Friday, April 20, 2018

Aklash Interview

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

Nico - Aklash are an atmospheric black metal band. Whilst we maintain and adhere to the fundamental principles of the genre, we try and push its creative boundaries melodically and thematically. We explore a range of topics lyrically, with increasing sophistication as our music has progressed.

2. How would you describe the musical sound that has been presented on the recordings that you have released so far?

Nico - Atmospheric and melodic with refined approaches to structure and thematic progression. We have been compared to a wide range of contrasting bands but we have never tried to emulate anyone else’s creative expression, however, we all wear our influences on our sleeves, but attempt to retain an original approach to the genre.

3. The band has been around since 2011 but so far has only released 2 albums, can you tell us a little bit more about the long wait in between recordings?

Nico - The nature of our locations, Brighton and Reading has meant rehearsal and writing has been challenging. Additionally, we are all professional musicians to some degree trying to hold down jobs and progress our lives, this is not always congruent with the music we are associated with.

In regards to the album, we wanted to not cut any corners and make something we could be truly proud of. It took as long as it took. No apology. We learnt to record ourselves with our initial self-titled album, the quality of which is therefore lacking. We didn’t want to compromise our art with the second album so people could access and appreciate the sonority of what we were creating.

4. Some of your lyrics cover 'Heathenism' and Spirituality' can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?

NICO – Spirituality is something that has been ever present in my life, Black metal simply provides me an appropriate canvas for my rhetoric. The initial albums lyrics where conceived and written whilst I was living in a tent in Cornwall. I was very connected to the earth and the sea and the lyrics reflect this.

I never wished to subscribe to the stereotypical dark imagery associated with black metal, but instead provide a new perspective to the idioms and concepts ingrained into the genre.

I have since attempted to emulate this in my libretto. However I have since developed this direction whilst still revering our roots talking more mature topics and philosophies.

5. You also have had a track that dealt with Lucifer and the Left hand Path, do you also have an interest in the dark arts?

Nico - They are one and the same, all your devils where once pagan kings and queens. Simply whitewashed and repurposed by Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Lucifer; “the light bringer”, what an exceptional inspirational figure for enlightenment and self-actualization. Likewise, the left hand path, to follow the road less travelled, to find one’s own road in life and depart from the socially accepted norms, forming one’s own opinion! What can be more empowering? Selfism & Satanism; one and the same.

Chris – In reference to this and the above question, I personally believe that I am God within my own universe. The human mind is more powerful than many realize, and people have greater control over their circumstances and “destiny” than they might know. People have a habit of building their own cages, sometimes admittedly with assistance from others. Avoiding all this may be easier said than done, but strength is born out of pain and without pain, you don’t have the potential to grow. Our society is a false mechanism, a human construct that exists to shelter us from our true natures. This society is currently terminally ill, and its collapse is no longer a matter of if, but when. But it must die in order to be born again. There are near-infinite possible realities and outcomes in all aspects of our lives. To tread one’s own path, as mentioned above, should be a man’s primary objective. Society’s norms and expectations are irrelevant, outside of being a system to be exploited in my eyes. Self-actualize, whatever that may mean for you! I live my life for me, and those I care about and I try to avoid doing any damage to those individuals as much as possible. In a way it’s like Satanism, without the goofy devil worship. That’s my spirituality.

6.What are some of the other lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the music?

Nico - The new album deals predominantly with the duality between acceptance and ambition, the subjectivity of good and evil. This is done mainly through the anthropomorphism of the natural world and poetic dissections of commonly held ideals. The lyrics took literally years to finalize, however the inspiration remained the same throughout the writing process. The horizon on the Sussex coast, which I would walk along daily, I a foreigner to these shores, could look out at the infinite horizon, yearning to strive for its limits, yet no matter how I chased it, it would remain ever illusive…

7.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Aklash'?

Inspired by our forefathers, Burzum, Darkthrone, Gorgoroth, we decided to likewise draw a name from Tolkien. Aklash simply means “music” in the black tongue or orcish.

The name seemed to arrive to us without any strained searching, we did not dwell on it for too long, and it has served us well. Likewise it embellished our true purpose, after all, the music is the most integral part of what we do.


8.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Chris - Performance wise, we don't have a "stage show" or wear corpse paint or anything. That stuff has a time and a place but I think it would be hackneyed and insincere if we did it. We wouldn't suit that kind of theatrical method of doing things, where you put on makeup and become a character. An alternative (non-Western) viewpoint that I much prefer is the use of masks and theatricals to express facets from within, as opposed to taking on external characteristics. That would be more like us, but practically speaking it's still not something we'd ever really do. We like to have lots of atmospheric lighting and when possible, lots of dry ice. I find nothing quite helps you lose yourself (or is that find yourself?) in a performance like a shit load of fog.
I wouldn't really pick a "favourite" performance as I think each performance should be unique to the collective state of the artists and audience at that moment. We're a conduit for a shared energy between ourselves and an audience. Sure ensemble playing is all about being tight, but I get so bored with seeing bands just replicate their records note-for-note live. With Aklash, the live and studio incarnations should be considered the left and right hands of what we do. We've developed certain songs and sections naturally in a live setting that are different to the CD. For me this is a very positive thing, and you can tell that audiences feel it too.

