Friday, January 20, 2017

Narthraal Interview

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


Birkir: We just finished wrapping up recording our first LP which is now being mixed and mastered and will hopefully be ready soon.
Now we're just getting ready for a couple of gigs here in Iceland and after those we're going on a little tour in central europe.

Jónas: We just finished recording our LP and are currently waiting for it to be mixed and mastered. Afterwards we will go on a 10 days tour.


Tony: We just finished recording our first LP and then we have a couple of gigs in Iceland before heading to Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic in May/June.


Viktor: Well for one we have just wrapped up our recording sessions for our first LP which will be released soon.

2.So far you have released 2 ep's, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?


Birkir: The first EP was a bit more focused on longer, more riff-packed songs, a bit heavier and darker atmosphere while our second EP, and our upcoming LP has shorter, faster songs and a bit more melodic, kinda similar to Dismember.

Jónas: Given that our last EP consists of songs that will be on the LP, I can't say that lots have changed since.
The sounds and structure has changed a lot, though, since our first EP. The songs are shorter and more aggressive and follow a relatively simpler structure.


Tony: We have always tried to have the same sound but in the writing sense, this new material is way different from our first EP which consisted with needless, long riffs. This one is more in your face kinda writing if you ask me.


Viktor: For starters, our latest EP is a lot more aggressive and angry in our opinion.
Our first EP consisted of more riffs which resulted in longer songs but our second EP is more of a celebration of the old school swedish death metal, simple, fast and straight to the point.

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


Birkir: Viktor field of expertise

Tony: Our songs are mostly about anti-religious, violence and social matter. Very often I come up with a title for a song I like and Viktor writes lyrics around that. And sometimes Viktor just makes things up in a jiffy :P


Viktor: Obviously that depends on what song you're listening to, we have various subjects for all our songs ranging from anti-religious themes to simple gore and violence.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Narthraal'?

Viktor: Originally we had this idea of creating an entire fantasy world inspired by biblical hell, this world was called Narthraal in its native demonic tongue.
Later we abandoned that idea but decided to keep the name because its catchy and there's no other band with that name.

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


Birkir: Eistnaflug 2016 and the Reykjavík Deathfest warm-up show that we did at bar 11 with Grave Superior and Nexion. I would say that we try to be powerful on stage, we want the audience to enjoy the show as well as they can.

Jónas: Since I'm a drummer I don't really do much on stage except move my hands. Some of our best shows involves last year's Eistnaflug and one concert supporting The Reykjavík Deathfestival


Tony: Eistnaflug for sure! And I think we have a nice stage performance, at least that's what we have been told.


Viktor: I think we call all agree that our greatest live experiences were at last years Eistnaflug and a Reykjavik Deathfest warm-up gig,
I'd have to say that when it comes to stage performance we're quite lively, after all there's not much sense in seeing a band just standing there and playing an instrument is there?

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

Birkir: Ah yes, we're playing another Deathfest warm-up show in march, but after that we're going on a tour that includes Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic with our friends in the Icelandic band Alchemia.


Tony: And we also have that gig here in Iceland on 4th of Feb with Carnal Tomb from Germany and 2 icelandic bands that I recommend everyone checks our, they are called Grave Superior and Urðun.


7.Currently the band is signed to 'Inverse Records', are you happy with the support they have given you so far?


Birkir: Yeah, they're amazing, they've been advertising us and sending our music all over the place, they also notified us of the tour we're going on. We're really happy about what they've done for us so far.

Jónas: The support has been great, well recommended.


Tony: Thumbs up!


Viktor: We are very happy about the support we have gotten from Inverse Records, they have been promoting our EP very well and we are very excited for when
they start promoting our LP

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


Birkir: We've gotten a lot of positive feedback,and some not as positive, but we welcome all opinions about our music, and as long as it reaches out to people, then we're happy.

Jónas: The fans seems to enjoy it. Ironically the people who've been most critical of us has been friends from the local metal scene.


Tony: unfortunately people in Iceland are not getting the Boss HM-2 sound but abroad, we seem to be getting quite a nice review.

Viktor: So far we have been getting a lot of positive feedback, of course there's no such thing as a band that everybody loves but we're positive that we are doing something good.


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


Birkir: Our full-length will be out in the coming months, we can't really spill the beans on when exactly it will be ready but it will be soon. I think we'll just go with the flow music-wise we mainly just do what we want with our music.

