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)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Full Length Review: DREAMGRAVE Monuments

Monuments
Independent
Release Date: October 26, 2017
Dreamgrave is a five piece self-described “progressive, gothic, neo-classical” project from Szeged, Hungary. Monuments is their third release. The opening and namesake track “monuments” sets the tone for this release- expect the unexpected. a hectic and chaotic mash of styles ranging from a jazz influenced introduction with melodic and discordant vocals shift to a hard hitting, technical death metal influenced section sets the tone for “monuments”. The neo-classical and gothic influences of Dreamgrave are balanced well with the more aggressive technical death metal elements- ensuring that all elements and influences musically are able to be appreciated and none are overpowering. The consistently strong vocals ranging from the operatic tones, guttural growls, and perfect harmonies are a notable factor throughout this release- the consistency and diversity are essentially flawless. The musical professionalism applied continually throughout this release is made obvious by a large range of influences and styles- there is literally no room for error and that is achieved brilliantly. A highly musically diverse release which deliberates efficiently between styles ensuring the listener is kept continually engaged. -Sarah McKellar

Track list:
1. Drop The Curtain
2. Monuments
3. The Passing Faith in Others

Monday, January 8, 2018

Article: 'Feldman Excluded from Golden Globes' by Roberta Downing

Feldman Excluded from Golden Globes
Article by Roberta Downing, January 8, 2018

This year’s Golden Globe Awards was most certainly a very loud statement against the sexual predators in Hollywood and a call to put an end to the heinous acts. Many actors spoke about the topic at the event however the one person who was not present, that has more firsthand knowledge about the pedophiles and sexual crimes in Hollywood, was Corey Feldman.
Feldman has been publically speaking about the grave injustices being done to children in the film industry since 1998 and even had it as a topic in his television show with Corey Haim. He has said that “They look for children who come from a broken home. They look for these kids because these kids need a friend and they are easy targets.”
In a personal video Feldman released on his twitter page on January 7th, he states “I was not invited” to be there with his peers. It is an outrage when it looks as if all of Hollywood is coming together, making it appear as if they are using one voice and yet exclude the one man who has found the courage and heart to stand up and call out those who are responsible for harming children in the industry. Feldman is a real hero. He is someone that children can look up to and know that someone is fighting for them.
It isn’t easy to speak up about abuse. An abuser will do anything, say anything to keep their victim under control including spreading lies to make their victim appear to be liars, unreliable or even make them look as if they have mental issues so that when the person does find the courage to tell the truth that person has already been silently seen as unstable by those who could help them.
Hollywood is a country all to itself with so many men with almost unlimited wealth in control of the film industry and that makes it very dangerous for anyone to come forward with allegations of any kind of wrong doing especially any kind of sexual misconduct. The danger comes in many forms from harassment, trolling, spreading of lies and most importantly the money to hire teams of lawyers to defend the person who has been accused and the ability to blacklist the accuser. Feldman has stated that these men are “darkness” and are “against God.”
It is a very sad day when someone who is dedicating his life to expose the truth must have 24 hour protection from those who safeguard those who have harmed him.
All this begs the question why not hurt these Hollywood pedophiles where it hurts and boycott their work? Boycotting movies that have known actors, producers or directors who have been accused of pedophilia is a clear and concise message that their actions are not acceptable and in turn helps to take some of the financial control out of their hands.
To help Corey with his fan funded project: https://www.gofundme.com/coreystruthsecured

This review can also be read at Critics Corner E-Zine. -DW

Article: 'Questions and Conclusions on the Topic of Antisocial Personality Disorder' by Devin Joseph Meaney

Questions and Conclusions on the Topic of Antisocial Personality Disorder
Article by Devin Joseph Meaney
When talking about psychopaths and sociopaths, one might assume that we are talking only about murderers, rapists and dramatic con-men who swindle hard working people out of their life savings. In truth, antisocials are also writers, doctors, lawyers and other functioning members of society who may not even have a criminal record. Lower functioning antisocials might seem volatile. As once mentioned by Doctor Sam Vaknin, these individuals seem like bombs getting ready to detonate. Other higher functioning forms may seem like genuinely nice individuals, but in truth they usually are not the slightest bit kind. Even though antisocials get a bad rap, I cannot pretend to not have issue with the fact once diagnosed with this disorder, most antisocials are treated like potential witches in the midst of the Salem trials. It is true that most antisocials are not exactly the purest definition of "good humans," but are they all sadistic baby eating monsters? I don't think so. One person suffering with schizophrenia might hear the voices of angels. Another might hear Satan in his darkest form. I think antisocials are the same in the sense that each one is their own person, not chained to a specific predefined bullet-list. Sure, the people riddled with the malignant forms of the disorder may exhibit extreme sadism and misanthropy, but what about the guy that just wishes to shun responsibility, smoke weed and watch extreme horror flicks, or maybe get lost in some violent video games? I am no doctor, and until I have a plethora of my own degrees I will trust the words of people like Sam Vaknin, James Fallon and Robert Hare. I guess what I am wondering over all is this: Is it possible to be an antisocial and still be a genuinely good person? I once read an article titled "The Good Sociopath," and in that article it stated that with a sense of altruism and a genuine understanding of empathy an antisocial could sometimes become a wonderful person, even when plagued with their mental afflictions... is this true? I surely hope so.

EP Review: SNØGG Abeloth

Abeloth
Independent
Release Date: December 25, 2017
I will start off by saying this EP is extremely unique and was an absolute joy to listen to. Even though I found it breath-taking at times, I will keep this review short as the EP's uniqueness makes it really hard to define and explain. Like a hodge-podge of black-metal, experimental noise and ambience I loved every second. This is not ordinary noise, as there is still a well pronounced musical component to this dark masterpiece. Chaotic blackened vocals and creepy down-tuned narrations make this even better. Like an orchestra of the damned and the pained, it gives me chills... but the chills I enjoy. I will without a doubt be looking more into these guys and I hope more people give this weird yet beautiful audio epic a spin. I have always loved experimental art in almost every form and I wish these guys all the best in their future escapades. There is beauty in darkness, and Snøgg really makes that fact quite evident. -Devin Joseph Meaney

Track list:
1. The Servant - The Mother
2. Beloved Queen of the Stars
3. Bringer of Chaos

