Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wall Of The Eyeless Interview

Questions by SL

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

Now it's mainly the demo promotion - we want as many people as possible to hear our music. And, of course, we continue to practice and I continue writing songs.

2. How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the demo?

Well, the sound of the demo leaves much to be desired, to be honest, because it was recorded by us only without any help and not at the professional studio, but in swedish folkhögskola's one - we simply didn't have time and enough money at that point to record in a professional studio. So I handled all the recording and mixing duties as well, and I'm not a pro in this at all, but I think that I managed to get the best out of the equipment we had. And, after all, it's a demo. Besides, according to some of the feedback and reviews we've got, some people even like this dark, somehow old school demo sound.

As for the music itself, it's a combination of various influences. I'm not a fan of separating music into genres, but I've heard other people describing our sound as progressive death/doom metal with the various influences. Also, I've used the acoustic guitars on the record and the guitar solos are the part of our sound and concept. We tried to preserve the dark atmosphere of the music on the record, and, according to the feedback we're getting, we succeeded in that.

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

The lyrics are influenced by the life in general and some personal inner struggles. The lyrics are just my thoughts, really. Mostly symbolic, of course - for example, "the steel" in the first song on the demo, "The Hands", denotes the cold, hard-hearted people. 
I think the lyrics should be the important part of the songs and must hold some message in them.

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

Well, I guess it's enough to read the title song's lyrics, "Wall Of The Eyeless":

"the flame of pyre so bright tonight,
but no one can see it.
people have lost the senses and might
and they spit on the graves of friends, they spit
and lose their faith - now it’s not so strong.
they stand in line with hollow eyes.
they form the wall of the eyeless with the sharp and gleaming thorns.
can’t see the pyre they’re burning in, the dancing hungry fire."

It's about some of the people in our society, and I have the impression that the amount of such people grows every day, which is not good at all. They are dangerous, but they are blind to everything that's happening around them and to what are they actually doing. So, if you imagine the one, wall of the eyeless is really massive. Hopefully, not too many people would choose to be the bricks in and of this wall. That's why the phrase "Open Your Eyes" is written in the demo's booklet.

5. I have noticed one member lives in Russia and another lives in Sweden how do you get the music recorded with that huge of a distance?

Yeah, I'm originally from Pskov, Russia, and Simon, the drummer, is from Sweden. But we actually rehearsed and recorded the demo in Sweden together in just 1,5 months. I was studying there and definitely planning to return there and continue with the band after I finish my own university.
Distance is not a huge problem anymore - Internet helps us to be in touch all the time.

6. Are you planning on adding more members to the project?

Yes, definitely. I, being the guitarist in the first place, ended up doing all the bass and the vocals on the demo as well, but I really want to concentrate on the guitar only. We are planning to be an active live band and play live as much as possible, so yes, we will definitely try to finalize the lineup.

7. Currently you are unsinged are you looking for a label and if so, what kind of label do you feel that would be a perfect fit for your music?

It can be any type of the label. really, as long as it's run by the dedicated to music, active, energetic and liable people and with the ability to promote the records and the bands as much as possible.

8. Pest Promotions has been distributing your music around the world, how did you get in contact with them and how would you describe the support that they have given you so far?

I think they are doing the good job and Adrian is a very nice person, but it's hard to say about the results now because we're with them for only two weeks or something like that.
I've got in contact directly with Adrian and first and foremost about some Slowly We Rot Zine (the first issue of which will be out soon,   I believe) concerns, and he told me about the agency. I ended up helping him out with the zine as well.

9.  On a worldwide level how has your music been recieved by fans of underground metal?

The feedback we've received is really positive so far, even more positive than we expected. The reviews give the demo a solid 4/5, which is just great, because we realize that there are the much better produced demos out there nowadays. It's not that hard now to go to the cool studio or even hire a producer as well and make yourself a great sound if you do have a lot of money. 

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

I don't know, really. We'll try to improve our playing and songwriting skills and we'll try to keep the songs interesting. The blending of different styles and influences isn't going anywhere 'cos it's the way I write songs :) And I really hope to re-record even all the demo tracks in the better studio.

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

We're influenced by mostly metal and rock music, both new and old, which is kind of obvious, but I really think that all the music you ever listened to leaves at least some mark on you. 
We can listen to anything, really - as long as it's good in our opinion.