Jónas: The future? I have no idea, but I doubt you can convince the whole band to make many changes.


Tony: Into musicals!


Viktor: Our first full length will be released soon, we can't say when exactly but our fans can expect it to be released within a few months.

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?


Birkir: We can all agree that our influences these days are Dismember, Entombed, Bloodbath and more.
I listen to a wide variety of music, mainly metal these days though, but recently i've been listening to a lot of Sulphur Aeon, Dissection, Bloodbath, Alcest and Insomnium.

Jónas: Old school Swedish Death Metal, particularly Bloodbath, Entombed and Dismember.
Bands that I've listened to lately are f.x. Batushka, Slomatics, Nile, Sleep and, of course, Bloodbath.


Tony: Dismember and Entombed for sure but also of course Bloodbath!

Bands that I listen to these days is of course Dismember and Entombed but also Lik, Bombs of Hades, Age of Woe, Mustan Kuun Lapset, Moonsorrow, Testament, Naglfar, Sons of Crom and Elderwind to name a few.


Viktor: Well, that's definitely an easy one, our greatest influences include Entombed, Dismember, Entrails and Bloodbath.

I can't really speak for all of us when I say what we are listening to but atleast me and Tony have been listening a lot to our friends in Lik, a fantastic OSDM band from Stockholm.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?


Birkir: Of the top of my mind it would be video games, movies and weightlifting.


Jónas: Films, reading about films, watching videos online about films and making films.


Tony: I like to watch anime, a lot! Lol


Viktor: Death, mayhem and long walks on the beach?


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


Birkir: Death Metal is love, Death metal is life


Jónas: If I ever stop listening to death metal, kill me.


Tony: Skál!


Viktor: The Death Metal scene is rising again, and it's coming back stronger than before, be ready!


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Gorephilia/Severed Monolith/Dark Descent Records/2017 CD Review


  Gorephilia  are  a  band  from  Finland  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  an  old  school  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Severed  Monolith"  which  will  be  released  in  March  by  Dark  Descent  Records.

  A  very  distorted  sound  starts  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  along  with  a  great  amount of  morbid  sounding  melodies  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  death  metal  growls  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  and  the  music  is  heavily  rooted  in  the  early  90's.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in a  very  dark  and  melodic  style  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on the  recording  along  with  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  tremolo  picking  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  faster  riffing.

  High  pitched  screams  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  they  also  bring  in  a  brief  instrumental  and  a  few  tracks  that  are  long  and  epic  in  length  while  a  later  instrumental  is  a  sci-fi  orientated  synth  track  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  and  there  is  also  a  brief use  of  spoken  word  parts  and  they  close  the  album  with  a  classical  music  orientated  instrumental.

  Gorephilia  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  the  old  school  death  metal  of  previous  releases  while  also  adding  in  new  touches  to  their  style,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  the  inner  conflict  and  self  destruction  of  a  man  parting  from  his  wills,  value  and  life. 

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Gorphilia  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  old  school  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Interplaner"  Black  Horns"  and  "Crushed  Under  the  Weight  Of  God".  8  out  of 10.

Grave Plague Interview

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



   The band was formed by Anthony Biello (ex-Severed Remains - Drums) and myself. Anthony had been itching to play again and really wanted to do something raw, uncompromising, and visceral. After a number of phone calls, texts, and online messages, I finally gave in and started writing some material. Joe (ex-Severed Remains - Vocals) was the next member added and it remained just the 3 of us until all the music was essentially written, although we always knew we were going to ask Michael Wilson (Abigail Williams, Aborted) to join.  We knew what we wanted to hear guitar lead-wise and knew, absolutely, that he was the man for the job. We reached out to Caleb Bingham (Athanasia), who’s become a good friend of mine, also a Ohio native, currently living in Los Angeles, to mix the 2 song demo. Caleb ended up loving the material so much, we asked if he’d like to join in on second guitar, and the rest is history.


2.Recently you have released a demo, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording? Filthy, putrid, uncompromising Death Metal.


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


Lyrically and conceptually Grave Plague is inspired by 60s and 70s Occult horror from the likes of Hammer and Mario Bava, 70s and 80s zombie / slasher / exploitation, etc. Halls...and Arise specifically were inspired by Fulci's City of the Living Dead and Umberto Lenzi's Nightmare City respectively.