EP Review: AGATHOCLES Back To 1987

Back To 1987
Boundless Records
Release Date: 1996
This is one of my all time favorite pieces of mince and I just realized that I have never mentioned it in a review. Agathocles have put out a plethora of records, to the point that I won't look it up because within the next forty-five minutes they will probably put out six or seven new EPs, a split and a full length. Grinding since the 80's, Agathocles are a staple deeply ingrained in the hearts and minds of grind fans. On this record, the high pitched wails and low gutturals are perfect, to the point very few bands can truly replicate them. The gurgles emitted from the pitch shifter also help to delight my ears and brain with a gore-tastic experience. The drums are vicious and pounding, the guitars heavily down-tuned. The bass chugs along , always tight and immaculate. This is one of my favorite Agathocles releases, but if you enjoy this, you would probably never run out of new material to listen to. Another few favorite releases of mine from these guys would be "Bomb Brussels," or their legendary full-length release Razor Sharp Daggers. All in all, this short EP packs quite the blistering punch, a piece of musical art that will not be forgotten any time soon by myself or many others. 10/10, would headbang. Devin out. -Devin Joseph Meaney

Track list:
1. big one
2. the fog
3. teachers
4. the accident
5. mutilated regurgitator
6. consuming endoderme pus
7. splattered brains
8. christianity means tyranny
9. squeeze anton
10. introtyl
11. threshold to senility



Sunday, January 7, 2018

Full Length Review: INFANT DEATH Violent Rites

Violent Rites
Release Date: October 7, 2016
Infant Death are a band from Norway that plays a mixture of black, thrash and speed metal and this is a review of their 2016 album "Violent Rites" which was released by Apocalyptic Empire Records.
A very fast speed metal sound starts off the album along with some blast beats while the riffs also use a great amount of melody as well as the music being very heavily rooted in the 80's and all of the musical instruments have a very powerful sound to them and also mixes in elements of thrash.
Vocals are mostly black metal screams while the music also mixes in a great amount of influences of the first wave era of the genre and they also bring in a modern take on an old school genre and the song also bring in a mixture of slow, mid paced fast parts and the music always remains heavy.
Infant Death plays a musical style that takes the 80's genre of black, thrash and speed metal to create a sound of their own, the production sounds very old school while the lyrics cover violent and blasphemous themes.
In my opinion Infant Death are a very great sounding mixture of black, speed and thrash metal and if you are a fan of those musical genres, you should check out this band. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Troops Of Dead" "Subhuman Elimination" "Blasphemy Prevails" and "False Prophecies". 8 out of 10. -Loki Astaroth

Track list:
1. Troops Of Dead
2. Vomit Funeral
3. Burning Wild
4. Subhuman Elimination
5. Mutilation Hammer
6. Blasphemy Prevails
7. Purified Remains
8. Malicious Lust
9. Exploder
10. False Prophesies



This review can also be read at Blackened Death Metal Zine -DW

Community/Fest Organizer Interview: DAVID UHRLAUB

Interview with DAVID UHRLAUB (Kalderasha Vampire Courts)

Your Facebook bio says you attended the Institute of Metaphysics where you studied demonology, exorcisms and rituals. Do you care to shed some more light on the institute and your studies there?
These were online correspondence courses. They were educational as they showed the decline of the spiritual aspects of society and how the Scientific Revolution killed the belief in things outside their reasoning. I learned historically and physically how these entities are able to take control. The lack of knowledge about them has made it easier for infestation that can cause what seems to be mental and physical illness or eventual possession. I learned about how one of these beings can cause a family to have problems for generations. It went through different cases and signs and sensationalism from people that sought to use possession to be the center of attention. It touched on the facts of things left out the hidden books of the Bible, the information contained in these texts. The biggest part of a battle is to know your enemy and that which affects it. Like the herbs and resins that can be used in banishment and removal, and used in invocation and evocation. Also how to tell when a game is being played. Demonology is the study of these beings and what they are capable of. Also sigils and symbols to look for in a place that has been effected or used in a ritual what it was for and what might have been brought through. Exorcism being the removal of said spiritual essence or being, through incantation and prayers I was also taught the removal of hexes and curses. I was taught what kind of mental and emotional damage can be left by such invasions of one’s psyche and how to help them overcome this. I learned the many methods of this dying art such as how to draw a demon into a crystal the proper use of circles and sigils to protect against and bind. But it has been the practical use of my skills and tools I have learned that have been the biggest teacher. No case or situation is ever the same depending upon the person I am helping because there can be a combo of afflictions that have brought an infestation, crossing or hex.

What did you learn in those correspondence courses about the scientific revolution’s effect on spiritual understanding?
The Scientific Revolution led to societal norms that all things had to be seen, touched or smelled. Before the Scientific Revolution most people saw the world as a living entity that communicated to the observant mind. From those of ancient societies to some cultures of this day. The appearance of the monstrous (monstrous comes from the Latin word monstrum meaning ‘that which is shown forth or revealed’. Entities of folklore are part of this category as are demons, angels, undiscovered creatures etc. These things showed the reality of the impossible, that the world we think we live in and the world we inhabit are not the same world at all. Monkish Chronicles of medieval times used to report these occurrences just like the news now reports on such elusive concepts as the gross national product. The approach to spiritual understanding only faded out with the scientific revolution which began some three hundred and fifty years ago in Western Europe towards the end of the Renaissance and continued through the late 18th Century. The thinkers of the 18th century saw traditional folklore as one of the biggest roadblocks in their way of their dream of a wholly rationalistic approach to the world.

How many hidden books of the Bible did you educate yourself about? Why do you imagine those books were omitted?
I have been researching the Apocrypha and its books for years now. My main focus has been on the Books of Enoch and Jubilees of late, but I have read the Apocrypha in its entirety. These books contain a lot about the fall of demons and their judgement. In my opinion these were omitted due to their content, and the fact that the bible was given to the common people. King James was trying to show the love of God and not scare the uneducated, superstitious masses. The Apocrypha had a lot of antediluvian history that again was non rational and filled with a world that was not of the accepted thought processes of the time.

What specific books and passages from the Apocrypha, the books of Enoch and Jubilees supported your theories?
The Book of Enoch, written during the second century B.C.E., is one of the most important non-canonical apocryphal works, and probably had a huge influence on early Christian, particularly Gnostic, beliefs. Filled with hallucinatory visions of heaven and hell, angels and devils, Enoch introduced concepts such as fallen angels, the appearance of a Messiah, Resurrection, a Final Judgement, and a Heavenly Kingdom on Earth.
This book if it would have been included at the time could of and most likely would have caused upset considering the common superstitions and beliefs at the time. Causing the common people to question the fact of blind faith that was trying to be upheld at the time of King James as he was trying to provide the bible as a book to the masses of religious material to help stop the falling of the church. As people were questioning why it was only the church that had access to the scriptures, the Scientific Revolution had caused people to question faith and force the Bible as we know it into print.
The Book of Jubilees show if we are, as the Bible says, children of incest because Cain married his twin sister, by standards that could have made a really nasty impression upon the people these books could have impacted the faith of the people and were removed to protect the sanctity of the church. By doing this they kept the ignorant faithful to the church.

