Thursday, August 16, 2018

Dead Hand/Reborn of Dead Light/Divine Mothers Recordings/2018 CD Review


  Dead  Hand  are  a  band  from  Georgia  that  has  had  an  album  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  mixture  of  sludge  and  post  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Reborn  Of  Dead  Light"  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  Divine  Mothers  Recordings.

  Spoken  word  samples  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  vocals  bring  in  a  mixture  of  angry  sludge  style  screams  and  growls  along  with  most of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Clear  vocals  can  also  be  heard  at  times  while  keyboards  are  also  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  the  slow  riffing  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  sludge  and  doom  metal  as  well  as  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody,  elements  of  post  metal  can  also b e  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  and  the  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  clean  guitars  are  also  utilized  on  some  of  the  tracks  and  all  of  the  music  sticks  to  a  slower  direction.

On  this  recording  Dead  Hand  remains  true  to  the  mixture  of  sludge  and  post  metal  from  their  previous  release  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  philosophical  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Dead  Hand  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  sludge  and  post  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Alabaster  And  Bone"  and  "Amaranthine".  8  out  of  10.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Eternal Rot/Cadeverine/Godz Of War Productions/2018 CD Review


  Eternal  Rot  are  an  international  duo  with  members  from  Poland  and  the  United  Kingdom  and  Poland  that  plays  a  very  old  school  mixture  of  doom  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Cadeverine"  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  Godz  of  War  Productions.

  A  horror  movie  orientated  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  drum  beats  a  few  seconds  later  before  adding  in  a  very  powerful  sounding  bass  guitar  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  deep  death  metal  growls  along  with  the  slower  riffing  being  heavily  rooted  in  doom  metal  an  the  music  also  has  its  roots  in  the  90's.

  All  of  the  songs  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  screams  are  also  utilized  at  times  along  with  the  horror  soundtrack  soundscapes  also  being  added  on  the  later  tracks  as  well  as  the  growls  also  getting  very  guttural  at  times  and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  dark  and  melodic  style  and  all  of  the  music  sticks  to  a  very  slow  musical  direction.

  Eternal  Rot  plays  a  musical  style  that  goes  back  to  the  early  90's  era  of  doom/death  metal while  also  updating  the  style  for  the  modern  era,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  gore,  death  and  zombie  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Eternal  Rot  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  doom  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  styles,  you  should  check  out  this  duo. RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Undying  Desolation"  and  "Slough  Of  Despond".  8  out  of  10.  

Monday, August 6, 2018

Dormanth/IX Sins/Necromance Records/2018 CD Review


  Dormanth  are  a  band  from  Spain  that  plays  a  very  melodic  mixture  of  doom  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "IX  Sins"  which  was  released  by  Necromance  Records.

  A  very  dark  and  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  melodic  guitar  leads  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  as  well  as  the  vocals  being  mostly  deep  death  metal  growls  and  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

  At  times  the  music  gets  very  atmospheric  while  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  while  the  riffs  also  utilize  a  lot  of  melody  along  with  the  slower  riffing  being  very  heavily  influenced  by  doom  metal  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  as  well  as  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  some  of  the  faster  riffing  also  brings  in  a  small  amount  of  tremolo  picking.

  Dormanth  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  doom  and  melodic  death  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  melancholy,  death,  faith  and  sadness  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  Dormanth  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  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  "Human  Claim"  "Like  Ice"  "Misery"  and  "Sands  Of  Frozen  Tears".  8  out  of  10.

The Eternal 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?

Mark: The new album ‘Waiting For The Endless Dawn’ is out in a few weeks on Inverse Records, we have had a lot of preparation over the last months for the release and have been working on putting a new show together, but unfortunately for us the last months have been more business than playing music as we have not released an album for several years and have spent time re-developing our web site and store etc as well as preparing all the videos to accompany the album... but its nearly time for us to actually play music again!

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

Mark: Well we produce all our music at my studio here in Melbourne so we have a lot of freedom as to how much time we have spent on the album, but for me the addition of guitarist Richie Poate, who almost joined two years ago, has been a huge creative push for me. He is a really great musician and its been great to have someone to work on the songs and production with as over the years I have handled a lot of this myself. I think with a few years away, I was able to refocus what the band is about and also explore some of our past work and really come to find the core of what the band is about. I think this time has allowed us to create quite freely and the result, I think, produce a very focused album that really captures what The Eternal is about; Dark, heavy, emotive music...

3.This is your first full length in 5 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?

