Page 1

Issue 1 - July 2013

Decapitated Battlecross Arceye Dichotomy Chthonic Amon Amarth Death Tyrant Attackhead Slayer Sterbhaus

12 20 28 30 32 34 36 40 42 46 50 56 60 64 68

- Panzerchrist - Arceye - Chthonic - Graveyard - IamI - The Wild Lies - Fahran - Krystos - Sterbhaus - Dichotomy - The Amenta - Decapitated - Attackhead - Battlecross - Erimha

73 - Svart Crown - Escape The Fate 74 - Sneeze - The Amenta 75 - Duncan Evans - The Resistance 76 - Nunslaughter/Antiseen 77 78 79 80 81 82

04 06 16 24 49 62

- Hymns From The Dark Side - News - Bloodstock 2013 Preview - Download 2013 - Top 5 Vids - Out Of The Ashes 2013 Preview

83 84 85 86 87

8 - Slayer

88 89


- Abonium - Circle Of Rage - Enemo-J - Wondersword - Graveworm - De Arma - Frost Giant - Amon Amarth - Dagoba - Alkira - Death Tyrant - Cathedral - Battlecross - Necrogrinder - The Deathisodes - Summoning - Joel Grind - Sectioned - Potential Threat - These Hearts - Erimha - Super Happy Fun Club - Arthouse Hours - Helrunar/Arstidir Lifsins - Schemata Theory - Conditions

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Editor In Chief Rick Palin

After many emails and messages of interest the owners of Firebrand Magazine agreed to launch a magazine to cater for the heavier side of things that are sent in to Firebrand land. After much deliberation ‘Firebrand After Dark’ was spawned. Left to fend for itself this lowly creation soon started growing and attracting a lot of attention, amassing just under 1,500 ‘likes’ on Facebook in a matter of weeks without a single edition being released which left Firebrand’s owner Rick Palin speechless. Delving into waters previously uncharted by Firebrand, ‘Firebrand After Dark’ is now officially launched, with this month’s edition landing in at a whopping 90 pages, revisiting some of the releases that popped up earlier in the year as well as some of the latest albums to hit the shelves. Also featured in this debut edition is a deluge of interviews, including a selection of interviews which mon capitan Stoodge conducted at the Download festival last month - was Download still standing after Stoodge visited it? You’ll have to check out the ‘Firebrand After Dark Does Download’ feature to find out. Speaking of festival’s, as we are in the middle of festival season, it would be rude not to have a look at a couple that are on our radar . With both Bloodstock and the Out Of The Ashes festival being previewed it will be a busy month ahead for the Firebrand After Dark team. So with that thought I will sign off and leave you to download the free tracks from Seed Of Sorrow and Rotten Doom in our ‘Hymns From The Dark Side’ digital cover cd to crank up loud and listen to while reading the rest of the magazine.

Senior Media Consultant Rachel Whiston Editor Lee Walker Reviews team Heather Blewett Stoodge McNulty Graham Pritchard Contributing Writers Rhiannon Marley Download Content Team Rick Palin Judith Fisher Content Download Advertising Enquiries Review Requests Contact Telephone +44(0)1244 940961

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Rotten Doom is a melodic death metal band from México City, filled through of songs that make you headbang! We recently released our energy packed first full length album. Rotten Doom is: Vick - Vocals, Allan - Guitars, Alan O - Guitars, Abraham - Bass and Norberto - Drums. You can find us on ITunes, Spotify, Radio and Bandcamp. Check Facebook for updates!

Seed Of Sorrow are a five piece death metal band from Inverness in the highlands of Scotland who are dedicated to producing the hardest, angriest brand of metal possible. After recently finishing the recording of their 5 track E.P named ‘Vice Like Grip’ it is now to be released next month. Seed Of Sorrow is: Lewis Goodwin - Vocals, Mark Savage - Guitar, Nick Laidlaw - Guitar, John Murray - Drums and Donald Tolmie - Bass For all the latest check out


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NEWS Arceye Unveil 'At First Light' Artwork & Tracklisting UK death thrashers Arceye have released details for their upcoming sophomore album 'At First Light'. The album will be released worldwide on August 7th via Hostile Media. Commenting on the album the band said: "This album we feel we have really trimmed the fat on our songwriting and made it the best it could be! If we didn't think that it kicked ass it didn't make the cut! We also stepped up the production value, recording the drums In Foel studios and working with Scott Atkins (Sylosis, Cradle Of Filth, Amon Amarth, Gamma Bomb) on the mix and master. The Meaning of 'At First Light' is a representation of where we felt we were as a band when we were writing the album. Since our last release we have gained two new members, both with a writing influence and we've developed more of a vision of the music we wanted to play." 'At First Light' is the follow up to Arceye's highly acclaimed debut album 'The Divide Between Chaos & Order' which saw the band appear in pages of Terrorizer and Metal Hammer and was hailed as "hard-hitting" and "balls out thrash."

the rights to this currently untitled memoir, currently slated to hit stores in the spring of 2014, have been sold for the USA to Executive Editor Ben Schafer at Da Capo Press. Da Capo Press is a member of American publishing company the Perseus Books Group. Internationally, much acclaimed publisher Random House has purchased the foreign rights to the memoir and will act as publisher in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Random House recently put out Corey Taylor's two best-sellers. "While I've dreamed of being a published author almost since I began to read, I never imagined my first book would center around such a sad topic. Sometimes though, life unexpectedly provides you a story that needs to be told," states Blythe. "I believe this one does (for several different reasons, not just for the benefit of myself), so I will tell it with the respect and dignity all involved deserve. This will be a good read, I promise you, and I hope some good comes of it." Randy Blythe and his band Lamb Of God will headline the Bloodstock Festival in the UK in early August.

Lamb Of God - Randy Blythe Pens Memoir & Signs Book Deal! During the next few weeks while Lamb of God is gearing up for several European dates in August, vocalist Randy Blythe is busy gearing up for the release of his upcoming memoir. The memoir, which puts emphasis on the past year of his life, is an incredible, harrowing, heartbreaking, and redemptive story told in Blythe's already well-recognized writing style. It seems that almost every major media outlet has attempted to righteously cover the story of Blythe's arrest, incarceration, trial, and acquittal for manslaughter in the Czech Republic last year, but now, the man at the centre of it all unveils the truths of the ordeal, personally detailing every aspect in his own words. No ghost-writers, no co-authors, just Randy Blythe, himself. Randy Blythe is pleased to announce that


Dark Tranquillity: announce European headlining tour In continued support of their critically acclaimed new album "Construct" DARK TRANQUILLITY can finally announce their upcoming European headlining tour. The band is already looking forward to laying Europe to ashes. Mikael Stanne (vocals): "The Construct is real and is coming to you this fall. Starting this November, we are bringing the

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European Construct tour out on the road. We are all very excited to deliver a brand new show full of new songs as well as old favorites. Cheers!" These are the currently confirmed dates. Supports will be announced soon.

Monuments: Revealed new vocalist at Ghostfest 2013: please welcome Chris Barretto UK tech-metallers Monuments have just officially announced their new singer. Please welcome Chris Barretto to the band. After leaving Periphery Barretto performed with The Haarp Machine and did saxophone on Tesseract's current album "Altered State". He already passed his fire test on a tiny stage during a secret show on June 27th as well as on a massive one during Ghostfest the past weekend. Chris Barretto on joining Monuments: "Greetings everyone! It's an honour to be joining the Monuments team and Century Media family. I have a great love for the music that these guys create and I'm very much looking forward to being a part of that creative process. As I'm sure you all know, Monuments has had a rich history long before my being here and that is something that I don't want to step on and intend to honour to the best of my abilities. Now that I am here, I invite all of you to come on a musical journey into the future with us, the new generation of Monuments. Hope to see you all at the upcoming gigs!"

Children Of Bodom - hit Top 50 of the world charts! Finnish metal superstars CHILDREN OF BODOM hit #42 on the world sales charts with their new album “Halo Of Blood”. This is a huge accomplishment for a metal band! Congratulation, boys! “Halo Of Blood” first-week chart positions around the globe: World Charts #42, Finland #02, Hungary #10, Germany #18, Canada #21, Switzerland #24, Sweden #26, Austria #28, USA #54, France: #78, UK #109 (#09 Rock charts), Belgium #112, Holland #166

Nile - “At the Gate of Sethu” Europe Tour 2013 Part II The reigning kings of technical, historically-themed brutality, Nilewould like to announce Part II of the “At the Gate of Sethu” Europe Tour 2013. Karl and the guys are looking forward to play some new cities with their friends in Metal Ex Deo (Canada) and Svart Crown (France). This will be great metal shows for all Nile fans and death/blackmetal fans everywhere.

Kreator – Roskilde show to be streamed live German thrash titans KREATOR will play a this year’s Roskilde Festival in Denmark on Friday, July 5 at 11.00pm CET. The entire show will be available as live stream at – check it out! Kreator recently announced to release a brand new live DVD called ‘Dying Alive’ on August 30, 2013. A first video trailer can be viewed at this location: The DVD/Blu Ray features the band's sold out homecoming show in Oberhausen, Germany on December 22, 2012 after an extensive 45 days European tour in support of their highly successful album ’Phantom Antichrist’. The packed and sweat driven show was filmed by 24 cameras as well as guitar and even mosh pit cams. The DVD/Blu Ray contains the show, a behind the scenes documentary as well as video clips. Approximate total running time: 115 minutes.
’Dying Alive’ will be issued in various formats: DVD/2CD, Blu Ray/2CD, Earbook (DVD/ Blu Ray/2CD + Bonus CD feat. ‘Phantom Antichrist’ demo songs),Earbook + 7“ (DVD/Blu Ray/2CD + Bonus CD feat. ‘Phantom Antichrist’ demo songs) - Nuclear Blast Mailorder only. Audio-only formats: Limited 2CD incl. live bonus tracks, 2LP (black, 180g, gatefold + poster), 2LP (red, 180g, gatefold + poster) Nuclear Blast Mailorder only, 2LP (orange, 180g, gatefold + poster) - Nuclear Blast Mailorder only.

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Reviewed Live at Limelight, Belfast, 12 June 2013

By Stoodge Mc Nulty 8

Live shots by Stoodge Mc Nulty

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t the time when all those dedicated Slayer mosh pits early on made the full stage virtually fans were fortunate enough to get their hands visible from anywhere within the premises. on tickets for this gig (which sold out in 4 minutes) no one could have foreseen the circumstances that would have Slayer trending across the World Metal press.


hether it was the infamous contractual issues that former drummer Dave Lombardo openly posted to fans on Facebook along with his resignation or the sudden death of legendary guitarist Jeff Hanneman, I don't think anyone was completely sure if the 3 scheduled Irish gigs would happen. Thankfully they did and you have to give the band huge credit for that as a lot of bands have cancelled or postponed Irish shows in the past for reasons relatively minor in comparison to the few months that these Thrash legends have went through.


ith the doors opening an hour before the band hit the stage and with no support act you could sense the feeling of restlessness from the section of the audience that had quickly congregated at the barrier in front of the stage. Evidence of the crowds agitation was highlighted when an engineer walked on stage to have a quick final glance at the lights and was met by chants of “Ladder, Ladder, Ladder, Ladder�


he band hit the stage 15 minutes late which had a few people worrying that they could miss the last bus from Belfast as this was a School night after all, but from my time keeping the guys from Huntington Park in California polished off their set just in time.


he stage show was pretty basic, but who really expects dry ice, fireworks and pageantry from a Slayer live show? Behind Bostaph's kit the stage was draped in the now famous 'Hanneman' Heineken tribute banner which during most of the set was difficult to see pending the first 3 songs (World Painted clearly as the flashing lights made the Blood, Hallowed Point and War Ensemble) in performance a photographers nightmare, all in all the photo pit I must admit I had the feeling of it's extremely heartening to know that the band regret that I maybe should have brought a crash are keeping Jeff's spirit alive on stage with them. helmet with me to the show. The slight fear I had for my safety was soon eradicated when to my he band now consisting of Tom Araya, Kerry surprise the front few rows were pretty subtle and King, Gary Holt (Exodus) and Paul Bostaph subdued in terms of how Slayer gigs usually pan (Testament, Forbidden) were in fine form and out, especially in such a confined and close performed with the conviction that a lot of bands venue that the recently refurbished Limelight 2 is. that have been around for as long seem to lack Maybe it was to do with the fact that there was no or lose at a certain point of their career. warm up act or that it was a mid week show so less people were drinking heavily but the given that the band weren't touring a new audience conducted themselves fantastically and album meant that they had complete and I don't think anyone can complain about the total freedom on the setlist which was atmosphere and the lack of crowd surfers and flawless from start to end and if I'd the




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opportunity to select 18 songs there wouldn't have been much difference on the final draft.

Leaving the stage with the final words of “please welcome back Paul Bostaph” and having already announced and sold out a return show here in lassics such as 'Mandatory Suicide' 'Seasons August I have the feeling that the entity that is In The Abyss' 'Antichrist' and 'Chemical Slayer will keep fighting and is going nowhere Warfare' kept the mixed crowd of new fans just yet. and old school heads uncontrollably happy to the extend that the majority of people were banging their heads all night long to the velocity and power that the sound equipment could constrain.



om Araya Introducing the double header of 'Dead Skin Mask' and 'Raining Blood' with the line “It's all about love in this place” was a personal highlight of mines from the night.


inishing off with an encore of 'South Of Heaven and 'Angel Of Death' finally had the front of the crowd chaotically body slamming over the barrier which seemed to catch the guys in the yellow shirts off guard a little.


ll in all this was certainly a night to remember and I don't think anyone who witnessed either of the 3 dates of the tour would disagree in saying it was an honour to have the mammoth machine of Thrash that is Slayer touch down on the Emerald Isle again.


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michael panzergeneral of

interviewed by lee walker 12

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we managed to capture the panzergeneral michael in his secret underground bunker to interrogate him about the latest panzerchrist release... Panzerchrist have been around in one form or another since the mid 90’s. How did the band first start off? Michael (Panzergeneral) left his old band Illdisposed, which some of you might have heard of, to make more extreme music and he’s been making noise pollution ever since.... hahahahaha ;-)

pool, just to keep things fresh and keep us motivated to move on..... but I doubt you’ll be hearing much country & western on future Panzerchrist albums....but one never knows ;-)

Why was ‘Panzerchrist’ chosen as a name for the band? Originally it was supposed to be panzerfaust, but Darkthrone made an album called that before we had released anything, so in order to be original, as we thought that a lot of bands would name themselves after that album, we changed it to Panzerchrist. The connection to warfare seems to have stuck with the band pretty much since day one when you put together your ‘Forever Panzer’ demo. Was this intentional? Nope. Panzergeneral is a big warfreak. He reads about it, watch movies/documentaries about it and plays war games on his computer, but he’s mostly interested in the battles and weaponry of it, not so much the political and historical aspect. And Lasse Hoile (Panzerchrist’s first vocalist, and now great graphic artist) also liked the subject so it came easy. And now it’s our trademark, like the tank covers. Throughout the years the band seems to have problems maintaining a steady line up, with the band members seeming to change with each album release. How do you feel that this has impacted upon the bands development? A band needs to change now and again. We change lineup to get some fresh blood in the band so Panzerchrist will keep evolving and expand its musical horizon so we won’t sound the same on each record. So lineup changes are for creative reasons because we’re very much into progressing as a band and not being stagnant. We like to innovate and grow...This means that we’ve never done the same album twice, and that with each new release there’s always something new in the Panzerchrist gene

Who is in the current band line up and how did it come together? Sören [lönholt] was brought in as a last minute replacement and bailed us out with vocals. And as we’ve known Sören for ages since even before his days in Exmortem we kinda knew what we could expect from him. Simon [Schilling] wrote us asking if he could be in the band, and after listening to his previous performances we let him in the and Nils [Petersen] goes way back. We’ve known each other since the mid 80’s, and I’ve wanted to do an album with him for a long time. But he has always declined. But with the new more melodic direction he said yes.

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You are about to release the seventh Panzerchrist album (titled ‘The 7th Offensive’) through Listenable Records. How did the album come together? Recordings of 7th offensive was done in 3 different places, and two different countries….but the mixing and real processing was done at Death Island Studios. The recording process was not easy because of the logistics, there was troubles with the first place we were supposed to be recording guitars and bass, so we had to move location which delayed us a bit, and since the studio time for the drum recordings already had been booked we had to work against a deadline. but we managed to pull through by some long sessions…… Most of the songs where more or less done when we entered the studio, but we had to do some rearranging and write the guitar solos in the studio, a couple of songs also where created in the studio….so sometimes we do work as fast as we play….hahaha. How would you describe the album? Dark, heavy, Melodic and very much Panzerchrist. How do you think this album compares to the earlier Panzerchrist releases such as ‘Six Seconds Kill’, ‘Outpost Fort Europa’, ‘Regiment Ragnarok’


etc? It’s bit more melodic and ambient in its nature than our previous albums. The moods and feelings are more present in each song, as this time we give room for the moods to build up, and there’s more leads on the album than there’s been in a long time. Do you have any favourite tracks on the album? It’s quite difficult to choose just a few, as we’re quite proud of the whole album. It’s like choosing your favourite child. But if you put a gun to my head I’ll probably say that “Drone Killing” and “Foreign Fields” are my fave songs at the moment. When the album is released are there plans to tour or any festival appearances lined up? Can we expect to see Panzerchrist in the UK? We’d be more than happy to come to the UK and play these new songs to everyone who would want to come and see us…….just book, and pay us, and we’ll release the fury and start a war in any venue/ festival who wants our presence…anytime!!!! Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to your fans? Go buy 7th offensive – WAR IS OVER LET’S START A NEW ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Firebrand2012) After 16 Credits to Sean Larkin (Bloodstock Photo

Dark 01


ince its arrival in 2005 Bloodstock Open Air has emerged as the titan of British heavy metal festivals, consistently offering said genre in all its brutal glory. Paying tribute to our fallen heroes of the metal realm, the main stage is named after undisputed musical god Ronnie James Dio, and the second stage upholds the loving memory of murdered teenager Sophie Lancaster. The third New Blood stage provides a platform for the next generation of heavy metal. BOA evidently taking a vested interest in up and coming talent, with the Metal To The Masses competition giving bands all over the country the invaluable opportunity to play The New Blood stage.

be emotionally charged as front man Randy Blythe rejoins his band, after justice was served following his arrest over the alleged manslaughter of fan Daniel Nosek in Prague at a 2010 gig. The moment Randy hit’s the stage is undoubtedly going to be one of the memorable moments in Bloodstock history.


eadliners aside, there are plenty of other acts to satisfy the metal hunger. French melodic metallers Gojira take to the main stage on Saturday, still basking in the success of latest release ‘L’Enfant Sauvage’ the four piece will without a doubt enrapture the crowd with their stunning blend of brutality and melody. It wouldn’t be a festival without thrash veterans Anthrax, ith previous acts to play Bloodstock Scott Ian and co are frequent visitors to the UK consisting of such metal heavy weights festival scene and never fail to provoke whiplash as Carcass, Opeth, Immortal, Behemoth, inducing head banging amongst the crowd. Dimmu Borgir as well as many more, this is no German heavy metal pioneers Accept will also be soft fluffy rock festival, it’s 100% savage bastard bringing their Teutonic Terror to BOA, armed with metal. a classic artillery of heavy metal anthems, they are not ones to be o 2013, missed. Chaotic what will we brutality is certainly not be losing in short supply with our shit to this acts such as Devil year? Enigmatic Driver, Dark Funeral Mercyful Fate and Dying Fetus all front man King tearing up the Ronnie Diamond hasn’t James Dio Stage. played in the UK since 2006, so an he Sunday on the exclusive Sophie Lancaster opportunity to see stage looks his performance particularly enticing presents itself. As with Blaze Bayley led is the nature of Wolfsbane, never a the metal beast, dull moment Evil drama unfolds, Scarecrow and most predomienergetic RSJ. While nantly with the New Blood stage Sunday’s thrash showcases outstanding giant headliners potential in the form of Slayer. No Dave Mask Of Judas, Amulet Lombardo (his controversial and Merciless Terror. Support for new music is departure is an article in itself) and with the tragic imperative to the growth of the genre, so make death of Jeff Hanneman, that leaves Tom Araya sure to catch plenty of the New Blood acts, your and Kerry King to deliver. Paul Bostaph is to support will be much appreciated. again replace drummer Dave Lombardo as a full time member, and Gary Holt will continue as Jeff loodstock’s progression from its humble Hanneman’s replacement. Emotions are sure to beginnings as an indoor festival from 2001 run high during their headline performance, as - 2006 to the colossal status BOA has now they soldier on without their brother Jeff. And generated, just shows how much the genre has speaking off emotional performances, Saturday’s flourished over the years, and peoples overheadliners Lamb Of God are inevitably going to whelming want to see metal bands perform live.




