Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Karmic Link 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! This is Stathis from Karmic Link (est. 2006). First of all, thank you for this karmic interview! After some years of creative silence (been producing our 3rd studio album) we signed a global deal with Italy's Rockshots Records. ''Dark Metropolis'' album was released October 19 and we are already receiving great reviews from the press around the world. We have 2 official audio tracks out (''Random Phantom'' and ''Dark Metropolis'' title track) and we will soon release a video-art clip  for the song ''Your Fire Will Burn for Centuries'' which is dedicated to the philosopher Giordano Bruno.

2.Recently you have released a new album, what are some of the things the band has done different musically with this recording that you have not been able to do on your previous releases?

I would say that one of the main differences that the band is doing differently in our new album is NOT featuring female soprano vocals anymore like we did with our two previous albums ''No light but rather darkness visible'' and ''Esoterica''. This is a new karmic path we are following serving our music art and have conscientiously chosen to record/perform darker, gothic male vocals with a punk attitude and touch, even some guest - brutal - vocals to dress the music and our mystical lyrics. The keyboards do not have a leading role anymore, the keyboard orchestrations have moved in the background of the whole production creating a dystopian atmosphere while we have boosted the rhythm / lead guitars and drums more to provide a heavier sounding experience to our fans.

3.While there has been a good amount of singles released over the years this is your first full length since 2010, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?

Me and Evan Hensley (our guitarist, bassist) were members of Greece's Nightfall and we were working a lot on releasing two Nightfall albums with Metal Blade records. At the same time we were also laying down ideas for the new Karmic Link album. Last but not least, I had to pause my music activities in 2015 when my daughter Jenny came into this world and decided to focus on family for some time.

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

We have always been intrigued by how the great minds of the past like philosophers, scientists, writers, whose ideas and theories are eternal can approach and explain the events in our modern global chaotic world. The first track ''Random Phantom'' is inspired by the sci-fi writer Robert Anton Wilson and the trilogy of novels '' Schrödinger's Cat'' where every-day characters strive with quantum probability events that they can't control, just like in real life. ''Dark Metropolis'' is inspired by dystopian theories about our future where advanced technology will be merged with our biological structures creating a dark society ruled by Artificial Intelligence (the Singularity). ''Your Fire Will burn for Centuries'' is dedicated to the life of the dark philosopher Giordano Bruno who was burned at the stake for his heretic theories by the Roman Inquisition. In our first album we explored the post 9/11 global series of conflicts between the powers of the West and the East using metaphysics (a branch of philosophy, not ghost stories...) and ''Esoterica'' album was a concept story about a female protagonist whose life dramatically changes working as a new anchor in a big TV network. Don't get me wrong, we also have some simple rock songs about personal love stories...hehe

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Karmic Link"?

At some point a book about Dalai Lama fell in my hands and by reading the whole book I was totally awed with the story of a British journalist who ended up meeting Dalai Lama in Tibet without ever having this meeting in his initial plans. He even went through hell, imprisoned or abducted in some Asian country before embarking on the right path. Sometimes you have a definite plan and life throws you in the opposite or alternative direction without asking. Was this fate? A higher invisible hand? Or just life is random? You name it. I named my band Karmic Link!

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

The artwork depicts the Devil in female form and she is coming to get you...haha...no. I prefer to spur different explanations and meaning with our audio and visual art. The female form could be an advanced AI robot that is plotting a rebellion against its creators and humanity, our dark future metropolis where humans and the machines have merged. Another meaning could be a symbol for a new role for women in the 21st century, a power role in our societies or a dark symbol of the new birth of ideas, technology and science leading humankind to space exploration and other breakthrough innovations that will evolve our species.

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?

100% multi-cultural performance experience. I remember one of our past gigs in Linkoping in Sweden where people that did not know about Karmic Link before where thrilled to attend our gig because a Greek, an American and some Swedish metalheads were part of the live gang sending karmic echoes across the venue...nice times! We have been more of a studio band than a live band to be honest because everybody lives in a different country, but you never know what the dark future holds...

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

We are preparing an official press release to be launched early 2019 with plans for the next 4th album and some live shows...stay tuned!


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

Our new album was released less than a month ago, it's a bit early for final conclusions but the early feedback has been great. I think our past fans were intrigued and challenged with the new overall music direction (male vocals for example) and production but I am sure we will gain new fans who appreciate what we tried to express and achieve with ''Dark Metropolis''.

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?