How much does the blind faith established in the time of King James resonate today?
When you ask a church leader about the supernatural they often tell you to have faith and let God have control, or told it’s the devil when you think differently from what they want. They expect you to take a clergy’s word as truth not to question "the will of God" or torment someone because it is God's will. There are those that truly try to live by what the Bible says and love all humanity, but more often than not you find blind faith being wielded as a weapon to rationalize radical behavior within the religious sector.

Are religious beliefs misused too often as a result? How can people disassociate themselves from corrupt religious figures?
As in any religious sector there are the hypocrites and zealots. It seems more than ever there are those that seek to control the masses with threats of going to hell because you don’t believe in their church or sect. I find this is most common in Idaho with the L.D.S community and the mainstream, but it also seems to bleed over into the thought process of even the pagan and alternative religion sector and they have become very cliquish. They seek to use people for their own agendas, spreading hate, discontent and cult like mentality. There are ways to disassociate from these people. You need to have knowledge of the community and those in it. Often you need to have the ability to ask questions they can’t answer and verify through research. Know who they are and what they are capable of. Often you have to point out folly with solid fact and information that has reliable sources. Know the background of the religion and how they are twisting it. Often they play on people in times of distress. Often you have to tell the truth of what is seen.

I met you through Goddess Rosemary of Temple Sahjaza. Are you or have you been involved in activities with them?
I was a part of the original coven called the Black Rose that had begun in Idaho with Goddess Rosemary and my mother, Lady Numain. I came to view Goddess Rosemary as my aunt and I learned the traditions and rituals before the House of Sahjaza was made. I was focused in Idaho and other matters when the House Sahjaza was founded but we kept the Black Rose alive here until 2012 when my mother passed from brain cancer and the coven faded out. I resurfaced in 2014 when I discovered His Royal Highness Maven Lore Scalzi. Little did I know that I was about to be brought back to my roots and be reunited with Goddess Rosemary the founder of the Black Rose. I have since been under her watch and the House Sahjaza's guidance opened The Kalderasha Court and Caravan here and started to rebuild the legacy my mother left behind. It now grows as a new group under The Goddess’ watch. There are plans in the works that directly involve my influence but I am not at liberty to say what they are at this phase.

Describe the activities the Black Rose organized prior to 2012. How much did you study their traditions and rituals?
They were focused on building a group that would cohesively work together, to help bring an accepted view of witchcraft and alternative belief systems into the mainstream. I mostly handled Idaho on a level as an ambassador and young adult leader helping others from 18 to 21 find acceptance and a place to learn from the elders. Lady Numain had a sanctuary where she helped teenagers who had been abused or cast out have a place where they could ask questions, meet others like themselves and be accepted for who they were. Before the loss of that sanctuary she had painted a basement entrance and the kids would sign a star or planet and it showed their time with us. No matter what, they had a place to belong to; they always had a home and family.
I was immersed from the age of ten. It was a normal thing in my life. I was raised around them with my Mother. She was a founder in the S.E. Idaho Black Rose and that is where my basic knowledge of the craft came from. I was running through the house as it was concepted and hashed out. Some rituals and rites I was not allowed in until I was older. But the basics were always there and I was taught many different things, such as energy work, candle magic, herb lore and geomancy. I became a jack of all trades in the magical knowledge. I chose to specialize in the Cunning arts, the practice of alchemy and research of demons, angels and Christian magic, research of the black arts and how to remove negative forces and break hexes, do uncrossings and resolution of other spiritual issues. Most of my life was dedicated to the service of the Black Rose. I had a place in the sanctuary and I was often sent to other sanctuaries in the area to help with issues and help start new chapters. When my Mother was diagnosed with cancer, this started to fade. Our money was funneled into other treatments and she never fully recovered. She had me leave as she did not want me to see her in her condition. I was crushed and lived on the streets, bouncing from place to place until 2003. When my mom called me home and told me to rebuild the coven, I did what I could but by this time the coven had taken some pretty heavy hits and had scattered because of infighting and other issues I was not able to salvage. In 2008 it was given to an outsider in the group who allowed it to die out completely. I tried to resurrect it a few times only to be met with massive opposition because of the influences that had been let in in my absence. Facing the lies and rumors the coven suffered I had become a scapegoat I had abandoned it, but in all honesty the person who it was given to had cast me out and did damage to my reputation so I silently went solitary.

How did you come into contact with Maven Lore Scalzi, and how did this lead to your meeting Goddess Rosemary again?
I came into contact with His Highness Maven Lore about four years ago. When I was watching a show he was a part of on one of my friend’s pages. I messaged him and we began to talk. I wanted to bring him to entertain in Idaho I had a plan, it fell through and I lost contact with him for about five to six months before we reconnected. We spoke about creating a court in Idaho. I did not know who he was connected to until one day I was in a class for helping establish a court and I heard Goddess Rosemary’s voice. I spoke to her and realized who she was. From then on I was home. We speak on a consistent basis, I am able to share what went on in her absence and she is helping me refine what I know and make a new court from the ashes of the Black Rose. I was gone for eight years trying to flounder in a world I did not really comprehend. Now I am in a world I understand with a new goal and I am helping make the dream my mother had come to reality.

What steps have you taken to make your mother’s vision a reality with the Kalderasha Court and Caravan? In what ways do you consider Goddess Rosemary your aunt?
The steps I have taken have been simple I have reached out through in Pocatello with the help of Maven and others of the Blood Nations Unity Project. My mother’s dream was to make it so that those of alternative religion and lifestyle could have a place and group that worked together in one accord to make a place for us in the mainstream community, stand side by side and work towards greater understanding. I have done this with events and through Midnight Dreams where Craftsmen and women can sell their items to a greater community, in doing so allow them to meet people of our beliefs, see us as people like them and break down the stigma of society. We do charity donations and help those of the subculture know there are others like them and they are not alone.
I consider Goddess Rosemary my Aunt as if she was blood. I look at her as a person that provides knowledge and understanding she is my Goddess Mother. If anything had happened to my mother she would have been the guardian I would have went to. In my younger days I loved it when she would visit and talk to my mom. I confided in her until l we lost contact and she always told me I would move the world. She never looked down on me and would advise my mother on how to help me grow, and she helped me understand that my torment before my adoption were the fires that would help forge me into a great leader and man. She never judged me but would sometimes redirect me in a direction that would better help me understand my place in the magical world. She helped set me on the path that I follow to this day.

What is the Blood Nations Unity Project, and what is the extent of your involvement with them?
The Blood Nations Unity Project is dedicated to being a real life community that is nationwide and is dedicated to providing a hub for those of the subculture community to find others like them and provide a place to meet and see who may be in your area. It also points people to the leaders in that area that associate with the subculture. Giving them access to the others and services they provide to help bring each other together on a larger scale.

