Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Seprevation Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
Jamie - We've played a few shows in and around Bristol including London and Birmingham. We've also taken the time to just chill out and have a rest after the madness of writing and recording haha. There's also been a lot of prep with getting the album and merch ready to go for release and there's a video in the works too.
Lluc - We've been working hard trying to push the album as much as possible. Because it's completely self funded, it's all come down to us and our management to get it off the ground. Obviously it's our first album so it's all new to us! That and preparing for the tour over a few pints down the pub!
Ian - We've been hard at work getting it all ready for release, really. It's all down to us and our management company, Chaotic Tapestry to organise everything since we have no label or anything.

2.You have a new album coming out in May, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new recording and also how does it differ from your previous single and ep?
Joss - It sounds like a band progressing, in my opinion the current sound is far from what I personally want to achieve but this album is a huge step in the right direction.
Ian - The musical direction this time around is slightly different than our last release (Ritual Abuse, our debut EP from 2012), but definitely better. In some ways we've stuck with what we know but a lot of the songs are a lot more experimental, not quite so much straight up death/thrash. Not to say there isn't anything straight up on the record, because there is, but if you're expecting a carbon copy of 'Ritual Abuse', only longer, think again because there's places we visit on this album that we wouldn't have even thought about when we wrote that.
Lluc - The album is definitely more advanced than 'Ritual Abuse' in every way. We've stuck true to what we enjoy and love but tried to push our musicianship and song writing a lot further. Throughout the writing process I think the songs evolved a lot more and certainly opened us up in terms of bringing in new influences.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
Lluc - I think again, along with the music the lyrics have certainly evolved. The album deals with a lot of the darker aspects of life. The question of purpose and being a long with dealing with the concept of death and the aftermath. There is still a fantasy aspect to some of the songs and others which pull you into a world of horror. I think the dark subject matter compliments the heavy music well and hope there's topics on there than anyone can relate to.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Seprevation'?
Joss - The name is entirely meaningless haha, the reason we decided on Seprevation was because it sounded cool and there was nothing on the internet like it, therefore we would be easier to find... And somewhat unique, we also wanted a one word name and it seems increasingly harder to do that now a days.
Ian - Sounds cool, right? Doesn't mean anything!

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Ian - Bloodstock, and the Exhumed tour were both fucking amazing!! Personal highlights for me are pretty much every time we play the Gryphon in our hometown Bristol. It's a tiny little venue, about 50 capacity but being our home crowd (and favourite pub) it's just always beyond words. The beer, the staff and most importantly the crowd all make it incredible every time. Another highlight was playing on the Headbangers Balls tour last year, it's such a great cause and after the amount of brutally hard work the organisers did to get it off the ground, I'm really proud to have been part of the first year. It was a killer couple of shows,
so much so that we're doing a few with them again this year. Get your balls out for the cause!
Lluc - Certainly Bloodstock was a highlight and the whole tour with Exhumed. We love playing live and try to have as much fun as possible and hope the fans do too. Haha I guess a fast, relentless, beer fuelled death thrash machine would sum us up pretty well!

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album once it is released?
Joss - First of all we are touring the UK with Bonded by Blood and Flayed Disciple, the tour starts on May 18th in London, then we are off with Bloodshot Dawn in October/November around the UK and Ireland, we will have more shows in between but nothing is confirmed for now.

7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Joss - We would definitely be interested if the right offer came along, it depends!
Ian - We've not received any interest as yet, nor have we been actively looking. If something came along that seemed right we may go for it, as obviously having a label with you is a massive plus, but it's not something on our radar right now.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death and thrash metal?
Lluc - I guess it's only really begun to spread across the globe. We had some amazing support from fans in the US and surprisingly Indonesia but it's been pretty small scale so far.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Joss - I'm really not sure, all I think about is the direction of this band, sometimes I think it needs to be more extreme, sometimes more experimental, to combine all of my personal influences is hard enough, let alone considering everyone else's haha, I'm really looking forward to it though, the thought of caring what people
think about Seprevation has long gone and I'm entirely focused on what sounds good to me at the moment.

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?
Joss - At the moment I'm listening to a bit of a everything haha, Soundgarden, Wormed, Defeated Sanity, Vektor, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Trash Talk, CCR, Coroner, Judas Priest, Flayed Disciple, AC/DC, Cynic… But I think the main influences on Consumed are still bands like Possessed, Sadus, Death and Morbid Angel, anything around the late 80's and early 90's, the classic era for death and thrash.
Ian - Obviously the main influences for our band are bands like Morbid Angel, Sadus, Death, Slayer, Megadeth etc, real old school death and thrash. Personally I've been loving the latest Exhumed record, it's about 6 months old now but I must still listen to it weekly, but other than that, non metal music I love Laura Marling, First Aid Kit, 'nice' chilled out stuff like that (most metal heads probably think it's complete shit) and I've been listening to an absolute fuckload of Creedence Clearwater Revival lately, fucking love it.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Joss – Football, Which in metal seems to come with a shit ton of abuse.
Jamie - Cooking, Eating, Smoking and Drinking and the occasional trip to the gym haha
Ian - Drinking.

