Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Generation Of Vipers Interview

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

Billy: We have been focusing on writing songs for a new album lately. It's been tough because Josh and I are in other bands, Travis owns a recording studio, and we all work day jobs on top of that. I'd say we are about half way finished with a new record. There's not a shortage of ideas, we just have to find the time to construct those ideas into cohesive songs.
Josh: We also just recorded two cover songs that are going to be released on 7" and limited cassette very soon. One is a cover of "Gates of Steel" by Devo and the other is a cover of "Milk It" by Nirvana. We kind of did our own take on them. It was sort of a way of us paying homage to two bands that we love, but also a way to rediscover what made us excited to play music in the first place.

2. How would you describe your musical sound?

Billy: Dense and dark with a heavy groove. Oh, and loud.
Josh: Cathartic and often times aggressive, yet simultaneously graceful. 

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Josh: There has always been an underlying theme of self-discovery and really at its core, the basic elements of Witchcraft and Paganism in our lyrics. The lyrical content on our most recent album "Howl and Filth" is very autobiographical. I realize that to the average listener, the words may seem abstract and vague, but if you really pay attention, a lot of it is there laid open for all to see. "The Misery Coil" for example is very much about my struggle with substance abuse and depression that I had kept hidden from my friends and family for a LONG time, which I have been in therapy for for quite some time now. "Ritual" was inspired by an extremely tragic and life altering event that the three of us experienced and lived through together that I will not go into, although a lot of people close to us that know what we've been through could probably pick that out. The words for all the songs on the album have a deliberate and central theme to them and that is discovering and trusting your primal instincts and distilling all fear into something pure and beautiful. It was a very honest and cathartic experience writing and recording these songs and a true learning experience for me personally. 

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
Josh: The band name is and always been a statement about the search for the elusive truth. It symbolizes the journey for true honest connection and communication with other human beings over deception and falsities. We are bombarded every day with meaningless filler and distractions that prevent us from communicating with each other on an intimate human level. I feel like the masses in general have forgotten how to interact with one another and everything gets smeared and obscured with things that have no real significance to our daily lives. If what we put forth as a band can in some very small way, show people that there are still free thinking individuals out there on this planet such as the 3 of us that strive to connect in a genuine way, then I feel like we are doing what we set forth to do when we started this whole thing.

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?

Billy: One of my favorite shows we've played was a couple of years ago with our friends HULL in Brooklyn at Saint Vitus. It was just a great experience. That venue is incredible and we had a good turnout. Not to sound cliche, but we're all 3 heavily invested in our music in many ways. From all the hours rehearsing/writing, to monetary investments and being emotionally invested. When we play it is a cathartic and therapeutic experience for all of us. However that translates on stage may vary from night to night, but it's always intense.
Josh: I don't have any particular shows that stand out to me personally off the top of my head. I do feel like our stage performance is rarely affected by the turnout though. Whether we are playing to one person or 100 or even 1000, it doesn't seem to make a difference with the amount of intensity and energy that we put forth. We all 3 tend to be in our cocoon when we play. There is an overwhelming energy between us that is hard to quantify really.

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

Billy: All we have scheduled right now is this European tour for September, and a show with our friends Windhand when we get back home. After that, we really want to concentrate on writing and not play any shows until we have a new record.
Josh: Yeah right now the Euro tour and the one off show with Windhand as Billy had mentioned, are the only things on the horizon at the moment. When we return home, we'll continue writing for our next record probably through the end of the year I would imagine. That's our main focus right now.

7.Recently Golden Antenna records re-issued your 2011 album, what are your thoughts of the final product?
Josh: We haven't seen the finished product yet in person, but the Golden Antenna pressing will be a little bit different than the U.S. pressing which is really cool. The packaging is different and more in line with what we wanted to do with it originally. We're really proud of it.

8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge and post hardcore?

Billy: The response has been very positive overall, particularly for Howl and Filth. Oddly enough, a vast majority of our fans seem to be in Europe. Most of the positive feedback and online orders seem to come from European countries. Hopefully that will translate into a successful tour next month!
Josh: I agree that most of the correspondence we receive is overwhelmingly from European countries. We do seem to have a loyal and steadily growing fan base here in the states as well though. I personally would hope that fans of ALL types of music could look past the aggressive nature of our sound and find something to take away from it. I love punk and metal music, but I also love sound in general. I study everything very intensely no matter what it is and I hope we can attract those like minded people in our vision.

