Sunday, September 17, 2017

Finland's legendary black metal band Azaghal  interview done by Patrick posted on 9-17-17

Interview  with  Azaghal  done  by  Patrick

1.Hails please introduce yourself to the  readers?When  did you  first  discover  black metal?

- My interest in more extreme form of music (after the usual thrash bands, Mercyful Fate etc.) started with Death Metal in the early 90s, especially the Swedish scene. It was the early Emperor and Darkthrone stuff that got me into black metal, along with various demo bands through tape trading.

2.Who  were  some of the  first  bands you  listened to?And  who  are some  of your current  favorite  bands?

- Originally started listening to music with stuff like WASP, Mötley Crüe and Hanoi Rocks, then evolved into thrash and stuff like Mercyful Fate and Venom. 
I am pretty much stuck in the 90s/early 00s, I still mostly listen to black and death metal from that time period, but some newer killer bands I could mention are Malum, Sarkrista, Gestalte and Sawhill Sacrifice.

3.Azaghal  was  formed  in  1998  when  did you  first get the  idea to  start this band?And  how  did you  choose  Azaghal  as the name of the band?

- We started playing together with V-khaoz around 1995, the earlier stuff was more like chaotic death metal, but quickly turned more towards black metal. Tolkien was a big thing back then, and since Gorgoroth and  Burzum got their name from there, so did we.

4.How  would you say the  bands  music  has  changed  over  the years?And  who  are  some  of  the  bands  biggest  influences?

- Not that much has changed, I think we have established our sound pretty much already on the 3rd demo in 1999. We have never tried to reinvent the wheel, just make songs and lyrics that mean something to us personally. The  biggest influences are the already mentioned early 90s norweigian/Swedish stuff.

5.What  would  you  say  are  the  bands  most  memorable  shows  over  the  years?And  who  are  some  bands you  all have shared  the  stage with?

- Messe Des Morts in Canada was extremely cool, and of course the whole Brazilian tour. Our first gig ever, in Germany 2004 is also something unforgotable.

6.Are their  any  shows  or  tours  coming up  this  year?If  yes  where  will  the  band  be  playing?

- We will play at a festival in Paris, France in October. Beyond that, nothing is planned for now and we are concentrating on new material

7.Moribund  Rec.  has  re-released  the bands second full length  Helvetin  Yhdeksan  Piiria release  how  did you  all  come in  contact  with Moribund Rec  for this  re-release?

- Been in contact with Moribund pretty much since the 90s. They also released 3 of our albums before. They wanted to reissue the album, and since its hard to find nowadays why not.

8.Are  their  any  plans  to  re-release  any  of your  other  full-lengths or  earlier  releases   through Moribund Rec  or  are you  working on  new music for the  next  full length?

- We hope to get most of the stuff re-issued, since especially in US it hasn’t been that easy to find. Also working a new album, but no release date yet, not until 2018 anyway.

9.Besides  playing  in  Azaghal  do  you  currently  work  with  any  other  bands or  projects?If  yes please  tell the readers  a  little  about  them?

- Currently only active band that I am involved in is Wyrd, “Death of the Sun” album came out on Moribund awhile back, and we are now working on the follow up.

10.Azaghal  comes out  of  Finland's  black  metal  scene  what  is your  opinion  of  the  mighty  finnish  black metal  scene?

- I think it’s among the best nowadays with some killer new bands and a lot of old bands reforming and still kicking ass.

11.Who  are your  all-time  favorite  bands  coming  out of Finland?And  are  their  any  new bands  you  feel  the  readers  should check  out  soon?

- All-time faves from Finland are Archgoat, Beherit, Belial, old Amorphis, old Sentenced to name a few. From newer bands I’d recommend checking out Malum, Sawhill Sacrifice, Kalmankantaja, Grieve and Devouring Star.

12.Besides  bands  are  their  any  honest and reliable  labels and distro's  you  feel the readers  should  check  out soon?Do you read  many fan or web-ziness?Are their  any  Finnish  zines  you  could recommend?

- I am pretty much completely out of the loop regarding distros and zines nowadays. Northern Heritage and Werwolf Records come to mind first.

13.When  did you  first become  interested  in reading  and  studying  occult and  Satanism subjects?

- At a very young age, always been fascinated by the subjects, think it all started from Mercyful Fate and Venom lyrics and just their general image.

14.Are  their  any  Satanists or  occult  writers  you  like to  read and study?

- Pekka Siitoin.

