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Washington state, U.S.

January 6, 2018 (no.1 in Jan.)

Metal Bulletin Zine P.O. Box 1339 Lake Stevens WA 98258 USA

Mystica Girls (Mexico)

AlNamrood (Saudi Arabia)

Portrait (Sweden)

Occasvs (Chile)

Hällas (Sweden)

Syn Ze Sase Tri (Romania)

issues of this zine are available online at:

— Metal Bulletin Zine P.O. Box 1339 Lake Stevens WA 98258


All album reviews, news, updates below are by MMB, unless stated otherwise. **

interview: Mystica Girls

Mystica Girls is a heavy metal band from Mexico City. They have been recording EPs and albums since 2008, but they started earlier, in 2005. This publication sent them some questions about the band and the latest album Veronica, the Courtesan from Hell.

USA has been a very difficult country for us, we have lots of fans, but we are independent and MEXICANS, that force us bands here to go illegally and tour in USA, and actually is more risky for us if we don’t get a Visa Work, and all promotes don’t want to make that kind of investment, so we are trying to get all the contacts in different places of USA to finally go to the embassy and try to be approved to tour there, so this really has been a nightmare for a band like us, but soon or late we will have some shows there, its just a matter of time, and savings lol.

Hello! How are you in Mexico City in 2017? Hi! Thank u! Excellent. We have been working a lot more since Veronica, The Courtesan from Hell. The band started as a cover band in 2005? We were a cover band until 2010, that was our regular job, and thanks to this I was able to pay my career in Fermatta Academy and since 2005 to 2010 covers and guitar lessons help us to pay bills and let us to be full time with our original project, it has been difficult but not impossible. Mystica Girls plays in many places in Mexico. Do you tour Mexico often? Have you had opportunities to play in Central America and South America? Yes, as an independent band we have always have to search new places and it has been more difficult to have an international exposure, we have finally got some contacts in Ecuador, Argentina and Bogotá to have some shows there with the Colombian band Highway, we are always touring in Mexico because it is more easy to close deals with promoters and festivals and as an-all girl band and a metal band people have recognized us more through the time, we have become a well known band here. Do you have plans for the U.S.?

Are you in contact with any record label here in the U.S.? Not yet. We have been seeking but have no answer yet Is it true that your band is independent and not signed to a label in Mexico? Is this your choice? Do you prefer to be independent? We have all the things we have thanks to our work since 2005, we have received some invitations to labels but they want from us other type of image, music and more, we don’t play music only but only for money, we have a message to say, and not everybody understand that, so we have discovered that it is a difficult path to go, but not an impossible one, we see our project as an enterprise, it is our business, we have now

people who is part of our team work, we are now working with Terraza Records that help us to release our two versions of Veronica, The Courtesan from Hell cd, but only that. We produce our project, but we are not close to get the next step, to finally get an international booking agency or things like that, we are seeking them, but still independents and if that never happens, we will continue our work as we know it has been working until now. In 2016 you had the album Veronica, the Courtesan from Hell. You did the album in a Spanish version and also the English version. Are you pleased with the results of doing the album in two languages? Do you think you will do that again or not? Of course! They are two different albums that complements each other with the artwork, the simple way to have two languages in the songs let us have different aspects of the same song, we were right to make this choice and it has worked very well, people from the overseas ask a lot more for the English version, while for some German people, the Spanish version has been like an exotic Mexican metal album, and here in Mexico people love to sing the songs in our language, so it has been a very pleasant result for us. Who are the current members of the band in 2017 and how long has each member been in the band? Are any of you in other bands? Cinthya Blackcat, voice and lead guitar, 12 years Yoli Moreno, drums, 5 years Bianka Roads, rhythm guitar, 2 years, and LaKorn bassdoll, 1 year We usually collaborate in other musical projects but we only have Mystica Girls as a current band. Now that Mystica Girls has been around a

while, since 2005, how would you say your objectives with the band are different from 2005? We think we have achieve step by step every goal we have set since that year, we have learned a lot of things, and we know what we have to do to continue our musical path and we are happy because we see al the results of our hard work and people follow us and support us, too. What are your plans for the rest of 2017 and for 2018? In first place is to release our DVD, we are preparing and acoustic show with some new songs, we are planning 2 or 3 official videos and still continue with the research of other countries to have any tour outside Mexico, we will focus only in international show for now, we are still having the Veronica national tour and continue with that How can your fans support your band? We have our digital albums on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon mp3, Apple Music, Google Play, YouTube, we have an online store available in or you can write us on facebook and we make national and international shippings, we have our albums, tshirts, signed pictures, caps, mugs, etc. We always appreciate our fans support, thanks to them we can continue investing on new projects involved with the band. What other news do you have? You can visit our Vevo channel on Youtube and check out two videoclips from the DVD recorded at Circo Volador in Feb 17, we are updating too the official picture of the band and starting to compose some new songs. Thank u for reading and stay in touch!

