Saturday, July 21, 2018

Lord Of The Lost/Thornstar/Napalm Records/2018 Double Album Review


  Lord  Of  The  Lost  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a mixture  of  goth  metal  and  dark  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  double  album  "Thornstar"  which  will  be  released  in  August  by  Napalm  Records.

  Aggressive  screams  which  also  add  in  a  touch  of  black  metal  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  heavy  riffing  a  few  seconds  later  while  the  synths  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  symphonic  feeling  as  well  as  the  clean  guitars  adding  in  elements  of  goth  rock  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard.

  A  great  amount  of  melody  can  also  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a lot  of  modern  metal  elements  along  with  some  growls  also  being  used  at  times  as  well  as  some  touches  of  industrial  also  being  added  into  some  parts  of  the  songs  and  some  tracks  also  bring  stringed  instruments  onto  the  recording.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  music  also  mixes  in  elements  of  darkwave  and  dark  rock  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  as  well  as  the  slow  riffs  mixing  in  doom  metal  influences  and  clean  playing  is  added  onto  the  closing  track.

  On  this  recording  Lord  Of  The  Lost  make  a  return  back  to  their  heavier  mixture  of goth  metal  and  dark  rock,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  a  concept  album  based  upon  the  myth  of  a  doomed  high  society.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  lord  Of  The  Lost  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  goth  metal  and  dark  rock,  you  should  check  out  this  double  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Black  Halo"  "Naxxar"  "In  Darkness  in  Light"  and  "Voodoo  Doll".  8  out  of  10. 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Agregator Interview


1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the newer album?

Hi, sure – thanks for asking! We have joined the Hungarian tour of Dalriada – who are old friends of ours and it was a really nice experience to play and drink with them again for weeks. Since the economic crisis came in the last decade, we have not visited the countryside with a few exception, so we were glad to have the opportunity to meet those guys locally who are usually see us only on the open air festivals. We have spent most time for the concerts and the creation of new merchandise – like t-shirts – and currently we are in the phase of producing the vinyl version of the album, in a kick-ass premium form to make sure every fan and collector will be pleased with that who are supporting us nowadays.

2.What are some of the things you feel you have done different musically with the newer release that you where not able to do on previous albums?

Ahh, just the usual – nothing and everything. The truth is that the studio has been closed where we have produced our previous albums – I do not know if that is related to us or to the scene, but these sound engineers we are working with - after the second album we made with them - usually sell everything to buy a peasant hut somewhere in the middle Hungarian plains and leave their former life behind :) Technically speaking we had to find the new crew from scratch, which is always a challenge – to find some cool metalheads, who are professional enough to make a badass sound, will walk the extra mile for you and your music and you can spend time with them as a person. I will not bore you with all the technical details, the point is that we have been quite lucky with the new team – Leander, Miki Czifra and Matyi Botlik – who has helped us with recording and the mix. As from the music point of view – the main change is that the main songwriter was Májki (Miklós Csóra – guitarist) what given a bit more melodic taste to the songs, he came from hard rock scene years before and I am really glad he channeled his background into the new stuff. Our new guitarist, Rajmi (Rajmund Katona) arrived in the last stage of the process, but added major atmospheric melodies here and there, so we are waiting for the song he will bring in in the future as he can definitely can bring some fresh air into the band.
 And there is one more major difference, we have not done before – and most likely we will never do again – that is the Sinner Choir for the song “Az egésztől innen, mindenen túl” It’s title means something like “At this side of the whole, and beyond everything” and it is about the underground life and friends we have lost during the journey. At first we was thinking to invite a few guests for the chorus part, but it was hard to keep it on a small scale as it was hard to pick who to be left out. Then we have decided, ok, so let’s invite everyone who would like to participate – which usually leads to total chaos :) In the song’s bridge we have involved 6-7 of our vocalist friends from different bands who have been close to our former bass player, Roland who passed away due to a terrible incident years back – and the rest of the participants was recorded the song’s chorus part one-by-one. Everyone was quite happy, using this mic for recording and the headphones and everything, it was like in a studio – most of them was frightened a bit when they heard their own voice, but soon calmed down and completed the session and they was quite proud of the participation afterwards. About a hundred metalheads whispered, shouted, sung or growled the main chorus – we keep the collection of their pictures on Facebook and printed on an official poster too – and we have given the name Sinner Choir to this group as our fans usually call themselves sinners. This whole operation has given us a lot of work, with the recording, the editing and the mix, etc. – but it was worth it completely, they was really happy with this, but I am sure there will be no such initiative again, I guess it would not be that big hit on the second round.