You should check out Dark Hound, the Nashville (USA) based pure heavy metal band of our guitarist and good friend, Evan Hensley.

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

Our future will be marked by our past: I think that Karmic Link have a personal sound and experimental artistic identity even if we have been changing our production from album to album. We like being influenced by different music styles and creating intense dramatic emotions with our music. Imagine a tree with a strong stable root consisting of Mediterranean passion, Scandinavian coldness and American aggressiveness in sound, all blended under the vision of Karmic Link which generates versatile fruits and branches.

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?

Very influenced and always listening to the OST of ''Twin Peaks'' TV series, Blade Runner OST, Barry Lyndon and other Kubrick movies OST, Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, drum n' bass music, Giovanni Batista Pergolesi, Dead Can Dance, Chet Baker, underground black metal bands, and so many other great fuc*ing artists worldwide!

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

Exploring forests, a bit of gambling, travelling, reading, smoking hookah with friends, cooking, drinking rum, the usual good stuff in life!

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

I would like to dedicate our new album ''Dark Metropolis'' to my 3-year old daughter, Jenny Kassios. She is the biggest influence and all the light of the universe to me. She's also slowly becoming a good musician.

Thank you very much for this interview!
https://www.facebook.com/karmiclink/

Monday, November 12, 2018

Voidhaven Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band? Phil: Voidhaven mainly consists of former members of the band Crimson Swan. After having released an EP and a full-length album, the whole band parted ways with the guitarist Robert. Coincidentally it was Robert who owned the name, so he decided to find new people and continue under the Crimson Swan moniker, while the others had to find a new name. I joined the band to replace Robert. Voidhaven is a new band, though. We do not consider it as a continuation of Crimson Swan under a new name. Crimson Swan still exists and Voidhaven is a new band. We also don’t play Crimson Swan stuff live.

2.Recently you have released an ep, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on this recording? Simon: I would describe our style as a solid base of Doom Metal, blended with some elements from Death Metal and a little Dark or Gothic Metal from the mid-90s era, where that genre still produced good music. But it's not as if we have a list on which we check if a song has all those components. It is more about a certain feeling that our songs need to have. And the above mentioned elements are often present, when we feel like a song is finished.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music? Simon: The topics of the lyrics are quite diverse. For example, “The Floating Grave” is based on a newspaper item about a strange abduction case, while “Beyond The Bounds Of Sleep” deals with the strains of life and the resulting world weariness. Another unreleased song describes an man's journey through a wasteland, which is the embodiment of his own misery. Yet another is about the reflection of an old soldier looking back on his life, regretting what he has done and what he has become. As you can see, while the subjects change, the underlying mood and the used wording is always pretty grim and gloomy. Yeah well, in the end, we are still a Doom band, haha.

 4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Voidhaven'? Phil: “Voidhaven” was actually the title of the final track on the debut album of Crimson Swan. It seemed a perfect moniker as it was both a reference to the past of this band and as well a very fine description of the sound we want to achieve. Simon: Moreover, at least to me, a “Voidhaven” is a shelter from (and a place without) the noise, the duties, the burdens and the worries of daily life. Although it is a forlorn and dark location, you journey there for a downtime and some rest. At best, that is also what our music can offer to the listener.

 5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the ep cover? Phil: We asked ourselves: “If there really was a place called Voidhaven, what would it probably look like”? The result is seen on the cover, which was created by our bass-player Jakob. This is the meaning of the artwork, it is a visual reflection of the band’s name.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance? Phil: Most people in this band have played quite a few shows in their careers so far, but since Voidhaven is a very new band and just recently started playing live, there isn’t much of a live-history to reflect upon. So far, it all went smoothly. I would describe our stage performance as solemn. I mean, it is Doom Metal after all. You won’t see us going “hey, hey, come on, raise your fists!” If you ever do, you know that this will be the last Voidhaven gig with me, haha.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future? Simon: There's nothing concrete at the moment, but of course we are planning some gigs for the next year. Those will probably take place in Germany and hopefully the surrounding European countries. Real touring is not an option at the moment, because of the personal living circumstances of some band members.

8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of atmospheric doom,  dark and death metal? Simon: So far, the reactions were positive. We are especially happy about the fact that there really were reactions from many places far from Europe like America or the middle east. But since the EP was just released not so long ago, we hope there will be more coming.