9. What is going on with the other musical projects these days?

Billy: I also play drums in A Storm of Light and we have a new album coming out in September on Southern Lord. It's definitely the strongest Storm album to date and was recorded by our very own Travis Kammeyer at his Fahrenheit Studios. Josh and I also play in U.S. Christmas (USX) and we have been playing a few shows in the southeastern United States, including a show with Mastodon and ASG in Asheville, NC.
Josh: I also play bass guitar in U.S. Christmas as Billy mentioned. I am currently working on the artwork for the vinyl release of our last album "The Valley Path" and hopefully that will finally come out in the near future on Hyperrealist Records out of Savannah, GA. I stay very busy with my art and graphic design work these days, so it leaves little time to do much else.

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

Billy: I see us becoming a down-tuned, insanely heavy Parliament/Funkadelic.
Josh: I have no idea in terms of what genre one might try to categorize it in. I just know that whatever we do, it will be honest and pure and full of intensity, much like everything else we've done. It will sound like us!

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

Billy: I think we all are influenced by the early to mid 90's heavy music scene. Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Hum etc. Also everything from Black Flag to Devo to Killing Joke. We all listen to different stuff. I personally don't listen to much heavy music anymore. Over the past few years, I've been getting more into jazz, particularly the classic John Coltrane Quartet, McCoy Tyner, and pretty much anything released on Blue Note or Impulse! in the 1960's.
Josh: I totally agree with Billy. I love heavy music a lot and I grew up on a healthy diet of bands like Ministry, Prong, Minutemen, Melvins, Black Flag, Devo and a slew of other stuff similar to that. I still listen to a lot of aggressive music, but I really keep an open mind and enjoy listening to and am influenced by a very wide variety of sounds. Old country, bluegrass, classical, jazz, surf music, hip hop, whatever it is, if it sounds good, I'll listen. I am a fan of sound in general first and foremost. I actually really hate when people tell me that there is nothing new being done in music. There are so many amazing artists out there producing incredible work! You've just gotta be willing to dig a little for it!

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

Billy: Music takes up a majority of my time, which is perfect. Other than that, obsessively watching TV shows on Netflix and hiking is always good.
Josh: I'm a documentary fanatic and can't get enough of them. I also do a great deal of graphic design work, painting and print making that takes up a considerable amount of my time. I like to write a lot as well and am always working on that.

13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Thanks for the interview and thanks to Timo at Golden Antenna and Mike from Persil Booking for all their hard work and making this tour happen. We are truly grateful.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ancient Crypts/Devoured By Serpents/Iron Bonehead Productions/2013 Cassette Review

  Ancient  Crypts  are  a  band  from  Chile  that  plays  a  dark  and  old  school  mixture  of  death  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2013  cassette  "Devoured  By  Serpents'  which  was  released  by  Iron  Bonehead  Productions.

  "Deep  Into  the  Ancient  Crypts"  starts  off  with  guitar  distortion  and  drums  before  going  into  a  dark  and  heavy  doom  metal  guitar  riff  along  with  some  melodic  parts,  after  awhile  blast  beats  and  fast  old  school  death  metal  riffs  kick  in  along  with  some  deep  growls  as  well  as  switching  back  and  forth  between  the  slow  and  fast  parts.

  "Between  The  Mortuary  Remains"  starts  off  with  blast  beats,  fast  death  metal  guitar  riffs  and  deep  growls  and  switching  form  slow  and  fast  parts  throughout  the  song  as  well  as mixing  in  doom  metal  elements  in  the  slower  sections.

  "Devoured  By  Remains"  starts  off  with  powerful  drums  and  heavy  doom/death  guitar  riffing  which  sets  up  the  pace  for  the  deep  growls  staying  in  that  area  for  a  couple  of  minutes  before  adding  in  dark  sounding  melodies  into  the  guitar riffing  while  still  retaining  the  heavier  parts  and  speeding  up  a  bit  with  some  blast  beats.

  "Procession  To  Nyarlathotep"  starts  off  with  dark  melodies,  heavy  doom/death  metal  guitar  riffs  and  powerful  drums  which  set  up  the  mood  for  the  deep  growls  and  after  awhile t he  song  goes  into  a  more  old  school  death  metal  direction  with  blast  beats  and  fast  riffing   for  a  few  moments  before  returning  to  the  slower  parts and  as  the  song  moves  on  their  is  a  brief  use  of  a  dark  guitar  solo  mixing  in  with t he  rhythm  sections.

  Song  lyrics  cover  Lovecraft  and  Necronomicon  themes,  while  the  production  has  a  very  strong,  powerful,  heavy  and  dark  sound  with the  bass  guitar  being  mixed  down  low  in  the  mix  with  some  of  the  songs  being  long  and  epic  in  length.