   


4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Grave Plague'?



  We wanted something catchy and memorable, but obviously something that represented the music within. We named the band GRAVE PLAGUE after the Great Plague of 1665 which saw hundreds of thousands of bodies in the streets and piled into mass graves. Not only did people of this time have an epidemic to deal with, but people were dying off so quickly and in so many numbers that there was no where to put the corpses. We aren’t breaking any new ground or paving the way for any new movement, we are just writing Death Metal we want to hear, so even though the name is a little kitschy and cliché, it fits us just fine.


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


 No shows to date, we’re all old now with full time jobs and kids, the whole nine yards. To be honest, this is passion project for all of us. We are so focused on the music, finishing the album so we can have something out by the end of 2017, we haven’t all sat down to figure out the rest yet. Time will tell.


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



   I would love to get on some festival dates, but that also remains to be seen.


7.Can you tell us a little bit more about 'Caco-Daemon Records'?


  Caco-Daemon Records is a new label specializing in limited cassette runs of the gnarliest old school death metal out there. The owner, Andreas, based out of Germany, reached out to us and I’m glad he did! We couldn’t be happier with the result and more importantly, he is a good dude trying to do something a little more unique and boutique these days. He’s a collector’s collector if that makes sense. Dude gets it, and we are proud to be on the short list of releases he’s chosen to undertake thus far. The Cassette demo was released Friday Jan 13th and I believe he’s already sold out 5 days later.


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


  We have been quite stunned actually! We have gotten such an amazing response from friends, members of the “Metal Elite” who have been doing this for decades, journalists, and fans all over the world! We are even more motivated to get the full length completed and put out due to the response. Give Praise Records and my label, Redefining Darkness Records, are collaborating on a 7” Vinyl version of the EP, due in March, and I’m shocked by the number of preorders in the first 5 days alone. A big thank you to everyone who has been digging our music and for all the shares and general support - we have much more to show you!


9.Are any of the band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?

  This is Anthony’s only band currently. Caleb is in an amazing band called ATHANASIA - def have to check them out! Michael is typically in high demand when it comes to guitar leads, but other than this band, he is just focusing on his own music right now - we collaborate on a lot of other projects as well - stay tuned..


 I always have a million things going - I have a grind band with Joe and Zach Gibson (Black Dahlia Murder, Phobia) called TO DUST (US) that just put out a split 12” with Dirk Verbeuren’s (Soilwork, Aborted, Megadeth) BENT SEA on Give Praise last year.  VINTAGE WARLORDS, a death/doom project whose debut release came out on Redefining Darkness Records in 2015.  Humanity is Cancer which is a super brutal death metal band with some friends that will hopefully see the light of day soon, not to mention a few more exciting things I’m not yet ready to disclose.


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


 You won’t hear much variation from us. We didn’t do this to get signed, we didn’t do this to play shows, we did this to write the sickest shit we could, the way we believe death metal should be played. We did this for us first. Everything else is secondary.


11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?


  The bands that influenced what we do are too many to name, but hands down AUTOPSY is the main culprit. Death Metal has never been done better. A few others would be Death, Deceased, Immolation, Incantation, Dismember, Entombed, and Obituary.


 Wow, man….I listen to so much shit it’s ridiculous. While I do find myself still listening to a lot of heavy shit, it’s mostly the shit I grew up with. Otherwise I’m all across the board from Post Punk, Old Punk and Hardcore, 90’s Hip Hop, Motown, Soul, Jazz, to strange avant garde shit - pretty much anything I think is worth listening to.




12.What are some of your non musical interests?


  Spending time with my family, watching sports, particularly American Football, Hiking, enjoying excellent food and quality libations… pretty normal shit.


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


 Thanks for the support and everyone be on the look out for our full length!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Xibalba/Diabolo, Con Amor...Adios/Close Casket Activities/2017 EP Review


  Southern  California's  Xibalba  have  returned  with  a  new  recording t hat  continues  the  death  metal  and  thrash  influenced  form  of  hardcore  from  their  previous  recordings  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  ep  "Diabolo,  Con  Amor...Adios"  which  will  be  released  in  February  by  Close  Casket  Activities.