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Interview with From North done by Patrick posted on 9-17-17

Interview  with  From North  done  by  Patrick
1.Hello  please  introduce yourselves  to  the  readers?
Hey there! We’re From North, a five piece metal band from the Swedish west coast, influenced, both musically and literally, by the Vikings and their way of life.
The music is strong, big and melodic with vocals shifting between aggressive growl to clean. Complete with medieval instruments and powerful choirs!

2.At  what  age  did you  become  interested  in  playing and  writing  music?
I think it’s pretty common for all of us that we’ve played and contributed to the music we love for most of our lives. Either you write the music, words and melodies, or if you contribute with your style of playing and your soul, you are equally a part of it all.
3.When  did you  first  meet  the  other  members  of  the  band? And  how  did you  all pick  From North  as the name of the  band does it  have  a special  meaning?
Håkan (singer) and Mattias (guitar) are both living in the same city and have played together for several years. The other members, Janne (guitar), Mikael (Bass) and Robin (drums) are scattered around the nearby areas. Word spreads about good musicians, and sometime around winter 2016 we were a complete band.
We are from the northern parts of the world, therefore the name!
4. What is the current line-up  of the  band? For  the  readers  who  have never  heard  From North  who  would you  say  are the  bands biggest  influences?
Håkan Johansson (Vocals), Mattias Svensson (Guitars), Janne Lüthje (Guitars, Lead), Mikael Nilsson (Bass) and Robin Hermansson (Drums). We are influenced by band such as Sabbath, Rammstein, Slayer, Thin Lizzy, Dream Theater…
5.From North's self-titled debut will  be released  through  Downfall Rec. how  did you come  in  contact  with this  label?
We sent them a copy of our demo, and they contacted us. It turned out to be a great match there between the band and DF!
6.How  long  did  it  take  to  write  the  music  for  the  debut  release?
Håkan has been working on writing the music for over a year. Finding the right musicians for the band and recording everything took even longer. But now that From North are complete as a band, the next one is already in the making.
7.Who  usually  takes  care of  writing the  lyrics  and  what  are  some  subjects  the  band  writes  about?
On this record all the lyrics are written by a guy named Andreas Lindvall who have a big interest in the Scandinavian history and mythology. His narrative style just fitted the music well. The lyrics are a mix of historical events, tales about the old Gods, and stories from the life of people living these days.
8.Besides  the  self-titled  debut  release does  the  band  have  any  other  merchandise  available for the readers to  buy? If  yes  what  is  available and where can the readers  buy  it?
There certainly is! Aside the CD (and soon hopefully vinyl) we have T-shirts, pins, stickers and a lot of good looking stuff! If you gonna have just one cool band-logo on your jacket, you’re definitely wanna have From North’s!

9.Has   From North  played  live  yet  or do you  prefer  working  in the  studio? Who  are  some  bands you  have  shared  the  stage  with?
We have our first show in October here in Gothenburg, then we start looking for gigs and festivals, so hopefully we will have the pleasure to meet many fans in 2018!
10.Are  their  any  upcoming shows  or tours  the  readers  should  watch  out  for?
Keep your eyes and ears open, and most of all, check our website and FB for further info!

11. From North  comes  out  of  Sweden's  Viking  death metal scene what  is your  opinion  of  the  Swedish  death metal scene  over the years? I would rather say that we come from a mixture of the myriad of Swedish sub-scenes: from DM, Viking-BM, Power Metal and Doom-scenes amongst others. Sweden is producing so much kick ass metal and hard rock and it´s great to be a part of it! When it comes to Death metal; maybe only USDM can stand alongside the rows of legends from the Swedish scene… Recent years retro trend with bands like Vampire, Tribulation, Entrails and Morbus Chron, brings up the rotten old School again which is nice. But you can never go wrong with the old albums.
12.Who  are your  all-time  favorite  Swedish bands? And  are  their  any  new  bands  you feel  the  readers  should  watch  out  for? I
personally have to give the horns to up and coming Gothenburg Speed Metal-heads Armory, with members from Irrbloss: and Black Metal band Nekrokraft.

13.When  not  working  on  new music or  band  business  what do you  enjoy  doing  in your  free  time?
We are simple men: Give us some 70s muscle cars, motorcycles, the northern nature with fjords, forests and fishing rivers, some music equipment to play on, good beer and mead to drink, some “pulled moose” with summer potatoes, our beautiful women and good friends to  shout “Skål” with, and we will call it a good day!
14,Thank  you  for  taking  the time  to  fill  this  interview  out  do you have  any  final  words  for the  readers?
Keep calm and listen to metal! (With a big amount of From North!)
See you!
/From North

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Affliktor interview done by Patrick posted on 9-10-17

Interview  with  Toby  Knapp  vocals  and  all instruments  for  Affliktor  done  by  Patrick

1.Hello  Toby  how  are  you  doing this  week?Please  introduce  yourself to  the  readers?