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It’s the passion, dedication and enthusiasm Bloodstock Open Air takes place 8th - 11th August exhibited by fans, bands and all involved, united at Catton Hall Derbyshire. by the love of heavy music and a devotion to the nurturing of a particular type of music that has Purchase your tickets at made festivals like Bloodstock what they are today. As well as the outstanding calibre of bands performing at this year’s Bloodstock, it’s being in the company of such dedicated, like minded metal fans that makes this festival almost endearing to be a part of.


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Firebrand After Dark 01



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How did the band originally start off? Originally it was just me and the two original members that are still in the band, me and the guitarist Dave. It started off when we were in school actually, he picked up the guitar and just for a bit of fun and I picked up the bass and we started jamming and that’s how we started. We originally named the band Arceye in 2004 but since then we have had a few member changes and the line-up that we have actually got now has been consistent since 2009, late 2009, so I mean not our last, not this next release but the previous one to that was when things started really started getting serious for us, but yeah we have been playing in a band as mates for a long time actually. So would you think the band has changed much since it started off then? Oh yeah, I mean again when we started the band we’d just get together and jam and it was just a group of lads that we were mates with really and everyone had all these different kind of ideas and your just end up playing a mix mash of music, which was good and fun and we released a couple we released a demo and then an E.P, the demo was in 2005 band the our E.P was in 2007 our first album in 2009, but you know obviously the demo and the E.P were fun and I love the songs coz it was a hell of a lot of memories for me. We have definitely changed a lot, but only from the aspect of got more defined and tighter as a unit really. How would you define the band’s sound? I don’t think that we fit into one certain sort of category or genre really, but I mean we always sort of say that we are a death or thrash metal band or a mixture of the both because we have kinda got the tightness of the guitars and the stabs and chugs of thrash metal, but then we have the ferociousness in the drumming and vocals of death metal, so we kinda say that we are a bit of a thrash death metal. But then on our albums we always have instrumentals which are always clean, we have even got some clean singing on the new album so it’s hard to kinda like put us into one type of box but I think if you like either thrash or death you will like a good aspect of what we do really. What bands have influenced you? I think talking back when we were younger, when we was in school obviously big thrash bands like your Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Testament, Anthrax, all the generic thrash bands that everyone loves like they were a massive influence when we were younger, but then as you start playing you start

listening to a lot of other bands. All of us, now, at this point in time we are into loads of different styles of music not just metal. Bands that influence me personally nowadays I still love the old stuff you know Pantera, Opeth, death metal wise I like Cannibal Corpse, Blood Bath, Decapitated, it’s an endless list really I like a lot of music. Now I believe that you have not long played at the Metal Gods festival. Did your set go as planned? Yes, it all went as planned it went smoothly, the last few gigs that we have been playing we have actually been showcasing some of the new songs of the new album just because it’s all written. We did a run of shows up until the release and the new album which is going to be released in August, so we thought that we would like to play a few of the songs and see what people think, but yes it was a good set, we played well and had no problems. What has been the reaction to your new material? Really good, I think it’s always kind of hard as a punter when a band plays songs that you don’t know because you obviously trying to take it in and get an idea of the song whilst they are playing it, but they have all came up to us and said your new stuff sounds amazing – the main comment is that I can’t wait to get to the cd so that I can listen to it properly. We have had really good feedback which is always nice. Obviously we briefly mentioned the Metal Gods festival, and I know that you played Hammerfest a couple of years back again but what would you say your greatest achievement has been so far as a band? Playing some of the major festivals – we played Bloodstock as well and that was brilliant. We had a massive reception at Bloodstock and I think it was partly to do with our set time and partly to do with the fact that we didn’t clash with anyone similar to us. The third stage that we play was absolutely completely rammed full side to side. There is a video online of one song that we played at Bloodstock which we chose purely because it just looks immense there are so many people there too watch us which is a great feeling just to have a tent full of people really in to what you are doing. We have done tours we have also played supporting Decapitated which was a good one for me because I love those guys and we have also supported that was them and Cataclyzm, Man Must Die, we have supported other bands such as Finntroll was well and it’s always nice when you get to play with a big name just because it’s nice to know that people will also take the time to listen to you as well.

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What has been the biggest obstacle that the band has come across and how did you overcome it? There is always the constant worry or concern that if things did ever kick off you are going to have to cross that line between full time band and giving up your day job if you know what I mean. We are not at that point yet and I am not arrogant enough to think that we are going to be there at any point, but there is always that worry thee more you are in the mixer the more you push a project the more successful you get with everything you do you are getting one step closer with people saying, oh well do you want to go on tour for a couple of months and in that respect I think that would be an obstacle. We are all very dedicated and we all love what we do and we have all got jobs which will allow us to juggle things about when we needed to so we can do the majority of things we have done that would be the main concern really just taking that leap if it was ever needed. You are about to release your second album ‘At First Light’ though Hostile Media in August. How did the album itself come together? We recorded the album we recorded the drums at Royal Studios, the engineer on that was Chris Fielding and he’s recorded lots of bands there like Napalm Death, there are quite a few bands have gone through Royal studios and it’s not far from us actually so it was an obvious choice. We mixed our last album there and we got along with the guys really well and we recorded the drums there and then we approached Scott Atkins he recorded Sylosis’s albums, the new Cradle Of Filth, and recently done the Amon Amarth and Gama Bomb stuff as well with Andy Sneap with Amon Amarth so we were looking for producers to produce the album. We had a short list of producers that we loved, the sound that they got out of a CD. Scott was one of them, and was really accommodating and obliging and was really interested in what we wanted to do. He basically he re-amped the album so all the guitars, bass and vocals we recorded ourselves through a re-amping module, so once all that was done we sent it across to Scott and he plugged it into his amplifiers at his studio and rerecorded everything that we had already done through his stacks so basically we got a full studio sound through Scott without having to spend hours and hours in the studio with him, which is how it all came together. We started recording in September and we probably had the masters back with us by New Year really so it was a bit of a project, but it was the one way we could get around it with the time scale we had and the budget and its come out really well and we are really happy with the final sound.


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While I was doing some research for the interview I came across a snippet saying that the album name, the artwork and all of the tracks sharing a theme. Can you explain that a bit further? Our drummer, Craig, he’s a graphic designer by trade, so he did our last album as well. He likes to paint the album covers and import them – all of the artwork that is in the album he actually painted which is nice as he is the drummer as well, it feels like it is completely our package. The theme I guess – we were trying to think of ideas for an album, what we could call it and I guess it stems from vocal content. I’m the vocalist and I wrote all the lyrics, but the stuff I was writing about really at first was that kind of the fight, the struggle, the climb, the journey in front of us that sort of theme and that kind of feeling. We started to think like if that was a few songs that had that feeling we’d like to put that message across it was almost like a statement that this is our new album and we are here to do whatever it takes to get on the next rung of the ladder. So we started talking about that and Dave, our guitarist, said that that kind of theme reminded him of a quote he heard on an documentary he was watching about Arnold Schwarzenegger “the wolf climbing the hill is hungrier than the wolf that’s on top of the hill”, which is a metaphor - if you are making your way up a steep climb, you obviously want it more than the person that is on top. So from that little quote, Craig got to work with ideas for artwork and that’s why you have got on the front the three wolves and then in the distance there is the mountain with all the light behind it, so that was the running theme of the album and vocally/lyrically it touches on that a few times throughout the album. I think then we wanted the focus on us really we wanted it quite simplistic and more like a statement rather than like a concept album or anything like that and Craig also painted all the portraits so in the actual inlay of our band pictures they are not photographs he painted our portraits which are phenomenal really. What are your favourite tracks on the album? Personally I like ‘I Silently Wait’ which would be the forth track, ‘The Storm’ which is going to be our single. There’s a couple of songs on there as well ‘Damage Done’ which has got a lot of clean singing, the majority of the song is clean singing and I’m not a professed singer or anything so we have never really done that, but when we were writing that song it was just like had nice clean viruses and we couldn’t really imagine it without it so we have managed to get some clean singing on the album as well. That’s just a bit of a different one as we have played around orchestral parts as well. The album has a lot of

variety but if I had to pick a couple of personal favourites it would probably be ‘I Silently Wait’ and ‘The Strom’ and ‘Damage Done’ I guess. How do you think this album compares to your earlier release ’The Divide Between Chaos & Order’? I think it’s a lot more homed in the sense that when we were writing we were thinking, right we are writing for an album, where previously what we would do is just write songs and then the songs and you would move on to the next one if you know what I mean, but this one we weren’t writing for anyone else but ourselves, We thought, we have got a song that kind of does that on the album let’s not re-tread on that territory. Every song we wanted to have the ability to give the listener more “oh wow that’s a little bit different” , I’m a bit of a stickler for when I get a new album I put it on in the car or anything like that and if by the time you have listened to the first couple of tracks and by the third track you are getting a bit bored of the same old kind of sound that you have been hearing for the last two, the album gets boring quite quickly. So previous releases for us, we would write something and then even if it didn’t really fit or it just went in but if we thought it sounded cool we would leave it in there, but this time we just kind of thought about just taking back what it didn’t need and if the song didn’t need it don’t put it in which has left us in good stead for the next album because there is a lot of ideas that didn’t get used and it wasn’t because we didn’t think that they were any good they just didn’t fit that particular song at the time. I enjoyed writing like that really as we have still got some material that I still really love that I can’t wait to put on another one. I think it’s just a lot more defined really. Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to your fans? Just keep up to date with us at the moment we are just doing PR so we are getting a lot of really good feedback back and if you want to keep in touch and check our website and Facebook out, because at the moment we are releasing studio blogs and videos. In the next few weeks we are going to be releasing one of the first tracks of the album with a lyrical video and that is going to ‘I Silently Wait’ and then towards July we are also releasing another track as a teaser and I think just before the album release we will be doing a full album stream as well so that people can hear it before it’s actually released and then so all the way up until August we are going to be quite busy with keeping on top of things so if you want to keep in touch and hear what we are doing just keep an eye on us online.

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Hello Castle Donington, it has indeed been a couple years since I touched down on your turf and all those glorious memories that we both shared together were fully restored once I seen the first yellow 'Download Festival' sign on the motorway to the hallowed land. Being told on arrival on the Friday morning that we would need to hurry up and pitch our tent due to an expected thunderstorm was slightly unsettling and is certainly not the first thing you want to hear when getting somewhere that you'll be spending the next three days. Although the weather did reveal itself to be schizophrenic throughout Friday and Saturday in terms of it flushing rain for twenty minutes followed by heavenly sunshine for the next hour it was no big deal, nothing that a coat and a poncho couldn't fight off. Atmosphere wise it couldn't have been better, staying in VIP Camping for the first time made sure of the relaxed chilled out vibe which at my old age I long for. There was one annoyance though and that was that of the repeated use of a canister of laughing gas a few tents down, the damn thing sounded like a meth lab at 4am. At least there was no noted craziness and our tent stayed safe and well structured which I'm kind of proud of instead of the usual dilapidated state it normally perishes into over the weekend long festivities. So too the bands now and I will be giving my verdict on the full sets I seen over the course of what was a fantastic weekend of Metal.


beer. He may be a few pounds heavier than he was in his Pantera days but that hasn't ceased his ability to bounce around the stage and nail the Down back catalogue with such conviction and satisfaction. Playing Hang The Bastard - There are two types of people on this planet, those that love Hang The Bastard and those 'Lifer' in memory of Dimebag got the biggest reception that haven't heard them yet. Clashing with Papa Roach I heard all weekend and it is certainly one of the gave me just the excuse I wanted to go and witness the highlights of the weekend for me. dirty, sludge dampened pulpit of noise that are Hang Korn - I wouldn't say that I was excited about The Bastard. These west Londoners crammed both a witnessing the graven image of Nu-Metal that Korn great crowd into the Pepsi Max tent and one hell of a set into the thirty minutes they were allocated and on once were but more intrigued. To be blatantly honest I really don't understand how and why the men from the evidence of this they surely merit a return to Bakerfield got booked onto the main stage, especially Donington next year on one of the bigger stages. when they followed the concrete bulldozer that was Down. The Sword - Rolled onto the Pepsi Max tent stage a Starting off with 'Blind' they played an hour of old little late after there was a problem with one of the hits to keep the Korn die hard faithful happy and riant, Orange Amps on stage. They arrived, played their but for someone that lived through the original Korn blistering interchanging riffs and played crowd favourites and that was that. Nothing much in the way hysteria this was lacklustre and embarrassing. Don't get me wrong I was a Korn fan, I of crowd interaction and I know that's not what a band appreciated their fresh approach to things and I may has to do at a festival show but I just got the feeling that the guys in The Sword were just treating this like it sound like a grumpy old fart right now (I'm actually only 27) but the Adidas clad Nu Metallars have lost all was just another show. Guys you were playing at Donington, a bit of appreciation would have been nice. relevance and spark that they once had. Good yet short set all the same. Down - That image of the Phil Anselmo's big baldy and sweaty head will stay with me forever. Phil was like a man possessed on that main stage and he sure knows how to get an audience worked up, I was doing the weekend sober and he nearly had me go and buy a

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set in the Pepsi Max tent Uncle Acid will indeed be a very happy man. You can always get that feel from a crowd that they have relatively little knowledge about the band they are seeing. As their stoner riff heavy UFO - Opening up the Main Stage on Saturday was legends of NWOBHM UFO and they are just the type of repertoire unfolded the confines of the tent became something like a scene from a bobblehead commercial band you want to open up a days festivities. Starting of with 'Lights out in London' they really (if there's such thing). There's nothing more comforting got a hold of the crowd which is sometimes difficult so than seeing the majority of people progressively early in morning. You could tell the day ticketers were moving their heads to the rhythm of killer guitar riffs and hypnotic bass and drum pounding. Even one of the arriving as the arena became swarmed by fresh security guards in front of the stage gave in to the ritual cleansed looking people wearing Saturday headliner Iron Maiden t-shirts and UFO really got the air guitars in and was spotted deep under the spell of the Deadbeats. These guys are supporting Black Sabbath on their UK full swing. and European tour in November and December; I hope you have your ticket. The Wild Lies - Having only an EP 'Jacks Out Of The Box' to present to a Donington crowd it was surprising Chthonic - This was Chthonic's first Download to see such a great crowd crammed into the Red Bull tent so early on a Saturday Morning. That EP happens appearance since 2011 and it started on a dampener as to be critically acclaimed and it's sounds glorious live so due to sound problems the band including a very uneasy looking small orchestra had to wait for fifteen that explains why so many people were up early and watching these men from High Wycombe. Listening to minutes on stage whilst the issue was fixed. Playing four songs including 'Supreme Pain For their style of energy driven classic rock it was a nice way The Tyrant' and 'Next Republic' from their new album to spend half an hour in the morning. Adrian Smith 'Bu Tik' the tent was in an absolute frenzy throughout. from Iron Maiden, who's son Dylan plays bass for the It was an epic yet short set and I couldn't help but band, was even up bright and early as he watched on feel the sense of sadness as the controversial from the sound desk. Taiwanese metallars left the stage as they never had enough time to impact the crowd with their crushing Fahran - My first trip to the Jagermeister Acoustic Stage all weekend and pre excursion I was sceptical on stage show. I know I'm not the only one eagerly anticipating a UK Tour from one of the best bands in the idea of having an unplugged stage at a metal festival. I was surprised on arrival on how well it was set Metal right now. up and how cool of an extra avenue for a festival to go down it is. I actually missed the start of the Fahran set as they went on a little early but I thoroughly enjoyed the five songs that I caught. The boys were hungry and seized the moment, this was hugely evident throughout their set. Despite the rain coming on half way through it was really pleasing to see the majority of the crowd stay and that further states the bands following. I think Chris on the guitar may have regretted the bands decision to play an acoustic set as he spent the set bouncing around on his seat like it was a space hopper. I actually overheard someone in front of me say "That boy needs a seat belt" which brought a smile to my face. Chris did get his way though by getting his hands on the mic after their set and making good use of the opportunity he yelled "Scream for me Donington" to a huge pop from the crowd. A few dreams came true and hopefully these guys get a higher spot on the bill next year.

