Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hull/Beyond The Lightless Sky/The End Records/2011 CD Review

 Hull  are  a  band  from  New  York  that  had  their  previous  album  reviewed  as  well  as  being  interviewed  by  this  zine  with  a  music  style  on  this  recording  that  combines  sludge/doom  metal  with  post  rock  and  hardcore  as  well  as  a  slight  black  metal  edge  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2011  album  "Beyond  The  Lightless  Sky"  which  was  released  by  The  End  Records.

  Drums  range  from  slow  to  mid  paced  drumming  with  some fast  playing  and    blast  beats,  while  the  bass  playing  has  a  very  strong  and  powerful  tone  with  some  dark  doomy  riffing  that  dominates  throughout  the  recording.

  Rhythm  guitars  range  from  slow  to  mid  paced  riffing  that  combines  sludge/doom  metal  with  post  rock  and  hardcore  as  well  as  a  slight  black  metal  and  crustcore  influence  in  the  faster  riffing  mixed  in  with  some  psychedelic  style  guitar  disrotion  effects  and  noises,  while  the  lead  guitars  are  very  psychedelic  sounding  70's  rock/metal  guitar  solos  and  leads,  as  for  the  accoustic  guitars  when  they  are  utilized  they  use  finger  picking  and  full  chords  to  give  the  music  a  desert/stoner  vibe.

  Vocals  are a  mixture  of  deep  death/doom  metal  growls  and  hardcore  style  yelling  with  the  ocassional  clean  singing  which  is  only  utilized  briefly,  willing  the  lyrics cover  nature  and  Mayan  themes,  as  for  the  production  it  has  a  very  dark,  heavy,  powerful  and  professional  sound  to  it  and  you  can  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  presented  on  the  recording.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  album  from  Hull  and  it  is  also  alot  more  progressive  and  heavier  than  the  last  one  which  has  shown  that  the  band  has  improved  alot  since  the  last  recording,  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band,  you  will  not  be  dissapointed.  RECEMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Earth  From  Water"  "Beyond  The  Lifeless  Sky"  and  "False  Prophet".  RECEMMONDED  BUY.

Nootgrush/Live For Nothing/Southern Lord Recordings/2011 CD Review

  Nootgrush  are  a  band  from  Atlanta,  Georgia  that  has  been  around  since  the  90's  that  plays  a  very  heavy  form  of  sludge/doom/death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2011  album  "LIve  For  Nothing"  which  was  released  by  Southern  Lord  Recordings.

  Drums  are  all  slow  drumming  with  no  fast  playing  or  blast  beats,  while  the  bass  playing  has  a  very  dark  tone  with  riffs  that  follow  the  riffing  that  is  coming  out  of  the  guitars  and  at  times  they  sound  very  heavy  and  powerful.

  Rhythm  guitars  are  all  slow  sludge/doom/death  metal  riffs  that  are  very  heavy  and  brutal  with  not  much  in  the  way  of  variety  but  there  atre  some  dark  depressive  melodies  being  used  at  times  while the  lead  guitars  when  they  are  utilized  are  mostly  70's  rock/metal  guitar  solos  and  leads

  Vocals  are  all  deep  doom/death  style  growls,  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark,  depressive  and  perverted  themes,  as  for  the  production  on  this  recording  all  of  the  songs  where  recorded  live  and  have  a  very  strong,  powerful  and  heavy  feeling  to them.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  a  great  live  album  from  Noothgrush  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band  or  sldge/doom/death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECEMMONDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Sith"  "Oil  Removed"  "Starvation"  and  "Hatred  For  The  Spieces".  RECEMMONDED  BUY.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Harpoon/Deception Among Birds/Seventh Rule Recordings/2011 CD Review

  Harpoon  are  a  band  from  Chicago,  Illinois  that  plays  a  mixture  of  grindcore,  crust,  hardcore  and  drone/sludge  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2011  album  "Deception  Among  Birds"  which  was  released  by  Seventh  Rule  Recordings.

  Drums  range  from  slow,  mid  paced  to  fast  drumming  with  a  few  blast  beats  being  used  on  ocassion,  while  the  bass  playing  has  a  ver  heavy  tone  with  some  drone  style  riffing  being  used  at  times.

  Rhythm  guitars  range  from  slow,  mi  paced  to  fast  riffing  that  combine  grindcore,  crust,  hardcore  and  drone/sludge  together  to  create  a  very  original  sound  with  alot  of  distortion  and  reverb  and  there  are  little  to  no  guitar  solos  or  leads  present  on  the  recording.

