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reviews: Alda (U.S.), Beyond Hell (U.S.), Blaspherian (Texas, U.S.), Clitoridus Invaginatus (Italy), Dismemberment (U.S.), Equidnos (Ecuador), Eternal Rest (Australia), Hatebreed (U.S.), Hiroshima Will Burn (Australia), Ingurgitate (Texas, U.S.), Kiss (U.S.), Lamento Fúnebre (Ecuador), Modus Delicti (Italy), Morbus 666 (Texas, U.S.), Sanraktus (Austria), Slayer (U.S.), Xapharon (Texas, U.S.)
Maras (Macedonia) According to Avet, vocalist and guitarist for black metallers Maras, their music explores relevant ideas for circumstances in Macedonia, the Balkans and the world in general. For example, according to Avet, there is in some circles in metal, reactionary/chauvinist-nationalism that is backwards, anti-social, right-wing and racist. Plus, such perspectives are also accompanied by sexism, a general narrow-mindedness promoting blindness, ignorance and hatred. On the other hand, the Maras album “Raskol,” with its blazing speed and musical dynamics, invites a few listens to understand it. Firmly within black metal, the band offers a certain feeling, be it chaos or their specific musical direction, calling an appreciative ear, to find that Maras offers a lot more underneath the black metal structures. The lyrics are in Macedonian, but their music also speaks fluently the language of headbanging metal. www.myspace.com/marashorde
--Hi there, how are things going for your music in Macedonia? Your album “Raskol” is certainly good! Hello, my friend! I’m glad you wrote since I sent you our debut album “Raskol”. Honestly, the things are pretty shitty, ha ha :) The last two years Macedonia is extremely terrible place for those who are occupied with metal and other kinds of extreme music. But, we won’t give up! This year we played only one show in the city of Shtip, and now we are making a new material and make preparations for another concert along with Moonsorrow in Sofia (Bulgaria) that will happen at 14th November. Actually, 2009 was a quite tough period for Maras. All of us had financial problems, there were complications with the rehearsal place, and no gigs at all, except the one I mentioned. Also, at the end of August we recorded a new single called “Dushosushci, ochopii” (Souldryers, Eyesuckers), and you can download it for free from our myspace: www.myspace.com/marashorde. What matters motivate your lyrical ideas? Your lyrics are in Macedonian. Well, maybe it’s a type of handicap that our lyrics are on Macedonian, but fortunately, the French label Sabbath’s Fire released a tape with English translations of the songs. “Raskol” is a conceptual album about our pagan past and the heathen heritage that was lost and forgotten a long time ago since the christianity began to spread in the Balkans. The album title is translated as “Dissence”, actually a declaration of split between the lies and felonies of christianity and the powerful paganism which represents freedom and independence. When you began in 2003, what was happening in metal? Well, when I formed Maras in 2003, I didn’t mean to start a serious project, something which this band became later. Before that I had two metal bands (OverDream and Monolith), and played in a grunge band called Anoxia. None of them became famous or recorded something. And because I am younger than what many people think (born in ’88), I wasn’t involved in the 80s and 90s metal scene in Macedonia which was, actually, well developed. But of course I know the people and listen to the music of some of the oldest bands like Orion and Sanatorium. The second generation of metal bands was started by Siniac (black/death metal maniacs) and Verka (experimental metal) who recorded per one album in almost same
period. Now, Siniac is split-up, and the members started another heavy/doom metal project called Lelek, but Verka is reunited after almost 10 years and preparing a new album. Do you go to shows in Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, etc.? Is it normal that different nationalities get together for metal? I would love for the whole world to know this: the things on the Balkans are not so bad as the media presents that. The situation is fucked up and tough, but metal is something that unites different nationalities, and it was always like this. We often go to concerts in the neighbor countries, and it’s totally normal. But it’s always up to the character of the people. Those who understand this idea for unity and freedom are very rare, but influent persons, and I’m glad about that. And for those who try to spread national ideas and in same time are involved into metal they can fuck themselves and feel free to abandon this way of life. Does Avet write the songs? You have a new guitarist, Goran, correct? Who is he and where does he come from? All of the lyrics are written by me (Avet), and also the biggest part of the music. We do the arrangements together, mostly with Smrtostvor, our drummer. Our new guitarist Goran is a great person and a wonderful musician coming from one of the smallest Macedonian towns - Demir Kapija. Before Maras he played in a heavy metal band called Scorch. Is there a conflict between Macedonian nationalism and Albanians, Muslims, and other groups, in Macedonia? The difference of the ethnic groups living in Macedonia is what makes our culture unique and beautiful. But, there were and still there are (smaller) conflicts but only between the nationalists from the both sides. In general, yes, the “different” (although not so different) peoples of Macedonia mostly work together, but some schools are segregated, and that’s pity. For me, there is no difference if you are Albanian or Macedonian or anything else. I don’t declare myself as a subject of any ethnic or religious estate. But the actual government is an extreme rightwinged and their propaganda and ideas are to induce hatred between the ethnic groups that live in Macedonia. Concerning myself, I am not nationalist or religious. My ideas are left-winged and my political (if you can call them political) views are anarchistic. This fucked up situation thought me to be indifferent towards nationalist propaganda and to think with my own mind. I don’t bow anyone, or accept any moral norms and dogmas that occupy this stupid society. If you watch television from Serbia or Bulgaria, can you understand what they say? Of course we can understand each other. I cannot generalize, but I understand almost everything the Serbians or Bulgarians talk. The language, in its very roots is the same - Slavic. And those who cannot even try to understand them are ingrained and illiterate nationalist idiots. There are very small differences between, and some of the Macedonian dialects are very close to the Serbian or Bulgarian languages. We share the same Cyrillic alphabet which, also, contains some small, negligible distinctions. And about the members of Maras,
