Sunday, November 25, 2018

Clegane/Father Merrin/Sleeping Church Records/Almost Famous/2018 Split Album Review


  This  is  a  review  of  a  split  album  between  France's  Clegane  and  Father  Merrin  which  was  released  as  a  joint  effort  between  Sleeping  Church  Records  and  Almost  Famous  and  we  will  start  off  the  review  with  Clegane  a  band  that  plays  a  mixture  of  sludge  and  doom  metal.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  some  powerful  sounding  bass  guitars  along  with  some  clean  vocals  a  few  seconds  later  while  both  of  their  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  the  guitar  riffs  also  adding  in  the  heaviness  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody.

  Elements  of  stoner  rock  can  also  be  heard  at  times  while  both  of  the  tracks  stick  to  a  slower  direction  along  with  the  bass  guitars  also  being  used  as  a  lead  instrument  as  well as  the  vocals  also  adding  in  a  brief  use  of  aggressive  screams  and  the  guitar  leads  also  stick  to  more  of  a  retro  style,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  death,  loss,  oblivion  and  the  heavy  wight  of  living  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Clegane  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  TRACK  "Through  Wounds". 

  Next  up  si  Father  Merrin  who  return  with  their  mixture  of  stoner,  sludge  and  doom  metal.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  a  very  dark,  heavy  and  melodic  doom  metal  sound  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  old  school  style  along  with  the  vocals  adding  in  an  aggressive  style  of  stoner  metal  as  well  as  the  music  also  capturing  the  heaviness  of  sludge  metal.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  their  side  of  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  most  of  their  songs  are  long  and  epic  in  length  along  with  the  vocals  also  getting  very  semi  melodic  at  times  as  well  as  a  few  growls  and  screams  and  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  spoken  word  parts  are  added  onto t he  closing  track,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Father  Merrin  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  stoner,  sludge  and  doom  metal,  you  should  check  out  their  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "A  Prophet-Self  Denied".

  In  conclusion  I  feel  this  is  a  very  great  sounding  split  and  I  would  recommend  it  to  all  fans  of  stoner,  sludge  and  doom  metal.  8  out  of  10.    

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Tombtoker Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Brandon: We're kind of like Black Sabbath mixed with Helmet with death metal vocals. We're all really good friends outside of the band. It started with me and nick just trying to put some slower songs together for fun and eventually we brought in some friends to flesh it out and everything came out sounding alot better than expected.


2.You have an ep coming out in December, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on this recording?
Brandon: Slow and dark was the goal. A few of us were in a really fast hardcore band called Enemy Insects, so this time around we wanted to slow things down a bit. It's basically that band without the fast parts haha

3.The band members come from 'Enemy Instincts' and 'Roomrunner', what was the decision behind leaving those bands to form a new one?
Brandon: I think those bands just kinda fell apart after a while. We didn't leave them to do this. They were over and this just kinda happened. We have a big group of musician friends where we are from. So every band is members of another band. It's really about hanging out with your friends and having a good time for us.


4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Mark: I usually get ideas for lyrics from something I read in the news, from a movie, TV show or something, which I find interesting enough to look into some more then I write a story about it. They'll range from mythology/fantasy to sci-fi to gore with some humour thrown in there. Whatever I feel like writing about at that time.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Tombtoker'?
Brandon: it's a name I've had in my back pocket since the early 2000's. I just never had a band that sounded like it could be called tombtoker. This bands sound seems to fit pretty well with it. I know it may sound like it, to some, with that name, but weed isn't our identity. Not that we're against it.

