Issue 7 - January 2014
Temple Of Baal
Persuader Truth Corroded MaYaN Shardborne Red Enemy
08 12 24 28 36 40
04 15 16 19 32
- Temple Of Baal - Truth Corroded - Persuader - Kimi Karki - Monte Pittman - Mayan
- News - Top 5 Videos - Behind The Music - Circus Of Horrors - Dark Side Of The Emerald - Red Enemy - Shardborne
44 - Games Dungeon - War Thunder
53 - Abyssal - Atacama Death Experience 54 - Burning Full Throttle - Aborted Fetus 55 - Besegra - Dismemberment 56 - The Self Titled - Cancerous Womb 57 - Skinny Puppy - Buzzherd
58 - Vardan - Barishi 59 - Hammercult - Woslom 60 - Kampfar - Miserable Failure 61 - Embryonic Devourment - Trenchrot
*All content and layout are copyright of Firebrand Magazine. Any attempt to distribute Firebrand Magazine to another site for purposes of download is strictly prohibited. All Firebrand Magazines are property of Firebrand. *
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Meet The Team! So its that time of the month again where the Firebrand team unleash another issue of Firebrand After Dark. As always we aim to improve the magazine and bring in new trial features until we get the mix that pleases you best and this month is no different as we start a series of interviews with those all important people behind the scenes that bring you the music that you love and what better way to kick this off with an in depth discussion with the man behind Franceâ€™s premiere grind core label Kaotoxin Nico Kaotixin. Also featured this moth are the usual array of interviews, news and reviews including a review of War Thunder so with that thought Iâ€™ll bid you farewell as I say tally ho and disappear off into the skies.
Editor In Chief Rick Palin Senior Media Consultant Rachel Whiston Editor Lee Walker Reviews Team Graham Pritchard Joey Lowebins Jon Seymour Sonya Valantasis Stephen Brophy Stoodge McNulty Download Content Team Rick Palin Judith Fisher Content Download email@example.com Advertising Enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org Review Requests email@example.com Contact Telephone +44(0)207 0978556
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NEWS Exorcism To Be Confirmed For MetalWar Fest 2014
“Check them out, you’ll be glad you did” – Ave Noctum “8 Foot Sativa. Unless you hail from NZ you Doomy heavy metallers Exorcism to be are unlikely to have ever heard of them. You owe confirmed for Hungary’s MetalWar Fest 2014, it to your ears to correct that right now!” - MLWZ which takes place September 5th – New Zealand metal legends 8 Foot Sativa 7th in Budapest. Other bands confirmed have recently released a new video for “Shadow include: Furyon, Fatal Smile, Vexillum, Twister, Masters” in conjunction with their stunning new more to be announced soon. record “The Shadow Masters”. This year, on 5-6-7 of September 2014, will Regarding the video, the band had this to be held for the second time a unique FREE say "Our new video "Shadow Masters" is the first ENTRY Metal Festival in Budapest, Hungary video from the new album "The Shadow Masters" called ‘MetalWar Fest 2014‘. This event in the we decided to return to our past and bring back heart of Budapest , will be held at the Népliget an animated approach to the political viewpoint Park. The previous, first ‘MetalWar Fest‘ that this song is about. A controversial plant in 2013 was attended by 22.000people in three fighting back against corporate control and days. greed. We met with top New Zealand animators EXORCISM recently released a video "Mukpuddy" to discuss and brainstorm the idea. teaser with behind the scenes and studio footage “Shadow Masters” is the first video in the trilogy for the forthcoming, yet untitled full-length debut we have planned and as you will see one pig album, featuring the song ‘ZERO G‘. The album down and still four to go.” will be released in spring 2014 via GoldenCore 8 Foot Sativa is a New Zealand based Records/ZYX Music. The video can be seen metal band formed in 1998. Their most famous below: single is the self-titled "8 Foot Sativa", which was number one on M2, a late night New Zealand music show for 12 weeks, and stayed on the chart for seven months. The band has toured and released albums internationally, and have played alongside artists such as Korn, Children of Bodom and Fear Factory.
Aeon Announces New Guitarist Ronnie Björnström Sweden's Aeon are pleased to announce that they have recruited a new guitar player and it is none less than Ronnie Björnström who produced the band's latest release, Aeons Black. "We are 8 Foot Sativa Release New Video New Zealand Juggernauts 8 Foot Sativa Release all very exited about this and we say welcome to Ronnie. We're looking forward to fans seeing us New Video. Kiwi Quintet Unleash ‘Shadow Master’s’ In live with Ronnie and hope to be back to the US some point this year." Tandem With New Record “The Shadow Ronnie added, "Having worked with the Masters” band for over four years as their Front of House “Songs are short, sharp, melodic but heavy, very catchy and full of a good amount of groove” tech and producing their latest album, I know Aeon is one of the best death metal bands – Metal Discovery “Quite simply very good album” – Metal.de out there. It is an honor for me to be sharing
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stage with the guys. See you all on the road! Cheers!" The band is currently supporting their latest release Aeons Black, which included touring in Europe in addition to a coveted spot on the Summer Slaughter Tour that made its way through North America this past summer with The Dillinger Escape Plan, Animals As Leaders, Cattle Decapitation, Norma Jean, and The Ocean to name a few. 2013's Summer Slaughter Tour marked Aeon's first tour in North America and it was a major success for the band who made several new fans from coast to coast. So much so that the band's Facebook "Likes" jumped from 21,000 to over 46,000, more than doubling where they were at when the tour started. Recorded at Empire Studio in Östersund, Sweden, engineered, mixed and mastered by Ronnie Björnström at Garageland Studios, Aeons Black has been reaping praise from critics domestically and abroad. Revolver Magazine calls Aeons Black "one of the best death metal albums of 2012,"The Metal Review dubs it the band's "heaviest and most brutal album to date," All Music Guide commends Aeon's fiery brand of "…punishing, blood-curdling, Christ-baiting death metal…" whileAbout.com crowns it, "a ferocious beast and is a thoroughly awesome death metal album." The Metal Observer tags the 50-minute long monster, "a masterpiece of goddamned death metal, "while Infernal Masquerade adds, "if you are in the market for some crushing neck-breaking death metal, this is one release you don't want to miss. Aeon is at the top of their game and they have more than proved it on Aeons Black."
DOWNLOAD will be held at Donington Park on 13th – 15th June 2014. Keep up to date with the very latest info on DOWNLOAD’s official sites at http://www.downloadfestival.co.uk/
CONAN announce UK tour in March 2014
Liverpool’s inconceivably heavy doom trio Conan have announced that they’ll be embarking on a full UK tour this March in support of their new album, ‘Blood Eagle’. The band are raring to go: We have been writing Blood Eagle since the moment Monnos made it into your collection. Soon it is time for us to show you what we have been up to on our upcoming UK tour. Expect aggressive, charging, droning heaviness on a scale not yet heard from us. This new release is an ancient bird of prey ripping at your flesh, an arrow through your chest from the darkness in a fog drenched wood, a black unicorn carrying you into battle, a hammer smashed into the earth by hands unseen. .....TOTAL FUCKING CONQUEST..... ‘Blood Eagle’, the highly anticipated follow up to 2012′s planet shaking ‘Monnos’, was recorded at SkyHammer Studio by Chris Fielding, and mastered by the mighty James Plotkin (Khanate, O.L.D.), whilst the album’s stunning artwork was once again provided by artist (and Discharge guitarist!) Tony Roberts. Conan have quickly built a reputation as HUNTRESS have announced they will being one of the heaviest bands in the play Download 2014 blossoming UK sludge scene today, and with They will join Bowling For Soup, Bad Religion, good reason. Their live shows have become Opeth and Black Label Society as well as infamous for their bowel rupturing volume and Avenged Sevenfold, Linkin Park, Aerosmith and supreme heaviosity, so if you’ve never had the Rob Zombie, The Offspring, Status Quo, Trivium, chance to have your eardrums pulped by the In Flames, While She Sleeps with many more still band’s monolithic riffs in the flesh, then this is to be announced. one tour you certainly won’t want to miss out on! Jill Janus comments: Huntress is honoured to play Download Festival again! We had a killer show last year, and will bring the fury to UK music fanatics once more. Spread it, shred it, behead it!
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Stoodge speaks to Amduscias from Temple Of Baal about the current Black Metal scene, the pros and cons of the interweb and of course....Christmas. 8
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Hey Amduscias, I'm sure we both agree that Christmas is a big pile of balls. How is the 25th of December traditionally in the Amduscias household? I was raised in a very atheistic family. Everything linked to religion would make my parents either laugh or vomit haha... We had a feast on Christmas, but it never was in a religious perspective, it was just a cool time as a kid to get gifts and to eat cool things, you know. And it's pretty much the same nowadays that I'm approaching my fourties... Honestly, who would refuse a good dinner and having a good time? So yeah the 25th December, traditionally, is... A hangover day.Hahaha ! And I see no problem with that. Then again yeah there's all this big circus surrounding christmas, consumerism pushed to its maximum level, the fact that you may wonder why should wait this day to feast, blablabla well who told you to wait until Christmas to have a good time? Hehe it's just another chance of having a good time, so I'd be a fool to let it pass, I think. Yeah New Years seems to have a lot more relevance and purpose. Not that many people adhere to their resolutions, but do you agree the 1st of January is a good "time to sort out your shit and start afresh" day? Maybe, but I usually don't go for the resolution thing. Because most of the time it's sterile wishes and in the end, it doesn't work. "I'll quit smoking", "I'll do this or that", and in the end nothing happens. I think, if you wanna change this or that in your life, don't wait the 1st of january, act right now. If you wait to act, it means either you don't want things to change in the end, or maybe you're a pussy in the end, who knows ! Temple Of Baal are now into 16 years of existence. What are the differences between modern Black Metal and what was being produced back in 1998? Many things have changed. If you're talking about production, many Black Metal bands today have a professional production, and dare to mix their music with other things, without disrespecting the essence of the genre. It was already the case back then with Arcturus or Ved Buens Ende, alright, but I think it has generalized. On the other hand, you have all these guys who cling on raw production, which should be a good thing, but most of them don't know how to do it anymore. Everything is computerized.... Man if you want a true raw sound get yourself an analog 4 or 8 tracks ! As usual there are the honest bands and those who jump in the bandwagon, this hasn't changed. What has got better is the return of
Satanism as the core of True Black Metal. When we started, there was all this trend in Black Metal, to detach from Satanism, to deal with stars and planets, or with gothic love stories, and to us it had nothing to do with Black Metal. Along with bands like Watain, Funeral Mist or Antaeus, we considered we had a mission to bring back the original flame, and to put back Black Metal right where it belonged : into the Flames of Hell. And this has never changed, and it never will. Then of course, the scene has drastically changed with the appearance of the internet.
How much of an impact has the internet and online media had on music today? Both in good and bad ways. Internet today makes it so easier for bands to exchange things, to get in contact with each other, to keep contact with their label (ours, Agonia Records, is in Poland, if we had to rely on the snail mail things would take ages.) It is really great to discover bands from all over the world, it's a matter of minutes if you do it right. Organizing things, making your music available to discovery... It's so much better. Then on the other hand, this easiness has opened the door to mediocrity, there are tons of bands out there who just don't know what it's all about to grow slowly and to take time, all they do is building a facebook page and invite their contacts to like it... And then ? Where's the magic ? I have a facebook account. I receive invitations to "like" something a thousand times a day, most of the time I don't even click on them cause I'm fed up. When I grew up, when Temple Of Baal developed, we had to do everything. I dubbed my demotapes by myself, I dubbed hundreds and hundreds of tapes. We had to take care of the packaging, we had to print flyers
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and to send them all over the world, send our demos to zines, buy and read zines ! The ancient way ! And when you read about a killer band in a zine, you tried to get hold of its demo and when it reached you mailbox, you opened the parcel religiously, and listened to the demo over and over again. There was no facebook, no reverbnation etc, things were much more magic and had a kind of occult feeling. When you listened to Black Metal, you read fanzines that maybe 100 or 200 people read in the world, you listened to bands whose demotapes were rare... The feeling was quite like being in a sort of religious order, a sort of sect, you really had to be initiated to the underground ! It is different today, mainly because people don't know anymore what it is to wait. They want everything, right here, right now, and they can have it in three clicks. Hence the music loses its magic, people listen to it once or twice, and then they download the next hype thing... I'm not totally spitting on the internet. Of course, it has many fantastic aspects as I told above. Things have never been that easy for bands, and I'm the first to make use of social networks ! But on the other hands, I miss the old feeling and I don't like at all the way it has desacralised music.
different now. I must say that we already have pre-demoed around 40 minutes of music for the next album, and we've started to rehearse new tracks. So you won't have to wait four more years, I definitely want to release this album at the end of 2014.
