Saturday, June 30, 2012

Process Of Guilt Interview


1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

We just finished a number of concerts in Portugal in order to promote and present our latest album,“Faemin”. The first show was in one of the main national festivals, SWR Metalfest and the last was in Lisbon, just a few days ago. Right now we´re focused on the continued promotion and disclosure of the record, to the public and to the press, while we're in the process of booking a European tour for late October.

2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how it differs from previous recordings.

            This time the composition process was different. We started it from scratch, just with the conviction of creating a more intense and oppressive album than the previous ones. It was a more laborious process, but, in the end, it was definitely a more rewarding one. All things were seen in detail, all the composition was thought and performed with more dedication than before. We wanted the final sound of the record to stay closer to what we play live, organic but cohesive at the same time, more “in your face”. We can say that “Faemin” is a more direct and concise album, the songs are rawer and less melodic than the approach in “Erosion”. This time one of our main purposes was to build up rhythmically compelling songs, exploring different dynamics and textures. It's not of our interest doing the same songs or album over and over again, therefore we see “Faemin” as a step forward, a natural evolution in our work, the album that we wanted to do for so long and much more in line with what Process of Guilt is nowadays.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new release?
           
            All our work has our own personal experience as its mainly source of inspiration. We draw our inspiration from everything that surround us, mainly all the brutality associated to that reality and our thoughts about the negativity of this subjects. Therefore, as a result, we try to explore and develop environments and atmospheres related with despair, depression and desolation. I guess the day-to-day life has much to offer in these aspects, and for us is an inexhaustible source of inspiration.
The main subject behind “Faemin” is the concept of starvation, scarcity, in the sense of maximum state of decay of the human being. For us, it represents the ultimate level in which the human being can’t ensure his own subsistence, the failure of mankind as an all, our own personal failure. We use our music to express and deal with our own feelings, anxieties, anger and concerns, what we conceive as our personal vision of what surrounds us, like a kind of “personal catharsis”.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?

             We consider “guilt” and his process of evaluation as a feeling implicit in much of the things that move us in the everyday life. When we started, the idea was precisely performing music that could act for us as a purge of the day-to-day life. An act of externalization of our anxieties and frustrations before what surrounded us, trying to “expel” those feelings through music. So the name “Process of Guilt” proven to be a good designation for what we wanted it to be our musical expression.


5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
           
In Portugal I will highlight the concerts supporting Katatonia, A Storm of Light and Minsk and also our participation in some of the the main Portuguese metal festivals, like the last editions of the main underground portugueses fests: SWR2012, Amplifest and Bracara Extreme Fest. In another level the Dutch Doom Days VIII in Holland and Madrid Is The Dark Fest in Spain were also very good shows and very special ones, since we had the chance to present our work to another audience, outside our country. The feedback was very good, contacts were made and we´re always looking for these kind of opportunities. We understand our work as a channel through which we express our most deep and personal feelings, so playing live is, in fact, an opportunity we have to share with the public what we feel when we´re playing our music. It´s an extension of what we feel in the moment and we seek to transmit that in a very sincere and raw way. On stage you can expect a very intense, emotive and honest show. We love playing live, always searching for new places with the adequate conditions to exhibit our work, since our goal is to provide the best show possible, with quality and intensity, for us and the public.

6. Do you have any touring plans for the future?

            Yes, we´re right now in the process of booking some shows in Europe for later this year. We are still analyzing the routing plan, doing some contacts and I believe we are half way there. But of course, for us it would be a big step forward, an opportunity that we aspire for a long time.

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

            Before the official release we had a good number of pre-orders sold, our biggest number for a pre-order so far. The album is a co-edition between Bleak Recordings and Division Records and it was exclusively released in Portugal by Bleak, and worldwide by Division in early June. The feedback has been a very positive one so far, both fans and press seem to like the direction of the album. We had a very positive feedback regarding the release shows, with a very enthusiastic reception by the public, what for us is an important sign of appreciation of what we're trying to achieve in our live performance. “Faemin” was the album of the month in the main metal magazine here in Portugal, “Loud!” and is gathering great reviews among the international press, like in “Pitchfork” or “Rock-A-Rolla Magazine”. Things so far have gone well, but we know that for this phase this is only the beginning, our ambition is to grow much more but always with our feet firmly on the ground.

8. Are there any other projects besides this band or is this full time line up?
           
In the past we all had other projects and we played with other bands, but since some time ago our focus and dedication is only with this band. We started in 2002, the formation is the same since then, “Faemin” is our 3rd full length album but we´re still an underground band with all its ups and downs. We wish we could have more time to dedicate to our music, but with our day-to-day jobs and bills to pay by the end of the month, sometimes things get a little bit delayed. But our musical expression is 100% channeled to Process of Guilt where we concentrate our full energy and therefore we do not feel any need to do other things in music, since we are very happy and motivated with all the work we're doing right now.


9. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?

            As I mentioned before, we are not interested in doing the same songs over and over again. In between albums, many things can happen. We will change and evolve both as individuals and as musicians,  and as a result, since we use our music to express and deal with our particular points of view, it's highly probable that our music will also evolve. We don´t feel stuck to a rigid and immutable music style, so we are not afraid to explore other kind of textures and dynamics, like we did in "Faemin. For now we don´t have a concrete idea of how the successor of “Faemin” will be, but of one thing we are sure, you can always expect intense and dark music through strong and honest compositions.

10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

In the beginning when we recorded our two demos we can say that some of our main influences were bands like Katatonia, Nefilim with “Zoon” and Doom/Death in general. But even back then we were all into other kind of bands and music, not only restricted to metal; our background was, and is, diverse and vast. Over the years our tastes, points of view and ways of dealing with all what surrounds us has changed. We can say that Doom Metal is still the base of our sound but our music and expression goes far beyond that. I understand that putting a label in music is a facilitator mode of classify a band to the market and to public in general, but it's also a reductive way of putting things, often misleading. For us more important than belonging to a certain style is to do music with which we identify ourselves and take pleasure with it. Through our music we´re more concerned in creating an intense and emotive experience, with a raw and tense atmosphere, always seeking for the “purity of the riff”, for us the essence of Doom. In some recent “Faemin” reviews, acts like Neurosis and Godflesh are mentioned as influences, what for us is a big compliment, since we really like and respect both bands. Of course, both as musicians and listeners we all have several points in common, bands we all like and consider as references, as the two names mentioned before, but overall I consider us as having an eclectic taste. Personally and nowadays in my mp3 I´m listening the new albums of Tragedy and Unsane, but also bands like Kyuss, Amenra, Trap Them and Acid Bath; and also some good and old Morbid Angel works, like “Covenant” and “Domination”.

11. Outside of music what are some of your interests?

            I can speak mainly of my tastes. Besides music, I´m interested in cinema, almost all kind of movies but particularly the dark ones; like in music I prefer those with tough and heavy atmospheres that explore the crudity of reality, the complexity of human relations, with their hopes, fears, ambitions and weaknesses. I love to read books, travel and meet new places, hang out with my friends, things like that. I have a degree in Sociology, so it´s an area in which I also have interest.

12. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?

            Thank you and Doom To Darkness for the interest in Process of Guilt and for this interview. And just say that “Faemin” is available in full streaming at our internet page (processofguilt.com) and that all news and updates concerning Process of Guilt can be followed through our Facebook page. If anyone feels in tune with some of what I wrote before, please visit us over the internet and support us!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Samothrace/Reverence To Stone/20 Buck Spin/2012 CD Review


  Samothrace  are  a  band  from  Seattle,  Washington  that  plays  a  mixture  of  doom/death  metal  with  sludge  and  crustcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2012  album  "Reverence  To  Stone"  which  was  released  by  20  Buck  Spin.

  Drums  range  from  slow  to  mid  paced  drumming  with  not  much  in  the  way  of  fast  playing  or  blast  beats  with  some  percussion  playing  being  utilized  at  times,  while  the  bass  playing  has  a  very  strong  and  powerful  tone  with  heavy  riffing  that  dominates  throughout  the  recording,  as  for  the  sound  effects  when  they  are  utilized  they  bring  in  elements  of  ambient,  drone  and  noise  music.

  Rhythm  guitars  range  from  slow  to  mid  paced  doom  metal  riffs  that  utilize  the  heaviness  of  death  metal  and  mix  in  influences  from  sludge  and  crustcore  to create  a  sound  of  their  own  as  well  as  throwing  in  dark  sounding  melodies  in  the  riffing  in  addition  there  is  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing,  while  the  lead  guitars  are  very  melodic  sounding  guitar  solos  and  leads.

  Vocals  range  from  deep  doom/death  metal  growls  to  high  pitched  sludge  screams,  while  the  lyrics cover  dark  and  depressing  themes,  as for  the  production  it  has  a  very  strong,  powerful,  heavy  and  professional  sound  where  you  can  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  recording,  in  addition  the  2  songs  that  are  present  on  this  recording  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  In  my  opinion  Samathrace  are  a  very  great  sounding  hybrid  of  doom  and  sludge  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  style  of  music,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "When  We  Emerged".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.

    

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

As Autumn Calls Interview


1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
Andrew:  We are in the early stages of recording our upcoming album ‘Cold, Black & Everlasting’.  It’s a bit of a different process for us this time around as we now have four band members all contributing to the recording process.  We are going to try a few different things in the studio and see how they work out for us.  It has been a long time coming for this one for James and myself.  James actually started writing some of this material for this album while we were mixing the ‘Emotionless’ EP in 2009, so we’re very excited to finally start recording it with an end date in sight.