all of us speak English well. I also speak Serbian and little bit Bulgarian. Is that very fast speed of the second song with special effects or it is honestly the speed of your drummer?! Yes, it’s the speed of our extremely talented drummer Smrtostvor. He is also gifted for sound engineering and music production. Pity he cannot dedicate himself enough to his instrument because of college, but that’s how it is. Song number 5 has an interesting, different type of beginning with drumming and other instruments. Yes, it’s the most “ethno” song that we have recorded. The drumming is played with traditional Macedonian drum called “tapan”, an instrument that originally derives from India and it’s contained in all Balkan cultures. The string instrument is also with oriental origin, but today it’s known as a Greek folk instrument. It’s bouzouki. My father supposed to play that instrument in his youth (as much as guitar), so I inherited it from him. Have you had any problems with the authorities in Macedonia. Is black metal growing there? Fortunately, we never had problems with the authorities here. I suppose it’s because they are narrow idiots who have never ever heard about that kind of metal, although I don’t care about anything. The black metal is definitely growing, but I’m afraid in wrong direction. Not so many people listen to this kind of music, but even the most of those who prefer black metal, I think they don’t understand its fundamental ideology. There are nationalistic (for me it’s equal to nazi and racist) black and death metal bands, and that’s really sad, because metal is about destroying the borders nascent from the society and the authorities. Black Metal is about being independent, free and liberal! Stay in touch! Thank you for your interest in the music and ideology of Maras, my friend. It was a great honour to answer your questions, and hope that these words will touch the souls of our metal brothers in USA. All the best with Metal Bulletin’ zine and be praised! THE END. ---
Crackdust (Botswana) Crackdust has an album called “Dented Reality” and its 16 songs are death metal-oriented fun: from fast numbers to uptempo tracks, from brutality to jams upon jams; solid guttural growling; and plenty of memorable hooks, including nice flashes of melody. Crackdust is a no-sense type of metal band. They keep it song-centered, no time is wasted on things that take away from the point of the song: they concentrate on musical muscle, the brutality, the catchy hooks and guitar solos, or even the melody and do it right. The fact that their songs are within the 3-5 minute range and they keep going, one after another, changing up the shades of moods constructed, including a couple of cool instrumentals, shows their wisdom in constructing an album full of enjoyable tracks. Roth [growls, guitars] S'Bond [guitars] Dlax [drums] Lee [bass] www.myspace.com/crackdust ---
How are things with your band and with Dented Reality?!! Things are not as fast moving as we would like them to be. We’re currently doing a few gigs in support of our current material both here at home and in South Africa. The album is doing fine down here in Botswana considering how small the scene is. We have not penetrated any of our neighboring countries in the exception of South Africa. It is a slow process, but it’s getting done. We recorded Dented Reality at a local studio called Core Riodic, one of the few studios in the country that can record metal. How long have you been playing? How many recordings in total do you have? As listeners we’ve been exposed to metal since we were about 13 or 14 years. At that time there used to be mainly tapes and LP’s of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest like you said and other bands like AC/DC, Twisted Sister, Sintilion and Metallica. If you were lucky enough to have relative studying abroad, you would get records that no one else had. That was awesome. Anyway we only started learning how to play our instruments in 1996. We currently have two records out, the Deranged Psychopath single released in 2006 which we are giving out for free on our website (crackdust.com) and the full length Dented Reality album also available on our website for a minimal fee. There are some songs from this album that are also available for download for free. Who are Roth’s and S’Bond’s (both guitars) inspirations? As far as guitars are concerned I believe we are inspired by just about anything with strings or anyone who plays such. We have listened to a lot of bands over the years so you can probably hear a bit of this and that in our playing. When it comes to vocals though I think Max Cavalera used to inspire me when he was still with Sepultura. I actually used to train my voice by singing along with ‘Roots’. And then there is Corpse Grinder from Cannibal Corpse, what a voice, what skill! What bands made Lee and Dlax pick up bass and drums? Lee is mostly a Rotting Christ man and Dlax is more old school; Manowar, Metallica kind of stuff. Your song “Desecrate” is directed at what? Just about all the hypocritical religious characters out there. What about “Deranged Psychopath”? This one is really about a typical day in the life of a psychopath as i imagine it. When I write lyrics sometimes I start off by picking up a topic and then coming up with the rest after, it works. What jobs do metal musicians like yourselves have? We actually have day jobs ranging from Software Engineer, Statistician, Roads Engineer to Logistician. I wish we could just do music but it not able to bring enough food to the table, at least not yet. Your song “Fate” has some melodies that go along with the mosh-friendly brutality. Who creates those melodies? Roth. I come from a very melodic background. If it’s in Dented Reality and it sounds melodic, chances are I wrote it. S’Bond is the more fast paced, fully loaded solo kind of guy.
Are you in other bands? Names of bands from Botswana? We play for Crackdust alone, it keeps us focused and in any case there is very little time looking at the fact that we have day jobs as well. There is a good wealth of band in Botswana. The ratio per fan is actually quite large. There is Metal Orizon, Stane, Remuda, Wrust, Amok to name a few. What is a concert of Crackdust like? A typical Crackdust concert is just pure mayhem. The mosh pit usually become dangerous especially on tracks like 'deranged psychopath', 'born of the sorcerer' and the like. I've personally come to learn to be a bit away from the stage edge; guys will just whoop you off. We like it when the audience go all crazy, it drives us nuts!!! The energy become very cyclic. A normal gig has about 200 or less metal heads.
twisted, acidic, while the drumming and guitar rattle in noisy agreement. Yes! www.myspace.com/dodsangel --Do you play all instruments?! You recorded between February 28th and March 6th of 2009, right? Yes, I play all the instruments myself. Nothing is computer programmed, it’s just me playing drums, guitar and bass, only true metal-punk! I was in the studio every day during the recording week. The drums took one full afternoon, and since the studio-guy has another full time job, we recorded the other tracks during the week in the evenings. It took two days with guitar because there were two guitar tracks, and approximately one day each for bass and vocals.
