [7] ANDY MCDONALD

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‘Mirror’

TERRORIZER #267

‘Serpent Temptation’

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e need a bit of fuzz to clear out the last remnants of those pesky New Years hangovers, don’t we? Sure we do. So, let’s start with 1968, a band that reviews itself, really. It would actually be awesome if they were some sort of weird avant-garde thing and sounded nothing like 1968, but alas, they are exactly what you’d expect from a band called 1968, and in the three jams that feature on their ‘1968 EP’ [7, Black Bow], they use the inevitable heavy rock/psych references like Led Zep or Sabbath and go off on their own thing. You’ve heard it all before, but it’s delivered with passion and enough individuality to not become yet another retro band you’ll never hear again. Like, for instance, Salem’s Pot. We get it, they’re Swedish, all the hip people seem to like them and they’ve done a split with Windhand. That doesn’t mean they’re not boring, and despite all the “punk” they try to infuse in their smoky, plodding stoner, their new ‘The Vampire Strikes Back’ single/EP thing [4, self-released’] is still a huge yawn. Two versions of the same song, where even the title is cliché, and a cover attempt that doesn’t quite ruin Dead Moon’s ‘Graveyard’ but plays it out with some indifference. Okay, so that’s enough fuzz, onwards to the opposite side of the spectrum with Fucking Invincible’s new EP called ‘I Hate Myself And Want You To Die’ [8, Atomic Action!]. If Salem’s Pot’s title makes you want to throw the record out of the window, this one alone gives the Providence mob five points already, even before pressing play. When you do press play, it’s like opening the door to a bunch of Mad Max raiders who’ll wreck your place in five minutes and leave your head on a spike. To be more precise, in seven minutes, which is all these eight blasts take before you need to listen to the whole thing again, and again. If you still need any more cool points, why not check out Canadians Thigma before anyone else does – they have a two-song single called ‘Cultivate’ [7, self-released] that’s a kind of stopgap until they release the proper debut EP, and their labyrinthine, technical kind of looser, more melodic Meshuggah-isms, with Exist Immortal’s Meyrick de la Fuente on guest vocals, are catchy enough for you to make a mental note to get that coming EP when it’s out. Promising stuff. In the meantime, Crippled Black Phoenix put out a more or less pointless EP before they went on tour at the end of 2015, so if you really, really feel like a short intro-like song, one proper new song and a Pink Floyd cover, by all means get the ‘New Dark Age Tour EP 2015 A.D.’ [6, Season Of Mist], but your true enjoyment will be over sooner than you can say the whole title of the release. Peterborough’s Razoreater also leave it short, but that’s the whole point – their Nasumesque blasts of cosmic grind are meant to beat you up quickly and leave before blood even hits the floor, and the five songs on ‘Vacuum Of Nihil’ [7.5, WOOAAARGH/Skin And Bones] do just that. Great titles too – from ‘Nailbombed’ to ‘Bloodeagled’, they’re proper fucking metal songtitles. Finally, the token clean vocals/breakdowns/“groove” metalcore release of the month (there’s always one, isn’t there?) comes from Nottingham’s The Five Hundred, who are not, at all, the worst of this mostly noxious genre that won’t die, and on the best moments of ‘EP I’ [5, self-released] even give off hints of Earthtone9 or Fear Factory, but who clearly need to define their own personality before we can really recommend them to anyone. Words: José Carlos Santos

RAVENOUS

SERENITY

CENTURY MEDIA

COFFEE JINGLE

NAPALM

he first Paradise Lost live performance with an orchestra and choir happened dangerously close to their last album; right now we’re kind of in brutal/rough-PL mode and far from necessarily wishing to hear them play a symphonic show. Still, the boys and the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra just about force us to enjoy this: not only are the sound quality and the setlist damn near perfect, but the current vitality of the band also shines through. From ‘Gothic’ to ‘Victim Of The Past’, with the orchestral parts serving as an enriching, never overbearing complement rather than a main vehicle, they nail everything, the songs flow by and even the famous discrepancies between eras of the band are faded in a haze of doom-rockin’ out. [7.5] JOSÉ CARLOS SANTOS

he biggest comparison that hits you right between the eyes is Pantera, specifically in the way the band mix up melody and hard-nosed riffs and post-thrash influences into a big modern heavy metal mash-up, but there are also hints of Metallica (on the rather epic ‘Easter Island’ and the many vocal Hetfield-isms) and Machine Head on some of the violent beatdown sections. Ravenous obviously love all things metal and are not adverse to throwing everything, including the kitchen sink, into the mix, so you get doom metal intro riffs segueing effortlessly into whiplashinducing metalcore (‘Ravenous’) and grandiose Testament-like power ballads (‘Alone’), and their enthusiastic tendency to take on pretty much anything is infectious. [7] IAN GLASPER

‘Symphony For The Lost’

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‘We Are Become Death’

T

‘Codex Atlanticus’

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ith promo copies circulating by midDecember, what instantly jumps out from Austrian purveyors of pomp Serenity’s new one is a track named ‘Sprouts Of Terror’, which sounds like our kind of Christmas dinner. Outside of such festivities, there’s certainly a market for symphonic metal – the Nightwish and Within Temptation “brands” are worth more than you’re likely to make in a lifetime, and strong mid-level and underground scenes also exist – but for a supposedly wordy and worldly genre, the persistent similarity between acts gets exhausting after the hundredth brooding piano interlude. This da Vinci-inspired Eurovision romp boasts beauty in its guitar solos and orchestral passages – just nothing that hasn’t already been heard a million times. [6] ANDY MCDONALD