6.The album title and cover have an Egyptian theme to them, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the history and mythology of Egypt'?
Nick: So this is something that I kind of pursued. Brandon was experimenting with the scale-set that was very "Egyptian", in the audial sense. So that was the jumping-off point. It was something I had never really heard before in the "doom/stoner" metal scene, and I thought it fit perfectly. Especially in a world that usually consists of distinctly European influence. Combine that with the idea of the name "Tombtoker" and it started to come together. Ancient Egyptian culture and mythology is something that's struck a nerve with now-modern humanity. It's a perfect mix of being VERY old, to the point we aren't *really* sure of what we know, But, it's also amazingly documented compared to other "ancient" civilizations of the time. The idea of "being old, but not forgotten" really rang a bell in my head. Combine that with the Egyptians famous penchant for dedicating themselves to extremely long projects of culture, and a world-view that extended beyond "the world" itself. I took a fair amount of care in making sure we were channeling that atmosphere, without also using it as a hokey one-off exploitation of that part of human existence. The final aspect is tied into the second, which is just the absolutely grand scope of that old mythology. It extends out, even more, than a lot of the European mythos (which is so prevelent in this kind of scene). A lot of Egyptian mythology is very intertwined with itself. It builds on itself, it has aspects of what people were learning at the time worked into it's stories. I think that fit our approach to our songwriting perfectly. When we went with the name "Tombtoker," we wanted it to sound to a first-listener like they had uncovered something old, but something that still felt fresh. If you can come up with a different description of a mummy, I'd like to hear it. When we chose that imagery, all I had to do was send a shitty phone recording of one of our songs to our good friend John DeCampos, with an even shittier pencil-drawing of my concept and he just ran with it and created an image that, I think, very perfectly describes our sound.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Brandon: 420fest at Metro Gallery in Baltimore was def a highlight. We just played at Skidrow Garage in York, PA a couple weeks ago and that ruled. We just kinda go out there and bang em out. Our drummer is a beast so we really gotta turn up.

8.Do you have any touring or show plans once the ep is released?
Brandon: Well the record release show is gonna be at this gnarly fest in Baltimore called December Doomsday December 8th. With Weedeater, Heavy Temple, Unearthly Trance, Black Lung, and Foehammer, on the bill it's sure to crush. We'll def be lining up a small tour soon.

9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of stoner, sludge and doom metal?
Brandon: It's been great. Way more than we expected. People message us all the time about playing shows and wanting physical copies. The record has been getting great reviews. We were just gonna put out 2 song singles ourselves and play a few shows but we ended up having labels hitting us up right after we dropped the first one. Seeing Red Records and Metal Swarm will be putting out cds and tapes. We've been fortunate enough to play Baltimores 420fest with Heavy Temple, Haze Mage and some other rad bands. Now this December Doomsday fest. It's def been good.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Brandon: I think we're still developing our sound. Coffin Texts is made up of riffs I've had for 10 years, as well as some new stuff so it's gonna be interesting to see what we come up with starting from scratch all together.

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?
Brandon: Black Sabbath, Dystopia, Helmet, Morbid Angel, The Jesus Lizard. I've been listening to alot of Weedeater and Heavy Temple. Getting pumped to play along side them at December Doomsday Fest Saturday December 8th at Metro Gallery in Baltimore. Did I mention that's our record release show?

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Brandon: I know we're all into video games. Shout out to that Red Dead Redemption 2! Drunk discgolfing is also a thing. haha

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts? 
Brandon: Buy our new record Coffin Texts, out December 7th on Seeing Red Records and Metal Swarm Records! Cheers!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Ocean/Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic/Metal Blade Records/2018 Full Length Review


  Germany's  The  Ocean  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues  the  progressive  and  atmospheric  mixture  of  sludge  metal  and  post  hardcore  from  previous  releases  and  this is  a  review  of  their  2018 album  "Phanerozoic  I:  Palaeozoic"  which  was  released  by  Metal  Blade  Records.

  An  ambient  orientated  intro  starts  off  the  album  while  also  introducing  keyboards  onto  the  recording  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  and  atmospheric  musical  direction  along  with  some  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  great  amount  of  melody.

  Elements  of  sludge  metal  can  also  be  heard  in  the  slower  sections  of  the  music  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  done  in  a  growling  direction  which  is  also  heavily  influenced  by  hardcore  along  with  some  clean  singing  also  being  utilized  at  times  as  well  as  the  music  also  adding  in  a  great  amount  of  progressive  structures  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard,  as  the  album  progresses  clean  playing  and  stringed  instruments  can   also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  one  of  the  later  songs  is  an  instrumental. 

  On  this  recording  The  Ocean  remains  true  to  the  atmospheric  and  progressive  mixture  of  sludge  metal  and  post  hardcore  from  previous  releases,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  abstract,  philosophical,  globalization  and  modern  age  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  The  Ocean  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band,  you  should  enjoy  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Cambrian  II:  Eternal  Recurrence"  "Silurian:  Age  of  Sea  Scorpions"  and  "Permian:  The  Great  Dying".  8  out  of  10. 


Caged Bastard/Straight Hate To God/2018 EP Review


  Caged  Bastard  are  a  band  from  Tunisia  that  plays  an  experimental  mixture  of  sludge  metal,  grindcore  and  noise  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2018  ep  "Straight  Hate  To  God".