How does this work as far as touring goes? A lot of bands can't wait to get a new album out so they can hit the road and promote it. You certainly seem to be a lot more patient. Actually if we could, we'd be much more often on the road. It is simply that it's bloody hard for a band like us to get to tour. None of us make a living out of our music of course, so we all have jobs. And the music business has got so hard. If you want to tour, either you put up a tour by yourself which means a big money investment, money that we don't have, or you play as an opener on a tour of bigger bands, which means another money investment, cause in that case, you have to pay something called "tour support" to play, and it's bloody expensive. So as for now, we've been playing one-shot dates mostly. We've had good experiences nevertheless, we're damn proud of having played the Inferno Fest in Norway for example, but we've never been able to tour the way we would have wanted. And alas, What about your personal lyrical subjects? Do we've lost one year with a bad experience on Black your lyrics reflect what's happening in the World Light Music, don't ever approach those rip off today or are you still verbally projecting what scumbags if they get in touch with you !!! But you were writing about in the late 90's? hopefully things will change now that we're signed Black Metal means writing on Satanism and occult on Eld Events which is a German booking agency matters. I will forever stay faithful to this axiom. If I whose work seems promising. write on other subjects, it has nothing to do with Temple Of Baal. Our new album, "Verses Of Fire", So it's still pretty early in year. Will Temple Of deals with the flames of our Faith, the fire that is Baal to setting aflame to many pyres in 2014? Luciferian revelation. It can't be otherwise. We are Indeed. We're starting to get interesting gigs. As far Temple Of Baal, and we've sworn allegiance to the as what's confirmed, we're going to play the Hellfest Left Hand Path. This is the spirit of the band, its in France, there's a good upcoming gig in core, it soul. Taking an other turn would mean Switzerland with our brothers of Aosoth, and for the betrayal, and it is simply out of question. first time we'll be playing in Germany at no less than the Speyer Grey Mass, a fantastic festival, along Your 4th album 'Verses Of Fire' came out on bands like Mgla, Svartidaudi, etc. Many other gigs Agonia Records in October. With an average of 4 and festival haven't been officially confirmed, but years between studio albums is it more a case of they will be in the weeks and months to come. you only releasing an album when you are 100 Meanwhile, we're composing the new album, which percent happy and proud of your work instead hopefully should be released in october. And there of releasing records just for the sake of it? will also be the vinyl rerelease of our second album Of course we take time to write and compose things "Traitors To Mankind", on the German label Art Of till we're satisfied, but there are also things that Propaganda, so yes, quite an active year to come slowed us these last years. Verses Of Fire should for us. Looking forward to play in places we've never have been released one year earlier, 80% of it was been before ! See you on the road ! Hail Satan ! composed at the begining of 2012 ! Then problems of everyday life slowed us, many rehearsals got canceled, our guitar player Alastor couldn't show up to rehearse with us, and he finally left the band in the middle of the recording. Hopefully things will be
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LEE WALKER SPEAKS TO
GREG SHAW OF
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Thank you for taking the time out for a quick interview guys…. I believe you guys have been around since 2005. How did the band first start off? “Well, we actually reformed in 2004, and released our first album as a five piece thrash metal band in 2005.” “The original members were Mark, the founding member, on rhythm guitar (Mark then left the band in 2010), Jason North on vocals and myself, Greg, on bass. Each of us had been friends for years and shared a common musical background, having taken up instruments through the inspiration of late 80s/early 90s thrash and death metal; bands such as Sepultura, Slayer, Kreator, Dark Angel, Vio-lence, Testament, Exhorder, Malevolent Creation and Obituary were all key influences. We actually all performed together with our original drummer Adam in a Sepultura cover band at one point.”
possible terrorist suspects are two extraordinary moments that come to mind….”
You have just released your latest album 'The Saviours Slain' in Europe. How did the album come together? “Wayne Batters and I actually started working on the album at various points during 2011 and 2012, but it was just pieces of songs and ideas. It wasn’t until we finished up the Fear Factory and Thy Art Is Murder Australian, tour toward the end of 2012, that we started focussing on the album, as that also ended our tour run for the last album ‘Worship The Bled’.” “The album was written, recorded, finalised and released almost to the day that we actually started working on it the year before, so it has been a huge effort. I approached Mark Lewis to produce after Jason (vocals) and I had checked out his work with The Black Dahlia Murder and on the last Whitechapel album. We really liked his production with those bands and felt he could Has there been many changes to the band capture our thrash/death crossover sound over the years? perfectly.” “Yes. The only original members still in the band “During this time I also was consulting with are Jason (vocals) and myself. Over the years AFM Records, a partnership was formed and that there has been a number of line-up changes, but has led to the release of the album worldwide.” the band has had the same line up for three, going on four years now. For Jason and myself The album features guest appearances by the band is a very big part of our lives, and it is Forbidden's Craig Locicero and Malevolent great to see where it has come, because we Creation's Bret Hoffman. How did these have worked really hard to achieve this. Many appearances come about? bands would have broken up if facing some of “Well, we’d toured with Malevolent Creation (in the challenges we have dealt with over the years, Europe in 2012) and we’d really formed a good but despite that, we have stuck at it and been friendship with Bret. MC are a big influence on rewarded with some great experiences.” the original members of the band, in particular the first two albums, so to have Bret feature on a You have toured with the likes of Fear song was something we could not have ever Factory, Lamb Of God, Behemoth, Arch thought possible. I approached him and he was Enemy, Sepultura, etc. What has been has into it, so it’s great.” been your most memorable experience to “Likewise with Craig. Forbidden were a very date? big influence and that goes right back to our “There have been many actually. Touring China roots. We supported Forbidden in Australia on was an exceptional experience, particularly the ‘Omega Wave’ tour. Like MC they were great supporting Behemoth in Beijing. Touring Europe people and we kept in contact. I approached last year supporting Krisiun, Malevolent Creation Craig and he delivered. It’s a great solo to kick off and Vital Remains was incredible; great bands our album with and really captures his style and and great people. Touring Japan shortly after the the sound we were looking for. To have Bret and earthquake and tsunami catastrophes in 2011 Craig feature on the album is an honour.” was monumental; it was very sad and intimidating as there were still strong How do you think this album compares to aftershocks.” your earlier releases such as 'Our Enemy Is “We have had some great experiences The Weapon', 'Upon The Warlords Crawl' etc? around the world while touring - getting drunk “I think it is a steady progression from album to unknowingly with yakuza in Tokyo and being album basically. It was a challenge because it questioned by the police in London for being was the first time I was working on an album
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without the founding member Mark. However, our new guitarist Wayne did very well in maintaining the integrity of the band’s sound, and we worked together really well to get the sound right. Having our former lead guitarist Corey return to session for the album really enhanced the final result as well. His absence was really felt on our last album ‘Worship The Bled’.” “Upon The Warlords Crawl” was the album that really established our identity for me. It is a template album for us and was more of an extreme thrash album, whereas ‘Worship The Bled’ maintained the sound but pushed it further in extremity and weight and brought in much more of our death metal influence. Each album basically set up the canvas for ‘The Saviours Slain’ and I think the balance is achieved; reflecting each of those albums and then pushing it further now. There is more melody on ‘Saviours….’, but not at the expense of aggression. Outside that, it maintains the identity of the band and how that identity has been forged from album to album.”
“I also really like “Its Fear I Breathe”, which was actually the first song we wrote for the album - yet again the sum of its parts make it a favourite and it reminds me of Decapitated. The last song “Hallowed Black Sun” too brings out a different aspect of our sound; it is more dynamic and references bands such as Cult Of Luna and even some of our black metal influences. It’s an end times song and closes out the album really effectively.” Now the album is released what do you have planned? “We’re currently finalising details on touring Europe and Asia. We will hit up a few dates in Australia also, but the focus is on getting overseas. There is only so much that can be achieved in Australia, and for bands as ourselves, there is a limit on how far you can climb. We hope to get to the US before the year is out also.”
Are there any messages that you would like to pass onto your fans? Do you have any favourite songs on the “Sure. If you’re reading this and have not heard album? us then please do so, and if you like what you “I do. I would say “The Fall Endless” for starters, hear then please spread the word. Your support as the song has so many elements to it that is valued and if you can pick up a copy of the capture the feel of some of my favourite bands album or dare to wear our controversial album and the outro is huge – it’s a bit Fear Factory, it’s cover shirt, then please do so! We want to a bit Slayer, and the lead at the end is even a bit spread the word and see you at a show. Cheers!” classic Metallica.”
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Metal vids to sink your teeth into There have been so many great videos popup during the last year but after much debate here are our top 5 music videos of 2013. If you have any thoughts about these, feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
1 2 3 4 5
Amon Amarth Father Of The Wolf Martiria Revolution Absolva Never Back Down Eye Of Solitude Act II: Where the Decent
Began Sapiency Unknown Enemy Firebrand After Dark
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Hey Nico, can you give us some background on your label 'Kaotoxin Records'? Hi, Stoodge! Firstly, thanks for the opportunity of being featured in Firebrand After Dark and letting your readers know or know better about Kaotoxin. If by background, you meant a bit of history, well, the idea of opening a label has been around for a while. When I was still the Bones Brigade Records webmaster back in August 2010 we were planning to put together a festival in Lille (FR), I’d dealt with Nico (of Bones Brigade) about co-releasing a bunch of records, which we did in 2011. These first releases were Bones Brigade Records ones which I got involved with on different aspects. On planning the second edition of the festival for December 2012, I offered Gronibard who were supposed to be among the headliners, to release an LP version of their 2002 'Satanic Tuning Club' CD along with all of their unreleased material from this era. The festival never happened but Gronibard’s 'Satanic Tuning Club' was then our first real release as Kaotoxin alone. We then released stuff by the likes of Unsu, Insain, VxPxOxAxAxWxAxMxC, Dehuman, Infected Society, Eye Of Solitude, Ad Patres, Savage Annihilation, Antropofago, Nolentia, Anal Penetration, Years Of Tyrants, Sidious, Darkall Slaves, The Lumberjack Feedback, F Stands For Fuck You, Miserable Failure, Nephren-Ka, We All Die (laughing), and finally the new Drawers album as we speak.