What sort of events have been hosted by Midnight Dreams such as the charity drives you mentioned?
Midnight Dreams has hosted the Monster Mash Charity Ball for Aid For Friends, a local Homeless shelter and Homeless outreach that helps the homeless return to work and will get them into an apartment or families that are soon to be displaced maintain housing. We are a new court and the shop was opened on Oct 6th so we have not done a whole lot as of yet but keep watching and you will see us do amazing things.

Describe the amount of understanding and knowledge Goddess Rosemary has helped you achieve since you met her.
There is truly no words that I can use to describe the level of understanding and knowledge she has helped me attain. She has helped me with control of my gifts a deeper understanding of how to deal and balance the mundane and the nightside aspects of myself she truly fits the charge of the Dark Goddess that I will include here.
She who is known to us as Kali, Hecate, Cerridwen, Lilith, Persephone, Fata, Morgana, Ereshkigal, Arianhrod, Durga, Inanna, Tiamat, and by a million, million other names:
Hear me child, and know Me for who I am. I have been with you since you were born, and I will stay with you until you return to me at the final dusk.
I am the passionate and seductive lover who inspires the poet to dream. I am the one who calls to you at the end of your journey. After the day is done, My children find their blessed rest in my embrace. Charge of the dark Goddess
I am the womb from which all things are born. I am the shadowy, still tomb; all things must come to me and bare their breasts to die and be reborn to the whole.
I am the Sorceress that will not be ruled, the Weaver of Time, the Teacher of Mysteries. I snip the threads that bring my children home to me. I slit the throats of the cruel and drink the blood of the heartless.
Swallow your fear and come to me, and you will discover true beauty, strength, and courage. I am the fury which rips the flesh from injustice. I am the glowing forge that transforms your inner demons into tools of power.
Open yourself to my embrace and overcome.
I am the glinting sword that protects you from harm. I am the crucible in which all the aspects of yourself merge together in a rainbow of union. I am the velvet depths of the night sky, the swirling mists of midnight, shrouded in mystery. I am the chrysalis in which you will face that which terrifies you and from which you will blossom forth, vibrant and renewed.
Seek me at the crossroads, and you shall be transformed, for once you look upon my face, there is no return. I am the fire that kisses the shackles away. I am the cauldron in which all opposites grow to know each other in Truth. I am the web which connects all things. I am the Healer of all wounds, the Warrior who rights all wrongs in their Time.
I make the weak strong. I make the arrogant humble. I raise up the oppressed and empower the disenfranchised. I am Justice tempered with Mercy. Most importantly, child, I am you. I am part of you, and I am within you.
Seek Me within and without, and you will be strong. Know me.
Venture into the dark so that you may awaken to balance, illumination, and wholeness. Take my Love with you everywhere and find the Power within to be who you wish.
Goddess Rosemary has taught me many valuable lessons and help to bring a new level of understanding in my life as not only a teacher and also my aunt. How to balance my dayside to my nightside. Divination and other parts of the craft how to lead and what it means to be a good leader.

Where does the Charge of the Dark Goddess come from, and what do those verses mean to you personally?
The Charge of the Dark Goddess is a compilation of the common traits found in the Dark Goddesses. To me it holds the description of who the dark goddess is and what she expects from you: that you will face the darkest parts of yourself and that be stronger for it. The Charge of the Dark Goddess can be deciphered two ways. One that is just as it reads as a description and the other is she describes what she is and then what we promise to her for the lessons we receive.

What are your thoughts on the current state of your local goth/vampire scene? Is it still exclusive to the underground these days or has it received more mainstream attention?
The Gothic Scene here in Pocatello and Idaho is scarce due to the heavy L.D.S influence has all but killed it off but I and the Kalderasha are seeking to revive, pull it back out of the shadows and bring the beauty and diversity of our Sub-culture and Micro-cultures into the open once again. There are a few that are still dedicated and show themselves. It is pretty much still an underground thing but with time we will help it become more mainstream in this area.

Are there activities the Kalderasha Court are currently involved in, or planning for the near future?
The Kalderasha is involved with our store called Midnight Dreams a hand crafted Pagan and Gothic consignment store that is also open to take in C.D.'s and merch from goth and metal bands to sell at a percentage, along with hand made goods such as clothing, leather, jewelry, candles and other cool things. We are in the process of rebuilding and creating the 1920's style sideshow with freaks and performers, and building the Romany Vardos so we can travel and set up performances and be vendors at events. With the ability to be self-contained with our own infrastructure. We are doing a Caravan Cabaret in January and will soon be building a temple of the Great Mother in or around Inkom or Lava. That will provide a Pagan nonprofit organization along with our for-profit adventures. We are building a homeless shelter here in Pocatello called Big Mommas House. We are starting a chapter of the Kalderasha in Idaho Falls ID. We are planning an unveiling of the Caravan in May 4, 5 and 6 with the Kalderasha in Liger and check out the natural hot springs here in Lava. It is going to be a grand show of sideshow performing arts; we are currently looking for performers to join our troop. Along with Cabaret and burlesque performers so we can do some amazing and wondrous things.

Where on the internet can people read about Midnight Dreams? How can people who want to be involved contribute to the store?
We are currently still working on that and it will be set up fully as of March. We are in the process of getting a larger space to accommodate more people and their music and merchandise. People are able to contact me at kalderashacaravan@gmail.com or contact me Dante at (208)-637-9388 text or a call. I am always happy to discuss these things with people who want to contribute and work with us.

How well do you expect the Caravan Cabaret will be received when it is unveiled next May? Are advertisements for the show already circulating on social media?
The Caravan Cabaret will actually be in February and we think it will have a pretty good outcome and not yet we are working on getting the advertisement and marketing put together at this time. Now the Caravan Carnival will be an amazing show in May the 4th 5th and 6th. It will be reminiscent of the 1920's sideshow and freak show. There will be more to come on this at a later time.


