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Metal Bulletin: rnterviews& Revierats luly06/#1: interviews;Pentacle. The Mutder Squad t,o. and Unde*hreat; reviews

P E N T A C L E Below are vocurlisVbassistWannes Gubbels'answers to some questions, preceded by a quick overview of the most recent album, *Under the Black Cross" (on Iron Pegasus Records). It gives a general idea about the sound of this band from Holland: Pentacle: Under the Black Cross This self-denominated"ancient death metal" is a celebration of the original death metal spirit: Hellhammer/early Celtic Frost/early Death gruff, agonized and brutal growling of the best possible quality with plenty of those of Tom-G.-Warriorsignature "ugh!!" The guitars have a serious, crunching, heavy, dark, mid-paced grinding feel. Excellent!Also, the production/soundis not primitive; it's modern (in a good way!), not a basement recording. It's a very full-sounding, in-your-face album. This is highly, highly recommendedfor death metal people.All Pentaclereleasesare great and their "Rides the Moonstorm" is a death masterpiece. What is the band doing for the rest of 2OO6? After our mini tour with Belgian act Thee Plague of Gentlemen we were kind of burnt out. After recording and promoting our last record"Under the Black Cross", we had done so many rehearsals,it wasnt any fun anymore. We needed some time off. So, for some months we didn't rehearseat all. I went on a holiday to the island Malta and after having returned and seen some fabulous gigs by both Celtic Frost and King Diamond, it was time to conjure up the Death Metal ghostsagain. Right now we're rehearsing a live set with *The some material we never played live before. Like for the Beasts of the Apocalypse"cover we recorded "Seven Gates of Horror: a tribute to Possessed"album; or material of our last release,"Archaic Undead Fury". It should become an interesting set. We have some cool gigs coming up, so I'm lookingforward to that.,. What exactly is "ancient death metal"? Bands like Hellhammer, Possessed, Celtic Frost, Necrophagia, Slaughter (CAN), Mantas/Death, Deathstrike/Master, Massacre, Necrovore, Messiah, Samhain (DEN), Genocide/Repulsion, Obscurity, SlaughterLord, Incubus(FL) and Pentagram(CH).This is real Ancient Death Metal to me: raw, unpolished, aggressiveand unconformingMetal not suitable for the big masses.It was the first wave of extreme

underground Metal, back in the 80's- These bands, together with other (more known) acts of the BO's like Venom, Destruction, Bathory, Slayer, Inferndl M6jesty, Sacrifice, Sodom, Dark Angel, Sarcofago, Kreator, Sabbat (UK), Dream Death, Holy Terror and VoiVod made us form Pentacle,back in 1989. 'Ancient Related to Pentacle I always refer to Death Metal" to describe our brand of Metal. When I would say old school Death Metal, people would conjure up acts like Obituary, Autopsy, Entombed, Pestilence,Asphyx, Dismember, Bolt Thrower, Grave, Morgoth or others to get an idea of our musical direction. That would be wrong, because the actual second wave of Death Metal (to which all these bands belong) was in fact the reasonwhy we decidedto form a band in the traditional vein. Don't get me wrong here. We love albums like "Consuming Impulse", 'slowly We Rot", "severed Survival", oThe Rack" or *Left Hand Path", but at that moment so many people in Holland were claiming that the old bands had become obsolete and soft compared to the new wave of Death Metal. We were really fed up with this kind of thinking and as our love for the old Gods kept undiminished, we formed Pentacle. We took the inspiration of above-mentionedAncient Death Metal bandsto create our own kind of Metal. Some bands make music to avoid a day iob. How is your perspective different? It's a matter of being realistic. When we formed the band back in 1989, we were doing something not many people could relate to, The second wave of Death Metal was conqueringthe world wide scene and although we enjoyed many of these records/bandsas well, in contrary to the trend we decided to form a band which would be musicallyin the vein of the first wave of Death/Blackfl-hrashMetal. Already at that moment we knew we would perform music for a selected audience. Those old and new maniacs who worshipped the real creators of extreme Metal would understandour cause.We would perform our music for ourselves and for them. Not for the big masses who thought Death Metal was the next hip trend. I never felt comfortable with the thought of following the majority and as our music is a part of our own identity, we choosean individualpath without fame or money.I don't want to be financialdependableof the band. The music is being created as it comes from the soul and not from the pocket. Throughthe years, this hasn't really changed. We still perform for a selectedaudienceand that's fine