years ago, I made a ton of errors and learnt from them. It was very DIY and only released two records back then, but I’ve been learning from it. After I closed it, I wanted to try other things, zines, bands, artworks, whatever and I learnt from every new thing I was trying. After a while, it became obvious that all of these different things I’ve been doing and the experience I gathered would make sense if put altogether to run a new and better focused label and Kaotoxin came to life. The goals were and still are not high, I mean, I’m not expecting to sell ten thousand copies of a release, but I’m working like if it’s possible. I mean it’s not a hobby or whatever, it’s a real job. A job that’s not paying at all (I’m still putting my own money in the label) and that’s really tough (I’m working 15 to 18hrs a day, six days a week), but a job driven by passion and the higher the goals the better. It’s not like I was releasing a CD -R of 50 copies just to be involved and support a band I like, it’s all about trying my fucking best, always, to help the bands I love reach a new level, bringing them advice and input from my experience and knowledge of the business, growing and developing with them. I’m not trying to say Kaotoxin is the new big thing or everything I’m doing is perfect and I’m a know-it-all, I’m just trying to say I’m doing my best to do better, always, not for the label itself, but for its artists, because they are the ones that believed in it in the first place and I’m thankful to them for that. I’m just trying to give them back what they offered me, somehow. The more a band is known, the How involved with the Metal circuit were you more its label will be and I’m doing all I can for prior to the formation of 'Kaotoxin Records'? them to get the recognition they Fact is that I’m not that young anymore, thus I’ve deserve. This is the only goal and this is the only been around about 20 or 25 years. I’m not the one that’s been driving Kaotoxin since its networking kind of guy, and, even when I'd been inception. running a distro in the late 90’s, a small label in the mid 90’s, various zines, played in various Have your aims and goals as a label changed local bands and doing artworks and web design, since late 2010? I’m always seen as being a newcomer in the No, they really haven't, it’s still all about helping scene. I’m not the type of guy that’s going to the bands I love and decide to sign to reach the each and every gig, spends much time with next level. Many things changed in the way I’m people or attends each and every fest so not working for various reasons, deals with retail many people really know me personally. Add to distributors, more and more costs for this the fact that I'm quite blind (I’ve got the white advertisings, etc. thus both the label and its stick, the guide dog, etc.) which definitely doesn’t artists had and have to adapt, but the goals and help as I can hardly remember someone’s face expectations are still as dead simple as they and see when someone I know is around and were. It’s just a matter of making a step after an you’ve got the picture, but I’ve always been other, but the goal to reach is still the same. around, since ages. Which bands are currently the longest What were your goals and aspirations as a serving and newest additions to the roster? label in the early days? Unsu, a Grindcore band from France, is the Fact is that, when I opened my first label back 20 oldest band signed to the label, we released their
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debut EP back in February 2011. We’ll be releasing a split MCD with them really soon and they’re recording their debut full-length now too. The newer ones are Drawers, a Sludge band from France, which we’re just releasing the second full-length from right now. But, besides one band we had to stop working with, no bands have left the label and we have stuff on the horizon for most of them, or just released new stuff from them recently, like the new Eye Of Solitude or the new Miserable Failure. How is the usual process that bands go through to get onto the Kaotoxin army? There’s no real process so to speak. All of the label’s artists got signed in a different way, one from the other but now, we have to have certain criterais. We’re putting more and more money into each new release and it’s promotion and it’s not a matter of putting a few hundreds euros together to have a CD done, it’s all about thousands of euros for each release now, so our criterias and what we have to consider before signing a band reached new levels and once the music catches our interest, we have to carefully consider lots of different things like their ability to tour, build and manage a fanbase, understand the business and so on, so it’s not a matter of only submitting a demo nowadays. In 2013 we seen a huge resurgence in cassette and vinyl releases. Can you see this along with the increase in digital sales aiding to the death of the CD in a few years? I think that both cassettes and vinyls are all about fetish. They are very fragile physical supports and I think that what people are seeking with them is exclusive and limited editions. I mean, CD won’t die any soon, it’s still, whatever its huge sales decrease, the dominant physical support way above any other. Fifteen years ago, die-hard fans were 1% of the people buying music and the CD was for everyone. The hardcore fans were
searching the limited edition DigiPak or LP but the vast majority was more into buying the album on a convenient, easy to use, easy to carry and not fragile physical support, which was the regular CD. Now, with the huge sales decrease, these 1% are still the same amount of people, but they now represent something way more important in the total, like, say 30 or 40% and they shifted from the limited edition CD to something even more die-hard, like LP or tape. Now, about digital, as far as I’ve been reading recent studies, it seems that digital sales have decreased during 2013. I don’t see the CD dying anytime soon as it’s been there for more than 30 years now and still hasn’t killed the LP or tape so I don’t see digital sales killing the CD for the next 20 years, but sure, sales gonna keep decreasing, which is no good news for sure, but, well, I prefer focusing on the idea that we’re leaving exciting times and that we really don’t know what tomorrow will be made of. This can be scary, but this can also mean a lot of different and new opportunities. Let’s say I prefer focusing on the later part. But, as you know, Kaotoxin is very young -we’re only two years old if you’re considering our first real release date back from January 2011 and our sales are growing each and everyday. If the label was 20, 15 or even 10 years old, I doubt we would have been able to grow and we would most probably be suffering a lot from the sales decreasing like most of the mid sized labels that were moving a lot of copies in the 90’s (think Osmose, Avantgarde and many others). I don’t know how many copies they’re selling right now, but I can remember seeing Osmose advertisings in the French medias for the release of some Immortal album in the nineties saying something like '30.000 copies sold in only X months'. I doubt that’s something that’s gonna happen again anytime soon for a third or fourth full-length by an underground extreme metal band, which is very sad for everyone, fans included.
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You're behind the 'Sideblasts Series' campaign. Can you tell us about that ? Glad you ask! This is a little project I had in mind since a while ago and I wanted to test it, because I really think that it can be the future, somehow. First thing, it’s only for side-projects of the label’s artists, like C.O.A.G is a project of Déhà of We All Die (laughing), ie. Then, it’s a kind of crowdfunding I came up with because, even if I like the idea of involving the fans, I don’t like begging for money and I honestly think some are abusing it, like established bands on big labels begging to fund a studio session so I wanted to find a way to have one without the other and came with this idea, crowdfunding that costs nothing. We’re doing that a simple way, the artists are choosing a physical support for the future release and we’re setting goals (like 100 digital downloads for a cassette tape release of Colosus, ie), people are then choosing the release they want to support (so far, we have two, Colosus 'Blestem' and COAG 'Sociopath' and they buy it as a high-quality digital download which includes all of the CD packaging, lyrics, booklet, etc. Once they've purchased it, they’re receiving a discount code they can use to buy whatever they want and whenever they want in our web store. Once the goal set is reached, we’re releasing the stuff on the planned physical support. Like, if you want to buy We All Die (laughing)’s debut full-length and you want to support Déhà’s other project, just go to listen.kaotoxin.com, get the COAG single for € 3.33 and once you receive your discount code, you’ll buy the WAD(L) limited edition DigiPak for € 3.33 less. In the end, you paid the regular price
for WAD(L), but you supported COAG and got it for free. What we want to achieve with that is to get people involved in the first place, because they have to decide if they want to support a release or not and, also, starting to build a fanbase for these side-projects so at least a few people will know about them when they've released on a physical support and will spread the word about them. What's the top priority for Kaotoxin in 2014? If you’re talking releases, there’s no top priorities, each and every release is a top priority in itself. Since a couple months ago, I’ve decided not to sign any new band any more because I want to focus on promoting and developping the ones that are already signed to the label and I need time for that and thus, besides releasing new stuff from most of them (we have new stuff by Insain, Unsu, Miserable Failure, Infected Society, COAG, VxPxOxAxAxWxAxMxC already in the planning), we’d also like, if we ever get the money for that, to re-release our existing catalogue on different physical supports (tapes, EPs, LPs…). We already have 30 releases out and more in the planning, but most of them have only been released on CD and we’d like all of them to be available, even as limited editions, on all physical supports so hopefully, we’ll be able to achieve that. We would also like being able to, at long last, open a real web site and, on a more business level, be able to broaden our retail distribution network. But, the main focus is and still will be, trying to grow our artists fanbases so they can get the recognition they all deserve.
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Cheltenham Town Hall 9 December 2013 Review and Photos by Reg Richardson
Firebrand After Dark
Fake blood and gore; check Fake knives; check Real knives and swords; check Scantily clad young ladies; check Lots of bendy people; check Loud music; check....welcome to the Circus of Horrors! The Circus of Horrors returned to Cheltenham Town Hall with it's 'London After Midnight' show complete with the usual array of nasty happening, blood, gore, sword swallowing, a people-eating bed (yes, I did say that), young ladies not wearing very much, older men wearing nothing at all and all this mayhem controlled by Dok Haze the Circus's ringmaster. This years' tour, 'London After Midnight', is set during the time of the Great Plague in 1665 culminating with the Great Fire of London in 1666. The storyline follows five murders that take place in various landmarks and is used as the backdrop for a bewildering series of acts ranging from sword swallowers, contortionists and acrobats to fire eaters, aerial acts and a rock soundtrack; the latter being provided by the Dok himself supported by Zoe Ellis (aka Pandemonia) and the Interceptors from Hell made up of Dan & Matt Angelow, Stephen Mackrill and Sam Hicks. Oh, and not forgetting the most camp version of Nosferatu the Vampyre I've ever seen as supplied by Doug Child! The show starts off with the appearance of Dok Haze with the stage set for the Great Plague of 1665. The audience are immediately put face to face with the Sinister Sisters, two ghostly white figures who entertain us high up on a trapeze. This is followed by 'Hannibal' Clem Hellmurto, the sword swallower, who managed to get through this show without ending up in hospital; in the past he's managed to slit his oesophagus with a sword and on another occasion with a neon light tube.
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As we move through the show and the scenes change Hannibal returns to show us how easy it is to swallow three swords and a curved blade as well as shoving his finger through, yes through, his nose! We get introduced to Pandemonia, Anastasia IV and the Mongolian Laughing Boy, who isn't a boy, may not be Mongolian and doesn't really laugh that much but he can shove needles through his face then get squeamish, usually female, members of the audience to drag them out again. All good family fun! As we move on to Bedlam we get the very flexible Vitali, a contortionist, who gets eaten by a possessed bed! We approach half time to see a balancing act, more aerial tricks from the Sinister Sisters and music from the Interceptors from Hell. The second half delivers even more stunts as the time moves on towards the Great Fire of London finale. In this half, as well as Hannibal Hellmurto and the very funny (for funny read really, really camp) Nosferatu, we see the high flying Anastasia IV being hoisted high above the stage by her hair. Some of you might remember Anastasia IV getting into the Guinness Book of Records last year after she pulled a two and a half ton hearse down Shaftsbury Avenue in London by her hair. We see the Zulu warriors for the first time in all their glory, and they return dressed as fluorescent skeletons a little later.
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The highlights of this second half were seeing Pandemonia being cut in half, a very neat trick, and the return, yet again, of Nosferatu dressed as a judge - it's difficult to describe how bizarrely funny this is without seeing it. The evening is rounded off during the Great Fire of London and we have the Zulu warriors limboing under flaming bars, fire eaters and Anastasia IV up high, spinning by her hair with fireworks.
If you're into blood, gore, cringingly funny people and often spectacular stunts performed to a great rock soundtrack then this show is for you, to sum it up; gore blimey it's bloody brilliant!
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Stoodge speaks to Efraim of
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'The Fiction Maze' is the new album and also marks the return of Swedish Power Metal institution Persuader. The album out now on Inner Wound Recordings is the groups first studio release since the splendid 'When Eden Burns' in 2006. Stoodge got chatting to Efraim (Drums) about what the band have been up to in recent years. Efraim also sheds some light on what's awaiting us all inside of 'The Fiction Maze'. Hey guys, how have you been lately? Hi! We're better than ever, especially now when the new album is "out of our hands". We are working on setting up some gigs for this spring, first one in our hometown Umeรฅ to celebrate the release and to show people we're still kicking.
How was the process from getting ideas together and recording the album? It's pretty much the same as it always has been. Me and Emil write riffs and put down ideas separately, send stuff between us and improve on each others work until we have a basic structure. We all get together and work on it until Your new album 'The Fiction Maze' is just everyone is satisfied and then it's usually me and about to drop here in Europe. What can you Jens who sit down and write lyrics and vocal tell us about the record? lines. After that we usually record a demo at our It has been in the pipe for some years now so it rehearsal place, adding choirs, keyboards or feels really, really good to finally have it released! whatever the song needs. When it was time for It's our best effort so far in my opinion, a nice the real deal we recorded almost everything splash of brutality and melody combined in the ourselves in our own home studios. We then took usual Persuader way. We have tried to remain the material to Ronnie Bjรถrnstrรถm at Garageland true to our sound yet stretched the margins a bit Studios to record some guitars and then mix and with some really fast parts, some death metal master the album. It's a cool place with lots of vocals and the occasional blast-beat. There are history, we actually recorded our first demo there also a few even more downtuned and slower around 1998. songs then before, all to keep it diverse and not fall into the standard galloping power metal The title 'The Fiction Maze' would suggest double bass drum soup, or whatever. that there's maybe a running concept throughout the album? The Fiction Maze' is your first new release Exactly, it's not a concept album per se but the since 2006. When did you decide the time labyrinth idea can be applied to most of the was right to do a new record? songs. We seem to come back to the topic of We started writing more frequently about a year religion a lot for some reason, also on this album. after "When eden burns" but things came to a The maze could be the cluster of different halt when our label went out of business. Three branches of belief systems for example. Like, if albums on three different labels, all gone bad. there is only one "true" God then that would Not good. I hope our new partners Inner wound render all other ideas of religion fiction. Who is records has some curse protection, I'd hate to right, if any, and do we really need to bother so see them go down in flames because of us... ;) At much in the afterlife? Wouldn't it be better to the same time a lot of personal things was going focus on the life we have and live right now, on for each member of the band. Building taking care of people around us, family, friends, houses, starting families, breeding kids, switching loved ones? It's an interesting and never ending jobs. Everyday stuff that eats up time. We had topic. We also have some Lovecraft-ian lyrics problems matching our calendars, it seemed towards the end of the album, pretty impossible to even get all members in the same self-explanatory stuff but I think it fits quite well. room. But we kept at it and struggled through it, things eventually calmed down on the family side and we managed to create something we're all very proud of.
