Tuesday, July 29, 2014

5 New Reviews 7/29/2014

Mortualia- Blood of the hermit-CD/ Digital ( Moribund Cult)

Dark and unnatural is where I would start with this release as its a side project of Horna/ Sargeist member Shatraug. This is post black metal with a very spacial and avant in the cords and disharmonic element of the album it reminds me of the more occult and very ritualist mystery bands like Drudkh, Wolves in the throne room and Windir just to name a few. This is black metal of the ancient ways . Of summonings to those names can not be spoken. There is a punk, heathen and early raw thrash element in the mix as well. The vocals are incantations to a realm that no one in their right mind would want to be opened into this world.  Children's nightmares spawn from this kind of music. in other words this album is just down right fantastic from beginning to end. This is truly for those that want there black metal to unsettle and make them know there are dark forces working against humanity period.


Father Murphy- Pain is on our side now-CD/ Digital ( Aagoo)

Where did this band come from and how come I didn't listen to this sooner. Industrial Metal meet Electronic Noise meets Neoclassic mastery. Its as if When, MZ412, Sonic Youth  and Sanctum ( band of Cold Meat Industries) had a love child at a Sunn0)) show.. I don't really know were to go with this . This is experimental and harsh and as forward thinking as any release I've heard in years. Its so many extreme genres in one and never one directional period. This is what the last moments of life must sound like on a dying world. The power that Father Murphy presents is massive by any undertaking.   Power electronic on a whole new level, Industrial Doom with ethno elements and Droning Noise with odd rhythms . It's really up to the listener to make there own conclusion with something that is that much of a breathe of fresh air in an already creative underground world.


Lacrimae Mundi cover art

TeHOM- Lacrimae Mundi- CD/ Digital ( Cyclic Law)

Primitive Tribal Dark Industrial in the highest of regards. The throat vocals with deep occult vocals , Long dark percussion blasts of sound and waves of reverb through out the release. TeHom was one of my favorite bands on the Nero/Tesco Org labels in the late 90's early 00's . With TeHom you have a force a wave of ancient ideals that no one fully understands but a select few want to try to absorb and grow in that spiritual ideals. The Ethno dark ambient and death industrial comes from the same place bands like In Slaughter Natives and Sephiroth .. What we have hear is without doubt sinister music . There is just something about Eastern European underground music that has such a darker / refined element to it . So glad to have this artist back making music on these levels..


Martyrdod- Elddop- CD/ Digital ( Southern Lord)

Another album in the style that southern lord has fully excelled and shined. The Crust/ Hardcore/ Punk/Grind movement. with Martyrdod we have a very well produced chuck of music that is Fast, Melodic, Noisy and full of fury as you would expect none the less. If you a fan of those labels Slap a ham, Pushead, Pessimister and Hydrahead then this is going to be something that you will not be able to stop listening to. There is a very Doom feeling to this album as a whole and a mature nature to all that is being made. Martyrdod has added Thrash complexities to the musical arrangements as well.  I get the vibe of bands like early At the gates and mid period Carcass mix in as well. There really is a lot going on here and yes the more I hear that golden age of Earache shines here as well. Not an album to miss would be how I would close this review.


Rabbits- Untoward- CD/ Digital ( Lamb Unlimited)

Man does this band have my number  Noisy Sludge with a healthy dose of Heavy indie rock. If you a fan of bands like Melvins, Jesus Lizard, Today is the day or Tad then my friends this a must own album. The sonic destruction on this album is epic and just keeps up the wall of low end trickery. The vocals are those cross of filthy punk and nyc hardcore. This band would have band a label darling on Amrep, SST or Matador yrs back.  There is a true rebirth of this music style and I'm so glad for labels like Ipecac , Southern Lord and 20 Buck spin for seeing value in this music again and now we have a new label Lamb Unlimited doing just the same thing. Rabbit is the band that will let you release all the stress and aggressions we have and restart a new.  Every release I've heard from Rabbits is this good and they keep progressing or maybe degressing into a band that is 2nd to none in the style and inspiration of this genre. 


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Secrets of Giza Artist- Abre Ojos Interview


1.    Scott please tell us how this project came about?

My background is in visual arts – installation, sculpture, textiles – and the exploration of sound came about from the necessity to have sound within my installations. For a while the visual side of things dropped back as I made up for lost time with the process of understanding sound and recording and performing music with a variety of electronic equipment.  After watching too many performers stuck behind laptops compared to the stage dynamics of the plethora of metal gigs I had watched, there was no visual element to engage the audience in what I was doing live and even to a certain extent in the recorded output. Drawing on my visual background, I started Abre Ojos specifically as an audio-visual project. We are now classed as a visual society, our visual language is highly developed and it starts from a young age. Traditional cultures that have a strong storytelling tradition tend to be much more aural. This visual sensitivity is something that I am targeting. One of the intentions of the project was to wedge into the TV time of my audience, for them to forsake an ad break, or a Simpsons episode and instead watch a meditative evolving mandala, to cleanse their palette from the constant stream of visual excrement that we are exposed to.

2.    I hear elements of many Australian experimental artists in Abre Ojos . Halo, Trial of the bow and Shinjuku thief to begin with also many of the older CMI, Malignant, Dark Vinyl and Cold Spring artists. Was this were the sounds were influenced from?

Shinjuku Thief was a big influence and I was listening to him before I even knew he was Australian. I missed Halo when it was an active entity but through my love of music technology and synthesis and the local modular group, I met one half of Halo who lives local to me and still creates amazing music under Terminal Sound System (http://www.terminalsoundsystem.com) and Siilt (http://siilt.bandcamp.com). Skye’s approach to sound production and programming has always pushed me along right when I needed it. I am very honored to know such a true artist! The biggest influence that pushed me down this path was the opportunity to work for a short time with Alan Lamb and listening to his compositions of the wires. My early music was very derivative of his work. Listening to his music and the discussions we had led me to understand the 3 min pop song was well and truly dead, that rhythm can be found outside of percussion and that audio frequencies are a playground.

3.    I would call the style sinister dark electro noise with ambient and drift overtones. If you were asked how would you explain it?