with us. Those people are fully into our sound because they feel the same as we do. This of course results in rather small sales figures and this is not enough to support a band's living. I own a house and live together with my girlfriend. Without a proper job I couldnt afford this. Hell, when I played in Asphyx as well, I didn't have a job, so I wasn't even able to buy new strings for my guitar- I had to eat bread without anything on it. That was my meal for the whole week. That was a rich artistic period in my lifre,but financialit was severe. As I like to eat decent, want to go out with my girlfriend once a while and want to be able to buy my records/books (and not to forget to pay my bills), I had to get a regularjob. Does your band's apprcach bring something new to metal? When we formed the band back in 1989, it was never our goal to create something new or original. As I told you in one of my previous answers, we created the band with the intention to get ahold of this particular vibe those old extreme bands had (aka 'The Ancient FeelingJ. It was not the intention to be progressive, yet to let the BO'sspirit live on in our music. That was and still is our main goal.Through the years we developed our own way of writing material. I wont claim we're an original band, because we have our sources of inspiration as well, but our material has a specialvibe I can't recognizein other bands, so maybe we have created something of our own after all. I have a decent knowledge of the extreme Metal scene and we have many allies with the same codes of honour as we have (Sadistic Intent, Desaster, Destrdyer 666, Legion of the Damned, Cianide,Mortem, Gospelof the Horns, Equinox, Usurper and others), but just like as all these bands have a sound of their own, we have it as well. One can easily recognize our mentors Celtic Frost and Possessedin our sound, but it was never our intention to rip them off. That just doesn't make sense at all as there's no yyay one can top albums as'To Mega Therion" or "Seven Churches". Surely not by stealing riffs from them! Concerningthe lyrics, I always tried to give the material my own touch, Although I enjoy the old B0's Metal vibe with the Satanic lyrics quite a bit, it's never been a case for Pentacle. The music is indeed influencedby the BO's,but its lyrics not. Well, Tom G. Warrio/s old poems on the early Frost albums had quite an influenceon me in a way of how to write with a ceftain twist, but what I wrote were personal thoughts and feelings, nothing like 'Necrophiliac", "Satan's Curse"or oln Nomine Sathanas".I created my own world and that's something special. I do think I have created interesting and personal lyrics in the past. The best are probably found on '...Rides the Moonstorm". The lyrical context for'Under the Black Cross" was a very interestingconcept as well, but we'll dig into that later on. Don't forget, from 'The Fifth Moon"'till now we always had very interesting and original artwork. It's the same as with the lyrics. I have sympathy for the

Satanicapproachmany of our colleagueshave, but for us it wouldnt work. Since Manuel Tinnemans (who worked with us on "...Ridesthe Moonstorm"for the first time) has become "our" aftist, we have been able to upgrade the artwork to a new level of originality. He did the artwork for'...Rides the Moonstorm",*Ancient Death", 'Under the Black Cross" and "Archaic Undead Fury". His work has its own atmosphereand it fits our music very well. Manuel is very gifted and in all aspects a real artist. You can check his work at's really worth taking a look. How has your view of music changed from when you formed a band? Well, I have learnedthat the creative aspect of putting an album together is not as easy as I thought it would be. When I was a omereo fan and *just" bought the albums to play at home, I never thought it would be such a hard job to write the material and to create an interestinglayout. After 6 albums and numerous other recordings, I know one has to work very hard to be able to releasea quality album, I'm much more careful when expressing my personal thoughts about an album, because I know how much work is being invested in a record before it can be released. I have much more respect for an album (well, most of the times...).The sacrificesone has to make are big. But without input, there's no output. lust as with other matters in life, right? Ite learned about integrity toward one's own art. We formed this band with special concept and after almost L7 years, we're still very loyal to our cause. No compromises, yet puriff in its truest sense. Combined with sheer determination, knowledge, skill and perseveranceone is able to achieve his goals. I think Pentacleis the most profound proof of all these elements. And Do, we didn't strive for world domination, but within our own realm, we acfrieved quite a bit and I am damn proud of it! An important element is working with other people within the small and restricted borders of an entity called a band. It can be quite demanding and I've learned I'm a person with an outspoken view of how matters can or must be handled to achieve the right results. I dont like to give away control, because then I don't know if the quality I demand is being reached.When I know a certain person is more gifted with certain skills than I am (computer/website,e.g.), there's little choice than to give this out of my hands, but still than I want to be involved to the max. A control freak? Yes, sir! There's a lot about the music business I dislike. When reason and emotions collide, you create turmoil and misunderstandings. Music is all about emotions,while the two don't mix too well, at least not at ceftain levels. I understandyou need an industry to support you, but from what I've seen and heard, it's not my kind of thing. I rather work with labels as Iron Pegasus, becausethey are 100o/ohonest people (well, it's only one person) and are totally into our music and

