This zine is FREE. Donations appreciated: 50, 75 cents, 1 dollar, etc. Support DIY metal. contact: Hirax
Houston TX 77257-1794 usa
P.O. Box 571794
reviews: Awicha (Thailand); Bestemmia Aeternalis (Texas, U.S.); Cerebrum (Greece); Conqueror (Costa Rica); Diamanthian (U.K.); Futures End (U.S.); Human Carnage (QuĂŠbec, Canada); Ixpapalotl (Greece); Janus (Italy); Ninth Kingdom (Texas, U.S.); Sanhedrin (U.K.); Thor (Canada); Urudium (Japan); Vomiting Skulls (Finland )
Hirax (U.S.) Their new album, “El rostro de la muerte” (The Face of Death), presents a power-packed guitar sound, supported by songcentered, speedy drumming in to-the-point compositions. Highenergy screamer vocalist Katon details the functioning of a working, travelling band sweating out their metal through a bunch of different countries and rolling on through your town. Hirax is heavy metal thrash of the fast kind, and a nononsense approach is their trademark. They have quite a list of recorded music, going back to their role in the period of classic 80s thrash. For lots more info: www.hirax.org facebook www.blackdevilrecords.com www.myspace.com/hirax --You toured Texas, Chile and Argentina. How was Texas and South America?! And Puerto Rico, too??! Hirax is very busy!! KATON: Hello Mauricio - Metal Bulletin. YES, we are VERY busy, just finishing up the final stages of our 2009 tour and we have just returned home from Puerto Rico. All of the tours/concerts were very successful! We had a great time! Texas was very good and South America (Chile and Argentina) were totally crazy! Our fan base is growing bigger each time we return to the countries/territories that we have toured through before. We are quite happy. HIRAX has lots of albums. How can people get copies? itunes? copies of the cds? What is Black Devil Records? KATON: www.blackdevilrecords.com, iTunes, & we are distributed worldwide by Seasons of Mist, Century Media and Nuclear Blast. Black Devil Records is our own record label, run and owned by us. We still manufacture CD and Vinyl versions of all of our releases. Keep an eye out for the new album, "El Rostro de la Muerte." There are some very special surprises upcoming: a 12" picture disc and 12" LP version, both are coming soon! Metallers in Mexico hold Hirax in high regard. Are your Spanishlanguage song titles a tribute? Do you speak Spanish? Yes, we have just released our new CD, our first full length in 5 years. It has being received tremendously well so far! Yes, the Spanish title it a tribute to all of our Spanish speaking fans worldwide. To be honest with you, my Spanish is not so good, but through our travels through Central and South America, Puerto Rico and Spain my español is improved each time we return. Mexico it is a very special place for us, we love it! Some of our most die hard fans are from there. Every time we play the song, "El Diablo Negro" in concert no matter where we are. We pay respect to our brothers and sisters throughout Mexico!! What are the lyric topics for this time around? The capitalist system produces lots of wars and poverty, and you were already talking about that in the 80s, but now it’s a huge crisis of capitalism worldwide! The topics we cover are everything from religion, poverty, greed, mass destruction, fear tactics, world history, evolution of man, etc. As to frustration with capitalism, wars and poverty; it is a fight that I think we will all have to deal with until the day we die. As far back as you can go in civilization there has always been wars and capitalism. The rich and the poor will always have conflicts. Unfortunately, that is the sad truth. All of our albums, including "El Rostro de la Muerte" come with the lyrics sheets included so you can read and understand what HIRAX is all about and what we are committed to spreading the word of our message: peace through music. Talk about “Bombs of Death” now in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan! Obviously we are a band committed to peace and humanity. All wars are bad! Plain and simple. Nothing good ever comes out of it. I think that the main problem is people understanding other traditions and not condemning other religions. I believe that everybody should be able to worship whatever god they want to. We are all created equal and we all bleed the same blood...red. Do you, Katton, have time for hobbies and family?
HIRAX consumes all of my time. The only family I have is my wife, who also helps me run the daily business of HIRAX; and she is totally into metal, so we are a great team; and HIRAX is our child. Everyday, 7 days a week, it is music. The band continually keeps us busy. But I love it, and I am happier than I ever have been, but busier than ever before! What from “El rostro…” are you playing live currently?! We will probably rotate songs, but the four that I can tell you right now that are part of the live set are the title track "El Rostro de la Muerte", "Eradicate Mankind", "Flesh and Blood" and the opening track from the album, "Baptized by Fire". But I can't give away all of the surprises. Napalm Death covered Hirax. What did you think?! There’s probably quite a few bands covering HIRAX! Have you met Merciless Death and others inspired by HIRAX and classic thrash? Pretty much most of the newer thrash metal bands I have met. Merciless Death is just one of them. They are really nice guys. Most of the newer young thrash metal bands have opened up for us at one time or another. We are honored that so many bands are inspired by our music. As to Napalm Death's version of our song, "Hate, Fear and Power," I really liked the way they did it. They did it justice and they played it brutal, the way it should be. How you ever played your classic albums “Raging Violence” and “Hate, Fear and Power” in their entirety live?! No, and we never will. That is just not what we are about. We try to play all of the classics and some of the more unknown tracks from our entire catalog. We just believe that everybody has different favorites, so we wouldn't want to just play one full album all the way through. We like to keep it exciting and fresh. Sometimes we like to throw songs into the set that people weren't expecting. Our motto is to keep the fans guessing; it makes for a better concert. On those two albums there are moments of blast beats. How aware of that were you all back then? You seem to not have wanted to use it a bit more? Why? Yes, we are aware of that. It is an honor to be considered one of the forefathers of that movement. Now and again you will continue to hear us do that style of drum patterns. If you look through other albums of ours, such as "Barrage of Noise" you can hear similarities. Or especially on "The New Age of Terror" there is a song titled, "Into the Ruins" that is reminiscent of our early stuff. The main thing for HIRAX is that we don't do blast beats just for the hell of it. If it fits the song, then we will use it. We deliberately try to always make our music fit the drum beats, but don't be surprised if you hear more blast beats in the future. Even if we don't use them, I can guarantee that we will always play FAST and HEAVY because THAT IS WHAT WE DO!! What are HIRAX’s touring commitments for 2010? KATON: I along with Glenn Rogers (lead guitars); Lance Harrison (lead guitars); Steve Harrison (bass); Jorge Iacobellis (drums) will be doing a lot in 2010. We are going to be on the road in support of the new album. We hope to be touring most of the year: Europe, Japan, South, Central and North America, etc. Stopping only to record some videos for the new album. When are you coming back to Houston, Texas? Summer 2010. We will carry all HIRAX titles, t-shirts, and patches on tour at our official HIRAX merchandise stand. But you can also go to our website to buy copies http://www.hirax.org THE END.