  A  drone  orientated  intro  starts  off  the  ep  along  with  some  demonic  voices  in  the  background  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  sludge  and  doom  metal.

  Vocals  are  mostly  angry  sounding  screams  while  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  short  in  length  along  with  some  elements  of  harsh  noise  also  being  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  as  well  as  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  decent  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies,  when  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  elements  of  grindcore  can  also  be  heard.

  Caged  Bastard  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  experimental,  noise,  grindcore,  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to create  a  sound  of  his  own,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  angry  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Caged  Bastard  are  a  very  great  sounding  experimental  mixture  of  noise,  grindcorte  and  sludge  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "True  Colors"a nd  "Inferior".  8  out  of  10.    

Saturday, November 17, 2018

SOL/Before We Disappear/Van Records/2018 CD Review


  SOL  are  a  solo  project  from  Denmark  that  has  had  music  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  plays  a  mixture  of  experimental.,  doom  and  sludge  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2018  album  "Before We  Disappear"  which  was  released  by  Van  Records.

  Ambient  style  synths  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  atmospheric  sounding  drones  a  few  seconds  later  before  adding  in  some  sludge  style  riffing    while  angry  shouting  style  vocals  can  also  be  heard  at  times  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.

  Stringed  instruments  van  also  be  heard  at  times  while  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  along  with  the  slower  riffs  also  adding  in  the  heaviness  of  doom  metal  as  well  as  the  music  also  getting  very  experimental  at  times,  vocals  also  add  aggressive  screams  into  some  parts  of  the  songs  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  and  operatic  female  vocals  can  also  be  heard  and  one  track  also  adds  in  a  small  amount  of  male  clear  singing,  when  acoustic  guitars  are  used  briefly  they  add  in  elements  of  neo-folk.

  On  this  recording  Sol  takes  his  mus  into  more  of  an  experimental  direction  while  still  adding  in  the  heaviness  of  sludge  and  doom  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  human  decay  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  SOL  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  experimental,  sludge  and  doom  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Wave"  and  "Eastern  Sky".  8  out  of  10.

Tombtoker/Coffin Texts/Seeing Red Records/Metal Swarm/2018 EP Review


  Tombtoker  are  a  band  from  Baltimore,  Maryland  that  plays  a  mixture  of  stoner,  sludge,  doom  metal  and  noise  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  ep "Coffin  texts"  which  will  be  released  in  December  as  a  joint  effort  between  Seeing  Red  Records  and  Metal  Swarm.

  A  very  dark  and  heavy  doom  metal  sound  starts  off  the  ep  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  riffs  also  adding  in  melody  at  times  as  well  as  the  vocals  bringing  in  a  mixture  of  sludge  style  screams  and  death  metal  growls.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  more  of  a  stoner  metal  style  while  elements  of  hardcore  punk  and  noise  rock  can  also  be  heard  at  times  along  with  some  d  beats  also  being  utilized  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  little bit  but  the  main  focus  is  more  on  a  slow  or  mid  tempo  direction.

  Tombtoker  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  stoner,  sludge  and  doom  metal  while  also  mixing  in  some  hardcore  punk  and  noise  rock  influences  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

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.    

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Culled/Thin The Herd, Fail To Learn/Hibernation Release/2018 EP Review


  Culled  are  a  band  from  Edmonton,  Alberta,  Canada  that  plays  a  mixture  of  sludge,  death  metal  and  grindcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  ep  "Thin  The  Herd,  Fail  To  Learn"  which  will  be  released  on  October  26th  by  Hibernation  Release.

  Distorted  drones  along  with  some  spoken  word  samples  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  direction  while  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  bring  in  elements  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  along  with  the  faster  sections  of t he  songs  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  grindcore  influences.

  Vocals  are  a  mixture  of  death  metal  growls  and  screams  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  some  touches  of  thrash  also  being  added  into  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  as  well  as  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  melody  as  the  recording  progresses.

  Spoken  word  samples  also  make  a  return  on  later  songs  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  closing  track  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  which  also  introduces  melodic  guitar  leads  onto  the  closing  and  the  music  also  has  influences  of  hardcore. 

  Culled  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  sludge,  doom,  death  metal  and  grindcore  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  influenced  by  the  writings  of  Noam  Chomsky.

  In  my  opinion  Culled  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  sludge,  doom,  death  metal  and  grindcore  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Divide  to  Conquer"  and  "Contagion".  8  out  of  10. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Voidhaven/Self Titled/Solitude Productions/2018 EP Review


  Voidhaven  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  an  atmospheric  mixture  of  doom/death  and  dark  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2018  ep  which  will  be  released  on  October  19th  by  Solitude  Productions.

