Washington state, U.S.
July 12, 2018 (no.1 in July)
Metal Bulletin Zine P.O. Box 1339 Lake Stevens WA 98258 USA www.metalbulletin.blogspot.com www.twitter.com/MetalBulletinZn www.facebook.com/The-Metal-Bulletin-paper-zine-238441519609213/ Evolucija
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Metal Bulletin Zine P.O. Box 1339 Lake Stevens WA 98258
All album reviews, news, updates below are by MMB, unless stated otherwise. ** Evolucija Evolucija is a melodic metal band that on its latest album Hunt (2018; Pure Steel Records) takes its self-described gothic metal into the energies of power and traditional heavy metal, a concoction that it is both rocking and melodic. In addition, it should be mentioned that the album is rather uptempo, which makes for a joyful and fun listen for fans of the melodic genres. Let me say it again: This is not sad, keyboard music; this band rocks. Hi! Good job on Hunt! Can you tell us a bit about the life of your band in your city or town, in Serbia, right? Ilana: Hey guys, thank you for your interest and the possibility for us to introduce ourselves to the American crowd. Yes, we live in Serbia, in its central part, 150km south of Belgrade, in three neighboring towns, Paracin, Cuprija and Jagodina. Those are small towns, surrounded by nature, which provides a lot of inspiration for all of us. We played in a lot of places in Serbia, everything from small club gigs to big festivals, and of course we played some shows in our hometowns. The band began in Switzerland but now continues in Serbia. Why the change in location? Stevan: Yes, the band was founded in Switzerland by Dragisa Marinjes in 2007. In 2010 Ilana joined as vocalist, and we recorded soundtrack “Pale Rider” for the German movie “Die Templerherren’’ directed by Andreas Leffler. In 2012 they decided to 2
move to Serbia and restart the band there, but Ilana being Swiss, and the fact that Dragisa lived there for 30 years makes Switzerland important part of their lives, therefore, we are Swiss-Serbian band. One of the reasons they moved to Serbia was more time to dedicate to family and music. And now, except from the music, all band members have some other ‘eco-friendly’ hobbies like bee keeping, gardening, etc. Who are the members of the band now? Who is answering this interview? Dragisa: After moving to Serbia we had to find band members, so Stevan is with us from 2015, and Igor joined us in 2017. Our newest member is Aleksandar Kastevarac on drums, who joined us just a couple of weeks ago. Me, Ilana and Stevan are answering your questions. The artwork of the album shows the concept of “evolution,” but the last person walking is struck down by a hand in the sky. What is the story here? That “progress” is difficult? Dragisa: Yes, exactly, and your question contains part of the answer haha. When we look around ourselves and see all the things happening in the world, it’s easy to think that evolution kinda started turning backwards, which served as an inspiration for our newest album artwork. People might discuss if the evolution theory is right or wrong, but the fact is that humanity does some things that really make us wonder if we are going in the right direction. I think that the album has a good sound. The guitars are clear, and I can hear the bass guitar working. It is good to hear the bass and drums working together for the rhythm. How many recordings does your band have? Ilana: Thank you very much. This is our third album. Our first album was recorded in
“Cameleon studio” in Zemun, and we recorded second and the latest album in “Youth center studio” in Kragujevac., produced by Dragan Urosevic Uros, and recorded by Ivan Ilic Cili and Predrag Pavlovic. We are very happy with the material, but of course, we are looking forward to making the next album even better, because we are still learning. I should also say that we are very happy we got Pure Steel records as our publisher, they have been nothing but great to us. In the meantime, we got to meet mix and mastering engineer Robert Romagna, and we want him to help us record our next album. The first song “Hunt” establishes the sound of the album. What did you envision with the first song? Dragisa: I always loved songs with triplets, that is something that our ethno music also has. My grandfather is also musician, and he used to play some songs with triplets to me when I was a kid. Besides writing all the lyrics, our friend Predrag Pedja Pavlovic helped us with this song by singing some male vocals. Theme of the song are basically mistakes we make, thing that end up hurting people we love, the irony of life pretty much. What did you imagine as the style that you wanted for your band? Stevan: All of us have grown up and listen to different genres of music, and that influences our music. Journalists have put us in the symphonic metal genre, but our main focus for this album was heavy guitar sound combined with melodic vocal lines. Basically we want the people to be able to sing with us live. All the songs sound like hits that listeners can remember. Ilana: Wow, that’s great to hear, thank you guys! That was our goal actually, we wanted our songs to be easily recognized and
memorable, you know, opposite of the “couple of great songs and a bunch of fillers” recipe. Right now we are waiting for the reactions, so we’ll see if we were successful.
