Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Calliophis Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
Florian: We finished recording the album last December. After that we worked on the layout and promotion and we searched for a record label. Luckily we quickly found a serious partner in Solitude Productions. Actually we are focussing on preparing for our tour with Victims of Creation in April. Some new song ideas came already up, too.

2.You have a new album coming out during the end of March, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Florian: Compared to our first album „Doomsday“ the new one is a big step forward for the band and the sound. I think „Cor Serpentis“ is really heavy and intense with a dark atmosphere. Now that CALLIOPHIS has two guitar players the album offers much more melodic parts than the old stuff. On „Doomsday“ each song sounded different. Back then we didn't know where we wanted to push the band. Now we have found our way I think. The new album feels more consistent than the first one.

3.This is the first album to be released since 2008, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
Florian: Oh yeah, it took us nine years to come up with the new album. After the release of „Doomsday“ we focussed on playing live. We also wrote a couple of new songs, which we played on stage, but we never went back to the studio. We never reached the point, when we felt ready to record new stuff. Also time became a problem. When we started the band we all went to university and had much more time for the band. In 2012 we decided to take a break and quit the band. After three years we started again with a new line-up.That was the right time for a new beginning.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
Florian: We always got inspired by fables and fairy tales. So the half of our lyrics are about fables. On “Cor Serpentis” there are three fables we put to music. “Yuki Onna” is based on a Japanese and “Seven Suns” on a Mongolian fable. “Munk” is the second part of the popular German fable “Heart of Stone” by Wilhelm Hauff. Die first part was released on “Doomsday”. Besides that the songs are about tragic feelings and inner struggles. We write songs about the world how we see it, and that's quite nihilistic ;)

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Calliophis'?
Florian: Calliophis is a genus of snakes. To be honest, it has no special meaning for us. We just wanted a short and snappy name for the band.

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?
Florian: I think the most impressive live experience was at the legendary Doom Shall Rise festival in 2010. Also our shows with The Bottle Doom Lazy Band and Children of Doom as Triumvirat of Doom are great memories. Each live show has its very own atmosphere, so we enjoy every single gig. I can't describe our stage performance. The audience can do it better, I guess. I would say it fits to the music, haha.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
Florian: Right after the release of „Cor Serpentis“ we will go on a little tour with our friends from Malta, Victims of Creation. We will play a couple of shows in Germany, Czech Republic and The Netherlands from April 13 to April 19.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of doom and death metal?
Florian: The feedback was mostly very positive. Even when we came back after our three year break many people told us that they are happy that we started again. We used to play a lot with Death Metal bands in the past and I think for death metal fans we were too slow, haha. But doom fans seem to like the stuff we do.

9.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?
Florian: Matthias is vocalist for the local Brutal Death Metal band DEKREPITATION. They will release their first EP “Fragmented Perception” really soon. Thomas also sings in DYNAMATION. It's more oldschool Death Metal. They had some line-up changes in the past and will return on stage in a couple of weeks.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Florian: I don't know what the future will bring. We'll see how the music will evolve. We are always open for experiments and try a lot as long as it fits to the music.One thing is for sure: it will remain Death Doom Metal.

11.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?
Florian: We all listen to many different styles of music. Of course Metal music is dominating our cd and vinyl collections, but I would not say that there is a special influence, e.g. a certain band or album. Sure, there are some bands that made a mark on us, but we never tried to imitate a band or sound like a certain band. But it's obvious that Death Metal is probably the main influence, not the technical and hyper-fast, blastbeat overladen style. I listen to metal, rock, postrock, hiphop, electronic music many more. And of course I got inspired by this too in some way.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Florian: Music is a large part in our life. If we don't take care of our own music we go to concerts. We do some sports. I personally love to travel and try to spend time in other countries as much as possible. I'm interested in art and like to visit galleries and museums. But as I said before time is limited and beside our jobs and the band there's not that much left.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Florian: Thanks for the opportunity to spread our message. We hope to see loads of you on tour in April.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Urskog Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?

Well, it’s metal sung in swedish. The main theme is pretty much nature striking back at humanity. It’s poisoned spores spreading, seas rising and flooding land, avalanches coming down the mountains - you know - a little death to make you feel alive.

2.Recently you have released an ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

It’s a minced meat of death/thrash/black/doom/punk - pretty much everything aggressive I’ve ever listened to since I got my first cassette with Judas Priest as a five year old. The listener will probably have a hard time fitting Urskog into any particular genre. And I’m not trying to fit into any specific genre. I’m sort of exploring the metal that I enjoy. In short it’s aggressive music with strong hooks.

3.Your lyrics cover environmental issues and Nordic Mythology, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?