AVAILABLE

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MAGNANIMUS / GODAGAINTS INQUISICION OPENING THE CATACLYSM DEMO 95 (10” Vinyl) PORTAL TO THE GODS (7”)

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FROM THE DEPTHS: 7” ROUNDUP

SIKTH

UN

PEACEVILLE

BLACK BOW

‘Opacities’

‘The Tomb Of All Things’

Y

ridging the divide between the earthily atmospheric doom of North America and the more grandiose, melodicallyminded brand crafted (mostly) on this side of the pond, Seattle’s Un have created a release in ‘The Tomb Of All Things’ soaked in both cavernous heaviness and transcendental emotion. Weeping harmonies and sorrow-drenched riffery shimmer alongside the crushing darkness cultivated by chord-based resonance in a way that often brings to mind the melancholic murk of early Ahab – and the progressively-minded compositions further reinforce the comparison. Yet the release also possesses an undeniably West Coast character, revealed in its rain-soaked dirges and the hoarsely harrowing vocal delivery. It’s a captivatingly powerful combination, and one that stands Un’s debut out from the crowd. [7.5] RICH TAYLOR

SLOMATICS

UPON SHADOWS

‘Kalceanna’

I

‘Between The Southern Cross & The Northern Star’

t’s fitting that Black Bow Records are re-releasing two of Slomatics’ early albums considering how great an influence the Northern Ireland band have been on label owner Jon Davis’ band Conan. This reissue of 2007’s ‘Kalceanna’ serves as a timely reminder of how ahead of their time Slomatics were. From the opening bombast of ‘Griefhound’ to the epic closer ‘Viking Sea’, Slomatics prove themselves as the undisputed masters of heaviness. Chris and David’s duel guitar approach is truly monumental and expressive, capable of delivering crushing blows on the fantastic ‘Mans Hands’ and something much more cinematic on the instrumental ‘By Thor’. If Conan are the Nirvana of the UK doom scene, then that undoubtedly makes Slomatics the Melvins. [8] TOM MCKIBBIN

riginally hailing from Uruguay, this duo’s brand of dark metal has an underlying atmospheric presence with both elements of blackness and symphonic classicism. Piano and soothing, delicate choral parts linger underneath it all but the main presence here is centered on the crone-like, cadaverous vocals of Tamara Picardo. Whether they are meant to sound quite so ugly or not, they act as a thorn in the ear and have a necrotic croak about them that makes it really difficult to focus on any harmonic grace of the actual music itself. More Wykked Wytch than Cadaveria, unfortunately this is a painful listening experience. [3] PETE WOODS

TEXTURES

UR DRAUGR

YELLOW EYES

ZGARD

NUCLEAR BLAST

ATMF

GILEAD

SVARGA

nitial impressions of Textures’ first album in five years are disappointing. The pop sensibility that made ‘Silhouettes’ tech metal banquet such a joy and tastefully, if more sparingly, adorned ‘Dualism’ seems muted. The prog factor has been cranked up, and while vocalist Daniel de Jongh gets a workout, he’s never allowed to unleash the sort of unashamed, fuck-off chorus that makes this band special. With founder/guitarist Jochem Jacobs stepping back, a certain weight and focus has been surrendered. That said, there’s enough talent here to survive the move away from immediate gratification. The subtle pleasures of picking through a labyrinth of ideas keep things compelling, however frustrating the reluctance to flesh out the best of them. [6] BENJ GOLANSKI

his Perth, Western Australiabased trio play a clean and complex hybrid black/death style that, according to the promo one-sheet, is akin to darker Opeth and latter-day Enslaved. The description is spot-on, which begs the question: Would that description – alone – make you want to listen? Ur Draugr is talented, ridiculously so, and that prodigious talent is showcased beautifully here, but is there enough originality to sway prospective listeners? The mimicry/originality split feels 51/49 percent. This sounds so close, at times, to Opeth and/or Enslaved it is hard to re-wire your brain to think otherwise, which presents a stumbling block. But strangely, and with repeated listens, ‘With Hunger Undying’ resonates, aided by the magisterially wrought musicianship. [7] JOHN MINCEMOYER

‘Phenotype’

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ou might laugh, but way back in the hinterlands of 2003, this Hertfordshire lot were onto a good thing. Fearlessly technical and fearsomely original, they were a bit too much for the hard-bitten to swallow. Fast-forward over a decade from ‘The Trees Are Dead And Dried Out…’ and the musical landscape has changed slightly. The djent era as come and gone to the extent that ‘Opacities’ feels like a comfy pair of slippers rather than the snap of their highly strung debut. Aside from being comfy, those slippers feel rather leaden too, as they’re not as light on their feet as they used to be. [6] STEVE R. JONES