Hello! I'm doing well! I'm a multi-instrumentalist based out of Wyoming. My main instrument is the guitar and I enjoy making evil and heavy music. That's why I'm here.

2.When  did you  first  start  listening to  rock  and  metal?Who  were  some  of the  first  bands that grabbed your  attention?

I'm an old bastard so I saw hard rock evolve into metal. In the seventies as a four year old I was listening to my parents albums- because they weren't interested in them anymore. Some of the first bands I heard were Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Black Oak Arkansas, Deep Purple, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Alice Cooper, Kiss, etc. Hearing Jimmy Page on the second Led Zeppelin album really possessed me. It scared the hell out of me, I sensed something dark there.....still do. At that point I knew I wanted to be involved in music but wasn't sure to what extent and in what manner.

3.Besides  rock and  metal  do you  listen to  any  other  musicial  genres?If  yes who  are some  of your  favorite  bands and artists?

I like so many genres. I love early progressive rock like Yes, King Crimson, Rush, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Camel, Alphataurus, Pulsar, Genesis and so many more. I like classic rock too- the roots; Beatles, Herman's Hermits, Thin Lizzy, Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull, Crosby Stills Nash & Young. Good rock and roll music. Favorite classical composer would be Vivaldi. I also enjoy real mellow and kinda corny AM radio music from the 70's. I like so much stuff, music is my life. There are some bands from the eighties I just discovered like Anger, Universe, Jupiter, Alien, Niagara, 220 never ends.

4.At  what  age  did you become  interested in  learning to  play  the  guitar?Who  would you  say  are  some  of your  influences and  favorite  guitarist?

Like I mentioned earlier it was really Jimmy Page. I was around 13 when I saw the Led Zeppelin concert film "The Song Remains the Same" and when the film was over I picked up the guitar and never put it down. I liked how the guitar could speak to and manipulate the emotions of the listener. I studied Page, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton heavily at first and then took things up a notch when I heard Ritchie Blackmore on the Rainbow album "On Stage". Soon after, Yngwie Malmsteen was introduced and I became obsessed with the guitar. All those Shrapnel Records releases of the eighties; Friedman, Becker, Vinnie Moore, Macalpine, Tafolla, Paul Gilbert, Kotzen, Greg Howe, Apocrypha....that was my life. Other players I really draw inspiration from are Loudness's Akira Takasaki and John Norum from Europe. There are many more but too numerous to list.

5.Besides  the  guitars  do you  play  any  other  instruments?Are  their  any  instruments that you  would  like to  learn to  play  one day?

I actually played the drums first and was getting really good before abandoning them for the guitar. I use a drum machine on several of my albums and I think the fact that I was a drummer obviously makes me a decent drum programmer. I wouldn't mind revisiting drums and maybe becoming more of a keyboardist than just simple atmospheric passages....but I'm still trying at the guitar, that is plenty.

6.When  did you first get the  idea  to  form  Affliktor  and  who  would you  say are the  bands  biggest  influences?

Often things that lead to an album are as simple as getting on a "kick". Affliktor was the result of revisiting a lot of my 90's Death Metal collection on long commutes to work. I was also listening to "mean thrash"- stuff like early Kreator, Pestilence and Sacrifice. Listening to Morbid Angel everyday I was like "fuck, I need to do something powerful, energetic and well.....negative." I just started making demos and recording riffs and it fell into place naturally. There are musicians in place for an Affliktor 'band'....but on this album I did everything myself. So with this Affliktor stuff, Teutonic thrash of the eighties like Kreator, Sodom, Destruction mixed with the early nineties Death Metal of bands like Morbid Angel, Deicide, Hellwitch...Slayer of course is hugely influential on this record. A friend of mine described it as a mixture of Annihilator and Bathory- and I really liked that comment!

7.How  long  did it take you to  write  the music  for  the  debut release?

Probably a took longer to record though because my gear kept breaking down. I ended up singing, for lack of a better term, through a marshall amp.

8.Toby  you  are the sole  member of  the  band  would you  like to find  new members to  make a  full line up  or do you  prefer to  work  alone?

I have been at this alone for a very long time because there was really no other choice. However, lately I have been collaborating with drummer, vocalist Shane Wacaster in a band called Necrytis. We are actually writing stuff together and I am enjoying that. Our first album is coming out on Pure Steel Records in September and we have already begun the follow up. I have worked with some great musicians in Montana...but people just kind of drifted apart through the years. Hopefully things will come full circle one day.