Well I’m concerned about the environment and my worst fears I put into Urskog. When it comes to mythology, what I’m trying to do is to adapt it on our own time. For instance I’ve written a song called Gleipner that I’m going to release later this year or at least early next year.

Now in Nordic mythology Gleipnir is the binding that holds the mighty wolf Fenris. The Gods had attempted to bind Fenris twice with huge chains of metal, but Fenris was able to break free both times. Therefore, they commissioned the dwarves to forge a chain that was impossible to break. To create a chain to achieve the impossible, the dwarves fashioned the chain out of six supposedly impossible things:

• The sound of a cat's footfall

• The beard of a woman

• The roots of a mountain

• The sinews of a bear

• The breath of a fish

• The spittle of a bird

These are all obviously things that don’t exist so I see them as symbols of abstract ideas and

I interpret Fenris as mankind’s dark side, the beast within us, which we have bound with Gleipner - a rope made out of the ideas of peace, solidarity and so on. As we become more and more individualistic and greedy, as we give up on the ideals which we’ve bound Fenris with, Gleipner is weakened until eventually Fenris is able to break loose, causing Ragnarok, the end of this world.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Urskog'?

Urskog means primeval forest in english. Urskog is also a combination of the words Ur (Of) - and Skog (Forest) and I am literary of the forest since I grew up in a small town, in northernmost Sweden, surrounded by miles and miles of fir forests, so It also refers to that heritage.

5.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with a full band or do you prefer to remain solo?

I don’t play all the instruments on the record. I sing. I do however record all the parts before entering the studio and then let better musicians replace those parts with better performances.
I think it would be interesting working with a full band and write songs together as a band, but the few people I know that are good enough musicians are occupied with their own projects, so just getting them into a studio for a day or two is hard.
To tell you the truth I don’t know how I could even find the time to be in a band between my day work and being a father of two, but I won’t bore you with details about that.
There’s is also the fact that I really want Urskog to be my own project where I make all the decisions and explore the themes and music that I’m into. I really don’t want to have to compromise. That’s something I have to do all the time in all other aspects of my life, so in that regard Urskog is sort of a sanctuary. So given that I would be a total dictator - I don’t know how rewarding it would be for others to join Urskog?

6.The ep was released through Ididit Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

I can tell you very little since there isn't much to tell. It’s a label that I started myself (I did it) just to release my own music. Further down the road it would be interesting to sign some other bands, but as of know I’m just using it to release Urskog.

7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of extreme metal and punk?


I’ve gotten very good feedback and support actually from everyone who’s been able to find my music. I mean, so far I’ve only sold like 40 cassettes and 50 vinyls, but given that absolutely no one knew about me a couple of months ago and 90% of the people who bought the record are total strangers to me, I’d say that’s pretty good. Many have reached out to me in mails and messages to encourage me and that’s awesome. And given that I sing in swedish, I did not expect americans to be into it - so that came as a surprise.

8.Are you or have you ever been involved with any other bands or musical projects?

Nothing serious. I played in a band or two while in school. In total, I think we did four gigs.

9.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?

I got four new songs that I’m going to record this summer, so the plan is to release those, together with the two that’s already out there, late this year or early 2018. As for the future, I don’t know really. I’m going about this one hurdle at a time.

10.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?

Mastodon, Entombed, Kvelertak, Metallica, Vanhelgd, Satyricon, Behemoth, Immortal, Vektor, Rancid, Roky Erickson, Bad Religion, Iron Maiden to name a few. Like I said before Urskog is a minced meat of everything I enjoy that I consider metal or aggressive music. I like to flood myself with inspiration and then let all that inspiration take me on a ride. I don't censor myself. If I'm writing a Thrash song and I get an idea for a part that's Black Metal or punk I go: yeah, let's see if I can make that work. So in that sense what I'm really doing is laying a puzzle of all kinds of inspiration and own ideas.

As for what I've been listening to lately, I don't really remember everything but I’ve listened a lot to Vektor. Their talent is out of this world. They’re so good I can hardly stand it. I also picked up a nice cassette - Sacrifice with Gravebreaker. If you’re into old school NWOBHM, you should check them out.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

Binge watching TV-series. Playing video games (but I pretty much stopped to find time for music). Drinking and quibbling with friends. I'm reading a book about Ossuaries called Empire of Death, fascinating stuff.