3.This is your first full length since 2009, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?

Well, we have gone through our own hell – back and forth a few times. We have recorded a few videos, the last album – Emberség, means something like ‘being a human’ – was widely distributed throughout the country, it was quite popular. The economic crisis made a very negative impact on the country, especially on the concerts – quite a few festivals have been closed in Hungary. Instead of releasing full length albums in three years periods, we have planned to release one EP every year – this new approach led to Eredendő EP in 2012. Then we had the tragedy – we have lost our bass player, Roland Liviczki a week after the recording of our new video for Romok között – and that event driven us to stop, sit down and think through our relations to life, the band, the music and everything. It took a few months until we have pulled ourselves together – found the only appropriate man to be on the bass position in the band, Lackó – who was our former guitarist, but left to be with his family after the birth of his daughter. In this critical time he told us that he would join to help us to continue this gloomy rock and roll. In the next few years we had to make a few changes here and there in the lineup, but in 2017 we been able to start the recordings at last and completed the album. Until that time we have re-released our first albums – some 15th anniversary, remixed/remastered versions – practically speaking each year we have given something new-ish, but naturally everyone was waiting for the new songs.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer release and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?

  We are mostly focusing on the human life and feelings in our lyrics – expressing extreme situations and wandering in the shadowy depths of one’s traumas and fights. We preach that life ain’t kind, life ain’t just, love is dark and painful, but you can have your moments so enjoy what you can - while you can! We experience that if you shout such words – I mean as a part of the crowd – it helps you to get rid of all negative everyday tensions and you get better. We are really proud of our audience – after the shows they are happy, badass, drunk and decadent crowd – we cannot wish any better group of metalheads.
  As for the progress, from lyrics point of view, my main aim is to paint complex and feeling-filled situations with simple, everyday expressions. The best feedback I get is if someone tells me that yeah, he or she knows that feeling, that songs describes his/her situation completely, but would never been able to say it with such an accuracy like the lyrics does, and happy to know that someone had the same experience and now can talk about it. Also, many guys told me that there was time when they were down, and our lyrics give them strength to continue – some outsider would say that these words only encourage bad mood or even suicide, but the truth is just the opposite. If I had bad moments, I have listened to Moonspell, Paradise Lost or Sentenced and their songs always helped me to get rid of the negative feelings and driven me to stand up again and again. I think this is what we would like to give to our fans, good moments and help them through their life with our songs.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name ;Agregator'?

 Back in 1997, we needed a name for the band from scratch. We came from quite different backgrounds – death metal, black metal, dark/goth stuff and even glam metal and hard rock. The only common thing was between us that we was drinking in the same bar, we were friends and wanted to play some badass stuff. So this formation was our ‘aggregator’ – you put in lot of different influences, feelings and musical background and this is what you get. Also, it ends with ‘tor’ which sounds cruel and metal, and start with ‘A’ which takes us to the first place of most alphabetical order :) We have decided to spell it with only one ‘g’ as it looks even better. In those times there was a lot of other bands like Dark Stuff, or Black Blabla or named after horrific ancient greek illnesses and we have wanted something different. Since then we have not found any band with the same title throughout the world – although a few years back I have almost suffered a heart attack when I have seen ‘Agretator’ in a Darkane interview, but fortunately after the tenth re-reading of the word I have found the difference  :)

6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?