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

Travelling, foreign languages, artwork/design and vinyl records to name a few. The last one is also connected with music, though :) 

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

Just want to say hello and thanks to everyone who supports us and the underground music scene in general. May everything you do be not fake and come from the heart.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Wall Of The Eyeless/Through Emptiness/2011 Demo Review

Wall  Of  The  Eyeless  are  a  duo  with  members  from  Russia  and  Sweden  that  play  a  very  progressive and  melodic  form  of  death/doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2011  demo  "Through  Emptiness".

  Drums  range  from  slow,  mid  paced  to  fast  drumming  with  a  good  amount  of  blast  beats  being  thrown  into  the  music,  while  the  bass  playing  has  a  very  dark  tone  with  riffs  that  follow  the  riffing  that  is  coming  out  of  the  guitars,  as  for  the  synths  when  they  are  utilized  they  bring  a  very  dark,  atmospheric  and  progressive  sound  to  the  music.

  Rhythm  guitars  range  from  slow,  mid  paced  to  fast  melodic  death/doom  metal  riffs  that  have  a  thrash  edge to  them  at  times,  while  the  lead  guitars  are  very  melodic  and  progressive  sounding  death  metal  guitar  solos  and  leads  with  some  70's  rock  influences,  as  for  the  acoustic  guitars  they  use  finger  picking  and  full  chords  to  bring  a  progressive  rock  feeling  to  the  music.

  Vocals  are  mostly  deep  death  metal  growls  with  some  clean  singing  being  used  at  times,  while  the  lyrics  cover  every  day  themes,  as  for  the  production  it  has  a  very  dark  and  heavy  sound  to  it  and  you  can  tell  that  it  is  a  demo.

  In  my  opinion  Wall  Of  The  Eyeless  are  a  very  great  melodic  and  progressive  sounding  death/doom  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  style,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Hands"  and  "The  Rain  Song".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Helmut/XI IX XI/Heimathome Records/2012 CD Review

  Helmut  are  a  band  from  Switzerland  that  combines  stoner,  doom,  and  sludge  metal  with  70's  blues/southern  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2012  album  "XI  IX  XI"  which  was  released  by  Heimathome  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  dark  tone  with  riffs  that  follow  the  riffing  that  is  coming  out  of  the  guitars.

  Rhythm  guitars  range  from  slow  to  mid  paced  riffs  that  combine  sludge,  stoner,  doom,  blues  and  groove  metal  together,  while  the  lead  guitars  are  very  70's  rock  sounding  guitar  solos  and  leads,  as  for  the  acoustic  guitars  when  they  are  utilized  they  use  full  chords,  sound  effects  and  finger  picking  to bring  a  southern  rock  feeling  to  the  music  with  a  brief  use  of  slide  guitar  playing.

  Vocals  range  from  deep  death/groove  metal  growls,  high  pitched  sludge  screams  and  clean  singing  vocals,  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  everyday  themes,  as  for  the  production  it  has  a  very  strong,  powerful  and  heavy  sound  to  it.

  In  my  opinion Helmut  are  a  very  great  sounding  sludge/stoner/doom/groove/blues  metal  hybrid  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  style,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Divine  Kebab"  "Tap  7"  "Chickenbrian'  and  "Doomkopf".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Crown/The One/Superstrong Records/2012 CD Review

  Crown  are  a  2  man  band  from  France  that  plays  a  very  heavy  form  of  sludge/doom  metal  that  is  very  atmospheric  and  progressive  sounding  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2012  album  "The  One"  which was  released  by  Superstrong  Records.

  Drum  programming  is  all  slow  beats,  while  the  synths  bring  a  very  dark,  atmospheric,  industrial,  and  ambient  feeling  to  the  music  and  there  is  no  use  of  a  bass  guitar  on  this  recording.

  Rhythm  guitars  are  all  slow  and  heavy  sludge/doom  metal  riffs  that  have  an  industrial  feeling  to them  with  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing  being  utilized  on  a  couple  of  songs  and  there  are  no  guitar  solos  or  leads  present  on  this  recording.

  Vocals  are  mostly  deep   doom/death/sludge  metal  growls  with  a  good  amount  of  clean  singing  as  well  as  a  brief  spoken  word  part,  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes,  as  for  the  production  it  has  a  very  dark,  heavy,  raw  and  primitive  sound  to  it.

