Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Split Review: ROMPEPROP / GUINEAPIG

ROMPEPROP / GUINEAPIG split
Release Date: April 20, 2017
It is early in the morning and I am just after finishing my first coffee. I was scrolling through Youtube and I came upon newer ROMPEPROP that I never heard of before. In 2017, apparently there was a split 12' released featuring both ROMPEPROP and GUINEAPIG. There are two tracks from each band and they all prove to be quite heavy and malicious. ROMPEPROP comes in first with their classic watery gurgly vocals, gore-grind never being the same since this band graced the underground. With an awesome ping snare with blasts and grooves, the drums are methodical and great. The guitars are down tuned and simplistic, making this what I would consider a perfect goregrind release. GUINEAPIG comes in second with vicious gutturals and watery gurgles of their own breed. Down-tuned guitars and bass chug along next to pounding drums, GUINEAPIG being just as impressive as ROMPEPROP! I will love gore-grind until the day that I die and I suggest anyone into the gurgles and the gore gets down with the tunes on this release. Monumental gore. 10/10 -Devin Joseph Meaney

Track list:
1. ROMPEPROP - Horror whorehouse
2. ROMPEPROP - Turd date
3. GUINEAPIG - Caterpillar
4. GUINEAPIG - Spine-covered larva

Full Length Review: LORD OF PAGATHORN Daimono Philia

Daimono Philia
Release Date: January 31, 2018
A few days ago I was sent ''Daimono Philia'' by LORD OF PAGATHORN. I am just getting around to listening to it now, but this is some pretty vicious black-metal. Hailing from Finland, this band started in 1992 and is pushing forward to this day. This release is clearly well put together. Chaotic wailing black-metal rasps and screeches permeate the tracks, vicious yet structured drums creating an atmosphere forlorn, heavy and depressive. The guitar also creates an atmosphere of its own; the riffs are heavy, ominous and striking. The bass is pushing along in the background, helping to bring the whole thing together. This is the first time that I have heard of this band, but I will for sure look more into these guys. It appears that they have a plethora or releases to choose from and I plan to check them out some time in the near future. Black-metal, grind, gore, punk-rock and most forms of metal are my favorite types of music, so I always get excited when bands like this pop up and show me that the underground still has it. This release has made my day (night) and I suggest any fans of black-metal and underground music checks this one out. It is well produced and the over-all sound is delectable. 10/10 -Devin Joseph Meaney

Track list:
1. Intro: Nietzscherion
2. Evil to Destroy Evil
3. Ghosts Among Us
4. Prayer of Desecration
5. Rise of the Celestial
6. Builders of the Higher Places
7. The Spirit of Perversion
8. Spiritual Spiral Stairs
9. Throne of Lucifer

Monday, January 29, 2018

Single Review: JAIME REGADAS Facing The Illusory Light

Facing The Illusory Light
Release Date: January 12, 2018
Facing The Illusory Light is the third release I’m covering by Jaime Regadas, following his EP The Old Room and single Sigismunda Mourns (The Desolate Heart). It’s been a few months since his previous single and Facing The Illusory Light is showing improvement on his part, as far as representing where his music is headed. In some ways the formula is similar but this single is four or so minutes longer than the last, which makes more room for experimenting with new ways to convey older ideas. A concealed and contemplative air surrounds the instrumentation, enhanced by the vocals, with more scrutiny paid to Sigismunda Mourns’s classic rock elements. I most appreciate his avoidance of trendy commercial appeal in favor of music reflecting prog-rock musicians who wrote shorter, more radio friendly material without losing sight of their work from the early 70s. There were a few of these bands from 1980 to 1986; while it never caught on many of them composed better songs than many of their mainstream counterparts (Asia and GTR come to mind). I noticed the Rush and Yes influences are arranged with those commercial aspects more tightly and flows more steadily. Emphasis on tempo changes adds dimension and is helping to shape the musicianship into something anomalously stratified and multi-layered. The guitar solos, reminiscent of 80s metal, shine through this tapestry with far more brightness. The single’s release is accompanied by the lyrics, including them gives the song more weight. You not only get a lyrical interpretation of this piece but a broader picture mingling images of lost love with images of pure fantasy. The latter images are as theatrical as the song’s construction from commercial 80s music, classic rock and traditional heavy metal. And there is even some narrative added, with faceless characters facing the end of a tumultuous relationship. Facing The Illusory Light has interested me in hearing future efforts from Regadas. -Dave Wolff

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Full Length Review: FROST GIANT The Harlot Star