12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Lluc - If you're a fan of death or thrash metal, check out the video and if you like what you hear Consumed is out May 10th!! Check it out!! As always, any and all support is appreciated. Cheers and see you on the road!!!
Ian - Buy Consumed right fucking now!! Or download it from our Bigcartel. Whatever, just listen to it and if you like it come to a show! Thanks.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Funest/Desecrating Obscurity/Memento Mori/2014 CD Review


  Funest  are  a  band  from  Italy  that  plays  a  very  old  school  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Desecrating  Obscurity"  which  will  be  released  by  Memento  Mori.

  Horror  film  soundtrack  style  synths  start  off  the  album  and  after  the  intro  the  band  goes  into  a  very  fast,  heavy  and  brutal,  old  school  style  Swedish  death  metal  sound  along  with  blast  beats  and  a  mixture  of  screams  and  growls  and  after  awhile  the  band  brings  in  a  mixture  of  both  slow  and  fast  parts.

  When  melodies  are  added  onto  the  album  the  music  starts  having  a  more  dark  and  evil  sounding  feeling  to  it  and  the  band  rarely  uses  guitar  solos  or  leads  and  focuses  more  on  a  fast,  dark  and  raw  old  school  death  metal  sound  and   when  leads  are  finally  added  in  they  only  only  utilized  briefly  and  they  enhance  the  dark  nature  of  the  recording.

  On  some  of  the  later  tracks  the  bass  guitars  start  bringing  in  a  more  powerful  and  dominant  sound  to  the  recording  an d they  also  bring  in  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  samples  on  an  interlude  that  really  adds  in  a  more  violent  atmosphere  and  the  album  returns  back  to  a  heavier  and  darker  direction  on  the  following  tracks.

  Funest  are  another  young  band  bringing  back  the  Swedish  style  death  metal  sound  while  also  being  a  bit  more  heavier  and  darker  than  most  band s of  the  genre,  the  production  is  very  dark,  heavy ,  old  school  and  professional  sounding  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark,  blasphemous,  horror  and  death  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Funest  are  a  very  great  sounding  old  school  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Buried  And  Forsaken"  "Darkened  Genesis"  "The  Stench  Of  Blessing"  and  "Deranged  Baptism".  8  out  of  10.  
  

Question/Doomed Passages/Chaos Records/2014 CD Review


  Question  are  a  band  from  Mexico  that plays  an  occult  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Doomed  Passages"  which  was  released  by  Chaos  Records.

  Drum  beats  and  an  evil  old  school  death  metal  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  dark  melodies  and  deep  growls  and  after  awhile  the  music  speeds  up  a  bit  and  blast  beats  are  added  onto  the  recording  along  with  a  small  amount  of  high  pitched  screams.

  The  bass  guitars  have  a  very  powerful  presence  on  the  album  and  the  music  sticks  to  an  early  90's  direction  of  death  metal  but  with  a  more  raw  approach  as  well  as  bringing  in  a  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  guitar  leads  and  solos  enhance  the  darkness  this  music  produces.

  As  the  album  progresses  the  music  gets  more  dark  and  evil  in  sound  while  also  maintaining  a  melodic  atmosphere  which  dominates  on  the  instrumental  and  the  music  ignores  all  of  the  trends  in  the  past  20  years  and  the  album  sounds  like  it  could  of  easily  been  released  in  1992  and  some  of  the  tracks  bring  back  the early  brutal  death  metal  sound  of  the  mid  80's  to  early  90's  and  on  some  of  the  later  tracks  you  can  hear  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  being  utilized  and  the  last  song  is  classical  guitar  musical  piece.

  Question  stick  to  a  very  dark  and  old  school  form  of  occult  death  metal  on  this  album  concentrating  more  on  darkness  and  heaviness  than  speed,  blast  beats  or  brutality  as  well  as  showing  a  great  amount  of  talent  and  skill  in  the  musical  instruments,  the  production  has  a  very  raw  early  90's  old  school  sound  while  still  being  heavy  and  the  lyrics  cover  Occultism,  Darkness  and  Philosophical  themes  and  one  of  the  tracks  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  In  my  opinion  Question  are  a  very  great  sounding  old  school  occult  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Mournful  Stench"  "Grey  Sorrow"  and  "Sea  Of  Black".  8/5  out  of  10.
  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Super Massive Black Holes Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?

Just lots of jamming, tightening the screws, so to speak.

2.You have a new album coming out towards the end of April, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new recording and also how does it differ from the 2 ep's that you had released a few years back?

This record seems like a natural step for us, focusing our sound more to make an album, not just a collection of songs. I'm pretty biased, but I think this is easily our best stuff.                  . 

3.Your song lyrics cover scientific theories, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?

We all dig science and the wonders of the universe. We aren't professors or anything, and the lyrics aren't lectures by any means, but we did wrap everything in a thick layer of metaphor. We would take a theory that interested us, for example the holographic principle, and we incorporated a universal human experience within each of the songs, such as having a belief system or hiding behind a mask of shame. Things almost everyone has encountered at some point in their lives. 
  