2. How would you describe the musical sound of the newer material and how it differs from the older recordings?
James: The newer material is a decent mixture of our previous releases. Like the Emotionless EP the music is colder and darker with more of a black metal quality to it than An Autumn Departure. We’ve added more acoustic arrangements in the new material and there is more emphasis on creating depressive atmospheres through the keyboards and other elements. 

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Andrew:  The lyrical topics all tend to be depressing in nature and revolve around loss and despair in some way, but there isn’t a per-determined focus or a theme to the lyrical topics and subjects beyond that really.  James does most of the writing for the lyrics and that’s just the writing style he’s always had.  On the new album, as well as the ‘Emotionless’ EP in fact, the songs actually have a storyline to them and we have found that works well for us – not just in writing lyrics, but in the mood and melody of the music  itself.  

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the band’s name?
James:  The name pretty well fell into our laps. We wanted something that would reflect the style and theme of our music.  At the time we created the band Andrew and I were listening a lot the band Estatic Fear. The third track on their first release Somnium Obmutum is titled “As Autumn Calls” and we thought that name sounded good and so it stuck in our heads.   

5. Has the band been able to play out live or is this a studio project?
Andrew:  So far we haven’t played a live show.  The band started out as just James and myself and was only intended to be a studio project.  We never even entertained the idea of adding other members and playing live shows back when we first started.  Now that we have added Darren and Brendan to the lineup, playing some shows is definitely in the future.  It’s hard to say when this will happen, how many shows we might play, or how far from home we’ll venture, but we’ll turn our focus to live shows once we’ve finished recording the album.  Our label has suggested on a few occasions that we make the trip to Germany to play some shows, but I don’t think that is in the cards just yet.

6. When can we expect newer material?
James: That’s a good question. Our intention is to record and release the new album “Cold, Black & Everlasting” sometime in early 2013. At this point I guess it really depends on the release schedule of our label. 

7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of doom/death metal?
Andrew:  We’ve been getting some really good feedback now from a lot of people and websites overseas.  We’re probably better known in areas of Europe and South America than we are in our home town!  We are hoping that will change when we finally play some live shows, but we really appreciate all of the great reviews and kind words we have received from people all over the world.  And we’re hoping our next album will reach even more people because we feel this will be our best release to date.

8. Are there any other projects besides this band or is this a full time line up?
James:  Our drummer Darren is involved (not as a drummer) with two amazing bands, Finnr’s Cane and Wolven Ancestry. He’s involved with a few more but these are the big ones. Andrew and I have a side project with a couple really talented musicians called Forodren which is a kind of depressive/folk black metal mix.  We will be releasing our debut full length sometime in 2013.

9. What direction do you see the music heading into on future releases?
Andrew:  We haven’t really defined our musical path after ‘Cold, Black & Everlasting’.  All we have discussed is a completely different way of writing the music that will better draw from all of our different musical influences and backgrounds.  So it’s probably safe to say at this point we have no idea where any future album will take us.  We don’t want to be a band who limits ourselves to one sound or formula for albums.  Whatever we come up with, it will still be in our style and sound, but will probably even be a surprise to us!

10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
James:  I think for both Andrew and I bands like Agalloch, Estatic Fear, Katatonia/October Tide, Opeth, Saturnus, Morgion, Swallow the Sun, My Dying Bride, Draconian, Shape of Despair, Anathema , Forest of Shadows and Empyrium have been a major influences on our music. I could go on and on since so many different bands of various styles have inspired or influenced us in various ways.  
For me personally I’m listening to a lot different stuff but if I must name a few I’d say Agalloch, Empyrium, Saturnus and Loss  are always within reach as well as a lot of really good underground stuff that ranges from doom, black metal to dark ambient/neo-classical.

11. Does Paganism or Occultism play any role in your music?
Andrew:  No, not at all.  The music for us is just about the music.  There is no role played by any type of belief or ideals within the band when it comes to the writing lyrics or music.

12. Outside of music, what are some of your interests?
James: Not a whole lot. My family first and foremost.  I’m a huge F1 race fan, I enjoy watching the Discovery and History Channels and I enjoy drinking beer.
Andrew:  I’m also a big fan of beer!  Family is definitely first for myself.  I’m also into a variety of sports, as well as hunting and fishing.

13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Andrew:  We just want to thank everyone for their support so far and we can’t wait to unleash the new album and get some feedback on ‘Cold, Black & Everlasting’.  We hope you will enjoy it as much as we do!
 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Process Of Guilt/Faemin/Division Records/2012 CD Review


  Process  Of  Guilt  are  a  band  from  Portugal  that  plays  a  mixture  of  sludge,  doom,  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2012  album  "Faemin"  which  was  released  by  Division  Records.