Iron Maiden - With it being the bands 25th anniversary since first playing here and also their record breaking 5th headlining appearance at Castle Donington it was imperative that Iron Maiden put on one grand show. After an RAF Spitfire buzzed over the arena the band exploded on stage and opened with 'Moonchild' which had a few people turn their heads wondering "Why not Aces High?" but you can't argue with Iron Maiden. There were a few slight sound issues early on during the set from where we were standing but not enough to spoil an as promised epic Maiden set list. Playing the majority of their classic 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son' album including the iconic title track kept old school fans extremely elated although some of the post Blaze Bailey die hards might have found a flaw in the chosen setlist, 'Fear of The Dark' being the most recent composition performed. The thing about this was everyone basically knew how the set would unfold with Maiden already in full swing with this tour but you can never be anticipative of Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats - Judging by this bands the heroic antics from the best band in the World ever Iron Maiden.


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SUNDAY Graveyard - My longest haunt of the Zippo Encore stage all weekend was to be waiting and teased in anticipation for the next trilogy of bands starting with Swedish blues rockers Graveyard. Playing six songs, three from each of their last two albums during the best spell of sunshine all weekend was a nice touch by the Stoners in the sky. My assumption about this being a highly enjoyable set was proved right one minute into opener 'An Industry of Murder' It really showcased the diversity of the Download Festival in a great fashion in the sense that you can take a trip away from the crazy antics of the moshpits and crowd surfing and take an exploration to a near by Hippie Commune. Graveyard were also a great warm up for the band that were next to be nestling on the Zippo stage and would be playing their own style of Groovy Stoner Rock.

again before he could even catch a proper rest due to the short time the band were present on stage. The sermonisers of Norse Mythology performed a whole four songs including the title track from their epic new album 'Deceiver Of The Gods'. The best short set of the weekend surely has to go to Amon Amarth as with the twenty minutes they had they engulfed the sun beaten crowd with their familiar powerful, rustic, savage execution but it was unfortunately halted before their long boat set sail.

Rammstein - Are Rammstein a big enough band to be headlining the final night of Donington? I'm not sure, what I am pretty positive on though is Rammstein put on a show big enough to be the swansong act of Donington. Never before had I witnessed a keyboard player left lameness after being penetrated by a guys prosthetic penis and then drowned in litres of imitation sperm (or at least that's what we are led to believe). There's never much in the way of verbal crowd interaction from Till Lindeman but the way he asserts himself on stage shrouded in whatever unconventional, Masters Of Reality - "It's a little difficult to fit avant garde freakish vesture he prefers to wear as the over twenty years of music into a thirty minute set" entity of German industrial blast out their euphony is were the very words said by legendary front man Chris enough for them to achieve their agenda. Goss. Sauntering into sight looking like a guy that had Seeing it on DVD or Youtube is fine but beholding been on a week long alcohol session after a funeral, you it with your own eyes there and then is something really knew this would be something subsequently unique. special. Opening up with 'Theme For The Scientist Of The Invisible' and finishing with classics 'Domino' and 'Blue Garden' showed just how outstandingly original these An extraordinary and magical end to what was a phenomenal weekend. men are and why this group who never conformed to any trend are regarded to a great extend to have influenced the likes of Kyuss, Fu Manchu, QOTSA and arguably the whole Desert Rock scene. Amon Amarth - Undoubtedly one of my favourite bands, so it no surprise that sooner there'd be two moons in the sky that I'd miss this one. Sadly due to technical difficulties once again a great band with a lot of chaotic fans in attendance were unable to put on the show they had proposed. My sympathy goes out to the poor stage hand that had to haul out that gargantuan long boat and drag in back away

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Stoodge caught up with Freddy Jesse and Doris from Taiwanese metal deity Chthonic backstage at the Download Festival a few hours before their highly anticipated performance on the Pepsi Max Stage. So you have recently releases your seventh album 'Bu Tik' that's come out on Spinefarm Records, does this make choosing a set list difficult now with so many tracks or is it a process of elimination with some of the older tracks? Freddy - It's not that difficult, we just choose our favourite songs from the last two albums. Then we can see what we can play from the older stuff. You prefer playing the new stuff or older stuff which would maybe give the new fans of Chthonic a chance to hear the earlier sounds that you were creating. Freddy - Oh we really prefer to play the newer stuff for sure. You recorded the new album in Sweden, why was this? Jesse - They produce good sounds. Doris - That was the second time we recorded an album there. Freddy - Yeah and it's a good town, a town town and nothing can....... Jesse - Distract us. Freddy - The only thing there is recording, there's not a lot else to do.


We are going well back with this one but I first heard you guys in Freddy Vs Jason it must be like a decade ago now. Do you think having your song 'Satans Horn' in that movie maybe helped get the band heard in the US and Europe? Freddy - Ah no I think we just did that for fun. It was a fun thing to do as we like scary movies. Doris - No only them. Freddy - So it was kind of fun to do that. How's you relationship with Spinefarm Records so far? Doris - Yeah it's been good, we recently only signed a new contract with them so. Jesse - Yeah they work really hard and they try to expand to different countries. Freddy - We try to work hard with them and sometime we work even harder to give them treasure. How is the Metal scene in Taiwan now since you have made it big worldwide. Has it changed much and do you think that you are deemed as an influence over there now? Jesse - There's a lot of death metal bands coming out from the younger generations.

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Freddy - Yeah now you can go to music classes and you'll see loads of young high school girls trying to train themselves to scream so that's kind of fun.

So back to the new album 'Bu Tik' what's the premise of the lyrical content on this one? Freddy - Most of the songs they describe different violent events in Taiwanese history so each song has I've heard of you being described as death metal, its own background story, from pirates to prisoners symphonic metal and black metal. How would you and the story being why they use violence to deal describe your own sound? with things. Freddy - It's really hard to categorise us but if I was Doris - I think the main concept of the album is why put a label on us I would say oriental metal. people always needed to us violence to settle things. Doris - We combine so many different elements like Freddy - Yeah and what is the real meaning of peace. the traditional Chinese melodies. Jesse - Exteme Metal? I don't know. After the festivals are done have you any major Doris - Oh some people say that we are left wing headline tours on the agenda? metal. Freddy - We will do an Asian tour first and after that Freddy - Left wing metal, socialism metal, we get in the fall or in winter we will tour Europe. everything. What about the European crowds. I mean do you So what about the band videos/ Who's responsible notice much a difference between the audiences for those being so epic? back home and the ones in the west? Doris - That would be me, I come up with the ideas of Freddy - The crowds in Taiwan are always more the story. polite, cool and always come to check out your Jesse - She just gives out the orders and makes the technical abilities. The crowd in the UK are always rest of us suffer. more crazy like drunk. Freddy - She just makes us, the director and the Doris - But not as drunk as American fans. whole video crew just suffer. Freddy - The Taiwanese fans, they get drunk after a Jesse - They are really hard to do with such a small show, were the British fans get drunk before or budget and with limited time, it's crazy during the shows. Freddy - Yeah she's like beating everybody up, “Work, Work� it's slavery.

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Stoodge caught up with half of Swedish rockers Graveyard at this years Download Festival. So guys how the tour going? Axel - It's been going really well, we've been out for a bout 12 days doing a short festival run and we fly back home tomorrow. We'll be doing festivals for the rest of the summer so we'll be travelling back and forward around Europe. What about the 26 dates you did across the US at the start of the year, that must have been tiresome? Jon - It was pretty nice. Axel - It's a long time to be away from home and families but playing wise it went alright. Have you noticed much of a difference between the American crowds to the European crowds? Jon - It's hard to tell, I guess we're lucky because we are happy wherever we are. Axel - I think people are people wherever you go, I think it's more city to city rather than what country you are in. This is was your first Download Festival appearance, you think you got enough time on stage to get the band across with the fans?


Axel - Yeah it was good, a really good stage crew and a great sound on stage. Do you prefer the Festival shows or the indoor more intimate venues? Axel - I think with the club shows you kind of miss the festivals as there's cool bands to hang out with and you can watch other bands play but when your playing the festivals you kind miss the club shows where you don't have that stressful “Get in stage, we have to be here” kind of thing. I know a lot of bands don’t like the moniker but how do you guys take being described as Stoner Rock? Axel - I don't know what it means, if it means people like to smoke weed and listen then there's a whole lot of music you an listen too when smoking weed. If someone asked me what we played I'd say we play some kind of classic rock with a few influences from blues, psychedelic and some heavy stuff also. How is the music scene in Sweden, I think you guys show that there's more to Sweden than just melodic death metal. Jon - Umm, oh shit sorry I forgot the question.

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Axel - Yeah I think there's a lot of good music happening in Sweden right now so you've got the melodic death metal thing, straight up classic rock and there's a lot of punk and pop bands going abroad also. Jon - There's a lot of experimental stuff going on also. Axel - Yeah the musical climate in Sweden is really good. In Gothenburg where we live there's this one venue that's not underground but not overground but kind of in the grey areas and they play everything from crust to psychedelic and we go to the shows and you see people all types of people. Like if you go to the softer nights like the psychedelic night you'll see a guy wearing a denim vest with all the patched over it, a heavy metal dude but he still loves music so he'll go to see that show too. It works both ways as you'll see when the music is extreme and fast there'll be all types of people there. I think in Gothenburg people appreciate good music no matter what the genre is. The Soundgarden tour that starts in September, how did that come about? Axel - That probably happened through the booking agency but last year we played a show where Chris Cornell was playing after us on the stage next to us so apparently he caught some of our set and said he'd wished we played longer so he could have seen more, maybe that had something to do with it.

Nuclear Blast, how's your relationship with Nuclear Blast? Jon - Perfect Axel - Nothing to complain about. You released an album last year also 'Hisingen Blues' then you toured and then 'Light Out' cam out. Was this basically you guys going straight back into the studio off the tour and recording 'Lights Out'? Axel - Yeah there's like one year in between so we worked pretty fast, but then Nuclear Blast also re released our first album which was out on our old label so you could say that they've released our three albums. And did you write 'Lights Out' during the tour of 'Hisingen Blues'? Jon - We had a few months off. Axel - Yeah we had like a few months in the fall and we started recording in the spring, we went a did a US tour around the same time we did this year then we got back and recorded 'Lights Out'.

Wow you have had a busy year then, what about after the Soundgarden tour do you get sometime off then? Axel - We have a small tour of Scandinavia in November but I think we are going to take a bit of a break and start working on some new songs. We'll see as we haven't really decided what's going to So 'Lights Out' was your second album released on happen early 2014 yet.

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Stoodge from FAD caught up with the mighty I AM I early on the Sunday morning and ahead of their two sets So guys it's great to finally meet you and congratulations on your album 'Event Horizon' Have guys only got here today or have you been here all weekend? ZP - We got here yesterday and the weather was dismal but today it's nice and sunny. Yeah I don't think it's stayed as dry for so long all weekend and hopefully it stays that way today. You guys are playing two shows today one on the acoustic stage and one in the Red Bull Stage, have you been working much on the two different sets? ZP - Yeah there's actually a few surprises and it's acoustic so people that don't know your stuff will be really puzzled if you try and play it in an acoustic version. So we're going to do some of our old stuff and a few covers that are going to blow peoples hair back I think. We are going to take them by surprise. Who idea was it to do the acoustic show? Jake - It was really a last minute thing, we were sort of just offered it. ZP - Yeah last week I think it was announced so yeah we are up for it, bring it on.


So ZP you've playing Donington a few times before but this time it's your first with I AM I. Do you see this as a fresh start in terms of building your way up the billing? ZP - It's always a fresh start, I mean it's a brand new deck of cards and a new game so bring it on, I'm ready for it. I've already stated how much I like the album and I think it would be awesome if it could be captured on DVD for a live release in it's entirety, have you guys thought of of doing anything like that? ZP - Well with all the shows he have done thus far we have taken a camera out with us and got loads of video footage. So yeah maybe we'll mix something for the fans to show them what's been happening backstage and what the boys have been up to, all the good and bad. So has there been much in the way of partying this weekend or have you been behaving yourselves? ZP - Behave? Ask him (points to Jake) what happened yesterday. Jake - No, No, No don't ask that, there's been too many things happen I can't remember them all.

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What happens in Donington stays in Donington. Jake - Exactly and keep it like that, I like that. Neil - But we are in Donington so if you kind of say it now, it kind of stays here in a way. Jacob - No way can we tell the story, it's too hardcore man.

are playing a few shows here and there and we're getting up to Scotland finally and we're also doing the Headbangers Balls thing. So then that takes us to Glasgow and we're going to play a show in Dundee and on the way back we're playing a show in Cambridge, so we're taking it to the fans and instead of expecting them to come everywhere we're You guys are playing Firebrands very own 'Skyfest' heading out and taking the show out there. Festival in September with the likes of X-UFO, Code Of Silence, Estrella and loads more. You Nice, don't forget an Irish show either. That'll save guying looking forward to that weekend? me having to fly over here to see you. ZP -Yeah a bunch of really good bands, we're really ZP - Oh yes, it'll happen. looking forward to it. Is this your last show before your own UK Tour? ZP - Well there's a lot of things in the pipeline. We haven't got a headline tour booked as such but we

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Firebrand After Dark’s own Stoodge caught up with Zakk and Dylan from The Wild Lies shortly after they blew the roof of the Red Bull Stage at The Download Festival. So guys this was your first Download Festival appearance here at the legendary Castle Donington, how was it? Zakk - It was incredible man, absolutely awesome. Dylan - Yeah the crowd turned up right and early and rocked out, it was rammed and they were singing along, it was really great man. Do you think your time on stage was long enough? Zakk - If you’re looking to play a decent set it's got to be at least an hour man but at this stage we can only hope for twenty five minutes and twenty five minutes at Donington is all we need to enjoy ourselves. Dylan - Yeah we kind of just packed in all our heavier songs and just went for it, it was good.

Your debut EP 'Jack in the box' has got loads of great reviews, were you guys touring much before going into the studio the record it? Dylan - Yeah well obviously being in the studio can take it's toll I suppose but we were itching to get the songs out, you get a good feel to a song when playing it live and you get a good gauge of the song from that I suppose. Mike E Goodman produced the EP also, that must have been sweet. Dylan - Yeah Mike E he's such an out of the box guy and he brought that element to the recording process and yeah he kind of got us to try stuff we wouldn't usually attempt. Zakk - Yeah Mike E he's awesome.

He also had a hand in the music video for 'Falling' Did you all just arrive today or are you here for the also right? weekend soaking up the festival atmosphere and Dylan - Yeah he's just a very artistic guy and he's the rain? really great to work with. Zakk - We've been here for the weekend. Dylan - We got here on Thursday and we plan on leaving Monday hen we get kicked out.


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So it's been six months since your EP came out, not to rush you but have you any plans on a full length album? Dylan - That's the plan, I don't want to be making any promises but we're going to gig a bit more this summer and hopefully get back into the studio Autumn or Winter time and then go for it. So with regards to you being here at Castle Donington,have you had the chance to see many bands or have you been stuck back here getting tortured by people like me? Zakk - We seen Korn yesterday, they were great man. Black Stone Cherry were amazing, Slipknot and Rise To Remain in the morning, what a way to start the weekend also.

What about tonight besides the obvious one who are you hoping to catch? Dylan - Thunder if we can catch them, I think they're on pretty soon. Yeah they're on quite soon, I want to catch them myself. So what about Iron Maiden tonight, are you guys allowed to watch from the side of the stage? Zakk - I don't know, we could very well be in the mosh pit, either way is good for me.

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, .


So guys this was your first time appearing on stage at Castle Donington, how was it? Alex - It was incredible yeah Nick - Blown away, especially with the crowd reaction out here it's just been fantastic. Despite the rain everyone just soldiers on, it was really great.

gigs but it was the first time we did a full on acoustic set. Alex - It kind of surprised us when we were working all the songs out, we played through the two albums and it was the more thrashier song that ended up being the best one acoustically.

You guys actually went on stage a little earlier today, we were over watching Black Star Riders on the Main Stage and headed over to see you guys, I think we only missed the first song though. Alex - Yeah the guys at the Jagermeister stage said that we'd be better going on a bit earlier so our set wouldn't clash with the band that were going to be coming on the Red Bull Stage. Nick - Yeah it was to stop the sound carrying over with both stages being so close so we went on ten minutes earlier.

seen this man (Chris) nearly fall out of his seat a few times, you were really rocking it out. Chris – I'm not quite used to sitting down. Nick - It was about five minutes before we started and I was like “Chris do you want me to fetch your strap so you can stand up later?” and he was like “Ah you could do” and about to seconds into the set he's going mad in his chair. Chris - It was really hard to keep calm, it was kind of when I was on stage I realised “Oh shit I'm playing Download”

We played on the Acoustic Stage, is this something you have done before? Alex - That was our first acoustic gig. Nick - We've done kind of acoustic jams like post

Yeah you all certainly looked like you enjoyed playing up there and the crowd seemed to stay despite the rain which was pretty cool. Nick - Yeah we really appreciate that and it was

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really great to see the crowd stick with us.

electric so it's going to be really good.

Yeah it was a great set, do you think the 25-30 minutes was long enough or were you itching to stay on the stage? Nick - Yeah well ideally would love to play for as long as we could but it was great and it was enough to showcase a range of songs and to get a more uplifting kind of ballad track in there also along with some of the heavier tracks. Alex - We were kind of lucky as we had a massive crowd from literally about thirty seconds in and we didn't know what to expect here, none of us expected to have half the people we had here today watching us. Honestly not one person left when the heavens opened so we're really happy about that.