The Harlot Star
Release Date: January 19, 2018
The other day I was sent The Harlot Star, the debut full length offering from the band FROST GIANT. After listening to this in full, I realize that this is not quite as heavy as most of my musical interests. Still, I highly enjoyed this, as a lot of these tracks were quite peaceful, offering a break from my usual audio assault of black-metal and grind-core. All I can really say about the first track “The Harlot Star,” is that it is a beautiful instrumental. I need not go further, as I feel that sums it up quite nicely. The second track, “Forgive Me Not,” is very heavy with some impressive intricate solo work. The drummer is clearly talented on this track, I can say this without question. Vicious gutturals pair nicely in this track with melodic vocals, both male and female. The Third track “Apostasis” is yet another beautiful instrumental. Although this is clearly inspired by some heavy metal, I can only assume that the people behind this have some classical leanings. “Curse of Doubt,” the fourth track, has a heavy start, the instruments and vocals both aggressive. This track slows down a bit mid-way, the sound giving a depressive yet awesome atmosphere. The guitar work is phenomenal, catchy licks adorning this track throughout. “Exile in Storm” had what I thought was an epic vocal intro but I realized soon that the whole song is done in this style, a pleasant sing-along that is heart-felt and warming yet cold at the same time. I was not expecting this, but I dig it. “Prisoners of the Past” has catchy intro keys, instruments I cannot identify being played well in the back ground. This track is very up-beat with heavy gutturals. With melodic vocals both male and female, for some reason this track reminds me of pirate adventures. The seventh track, “Ashes Among the Earth,” is yet another peaceful instrumental. The keys near the end are really nice, bringing me to a state of peaceful serenity. “The Forgotten Graves” is absolutely crushing. With shreddy solos leading to a softer center, the softness soon destroyed with an attack of heavy strings. “Of Clarity and Regret” has heavy solos and crunchy rhythms, but what got me most was the peaceful ending to this track. I love the loud stuff, but every now and then I like something a little bit lighter and this worked well for me. “Monuments of Nothing” drives forward with more waily solos, once again reminding me of random pirate adventures for some reason. The female vocalizations are what I enjoy most on this track. The final track “Perpetuum et Aeternum” once again is a beautiful instrumental, taking this wonderful release to a close. If you are in the mood for a release that is both violently heavy yet peaceful and serene in parts, I suggest checking out this album. Years in the making, I can honestly say the time spent on this album was not wasted. -Devin Joseph Meaney

Track list:
1. The Harlot Star
2. Forgive Me Not
3. Apostasis
4. The Curse of Doubt
5. An Exile in Storm
6. Prisoner of the Past
7. Ashes Among the Earth
8. The Forgotten Graves
9. Of Clarity and Regret
10. Monuments to Nothing
11. Perpetuum et Aeternum

Band Interview: SUICIDAL CAUSTICITY by Loki Astaroth

Interview with SUICIDAL CAUSTICITY

1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
We are an Italian death metal band from Florence. Our current lineup, Dario Lastrucci (bass), founder of the band, Thomas Passanisi (drums), Edoardo Scali & Elia Murgia (guitars) and me, Gorgo (vocals). From our birth in 2011 to nowadays we had a deadly triple switch of line up and we release two ass kicking LP, “The Spiritual Decline”, our debut album and “The Human Touch” (that you so lovingly reviewed!).

2. How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recordings that you have released so far?
Since the beginning people labelled us as brutal death metal. Of course this not false, but we prefer to describe us as “simply” death metal, trying to play all the possible shades from old school death metal to modern technical death metal. Our trademark is variety.

3. This was your first release since 2013, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?
Troubles of course! 3 lineup changes and an exhausting recording session with a lot of technical problems and bad luck. Shit happens, fortunately we survived and now we are stronger than before.

4. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
As the author of the concepts I’m pretty obsessed with psychosomaticism and its processes. In other words, how something psychological can gradually become something physical, maybe violent or sick or else.

5. Originally the band was known as 'Orodreth', what was the cause of the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Suicidal Causticity'?
Orodreth was the original project created Dario more than 10 years ago. The change symbolizes the end of an era and the beginning of another. Why we choose it? Because it sounded good ha-ha!

6. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
A lot of shows but I think that the most important since now was our participation at the Purulent Deathfest II in London. It was fun, it was good, with a lot of people gathered in front of us just to listen some good Italian death metal. Our stage performance, more or less, is concentrated on giving our best offering the best music with best wall of sound possible.

7. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
We’re seriously thinking about touring in this year, yes, and we’re currently considering many offers and options. But now it’s soon, for the moment we prefer to promote the music in our country.

8. The new album was released on 'Amputated Vein Records', how would you compare working with them to 'Ghastly Music?
GM is a sub-unit of AV, practically is the same thing more or less. They’re nice guys, helping you a lot in distribution and promotion.

9. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of brutal death metal?
Who listened to us always got good words for us. This is great of course, but there’s a lot of really good and excellent death metal bands out there, included Italy. So it’s not enough to write a 5-star album to gain feedback. You have to work hard for it. But I consider it a fortune: an environment with a lot of great bands motivates you to improve your level.

10. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We’re working hard on our third album. With “The Human Touch” with defined our sound and now it’s time to explore its potential. There will be a great revolution inside, you will see!

11. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
At the beginning Nile, Death, Cannibal Corpse and Dying Fetus. Of course we still listen to them, but I can’t say that we are still influenced. We work really hard on creating our personal sound and we’re pretty confident about the road we took.

12. What are some of your nonmusical interests?
Working.

13. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for the review and the interview, thanks to all our fans that follow us and support the underground scene. We’ll meet again with the third LP.