You have done a good job in explaining it. My explanation of it can only come from explaining the technology I use and the aesthetic and personal intention I put into it as I make it.
The sound comes primarily from synthesisers – a small eurorack modular, a Mono Evolver Keyboard and up until recently an Elektron Analog Four. I also use Absynth and Alchemy software. For me the whole digital vs analogue debate is moot. Synthesis is a meditative ritual for me, that engagement of physical interaction with aural focus, listening to the impact that minute changes of a pot or slider have, quieting the conscious mind, allowing other infinite connections to take place in guidance for construction and composition.
My personal aesthetic of the frequency range is in the lower ranges, these lower frequencies have been associated with being dark, maybe something in our primal brain makes it so – connections to the low rumble of an avalanche, a cave in, an earthquake or some other catastrophic geological event. There is no doubt that the world beyond the plastic we are fed from the mainstream media is a dark place, when I found the Spanish term “Abre Ojos” it was a common saying of sailors saying “look out, open your eyes, there is danger all around!”.

4.    I know there is a dvd with gates as a companion but I only got the audio tracks to review tell us what the dvd is all about?

As stated previously, Abre Ojos is primarily an audio-visual project, so there are always visuals being created in parallel with the sound – both elements are treated equally and composed simultaneously and I am very lucky to have found a label in Secrets of Giza that supports this and were happy to go the extra mile to release a DVD and CD package.
The DVD visuals are built from 3 films found on archive.org that are in the public domain. It is very important for me to use raw materials that are in the public domain or licensed under creative commons. They all have some kind of extra-terrestrial theme, which for me is not necessarily about an external higher intelligence but as a metaphor for our own universally connected selves. This is a part of the core principle I was exploring with Gates, so these films were appropriate to use. I have a fascination with the geometry in our world – in nature, in mankind’s constructions and with the mandalas of eastern philosophies and religions. The films were cut up and molded into long evolving mandalas and layered with audio reactive geometric animations. The result is a 60+min audio-visual experience that are designed to be watched and simultaneously not watched, with the opportunity opened to listen to the sound on a deeper level and to potentially move through the image into a deeper part of yourself.

5.    Is there a story or tale behind the album gates?

Gates was conceived through 2012 culminating in the solar eclipse. The prophesies of doom for me were nothing but a clear statement that the dogmas, religions and laws of societal control were expired, out of date. Priests, shamans or figures of control no longer guarded the gates to individual enlightenment. The time had come for self-individuation (in the Jungian sense) and self-directed guidance. The track list of Gates is a manifesto in it’s own right with each track an exploration of that step in the process of discarding the expired dogmas of control. The final track – Take Your Place – is that point of claiming your own sovereignty of all aspects of your life and spiritual beliefs.  Gates was my own training exercise to explore and reaffirm this knowledge.

6 Scott I know you make music outside Abre Ojos how does it differ?

You can’t escape yourself! The other music that I make out side of Abre Ojos is in collaborations. Every collaboration is something that I’m privileged to be a part of in connecting and creating with others. The music is still me but with the opportunity to respond and react to others creative processes. It differs only that I hope it becomes something unique and new through the collaboration process. When collaborating I do try and explore different instruments or creative techniques. I guess a subtext of the question is “am I worried about staying true to a particular genre?” and that answer is firmly no. The past centuries of creative pursuits have brought us to a point where any and every creative act is valid and meaningful and this represented with the amazing range and diversity of music available on somewhere like Bandcamp or Soundcloud. So to disregard genres and free myself to create whatever comes out at whatever point ensure that I am true to whatever point psychologically, spiritually or physically I am at and that I can create something true with integrity for myself.

6.    Secrets of Giza has released this album they are new to my readers and myself how did you come to work with them?

The relationship with Secrets of Giza came about through a friend and fellow musician Matt Casey/Illuminoscillate (http://illuminoscillate.bandcamp.com), another amazing local dark ambient artist who had been in discussion and had contacted SOG and who had mentioned me. Secrets of Giza and I started chatting and I sent them the Gates demo and they instantly wanted to release it. The label owners are musicians themselves, this is reflected in the attention to detail and care they have shown in all of our dealings. They have a strong work ethic and a unique vision for their label and artists and I’m honored to be a part of their roster!

7.    Your music has a very eastern and ritualistic feel to it was that done to need or did it just come about organically?

The irrelevance of established and historical ritual practices means that we are free to create our own forms of rituals and my creation process is very much that for me. Each track has a clear personal intention and I approach the making of them in a ritualistic way. The eastern influence may come from the metallic percussion instruments that I sample and also play live on the tracks such as my collection of meditation bowls and Tibetan chimes and cymbals. It even creeps in with the tunings I use when programming the synthesizers.

8.     Are you a fan of social media or does it hurt the real artist trying to grow and expand the musical journey?

Social media is a great way of connecting directly with people who like my music. It is a struggle to get new audiences from places like Facebook and Twitter that are just 21st century versions of bill flyers pasted onto lampposts. I feel that networking (collaborations, gigs, etc) is still the number one way to make the initial connection with potential listeners/watchers and that the social media triumvirate of demons are just the way to continue and develop those connections.

9.    Where do you see the sound of Abre Ojos heading with future releases?

I am always reminded about how much I don’t know about sound production when I hear the current work coming out around the world, so the Abre Ojos sound is always striving to develop compositionally, technically and in sound creation. There are three new releases on the horizon: one built completely from sounds recorded from the wind organ I built with Alan Lamb which is very much embedded in the dark ambient style. That is due soon on an Australian label Iceage Productions (http://iceageproductions.bandcamp.com). The other two are logical progressions from Gates with percussive elements and darker, denser tracks.

10.  If you could let us know what are you currently listening to and reading these days. Tell much about the artist.

Haxan Cloak is on constant rotation and I have been playing his collaboration with The Body a lot. The Mika Vainio and Joachim Nordwall collab – Monstrance is an excellent record. You can really hear the live jamming from two excellent improvisers. Pharmakon – Abandon, her talent for minimal composition which results in such a huge sound always blows me away and the videos I have seen of her live shows makes me wish she would come to Aus to tour sometime. The two current reads are a new collection of Stephen King short stories and the Alan Moore graphic novel Lost Girls.