  Vocals  are  mostly  crust/sludge  style  yells  and  screams  with  some  growls  and  clean  singing  being  used  at  times,  while  the  lyrics  cover  everyday  and  hateful  themes,  as  for  the  production  it  has  a  very  dark,  powerful  and  heavy  sound  to  it  and  you  can  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  recording.

  In  my  opinion  Harpoon  are  a  very  good  band  with  a  sound  of  their  own  and  if  you  are  looking  for  something  that  is  original,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECEMMONDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Prequel  To  A  Lifetime  Of  Dissapointment"  "TYhe  Cut  Of  His  Jib"  and  "Deception  Among  Birds".  RECEMMONDED  BUY.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Therion/Deggial/Nuclear Blast Records/2000 CD Review

Therion are a symphonic metal band from Sweden and this is a review of their classic 2000 album "Deggial" which was released by Nuclear Blast America.

Drums range from slow to midpaced beats with no fast playing or blast beats, while the kryboards are very symphonic sounding that also has a progressive rock influence with some violins, cellos, tubas,flutes, oboe, trumpets and french horns that give the music a classical music feel, as for the bass playing it is all rhythm bass that follows the riffs that are coming out of the guitars with a very powerful sound.

Rhythm guitars are very melodic with alot of melody and some fast riffs that have a thrash feeling to them while the lead guitars are very melodic guitar solos that are heavily influenced by classic metal, as for the accoustic guitars when they are used they use alot of open chords and medievil sounding melodies.

Vocals are mostly clean singing which is different from there old albums that had death metal singing and they have a mixture of classic metal, power metal, gothic and opera influences, with some male choirs as well as some females going opera singing.

Lyrics draw from many different sources of occultism such as Egyptian, Summerian, Yezidi,Alchemy,Vedic,Eastern Philosophy,Luciferian,Greek/Roman/Italian Witchcraft as well as Left Hand Philosophies, while the production of this album which was recorded during November of 2009 at Woodhouse Studios in Germany sounds very professional and you can hear all of the musical instruments.

In my opinion Therion are a very talented band and I feel this is their best album, if you are a fan of symphonic metal you should add this album to your collection. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Eternal Return" "Enter Vril-Ya" "The Flight of the Lord of Flies" and "Flesh of the Gods". RECOMMENDED BUY

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Battlelore/Where The Shadows Lie/Napalm Records/2002 CD Review

Battlelore are a band from Finland that plays symphonic/atmospheric death metal with a blackened/doom edge and this is a review of their classic 2002 debut "Where The Shadows Lie" which was released by Napalm Records.

Drums range from slow to midpaced beats with some fast playing as well as the ocassional blast beat and some percussions being utilized at times, while the synths are very symphonic as well as medievil, as for the bass playing it is mostly rhythm bass that follows the riffs coming out of the guitars.

Rhythm guitars range from slow to midpaced death metal riffing that is heavily influenced by early 90's Swedish death metal with some fast riffing that has a thrash edge, while the lead guitars when they are utilized are noisy and distorted with some melodic guitar solos being utilized, as for the classical guitars they are very medievil and pagan style.

Vocals are mostly early 90's Swedish death metal style vocals with some deep growls as well as clean singing that has a gothic feel, as for the female vocals they are very gothic and operatic with a new age feel to them.

Lyrics on this album are heavily influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord Of The Ring's trilogy with attention drawn more to the pagan and magickal style of his writings while the production on this recording sounds very professional and you can hear all of the instruments that are present on this album.

In my opinion Battlelore are a very good band and while they continued to record good albums after this, I still feel that this is their best album and if you are a fan of symphonic gothic death metal you should add this album to your collection. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Swordmaster" "Raging Goblin" "Fangorn" and "Khazad-dum Pt.! (Ages Of Midhril". RECOMMENDED BUY

Serpentcult Interview

1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
Hi there, we just released our new album Raised By Wolves in July, which is great; in my opinion it's the best piece of music we've ever written.

2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how it differs from previous releases?
There was a whole different approach in the song writing. Weight Of Light was more based on riffs and grooves, whereas Raised By Wolves concentrates more on building up atmospheres. Raised By Wolves is definitely more epic, and is an album that should be listened to as a whole. We also incorporated more complex arrangements and different instruments for this new album, which creates a very specific mood.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
The lyrics pick up where we left them with Weight Of Light. Being Raised By Wolves often has a negative connotation, it’s used as an expression to describe people who have no manners. But when you actually twist the logic of the expression around, being Raised By Wolves means being free; free from all common ‘social expectations’ and modern stereotypes. Being Raised By Wolves means reaching a high level of individualism where you, and only you make the decisions of what is right or wrong in life. I liked the idea a lot, and actually came up with the idea after someone said I was raised by wolves, but then in a bad way, ha!
The lyrics for Growth Of The Soil are inspired by the book with the same name from the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun. The book tells about a man who leaves everything he owns behind, and goes into the wild to start a homestead, and in the end a whole new community. I liked the basic idea a lot, the way someone can start up a whole new community out of nothing, and even though I don't agree with all the morality in the book, I enjoyed it a lot and it was very inspiring.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
We liked it and it sounded perfect for the kind of music we are bringing. We're no members of any cult ourselves, so don’t go looking too far for a meaning.