This was the third time in our history where we was working with Niklas Sundin from Dark Tranquillity on the front cover. All has started in 2003, I am a great fan of their music and Niklas’ artworks. I was thinking in those times that “ok we have this band, but it would be good to fulfill my dreams like working together with other talented people I respect” – on one hand because of the predictably cool results and on the other hand for the journey itself. It was started with the cover of “A semmi ágán” – I have written to Niklas, that the main concept is based on the work of a Hungarian poet’s works – and he was asking back if that is Attila József as he knows some of his poems, and yeah, he was – so I knew in that point that things will work out very well :)
Usually the way we work is that I send him a high level description of the album title, the feelings we would like to express with the songs and he sends me a few mostly completed designs and we choose if there is any fits to our expectations. It had happened with album ‘Szürkület’ too and now we had the same journey with the “Semmiből – a semmin át” album. We are just in the phase when the vinyl versions are completed, on the main cover I had not added anything other than the original cover artwork – no logo, no album title, those are moved to the back cover – as this picture looks really cool in the vinyl’s 12 inch format.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

I think the largest audience we had was back in the middle of 2000’s, on Székelyföldi Rockmaraton a few hundred km’s from our hometown for 1000+ metalheads. On the other hand, I like the clubs more as you are closer and more connected to the people during the show and you can harvest the energy better, can react to their shouts and that is somewhat better. We had a concert in June in one of Budapest’s venues – Kék Yuk – about a month ago and it was like the show of the year, everyone went crazy – goths, death/thrash metal-heads and punks – when we have left the stage, Dagatt (our drummer) who rarely says anything about actual experience, said that “okay guys, this was some kickass madness - I want to have all our next gigs something like that”.
Apart from these, I really like when we are in new venues, outside Hungary. In the songs we are using Hungarian lyrics and I talk in between in English. It is a challenge to convince the guys there, mostly by our music and our performance as they do not understand a damn word from the lyrics – well, that is growling vocals anyway, so even Hungarians do not have any clue if they does not know it already :) When you see that a local guy tries to sing the chorus with you – well, that is priceless :)
Back to your question, about our live performance – that is mostly about the presentation of the feelings. I guess if we are using our native language, we can express our feelings stronger and that is what catches the attention of the audience. If someone see that you are feeling good and you are ready to crash and burn on stage and express that accordingly, there is a very good chance that one will join you on this. The best live performance feedback we have ever received is happened in Graz, in Club Explosiv. There was this Austrian guy who was in a busy discussion with the event organizer, then turned to me and said: “Hey – I do not know what you sing about, I do not have a fucking clue. But you know what? I have quit smoking about a year ago and after your show, well… I had to smoke and drink again as it was that badass I just can’t get rid of the feeling.” I would not be able to give a better description of our live shows :)

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

Currently not sure – we had a countrywide tour during the winter/spring period of this year, now we are attending the summer open air festivals in Hungary. There a few discussions about to continue the touring with other Hungarian bands, but nothing is confirmed yet – and there are a few pending invitations from Austria (Wien and Graz) we hope that we will be able to visit those cities during the year. Because of our workplaces and family life we are not really the band who leaves for weeks of continuous touring, rather just visiting places during weekends. We’ll see.

9.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

In Hungary, nothing is that straightforward :) Our albums mostly self-financed, but we are always connected to local labels with mixed conditions. The new album was released with the help of GarageLive Records – the guys helped us a lot with the pre-order and the merchandise and always helping and supporting us with thousands of things, so we are really grateful to them, but yes, I would not say we are actually signed. We are always looking for opportunities, to play outside of our ‘comfort zone’, visit new places and meet metalheads of the world :) Locally – within the country – we are quite ok, I guess the next step would be something international, for that I think we will need to have more shows in the neighborhood first.

10.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of melodic, dark and extreme metal?