11. If you could collab and tour with anyone or project who would it be and why?

Too many collaboration wishes to list here but here are the top three: Henrik Nordvargr Björkk – his no nonsense approach, choice of audio technology and his talent would be great to connect with, he leaps genres effortlessly. Bobby Krlic/Haxan Cloak – amazing sequencing and sound design skills and finally, Margaret Chardiet/Pharmakon for all the reasons listed above.

12.  Thank you for the time any closing thoughts here.

Thank you for the interview and great questions. As mentioned above the industry is a quagmire and saturated with amazing music so I am always humbled when I find out someone is listening to my music or wants to hear my thoughts on the creation process. The need to be creative is very strong and I feel that I would be doing this even if there wasn’t any audience, so I am very appreciative of every ear, eye and heart that does take the time to listen and watch.
There are still a few copies of Gates left available from http://secretsofgiza.bandcamp.com/album/abre-ojos-gates
Other places to connect:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

4 more New Reviews 7/22/14

Hour of Penance- Regicide-CD/Digital (Prosthetic Records)

Death in the way Hour if Penance presents it is Massive and Epic in almost an orchestral way. This reminds me of bands like Hypocrisy, Soilwork and Gojira. The chorused vocal interludes and the melodic and harmonies that come out of this are very Swedish or Danish Death metal traits. I would see a band like this on labels like Listenable or Willowtip as the hold that over the top tech and melody with a crushing death metal sound. Hour of Penance also have that Old school Earache style going on like Bolt Thrower and Entombed at times were it sounds like a war machine coming for you. These are some of the catchiest Death metal sounds I've heard in years. They add elements of bands like later Emperor and Marduk at well. Over all a great release for the band , label and all us extreme music fans out there...


Black Anvil- Hail Death-CD/ Digital ( Relapse)

This an album I would have loved 15 yrs ago on relapse as its just the material that talks to me. Its a mix of  Black / Death and Thrash with an Northern European Metal over tone. I can see why a band like this is getting the praises they deserve. There is clearly a dark melody going on inside this beast of an album. The musicianship is there and the skill of song writing is fantastic. The vocals are spiteful and grim it has much working for it. I almost want to to say if Neurosis or Mastodon were more a black metal band it would be Black Anvil but that is taking away from all the other subtle elements that make Black Anvil so interesting.  Love the nod to 90's Extreme thrash and late 80's metal in the solos and bass tones. This is band that really needs more exposure and thats what I'm trying with this review. Hail Death is an album that will keep you guessing and never bore I can promise that my Metal legions...


Torch Runner-Committed to the ground-CD/Digital (Southern Lord)

So you a fan of Crust, Sludge, Grind and Post Hardcore miss bands like  Noothgrush, Cavity, Buzzoven and Corrupted??? Well here you go my friends we now have Torch Runner and it's everything you want and more short, blistering, scornful , noise rock with a dirty slow bluesy overtone of this whole monster. Torch Runner is what the DIY show and lifestyle is all about and there is no more perfect home for this album then Southern Lord right now maybe 20 buck spin but you know what I mean folks. This band gives me the same feeling i got when I heard Eyehategod,  Oathbreaker and Today is the day  the 1st time just done right jaw dropping respect.. Get this and the new one coming on Southern Lord later as well. This bands vision and voice needs to be heard!!!


Mournful Congregation- Concrescence of the Sophia-CD/ Digital ( 20 Buck Spin) 

If you lived and loved Funeral and Doom/Death like I did for over 20 yrs then when this album starts (which is just 2 Track  totalling over 30 mins of music) You would just want to pull out your old Peaceville and Avantgarde/ Wounded Love releases as this band is just that . Think Thergothon, Unholy, My Dying Bride and Early Anathema.. The Soul of this band is  Sorrow, Torment, Fragile Dreams and Reflection on a world where no one helps and the only think promised is death... The band is from the land down under and do have a lot in common with two bands from OZ Disembowelment and Elegeion. Syrup sped music that flows through my headphones is just wonderful. They do have that gothic over tone of clean and death vocals as well and the very harmonic guitar with the low end bass and mid tempo drumming is just all I could ask for . Mournful Congregation is just the band that took the mantle from From Thergothon for keepers of the Doom Death flame... Every release of theirs is this great as well. Get them all..


Monday, July 21, 2014

3 New Reviews from Moribund Cult 7/22/2014

Killgasm- A Stab in the heart of christ-CD/Digital (Moribund Cult)

Punk fueled Black thrash is what is the real sound of this band there are some very death metal over tones but as a hole Killgasm as a very interesting vibe going on. Its as if  Sodom, Bathory and Mercyful Fate all came together at an Exploited rehearsal and said you know what if we all formed one band we would be the dirtiest and nastiest blackened punks out in the world.  At times I swear they are on one single mission and that is to destroy all things of the light and plunge us into a new dark age. The vocals are full of so much venom and hate and the very raw and low fi what this is presented again is just a perfect mix . There are even a few gore/ grind moments on this beast of a release. Horns up....


Provocator- Antikristus-CD/Digital ( Moribund Cult)

So are you into Abruptum, Vond or Beherit then you know where this member of Bleeding Fist is coming from with this release. This is raw, industrial, noise filled black metal with the madness and torment you would expect with all the sickest of bands on the Moribund roster. Guitars, Drum machine , Over effected nightmarish vocals on one path and one mission the destruction of all mankind. I know this was recorded to sound like a demo from the 90's and it just adds all the more crude brutality that this album needs . Provocator is just one ritual into the darkest side of mental destruction..


Empire Auriga- Ascending the solar throne- CD/Digital (Moribund Cult)

Moribund is starting to have a theme here .They are moving more and more in the avant black and experimental Black metal sounds as with Empire Auriga we have elements of Burzum, Azrael, Blut aus nord and  altar of plagues.. there is so much ambience, spacial drift and cold industrial black metal going on here its a soundtrack to oblivion and we all know that can only end up one way. Orchestral suicide is a way of presenting what Empire Auriga will feed you till you see the other realms of both light and darkness.  These are more a collection of Nightmarish Hymns that we are favored to hear. There are doom elements through out the release as well as neoclassic movements. This album is something that must be experienced  to fully understood and I hope anyone into experimental extreme music will..