Crackdust (Botswana) The 2010 soccer world cup will take place in South Africa. Do you plan to go to any soccer games there? 2010 world cup, that’s gonna be awesome. If anything, we plan to play gigs there during that time. We’ll see how it goes. What is a good movie that you have seen recently? The last time I saw a movie that really moved me was with The Matrix trilogy. Then again I’m a SciFi buff. I’m looking forward to seeing District 9 which is a SciFi that was apparently shot in South Africa. Anything else to tell us about Gaborone, Botswana? Life down here is generally slow and laid back. As a band, for things to happen we need to exert a lot of effort. What are your plans for the rest of 2009 and for 2010? We plan to gig more in support of Dented Reality. THE END. --
DödsÄngel (Norway) Sometimes to do things right, you’re going to have to take matters into your own hands and do it yourself. This is why Trish, the creator of DödsÄngel, does the vocals, drums, guitars and bass. As you will read here, she participates in a quite a few musical endeavors, but this is the most personal one. “Helgrind” is the name of the recording of raw black metal: lo-fi and replete with primal aggression energy, resulting in a major racket. The vocals are
You grew up in Sweden and then moved to Canada? No, other way around! My ancestors moved from Northern Europe (mostly Norway) to Canada, they are all dead but I learned the languages and moved to Norway, but spend a lot of time in Sweden and have previously lived there for a few months. I moved to Scandinavia because of a much better music scene, more and better bands and concerts, better jobs, a more beautiful city and nature, more friends and people into the same music as me and people to play in bands with. At the time of the move I was very fed up with a lot of things and people in my home city of Edmonton, Canada. There are a lot more people in Scandinavia who are more accepting of both metal and punk and embrace the two genres equally, whereas where I am from in Canada most punks and metalheads hate each other and it is almost unheard of to listen to both styles of music. You started as a drummer? You do not use a drum machine, correct? How did you start playing drums? I personally would never use programmed drums, it feels like “cheating” to me, and the sound sounds so fake, not raw and brutal at all. Drum machines can sound ok in some other types of metal bands such as those with elements of ambient or industrial, but anything synthetic does not go along with my style or belong in my music. I was a punk drummer before I started playing metal. I grew up with a musical family so was exposed to many instruments as a child, including drums, but I did not start really trying to play them seriously until I was about 18. How old are you? You started getting into metal when? I’m 24. I was originally total punk in most of my teenage years, although I liked some metal. It wasn’t until my
late teens that I really heard true black metal. I have liked Slayer since I first heard them when I was about 10 years old, and I heard Black Sabbath from my brother a few years later, and with regards to black metal it was the typical Norwegian ones I heard first (ex burzum, darkthrone etc) How did you start playing guitar and what motivated that? My brother is an extremely talented guitar player, I have always envied him in this regard, and I tried to start playing when I was little but gave up because my hands were too small ha ha! I started actually playing for real when I was 21, because I was always writing music mentally, I constantly had all these riffs floating around in my head and I needed a medium to get them out. Is DödsÄngel a solo project by choice? I like to create music together with other individuals, but that is what my other bands are for, we can create songs together and I can play live and tour with them. But DödsÄngel is and always will be a solo project, all the music is composed, created and performed by me, it is 100% what is inside of me, it was an absolute necessity for me to have an extra musical project which I have total creative control over. When did you start doing vocals? Is doing vocals, playing guitar, bass and drums a manifestation of a frustration of dealing with other people? This album is the first time I have done vocals. There is no frustration with my other bands, I like collaborating with them in creating music in the different styles of metal and punk. But I needed this one project that is purely me, to convey the music that is truly an expression of myself. Do you have an interest in playing other forms of metal? My favourite kind of metal to listen to, create and play is black metal, but I also like some thrash and death metal. I have actually come up with some more technical riffs in my head, but I do not yet have the abilities and speed to play them on guitar. I also thought about doing some more ambient-type black metal songs as well as doom metal. I also play D-beat punk, my music is influenced by hardcore punk just as much as by blackmetal. How many instruments in total do you know how to play?! Drums, guitar, bass, vocals, and when I was younger I played classical piano and saxophone. What are your lyrics about, such as “Eternal War”? “Wolven Hatred”? When I was a starry-eyed youngster I used to be “political”, anti-war, pro-human rights, etc. But throughout my life experiences and education (I am a University-educated career-scientist, by the way) I have realized that with the sky-rocketing world population and unprecedented environmental destruction there are too many people on earth for this ecosystem to support, and war is an effective naturally-occurring method of population control (hence why there is currently war in many countries with overcrowding and overbreeding). Also, human beings are a sick, sadistic, greedy and selfish species who will always find ways to hurt and kill each other (as well as other species) in war or otherwise for their own gain. There has always been war and will always be war, until there are no humans left on earth to
fight wars. Wolven Hatred on the other hand has a more lycanthropic theme, from my own perspective as well as that of certain serial killers, sometimes when people are mistreated or have had too much they just revert to their primal instincts and snap back at society and humanity by murdering, viciously. Before modern times many people refused to believe that human beings could perform such atrocities so the idea of a Lycanthropic creature was formed, and this archetype is present throughout many cultures and is intrinsic in many mythologies and folktales. Is “The Last Forest” an ecological perspective? Yes, I absolutely love nature and go walking and hiking in the forest quite often, and have studied ecology, botany and other types of biology at a University level. I also work for the Norwegian government as a scientist, researching changes in river- and lake systems. Humans are breeding way too fast and a side-effect of this, along with industrialization and a disgustingly wasteful commercialistic culture, is extreme deforestation, eventually there will be nothing left. I would rather have less humans on earth than less forests, but when there are no more forests left the human race will go extinct anyways... Is “Detestation” is motivated by what?! I had an extremely traumatizing and violent end to a relationship several years back with someone who left me physically and psychologically scarred for life, and still continues... although the lyrics could also apply to several other people. Some people write love songs, I write hate songs ha ha. You also play drums in Hinsides? I work in Norway so I don’t get to practice very often in Sweden with Hinsides, although we have some new songs ready for the next album, grimmer, and more brutal that ever! I also play in Gate to Khaos (Norwegian thrash/black metal), and I am currently the live drummer of Nattefrost, and I have been asked to play in several other punk and metal bands in Sweden and Norway but I will have to see how that goes. Other events, news, recordings, etc.? I have been working on some new material for DödsÄngel, I am constantly coming up with new riffs and have several songs almost ready for the next recording. Hopefully there will be enough material for a whole album later this year or early next year, but I need to find a record label first! Also I have received some offers from other bands and labels who want some new songs for split or compilation albums. Thanks for the interview! /Trish THE END. --