interview: AlNamrood AlNamrood (“the nonbeliever”), a black metal band in Saudi Arabia, has under its belt a consistent and constant discography since 2008. Now in 2017 the quest adds another journey by the name of Enkar, a strong introduction to the band’s “Arabian occult metal,” which is black metal interpreted through the medium of the participants’ music knowledge of their surroundings in their part of the world. To the initiated the new chapter should be very pleasing and will renew their support to the secretive group. Below are the answers received in response to questions about the latest music. Congratulations on your new album Enkar! It is a very memorable work and I listen to it a lot. How is life in Saudi Arabia for you all? Thank you. Things are like the usual, living in the shadow, avoiding social contacts, keeping very low profile and doing what pleases us in our private place. Metal Archives says that you are in the city of Al-Khobar. Are you able to find a job and pay the bills there? Saudi Arabia is a rich country and some social classes live well. Yet, you criticize the state and government there. Is your criticism based on what you consider a lack of freedom, not economic issues? We are not from that city, I’m not sure why metal archive assumed that, or it was inputted by someone, although we never revealed our whereabouts. At anyhow, Saudi Arabia is a rich country indeed, but opportunities is reserved for certain class in the society, it is like tribal levels and the rich class is owning everything and controlling everything, the poor class get nothing, merely the leftover from the resources of this country. Economy is solid but the distribution of resources is unfair, job are reserved, health care is poor (the rich class get their health care abroad) education is poor, infrastructure is poor, freedom does

not exist. Social equality is a big issue in the country.

How many people are members of the band? 3 members who played in the latest album Enkar. Can you tell us the relation between the album artwork and the title? The concept is rebellious in nature, brutality of authority, the artwork illustrates an execution scene, illustrative to what happen in our country, where the religious regime oppress all those who do not follow their path. What instrument is the solo at the beginning of the song “Estinzaf”? Is it the oud? Is it something that someone from Saudi Arabia would recognize immediately?! Yes, it is Oud, we thought about this combination and it blended very well with the song. I suppose any one knows Arabic music will recognize that this is the sound of Oud. If you play electric or acoustic guitar, it should be rather easy to play the oud, right? The oud is close to the construction of guitar, but it differs in sound output. It has no frets (fretless) shorter scale, doubled strings (11 or 12 typically) the sound is more bassy than acoustic guitar, the scale is different, out notes start with “C”, unlike standard guitar

which starts with “E”. The oud uses the concept of quarter note, which is very different than guitar.

ancient movie, sadly, fluent Arabic is not used nowadays anymore, all Arab no speak slang Arabic, redefined for each country.

Songs 4-10 all begin with the letter E, as shown on Metal Archives. Is there a reason for that? The words start with “E” because it is an adjective in Arabic language, for example, in English, to describe the situation of force, we say enforcement. So each song title is written as description for something.

Did you use the kanun on this album? That instrument seems harder to play. It has lots of strings! Of course, it is our favorite instrument, it is used on ”Halak”, “Estibdad” and “Entiqam”. This instrument played through keyboard; we do not have the actual instrument, sadly it is not sold anywhere in our country.

On the song “Nabth” we hear what sounds like mad laughing and lunatic babbling. Do you record the crazier pieces at night when you feel a bit crazier? Well, our vocalist Humbaba is lunatic by default so no need to wait for a certain time. The song “Ezdraa” has what appears to be keyboards. What can you tell us about those melodies? It sounds a bit like classical music with Arabian melody. Yes, this song written by our keyboardist Ostron it embedded his skills in keyboard, backed by epic playability of guitar and another mixture of oud. This song was made as the Arabian instruments are prevailing. What instrument did you use for the main melodies in “Entiqam”? The vocals sound like you are choking and about to die! Instruments used: Oud, Qanoon, synth. This sound is AlNamrood classic sound, as you may notice it is very similar to our previous work. Humbaba did an excellent performance in this one as well, he embodied the maniac unstable, fluctuating personality. How ridiculous sounds the Arabic when AlNamrood is pronouncing it with blasphemous intonations?! Is it comprehensible? Not at all, we use fluent Arabic and it sounds correct, in grammatical and vocabulary manner, it sounds like a historical poet or