concept; no hidden agenda, so to speak. This kind of labels may be limited in their reach, but their honesty is much more important to me than the ability to reach the latest Korn fan. The lyrics/subiect matter on "Under the Black Gross" is different than your previous albums. Did you need to do someilfiing else besides the usual "metal" topics? Concerningthe lyrics, I never held the usual Metalscepter and wrote about Satan, gore, violence, socialcritical topics, women, fantasy and more of these themes. As said before, I wrote about matters concerning my own personality, identity and surroundings.Yes, it was of a dark nature as I don't feel comfoftable to let the light shine unto my lyrical writings for Pentacle. Remember, we do play Death Metal, right? So already from the beginning I walked another path than hundreds of other lyricists before and with me. I felt it was time for a change as I started to repeat myself. When I started writing the first words for the new musical pieces we had crafted, I felt there was no progression in my words at all. It was rehashingthe past all over again and as I'm very keen to avoid such traps, I decidedto wait and pick up the pen later. But with no result. I noticed I started to use the old metaphors again, while the subjects themselves were not 'hot" either, so to say. Not to forget, Englishis not my natural language.Ite learned very little new last years, so my stock of words didn't increase either, As I always strive for progrcssion within the band, the whole lyrical concept had to change for the new album. I was not willing to satisff myself by re-writing my old lyrics, so it was time for a change. So, I had to find another way of approaching Pentacle'styrical concept. This seemed hard, but the solutionwas very simple and close at hand'Ancient Already on our previous record, Death", I noticed I had a hard time to come up with decent lyrics. For that cd I already tried out some other material, like'Immolated in Flames"(related to 'Prophet of my favourite author, Sven Hassel) and Perdition." I already had some experience with motâ‚Ź 'On down-to-earth subjects on Asphyx's last record, 'Summoning the the Wings of Inferno', Tracks like 'Chaos in the Flesh" Storm", 'Indulge in Frenzy" and feature some of my favourite lyrics from that album, so bit by bit I was getting used to the vibe of my personal view of certain WWII subjects within the realm of Death Metal. So when it became clear to me I had to use something else than the usual personal approach, the choice was quite obvious. Being very much interested in WWII from the day I was born and became conscious of my own existence, it was totally natural for me to pick up a certain theme and to work this out. Through many years of interest I had developed a ceftain fascination for more obscure operations, like British commando raids, for example. Operation Chariot was a prime example for getting my attention.

It featured all the elements of a daring and cunning operation, which totally appealed to this young boy who was very eager to explore the dark and hideous years of 1939-1945. Still to this day it is just amazing to read about the subject. The guB, the craftsmanship, the courage etc... OperaUon Chariot features all these elements (if interested, feel free to visit this website: www. ). When I made the decision to use Operation Chariot as a theme for the new Pentacle record, I felt I had to create a concept album. Otherwise, it wasn't possible for me to pay full credits to the people involved, The whole story was too complex to put into one song. I wanted to give an as much detailed account of the battle as I was capable to put into one record. I didnt want to settle for less. I only had 7 songs to put my lyrics to and that was already hard, becauseI had collected quite a bit of information about the subject and now I had to re-arange it into useable 'Under the Black bits and pieces. Those became Cross". Alex (guitar), is guitarist Uife's younger brother' right? What was he doing before Pentacle? Yes, you're right. Alex is Mike's youngest brother. Mike has 3 brothers and he infsted them all with the Metal plague, hehehe..,Well, one isn't into Metal anymore, but the other 2 are just as fanatic as can be. Alex is one of them. Mike gave them all a good education in Metal. All the releases Mike bought where consumed by his brothers as well, so they know all the classics. No doubt about this! Thanks to Mike, Alex got hooked on Merq;ftrl Fate and King Diamond quite heavy and these are Alex's fravourite bands. Check out our website ( you can find a great picture of Alex with King Diamond himself. Quite an achievementas the King is hard to get during a tour, but Alex managed to do fine. Pentacle is Alex's first band as he never played in another band before. Before joining us he played guitar at home while listing to our releases.And King Diamond/Mercyful Fate, of course, hehehe" When he joined the band, he had to learn how the infrastructure of a band works. How to behave on stage? What's it is like to work in a studio? How do you write songs? As intelligent as he is, he pic*ed it up very fast. The first song he ever wrote, ended up'Under the Black Cross" being 'The tast Fight (ML's 306's Stand)". Both Alex -A Devil's Shooting Gallery" and I worked on tracks as 'Awaiting the Blast of Death", which worked out and very fine. I am very pleased with his work. He's pleasant company to work with and always has a morbid grin on his f,ace. When is new material coming out? That will take a while. After'Under the Black Cross" we released the 'Archaic Undead Fury' 10" on From Beyond Productions with 2 new songs (.A Hellish Descend"and 'Blast them from the Sky!"). It became a very fine release with a very nice poster and a great layout. The sound is very heavy too.

