Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Band Interview: SOLFERNUS

Interview with Igor of SOLFERNUS

Who founded Solfernus in 2002? Was it relatively easy or difficult to find like minded members with similar musical interests?
Three motherfuckers Igorrizerr, Khaablus and Mamba met at a bar and founded this obscure and sick Hellgang. Easy or difficult? EASIEST!

How much time did the band spend rehearsing before you started performing? What was the local club scene like in those days?
So many years ago… But yes, we had some rehearsals. There´s also one video shoot from such a session. Club scene the same as everywhere.

According to the bio for Solfernus’ new album Neoantichrist, it was twelve years before it followed 2005’s Hysteria In Coma. Why did so much time pass from one album to the next?
We played a few live shows and made two video clips. SOLFERNUS appeared twice at the famous event Brutal Assault. We decided to stop playing shows in 2008 to concentrate on pre-production of songs for the second full length but our drummer left the band and we were not able to finish the song-writing session already. SOLFERNUS disappeared in a fog to be re-united lately with the new album "Neoantichrist". So here we are!

What did the band members do during the long hiatus? Why did you finally decide to reform and record new material?
Our drummer Coroner left us three years after the debut album’s release and a few live shows. He founded Cult Of Fire and started their career. I was playing with ROOT. New songs appeared some years ago and it was simply that right time for the second album.

In what country is Brutal Assault held each year, and when did Solfernus appear at the fest? Describe the event to the readers who haven’t attended this event?
Actually it is one of the greatest, most famous metal events in the world. You can visit this monster four-day show in Josefov, Czech Republic. The place is very special: pretty old army fortress. The atmosphere of the high brick walls is incredible. SOLFERNUS performed there when this festival was not internationally known yet. It took place in Svojšice (CZE). We played there twice before the whole event had to be moved to Josefov because of a still-growing audience.

I read that bands who appeared at Brutal Assault include Krisiun, Obituary, My Dying Bride, Dimmu Borgir, Fear Factory and Mayhem. Presumably of this fest word gets around quite a bit. Is word spread more actively in print or on the internet?
Many reports and photos online and in official press too. Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir even borrowed the wireless microphone from our singer. I remember incredible night´s Mayhem show from this Brutal Assault episode.

What were the reasons your drummer parted company with the band while you were involved in pre-production?
There were serious health problems with his legs and he had to stop playing. We were quite sad because he was one of us and the line-up worked really well. We enjoyed fun altogether and played a few killer gigs. He plays drums for Cult Of Fire but not so often and fast as he did in the past.

Is the band in touch with Thomas since he started Cult Of Fire? What have they been up to at the time of this writing?
Of course, we are friends and meet each other now and then. His band is quite active, they release albums and play shows on all continents. We can say they will become successful with their horror-spectacular performances.

Where online can ROOT’s releases be streamed and purchased? How soon will they begin work on their next album?
It´s sure that youtube offers perhaps all ROOT songs for streaming, as well as fans can support us with paid digital albums on Spotify or some another links. ROOT should start to work on another album during 2018.

What were the first songs completed for Solfernus when they reformed? Were they in the same vein as the older songs?
I remember “My Aurorae” and “Mistresserpent” were two demo songs I recorded. The new album is not so similar to the debut because it’s been a long time since we released “Hysteria In Coma” but people can hear parallels, sure thing.

What is the band’s complete lineup at present, and for how long has it remained stable? Who is your new drummer and how well has he been working with the lineup?
SOLFERNUS is represented by four heretic killers: Khaablus - vocals, Igor - guitar/vocals, Paramba - bass, Paul Dread - battery. The new drummer came from ROOT and he did perfect job not only with his own style of playing the instrument but also as a co-producer of the album.

How much experience does Paul Dread have helping produce albums?
He was co-producing “Neoantichrist” album along with Pavel Kolařík, the chief of Ch-Records Studio where we recorded this new stuff, but all of us helped with the final mixing of tracks, it was quite hard team work.