9.What is going on with 'Ophis' these days a band that shares a couple of the same members? Phil: Ophis will be doing another European tour in November and December, together with Mournful Congregation. After that tour, we will disappear from the public eye for a while. There are some things we need to fix and also we will focus on writing new material. There is a lot of ideas and drafts lying around, but the stuff needs to be sorted, overhauled and focused on. There will also be a line-up change.

10.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future? Phil: Some songs for the album were already finished before we recorded the EP, and several others we started upon. So the album will have songs from more or less the same writing period as the EP and thus it will not sound too different. Of course, there will be a few more facets than on the EP, as the album is longer, but the general mood and style will be the same.

11.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? Phil: Ironically, I listen to melodic / goth Death Doom very rarely. I mainly listen to much harsher stuff, such as old school Death Metal, Funeral Doom and harsh Death Doom. Maybe this is why I enjoy working on Voidhaven so much, it is sort of a counterpoint to all that brutal stuff. When it comes to non-Metal stuff, I mainly listen to Cold Wave, Batcave, New Wave and renaissance choir music.

12.What are some of your non musical interests? Phil: Hating people.
Simon: Yeah, trvest answer in a non-black-metal interview ever, haha. But in fact I can understand the feeling all too well. As far as I'm concerned, although I'm often pretty bugged out by people in general, I would still consider myself quite social. That's why I try to be with family and/or friends as often as possible. We are into all sorts of gaming or like to watch movies and series.

 13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts? Simon: Oh crap, the last question is always the toughest! Hm, nothing besides “Check out our and hear if you like it”. And support your local metal bands and clubs!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sonambula/Bicefalo/Xtreem Music/2018 CD Review


  Sonambula  are  a  band  from  Spain  that  plays  a  mixture  of  sludge,  doom  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Bicefalo"  which  will  be  released  in  December  by  Xtreem  Music.

  Dark  sounding  melodies  start  off  the  album  while  the  slow  riffs  bring  in  elements  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  along  with  some  blast  beats  being  added  into  the  faster  sections  of  the  music  as  well  as  the  vocals  being  mostly  death  metal  growls  and  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  dark  and  old  school  style.

   Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  the  music  also  adds  in  a  great  amount  of  80's  influences  without  losing  its  modern  edge  as  well  as  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Sonambula  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  sludge,  doom  and  death  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Spanish  and  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Sonambula  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  sludge,  doom  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Mutacion  Sintetica"  "Nostromo"  and  "Bicefalo".  8  out  of  10.  

The Tempter/Turpis Rex/Dissonance Productions/2018 CD Review


  The  Tempter  are  a  band  from  Austria  that  plays  a  mixture  of  sludge  and  doom  metal and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Turpis  Rex"  which  will  be  released  on  November  16th  by  Dissonance  Productions.

  A  very  dark  and  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  also  add  in  elements  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  vocals  are  done  in  a  semi  melodic  screaming  style  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  stoner  rock  feeling.

  A  decent  amount  of  melody  can  also  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  while  the  solos  and  leads  bring  in  more  of  an  old  school  style  along  with  some  spoken  word  parts  also  being  used  briefly  as  well  as  the  music  also  adding  in  a  brief  use  of  synths  as  the  album  progresses,  when  the  music  speeds  up  finally  a  few  seconds  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  and  death  metal  growls  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  one  track  also  introduces  clean  playing  onto  the  recording.

  The  Tempter  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  mixes  it  together  with  a touch  of  death  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  The  Tempter  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Hieromante"  "Elissa"  "Realm  Of  Iconstars"  and  "Votum".  8  out  of  10. 



  

Monday, November 5, 2018

Darkest Amber/Every Sun Fades/Wolfshade Records/Narcoleptica Productions/2018 CD Review


  Darkest  Amber  are  a  band  from  Brazil  that  plays  a   mixture  of  doom,  goth  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Every  Sun  Fades"  which  was  released  as  a  joint  effort  between  Wolfshade  Records  and  Narcoleptica  Productions.

  A  very  dark  and  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  the  screams  add  in  a  touch  of  black  metal  along  with  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  being  heavily  rooted  in  doom  metal  as  well  as the  riffs  also  getting  very  melodic  at  times  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard.