What about social media, do you feel that has helped you in getting your music out there? Jake - Oh yes. Like a month ago we started with the idea for having a Twitter account and we only got like 50 followers. So then we proper whored ourselves out on it and now we've got like 600 followers on there. JR - It's so selfish as our own personal pages have maybe a thousand followers each and its like “Where did all these come from” Alex - Well I've got 70 JR - 70? I've got 1300 mate Chris - Mine is 200 or something I don't know. Nick - What I think is quite nice about some of the social networks and stuff is even though they can You guys headlined a festival in Turkey? seem shallow on the surface a lot of people on there, Nick - Yeah the Fethiye Rocks Festival. they love using it as a discovery platform for new Jake - Yeah that was really incredible. artists. Back in the day it was all about Myspace and Chris - That was a right experience. that kind of thing for finding new artists but now it's Alex - We had stage invasions and then the engineer really easy to stumble across some people. after the show took us to this club and they refused Alex - Even today actually we were chatting to a few to charge us so we had a free holiday. people and they were like “Hi I'm that person from JR - So we got a holiday of free dinks. Facebook” Alex - And we played a gig also. JR - There was one person that said to me “Hey you know me from Twitter, I asked for a drum skin and Yeah I'm actually not drinking this weekend you retweeted me” although there is a huge fridge in that tent full of beer so I probably should be. You guys were on So you are currently writing and recording your the road with I AM I and Heavens Basement this second album, how's that coming along? year, that must have been sweet. JR - Yeah it's coming along great, it's all in house. I'm Nick - Yeah it's been great seeing them back here mixing it and I starting mixing the drums this week. also. We seen Neil from I AM I out in the crowd and It should be out January or February time next year. we've been chatting to Heavens Basement a lot Jake - Yeah it's going really well, we have some killer since and we caught their set earlier and they blew it tracks on there. away as usual. Alex - We've given ourselves a few months longer Alex - Both bands are really cool guys. than we did last time. The last time we had a big Chris - I seen Neil the bass player from I AM I out in deadline and we did everything in six months. A the crowd. problem with the last time was we had recorded Nick - That's what I was saying he was up the crowd tracks before we gigged them and we went back to and you can't miss him, he's like 6 foot 5. it. This time we want to gig the tracks and test them first. So what about the Bloodstock appearance this Nick - Especially with the volume of the demos we August your headlining the new blood stage there have bouncing around at the moment we want to right? filter it down and take the best bits that we can, even Nick - That's going to be massive and we'll be fully if that means some of it wont see the light of day for plugged in electric again and we'll be road testing a while and some of it might end up as b-sides or some of the songs from the upcoming second some we might combine a couple of songs. album. I'm really looking forward to that and a Alex - Yeah we've a few songs where we've different kind of crowd as well. combined 2 or 3 demos and it's ended up sounding Alex - It's the perfect type of combination of festival really good. as you have Download and Bloodstock, acoustic and

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Nick - So basically we are going through that second tonight and then we're back here tomorrow. album stumbling block and trying to make an album Nick - Yeah we're going to be here until the music that we are proud of. stops and we're going to try and make the most of it. The line up this year is absolutely fantastic. So what's the sleeping arrangements this Jake - We bumped into Adrian Smith earlier. weekend, you guys camping here? Nick - Yeah we were hanging around waiting to get Jake - We're here for the weekend but I don't think into the backstage area and this blacked out we are camping. Mercedes pulls up and a chauffeur gets out opens the Nick - We're all crashing in JR's place after this where door and out steps Adrian Smith. the studio's based. Alex - Yeah he was watching his sons band 'The Wild Lies' from the sound desk at the back of the tent. A few comfy beers tonight then? Alex - Yeah we can sleep on nice warm mattress


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Emerging from Boise Idaho in 2010, this thrash four piece have got off to an admirable start and their fierce dedication will undoubtedly bring further success. Front man Billy Thornock tells us all about...


Interview by Heather Blewett Firebrand After Dark 01

there are a lot of good heavy metal bands from Krystos started with myself (Billy Thornock) and Idaho. The scene is great and everyone is very guitarist Dan Johnston. I had some songs written supportive of each other. before we joined. And together, we would You recently embarked on the ‘Spread improvise music and work on composition together to hone in on our style. The Blood’ tour, how was that? When we had enough material written, we The "Spread the Blood" tour was definitely our decided to record our first full length album (Walk most successful tour to date. We had such a Through the Inferno 2010). It was me and Dan on blast. It seems every time we hit the road, we can guitar, I recorded bass and vocals, and our see results from our previous tours. The fans producer recorded and performed the drums. We have been amazing. We love making new friends were later joined by Andrew Sperry and Adam and meeting them for the first time and seeing Brimhall on bass and drums. We were always them the next. The progress is really inspiring great friends and when the band they performed and is really what makes us want to tour more in broke up, it was a no brainer to join forces. and more often.

So tell us how Krystos got together...

You guys emerged in 2010 so you’re still a Do you have a favourite place you've relatively ‘new’ band, was it difficult to get played? noticed? I cant say I have a favorite place to be exact. The Yes, the band is relatively new, however we have whole experience of "Spread the Blood" tour was had a great response since day 1 of being in the amazing. scene. Things have went well for us from starting with local shows to being a touring band. Any plans to tour the UK? We will for sure. We have plans for European What advice would you give to upcoming tours and will announce more (it will be a way out) when the time comes. bands that are just starting out? Don't be afraid to be ambitious, and mentally You’ve released a new video for ‘Blood prepare yourself for the road. The lead singer in metal band Havok once Magick’ is this a track taken from a told me "someone who has little/no obligations forthcoming album you’re releasing? but the band" helps make things successful. Well, I cant say too much about our new album something I have taken to heart. yet because it’s so early (goal is to release around the spring time 2014). However, Blood There is an obvious thrash influence in Magick is not only a song but the name of an EP your music, what other musical influences we released (in physical copies only) in 2012.

do you draw on? We draw influences from all kinds of music. Thrash and European power metal are the biggest influences. But, we listen to black and death metal, and classical music as well as many other genres. It’s best to take a little from all styles.

Debut album ‘Walk Through The Inferno’ was released in 2010, this was a concept album right? Tell us more about it. Walk Through the Inferno is a concept album based off "The Divine Comedy: The Inferno" poem. I add a lot of personal interpretations and symbolism through the lyrics. And we feel that musically, the album follows the story very well.

What are your aspirations for Krystos, and have you fulfilled any of these already? Our aspirations are to create compositions that are technical, challenging, yet still catchy and accessible. We want to write songs that have a classic feel but bring something new. We have had a great response and want to continue delivering music that makes us happy, and that people get in to.

Thanks for your time Thank you and look forward to hearing from you in the future! Hope to see you on the road!

You guys are from Boise Idaho, is there a thriving metal scene where you’re from? There are a few thrash metal bands in Boise. But

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Interviewed by Stoodge Mc Nulty 42

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Marcus Hammarstrom vocalist of Swedens Sterbhaus talks to Firebrand After Darks Stoodge about the bands latest album ' Angels for Breakfast....and God For Lunch, the current state of World Metal and their tour with Vader and Melechesh. Can you explain the Sterbhaus sound and what people that are unfamiliar with the band should expect when hearing you guys for the first time? Expect freakin timeless and uncompromising Metal! … And expect the unexpected laugh or two where you won’t see it coming. Well, we’ve tossed and turned genres here and there for quite some time to best define what we do and we’ve heard reviewers come up with so many different conclusions but in the end… I suppose we don’t really “reinvent the wheel” when it comes down to genres but we´re definitely not retro or modern. I’d say we’re like a snapshot of what (real!) Metal is in this day and age. Be it Thrash, Death, Black or Heavy Metal. Genres aren’t really important, it is the essence, the energy, the quality and the down-right honesty of the stuff that is. We’re pretty hellbent on what we do while at the same time being quite easy going musically and personally and that shows in what we do so we have quite a bit of tounge in cheek wit and dark humor. And we always aim to deliver this mission to the fullest live, ‘cause Metal is always about a fuckin good experience. You guys did a European tour with Vader and Melechesh that must have been insane? Oh yes, it was truly great, in so many ways actually. When you travel to a distant town and meet up three bands you’ve never met before (plus crew) you don’t have a clue how things are gonna work out. I mean, you have to be able to spend those three weeks together so chemistry etc is pretty important… and the four bands honestly had an extremely good time. Playin, kickin ass and hanging out drinking every night for three weeks. I seem to recall being told by someone in one of the main bands how rare such a good climate really is. This was our first extensive tour so the experience was mindblowing. We learned that support bands are generally referred to as “fluff” bands on the account of them having to get the crowd going before the main attractions, and I feel we did extremely well in that department… I mean: “fluffing” the crowd ;-). Any "What happens in Nam stays in Nam" stories from touring with Sterbhaus that you can reveal exclusively for Firebrand After Dark Magazine? Wow! Tough one! I can’t really say too much since some of it involves the other bands of course… but

after a festival show in Nantes in France (where we unfortunately didn’t get to play ‘cause there were no slots on the festival for the two support bands) all four bands got heavily into several bottles of Jägermeister and during the night one of the guys in the crew threw up in the stage boots belonging to one of the Vader guys… and he wasn’t that happy about it. We all got wasted as shit and it was kind of an “icebreaked” night for the whole troupe of bands since it was early on in the tour. Sterbhaus certainly have a tongue in cheek element to the bands image but how much realism is actually in the lyrics? Aaah! What a splendid question… indeed! ;-) Yes! Fact is there is often a lot of realism in our lyrics. Most of them stem from actual situations. Half of the songs from our older album “Hits for Dead Kids” are about actual persons we’ve met and certain situations they were involved in and there are liner notes in the booklet of the album about that (such as the song: “Lamplady”, “Die Leatherman, Die”, “The House of the Dead Dwarf” and “Sinister Neckgrip”). Our new album has a range of different topics that also comes from real life. “Insecticide” is about our general disgust and distrust towards the whole Metalcore scene as a current trend or fashion that infects Metal press and festivals etc. “Ripping the Pope” is about a woman who actually jumped the security two years in a row in the Vatican during spring mass some years ago to rip the pope to the ground (they claim she had mental issues… but hey, I don’t know about that ;-)), “Retardival” is about the mainstream midlife crisis crowd at our biggest Hard Rock festival here in Sweden and “Cpt Bible in the Dome of the Dead” is as close to a political song we’ll ever write with the tale of Three Little Pigs being synonymous with The Bush administrations foreign politics regarding oil. Haha… so guess who the big bad wolf is?? ;-). “The Great Dreamsmasher of Conformity” is a very hot topic for me as it deals with how 90% of the people in western society are completely content in working just for money although they almost hate their workplace and waste all their free time on sit-coms and buying expensive crap just to still their boredom. And in the end their life is completely pointless. That’s just a few examples though… Still, the main inspiration often comes out of things we experience or read about.

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You guys have been on your crusade now for 6 years. Have you seen much evolution in the scene Worldwide or in Sweden? Well the evolution of Metal we’ve witnessed and lived during these six years is actually of pretty negative nature. The main observation is probably that of the scene moving as far away from the essence of what Metal is about. It’s like the fucking American Idol has hit the scene with shortcuts as the flavor of the month. Female fronted bands that hit mainstream radio, “Death Metal” bands with fuckin Justin Bieber - like choruses and is all for some reason considered extreme music because of distorted guitars or a “heavy” production. And the sad part is that people buy it for some reason. I myself don’t really see a lot of these bands as Metal at all. Also, More and more shows you catch with your fav bands feature drumtriggers or backing tracks which is essentially just playback. Triggers makes everything sound more like on the album regardless of how poorly the drummer actually performs and with the drummer playing with click in earphones you can add shitloads of stuff into the monitors that no one performs on stage. I think that sucks. Catch a show with any of the 60’s – 80’s bands and chances are ALL of it is live! These shortcuts seem to work and it attracts people (on and off stage) to the scene that has no real reference to what Metal really is. All this crap and this situation does provide something positive though as it inspires us to more or less show everyone how things are supposed to be instead. We kinda use what we see in that realm as a blueprint of how NOT to do things! Haha, I’m almost a bit bitter here but this is something we feel strong about in the band. I wouldn’t bash all that stuff so much it all so much if it wasn’t called “Metal”. But because we have to share press and shows etc with bands like this it’s really an issue. In Stockholm it has come down to a matter of choosing sides and showing your true colors. We have to be careful which bands we choose to play with in order to make sure Sterbhaus doesn’t get affiliated or synonymous with all this, and that really sucks!! I mean, we really don’t want to have to think about it but people who can’t differentiate have no idea of what bands that play live for real or perform metal for the all the right reasons (yes, I believe there are such things) are doing. People like that just either gaze bewildered or nod to the music without being able to hear a difference between the likes of us or Ozzy Osbourne because they enjoy a fuckin sit-com. If we don’t think about stuff like this we might even alienate the kind of people from Sterbhaus who most certainly would find us their cup of tea before they even heard us, because they hate all this shit as well. I do think the scene will somewhat crash soon


and Metal will go more towards refining the essence of the music again. This has already happened when it comes to retro stuff popping up. Old-school thrash and such genres with young people playing almost identical to the eighties scene… Which in turn is kinda boring. I mean, it’s already been done and better too, so why not sift thru that stuff and just do bloody good Metal! Well, a bit like the Sterbhaus mission! How about social medias impact on bands? I mean when you guys were starting out Facebook and Twitter were really a new term that some kids phrased on the street. How do you think these mediums have helped Sterbhaus get their music spread across the globe? Haha, I’m gonna stick to my negative point of view here ;-). For you see, social medias are really a double edged sword, and I’m speaking here only from a band point of view. See, at first it seemed cool with all the possibilities of uploading, streaming, designing, spreading the word and what not, and then after a while you realize there are about a billion other acts that do the same thing (and most of them aren’t at least fairly ambitious – it’s just plain too easy to make it appear that you have an awesome band of some sorts). And eventually you end up “competing” for attention, gigs, counting “likes” or “hits” and in the process the whole point of coming across gets lost in a bunch of crappy details and technicalities. A lot of people are suckers for “likes” and stuff and it mostly provides a somewhat warped take on reality. Heck we have friends with approx. 200 thousand views on videos etc and they haven’t released something decent yet or can pull a fair crowd. Using tits and ass is obviously a good angle for views. Hmm… makes think, haha, we probably use our wieners and beards to get Sterbhaus an instant 1 million likes! Anyways, this is plain observation and kinda funny most of the times. Cause in the end the “likes” and stuff only tires bands and people down (hunting for votes etc). I mean, aren’t bands supposed to play, rehearse write music instead of getting lost in a complete labyrinth of different social medias that urges you to “reach out” all the time. I do feel good gigs and contacts come mostly from doing a more decent direct job – like the obvious face-to-face approach which of course is superior… Keeping in touch is what Facebook is GREAT for. I do kinda miss the old Myspace though as it was far better than Facebook that now only prompts everyone to pay shitloads of money for having friends even seeing you posts - Money that’s supposed to be spent on the music.

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But I do love the fact that you can always later they always find some new bones that doesn’t fit interact directly with people who like your stuff and we and then stuff has to be revised and history at parts always pride in keeping dialogues like that with rewritten. people. The direct interaction is kinda priceless . Have you ever had any angry people come up to you What is your earliest memory of getting and say "Dude you can't name a song 'Babies Deserve exposed to the incurable Virus that is Heavy Metal? To Die'? Winter – 1987 – I am shoveling the driveway and my No not ever!! For some reason I wouldn’t mind if they brother has his window slightly open. He plays did though. Would be fun to look an idiot like that in Saxon: Crusader… When I get inside I borrow some of the face and question the fact that he knew about his Def Leppard and Pretty Maids and from there on Sterbhaus in the first place haha. The song is from the I’m hooked. Ok, I seem to recall thinking Twisted first demo so not many know or care about it. I was a Sister was the shit with “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and bit surprised when playing Santiago in Chile and a guy “I Wanna Rock” as well as Europe “Final Countdown” came up and requested that specific song. People who but heck, that was like pop culture and came and went knows about it tends to love it because of the fact it without leaving any marks. called just that. It’s so obviously stupid that no one can take it 100% seriously. With song titles like 'Project S.A.T.AN' 'Ripping The Pope' and 'Angels For Breakfast' you appear to have Any idea on what's next on the agenda for Sterbhaus a lot of faith in people getting and understanding the and any European/World tours in the near future? irony. Is there any religious faith that you have? Yeah! We always have shitloads of stuff on our Haha yeah, at least we hope so! I can’t say we take into to-do list. What I can say at the moment is that we’re consideration whether they will or not and at times I looking to do a Swedish or Scandinavian tour with our suppose we can be a bit cryptic, but it’s all in good fun. good friends in Septekh hopefully in October and we Regarding the faith thing, well… contrary to also hope to get some sort of support slot similar to what probably many people think, I myself am not an the Vader/Melechesh tour for the fall or winter. But atheist. I’m not sure about the rest of the guys the latter depends on our German booker and is just although I quite frequently air my views and ideas something that we basically hope for and will try to from my agnostic point of view. I thinks most of us are get. either atheists or agnostics… we’re sure as hell not We’re also in the writing/preproduction stages of religious when it comes to organized faith, and that our next album so a lot of time goes into that. And we includes Satanism. I see Satanism more as a hope to have a third video for the ‘Angels for philosophy (which I most of the time agree with) Breakfast …And God for Lunch’ album shot and despite of how cool and awesome it is to be true and released this year. So we do have our hands full. shit and see it as a legitimate religion of anti-cosmos or whatever. As I see it, no one ever can know for sure what happens after we die. If something does, we’ll find that out soon enough. I don’t buy Darwinism to the fullest either as I see that only as evolution and not how and why life initially was spawned. To say that the delicate motor that is a working body with organs etc is the result of mutation is a bit far fetched in my view and only appears to be a smug response instead of a final answer. So organs just sprouted out of the need for breathing? And to carry that oxygen into the circulatory system eventually developed… Ah, nah, I don’t know. And I don’t think anyone else does either. Organized religions are just ways to try to answer that and instead they are tools that makes the human race slow and dull. But science is so quick at jumping at conclusions due to bones found in the ground. I mean, just imagine how many bones that have deteriorated completely and not fossilized! And we’re only basing facts on what fossils we’ve found so far. Sooner or

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Lee Walker caught up with Rats from Irish underground heroes Dichotomy to discuss the meaning of the bands name, their recent album, the underground Irish metal scene and what they have planned for the rest of the year. How did the band originally start off? The band started off by me and the other guitarist, Andy. We left another band because we wanted to go down more of the type of music that we are doing now in Dichotomy. Then we found our singer Kev and the drummer Dave who had the same problem with their old bands. The four of us got together and recently we have got a new bass player Neil?

way it’s been received? Yes extremely happy we got a really good reception straight off the bat. We put one of our songs on Youtube and I think it was three weeks later it had 5000 views so it was doing really well and everybody seemed to like what it’s doing so far. We have sold our first 250 copies in two months so people are liking it and we are liking that people are liking it.

How was the band’s name chosen? Does it have any specific meaning to it? Yes it has a specific meaning, basically every one of the songs that we have tells a story and the way Kev our vocalist writes it he writes it all in an Dichotomy if you want to say that. He creates a dichotomy in the whole story line as in two dichotomies, two opposing things that have something in common and he plays with that really.

Continuing about the album. How did it come together? Was it songs you had left over from other bits and bobs or was it written specifically to get an album out there? I think when we first got together we never really said what we wanted to do. We didn’t really have a game plan and we just got together were enjoying writing with each other, so it got the stage where a year later and we played no shows but we had a lot of material so we got to take our pick of what songs we thought was best and put them straight on cd because it got the stage where we had too much material to do an E.P so we decided to get a load of songs, put them on a cd and it ended up being an album so we released that.