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Super Massive  Black  Holes'?

Basically, a black hole is a gravity well in space. An "object" so dense that it's gravitational pull is so immense that it consumes even the light surrounding it, which is why, to us observing it through a telescope, it looks like a big black hole. Now a supermassive black hole is the category for the largest black holes. On the surface, it's got a funny sounding name, but really, it's a pretty crazy thing. So we try to adopt that philosophy in our music and make crazy music with a bit of humor. Although, some people have said it's because we like Muse. 
        
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

We played these two fests back to back in our city last summer, Calgary MetalFest and Vernstock. Both were so much fun and everybody was killer. For CMF, we played the night Disciples of Power were playing, who are just great. Then the next night we went and saw Scale the Summit and Intronaut, which was stellar.  As far as our stage performance is concerned, we try to play the songs as best we can while still looking like we're into it.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?

We don't have any dates confirmed, but we're looking into a West Coast tour.

7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death and extreme metal?

We've actually been surprised about how broad our acceptance within the metal community has been. I guess even black metal dudes can appreciate a little fusion now and again.

8.What is going on with the other musical projects these days that some of the band members are involved with?

Well, my other band is a tech-grind outfit called Anakronis in which I play bass, and we put out an EP last october. And Jake's other band Statue of Demur is playing lots of shows and getting ready to start on their 2nd album. He does bass and vocals for them.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Personally, I think we've defined our sound pretty well with this record, and I'm excited to explore it and go deeper.

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?

We're heavily influenced by prog rock - Rush, Gentle Giant, Mahavishnu Orchestra, that sort of thing - and we're pretty into death metal like Decapitated, Cephalic Carnage, and Gorguts. But we also listen to jazz like Brubek, Coltrane and Avishai Cohen.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

Two members actually had their first kids during production of the album, so that was pretty crazy. Other than that, Clay plays hockey, Jake likes getting drunk at shows, Tristan plays monopoly, and I dig the smooth taste of gingerale.

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

Thanks for reading and um, new record out April 29th, check it out atwww.smbhmusic.bandcamp.com and www.minotaurorecords.com Peace!

Hannes Grossman Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on since the release of the solo album?
Well, I have been sending out a lot of CDs, haha. You know, I'm doing the distribution myself, so I sign and send out every copy by hand. Besides that there is a lot of stuff I'm working on simuntaneously, like writing new stuff for Obscura, and I work a lot in general. So business as usual.


2.Recently you have released a solo album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical sound that is present on the recording and what are some of the things you where able to do on this release, not you are not able to do with your other bands?
I'm in the very priviledged situation to play exactly the music I like.
So yes, why doing a solo album at all? The music on it might be even a bit similar to the bands I play in. But still, in every band you have to make copromises. You need to make compromises on the parts that the other musicians play, as well as on the songwriting and on the production.. This time I didn't have to do any compromises with anybody else. It was a project where I was able to do exactly what I want all the way, even considering lyrics and vocal lines.


  3.The lyrics on the album cover esoteric topics, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?
It's not so much esoterical, it's rather philosophical. I'm very interested in this topic. The album is a concept album and I had the initial idea for it when I was in Rome two years ago. You can see a lot of Christian culture there, but if you dig a little deeper you can find pre-Christian temples. One big pre-Christian cult was the Mithra cult, which had a lot of similarities with Christianity. But Christianity paved its way into the modern age - Mithra cult didn't. The main reason for this is because Christianity had something to offer that other religion's weren't offering, like absolution, monotheism and the abbandoning of human sacrifices. My main idea was: what if it's just a 
coincidence? Could it be that in a parallel universe there are Mithra temples instead of churches? This led me to the thought, that if today someone started a totally new religion (like Sientology), how would this religion have to be like to make it become the main religion in 2000 years?
There are 5 songs on my album which build the basis for a imaginary new religion called "Aeon cult", which takes place in a multiverse/ another dimension. The first song AEON ILLUMINATE is about god and describes his character. God here is simply time itself, which is a multidimensional being. Humans can just feel time in a linear way, but Einstein proved that time is relative and a dimension in space, like length, width. So it's quite logical to see time as a god that decides over live and death. The song "Alien Utopia" discusses the role of non-godly beings, aka humans (among other creatures). "The Sorcerer" builds the prophet of this religion, like Mohammet or Jesus. The song says, that men themselves are prophets to this religion and can decide over life and death. So my 'religion' offers something that most modern people are seeking for: pure individualism and narcism, while "Solar Fire Cells" is just a poem about the cosmos itself. The title track deals with the most important topic to any religion: life after death. In this case men are reborn in an endless repeating cycle of time travelling through different universes. So after all my imaginary religion offers endless life and pure individualism. That could be a good common ground for a new cult to come.

I could go on and talk for hours about this concept, but time is too short, haha.