BLACK BOW

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ontinuing their tradition of awesome, unexpected covers, French drone powerhouse Monarch have a new single out [8, Fvtvrecording], featuring a barbaric, pummelling rendition of The Runaways’ ‘Cherry Bomb’ on side A and an absolutely haunting version of The Misfits’ ‘Die Die My Darling’ re-imagined as a spacious, mournful doom hymn on the other. Great stuff, and the artwork is ace too! For more sludged out punk covers, the mighty Fistula blast through Fang’s ‘Destroy The Handicapped’ and GG Allin’s ‘I Love Nothing’ on their latest seven-inch slab of wax, ‘Ignorant Weapon’ [8, PATAC], but it’s the two original tunes here that really steal the show, the totally fuming ‘Wood Glue’ especially. If it’s more traditionally punky fare you’re after, then Canada’s Zex’s new single ‘Fear No Man’ [Loud Punk, 5] is worth a shot, the snotty title track sort of sounding like a young Plasmatics with more Thin Lizzy licks. Unfortunately the bouncy B-side ‘I Didn’t Know’ drags the overall score down a few notches, with a vocal melody in the bridge that’s worryingly reminiscent of German singer Nena’s ’83 cheesefest ‘99 Red Balloons’. Ouch! Boston quintet The Epidemic bust out some defiantly old-school but still distinctly youthful sounding hardcore on their ‘Losing Control EP’[6, Loud Punk, Total Fucker], mixing a brash ’80s US hardcore sound with riffs that sound more like some of the earlier UK punk bands. Not too shabby. Heading back to heavier territory, Finnish trio The Reality Show chug their way through some taut, heavily thrash-influenced hardcore on ‘Vicious Cycle Of Life’ [6.5, Eternal Now, Räkälevyt, Doomed To Misery and Filthy Rat], sandwiching great big mosh parts in between frantic Kreator-esque riffs, and getting away with it for the most part. The production is nice and crispy, but still, you get the feeling this stuff is going to sound twice as good blaring out of the band’s own amps in a dingy little dive bar somewhere. Another band we can’t wait to see live are Dutch pessimists Lifespite, who are heading over to the UK for Chimpyfest in London this August. Their self-titled debut EP [8, Reflections, Deep Six, Too Circle] is a bracing blast of straight-up, supremely pissed off powerviolence in the vein of Infest or Lack Of Interest, only giving you a bit of respite from the negativity during the unexpectedly epic riff that opens side B. After that though, it’s right back into raging nastiness that feels like having your head smashed into a wall by a particularly peeved Neanderthal (the hominid, not the band – although, to be honest, the latter would still totally make sense here). Finally, Brazilian grindcore heroes Rotmanage to squeeze a wealth of inventive, raucous and totally fucking disgusting noise onto the two sides of their latest EP ‘Nowhere’ [8, Absurd]. Sitting somewhere between Agathocles and the first Wormrot album, it’s some of their most furious material to date – and considering they’ve been grinding almost 26 years now, that’s no small feat! Words: Kez Whelan

TERRORIZER #267

SELF-RELEASE

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‘With Hunger Undying’

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‘Sick With Bloom’

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erging the discordant and over-stimulating assault of Krallice with the emotive vigor that earned WitTR their USBM crown, Yellow Eyes’ gilead debut ‘Sick With Bloom’ works with some of the most compelling components of American black metal, and presents it with an intensity that most comparable bands lack. Primarily characterized by an uninterrupted barrage of thunderous drums and riffs that bleed skin-crawling dissonance, the songs barrel by at an utterly frantic pace, and the band’s decision to include the soundtrack of their forested recording location between compositions further enhances their sonic venom. It’s affecting, visceral, and as the negativity is pierced with a tranquility created in an absence of human emotion, it convincingly demonstrates Yellow Eyes’ cathartic capabilities. [7.5] RICH TAYLOR

‘Totem’

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ne-man black metal band part 94,000: what type will hardworking Ukranian Zgard be on ‘Totem’, his fifth album in three years? The dreadfully recorded murky clatter of a self-evident billy-no-mates, or a more rounded, engineered entity thanks to the solo artist getting some outside help? Well, since you asked, it’s the second. There are passages of creepy ambience and regionally specific folk music across these nine songs – the title track, for example, combines a Russian drinking song vibe with flute and something that sounds like a Jew’s harp – but Zgard’s default mode is gallant, gung-ho black metal with tinkly keyboards and a pagan air. And, yes, he was actually operating as a trio on this release. [6.5] NOEL GARDNER


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ACID REIGN VS. XENTRIX

sees motor mouth ACID REIGN here as Hard Of Hearing nt nda abu is tor fac d The feel-goo TRIX counterpart Chris Astley. one on one’ with his XEN ‘ g goin mith S ‘H’ or My rd owa frontman H jork, borrowing Bullet F watching Slipknot with B uss disc s guy the as … rity Cue much hila vocalist Messiah Marcolin ging off” ex-Candlemass alentine’s gear and H “tug

V

SLAMMER ‘Razor’s Edge’ FROM ‘The Work Of Idle Hands…’ (WEA, 1989)

S

lammer were making waves on the UK trash scene when both Acid Reign and Xentrix first began treading the boards. Will they recognise them? Chris (Astley, Xentrix): [A few seconds after the vocals arrive] “Slammer!” Howard (Smith, Acid Reign): “You cheating bastards! [Laughter breaks out as we realise Xentrix drummer Dennis Gasser used an app on his phone and texted Chris the answer.] I had a whole band behind me and they didn’t give me one fucking clue! Slammer was the band that ruined it for all of us!” Really? Howard: “No. But that’s what everyone else says and I wouldn’t want to let the side down!” Chris: “Slammer were great guys. We played with them a lot. They were turning up in a tour bus while we were all still in Transit vans!” Howard: “The first time I met Slammer they supported us at The Queens Hall in Bradford where they’re from. We had to go on after them and I remember thinking, ‘Shit, we better be fucking good now! They signed to a

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major label and it all went wrong. The thing was, back in the day, if you signed to a major no one would take you seriously anymore. Thrash was still an underground thing.” Chris: “People viewed you as some kind of traitor.”