Ninth Kingdom (Texas, U.S.) “Where No Kings Shall Roam” is the name of the album by black metallers Ninth Kingdom. This interview came about from the band’s live effort at the benefit concert for the metal music radio program Ejacula on KPFT 90.1 fm in Houston. The concert took place on October 17th and they put on an impressive and fun show! The guitar work clearly was noticed and appreciated by the audience, in particular the memorable riffs and the melodies. Nor did the drumming’s anchoring
of the madness go unnoticed! Plus, the fact that the vocalist acted like someone mentally unstable, raging and destroying his own throat for the sake of the black metal arts is always a welcome performance. Check out their music and get in touch with them! www.ninthkingdom.org www.myspace.com/ninthkingdom. -Your song “A Storm on the Horizon” lasts 11:29, with lots of expressive and ambitious guitar work. Great job!! How did this song come about? Amblividon: Thanks! Well the opening riff and a few riffs that follow were old, we just hadn't done anything with it at that point. Finally we decided to do something with it. We took our time with this one. There was one point where I told Ciiwóhoonéíhi that we should start ending the song. He said we should keep going. We placed no restrictions; we just kept on letting it develop till it became what it is. Lo and behold, it became an epic song. It also gave Vetis and I a chance to lay down some guitar solos. We don't put guitar solos in our songs because there is a lot of guitar work going on that solos aren't necessary. Though we plan on doing more guitar solos in the future. This will probably not be the last time we write a long song like Storm on the horizon. For your drummer. How do you push yourself to go further, to explore the full possibilities that are engulfed in the drumming style of Ninth Kingdom? You obviously can play fast, but you have dynamics, constant change. Ciiwóhoonéíhi: I don't know, I think there's something wrong with me. I'm not right, and, I think my drumming proves that, I guess... but, I really just try to keep myself interested in what I'm doing, by trying new things (to me). I may not be doing anything new for some drummers, but, I do mix ideas together, which makes it something new to me. I always told myself, that I should try to do one thing new in each song. Like doing syncopated rhythms on the kick while blasting; which I did a little bit on "Storm on the Horizon", and, I, originally, did a lot in "Towards Bloodshed We March", but, it took away from the dynamic strength of the song, so, out it went. Come to think of it, I also did it a bit in song "The Dawning" of our first demo. Speaking of dynamics, trying to create contrast in the dynamics of a song, as a whole, depends on which riffs sound like a "peak point". The dynamics of a song, prior to me constructing a drum part, is very important, it's the first thing I consider. The second, is the natural feel of a riff. The third, I think, is where can I try something different, but, as long as it still fits into the whole scheme of the dynamics. There are a few songs that I intentionally attempted to blast three or four riffs, back to back, while trying to create an interesting dynamic, still, making sure that it would not feel like an ongoing blast. The songs are "The Dawning" (off our first demo) and "Towards Bloodshed We March". I am really fortunate to be in a band with such intelligent musicians that allow me to express myself in these ways. Though my influences very across many different genres, I have never learned a song to literally incorporate my influences, but, they are obviously there. I listen to a song, or, drummer, then generalize what they are doing, and allow those ideas to come out in my playing, as my body naturally interprets, and, expresses those ideas. Perhaps, I am just a product of what inspires me. But then again, who is completely original? I just do what I do, hopefully one day I'll achieve
my goals and aspirations... if not, well, at least I'm enjoying myself, and doing things the way I think they should be done. I don't think I'll ever stop learning on the drums, that's just the way I am. I have to keep myself interested. With all this said, I'm very curious as to how Ninth Kingdom will sound in the coming years, because, we all have that mindset, and don't worry, we will not lose our intensity, or passion for extreme metal. It will all, somehow, be put together, with our, already eclectic style. The one thing about our future compositions that I will mention, is that we do want to have some riffs that have a little more breathing room. That just comes with exploring our compositional skills. “Where No Kings Shall Roam” contrasts between speed, melody and musical progression. You probably spent all your money making the cd! Has it gotten your name out there? How has it been received in the U.S. and abroad? Amblividon: Ha ha, it was expensive and came out of our own pockets! It was a lot of hard work. We were still finishing up songs up till where we reserved recording time. Hell some of the lyrics were still being written during the recording process. We'll be more prepared next time. I wouldn't say that the album itself has gotten our name out there. We've been playing shows around Texas and Louisiana since 2004. At least in Texas a lot of people in the black metal death metal scene are familiar with our name. People from the US as well as Europe and Asia has either commented or messaged us with positive reviews and support. For your vocalist. What is the frame of mind that works for you during a live performance? What type of preparation do you do to call forth the energies for your black metal? When did you discover you had this type of rage inside you?!! Orpheus: When I returned from my quest for the Golden Fleece, I found my home ravaged and ruined; my family foiled, and my wife captured by none other than Hades himself. I feared nothing, because I had nothing to lose but an existence of no consequence; so I began my descent down through the nine circles of hell, charming the creatures of darkness and even drawing tears down Pluto's iron cheek. In the end I failed the one I had freed and she was turned to stone with my premature glance...So, what type of mind frame do I enter upon my taking the stage? One in which vengeance destroys tyrants and omnipotence is respected by all; and when did I discover the type of rage I have within me? When I found that all there was left within this empty, void of a chest was crippling coldness and bitter anguish. I take the stage to tell a story. I take the stage to define a new kind of existence. I take the stage to pity the weak and destroy the strong. Are the album’s lyrics a concept? Where are they available? Where do you see your lyrics in the future? Is it a challenge to find creative lyrics? Certain styles of metal have been treading the same territory for a long time and are not concerned with HOW they tell the story. Ciiwóhoonéíhi: The lyrics are indeed a concept on this release. The lyrics can be found, in whole, at our official site www.ninthkingdom.org. As for the future or our lyrics, the direction grows as we grow. We do, however, have a basic idea for our next release... The "Where No Kings..." concept is pretty much about eradicating an oppressing force, the next, is looking at the