While doing some research for the interview I noticed that there is a US band with the same name. Has this ever caused any issues for yourself? There was never any major issues, but our logo was used for this American Dichotomy’s poster before and it wasn’t a big deal. I just sent them a message and everything was taken care off. It was a simple mistake. It was posted on our Facebook and people where asking “do you guys have an American tour coming up?” and we were like no not at the moment where are you getting that from? And they’re were like you need to look at your Facebook. As cool as an American tour would be its not going to happen yet anyway. Obviously your Facebook page describes you as having ‘Melodic Technical Death Metal’ sounds but how would you describe the band’s sound? Personally I’d describe the band’s sound as a mix of everything really, but you can’t really use that as a genre nowadays. The whole melodic technical death metal thing was actually a few people who were saying that about us when they saw our firsts shows so the name was actually chosen by a couple of people and not us who describe yourself as technical death metal. How I would describe our music, I have no idea. I believe that you recently released your debut album ‘Paradigms’. Have you been happy with the

How did you decide the name for the album? The name was chosen by our singer Kev he wrote everything thematically so we left it up to him what he would like to call the title of all of his stories basically. The music is one thing but you can’t name a piece of music in my opinion, I think a piece of music is a piece of music. You can give it a title but the title doesn’t really have anything to do with the music itself so we more or less left him to come up with the titles for all of his stories and keep it that way. Do you have any your favourite tracks on the album? I have a least favourite *laughs*... I do have a favourite as mean as it is to our singer it’s the instrumental of the album called the ‘Alea Lacta Est’. Lee: Yes instrumentals you either love them or you hate them. Rats: I think I only like that song so much because it’s the simplest song to play live to be honest *laughter*

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As I was reading though your press pack I noticed that it says that you have quite a following among the underground scene over in Ireland. What is the scene like over there? The scene in Ireland is doing really well at the moment. There’s more people who are going to gigs there is generally a lot more gigs that are happening now especially foreign acts coming to Ireland. I think this year has had the most Ireland has ever had between 2012 and 2013 have been the mostinternational acts in Ireland ever, so it’s doing really well the scene is getting bigger and more recognition for Irish bands.

all over the moon with it.

What would you say that the biggest problem that you would say you have come across as a band? The biggest problem as a band is probably coming up with a common idea of what we want to do, that’s been the biggest I wouldn’t say issue but it’s been the biggest discussion that we have had really is just deciding what type of a game plan we want and where we want to go and what we want to do with it. Common differences would be the hardest part.

What do you have planned for the rest of the year? We have two music videos coming up, with one in hopefully the end of this month and one in the end of July. We are headling the Monsters Of Rot festival in Fermanagh in Ireland. That’s in the end of August and we have a mini UK tour in October and then in the pipeline sometime before Christmas we have a European tour but I can’t really announce any names yet.

What has been your greatest achievement to date? Our greatest achievement was probably being able to record the album finally, because we were writing for such a long time and there was a lot of hiccups with different studios and different time periods because we all have full time jobs and I think the biggest accomplishment we had to date is being able to do the album and it getting a good reception. We are


How would you say that the band has developed much since starting off? Yes definitely I think we developed in to a band to be honest, because at first we didn’t have band name for a year and a half because we didn’t really say ok let’s get together and do a band it was sort of a bunch of guys that came together and just started buzzing writing songs and stuff like that and we said lets go and actually do this.

Final question are there any messages that you would like to pass on to your fans? Thanks a lot for buying the cd – buy it again.

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Metal vids to sink your teeth into So with it being a busy time for album releases, we have taken the time to compile the top 5 music videos currently doing the rounds in the After Dark dungeon. If you have any thoughts about these, feel free to get in touch at

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Amon Amarth Deceiver Of The Gods The Black Dahlia Murder Goat OF Departure

Jungle Rot Utter Chaos Huntress Starbound Beast Watain All That May Bleed Firebrand After Dark 01


Tom Of

Interviewed by Lee Walker

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Shortly after the release of their latest creation, Lee Walker caught up with frontman Tom and discussed the bands history, the Australian metal scene and the album itself… We wanted a name that was a harder sound and more ambiguous. The name “Crucible of Agony” sounds like a certain period of black metal and we There is a bit of confusion about when The Amenta felt that our music was becoming much more than actually began. Erik [Miehs, guitars] had a band called “Crucible of Agony” which formed in probably that. We wanted to create a strong, unique brand that would allow us the freedom to create whatever 1994-5. I was a fan of the band and knew Erik through a mutual friend. The music at that time was ugly music we wanted. In some ways, when I look back on the band, I pretty amazing. This was before Orchestral Black Metal became such a cliché. I was blown away by the can’t see a point where “Crucible of Agony” ended and “The Amenta” begun as it was all a continuum of scope and detail of Erik’s writing. I was working on artistic growth. On the other hand if you were to take my own material at the time so I sent Erik a tape of our music from 2001 and place it against our music of what I had written. We had been following similar 1999 you could definitely say that this was two paths in certain sense. Due to this I then joined different bands. We use the date of 2000 as the Crucible of Agony on bass and Erik and I began writing together. This was in about 1999. I eventually beginning of The Amenta because the new millennium felt like as good a time as any to choose if swapped over to keyboards and have been phasing traditional keyboard work out of my repertoire ever we had to arbitrarily choose a date of conception. since to focus on noise, sampling and instrument Over the years your “sound” has refused to be abuse. pigeonholed with its ever varied mix of Overtime Erik and I refined our working methods. The orchestral nature of the band, as a industrial death metal. How would you describe reaction to that sound becoming prevalent and this the band’s sound? boring, was pretty quickly jettisoned and replaced We always describe our sound as merely with an interest in creating ugly and extreme sounds. Extreme Music. The first thing that pops into my You can hear the furthest out interpretation of this mind when people ask this question is this: When we quest of innovative ugliness on our new album, first started I thought we were a black metal band. “Flesh is Heir”. Then we released the “Mictlan” MCD and people said We’ve had massive line-up changes since 1999 we were a death metal band. Then we release the obviously. Some of those people who are no longer first album “Occasus” and people told us we were an still “in” the band are still considered very much to be industrial death metal band. Then we released the part of The Amenta. You will see them occasionally second album “n0n” and shit got really strange. make guest appearances on albums or work on video People made up all sorts of terms like Cyber-Electroetc. for the band. The line-up which will be touring Grind or Industrial Post Black. It got ridiculous. We “Flesh is Heir” is extraordinarily strong. We are have never changed our aims throughout this time. pleased to welcome our old drummer, David Haley, I don’t think it is up to us to dictate how you, as back into the band. He’ll be joining myself, Erik, Dan the listener, get to define our band. Once the art has Quinlan on bass and Cain Cressall on vocals. Cain is left the artist’s hands he has no more right to change the greatest frontman I have ever seen and Dan is of it. But on the other hand, we don’t have to take any the same violent ilk as the rest of us. Of course I of your bullshit on. Music works best when there are would say this but I believe that this is the strongest no rules. If you try to write a “death metal” album line up of The Amenta thus far. you will end up with a generic piece of shit. We just try to create music that we feel adequately expresses Why did the band change its name from US as people. ‘Crucible of Agony’ to ‘The Amenta’? The only rule that we give ourselves is that it We changed the name to reflect our changing must be extreme. And by this I don’t mean extreme motivations and aesthetics. As I mentioned, we went in the sense that it has to be the fastest, most through a process of removing the bombastic, technical music with the sickest lyrics. It is not. Those clichéd orchestral and symphonic elements from our ideas are not extreme because they are expected and music and we felt that we had changed considerably. DONE BEFORE. Only new ideas that challenge

The Amenta originally formed way back in 1997. How did the band first start off?

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both the artist and the listener can truly be called extreme. We try to create new ideas and new ideas to express ourselves. This is extreme. We are Extreme Music.

gigs these days as I find a lot of metal to be a bit too familiar. There are definitely some great bands here though. Obviously there are a lot of bands that we are affiliated with in some way (PSYCROPTIC, RUINS, MALIGNANT MONSTER, NORSE etc.) but there are also a couple of new ones I have been Has the band’s sound changed much since hearing that we are sharing a stage with on our starting off? upcoming Australian tour. One that really caught my We’ve slowly developed our own sonic language which I think is the mark of a truly unique and great ear was Departe from Tasmania; those guys are band. The bands that really inspire me are those that killer, so maybe there is hope for new music yet. Outside of metal it’s much the same have their own unique methods and sounds. We have been working towards this point constantly. We are unfortunately. Once again there are some killer bands (HEIRS, SKY NEEDLE, and THE DRONES) but very restless when it comes to our own methods of there is also a lot of bullshit. I guess it’s exactly like creation. One album will be very electronic and the rest of the world. There is crap and there is cream programmed. The next will be built around and never enough toilets improvisations and to see any of them play. home-made junkyard percussion. But we always Throughout the years have certain sounds that you have been on some make us grin and get the tick. We like dissonance pretty big tours, with but also love to resolve it the likes of Akercocke, with great walls of Vader and Deicide to consonance (fuck you to name but a few. What those who think we have has been your no melody. Open you favourite tour? fucking cloth ears.) We Australian tour-wise I love torturing instruments think the AKERCOCKE and destroying their tour was a pretty big natural sounds with highlight. Erik and I effects and processing. particularly where huge In the past we relied fans of those guys so it on the tools that we had was pretty awesome to accrued. We had see them live and hang keyboards that we knew out with them. They are inside and out that all fine gentlemen. It led formed the backbone of to Jason Mendonca’s our early music. incredible guest turn on Thankfully, after our first the song “Whore” from our second album, “n0n”. album, a lot of our gear was stolen so we had to Internationally I would say the first European relearn how to make music without our gear that we tour with DEICDE, SAMAEL, VADER, DEVIAN and knew so well. This taught us to experiment and ORDER OF ENNEAD. Not only was it our first big search for new ways of creating ugly music. We are international tour but we made some great friends, it constantly changing but we are always pushing to was probably the least stressful tour we have done. challenge you and keep SAMAEL were an inspiration in terms of stage craft ourselves entertained. and another big inspiration for Erik and I back in the day.

When people bring up Australian bands, a lot normally think of the likes of AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, Airbourne etc very rarely do we really associate death metal with Australia. What is the music scene like over there? I don’t really have much of an idea. I tend to avoid


Earlier this year you released your latest album “Flesh Is Heir’ through Listenable Records. Have you been happy with the way it has been received?

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We had a feeling that this album would connect with people. We have historically been quite a difficult proposition for people to wrap their head around but the signs were pointing to people being able to start digesting more difficult material. Bands like DEATHSPELL OMEGA, PORTAL etc. have open doorways in people’s mind and they are becoming more used to the idea of music that isn’t harmonically “in” and I think that has been a very beneficial change for us. Our music has always been written and recorded in a way that we believed was correct but people tended to be confused. This time we were lucky that, for a short time, our impulses and those of the Zeitgeist have run parallel for a stretch.

“Choke Hold” from the EP of the same name. Erik and I wrote, recorded and mixed that song in six hours. I played bass on the track and it really re-opened my eyes to the enjoyment of just bashing the shit out of something to create a simple idea that had enough magic to hang a song from. When we began writing and recording “Flesh is Heir” we used an adapted version of this quick process. Where, in the past, we would have improvised a guitar riff over a beat and then spent weeks tinkering with beats and electronics and gutting the riff into fragments to put it back together, this time, if we felt there was some magic in the part, we just moved on immediately and went to the next idea. The result is a much more immediate and organic album I think. I am very happy with how it turned out.

How would you describe the album? If someone was familiar with our oeuvre I would describe it to them as our most organic and human album. It contains all of the dirtiness and strangeness of our previous works but also an undercurrent of desperation and thwarted desire. It is like watching a schizophrenic fall apart. There is pathos, fear and a lot of disgust. If you have never hear The Amenta then let me just say this: It is the best album you will hear this year. It is not the same old recycled ideas that you would be used to from your “extreme” metal. This is something new and something original. You might not like it, understand it or appreciate it but it will challenge you and it will make you listen. How did the album itself come together? Like all of our albums, “Flesh is Heir” is an immediate reaction to the album, “n0n”, which preceded it. After “n0n”, which took a ridiculous amount of work and time to record, we were completely burnt out. We felt like we had no new ideas and everything that we wrote sounded too similar to “n0n”. So, to recover, we through ourselves into touring as much as we could. When it came time to think about writing again we tried to shake things up again by experimenting with different methods of composition. This is why we ended up with three EPs in between the albums. They were ways for us to find an interesting new method that would help us break the writer’s block. One thing that we found particularly inspiring was an immediacy of creation that was completely at odds to the meticulous analysis and work that went into “n0n”. The first seed of this idea was the song

Do you have any favourite tracks on the album? My favourites change every time I hear the album. At the moment I am really into the song “Obliterate’s Prayer” both musically and lyrically. The verse riff is one of the best parts I think we have written. On the surface it is so simple but it plays with the listeners ideas of the harmony of the part. Sometimes it is the more upfront, blasting songs that get me though. “Teeth” is a good example of this. It has such a great energy and there are some really twisted sounds in the song.

How do you think this album compares to your previous releases such as ‘Occasus’, ‘nOn’, ‘Chokehold’ etc? This album is a signpost of how far we have come on our journey to find a unique way of expressing ourselves. I think if you were to listen to all of our releases in chronological order you would hear a

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band that is restless, driven and determined to follow a unique but unlit path. The great thing about trying to find the perfect unique expression is that there is no final destination, just a constant journey. So “Flesh is Heir’ is further down the path than “Occasus” or “n0n” but it isn’t the ultimate expression. It is just the ultimate expression of where we are now. The next album will be even further down the path and so on. My sole wish for this band is that we constantly push ourselves and keep following that direction. We may fail, and a big part of me hopes so because I think those big follies of albums are often the most interesting, but we will always be pushing. That is art. It is human and it is extreme.

What do you have planned for the rest of the year? Can we expect to see you return to the UK? We’d definitely love to get back over the UK. We’ve


always had an excellent reception there and we have made some great friends. It all comes down to the right tour offer. At the moment our plans are to play a few shows in Australia with our good friends RUINS and then we will probably site down to try to write something new. We aren’t sure if it will be a full length album or another EP yet so we will have to see what comes out. I am very excited about our next few releases. I already have a lyrical idea and theme which I think is pretty different and unique for extreme metal. Usually lyrics come very hard to me so it is very novel to have something ready before we’ve even create a note so I am pretty keen to get back into writing mode.

Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to your fans? Check out “Flesh is Heir”. It will blow your mind. It is not for weak minded vermin. It is a human album made for gods.

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Waclaw "Vogg" Kiełtyka from Polish superordinate Technical Death Metal band Decapitated talks to Stoodge about the bands recent touring, new album... ...and erm 'Animal Farm'. Hey what's up? So you guys just finished a huge last couple of tours and we will be playing it on the Children Of Bodom tour across Europe. US tour with Lamb Of God and you are going out on the road with Children Of Bodom on the 'Halo Of Blood Over Europe Tour' in October and November. Are these extensive tours something the band needed to do? Hello. So, yes we just come back from Lamb of God tour we did in US. It was 30 awesome shows over the States. Every show was great for us, people gave us a great response, it was a fucking incredible reaction for our set every night. I'm very proud that we did it and also I need to say that the Lamb of God guys and all crew are the best people in the world, no rockstars, no bullshit, huge respect, that’s why we really like being on tour with such a big band. It was very cool to spent time with them, big love ,big party so thanks a lot!!! And yes we have another great tour with Children of Bodom in fall this year. Well I just need to say that its a great opportunity to show what Decapitated is infront of a different crowd finally and this is big promotion for us on both those tours with Lamb of God and COB. I think it's an amazing idea for us to show our music for people who has never heard about us or seen us yet. Last year we did three tours with Meshuggah here in Europe and also in the US so that was another killer time for us!! We want to keep doing it, to play with bigger bands and try to promote ourselves as much as we can, sometimes travelling in total gypsy conditions, like a long winter tour in the back of a van, with no hotels, no proper accommodation and no fucking money, but we don’t care we will keep it doing because we love doing it and we are tough polish motherfuckers. One thing though is if you are travelling in these shitty conditions you can see great people like Meshuggah or the Lamb Of God dudes and they always help us with everything, this is yet another motivation for us to keep playing music.

Have you been writing anything on the road for a new album? Not on the road but yes we have something already. A couple of new ideas and melodies and right now I’m preparing my room for entering preproduction and we will start to recording new stuff in the Hertz studio in January 2014.

How is the Metal scene in Poland in these days? It's still as strong I think. We've bands like Behemoth, Vader, Blindead, Acid Drinkers, Flapjack, Antigama and Hate. People should check out those bands.

Have your listening habits changed since 'Winds Of Creation' blew the World a new asshole in 2000?

I mean I still love all those bands I was listening in 2000 and before but of course I've discovered many new bands and styles and I’m more open now for all kinds of music than I was when I was younger. Before winds of creation I was massive death metal fan, I was listening to only death metal and thrash but death metal took my soul in 100 %. Bands like Morbid Angel ,Hate Eternal ,Death, Pestilence, Dying Are you playing a lot of 'Carnival Is Forever' Fetus etc those guys were my bible. After these years material on these shows? I'm a different musician and I listen everything which Of course! Those songs are great for live I think sounds good. I'm a big fan of Alice In Chains, performances, its the best sounding live album we ever did, it's more mature, more conscious than ever. Meshuggah, Down and Behemoth, but I also listen to jazz and classical music which is my special We play almost all the songs from Carnival on our

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kind of music. I love it !!!!! Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, Penderecki and many, many more, but right now in metal for me the best band on the Planet are Meshuggah.

Decapitated? Studio, new album, new videos, official DVD, festivals, tours, lots of work as always.

You guys are still relatively young, it's crazy how young you were when you first came on the scene. What major things have you learnt over the last 13 years since your full length debut was unleashed? Well ,we have learned from pretty much ‘everything’. We were so young in those days and didn’t know anything about how to play, how to live, how to make business, we did many mistakes because of our young age. It was crazy that we started as such little dudes. I wasn't sure that it was a good idea but our passion for music was too strong. The biggest mistake for us was to sign deal with Earache Records and being so long with our manager. But that's in the past now and not important. All those experiences are what makes us smarter and more careful in relation with people from the music business.

What are you opinions on Djent Metal? Do you see this as an evolution of the Technical Metal you guys helped place on the map? I cant say too much about that because to be honest I'm not into this music. I know that those dudes are very inspired by Meshuggah and they all use 8 string guitars, but sorry guys I'm not a fan of this genre.

Okay so a little off the cuff here but what’s your stance on conspiracy theories and that kind of thing? I mean do you think there is such thing as the NWO and that George Orwell might have been onto something with his book 1984? There are always conspiracy theories. George Orwell wrote 'Animal Farm' which in my opinion is current World situation. Now, that big case with Ed Snowden and all that "Big Brother" mess. But to be honest I don't have time to think about this. I take care of my family, band, friends and I need to do new Decapitated album.