CANDLEMASS ‘Crystal Ball’ FROM ‘Epicus Doomicus Metallicus’ (BLACK DRAGON, 1986)

A

cid Reign supported Candlemass back in the day so H may have the advantage here. Howard: “Candlemass! Is it off ‘Nightfall’? Nope… Howard: “That’s me fucked then!” It’s from ‘Epicus Metallicus Doomicus’. Howard: “I get a point for the band though yeah? ‘Nightfall’ was the album for me. When we toured with them Messiah Marcolin would come looking for me before

they went onstage. He’d come up to me wearing his big monk’s habit and make me pull the rope!” Chris: “You tugged him off every night on tour?!” Howard: “Yeah, it was like ‘Hey, were is my rope gimp?’ Lovely guy and great band to tour with.” Chris: “Doom metal isn’t really my thing.” Howard: “I love Candlemass and Trouble but doom for doom’s sake… [jaw breaking yawn]. If I need to be put to sleep it’s the first thing I’d reach out for. I respect what Gaz [Jennings, former Cathedral guitarist] did after he left Acid Reign but you can see why he parted ways with us. Just listen to how different the music he made was after he left.”

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE ‘No Way Out’ FROM ‘Venom’ (Roadrunner, 2015)

W

elshmen Bullet have courted controversy, admitting the

“YOU TUGGED MESSIAH MARCOLIN OFF EVERY NIGHT ON TOUR?!”


“PEOPLE WERE SAYING HOW CUTTING EDGE AND VITAL ‘THE BLACK ALBUM’ WAS, BUT THE SIXTEEN YEAR OLD ME WOULD HAVE SAID ‘THIS IS SHIT, I WANT TO LISTEN TO CARCASS!’”

sin of writing an album to appeal to commercial success. H in particular has strong opinions on this one… Howard: “Life Of Agony? Lamb Of God?” Chris: “That’s not Lamb Of God!” Howard: “Bring Me The Horizon?” British band… Howard: “Funeral For A Friend?” Nope. Howard: “Bullet For My Valentine!” Yes! Howard: “Is it from ‘Poison’ or something?” ‘Venom’. Howard: “Ah right, we used Padge from Bullet For My Valentine’s Zakk Wylde limited edition Les Paul guitar to record ‘Plan Of The Damned’ and three of them are coming to our London show. They’ve done really good things for us, like lending us gear and we haven’t even met them. Cookie (Acid Reign, guitar) has been mates with them since before Bullet were a band. We have a lot to thank them for.” Bullet For My Valentine recently admitted that they had been pressured to write songs in a more pop fashion on their last album so this is their response to that. Chris: “You definitely got the feeling from listening to that album [2013’s ‘Temper Temper’] that was the case but you’ve gotta admire them for their honesty that they made a mistake. They chased success and caught it.” Howard: “They’re the biggest selling metal band in the States since Iron Maiden! Respect to that!”

SLIPKNOT ‘Duality’ FROM ‘Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)’ (ROADRUNNER, 2004)

N

u metal may have started with Korn et al but it was Slipknot that took metal to a new generation of kids with their theatrical performances and subtle injection of extreme metal carefully marketed to a mass audience. What do H and Chris make of them? Howard: “[instantly] Slipknot! It’s from ‘…The Subliminal Verses’.” Yes, do you know the track? Chris: “[hesitates] ‘Duality’?” That’s it! Howard: “They’re fucking

awesome!” Chris: “Amazing live band. They really are an amazing live band.” Howard: “I saw their first ever UK show at the old Astoria in London. I was stood about ten feet away from Björk who was there to watch them too! This was when they were hardcore and used to set fire to each other. They have risen this upward trajectory for a decade. Nine guys in jumpsuits playing brutally hard music with a DJ, like that’s going to be big!” Chris: “I remember chatting to Mark Palmer who was at Roadrunner and he mentioned that they’d signed these nine guys who wore masks and I said it sounded like the shittest thing ever but he insisted they would be big.” Howard: “…And he said Mushroomhead and you were right! [All laugh]”

SOUNDGARDEN ‘Spoonman’ FROM ‘Superunknown’ (A&M, 1994)

S

oundgarden were the first ‘grunge’ band to sign to a major label. Considering grunge pretty much killed the thrash scene at the time, the guys may not be fond of this act but do they know them? Howard: “Soundgarden! ‘Superunknown’! ‘Spoonman’!” You’ve done it again H! As many consider grunge to be something that killed thrash, was the mid-’90s an ugly period for you guys? Chris: “Grunge didn’t kill thrash, thrash fell on its arse and other things were there doing well.” Howard: “I was having this conversation with a friend. I was twenty when we put out ‘Obnoxious’ and Metallica put out ‘The Black Album’ and people were saying how cutting edge and vital it was, but the sixteen year old me would have said ‘This is shit, I want to listen to Carcass! That’s grandad rock!’ All of a sudden you’re irrelevant and part of the establishment. Grunge or death metal didn’t kill thrash. The genre just hibernated.”