4.Who are the quest musicians that have participated on your album?
All musicians that play on the album are friends of mine and I'm proud to have them on the album. Linus Klausenitzer (Obscura) plays bass, Morean and V.Santura (both Dark Fortress) handle the vocals. Jimmy Pitts plays some incredible keyboards, while I could get an impressive list of guitar players:

- Jeff Loomis (ex-Nevermore)
- Christian Muenzner (Obscura, Spawn of Possession, ex-Necrophagist)
- Danny Tunker (Aborted)
- Tom Geldschlager (Fountainhead)
- Per Nilsson (Scar Symmetry)
- Ron Jarzombek



5.You are more known as a drummer but you also play guitar on the album, are you open to playing guitar with your other musical projects in the future?
Yes, of course! But I just play drums way better than guitars, so I don't really see it happening.


6.Can you tell us a little bit more about your dvd and book for drummers that you have released in the last few years?
I released a DVD called "Progressive Concepts for the modern metal drummer" which shows mainly my playing technique, but also I play a lot of songs on it. I self-produced and self-released the DVD. The book however was published by HalLeonard, which is the world's largest sheet music publisher. It's a follow up of Alex Webster's (Cannibal Corpse) bass book "Extreme Metal Bass", so I called my book "Extreme Metal Drumming". Hal Leonard were searching for a metal drummer who has a name in the metal community but who can also write notation and work like an
author. I'm very proud of both the DVD and the book and of course you can get them on my website.




7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your solo album by fans of death metal?
It's been overwhealming so far, from all over the world. I even sold 40 CDs to Taiwan, haha. So the response is great and it displays in the record sales, which is great. I hope I will be able to bring the project on stage some day!



8.What is going on with your other musical projects these days?
We're in the songwriting mode with Obscura, a new album is in the works. 
But I think it will take until early next year until it's finally released. I'm also working on a new drum project with Sebastian Lanser  (Panzerballett), imo by far the best drummer in the German drum scene. 
We're writing songs for two drum sets, in a way it has never been done before. So we split up and orchestrate both drum sets following different instruments at the same time. Thus we can create songs which one drummer couldn't play at all, but which are still good songs to listen to.

I'm also working on a completely new band featuring some people who have played on my solo album. I can't tell any details yet, but we want to break the boudraries between (prog) rock, classical music and extreme metal. So very ambitious. Most parts of an album is written and I think it's by far the best I've ever done.



9.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
As most diversely as possible. I want to do new things and get better as a writer and as a performer. So a lot of work to do, I better start right now...



10.What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your solo album and also what are you listening to nowadays?
The stuff I listen to doesn't necessarily influence me. I have some sort of "musical DNA" which is a sum of my influences. By influences I don't only mean bands I've listened to, but also the music I grew up with, and mostly the musicians I played with. Those people influenced me more than any CD I ever heard. I don't write music like this: listening to a band I like and then trying to write something that sounds similar. Many people try to write like this but imo it's totally pointless. I try to be myself when I create music and sound like no other. If it does sound like something else, it happend unconciously.


11.What are some of your non musical interests?
I love to cook and I'm very much interested in other countries and cultures.



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

Thank you for your time and giving me the possibility to talk about my stuff. You can get my CD at bandcamp.com or on my own website 
www.hannesgrossmann.com

Thank you!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Cemetery/Enter the Gate(Discography 1991-93)/memento Mori/2013 Couble CD Compilation Review


  Cemetery  where  a  band  from  Germany  that  played  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  compilation  "Enter  The  Gate"  which  was  released  by  Memento  Mori  and  contains  all  of  their demo's  and  recordings  from  1991  to  1993.

  Dark  sound  effects  start  off  the  first  disc  and  then  the  music  goes  into  a  more  death/thrash  metal  direction  along  with  some  morbid  sounding  melodies  and  after  a  couple  of  minutes  growling  vocals  are  added  into  the  music,  after  awhile  clean  playing  is  added  into  certain  parts  of  the  recording  along  with  melodic  guitar  leads.

  The  songs  the  band  bring  onto  the  compilation  sound  very  underrated  for  the  time  they  where  recorded  and  the  band  shows  they  had  as  much  talent  as  the  other  death  metal  bands  of  the  time   and  the  bass  guitars have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them,  as  time  goes  on  by  the  band  start  bringing  in  a  mixture  of  acoustic  and  heavy  parts  which  gives  the  music  an  early  technical  death  metal  feeling.  as  well  as  a  small  amount  of  synths  while  the  main  focus  is  on  a  true  death  metal  sound  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  The  band  has  a  very  raw  sound  in  the  faster  sections  of  the  music  along  with  some  blast  beats,  and  on  the  second  disc  the  music  starts  out  with  some  synths,  acoustic  guitars  and  an  intro  but  is   a  lot  more  heavy  and  raw  with  some  of  the  early  90's  brutality  on  the  second  disc  than  it  was  on  the  first  disc.