  Clean  playing  starts  off  the  ep  while  both  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  along  with  some  stringed  instruments  also  being  utilized  at  times  before  going  into  a  very  slow  and  heavy  doom  metal  direction  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in  a  very  dark  and  melodic  style.

  Clear  vocals  can  also  be  heard  at  times  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  along  with  the  music  also  utilizing  a  great  amount  of  death  metal  growls  as  well  as  some  grim  screams  that  also  add  in  a  touch  of  black  metal,  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  all  of the  musical  sticks  to  a  slower  direction  and  spoken word  parts  are  added  onto  the  second  track.

  Voidhaven  plays  a  musical  style  that  goes  back  to  the  90's  era  of  atmospheric  doom/death  and  dark  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  death  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Voidhaven  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  mixture  of  doom/death  and  dark  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "The  Floating  Grave".  8  out  of  10.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Kaabalh/Self Titled/Dolorem Records/2018 CD Review


  Kaabalh  are  a  band  from  France  that  plays  a  very  putrid  form  of  doom/death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2018  album  which  will  be  released  on  October  26th  by  Dolorem  Records.

  Distorted  amp  noises  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  very  heavy  and  slow  doom  metal  direction  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  deep  death  metal  growls  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Most  of  the  music  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  while  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  when  the  music  speeds  up  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  as  well  as  the  solos  and  leads  also  being  done  in  a  very  dark  and  melodic  style  and  the  music  always  remains  heavy.

  Kaabalh  plays  a  style  of  putrid  doom/death  metal  that  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  old  school  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness,  horror  and  mythology  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Kaabalh  are  a  very  great  sounding  putrid  doom/death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Acheron"  and  "Death's  Ovation".  8  out  of  10.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Kurokuma/Dope Rider/2018 EP Review


  Kurokuma  are  a  band  from  the  United  Kingdom  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  psychedelic  mixture  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2018  ep  "Dope  Rider"  which  will  be  released  on  October  20th.

  Drum  beats  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some  distorted  drones  a  few  seconds  later  which  also  takes  the  music  into  a  heavier  sludge  metal  direction  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  last  track  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  the  slower  riffs  adding  in  elements  of  doom  metal.

  Vocals  are  done  mostly  in  a  shouting  style  along  with  a  few  screams  and  growls  while  psychedelic  style  distortion  is  also  used  at  times  along  with  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  as  well  as  a  touch  of  post  metal  and  the  music  sticks  to  a  slower  style.

  On  this  recording  Kurokuma  plays  a  very  heavy  mixture  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  along  with  some  psychedelic  elements,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  are  a  concept  album  based  upon  the  comic  strip  "Dope  Runner"  from  High  Times  Magazine.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Kurokuma  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  sludge  and  doom  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Dope  Runner  PT.  2".  8  out  of  10.  

Sunday, September 30, 2018

North Of South Interview

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



Hi!!! It’s a true pleasure to be answering this interview.

Well... A lot of things are happening in these two last months to North of South, since publicly presenting. However, there has been a lot of work behind the scenes.



North of South officially was born in 2017, but I was working in my own compositions for the previous 4-5 years.

My first intention was to gather some people with a common artistic vision: to make a different/crossbreeding kind of Metal. Anyway, as years passed, finally, North of South remained as a solo project and I decided to assume every role and instrument, which gave me total creative freedom.

Regarding music, North of South proposes a fresh and daring mixtures of styles: from Progressive Metal to Pop, from Jazz to Melodeath, from Latin to Gothic... However, its music contains enough heavy riffs to please every die-hard true metal fan.

Experimenting, but maintaining a certain line of musical coherence, is the true nature of North of South.





2.You have a new album coming out towards the end of September, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on this recording?



I think it’s some kind of sophisticated result of the music I have listened in my life.

For example, I love Swedish Melodic Death (In Flames, Soilwork, Dark Tranquillity, At The Gates), so this reflects in same search for melody in a context of heaviness and harshness.

But I also dig unique and bold bands like Opeth, Katatonia, Amorphis, Novembre... That kind of musicians that do not fear to evolve and experiment. So this attitude of avoiding creative restraining is a basic principle for North of South. It’s something that NOS also share with Progressive bands, which are another main influence for North of South.