  In  my  opinion  Ancient  Crypts  are  a  very  great  sounding  hybrid  of  doom  and  old  school  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out t his  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Deep  Into  the  Ancient  Crypts"  and  "Procession  To  Nyarlathotep".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Hourvari/Self Titled/Lost Pilgrims Records/2013 EP Review

  Hourvari  are  a  band  from  France  that  plays  a  mixture  of  hardcore,  post  rock,  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2013  ep  which  was  released  by  Lost  Pilgrims  Records.

  "I"  starts  off  with  some  soft  acoustic  guitars  which  utilizes  both  finger  picking  and  full  chords  which  leads  to  the  set  up  of  the  drumming  and  clean  singing along  with  some  bass  playing  and  powerful,  heavy  guitar  riffs  which  utilize  some  melodic  elements  which  in  returns  lead  to  some  screams,  growls  and  post  rock  guitar  leads  while  also  keeping  a  very  dark  atmosphere  before  switching  back  and  forth  between  soft  and  heavy  parts.

  "II"  starts  off  with  some  drums  and  distorted  clean  playing  and  then  the  heavy  bass  doom  riffs  and  screams  kick  in  along  with  a  melodic  post  rock  riff  which  sets  up  the  pace  for  the  melodic  post  hardcore  style  clean  singing  which  in  returns  gets  more  aggressive  as  the  song  moves  on,  then  the  song  switches  back  and  forth  between  being  soft  and  heavy

  Lyrics  on  the  recording  cover  dark  themes,  while  the  production  has  a  very  strong,  powerful,  heavy, d ark  and  professional  sound  where  you  can  hear  all  of  the   musical  instruments  that are  present  on  the  ep  with  both  songs  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  In  my  opinion  Hourvari  are  a  very  great  sounding  hybrid  of  hardcore,  post  rock,  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "I".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.

Generation Of Vipers/Howl And Filth/Golden Antenna Records/2013 CD Review

  Generation  Of  Vipers  are  a  band  from  Knoxville,  Tennessee  that  plays  progressive  sludge  metal with  elements  of  post  hardcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2013  album  "Howl  And  Filth"  which  was  released  by  Golden  Antenna  Records.

  "Ritual"  starts  off    with  a  heavy  bass  line,  slow  drums,  and  melodic  riffing  before  the  heavy  riffs  and  growls  kick  in  along  with  a  distorted  sounding  guitar  lead  for  awhile  and  then  the  clean  playing  parts  come  into  the  music  before  returning  back  to  the  heavier  elements.

  "Silent  Shroud"  starts  off  with  powerful  drumming  and  heavy  sludge  guitar  riffs  with  the  vocals  making  their  presence  known  shortly  after  that  before  heading  into  melodic  post  hardcore  style  riffing  and  bring  in  some  powerful  bass  playing  before  heading  into a  dark  single  note  doom  metal  riff  and  back  to  the  heavy  power  chords.

  "All  Of  This  Mine"  starts  off  with  a  soft  piano  piece  along  with  some  whispers  and  avant  garde  elements  and  the  song  is  very  short.

  "Eternal"  starts  off  with  a  heavy  doom/sludge  metal  riff  and  powerful  drumming  along  with  some  grim  growls  and  dark  melodies  before  heading  into  post  rock/hardcore  riffing

  "Slow  Burn"  starts  off  with  some  sound  effects,  slow  drum  beats  and  powerful  bass  playing  as  well  as  some  dark  and  soft  growls  which  leads  to  the  heavy  riffing  as  well  as  some  melodic  post  hardcore  guitar  leads  and  then  the  guitars  stop  for  awhile  and  the  bass  guitars  kick  in  with  some  dark  riffing  before  the  return  of  the  heavy  guitars  as  well  as  some  heavy  distorted  reverb  and  the  guitar  leads  return  for  a  few  seconds  with  the  song  closing  with  some  screams  and  heavy  riffs.

  "This  Mortal  Coil"  starts  off  with  some  distorted  effects  and  exotic  clean  playing  before  getting  really  heavy  with  powerful,  drumming,  guitars  and  aggressive  growls  and  a  great  amount  of  influences  from  Neurosis  throughout  the  song  on  the  distorted  parts  which  also  close  the  song.

  Lyrics  on  the  album  cover  pseudo  religious  and  abstract  themes,  while  the  production  has  a  very  strong,  powerful,  heavy,  dark  and  professional  sound  where  you  can  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  album.

  In  my  opinion  Generation  Of  Vipers  are  a  very  great  sounding  hybrid  of  progressive  sludge  metal  and  post  hardcore  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  the  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Ritual"  and  "Slow  Burn".  RECOMMENDED  BUY.