  Cemetery  show  they  where  a  very  underrated  band  fro  their  time  with  the  first  disc  showing  a  more  progressive  and  talented  sound  while  the  first  disc  is  pure  raw  old  school  death  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  the  time  it  was  released  and  also  considering  they  never  got  signed  to  a  label  and  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  occult  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Cemetery  where  a  very  great  sounding  underrated  death  metal b and  for  their  time  and  if  you  want  to  hear  some  of  the  better  death  metal  that  never  got  known  in  the  early  90's,  you  should  check  out  this  compilation.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Pits  of  Hell"  "At  Dark  Places"  "Something  Evil"  and  "Dungeon  Of  Dreams".  8/5  out  of  10.  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Terminal Death/Self Titled/Shadow Kingdom Records/2014 Double LP Compilation Review


  Terminal  Death  where  a  band  from  from Chicago,  Illinois  that  played  a  mixture  of  thrash  and  death  metal  and  where  considered  one  of  the  first  death  metal  bands  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2014  double  compilation  album  which  will  be  released  by  Shadow  Kingdom  Records  and  contains  their  1985  demo  and  a  couple  of  rehearsals  from  85  and  86.

  A  raw  80's  thrash  sound  starts  off  the  compilation  along  with  some  of  the  primitive  elements  of  early  death  metal  and  the  music  has  a  lot  of  the  crossover  elements  of  that  era  and  on  the  second  track  blast  beats  and  early  death  metal  growls  are  added  into  the  music  along  with  some  chaotic  guitar  solos  and  leads.

  The  slower  sections  of  the  music  make  the  songs  sound  a  lot  more  dark  and  heavy  and  they  also  bring  in  the  early  Slayer  high  pitched  screams  at  times  and  the  songs  have  a  more  raw  and  aggressive  sound  than  some  of  the  earlier  death metal  bands  that  where  around  at  the  time  and  the  bass  guitars  sound  very  powerful  on  some  of  the  tracks.

  The  rehearsal  tracks  have  an  even  more  raw  and  garage  like  feeling  to  them  than  the  versions  they  released  on  the  demo  since  it  has  all  of  the  band  members  playing  them  live  and  they  also  bring  in  a  few  unreleased  tracks  that  where  not  featured  on  the  demo  and  they  have  a  more  aggressive  punk/metal  feeling  to  them  and  except  for  the  3  unreleased  tracks  both  rehearsals  are  mostly  the  same  tracks  that  where  on  the  demo.

  Terminal  Death  sound  very  underrated  for  their  time  and  they  show  death  metal  in  its  more  early,  raw  and  primal  days  when  the  music  was  still  making  its  transition  from  thrash  and  the  song s they  provide  have  more  aggression  than  some  of  the  other  bands  of  that  era  that  stayed  around,  the  production  has  a  very  raw  sound  and  the  lyrics  cover  war  and  death  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Terminal  Death  where  a  very  great  sounding  raw  and  aggressive  death/thrash  metal  band  and  if  you  are  interested  in  hearing  the  origins  of  this  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  compilation.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Terminal  Death"  "Judge  Death"  and  "Chained  to  the  Abyss".  8/5  out  of  10.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Beneath/The Barren Throne/Unique Leader/2014 CD Review


  Beneath  are  a  band  from  Iceland  that  plays  a  very  brutal  and  technical  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "The  barren  Throne"  which  will  be  released  by  Unique  Leader.

  Acoustic  guitars  start  off  the  album  and  they  bring  a  very  dark  feeling  to  the  recording  and  after  a  minute  the  music  starts  going  for  a  more  technical  death  metal  direction  along  with  some  growls,  blast  beats  and  a  good  amount  of  melody  and  as  time  goes  on  by  the  music  starts  to  get  more  fast  and  brutal  as  well  as  bringing  in  guitar  solos  and  leads.

  On  the  other  songs  there  are  more  brutal  elements  along  with  a  mixture  of  slow  and  fast  parts  and  they  also  add  clean  parts  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  some  high  pitched  screams  in  the  more  brutal  and  melodic  moments  of  the  recording  and  the  band  also  brings  in  a  mixture  of  short  and  long  tracks  and  later  on  the  acoustic  guitars  make  a  brief  return  before  the  album  goes  back  to  a  more  heavy  and  brutal  direction.

  Beneath  bring  in  a  very  brutal  and  technical  sound  to  the  album  with  the  brutal  parts  being  the  main  focus  as  well  as  adding  in  more  melody  than  most  bands  of  this  genre  to  create  a  very  great  quality  death  metal  sound,  along  with  a  very  professional  sounding  production  and  lyrics  that  cover  a  concept  that  involves  an  entity  that  consumes  and  devours  everything  around  until  its  forced  to  consume  itself.

  In  my  opinion  Beneath  are  a  very  great  sounding  technical,  brutal  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Depleted  Kingdom"  "Putrid  Sea  of  Affection"  "Veil  Of  Mercy"  and  "Unearthed".  8  out  of  10.      

Ninjaspy Interview

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

These days we are touring western canada and crowdfunding on indiegogo to make a new album this summer! 

2.Recently you have put out a new ep, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new recording and also how does it differ from your previous album?

No Kata took us to some interesting new places musically. We explored a lot with effects for the drum & bass style parts, and really got into washy psychedelic dub reggae stuff as well. Basically a natural expansion on genres from what we started with Pi Nature. 

3.There was a 6 year gap between release, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during those years?