We're working on new material, but nothing major. As said before, we had a long break, so we need to get back in shapeagainfor the upcominggigs. As usual, it'll take a while before there'll be a new Pentaclerelease on the market. Inspiration and time are very important factors in creating new material. We're still waiting for the Necrovoretribute to be releasedon From Beyond Productionsthough. We recorded"Divus de Mortuus"for this purposeand gave the song the Pentaclemark. It's a bit slower than the original,but really heavy and pounding.Some other bands featured are Headhunter D.C., Thornspawn, Throneumand Abominator.It's taking ages to get this album released,but there's little we can do about it. I hope it will be releasedsoon. To end: can one sample songs on your website? Of course! Just check out www.pentacle.nland there you can find all kind of songs from our first "major" release"The Fifth Moon" back in 1996 up to our last offering, the "Archaic Undead Fury' L0o. Feel free to take a listento our materialand I hope you'll enjoy our material.www.pentacle. nl THE END

The MURDERSQUAD t.o. This band's latest is the split on WoundedPaw Records reviewed below, followed by some thoughts by Mike, the screamerfor this Toronto-basedpack: The Murder Souad t.o. / Hlilluus: Risino Crust This split's protagonists share a similitude of street social punk protest focusingcritique on the imperialist war/presence in the Middle East and the political ramificationsthereof. In addition, both criticizeapathy, greed, religiosity, nationalism and such matters germane to those issues. The music itself is rather noisy, attractive punk metal fueled by a tendency for the rambunctious.There are slight distinctionsin their interpretations of heavy, speedy, near-thrash, rumblingpunk with growledand screamingvocals,but both are fun and How do you view the concept of "crust"? Well, with our "Crust"sound we have a wider appealto different audiences,such as Punk, Metal and Grindcore fans alike. Even people that aren't really into Crust appreciatewhat we're doing. We like to call our sound Crust/Grindcoreand our influencescome from early UK outfits such as Doom, Sore Throat, Extreme Noise Terror, Amebix, Bolthrower, Hellbastard, Napalm Death and NY'sNausea.All of whom startedthe whole Crust /Grindcore sound by taking their Political Hardcore Punk roots and mixing in the heavy guitar riffs of Thrash and Metal and taking it to the extreme! NapalmDeath'sMick Harris actuallystarted the "Blast Beat" that is now common placeamong Black, Death Metal and modern Grindcore, although most of the early "Grindcore"bandswere a lot slowerand more of


"midpaced" tempo




What's happening with you guys now? Well, right now we're working in our new guitar player, Oscar. (ex-Freedom Denied) and we'll be playing Montreal mid August and the Blood Bucket Fest in October with Horde of Worms, Pilrdriver and many others and start booking for a f,alltour. Work on new material. How can people check you out? Go to to hear songs from us and all the other bands on the roster. There's a Radio player on the main screen or click on the Murder Squadt.o. logo and go to our page.Also our myspace page: www. u rdersq uadto You have toured with Cripple Bastards, who have been accused of sexist views. How do you deal with touring/playing with/to bands/fans that are racists, like skin heads? Are there practical problems related to this that you face? We've always toured with bands that are friends of ours or that we know really well. We played a show with Cripple Bastards (from Italy). That was Incredible!They're such an amazing band and all the "Hype" about them being sexist is bull. Proceedsto some of their albums actually go to women's abuse shelters.But becausethey mostly sing in Italian people judge the book by its cover. You can check them out at far as racists coming to our shows, we don't really see too much of them. We're pretty blunt on our stand on that issue. We have anti-racist aft on our sites and have even made badgesto give away and have played Anti Racist gigs. My old band Abalienationused to see a lot of Nazi Skins at our shows. But that was an all out war with them. The Nazi Skins in Toronto are pretty (lame) Tame. All they do is shoot their mouths off and run away. We've invited them to our shows for free if they wear their colours,but they never show up. As far as practicalproblemsthat come up in the scene, hmm...I guess people not coming out to gigs, if they've never heard of the band is one. Then there's the "No School Scene" But I won't get into that one....and the G.G.Allen worship...Give it up! ok I'm ranting now...hahahaha! What are things like for you in Toronto? We are located in Toronto, On, hence the "t.o." at the end of our name. Well, we play both Punk and Metal shows. But I think we have better appreciationnow at the Metal shows, Most of the kids have never really heard Crust or Grind core before and they're really getting into us. After the shows kids come up to me and ask what bands we're into so we're broadening their horizons as well as creating a bigger fan base. Playing all Punk shows is like Preaching to the Converted. I think it's better to play to new people than to the same peopleevery gig. Then you get Metal heads checking out Punk and Punks checking out