9.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Chris - We're playing at Incineration Festival (London) in May. As of this moment there's not much else set in stone yet. I hope this year we'll get over to the mainland and do some European shows in places like Poland, Holland and the Czech Republic. We have much new ground to break.

10.The album was released on 'Infernum Records', how did you get in contact with this label?
Chris - They manage Vehement, who are friends of ours we've played and toured with before. We knew the label guys peripherally already. The solution of working with them seemed to make itself obvious.

11.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Chris - It's too early to see the wider picture. But we have had some promising responses so far. The North of England seems to like us a lot. They’re rugged.

12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Chris - I couldn't say for sure. I personally want it to be a lot more raw and spontaneous, and I don't think I'm alone. Something that captures the immediacy of the songs, and has more directness about it without being one-dimensional. It's a fine line between experimenting and going too far and vanishing up your own backside, and successfully treading that line is an entertaining challenge. We've got a split in the works with our friends from Wolvencrown (another UK act you should be listening to), which we intend to have out before Autumn. This material should reflect that mentality. We are also discussing doing something totally ambient, maybe an EP, as a singular distillation of that aspect of our sound. It'll be a very pure thing.

13.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on 'Aklash'?

Chris – Individually as musicians, we’re all informed by a wide variety of influences. Folk, jazz, metal, prog, goth, soundtracks and ambient etc have all come into play in our approaches in one form or another.

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

Chris – We want to thank everyone who waited patiently during the long gestation period of the album. We believe we’ve created a body of work that was worth the wait, and you can expect further in the near future. This will be our time.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Ezkaton/Plague For The Empires-Time/Wolfspell Records/2018 CD Review


  Ezkaton  are  a  band  from  Ukraine  that  plays  a  very  atmospheric  and  depressive  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Plague  For  The  Empires-Time"  which  will  be  released  on  April  30th  by  Wolfspell  Records.

  Clean  guitars  start  of  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  which  also  introduces  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  onto  the  recording  while  atmospheric  synths  can  also  be  heard  at  times  along  with  some  cries  and  war  sounds  being  used  briefly  as  well  as  some  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  some  of  the  riffing  also  brings  in  a  small  amount  of  melody  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  on  a  couple  of  tracks  a  small  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  songs  a  more  raw  feeling.

  Clean  playing  also  returns  on  some  of  the  later  tracks  along  with  a  brief  use  of  whispers  and  as  the  album  progresses  melodic guitar  solos  and  leads  are  added  onto  the  recording  and  they  also  bring  in  a  cover  of  Drudkh's  "Ukrainian  Insurgent  Army"  along  with  most  of  the  songs  sticking  to  a  slow  direction.

  Ezkaton  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  mostly  slow, atmospheric  and  depressive  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  depressive  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Ezkaton  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  and  depressive  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Method  of  Despair"  and  "Darkest  Crowler".  8  out  of  10. 

 


  

Subduer/Death Monolith/Dunkelheit Produktionen/2018 EP Review


  Subduer  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  a  very  raw,  lo-fi,  and  bestial  mixture  of  harsh  noise,  war,  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  ep  "Death  Monolith"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  Dunkelheit  Produktionen.

  Harsh  noises  and  power  electronics  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some  spoken  word  parts  being  added  onto  the  recording  a  few  seconds  later  while  the  music  also  mixes  in  elements  of  death  industrial  and  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs  while  the  vocals  are  a  mixture  of  bestial  growls  and  black  metal  screams.

  At  times  the  bass  guitars  take  over  as  a  lead  instrument  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  which  also  gives  the  songs  a  more  raw  feeling  along  with  some  elements  of  war  metal  along  with  the  songs  also  bringing  in a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  last  song  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Subduer  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  war,  black  and  death  metal  and  mixes  it  with  harsh  noise  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  dark,  raw  and  lo-fi  while  the  lyrics  cover  death  and  violence  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Subduer  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  war,  black,  death  metal  and  harsh  noise  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Death  Monolith"  and  "Execution  Ritual".  8/5  out  of  10. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Uhrilahja/En Fordarvad Varld/Wolfspell Records/2018 CD Review


  Uhrilahja  are  a  band  from  Finland  that  plays  a  very  dark  and  melancholic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "En  Fordarvad  Varld"  which  will  be  released  on  April  30th  by  Wolfspell  Records.

  Classical guitars  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to t hem  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  as  well  as  the  tremolo  picking  also  giving  the  songs  a  raw  feeling  and  keyboards  are  also  used  at  times.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  dark  yet  melodic  fashion  while  the  riffs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody  along  with  the  faster  sections  of  the  music  also  bringing  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and fast  parts.

 The  music  also  bringing  in  a decent  amount  of  90's  influences  while  spoken  word  parts  and  samples  can  also  be  heard  briefly  on  a  few  songs  along  with  some  classical  guitars  also  return  on  some  of  the  later  tracks  and  they  also  bring  in  a  couple  of  songs  that  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  as  the  album  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  clean  singing  can  also  be  heard.