Anyway, as I’m truly interested in melody and creating some catchy Metal, some quality 80-90 Pop elements are also integrated in North of South’s formula, as well as some Latin influences that come from my own culture and that gives to North of South some plus of unique identity.





3.Your lyrics are inspired by the writings of William Shakespeare, Orson Scott Card,  and Jorge Luis Borges, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in their works and also are there any other authors that have an inspiration on your songwriting?



I’m so tired of these bands with a such limited lyrical spectrum... Satan, blood, evil,... Or dragons, warriors and swords,... Or that “united people of Metal against society” speech...

Ok... Above all, I’m a Metal fan, so, ocassionally, I can enjoy that. But that approach doesn’t fit with North of South as a band and with me as an artist.

Literary influences is something natural for me, as I’ve been reading all my life and looking personal inspiration in books.

I’ve always seen Jorge Luis Borges as a fascinating author with whom I share some concerns and topics: man against Universe, Reality against Fiction, the enigma of Time, the mirror’s game, the transience of human being,...

Some years ago, I dedicated my University thesis to him and his political evolution, so it’s a well-known figure for me.

These kind of topics (Humanity, time, our place in universe, ethics...) are also common in the work of some relevant sci-fi authors, like Orson Scott Card, Isaac Asimov,... Their writings are also very inspiring...

Regarding Shakespeare, he was the best when portraying the human condition, our motivations, our forces and weaknesses.

If you go deep in “New Latitudes” lyrics, you’ll find that the person is in the center of the album. Every song talks about how we relate with each other, what are our motivations and fears and how we can be a better and more complete individual.

I also love other amazing author like José Saramago, Paul Auster, Aarto Paasilinna and some classic Spanish writers, like Unamuno and Quevedo.



4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'North Of South'?



It summarizes the ambivalent nature of this music project. It’s the melody and the heaviness; it’s the election of English language but without renouncing my Spanish/Latin cultural heritage; it’s the continuous search of mixing different genres.

Also, in a literal way, it makes reference to my own city, León, that it’s located in the North of Spain, the southernmost European country. So NOS is in the North of the South, haha.



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



As with lyrics, I wished to avoid some Metal/Evil topics, like monsters, blood, warriors, spikes and that stuff...

So the final artwork symbolises North of South’s vocation of exploring unknown musical latitudes. The astronaut figure and the planetarian background fits very well with that. The booklet also includes some brilliant work by José Luis González Macías, a local artist from León, with some powerful imagery with floating islands, enigmatic lighthouses and lonely cosmic men.



6.On the album you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?



Yeah!! Why not? But some specific conditions must be present. In a small city, like mine, it’s not easy to find other people who have the same risky metal perspective like me. Usually, most of the people want to play a particular style: thrash or metalcore or traditional metal or death metal or hard rock. But when you say: “ok, let’s mix all of that and also to include some jazz, pop, latin elements and, at the end, use clean vocals very far from Dickinson/Halford standard...” Well...you have to be lucky enough to meet someone who understands such specific way of approaching Metal.

At the present moment, I prefer to appreciate the benefits of working alone, especially the fact of not having cut my artistic freedom. Right or wrong, it lets me to make the music that I feel inside.



7.You have also been a heavy metal radio show for the past 2 decades, can you tell us a little bit more about your work in that field?



I'm a professional journalist, not specialized in music, but in news. I work for a relevent national radio station. Working here, one day I had the opportunity to take over a veteran metal radio show in an affiliated music radio channel. Well... That was in 2001, so this is my 17th season with this show. I really enjoy doing it every weekend, sharing my tastes with listeners and constantly discovering new bands. That's a very important point: it's very helpful for me to be up to date about what is happening in Metal scene.





8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of metal and other genres of music?



I'm very happy with the first reactions. Everything is going a bit fast, but it is great. Only two months of public activity for North of South and I'm getting in touch with a lot of very interesting people.

Some great reviews and coming. And I feel that many listeners have understood NOS' proposal: forward-thinking, nonconformist listeners that are always looking for something different in Metal.

In any case, North of South is taking its first steps of a very long journey. I just want to work very hard, with a humble attitude, and trying to enjoy all this process.

It's very difficult to stand out because there are so many great bands out there, so this first album just tries to position this project and to spread the word about North of South as much as possible.



9.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?



Wow! As one of North of South’s song says: “Nobody knows!!”, haha.

Anyway, I know what I would love to and that’s dedicating music as much time as possible. I don’t know if that is going to continue in the future, but, at the present  moment, I feel the only limit to my creativity is the lack of time available for music and composing. Many unwritten songs are already in my mind and my heart and I wish I had enough time to materialize and share them with the audience.