problems that grow within ones self, once this is acheived. I don't want to tell too much, as it'll take away some of the freshness of the idea, but, a little teaser now might keep some interested. We don't think too much about not treading old territory or trying to do something different. We have a story to tell, and we tell it in a way that is pleasing to us. I don't know if it comes off as treading old territory or not, so long as we are true to ourselves. While our "Where No Kings..." release may or may not be a new format for lyrics, I don't think too many bands have written about the ideas behind our upcoming "full length" release. We like a lot of the imagery from the medieval, and, the renaissance which birthed a lot of great artist and composers. So, we kind of base our images, and, inspiration from those periods, but, in our words. Yes, "creating anything" is always a challenge, and, the fact that we have to hold regular jobs doesn't help either. As far as creating music goes, I think we definitely want to be pushing forward, this is where our passions lay. We are very eclectic in our musical inspirations as individuals, when we get together as a band, those differences are only compounded. You asked how the lyrics pertain to the music, well... I think songs can have an energy as original as a fingerprint, which can guide subject matter if you listen. We "outlined" ideas/subject matter, guided the songs in this direction, then put the lyrics in respect to our outline. Amblividon: I think conceptual lyrics and music is Ninth Kingdom. It's not to say that it will always be the case. We might release something with just a mix of individual songs and concepts. Though it's just how with create in general. Orpheus: I wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the ancient religious texts of all your religions; my ideas are now your ideas, and your gods answer to me. Some have called me the preacher, some have called me the savior of freedom and individual thought; some have called me the antichrist, I call myself Orpheus. I was busy spreading my seeds of individual thought patterns within the ancient lands of our ancient tribes when the Ninth Kingdom was formed, and though I did not know this tribe at that time, the message they were building was that of my creeds and vision. We were brothers before we even knew one another. Moving forward the message will continue to adapt to the environment we create, but will still continue to promote the overall concept of Ninth Kingdom: the pursuit of a kingdom in which the leaders of men die first, and those elite few who survive the flames are left to exist within a chaotically ordered world of individual thought and safely secured freedom. Anything else? What else would like us to know? Amblividon: Where No Kings Shall Roam is available at www.ninthkingdom.org. It's also available as a download at digstation.com, and, also available at select local record stores in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio, Texas. Check out the listings on www.ninthkingdom.org. Our gig schedule can be found on ninthkingdom.org or at myspace.com/ninthkingdom. As of right now we do not have any out of state shows set up. We definitely want to get out there on mini tours or something. Budget and coordinating all members’ schedules is the issue. Other than new material we're working on, there are a few ideas as far as music goes but nothing concrete so we won't mention it yet. We have thought of making videos of us teaching people how to play our songs or a few instrument exercises we do but we're not that well
known. For now if people want to learn some of our songs we have guitar tablature up on our ninthkingdom.org site. Ciiwóhoonéíhi: Thanks, for your support and interest in our music, we really appreciate people who take time to help expose struggling bands to those who might not have otherwise heard of us, or any other local band. THANKS!!! THE END. ---
REVIEWS Alda (Washington State): demo spring 09 1. The Seed and the Hailstone (3:53): This song is a good starter. Keeps upfront the raw black metal feeling, while working a strong sense for riff-melody and at the same time bringing in the quiet/acoustic moments they like to use, too. The overall effect is something easy to remember, something riff-based and headbanging-style music. The combination of rawness/speed and memorable riffs is the main characteristic of this music. 2. The Evergreen Womb (6:11): On this one, the raw black metal qualities are firmly in place, and the song is longer, there is more breathing room for more melody, more atmosphere. By the way, some people call this style, forest black metal or something like that, based on the imagery and lyrics of the band. FYI. Whatever. Bottom line: this song has a lot going for it: mood, feeling, atmosphere, raw melody, tremolo/spiral riffs, it’s all good. 3. Fimbulwinter (5:31): This one starts off nice and slow, with a huge, simple riff of doom for two minutes, and then they pick it up pretty good, build some momentum, staying at an uptempo/midtempo feel. This pretty much keeps it there, with huge riffs and they ride this thing out until the end. This is a more consistently melancholic/spacey/doomy (or whatever is the term that makes you happier), with a good energy to it. Well done. This is way too short!! Good work, good effort, good songs…keep it going. www.myspace.com/aldacascadia
Beyond Hell (Missouri): demo This band has one particular thing that stands out: the guitar playing. The music is death metal, fast, growling, etc. For those into growling metal and interesting guitar work, the hooks and soloing combined with speedy growling metal could be interesting to check out. These four songs are promising: they have fire and that’s really the important thing. Aficionados of guitar playing that uses melodies and shredding would probably find this a good surprise. It’s pretty cool to hear all sorts of soloing, riffs, noodling, melodies and things like that during each song! Note that this is not a fancy recording, but it’s ok demo sound quality. www.myspace.com/beyondhellmusic
Blaspherian (Texas): Allegiance to the Will of Damnation 1. Allegiance to the Will of Damnation (5:14): Gruff, deeply guttural vocals and a massively heavy guitar tone characterize the death metal of Blaspherian. This first song demonstrates both a doomdeath and a blastingdeath tone. The combination works well: this is an open invitation to bang your head!! [Cont’d.]