What was the lyrical concept of Solfernus and how has it developed until this day?
It was much more heretic in the past, nowadays we are trying to have more various lyrical concepts. You can find some killing jokes between verses as for example in the song “That One Night”. But SOLFERNUS stands blasphemous and rebellious in lyrics, of course.

Going back to your debut EP Diabolic Phenomenon in 2003, describe the songs on it and how they represented the band’s direction at the time.
We still like this record because of interesting sound and the atmosphere. There´s a killer special guest Dasha – this girl sings as a real black metal top screamer. We used cool keyboards effects for “Diabolical Phenomenon” and the interesting information is that Norwegian drummer Sigbjörn Erik Thørsen did drums for all songs. We had true black metal drummer from Norway on the record. Anyway, it´s officially EP but there are five songs and it´s not so short. Hope this stuff will be re-issued one day.

Has Dasha worked with other bands or released her own material? If so, where can her other work be heard?
She sings with 1000 Let od Ráje – our hometown´s band. Check out this original insane group.

What bands has Sigbjörn Erik Thørsen worked with in Norway? How did Solfernus get in touch with him and begin collaborating?
He played in FLAMEHATE. Erik was studying in Brno four years and we met in local rock club. He heard our demo songs and wanted to be involved on the debut record of SOLFERNUS.

For which songs were made videos from the debut album and why were those songs chosen?
The first video clip was “Advent Massacra” and we chose it because it’s the opening track of the album. Pretty fast and brutal, true black metal blasphemy which you can watch just in this three minutes fast-cuts-movie. Another video was made for the title track “Hysteria in Coma”. We did not plan to make next video clip but there appeared cool footage from SOLFERNUS live appearance so we simply used it for the clip. This one contains natural band´s performance and stage image.

Did you hire a director to film those videos or did you produce them independently? Where can people interested in the band watch them?
Both clips were made by ourselves. “Advent Massacra” was filmed at the legendary Brno’s rock venue called Brooklyn and “Hysteria in Coma” at Brutal Assault. Everybody can find them on Youtube.

What equipment was used to film Advent Massacra and Hysteria In Coma? Does their live presentation offer listeners a better sense of what the band’s abilities?
The song “Advent Massacra” – I am sure we used a digital camera and PA system. Next were two beautiful and sexy women, heavy crucifix filmed with the right point of view, musical instruments, corpsepaint colours and fog. Concerning the video “Hysteria in Coma”, it´s just a visual record of our live performance. The main equipment are headbanging and stage lights.

Diabolic Phenomenon and Hysteria in Coma were released by Shindy Productions (Czech Republic). How well were Solfernus treated by the label while signed to them?
The very first EP was a self-release and the debut album appeared under the wings of Shindy Productions as far. I worked at this label´s office so everything went smoothly.

In 2007 Solfernus appeared on the split Metal Swamp No. 28. It was released on the Metal Swamp label and featured the band with Stíny Plamenů, Panychida, Trollech, Hromovlad and Unclean. What led to you being chosen to appear on this compilation and how much distribution did it receive?
This compilation DVD is a creditable release. All the bands featured on this live visual masterpiece played at least once at the Metal Swamp indoor festival which used to be organized periodically in our home-town of Brno. A few hundred copies were spread among underground black souls.

Tell the readers how often the Metal Swamp fest has been held. Is the fest usually for local bands or have bigger bands been known to appear? Where can people read about it?
I think it was twice or three times per year. There were playing usually Czech black metal bands but people could see also Vader, ROOT, Skyforger or Hypnos at this festival. Because the festival itself was organized by our friends from Brno who were connected with other business activities, you can still check out their e-store on www.metalswamp.com.

Did you get to perform at Metal Swamp with Vader or any other well-known underground bands? Who would you most like to share a bill with?
We played with Trollech and Panychida. The best bill for one night would be Slayer + SOLFERNUS, of course.