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bethlehem rust artist Secret Cutter Interview

Secret Cutter


1. So tell us how this sludgy prog noise rock unit  from PA came tp be?

Evan: We formed in 2007 . I ran a record label that released Ekim and Jared's old band Oktober Skyline. We wanted to play slower heavy stuff and it kind grew from there.

2. On your self titled full length you mix elements of bands like Melvins, Eyehategod, Today is the day , Jesus Lizard , Dillinger escape plan  and many bands on Amrep and Slap a ham labels. Where did the mix of Post Hardcore, Noise and  Metal come from?

Evan: There was no real plan to mix all the styles together. Its all just what sounds good to us. . We are frequently surprised by the bands we are compared to.

Jared: We all love different types of music. I personally feel like I take the aspects I love the most about certain genre's and sort of funnel them all together, but not on purpose...it just happens.

3. This seems to be a self released album as well with killer production. Is Bethlehem rust going to be an outlet for other projects or just Secret Cutter?

Evan: I have some ideas for other releases, mostly records from old bands from our area, that were never released on vinyl. For right now Bethlehem Rust is just for Secret Cutter.

4. What is a live show for Secret Cutter like. How is different from the album?

Evan: Its loud.

Jared: Very loud, I need a drum PA.

5. In 2014 do bands really need labels any more or just good pr, social media, band camp and outlets to sell music? 

Jared: I think the initial push of a label helps but, clearly, with social media, your own fans can help get the music out to more ears.

6. What are the members of Secret cutters reading and listening to currently. It tell us almost about the artist..

Evan : I'm currently reading "The 12th Planet" by Zecharia Sitchin. He's one of the forefathers of the ancient aliens movement. I'm currently listening to Battalion of Saints a lot.

Jared: I've been in a musical null for a long time. Podcasts like JRE, Duncan Trussle's Family Hour. Kayo Dot, Murmur, Blutch.

7. What track would you make into a professional video for you tube and social media and how would you like it to look?

Evan: it would be the first track on the LP "MIrror Mirror". I would probaly want to film in Super 8. It would not be a standard ' Band plays song, and looks tough doing it" video.

Jared: I want to use that song, strap gopros to our heads and drink syrup of ipecac before filming.

8. Do you feel Secret Cutter is aligned more with the  hardcore/ punk ethos or do the extreme metal fans seem to embrace the sound more? 

Evan. People from alot of different sub genres seem to be into us. We all grew up in the Punk/Hardcore scene. We are punk guys playing metal for sure.

9. The artwork and name leave a mystery around the band. What is the story behind band name?

Evan. There is really no story to it. We were looking for a name that wasn't a typical heavy band name. Its about self hatred I guess. We like ambiguity in our artwork. Things that are more abstract and subtle.

10. Where do you see the sound reaching with future releases at more experimental or bombastic element?

Evan: We are shooting for both.

Jared: Whatever the tides bring. We're always trying to do different things and sometimes we just stumble on things that come from somewhere else, just by being in the moment.

11. Do the members of the band plan in other projects as well if  so let use know about them?

Jared: I have a recording project I do in my spare time called Orphan Donor. It's more improv grindcore with a touch of skramz, noisy nonsense.

12. What are you looking for the fans getting out of Secret cutters music. Is there a great plan to any of it?

Evan: We want to write songs that sound like the end of the world.

Jared: Just keep writing and see what happens.

13. Thank you for time any closing thoughts here..

Thank You

Monday, July 7, 2014

8 New Reviews 7/72014

Voice of  Reason- Looking Back to the way things were- CD/ Digital ( Ear One Productions)

Old school East Coast Hardcore done fast dirty and hard . What we have here is a collection of their tracks from 1995 to 2001 when the band called it a day . This is what i went to see at CBGB's Sunday Matinees and at Pipeline in NJ.  Voice of Reason remind me a lot of bands like Leeway, Cromags  and Sick of it all and Murphys Law. If you remember when the circle pit was in  and Metal kids and Hardcore kids would goto the same show and have a blast this is the music the comes to mind. There is a melody to all of this as well that works into the mix of the pure hardcore themes. The voice is an anthem for youth you can just hear Jay Reason preaching the word...  Don Fury did their demo so you know the cred is there my friends.  30 + blistering hardcore tracks all on one release how can you ask for more...


The Sieve and the Sand cover art

Run with the Hunted- The Sieve and the sand- CD/ Digital ( Panic Records)

This AZ unit's 4th release is something that I really have come to like of the years the mix of Noise Rock, Post Hardcore and Modern Metal elements. If you like bands like Dillinger Escape Plan, Today is the day and bands like Converge or Oathbreaker this will be a home run. There is a catchy edge to the chaos here that drive the prog and complexity to an amazing  full  wall of madness. The vocals are the of Faith no more or Polkadot Cadaver with Screamo side to them.  There a many bands like this today and Run with the Hunted are another strong example of why when done right this music works on so many levels..


DRÅPSNATT - Hymner till undergången, CD

Drapsnatt- Hymner Till undergagen- CD/ LP/ Digital ( Nordvis)

What we have here is a reissue of the bands 2nd album that was released on a small label in 2010 and needs to be heard by a wider audience with Drapsnatt you have a Post Black metal band with very much the acoustic, prog side and folk elements very much a part of the whole of the release. I would say if you could mix Falkenbach, Burzum and Fen into one unit it would be very close to the styles that are going on here. It's epic, distant, fragile , bombastic and tormented all at the same time.  There is an earlier Dimmu Borgir feel to this album i will say stormblast does come to mind as well as band called Dawn... Check this out you will be impressed if you like folksy Black metal...



Abre Ojos- Gates- CD/ Digital ( Secrets of Giza Inc)

Australian sound designer Scott Baker has created something that is familiar but really something all his own. There are other fellow Aussies that I can hear that he has taken elements of his sound from  Trial of the box, Halo and Shinjuku thief. Clear this album is a mix of Ritualistic/ Tribal Electro Noise with a Black and Sinister ambience to complete the picture. This never becomes full on Harsh noise or Dark Industrial the sounds ebb and flow to much and there is a strong drift and eastern stylistic vibe going on through out the album. A Dvd is included with the release and I have to see it a with my copy just audio was for review. I Feel the live show must be something to witness .  Abre Ojos I need to hear your other material for sure now... Impressive to say the least...