The third song is called “Xenophobia.” This seems to be the only one with an Englishlanguage title. What can you tell us about it? Humbaba wrote this song specifically to illustrate the social classism, rejection of different people, rejection of immigrants, fear of different people who are not following the same path, social inequality and nationalism illness. Bands from Saudi Arabia like Creative Waste, Wasted Land and Grieving Age have publicized their photos for the whole world to see. Do they not have problems? If AlNamrood shows pictures, would you have problems? Why is that? The mentioned bands are Muslims, and they cleared their way as pro government and pro Islam, they use music in alignment with Islamic law, so basically they won’t have a problem. However, for us, it is will be a big deal, and you already know the reason. Since you record your music at home, do you have many songs that you have not published yet? You certainly have an active discography so far! Yes, they are unpublished songs, so many actually, we spend too much time experimenting with sound production, so many songs are created for experimental purposes, other just canceled, others kept for

later use. What is next for AlNamrood? Continue what we always do, make more and more music. This is our passion and we enjoy it so much. Thank you for your time. I really enjoy your albums. Cheers from the doom land.

that. I want those bands that have selfrespect and self-esteem. You don't want to mess up and make a mediocre or average album. There are eight full songs here, plus an introduction and an intermission. That's fair. Eight songs. I couldn't ask for more. If this is all they had, perfect. Keep it trim and don't give us the leftovers and crumbs and fat. They have turned in only the best, and they must have rejected the rest. Good. I like it. enkar **

Portrait Burn the World Metal Blade Records release: 25 August 2017 Perhaps it might have seemed to some pessimistic observers that Portrait (Sweden) was a glorified tribute band fixated on Mercyful Fate/King Diamond, but after years of turning in tremendous albums one after another that stand on their own two feet, in 2017 they return with an album that should make you do a double take if you decided to dismiss them before. It is true that they have chosen an excellent approach to the music (Mercyful Fate/King Diamond, Judas Priest, you know it), but they should get their props for having the capacity to carry out the plan and making it all come to life in such a strong manner. From the very first listen, they are going for huge impact. They have that mojo, and they know it, too. Over the years they lave learned to make it good. I like how every song is made like a hit. I get the impression that they feel a great sense of pride in the history that they are writing. I want

They have the big riffs, and they start the songs memorably, and they have the goods all the way through. There are fast songs and headbanging tracks; there are direct songs and ones with a bit more of a twist, including some melancholic moments. They have worked on the guitar melodies to achieve that classic feel. Overall, the band sounds tight. The singing fits the songs. They have the high vocals when necessary and the high screams, too. Sometimes you'll want to scream along, sometimes you might think the singing is a bit creepy and eerie. The high vocal harmonies in some places have an echo of Mercyful Fate/King Diamond. Of course! Good stuff. When it's pure heavy metal that you need,

look to Portrait to do the job right. Great album!

times of speed. They sound very experienced and adept at their art. It is impressive how the various layers to the music and how they add other elements and still keep it black metal. **

Occasvs Nocturnal Majestic Mysteria Unspeakable Axe Records release: 29 September 2017 You have to hand it to these Chileans. They start the album oblivious to all the expectations that anyone might have. Get a load of these bad boys: they start with an almost-nine-minute classical track. Boom! Almost nine minutes, the whole time is nothing but dramatic, quiet classical music. This is the door that they chose for you to enter their realm. Why? Might they be trying to separate the wheat from the chaff? How does some nine minutes of classical music make you feel? After that period of mental preparation, the black metal begins. Occasvs is occult black metal, often functioning at blasting speeds for an out-and-out intensity, but that's not the only thing that they do. The vocals are extreme metal, but they also have tenor-like dark operatic singing. I say tenor-like because I do not know the exact range or technical name that would used for this voice, since I don't have the competence to talk intelligently about opera vocals. The music can quiet down a bit in places for contrast. There is some melody in this music. The main objective, however, is to keep the darkness and black metal. Occasvs communicates its vibe very well. The music is tight and focused, like during the