-Dave Wolff

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Fiction: Rise Of The Snarfwuzzles by Devin Joseph Meaney

Rise Of The Snarfwuzzles
Fiction by Devin Joseph Meaney
 
It was 2054 and the Snarfwuzzles had been on store shelves for a few months. Everything was going well... until the incident happened. Snarfwuzzles were sold to consumers as a life-like pet for people who did not want the responsibility of a real animal. A combination of robotics, illegal genetic engineering and cute multi-colored pseudo-fur lead to the creation of this lovable abnormality. At one particular retail outlet, sales were sky high for a few months, but just like any trend, Snarfwuzzles and the desire to own one quickly faded into obscurity. There were hundreds of snarfs, yet nobody wanted them. The store owner wanted to be rid of them, so he had them buried in a small polluted pond that was situated directly behind a nuclear power facility. Everything seemed ok at first, but within days the radiation from the power-plant had seeped into the snarf's mainframe, leading to a sequence of events that once unfolded would make everyone second guess buying products from large chains that care for nothing but profit. The Snarfwuzzles had come to life, the DNA of various predatory animals ingrained within their bio-engineering. They were painfully cute, and they were viciously hungry. The town didn't stand a chance! Blood and bones flew through the air like grim projectiles as hundreds of Snarfs feasted upon the town-folk, their adorable faces adorned with the life juices of many a fallen townie. The police could not stop them, and eventually the army had to be called in to put an end to the massacre. The battle lasted two days, but the Snarfs were soon destroyed, putting an end to their blood-laden rampage. The town-folk vowed to never again trust massive shady conglomerates, and to clean up the pond while bringing the power-plant itself up to code. Tragedy can be chaotic, but there is usually at least one star visible on the blackest of nights, that star being the knowledge that nature should never be played with, a feat that should be left for god himself and his acolytes.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Filmmaker Interview: ANDY HORRY


Interview with filmmaker ANDY HORRY
Producer of BRITISH BLACK METAL: THE EXTREME UNDERGROUND

In 2016 you released the documentary British Black Metal: The Extreme Underground which extensively covers England’s current black metal scene. How much exposure has it gotten since it was posted for viewing on social media?
It has had quite a lot of exposure actually. More than I expected to be honest. With it being a niche thing yet at the same time having a lot of passionate fans it got a lot of attention. I did build up a hype before making it through Facebook and with the crowdfunding campaign so that definitely helped. That was mainly with people in the UK but now it's surpassed that and people from other countries are watching too. It's got over 90,000 views now so it's definitely got some attention and the comments are mixed in opinion. There are a lot of people with strict definitions of black metal commenting and also people who don't usually listen to it who are opening their minds to the genre, but both interactions are appreciated. The last thing I'd do would be to censor the opinion surrounding it because I think it's important to hear views that aren't your own and to keep an open mind. When people disable the comments or disable ratings they are trying to shield them self from negativity but you are limiting yourself if you do that kind of thing and you won't continue to grow as a person so I welcome both kinds of comments.

I welcome rational discussions, in which people agree to disagree if need be, but as we know social media is also used as a platform to trash differing viewpoints. The attitude of “your opinion is wrong, you’re an idiot” etc. Often copped by people who claim to be open minded.
Good point. It's a difficult one really. On one hand I do think people should be respectful and not hurl insults at each other but at the same time just because someone throws insults around doesn't mean the other person is going to take it to heart. If we just keep on censoring everything then that also limits people from learning how to deal with abuse, which I think is a good skill to have. If you don't take everyone so seriously and remember that we're all human, that certainly takes the edge off a bit. So I do encourage civil debates but I also wouldn't advocate censoring discussions because it limits the room for growth. People seem to forget that you can also learn from uncivil discussions.

Is British Black Metal: The Extreme Underground your first effort at a documentary? What was it about today’s scene that inspired you to interview the new bands out there?
It’s my first documentary and the longest film I've made so far. The thing I like the most about the black metal scene in the UK is the diversity and depth it has. Back in 2014/2015 I was finding new bands every week and a lot of them sounded very unique with different ideas and themes going and I was really inspired by that. That excitement for the music really helped drive my creativity. I always do my best when in that kind of place. There has to be an intense enjoyment of the art I'm experiencing for me to put my all into it and the scene certainly succeeded in giving me that.

When I watched the film and listened to what the bands had to say, I was reminded of the British grindcore scene, in terms of the bands’ criticisms of society. What similarities, if any, do you see between the two?
Well I suppose the stance Winterfylleth have against corporate greed and corruption certainly fits with the grindcore scene's position, and then there's also the individualism aspect. Both genres are obviously extreme so that in itself has a sense of standing up for what you believe in by expressing yourself and saying fuck you to expectations. There are probably a few other similarities too, like both being inspired by punk but politics isn't generally all that common in black metal. The majority of the bands in the film had more of a distance from that in the music and focused more on things like nature, fantasy, spirituality and history. There might be some parts of the history side of things that could be seen as political but when it comes to the heritage stuff that kind of loops back to nature again and the heritage theme is quite prominent in the scene.
In terms of positions on society, it's a topic that's bound to come up in this sort of scene. Alternative music has always kept a certain amount of distance from society and it's an expression of people wanting something more out of life that's different to what they've been told. This is why I think spirituality is such an important part of the scene and the film. Although many people surrounding black metal are atheistic and anti-religious, I think there's still an intuition and understanding that there's more to life than just the physical realm and to me black metal is like a spiritual voyage of the unknown. It takes you somewhere else where not everybody wants to go but it's not just a journey in the dark for no reason. After all you can't see the stars without the darkness.

Why do you think so much time passed before the United Kingdom began forming its own exclusive scene?
I think it’s a bit of a mystery why we developed a scene at all really but the internet probably helped quite a bit. Hard to say why black metal connects with people in our culture. I guess the British reserve kind of thing is part of it, which is now making me think of Peep Show. I know it’s a bit bizarre to mention a comedy TV show in regards to black metal but there is that aspect of nihilism and existentialism in there that we really relate to in our culture. It's also brutally honest which we value, despite the fact we are generally pretty inauthentic in our actions as a culture. I think that's why we find it refreshing when we hear people being honest and accepting the fact they dread their existence.
I remember having that kind of feeling when first watching the show and it almost feels like the cultural conditioning in you is saying he can't do that, he's being honest about his feelings and though there's that resistance, the shock factor and authenticity overpowers the neurotic patterns arising. Having said that, Mark only really tells the viewer how he feels so it's believable and typical of a British person at the same time.
So going back to your question, I think it just happened at the time it needed to but definitely an interesting topic of why it became an interest over here.

In the 90s Cradle Of Filth and Hecate Enthroned were the UK’s premier black metal bands. Did their extensive bodies of work have any bearing on the newer bands that emerged in the 2010s?
They definitely influenced bands like Old Corpse Road and there's bands where the influence is more subtle like Ethereal and Eastern Front. I think a lot of bands are unconsciously influenced by them but wouldn't cite them when asked about inspiration, but it's there.