When you write the songs, when does the singer do the vocal melodies and lyrics? Ilana: Vocal lines are crucial part of our songs, so we always do them first, and after we have some basic lines and harmony, we’ll start adding lyrics and arrangements. The album has no ballads! Did you decide consciously to avoid ballads? “Metamorphosis” is one of the heavier, midtempo songs. Why did you choose it as the last song? Dragisa: Well, we consider "Poet" to our ballad haha. At the start it was a pretty classic ballad, but during the recording we decided to change some arrangements and tempo, and after the album was done we noticed that there are no ballads. So that was kind of a surprise for both the people listening to the album and to us as well. Besides, we all know
the writing ballad that doesn’t sound boring is hard these days haha. As for the Metamorphosis, everything about it was “last”. It was the last song we did, the last we recorded, and we felt that it really fits as the closing song. We also play it last in our live shows. Now that the album is finished, what is next for your band? What are your plans? Stevan: Since this is our first album that’s being released worldwide, we can’t wait to hear the reactions from the fans and the media. Our plan is to promote it as good as possible with our publishers, Pure Steel Records (worldwide) and RNR Records (ex-Yugoslavia countries), and of course, to play live as much as possible. Where can people hear the complete album? Ilana: Of course, you can listen to the album on majority of digital platforms like iTunes and such, and you can also purchase physical or digital copies through our publishers. How can your fans give support to your band? Dragisa: It’s very easy to communicate these days with all the social networks, and we are looking forward to every message or comment we get, and we are answering them all, too. And of course, the greatest act of support would be the opportunity to come and play in your country. Is there anything else that you want to mention? Ilana: Even though rocknroll might not be powerful like it was in the ‘80s, we think there will always be people that like that kind of sound, which will make rocknroll evolve even further. Cause let’s face it, there is nothing better than going to a good old live show and sharing the energy with the band on stage. We feel we’re part of the whole Rocknroll movement, and we are happy because of
that because rocknroll is a music with a message, that can potentially motivate people to do (mostly good) things. When will you come to the USA?! Stevan: Of course, live shows are the best and the most important thing regarding music to us. Being on stage, and sharing the energy with the people is something that all of us absolutely enjoy doing, and so we try to do it as much as possible. One of our biggest dreams and goals is to be able to play in America. Thank you for your time! Evolucija: You’re very welcome, thank you for your support and this interview opportunity! See you on the road! facebook.com/evolucijaofficial ** interview: Sacred Leather The traditional heavy metal band Sacred Leather from the city of Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. has been campaigning for classic heavy metal to anyone that will listen. Their new album is called Ultimate Force. Check it, this is Sacred Leather, holy denim, sacred leather, heavy metal forever. Good work on the album Ultimate Force! Who is answering this interview? Cheers, Dee Wrathchild (vocals) here! The metal fans today love their metal with growling and screaming. Who had the wild and crazy idea of having a real singer? Sacred Leather started with a sound that definitely leaned more on the extreme side in the early days. I came into the lineup at a later date. SL always wanted to play traditional HEAVY METAL, with each song progressively migrating back to the roots of the classic sound. Magnus (bass) was probably the dude who made the call to demote former vocalist/lead guitarist (the
Devil’s Hellion) to solely handle guitar duties. I don’t know that it was crazy having clean vocals over the material, it made all the sense in the world to us when shaping out a sound which was executed within the template of our HEAVY METAL forefathers. How did the band find you?! We were all aware of one another. Indianapolis is a tightknit city, so we all had mutual friends and acquaintances within the metal community. At the time I was asked to sing for Sacred Leather, they had been scoping me out as I performed with a classic metal cover band here in town. They played me the tunes, shit was rocking, and here we are. Now we are all brothers.
a smooth transition onto the bass, being a percussive minded player. Magnus could break out some flash in the future, however he seems much more concerned with playing whatever best services the song. Fret not over his whiskey supply; it’s been flowing strong since I’ve met him. Did your drummer have the best parents ever? Don’t they have to be, in order to put up with a kid banging on the drums in the house? Never met either Jailhouse or Don Diamond’s parents, however they raised some strapping gentlemen who know how to play some fucking drums.