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Is there an element of you guys reinstating your presence in the scene with this record? Yeah I think so. We have some die-hard fans that has followed us during the years but to the general public I'm sure we were considered a defunct act. Those fans that stayed with us is one of the reasons we felt we really needed to make this album happen, and to deliver the best we possibly could. Sloppiness was not an option.
received well and gets good reviews then the situation of course will look a bit brighter. I guess we'll try to go where ever people seem to dig us. If you book us, we will comeâ€Ś
Have you any words for the people that will be listening to your album under the thought that it's your first release? Hey, hold on to your hat folks! If you like what you hear then you have another THREE How involved with music were the band awesome albums to dig into. ;) Don't be afraid to members during the hiatus? contact us on facebook or whatever, we need all Jens and Emil worked with Savage Circus, it was support we can gather at this point. Leave a wish mostly done over internet from what I list on bands you wanna see to your local understand, so no need to gather a whole band promotor/venue/pub and put Persuader at the which made it possible for them. Me and Daniel top! joined up with Mannberg and Nils from Nocturnal Rites and created a new Guillotine album, What about those fans that were there followed by some live shows and a small tour pounding their fists to your first album'The with Unleashed and Belphegor. Our bassplayer Hunter' back in 2000? Fjeji has kept himself busy in a few coverbands. Still here? Great! Many thanks for not giving up Myself, I was recruited for the drumspot in on us! Hope you try the new album, I'm sure Naglfar in 2012. We've done a lot of festivals gigs most of you will enjoy at least some of it. We the last two years, lots of blast-beats and good think it's our best work so far and a good times. So we've not been totally away from summary of everything we've done so far. Check music, we've just been apart from each other it out! mostly. Thanks for the interview Efraim, if you're ever Is there plans for any widespread tours this in Ireland make sure to hit me up. I'll show year? you the sights We're looking at the possibility of a European We'll hold you to that, make sure you put away tour, probably this fall, other than that I have no some of that fine whiskey of yours also! Many idea. We're in kind of a weird place since we've thanks, cheers! been away for so long, we don't have a booking company or anything, but if The fiction maze is
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Firebrand After Dark
Stoodge Speaks To
Kimi Karki Whilst going against the grain, Kimi Karki is only rekindling his roots. Not only has Kimi's versatile guitar playing had him play in bands such as Reverend Bizzare, Lord Vicar, Orne, E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr and most recently Uhrijuhla, but he's also a Finnish Cultural Historian. This jack of all trades mentality and proficient delivery has brought us his latest musical release, the experimental folk laden solo album 'The Bone Of My Bones'. Kimi speaks to Stoodge about the record and how finger picking his 12-string guitar on stage differs from his past endeavours up riffing it up tour.
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Hey Kimi, how's things? I'm sure you've been a pretty busy man since the release of your album last month? All good but indeed busy. I'm just off a flight from Gatwick to Helsinki but I'm back in my hometown Turku now. A work trip this time. I actually had a real holiday during the Yuletide, and hence I am again full of energy, ready for the challenges ahead.
I don't actually think about that, I rather concentrate on what is meaningful and important musically for me, for one reason or the other. I simply love this kind of music, and want to expand myself as a player and performer. As a singer I am not blessed with a golden voice, hah, but it was very important to provide lead vocals as well, it's part of the idea of being 'here and now' as totally as possible, without masks or threatrical tricks. I am very glad to be able to fulfill 'The Bone Of My Bones' is your first solo the ideas I get, and be able to make records. It album. When exactly did the idea for it and gets harder for the labels every day. To receive writing begin? the attention and affection back from the people I have been a longtime fan of acoustic folk and who have found my music in any form, makes outlaw country, the bare bones stuff, Neil Young, me grateful and extra motivated. But I would try Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen... The masters of to continue even if I never sold another record, the craft. I was excited about the idea of the that's not what drives me. singer/songwriter live situation, the nakedness and 'honesty' of it. About three years ago I wrote Do you feel there was added pressure on the some of these songs, not thinking about their making of the album due to it being future at all. At some point Jari, who was the somewhat removed from you past exercises? drummer of Reverend Bizarre back in the day, Not that much, perhaps only the fact that I was asked me to do a show at a local small cultural singing leads to a record for the first time made it cafe, because some band had canceled. For that slightly more exciting than usually. Of course it I rehearsed some covers as well, and more was also interesting to wait for the reactions and originals started to come really naturally. Right reviews, and mostly everything has been just after that I got an invitation to play in Dublin, at overwhelming. It really makes me happy, I feel the basement of cool record store called Into the that everything doesn't have to be sterile and Void. And later I got asked to do four gigs in Italy. polished to move people. Recently my album By then I had pretty much the whole album in was reviewed in the biggest newspaper in mind, and approached Svart Records. The were Finland, just with two other albums, and got four brave enough to take a risk by releasing The stars, Brittney Spears getting two. And she has Bone of My Bones. Cheers Jarkko and Tomi! the machine behind her, a budget with which I could probably do hundred folk albums. That Was there much deliberation on who you'd small victory has real meaning to me. There is bring in to collaborate on the record? room and appreciation to small things crafted The people involved were the ones I had with love. I treasure that thought, perhaps we originally contacted, save my dear brother Tom need to postpone the apocalypse? Phillips of While Heaven Wept fame, who just couldn't do it this time, with the schedule I had in Can you explain from your vantage how mind. I Am really happy that Pirita Känkänen, dissimilar it is from blasting out Doom riffs on Mat McNerney, Anna-Elena Pääkkölä and John stage to now sitting plucking your 12-string Richardson were able to join this adventure. Guitar? They have all such a talent and ear for harmony. You can play with a lot of 'dirt' and dissonance It is furthermore important to thank Joona Lukala when evoking the heavier than life riffage of Lord who engineered the album and played some of Vicar and Reverend Bizarre before that. With an the synth layers. A Wizard! I think the end result acoustic guitar, every scratch and mistake you is rich and varied, even if the record was also make live is painfully obvious, there is absolutely meant to be minimalist and compact experience. nowhere to hide. I love doing both, and feel lucky to be able to. There is a right time for everything! Are you hoping 'The Bone Of My Bones' will I now feel that playing with a 6-string nylon is appease your already cemented fanbase even more fragile and warm exercise, so let's see gathered from Reverend Bizarre and Lord which I will focus more on when playing live Vicar or is it a case of trying to reach out to a acoustic in the future. new audience that might not be too familiar with your past endeavours?
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How's your schedule fixed so far for 2014? Will you be fully focused on your solo career or are you planning on amping up the 6-string electric at some stage? I got some acoustic shows lined up, in Finland and hopefully in Italy and around as well. We will definitely record the next Lord Vicar album, possibly during the early Summer already, to be released sometime in the Autumn. I am also active with E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr, just finishing the second album, and getting ready to play Roadburn 2014! One more thing I am strongly involved in is Finnish psychedelic pop band Uhrijuhla, featuring legendary Finnish artist Kauko RĂśyhkĂ¤ in its ranks. Also that band will release an album next Autumn, we are now recording it in some scattered sessions. There are also some other projects I will be working on, and then there certainly is my academic work as a coordinator, finishing my PhD, and living some happy family life. It's fundamental. I think all my darkness dissolves in the creative processes, making music helps me to get rid of a lot of negativity. I only wish there were more hours in each day.
Kimi congratulations on the album. For anyone that hasn't heard it yet can you give a description of what they should expect? It is experimental and rather minimalist folk music record with both beauty and ugliness, some of it is really personal, some more reflective. Apocalyptic folk? Maybe at times... It is only about 34 minutes, but each second of audio is there for a purpose. I think, like most of the music I make and participate making, it is a grower. Give these songs repeats and they will stay with you for a long time. Well Kimi that's about it. Thanks a lot for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this for Firebrand After Dark. Cheers! I hope people will have the courage to buy a physical copy of the album, available on CD and glorious gatefold vinyl. Feel free to 'friend' me in Facebook and 'follow' my Twitter, the cursed social media now have a grip on me, and you are all invited to see me wrestle, haha! See you on the road somewhere...
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Firebrand After Dark
By Stoodge Mc Nulty
Red Enemy have been plying their trade in the Irish scene since 2008. Their staunch work ethic has paid off as in late 2013 they were signed by US Label Mediaskare Records. The band are soon to head over to the States to work on recording their debut full length. Stoodge spoke to Conor the groups guitarist on how things are now in the Red Enemy camp and how they may end up with their trip stateside.
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You're heading over to the US in February to record your debut album. How are preparations coming along for that? Great man. We’ll be spending most of January getting our shit together, so to speak. It’s a really exciting time and an amazing opportunity for this band, so we’ll be making sure everything is in place for when we get there. It is scary at the same time though. We’re all giving up a lot back home to follow through with this so we’ll certainly be making the most of it.
There was a little, yes. You must believe in your band, believe that you can truly take it to where it needs to go otherwise there’s no point. So if you’re going to sign away a chunk of what you’ve worked a decade to create, you certainly want to be sure it’s the right move. We knew it was though. We had friends on the label and knew some other people involved so I guess we had a pretty good understanding of what they could offer us. In terms of heading stateside, we priced some things and tossed a few ideas around with regards producers and studios a little closer to home but ultimately In terms of what songs you'll be putting on the heading to the US just seemed like the best option. album how's the writing process going? It meant we could touch base with the label and We’ve actually been sitting on the material for quite really make a start on our careers over there. some time now so we’ve only recently started revisiting the songs in the practice space. It’s all Any of the band send over their studio there, we think, so at this point it’s a matter of demands yet? You guys can do that now familiarizing ourselves with the songs and although I'd recommend not going down the getting a feel for them again. I mean, it has been Axl Rose route of demands. tough at times and writing an album is never easy Funnily enough, we actually demanded Axl Rose but we’re really happy with what we have. We just do a guest vocal on the album, but I think he’s can’t wait to get into the studio and make it all busy sucking his own flute while a Vietnamese come to life! spider monkey powders his arse. Seriously though, A bottle of Irish Knights and some King crisps. What about some of the older Red Enemy Sound job. But honestly, no demands haha songs, will they ever make it onto an album or are they being kept for your live performances? What about the lyrical content in your songs? As in, ones that have been on a previous With such an energetic and aggressive release? then no. I guess we toyed with the idea approach I somehow don't think you're singing for a period but decided to leave them in the past about Bunny Rabbits and Ice Cream. ha! For the most part, it’s all new material, which is The lyrics are all Lefty’s deal. We’re not a political really exciting for us! We’ll play the older stuff live band, nor are we extremely opinionated or though as you said, for as long as possible outspoken, what you’ll get is some straight up anyway. honesty from him that hopefully people can relate to! You signed with US Label Mediaskare Records in 2013, that must have been a And for the noisy tool bearers of the group, gratifying phonecall to receive. what nice and happy thoughts be going Yeah man. It was crazy. It’s always very difficult to through your heads when writing or performing gain a perspective when things like that happen, to on stage? really take it all in. But it came at a crucial time for Well if I’m having a nice thought on stage it’s the band. We had all committed to making this probably because we’re playing well and the sound album, no matter what, but it was becoming more is delish. If I’m having a nice thought when writing and more difficult to see how we were going to go it’s probably because I think the song is going to about it. Mediaskare were a label we had always be a banger. loved down through years. Bands like As Blood Runs Black, Bury Your Dead and The Ghost Inside You do know that Ragnarok is expected on the are all bands we grew up listening to, so it really is 22nd of February right? The Viking Apocalypse a dream come true for us. It’s exactly where we is nigh. What's the first think you'll do if you need to be at this moment in time and you can’t hear the sound of the massive Gjallerhorn on really ask for more than that. Thanks Mediaskare that day? haha. Shite in me jocks to be honest. Was there much deliberation in signing with the label and heading stateside?