I noticed the UK scene’s emphasis on spirituality is contrasted the occult themes of the scenes in Norway and Sweden from the 90s. I think I remember a band or two stating they didn’t want to emulate those scenes or any others.
I can see why the film makes spirituality look that way but it isn't all on the positive side. "The Watcher" from Fen explains in the film that black metal has a sort of spiritual in the dark to it, suggesting that spirituality has other forms away from the stereotypes of being about love and peace. Harnessing the force of aggression can also be a part of the spiritual path, which is why martial arts is associated with it. Encompassing the masculine energy of existence is just as important as expressing the feminine, hence the well-known yin and yang.
The film does generally use a more positive look at spirituality though and connects it to the stillness and beauty of nature.
When it comes to comparisons of our scene with the goings on in Norway such as the church burnings et cetera we've definitely not taken things that far. It kind of comes back to the grindcore scene. The UK probably has more in common with that scene than the Norwegian black metal scene, despite being the same genre. As you say a lot of bands feel taking too much inspiration from the 90s Norwegian scene would be disingenuous and disrespectful to the Scandinavian culture. Bands like Winterfylleth have heavily made it about British culture and took a stand against the visual look that is expected of a black metal band by many people.

I remember reading about how Christianity was forced on the Scandinavian people, which had much to do with antichristian sentiment in Norway and Sweden. Does England’s different history account for the differences in their scene?
I learnt about that in some of the documentaries about black metal. Varg speaks about it in Until The Light Takes Us and I heard in some other films that Christians used to violently force Scandinavian people to convert to Christianity. Shoving snakes down people's throats and all kinds of brutal methods. So I can see why Varg was so pissed off at their culture. I prefer Abbath's attitude towards the church burnings though. "If you burn down a church, the government builds it back up again".
I don't think the church burnings really achieved anything apart from maybe publicizing black metal. Whatever the Christians did in the past though and however despicable it was, it's best left in the past and I don't think "revenge" ever lives up to expectations. If anything it turns people into the very thing they are against. That's how the right and wrong paradigm gets you. Reality is indiscriminate of what happens, there's just action and consequence before we assign any meaning to it. Once we see someone as evil we somehow tend to justify doing the same things to them that they did to others but in doing so what's the difference between us and them? Once we've met violence with violence we're likely going to be treated the same way by others as we treated them and the vicious cycle is more likely to continue.
Our culture is a bit different but religion has still been a big part of our past so it can definitely still be relevant to being Anti-Christian or Anti-Religious. As humans I don't think our particular habitat is always the biggest reason to take a stand against religion. We're all from the same planet and we're the same species so it often gets looked at in that way I think.
Nevertheless there are definitely bands who appreciate our culture and heritage who use that in their music. So yeah, our history is one way we differ from the Scandinavian scene but when you think about Burzum, though Varg appreciated his heritage and culture, his music was very fantastical and routed in escapism. He respected his heritage but couldn't fit into the new culture that the Christians had created. His resentment and distance from the new culture was probably two important parts of the sound he came out with. The nature around him obviously helped also and that couldn't be taken away from him.

Magazines overhyped the church burnings in Norway, though there weren’t as many incidents reported by the late 90s. Was this overhype in Until The Light Takes Us or did the film place it in a more realistic perspective?
I think Until The Light Takes Us is well rounded as a film and has a good balance. The church burnings were definitely prominent and give it the "edgy" shock factor. That's definitely a conscious decision to showcase it but it would be dishonest to leave it out also. I think it's what people remember the most after watching it but there are plenty of other things spoken about in the film. There's Fenriz's interest in art and electronic music and Frost's provocative stage shows featuring corpse paint, fire, violence and self-mutilation for example. It's a topic that you could easily make a whole documentary on but it's not all about that in Until The Light Takes Us.

Are there any documentaries on black metal or extreme metal you watched while surfing Youtube?
I found loads there and this was before even thinking of making my own but they inspired me to make one because the topic was so interesting. I really enjoyed watching them and that deep appreciation for the films was the driving force for me making my own. I made it with the viewer in mind because I know how great it was for me to watch these films and wanted to contribute to that. My favourites were "Black Metal's Unexplored Fringes - One Man Black Metal" by Noisey and "True Norwegian Black Metal" by Vice. They're both really well-crafted films and sculpt the atmosphere nicely with their filmmaking approaches. There are other films which are interesting but not quite at the same level when it comes to the viewing experience. I'd put Until The Light Takes Us next in order of favourites but these other two I preferred.

What documentaries, if any, did you get to watch by Bill Zebub Productions? Is his work known in the UK?
I've seen "The Music Of Satan" which was ok. It had a few interesting parts but the experience wasn't as immersive as I would have liked. I know it was a low budget film but feel there could have been some extra elements in there. I'm also not sure about his popularity in the UK but I haven’t spoken about him to anyone.

What bands and solo projects do you remember being featured in Black Metal's Unexplored Fringes, True Norwegian Black Metal and The Music Of Satan?
In Black Metal's Unexplored Fringes there's Leviathan, Xasthur and Striborg who are all one man bands. The film basically revolves around depression and isolation but also speaks about connection with nature.
True Norwegian black metal is all about Gorgoroth and Gaahl in particular. Although the filmmakers make some mistakes in the film like forgetting what Gaahl said and asking him something that he wouldn't like to answer, it's still very entertaining and educational.
I don't know The Music of Satan all that well because I haven't watched it as many times as the others. I think Venom, Immortal and King Diamond are a few that feature.

Who were the first bands you interviewed for the documentary and how did you arrange interviews with them?
The first bands I interviewed were Forneus, Ninkharsag and Mountains Crave all at the same gig, which was at the Snooty Fox in Wakefield. It's a great venue and the guy who runs it, called Malcolm had a tour bus he lets the bands use and kindly allowed me to use it for conducting the interviews. I arranged that with Malcolm and arranged the interviews through Facebook in regards to Forneus and Ninkharsag but Mountains Crave was quite spontaneous actually. I saw Danny, the vocalist at the gig and my rhythm guitarist, Liam from the band I was in at the time suggested I asked him to be interviewed. I actually played a set at that gig and interviewed three bands all in one night. Anyways I wanted to get Mountains Crave in the film at some point anyways so asked him if he was up for an interview for the documentary and although initially a bit taken by surprise, he agreed and we snuck off to the tour bus. As romantic as that sounds, I can assure you we kept things professional. After I got the footage from these interviews and some live footage of the bands, I put the crowdfunding video together, which people responded well to and added to the hype around the film.