2. Curse His Name (5:07): This emphasizes the blasting upfront, followed by the sound of impeding doom, lurking in the shadows. Towards the end, the song shows a bit of melody and goes out on a headbanging, effective marching riff. Nice. 3. Prayer of Satanic Hate (4:58): Probably the thing that stands out the most about this one is the underlining of the dark melody. If you listen to it, you will notice how comfortably it settles down and takes its time to work itself out. Of course, there is blasting here, too. It’s not just a slow song. 4. Crusade Towards Unholy Deliverance (5:58): Probably the most headbanging-friendly riffs: it really sounds like the band had in mind the idea that your neck should start to move. 5. Enthroned in Blasphemous Triumph (4:38): The vocals are of the deepest possible growling that comes from the belly. They are both very noticeable because, basically, most death metal isn’t this guttural, and because the vocals work well with the music so that it sounds like another instrument that fits perfectly with the death/blasting/doom atmosphere feeling. 6. Of Unholy Blood (3:15): The idea of blasting death metal with substantial doom parts—very fast speed and slow passages—might seem like it would not work because it is not easy to go from all-out blasting to slow moments. However, this is exactly what this band is. Don’t judge before you give it a chance. 7. To Walk the Path of Unrighteousness (3:25): The album goes out with a bang, this is mostly likely the most consistently speedy blasting song, maybe the catchiest too, with a few brief hooks and melodies worked into the blasting. And that’s it. That’s the end. Stop. Press play again. www.myspace.com/blaspherian
Equidnos (Ecuador) Lamento Fúnebre (Ecuador) This split is tracks 1-3 Lamento Fúnebre and Equidnos 45. In this zine issue’s review section there is a review of Lamento Fúnebre. See that one for more details on LF. Lamento Funebre tracks 1-3. The first one is virtually nothing but howling-screaming—with no music, except a very, very subtle mellow ambient keyboard sound—of depressive violent agony. This sounds like that of a person in severe pain howling and hollering like a wounded animal. This is, in important ways, not actual music, if by “music” it is meant the idea of sounds/chords/notes/melodies in some sort of pattern that connects them to other sounds/notes/melodies, etc. Song number 2 is more recognizable as lo-fi, bedroomrecorded black metal, as is song number 3. Equidnos tracks 4-5. Number 4 is nonmusic and it is meant to be some of the poorest quality recording you will ever hear. It is meant to be extremely ugly, distorted and horrible. Congratulations, Equidnos, you have achieved your objective! Your “music” is horrible, just plain f-f-fugly and f-f-fawful. It’s more like random drums and growling. Number 5 lasts 31 minutes and it is even worse! It is like the sounds of horror—more random drums and growling— in a trash can located in the smelly part of the city’s garbage dumpster in an abandoned factory in the most rat-infested section of the decrepit part of town where the reject zombies get together to sit and chat and complain about how the other zombies are so mean to their own fellow zombies. Equidnos is a guy just messing around
with computer equipment and then recording-sampling stuff. This is the type of stuff that, as a masterful friend likes to say, it doesn’t even sound like it was recorded in hell. It sounds like it was recorded in a hallway down from, further away from hell.
Eternal Rest (Australia): Seize of Anubis 1. Temple (1:58): heavy, atmospheric downtuned guitar rhythms and melodies, setting the mood for… 2. Where the Ancient Gods Lay (3:11): uptempo, growling metal; and here “it” emerges: this band uses what people call “Eastern” melodies on electric guitar. That definitely makes the song easy to remember and the band hard to categorize as simple, brutal growl metal. 3. Seize of Anubis (3:08): Begins with blasting death metal mood; then some midtempo heavy rhythm is played in the background as those guitar melodies take over here, then make way for brutal/mosh/blasting speed. 4. Falling from Your Throne (3:40): More blasting, and death metal riffing; then the song settles down to midpaced, fat riffing and here come those melodies again. Now, speeding up, getting down for the moshing parts and some growling. More blasting and heavy, fat riffing. 5. Carnage (4:38): Two very clearly separate rhythm guitar riffs make up the backbone of this song. By this time, this band is starting to sound convincing. It’s not that they were not convincing before, but that they are now on track number 5 and delivering the goods this well, then it’s just better than simply good. 6. Pawn in a Life of Dominance (demo 2008) (3:59) [total 20:36]: The style is basically the same, but maybe more aggressive, or if not, certainly a faster, more streamlined approach, while still melodic, of course. The low, guttural death metal growling is used, as well as the slightly higher growling, plus a more black metalinfluenced style of vocals, too. More, pleasel. www.myspace.com/eternalrestband
Hatebreed (U.S.): Hatebreed It’s crunchy, simple, heavy scream rock vocals that relies on one basic riff and simple, basic drumming: radio rock, a product sold based on simplicity for drinking beer or for watching sports on television or for watching tv commercials for trucks. It’s not heavy, but it’s chug-based guitar stuff, so, for radio this sounds “brutal,” but it’s the same “heaviness” as Korn, Limp Bizkit, Disturbed, WWE wrestling-theme music, etc.