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

Maybe a funny story? When I was sevenmy family and I visited the closest city some 20 miles (120 English I guess) from Dorotea where I lived back then. I followed my older brother to the record store and he bought Holy Diver. My mother had totally swallowed the bullshit about suicides, satanic worship etc etc connected to heavy metal so she tried to force my brother to go back and buy something else. My brother refused and tried to argue that the album was about a diver. Moreover a holy one! But my mother wouldn't budge pointing on the devil. My brother wouldn’t either so as we waited in the car, my mother changed it for a Duran Duran album. My brother refused to accept it though and my mother still has the Duran Duran album. And of course me and brother bought our own copies of Holy Diver behind her back.
I think heavy metal has a lot of outrageous parents to thank for getting so big.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Urskog/Sprider Sporer/Ididit Records/2017 EP Review


  Urskog  are  a  solo  project  from  Sweden  that  plays  a  mixture  of  death  metal,  thrash,  punk  and  sludge  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2017  ep  "Sprider  Sporer"  which  was  released  by  Ididit  Records.

  A  very  hard,  heavy  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  ep  and  also  mixes  in  a  great  amount  of  old  school  influences  and  after  awhile  crossover  style  vocals  and  thrash  influences  are  added  onto  the  recoridng  along  with  some  death  metal  growls  and  the  music  also  mixes  in  a  great  amount  of  punk  and  d  beat  elements.

  A  great  amount  of  sludge  elements  can  be  heard  in  the  slower  riffing  while  a  decent  amount  of  high  pitched  screams  can  be  heard  and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  remain  true  to  an  old  school  style  of  extreme  metal  and  while t he  music  is  very  retro  it  also  sounds  very  modern  all  at  the  same  time.

  Urkskog  plays  a  musical style   that  takes  sludge,  punk,  death  and  thrash  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  his  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics a re  written  in  Swedish  and  cover  envoromental  issues  and  Nordic  Mythology.

  In  my  opinion  Urkskog  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  death  metal,  thrash,  punk  and  sludge  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Ur  Skogen".  8  out  of  10.  

 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Oceanwake/Earthen/ViciSolum Records/2017 CD Review


  Oceanwake  are  a  band  from  Finland  that  plays  a  progressive  mixture  of  doom,  death  and  post  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Earthen"  which  was  released  by  ViciSolum  Records.

  Avant  garde  soundscapes  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  heavy  yet  melodic  doom  metal  riffing  a  few  seconds  later  while  clean  guitar  is  also  used  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  after  awile  grim  screams  are  added  onto  the  recording.

  Death  metal  growls  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  the  recording  while  the  music  also  adds  in  a  touch  of  black  metal  and  the  synths  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  atmospheric  sounding  synths  along  with  clean  singing  and  elements  of  post  rock  being  added  onto  the  recording  and  both  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic in  length.

  Oceanwake  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  atmospheric  doom,  death,  progressive  and  post  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  something  very  original,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Oceanwake  are  a  very  great  sounding  progressive  mixture  of  doom, death  and  post  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "A  Storm  Sermon".  8  out  of  10.  

Monday, March 13, 2017

Lunatic Hooker Interview


1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

We are a 5 piece extreme metal band from Southern England. The band actually started as just a fun little side project idea in early 2015 as myself and a couple of the other guys had been recently been getting back into the old death metal and grindcore stuff we used to listen to years ago and thought it might be fun to just write a couple of tracks or an ep of real heavy stuff. Once we started writing we realized right away that we actually had something pretty cool and unique here and decided to get a couple of our other friends on board and Lunatic Hooker then became a proper band. We had all been having some issues in other bands we were playing in and so Lunatic Hooker really became our way of reconnecting with the fun of being in a band with a bunch of friends and writing some heavy as hell music whilst having a few beers. It re-lit the passion for playing music in all of us.

2.You have an album coming out in April, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

Our sound is kind of a mixture of modern grindcore, old school death metal and sludge/doom metal. Like Napalm Death mixed with early Entombed mixed with Iron Monkey, or something. None of which was pre-planned, it is simply what came out of us when we had a few drinks and cranked up the Boss HM-2 pedals!

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

Lyrically the album covers a few different topics but overall is mainly looking at the ridiculous and terrible things that some members of the human race do. So there is religion, environmental issues, murder, torture etc etc but the album title 'Embracing The Filth' (and the title track) is actually saying that yeah things can be pretty fucked up but we are all gonna end up in the ground eventually so lets enjoy the ride, have a beer and if the end of the world is coming then lets greet it with a smile!  

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Lunatic Hooker'?

The band name came from our vocalist George and I believe it is simply the result of late night 'herbal' discussions between him and some friends regarding funny stories and names for a band etc. There is no deep meaning behind the name, it is simply the name that he suggested and we all quite liked it and so went with it.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Well we have only really played a handful of shows so far but have been fortunate enough to play with bands such as Magrudergrind, Ghoul, Hang The Bastard and Conjuror, so they have been cool shows. Our recent show supporting Ghoul at The Camden Underworld was a particularly enjoyable show. Our live performance i would describe as heavy, energetic, passionate and full on. We certainly are not the sort of band that just stands still on stage! ;-)

6.Do you have any touring or show plans once the album is released?