  In  my  opinion  Crown  are  a  very  great  sounding  progressive  doom/sludge  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  style,  you  should  check out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Cosmogasm"  and  "Mare".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Vaast Interview

1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?
we're three old punk/metal dudes (tim, jeff, and mike)from portsmouth nh who've been playing music together for about six years. 

2. How would you describe your musical sound?
prog crust, perhaps? we have pretty eclectic tastes, and write a lot of music, so our sound can vary greatly and often. 

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
the overall lyrical theme is that of hopelessly watching the world fall apart around you. our main lyricist mike is a teacher who works with special needs kids from broken homes. it's a constant reminder of the effects of alcoholism, hard drugs, and media brainwashing.  

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
we thought we had made the word up, and chose it strictly for visual reasons (originally  vaast had three a's and three umlauts). apparently it was also the name of a monk who ascended to heaven via spontaneous human combustion. 

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
our favorite shows thus far have been with bands such as thou, backstabbers inc., the body, howl, and a ton of others. our shows are fueled by copious amounts of caffeine and marajuana. 

6. Do you have any touring plans for the future?
we're planning on a two to three week east coast tour this summer, most likely with another gnarly nh band such as kyoty or ultra/negative, so if you're reading this and  have a basement/art space/show space send us an email. 

7. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label and if so what kind of label do you feel that would be a perfect fit for the music?
our last ep was put out by a small hip hop label which we absolutely appreciate, but wasn't necessarily the best pairing. although we aren't actively looking for a label we can see the benefit of both larger and smaller independent labels, and would probably jump at either opportunity. at the end of the day, i'm content giving my music away on the internet. 

8. Are there any other projects besides this band or is this a full time line up?
vaast is definitely everyone's first priority, but we always have things going on on the side. currently jeff plays drums in the grunge band ellen page, and a yet-to-be-named black metal band with members of backstabbers inc. mike and i played in a power violence band called godbuzzard for a number of years. it's not uncommon for us to play back to back sets with different bands. 

9. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
the next batch of songs will be lengthy, self indulgent instrumentals most likely followed by a slew of simple d beat or grind songs. we constantly write new music, and enjoy jumping from style to style as our mood sees fit. the goal for the coming year is to record as often as we create. 

10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
our biggest influences are nineties hardcore and metal bands such as his hero is gone, catharsis, today is the day, neurosis, combat wounded veteran, carcass etc... as well as latter day black flag, voivod, black metal, doom, prog rock, and fusion jazz. current stuff we're into includes masakari, victims, stormcrow, hellshock, negura bunget, baroness, and all things southern lord. 

11.Outside of music what are some of your interests?
we're all avid hikers and outdoorsmen. i've spent a good portion of this winter snowshoeing through the white mountains. most of us also fancy ourselves  artists/painters, and usually have several showings throughout the year. jeff is also very active in the theater. 

12. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
 it's been really cool watching this music go from complete obscurity to being readily available at my local music store. we're very thankful you can be in your mid thirties in this scene and still not only be relevant, but often revered. punk is alive and well, and i can't wait to still play it when i'm fucking fifty. 

Stormcrow/Enslaved In Darkness/Enslaved In Darkness/Selfmadegod/2012 CD Re-Issue Review

  Stormcrow  where  a  band  from  Oakland,  California  that  played  a  mixture  of  doom,  death  metal  and  crustcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2005  album  "Enslaved  In  Darkness"  which  was  re-issued  by  Selfmadegod  in  the  year  of  2012.

  Drums  range  from  slow,  mid  paced  to  fast  drumming  with  some  blast  beats  being  thrown  in  at  times,  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  to  them.

  Rhythm  guitars  range  from  slow,  mid  paced  to  fast  riffs  that  combine  doom,  death  metal  and  crustcore  with  some  dark  sounding  melodies  in  addition  there  is  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing  being  utilized  on  one  song  as  for  the  lead  guitars  which  are  only  utilized  on  one  song  are  very  dark  sounding  death/doom  metal  guitar  leads  that  do not  really  turn  into  a  solo.

  Vocals  are  all  very  deep  and  dark  sounding  death  metal  growls,  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  hateful  themes,  as  for  the  production  it  has  a  very  dark  and  heavy  sound  to  it  while  retaining  the  rawness  and  aggression  of  the  music.

  In  my  opinion  Stormcrow  where  a  very  great  sounding  doom/death  metal/crustcore  hybrid  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  style,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Enslaved  In  Darkness"  and  "New  Messiah".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.