It is hard to know, during these years we have received many positive reviews from the ‘zines we have contacted, we pushed to be represented on stream media to have worldwide distribution. Sometimes we are receiving messages from the outside world, our first two cassette demo has been released in Russia in 2006 on CD under the title of Túlontúl by MagikArt Entertainment. So here and there, occasionally we have made an international round, but mostly focused on Hungary and the neighboring countries.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Unfortunately there are periodic changes within the band’s lineup in every 5-10 years, and it impacts the songwriting – so the change is always part of the picture, but I cannot say it is something we plan :) The current album has been written mostly by Májki, our guitarist – who was the new guy during our last EP, where the main songwriter was our former guitarist, Dávid. Now these roles has been changed, and our newest guitarist, Rajmi has supported Májki during the creative process, but he already brought in a few melodies which shown that he is approaching the songwriting from a different angle, so we can expect new stuff from him during the next album. I guess we will return to be a bit more melody-centric, more atmospheric form of metal in the future. The vocals will stay growling as I want to keep this powerful character of Agregator, but the rest will be kept on an agregator-ish basis, as we are constantly changing – and I would not say evolving, as our first songs are as good as they are, I would not say that the current ones are any better – apart from the technical aspects of course, which are definitely more professional, educated, polished, etc. now, but the songs are about the feelings they produce in someone, in which I think all songs are very successful.

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

As for myself, I really love the latest Moonspell album 1755 – and waiting to hear their new live release, Lisboa under the Spell in August. Just attended Tiamat’s Clouds & Wildhoney show last Saturday on Rockmaraton Festival, which was awesome, I haven’t even dreamed of it that I will ever hear those songs live. Apart from these, I like different stuff, like Monster Magnet, Dark Tranquillity and visited Manowar’s farewell tour on Munich, as I really enjoy their metal-brotherhood-centric atmosphere – well, it turns out that I do not really listening to bands which are not at least 20 years old, so I guess our new influences are coming from the others :)  I know they like Slayer, In Flames, Pantera and Death for sure, Killswitch Engage is often mentioned too. Other Hungarian bands we are listening in the car are Leander Kills, Christian Epidemic, Dalriada, Vesztegzár, Vale of Tears and Ørdøg, they are cool guys with some really badass metal of different genres.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

I guess Dagatt, our drummer has the coolest pastime activity which is dealing with the art of making pálinka – the Hungarian spirits made of fruits – on a home-made level and volume and he is quite good in it. Movies, books, concerts – the usual stuff. We like hiking – walking along the Hungarian National Blue Trail and getting to know interesting people and villages – and eat & drink a lot during the journey :) The last book I have read was the Captivity by György Spiró which is a historical story in the Roman Empire and so detailed and awesome, I have not even imagined such writing can exists. Apart from these, getting tattooed and painting Warhammer 40k miniatures as I just love its grim, dark atmosphere – and coloring those small statues can really calm the mind.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

We would like to thank you for the interview and wish all the best to you and your readers – we hope we will meet in person somewhere in the dark depths of the metal underground! Take care!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Quintessente/Songs From Celestial Spheres/2017 Full Length Review


  Quintessente  are  a  band  from  Brazil  that  plays  a  progressive  and  atmospheric  mixture  of  goth,  doom,  death  and  heavy  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2017  album  "Songs  From  Celestial  Spheres".

  Atmospheric  sounding  synths  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  and  symphonic  direction  while  the  screams  also  add  in  a  touch  of  black  metal  along  with  some  clean  vocals  also  being  used  at  times  as  well  as  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.

  A  great  amount  of  melody  can  also  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  while  spoken  word  parts  are  also  utilized  at  times  along  with  some  female  vocals  also  being  added  into  some  parts  of  the  songs  as  well  as  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to them  and  after awhile  death  metal  growls  also  start  to  make  their  presence  known.

  At  times  the  music  gets  very  progressive  while  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  briefly  when  the  music  speeds  up  along  with  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  bringing  in  elements  of  doom  metal  as  well  as  some  goth  rock  and  traditional  metal  influences  also  being  utilized  at  times  and  as  the  album  progresses  stringed  instruments  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  clean  playing  is  also  added  onto  a  couple  of  track.s

  Quintessente  plays  a  musical  style  that takes  atmospheric  doom,  death,  heavy  metal,  goth  and  progressive  rock  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  existentialism  and  the  reflection  of  the  forces  that  rule  the  human  nature.