Mark: Yes, our last album was 2013, but we did release an EP and live album between then and 2015. ‘Waiting For The Endless Dawn’ has in total taken 3 years to put together, from concept to completion. I also did a solo album in 2014, which was good to get out of my system. So there has been plenty of music in this time, I just think we needed sometime to explore what it is what wanted to accomplish after 5 albums, it's very easy to just continue on and do the same album again, but I always like to take some time between albums to find a theme or a focus to move forward and try new things.

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

Mark: Being that I am the lyricist, I have always tried to write from an introspective place, and our lyrics have always been like therapy for me, a place I can purge my feeling in a very open way. I think I still write from a very honest place and lyrically I think I still address the heartache and struggles we all seem to face in life, for me life has not always been an easy journey and I have had some dark times in the last 5 years. I only hope that those who read them can relate and find some solitude in the fact we are all trying to navigate all the things that day to day life throws at us.

5.Originally the band was called 'Cryptal Darkness', what was the cause of the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'The Eternal'?

Mark: I do consider Cryptal Darkness a different band, I think initially it was easy to see it as a continuation as I started with one of the guitarists from that band but he departed not long after the first The Eternal album and I was left to drive the ship creatively for the most part. As far as the name, I just wanted something that represented the epic sound I was trying to create, it came down to ‘The Eternal’ or ‘The Fallen’ and ‘The Eternal’ just seemed to stick, that being said, some people have commented that our new album does share some musical elements of the last Cryptal Darkness records which I’m cool with. The break up of that band was not a pleasant experience after 7 years I always held that band at a distance, but with some retrospect I'm able to embrace some of the things I did like about it.

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

Mark: I love the new album art work, it's by Barnel Photography in America. I was googling photographers for the artwork as I like real images and I came across his image ‘New Dawn’ which obviously seems fitting considering the title of our album, so I sent an e-mail, made a deal, and purchased the art. It was actually a really simple process this time and I’d have to say and it's one of my favourite covers of ours.

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?

Mark: We have been lucky enough to play some fantastic shows around the world over the years, which is really amazing for us considering we are just a small band from Australia. Our first time in Japan was amazing, we played this club show in Tokyo and the crowd was nuts, touring with HIM and Opeth a week apart after our second album was a blast as they were our first major shows in front of massive crowds, our USA tour with Tarja was great and shows in Finland & Hungary always hold a warm place. Our last show was with Paradise Lost, which was a band I always wanted to play with.. oh and a full Australian Tour with Amorphis was amazing as they are one of my favourite bands from way back.

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

Mark: We have no firm plans as of yet, I'm sure we will do an Australia tour, but seeing as we haven’t been to Europe and Japan as The Eternal for 9 years we really hope we can make this happen, even if only for a few weeks, let's see how things progress over the next few months!

9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of dark, doom and goth metal?

Mark: Currently its hard to saying being out of the game for several years, I feel it's a bit of a slow burn at the moment but I feel a positive response starting to come for the new album, and I understand why its taking time, it's a 7 track - 75 minute album, so it's not easy listening, its an album that takes times to grow on you I think. But as far as over the years I just feel so lucky to have met so many amazing friends and fans around the world, it's really humbling to think some songs I wrote in my bedroom in my 20s have lead to us having a 15 year career making records that touch people in some way, I’m very grateful for that. The fans that have stuck with us over the years, have been with us through all kinds of changes, I hope he new album can generate some new interest in the band however.

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?

Mark: Richie is Guitarist for well known Australian band Dreadnaught and has been with them for 25 years. I have a project called Akariya which I’m still working on, it's instrumental with cinematic and post rock elements, I have half an album roughly demo’ed at this point.

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

Mark: We have been talking about this over the last few weeks, as I said earlier Richie joining the band has been a really creative experience and our next album will be the first we write completely together, so I’m very excited about that. We want to take the sound further, we are very into all kinds of music, one minute we are listening to ‘Rush' and then onto 'Russian Circles' for example. We want to stay slow and heavy, with long arrangements, but I see more progressive an ambient elements coming into the sound, I would also like to attempt a stripped back more raw production, I think we are known for big layered productions with lots of vocal harmonies etc… but I'd like to break this habit and strip things back a bit, let's see, still early days!

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?

Mark: It’s interesting when I started writing this album, I really felt like looking back at my past, which lead me to the sounds of the late 90’s like Cryptal Darkness, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost etc… I would say I was listening to a lot of things like Celtic Frost, Swallow The Sun, Alcest and things like that also… For me at the moment, I’m really listening to loads of instrumental music, I mentioned Russian Circles earlier who I think are amazing, another recent discovery for me is ‘If These Trees Could Talk’, I also have an ongoing obsession with Italian band klimt1918, believe it or not I only recently got a Spotify account and I love putting on a shuffle and finding new music, it's so easy at my age to be stuck in what you liked when you were 20, but I feel so hungry for new music, which is great!