Hrizg-  Individualism- CD/ Digital ( Moribund Cult)

What you you hear is what you get here folks. This is Occult Black metal on the coldest and bleakest of orders. If you miss Black metal with all its grim . punk and under the veil symphonic elements that many bands in the late 90's early 00's did then with Hrizg it's all back with the vengeance that you will want. The album is not out to make friends or fans . It's for those of us that know this is the end times and we are prepared for the battle that approaches. Pick you side as Hrizg as well have done some time ago... Horns up on this one...


The Great Sabatini-  Dog Years- CD/LP/ Digital ( Solar Flare Records)

Sludgy, Grungy . Proggy  Noise rock is a wonderful thing when done right and if you can add that Crust and Punk element to it as well then you have made a fan for life here and The Great Sabatini has done that and so much more here for fans of bands like Melvins, Grinch, Noothgrush, Floor and Today is the day . They would have band signed to Amrep in a moment 20 yrs ago . So its clear what the sound of this band is they even have moments of bands like Hammerhead, Craw and Early Helmet...  Long live noise rock and and all it's manic glory...


Deus Otiosus- Rise- CD/ Digital ( Deepsend)

Black Death is something that has always drawn me in. Bands like Dissection, Hypocrisy and Ancient Rites etc... What Deus Otiosus does to mix it up a bit is add thrash and punk elements into the sound to mix it a bit more active and primitive in the presentation as a whole, The vocals come very much from the death metal front and at its essence we have a Death metal release with elements of Motorhead, Black Flag and Kreator making this a very enjoyable release over all. The tracks are well done and have this way to stick in your head even after listening to the album and that doesn't happen to me much these days. Rise with the album cover says a lot its a Monster of a release in a storm of many around them trying to do the same thing just not succeeding as well.


Secret Cutter- Self-titled- LP/ Digital ( Bethlehem Rust)

Where the hell did this album come from and thank you for letting this reviewer hear it!!!
If you like what labels like Southern Lord, Exile on Mainstream and Translation Loss are doing then Secret Cutter are going to knock you on your ass.. Add the Noise of labels like Touch and Go and Amrep  you have it to a tee. This album is not only pissed off its amazing. Nightmare vocals with a wall of Experimental mental Sludgy Post Hardcore Noise rock . This is becoming a common theme . I think the 2nd coming of Noise rock mixed with Sludge and hardcore is making a massive comeback. The economy sucks , Jobs are at all time low and people are just plain suffering and with these elements great music comes from the struggles of man.. I will not be taking Secret Cutters out of rotation for a while with new Floor, Eyehategod , Godflesh , The Body and others 2014 is turning to be one hell of a year for underground music.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

DeathWhite Interview is up

Answered collectively by the band:

1. As your a very new music project to many of my readers .Tells us a bit about how the band came to be?

DW: Deathwhite actually started as a very basic, in-home/in-studio project between the two of us. However, realizing that we enjoyed practicing (but not playing out), we added a third member, which allowed us to have actual rehearsals. So, the band in its current state has been together since late 2012. The three of us have known each other for quite some time, and have been in other types of bands before, but nothing like Deathwhite. Very new and exciting territory for us.

2. So I hear many different influences and styles there is a strong Post Metal, Ethereal element mix Prog Rock and  Post Rock. Where did this ideal come from.

DW: We all played in extreme metal or thrash metal bands prior to Deathwhite’s formation and it was simply a matter of wanting to try something new. Being that we’re each fans of darker, slower music, it made sense to move forward in this direction. However, you are the first one to point out any sort of prog rock influence, although none of us would balk at that sort of music. Some of it is rather enjoyable. That being said, we’re still working on our sound; it’s 100% a work in progress, which we’re fully aware of.

3. You have much in common with bands like In the woods, Green Caranation, Antimatter and  Katatonia... Where these bands to inspire your progression musically? Also I hear bands like Sunny Day Real Estate and Shudder to think in the mix or am I just confused?

DW: You are spot-on regarding In the Woods, Green Carnation, Antimatter, and Katatonia. Green Carnation is a remarkably underrated band…The Quiet Offspring is a fantastic album. Same goes for Katatonia is a major influence, and Antimatter, who are one of the best dark rock bands going. Sunny Day Real Estate and Shudder may be a bit off, though. However, it’s all in the ear of the beholder. Nothing against those bands, but they don’t factor into the mix.

4.You have seemed to go the DIY way of releasing album with a PR company doing the press push. Is 2014 the time of of real independence of not needing a label . PR company and Social media has made that possible?

DW: You are correct: Social media and hard work via the Internet has made some labels obsolete, especially if you want to get into the whole physical product aspect of things. Being an independent band certainly has its advantages and disadvantages, like anything. A good label can help with tour support – should it be asked for, along with other necessities in the promotional department. But, being independent allows one to do as they please without something looking over your shoulder. We’d be comfortable with either situation.

5. If you could release a track on the album as pro done video what would on Ethereal album it be and why?

DW: “When I (Wasn’t) You” seemed to be the right choice for releasing an initial track before the EP’s release, so that would probably be the song we’d choose. It’s perhaps the most accessible number of the six songs found on the EP, although you might get a different answer from not only the band, but those who were kind enough to listen to the EP.

6. What is the story or theme of Ethereal?

DW: There is no theme with Ethereal, as our lyrical topics range from personal matters, to topics of the anti-religion variety. This is where the title came into play; how those who claim to be holier-than-thou, or “ethereal” quality, are sometimes, and the ones who need the most help or have the most character issues. Hypocrisy within religion is rampant, and shows no sign of slowing down. That’s where the title came from.

7.   Where do you see the sound of the band heading a darker more gothic neofolk realm or more progressive as I can see both ?

DW: We actually have plans on getting heavier with our next release(s). The EP is a good display of what we can do, but it’s pretty raw and in spots, underdeveloped, which is natural for a band’s first recorded outing. The new material we’re presently working with is definitely heavier and in spots, faster, but we have no plans on losing the melodic and/or melancholic edge we have right now. And, clean vocals will remain, but there are discussions on adding a few growls here and there.