  In  my  opinion  Quintessente  are  a  very  great  sounding  progressive  and  atmospheric  mixture  of  goth,  doom,  death  and  heavy  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Belief  Of  The  Mind  Slaves"  "My  Last  Oath"  "Eyes  Of  Forgiveness"  and  "Reflections  Of  Reason".  8  out  of  10.   

      

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Blood Of Christ Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

Hello, good day.  Thank you for taking the time to speak with me about Blood of Christ, that’s appreciated.  We have been keeping busy since the release of our new album, “Unrelenting Declivity of Anguish”; by way of performing as many gigs as possible and writing for our next album!  We have, already, a planned split 7” vinyl EP release coming up with Ottawa death metal aficionados Deformatory.  This split 7” will feature two songs from us: one new and one reboot of a Blood of Christ classic number.  We’re pretty excited about it!  It will, like our new album, be released by CDN Records; most likely in October of this year. 

2.Recently you have released a new album, what are some of the things you feel you have done differently with this recording that you where not able to do on previous releases?

The recording process for “Unrelenting Declivity of Anguish” was much more comfortable and fluid than previous releases.  Working with Thomas “Ben” Ireland at Icehouse studios is pretty chill and he’s open to almost anything we throw at him.  We feel that the final product is a pretty vicious and tight offering.  That’s not limited to the recording, even the artwork and themes are back to the ferocious inspiration of our youth.  We wouldn’t have been able to do that with certain previous flakes in our fold (see album 2 and 3 for reference).  This album is the most true and focused representation of Blood of Christ since “…a Dream to Remember” back in 1996!

3.This is the first full length in 15 years, what where the band members doing musically during this hiatus?

We all kept busy during that time period.  On a personal note, I was always working on Blood of Christ music behind the scenes like a sleeping giant.  A few of the songs I had started during that era have appeared on our new album and a few more will trickle down onto our next album!  Chris and Mark had their own projects before coming into this band and Jason was off working with artists such as Baptized in Blood and Will of the Ancients.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new album and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?

On “Unrelenting Declivity of Anguish” the lyrics are a definite return to a more vicious form.  Subjects such as personal strife, the destruction of nature by mankind, oppression by the upper 1% and also revolt against said upper 1% are what make up the journey that this album is.  With respect to our progress as song writers, I think we have matured and developed a strength in focus over time.  In our youthful days, song writing was quite wild and spastic.   However, having said that; I feel that even in our maturing we have retained the barbarism of 1995.  There is no fear in our song writing, we approach writing no differently than waking up to a mountain morning and knowing that there’s a wild adventure ahead of you. 

5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the band name 'Blood Of Christ'?

Absolutely I can!  Initially, the genesis of giving our band this name was born of angst and a youthful desire to offend our oppressors and regular day-to-day “normal” people.   There are no roots in any religion for us, however, and it is somewhat an unfortunate situation that we are often linked to a particular creed: because we are 100% secular.  These days, we simply hope that fans of the genre will enjoy our music and find their own meanings within the band name and lyrics, regardless of what culture or religion they come from.  For me, music is meant to be shared universally and that’s one of the best parts of the heavy metal genre; it is global. 

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

We have played numerous gigs over the past 24 years so it is certainly tough to pick a favourite.  Genuinely I feel that every gig counts and we always try to put our best foot forward on stage.  It isn’t an easy task to describe our own stage performance, for me.  I can only go by what I feel, or felt, on stage and it seems quite powerful and tight.  For me, the critical aspect is whether or not there’s action in the pit.  If there are people slamming in the pit during our performance, I’m thrilled.  Ultimately I would suggest that we play at a fairly tight and high caliber level and am hopeful that attendees find some enjoyment and release because of our performance.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

Absolutely we do!  There are several shows and mini-tours in the works and hopefully soon it will all come to fruition.  We definitely would like to get out on the road to new regions and venues so metal heads from all walks of life can participate in our unrelenting declivity of anguish on stage! 