Askans Arvet (Germany) Two observations about Askans Arvet: 1. It is true that their sound is undoubtedly raw black metal, and as interesting as that is, it is in their imaginative framework of black metal plus hooks, folk/prog shades where the treasure lies. 2. They have a willingness to practice the different sides separately, as in “Welke Blumen” (“Withered Flowers”) by itself and also together, within the context of a single song, as in the
title track of their recording “Das Vermächtnis der Asche” (8:36) (“Legacy of the Ashes”) which goes back and forth between tremolo grim raw shrieked blasting black metal and mellow/proggy moments. Good! www.myspace.com/askansarvet --You recorded in your rehearsal room?! Sounds good!! Do you know sound engineering? The recording has a pretty good quality, right? Yes, that is correct. We recorded Erleuchtung in the beginning of 2009 and the rest of our Demo in the summer. The demo was produced with help of Tom Schreyer from the second band of Thomas and Max who knows a bit about sound engineering. Most Black Metal Bands have a sound that reminds us of a broken radio. Perhaps a lot of them think that the true Black Metal spirit only can be felt like that. For sure Black Metal has to sound different to other genres, but that does not mean that you have to lower the quality. Drummer Valentin does drums and vocals. Is this also true live? Yes, he also plays drums and sings live. He manages that good so far although it is difficult. Nevertheless we are looking for a separate singer for the performance. Askans Arvet is definitely fast black metal. In addition, you have songs that are serene. Is there a “compromise” that Thomas Freytag writes serene, folky songs and Alexander Zaun writes more traditional black metal songs? Definitely no. At the moment our most songs where composed by Alexander but everyone of us writes some songs. Thomas has also composed a few traditional black metal songs that will be played in the future. Welke Blumen actually was an exception because it was not really written for Askans Arvet. If there will be more songs like that in the future, they will be released as a solo project of Thomas. How to get copies of your recording? To get a Copy of our Demo you can write an E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, with your complete address and a request for “Das Vermächtnis der Asche”. We will tell you the cost and an address where to send the money or our bank connection in case you want to transfer it. Do you promote a political message? Your lyrics seem personal, existential, of the meaningless of existence, grief, death, etc. No, we do not promote a political message. And Thomas who has written the most lyrics definitely does not think that existence is meaningless. The lyrics deal with the decay of the good side of existence. You can find a lot of beauty in nature for example. Humanity in its present form destroys a lot of this beauty as well as in nature and in the creative side of the humankind. You lyrics are in German. Will all your songs be in German? We think that ones mother tongue is the best opportunity to receive the message or the image that is delivered in the lyrics without distorting it. And by the way, it is clear that we do not have time to practice a non-native language on a level that allows us to express things in the same way. You’re based in Aachen, Germany. How’s life there for the band? Aachen is a pretty nice city for fans of metal music because there is a huge amount of people who like it. Of course, it is not easy for a young band to get good gigs, but we played in a few very cool locations 2009 and we plan a few other concerts for the beginning of 2010. What motivated “Durch den Spiegel” (“Through the Mirror”)? Durch den Spiegel describes a person who lost the ability to have aesthetical experiences and wants to die because for this person the aesthetic was the only good thing in life. What does the name Askans Arvet mean? Askans Arvet means in German “Das Vermächtnis der Asche” and can be translated with the “legacy of the ashes”. This means to us that every end means also the beginning of something new.
Is the song “Welke Blumen” part of a poem? You use the phrases “Lieblich glitzert der Reif…” (“Lovely glitters the frost”) in quotes? Is that not your own? All lyrics are written only by Thomas. In “Welke Blumen” the phrases “Lieblich glitzert der Reif …” are in quotes because they are sung by the “Blumen“ (flowers) who cry for the lost mother nature. What else?! We would like to thank everyone who is interested in our music. Greetings from Aachen. Askans Arvet. THE END.