9.Who  are  some  musicians{past or present}  you  would  like  to  work  with and why?

David Vincent needs me. I would love to work with him. I think I could collaborate on an album with him that would be great...but that is a pipedream. I always wanted to be in King Diamond or Overkill. I always wanted to just step into an established band and be a guitar player, do my assigned job. I almost got the gig with Mayhem a few years back but logistics were just not going to work out. Attila Csihar did some guest vocals on my solo album "The Campaign" though, so at least something good came from that. It would be nice to do a completely different thing and collaborate with Kate Bush...that is if I had my choice on how things work out.

10.Toby  I  know you  have  been  a  part of the underground scene  for  many  years what is your  opinion  of the underground scene  over the  years?

In the eighties the underground ruled- look what came from it? Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Overkill, Kreator, Exodus...these bands are still killing it today. In the nineties we saw great death metal; Immolation (still great), Nuclear Death, Impetigo, Blasphemy, Hellwitch, Morbid Angel, Crucifer, Deteriorate, Toxodeth.....and the first few waves of Black Metal, countless fucking great bands and singular artists. Today? Not much. Nothing that gives me hope or excites me. Realize I am 45 and don't relate to how the youngsters are going about the business of extreme music these days. That presents a problem many older fans are perplexed with....our favorite bands are getting older- how long are Slayer, Overkill and Kreator going to hang in there? What do we do when those guys stop? It's bad enough Rush called it quits....I understand that, we all get older. I just don't see a new generation carrying the torch once Slayer announces their last tour....I'm sorry...Lamb of God and all their little clones do not do it for me. I am not fooled by their groove shit. Social media ruined it too....I liked the survival of the fittest via snail mail, demo tapes and word of mouth. The scene was more selective then and not so overcrowded with bullshit. I am on facebook a lot pushing albums, do I like it? No, I hate it.

11.Besides  working  in    Affliktor  I  believe you  have some  other  projects and  bands active  please tell the readers a  little  about the  other bands you are  currently  involved  with?

Waxen is another one man band doing strict Black Metal for Moribund Records. Where Evil Follows is a traditional heavy metal project also on Moribund. Both are active. I do my solo instrumental guitar albums every few years either for Shredguy of Crushing Notes records. Necrytis is a three piece that is doing really well at the moment. We play kind of violent, raw and strange Power Metal and are working with Germany's Pure Steel Records. With all my projects combined I've done around 20 albums or so since the first one in 1993. That was a solo album "Guitar Distortion" on Shrapnel Records.

12.When  not  working  on  new  music  or  band  business  what  do you enjoy doing in your  free time?

Listening to music, collecting music. It's all about finding all the albums I missed out on, that keeps me busy!

13.Have you  ever  made  a  video  for  any  of the  bands  you  work  with?If  yes which  band  and song? If you  could  make  a  video  for  any  of your  bands which  song  would you like to see made  into  a video?

I had my band Onward in the early 2000's, we were with Century Media and did an official video for a song called "Night". Really, the only other thing is "Chaos Magick Totality" from Affliktor which showcases Mark Riddick's genius album artwork. An official DVD of bootleg live Onward gigs was circulated for awhile via Shredguy Records. I would like to do an Affliktor video for the song "Backwards Into Hell". That is my favorite. The Waxen tune "Hollow Eyes" would make a good video too.

14.Thank you  Toby  for taking the  time  to  fill  this  interview  out  do you  have  any  final  words for the  readers?

Thank you very much for conducting this interview with me, I really enjoyed it. Hello to all your readers and I hope they will check out one of my projects! There is something for everyone except Christian Metal or Groovecore or Grundge or Emo or Hipster Black Metal or Rap or Djent or................

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Reviews done on 9-10-17

Just  a  quick  note  to  let  you  the  readers  know  that  Anders from  the band Declared  Dead  has  done  a  review   for this  update!!.
I'm  not  sure  yet  how  his  time  will  be  but  hopefully  he  will  be  doing  more  reviews  soon.