Hiroshima Will Burn (Australia): To The Weight of All Things This band has been jimmy jacked by legions of buzzing mosquitoes: each song is a boil over runaway of activity: blasting stop starting, attention deficit disorder drumming; shaky finger guitar style with notes falling about the place; and growling, lots of guttural growling. With this style, it is almost impossible to remember any of the songs and the band likes it that way, so you will go back and listen to the album again. It’s technical prog growl jazzy rock crazyfest style music. If you ask, what is 1 plus 1? The band answers, “Purple!” Here are two people having a conversation that is the equivalent of this technical growl exposition. Person 1: Do you like banana plane? Person 2: Sleepy doo. [Cont’d]
Person Person Person Person
1: Having a light for potato smile, ok? 2: No, water slide! Tube slide!! Woosh!! 1: Uh-oh, my tummy aches. 2: Buh-bye now, my mommy is here. www.myspace.com/hiroshimawillburn
“I Have Created” begins these proceedings in an impressive manner, with good/upfront sound quality: the guitar is downtuned, but it’s easy to hear the riffs being played and they are big-riff/headbanging riffs that are easy to get into and they invite the listener to get into them with their ear-friendly vibe. “The Weight of Your Sins” next features blasting speed and very guttural growling done with identity. “Bleeding His Sacred Kingship” displays blasting tightness that communicates energy very well, while the growling displays some variety, including guttural growling that is semicomprehensible, with moments of low-grinding total unintelligibility that adds shades and moods to the vocals. “Twisting Prophetic Revelation” (1:08) is way shorter than their normal songs and points in a more grinding direction. And the super-low growling sounds like good fun. There are three very short songs on here and they’re all good and lots of blasting/growling fun! The other songs are more in the 3-5 minute range. “Consecration in Black Flames” displays an approach much broader that incorporates melody, midtempo moments and an expansion in scope. The emphasis is on a slow, brooding, even doomy/atmospheric mood and less speed. Nice melodic guitar solo from 3:26 to 4:05. The last one, “A Burial for the Exalted,” a midtempo, downtuned heavy number, has about half a minute of acoustic guitar and half a minute of keyboards (or something that sounds like that), so it’s got a bit going for it, besides growling armageddon. By the way, this is not a review of all the songs, just some. www.myspace.com/ingurgitate www.myspace.com/ossuaryindustries
Kiss (U.S.): Sonic Boom It’s the type of stuff that on the radio they call “classic rock”: sort of simple, rock and roll guitar stuff, basic drumming, with some melodies based substantially on the vocals, sort of sing-along 70s rock, like Lynyrd Skynyrd. There is a second cd. They have songs with titles like “Rock and Roll All Nite” and “Detroit Rock City.” Is “Detroit Rock City” a good name for a song? “Rock and Roll All Nite”? Say what?! Another one is “I Love it Loud.” And it’s not even loud. It’s actually a slow not-loud song. Strange band.
Lamento Fúnebre (Ecuador): Odas Muertas Of the most raw, lo-fi, bat-infested cavern, black metal is what Lamento Fúnebre consists. Those who enjoy very peculiar, personal—and in this case, self-sufferingthemed—black metal will be the main and most ardent audience for this music. With this, it is best to disregard any self-defeating notions of “production,” and “studios” and other such barriers that automatically disqualify this from being given a real chance. The quality of the recording does not exude wealth, instead it is bleak, austere and it is necessary to
turn up the volume higher than normal in order to hear things correctly. As a solo project of self-suffering music, this has at least three different aspects. First is the regular black metal that is familiar. Second is the ambient-spacey element. Third is the slow, funeral black metal feeling. At times, these elements, if isolated, give the impression of different musical entities, but it’s the same solo project. For whom is this, then? For those that don’t mind very basic sound quality black metal of a very alienated mind raging one moment, the next is suffering-howling in agony-pain, then playing a surprisingly nice-memorable melody on keyboards, only to give way to more howling, raging, ambient and go around to do it all over again. www.myspace.com/lamentofunebre
Modus Delicti (Italy) [3-way split] Clitoridus Invaginauts (Italy) Dismemberment (Colorado, U.S.) Modus Delicti: The realm of cupped-microphone, dog barks and pig squeals is the environment of this band. The songs rely greatly on the chugga-boompa breakdown for effect. The guitar depends on basic, chunky sounds, while the cupped microphone burping sounds prevail. Clitoridus Invaginatus: This is drum machined, gore, special effects robotic, computerized blasting stuff. The guitar goes for the chunky-chunk-chunk, chuggachug-chug, with high-speed robot drumming and total cupped-microphone-incomprehensibility burpslurp vocals heavily distorted by computerized sounds. Dismemberment: This is meat and potatoes, basic, chugga-boompa breakdown chunky guitar sound. Speaking of itself, this band declares, “Dismemberment writes all music after smoking tons of retard weed!!!!” They have a song called “Dismemberment Freak.” The guitar goes chug-chug-chug and the vocals go burp-burpburp. They themselves use the word “retard” in connection with their music. Do these bands like horror movies? Check. Do these bands like gore? Check. Check. Do these bands like zombies? Triple check. www.myspace.com/clitoridusinvaginatus www.myspace.com/dismembermentbrutality1 www.myspace.com/modusdelicti www.myspace.com/ossuaryindustries