ONSLAUGHT ‘Twisted Jesus’ FROM ‘Killing Peace’ (CANDLELIGHT, 2007)

A

nother old touring colleague of both bands, ‘Killing Peace’

saw the return of vocalist Sy Keeler. Let’s see if the guys have kept up with their old pals… Howard: “Exodus? Overkill?” Chris: “Kreator?” You’ve played with this band. Howard: “Onslaught!” Yes! Howard: “They had several incarnations. Xentrix, Onslaught and Acid Reign were the closest we had to a big three in the UK. We played a show in Manchester and I pulled the ceiling tiles down! They were really cool guys. Jeff from Onslaught introduced me to our drummer Mark so he was fantastic.” Chris: “Steve Grimmett was my favourite vocalist. Did you see the episode of Beavis & Butthead when they ripped the piss out of him when he was in Grim Reaper? That was hilarious!”

TESTAMENT ‘Souls Of Black’ FROM ‘Souls Of Black’ (ATLANTIC, 1990)

T

estament postponing tour dates led to the original break up of Xentrix in the 1990s. How do Chris and H feel about this classic track? Both simultaneously: “Testament!” Chris: “‘Souls Of Black’! I got one, I got one!” Howard: “Nice work!” Chris: “The last show we did before breaking up in 2006 was with Onslaught at Bradford Rio’s and we were due to play with Testament the month after and they moved the shows back a month and we couldn’t do them! I was a massive Testament fan, one of our biggest gigs we played was at Hammersmith Odeon with Sepultura and Testament. Wikipedia says that we played with Slayer too but we never did!” Howard: “Fuck you! I hate you! I got abused by Messiah Marcolin!” Chris: “I remember Chuck Billy watching us from the side of the stage saying ‘Great show man!’ and I was so happy that Chuck Billy spoke to me!” www.Facebook.com/Acid.Reign.Thrash www.Xentrix.co.uk

FINAL SCORE: 85% DA RULES

Fifteen minutes, no limits. One point for each artist and another for the song. No Arguments.

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75


EDITED BY KEZ WHELAN SUNN O))) (PIC BY TIM VAN VEEN

A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS (PIC ERIK LUYTEN

LE GUESS WHO? FESTIVAL UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS

FRIDAY First of all, Le Guess Who? is a bloody intimidating experience. Regardless of your genres of choice, it’s more likely than not that you won’t know half of the humongous and wildly varied bill, and the over ten venues (!), from churches

THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN (PIC BY JURI HIENSCH)

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to bar basements to proper awesome concert halls, are spread around the lovely city of Utrecht. All this, in the same weekend as one of the biggest and most amazing record fairs in the world is in town. So, if you do embark on this adventure, be prepared to walk, bike or abuse the bus/trains getting to the shows you want, and spend half of the trips wondering what awesome thing you’ve never heard of you might be missing. This is what it looks like in the first couple of hours, but once you settle into the groove of this most unique of festivals, your perspective changes. Firstly, you realise that not only are over half of the venues are within walking distance, but five of them are actually in the same fantastic building, the remodelled Tivoli-Vredenburg, which shall hold until further notice the title of most fucking unbelievably amazing venue we’ve ever seen. Secondly, Utrecht is a great place, a sort of anti-Amsterdam that you won’t mind wandering around in even without shows to catch. And finally, in a sort of Roadburn-like spirit, the stress of having to catch that band dissipates once you wander into a couple of shows you hadn’t planned to see and have just as much fun while discovering new favourites. This year, Sunn O))) have curated a healthy chunk of the

line-up, beginning their “Sunn O))) Presents…” programme in the beautiful Janskerk with Hildur Guðnadóttir’s cello magic. So enveloping is the whole performance in this environment that the more anticipated Julia Holter show right after, also in the church, feels a little uneventful and empty by comparison. After a quick bike ride across town (and trust us, you’re going to want to rent a bike if you really want to get the most out of Le Guess Who?’s sprawling programme), Sunn’s selection continues over in De Helling, a secluded and fairly intimate venue that acts as the perfect host for most of the metal the fest has to offer. Chaos Echœs are a real force to behold, stretching out rotten Portal-esque murk and bestial tom drum punishment to the point that the four of them start to resemble an improv jazz ensemble rather than any of their cohorts on the Nuclear War Now! roster. Naturally, the improvisatory aspect can sometimes fall off the rails a bit, but it only serves to make their set all the more thrilling. The fact that Ilmar Uibo (Necrowretch, ex-Bloody Sign, Incantation etc.) is an absolute beast of a drummer helps too, as do all the genuinely fucking brilliant riffs hiding amidst all the madness. Over in Tivoli-Vredenburg’s stately Grote Zaal, German legends Faust are in full swing, as drummer Werner “Zappi” Diermaier pounds out a brutal, Laibach-esque industrial stomp so forcefully that you can feel your ribcage rattling along in unison. Jean-Hervé Péron leads the band in a typically robust manner, whilst a trio of women sit in quiet contemplation, knitting some kind of huge sweater, or something. Ebbing and flowing through pastoral, psychedelic passages and then on to more stark, noisy terrain, it’s an eclectic, eccentric and imminently satisfying performance. Back at De Helling, Swiss duo Bölzer sound incredible tonight. Songs from the ‘Aura’ EP like ‘Entranced By The Wolfshook’ are treated like old favourites by the crowd, including some frantic headbangers down in the front row, and the newer songs they’ve been playing of late are currently sounding even better. It puts us in a good mood for Om, who deliver their mantras of heaviness with the same burrowing strength as usual, despite the discomfort of an overly packed room at this point. Continuing the theme of atmospheric, bass driven music but approaching it from an entirely different angle, the dark, pounding techno of Lancaster duo Demdike Stare is a fantastastic way to end the night, shaking the walls of De Helling as they switch from deep, enveloping drones to more beat driven fair.