How many UK black metal bands were interviewed for British Black Metal altogether? How many of them were you in contact with beforehand? As for the bands you weren’t in contact with, how did you have to arrange meeting them for interviews?
I conducted thirteen interviews, one being with author Dayal Patterson and promoter Steve Tefis, so twelve bands were interviewed. I was in contact with all the bands I interviewed, though the Mountains Crave interview was done earlier than planned, after spontaneously seeing Danny at the Snooty Fox gig.
The first interviews were at that gig in Wakefield, so they were quite nearby. The next band I interviewed was Hryre in Hebden Bridge so it was still not too far but a little bit further out. I tried to prioritize the ones that were further away after this. The most difficult to organize were the interviews with the bands down south. I ended up going down to London for the weekend to get a few in one, so it took a little while to get dates good for everyone. I interviewed Eastern Front, Fen and Steve and Dayal down there. It was organized mainly over Facebook and a few phone calls/texts in some cases. I had planned to fit Voices in there but that fell through. Luckily they were mentioned by some of the bands so I still got them in there with some added context.
I went down to a gig in Peterborough, which wasn't ideal for filming but I still managed to pull off an interview with Ethereal. The main reason was to get live footage of Ethereal, Eastern Front and The Infernal Sea in one go. It was a bonus to interview Ethereal who I would've had to travel again to interview if not.

How long has the Snooty Fox been hosting performances? Does it get sufficient coverage in the local press?
I'm not too sure about that actually. I've heard it's been around for quite some time and bands like to play there. Especially because they have cameras rigged on the ceiling and they live stream the bands. It's a bit of hidden gem that doesn't get the attention it deserves and was almost shut down at one point. Definitely needs more publicity than it gets.

Do you personally think it’s a good idea for clubs to stream their shows? CBGB streamed theirs for a number of years before its closing and this enabled people outside the US to see what performances there were like.
I think it's a good idea. When people share the stream it promotes the venue, and it can make bands want to play there. Watching a stream obviously isn't the same as actually being there so I don't think it'll stop people going just because you can watch it online.

I interviewed Adam of Forneus for Autoeroticasphyxium when it was in print; if memory serves we discussed his label Winter Forest Industries. Are you familiar with that label?
I've not heard of the label but Forneus are a good band. Slight line-up change I believe since I interviewed them. I think Scott, their drummer went back to Heathen Deity, an old band of his. Speaking of them, many viewers of the film really liked their acoustic pieces I used nearer the end of the documentary. They really did go well with the British landscapes and the NSBM part. Another great band to check out if you like the old school stuff.

Are you familiar with a label called UK Black Metal Promotion that released the UK Underground Black Metal Warfare compilation last May? If so have you been in contact with any of the bands that appeared on it?
I've not been listening to as much black metal lately so it'll be interesting to see if there are many new bands I don't know. I've been listening to quite a lot of prog rock and metal. Also a bit of grime actually, there's a great artist from Leeds called Dialect who's doing well and Graft also who's getting attention too. I've also been exploring through Mike Patton's music. That man is a genius and has dipped his toes in so many genres. I don't really care about genres nowadays, I just follow the vibe of the music. I also recently found a band from Bradford called Fling who's sound is a mix of indie rock, pop and 60s and 70s psychedelic rock. So they’re a pretty dynamic band who I think are gonna get big very soon.

I understand you were playing in band called Slaughter Throne. Did you play out, record and release anything with them?
We played gigs around the West Yorkshire area and also released an EP entitled Wrath of an ancient darkness. We actually started to build up a decent following but unfortunately it didn't last. I couldn't stay due to how busy I was with uni and the documentary.

Getting back to the documentary, who are the bands you interviewed with the most relevant things to say about present day England and the scene’s role in English society?
I think it depends on what you consider to be relevant, really. My goal was to get a wide variety of opinion and perspectives. I wanted the film to feel authentic and real; I only used footage of the bands speaking and didn't implement any voiceovers to lead the narrative.
I did have a narrative in mind but it ended up being a democratic process of meeting in the middle. My vision and personal perspective met with the opinions of the actual people in the scene. I'd considered a voiceover, having an intro and a guide throughout, with a conclusion at the end but I think that would have taken away from the feel. Perhaps the film could have been wrapped up a bit better at the end but other than that I'm happy with the overall connection you get with the people.
I don't really think the English black metal scene has much influence on our society though it doesn't really aim to either. It's more about being here with what already exists rather than trying to change anything. It's about authentic expression of our demons and an encompassing of the dark energy in nature. It's a part of us as much as we're a part of it. The melancholy side of nature is something we get satisfaction from. It's an accepting of the way existence is and not always having a need to be cheered up. Just because you feel sadness doesn't mean you don't feel some sense of enjoyment. We as humans want to feel all emotions, not just one particular emotion, but I think it’s generally forgotten in society as a whole.
Though it's about accepting reality it can also be about escaping from society's paradigms. Even when we do this we're still accepting truth and existence, no matter how paradoxical. Existence is full of paradox after all and great philosophers like Socrates knew this. "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing" springs to mind.

Do you feel that not having a narrative to lead the viewers makes room for them to directly take in the band’s viewpoints?
It does give a bit of space I think but there were my own ideas of what I thought I should and shouldn't feature, which is just the nature of editing really. There's always going to be your own bias in an edit but that's a lot of the time what makes it special. We all have our own way of looking at the world and I think being true to what you feel works is better than thinking of what people want.

Since you mentioned Socrates, how much of the paradox you described do you see in the scene and how much does philosophy come into play if it does at all?
I think it's an undertone you see very often, especially with the bands like Winterfylleth, Aklash and Old Corpse Road because nature is very much a part of the sound. The music gives you a sense of isolation and connectedness at the same time. It makes you forget about society and reminds you of what's real. A forest of stars also create this kind of atmosphere and DSBM is very much like that too. Philosophy came up quite a lot in the interviews, as did spirituality and the individualistic stance because it's a big part of the music. The thing that attracted me to black metal in the first place was its substance. I felt bored with thrash and death metal which started to feel hollow and devoid of any real meaning. A lot of it seemed to either be really cliché or just violent and dark themes for the sake of living up to the stereotypes of metal. I was gripped by the spiritual connection black metal gave me and the wolf pack symbolism. It's about saying no to being the sheep that blindly follows what everyone is doing and instead following your own destiny. This doesn't mean we isolate ourselves though. Respecting your right to do what you want with your life is better for everyone in your pack. If you don't listen to your heart then you'll likely take your frustration out on them. That's why following your calling and letting go of expectations is so important. That can be a problem when in a scene like this so I think it's important to keep reassessing things.

What material by Winterfylleth, Aklash and Old Corpse Road would you recommend to people reading this interview?
I'd suggest The Divination of Antiquity by Winterfylleth because it has a good balance of sounds in there which is probably why it's one of the more memorable albums to me. I don't think Aklash have released anything other than the self-titled album but they have a new one coming soon. Tis Witching Hour is a great album by Old Corpse Road. The atmosphere is brilliantly gothic and English, whilst having a harsh black metal assault.