-Nominon (Sweden) According to Perra Karlsson, the drummer for these death metal veterans, the band are preparing to have a good year in 2010: equipped with a new vocalist, two new recordings (“Omen” e.p. and “Monumentomb” album) and optimism, the new year should be fruitful. Nominon is loyalty to death metal. www.myspace.com/nominon --Is "Omen" only an anticipation of the upcoming destruction?! Were these songs "Omen," "Invocations," and "Through Dead Dreams Door" recorded at the same as the full album?! Hell Mauricio. Yes, both the mini-CD material for "OMEN" and the coming album "MONUMENTOMB" were recorded at NECROMORBUS STUDIO, Sweden at the same period of time, September 2009. The MCD is already out and the album will be unleashed March 2010, both via DEATHGASM RDS that are located in Atlanta, Georgia. In the past few years Nominon has been active, releasing cds and touring. What are you plotting for 2010?!! Besides releasing the new album we also have a split 7" EP coming up with the legendary Death Metal band SATHANAS as well, on the Polish label PAGAN RDS. We have also produced a documentary with clips from the US tour we did last summer, hopefully that film will be released during the year as well. It's about one hour long full of live Death Metal music and insane clips from the road etcetera. When you play in Sweden, how is the reaction? We don't really like playing in Sweden, I'd say that people are spoiled with so many shows here all the time. It's been 3 years passing since we last played a show in our hometown for example. We might play here next year, but we don't really push for it to happen, since it's up to us when we REALLY want to play and not the clubs or the Metal people here that are nagging on us to come and play at their club. If you a fan of NOMINON, you will definitely appreciate the show. There are more guitar solos this time around. Did you discuss this? Definitely makes you stand out more than before! No, we definitely didn't had any discussions around that subject. We appreciate some good old guitar stuff here and there, as long as it fits the music/riffs/rhythm we will continue to put some lead guitar work in there as well. If you think it was good guitar stuff on the mini-CD, just hold your breath until you'll hear the album. It'll blow you away! "Invocations" has a good combination of clarity of sound and the fundamental Nominon elements of death. Blasting energy, galloping riffs and THAT guitar tone! How has your new screamer affected your songs? "Invocations" are a quite old song from 2001 that we had recorded for a single 7" in the past. We've always continued to play that one live, so now it was about time that we recorded it properly in a quality studio. It's one of the guitarists of NOMINON, Juha, who is singing on that one and he did a marvelous job I must say. Since it's pretty much him, myself and AntiChristian (second guitarist) writing the music it's also obvious that he got a big role in the song-writing process for sure. That certain song is definitely a fundamental NOMINON hymn by all means.
You have toured the U.S. in the past and played the Central Illinois Metalfest. How was that experience? We had a lot of good times over there and we are working to come back. The response were overhelming and we didn't expect that, so it was awesome. There has been some discussions about NOMINON coming back in the summer of 2010, but for now nothing is confirmed. We're in the talks with several bands (really classic underground Death Metal bands) that would suit for us to tour with, so be sure to check our website for all the latest news and shows. Will you come to Houston, Texas in 2010?!! The metal music show From the Depths has been playing “Omen” on the radio. Don't know right now if we will make it to The States during 2010, but we're working on it. If we get there I'm sure that we will make it to Texas this time around and hopefully to Houston as well, it would definitely be cool to meet Wes again. I like Texas very much and I can't wait to get back. That's all, thanks for the support, Mauricio. For further info and NOMINON merchandise check our website: www.nominon.com and www.myspace.com/nominon Hail the horned one! /Perra & NOMINON. THE END. --
Infinity Overture (Denmark) Power/heavy/symphonic metallers Infinity Overture’s “Kingdom of Utopia” impresses with traditional metal singing, upbeat, rocking songs and an elegant sound quality, highlighting very talented guitar work. The skilled musicianship and the lush production gives this a fantasy regal metal feel. The singing, the guitar riffs and solos, and the songs are probably the most outstanding things about this album; of course, others listeners will find other great things they like about these skilled, talented musicians succeeding at their chosen art. For those into talented guitarists, singers and songs. Niels, the guitar wizard, answered these questions. www.myspace.com/welcometoinfinity --“Kingdom of Utopia” is high quality music! Have you been able to promote it in Denmark and how have people responded? Hi Mauricio, thanks a lot for the kind words. Yes, we are based in Denmark, and we have been promoting the album a little bit live in Denmark until now, but we will play more shows in 2010, and we have a festival in Belgium also. And well, this music is not popular in Denmark unfortunately Did Niels write all the music for the song “Wonderland”? Yes, I (Niels Vejlyt) wrote all the songs, and when I did the album, I just had musicians play the parts, but thankfully we are now a complete band. Miro (a producer) did some of the film score style parts Were the solos written before or in the studio for the song “Kingdom of Utopia”? Is the background sound keyboards, synth? The guitar solos we written in the studio, which was a friend who owned, so I did not pay studio time when I recorded the guitars. The drums was another story, Me and Mads Wolf did those in a pro studio, but Mads was just a session player, Jakob Vand is now the Infinity Overture drummer. Miro is playing the keyboards, and the orchestrations I did is a programmed sequencer Were the lyrics for “Oceans of Time” ready before the music?! How much sings here Ian Parry and Lene Peterssen? Oceans of Time is a funny story, since I wrote all the songs and lyrics for the music, I also came up with the titles of the songs, but then Ian redid the lyrics, and we kept the Oceans of Time title, and he came up with a story for that title. It is actually a friend of mine called Anne Karine who did the female vocals on Oceans of Time, because at that time in the process, I had not met Lene. How do you play those wonderful solos?! Your fingers should fall off! When did you start playing? You have instructional dvds? Ha Ha, thanks, I have been playing guitar for about 20 years, I did some instructional releases for Chops from Hell and one for