How many festivals of note has Solfernus played in addition to Brutal Assault and Metal Swamp?
We hit the stage at Basinfirefest or very good underground event called Apocalpytic Form Of Death, both in Czech Republic.

Are Basinfirefest and Apocalpytic Form Of Death well known events? Who else has performed at those fests?
Actually only Basinfirefest continues and many big bands from the whole world performed here, for example Testament, Venom, Paradise Lost, Sodom and many others.

Is the band being offered inclusion on future compilations? Would you rather appear on a DVD compilation or CD compilation?
Not actually. Both formats could be useful ´cause we plan to make new videoclips too. If you have some tip for fine compilations, impress me.

How did Solfernus get a recording deal with Satanath Records (Russia) for the October 2017 release of Neoantichrist?
We offered the album to some record labels worldwide and got a few serious offers for the CD release. The best deal came from Satanath Records which did amazing job and the final product looks simply perfect. There should appear also CD “Neoantichrist” in Latin and North America via the pure black metal company Azermedoth Records soon.

How did Azermedoth Records hear of Solfernus and what made them decide to help support the band?
They got our promo songs when we were searching for a label and offered us a deal for the release. We´re quite excited to have the CD under the wings of this pure black metal company.

How actively has Solfernus been promoting Neoantichrist since it was released to the public?
Quite active still – answering interviews and preparing videoclips plus some merchandise to promote “Neoantichrist” as much as possible. I´m sure this work will cover our free time in 2018.

What is your view of the direction black metal is taking these days compared to the 90s? Is it a strong point or weak point that it has been accepted in the mainstream?
To be honest, I don´t care – there exists just great or not so great music. I love old Venom or Bathory albums, as well as the latest Marduk´s record. I don´t differentiate if it´s a big or smaller band. Always trying to find really quality art – that´s a point.

Who has been designing the band’s artwork and logo since your first releases? Where can we see work by them?
Band´s logo is the work from our vocalist Khaablus who is a professional graphic designer. We´re used to work altogether on cover art works for albums then. But “Neoantichrist” cover art work is the drawing with charcoal from our friend Thomas Bruno.

How did the band come into contact with Thomas Bruno and how good a job did he do representing the band with his cover art for Neoantichrist? Would you hire him for future album covers?
Thomas made great cover art work for latest ROOT´s album and so we offered him also this “Neoantichrist” motive. The idea is ours but the final form is his excellent work. I can imagine that he will create also next album´s front cover, why not.

Do you hope when Neoantichrist starts getting distribution in the US and Latin America, it will lead to a bigger fanbase in the Americas and eventually some fest appearances?
Have no idea but would be fine to have some new devoted dark souls on the other side of the ocean.

What North and Latin American metal festivals have you heard of where you would most like to appear?
I was at Maryland Deathfest with ROOT last year and must say that this is fucking great metal event where arrive fans from more countries of both, Northern and Southern America. That´s definitely festival which I wish to play again one day!

How soon will Solfernus begin work on a new studio album? Have any new songs been composed for another full length?
We must catch the next album in one decade so should start to work on it.


-Dave Wolff

Monday, January 15, 2018

EP Review: CLOCKWORK ASYLUM Eve Of The Eclipse

Eve Of The Eclipse
Independent
Release Date: October 17, 2017
After doing a quick video review for them, I was sent "Eve Of The Eclipse" by Clockwork Asylum. As I mentioned in the last review, these guys are less chaotic than what I am used to. While there are still gutturals throughout, this release is laden with beautiful vocals. Catchy lead and rhythm work as far as the guitars go, the bass is simplistic yet well done. After listening, some of the bass rolls got stuck in the back of my mind. Reminding me at times of early Disturbed and the heavier tunes by old Silverchair, this release is for all ages. Guitar squeals also make this a good time, as they are all well-placed. The last track on the album, a bonus track, is a heart-felt dedication to a friend of the band who is no longer with us. It was a really heavy tune in places, which I did not expect. The drums on this are tight yet not overdone, making this a pretty tight album overall. When you are in the mood for some heavy grooves, pump this release through the speakers. I really think you might enjoy it. -Devin Joseph Meaney