  A  very  dark,  heavy  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  ep  and  after  awhile  death  metal  elements  and  hardcore  style  growling  are  added  onto  the  recording  and  you  can  also  hear  a  great  amount  of  90's  influences  in  the  bands  musical  style  while  also  being  very  modern  at  the  same  time  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sound  very  powerful.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  a  decent  amount  of  thrash  elements  and  the  songs  never  use  any  guitar  solos  and  leads  while  the  ep  remains  heay  from  beginning  to  ending  of  the  recording.

  Xibalba  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  the  hardcore,  thrash,  and  death  metal  mixture  of  previous  releases,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  occult  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Xibalba  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band,  you  should  enjoy  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Diablo".  8  out  of  10.

I Am/Life Through Torment/2017 Full Length Review


  I  Am  are  a  band  from  Texas  that  plays  a  death  metal  influenced  form  of  hardcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2017  album  "Life  Through  Torment"  which  will  be  released  in  February.

  Nature  sounds  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  along  with  a  mixture  of  growling  and  hardcore  style  vocals  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  and  the  music  also  brings  in  elements  of  modern  metalcore  and  melodic  guitar  leads  and  solos.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  and  high  pitched  screams  are  also  utilized  at  times  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  some  of  the  riffing  also  brings  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  on  some  of  the  tracks  and  a  couple  of  the  songs  also  introduces  clean  playing  onto  the  recording.

  I  Am  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  hardcore  while  also  mixing  in  the  heaviness  of  death  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  I  Am  are  a  very  great  sounding  death  metal  influenced  hardcore  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre, you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Life  Through  Torment"  "C.O.S.L"  "Mortality  Hangs"  and  "Forgive  Me".  8  out  of  10.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Corps-sans-Organes Interview

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

We are Corps-sans-Organes, a Death Metal band from Colombia. Jeisson G. Ospina on guitar and vocals; Camilo Castañeda on bass guitar; Nelson Socha on drums.

2.How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recordings?

As pure Death metal, only faster.

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

On the first record, Deleuze Edition (Hateworks, 2016), we worked around the ideas of french philosopher Gilles Deleuze and phychoanalyst Félix Guattari, specially those regarding the Body without Organs, invented by Spinoza.

4.I know that the bands name means 'Body Without Organs' in French, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?

Besides the strong influence in our music by french bands like Trepalium and Gojira, french philosophy is also a strong interest for us, being Deleuze at the center of everything. He offers a new reading of Spinoza's theory and the concept of 'potency', how it should be performed by every single human being in order to scape from capitalism, in order to live free. 

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

After releasing the record we went on a tour around Colombia for a couple of weeks. Although we played on several shows for free, only few people showed up. We sold no merchandising at all. But people liked the band, and that was the whole idea. 

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

Nowadays, we've been working on new music. We have the intention of releasing a new short-length album in Spanish.

7.The album was released on 'Hateworks', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

Hateworks is one of the best labels in Colombia. We are proud to work with them. The will continue supporting us for at least one more album.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of technical death metal?

It's been great so far. There is a fun fact though: We've received support from many countries except from our own. No reviews at all.

9.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?

Our new drummer, Nelson, works in a great band called Hedor. The rest of us is consecrated to the band.

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

We'll try to play a little faster and we'd love to play abroad. We'll see if that's possible.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

There are many bands. All the way from Death to Deadborn.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

Literature and cinema, mostly.

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

No. Thanks a lot for supporting the band.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Antizen/The Comsumer/2016 EP Review


  Antizen  are  a  solo  project  from  the  Czech  Republic  that  plays  a  mixture  of  death  and  groove  metal  and  this  is a  review  of  his  self  released  2016  ep  "The  Consumer".

  A  very  heavy  guitar  sound  starts  off  the  ep  and  a  few  seconds  later  death  metal  growls  are  added  onto  the  recording  and  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  groove  and  some  of  the  riffing  also  adds  in  a  touch  of  thrash  and  the  music  also  brings  in  a  lot  of  90's  death  and  groove  metal  influences.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  when  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  and  the  one  of  the  tracks  also  adds  in  a brief  use  of  clean  guitars  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction.

  Antizen  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  death  and  groove  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  his  own,  the  production sounds  very  powerful  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark themes.

  In  my  opinion  Antizen  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  death  and  groove  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Psychotic  Overdrive"  and  "Night  Walk".  8  out  of  10.