We toured on our first album A LOT in Canada. Went through many a tour van haha. For a good three years we toured. Then we went to tour Japan in 2010. After that we wanted to do a quick, short, cheap project to get some new music out. The No Kata Musical Graphic Novel seemed ideal. But then the artwork for the graphic novel took so long due to artist flakiness, before we knew it three more years had gone by. So we wrote and toured the single, then toured the EP without the book, then finally released the book last year. Now we have a lot of new music ready to record a full length. 

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

I tend to write about my ideals, and my emotions. I try to be positive and uplifting, and speak to the troubles i see in the world with solutions and reflections. Most often the things i describe are ways of being that i aspire to, but most often do not accomplish. I write about what i strive for and what i'd like to see in the world, and the feelings i have about the fucked up world in which we live. 

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Ninjaspy'?

Who would win in an international battle to the death, a ninja or a spy? I answered that question by suggesting that combining the ancient artistry of ninjutsu with the modern gadgetry of the spy would be a much better alternative than both of the former fighting to the death. Then i actually started studying ninjutsu. We like to incorporate the silliness and violence of the modern ninja image with influence from authentic ninjutsu training and philosophy. 

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

So many good shows! Always a good time big or small. One of my recent favourites was the No Kata book release in Vancouver at the Rickshaw. We performed the music live in sync video projected images of the book playing on two huge screens. It was invigorating to finally see the completion of that project. 

Our live performance i would describe as heavier and bloodier than any of our recordings. It doesnt matter if there are five or five thousand people, we'll always bring the violent spin kickin fun. Im all about dancing violently without hurting anyone. 

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

Nothing concrete but once we have the new album we will be looking to bring it to as many places as possible. 

8.According to the fb page, the band is signed to Zestone Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

Im not sure if Zestone is still around. They were our label in Japan. Very small outfit, really good guys from a band called Lost. They had a few international acts on board. Havent spoken to them in a while though. 

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

Its hit and miss. With our mix, people either love or hate us. But those who like us, like us a lot. 

10.When can we expect another full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

The new album we are crowdfunding for on indiegogo will be out this fall. It will include some older material and some brand new songs. It will represent seven years of writing and musical evolution along the reggae metal lines. We've been playing around with a lot of heavy odd time and syncopated riffs then making them into psychedelic dub reggae. 

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

So many influences! Between the three of us, hundreds. All nuanced into the big picture of our sound, if we even have one haha. These days im loving Gillian Welch, early Hatebreed, Blind Melon. My favourite band is Pearl Jam. I just realized i have no idea how the hell i write what i do or why, i just do whatever i want haha. 

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

I study Budo Taijutsu, and read occasionally, big into Tolkien lore. But other than that i work full time and spend time with my family. Between work family ninjutsu and music there really isnt time for hobbies. Im interested in a lot of things i dont find time for! 

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

Just that music keeps me going, and i enjoy sharing it with anyone who wants to. If anyone reading this wants to make music with us, donate to our indiegogo campaign and get your voice on our album! 

--
Joel Parent (Ninjoelspy)
Vox.Geets.Tech.Ops.Mgmt

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Super Massive Black Holes/Calculations Of The Ancients/Minotauro Records/2014 CD Review


  Super  Massive  Black  Holes  are   a  band  from  Canada  that  plays  a  very  experimental  and  progressive  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Calculations  Of  the  Ancients"  which  was  released  by  Minotauro  Records.

  A  very  heavy  and  progressive  sound  starts  off  the  recording  along  with  some  death  metal  growls  and  the music  gets  more  melodic  and  technical  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to them  along  with  solos  and  leads  becoming  a  part  of the  recording  and  after  awhile  blast  beats  are  added  into the  album.

  When  we  get  into  the  other  tracks  you  can  hear  clean  playing  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  elements  of  jazz  music  while  also  keeping  around  a  heavy  sound  and  when  they  bring  in  acoustic  guitars  it  enhances  the  progressive  nature  of  the  recording  as  well  as  adding  in  symphonic  and  psychedelic  sounds  and  on  some  of  the  tracks  they  bring  in    movie  samples  along  with  a  few  instrumentals  and  on  the  last  track  they  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  slide  guitars.

  Super  Massive  Black  Holes  have  a  very  original  sound  with  their  music  where  they  mix  technical  death  metal  on  the  heavier  side  with  progressive  and  jazz  fusion  as  well  as  a  small  amount  of  blues  on  the  softer  side  to  create  their  sound  along  with  a  very  professional  sounding  production  and  lyrics  that  cover  science  theories  and  human  experiences.

  In  my  opinion  Super  Massive  black  Holes  are  a  very  great  and  original sounding  progressive,  experimental  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Dyatlov  Pass  Incident"  "Holographic  Principle"  and  "Ghosts  of  Bhopal".  8  out  of  10.

Beyond Mortal Dreams/Lamia/Lavadome Productions/Unholy Prophecies/2014 EP Review


  Beyond  Mortal  Dreams  are  a  band  from  Australia  that  plays  a  very  brutal  form  of  death  metal  and  this is  a  review  of  their  2014  ep  "Lamia"  which  was  released  as  a  joint  effort  between  Lavadome  Productions  and  Unholy  Prophecies.