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
I think one of our best shows ever must have been at the festival for the 20th anniversary of Rise Above Records at the ULU in London. The place was packed and sold out, we played only 25 minutes, but we blew most of the audience away. Also the UK tour with Grand Magus was a success one night after another.
Although we don't have any touring or concert plans nowadays, SerpentCult always had a reputation of playing extremely loud and heavy performances, so the ones who missed it should feel sorry.

6. Do you have any touring plans for the new album?
See above

8. On a worldwide level how has your new album been received by underground music fans?
The reactions on the new album have been great. I honestly expected the worst after all the changes, but the good reactions are overwhelming and heart-warming.

9. What direction do you see the music heading into on future releases?
The new album is not an ending point. Despite the fact that this album is a drastic change from our previous album, it does not mean that this is it and that our next effort will sound the same as Raised By Wolves. The only way for us to survive is to keep reinventing ourselves, whilst keeping our very own identity. We try to bring out the best, in music and in contents. Over the last few years, SerpentCult has become a vehicle for my personal visions upon the world . There's no intention to change that. SerpentCult is not a band that will produce album after album, we're not in it for the business. We release an album, simply because we have something to say, and we want to express it through our music.

10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Oh, musically it’s hard to pinpoint; contrary to popular belief, I listen to a lot of different stuff, as long as it has a heart and soul. There’s so many influences on this new album that I can’t mention just one. I still listen to a lot of 60’s and 70’s rock, 80’s metal, modern stuff like doom, stonerrock, blackmetal, but I also have a soft spot for soul, jazz, contemporary rock, electronic and industrial music, classical music and experimental music. What can I say, it’s all there… I discover new bands in any genre on a daily basis, and all of this keeps on influencing me.

11. Outside of music what are your interests?
Music and the band are an integral part of my personal life, and I use music as a medium for everything that interests me outside music. Most things are very personal, but this is the way I'm bringing it.

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

Thank you for your interest in the band, we appreciate it.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Serpentcult/Raised By Wolves/Listenable Records/2011 CD Review

  Serpentcult  are  a  band  from  Belgium  that  plays  a  mixture  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2011  album  "Raised  By  Wolves"  which  was  released  by  Listenable  Records.

  Drums  are  all  slow  drumming  with  no  fast  playing  or  blast  beats  being  present  on  the  recording,  while  the  bass  playing  has  a  very  dark  tone  with  riffs  that  follow  the  riffing  that  is  coming  out  of  the  guitars  and  at  times  they  have  a  very  powerful  sound.

  Rhythm  guitars  are  all  slow  sludge/doom  metal  riffs  that  are  very  dark  and  melodic  sounding  at  times  with some  Neurosis  style riffing  being  thrown  in  at  times  that  gives  the  music  an  ambient  feel and  there  are  little  to  no  guitar  solos  or  leads  present  on  the  recording.

  Vocals  are  mostly  clean  singing  vocals  with  some  high  pitched  sludge  screams  being  thrown  in  at  times  and  the  vocals  are  not  used  alot  on  the  recording  since  the  music  is  mostly instrumental,  while  the  lyrics  cover  datrk  themes,  as  for  the  production  it  has  a  very  powerful and  heavy  sound  to  it.

  In  my  opinion  Serpentcult  are  a  very  good  sludge/doom  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  style,  you  should  check out  this  band.  RECEMMONDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Raised  By  Wolves"  and  "Growth  Of  The  Soul".  RECEMMONDED  BUY.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rwake/Rest/Relapse Records/2011 CD Review

  Rwake  are  a  band  from  Arkansas  that  plays  a  southern  redneck  gorm  of  progressive  doom/sludge  metal  and this  is  a  review  of  their  2011  album  "Rest"  which  was  released  by  Relapse  Records.

  Drums  range  from  slow  to  midpaced  drumming  with  not  much  in  the  way  of  fast  playing  or  blast  beats,  while  the  bas  playing  has  a  very  dark  tone  with  riffs  that  follow  the  riffing  that  is  coming  out  of  the  guitars.