Metal. You cover societal topics in your lyrics, like war. Do you take up racism and sexism, too? Well, my old band Abalienationwrote about racismand sexism in the scene (BB Hate and Protest to Rediculous)off of our "Fuck Borders" cd, a split with Toronto's Dirty Bird. So it's hard to come up with fresh ideas on the same subjects without rehashing it all. As far as the Middle East situation all I can say is "What Mess." What's next for you? We aren't writing new music to follow up the Rising Crust cd as of yet becausewe're still working in Oscar. But I think we have progressedfrom record to record. THEEND

UNDERTHREAT Originallyfrom Colombia,but now basedin Milwaukee, WI, bassist David Bermridezansweredsome questions posed to him. Their album "Deathmosphere" (BarbarianRecords)is the latest work, of which the following is a review, followedby David'sresponses. Underthreat: Deathmosohere Underthreatis poweredby the riff and the blast!!They bring the jams, simpleas that. There is a fast and blastingmelodicdeath elementgoing on here: each song goes from solid, compact,marchingriff to riff. The riffs practicallyhave written all over them: "you reallyshouldbang your head or mosh or at least shake your head or do something."Theseguys probablylike the faster Dark Tranquillitystuff quite a bit, but they employthe blastingspeedway more often. The guitar rhythms are actuallyquite good, recognizingthat it's difficultto be truly groundbreaking. The band uses just melodyin every song, but it's not supermelodic, catchy,thrashy, memorable.The vocalsare growled (no cleanvocals),though there are some higher pitch growlscreams.One thing that is importantis that the band sounds motivated, excited, like they are out to prove something:that melodicdeath can blast and be Will you tour the Midwest area this summer and fall? anywhere else? Currentlythe band is focusedon promoting "Deathmosphere" as much as possible.We are playing showsall over the Midwest,we'll be playingMadpower fest in Sept and we are preparingfor SouthAmerican dates in late Octoberand November.We've been also workingon new materialthat we are intendingto record next year. What kind of reception does your music have in Colombia? You're from Bogot5, the capital, right? Yes,our hometownis BogotS,Colombiaand Milwaukee is home for us in the States.About the receptionwe have over there: what can I say?...yousaw the video!

(on the album) hahahais crazyevery time we go back home the responseis and always has been incredible. They are always waiting for us to come back and when ureare away they want to know what we are doing. We love playing over there, but we also enjoy expandingour fan base here, How do you pereive your own work and albums? We released "Hipostasis"under an independent label back in 99 in Colombia, "Behind Mankind Disguise"in 2003 was our first American releaseand the only one we did for Conquestmusic, and now 'Deathmosphere" with Barbarian Records is our third full-length, the second American release. I think you could describe our music as a blend of melodic ultra fast death metal with heavy thrash, blazing drums and high speed guitar solos mixed with a lot of other influences in metal. We have definitely a strong progressive influenceand black metal traits as well. Is anything different that you offer to listeners? I guessyou would have to listento it and be the judge of that. I can say however that we always try to push ourselves a little more every time. In our lyrics the band deals with a lot of personal viewpoints about humanityand its contradictorynature. Musically,I like to think that we offer a fresh and heavier version of melodic death metal. We pay a lot of attention to the structuresof our songs and the way in which all the instrumentscome together in every song. We take our time when working in new material and we are not afraid of trying different things. Our musical backgroundas well as our developmentas a band has made us unique. What has been the learning process for you from the early days? When you first start or join a band there are certain things you are looking for, or that you expect. It's difficult at first to slowly realizethat maybe what you signed up for, it's actually a total different thing. A lot of people think that being in a band is just getting drunk and getting laid in every show, but if you are serious about it you soon will realizethat is not just fun all the time. It's a lot of work most of the time, a lot effort and definitely a lot of money out of your pocket. From keepingyour band together as a group of peopleto achievinggradual progressas a musicalact requires a high level of organization,from creating a riff to releasingand promoting an album with almost no support requiresa lot of confidencein what you are doing and an honest desire to grow and become better at what you do. If there is somethingthat you learn being in a metal band is that like everything else in life, if you are committed and work hard for it, even if nobody else helps you, great things will happen and when they do, there is not a better feeling in the world, but if you are mediocreand just kind of hang there and not really mean it, a lot of frustration lies aheadfor you.