Shred Academy, and they are among other available from my own website www.nielsvejlyt.dk, the website just had a new design and lots of great new features. I’m doing a new instructional dvd called “Advanced Arpeggios,” its very high quality, as opposed to the video quality in the old ones I did. Yes you can learn to shred from them if you have the discipline not to give up. There’s a serious disease afflicting many youth: instead of learning to play their instruments and writing intelligent lyrics, they prefer “chug-chug-chug” guitar and lyrics about “sex with zombies,” etc. Can you help to cure this disease? Ha Ha, no, actually I myself like a lot of different styles of music and metal of course, for me its important to find the qualities in all music. Your idea of “utopia” of course concerns peace. Do you think that patriotism—the patriotism of an imperialist power like the U.S.— (“the United States is the greatest country”; and other such arrogance) has the purpose of supporting the government’s wars/occupations/invasions all over the world? Actually Ian came up with the lyrics for Kingdom of Utopia, and he is much more politically involved than I am. And basically I don’t think it’s a good idea to think less of other cultures, every nation and human being has great qualities I think Currently, there are hundreds of Danish troops in Afghanistan!! Are you prepared to support the Danish government’s participation in these wars in the Middle East for 10, 20 years?! Well, as I said, I’m not that involved in politics, so its a bit tough for me to answer, but I think a lot of things can go wrong if people or soldiers enter a country, and they don’t respect the people in the country, on the other hand, maybe some of them are doing good, and helping people, I really don’t know. Does Mads Damgaard play a six-string bass? Does it open up a whole series of other musical possibilities? Mads Damgaards bass lines did not end up on the album, Olaf Reitmeier did some of the lines, and Kyle Honea did some, they are very different in style, but I completely adore their work on the album. Finally, have you noticed that Infinity Overture’s singing often has a similar grit as Biff from Saxon?!!!! I personally don’t have much experience with Saxon, but I remember someone else saying that. THE END. --
Xolotl (Utah, U.S.) With their self-titled recording, Xolotl introduces their perspective on traditional raw black metal. The overall speed is often as-fastas-human-blastingly-possible, guitars and drumming funneling the spirit of chaos into comprehensible sounds of black metal rage. What’s more, a distinctive component of Xolotl’s black metal is their use of indigenous instruments and ideas. In terms of musical result, the aforementioned chaos-compositions are enhanced with additional sounds from indigenous instruments, which give the music an imaginative touch. The lyrics are in Spanish, brought to sound-life by Bruja, totally destroying her vocal chords; and as the guitarist also named Xolotl explicates here, they hope to have lyrics in indigenous languages in the future. www.myspace.com/xolotlwar Address: Xolotl/575 North 250 West/ Springville Utah 84663/USA -What will 2010 be like for you, recordings, concerts, etc? XOLOTL: We’re going to have a new song that has not been released on a Mexican metal bands’ cd compilation under “Industria de Malevolos” label (Mex.). And if everything goes ok we’ll be recording our second cd by mid 2010. About shows, just a few here and there. Do you plan to play Mexico? The cd is by a Mexican company. Yes, the cd was released under American Line Productions label, they want us to play some shows there but to be honest, it won’t
be possible in the near future, we all have jobs and other shit to take care of, so… not for now. In your black metal, there are other sounds besides the typical fast and blasting sounds. What are some of those instruments? They are some pre-hispanic instruments like sea shells (trumpet like sound), some Native flutes, ayoyote seeds shakers, different sizes of aztek drums, wood rain stick, and teponaztli drum. Your band is based out of Utah, U. S. How is the metal scene in Salt Lake City, Utah. How many recordings in total do you have? Well, Utah is not known for its huge metal scene, but we have several really sick bands here. Even though the scene is small, it is strong and supportive. We have just released our debut album, and that is all we have out for now. Is there one person responsible for the lyrics? Are there various people working on the same general concept? Yaotl is the one responsible for all the lyrics and the band’s ideology. Everyone in the band is really involved and believes passionately in the hole pre-hispanic spectrum. Also as individuals we are really involved in activist movements to help our people. Your lyrics deal are themes of the ancient peoples of Mexico. Are you students of history? Do you speak indigenous languages? We all do have knowledge in pre-hispanic history but Yaotl is the Master, he has some serious studies in Mexican ancient history, he also speaks some Nahuatl, Yucatecan Maya, and Guatemalan Quiche. He is actually taking Nahuatl lessons. Do you want lyrics in indigenous languages, and not in Spanish? Actually that has been the idea since the beginning, but Nahuatl is not an easy one, La Bruja had a hard time singing and learning