Nothing booked as yet but yeah we are making inquiries and trying to get some shows lined up for once the album is released.

7.The album is coming out on 'Black Bow Records', are you happy with the support that they have given you so far?

Of all the labels we contacted, they were the ones who were most enthusiastic about the album and were able to offer us the kind of deal we were hoping for, that's why we decided to go with them and so far, so good. We always felt that we would rather work with a smaller label who really gets us and is enthusiastic about the band, rather than maybe work with a bigger label that doesn't give a rats arse about us.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death metal, grindcore, and sludge?

Well it's very early days yet but so far the feedback has been great! We have had good feedback and comments from people into death metal, grindcore, black metal, sludge, doom etc etc and the album reviews so far have been very positive. Which is nice.

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

Who knows? As i mentioned earlier, our style/sound wasn't a planned thing, it is literally just what came out of us. So who knows what we will come up with in the future? I think we have come across a pretty cool niche sound for ourselves though, so I wouldn't expect us to stray massively away from what we have done on this album.

10.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?

Bands that influenced us as regards the sound of Lunatic Hooker would be bands like Napalm Death, Rotten Sound, Nasum, Entombed, Carcass, Dissection, EyeHateGod, Iron Monkey etc etc. What we listen to at the moment? well we all listen to all sorts of stuff. Everything from Depeche Mode to Anaal Nathrakh  

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

Personally, I am into whiskys (especially Islay), I support Fulham FC, I enjoy watching the UFC, Films, Beer, Food, spending time with the kids etc etc. Normal stuff really. Despite us making an unholy racket as a band, we are actually nice, fairly normal people :-)

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

Thanks for your time. Everyone can have a listen to one of the tracks off our upcoming debut album here - https://youtu.be/IGqSTMQg_dY

Keep an eye on our facebook page for live dates, merch, videos, album release details etc.


Cheers


Ross (Guitarist)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Lunatic Hooker/Embracing The Filth/Black Bow Records/2017 CD Review


  Lunatic  Hooker  are  a  band  from  the  United  Kingdom  that  plays  a  mixture  of  death  metal,  grindcore,  and  sludge  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Embracing  The  Filth"  which  will  be  released  in  April  by  Black  Bow  Records.

  Distorted  drones  along  with  some  powerful  sounding bass  guitars  start  off  the  album  before going  into  a  heavier  direction  and  also  introducing  death  metal  growls  onto  the  recording  and  when  the music  speeds  up  elements  of  grindcore  along  with  brutal  blast  beats  and  high  pitched  screams  can  be  heard.

  A  great  amount  of  90's  influences  can  be  heard  in  the  bands  musical  style  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  old  school  death  metal  style  and  melodies  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  slower  sections  of  the  tracks  bringing  in  elements  of  sludge and  horror  movie  samples can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  all  of  the  songs  stick  to  a  heavy  direction.

  Lunatic  Hooker  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  death  metal,  grindcore and  sludge  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  horror,  gore, and  violence  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Lunatic  Hooker  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  death  metal,  grindcore,  and  sludge  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "My  God  Is  Bigger  Than  Yours"  "Unearthed  Dead  Children"  "Cult  Chaos"  and  "Sarlac'.  8  out  of  10.   

Calliophis/Cor Serpentis/Solitude Productions/2017 Full Length Review


  Calliophis  are  a  band  from Germany  that  plays  a  mixture  of  doom  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review of  their  2017  album  "Cor  Serpentis"  which  will  be  released  on  March  27th  by  Solitude  Productions.

  Atmospheric  synths  start  off  the  album  and  after  awhile  acoustic  guitars  are  added  onto  the  recording  as  well  as  some drum  beats  a  few  seconds  later which  also  leads  up  to  a  heavier  musical  direction  that  also  introduces  death  metal  growls  along  with  some  melodic  guitar  leads and  solos  onto  the  recording.

  A  lot  of  doom  metal  elements  can  be  heard  in  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  and  a  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  music  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  while  also  having  a  more  up  to  date  production  while  acoustic  guitars  also  return  on  some  of  the  later  tracks  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  experimental  and  avant  garde  elements  and  all  of  the  songs  stick  to  a  very  slow  musical  direction.

  Calliophis  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  doom  metal  and  mixes  it  in  with  the  heaviness  of  death  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  th e lyrics  cover  human  tragedies, fairy  tales,  sadness,  and  death  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Calliophis  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  doom  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Cleansing"  and  "Seven  Suns".  8  out  of  10.