  A  very  heavy  and  brutal  death  metal  sound  starts  off  the  ep  along  with  some  growls  and  melodies  which  also  leads  up  to  some  blast  beats  and  the  band  brings  in  a  mixture  of  both  old  school  and  death  metal  elements  along  with  some  high  pitched  screams  and  when  leads  are  added  into  the  music  they  bring  a  very  dark  and  evil  atmosphere  to  the  recording.

  The  second  song  starts  off  with  a  mid  80's  style  raw  death  metal  sound  while  also  having  a  more  updated  take  on  the  genre  as  well  as  keeping  around  th e evil  atmosphere  that  was  present  on  the  first  track  as  well  as  bringing  in  a  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  you  can  also  hear  ritualistic  elements  in  the  track  at  times.

  Beyond  Mortal  Dreams  stick  to  their  trademark  sound  with  this  ep,  combining  brutal  death  metal  with  the  more  old  school  side  of  the  genre  along  with  a  very  professional  sounding  production  and  lyrics  that  cover  darkness  and  occult  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Beyond  Mortal  Dreams  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  both  old  school  and  brutal  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Demonsword  infernal".  8  out  of  10.      

Friday, April 11, 2014

Seprevation/Consumed/2014 CD Review


  Seprevation  are  a  band  from  England  that  plays  a  mixture  of  death  and  thrash  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2014  album  "Consumed".

  Classical  guitars  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  evil  sound  effects  and  after  awhile  the  music  goes  into  a  very  raw  thrash  metal  direction  mixed  with  the  beginnings  of  death  metal  along  with  a  mixture  of  screams  and  growls  and  the  guitar  leads  are  heavily  rooted  in  80's  underground  metal  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  As  the  album  progresses  you  can  hear  some  blast  beats  being  added  in  the  faster  sections  of  the  music,  and  the  guitar  riffing  also  brings  in  a  mixture  of  slow  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  adding  in  melody  when  it  is  needed  and  the  album  sounds  like  it  could  of  easily  of  been  released  in  1988  at  the  beginning  of  the  first  death  metal  wave  while  the  last  track  has  traces  of  the  late  90's  material  of  Death  and  also  bring  progressive  structures  into  the  track  before  adding  in  an  Iron  Maiden  style  sound.

  Seprevation  goes  back  to  the  more  raw  and  evil  origins  of  death  metal  and  thrash  with  their  music  and  take s the  old  school  sound  and  adds  a  modern  day  and  professional  sounding  production  to  their  music  along  with  lyrics  that  cover  dark,  evil  and  hateful  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Seprevation  are  a  very  great  sounding  old  school  mixture  of  death  and  thrash  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Divine  Devastation"  "Sarcophagal  Chamber"  "Sea  of  thoughts"  adn  "Between  Two  Worlds".  8  out  of  10.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Skelethal/Deathmanicvs Revelation/Caligari Records/2014 EP Review


  Skelethal  are  a  band  from  France  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  an  old  school  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of t heir  2014  ep  "Deathmanicvs  Revelation"  which  was  released  by  Caligari  Records.

  Dark  and  evil  sounds  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some  keyboards  which  bring  a  horror  music  feeling  to  the  recording  and  after  the  intro  the music  goes  into  a  fast  and  raw  old  school  death  metal  sound  along  with  a  mixture  of  leads  and  riffs  which  also  lead  up  to  some  deep  growling  vocals  and  in  the  slower  sections  you  can  hear  a  decent  amount  of  melody  being  utilized.

  In  the  other  songs  blast  beats  are  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  the  music  starts  going  for  the  more  darker  and  raw  style  of  early  90's  death  metal  and  they  bring  in  the  heaviest  elements  of  the  Florida  and  Sweden  scenes  of  the  mid  80's  to  early  90's  and  ignore  all  modern  trends  of  death  metal  and  on  the  last  track  synths  make  a  return  to  the  music  and  bring  an  epic  sound  to  the  recording  while  the  music  remains  in  a  heavier  direction.

  Skelethal  remain  true  to  an  old  school  death  metal  sound, remaining  in  the  same  direction  they  played  on  the  split,  along  with  a  heavy  and  old  school  production  and  lyrics  that  cover  death,  darkness,  horror  and  gore  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Skelethal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  old  school  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Putrefacation"  and  "Curse  Of  the  Neverending".  8  out  of  10.    

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hannes Grossmann/The Radial Covenant/2014 CD Review


  Hannes  Grossmann  is  a  solo  artist from  Germany  better  known  for  his  work  with  Obscura  and  plays  a  very  progressive  and  technical  form  of  death  metal  on  this  recording  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  self  released  2014  album  "The  Radial  Covenant".

  A  very  technical  and  heavy  death  metal  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  blast  beats,  heavy  bass  lines  and  a  mixture  of  growls  and  screams  as  well  as  a  good  amount  of  guitar  leads  and  there  is  also  a  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  being  utilized  and  the  music  also  gets  brutal  at  times.