8.The new album was released on 'CDN Records', how would you compare them to other labels that you have been a part of in the past?

There is no comparison, CDN Records is boss.  Top notch label with excellent people working hard for their roster.  What more can you ask for? 

9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your newer music by fans of brutal death metal?

The response has been more than favorable and we’re flattered and thankful for that.  This new album seems to have elements that please listening ears from a few sub-genres, which is nice because we have always felt that our music should be limitless.  We genuinely appreciate the fact that after all these years, people are still curious about Blood of Christ. 

10.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?

Speaking from a personal standpoint, there is nothing else.  My energy and musical focus is being infused solely into Blood of Christ and will remain as such until I am a worm’s breakfast.  After over a decade of epic hiking through the sidelines, I have finally come home.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

The sky is the limit!  Or is it?  Maybe we’ll be the first death metal band to play in space, the final frontier.  Musically our future is exciting and I feel like we have only just begun to explore our creation; epic dark metal.  For the near future, on the horizon there’s the aforementioned split 7” with Deformatory and then our 5th album in 2019.  We’ve already started writing for it, and it’s shaping up to be quite moody and dark.

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Oh wow, there are a lot of exciting albums coming out lately.  To me, it seems like there’s a surge of energy in the metal scene again.  This week, the new Immortal album is seriously kicking me in the butt!  I’m also still hooked on the new Rivers of Nihil album and truly feel that they’re something special to watch out for, same with Bolzer and their latest album; wow.  Mind blown.  Having said that, I am not sure if my recent playlist has or has not influenced my writing.  It is my feeling that we were more influenced by our own past on this one.  There was a subtle, subconscious effort to revisit Blood of Christ circa 1995 and 1996.  I would suggest that we did so rather well. 

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

Great question!  Outside of music, I am loving and enthusiastic about seeing my young son grow up and discover many exciting things.  It is always an adventure learning with him.  I also really enjoy reading, bike riding, walking, model railroading…  but, never have time for any of those hobbies.  Real life is busy!  Between my family, my band and day job; really there’s only time left for sleep. 

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Absolutely, yes!  Thank you again for your time and the thoughtful questions.  It’s a pleasure.  I’m hopeful that your readers will now check out our new album and they can do so over at cdnrecords.com, iTunes, Googleplay or on their Spotify account.  Thank you for helping keep metal alive and continue to flourish.  Cheers!


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Adfail Interview

A.P. – Alexander Popovich (vocals/guitars/composing)
Y.K. – Yury Khlopotov (ex-drums, management)
A.K. – Alexander Konshen (bass)
V.N. – Vlad Nikolaenko (guitars)
1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new ep?
A.P. : - After the recording and the release we have been occasionally performing in our city.
A.K.: - Soon there will be a video from the concert.

2.Recently you have released a new ep, how does the musical style on the new recording differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
A.P.: - The new album turned out to be more positive and symphony-like. Here we used opera vocals, and experimented more. The album has tracks from different years, which then formed into one.

3.This is your first release in 4 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?
A.P.: - In that time there was a lot of stuff happening with the band, almost all of the band members were changed, but despite that we managed to record EP I Dreamed and a cover of Paradise Lost, and also gave a few performances.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
A.P.: -  The new album is mostly different myths and legends, and less personal experiences.
A.K: - Everything about love :)

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Adfail'?
A.P.: - Adfail is an ancient Welsh word, a poetic description for ruins, wreckage. In no way is it about weird videos on youtube.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
A.P.: -
I really liked to perform in Saint Petersburg in 2014, also a few concerts here at home (we’re a very local band)). We never paid much attention to stage performance, black clothes, darkness and camouflage of the violist.
A.K.: - We just basically stand there, and the violist is doing all the show.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
A.P. : - Really would like to do a couple of concerts at our Polish neighbors, but what I really dream of is to perform at the Czech festival Brutal Assault.
A.K.: - For now we plan on supporting our friends from The Sundial in august.