  Drums  range  from  slow  to  mid  paced  drumming  with  not  much  in  the  way  of  fast  playing  or blast  beats,  while  the  bass  playing  has  a  very  strong  and  powerful  tone  with  sludge/doom  metal  riffing  that  dominates  throughout  the  recording.

  Rhythm  guitars  range  from  slow  to  mid  paced  riffs  that  combine  sludge,  doom  and  death  metal  together  with  a  great  amount  of  heavy  distortion  behind  the  riffing  in  addition  the  songs  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length,  while  the  lead  guitars  are  very  distorted  and  noisy  sounding  guitar  solos  and  leads  along  with  some  psychedelic  elements  being  thrown  in  at  times,  as  for  the  acoustic  guitars  when  they  are  utilized  they  use  full  chords  to  enhance  the  darkness  that  is  coming  out  of  the  music.

  Vocals  are  a  mixture  of  deep  death  metal  growls  and  high  pitched  sludge  screams  with  some  influences  from  hardcore  as well  as  a  brief  use  of  clean  singing,  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  depressive  themes,  as  for  the  production  it h as  a  very  strong,  powerful,  heavy  and  professional  sound  where  you  can  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  this recording.

  In  my  opinion  process  Of  Guilt  are  a  very  great  sounding  hybrid  of  sludge,  doom,  death  metal  and  hardcore  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  style  of  music,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Empire"  and  "Harvest".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sons Of Tonatiuh/Parade Of Sorrow/Hydro-Phonic 2012 CD Review


  Sons  Of  Tonatiuh  are  a  band  from Atlanta,  Georgia  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  that  plays  a  mixture  of  stoner,  sludge,  doom  and  crust  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2012  album  "Parade  Of  Sorrow"  which  was  released  by  Hydro-Phonic.

  Drums  range  from  slow,  mid  paced  to  fast  drumming  with  no  blast  beats  being  presented  on  the  recording,  while  the  bass  playing  has  a  very  strong  and  powerful  tone  with  stoner/sludge  metal  riffing  that  dominates  throughout  the  recording.

  Rhythm  guitars  range  from  slow,  mid  paced  to  fast  riffing  that  combines  elements  of  sludge,  doom,  stoner,  crust  and  punk  together  with  a  good  amount  of  melody  being  thrown  into  the  riffing,  while  the  lead  guitars  are  70's  style  stoner  metal  guitar  solos  and  leads.

  Vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  sludge/grindcore  screams  with  some  clean  singing  being  thrown  into  the  music  at  times,  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  depressing  themes,  as  for  the  production  it  has  a  very  strong,  powerful  and  heavy  sound  where  you  can  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  recording.  

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  album  from  Sons  Of  Tonatiuh  and  if  you  where  a  fan  of  their  previous  efforts,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "White  Wall"  "Colors  Run  Red"  "Seasick"  and  "Fallout".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Body/Self Titled/At A Loss Recordings/2012 CD Re-Issue Review


  The  Body  are  a  band  from  Rhode  Island  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  with  a  musical  style  that  I  would  describe  as  being  a  mixture  of  drone,  doom,  and  sludge  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2004  album  which  was  re-issued  by  At  A  Loss  Recordings  in  2012.

  Drums  are  all   slow  playing  with  no  fast  drumming  or  blast  beats  being  present  on  this  recording,  while  the  synths  and  sound  effects  bring  in  elements  of  drone,  dark  ambient  and  industrial  noise  to  the  music,  as  for  the  bass  playing  it  has  a  very  strong  and  powerful  sound  with  heavy  sludge  riffing  that  dominate  throughout  the  recording.

  Rhythm  guitars  are  all  slow  riffs  that  mix  doom,  drone  and  sludge  metal  together  with  most  of  the  songs  being  short while  a  couple  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  addition  there  is  a  stoner  vibe  to  some  of  the  riffing  and  there  are  no  guitar  solos  or  leads  present  on  this  recording  with  the  music  being  all heavy  rhythms.

  Vocals  are mostly  high  pitched  sludge  screams  with  some  spoken  word  parts  and  samples  being  used  at  times,  while  the  lyrics  cover  hateful  and  heavy  themes,  as  for  the  production  it  has  a  very  dark,  heavy,  raw  and  primitive  sound  while  you  can  still  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  recording.

  In  my  opinion  this  was  a  great  album  from  The  Body  which  is  alot  less  experimental  than  their  newer  material  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  sludge/doom  metal,  you  should  check  this  recording  out.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  City  Of  The  Magnificent  Jewel"  "The  Mother  And  Tomb  Of  All  Things"  and  "Final  Words".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.