the lyrics in nahuatl, so we decided to sing them in Spanish for now, but we are still working to move 100% to Nahuatl. Can you explain your perspective on “Kulto a Ketzalkoatl”? Well, it is extremely short, but to me it gets right to what I think is the point. That the immense colonizing effects that have been implanted in our way of thinking and dna is blinding us, and the solution to this “blindness” is learning, accepting, and being proud of who we were and who we are. What is the working relationship between your guitarists Xolotl and Nahaulli? What is the vision for the guitar sound? The working relationship is perfect, we work together extremely well, we are in the same page always, when one of us gets stuck somewhere in the writing process then comes the other one to the rescue, it’s like 2 brains working connected somehow. Our vision for the band sound was exactly as the cd sounds, crude, raw, simple structures and hateful riffs. We don’t care about a perfect over-produced sound, I don’t like over produced sound, I do care more to transmit all the hate to the music and sound. If you care too much about the sound production you get lost, sounds perfect but you lose the feeling. One example is Bathory: Blood Fire Death, sound maybe is not the best but definitely transmit all that obscure feeling to the music. The guitar sound was exactly what we were looking for, raw and organic. It doesn’t bother me at all the string scratching sounds, amplifier and guitar hum, it make it feel more live and organic. Last comments? Thank you for the time and space in your zine. To get the album contact us at www.myspace.com/xolotlwar or www.alprods.net THE END. ---
Smargroth (Slovenia) Smargroth is a necrogrim black metal band with some surprisingly memorable songs, and definitely friendly to the black metal ear. Also, Smargroth is an individual who is The Old Troll, the main creative force behind the music. The album is called “The Arrival of the Necrotronian” and has a nice, spicy kick to it, lots of the necro feeling, with that pick-up-your-guitar-and-put-
your-corpsepaint-on vibe. Nice. Don’t forget your bullet belts, either. Denim and leather, and raw black metal brought them all together. Smargroth is back on the streets again, raw-necro-grim black metal blasting all over the frosting place. The band claims to sound like “a broken radio” but they are wrong. The sound quality and music are definitely good. Seek! www.myspace.com/smargroth --Congratulations on “The Arrival of Necrotronian”! What part of Slovenia are you from? Is that a good place for the black metal lunacy of Smargroth? Hello Mauricio. Thanks. I am from the capital city of Slovenia, Ljubljana. Not "native", but as most of other metalheads in Slovenia, I moved here from a small city. Slovenia is so small, that almost all metalheads personally know each other. So it is more than a perfect place for my band. Here we have around 15 active black metal bands and with each we have connections. Your album is self-released and DIY. How to get copies?!! Yes, completely DIY, except the professional mastering by Carl Saff. It is not easy to be one-man band as it was expensive to self-release the album. Luckily I have members from flesh and blood now and the expenses are divided. Besides the Myspace and Facebook page, we have official Smargroth web site www.smargroth.com, where anyone can contact us and order the CD. “Codex of Tyranny” or “Below” are just two examples of grim, blasting black metal that is your specialty. How old are those songs? Do you have, like, 30 songs not recorded yet?!! "Below" was the first song I recorded. In fact, all began with sound test at the end of 2007. I tried to record something on new computer and the result is the first 20 seconds of Below. As I listened to what I recorded I found out that this should be a perfect start for a perfect song. I got enthusiastic, and made "Runes of the Damned" from the old material. Also I re-recorded "Northern Reveries", which I created some years before. Then suddenly I realized, I was making the album! I created the fantasy story for the concept album, and recorded the remaining songs. Codex of Tyranny was, I think, the fifth recorded song, made in March 2008. It had to be a powerful, fast song that represents the oppression and suffering of the humankind. Because lack of free time, it took about a year to record all the songs. On my part, the recording was finished by January 2009. But then I unsuccessfully waited for the answers from the publishers, waited for the drummer to rewrite the drum tracks and then the mastering and the printing of the CDs. The album was released in October 2009. About the future project, I have some hours of material for the new songs and I am already in the making of the next album. I just have to write the new chapter of the fantasy story. It will be the greater masterpiece than "The Arrival of Necrotronian". Is the music on the album played by a band or by the solo individual Smargroth, the old Troll? I, the old Troll, have recruited younger Trolls that help me to perform live. I don't want to use word "session members", as I gave them a lot of freedom and I listen to their wishes. But the album was recorded completely by myself, except the guest vocalists and the drum tracks were improved by Oybl, who is now the member of the band. How do you feel when you play “Triumphant Legions”?!! Wow, Triumphant Legions is the war song. It is the fastest of all songs. The song itself is epic battle in which the Wizards won by using the magic. That moment is captured in the intro of the song itself. It was the last recorded song as I waited for the right time and the right mood. I am addicted to metal in general, but I often find myself skipping the non-black metal songs. I also like other genres, but I found black as the superior one. It takes me into my own world and fills me with the energy. Powerful and aggressive, but yet so gentle and fragile. That is black metal. You know, when I am playing just for myself, I don't play any particular song, I'm just improvising and my style is often slow, melodic, melancholic.