Do you have songs on your website? Yes, we have a couple and four more plus the live video that we recorded in Bogotd and includedon the cd in myspace What ane your goals with this band? To spawn the best metal that we can, to keep doing it for as long as we can, to get the most people that we can to hear it, and to do it by being truthful to what we are, nevercompromisingour integrity. What purpose do the lyrics have for you? My personalopinion is that lyrics should tell you about something that the composer is trying to get across, somethingthat is somehowrelatedto the music, either an opinion an experiencean observation,or anything, for me it's important to give a particular song a different identity by linking it to a particular message, That's why I love Chuck Schuldiner'slyrics and Bruce Dickinson'slyrics. Ifs important to have something to say. In our particular case we have a lot of material coming from the place we come from, nothing against horror movie tales, but our reality is far more interestingto me. Finally, what direction is your new music taking? We are definitely taking a heavier direction. The new stuff is a little rawer, in essence more thrashy, but at the same time more elaborate, more complex structures but simpler riffs, tighter sound. The same speed doses and crazy solos. Lyrics will be reflecting somehow all the things that have happenedto us and to the world in the last coupleof years. THE END







BABYLON IIIYSTERY ORCHESTRA: THE 6REAT APOSTASY Subtitled 'A Conspiraqyof Satanic Christianity," is a concept intelligently worked out and critiques religion as control. Says, "produced, written, arranged and peformed by Sidney Allen Johnson" and is an interesting release, especially since it is the work of one person.The music is dark, in mood and in subject matter: an eerie midpaced, monastery-like atmosphere. Whereas many bands criticize religiosity and its institutions with lyrics reduced to simplicity, Johnson has done some history research. Not really goth rock, not really dark metal, but has that general feel: the vocals are in a low, male tone. Guitars and drums are midpaced,not too complex, driven more by mood than showmanship. www.babylonmysteryorchestra. com BY BLOOD ALO-I{E: EIER|IIALLY JERICHO HILLS RECORDS In this four-song, 22-minute release this goth rock band presents an interplay between two main elements: metlow soft rock and upbeat rock. The group, from Massachusetts, serves a debut that

referencesThe Gathering,LacunaCoil, etc. The sound quality is not "big time," but decent,like a good demo, Peopleliking to find out about lesser-knowngoth rock are probably the most interested demographic. GELESTIIAL: DESOI.A7E AIORIH BINDRUNE RECORDINGS Some music gets slower and slower until it's a downright slow-motion-tuftle-sloth pace. The vocals are guttural, but they are not aggressive.Instead they sound like they are far, far away in a cave in the distant past in a land from prehistory,The percussion (drum machine?)plays slowly enough to allow time to go buy and cook a turkey, return and you won't have missed a beat. This is an exaggeration, but only slightly. Imagine: the sound of the beach (the intermittent waves : odrums') accompanied by some occasionaldistant guttural vocals.The songs: there are periods of pauses in long between the cave/beach/forest death doom sounds, but it all similar. very basically sounds hftp :/ / DECAY WSUAL COI4YIUNI.C= WAVES OF NUCLEARB1-ASTRECORDS These seven compositions, adding up to almost an hour, seamlessly cover the broad points that encompass traditional heaqy metal, polished thrash and progressivemetal: the guitar work is, most of all, clear and crisp (not downtuned/chugging) with riff/shred moments abundant, as well as nicer, slower when necessary.The singing is classy, but not *metal cheesy" nor annoyinglyhigh. It has a ceftain elegance that makes it refreshing. Metal from Norway that is talented, progressive, complex, with longer songs, thrashy, a bit melodic (not'happy melodicJ and still headbanging. Note: the dft, and especially the lot. a singing, recall Nevermore early (CENTURY }IEDIA RECORDS) CRONIAI{: IERRA Made up of two people, Oystein G. Brun and Vintersorg, both from Borknagar ( Mr. V. is in, like, 800 other bands), but this project does not sound like 8., just to clariff. Guitars, bass, programmed drumming and lots of "symphonics"result in a slow to midpacedendeavor.Spacy at times, atmosphericoften and with V's unique vocals, clean and growled, the material is pretty mellow. If you dont mind it slow and moody, the release is explorable. But: no blasting speed this time. DAGOBA= WHAT HELL IS ABOUT SEASON OF ]IIIST RECORDS From the first song, it's plain this bunch from France loves four bands: Pantera,Sepultura,Fear Factoryand MachineHead. The guitar is chunky, chuggy and the vocafs definitely in the Chaos A.D. style. For this reason, it has not yet evolved enough to find its own