FAUST (PIC BY ERIK LUYTEN) BO NINGEN (PIC JURI HIENSCH

FRIDAY A miscommunication between band and festival means that the Kargadoor venue (a basement underneath a bar, essentially) doesn’t allow Insect Ark to perform their usual screechy, loud show. After Dana Schlechter explains and apologises for the fact, she and drummer companion Ashley Spungen then take off on an one-off improvisational set which almost makes us thankful for the miscommunication. Still harsh, it had a cyclic, enveloping atmosphere that we wouldn’t expect from the doom noise duo – hopefully someone recorded it! Back at Tivoli, Protomartyr are unbelievably good – noisy, loud and abrasive like a punk band, but delivering their punches with a velvety glove of stripped down post punk, shoegaze and urban poetry. If you’ve ever been into Nick Cave, Madrugada or just people with a razor-sharp intelligence and an unashamed fear to use it, this band is for you. Meanwhile, dB’s Oefenstudios – a small venue out in Utrecht’s Zuilen neighbourhood – hosts Terzij De Horde’s curated programme, showcasing some of the finest contemporary black metal the Netherlands has to offer. Psychedelic trio Nefast kick things off with their very minimal take on the genre, reducing black metal’s icy pace to a hollow, emotionless pulse and then riding that into weird new realms which recall Neu! as much as they do Burzum. Taking the stage clad in creepy white masks, local three piece Laster are fantastic. Sounding noticeably more aggressive live than they do on record, their melancholic sound is much more ferocious in the flesh, performed at blistering pace with both terrifying precision and hair-rising passion. If they keep delivering shows this good, these guys aren’t going to be Utrecht’s little secret for much longer. The sound is very balanced for Gnaw Their Tongues’ horror show, so every instrument of torture is clearly audible, and as Mories alternates between inhuman screeches and potent roars we feel drawn into the terrible atmosphere of each song once more. Only a special act can follow this, and Terzij De Horde are one of those. Here, at the eye of the storm, drinking their own craft beer (available just for tonight), feeling every jarred bit of dissonance and every magnificent crescendo, it seems nothing can touch this band. Way over on the other side of town, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown treat a totally packed De Helling to some vintage psychedelic whimsy. Brown himself is a born entertain-

er, leaping about the stage with the energy of a million Papa Emeritus’ – not bad considering he’s in his 70’s now! Though his music may not have aged as graciously as he has, the current incarnation of the Crazy World aren’t short of gusto and guitarist Nina Gromniak’s soulful, bluesy licks melt into your ears like butter. And of course, when they finish on ‘I Am The God Of Hellfire’, the whole room goes mental. Good wholesome fun, though it does little to prepare us for Chelsea Wolfe who delivers what could be the most powerful, cathartic performance of the whole festival, her voice rich with emotion and completely captivating. Aside from a few ‘Pain Is Beauty’ tracks, like ‘House Of Metal’ and a heart-wrenching rendition of ‘We Hit A Wall’, the set is composed pretty much entirely from new album ‘Abyss’, and that opening combo of ‘Carrion Flowers’, ‘Iron Moon’ and ‘Dragged Out’ sounds even better than it does on record tonight, the huge swathes of doom-laden guitar filling the room like a sinister black fog. The sound is impeccable too, making that sumptuous synth bend in ‘After The Wall’ even more intoxicating. Next up, Norwegian avant-garde metallers Virus seem tightly in tune with one another, and their bizarre, Voivod-esque riffery and curiously shifting rhythmic patterns are a joy to behold. Though the venue is noticeably less populated than

it was for the last two acts, the roar of approval that greets the band doesn’t seem to have diminished in volume from earlier at all. French three-piece Aluk Todolo then lead us on a dark, mind bending journey through the use of brutal repetition, jarring, discordant guitars, paranoid bass lunges and frenzied, tribal rhythms. Part of the joy of this curated bill is the thread that runs through it, and after viewing them one after the other, it’s easy to draw comparisons between Aluk Todolo and Virus; two trios, both radically restructuring metal’s basic blueprints through the use of one guitar, bass and drums. But whilst Virus’s approach feels more cerebral, Aluk Todolo’s is largely physical, locking the listener into a feeling of perpetual motion and refusing to let go until you’re a quivering heap on the floor – a fate which befalls a significant portion of the crowd tonight. Closing the proceedings back at Tivoli, A Place To Bury Stranger’s noise rock is so dense as to almost force one to sit down when listening to it rather than move around, during a surprisingly bleak performance.