Can you tell us about your rhythm section? Magnus (bass/co-founder) breathes HEAVY METAL as does every member in this band. It is a requirement to playing with us. We aren’t smoke and mirrors, this sound and lifestyle is who we are. Nobody is putting on a front and then going home and spinning some soft dick hipster shit. Jailhouse (drums) left Sacred Leather after tracking Ultimate Force. Though the youngest member we have had, Jailhouse played as though he was delivered to us in a time capsule sent straight from 79. Our new drummer, Don Diamond, will bring a different energy into this band. Don is a seasoned punisher of the skins. Expect more flash, more sex, and more speed on upcoming Sacred Leather releases. How did your bassist decide to take on the instrument and stay with it? When are you going to let him do a bass solo like Michael Anthony used to do in those old Van Halen concert videos drinking whiskey?! Each member of Sacred Leather started off on the drums. I would think that Magnus had
How many guitarists do you have as permanent members? What is your secret recipe for guitar? We have two guitarists, JJ Highway (lead guitar) and Carloff Blitz (lead guitar). JJ writes much of the material. Magnus contributes to this also. I wish there were secrets to give you, all I know is they bust their ass and the result is some of the best written HEAVY METAL coming out right now. How did you discover that you could sing?
Were you listening to a Scorpions or Judas Priest album and singing along and thought: Hey, I think I might be able to do this! Pretty much exactly like that. I was in a van with a band that I drummed for at the time, some classic shit came on the radio and I sang along **record scratch** Everybody turned and looked at me like, “fuck man, we didn’t know you could do that.” Likewise, neither did I! Fast forward, tireless hours and reps of me working on refining my voice and range up to the performance you hear on Ultimate Force. Could I learn to sing, too? I mean, I sound pretty awful! Sure, go ahead and sing. Being awful has never stopped certain vocalists in the past, haha. Your entire album is available for listening at Bandcamp! Can you tell us about the various formats that are available? Yup, it’s available on Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes, bigcartel.com/sacredleatherofficial, Cruz Del Sur Music, etc. What merch do you have? Ultimate Force on all formats: cassette, vinyl, digital, cd. Additionally, we have shirts and some other odd-end merch, most of which you can find at: bigcartel.com/sacredleatherofficial What is next for Sacred Leather? We have some upcoming gigs in our area in addition to fielding some other offers in gigs both in the Midwest and afar. Follow us on social media to stay in the loop on any future shows. Are the Europeans liking your new work? Oh yea, most of the heat we have felt off of Ultimate Force has come from Europe. This is extremely flattering because they have
generated the best HEAVY METAL ever written. We definitely plan to trek across the pond and rock their asses off in the near future. From Ultimate Force you have made a video for the song “Power Thrust”. Are there more videos that you will be making? Oh yea, always planning videos. Subscribe to us on YouTube so you see them when they drop! Thank you for your time! Cheers! sacredleather.bandcamp.com facebook.com/leathersacredleather ** interview: Labyrinth Entrance Labyrinth Entrance is the extreme metal solo project of the musician named Hunger (Norway/Poland). In 2018 LE has its debut recording published and it is called Monumental Bitterness and it is divided into six sections, each one called Canto. Find out more about LE in this interview and hear the complete recording at the link at the end of this interview. Monumental Bitterness definitely lives up to its name! The official information says that Hunger plays all the music on the album. Can you help us here in the United States to learn more about Hunger? What motivated you, Hunger, to start Labyrinth Entrance? Did anyone help you to make the album? It's Hunger here. Labyrinth Entrance is my own solo project created round two years ago in a quite natural way. For many years I spent playing the guitar I used to focus on the old school death metal and especially American one due to the simple fact that I had been brought up on this music. Before joining Stillborn as their bass player, I had recorded EP Horror of Naatu with the help of August (the
drummer in Stillborn). Afterwards it appeared a rather difficult period in my personal life with lot of problems whirling around, and at that time the first sounds of Monumental Bitterness began to form in my mind. I literally closed myself in four walls for a couple of days and that's the way how the main skeleton of the album has been created. I managed to include in this album all the emotions dwelling inside me, but also the sounds and motifs that I couldn't fit into HON music but that have been going through my head for a long time. When I possessed a certain outline of the album, I came up in the studio at the other end of Poland and there, with the help of Darek G. during 4 days I recorded the instruments and after a few months I recorded the parts of the vocals. Do you prefer to play drums or to program the drums on the album? As far as the drums are concerned Monumental Bitterness used the drum application to create drums tracks. When I was young I played drums in my own death metal band but in this case what I wanted to achieve on my album in many moments required really high technical skills and I couldn't afford it for the time being. Generally, I wanted the drums to sound powerful and I believe I achieved the goal. I am very satisfied with them. In fact, what counts for me is the real sound flowing from speakers and not the amount of money spent for the arduous recording of drums. That's why I did not ask for the help of my friend drummers. Do you prefer to work alone? Is it faster to do something by yourself than having meetings or discussions about how something should be done? The fact that I create two separate metal projects on my own is not connected that e.g. I do not want to cooperate with other musicians. The prosaic reason is lack of the time and my actual family circumstances. I