  As  the  album  progresses  clean  singing  is  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  some  clean playing  and  progressive  parts  and  in  some  of  the  heavier  parts  combine  both  old  school  and  modern  death  metal  together  along  with  a  touch  of  djent  and  thrash  and  in  certain  sections synths  are  brought  in  and  bring  an  atmospheric  sound  to  the  recording.

  By  the  time  the  album  goes  into  the  3rd  track  acoustic  guitars  become  a  part  of  the  recording  while  the  main  focus  is  still  on  the  heavier  elements  and  as  time  goes  on  by  you  can  hear  prog  elements  coming  out  of  the  synths  in  a  couple  of  the  tracks  mixed  in  with  the  heavier  parts  and  towards  the  end  the  music  starts  adding  in  traces  of  classical  with  the  last  track  being  on  all  piannos.

  Hannes  Grossmann  shows  a  great  amount  of  talent  and  diversity  with  the  7  tracks  on  here  creating  some  original  sounding  progressive,  technical  death  metal,  along  with  a  professional  sounding  production  and  lyrics  that  cover  occult,  ufo,  scientific  and  philosophical  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Hannes  Grossmann  is  a  very  great  sounding  progressive,  technical  death  metal  solos  artist  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Alien  Utopia"  "The  Sorcerer"  and  "The  Radial  Covenant".  8  out  of  10.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bokluk/Taphonomy/Memento Mori/2014 CD Review


  Bokluk  are  a  band  from  Spain  that  plays  a  very  old  school  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Taphonomy"  which  was  released  by  Memento  Mori.

  Dark  horror  movie  sounds  start  off  the  album  and  after  the  intro  the  music  goes  into  a   fast,  brutal  and  heavy  old  school  death  metal  sound  along  with  blast  beats  and  growling  vocals  which  also  use  some  screams  and  the  band  also b rings  in  a  mixture  of  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  small  amounts  of  melody.

  When  the  album  finds  its  sound  it  starts  sounding  like  a  mixture  between  both  old  school  U.S  and  Swedish  styles  of  death  metal  being  mixed  together  along  with  a  more  dark,  raw  and  brutal  take  of  the  genres  and  at  time s the  music  will  also  have  a  very  filthy  sound  in  some  of  the  really  heavy  sections  and  the  recording  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  mid  80's  and  early  90's  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Bokluk  bring  back  some  of  their  more  darker,  filthy  and  raw  elements  that  a  lot  of  old  school  revival  death  metal bands  are  missing  along  with  the  forgotten  brutality  of  the  past  to  create  one  of  the  most  interesting  sounding  death  metal  elements  in  a  while  along  with  a  very  heavy  and  powerful  production  and  lyrics  that  cover  dark,  violent,  gore  and  horror  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Bokluk  are  a  very  great  sounding  filthy,  raw,  and  brutal  old  school  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Psyche"  "Creed  of  Excruciation"  "the  Raw"  and  "Taphonomy".  8/5  out  of  10.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pray For Locust/In The Shadow Of the Colossus/Discouraged Records/2014 CD Review

  Pray  For  Locust  are  a  band  from  Sweden  that  plays  a  mixture  of  extreme  metal  and  hardcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "In  The  Shadow  Of  The  Colossus"  which  was  released  by  Discouraged  Records.

  The  album  starts  out  with  a  very  heavy  metalcore/djent  sound  along  with  some  aggressive  screaming  vocals  along  with  some  groove  metal  elements  and  you  can  also  hear  a  good  amount  of  melody  in  the  recording  and  after  awhile  death  metal  growls  become  a  part  of  the  recording.

  When  the  album  finds  its  sound  it  is  more  close  to  a  thrash  meets  hardcore  while  also  having  a  good  amount  of  melody  and  the  heaviness  of  death  metal  along  with  the  growls  and  the  music  is  very  modern  sounding  while  the  metalcore  sounds  of  the  mid  90's  and  early  2000's  are  still  a  big  part  of  their  music  and  at  times  the  band  brings  clean  sections  into  certain  parts  of  the  recording  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Halfway  through  the  album  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  brought  in  briefly  and  they  add  more  traditional  metal  elements  to  the  sound  while  the  main  focus  is  still  on  metal  tinged  hardcore  as  well  as  spoken  word  samples  being  added into  a  few  of  the  tracks  and  while  blast  beats  are  absent  on  most  of   the  beginning  tracks  they  are  finally  brought  on  briefly  on  one  of  the  later  tracks.

  Pray  For  Locust  are  one  of  the  better  metalcore  bands  around  with  their  death  metal  influences  and  melody  which  make  them  sound  good  this  style  and  while  it  is  not  what  I regularly listen to, I can enjoy some of the effort  that  are  added  into  the  songs  and  the  album  has  a  very  professional  sounding  production  and  lyrics  that  cover  some  very  dark  topics.

  In  my  opinion  Pray  For  Locust  are  a  very  decent  sounding  mixture  of  extreme  metal  and  hardcore  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Batcountry"  "Reap  What  you  Sow"  "God  Of  the  Underworld"  and  "Heroin  Eyes".  7/5  out  of  10.