Did you use a drum machine? It is a drum machine. I prefer a real drummer, but I couldn't afford a studio to record the real drums. It's just too expensive. So I was forced to use the machine. Oybl wrote the drum tracks exactly like he is playing live. Sometimes the machine does not sound so bad, depending on the sound of other instruments. But for old-school and raw black metal, a real drumkit, with all the errors and irregularities, is a must. The errors themself can have quite a charm. What is the story of “Chasms of Doom”?! Chasms of Doom is the final place in the depths of the world, to where the captured souls are carried enchained. From there is no escape. It is like a hell. We all have some kind of the abyss in our mind, and that's what makes us curious and willing to explore the new dimensions. It is that "spark" which makes us go further. Without the abyss, we would be stuck in the past with no progress. “Glacier of Despair” is, of course, necrogrim black metal. Can you please necro-explain it? Glacier of Despair is a ballad, as a contrast to the other songs. The song is introverted and thoughtful. Why me? What am I guilty of? Why am I punished? It is the retrospective into the past, when the world was a better place. The opera with the crystal-like guitars and the winter-storm represents this innocent and peaceful life. Why the winter and the snow? Because they bring tranquillity. The ice freezes and captures a moment in the time, like in the memory. Slovenia has a lot of forests. Do you think your music has any relation to nature?! Are the forests in danger in your country? I like forests and mountains. Fortunately we have high awareness, so they are not endangered. The nature itself is a haven from the dramatic and ever-moving life in the cities. I do live in the city, because I have a job here. It is better this way, as it is a greater experience when I go from time to time to rest my mind in the nature. If I would live in the forest, I would get bored of it. I like contrasts. There are a lot of contrasts in my music also. Do your own songs sounds as memorable as “Run to Hills” or “Painkiller” to you? I think your songs are melodic and catchy. Is that crazy? I don’t think you sound like “a broken radio”! Yes, that's true. I could listen to my songs over and over, that's quite a miracle. Even I could not believe that. So, you are not crazy at all :) I personally don't think they will ever become a cult songs, at least because black metal is too underground for that. I do sound like a radio, which was broken and repaired :) In black metal, there is, amongst some, an attraction to fascist political ideas, and the vocabulary, symbols, etc. of fascism. As a band from Slovenia, a nation that has suffered greatly— repression, murder, invasions, territorial partitions—at the hands of fascist and right-wing violence in recent history, do you find it ridiculous how some black metallers support reactionary ideology?! I hate the politics and the religious institutions, as they divide people, instead of joining them. There are not many NSBM bands in Slovenia, if any. They don't have much support here. Even foreign bands, marked as NBSM, were after their concert clarifying and denying their link to the right wing ideology. But in other eastern-Europe countries, the situation is the opposite. I am proud only of my own creations, not of something that others (ancestors for example) did. “Northern Reveries,” unlike the rest of the album, is a midpaced instrumental. Is it a sign of things to come in the future? The end of the album is somehow optimistic. Although my soul is captured in the abyss, there is a catharsis and hope for the humankind. So "Northern Reveries" is quite a suitable and mystic ending, which can lead to many interpretations. That's why lyrics aren't needed. The song was older, but re-recorded, to make it sound like the other songs. I think, it was made in 2005. It may be the sign of the next album, but for now, let it be the secret ;)
What else?! I hope that people will some day start to think with their own heads and stop being sheeps. I hope that black metal will somehow help with this. And I want all the black-metallers around the world unite in the battle against stupidity of the humankind. And thanks for the interview and greetings to all readers. THE END.
REVIEWS Awicha (Thailand): Awicha Marn 09 demo These two songs go as fast as raw-black-metally possible, in a whirling-hurling tornado of chaos and speed and growl-shrieking with no desire to stop. This is drum-machined-robot-crazy and it’s constant hammer-bashing intensity. This sounds like a demo and that takes away a bit from the desired effect, though this does get by on nothing but its own energy, consuming itself in the process. It’s blast, blast, blast, scream and rage. For those that don’t mind bedroom/computer recorded metal. Here it is. www.myspace.com/awichablood
Bestemmia Aeternalis (Texas): Embracing Hell demo Due to the dual vocal approach, black metal shrieking and death metal growling, the group gives the impression of being a mix of death and black metal. And while, at times, there are some moments of those thicker, distorted guitar moments, after a few listens it appears that it is the black metal side of the equation that weighs more. This is mainly propelled by attitude, an unrelenting intensity, piloted by the fast, uptempo and blasting drumming. Maybe the drums are a bit louder than everything else. At any rate, the band should be relatively pleased, but not too much so, with this recording, as it amply shows they have a good attitude and potential, including some catchy riffs and brief moments of melody. In this demo it’s easy to hear the instruments and what’s going on with the songs, but the guitars are a bit buried in the mix. However, overall the mentality-intention is portrayed accurately and convincingly. Definitely a good beginning and hopefully they can build on this one and achieve a bit clearer sound quality next time; a relatively good effort. www.myspace.com/bestemmiaaeternalis