Track list:
1. Unlearn
2. Prophet
3. Faltered
4. Come Together (Beatles cover)
5. Box of Crosses
6. Into the Dark Room
7. Neighbors
8. Zero to Oblivion

Full Length Review: DESALMADO Save Us From Ourselves

Save Us From Ourselves
Release Date: February 6, 2018
The independent label/distro Black Hole Productions is one I remember from the latter part of the 1990s. Its founder Fernando Camacho was also publishing a zine related to the label when I got in to contact with him. After being out of contact for years, I was given an advance stream from the Brazilian death/thrash/grindcore band Desalmado, due for release next month. Desalmado has been active since 2004 and spent most of their fourteen years traveling on the road to promote their style of brutality. 2016 saw the band touring Europe for the second time, performing to fans who appreciated the energy they put across onstage but didn’t fully get the message they were putting across in their lyrics. The latter is of significant importance to Desalmado as they decided to record the new album with English-written lyrics in an effort to reach more listeners. To quote frontman Caio Augusttus, "Save Us From Ourselves is by far our most critical album… which most clearly exposes how dissonant the model created by a capitalist society is, and it also proposes a way of engagement through mobilization by the people, be it the workers, oppressed races, women..." The relentlessly pounding music was written and composed to be extremely intense as a vehicle for the lyrics; together they almost sound like one entity with each having equal importance. The compositions are instantly distinguishable from the others in disposition, with different helpings of heaviness, brutality, atmosphere, dissonance and some tribal percussion reminiscent of Sepultura on Chaos A.D. and Roots. Producer Hugo Silva and masterer Absolute Master show adeptness at spotlighting their influences in death metal, grind, hardcore crust and black metal from song to song. You don’t have to have a political agenda to appreciate the position the band takes on governmental issues as speaking out became a logical progression for underground metal bands and their rebellious attitudes. As a brief aside, I remember reading a review about the 1979 movie Over The Edge which stated without that teenage angst surviving into adulthood there would be no civil rights movement or any other movements for that matter. In this sense Desalmado prove it pays to stick to your guns and “growing up” is not becoming complacent with your surroundings and accepting that the status quo is always right, The review of Over The Edge is what I think of when reading the bio accompanying the album stream. Even without a lyric sheet I get a sense the band put tremendous amounts of thought into the lyrical content. Jeca Paul was hired as cover artist as his work for the front cover and featured in the promotional video for It’s Not Your Business was deemed as befitting of the band’s message. The cover reminds me of those featured on album covers all the way back to Napalm Death, Cryptic Slaughter and Sacred Reich. For an album that is not even out yet, it shows a great deal of promise for the coming year. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Privilege Walls
2. It's Not Your Business
3. Save Us From Ourselves
4. Black Blood
5. Blessed By Money
6. Bridges To A New Dawn
7. Corrosion
8. Binary Collapse
9. Exist and Resist

Lyric Video Review: CLOCKWORK ASYLUM Zero To Oblivion

Zero To Oblivion
From their debut EP Eve Of The Eclipse, released October 7, 2017
It's nearing 1 am and I have been sent the lyric video for "Zero To Oblivion" by Clockwork Asylum. The video itself is visually pleasing, with riot scenes and padded walls adding to the overall feel of the video. The lyrics themselves are pretty decent, although the vocals are cleaner than what I normally listen to. Still, this stuff is pretty good! These musicians are clearly talented and they have pulled off this video quite well. Metal has always been about rising up against the elite, at least from my point of view. Protest is key to the survival of free existence, and I would never take that from this band or anyone else. I would ramble further, but I suggest you watch the video and have a listen for yourself. Highly enjoyable. -Devin Joseph Meaney

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Full Length Review: COMA CLUSTER VOID Thoughts From A Stone