SATURDAY Magma were one of the surprising Roadburn highlights in 2014, setting the main stage alight with a performance that

GOATSNAKE (PIC BY ERIK LUYTEN)

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LIGHTNING BOLT (PIC BY ERIK LUYTEN)

CHELSEA WOLFE (PIC BY ERIK LUYTEN)

will go down in history, and this Le Guess Who? set proves it wasn’t just a fluke. Their rock/jazz/funk/whatever wild mix just amplifies to degrees that we don’t have words for when on stage, and even if it didn’t, just watching Christian Vander play (and sing/scat in his invented alien language, Kobaïan, of course) would be good enough to beat just about any other alternative anyway. It’s off to sample a bit of Keiji Haino’s delightful lunacy right after, and the Japanese musician’s special percussive set is almost a clinic on sound manipulation – the Hertz room of the Tivoli has surreal acoustics and every hit of every shiny metal bit of whatever Keiji’s crazy custom-built instruments are called reverberates and is felt in a different way for everyone in the room. Remarkable stuff, and apt ear-training for the devastation of Sunn O))) that ensues. With five people on stage (including Hildur Guðnadóttir), it’s Sunn O))) at their most musical and diverse in years, complete with a haunting trombone part and culminating an ear-splitting, feedback drenched finish. In a word, bliss. Catching Japanese psych lunatics Bo Ningen right after that is like treating your brain to a nice, soothing massage and then taking a cheese grater directly to it. Hurling

their instruments around with wild abandon and teetering on the edge of collapse, their grand finale feels electrifying even without having seen the beginning of their set for context. And speaking of electrifying, Lightning Bolt are nothing less, despite playing on stage rather than on the floor like they used to. Not that that’s really a bad thing though – the crowd goes fully apeshit anyway, and now we can all gape at how ludicrously fast Brian Chippendale can drum, as opposed to just the select few at the front being pushed into his ride cymbal. Plus, Brian Gibson’s bass sounds better than it’s ever done, reaching skull-rattling levels of intensity and surely pushing the Pandora venue’s PA way up into the red. A glorious, sweat drenched ending to another great day.

SUNDAY The last day packs a couple of the most brilliant Terrorizer-friendly highlights during the Southern Lord showcase at De Helling, despite The Secret disappointingly pulling out at the last second. Today Is The Day touring partners Grime step in and provide hateful sludge doom to make it all go away, and it works. Tracks from Big|Brave’s ‘Au Du La’ album sound

looser live, as the band toy with their own dynamics, stretching out some of the huge, voluminous crescendos and allowing the quieter sections ample room to breathe. Featuring some guest violin from Jessica Moss (of the Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra) towards the end, it’s a stirring display. There’s a bit of a lull as Martyrdöd plod through a samey set of undynamic, plodding and way too polished crust. Fortunately, the best one-two punch of the whole festival ensues, first with Goatsnake sounding for all the world like a band that isn’t, as Greg Anderson himself put it in these pages, merely “circumstantial” and occasional in its appearances. ‘Black Age Blues’ is one of the best albums of the year, and its songs prove it by being highlights equal to all the ‘Flower Of Disease’ classics aired. When you spend half a show deciding in your head which is the most amazing, Greg’s warm and boozy guitar tone or Pete Stahl’s lost-in-time bluesy wail, you know you’re watching something very, very special. Then, it’s up to Today Is The Day to eradicate any such questions from your head as the world becomes all about Steve Austin’s end-of-days buzzsaw riffs and his bone-chilling howls. Caught in the middle of an European tour, Today Is The Day are absolutely on fire, tight and powerful, and they seem untouchable by anyone or anything when unleashing their destruction up there. Cuts off ‘Animal Mother’ still ring as powerful as anything else they’ve recorded, whilst older tracks like ‘Mayari’ and ‘The Descent’ are still ridiculously intense. Sunn O)))’s programme continues over in Tivoli-Vredenburg’s Grote Zaal as saxophonist Bennie Maupin soothes our battered ears with his smooth, expressive jazz, before the hauntingly minimalist fragments of melodies erected by Annette Peacock and her piano provide the perfect sending off, never too comfortable but a balm for sore ears after the unbridled menace of Today Is The Day. It’s this kind of contrast that lies at the heart of what makes Le Guess Who? such a great festival, and over the course of the weekend, it’s been just as gratifying seeing the long haired dude in a Revenge t-shirt marvelling over the dexterity of Kamasi Washington’s dual drummers as it has been glancing the elderly jazz aficionado nodding along to Chaos Echœs. Encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone and unearth new discoveries at every turn, the sheer scope of Le Guess Who? is both daunting and exhilarating. Drawing upon the distinctive character of Utrecht itself and flooding it’s numerous different venues with some exceptionally well curated bills, there really is no other festival quite like it. We’ll be seeing you next year…

Words: José Carlos Santos, Kez Whelan Pics: Juri Hiensch, Erik Luyten, Tim van Veen

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New album ‘my God-GiveN RiGht’ iN stoRes Now


year

It’s been a busy ION, but for TRIBULAT between somehow, in

e awesome recording th The ‘The Children Of e UK Night’, touring th Lost e with Paradis US with and now the ’ve Deafheaven, they e to make found the tim diverse us this very mixtape…

TERMINAL

‘Črna Smrt’ FROM ‘Satanski Naročila/ Črna Smrt’ (Electric Assault, 2015)

Adam: “Not many songs have captured my attention just like the songs on the two recent Terminal releases, and this might just be the very best one.”