  Uhrilahja  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  raw,  atmospheric  and  melancholic  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  are  written  are  written  in  3  different  languages  and  cover  a  self  expression  of  hatred  towards  this  wretched  world  that  has  lost  its  connection  to  their  roots  and  heritage. 

  In  my  opinion  Uhrilahja  are  a  very  great  sounding  dark,  atmospheric  and  melancholic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Knivens  Trost"  "Cold  White  Mantle"  "Flesh  Hook  Rituals"  and  "Rite  of  The  Coiling  Dragon".  8  out  of  10.

Leda Spiridon/An Erratic Crusade/War Productions/2018 Cassette Review


  Leda  Spiridon  are  a  band  from  France  that  plays  an  ambient  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of t heir  2018  album  "An  Erratic  Crusade"  which  was  released  by  War  Productions.

  Dark  ambient  soundscapes  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  song s a  more  raw  feeling  while  the  vocals  are  all  high  pitched  black  metal  screams.

  A  decent  amount  of  melody  can  also  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  riffs  also  using  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  the  solos  and  leads  also  stick  to  a  more  raw  and  melodic  style  as  well  as  all  of the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  The  tracks  also  mix  the  dark  ambient  synths  and  soundscapes  into  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  drum  betas  being  programmed  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  along  with  some  acoustic  guitars  being  added  onto  the  closing  track  briefly

  Leda  Spiridon  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  dark  ambient  and  mixes  it  in  with  a  raw  and  epic  form  of  black  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Leda  Spiridon  are  a  very  great  sounding  ambient  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "An  Erratic  Crusade".  8  out  of  10.

Abhor/Occulta religiO/Iron Bonehead Productions/2018 CD Review


  Abhor  are  a  band  from  Italy  that h as  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  musical  style  they  describe  as  being  esoteric  horror  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Occulta  religiO"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  Iron  Bonehead  Productions.

  Dark  yet  heavy  riffing  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  grim  black  metal  screams  a  few  seconds  later  while  the  organs  gives  the  music  more  of  a  ritualistic  and  classic  horror  movie  soundtrack  and  when  the  music  speeds  up a   great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  songs  a  more  raw  feeling.

  Spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  as  well  as  the  music  also bringing  in  a  great mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  clean  vocals  can  also  be  heard  briefly.

  On  this  recording  Abhor  moves  away  from the  progressive  influences  of their  previous  release  while  keeping  the  organs  and  ritualistic  elements  but  adding  in  more  of  a  grim  black  metal  style,   the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  occultism,  esotericism,  alchemy,  witchcraft,  satanism  and  dark  folklore  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Abhor  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  occult  and  ritualistic  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Fons  Malorum"  "Demons  Forged  From  The  Smoke"  and  "Occulta  religiO".  8/5  out  of  10. 

  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Stupor Mundi Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
1 The project is a one man band born in 2016  , i started with rehearsing various songs and i written various lyrics abouts politics and society .
Stupor Mundi is a political band and is born because i have various thing to talk about , especially political and i really enjoy to listen and play black metal music

2.So far you have released a demo and a split, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings?
2 The sound is raw and it want to  give the atmosphere of the class struggle  and the revolution ,  things that are hard and violent .

3.Your lyrics cover Marxism, Communism, and Left Wing Politics, can you tell us a little bit more about what these mean to you?
3 It is a important thing for me , i started with communist history but i try to extend this to present because i want to talk about our society.
In "non è finita" from the split i tried to mix history and actuality: 30 years ago with the collapse of berlin wall the corporate business said to us that history is ended and the world will be more rich and developed but is a lie , and history is not ended : marxism for me is a response to this lie , because in europe the workers are losing their rights and unemployed are growing . in the whole word the rich became more rich and poor more poor so i think that is class struggle and a good response is to give power to the workers , against multinationals and great corporations that starve the world.


4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Stupor Mundi'?
4 I like middle age history and i chose stupormundi because it is the second name of Federico II , an emperor who was a great enemy of the catholic church that divided a lot italian people

5.With this project you record veryting by yourself, would you be open to working with other musicains if they shared the same visions musically and politically?
5 yes , and not only to other musicians but other bands

6.Recently you where a part of a split with 'Red Star Kommando', what are your thoughts on the other project that was a part of the recording?
6 i think that is a very good project and it can gain a lot of support

7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
7 I have not received interests , i dont look for a particular label but im open to all labels.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
8 I see  more support in Europe and Latin America , most of the positive feedbacks come from counties like Brazil , Italy , Russia

9.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see yourself heading into musically during the future?
9 For the start of next year and in the future i see me in  this musical direction

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?
10 Bands like mayhem , xasthur , iskra and punaterrori and Voland are very important in the creation of my music , I listen also hardcore / anarcho punk  , Death   metal and skinhead music in general .
Other artist that i like are Summoning , Moloch , Imago Mortis , Marduk , Impaled Nazarene , Wasp , Motorhead ...

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
11 Sci fi , Politics , History ( especially middle Age and 20th century

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
12 I think that we must support who play good music for a true passion