8.In 2016 you had done a 'Paradise Lost' cover, what was the decision behind doing your own version of one of their songs?
Y.K.: - We are huge fans of Paradise Lost.
A.P.: - I listened to them since 1995. Our version is not that different, we didn’t know what to add.
Y.K.: - A bearded guy with an alto.

9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of goth, doom and death metal?
A.K.: - Everyone seems to like it.
A.P. : - I don’t know what people listen to in Europe, South America. Our second album was nominated as the best goth album in Nicaragua in 2014 (never would’ve thought lol).

10.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
A.P: - At the present time everybody’s concentrated on Adfail. Former members of the band are playing in blackmetal, death, doom bands Kocytos, The Sundial, Straylant.

11. When can we expect another full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
A.P: - There’s definitely going to be an LP, possibly next year. As far as everything else, we’ll see.

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
A.P. – I’m a big admirer of Paradise Lost, Therion, Obituary, currently also listening to Judas
Priest, sometimes My Dying Bride.
Y.K: - Paradise Lost, Katatonia, Anathema.
A.K. : - Therion.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?
A.P.: - Surgery, sports (power lifting).
Y.K.: - Alpinism, traveling.
A.K.: - Radio electronics, motorcycles.
V.N.: - Shashlyk, samogon ))).
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words
or thoughts?

Be yourself and listen to metal.




Monday, July 9, 2018

Black Vatican Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
We are a Gothic metal band from Kansas City, KS. We are a band that focuses on realistic views of the world. Like most metal today, we express what we've experienced and seen personally. Our music has fortunately been molded by members whom share the same views and know how to express them beautifully through their own instruments. We are greatly influenced by all subgenres of metal and rock and are open minded towards those genres and styles. Overall we consist of honorable members who strive for excellence and are very malleable with the little we have.

2.So far you have released one album, what was the musical style you were wanting to achieve with this recording?
The style was simply Gothic metal. It is what our earlier members agreed upon so we stuck to it. We hope to still achieve the recognition we strive for. We did not want to lean too much into the heavy death metal side, nor too soft like regular hard rock. We wanted to achieve the perfect balance between them to demonstrate our ideology of a gothic balance in music.

3.The band has been around since 2013 but waited until 2018 to release an album, can you tell us a little bit more about the earlier years?
From 2013 up to early 2017 it was a constant battle of finding the right band members. We found many talented individuals but none of them were committed enough to stay or simply had other important things in life they had to prioritize, which we completely understnad and don't hate them for it. But the earlier years mostly consisted of the founding members, Erick and Jose, making the music on thier own and searching for worthy individuals to join the cause. It was a long uphill battle for all those years but now that we have the committed members we created a music video, finished the album, and are now starting projects for our new album and new music video.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
The subjects we explore are the sensitive subjects such as suppression, inequality, segregation, sanity turning into insanity, the release of temptations, and expressing those without voices. We portray them in stories of lust, magic, mythology, sacrifice, and tragedy within our poetry to give them justice.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Black Vatican'?
We wanted something that would define who we are and what our ideas are manipulated by and “Black Vatican” portrayed it perfectly. It represents the historical evil nature of the things most people consider as “nice, beautiful, perfect, good or holy” and it is summarized into their true dark identity in just two words; by breaking down the fantasy and illusion of what they want you to see rather than showing you what's happening behind closed curtains. Though we do not focus on the dark deeds of just one religion, but all of them, and even political views, cultures, and social constructs. Anything that creates fairytales to distract its followers from the truth. It's all about taking the view of the other side of the coin, which people tend to ignore, and showing them the multiple angles it can hide.