Thoughts From A Stone
Translation Loss Records
Release Date: October 17, 2017
I was sent this release recently to check out and I can honestly say it was quite the surprise. Instead of separate tracks, this release is one comprehensive piece. It is extremely experimental avant-garde death metal. With timing changes that could only be pulled off by talented professionals, this piece really takes me to a darker place. The vocals are creepy and ominous, with the female vocalizations really being the icing on the cake. Near the end, this dark piece became so heavy that I could feel my stomach turning as I tried to comprehend the blackness. A track to summon the dark ones to, I highly suggest anyone into the bizarre and the odd check out this brilliant piece. If there were no demons in my house already, there probably are now. All I can hope is that they keep out of my favorite cereal box, as I do not wish to share. -Devin Joseph Meaney

Track list:
1. I Breathe An Awakening
2. The Silence And Gloom
3. Sculpting This Vision
4. Thumb Of Disease
5. Mother, Dreamer
6. We Are As Low

Full Length Review: HAEMORRHAGE We Are The Gore

We Are The Gore
Release Date: October 6, 2017
Why have I never reviewed Haemorrhage before? Half way through listening to "We Are The Gore," a more recent album by the band, I realized that this is something that needed to be done. This band has put out many previous releases, an earlier album titled Grume being one of my favorite "gory" relics of all time. This album is just as good as anything they have done in the past, enhanced slightly with improved production. Down tuned guitars chug along next to grindy shreds tinged with great atmosphere. The vocals, both high and low are chaotic, ever so slightly adorned with gurgling undertones. The drums are both metal-ish and grinding, beats of various speeds blowing my mind as always. Check out this album, it is a great piece of gore! Just hope that one day you never come across Doc Obnoxious, who is known to come around if he hears the sound of Haemorrhage... watch out! -Devin Joseph Meaney

Track list:
1. Nauseating Employments
2. Gore Gourmet
3. We Are The Gore
4. Transporting Cadavers
5. Bathed In Bile
6. The Cremator’s Song
7. Medical Maniacs
8. Forensick Squad
9. Gynecrologist
10. Miss Phlebotomy
11. C.S.C. (Crime Scene Cleaners)
12. Prosector’s Revenge
13. Organ Trader
14. Intravenous Molestation Of The Obstructionist Arteries (O-Pus Vii)
15. Artifacts Of The Autopsy (Bonus Track)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Full Length Review: SAINTORMENT Defective Mind

Defective Mind
Independent
Release Date: December 30, 2017
It is just after 1 am in the morning, and as I am buzzed on whiskey with a generous supply of bud, I believe that now is the perfect time to review Defective Mind by Saintorment. Powerful wailing vocals aside the occasional deep guttural weld together well. In parts, there are cleaner "singing" vocals, which blend in nicely to the tunes overall. Lead guitars with brain-melting solos and beautiful harmonics shred alongside heavy rhythms, the bass keeping in time nicely. The drums are deep and pounding, thrash clearly a cake-walk for the talented drummer. Jokey in parts, this collection of wild thrash tunes proves to be a delight to listen to, with the potential to woo new-comers and also veterans of the thrash genre. Reminding me of Testament, Sabbat and in parts old Megadeth, this release is a must for metalheads and musicians of various ages. 9.5/10 -Devin Joseph Meaney

Track list:
1. Physical Force
2. Defective Mind
3. We Are
4. Strong Enough
5. Never
6. Zerofy
7. ...Dies at the Black Night
8. Mood Pyrexia
9. Final Hour
10. Ai, kā man patīk (Bonus Track)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Article: What Is Unity? by Goddess Rosemary Sahjaza

Photo image of Goddess Rosemary created by: Madamn DuBerry Lore Sahjaza & Alyson Ford
What Is Unity?
Article by Goddess Rosemary Sahjaza