8. If you could tour with anyone who would it be and why?

DW: We do not play out, and have no plans in which to do so, therefore, there is no ideal band for us to tour with.

9. What are the members of DeathWhite currently listening to? Anything Shocking?

DW: Lots of bands at the moment actually, some surprising, like Virgin Steele, Coroner, Eluveitie, Evemaster, and An Autumn for Crippled Children. Others, like Steven Wilson, Opeth, In Flames, Children of Bodom, Devin Townsend, and Katatonia are regulars among the members.

10. You have a very limited presence on the web do you perfer it that way just facebook and bandcamp and let the music do the talking?

DW: Correct. We prefer to maintain a limited presence on the internet for the time being. Our official website is currently be revamped, so we will simply exist on a few musical platforms and not go the route for social media. An effective tool for some bands, but not this one. Sometimes, less is more in that regard, for bands who constantly bombard their fans via social media, tend to lose some of their intrigue and/or luster after a while. Again, different strokes for different folks.

11. Do the members of  DeathWhite create music under other project names or is DeathWhite the focus for the band members?

DW: One of our members currently plays in a pretty heavy band in and around town, but that’s it. For the rest of us, Deathwhite, and various non-musical pursuits eat up our free time.

12. What would you tell new bands starting out?

DW: Work toward finding your own sound. Don’t copy others – it will only set you back in the long run. Also, write, then record a proper demo or EP, then worry about playing shows. Too often bands do it the other way around and their product suffers. More importantly, just have fun and enjoy writing music with those whose company you enjoy. Few experiences are more exciting.

13. Thanks for the time and interview any closing thoughts here...
DW: Much thanks for the support. We will be back in the studio later this year, so we hope to have a new release ready for early 2015. Kind regards.

Monday, June 23, 2014

FDA Rekotz artist Decembre Noir Interview 6/23/2014


1. Tell us new to Decembre Noir how the band came to be? 

Years ago I met Daniel our then drummer on a birthdayparty. We talked about our musical preferences and decided to meet us for jaming in his rehearsal room. At that time “Stowaway” was developed. That was the beginning of Décembre Noir. We wanted to take it as a project and stay two by two. But the urge to be a real band and to stay on stages was bigger than this. Next one was Mike at the bass. With Mike I’ve made music since my youth in different bands. Marcel from a friendly band took our second guitar. Lars we were searching for. We wrote him and he agreed at the same moment. 
Unfortunately Daniel and Marcel left us because of private causes and moved away. Now Kevin became our drummer and Martin took the second guitar. Martin and me played in other bands together before.

2. With A discourged believer I hear elements of Opeth, Katatonia , Edge of Sanity and Saturnus. Were did the meloncolic goth inspired Black Doom metal sound come from would it be these bands?

Of course the albums of these bands are in our private collections. They have all together inspired us and are still doing this. But we don’t write songs under the pressure to sound like these bands. We write our music intuitively and they are always very melancholic from the beginning without being of this. I’m also thinking that we are creating our sound on and on and are so getting deeper into our own style. A German Fanzine called it “New melancholic hardness”.

3. Your from Germany home of so many amazing dark and goth metal bands .What do you think brings out the haunting and sorrow filled extreme metal from the nations bands? 

Oh we are not very sad people. All of us have a great lust for life and a lot of fun within it. But we are also very emotional. We feel a good song if it makes us flesh creep. I think every country has this kind of music which includes exactly this emotions and grasps you.

4. How did you come to work with F.D.A Rekotz?

We sent Rico from FDA a live recording of our first concert in the actual formation. And everyone could hear that this was our first performance. He offered us the contract and we signed it immediately. But he gave us the time we needed to finish the album. When I looked at the other bands I truthfully thought about if we are right there. But my doubts were removed very fast and we feel very good with FDA.

5. Is there a theme or a story behind A discourged beliver? The cover art tells me there is something of a story behind the release? 

Yes it is. The story of a young person which is searching for ist way in life. I think everybody could identify his own with this person at some moment in life. The songs on the album are arranged in a special order to tell the story with sounds. But there is not only sorrow but also hope in our lyrics. Everyone should interpret them on his own. 
6. Whats the bands thoughts on the current extreme music underground. Is it going through a true bebirth were bands are free to experiment and grow or has it become impossible to live off music and touring now?

The underground is and has been there all the time. The big, worldwide known bands are only the top of the iceberg. There are a lot of good musicians who have not the possibility or even don’t want to present their music to the public. Lot of people don’t have enough money to finance a good production. But the claim of the listeners is a very big one and is crucial for the decision, more than the artful background. But everything is financially shaped, from the purchase of instruments until the costs of a tour. To live from music it’s also unavoidable for big bands to go on big tours. But the step into this, to live for and of the music needs more than profound thinking. Here also the financial safety of the family is playing a big role.

7. What track off the album would the band like to create a video for and what would you like to see visually?

At this moment we have finished the shooting and the cut to “A Discouraged Believer” and the video is online now. We didn’t want to create a video like the classic style of a metal video where a band is only shooted when they are performing and that’s all. We wanted a story which is corresponds with the text. So we wrote a script and created the task to show all band members as one person throughout the video. It is criticism at the forces of the society and the small space everyone is pushing himself into. We are sure to shoot a second video for “Forsaken Earth”. The ideas for this are existing yet.

 8. How would you say your live shows differ from the album I havejust reviewed?

We try to be as close as possible to the recordings. But I think our live performances have a very high energy level and animate our guests to get active. But we also will present the songs of the next album. So there will be new songs all the time. Basically we can watch a lot of emotions when we are performing. Lot of people close their eyes, brush a tear away and at the next moment they start to mosh. That’s the feeling of live performances. This feeling you can’t get at home. You need this special moment. We are more than happy to give this feeling to people.

9. Do the members of the band make music in any other projects or is Decembre Noir the only focus? 

I have finished making music in other projects to focus only on Décembre Noir. Lars, Martin and Mike found together in the band “Inner Absence” and Kevin has been and is still the drummer in the band “Dicentress”. He played there before getting in touch with us and is fixed part for them.

10. People say you have lifetime to create your debut and minutes to write the followup. Where do you see the future style of the band heading..