  Rhythm  guitars  range  from  slow  to  midpaced  sludge/doom  metal  riffs  mixed  in  with  alot  of  distortion  and  some  dark  sounding  melodies  in  addition  there  is  some  ocassional  slow  and  soft  playing,  while  the  lead  guitars  have  a  very  bluesy  southern  rock  feel  with  some  guitar  slides  being  thrown  in  as  well  as  some  heavy  sludge/doom  metal  leads,  as  for  the  acoustic  guitars  when  they  are  utilized  they  use  finger  picking  to  bring a  classic/progressive  rock  feel  to  the  music.

  Vocals  range  from  clean  singing,  shouting,  and  some  sludge/doom  metal  screams  and  growls  as  well  as  the  ocassional  spoken  word  passage,  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark themes, a s  for  the  production  it  has  a  very  dark  and  heavy  sound  to  it.

  In  my  opinion  Rwake  are  a  very  good  progressive/doom/sludge  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this s tyle,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECEMMONDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "It  Was  Beatiful  but  Now  It's  Sour"  and  "Was  Only  A  Dream".  RECEMMONDED  BUY.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Trisitia/Crucidiction/Holy Records/1996 CD Review

Tristitia are a band from Sweden that plays a style of music that I would describe as gothic doom/death metal and this is a review of their 1996 album "Crucidiction' which was released by Holy Records.

Drums are mostly slow with no blast beats while the keyboards have a very dark romantic sound with some ocassional piano parts that have a very dark avante garde feel to them as for the bass playing they use alot of slow riffing techniques.

Rythym guitars are mostly slow and melodic riffs that sound very depressing with some ocassional thrash influenced riffing while the guitar leads are very melodic with alot of classic metal influences as for the accoustic guitars when they are used they use alot of open chords to give the music a more dark feeling and there is also a classical guitar being used on ocassion that gives the dark music a very romantic feel.

Vocals are a mixture between clean sung vocals that have a very gothic feel to them as well as some high pitched black metal screams, while the lyrics are very anti christian with a touch of theology and some depressing themes that contain a dose of evil, as for the production on this album it sounds very professional and you can hear all of the musical instruments on this album.

In my opinion this was a very good album from aband that was very underrated in the 1990's. Any true fan of gothic doom/death metal should enjoy this album. STANDOUT TRACKS INCLUDE "Christianic Resurrection" "Gardenia" and "FInal Lament". RECOMMENDED BUY.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nevertanezra Interview

1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?
Well, I started the band out of a desire to play Heavy Metal over 10 years ago. After hearing Iron Maiden and Metallica for the first time I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve been the sole member since it started because Utah is a shitty place for Metal.

2.How would you describe your musical sound?
A mixture of more traditional Doom/Death Metal with bits of Thrash and Progressive. That’s the best way I can describe our sound.

3.What is the meaning behind the band's name?
There is no meaning to be completely honest. It’s just something I came up with one day. It sounded cool and no one else was using it so I went for it.

4.How would you describe the lyrical content of the music?
Anything and everything really. I’ve written volumes of lyrics about death, depression, mental problems and suicide (you know, the typical Doom fare, lol) but I’ve also written an even larger amount about fantasy & mythology (the other typical Doom fare). The only thing I’m not really keen on writing about is politics. I cannot stand politics in music!

5.According to your myspace page you have been around for ten years, how would you describe your musical progress over the years and what direction do you see the music heading into on future releases?
When I started playing guitar I wanted sound like my heroes, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Judas Priest, etc… I started playing Thrash then I went to a more traditional Metal sound. Then I went to a Gothic style of Metal to Death to Grind. I got really tired of fast music after awhile however. I was never that into Doom Metal of any kind until I accidentally stumbled across ‘Icon’ by Paradise Lost. That was my musical rebirth and that’s when I started writing/playing Doom, Doom/Death Metal. As far as the future of the bands style goes, I plan on keeping this band/project a Doom project. We’ve been discussing doing EP’s in other styles of Metal, but the albums will be Doom. We’re all very big Heavy Metal fans. It’s a genera with a plethora of styles and we love and follow them all.

6.How have fans of doom metal reacted to your musical style so far?
So far the response has been very good, the one hindrance that we have is that we haven’t played live. If we did we’d probably have a better response.