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

Mark: I’m all music! haha I'm a Sound Engineer & Producer, so if I’m not working on my music, I’m working on other peoples. I am currently Producing the debut album for amazing Australian band ‘Suldusk'. I’m just about to start mixing in the coming weeks, it's Folk with Black Metal and Black Gaze influences, it's a stunning piece of work. I’m looking forward to people hearing that one. I also teach Audio Production at some Universities here in Melbourne, which I love! I’m very passionate about education and being involved in the next generation of musicians and sound engineers! Our bass player David Langlands works for a growing craft beer company here in Australia called 'Moon Dog', and he is extremely passionate about his beer and is wonderful at what he does!

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

Mark: I hope your readers take a moment to check out ‘Waiting For The Endless Dawn’ and I thank you very much for the interview, hopefully we will see you on the road soon! Cheers!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Mortuous Interview


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



Colin Tarvin: We’re a death metal band, plain and simple



Chad Gailey: Mortuous is a four-piece Death Metal band from San Jose, California. We are influenced by Incantation, My Dying Bride, and Paradise Lost



2.Recently you have released your first full length, what are some of the things you feel you have done musically on this recording that you were not able to do on your previous demos?



CT: We spent a long time recording - every chance we could get here or there with Greg Wilkinson, which panned over the course of about 14 months. We decided to take the time and do everything we would like to do with this record, inside and out. Fulfilling ideas about exploring different instruments we wanted to incorporate, like violin and flute, artwork, etc., were important to us, and I think we wanted to feel resolute about every part of this record.



3.This is your first release in 6 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during that time frame?



CT: We've all been working with other various projects, near and far. Sometimes depending on how busy any one of us would be at any given moment, can make or break potential opportunities, but it’s all inclusive. A lot of us have played these songs for years, it didn't seem like it took so long to produce, but looking back it definitely did.



4.Your lyrics cover philosophical views on death and anti technology, can you tell us a little bit more about what these topics mean to you?



CT: Well one thing personally is that views are constantly changing, it’s good to be open to new patterns of thought. There’s a few things that I feel when you realize make you a better person, like even the fact of being open to what someone else might think, that in itself is pretty groundbreaking, but the core attitude doesn’t really ever change. The lyrics stem from a very cynical view of society, but with a gleaming hope, that’s more comparable to a cry for help out of a sense of hopelessness, that can be moments from everyday life. Lately (on the album) we’ve been collaborating on lyrics, and also have been basing a couple songs on horror stories by authors such as John Saul and David Morrell.



5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Mortuous’?



CT: The name came from a close tie with another death metaler from New Jersey, Tim Ninerrell. Back when I first discovered Tim and his music, he had a band called Tenebrous. He was a really big fan of Funerealm, and we had a close bond over liking each other’s bands. He changed the name of Tenebrous to Deform, and I loved the old name so much, I wanted to use at least the suffix. Mortuous just kind of popped into mind and stuck since then.



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



CT: Marald was able to take lyrics from throughout the album and put together a piece that represented the themes from that. We’re really happy with what he produced. We also wanted to go with him because Necrot’s Blood Offerings art turned out great and we wanted amazing artwork for this album.



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?



CT: We’ve had the pleasure of playing some pretty great shows around the area throughout the last decade with bands such as Incantation, Deceased, Insanity, Grave Ritual, Ascended Dead, Asphyx, Skeletal Remains, Fetid, Mortiferum. Exhumed, Scolex, Funeral Chant, Bone Sickness, Caffa, Necrot, Swamp Witch. This would be a pretty long list if we included every band we’ve ever had a great time playing with, because we usually always have a great time with whomever we play with. As far as stage presence goes, it’s still something we try and figure out as we go.  We’re just your everyday dudes that don’t take ourselves too seriously, but serious enough to know when the song calls for it. Being cynical has it’s upsides, everything is pretty much a joke.



CG: My favorite shows that Mortuous has played were in 2017 when we played with Asphyx and in 2015 when we played with Incantation. Another sick one was very recently when we played with DeathgraVe for their record release show. Both our new albums had just come out and there was a great turnout for a show in San Jose.



8.What are the touring and show plans for the new album?



CT: We’re hitting the West Coast soon (August 2nd-11th), hopefully we’ll be doing the East Coast next spring and then from there we will see what we’re capable of.



9.You also have a few guests on the new album, can you tell us a little bit more about who they are and also their contributions to the recording?



CT: It’s subjective, but you could say there are more guests on this album than there are members in the band. Chris Reifert and Danny Coralles from Autopsy came through with vocals and guest guitar leads, Derrel Houdashelt, formerly of Exhumed, with another guitar lead, Matt Harvey from Exhumed with some lyrics, and Ria (Teresa Wallace) from Cartilage with a flute outro.