We still are working at the new album and don’t want to last too much time until the review. But we don’t want to force ourselves and it will take as much time as it needs. We want to take up at the first album and go along the way we created there.

11. What are the members of Decembre Noir currently listening to ??? Any shockers? 

That’s very different. Everybody is listening to the music he wants to listen at a special moment. There’s for example Behemoth, Godjira up to Antimatter or Woods of Ypres. Sometimes all together. 

12. Is social media and good pr all a band really needs 2014 or does having the backing of a good indie label still really help.

Only very few of the bands have a conract or they have a label which is not very enthusiastic. It’s unbelievable not to inform the fans anymore through social media. We at ourselves pay attention to so many bands only because we found them online. We can listen to music which perhaps will never find the way into a shop. We can listen to nearly endless range of music and that’s more than important for the scene and also other artists.

  13. Thank you for your time any closing thoughts here..
We are wondering what will be within this and the next year for us. We are nearly overwhelmed by the amazing response to the album. We are pleased about every time on stage but also enjoy our time together in the rehearsal room. But I think this year would not be very calm.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

5 New Reviews 6/21/2014

Goatwhore- Constricting rage of the Merciless- Digital/CD ( Metal Blade)

With members of bands like Soilent Green, Crowbar and Acid Bath you would think you would get a much more Grind and Sludge like affair but with Goat Whore we are looking at a marriage of  Black, Thrash and Death Metal and hints of the Punk ethos from time to to time. With the 6th release from this force the blistering speed and blackened death vox are still there but this time we do add more of a melody at times and complexity still with that trademark thrashing punk vibe through out. Ben vocals and Sammy's guitars are still there full for the 1st time I do think is has some real Soilent Green elements going on here. Goat Whore is getting stronger musically with every release and experimenting with arrangements and tones even more. This not a one trick pony by any matter of the imagination. Horns raised high for this one...


Romuvos- Romivan Dainas- CD/ Digital ( No Colours Records)

Wow I not heard a pure Viking/Folk Metal album in a while. This is straight out of the Mithotyn , Falkenbach and Tyr. The Strings, pipes and sing along choruses are all there and shine with the acoustic guitars mixed with that heathen metallic crunch. The Clean vocals work so well with a release like Romuvos. This is almost like the lost Bathory or Vintersorg release. Your ancient kin will even be able to hear how pure this is in the after realms. Sing and Play music about the battles and hymns of the past. Romuvos is a band that needs to been heard and talked about your and our heritage is most important. No Colours has released an album that can and will live through the ages...


Doom: vs- Earthless-CD/ Digital ( Solitude Productions)

Draconian has always been a doom band that has impressed. With the Guitarist of this band and his band Doom:vs I have high hopes this is a one man show mostly as all music and clean vocals are done by Johan of Draconian but what makes it all the more impressive is that Saturnus vocalist does all the guttural vocal and there is a strong Sorrow / Gothic Doom element through out Earthless album. I hear elements of  Saturnus, Katatonia, Older Anathema, Paradise Lost and Bands like Dolorian and Mournful Congregation going on here. This is not funeral doom in anyway . It's more what you heard on Peaceville and Misanthropy back 15 yrs ago.. The Melancholy  elements are strong here and that is really what works to make this such a winning release. The Slumbering pace of the release with the mix of clean an growls the pianos and droning reverbing riff it's just the kind of Doom that makes this reviewer remember the days that this much was my life's blood.


DEATHWHITE- Eternal- CD/ Digital ( Self Released)

This unit wears their influences on the sleeves they perform out of... We have a Mix of Anathema, Katatonia and Old Dead Tree and you have DeathWhite.  They mix Prog, Doomy Post Metal and Gothic elements all into something that is dreamy, hopeful, unsettling and dark all at the same time keeping a dissonance that is needed in music the mixes the Fragile with some very complex and challenging arrangements. This is a style of music that labels like Prophecy Productions and Candlelight have been cultivating for years now and even labels like Aural Music and K scope  have been branching into.. There are moments of bands like Tenhi and Ulver too. DEATHWHITE is a unit that will need several listens to sink in at it mixes many genres together to make this a very familiar journey into a new musical scape..

Pillory- Evolutionary Miscarriage- CD/ Digital ( Unique Leader)

There are times where Tech Death metal is beyond words it normally happens with labels like Listenable, Sensory and Willowtip well my friends Unique Leader has done it with Pillory.  Prog, Jazz, Avant, Noise Rock and Mathcore elements are all mix with Death metal here is a way that can only be said are like a Sci fi movie speed up and made ultra violent and confusing all at its wonderful same time.  The Bands I hear most are  Neuraxis, Gorguts,  Behold the Arctopus and Gigan... You see where I'm going with this correct? If not then this band is not for your or try it in small doses as this is one of the most over the top death metal units I've heard in a while. I will warn you once again this is not entry level or even moderate level stuff. Be ready to have your mind twisted and changed after hearing a band like Pillory.. This is though a must listen for those into the very extreme experimetal scene.. I can not stop listening to this album ...


Saturday, June 14, 2014

9 New Reviews 6/14/2014

Nightfell- the living ever mourn-CD/ digital ( Southern Lord )

I will just say it now His hero is gone is one of my all time fave bands and when I saw Todd that and Tragedy was in this project I had to hear. nightfell is the mix of Funeral Doom, Crust and Post Hardcore with a very classical over tone to the presentation to it all. There is  Septic Flesh meets orphanage vibe to this monster with early Paradise lost and Anathema as well. So you know were they come from but the love of bands like Disembowlment, Neurosis and Swans is very much in the mix here as well. The more I listen to nightfell they come from that early Peaceville Records and Avantgarde Music side of mix Doom, Prog, Black and Ambience into some thing that is as cool as it is not of this world. Southern Lord is a perfect home for a releases also the founder of Parasitic Records is the other member of this unit and we all know the amazing releases they have on the roster for the Black/ Doom world.  This is Doom that is Dirty and snotty and full of sorrow and loss. I so glad to have had a chance with this . Good to see Doom back with Southern Lord again ...