have 3 children and I work in Norway, which is connected with frequent travelling. I simply do not have enough time for traditional rehearsals with my friends. I play at Stillborn where I fulfill my music aspirations as a professional crew member in man-of-three metal "beast." Here in the U.S. I have not read much about the musician named Hunger. Who is Hunger? What other bands or projects have you done? What is the situation for Hunger as a musician in Poland? Regarding my position in the Polish "metal underground"- despite the fact that I have been a musician for a long time, I perform on stage for about 5 years. We play with Stillborn both in Poland and in Europe, we just released another EP. My separate solo projects remain just studio projects. Soon I will be recording the first full album with HON and next year I plan to release the second album LE. I am promoted by the GodzOvWar Prod. label in the media and it goes professionally both when it comes to LE and Stillborn. Can you tell us about your vision with Monumental Bitterness? When you began the project, did you have a vision of a melancholic, doom and black metal album? Concerning the leitmotif of MB, the whole album is my own concept presenting the hell on the basis of Dante's "Inferno". When I started composing the album, I did not have any lyrical vision, I only knew that I wanted to record a depressive and melancholic album because that exactly reflected my state of mind at that time. And after watching INFERNO, I was enchanted by the enormous amount of paintings and visions which Dante contained therein. Then I knew that this is the direction which I want to follow. I have read several studies on this outstanding work and all the lyrics based on them, I even used some
complete fragments from the original. Canto II is a very good melancholic, melodic track, but towards the end it goes into the speed of black metal. It is an instrumental song. What made you decide not to have lyrics on this song? As for Canto II, it is an instrumental piece, because its structure and the emotions that I have included in it are complete, and from my point they do not require any text, what's more I think that there is even no place for that. Additionally, in fact the whole album originally was supposed to be instrumental, but Greg from GOW persuaded me to try to create and record some vocals parts and today I'm happy that I have agreed because I'm finally very satisfied with the whole. This is a very personal album for me. On the other hand, Canto III is more of a headbanging heavy metal song, in particular extreme metal. How do the Latin lyrics fit into the overall picture of Canto III and Monumental Bitterness? Canto III is probably the most outstanding form the whole album. This was confirmed also by the amount of opinions of people who listened to it. This song is probably the best one I've ever created. I like it very much. Latin fragments of text are the above-mentioned original fragments of Dante. My parts of the lyric express all the fears and frights about the death and what is after. This is my own Monumental Bitterness. The song consists of two parts, where the second one is a monotonous slow motif colored with keys, trumpets and strings that leads to the unknown. Canto IV almost reads like a story about kings and struggles in context of the kings. And Canto V certainly increases the tension to the conflict of murderers, traitors and destruction. When you were thinking about the conclusion to the overall story of Monumental Bitterness,
how did you imagine that it should end? Despite the fact that each of the individual songs differs significantly from the others, when you listen to this CD you can have the impression that the whole album is something like a single piece divided into parts. The same applies to lyrics. They all merge into one whole and tell about the fall of a man, his vanity and powerlessness. About sins, guilt and punishment. That there is the Hell and everyone can get there. Now the album is complete, where does Monumental Bitterness fit in with the future plans for your project? As for my future plans, I already have about 50 minutes of material for the second LE album and it will be completely different from Monumental Bitterness, although it will not lose climate contained in the LE. This project allows me to compose music without any limits and when composing songs I do not care if any piece stylistically fits to another one, no matter it is death metal, black metal or any other kind of music. That's why I have heard many opinions that LE music cannot be pigeonholed, because all included genres interference with each other in a skillful way creating the coherent whole. Do you think that you ever want to perform live with some session musicians? Playing LE live would be quite difficult to perform, because I used a lot of effects while recording and would require a lot of efforts to reproduce it all live. Besides, I wouldn't like to hear the live version in a small club with a poor sound system. I think that the whole atmosphere of the album could disappear in such conditions. This CD has a very special sound and I would like it to be remembered as it is. Finally, how can your fans support your music?