10.You also have a few labels working on releasing the new album, can you tell us a little bit more about this process?



CT: Multiple labels are giving us support on this album, the main label is our very own drummer, Chad, and his new label Carbonized. Then there's Scotty and Tankcrimes who put out Necrot’s debut. David from Undergang’s Extremely Rotten Productions based in Denmark. Finally, Jeff of Dawnbreed Records based in the Netherlands. Both labels are each putting out European pressings of “Through Wilderness”.



CG: The idea of having so many labels participate on one release was to have a good amount of distribution in the US and in Europe. Tankcrimes, Extremely Rotten, and Dawnbreed have all stood on their own and released great records over the years. People follow each label so it’s more likely that fans will purchase from the one they like the most. This also allows for people to save money on shipping.



11.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of doom and death metal?



CT: The reaction has been great in it’s own niche because this is a type of music that would be considered underground. Seeing posts online of people all over the world enjoying the album. Every day i’ll see at least one person tag the band and show appreciation for the album. it’s been crazy.



12.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?



CT: Chad’s got Necrot, which is his baby, same with Atrament. Then he’s been also jamming lately with Palace of Worms and Scolex for live performances. Clint plays in Cartilage from SF. Clint also plays in a band with me called Evulse



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



CT: We plan to write more songs after tour, keeping with the death metal tradition.



14.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?



CT: Influences have always really ranged everywhere for this band, like a death metal blender. Grew up with Death, Obituary, Pestilence, then getting deeper with bands like Incantation, Rottrevore, Paradise Lost, becoming obsessed with Napalm Daeth, discovering My Dying Bride, diSEMBOWELMENT, more obsession. Viogression, Accidental Suicide, Demigod, Amorphis. We all each love so many different kinds of death metal, doom, grind, etc. There’s a mood associated with different bands. That’s the beauty of death metal, it’s a very vast genre in itself. Lately I’ve been jamming the album Final Man by Contaminated, Fetid’s Sentient Pile of Amorphous Rot, Mortiferum’s Atlar of Decay, Spectral Voice’s Eroded Corridors of Unbeing. This is another list that would honestly take a page to tackle completely.



CG: I was really influenced by punk bands when I was first learning how to play drums. I had always listened to metal but when I wanted to start playing that style my listening choices started to shift. Some big influences for me include Terrorizer, Discharge, Ramones, GBH, Adolescents, Cannibal Corpse, Bolt Thrower, and Napalm Death



15.What are some of your non musical interests?



CT: I’ve been really into basketball the last few years. I never even knew Oakland even had a basketball team, but took notice right before they started winning, the same time period my dad passed. Warriors won in 2015 only a month or two after I lost my dad, that had a pretty profound impact on me, but if felt weirdly unrelated. It’s just the minds coping mechanisms. The human mind is an interesting place.



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



CT: Yeah I’d just like to say we wanna be heard, rock n roll, crank it to eleven. Live free, die when you must. Never take life too seriously, but also enjoy the beauty to be in this world, on earth, a place where we can interact with like-minded individuals and revel in the disparity!



CG: Thank you for the interview! Catch us on tour this summer!




Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Eternal/Waiting For The Endless Dawn/Inverse Records/2018 CD Review


  The  Eternal  are  a  band  from  Australia  that  plays  a  progressive  mixture  of  dark,  doom  and  goth  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Waiting  For  The  Endless  Dawn"  which  will  be  released  on  August  17th  by  Inverse  Records.

  Melodic  guitar  leads  start  off  the  album  while  clean  playing  and  acoustic  guitars    are  also  used  at  times     along  with  some  slide  guitars  also  being used  briefly  as  well  as  the  riffs  also  using  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  synths  are  also  used  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording.

  Elements  of  doom  metal  can  also  be  heard  in  the  slower  riffing  while  the  vocals  are  done  in  more  of  a  melodic  style  along  with  the  riffs  also  bringing  in  elements  of  prog  metal  as  well  as  some  stringed  instruments  also  being  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording,  when  grim  screams  are  utilized  they  add  in  a  touch  of  black  metal,  death  metal  growls  are  also  utilized  briefly  and  most of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  as  the  album progresses  aggressive  drums  are  also  used  briefly  and  spoken  word  parts  are  added  onto  the  closing  track.

  The  Eternal  plays  a  musical style  that  takes  dark,  doom,  goth  and  prog  metal  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover sorrow,  loneliness,  sadness  and  life  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  The  Eternal  are  a  very  great  sounding  progressive  mixture  of  dark,  doom  and  goth  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Wound"  "Dont  Believe  Anymore".  8  out  of  10.