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Firebrand After Dark
Hey Ben. what have you all been up to lately? Hey! We've been busy writing and recording our new album. we toured around Europe in May of 2013 and before that, ourselves and our buds Ilenkus went on a UK tour together in October 2012.
bands, so we keep ourselves busy!
From day one was the plan to be an instrumental outfit? In a previous incarnation of the band, we had singers, but were never totally happy with how it went. We were happy with how things sounded as an instrumental group, so we proceeded in Your one and only EP 'Aeonian Sequence' came out way back in April 2011. Is there any that way! major reasons why we haven't had a new Shardborne release since then? You think sometime down the line you'll be After we released Aeonian Sequence, we gigged bringing in a session singer to do a song or a lot and tried to promote it as much as possible. two with the band for a release? since then, we've been busy writing, Demo'ing I Wouldn't rule anything out, we love adding and recording our first full length album. different elements to our music, whether it be extra instruments or possibly a singer someday. Should we be expecting to hear much from the Shardborne camp in 2014 in terms of an What can you see as being the pros and cons album or touring? of playing in an instrumental band? Yes Definitely! We have almost finished Not having to deal with singers! Though recording everything for the new album, so the unfortunately it means one less pair of hands to aim is to have it released early this year. We help move gear. It also lends us to being able to shot a music video for one of the forthcoming play music that doesn't need to accommodate tracks 'Room Within a Room' a few months back vocals, and we can play some more varied and that will be released soon as promotion for venues which might not suit a metal singer. the album. We have started planning for our next set What's your opinion on the current Irish of UK and EU tours for Summer/Autumn 2014 Scene and where will it be in a few years and in the meantime, we will be gigging around time? Ireland promoting the new album. From our standpoint, it seems very healthy. There are tonnes of great bands around Ireland at the minute and some of our friends in Ilenkus, There's no question when it comes to the Rest, Zhora and Dichotomy are making some talent that the band has. Does this open the door for other projects involving members? really interesting music. The scene in Limerick in We all play in other groups, some of them being particular is good as well at the minute, plenty of Jazz, Death metal bands, Math Rock or Cover great bands around to check out.
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Interviewed by Stoodge Mc Nulty 36
Firebrand After Dark
Hey Monte, your new album 'The Power Of Three' is out at the end of January. With the launch so early in the year and with all the promotion that comes with a release, were you able to enjoy any of the festivities over the Christmas period? Yes. I had a great Holiday and I hope you and your readers did as well. I spent a lot of it getting ready to get ready. The music industry pretty much shuts down after Thanksgiving. I've been working on booking shows, practicing, getting my guitar rig together making sure everything is working properly, and even some writing.
classic albums were made with on "The Power Of Three".
It was recorded in Copenhagen and was produced by Flemming Rasmussen (Metallica's Master Of Puppets). What was it about Flemming that made the three of you pack your bags and head over to Denmark to record the album? I met Flemming a few years ago and our friendship slowly grew with time. He's one of my favoUrites and he's one of the best there is. He was going to do "Pain, Love, & Destiny" but we had scheduling conflicts with him being unable to come to Los Angeles. We flew to Copenhagen With your last album 'Pain, Love & Destiny' topping the charts does this bring any added because that's where he lives. It was wonderful pressure to how the new record is received? to get away and not have any distractions. I got to experience that while recording the Prong No pressure at all. If the music didn't have a "Power Of the Damager" album also. For that we natural progression to it, I wouldn't have recorded all went to Sonic Ranch outside of El Paso. it. "Pain, Love, & Destiny" is as good as I could When I made "Pain, Love, & Destiny" and "The have made it for that time. Every time you make Deepest Dark" I had been sitting in LA traffic an album you learn so much. There's a lot of trial going to and from the studio every day. and error. Also, I can see what should happen next. I feel like "The Power Of Three" is what You think your choice of producer and studio everyone has been wanting from me. On my has been vindicated on the album? previous releases, people would say "I thought Absolutely! Flemming helped me out when I was there would be more guitar solos" or "I thought it making demos for all of what I was writing. I would be heavier". I take what people comment would ask him gear and sound questions and he on and add that to the next thing I do. would steer me in the right direction. I recorded an acoustic EP with him and gave him my Am I right in saying this is the heaviest MP "heavy" demos along with what acoustic songs release to date? we were going to record. Both he and his wife You are correct. This new album is definitely the said to me "this is what you need to be doing". heaviest. I grew up listening to and loving heavy He's been there at every stage of the process music. I set out to make an album that is just about. He would push us when we were influenced by the music I loved growing up and recording when we needed it, and he was what influenced me on guitar. If you are like me invisible when we needed that. and you love those same things, then you now have an album that has those styles with a modern day recording that's made the way the
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You're of course also the current guitar player in Madonna's line up. You performed at the 2012 Superbowl half time show. How was that for a set up and experience compared to one of your usual shows? I've been with Madonna since the end of 2000. It is good to go back and forth with the different styles of music. I can approach each side with a fresh perspective. Playing the Super Bowl was a great experience. I just recently started really getting into football so I'm really appreciating that now. The set went by so fast. You have roughly 10 minutes to get the stage ready. As soon as the Second Quarter ends, there are people in charge of each piece of the stage and everything just comes together. Luckily for me, the guitar parts aren't difficult so I look at it like I had the best seat in the house!
ject. Do you get a sense of freedom when concentrating on your own material? Yes. I can do whatever I want. A great thing about playing guitar is I can make up the music I want to hear. There isn't anyone to tell me I can't do anything until the producer comes in. The producer is who saves the artist from themselves. So is 2014 going to be all about 'Monte Pittman' or is there other projects you'll be putting your finger prints on? 2014 is all about "Monte Pittman". The album is about to be out and I intend to play it for everyone I can! The hard work ahead of me is just starting. I might have a couple things I do on the side if there's time but my focus is completely on this.
Does it feel like the chains are off when you're writing and recording music for your own pro-
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Jeff Driessen speak to Stoodge Mc Nulty
With Ed Snowden currently awaiting a verdict of justified clemency on the unjust charges against him, MaYaN couldn't have found a more opportune time to release their new album 'Antagonise' which is unleashed on 31st January through Nuclear Blast. Stoodge spoke to Jeff Driessen (keyboards) this week about the forthcoming album and the world it's unknowingly spawning into.
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So guys the follow up to your fantastic debut album 'Quarterpast' comes out 31st January here in Europe. How was it recording the supposed difficult second album 'Antagonise'? This time, we did more recordings at our own studio's because of differences in our time schedules. So it was different than on the first album, where almost everything was recorded at the Gate Studio in Wolfsburg by Sascha Paeth. When the drums were recorded in the Sandlane studio (by Joost van den Broek and his team), we recorded the bass, guitar parts and arrangements and mailed them back and forth to each other to check. Dimitris Katsoulis, Greek violinist and longtime friend of Mark Jansen, even recorded violins in Greece and sent them to us. After that, Joost and his team continued recording the vocals in the Sandlane studio. So we didn't see each other that frequently as we did when recording 'Quarterpast', but we had a lot of mail conversations and chats about all the recordings. It has worked well for us, but of course I'm also looking forward to seeing everybody from the band in real life again when we rehearse next week for the 'Antagonise' CD release shows at the end of this month!
elements of death metal in our songs. The new album has a pretty real concept associated within it's lyrics. Can you shed some light on the subject matter? It's about the corporate systems and governments and the way they control the lives of innocent civilians. They use national security and safety as a reason to spy on us for various other reasons with which they can benefit themselves. If people say that they have nothing to hide, they forget that there's always something you don't want others to know, see or hear. And now, we slowly discover all those scandals like people being watched via their own webcams without any notification. Do you agree that we live in a society that would have people care more about Facebook or Instagram closing down than the well being of their own neighbour? I think many of us are being soaked up by the unstoppable stream of information that you can get from the internet. So I agree with that, kids nowadays grow up with the idea that their friends are the ones they chat with instead of the other kids they meet at school. Social networks seem
The bands line up has been altered since your last album. How did this impact the writing and recording of the new record? Laura and Henning have become fulltime members of the band so we could imagine where their voices and Mark's grunts would fit best already while writing the songs. The writing process hasn't changed much, Mark, Frank and me write most of the songs but we're always open to ideas from others in the band. For instance, Rob came up with a track written by himself that we liked a lot. It has become the opening track of 'Antagonise'. So musically how does 'Antagonise' compare to your debut offering? In general, I think that the songs have become more balanced and less chaotic. Henning now has a much bigger role in our songs and varies a lot with Mark and his grunts. Laura still sings a number of opera pieces. Regarding the orchestrations, I tried to use more traditional keyboard sounds (like hammonds, analog strings) next to the symphonic arrangements which you could already hear on 'Quarterpast'. Last but not least, I think we have a different mixing sound which maybe is a bit less dynamic, but much more in-your-face and suitable for the
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to be antisocial in that regard, because it seems to encourage people to not see and talk to each other in person anymore. So despite all the advantages of the digital age, I think it makes us become more isolated from each other. We forget about what it means to have real friends. So what needs to be done to divert the entire human race from falling into a complete Orwellian society? It depends on whether we stand up and fight for our rights, specially regarding the way our governments are controlling all of us. It should not become generally accepted that people are being spied upon for all kinds of reasons. Luckily it has become an important subject, not only in the news but people also discuss it a lot. It's a good thing that we realize what greedy or powerful people do to reach their goals and enrich themselves. They must understand that they can't continue like that forever. Back to the new album now. Is there any major tours in the pipeline on the back of the records release? Much of that depends on how our new album will be received. We're definitely planning to do more shows, summer festivals for instance and a tour in South America. Let's see if we can get that
arranged with the bookers. Haha Any thoughts so far on how your stage show will look when performing with the new album? Maybe a big backdrop of Edward Snowden's face with the word 'Hero' on top might be opportune. It wouldn't be very Metal though I must admit. He doesn't have that 'tough metal guy' look indeed, haha. But he sure has had a big influence on the lyrics of our new album 'Antagonise'. We liked the CD cover art a lot (for instance those camera eyes looking everywhere), it was created by Stephan Heilemann who also designed the cover art of 'Quarterpast' and many other band's albums. So we'll have that kind of look on stage as well with new backdrops reflecting the CD cover art. Cheers for doing this interview for Firebrand After Dark and good luck with the new album. I'm itching to hear it. Thanks a lot for your time and I hope you'll like the new album as much as we did while recording it. We're having our CD presentation concerts at the 30th of January in Mezz, Breda and the 31th of January in Tivoli de Helling, Utrecht (both in the Netherlands). Would be cool to see you then or later this year at one of our shows!
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Resogun brings old-school back in the Action Game of the Year category at the D.I.C.E. Awards Each year, the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences awards the best artistic achievements in videogames at the D.I.C.E. Summit. Housemarque, Finland's oldest game studio, is proud to announce that Resogun, the exclusive and critically acclaimed PS4 shooter, has been nominated in the category Action Game of the Year along with other heavy hitters such as Battlefield 4, DmC, Bioshock Infinite and Dead Rising 3. "It's a great honor to be nominated, especially in the same year when Eugene Jarvis will be given the Pioneer Award. Without his work on Defender, Resogun wouldn't exist and Housemarque could have gone in a very different direction", commented Ilari Kuittinen, Housemarque's CEO. "Back in the days this genre was all the rage, and we are committed to carry on the legacy of Jarvis and other arcade pioneers like him." More than 22 000 members are voting on behalf of the Academy, and prizes will be awarded February the 6th in Las Vegas, NV. Resogun currently enjoys an average of 84 on Metacritic and additional content for the game is scheduled for release later this year.