How much of a wide range of perspectives do you believe is offered on the documentary?
I think it has a pretty diverse range of perspectives on how to create music and express yourself creatively. That was one of the main things I wanted to showcase. Just how much can be done with black metal and show that it's healthy for it to be taken apart and put back together so to speak. Questioning what black metal is and how far it can be pushed is interesting to me and whether or not everyone agrees whether something is still black metal I don't see as important anyways. As I said before, genres aren't concerns of mine. They are just labels to quickly sum up something that can't be explained or put into words. The place the music takes you is the important part, not what sticker it has on it. Moving with change is another important spiritual message that will help you stay fulfilled in life and I look at music the same way. If a genre has too many rules, it gets boring and loses the life it had when it was first born. Living things never stay the same, they are always changing so if genres don't change they are pretty much dead.

In what other ways does your approach to making documentaries differ from most others?
I don't think my process was too revolutionary but I would say that the editing is the strongest element of the film. It's my strongest area because I get the most enjoyment out of it. I love sculpting footage into something greater than how it stands on its own and combining it with other footage that supports it or gives it contrast. The editing process is more about surrendering to creativity instead of controlling it.
You need to have knowledge of how good edits work but once that stuff is second nature to you, the edit somehow edits itself. You have to get out of your own way and although attention to detail is important, you have to get the idea of perfection out of your mind and strive for excellence. Perfection is an illusion; a concept our minds come up with to try and get us to excellence but it can backfire if you forget it's just a tool.
Another thing I think made the film so engaging was the music choices. I had music almost all the way through the film but I used it subtly, just sitting underneath the voices. This added to the atmosphere but didn't distract the viewer from what the subjects were saying. It helped add emotion to the topics that were being spoken about.
I thought about every song I used and why it should be where it is in the film. When they speak about the topic of nature for example, the bands that fit around nature are used more and when speaking about NSBM there's an eerie and melancholic acoustic track that really heightens the emotional impact. It serves as a nice ending piece for the film after the viewer has experienced all the high energy. Taking it down to a sombre atmosphere gives it a satisfying contrast.

What is your personal definition of black metal from the bands you interviewed for the doc? Where do you think the genre will be headed the rest of the 2010s?
To me black metal is about connecting to what is real. It's about surrendering to darkness and encompassing masculinity. It's also about being there with melancholy and feeling the feminine side. I think it's often forgotten that both men and women have a mixture of femininity and masculinity within them and the balance is important. The stereotypes of both have nothing to do with the real essence of those expressions of the universe. I don't know where the genre is heading but there's something in not knowing that I appreciate. We don't really want to know because it takes the life out of it. Enjoy what's here in the moment and move forward into growth, while staying firmly in what's real: the present moment.

In the 90s it was a debate as to whether black metal was a trend or a cult. Which argument are you most inclined towards, and how has the meaning of those terms changed over the years?
Well as its still going I don't think it’s just a trend. It was more of a cult for many people but only in the early days. As far as I'm aware the meanings have stayed the same and black metal has more substance than trends tend to have.

What genres would you consider basing a documentary on next? Any ideas you’re mulling over at this point?
I've been considering doing one on Grime because the local scene is pretty good but I'm also wanting to do more fictional films. I don't know yet if I'll be making more documentaries but I'm keeping an open mind. There are many documentaries I would enjoy making though. It's really fun when you feel passionate about the area you are capturing. It'd be cool to make something with Fling at some point because I feel the excitement that drives me when listening to them so I think there could be something there potentially.

Who are Grime and Fling? How long have you known about that band, and what sort of feature would you do with them?
Grime kind of developed out of electronic music, garage and hip hop. It's pretty popular right now but not exactly something that many metal heads are into. A well-known artist in the genre is called Skepta and one of his most popular songs is called Shutdown, which you might have heard of. Fling are hard to fit into a genre but they are basically a mix of indie, psychedelic rock and pop. I only found out about them earlier this month and if I made a documentary about them I'd be open about the style it had. From what I've seen they seem fun, loving natured and humorous so they would be the main three things I'd focus on probably. I've heard that they all live together so perhaps a day in the life styled film with some other elements mixed in would be cool. Some live footage and what not would be good but maybe something else completely unrelated to the band that gave it a unique quality. A film following them on a road trip would also be great if there was the chance.

Metal and hip hop were crossed over extensively in the 90s. Some bands experimented before that but Biohazard was among the first to base their sound on the crossover.
Nu metal was actually what got me into heavier music in the first place. Linkin Park was the first band to take me down that route and then I ended up listening to metalcore, thrash, death and finally came across black metal which became my favourite. I'm also very into progressive rock and metal currently.

Talk about some of the ideas you have in mind for fictional films you’d consider working on.
I really want to make existential and spiritual centered films that are comedic yet immersive and intense but I'm also open to experimenting with any genre. I'd love to see if I could add something different to a genre and give it another dimension or mix two together that complement each other. I'm a big fan of Christopher Nolan and Charlie Brooker. The psychological thriller genre is one I really enjoy but I don't think my films would always fit under that umbrella. They would be close in terms of the thought provoking nature and shock factor they have but psychology is only one area that can used to give that sort of experience.

In what ways would Christopher Nolan and Charlie Brooker be an influence on your filmmaking?
They both have very deep and thought provoking work with an intense shock factor. Black Mirror by Charlie Brooker enters some dark and fucked up areas. It never fails to surprise you with its shocking twists. Christopher Nolan has great twists and his stories have complex dimensions which I love. His sci-fi movie Interstellar even went so deep it ended up in spiritual territory and challenges our assumptions of reality. While on the topic of inspiration, another director I'm inspired by is Shane Meadows. I love the balance of seriousness and comedy he has in This Is England in particular. His music choices work brilliantly. His work is immersive and believable because he balances improvisation and scripted parts so well you get lost in it. It feels like you're watching a documentary with real people.

How would you describe Meadows’ This Is England to people who have never seen it? What else would you\ recommend to the readers?
If I was to put it into three words I'd say Authentic, Hilarious and Heartbreaking and I'm referring to both the film and the TV series here. It's definitely not a series that falls short of the movie. The series compliments the film really well and explores the characters you don't learn much about in the film. I would recommend Dead man's shoes to anyone who likes This is England which was also directed by Shane.

How would you want to be remembered as a filmmaker in the future? If there is anything about your work you would want to have the biggest impact on people; what would it be?
I don't really think there's any particular way I want to be remembered. I'm fine with however people see me but I do care about the impact I have on people. I want my films to help people accept themselves, whilst giving them a satisfying experience. I want to help them grow and become the best they can be. This isn't to say it will be something that is possible to do in every film I make but other than this I just want to share both my joy and sadness with them through film. I want them to feel authentic emotion and connection to the non-physical.


-Dave Wolff