BattleroaR- Blood of Legends-CD/ Digital ( Cruz Del Sur)

With a name like BattleroaR and this abum cover what kind of Metal band did you think you were getting into ?? A Power Metal band of course and get what folks.... It's one hell of a power metal band at that. If you like bands like Gamma Ray, Rhapsody and Nevermore then BattleroaR is going to be one of those desert island disc's . What BattleroaR throws in that other do not is more of Thrash and Neoclassic element where they do not ride the Iron Maiden song book so hard .. The vocals are a bit more aggressive and we have a very Martial overtone through out the release but it all works into something that is very memorable for this style of Metallic assault and the solo work on the guitar is what your waiting for and its no going to let you down my friends. Another fine release from our friends in Europe Cruz del sur...


Demonic Rage- Venomous Wine from the purrid bodies- Vinyl/ digital ( Iron Bonehead)

Welcome to the Death metal underground where anything can be and may just happen. This is guttural and mean with razor sharp musicianship that likes to add a Doomy edge to the Death metal style like Ceremonium, Incantation, Womb and Coffins. This album is so heavy and droning with the power of that harmonic down tuned guitar it's almost Hypnotic is a wonderfully torment fashion and then it builds with those Bolt thrower tempos and the deep deep vocals that sound like the beast has just crawled out of the grave to front the band.. Demonic Rage is Death metal and they Death metal should be presented raw, ugly and complex all at same time. 


Aborted- The Necrotic Manifesto- CD/ Digital ( Century Media)

So Aborted is the other side of Death metal the Prog filled, Tech/ Sci fi meets Swedish Melodic Death all that the same time. Aborted wants to make the tools of the future thiers with getting as many riffs and percussive hits into the tracks as possible and sounding like an army of musicians at the same time It's the Meshuggah / Strapping Young Lads approach to metal as I call it and with Aborted it works like a decaying charm.. The violence in the presentation of the release is awesome. There are many grind elements to this band as well they have a love for bands like Brutal truth and Misery Index as well but its all carefully planned out with Aborted to the point of moment by recorded moment. This is one of the best Death metal bands in 2014 for my money.. 


Serpentine Path- Emanations-CD/ Digital ( Relapse )

This must be the Doom issue of reviews as I'm about to journey again into the doom realm with ex members of to legendary doom forces Unearthly Trance and Winter now in an unholy and cryptic alliance under Serpentine Path.  Can there be something such as primitive Doom/Death as if there is Serpentine Path are the masters of the genre. This is Low, Slow and just Ugly the Bass and drums are the leads here. The guitar is more of a lumbering nightmare that glues this very beast together. IF you slowed down Sabbath or made bands like Neurosis and Mournful Congregation less complex and just down right nasty you would have this. Relapse at one time you have the next master of a doom style here that is in love with the darker and more sludge side of the sound. We need to get the word out and this is my battle cry!!!!


Wolves in the Throne Room- Celestite- CD/Digital ( Artemisia Records)

WITTR have over the years become a force all its own even more then the music . They have gone from a Heathen Mysterious Black metal unit to a Nature based Post Black metal band to just an experimental outlet for any dark sounds the bands wants to create . There are and always will be mixed reviews for this band they are very much a product of the love/hate camps of underground metal. I have always found them one of the more creative and interesting bands from that Cascadian Black metal genre. Well we this time have a full on avant/experimental release that is not black metal at all its more in the way of Pagan Dark Industrial and Avant electronic bands create music. I know this will annoy and confuse many also WITTR is now just an active duo and created their own label. This has much in common with the Burzum ambient releases and I feel like they are following in Vargs progression at times. We have a Black metal over toe on this but nothing more. I can best say try this with caution as this is a very new frontier for the band and I understand its a companion piece of the last proper album but they are missing something here and need to add that back to future releases..


Wolvhammer-Clawing into Black Sun- CD/ Digital ( Profound Lore)

Welcome to Pagan Post Black metal of a level few will every reach. I can not have better words to speak then for every album that comes from Wolvhammer. The eerie vibe that comes from the band  via  arrangements, vocal styles and just the tone of the music is something that has become more expansive and just aurally majestic as time goes by. Wolvhammer is about layers and textures and how Sorrow and Hope.. Pain and Passion can mix into a musical landscape that is almost too massive for one album. The fragile riffs mixed with tormented vocals and bombastic rythmns are what make fan and listeners like myself come band for more and more. Albums like Clawing into Black Sun are crafted not just recorded and made.  I get the same feeling as I do with bands like Thorns, Code, DHG, Deathspell Omega and Krieg as I do with Wolvhammer.  The label they are on gives them the time and growth they need to make music like this. Wolvhammer's music is very visual as well and I think that plays into a role of why I like this band so much as well.  Keep the fires alive and I look forward to passing into the next adventure with you sirs...


Mayhem- Esoteric Warfare- CD/Digital (Season of Mist)

I hate to say this as Mayhem has always been a band I really liked esp Grand Declaration of War and Chimera but the band is in a run now any sound like outtakes of other bands the band plays in like Arcturus, Winds, Kovenant and I know many love Attila's vocals in Mayhem but he was much more interesting in Aborym.  I was hoping Teloch new guitarist would breathe new life into the unit but Nidingr is again a much more creative and interesting outlet for his talents. I can not see this album being anything more then a place holder for Mayhem. 7 yrs and we get almost the same album as the last ??? I don't understand it.. I was really hoping for more .... I will say pass on this one my friends..


Septic Flesh- Titan-CD/ Digital ( Prosthetic/ Season of Mist)

Septic Flesh on every release has crossed boundaries, styles, ideals and some of the greatest moments in metal musical history and with Titan we may have the Metal album of the year. I can say without a moment of doubt that Septic Flesh has had me listen to Titan no less that 5 times this week and I still can not even come close to finding something I dislike about it. They have mix Death Metal, Orchestral Sounds, Prog Rock and Oriental elements into something that is as groundbreaking and maybe even more so then what they have ever done before. There is a fresh breathe of life into this band . The have taken where bands like Therion and Pain has gone and made it extreme again there are moments of bands like And Oceans and Devin Townsend going on here. Titan is one of the first extreme metal albums that I think could crossover to the arena scene and win those crowds over even. With Samael I really feel these two forces are and have made some the most original music in the last 20 yrs.. I recommend that once you can get a copy of Titan you do it and remember to thank the band for making the 2014 metal album of the year...