Regarding North of South, I really want to keep experimenting and looking for an own music language and identity.



10.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?



Although it’s not very present in North of South’s music, I’m particularly into extreme metal music, mainly into bands with a few drops of melody. I love bands like old Entombed and Dismember, the Goteborg Melodeath (In Flames, At The Gates, old Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquillity). Also some 90’s bands that evolve from the very extreme to a more gothic/melodic sound: Moonspell, Katatonia, Opeth, Anathema, Novembre.

But I listen to every kind of Metal genre. Iron Maiden are my favourite band. I love very different things: from Jeff Waters/Annihilator guitar stuff to Carcass, from Amorphis to old Deicide, from Joe Satriani to Killswitch Engage.

Talking about 2018 releases, some of the best ones that have been on rotation on my metal radio show are Immortal “Northern Chaos Gods”, Omnium Gatherum “The Burning Cold”, On Thorns I Lay “Aegean Sorrow” and Fractal Gates “The Light That Shines”.



11.What are some of your non musical interests?



Nowadays, music is absorbing almost all my available time. When you are in a one man band, there’s no choice to distribute tasks between other members.

Anyway, literature is one of passions. I really love reading novel, essays, etc.

Obviously, as a professional journalist, I’m very much into news, trying to keep informed.

And I also love soccer.

Finally, this next January I’ll have a baby, so childcare will become a new personal interest and hobby for me, hahaha.



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



Thank you so much for your amazing interest and incredible support to North of South. I hope your readers enjoy “New Latitudes” album, so if you want to support us buy the cd or/and follow us on Spotify and the usual social media.

That’s very important for new bands that, like North of South, try to pop in this competitive and massive worldwide metal scene.

Some cool merch will be also available on the official website: www.northofsouth.es

I’m already working on new stuff, so you can expect a solid continuity in NOS’ career.

Dare to explore new musical latitudes... North of South is a different kind of Metal!!!



Dirge/Ah Punch/2018 Full Length Review

  Dirge  not  to  be  confused  with  the  band  from  France  that  has  been  featured  before  are  a  band  from  India  that  plays  a  mixture  of  sludge,  doom  death  and  atmospheric  post  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2018  album  "Ah  Punch"  which  will  be  released  in  October.

  Atmospheric  soundscapes  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  synths  also  being  utilized  at  times  before  going  into  a  heavier  doom  metal  direction  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  sludge  style  screams  along  with  the  riffs  also  bringing  in  a  decent  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies.

  Most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  music  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  post  metal  elements  as  well  as  some  of  the  riffs  also  capturing  the  heaviness  of  doom/death  metal,  as  the  album  progresses  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  they  also  bring  in  an  acoustic  instrumental  and  all  of  the  music  sticks  to  a  slower  direction.

  Dirge  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  sludge,  doom  death  and  atmospheric  post  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  Mayan  and  Aztec  Mythology  mixed  in  with  historical  events.

  In  my  opinion  Dirge  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  mixture  of  sludge,  doom  and  post  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Invoking  The  Demigod"  and  "Curse  Of  Cortez".  8  out  of  10.    

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Loneshore/From Presence To Silence/BadMoodMan Music/2018 CD Review


  Loneshore  are  a  band  from  Brazil  that  plays  a  very  melodic  and  progressive  mixture  of  doom  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "From Presence  To  Silence"  which  was  released  by  BadMoodMan  Music.

  Nature  orientated  soundscapes  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  clean  playing  a  few  seconds  later  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  the  slow  and  heavy  riffs  being  mostly  rooted  in  doom  metal  as  well  as  the  riffs  also bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  melody.

  Vocals  are  mostly  death  metal  growls  along  with  a  few  screams  that  add  in  a  touch  of  black  metal  while  all  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  as  well  as  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Elements  of  post  rock  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  clean  singing  is  also  added  into  some  parts  of  the  music  along  with  some  acoustic  guitars  are  also  added  into  some  of  the  tracks  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  stringed  instruments  and  spoken  word  parts  can  be  heard.

  Loneshore  plays  a  style  of  doom/death  metal  that  is  very  atmospheric,  progressive  and  melodic  sounding  along  with  a  great  amount  of  post  rock  and  black  metal  elements,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  melancholic  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Loneshore  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  and  progressive  mixture  of  doom  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out t his  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Effigy"  and  "From  Presence  To  Silence".  8  out  of  10.