sound. There's some electronicain the backgroundand clear vocals, making it pretty trendy and "aggressive." www.dago baonIine.comwww.season-of- DAYLIGHT DIES= DIST{ANTLING DEVOTION CANDLELIGHTREC The focus of these eight compositions, lasting more than 50 minutes in total, is general sombemess.These requiems,to their advantage,are not so slow, but run at a steady, middle course highlighting the band's vision of melancholy and despondency shrouded in dark melodies. The tracks are carried by pleasantly grdy, easy to recall notes; the drumming keeps active company to the guitar; the vocals, despite being "growled," though not wrathfully, are appropriate and fit the funereal aesthetic (occasional clean singing appears). This is probably the form of deathly doom with the widest appeal due to midpaced and still gloomily song-orientation. EDGUY: ROCKETRIDE . (NUCLEAR FI,.ASTREG} A division of moods of this 'midpaced-heavy-metalwith-hard-rock-moments"is as follows. The midpaced but rocking, terrific tracks: 'Sacrifice," oRocket Ride,' "The Asylum" and 'Out of Vogue." They will please those enjoying albums before the German stars distanced themselvesfrom power metal with 'Hellfire Club".The "big time rock": "WastedTimer"'Save Meo (a ballad) and 'Superheroes" are updated versions of Whitesnake, Def Leppard, etc. They are very poppy. "Matrix" is midpaced hard rock, not really metal. Not bad, but ultimately suffers from boringnessbecauseit lacks energy. "Catch of the Century" is upbeat, poppy, rocking glam. The goory moments are: 'Trinidad' which is silly rock, like Aerosmith,Van Halen, etc. The last number is the unfortunate 'Fucking with Fire,' glam. more VIARQONI W7.{ENWORLDS COLLIDE CENTURY]TIEDIARECORDS Oriented towards the concert experience with breakdowns often, this hardcore outfit from Germany provides a considerablemelodic thrash factor to their expertly performed, af not all too innovative, material characterized by strong dose of double-bass drumming, speedy guitars, shout-growled vocals. In addition, each song has the more melodic aspect, through solos or licks and some cleanervocals, To top it all off, the breakdowns serye as transitions to a change of pace or are there with an eye towards creating a mosh pit. The breakdowns are pretty formulaic,the OBLO]|OYz IilIGHTY _ ,COSFIIC _ DANCES DEEPSENDRECORDS The most unique aspect here is the songs *Lost between Emotions" and'Starsend" with its soothing saxophoneelement in the middle of speedy/blasting

dark metal. These antagonistsfrom the CzechRepublic seriouslybelievethey specializein astronomy metal. In reality, the ears are subjected to grim/blacl{gremlin vocals and tight, tight, often speedy, somewhat technical thrash with some melodic passages. 'Nostalgic ldealization," a blasting, thrashy affiair, has a nice melodic solo, for example. The potential is here for something wonderful in the future, if the solos keep pushing things forward and if the saxophonebecomes more than an occasional, sporadic factor, As it is, this is competent and interesting, though not excellent. They should be less shy with the things that make them d www, OHE ,}IAN AR"TTIYAND THE UNDEAD OUARTET: 27ST CENTURY 'sLLrNG 4TACHIHE NUCLEAR BIAST REC Ex-The Crown vocalist Johan Lindstrand returns with simple midpaced thrash with growled vocals. Parts of the soloing is melodic, mildly interesting. Overall, however, this is just too plain, too basic with its constant midtempo, chuggingrhythms. The drumming and riffis don't offer anything interesting. In short, disappointing and sounds like a project, They need some energy, www.onemanarmy.W POLIDICKS: lfUTEilATTOrU fWOUNDED PAW REC) Nasty, fast punk rock with angry gremlin witch vocals: good attitude, but the music is sloppy and loose angry garage rock. They need to rehearse more and get tighter, tighten up the drumming and guitar to make this more raging. frantic and SAWRICON : ilOW- DIABOIJCAL CFNTURY lrrEDIA RECORDS Such a concoction of simple, pounding heavy rock guitar, with basic, midpaced drumming, led by scowled,frowning, tongue-lashingvocals createssongs repetitive, uncomplicated and effective songs, In all seriousness,this does sound more in line "Enter Sandman" or oSad but True", from a darker, angrier angle. This black'n' roll is easy to remember because there is practicallyno blasting in the album proper and no complexity in the guitar. No solos, just straight ahead riffs. It depends on the particular audience to decide whether the repetitive nature of the music is a problem. The more adamant about older, proper black metaf, fike lhe Shadowthrone or Nemesis Divlna, will find more difficulties assimilating this. The Volcano fan will be fine.