Morbus 666 (Texas): Summon the Cult of the Pentagram (1-song recording) This is the first song available from Morbus 666 and it lasts some 7:42. It’s a preview of what they will be putting out. Going by this, Morbus 666 will be very enjoyable and fun, and catchy and ambitious raw black metal. This particular song has quite a few moods within it, but, overall, it is classic black metal that is the framework within which all of this functions. The speed goes from midtempo, to uptempo, to fast and on to blasting, while the guitar often rides out a melody or a feeling, before transitioning on to the next mood. The feel of the vocals is mostly howling, though there a few hints of guttural growling. Basically, with this song the band has created a great anticipation of their future music. They are on the hook now on account of this song. More music, gentlemen. www.myspace.com/morbus666usa
Sanraktus (Austria): Sanraktus Sanraktus is driven and characterized by their main strength: good songs. In particular, it is the guitar work and the riffs that make the band. While the band does play black metal and the vocals are black metal for sure, the strength of the guitar playing goes beyond black metal. It’s not lo-fi guitar style, but something fuller, offering a wider range of sounds, moods and speeds. The songs have a special riff or set of riffs that give each song its quality. Some of these melodies are very catchy, others total headbanging metal, still others suggest prog affinities. One problem is the sound quality of the recording. It sounds like a good demo, but it appears that a fuller sound would be necessary to show all the things going, since this is not basic, lo-fi black metal, but a more ambitious metal. This is already very impressive and it promises even more, and like already mentioned, with a better sound, this could deliver on all that. www.myspace.com/sanraktus
Slayer (U.S.): World Painted Blood For love-it-all Slayer listeners, then this is “a-ok!” No big, negative surprises and all the expected elements are in place: screaming, speedy or compact riffs, quickie/basic/whammy bar solos, thrashy/punk energy, etc. This has cool moments and it’s that scream-aggro quality that they have been doing this decade. If you do not like Slayer, or are very picky (you only like Reign in Blood and before, etc.) or think Slayer is very repetitive or whatever else is the criticism (not great guitar solos, lack of innovation, albums too similar/predictable like ACDC/Ramones/Bob the Builder/Rolling Stones/Six Feet Under/Spongebob Squarepants/Detroit Lions/Sesame Street/Teletubbies/Los Tigres del Norte/Scooby Doo/Chespirito, etc.), then, this album will not convince, obviously, since nothing has substantially changed of the post-1986 Slayer. Of course, if you actually listen to it and give it a chance, you will find that the album has some enjoyable moments, since those thrashy riffs are present all over the place. The sound quality (the “production”) about which some people complain, is actually alright, kind of raw. That’s how it sounds, at least, on headphones. Don’t know about other stereo/sound systems. To sum up: those that listen whenever Slayer does a new album, will find plenty of good stuff, including a surprise or two (brief blastbeats, etc.). Not too shabby. As far as comparing it to Reign in Blood, Hell Awaits or Show No Mercy or any other Slayer album… sure, no problem, you are free to compare/contrast it with whichever one you want.
Xapharon (Texas): Xapharon From what one can tell from this recording, the objective of Xapharon is to play bombastic, symphonic, atmospheric, memorable and melodic, occasionally blasting black metal. This recording serves as a good introduction to that mission, and their ideas come through pretty well.
No doubt that this recording sounds rough and like a demo, with the usual problems of the sound quality. Actually, the band here sounds closer to raw black metal, Sometimes it is difficult to hear the keyboards, the sound is kind of “buzzy,” etc. Nevertheless, it is good for the band to do this recording in order to use it as a point of reference as to where to go in the future. With a better sound, the bombastic sound should be more upfront, the guitars cleaner, the vocals more pronounced and the drum sound clearer. www.myspace.com/xapharon --
Metal on the internet, and the radio in Houston. The Metal Show: From the Depths Sundays 10pm-1am On KTRU 91.7 fm On the internet at www.ktru.org Info at www.myspace.com/fromthedepths Ejacula Radio Program Thursdays 2am-5am On KPFT 90.1 fm On the internet at www.kpft.org Info at: www.myspace.com/ejacula Houston concerts, from The Adversary at www.theadversary.org Nov. 13: Ensiferum, Hypocrisy, Ex Deo, Black Guard Nov. 19: Cannibal Corpse, Hate Eternal, others Dec. 5: The Faceless, Dying Fetus, Beneath the Massacre, Annotations of an Autopsy, Enfold Darkness Dec. 7: Monsters of Death Tour Vader, Decrepit Birth, The Amenta, SWAATS, Augury Dec. 19: Anti Christ Mass XII Imprecation, Abolishment, Panteon, Scattered Remains, Ninth Kingdom, Diminished, Golgotha, Demoniac Vengeance, PLF, Spectral Manifest Jan. 8: Exmortus, Vektor Jan. 9: The Chasm, Obeisance, Nodens, Terrorist, Molestor Jan. 23: Godless Rising, Hod, Nodens, others Feb. 10: Those Whom the Gods Detest Tour Nile, Immolation, Krisiun, Dreaming Dead, others Feb. 19: DRI Feb. 27: Gravehill, Hod, Blaspherian, Disfigured, Morbus 666 April 3: Destroying Texas Fest 5 Desaster, Inquisition, others to be announced
Contact: Metal Bulletin P.O. Box 571794 Houston TX 77257-1794 usa November 12, 2009