We talk of Kin and kindred, but what really is this kindred we talk of, its one's family and relations, ones flesh, ones blood, ones bloodlines, but most of all, its ones family, be they authentic genetic bloodlines, or other forged by time, and love, and recognition, of one's own kind, "ties of kindred" ties of kindred, are bonds tied of choice, be they family, clutch, court, house, temple, they are a choice one makes to become tied to one's own kind and the results is a blood nation.
We have called our community, a community for a long time this is a way to try to spread this to include others worldwide and in a deeper aspect of the veins of our relations and of our rather at times incestuous lusty appetites have forged lovers into the mix, as well as honorary members and Abbon, (Abbon is an agreed upon treaty or agreement to become kin and family and forge deep and trusted allied bonded ties), and more we are all a huge family and just like any family at the festive dinner table at the family reunion we all sit by uncle Pete but we all don't like uncle Pete he is a naughty uncle but on some level we all love uncle Pete if someone talks bad about uncle Pete we defend him with all our might, but we just don't want our dinner card sitting next to him all night. We are like another family with all the family dynamics.
How unity comes in, wouldn't it be nice if we the undercurrent underground could make a difference for our own kind? Through Blood Nations and the unity project you gain the means to promote and showcase your parties, your gatherings, your products, fangs, ankhs, books, other wares, get feedback on ideas, and find gatherings in remote areas rather than just the big cities getting the press and the notices out there.
You can profile your houses covens courts and other gatherings parties events bands galleries whatever your doing this is the place and the means to talk about it and promote yourself to our kind exchange ideas and find others whom are likeminded it's the place others can find education kinship and family give this a try, we have nothing to lose the idea is we all prosper make contacts forge bonds find friends find family, and make sure that this journey were all on called a community, takes a giant leap up into the next century making use of modern technology that is what blood nations is and more and moves the next step into a real community.
Sign up today and see just how this can work for you, you can participate a little or a lot but you should at least put yourself on the map. All of us speaking one language be it with Google translate or not, be seen be heard and be beautiful.
Blessing to you all my wonderful beautiful family and kin I love you all dearly

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Full Length Review: VARIOUS ARTISTS Morbid Tales! A Tribute To Celtic Frost

VARIOUS ARTISTS
Morbid Tales! A Tribute To Celtic Frost
Release Date: November 13, 2015
I heard of this compilation purely by coincidence when surfing Facebook to Evoken’s (USA) community page. Although Corpse Flower Records released it back in 2015, I was struck by a sudden and immediate urge to check it out. Besides that indie tribute compilations intrigued me since the nineties, Celtic Frost was among my favorite thrash-era bands and remain so. Despite the financial pitfalls that befell them and eventually led to their disbanding, their influence on extreme metal is undeniable. From Winter to Mortician to Obituary to Dark Throne to the musicians citing them today, Celtic Frost helped shape extreme/underground metal as we know it. I would even say their influence compares with Slayer and Metallica, on a cult level rather than mainstream. Morbid Tales! A Tribute To Celtic Frost is a fitting homage to the Switzerland band’s innovator status. My only complaint is its official release is comprised of eight songs, too brief for me after hearing longer compilations (In Memory of Celtic Frost from 1996, the 1998 Iron Maiden tribute A Call To Irons and Curse of the Demon: A Tribute to Mercyful Fate from 1996 come to mind). More bands should have been hit up to contribute, but the diversity of covered classics compensates for the duration and no subgenre of metal overshadows any other. Each song was recorded exclusively for this release, and a couple of bonus tracks have been added for good measure. The song Evoken covers for MTATTCF is Dawn Of Megiddo, and easily my personal favorite. I’ve been listening to Evoken for many years and To Mega Therion was the first time Celtic Frost showed an ability to magnify their symphonious unorthodoxy. Evoken’s treatment expands the original’s atmosphere and sense of premonition. While the original presents the narrative, Evoken’s version makes you feel you’re an actual character. Black Anvil’s rendition of Dethroned Emperor is a candidate for second favorite, for its heaviness and smooth production allowing for a close likeness to the Morbid Tales version. More second favorite candidates are Municipal Waste’s cover of Nocturnal Fear, Coffin’s Slave’s cover of The Reaper (originally by Hellhammer), Temple of Void’s cover of Os Abysmi Vel Daath and Child Bite’s cover of The Usurper. The “white power” controversy surrounding Phil Anselmo aside, he displays keenness and fervor covering it. Cherry Orchards from the disappointment that was Cold Lake is actually given a better treatment by Acid Witch, who make the song sound grittier and much more appealing. Hayward gives Jewel Throne a kind of industrial sound that I found interesting. I should add that Corpse Flower Records has also released a printed companion to this release, an illustrated book with artwork, comics and humor by Justin Bartlett, Jason McGregor, Bruno Guerreiro and many more. The label also has new releases out from Thoughts Of Ionesco, Slow Death and Nightkin. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Child Bite w/ Phil Anselmo - The Usurper
2. Persekutor - Procreation Of The Wicked
3. Temple Of Void - Os Abysmi Vel Daath
4. Acid Witch - Cherry Orchards
5. Municipal Waste - Nocturnal Fear
6. Hayward (Featuring Scott Kelly and Jason Roeder of Neurosis) - Jewel Throne
7. Coffin's Slave (Featuring Scott Carlson of Repulsion) - Dance Sleazy
8. Evoken - Dawn Of Megiddo
9. Coffin's Slave (Featuring Scott Carlson of Repulsion) - The Reaper (Hellhammer) (MP3 download bonus track)
10. Black Anvil - Dethroned Emperor (Flexi Disc bonus track)