Books and Movies people should read or watch? Slash-Slash and Anthony Bozza, Miles Davis-Miles Davis everything by Tarantino, Lynch, also everything from Polish director Wojciech Smarzowski and the Baraka documentary film directed by Ron Fricke.

What has 2014 got on the horizon for


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Heather Blewett Interviews Mark Chapman of

Soon to be embarking on an European tour ( including shows in London, Birmingham and Brighton) Testament inspired thrashers Attackhead are starting to make a noticeable impact within the metal realm. Front man Mark Chapman introduces us to Attackhead‌


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July 26th in Birmingham. Here is the tour schedule. July 26th, Scruffy Murphys, Birmingham, UK Attackhead is a Southern California based thrash July 27th, The Unicorn, London, UK metal band comprised of Mark Chapman (Lead th Vocals, Lead guitar), George Portoulas (Lead guitar, July 28 , Panique d’o, Mechelen, BE th Backing vocals), Eddie "Munster" Ellis (Bass, Backing July 29 , Hafenklang, Hamburg, DE th July 30 , Exit-US, Prague, CZ vocals), and Steve Cordero (Drums). July 31st, Circus Disco, Augsburg, DE Aug 1st, Caffe Mukkes, Leeuwarden, NL What has been Attackhead's biggest Aug 2nd, The Green Door Store, Brighton, UK achievement thus far?

Tell us a bit about Attackhead.

I think performing at the Hell and Heaven metal fest in Guadalajara, Mexico is probably the biggest achievement. To be able to perform with so many of our idols was definitely inspiring. Although that show may be overshadowed by our upcoming European tour.

Few years ago you re-recorded debut album 'Voices In The Dark' and included a couple of new tracks, why is it you decided to re-visit this album? Well the first recording of the album was not done very well and my singing style had changed a lot by the time we decided to record a new album. All in all we did not feel the songs had been given a chance and could be done better. They probably could still be done better with more money and a high end studio but for an independent release we are pretty pleased with the end result.

After we return from the European tour we are co-headlining Rock the Mountain fest in Boise, ID on Aug 10th. Then we are heading to Maryland on Nov 8th to perform at Rock Harvest 2 with Heathen, Flotsam and Jetsam and Raven. We will also be touring the East Coast of the US surrounding this show but the dates and locations are still in the works.

We look your forward to your UK visit!

Any plans for a new album? We don’t have any set plan for recording a new album at the moment. We do have several new songs ready for the next album and we play them in our live set. We are mainly concentrating on touring right now and getting the most out of our latest album before we take the time to record the next record.

You've shared line ups with some pretty big names, including Motorhead, Anthrax and Testament. Who has been your favourite band you've shared a line up with? My favorite band is Testament so when they were added to the line-up in Mexico I was very excited. But after looking up to all these bands for years we were honoured to be involved in an event with them all. We had a great time with many of the bands and will be touring with a few of them next year.

What are your plans for the future? Any plans to come to the UK? Funny you should ask. We will be in the UK in 3 weeks. Our European Thrash Vacation tour starts on

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Like the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes the ’Out Of The Ashes” festival returns to the Vauxhall Sports Club in Ellesmere Port, home of.. well not a lot to be honest, but that’s not important, what is important though is that this rock and metal festival has returned for a second year, this time dispensing of the tribute bands, this time providing a lot more original and emerging bands and stages to choose from. This year organisers New World Events have also brought on board Whiplash Promotions and The Core Promotions to strengthen the event and have given each promoter a specific day to showcase the best bands that their respective genres have to offer creating a very varied mix of bands spread across the entire three days. Bands have also been chosen from winning a series of ‘Battle of the Band’ events that have been held in Chester, Birkenhead and Liverpool. This year they have also they have also acquired the skills of Phoenix Rising webzine to help out. The festival was originally set up to help raise awareness and much needed funds for charity, with this years chosen beneficiaries being Kidney Research and testicular cancer with stages being named after each beneficiary.

Saturday is known as The Core Takeover day with Dan from The Core bringing their breed of bands to the Out of The Ashes festival with both stages creating an interesting mix of styles and sounds with the likes of Templar, Art.Is.Fiction, The No Name Janes, Goldwaite, Bet It All,Tussk, Goldwaite , Zebedy, Fire in the Empire all springing to mind as bands I would definitely want to see, with the main bands that I am looking forward to being a very close call between I.C.O.N, Sinnergod and Impaled Existence.

Sunday is the New World Events ‘Take Back Day’ where Didd and the gang take control of the booking, once again bringing about a very mixed style of bands across both stages with no discernible differences between the two stages in terms of the genres present on either one. From the bands that are playing that day Pandemik, Northern Oak, Ensorrowed , Lazarus Whiplash Black Friday is the day put together by Sal from Syndrome, Scare Tactics, Sa Da Ko, Kuru and Liquid Sky Whiplash promotions and going for a two pronged attack all stand out as must see bands with my highlight for the she has managed to create the most brutal day for day a tight fought battle between Conquest of Steel, clashes for me, leaving me wanting to run between the Bludvera and Neuroma. KD Rocks stage and the Headbangers Balls stage A third stage has also been announced for the virtually from the get go with Black Metal reigning festival being named as the ‘Indie Rocks Stage’ on the supreme on the Headbangers Balls stage with Saturday and the ‘New Metal Index Stage’ on the Sunday appearances from the likes of Ninkharsag, De Profundis, with Indigo Sky, Brazen Swagger, Babylon Leaf and Bludvera, Merciless Savage, Infernal Creation all grabbing Sexwolf! all standing out as must see bands. my attention but my pick for that stage has to be the Overall, with the sheer amount of bands playing across phenomenal Old Corpse Road bringing their all stages over the three days you can guarantee that atmospheric gloom ridden black metal to the there is something for everyone, with my preview just masses. While over on the KD Rocks stage we have a scratching the surface of the bands that are playing and more rock orientated feel going on with Dientes, its fair to say that the Out Of The Ashes Festival is the Target: Renegades, 44 Fires, Defy All Reason, Whiskey biggest festival to hit the North West of England in a and Lace, Savage Outlaw all standing out, with Lancashire's own Exit State bringing a close to the stage very long time. For more information on the festival or to book tickets with a set which will include new material from their check out: brand new album 'Lets See It All'. Location: Vauxhall Sports Club, Rivacre Road, Ellesmere Port, CH66 1NJ . *Information correct at time of publishing, may be subject to change.

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Stoodge was able to get a chat with the meddlesome Kyle (Gumby) Gunther from Detroit's hotfoot Metallars Battlecross before the band joined up with the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Tour. Gumby chats about the recording of their new album 'War Of Will', Touring and Banana riffs. So Kyle (Gumby) how are things with you buddy? Yeah, all good man I'm getting all prepared. I'm enjoying sometime off and then we are right back to it and we'll be roaring to go.

But Shannon (Lucas) on the other hand came in and slayed it. We were tracking once and I couldn't hear any of the tracks, we were doing our first run through and I stopped and was like “Can you replay that last 30 seconds?” I was like “good luck to the guy that has th Your new album 'War Of Will' comes out 9 July in to play that” the guy just rips on the drums, he really North America and it's out a few days earlier here in does. Europe, have you any idea why they release albums in certain continents first? Dude that's what I was wondering too. Like why do you do that? I mean I can get Fed Ex to bring me a copy, yet I can't buy it in store. Yeah it's out here 4 days earlier I believe, wouldn't that harm the launch with people being able to easily access a leaked copy online? Yeah right and that's another thing why don't they just do it all at once? Real fans should buy the album anyway, I know I do. So how hugely different was it recording this album to your debut? After all your first album was wrote long before the recording started. Aw man it was way, way, way different. We spent like $25,000 on the first one and we spent $25,000 just on the travel for this one. Actually it wasn't too much of a difference in experience, I mean Josh from 'Awesome Random Recording Studios' who did the first album did a great job and it wasn't like he wasn't professional or anything but it's just that we needed a bit more experience in a producer for the new record. With this album we wrote for a month then went on tour and then we wrote for another month and then hit the road again. It eventually came together quite quick and it was awesome recording it. I got to do different vocal tracks on a few of the songs which was quite cool also.

How does the new album sound? Can you talk us through the playlist and what songs are your favourites? Well our first single is 'Force Fed Lies' and it's kind of a political song, not in the way of “I have a stance” but more like “we are all fucked so get used to it” and that song is available everywhere at the minute online and on YouTube. There's going to be a few singles from the new album. The second track is.................erm.........'Flesh and Bone' and that will be the second single and then.' Never Coming Back' will be the video coming out after we go off the Mayhem Tour. We are hitting it off 1,2,3 and it's kind of crazy to get in and find out why things happen in the music industry the way it does. Things come into play when you are getting ready to record and it's just Mike Kreger left the band earlier in the year, what's crazy the amount of scheduling Things come into the situation behind the kit now? play when you are getting ready to record and it's Ah, we had a split yeah, it was a break up at first but just crazy the amount of scheduling Things come everyone understood what was happening but we're into play when you are getting ready to record and all friends and it was awesome that it could end on a it's just crazy the amount of scheduling, I mean the good note. I mean we are all still friends with him, Mayhem Tour is absolutely huge. there's no hard feelings anywhere and we wish each So we're rolling out the album to that, so we're other the best. going to hit this one and get people excited, hit the

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next one to get people ready for Mayhem and then when we are on Mayhem hopefully release a video.

“Okay” so that was that.

You guys have an immense tour schedule coming up What's your opinion on modern Metal? I mean with pretty soon and it's all North American dates that so many genres poping up what's your stance on it? are booked so far, how's the preparations coming Oh my God, Yeah. Man it's like “What band is that? along for that? Because I think that's a band I just listened too. Are Oh, Awesome. Because of the crowd funder thing we you the same dudes?” (Gumby precedes to make an did we got like $26,000 given to us and all we had to impression of a gargling Darth Vader) Banana riffs? If do was like give people phone calls and we're actually your song consists of Banana riffs go home. taking 4 people on the road with us. Thankfully we Battlecross is definitely here to fuck that shit up. were fortunate enough to have a Bus that we are splitting with Huntress so we are able to not live in What about tours we are seeing pop up all over with the Van. The tour schedule itself is going to be bands from completely different demographics ridiculous, there's two like stupid drives. There's one playing together? from Denver to Toronto, I mean that's like ridiculous Yeah dude, there's a lot of times I'm scratching my and then there's another one which is like a 14 hour head wondering how some happen. It's like the big drive and we have to be there the day after a gig. thing now, talking to our Manager and Booking We're doing stuff we never thought we'd do like Agent it's like bands don't want to tour with a similar being at meetings discussing this stuff, it's crazy and band. I mean a thrash band doesn't want to take you got to step back and go “Holy Shit!!!” it's a really another thrash band out now because they want to cool thin and at the minute we are getting ready for cross over markets because everyone is trying to Mayhem and we don't know what we are doing after make new fans. It's some fucked up shit and I think Mayhem but hopefully it's something awesome. it's weird. Maybe we could come around your parts and rip it We did 'Heavy MTL' and their was a stream of up. Golf Carts taking people everywhere which was quiet surreal. I was like “Awwww this is crazy.” Gumby it has been an absolute pleasure getting to chat to you, before we finish up is there messages When I was first introduced to you guys a couple you've got for all the Battlecross fans around the years ago I originally thought you were some kind of Globe? Viking Metal band, obviously that was before I Thanks for supporting us, we wouldn't be hear heard you. I'm not sure if it was the bands name or without you and Metal would suck. I hope to have sex your Gandalf like beard but do you get feedback with your Girlfriend one day. I'm just joking around, I from people that have the same presumption that I won't have sex with your Girlfriend maybe. But once did? seriously thanks for being there and thanks for being A lot of people say that they clicked on our thumbnail Metal and hopefully we can come and bring intensity because they thought I was Johan from Amon to your city one day. Amarth and then their like “What the hell is this? An anorexic Johan?” So I'm like “They I'm skinny Fuck Off!” You've got a nice beard going from what I can see on your profile pic. It's sad to say but my beard is 9 years old man, I started growing this when I was 21 and this is kind of where it's at. I did clip it down once for my brothers wedding he was all like “C'mon man you gotta take that down for the wedding, it would mean a lot to me and no one likes it” and begging me too get it done. So I was like “Fuck you dude, I will take it down but that's your wedding present” and he said


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Just after the release of Erimha’s all important second album ‘Reign Through Immortality’ Firebrand After Dark caught up with Kthien to discuss the bands history, the album and its links with Sumerian mythology.

Interviewed by Lee Walker 68

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How did the band first start off? We had this old project that we were working on at first and then everyone bailed out on me and Ksaos so we decided to just start off from scratch with everything and just go out and grab some members that would follow us all the way through. So it started off in late 2009 but everything really took place in early January 2010, so we started it up, we founded the project. Gore came in a couple of months after and things started off from there.

Why did you decide to choose Erimha as the bands name? What ended up happening is that we wanted this project to be a full on concept album and we wanted to be a concept band working with concept projects so what we wanted to do is have a name which isn’t really out there already connected to anything and once we started looking up the concept that the first album was based on we came up against Sumerian mythology and people once we started looking into it we found Erimha and it meant army and legion in Sumerian mythology which we thought was the perfect fit for us so that is how we chose the name Touching on that, Sumerian mythology seems to feature heavily within the band? Was it intentional from the offset or something that developed over time? No actually once we started reading up on Sumerian mythology I think it just came through. We felt the project and we felt that’s what we wanted to head by like some bands have been doing it like say Melechesh that had done it in the past but with this band we are about trying to find a certain beginning of things and the Sumerian culture was one of the first cavitation’s that have been followed and once we started reading up about it with the mythology and there way of thinking and how advanced these people were

and how they disappeared practically and only lately have we been able to find what that whole culture was about I think it just talked to us and we wanted to try to stick to that theme or time era if you like, in future we chance for sure but we will always try to keep the Sumerian mythology behind it. Obviously you have all got stage names - how did you pick the names to use? Well some of them had been around for a long time like Gore the singer has had that nickname forever and he decided to keep it but the rest of us built it on what the meaning was for us so what we ended up doing was that we wanted to choose names that had a meaning for us but didn’t have one on the net. Ksaos has a meaning to the drummer, for more the beginning and more like oblivion feel to it, which is why he plays with a mask also but in terms of me my name is chosen really based upon that I grew up on old rock and roll and my dad has always been a big feature in my life so I chose Kthien for him as he was a big fan of the Rolling Stones and he was a big fan of Keith Richards also so I wanted to have a name that wasn’t out there so I could write its own story. How would you describe the band’s sound? Big mix up of everything I mean right now we are mixing a lot of death and black metal but to be honest with you in the future I think we are going to have a lot more of our personal influences in it. Everyday we are finding new bands and new sounds in the future there is going to be a lot of things related to spirituality and meditation so don’t be surprised if you hear songs with just frequency noises and stuff like that so. We always want to stick to the black death metal sound because not necessarily what we used to listen to but more to do with that it speaks to us right now. Do you think the band’s sound has changed much since starting off? Yes it has since the first album its been completely different I mean the orchestral sound is just a thousand times better than what we used to have and I think we are always going to be in evolution so who knows what the next sounds going to be like but for album to album we are going to keep upgrading technically and spiritually also so I’m guessing the sound is always going to be changing no matter what album number we are doing.

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six songs from the orchestra was done in two weeks by Jonathon in Silverwings Studio and he did an awesome job in pulling everything together last minute and because of that Chris Donaldson at Garage Studio had to mix and master everything last minute it took him about four to five days to do everything so as I was saying with the whole part of the album what is weird is that there was a lot of hard work put in to it but what is weird is it seems like this album just came together like it was supposed to, like it just flowed together naturally and we ended up with the end product.

You released just your latest album ‘Reign Through Immortality’ through Victory Records. Have you been happy with the way it has been received? Actually I think its been pretty good ~ we are seeing very good reviews and people are talking about it a lot, and like you said the sound has been changing so going back to our first album which I think we were still trying to find what Erimha was all about and I think with this one we really found our path to what kind of style we are going to be playing. I think people have been really stoked about it as much as us, it’s a whole different concept. This time it’s a full concept album from beginning to end.I think a lot of people are very curious about a black death metal band being on Victory Records too so I think that’s helping a lot.

Do you have any favourite tracks on the album? If I had a favourite track on the album its hard to tell because us we know the whole lyrical part so every song has to work with another song but I’m pretty proud of this last minute ‘ten minute’ song that we wrote I mean it’s not an easy thing to do to come out and write a ten minute song and I guess we all sat together and started writing and it came through together so to have that whole feeling of the band really working hard together. I’m guessing that is the song I really like the most How do you think this album compares to your last release? I think it’s completely different compared to the first one. The whole song structure, the more darker feel of the album, to me I’m guessing the next album is going to be the same thing I find this one is a thousand times better than what we did in the past.

Speaking about the album. How did the album itself come together? How we usually work is that we lay down a bass line for lyrics and work around from there so a lot of things are built around the lyrical part of the songs if you like so once we had the full concept through from there we will start writing songs me and the other guitar player normally come in with a couple of structures that we have on our own and some songs we will work together to build that. What was weird about this album is that it came through almost by itself, for sure we put in a lot of hard work in it but we were writing songs and once we were together it seemed like they were writing themselves. What ended up happening with the end part of the album is that we added a ten minute song onto it because we thought the album was just too short and about


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Early on you mentioned that a lot of people were interested in the album due to you being one of the few black metal bands being featured on Victory Records. Was it surprising to actually end up being signed to Victory Records? Yes. What was weird was that we had another label that was starting to look into us but it happened almost overnight with Victory because we had our first video clip that was starting to stream a bit on the net and we had gave it to our manager to try to ship out to labels also and the next day he got contacted by Victory, three weeks after that we were in Chicago showcasing, everything happened practically overnight so it is a bit of a surprise especially on Victory also but we all know that the more extreme side of metal is taking over a lot of the scene right now, it keeps growing and growing and growing so what I can see is that labels that maybe didn’t want to go into that genre of metal they are starting to push because they see that there is a demand for it so we were surprised but right now we are super stoked about it.

but for us the rest of the year is going to be touring touring touring and constantly touring and we are actually starting right now to lay out the next concept for the next album so yes we are keeping extremely busy with everything. Do you have any plans to take the tour across to Europe and the UK? No for now we are still trying to lay out the American market that’s our number one priority right now but if we could take the tour over to Europe that would be awesome and what I have said in the past to other people is at the beginning of this year we was pushing the band by ourselves and now we are on Victory Records so who knows what is going to happen soon. Anything can change from one day to the other.

Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to your fans? Everybody that has supported us throughout the years I could just thank them and whoever is in to this new album you have to take the time to listen to these lyrics because the lyrics is a whole story from beginning to end and its going to give you a What do you have planned for the rest of the better feel on what the whole album is about and year? all I want to say is thanks to everybody and to Right now we are extremely busy trying to get a those who don’t know us yet well catch us out on good set up for live shows. We have a tour that’s the road and hopefully we will get to meet a lot of being booked right now for the US I can’t give out new people. any dates just yet because its still in the works

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Over the period of the past month we have been astounded with the quality and quantity of the releases that have been sent into us to review. So if your release does not feature here do not be disheartened as we have probably not got to it yet!


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Svart Crown Profane Label: Listenable Records Reviewer: Lee Walker

Released: 22 March 2013 Highlight: Ascetic Purification


Opening up the first batch of release reviewed by After Dark we decided to kick things off with ‘Profane’ by French extreme metallers Svart Crown.

foreboding atmosphere being the perfect foil to launch the rest of the album from, with songs which, simply put, are fucking devastating, with their waves of brutal guitar work, backed up by controlled drumming and the unearthly vocals of Having developed a reputation for testing the JB Lebail creating a lethal combination of limits of music Svart Crown continue to push the sounds to reign down Hell upon you. boundaries further afield, with their latest offering ‘Profane‘ pushing their breed of experimental, Overall ‘Profane’ lives up to its name and with a extreme metal to whole new heights, producing string of UK tour dates with the mighty Nile an album which is quite simply brutal from start around the corner, you can guarantee that you to finish. will be hearing a lot more from this French band in years to come. With the opening instrumental track ‘Manifestatio Symptoms’ setting the scene well, with its dark,

Escape The Fate Ungrateful Label: Eleven Seven Music Released: 13 May 2013 Reviewer: Lee Walker Highlight: Until We Die Website:

Continuing to go through the releases that have popped up prior to the After Dark launch we stumble upon ‘Ungrateful’ by US metalers Escape The Fate.

The album quickly progresses with hints of great guitar work locked away in there occasionally rising to the surface but the main focal point for the songs is the offsetting of the dual vocals, which works in places but there are a few Comprising of a varied mix of styles it is difficult occasions in the album where I do wonder if to pigeonhole this fledgling band with hints of Escape The Fate would have been better metalcore, hardcore and tech metal thrown in for sticking to either clean or distorted vocals instead added confusion. of going the dual type of vocals route. The album itself flies out of the speakers at break neck speed with a mix crunching guitar riffs and hard core vocal’s before adding clean, harmonic vocals to the choruses adding an extra dimension to the feel of the songs creating extra depth to the songs in all the right places.

Overall ‘Ungrateful’ is a solid interesting album, which contains moments of pure class, but I’m not quite sold on it just yet so the jury is still out on this one I’m afraid.

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Sneeze I’m Going To Kill Myself Label: Close To Home Records Released: 3 June 2013 Reviewer: Lee Walker Highlight: Blank Man Website:

Having developed an ear for punk thanks mainly to the Guns ‘N’ Roses ‘Spaghetti Incident’ album ironically, I was happy to listen to the debut album from Boston noisesters Sneeze.

‘I'm Going To Kill Myself’ will leave a mark with all those who listen to it and hopefully prove to be as pivotal to Sneeze as ‘Bleach’ was to Nirvana, but as with ‘Bleach’ you will either love or hate this album.

From the opening song you realise that this trio have taken a lot of influence from Mr Cobain and co, with their angst ridden lyrics, punk attitude and grunge style guitar work, which when combined remind me of early Nirvana circa the ‘Bleach’ era. The album itself quickly flies through with its strange hybrid mixture of sounds, cranking back memories to the early 90s with the fuck the world type attitude firmly stamped all over the 15 tracks that make up this debut album.

The Armenta Flesh Is Heir Label: Listenable Records Released: 25 March 2013 Reviewer: Lee Walker Highlight: The Argument Website:


Having previously had the pleasure of watching The Amenta support Deicide a few years back I jumped at the chance to listen to their latest album.

movie, with its pulsating, blasting drum beats providing the driving force behind the brutal songs, and the acidic vocals of Cain Cressall destroying everything in their path.

With a tag like ‘experimental death metal’ a band can get away with experimenting to perfect their sound, which is exactly what these guys have done, utilising a mechanical ‘feel’, that is normally associated with the likes of Fear Factory, and adding it to their already bruising sounds, creating a futuristic, death metal sound which would not look out of place in a Terminator

‘Flesh Is Heir’ marks the beginning of a new era for these Australian noise merchants as they continue to strive for death metal perfection with this release being not far from it.

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Duncan Evans Bird Of Prey Label: Prophecy Productions Reviewer: Lee Walker Website:

Released: 19 April 2013 Highlight: Bird Of Prey

Duncan Evans, aka Henry Hyde Bronsdon of A Forest Of Stars, is a singer-songwriter rooted in the tradition of English Folk and murder. With his solo recordings Duncan Evans pursues a storyteller approach where he is rather focussing on the darker side of things, sometimes in a delicate way, sometimes macabre. Having first come across Duncan thanks to his work with ‘A Forest Of Stars’ I was unsure as to how his work would translate across to this solo project. With ‘Bird Of Prey’ being touted as an appetiser for the upcoming album I was pleasantly surprised by just how well Duncan’s dark, almost Lovecraftion style lyrics suited the cut back acoustic guitar work, which seems to add extra poignancy to the meaning of the lyrics

reminding me in many ways of an early Nick Cave. ‘B’ Side ‘She And I Must Part’ continues the acoustic theme, this time displaying a slightly softer side to Duncan’s lyrics, a fact which is which is later emphasised by the cleverly crafted duet that is found towards the end of the song. Overall for single released as an appetiser of an upcoming album this limited edition release does exactly that, and paves the way nicely for the ‘Lodestone’ album which is due out later in the year through Auerbach Tonträger/Prophecy Productions

The Resistance Scars Label: earMUSIC Released: 10 May 2013 Reviewer: Lee Walker Highlight: Eye For An Eye Website:

Featuring two former members of ‘In Flames’, it comes as no surprise that The Resistance are all about unleashing the power of the guitar and creating killer riffs.

Throughout this debut album the band unleash wave upon wave of crushing guitar riffs, accompanied by blasting drums to obliterating everything in its path as they set about redefining the death metal scene with their blend of high Having the twin guitar attack of Jesper Strömblad speed, thrash style death metal, and are having and Glenn Ljungström soften you up before the comparison’s drawn with the likes of Entombed raw, energetic vocals of Marco Aro finish you off and the iconic Death. with deadly accuracy, with each vicious, uncompromising salvo being drummed home by For a debut album the result is simply the blasting drum bursts of Chris Barkensjö, devastating and it is only a matter of time before leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. The Resistance crush all that fall in its path.

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Nunslaughter/Antiseen Split 7” Label: Hells Headbangers Records Reviewer: Lee Walker

Released: 18 June 2013 Highlight: Air Of Opportunity


Split releases are far and wide interesting creatures to listen to, and if done right can be great but if done wrong can be truly dire with a lot depending upon making sure the bands complement each other. In this case I had never heard of either band before so I was somewhat apprehensive about what I had let myself in for when I cranked up the speakers and hit play, or was it pray…

Antiseen waste no time introducing you to their infectious breed of out and out old school punk, with their catchy hooks and Motorhead style lyrics finishing this split release off in fine fist pumping form. Overall this split 7” makes a great introduction to both of the bands on it and thanks to it I will definitely be keeping an eye on these guys in the future.

Opening up this split 7” is Nunslaughter, going straight for the jugular with their brand of punk infused old school thrash, reminding me of a punk version of Venom, quickly firing off two no nonsense adrenalin packed songs setting you up nicely for Antiseen.

Abomnium Coffinships Label: UKEM Records Reviewer: Lee Walker Website:

Released: 10 January 2013 Highlight: Hymn To The Tombs

Putting together a launch edition for a magazine has one massive advantage over working on an existing magazine in that it allows you to revisit a lot of albums that you wouldn’t normally get to review for various reasons.

drawn into this dark, atmospheric black metal release, with its mix of otherworldly vocals, pulsating guitar work and blasting drum bursts, creating a sound not to dissimilar from the masters of infernal dark metal themselves Watain, creating an almost concept style feeling Released in January this year ‘Coffinships’ is one in places with its dark, almost gloom ridden such release, being the second album for the overtures. one man noise machine that is known as ‘Abomnium’ and no that is not a typing mistake - Overall the album itself is shocking in terms of its all parts on the album are performed by the production as it is virtually impossible to tell that multitalented , and somewhat mysteriously all parts of this black metal opus were performed named person known as simply as ‘Sapient’. by one man. Hopefully this review will go some way to bringing Abomnium into the spot light that From the offset this album grabs you by the his talent deserves to have shone upon it. throat and demands your full attention as you are


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Circle Of Rage Rage In D-Minor Label: Copro Records Reviewer: Lee Walker

Released: 22 July 2013 Highlight: FTSE Fetish


Described as being ‘melodic hardcore’ Circle Of Rage have been unleashing a lot of rage lately landing support slots with the likes of Arnocorps, Chromium and The James Cleaver Quintet to name but a few bands.

Overall with the current state of the economy, Circle Of Rage couldn’t have a picked a better backdrop for this type of release as there will be a lot of people out there who can identify to this album, and with the quality of songs on display in ‘Rage In D-Minor’ it is safe to say that they are In ‘Rage In D-Minor’ they unleash the beast fully, firmly at the forefront of the rising political core allowing the rage to be expressed through there scene right now. mix of post punk vocals, hardcore playing and old school punk rock attitude, screaming a big ‘fuck you’ to the establishment with their brand of politically motivated songs with titles such as ‘Beyond The Barricades’, ‘Food For Thought’, ‘FTSE Fetish’ creating thought provoking lyrics while allowing the raw untamed post punk aggression to run free.

Enemo-J Ill Begotten Means Label: Digital Media Records Reviewer: Lee Walker Website:

While playing catch up on the material that we have received over the past couple of months I came across ‘Ill Begotten Means’ by Enemo-J.

Released: 21 January 2013 Highlight: Chaotic Disorder

track, of which the less said about that song the better.

Overall ‘Ill Begotten Means’ is an interesting The album properly begins with the second track album but sadly lacks that final killing blow that it ‘Ill Begotten Means’ which sets the scene for the needs to take it to the next level. rest of the album, with its contrasting part hardcore part clean vocals, crushing riffs and 90s nu metal style breakdowns reminding me of a heavier version of Linkin Park. As the album progresses the contrasting vocal styles continue to add more depth to the songs as Enemo-J continue to pummel you into submission with their breed of metal, with the only hiccup being the rap focused ‘White Noise’

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Wandersword Waiting For War Label: Blasphemour Records Reviewer: Lee Walker Website:

Released: 16 April 2013 Highlight: Peaceful Guard

Starting off with a traditional bagpipe entrance theme you would be forgiven for thinking that Wandersword was from the Scotland if you did though you wouldn’t be any further from the truth they are in fact from Russia. Comprising a full on battle metal sound that was popularized by the likes of Turisas, Ensiferum, and Amon Amarth this Russian act pull no punches with there all out Viking metal approach with a mixture of catchy sounds, thumping guitar riffs and powerful vocals that get you pumped up and head banging along to. The album itself is well put together and ticks all the right boxes, but where Wandersword do

struggle though is by singing in their native language, which seems to be the kiss of death for a lot of foreign bands trying to break though in English speaking countries, if this wasn’t the case I can honestly say that these guys would be huge and could easily become as big as the likes of Amon Amarth or Turisas and I am hoping that they will overcome this problem in time as musically they are spot on.

Gravewurm Infernal Minions Label: Hells Headbangers Records Released: 14 May 2013 Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Highlight: I Die For Hell Website:

Apparently there's a saying that the pearls don't always fall at your feet, but thanks to our reviews editor Lee, this Gem fell right onto my big toe. Gravewurm have been a force in the underground Black Metal scene in the US for over 20 years. Upon hearing this album for the first time I can say that I'm kind of shocked and I feel guilty that I've never given these guys a listen before. The constant tireless riffing, shredding and hypnotic drumming along with the sadistic throat ripping vocals from frontman 'Funeral Grave' are what make this record so infernally majestic. As early as when opener 'Nocturnal Inquisition' assaults your ear drums like a torpedo piercing a submarine you can almost feel a dark and evil yet somehow sensual cloak shroud itself over you.


With 8 songs on offer, tracks 'Beast Of The Abyss' and 'I Die For Hell' best showcase the atmospheric epicness that the Gravewurm entity can create and how well established and experienced 'Gravewurm' are as a band. The production aspect of this record could be a lot better as there are a few times when the drumming and guitars seem to go out of sync, which had me checking if my earphones were working accordingly. But I suppose this is underground Black Metal and it's supposed to sound like something from the underworld. I do like this album but unfortunately for Gravewurm this is just another straight forward Black Metal record that will most likely join the dust clogged heap that already has thousands of these type of albums.

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De Arma Lost, Alien & Forlorn

Label: Troll Music Reviewer: Lee Walker Website:

Having finally had chance to listen to this album, which happens to be the first release on the recently formed Troll Music record label (a label which describes itself as a label that will ‘publish adventurous tunes by musicians with roots, heart & spirit’) and my initial thoughts are summed up simply as ‘wow’.

Released: 22 February 2013 Highlight: The Tower

The album itself is a concept style recording, and is described by the band as being a ’soundtrack for the final days when you sit lonely in your room, the bleak light of the atomic winter crawling through the sallow window, watching the walls come down...’ and though out the album that is exactly what is conveyed with the mix of thought provoking lyrics and the dark, atmospheric music successfully capturing your imagination and carrying you into this terrifying post atomic world.

From the first carefully played guitar chords you instinctively think back to the classic gothic bands such as The Mission or Salvation, with the careful intermingling of harmonic, almost spiritual, vocals merging seamlessly with the Overall ‘Lost, Alien & Forlorn’ is a superbly intricately cut back guitar work, creating a dark crafted album and marks an exceptional start for gothic work of art that lies somewhere between both De Arma and Troll Music. the lands of gothic, shoegaze and doom territory.

Frost Giant When Myth and History Combine Into Mystery Label: Blasphemour Records Reviewer: Lee Walker Website:

Released: September 2012 Highlight: Not While I Draw Breath

Stumbling upon this e.p by accident I was pleasantly surprised so much so that I thought that it demanded a review despite the length of time that it has already been out for.

only pausing to blast out their unique cover version of Adele’s ‘Someone Lie You’ giving it a full punk makeover which has got to be heard to be believed.

Described as being ‘Inspired by Norse mythology, epic metal, punk rock, and combined with an American hardcore attitude, Frost Giant drops an icy hammer on everything trendy and weak‘ which is exactly what you have with this e.p.

Overall’ When Myth and History Merged into Mystery’ is a great introduction to Frost Giant with the only fault being that it is too short and I cant wait to hear their new material when it is released.

Five tracks of out and out battle metal with hints of old school punk thrown in, taking the energy level off the chart as the songs are fired out at break neck speed, blasting you with a barrage of killer guitar work and battle metal style vocals,

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Amon Amarth Deceiver Of The Gods Label: Metal Blade Records Reviewer: Heather Blewett

Released: 24 June 2013 Highlight: Deceiver Of The Gods


Synonymous with Viking metal and Norse mythology, Amon Amarth’s music will forever project images of drinking from a horn and sailing a longboat across the North Sea. Success didn’t come instantly for these Swedish warriors who have grafted for 21 years to acclaim the credentials they now deservedly possess. Latest offering ‘Deceiver Of The Gods’ serves to further spread their Viking themed metal-ness a theme they’ve veered little from over their lengthy career. And why would they? It works.

Blood Eagle begins with the unsettling sound of someone quite possibly being disembowelled, injecting some savage brutality that maintains the albums bloodthirsty atmosphere. Hel distinctively stands out, heavily due to the operatic stylings of Candlemass vocalist Messiah Marcolin, which cohesively works alongside Hegg’s devastating roar. Epically concluding with mammoth track Warriors Of The North, they once more demonstrate their accumulative knowledge of Scandinavian history in their lyrical content, and exhilarating fusion of fast paced fret Opening track Deceiver Of The Gods showcases board magic and ferocious vocals. Amon Amarth at peak form, layered with melodic guitar riffs, heart stopping clatterings of the drum ‘Deceiver Of The Gods’ is everything we have cymbal and a thunderous vocal delivery from come to expect from an Amon Amarth album, yet Johan Hegg, who looks exactly as he sounds, it’s significantly better than their previous beasty. Hegg’s guttural vocals are without a offerings, immersing accessible melodies without doubt Amon Amarth’s strongest weapon, their death metal sound being compromised. relentlessly making each lyrical phrase boom like Viking metal could easily be cast aside as a a call to war. Mythical god, shape-shifter, gimmick, however they establish real authenticity trickster and general pain in the arse Loki through their profound awareness of their chosen (sometimes spelt Loke) makes his presence subject. For ‘Deceiver Of The Gods’, I raise a known throughout the album as a prominent horn of mead to the mighty Amon Amarth. theme, most significantly in the aforementioned Deceiver Of The Gods, As Loke Falls and Shape Shifter.


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Dagoba Post Mortem Nihil Est Label: earMUSIC Reviewer: Lee Walker

Released: 14 June 2013 Highlight: Kiss Me Kracken


Despite being described as ‘France’s premiere metal act’ and completing European tours with the likes of Metallica, Machine Head, In Flames and Sepultura, I must confess to not really hearing about Dagoba until their latest album popped up for review. Titled ‘Post Morten Nihil Est’ the album is a strange beast, comprising of a hybrid mix of styles and sounds, much like the rather unique album cover, merging crashing drum bursts and brutal hardcore style breakdowns, with differing contrasting vocal styles dependent upon the song displaying hints of a wide range of influences being apparent ranging from nu metal type melodies through to the guttural distorted death metal type vocals and everything in

between, with no two songs sounding similar. This is where I think that the album goes wrong as for me it doesn’t seem to gel together. The cohesion that I would normally expect to find just is not there and leads to the album feeling disjointed. Don’t get me wrong there are some really well done songs on it such as the brilliant industrialised Fear Factoryesque ‘Kiss Me Kracken’ or ‘The Great Wonder’ but overall though ‘Post Morten Nihil Est’ does not really do it for me which is a shame as the band have defiantly got the potential to do a lot better.

Alkira Red Devil Label: Self Release Released: May 2013 Reviewer: Lee Walker Highlight: Hell’s March Website:

As I continue to go thought the mass of requests that we have received in the past month I come across the ‘Red Devil’ E.P from South Australian thashers Alkira. Hailing from Strathalbyn, South Australia, this power packed four piece waste no time with pleasantries with opening track ‘Red Devil’ going straight for the jugular and grabbing your attention with an audio assault of classic thrash style riffs, blasting drum bursts and Testament style vocals, getting your heart pounding and blood pumping as the songs compel you to mosh with their mix of straight up, stripped back, old school thrash.