FEVER RAY

“A MONUMENTAL PIECE THAT MAKES YOU WONDER OVER THE GREATNESS OF EXISTENCE” BLACK TRIP

‘Berlin Model 32’ FROM ‘Shadowline’ (Threeman Recordings, 2015)

ANNA NORBERG ‘Darkness’ FROM ‘Darkness’

(Döda Barn Musik & Förla, 2013)

Adam (Zaars, guitar): “A beautiful song by a wonderful person, something that everyone should be listening to.”

ILL WICKER

‘Fret’ FROM ‘Under Diana’ (The Electric Recording Company, 2014)

Jakob (Ljungberg, drums): “The beautiful subtlety and powerful yet held back instrumentation and composition of this track gets me every time.”

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TERRORIZER #265

Johannes (Andersson, bass, vocals): “One of the most catchy heavy metal songs I’ve heard this year and the vocals are just superb. Do yourself a favor and pick up their latest album ‘Shadowline’.”

ANNA VON HAUSSWOLFF ‘Deathbed’ FROM ‘Ceremony’

(Other Music Recording Co., 2013)

Jonathan (Hultén, guitars): “The organ rumbles forth from an unknown depth. An electric guitar echoing out into the horizon. A slow beat starts pounding a pulse. Then an ethereal yet powerful voice enters the soundscape, and what follows is a grand, monumental piece that makes you wonder over the greatness of existence. Magnificent!”

‘If I Had a Heart’ FROM ‘Fever Ray’ (Rabid, 2009)

Jakob: “Merciless and grinding, that minimal beat never lets go. Haunting eerie melodies and an immense closeness to the performer makes for a perfect caption of the moment.”

NEKO CASE

‘Hold On, Hold On’ FROM ‘Fox Confessor Brings The Flood’) (ANTI-, 2006)

Johannes: “Just one of those everlasting summer hits that gets stuck and is still on repeat. The song has especially been a friend of mine in various tour bus bunks. ‘It’s The Devil I love, and that’s as funny as real love’.”

JOCELYN POOK

‘Dionysus’ FROM ‘Untold Things’ (Real World, 2001)

Jonathan: “I first encountered her music through the movie ‘Eyes Wide Shut’, where her music is accompanying the most intense scene in the whole film; the masked ball. That first contact made a huge impact on me, and ever since then I completely adore her music.” ‘The Children Of The Night’ is out now on Century Media www.Facebook.com/TribulationOfficial


ME SA R T H I M I S O L ATE Mesarthim from Australia comes to a physical release after having been praised on the web and quickly becoming one of the most followed Artist on Bandcamp with over 500 unique album downloads in a short time, all of them gazed and then blown away by the great combination of styles and the fusion of genres complementing each other sensationally.

LP VINYL

Imagine some 90's symphonic black metal classic like ARCTURUS interpreted by a modern colossus, like MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY or MARE COGNITUM! Black Metal blending with Electronica in absolute perfection. Digipack CD Out 21.01.2016 LP vinyl Out 01.03.2016

DIGI CD

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Auriga, hails from the core of Phoenicia and just delivered a new glacial album of atmospheric ambient Black Metal with a strong Lyrical theme based on Space, celestial mysteries and post apocalypse philosophy. If you are into the coldest yet oppressive and obsessive episodes of DARKSPACE or LUSTRE this is a record custom-made for your dark soul. A sidereal journey with no target and no end... side Digipack CD Out 21.01.2016


Abbath ---------

A black metal riff-monster in true Abbath style! Available as deluxe CD box set, Digipak, and collector’s vinyls

Out 22.01. Special release show: London @ The Forum – January 23rd!

Out 22.01.

THE CASUALTIES - Chaos Sound ----------------------------The NYC street punks raise their riffbleeding finger to the mighty! Digibox, CD, vinyl in various colours

Out 08.01.

VENOMOUS CONCEPT - Kick Me Silly VCIII --------------------------------

Morbid American sludge metal from the fast rising St. Louis trio! Digipak CD and vinyl in various colours

The Greek stalwarts return with a mighty masterpiece!

Available on CD and vinyl in in various colours

Digibox with extras, CD and gatefold double-vinyl in various colours

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DESTRÖYER 666 - Wildfire ------------------------------Old school black thrash at its very best! Digibox, CD, vinyl in various colours

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ROTTING CHRIST - Rituals -------------------------------

The raging grind punks with members of

NAPALM DEATH, BRUTAL TRUTH and NUCLEAR ASSAULT are back!

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THE LION’S DAUGHTER - Existence Is Horror ----------------------------------

Out 12.02.

Out 12.02.

URGEHAL - Aeons in Sodom -------------------------------Breathtaking swansong of the Norwegian black metal legend! Digipak CD and vinyl in various colours

FOR TONS OF KILLER PRICES AND EXCLUSIVES: COLLECTOR BOX SETS, MERCH, CD+T-SHIRTS BUNDLES...

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Terrorizer january 2016