6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the album cover?
The artwork consists of two masks and feathers, of course, but like all masks they hide something beneath. Since the Vatican was greatly corrupted during the Victorian era we chose these masks to represent it. The two masks symbolizes the two founders of the band. The masks are black and white in which represents the views of most religions; you're either with them or against them. They represent a perona that we can express to our audience in which we can ultimately reveal the tragedy and hypocracy of society and help deconstruct any idea and allow it to be subjective. Lastly, the feathers are black, white and red which represent the darkness and light within all of us and the blood it spills within our souls or of others if they are accidentally caught within the fight.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We've been too busy finding worthy members for the band, strategically investing our finances to the right people, and reteaching songs to our newest members so that we may be ready. Also, we've been mostly practicing and honing our skills to perfection in order to give our audience the best experience possible. But if  we were to perform a show with less than a 10 minute notice there's no doubt in our minds that we would be ready on the spot.

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Yes, we are ambitious; we will start locally and then stretch throughout the midwest. Right now we are working on our second album and have the perfect dedicated materials to do so. But once we have the copyrights registered we will immediately start playing shows at a constant basis.

9.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Yes, we would love to work with a record label, but it has to be the right one. We've recieved aknowledgement from a few so far, but we have refused their offer due to our focus on other projects that, in the end, would cost us more than we would gain if we were join them. We seek the dream to work with a great label and do this for the rest of our lives, but we want to be with a record label that is best suited for us. So, for now we wait.

10.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of goth metal?
Amazing actually. We're heard good reviews coming from all over South America, Eastern Europe, and some parts in Asia. We recieved feedback and comments from forming fans from around the world saying how much they love our music. Unfortunately we cannot play for them yet, but those fans are our greatest supporters and we wish for them stay patient with us.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We see ourselves on a grand stage, backed by the perfect record label, and maybe even a few more members since we are always open for auditions. We see ourselves creating several different albums with their very own special themes and, of course, good times being spent together with fans and as a band. Our ambition will not die.

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Definetely styles such as black metal, gothic rock, and older thrash metal. We like bands like Cradle of Filth, Immortal, Abyssos, Amon Amarth, HIM, Beseech, Metalica, Nightwish, and Wildpath as the main ones to influence our style. Currently we are listening to many other bands but just to name a few we like Arkona, Arckanum, Nefirum, Heathen Foray, Eluveitie and some retro wave music like Dance With The Dead.

13.Does Occultism play any role in your music?
Without a doubt ,yes. Those who follow the path of the occult and are shunned for it are also those whom we represent in our songs. This is due to the fact that some of our members have a long ancestral line of paganism in their veins. Their practices inspire the magic and feeling in our songs and greatly help shape our lyrics into stories; some chants can even be heard at the beginning of our first album. Also, our upcoming second album  is even more influenced by occultism so we can't wait to demonstrate our own form of black magic with the rest of the world.

14.What are some of your non musical interests?
Most importantly educate ourselves and enhance our knowledge about the world. Other than that, pretty normal stuff: we love to drink and hang out with friends. We like to cook, meet new people, read, do some paranormal investigations on the side, meditate, play video games, express our bad sense of humor, exercise, and discuss politics and philosophical theories of life.

15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
We can be found and contacted through FaceBook. Our songs are in over 150 online sources so you can search us on just about any app or site to find our music. Be ready to relive your favorite nightmares because our music shall revive the lost gothic arts of old and spread like the plague this world needs.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Aggregator/Semmibol, a semmin at/2018 CD Review


  Aggregator  are  a  band  from  Hungary  that  plays  a  melodic  mixture  of  goth  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2018  album  "Semmibol,  a  semmin  at".

  A  very  dark  and  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  growling  vocals  a  few  seconds  later  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  some  screams  also  being  used  at  times  as  well  as  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  A  great  amount  of  melody  can  also  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  while  blast  beats  are  utilized  when  the  music  speeds  up  along  with  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  bringing  in  elements  of  goth  and  doom  metal  and  some  tracks  also  add  in  a  small  amount  of  acoustic  guitars  as  well  as  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  and  as  the  album  progresses  melodic  vocals  are  added  into  the  music.

  Aggregator  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  goth  and  melodic  death  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Hungarian  and  cover  life  struggles,  death  and  love  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Aggregator  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  goth  and  melodic  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Vernasz"  "As  egesztol  innen,  mindenen  tul"  "Nem  hiszem"  and  "Zaj".  8  out  of  10.