  Death  metal  growls  can  also  be  heard  at  times  while  most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  along  with  all of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  as  well  as  the  solos  and  leads  bringing  in  more  of  a  classic  metal  approach  and  as  the album  progresses  clean  playing,  acoustic  guitars  and  melodic  male  and  female  vocals  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  also  add  in  more  of  a  gothic  touch,  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Darkest  Amber  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  death,  doom  and  gothic  metal  and  mixes  them  together  along  with  some  elements  of  black  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own  while  also  avoiding  the  use  of  keyboards  or  synths  which  is  present  in  most  bands  of  this  genre,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  depressive  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  Darkest  Amber  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  doom,  death  and  gothic  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Who  Decides"  "Lifeless"  and  "Cold".  8  out  of  10. 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

LMDA/Darkest Days And Rituals/Itawak Records/2018 Full Length Review



    France's  LMDA  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues  the  grindcore,  power  violence  and  sludge  metal  mixture  of  previous  releases  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Darkest  Days  And  Rituals"  which  was  released  by  Itawak  Records.

  Distorted  guitar  amp  noises  start  off  the  album  before  adding  in  some  heavy  riffing  along  with  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  bringing  in  elements  of  sludge  while  spoken  word  samples  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  Elements  of  grindcore  are  added  into  the  faster  sections  of  the  music  while  the  vocals  are  a  mixture  of  screams  and  crust  style  shouting  along  with  a  great  portion  of  the  tracks  being  very  short  in  length  as  well  as  a  small  amount  of  melody  also  being  added  into  the  guitar  riffing  at  times  and  the  closing  track  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  also  adds  elements  of  harsh  noise  onto  the  recording.

  On  this  recording  LMDA  remain  true  to  the  mixture  of  grindcore,  power  violence  and  sludge  metal  from  previous  releases,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  hateful  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  LMDA  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  sludge  metal,  grindcore  and  power  violence,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Living  Through"  "The  Hateful"  "Cold  But  Not  Dead"  and  "The  Nightwalker".  8  out  of  10. 




Deadpressure/Self Titled/Carbonized Records/Ogre Vinyl/2018 Full Length Review


  Deadpressure  are  a  band  from  San  Jose,  California  that  plays  a  mixture  of  grind,  hardcore  punk,  d  beat,  power violence and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2018  album  which  was  released  as  a  joint  effort  between  Carbonized  Records  and  Ogre  Vinyl.

  A  very  heavy  and  distorted  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  the  riffs  also  add  in a   decent  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  along  with  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  doom  metal  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  grindcore  elements  can  be  heard.

  Vocals  bring  in a  mixture  of  hardcore  shouts,  death  metal  growls  and  screams  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  chaotic  style  as  well  as  a  good  portion  of t he  tracks  being  very  short  in  length  and  the  music  also  mixes  in  elements  of  punk  and  d  beat,  one  song  also  adds  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  samples  can  also  be  heard.

  Deadpressure  plays  a  musical  style  that takes  grind,  hardcore  punk,  d  beat  and  d  beat,  power  violence  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  very  heavy  and  brutal  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  weed,  violent  and  angry  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Deadpressure  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  grind,  hardcore  punk,  power  violence,  d  beat  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Desolate"  "Aging  Sludge"  "Paradigm"  and  "Weed  And  Food".  8  out of  10.      

Karmic Link/Dark Metropolis/Rockshots Records/2018 CD Review


  Karmic  Link  are  a  band  from  Sweden  that  plays  a  progressive  mixture  of  goth  and  dark  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Dark  Metropolis"  which  was  released  by  Rockshots  Records.

  Synthpop  style  synths  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  programmed  beats  while  spoken  vocals  can  also  be  heard  at  times  as  well  as  some  goth  rock  style  riffing  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  when  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  melodic  style.

  When  aggressive  screams  are  utilized  they  add  in  a  touch  of  black  metal  while  elements  of  alternative,  hard  rock,  electro,  dark  pop  and  industrial  can  also  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  along  with  the  music  also  getting  very  atmospheric  at  times  as  well  as  the  bass  guitars  adding  in  some funk  influences,  clear  vocals  are  also  added  on  some  of  the  songs  and  at  times  the  music  gets  very  progressive. 

  Karmic  Link  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  goth  and  dark  metal  while  the  progressive,  industrial,  dark  pop,  alternative  rock, funk  and  black  metal  elements  makes  the  music  stand  out  a  lot  more,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  heretic,  hermetic,  occult,  alchemy  and  dystopian  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Karmic  Link  are  a  very  great  sounding  progressive  mixture of  goth  and  dark  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Dark  Metropolis"  "Your  Fire  Will  Burn  For  Centuries"  and  "Mostalgia".  8  out  of  10.