7.What are some bands or music styles that have influenced your music and what are you listening to nowadays?
Heavy Metal is the influence. Period. The bands that directly influence the my bands sound as it stands now are as follows: Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Anathema, Avernus, Cathedral, Novembers Doom, Iron Maiden, Mar de Grises, Evoken, Type-O-Negative & Mistress of the Dead. As stated above, our influences are vast but as far as this project goes it’s very specific.
Currently I’ve been listening to more old school Thrash and NWOBHM. NWOBHM has always been my favorite style of Heavy Metal and in more recent years its become easier to get. I’m more or less feeding my ever growing CD collection with good Heavy Metal.

8.Are you satisfied with the results of your newer material and what are some things that you would like to accomplish with your music that you have not been able to do yet?
I am very please with the progress that’s taken place. The new material sounds very different from the EP. It wasn’t an intentional thing it’s just the evolutionary process. It’s heavier, slower and more experimental. What I’d love to accomplish more than anything would be to make a living off of this hobby. I’d also love to play some live shows. My heads not so big as to care if we were opening or headlining but just playing and possibly with our heroes that would be an accomplishment.

9.You have some big names that have contributed to your new material, how did you get in contact with those musicians?
Funny you ask, I hate myspace with every fiber of my being, not so much for what it started as but what it has become. In a nut shell I secretly created an account in order to contact Rick McCoy (Avernus) on how to get my hands on their out of print material. We became friends after a series of emails. I had been recording the EP and needed a vocalist since I can’t for the life of me do Death vox. I asked him, assuming that he’d say no, but he instead said yes and sent me his phone number. I did my best not to fanboy out, you’d have to ask him how I did however, lol. I was living with my sister at the time and she agreed that he could come out. The weekend came we hung out, did the recording and then he went home. I’m sure he was bored to tears since my friends and I are very dull people.
As far as getting Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) to do the artwork I just emailed him. After a few emails we made a deal and shortly thereafter I was more than pleasantly surprised with his work. We plan on using him again in the future. I had thought about using him prior to establishing communication, but then just brushed aside the thought thinking that he would be too big or to busy to respond. I contacted him at the instance of another friend Ryan Henry. Ryan was part of the Doom/Death duo Necare and the mastermind behind Funeral Doom titan Reclusiam. I met him through Jayke my other guitarist (a humorous and long story in itself.)

10. How would you describe the metal scene in your home state of Utah?
How do you describe something that isn’t there? Lol! Utah is a great place for punks, hicks and indie fans. If a big act like Poison, Scorpions or Ozzy comes through the long hairs come out of the wood work but none of the people seem to be into the underground or “extreme” bands. There have been a few failed attempts to create or sustain a scene but they’ve been futile at best. Too many elitists and fractured cliques and perhaps generation gaps to give it an honest try. Thankfully the REAL Metal scene has always been international.

11.What are some of your interests outside of music?
My wife and I just bought a house so that keeps us busy. We also got a black lab named Mr. Grimm who’s been a lot of fun. I also like to go shooting, hunting and playing video games. I suppose I’m not too dissimilar from most people.

12. Any final words or thoughts?
Thank you for the interview first of all! Check out our myspace ( HYPERLINK "" ) & if you enjoy what you hear buy a copy.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Septic Flesh/Sumerian Daemons/Hammerheart Records/2004 CD Review

Septic Flesh are a band from Greece that has been around for more than 20 years and this is a review of their classic 2004 album "Sumerian Daemons" which was released by Hammerheart Records.

Drums are very fast with alot of blast beats being utilized while the bass playing which is mixed down low in the mix has a very dark tone that follows the riffs that are coming out off the guitars, as for the keyboards they have a dark sound that remind me of a classic horror movie soundtrack with some industrial style sounds that have a slight gothic influence.

Rythym guitars contain alot of variety with some very fast death metal riffing that contain a little bit of a thrash influence mixed with some more slow melodic riffs while the guitar leads sound very melodic with alot of talent being utilized.

Vocals are mostly low pitched death metal growls with some clean male and female vocals that have a very symphonic opereatic feel and at times gothic sounding while the lyrics cover the mythologies of Summer, Greece as well as some Faustian, Luciferian, Left Hand Path and other esoteric/occult philosophies, as for the production on this albumwhich was recorded and mixed at Studio Freeman in Sweden during the months of May and June of 2002 sounds very professional and all of the instruments come out sounding good.

In my opinion this is a very good album from Septic Flesh and while I prefered the albums they did before this one, I still feel this is a good album from the band and it seemed like they were going back to their heavier roots on this album, if you are a fan of Septic Flesh you would not be disapointed and you probably already have this cd since it come out a long time ago.
STANDOUT TRACKS INCLUDE "Unbeliever" "when All Is None" "dark River" "Magic Loves Infinity" "Infernal Sun" and "Shapeshifter". RECOMMENDED BUY