Bethesda Softworks Announces Beta Signups For The Elder Scrolls Online Fans of Award-Winning Franchise Get Chance to Explore The Online World of Elder Scrolls with Friends. January 22, 2013 (London, UK) – Bethesda Softworks® and ZeniMax® Online Studios today announced that beta signups are now open for The Elder Scrolls® Online at ElderScrollsOnline.com. Interested gamers simply have to go to the website and register for a chance to play. Selected beta registrants will be granted early access to beta test the game. They will be among the first to experience this epic world with others in one of 2013’s most highly-anticipated releases. Timing and details of the start of playtests will be provided at a later date to those who register. “We’re really excited to get the game into players’ hands,” said Matt Firor, game director
of The Elder Scrolls Online. “We receive invaluable feedback through the beta process, and that helps us ensure that the game will be one of the best online gaming experiences ever offered -- one worthy of The Elder Scrolls franchise.” The Elder Scrolls Online brings the award-winning Elder Scrolls experience online for the first time. Using ZeniMax Online’s Megaserver technology, players will join one connected world with a built in social network that lets them stay up-to-date with everything their friends are doing. Megaserver technology avoids the hassle of shard selection and makes The Elder Scrolls Online one of the most socially enabled games ever created. Whether playing alone, or with hundreds of friends, players can develop their own style of play as they embark upon an epic quest across Tamriel. The Elder Scrolls Online has been named one of 2013’s most anticipated games by numerous outlets including IGN, The Guardian, MMORPG.com and Ten Ton Hammer, and was recently declared “the next ‘true’ great MMO” by MPOGD.com. After experiencing hands-on gameplay, MMORPG.com described the game as “a perfect sauce of awesome.” The Elder Scrolls Online is the first Elder Scrolls title to be played online after nearly 20 years of these best-selling, award-winning fantasy role-playing games. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim® is the most recent chapter of the Elder Scrolls story. Skyrim, developed by Bethesda Game Studios, was released in November 2011 and enjoyed worldwide critical and commercial success. As the follow-up to the 2002 Role-Playing Game of the Year, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind®, and the 2006 Game of the Year, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion®, Skyrim earned hundreds of ‘Game of the Year’ awards and sold over 10 million copies in the first month. The Elder Scrolls Online is slated for release in 2013 and is being developed for the PC and the Mac by ZeniMax Online Studios. The studio is headed up by industry veteran Matt Firor who has more than 20 years of online game development experience.
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Marvel And Aeria Mobile Launch X-Men: Battle Of The Atom Mobile Game For Iphone New Mobile Game Celebrates 50 Years Worth of X-Men Stories and Characters. Marvel Entertainment has teamed up with developer Aeria Mobile to launch X-Men: Battle of the Atom for iPhone. Featuring gorgeous original art by Marvel artists and stories adapted by prolific X-Men writer James Asmus, the new free-to-play card battle game (CBG) stars everyone’s favorite Uncanny X-Men in a battle across time and space. Relive 50 years of X-Men as they call on past and future allies to combat some of the most dangerous villains ever known. Building a roster from a staggering amount of characters including Wolverine, Storm, Iceman, Beast, Kitty Pryde, and many more, players will tackle more than 45 missions and experience upcoming events based on landmark stories like Schism, Messiah Complex, Age of Apocalypse, and of course, Battle of the Atom! Join 20-player X-Teams to participate in epic 20 vs. 20 battles in real time. Multi-month story arcs will also feature raid events in which these X-Teams can square off against the most iconic and powerful villains in X-Men history, including Magneto, the Hellfire Club, Apocalypse, and Dark Phoenix. The real-time ranking system also stirs up all-out competition as players vie for recognition as the top Super Hero teams. Regular content updates will consistently introduce new characters, stories, and art; giving players an ever-expanding universe in which to play. “It’s an honor for us to develop a game for such a storied and beloved franchise, one that is a personal favorite of mine,” said Lan Hoang, founder and CEO of Aeria Games. “X-Men: Battle of the Atom captures the amazing artwork and drama of the greatest comic book storylines, bringing them to life with exciting, dynamic battles between dozens of players in real time.” “With the release of X-Men: Battle of the Atom, Aeria Games has done a tremendous job of celebrating 50 years of X-Men,” said Andreea Enache-Thüne, Senior Vice President, Games and Digital Distribution at Marvel Entertainment. “We’re especially excited that the game will include hundreds of characters who have populated the X-Men universe over the years, spanning limitless timelines and alternate realities. Fans will be hard pressed to think of any characters not in the game and if the characters are not there now, they likely will be eventually via one of the numerous classic story adaptations in store for players. It’s a great time to be an X-Men fan.”
User Acquisition for Mobile Games A 1-Day Master Class in London from Tenshi and Fiksu 18th February 2014, London will see two key names in the mobile video-games industry come together to host, ‘User Acquisition for Mobile Games ', a master class for UK developers and others involved in marketing mobile games with a focus on why, when and how to invest in user acquisition. Fiksu, the industry leading, mobile customer loyalty platform, (clients include Disney, Gree, and Zynga), along with Tenshi Ventures, the UK’s games consultancy, (clients include Coca Cola, BBC and several games developers), will combine their expertise in a one-off event for the UK games industry. The event, to be hosted at Osborne Clarke, will be delivered by a mix of experts from Fiksu, Tenshi and guest speakers from the games industry. Osborne Clarke is widely recognised as one of the leading law firms for the digital and creative industries, working with business of all size from start-ups through to multi-nationals. Paul Gardner, a Partner at Osborne Clarke, stated, “We are pleased to be able to support this event at our offices in London and are looking forward to meeting attendees this February”. Fiksu will provide lectures on the hard science of user acquisition, while Tenshi will bring in case studies and stories from games developers cutting their teeth in this fascinating and challenging market. The program will include sessions on: - The Challenge of Discovery and UA Optimization - Strategies to Test and Launch your Game - The Physics of Mobile App Tracking - And also related content such as a panel on funding During the evening attendees will be able to network over drinks. Ed Daly from Tenshi Ventures commented, "Many developers, including our clients, talk about user acquisition but for many it's still a dark art. By collaborating with Fiksu for this event, we have the hard detail that developers and marketers need. Tenshi's job is to set this in context for games companies. Our objective is that by the end of the day attendees will have a confident grasp of why, when and how to invest in UA." "The mobile games community has long been on the forefront of app marketing," said Oliver Clark, Director of Sales, EMEA, Fiksu, "and I'm excited to have the chance to explore the future of the industry with some of the brightest stars in the mobile game community at the event in February."
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And there is a extended version below: Tickets for this one off event are priced at ÂŁ90 each, and with limited spaces available, we advise attendees to register promptly. Please register here: http:// useracquisitionformobilegames.eventbrite.co.uk Event Details Date: 18 February 2014 Time: 9.00am until 7.00pm â€“ Please arrive at 9.00am for registration and refreshments Networking 5.00pm until 7.00pm Location: Osborne Clarke - 1 London Wall, London, EC2Y 5EB Lunch Provided
Kromaia, the award-winning six degrees of freedom adventure shooter, reaches Desura Kromaia, the first game from the independent studio "Kraken Empire", has been just launched on Desura: http://www.desura.com/games/ kromaia Kromaia is an award-winning six degrees of freedom adventure shooter which takes action, speed, agility and immersion to a new level. Insane enemy patterns and swarms, giant god-like guardians, ancient temples, contraptions and treasures, visual ecstasy... All in a vast and unexplored universe only ruled by physic laws. What if the coin-op machines golden age started today, adding complex maneuverability abilities, encouraging spatial awareness, as well as an A.I. adapting to the way you play? Here is the chance to know. A trailer can be found below:
Early access to the current version of Kromaia! KROMAIA is currently on Alpha, the gameplay is final and game content grow fast, as well as different worlds to be unlocked trough the quest, which are in their way. Each one of this dimensions will feature its own scenarios, creatures, bosses and gameplay thematics, providing a different experience depending on the unit controlled type and the way you play! Four armors, four dual weapon packs, four different philosophies, but just one pilot: You. Make the environment react to the way you fly, explore, attack or avoid combat. The original adventure featuring the multiverse and the journey in search for the final answer. Kyllene system activates your armor and awakes you after your soul calibrates the unit. The year is NaN. Along with the story mode, some secrets and trophies remain hidden, waiting for the most tenacious players to unveil them. The award winning Score attack mode. An action mini-game which condenses all the piloting and fighting gameplay from Kromaia in a vintage arcade style experience. Now the only goal is to survive in order to face a bigger swarm, achieve a longer combo, fight a harder boss and get to the Olympus of High Scores.
War Thunder : new tanks and map available in Ground Forces Gaijin Entertainment today announced that an array of new tanks has been added to the second wave of the Closed Beta for the Ground Forces expansion in War Thunder. Players can now test their tank warfare skills on, among others, Tiger I, IS-1, KV-2, SU-85, T-34-85 and Jagdpanzer IV. The update also includes the release of Kuban â€“ a brand new, challenging map that is available
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to all players in Ground Forces. All new tanks waiting to be tested in Ground Forces include: USSR: KV-2 1939 IS-1 T-34 1942 T-34-85 (D-5T) SU-85 Germany: PzKpfw III Ausf.M PzKpfw IV Ausf.H Jagdpanzer IV (L48) PzKpfw VI Ausf.H1 You can read all about the changes in the Closed Beta of Ground Forces in the updated FAQ here: http://forum.warthunder.com/ index.php?/topic/97982-ground-forcesquestions-revisited/#entry1813878 Our official Ground Forces live-stream can be viewed here:
to go, all are welcome and encouraged to sign up today athttp://arcane.nexoneu.com/, as registration will no longer be available after the Closed Beta testing has started. Players who have received a code will be able to access the game after the start of the Closed Beta testing. In honour of the Closed Beta, Nexon Europe is preparing exclusive welcome events to share unique items and rewards. Arcane Chronicles introduces a richly detailed world of medieval fantasy to explore and interact with. Watch the latest game trailer below,
The game offers outstanding features such as: - Multi-user PvE and PvP content including Boss Hunting, Caravan Escort and Guild Castle Siege - Meditation and Auto-Hunt to develop your character, even while away from the keyboard Over 5 million players already know the - Hire NPCs or your friends as mercenaries to enjoyment of raining down aerial destruction via help you in your battle the PC-version of War Thunder and this fan “We’re enormously proud of Arcane base continues exponential growth. War Chronicles”, says Kevin Kim, Product Manager of Arcane Chronicles at Nexon Europe. “Now we’re Thunder is currently in Open Beta on PC and looking forward to the great feedback that only PlayStation 4, and in development for Mac OS our community of players can provide, to make it and Oculus Rift. Download War Thunder for free the ultimate browser-based dark fantasy game.” from the official website and join in a heated Moreover, there will be special benefits for battle to dominate the skies: testers who participate in the Closed Beta. Nexon Europe will offer 6 Hours of Auto-Hunt per day http://warthunder.com. and 500 Arcanites (in-game currency) for free, which can be used for hiring friend mercenaries, summoning boss monsters, and crafting and enchanting items. Also, don’t miss the exclusive Arcane Chronicles Closed Beta rewards like titles, pets, and in-game currency for Begins 16th Jan the Open Beta. An astonishing level of depth is on offer in Today, Nexon Europe has announced that the Arcane Chronicles, with over 300 different enemy Closed Beta access for its latest free-to-play, types, three skill trees for each of the three browser-based MMORPG, Arcane Chronicles, will begin on 16th January. With only a few days playable characters and the ability to switch
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between them mid-game at any time – all within Additionally, players will find the level cap a vast world with 30 beautifully painted field raised from 64 to 67! maps and 10 dangerous dungeons. To sign up for the beta now, visit http://arcane.nexoneu.com/ For updates on Arcane Chronicles, visit the Facebook page at: With Re-mastered And https://www.facebook.com/ArcaneChronicles.