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Demo Review: AISLACIÓN Minor Chants

Minor Chants
Independent
Release Date: January 9, 2018
If I correctly read their Facebook information, Mexico’s Aislación was formed by ex-members of A Naked Soul who were an active doom/death metal band from 1993 to 1997. On their debut four song demo Minor Chants, Aislación carry the doom/death banner hoisted by A Naked Soul in the early 90s. The occasional boredom I felt with doom and stoner was due mostly to its repetitiveness and overindulgence in song length. Over the past year this has been changing for the better, as more unsigned bands are taking new liberties with those genres. I’ve heard of more bands like this from the independent labels, which reminds me again of the value of the D.I.Y. industry and the talents it has to offer. This value can’t be absolutely measured by arguments concerning marketing or revenue. Aislación substantiates this as they are not your typical doom/stoner band. From the intro track Apotegma to the opening strains of Drunken Forest, we have a different interpretation of the formula doom metal and stoner rock in all its categories and subgenres is built upon. Incidentally, Apotegma samples a speech from 19th/20th century political orator William Jennings Bryan, who was a dominant force in the American Democratic Party from 1896 to 1925 as well as an opposer of Darwinism. Just a little trivia that should give you insight into the band’s world view in relation to the sampled quote. As far as their songwriting and originality, the downbeat, disconsolate treatise we’re familiar with from doom and stoner is redirected through rasping, gravelly guitars owing as much to early thrash metal as it does to Black Sabbath. While most doom and stoner has its share of distortion, Aislación is more like a scorching, red hot razor dissevering your brain than sweeping in woeful, distressing waves. The band’s manner of conveying these sensations cannot be conveniently categorized. Their grittiness relies more on volume than distortion, the lead vocals sound more pained than melancholy, a greater amount of tempo changes surface in less time, and melody and raw energy are emphasized more than usual. All this put together forms an exclusive style of doom metal, a strength the band should capitalize on for future releases. They have some influence from death metal as well, though it doesn’t show until Animism Seed. Once this influence takes hold, it dominates much of the material with strappy thrash elements. Whether it’s added deliberately or not, it helps reinforce doom metal’s hypnotic qualities without getting monotonous or tiresome. The band could polish their material at least a little next time they’re in the studio, if only to grow tighter and more cohesively put their ideas across, Regardless of this complaint Minor Chants is a good start to what can be an auspicious career for Aislación. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Intro Apotegma Drunken Forest
2. Animism Seed
3. Afterlife Chord
4. Sometimes MMXVII (As Above, So Below)