Bloodstrike--Execution Of  Violence  cd  {Redefining Darkness}
Coming  out  of  Denver's old-school  death metal  scene is  Bloodstrike with their  second full length  cd.Execution Of  Violence  is  ten  tracks  of  solid old school death metal.The vocals  are  gruff death metal  growls  mixed  with  some raw screams used in  a  few  of the  songs.The drums  are  played with  alot  of  precison and skill  going from  a heavy mid paced  drum  style to  a  more faster and chaotic  drumming  style.The  guitarist  knows how to  write and  play  some  solid guitar  parts that range  from fast paced  guitars  to  a  more controlled mid paced  style.If  you  are  a  fan  of  Bloodstrike  debut  or  demo  then  you know what  to  expect and  if you  are new to  the band  then  expect   old school  death metal  with  both  U.S and Europe influences with their own influencs.
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Fyrecross--Burn Them To The Ground  Mcd  {Witches  Brew Rec.}
Coming  out  of  the  Greek  speed,heavy metal  scene  is  Fyrecross with  their  debut Mcd  Burn Them To The Ground.Featuring  four  tracks  of  well  composed  speed metal  with  some  heavy metal entertwined  within the  music.The  lead singer  is  really  good who  can  sing  really  good heavy metal type of  vocals  and  some  screams  used  in  a  few  of the songs.The  band  also  does some  group  chorus style sing alongs.The  guitars  range  from  a  raging,fast  guitar tone to  a more  mature mid paced  guitar patterns.The  guitarist  can  write  and  play  some  well  written  solo's  and  patterns.If  you  are  a  fan  of  well played  speed metal mixed  with some  traditional  heavy metal  influences  then  be  sure to  pick  this  up today.
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Inverted Serenity - "As Spectres Wither" - 2017 (Review by Anders Butchered At Birth)

So, this is the third full length release from this band, I gather. The first I've heard of them - so, I can't relate/compare the changes/progressions this band has made from release to release, etc. They do have a mixture of say: slightly Prog-ish Tech-Death with elements of doomy Black Metal and Old School Death Metal to them. Maybe, a little "Metal-core" type stylings once in a while? I am interested to know what the lyrics are. I couldn't access the .docx file (which might've had them within?). The drums have nothing fancy about them. A couple interesting spots here and there (like the opening of the track called "Paragon"). Some of the songs seem a little "overwrought" (not in a sophisticated way, however) or "contrived" (in a lazy fashion). Kind of boring like extended areas in Iron Maiden songs. I'm not so sure about the "clean vocal" attempts, either. With headphones on - they don't seem as "cringe worthy" as when listening loudly through external speakers. However, my rear end sphincter tends to clench tighter as a cold shudder goes up my back, either way. The more I "study" this release/music - the less impressed I am, actually. It's got "tight playing" but nothing all that "captivating", to my mind/body/soul. Nothing "innovative" or "inspired", here, folks. Sorry to say. The production is quite nice, however. Whoever did it, did an adequate to high quality job. One track that DOES stand out to me, in a "positive way", is "Cornerstones". There's a fun little groove thing happening in that one that perks me up. I like the whole song quite a lot (except the cliche type forced ending)! I could listen to it a few more times and wish the entire album was this well crafted. But there's, also, that "clean vocal" attempt that sours it for me, later in the song. To use the "newer vernacular" of the so called "millennials" - this release is a solid "Meh", overall. I sure don't have the urge to "fap", either. I just noticed the irony of the band name and the music of this release, as well. Inverted Serenity should mean "utter chaos" and/or "dark laden venomous iniquity/soul raping melancholy", shouldn't it? Something like Hate Eternal? This music is quite mid-paced, mild, hardly evocatively emotive, and - almost yawn inducing, at times. Seems like the only thing "harsh" about it is this review, itself.

Under Assault--Possed By Steel  7inch {Witches  Brew Rec.}
 Under Assault  who  come  out  of  Paraguay's   heavy metal  scene with  their  newest 7inch.Possed By Steel  is the first  song on the release which  is  a  heavy metal  anthem filled with memorable music.The  guitars  are  fast  yet  catchy and  memorable the guitarist even  mixes  in some well written and performed  solo's.The  vocals  are  traditionl heavy metal screams.The second  song  is  Necrobutcher which  is  a  more  thrashy yet still has enough heavy metal influences mixed in.The  guitars are played at a  whirlwind pace with some  exceptional guitar work throughout the song.The  vocals  are  higher screams on this song.If you  are  a fan of  Under Assault's  previous  releases  then  be  sure to  pick  this  new  7inch  up today.
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Vitreoous--Chant Of  Deprecation E.P{Flesh Vessel{U.S.A}/Arkham House {Europe}
Vitreoous  are a  new band  coming out  of  Spain's black metal  scen.The four  songs  on the debut E.P are  played with  both violent fast black metal  and some slower,mid paced passages.The  vocals  are  raw blackend  screams  that  fit the  music perfectly.The  guitars are played with a mid paced  guitar  style and tone but  do  speed up to a faster and crazed guitar pace.If you  are a  fan  of  heavy,chaotic  blackend death metal  then  be sure  to  pick  this  up  
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