Thy Chariot Awaits … Jump On Elsword’s New Mount System Sander Gets New Dungeons And New Max Level Increase Kill3rCombo, publisher of the hit free-to-play action MMORPG Elsword, has introduced its brand-new mount system and it’s how all the heroes of Elrios are getting around. Players can now ride, play and fight in Villages, Fields and Dungeons, and that’s not all – two exciting new dungeons are being added to the Sander region, and the game is getting a max level increase! Delivering excitement at every turn, Elsword’s new mount system will have players quickly traveling from village to village at breakneck speeds. Three different mounts are available at launch. Mounts automatically come with enhanced defenses to ward off monster attacks, and each Mount has their very own arsenal of attacks including heat-seeking missiles, epic laser flares and kickin’ incinerator death-breath. Regardless of which Mount you pick, they have you covered with just the push of a button. All players will get a test-ride with new in -game Mount System events! This is a limited-time offer so players should climb aboard now before it’s too late. Just when players thought things were cooling off, the battle for the village of Sander erupts into an all-out war! The two latest Dungeons of Sander promise to take the heroic epic of Elsword into the next chapter. The menacing subterranean Trock’s Lair, and the squall laden floating valleys of the Caluso Tribal Village each cast their very own spell of mystery and intrigue upon the land. It’s up to players to help our heroes fight for their lives and halt a seemingly endless war of attrition! Or is this all part of something bigger … the quest to find the Wind Priestess and uncover the mystery of Sander continues.
Re-orchestrated Soundtracks, Pokémon Heartgold & Pokémon Soulsilver: Super Music Collection Launches On Itunes
The Pokémon Company International today has released a digital re-mastered soundtrack from Pokémon HeartGold and Pokémon SoulSilver. The game, which released in 2010, featured in-game music composed by Junichi Masuda, Gō Ichinose, and Morikazu Aoki, and included remixes of iconic 8-bit themes from Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver. The soundtrack releasing today includes beautifully adapted and orchestrated versions of the original music. Fans can expect more to come in 2014 from the Pokémon musical archives, including the soundtracks of: Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl Pokémon Black and Pokémon White Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2 The launch follows previously released soundtracks of Pokémon X andPokémon Y, and Pokémon FireRed and Pokémon LeafGreen, under the Super Music Collection moniker. Pokémon HeartGold & Pokémon SoulSilver: Super Music Collection can be downloaded on iTunes now at the following link: https://itunes.apple.com/gd/album/pokemonheartgold-pokemon/id796790051
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Game Label - Gaijin Entertainment Release Date - Currently in Open Beta Website - warthunder.com Reviewer - Lee Walker Platform - PC
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As D-Day looms for War Thunderâ€™s latest chronicle War Thunder : Ground Forces we thought it was time that we sat down and went over War Thunder.
the mouse to control where your plane is flying and to aim your weapons. As with many flight simulators the art of flying your vehicle is the key to its success with it being both frustrating and rewarding at the Billed as the mother of all flight games it came as no same time as you push your planes to the limit and surprise to find WT set in Word War 2 which was pit your machine against other competitors. arguably the most innovative period of the history of aviation and is where many of todayâ€™s high-tech If I had to find faults with the game I would say that plane features originated. my main bug bear is that you can often find yourself up against higher tier planes which leaves you clearly disadvantaged and that as with many mmos you often come up against players who are less than sporting in their pursuit of the game as well as those who take it far too seriously. Does WT live up to its lofty billing? I personally think so and expect that as it continues to develop you will find WT becoming the standard by which future flight simulators are held against. Bring on War Thunder Ground Forces!
As an mmo WT stays true to form and incorporates both visually and in its game play/flight simulation as many of the features that the planes which took part in WW2 had, allowing you to choose your aeroplane from those produced by Great Britain, Germany, Russia, Japan and the US with you starting with early, fairly lightweight models and allowing you to advance up the stages and fly the more advanced, deadlier planes as you move up the ranks. In terms of game play itself, as you would expect there are various types of missions that you can take part in, each with their own relative merits, ranging from arcade battles through to dynamic campaigns.
Control of the planes themselves is a vital feature to this game as you often find yourself having to learn to master the nuances of each of the types of planes that you can fly with the aid of both keyboard controls to drop bombs, fire machine guns etc and
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Abyssal - Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius Label: Iron Bonehead Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Website: http://abyssal-home.bandcamp.com/
Limited to 500 copies this DLP is a sure thing for collectors of rare Metal releases and those that have a lust for dark, despondent and murk filled anomalies.
Released: 31 January 2014 Highlight: The Headless Serpent
ones shortest in length. 'The Headless Serpent' and 'A Sheath Of Deceit' fly the flag of this lifeless phantom ship as it sails the foggy and nefarious waters it has created.
Coiling from deep in the underground of the UK this subterraneous deity have bestowed us their second malevolent full length offering. Carrying on from the scourge filled penumbra of iniquity that was their last album 'Denouement' this is the more forbidding and baleful estranged half brother. Ironically what earns this album it's kudos is also haplessly it's downfall. The enigma being it's just too damn long and continuously afflictive. With an hour elapsing between the infernal raising of the curtain and the terminus of the record you can find yourself easily loosing concentration. It's no coincidence that the most notable and memorable tracks are the
Atacama Death Experience - Wasted Time and Broken Bones Label: Cimmerian Shade Records Released: February 2014 Reviewer: Lee Walker Highlight: Useless Blues Website: https://www.facebook.com/AtacamaDeathExperience
Being described as ‘nihilistic blues from the middle of nowhere’ I was pleasantly surprised by this debut e.p from Italian sludge lords Atacama Death Experience by both its depth of music and controlled brutality.
speakers and into your bloodstream polluting it beyond repair with its heaviness. As e.ps go ‘Wasted Time and Broken Bones’ is a fine start for Atacama Death Experience with my only concern being how they can better it.
Weighing in at only four tracks ‘Wasted Time and Broken Bones’ wastes no time with pleasantries as Atacama Death Experience go straight for the jugular with a mix of hard hitting doom laden sludge that is so heavy that it should come with a health warning, with each track containing the type of raw grittiness that you came to expect from seminal gloomsters Cathedral, only slightly heavier in my opinion, with each song feeling more potent than the last, with a mix of heavy riffage and unearthly vocals being the order of the day providing the backbone for this beast as they pummel you into submission as the ep methodically grinds its way though your
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Burning Full Throttle - No Man’s Land Label: Self Release Released: 15 November 2013 Reviewer: Graham Pritchard Highlight: Burning Full Throttle Website: https://www.facebook.com/burningfullthrottleband
If you are a fan Viking Skull and Motorhead You need to check these guys out.
The album’s songs are strong and they get the point over, producing good driving music and from the first track ‘The One To Blame’ right up to track eight ‘Burning Full Throttle’, you are treated to the kind of music that make rock so great to listen to.
Coming from Budapest, Hungary, and describing themselves as stoner driving music they are one mean outfit like a fusion of The Skull and Motorhead they just don’t stop until they have pounded your If I’m disappointed with anything on this album it head into oblivion with their dirty gritty vocals and would be the fact that there are only eight tracks on grinding guitars all completed by a hard bass line it. More next time please. and stomping drums. ‘Burning Full Throttle’ could easily be applied to how they play. Full on and relentless unadulterated rock I have no doubt that live they would kick your butt and with an eight track CD out called ‘No Man’s Land’ they aim to make a mark on the UK market and I think with this release they should have no problems.
Aborted Fetus - Private Judgement Day Label: Comatose Music Released: 18 February 2014 Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Highlight: Malignant Pregnancy Website: https://www.facebook.com/Abortedfetusbrutality
Comatose Music have the grotesque honour of releasing the new and third studio installment from Russia's most notorious Death Metal act Aborted Fetus. This band have had a cult following ever since they put out their first demo 'World Of Bleeding' in 2000 and from what I can gather from 'Private Judgement Day' is that the World has never been anything but red with blood. This is a brutal record, so brutal you can almost taste the blood in your mouth whilst listening.
There's no doubting the influence that Maryland's Dying Fetus has had on these men. Just take away some of the technical traits add extra pig squelling and you'll get the horrid picture. With this record rolling in at 26 minutes over 10 tracks it's certainly an expeditious and unforgiving piece of 'gorno'. The viscus splitting vocals, remorseless drumming and flesh piercing fret work make this album as violent as the artwork suggests. This is a grossly bombardment of catastrophic consequences on the senses.
We also have a couple of early candidates for song title of year with tracks such as 'Garden Of Kidney Stones' and 'Fuck In A Pesthole'. These along with the surrounding dismembering supplements of torture and torment make this a must have for any chainsaw exhausting gore fiend.
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Besegra - Infortunium Label: Tridroid Records Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Website: http://www.besegra.com/
This is the debut EP from Canadian Neo Thrashers Besegra. Available on cassette thanks to Tridroid Records, being limited to 100 copies also ensures that this release is definitely one for preservation in the vault. In essence this is a full on take no shit Thrash record. Throw some composite playing and hunger into the ensemble and the upshot is this wildebeest of an introduction.
Released: 10 December 2013 Highlight: The Beast Submits
certainly assists the band in separating them from the pack. Their musical talent will also help enforce the band as an accomplished outfit. From the evidence put on the table with this release despite only six tracks making the conception I can see a big future in the scene for these dudes. I'm eagerly anticipating the first Besegra full length album like a teenager thirstily awaits the ten minute preview on the blue movie channel when their parents are out.
Having been formed in 2009 and with already having experienced a few line up tribulations Besegra have now arrived and they're ready to inject something fresh into what can be argued is a stagnate genre. The bands ability of bringing in aspects of both Death metal and Progressive arrangements
Dismemberment - Embrace The Dark Label: Self Release Released: 1 February 2014 Reviewer: Lee Walker Highlight: Archaic Wisdom Website: https://www.facebook.com/DISMEMBERMENTohio?ref=br_tf
Among the growing towers of albums that are currently in the pipeline to review in After Dark land Ohio’s Dismemberment stood out as one of the ones to take note of – be it with their occult orientated artwork or their punishing riffs or gluteal unearthly vocals or a mix of all three.
as the traditional ‘black metal’ sound has almost melodic curve ball moments thrown into the mix surprising you with its simple and yet decisive changes to the feel of the track in question. One to watch for the future I definitely think so.
Opening track ‘Confess Your Flesh’ sets the scene for the this devastating release with its thrash orientated guitar work having an almost melodic touch at times as track after track of brutality is unleashed upon you with each one hammered home by the unearthly vocals of Luke Shively creating an almost thrash driven version of Watain complete with set pieces conjuring up images of the fiery pits of Hell. One thing that stands out for me is that throughout the album your expectations are simply blown away
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The Self Titled - Defaced Label: Self Release Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Website: http://www.theselftitled.com/
Released: 2012 Highlight: Running Scared
Here's an album we regrettably missed out on in our reviews section on our 2013 editions of 'After Dark'. Here we have the UK's The Self Titled Serving up a platter of well crafted, cider soaked biker rock. Opening track 'Soul Control' just sounds like it's been ripped straight out of one of those gung ho gunfight scenes on Sons Of Anarchy.
sound, there's enough noise pollution emitted here to accompany any half decent fracas.
I wouldn't exactly call this record ground breaking, I think face breaking would be a more opportune description of this 10 track release. It's high on testosterone, energy, forcefulness and probably something illegal.
You'll be able to hear tracks from the album when TST rip up the stage at this years 'The Bulldog Bash' 'Rock and Metal Circus' and 'Alt-fest'. If you fail to show up then I might just send a gang of angry hungover bikers over to your house for a little defacing.
This is the bands debut album and with work currently under way for their next record which is expected in Spring, I'm sure you'll be getting more familiar with these dudes as the year elapses.