Cerebrum (Greece): Spectral Extravagance (Lacerated Enemy) Cerebrum’s peppered with rhythm changes, and is prone to technical tangents, guitar-centered noodling and heavy crunch: the blasting and energy. Technicality, prog and guitar-shred qualities are prevalent premises. What’s nice about Cerebrum is their simultaneous achievement at two levels: (1) in the live environment this sounds moshpit-and-headbanging friendly; speedy, crazy, heavy, etc. and (2) the tech-prog growl metal also offers lots to check out when listening to the music at home and you don’t necessarily have a moshpit going on in your room. Bring it: “Thorns of Weakness,” “Edge of Parallel Circles,” and “Fragments of Illusion” are all examples of the cranial activity of Cerebrum! It’s intelligently composed and exhibits a serious effort to have songs that function, that flow, that offer the listener some adventure and a bit of melody, but that, at the same time, keep the foot on the pedal strongly. Definitely a solid work of what some simply call “technical speed/blasting death metal.” This is a professional album, with professional sound and it is not demo-like sound quality at all. “Grayt sooksess!!!,” as Borat says. www.myspace.com/laceratedenemyrecords www.myspace.com/cerebrum
Conqueror (Costa Rica): In the Depth of Darkness The constant-strong use of guitar solos, and the recurring additional rhythm riffs—on top of what already are fire thrash/black metal riffs—and the dedication to well-arranged, longer songs puts Conqueror in a pretty distinctive spot: they stand out based on their guitar work. The fact that they use solos a lot throughout the songs shows that extra step, beyond saying, “that’s good enough” and going further, for better than “good.” The riffs are based-inspired on that particular sound of raw thrash/black sound, using the 80s influence, but that’s not where the band stops. Those riffs are then spiced up with additional spiral/tremolo/black/thrash riffs that intensify the songs, and give them extra atmosphere, making them more sinister than just speed, and more interesting, too. The band has a great attitude reflecting the classic sound that encompasses black/death/thrash, with vocals of the black/death raw, early music of foundational German/Brazilian/U.S. bands. Some listeners will hear this or that particular influence, depending on one’s own experiences and likes, but the most important thing will be to hear for yourself. Why not? It’s worth investigating. www.myspace.com/conquerorcr
is not chug-chug/breakdown death metal, but more of the flashing-the-steel type of guitar solos, driving-headbangingmarching-forward type of riffs, while the drumming does a good job of changing speeds from fast to blasting and other little ditties all over the place. The vocals are guttural, like the doctor ordered, but just a tad bit intelligible here and there. Shakespeare observed in “Julius Caesar,” the tendency of young death metal bands to concentrate on the “Brutalität₧Moжrte-ZumpĂn,” as he would often say in Igpay Atinlay. Human Carnage takes this element B-M-Z and adds quite a bit of that guitar flair-spark and succeeds superbly. Nice! Shakespeare was koerrekt. www.myspace.com/humancarnage
Ixpapalotl (Greece): That of the Swamp “I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass. And I’m all out of bubble gum.” Such is the philosophy of the band. This death metal blasting grind band has three songs of growling-blasting fun. The guitar work has those grind/death metal riffs, easy to remember, and lots of fun. ¡Los griegos del manicomio! ¿Dónde está el chicle? The sound quality of this recording is solid. It’s a good upfront sound where one can hear the instruments well. This is a pleasant surprise with how catchy the songs are. Clearly, they are doing something right. www.myspace.com/ixpapalotl
Diamanthian (U.K.): Arcana Doctrina
(Ossuary Industries) There is an outlook on metal upon which the work of Diamanthian is constructed, and it is inextricably bound to a foundational moment. It is, if you will, orthodox or a singlepurpose perspective on which their music depends: to bring under their praxis leaden heaviness of crushing riffs, regardless of the particular speeds utilized in a specific song. Early 90s U.S. death metal, in particular New York and Florida—that heavy/thick/engulfing/downtuned guitar sound/riffs; blasting, practiced to a good extent in the Mike Smith school of the blast: heavy, strong pounding accentuated by a strictness of rhythm; very guttural low vocals as expected for this music; death and doom-death heaviness of guitar sound and slower moments in some songs, such as in “Immaculate Decay,” “Curse of the Nephilim,” etc.; or the gigantic “Catastrophic Divine Judgement,” for example. Through the guitar solos, a variety of moods and solid songs, Diamanthian is doing right by death metal and its audience, which with this should be pretty pleased. Try listening to this and see how long you can go without growling along! Not very. www.myspace.com/diamanthian www.myspace.com/ossuaryindustries
Memoirs of a Broken Man (Nightmare R.) Brainy, philosophical and virtuoso prog metal: top notch performances: lots of guitar harmonies, solos and guitar-guitarguitar-centered music, with clear and professional sound quality. Very good traditional heavy metal singing, always melodic, catchy, often sounds uptempo “rocking out” style singing, sometimes it’s more mellow and spacey, always emphasizing singing (no growling). Elegantly done throughout the whole album and it is meant for those that appreciate musical talent in a metal band: adult contemporary metal music, good songs and talents. www.myspace.com/nightmarerecords1 www.myspace.com/futuresendband
Human Carnage (Québec, Can.): Feast of Darkness This four-song e.p. is a compact, action-packed, no-nonsense death metal riffarama-o-fest of speed, guttural growling, blasting, jam-inity-jam structural bouncing off the walls. Right this way for a death metal o’celebration: kick off this thing correct with a serious overdose administration of growling intensity and gigantic-catchy guitar-o-jams. Every song is effectively designed to be a barnstormingo-stampede snowballing through the few minutes that each song takes, and then, it’s time for the next one. With the guitar sound, there is a clearly distinguishable guitar riff driving each part of the song and it is memorable. This
Janus (Italy): Vega
With music it is often the case, as with other things, that some people demand instant gratification. However, music under the system of greed-profit-thievery, capitalism, can often be and is merchandise, but music is also not exactly equivalent to hamburgers, shoes, toothpaste or telephones. Janus (or: JANVS) in some ways swims against the stream. Overall, this music requires more patience, endurance and a willingness to see the different colors, shades and layers. The fast moments give way to uptempo ones, then to a midpace, then back to near-blasting speed, and returning to a slow moment, then an extended guitar interlude or a melodic or spacey segment. The guitar work is creative, sometimes melodic, sometimes very tremolo-ish or spiral, etc. There are obvious black metal undertones to this album and this music cannot but originate from black metal starting points. Things are not so simple, though. Certainly not black metal in the strict sense, but that’s exactly the point: to take those structures into a long-winded, instrument-centered, prog framework. The result is something flexible-ambiguous, where speed, guitar solos, melancholy, growling, clean singing, long songs (around the 7-minute mark as an average of sorts) all take different shapes. Imagination + ability + songs = Janus. www.myspace.com/janvsdotit