SCAR SYITITTIETRY: PffCH PROGRESS BHCI( NUCLEAR BLAST They are sedulous about outdoing Soilwork's'Natural Born Chaos": the growling can get very low, guttural at times, then screechy at others, though it does stay grutT in general; the clean singing sounds expeftly

done, even to the point of sounding poppy; plenty of solos and thrash and shredding; the drumming is creative and varied, speedy and midpaced (but no blasting). The cynical will correctly notice a formula at work; however, the strength is the genuine good songwriting abilities, the talent and how they bring together the components. This is their second one. Their previous Symmetric in Design was very, vâ‚ŹtY good, too. SONATA ARCTICA: FOR TtlE SAKE OF REVEltlGE NUCLEARBLAST This live cdldvd sounds like an honest recording of a traditional heaflpower metal formation from Finland that has been gaining a larger audience with each release.The dvd is longer than the cd, which only has a portion of the entire set of the dvd recorded in Japan.The dvd's "extras" has nothing interesting,just *documentaryr" etc. the usual, discography,a boring The live performanceis a professionalone, while still acting a bit silly on stage, during the keyboard/guitar solos/tradeoffs, etc. The midtempo, slower songs sound like hard rock with sweet melodies.The speedy songs are more metal, but still with a pop sensibility. The group does well their mix of rockersand midpaced songs. No point in listing the tracks they play in this early 2005 show. They're all good. The dvd has some cd t7 songs, the STRAPPING YOUND LAD: THE lllElfl .aHCK CENTURYMEqrA RECORDS The psycho scream funny farm robot fry chicken master Devin Townsend delivers a lemon hot battery acid salt loony bin barrage of strange and comical oU Suck" and'Wrong Side" are metafjazzspazzthrash. *Antiproduct" is a lounge the most intense and catchy. jazz metal number, sort of weird. oMonurnent" is layered with background studio sounds. oHope' is another simple track backed up with more studio symphonics. "Far beyond Metal" is gang-shouted vocals, etc. He screams and sings, while the guitar is pretty simple, nothing complex and relies heavily on studio technologyto sound bigger. It's supposedto be fun, funny, simple, mosh-friendly,etc. He can release albums like this every month, which he seems to do anyway. www.strappingyounglad,com TERROR 2OOO:TERRORFQR SAIE (NUC. BI-AST) Just a big ketchup fiesta of beer and speedy moronic thrash with lyrics about metal and Kerry King, King Kong, the Cookie Monster, barbecue and stupidity in general. This project is fast, fast and tight, with screaming,growled and wacky vocals. It's the opposite of overproducedand serious: a joke with tequila on the side; vodka for dessert. Soilwork's vocalist is the screamer here, except here he's a numskull. www.te rro12k.cj

THREAT SIGNAL: UITIDERREPRISAINUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS The younger audiencein 2006, say, into ShadowsFall, will receive this material well because the overriding characteristic of this cast is the things that capture the sales, magazinecovemge and airplay: (1) the mid 90s Pantera/Fear Factory and hardcore influence (the chug), and (2) the scream/shouted vocals in conjunction with clean singing, popular with core, as well as with In Flames.The sound of this metalcore is vâ‚Źry, very professionaland booming, but it's formulaic. reatsig na|.comwww. nuclearb Iastu TwEr-FrH GltrE= THRESHOLD OF RE\IELATION SEASON OF MIST Patienceis necessarywith this traditional metal highpitched wailing, lots of time changes,guitars that twist and turn, drumming that is playing a song as much as it is showing off. The first listens can sound downright Talk about serious annoying and headache-inducing. metal. Nevertheless, repeated listens reveal that, in hd, there is a real coherence, that the songs do flow and that the considerabletalent is put to good use. Furthermore, more listens bring forth all sorts of things not obvious earlier on, which only encourages more listens. After a while it becomesapparent that there is lots of thrashing going. Technical, progressive power thrash like this goes over some people'sheads the first few times they hear it, but the person that enjoys dedicated musicality will note this 4O-minutes-plus album gets better each time. www.season-of- m WOLVES IN THE IHRONE R(XIH: DIADEII OF 12 VENDLUS STARS Remarkablework, set within raw black metal, which despite its deceptive categorical limits, opens up a musical dexterity and variety that is a wonderful surprise. The four long songs take up 60 minutes and deliver, of course, lots of blasting and grim vocals, which interacts with twisted melodies, some clean singing, low growling, serene moments that, within the 13-minute-plus framework of the compositions, impress. It is true that with this type of songs there is no quick, immediate satisfaction.It's in the long term that the songs begin to make more sense. If it's not too offensive or hackneyed to state it thus, they're carrying out with black metal the spirit of what Opeth metal. with death realized

linter/ re/views: m auricio, theoutcastzine@ju l

Metal Bulletin Zine 1  

a DIY metal music zine

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