Here's the verdict. The Chileans seek to execute occult black metal with the framework of darkness and it works. It's a tremendous album with the vision and values that you want in black metal, while doing enough things that are different or contrasting to catch your attention. They have ritualistic aspects to them, they are incorporating some unexpected frictions here and there, but they have a great understanding of what works with black metal. This is not an experimental or noise band; they have songs that you will recognize. The male voice singing definitely is something that works in this context; it's a different type of singing than what people are used to in metal. They also have that long introduction to the album, and they have a two-minute non-song track of a ritualistic and horror-themed nature. Sure, the transitions between all of these contrasts is bound to cause problems for some people who want something more linear. Some will criticize the

band for not staying on-point 100% of the time, and to be fair, some of those criticisms are not totally inaccurate.

and think, “I should have written that song, man. I hate the Swedish hippies from the future."? Would they welcome it?

Metal Archives shows that this is the band's first album, actually, but it also shows a recording from 2005, so there’s clearly a history there and a story to be told. What are we in for with future albums? Will the ritualistic metal go more in a sideways directions and get more experimental? We'll cross that bridge when we get there. In the meantime, this is Occasvs in 2017. There is an abundance of black metal music to investigate here, with a few twists. um/nocturnal-majestic-mysteria **

Hällas Excerpts From The Future Past The Sign Records release: 13 October 2017

The hippies at Woostock would dance in their birthday suits all day to this music. What are you going to do with this music? They give you a ticket to a different time and a different day, when rock and roll was searching new areas to explore and there were not a million genres and subgenres.

Do you wish you could turn back time when The Mammas (and the Papas) sang you to sleep but now you're stressed out?

I was half joking when I said it's the music your grandparents would like. I am also serious. Put these Swedes right in the radio playlist of the classic rock station in your town and I doubt many people would notice anything peculiar.

Don't be alarmed, you will be experiencing a disruption in the time-space continuum. It is 2017 in the world outside, but this band brings you to 1969. They are inheritors to the changing of the guard or embody the transition itself, from psychedelic rock to heavy metal. The Swedish hippies create music that your grandparents might love. What would Cream think of the singing? What would The Doors or Iron Butterfly say if they heard the organ? Would they all be jealous

Finally, one trait about them that might be of interest is that they like to rock. You won't hear those extended pieces of experimentation or those long segments of trippy instrumentation, like you do find in some psychedelic rock. You know, those pieces that are not songs, and feel like they are there wasting time because the band was abusing and consuming certain illicit substances. Plus, this band also keeps up the energy level throughput the album, not just for some songs. In other words, they want

to rock. Party like it's 1969. **

Syn Ze Sase Tri Zaul Mos Code666 release: 29 September 2017

within a band. Symphonic melodic extreme metal would be one way to think of it. Another way would be to see the band as a group of musicians who want the liberty to do just about anything and everything. It is not absurdist experimentation nor strange potpourri noisemaking, not at all. Actually, the power/extreme metal sound does start to make a lot of sense with more listens.

Can the happy, uplifting spirit of power metal coexist next to the intensity of black metal? What is necessary to make it possible? Or, is it futile to try to consummate such a marriage? Would someone raise their hand to say that they object? Here is a band for the more adventurous metalheads that are curious to hear a group take the melodic vocals and the feel-good energy of power metal and throw it in a black metal cauldron, with intense/blasting drumming and black/death growling. A simplified method of approaching this band is to say that they adore both power metal and black metal and they make an effort to have both genres in the songs. Such a description does not fully encompass the totality of the music, as they do more than that, but if you can handle extreme vocals like growling, screaming and screeching to symphonic, very melodious uptempo, including blasting, speeds, then you will be ok with this. There is also melodic singing, of course. Furthermore, the band is a very interesting exposition on coagulating various nebulous styles, like power metal, symphonic metal, black metal and folk metal into a single sound

In a word, be ready! Will it be a smooth ride? Probably not! Will be a bit confusing? Very likely. It seems like they worked hard at this wild and crazy modern combination. Who knows, you might be the one that really comprehends the music. The light bulb is always ready to come on. Someone can turn it on. You can turn it on right now. — metal programs in Washington (Pacific Times) Excuse All the Blood (Olympia, WA): Friday night 10pm-1am Metal Shop (Seattle, WA): Saturday 10pm3am KISW 99.9fm — This zine is also available at:

Metal Bulletin Zine 133  

Metal Bulletin Zine 133

Metal Bulletin Zine 133  

Metal Bulletin Zine 133