Despite being far removed from what could be called an innovative album there is some diversity enclosed on 'Defaced'. With 'Twisted' being arguably the most thrashy sounding ruckus on offer and 'Stomp' bringing in elements of the early 90's Seattle
Cancerous Womb - Born of a Cancerous Womb Label: Grindscene Records Released: 24 February 2014 Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Highlight: Up To My Nuts In Guts Website: https://www.facebook.com/cancerouswomb
In touring the UK extensively over the past five years, Cancerous Womb has become one of those names around the underground that all are familiar with. I'm sure that everyone in that throng is fervent of the idea that 2014 could be the year for their beloved club mainstays to take flight into the British metal stratosphere. It's time for this Edinburgh based magma to erupt into a lava of catastrophic repercussions.
From the Dying Fetus vs White Zombie arrangements of 'Hunted To Extinction' to the black metal shrieks at the beginning of 'Austrian Basement', there's a lot of diverse fragments dragged into the hostile environment that is 'Born of A Cancerous Womb'. If you're a disciple of extreme metal then you better get down on your knees and start praying.
There's eleven tracks on this debut record from Scotland's finest technical grind maulers. Each one as trenchant, indefatigable and intricately delivered as their reputation suggests. Brutalising the senses is elementary compared to how punishing this album really is. Tracks 'V.I.Paedophile' and 'Up To My Nuts In Guts' showcase how carnal and remorseless this Highlands Horde of Horror can be.
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Skinny Puppy - The Greater Wrong of the Right Label: Metropolis Records Reviewer: Joey Lowebins Website: http://skinnypuppy.com/
Skinny Puppy are widely considered pioneers of industrial rock. The guitar riffs in earlier tracks on the album can be found in a majority of the latter generation industrial bands such as N.I.N and Ministry (Al Jourgensen was a guest in 1989 on the Skinny Puppy album ‘Rabies’ as producer and additional vocals).
Released: 28 January 2014 Highlight: Pro-Test
to it with the track heavily guitar laden, this is skilfully contrasted with the rap vocals. Meanwhile in track seven, ’Past Present’, has an electro dance vibe to it and you can imagine it playing in a night club.
Now, track eight, ah, track eight. This was the track I was looking forward to the most. With guest appearances from Tool’s Danny Carey and Wayne Originally released in 2004, Metropolis records have Static from Static X. I was disappointed. The track is reissued the album and also released it on vinyl for good but the talent of the two said guests seems all you people out there who are enjoying the under used with the drums being average for a man comeback of L.P’s as much as I am. of Carey’s talent and Wayne Static’s vocals are rarely noticeable but that said, this is a very good The album as a whole is very dark. album and well worth a listen for fans of N.I.N and Aphex Twin. Track two, ‘Pro-test’, has that classic industrial feel
Buzzherd - On Sinking Ships...Rats Drown Label: Dullest Records Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Website: http://buzzherd.bandcamp.com/
Released: 10 December 2013 Highlight: The Maloik
It's time to wipe off your shotgun, dig out the bear Flag cover 'Six Pack' the reek of intent is robust. trap, get those chilled beers from your fridge and This is the ultimate album for Bigfoot hunting with head out to the forest. Or you can just sit back and your sack out! let this 6 track album wash over you like an unshaven Sasquatch scrotum. This is as rustic and unrefined as you could imagine from a Stoner Metal band. Reaching out from the Glen of Northampton, Pennsylvania these Sludge pissing anthropoids have inflicted one heavy dose of pure rock fury. From the opener 'Abuse Of Despair' right through to the final embittered slab that is 'Six Pack', this record is vociferous, unclean and unalterable. You will hear cutlets of High On Fire, Buzzoven and Down as this record churns them into a weed grinder and blows the smoke in your face. Consisting of five new original songs and a Black
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Vardan - The Wood Is My Coffin Label: Moribund Records Released: 21 January 2014 Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Highlight: Luciferian Assault Website: https://www.facebook.com/vardanmetal
When bereft of hope and nourished with despair the forbidding forest can offer some reprieve. These wood's aren't just dense, they're void of love, companionship and warmth. Though paradoxically enough it's these three characteristics that Vardan finds emitting from the incessantly swallowing snow laden wood lands. To describe this obscurity of light musically it's inherently akin to Alcest, if they were suffering from asphyxia that is. The album title is pretty self explanitory, so don't be expecting anything optimistic and upbeat from this depressive trip deep into the until now untouched virgin forest.
The first dosage of melancholic fascination 'Night Of The Horned Rebirth' wraps it's cold benighted cloak right around and walks us down a path into complete desolation and self-annihilation. 'Luciferian Assault' and 'Goatcraft' further uphold our protagonists demise into a shallow and absorbing grave. The closing two fold of 'Dawn Of The Followers Part I & II' cements our prime mover into the substratum where solace subsists.
This is the fifth release from Italy's one man band Vardan, who is an immensely regarded disciple of the DSBM scene in his home nation.
Barishi - Barishi Label: Self Release Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Website: http://barishi.bandcamp.com/
From the ancient hills of New England comes this outlandish perplexing debut offering from progressive innovators Barishi. It's been a long time since I've listened to an album and said to myself â€œWhat in fudgery is this radical mind sedation?â€? but thanks to these gentlemen from Brattleboro Vermont, that phrase was repeated countless times during the beholding of this grandiose self titled and self released record.
Released: 2 December 2013 Highlight: Jaguar Scarification Ritual
ment is only the first surprise on an unpredictable album of crazy joyous consummation. Seeping through the compressed shell of Barishi if you listen closely you will hear slight residues of Black Flag, Faith No More and even Iron Maiden. All these ingredients mixed with the band's own unique projection of energy and talent makes this record exquisite and unparalleled.
What starts off as being somewhat comparable to Masters Of Reality floating around the troposphere in a hot air balloon on Magic Mushrooms concludes in a post hardcore wet dream. This album gets an automatic score of two for making and using a saxophone accordingly (Sky Burial & Holy Mountain). It's also been a while since I found the use of the Saxophone to be appropriate but Barishi have managed to pull it off. The use of this instru-
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Hammercult - Steelcrusher Label: Sonic Attack/SPV Reviewer: Lee Walker Website: https://www.hammercult.com/
Hailing from Israel, Hammercult first popped up on our radar thanks to winning the 2011 Wacken Metal Battle and finally release the all important second album. Upon listening to ‘Steelcrusher’ I can’t help but say that I am disappointed with the overall album. In places the album promise’s so much with some great guitar work, skilful song intros as well as having fantastic artwork thrown in but overall it seems to be a mix of styles randomly attached to each other, with elements of classic punk merged with thrash merged with hardcore merged with power metal merged with Viking metal etc, that leaves the songs feeling disjointed which I personally find very annoying as I get the feeling if Hammercult had settled upon one genre rather than try to merge as many genres as possible the album
Released: 27 January 2014 Highlight: Satanic Lust
would be a Hell of a lot better but alas they did not so you are left with this crazy collection of songs which don’t quite jell together but give you annoyingly tantalising glimpses of what could have been a great album had the band gone that route. It would be wrong to right Hammercult off totally as a result of this album as they clearly have a lot of talent which just needs focusing in the wright direction. Hopefully they will learn from this and create the album that they could easily have done.
Woslom - Evolustruction Label: Punishment 18 Records Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Website: http://woslom.net/site/english-news/
This is what can only be described as an all pit, no shit thrash record. This is the ultimate amalgamation of everything great about the genre once synonymous with the Bay Area in San Francisco. Yes, there's nothing much in the way of originality on this offering from the Brazilian titans, but you know what, it doesn't matter. In an age deprived of musical innovation and dub-step (is that dead yet?) sometimes energy, power and substance are the next best thing.
Released: 18 February 2014 Highlight: No Last Chance
esoteric one. Now they are back, and they have returned to throw fuel into that fire they once ignited. You better hope not to get caught in the flames, because it seems that there's going to be an inferno.
It's difficult not to have Megadeth on your mind whilst this album traverses into the vortex of denim, patched jackets and stage slamming. 'No Last Chance' would easily make it onto any Dave Mustaine conducted album of recent times. The bands first album came out in 2010 to raving reviews from the worldwide metal fraternity, be it an
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Kampfar - Djevelmakt Label: Indie Recordings Released: 27 January 2014 Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Highlight: Swarm Norvegicus Website: http://www.kampfar.com/frontpage.php
Now in their 20th year of existence, the menacing brainchild of Dolk has returned. Injected with a new lease of life (death), Kampfar have returned without having really gone anywhere. We have now entered the third age of this Norwegian deity's mischievous incumbency. The first was back in 1994 when the band were formed as a two piece. The second wave was when with the addition of two new members the band combusted onto the live circuit. This is now a new age for Kampfar and quite possibly a new dawn for Norwegian metal. With their spine placed deep into the anatomy of black metal, Kampfar have loosened the shackles with this release and have went with a more liberal approach. With their seed being buried deep into the soil of the traditional Norwegian muse this is a slight escape from the Goats and Corpsepaint we normally associate with the scene. Dependent on
your vantage of the genre you may not concur with everything that manifests from this exudation. Of course there's blast beats, tremolo picking and raw shrieking but the production quality and void for other influences to radiate may be too much for some black metal diehards to condone. For everyone else, this is a saturnine yet splendiferous offering. This is a magical and flawless journey into what Dolk himself describes â€œThe theme is condemnation. It's anti religion and not anti humanâ€? The three gleaming stand out tracks here are 'Kujon' 'Swarm Norvegicus' and the album swansong 'Our Hounds, Our Legion'.
Miserable Failure - Hope EP Label: Kaotoxin Records Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Website: https://www.facebook.com/msrblflr
Released: 16 January 2014 Highlight: The Blue Prints of Self Disgust
This is a very interesting one indeed. Normally it's Cassette editions of this straight to the point, nothing unusual when an EP contains only 4 tracks, discourteous disturbance. but this is a little different. Yes, there is 4 songs included on this extended play from these French Grind Pastors, but collectively the record runs for less than 4 minutes in total. Yep!
So now you're probably wondering why I have given a record that elapses for such a sudden time a 10/10 rating. The answer is simple, it's short, sweet and it grinds my meat. In all honesty though, there's nothing to complain about on this record. The band have made this pandemonium available for free, if you head over to the Kaotoxin website you can behold it in all it's intended glory. The band will also be releasing an extremely limited number of CD and
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Embryonic Devourment - Reptilian Agenda Label: Deepsend Records Released: 18 February 2014 Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Highlight: Sealed With Resion Website: http://www.embryonicdevourment.com/
Northern California's tech-death grind machine has writing that gives this album it's distinction and returned with their third bloodied slab of repugnant piquancy. carnage. Continuing from the slaughter laid out on their last rupture inducing album 'Vivid Interpretations Of The Void', 'Reptilian Agenda' is technical death metal at it's brutish best. It's intricate and interlaced ensemble, sequent with the sheer brute force is what makes this record as ruthless as possible. This is the musical equivalent of a chainsaw lobotomy. The bands fascination with bioscience and shape shifting World leaders reigns supreme when it comes to the albums lyrical content. Tracks like 'Reptiliphiliac' 'Experimental Deformation' and 'Masonic Angeldust' only solidify the bands stance on who really governs the planet. It's this concept sutured with the unremitting and transposed song
Trenchrot - Necronomic Warfare Label: Unspeakable Axe Records Released: 18 February 2014 Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Highlight: Death By Trenchrot Website: http://trenchrotdeathmetal.bandcamp.com/
Ever imagine how a war between Bolt Thrower and Hail Of Bullets would unfold? Well, the answer is thoroughly given within this belligerent bombardment of frontline chaos. This is the redoubtable debut offering from Philadelphia war mongers Trenchrot (awesome name too).
intonation. An army of pacifists could stumble upon any bridgehead and come out victorious with this as their soundtrack.
Opening salvo 'Death By Trenchrot' positions this record straight onto the battlefield. It doesn't take long to realise that this record is as heavy and as devastating as a Sherman Tank. It's this soundscape of aggression and warfare that persists throughout as tracks like 'Mad Dogs of War' and 'Trapped Under Treads' blast through enemy lines like a drill to cardboard. 'Gustav Gun' presents us with another side to the band. It's a more doom heavy sound, one that could detonate any near explosive with it's shuddering
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Firebrand After Dark
Published on Jan 21, 2014
Issue 7 of Firebrand After Dark is out now, featuring interviews with the likes of Monte Pittman, Temple Of Baal, Red Enemy, Mayan and revie...