The album is available on the CD version on the GOW Prod. website and all information about the LE can be followed on the official Facebook page, although to be honest it is not rich with the content because I do not belong to effusive people. I encourage everyone to open their minds to go deeper into Monumental Bitterness and rethink their lives from scratch. Thank you for LE's interest and for an interesting interview. Regards - Hunger facebook.com/labyrinth.entrance godzovwarproductions.bandcamp.com/albu m/monumental-bitterness ** Judas Priest Firepower March 9th, 2018 Columbia Records
important contributor to the album in more ways than one; and Glenn doing as much as he can within the limits of his very serious illness. However, there is no way to recreate the chemistry, personality, style, the feel, the intangible sound that was Judas Priest’s twin guitar identity. Business is business; the show must go on; egos have to be stroked; people don’t know when to quit; corporations want money; fans don’t want to accept the end; nobody wants to die; being on the stage is a glorious experience; individuals have family and careers and want as much money as they can get; the green in your eyes is the love of money; old people don’t want to sit at home as elderly citizens when they can worshipped by thousands of drunk metalheads.
I like the album, but what is missing is Judas Priest. It has the guitar tone, the voice, the sound of Judas Priest; it’s a case of: it quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, sounds like a duck and everyone says that it is a duck, but people are prisoners of the moment, and are glad to have a new album, especially because the band is a very old and legendary name, and the elderly rock icons are in bad health, dying, nearly dead or in the grave already. The problem is clear. Longtime guitarist and founder K.K. Downing is not here. The other longtime guitarist Glenn Tipton is unable play guitar competently because of his illness. Thus, the heart of the sound and the creators of the sound are no longer here. What we have is Richie Faulkner, a capable guitarist by all accounts; Andy Sneap, a veteran guitar master, as producer and undoubtedly an
Does the album sound bad? Of course not. Does it have good singing? Of course (Let’s leave aside the issue of how much studio magic technology has been used to shore up
the sound of a senior citizen singing). Does it have good guitar soloing? Yes. Does it have terrible songs? No.
a total failure; it is a solid, good album by the Rob Halford Band, paying tribute to Judas Priest.
What is the problem? The guitar work, for one. The guitar work, again while competent and professional, is missing the specific personality and chemistry that is Judas Priest. For instance, the guitar tone is Judas Priest, but the interplay of the masters of the guitars is not there. I don’t hear that communication where the two masters read each other’s minds as songwriting partners and where they took turns at the finger-twisting solos, in which the solos are a song within a song, in which you look forward to hearing the interplay between the two guitarists, working together. That’s not here, and that is indisputable.
** — metal programs in Washington (Pacific Times) Excuse All the Blood (Olympia, WA): Friday night 10pm-1am www.kaosradio.org
Another problem is the songwriting. You can definitely hear the difference and the lower quality in the songwriting. There is no way to make up for K.K. Downing’s missing contributions and there is no way to make up for the fact that Glenn Tipton is not able to play guitar at the level required for Judas Priest, which affects the songwriting and the execution. What do we have then? Musicians who have consciously tried to cut, copy, paste, rewrite, recreate, reformulate, reconfigure bits, pieces, segments, details, trademark licks and riffs to repackage them, and they have done a good job of it. I won’t comment on the fact that the album has quite a bit of a midtempo and groove vibe that is foreign to the sound of Judas Priest, but this element is certainly a big part of the new album. Things have not been right with Judas Priest for a long, long time, but I am not going to go into that here. I’m talking about this particular album. There is no need to be hostile to the album or to exaggerate the criticism of it. There is also no need to act as if the album is
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