The e.p quickly powers on with each track building upon the memento created by the previous ones, without ever slowing down or dropping a beat, creating a pure , undiluted, out and out thrash attack the likes of which haven’t been seen since the days the ‘Clash Of The Titans’ tours laid waste to the land. From start to finish there isn’t a duff track anywhere to be found on this thrashtastic e.p, with my only complaint being that it needs more songs, and I look forward to seeing what these guys get up to in the future.

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Death Tyrant Opus De Tyranis Label: Non Serviam Records Reviewer: Lee Walker

Released: 18 March 2013 Highlight: Pandemonium


Not being overly familiar with Death Tyrant the first thing I noticed was the fantastic artwork with the deathly figure halting your path and demanding your attention. As the album opens up with the rumbling of horse beats and the epic drum beats you feel that you are being propelled to another world, and as the song progresses you feel drawn deeper and deeper into it until the screams envelop you as you enter into the darkness.

themes that delve deep into black Satanic metal country. Overall for a debut album ‘Opus De Tyranis’ ticks the right boxes and will put Death Tyrant firmly at the forefront of the rising new bands of the death metal scene.

Throughout the album you are pulverised by the waves of brutal guitar work and gluteal vocals reminding me of the masters of darkness themselves Watain, as the songs take you on a voyage of death and destruction with lyrics and

Cathedral The Last Spire

Label: Rise Above Records Released: 29 April 2013 Reviewer: Lee Walker Highlight: Pallbearer Website:

The tolling of bells on opening track ‘Entrance To Hell’ marks the final album from Coventry based gloomsters Cathedral marking the end of a career spanning some 23 years.

founding member Lee Dorrian all powered along by the powerful drumming of Brian Dixon producing what is arguably Cathedral’s strongest offering in a very long time.

I have always had a bit of a soft spot for Cathedral since first coming across them many, many years ago thanks to the ground breaking video ‘Hopkins (The Witchfinder General)’ being played on Noisy Mothers so when I had the opportunity to review their last ever release I jumped at the chance.

Cathedral’s studio releases have always suffered from inconsistency, which undoubtedly was a major factor in them failing to achieve the recognition that they deserved and I find ironic that in this final release that they have produced an album finally free from those type of problems.

Containing a mix of all the elements that you ‘The Last Spire’ may mark the end of would expect from Cathedral you have the deep, Cathedral but there legacy will live on and with forbidding early Black Sabbethesque gloom this release they are going out with a bang. ridden riffs of Gary Jennings and Scott Carlson being augmented by the otherworldly vocals of


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Battlecross War Of Will Label: Metalblade Records Released: 9 July 2013 Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Highlight: My Vaccine Website:

After their stellar debut album 'Push Pull Destroy' was re-recorded with then new vocalist the charismatic and unrestrained Kyle 'Gumby' Gunther this frantic metal machine that is Detriots Battlecross have made quite the name for themselves in touring the release with some of the biggest names that any band could hope to tour with.

hammering note of album closer 'Never Ending Night' The one major thing that struck me when I first blasted this at a very high decibel count on my headphones was how much happens musically throughout the album.

The signification that these guys wanted to make a So that brings us to the difficult follow up album which masterful metal album is evident throughout and this we see all too often leaving fans of the first is exactly what they accomplished. underwhelmed and disappointed that it couldn't live up to the synonymous debut record. Knowing how to create such well structured compositions is an art and with the non stop, kick em That is certainly not the case with this follow up and if in the balls franticness of this album you could easily anything the sense of being overwhelmed I would associate with the intensity of a zombie horde think is common place with the Battlecross fanbase. pandemic. This isn't as melodic as their debut deposit but it's faster, heavier, harder and is brutally punishing to anyone who stupidly expected less. Opening up with he Michael Amott influenced guitar driven 'Force Fed Lies' this album soon gathers the momentum that it carries through to the last

The guys from Detroit, Michigan are going to be have a lot of new fans once this album breaks loose and the the revelry from their live shows will continue to be solemn and unfeigned as 'Gumby' and the boys spread their 'Force Fed Lies' across this infested planet.

Necrogrinder The Bunty Man Label: UKEM Records Reviewer: Lee Walker

Released: 28 June 2013 Highlight: Bummed By The Binmen


Hailing from Sheffield, this 4 piece have been making due to the short brutal nature of the songs. With titles a lot of noise since their inception back in 2008 with such as ‘Bummed By The Binmen’, ‘Banger their blend of tongue in cheek grindcore. Pigshead’, and ‘Handicap Handjob’ continuing the tongue in cheek theme throughout the album. Right from the offset the latest Necrogrinder release starts as it means to carry on with a 1960s style Overall ‘The Bunty Man’ continues Necrogrinders cheesy horror movie intro, before the first proper assault on the grindcore scene, with their unique track ‘Compostmortem’ kicks in with its mix of out and sense of humour guaranteed to put a wry smile on out brutal snarling grindcore vocals, and intensive the face of the most hardened of metalers, but as drumming that firmly lays down the foundation for the with most bands of this nature you will either love or rest of the album, which flies past in next to no time hate this release.

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The Deathisodes Inside The Universe Of Horror Label: UKEM Records Reviewer: Lee Walker

Released: 21 June 2013 Highlight: For Chaos Is Master


While continuing to work though the releases which have popped up in the Firebrand After Dark wasteland since news broke of its pending launch I finally got the chance to sit down and listen to ‘The Deathisodes’ second album ‘Inside The Universe of Horror’. For those not in the know ‘The Deathisodes’ is the name for Alex Loader’s studio project comprising of himself and a pleather of guest musicians all working together to unleash Alex’s creations. Joining Alex this time around you have muscios from the likes of ‘Bloodshot Dawn’, ‘Mask Of Judas’, ‘Cryostorm’, ‘Furyborn’ and a whole heap of other bands all striving together to bring this creation to life. The album quickly fly’s through with its pulsating

mix of industrialised, technical death metal, with its mix of machine gun like drumming intertwined with an almost darkwave beat and augmented with brutal death metal vocals and frantic guitar work, reminding me of a heavier version of German industrial pioneers Die Krupps in places, with the only hiccup being the Iced Earthesque ‘Whitechaple Mystery’. The song itself is not bad but it just does not fit in at all and is the main fault on an otherwise cracking album. Overall ‘Inside The Universe of Horror’ is a good solid experimental album and would make a great addition to the album collection of any fan of the industrial scene, but I am left with the niggling thought of wondering what Alex could accomplish if he had a full time band with him with this project.

Summoning Old Mornings Dawn Label: Napalm Records Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Website:

I'm a firm believer that if music doesn't transport you somewhere whilst listening then you are wasting your time with it. This is the Austrian black Metallars seventh full length album and it is indeed a perpetual experience.

Released: 7 June 2013 Highlight: Flammifer

benighted cloak of fable and fantasy this release is both punishing and dulcet at the same time.

Besides the instrumental opener the tracks on this album on average are eight minutes long and if you acquire the bonus edition the total This takes the audience on an epical journey into rolling time is 75:27. the inscrutable and stygian depths of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. This is more than just a conventional Black Metal album, it's an epic narrative that takes us mortal The brainchild of both Protector and Silenius who beholders on a journey into the impenetrable incidentally played everything on this album with dark underworld where Hobbits and Dwarfs are exception to a few spoken word parts, this mundane. release is an enchanting piece of work. Sounding like Falkenbach encrusted in a grim,


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Joel Grind The Yellowgoat Sessions Label: Hells Headbangers Records Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Website:

For you hellions that are not avid followers of the Thrash/Speed Metal scene Mr Joel Grind is one of the most respected and prolific masters of the scene.

Released: 28 May 2013 Highlight: The Eternal One

all over this record in which the only flaw is it's a little on the short side, rolling in at just 25 minutes.

Of course this whole record doesn't sound that unusual and I don't think anyone could really call With this album sounding like it was written, this original by any means, but from a guy thats put recorded and produced in a nuclear fallout bunker his creativity into over 20 albums this was recorded the 10 tracks on this release are as raw, rustic and like it was first heard inside Joels angry soul. teutonic as you could hoped for. The cover art of this album is not only pleasant on Although hailing from Portland, Oregon it is evident the eyes if you like old Black Metal album sleeves here that Joel Grind has the natural ability of which of course includes the unholy Goatshead, producing that European speed Metal sound made but It also nicely presents a nod towards Bathorys famous by the likes Bathory and Celtic Frost/ self titled debut album from 1984. HellHammer. Joel himself quoted "If you are looking for Being the founder and at one point only member of over-produced shit that passes as Metal today, this Toxic Holocaust the 'Joel Grind' signature sound is is not for you" and I couldn't agree more.

Sectioned Outlier Label: Myraid Records Released: 15 July 2013 Reviewer: Lee Walker Highlight: Hell Away From Home Website:

Finally grabbing the chance to listen to the re-release of the ‘Outlier’ E.P by Scottish techcore nutters Sectioned I can sum it up with two simple words ‘fucking brutal’. Originally formed in 2010 this Edinburgh based band have been making a lot of noise with their breed of ‘tech core’, by creating a sound which combines the finer guitar elements of techmetal with the rapid fire precision drum bursts and gluteal, destructive post hard core vocals to create a beast of a sound which refuses to be pigeonholed into any one category.

destructive as Hell tracks firing at you left, right and centre with each one more brutal than the last as Sectioned set about assaulting you audibly with their aggressive breed of metal, with the vocal style alternating between post hadcore and deathcore in places to keep you on your toes as the frantic guitar work and drum bursts pummel you into submission. Overall ‘Outlier’ is a fine introduction to this band and is certain to cast waves among the techcore and deathcore scenes as Sectioned grab them both by the throats and give them the wake up call that they deserve.

The e.p itself soon flies through with five

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Potential Threat Civilization Under Threat Label: Old School Metal Records Released: 18 July 2013 Reviewer: Graham Pritchard Highlight: Behold The End Website:

We all know that the Bay Area of San Francisco is synonymous with Metallica and Thrash Metal so any band that comes out of that area has to be under a lot of pressure.This is where Potential Threat comes in with their breed of in your face no nonsense old school thrash metal. Originally formed as a five piece in 1986, they have shared the stage with everyone from Testament to Slayer to the Cro Mags to Nuclear Assault, and just recently returned from touring with Death Angel. The new album is just brilliant and starts off with an intro of sirens and bombs dropping with the second track ‘Destroy and Dominate’ providing exactly what you would expect form a thrash band, loud and fast with great use of the twin guitars galloping rhythms and pounding drums and the vocals are on another level. Gritty

powerful and do the job. In fact the whole album is like this. 10 track of pure power and thrash. Now I would say Potential Threat have more in common with bands like Overkill and Anthrax than they do with Metallica but the track ‘Behold the End’ is a mellow but powerful song that has very Metallica like qualities about it, and shows another side to the band altogether. The vocal ability of Mike Noble is outstanding and with Damien Sisson, who also plays for Death Angel, on Bass Daniel Sheridan on Guitar and Kenny Noble on Drums you have a line-up that are always ready to perform. I do love a bit of thrash so these boys will make it in to my collection. This is one band to watch out for in future. Possibly the new Metallica? Only time will tell.

These Hearts Yours To Take Label: Victory Records Released: 9 July 2013 Reviewer: Lee Walker Highlight: Miserable Website:

Not knowing a great deal about These Hearts I was somewhat apprehensive when I scanned through the well prepared press pack that accompanied the release. As soon as ‘Yours To Take’ starts off you realise you are looking at a very polished band who seem to seamlessly merge metalcore and emo styles of music, which is a strange combination and should not work on paper, yet somehow These Hearts manage to make it work, offsetting


the crisp, brutal breakdowns associated with the metalcore scene with crossfading, melodic emotionally charged vocals creating a strange hybrid beast of a sound that sets These Hearts apart from the competition. The album itself is a highly polished affair, with superb attention being paid to the production of it and is certain to create quite a stir once it has been released.

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Erimha Reign Through Immortality Label: Victory Records Released: 9 July 2013 Reviewer: Lee Walker Highlight: Condemned To Desolation Website:

Having not really heard of Erimha my interest was peaked by the occult imagery used on the album cover, giving it the appearance of being it almost a grimoire. The opening introductory musical piece sets the scene for what has got to be one of the most powerful, concept style album that has been released so far this year with its huge sweeping majestic sounds paving the way for opening track proper ‘Ascetic’ to obliterate you with sounds reminding me of the fine Absinth soaked gentlemen known as Imperial Vengeance or possibly those crazy Italians Fleshgod Apocalypse, with its mix of haunting symphonic based music, carefully interlaced with crafty hints of atmospheric early Victorian sounds,

pummelling drum bursts and devastating guitar work, all backed up with the caustic, otherworldly vocals of Gore taking you to into the bowls of Hell and back as ‘Reign Through Immortality’ draws you into its dark depths before swallowing you up. With this release Erimha have unleashed a monster upon the world. ‘Reign Through Immortality’ can be summed up with one simple word “stunning”. These guys are definitely one to watch for the future.

Super Happy Fun Club All Funned Up Label: Throop Records Reviewer: Lee Walker

Released: 5 August 2013 Highlight: Plus One


Not being massively familiar with the strangely named Super Happy Fun Club I was somewhat apprehensive when their ‘All Funned Up’ album popped up in my review pile.

perhaps due to my age or the music I grew up listening too, but either way ‘All Funned Up’ sadly does not ignite anything for me.

The first track on the album ‘Who Drank My Beer’ sets the scene well with its up beat, disposable pop punk feel to it reminding me of Green Day, but this song appears to be deceptive in terms of the style conveyed throughout the album which becomes more apparent as it progresses though with more and more of the songs displaying similarities with the likes of Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco etc which isn’t really my scene at all. Don’t get me wrong, the songs themselves are catchy and well enough written but they just don’t appeal to me,

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Arthouse Hours All For One Label: Glive Records Reviewer: Lee Walker

Released: 22 July 2013 Highlight: Heavily Assaulted


Russia is a strange country and even now many sounds to heavily distorted full on death metal years after the end of the Cold War and the fall of growls of anguish and back again. Communism so little is actually known about that country. The album itself may only comprise of six songs but thanks to the strange and alien nature of the Arthouse Hours follows suit, originating in St sounds employed within them it feels much Petersburg, this strangely named band are longer. shrouded in secrecy with very little information being available about them or what they want to Overall Arthouse Hours have created a unique achieve. album, which due to its experimental nature refuses to be pigeonholed, and has succeeded in ‘All For One’ is a strange beast of an album, only pushing the boundaries of the progressive scene weighing in at 24 minutes long, with an eerie mix much further than they have ever been stretched of progressive experimental sounds combining to before but as with all releases of this nature industrial, doom and shoegaze and everything you will either love or hate it. inbetween with vocals which interchange at the blink of an eye between clean Joy Divisionesque

Helrunar/Árstídir Lífsins Fragments - A Mythilogical Excavation Label: Prophecy Productions/Ván Records Reviewer: Lee Walker Website:

‘Fragments - A Mythological Excavation’ is a split album put together by Helrunar und Árstí∂ir Lífsins, who each providing one massive song each with the two songs weighing in at a whopping 35 minutes! The release is available in the following formats: - 2CD digipak; limited to 1.000 copies - Gatefold LP with heavy black vinyl (180g), signed poster and a PVC protection sleeve; limited to 500 copies. Both Helrunar and Árstídir Lífsins are very atmospheric bands with elements of doom and shoe gaze heavily prevalent in their epic ballads,


Released: 5 July 2013 Highlight: Vindsvalarmal

the combining of the two bands successfully creating an immensely dark concept style release, full of foreboding, gloom ridden mythological songs with Helrunar's ‘Wein für Polyphem’ drawing from Homer's ‘Odyssey’ and Árstí∂ir lífsins‘ ‘Vindsvalarmál’ tapping into the sources of Old Norse mythology. The songs themselves are well put together but with them being epically long, with one weighing in at 15 minutes and the other at 19 minutes, this release will only appeal to fans of true old school doom.

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Schemata Theory Dry Lung Rhetoric Label: ABAF Records Reviewer: Lee Walker

Released: 3 June 2013 Highlight: Emergence


Continuing through the bulging review pile we come across Schemata Theory, strangely labelled as a progressive metal band, which confuses me as there sounds don’t fall into the category that I associate with prog to be perfectly honest, with their sound being heavier and the dual layered mix of clean and harsh vocals putting it closer towards the tech core or djent scene if anything. That album itself starts with a deceptive acoustic instrumental number acting as an introduction to the album, which properly begins with the tech core style opening of ‘Perish Or Prevail’ setting the true scene for the album, with its mix of technical breakdowns, dual layered vocals and

djent style guitar work carrying the album forward as you are subjected to a barrage of power packed songs containing a mix of clean and distorted vocals. The album itself quickly powers on with the songs being littered with examples great guitarmanship and brutal breakdowns with no let up from the audio assault from its ‘proper’ start to finish. Overall ‘Dry Lung Rhetoric’ is a great introduction for Schemata Theory as should propel them to the upper echelons of the tech metal/djent scene.

Conditions Full Of War Label: Good Fight Music Released: 10 June 2013 Reviewer: Lee Walker Highlight: Skeleton Website:

Not really being massively familiar with ‘Conditions’ I was somewhat apprehensive when I opened the press release and saw them described as a post-hardcore melodic rock band which is an interesting merging of styles to say the least, thankfully those thoughts were soon removed from my brain as soon as the feel good opening song ‘Walking Separate Ways’ started with its cut back melodies, clean vocals and upbeat feel hit paving the way for the rest of the album.

throwaway pop punk hints which have brought about comparisons to Jimmy Eat World and Blink 182. Overall ‘Full Of War’ isn’t a bad album, albeit slightly wasted on me, and will do well for Conditions and I dare say you can expect these guys to gracing the covers of the likes of Kerrang! and Big Cheese but like most bands of this style you will either love or hate them.

The album quickly shoots by with all 11 songs passing by in the blink of an eye, each continuing the upbeat modern rock feel to them as the album opens up, occasionally displaying some

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Profile for Firebrand's Rock&Metal Express

Firebrand After Dark Issue 1 - July  

Firebrand After Dark is finally here. From the creators of Firebrand Rock Radio and Firebrand Magazine. Take a walk on the dark side with us...

Firebrand After Dark Issue 1 - July  

Firebrand After Dark is finally here. From the creators of Firebrand Rock Radio and Firebrand Magazine. Take a walk on the dark side with us...

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