Ninth Kingdom (Texas): Where No Kings Shall Roam Hard work and a seriousness of objectives is what black metallers Ninth Kingdom’s album exudes. It’s not possible to understand all that’s happening during the first listen, except to notice that a lot is going on in this whirlwind. Just many guitars and drummers are playing here?!! Embodying progressiveness/complexity and melody, and not afraid to play real guitar solos, to shred, with catchy and raging riffs; they have something creative to offer. Hear the 11-minutes-plus that is “A Storm on the Horizon” for ample evidence of their energies: a trip to their multifaceted worlds. For a one-way ticket to the inside of the circle of drumming chaos, hear “Divination of Self” and try not to pass out. If you do, that’s ok, when you wake up, “The Hollowed Crown” or “The Bastard Son” will be there to urge you on. It’s pleasant to hear such dedication to the guitar and drums and to what can be achieved with them. There is much taking place here, but the fact is that this, if one has the mind to listen to it, has lots of musicality to be appreciated and enjoyed. www.myspace.com/ninthkingdom
Sanhedrin (U.K.): Demo 2009 The keyboard introduction sets the stage for three songs of obscure-obscurantist-symphonic death-black metal. Then the first song, “Now I See the Truth” is atmosphere-driven, both keyboard-atmosphere, as well as guitar-vocal at moments sounding more black metal, then death metal, and at times even some goth metal vibes. At any rate, it’s all growling (no clean vocals). “The Second Coming,” for example, has blasting parts, that coupled with those keyboards, certainly point towards symphonic black metal directions: heaviness, speed, melody and an aura horror envelopes Sanhedrin. It’s easy to tell that the band is aiming at something much larger than this demo, a bigger sound, but this is no bad way to begin. They got the songs, and that’s the starting point. www.myspace.com/sanhedrin666
Thor (Canada): Unchained
With song titles like “Ride from Hell,” “Rock the City” and “Lightning Strikes” and other songs about heavy metal, this is the traditional, rocking, good-time heavy metal zone. There are 11 songs, from speedy, shreddy and very catchy racers like “Ragnarok,” to exercises in maximum audience sing-along like “Rock the City” and “Anger,” to uptempo fistraisers like “Warhammer,” etc. Straight late 70s/early 80s heavy metal, in the spirit of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and those early 80s nonthrash bands from the United States and Germany, as well as the U.K. legendary, household name bands from the early and mid 80s. Old school traditional heavy metal, for sure. There’s lots more info at www.thorcentral.com and www.myspace.com/thorband
Urudium (Japan): Moonlit Sorrow Urudium is an interesting proposition. First, the guitar solos, melodies, harmonies sound crystal clear and suggest a love for the instrument. As to the style, it is guitar-riff-and-solo driven speedy heavy metal that stays in the uptempo and fast (but no blasting speed) somewhere between thrash and heavy metal, but closer to the speed of thrash, but with high singing/yelling vocals, and lost of guitar solo/melody/harmony elements. Apparently, this is all the work of one Shane Lightning Yamash, but this sounds a lot like a band, not a solo project. There are 13 songs on this album and Urudium does not suffer from a lack of energy. In fact, only track number 5, the title track, is in the slower territory and number 6, “Call Me” stays in the slower/midtempo, and the 11 other songs are uptempo and/or fast. Fun! www.myspace.com/urudium
Vomiting Skulls(Finland): demo “With a name like Vomiting Skulls, it has to be good.” Vomiting Skulls are a bunch of smarty black metal pants, with their four-song demo, with a good touch of variety. “Slaughter” is a total-black-metal tremolo-spiral-riffrules-all party of speed. Very difficult not to like! It’s a good song, a good start. OK, what’s next? “Old ones” then shows up to mess with preconceived notions. How does black metal sound at middle-of-the-road tempo? On here the band goes for those heavy-crushing riffs. OK, convinced. On this one, it definitely stands out that the vocals are not the traditional black metal shriek, but a lowerregister growl that works well with those doomy black metal tones. “Altar” picks up the speed once again, and includes a second-half midtempo section, demonstrating once again that it’s not all about speed for them here. “Kill for his glory” ends this with tremolo-kingdom blasting energies, demonstrating once again that it’s all about speed for them here. Success!! www.myspace.com/vomitingskullofficial
Metal on Houston radio and on the internet 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 Jan. 23: Texas Metal Fest: Vital Remains, Ninth Kingdom; some 25 (or more) bands!! Jan. 30: Lethal Aggression, Scum Allegiance, H.R.A., Termination Force, Owl Witch Jan. 30: Sabbath Judas Sabbath, others Feb. 10: Those Whom the Gods Detest Tour Nile, Immolation, Krisiun, Dreaming Dead, others Feb. 13: Ain’t Valentine’s Day Massacre: [to benefit KPFT 90.1 radio] Warbeast, Project Armageddon, Kin of Ettins, Torsectomy, Owl Witch, Erebus Feb. 16: Venomous Supremacy, Sculpting Atrocity Feb. 19: DRI Feb. 27: Gravehill, Hod, Blaspherian, Disfigured, Morbus 666 March 1: The Black Dahlia Murder, Obscura, Augury, Hatesphere March 12: Misery Index, Magrudergrind, Diminished, Injurious Physical Violence, Venomous Supremacy March 20: We’re All Doomed Fest Project Armageddon, Soulcrusher, others March 28: Hordes of Chaos Tour Kreator, Kataklysm, Evile, Lazarus A.D., others April 3: Destroying Texas Fest 5 Order From Chaos, Inquisition, Ares Kingdom, Averse Sefira, Toxodeath April 8: Hammerfall, Echoes of Eternity April 16: Embryonic Devourment, Sepsism, Engaged in Mutilating April 28: Overkill, Vader, God Dethroned, Warbringer, Evile, Woe of Tyrants April 28: Sonata Arctica, Mutiny Within, Powerglove April 30: Finntroll, Moonsorrow, Swallow the Sun June 7: Obituary June 12: Primal Fear
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