This interview can also be read at Variety Of Death Zine. -DW

Article: Remembering Storm Chaser Joel Taylor by Roberta Downing

Remembering Storm Chaser Joel Taylor
Article by Roberta Downing, January 28, 2018
Joel was born on January 6, 1980 in Elk City, Oklahoma and was an avid storm chaser who worked with Reed Timmer in the Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers series. Joel died suddenly on January 23rd at the age of 38. His death brought his family, storm chasers and his fans unbearable grief.
Joel was a kind and loving person, had a wonderful sense of humor as he liked to play practical jokes, had a great smile and wonderful laugh and he sometimes took things quite personally. Many of these qualities could be seen clearly on the reality television series.
Reed Timmer who was Joel’s best friend tweeted “RIP my best friend and storm chasing partner. I am shocked and absolutely devastated. We chased so many intense storms, and I wish we could have just one more storm chase.”
Taylor had a real passion for chasing storms, a deep respect for the tornadoes that a lot of the supercells spawned. He put his life in danger many times as a first responder to help with search and rescue for victims after violent tornadoes.
Joel was also vital in helping to gather data with Timmer to help better understand the how and why tornadoes form and to help increase warning times.
Chasing storms is a dangerous business and it doesn’t matter if you are driving, sitting in the back seat or stopping to get video of a twister that is eating everything it comes in contact with. Joel was cautious and level headed in helping to keep whatever team he was working with safe. Though the look on his face when he actually got up close and personal inside his first tornado was beyond priceless!
With tornado season quickly approaching, many chasers will no doubt be in some city and have a memory of Joel and smile and of course many may also feel out of sorts with his absence. The only thing that can be said to possibly console those who miss him is that he has joined with Tim and Paul Samaras, Carl Young, Matt Hughes, Kelley Williamson, Randall Yarnall and Corbin Jaeger and that all of those people are looking out for the rest of the storm chasers to keep them safe.
Rest in peace my friend. Know that we will always love and remember you.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Full Length Review: TRAGEDERIA Heresiarch

Heresiarch
Independent
Release Date: November 10, 2017
In November of 2017 I was sent ''Heresiarch,'' the newest release from TRAGEDERIA. I fully intended on doing a review for them, but due to the holidays I guess it slipped my mind. I threw this beast on today to check it out and I can honestly say I really enjoyed what I heard. Heavy guitars, drums, bass and gutturals paired with keys, choir vocals and female backups. Nice! I usually don't go too deep into detail with my reviews, but for this one I will try and do my best. Right from the get-go, the first song ''Negation Epitome'' reminds me of old ARCH ENEMY and ''Heartwork'' era CARCASS. This is just my opinion, but I do not believe that this is a bad thing. The main difference would be the melodic female vocalizations, but this pairs with the song well. The second song ''Total War'' is also good, the keys and the melodic yet heavy guitars being the first things I notice. Song number three, ''Devilborn (1694),'' is probably my favorite song on this release. It has an awesome vocal intro, the heaviness coming in quick with the occasional well placed guitar squeal. This one really struck me. The lead vocals are intense. This track also has a guitar buildup that ends at 2:51 into the song, quickly leading into an audio assault of super-metal proportions. The fourth track ''Bleak Future'' has a melodic yet ominous guitar intro, the keys and female vocals once again getting me. I could not entirely make out the vocals, but for some reason this track reminded me of going on epic adventures. I could picture myself on a Viking ship, sailing the seas to fight krakens with this song playing in the background. I'm odd I know, but leave me alone my medication is due soon. ''Rebirth,'' the fifth track, has a few cool bass rolls that I picked up at the beginning of the song. Once again, I could see this song being played in a battle scene for a modern NETFLIX fantasy special. This leaves only three tracks left. Track six, ''The Exiled King,'' had a bleak and depressing guitar intro that I really enjoyed. A very heavy song, the end depressing in a good way just like the beginning. The seventh track ''Into Oblivion'' was excellent, but the final track the release was named after is ever so slightly better. Violently heavy with pounding breakdowns, ''Heresiarch'' is great start to finish, a dramatic climax rushing forward as this release finally comes to a close. This release was excellent, and I will without doubt be looking for more from this band in the future. 10/10 would listen again. A great band, I really think that everyone should check these guys out. You will not regret it. -Devin Joseph Meaney

Track list:
1. Negation Epitome
2. Total War
3. Devilborn (1674)
4. Bleak Future
5. Rebirth
6. The Exiled King
7. Into Oblivion
8. Heresiarch



This review can also be read at The Dev Man Express. -DW

Full Length Review: HOODED MENACE Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed

Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed
Release date: January 26, 2018
Hooded Menace continue to expand their sonic assault on Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed in much the same way Darkness Drips Forth saw the band hit their comfort zone and take a more epic and sprawling approach to each Death Doom laden passage. Start to finish, as an entire piece of art, as an album not a stand-alone song is the best way to indulge upon the brilliance that is Hooded Menace. From the first note to the last, the band takes you on a ride into the darkest depths of despair and darkness with a precision and masterful grace that evolves and expands as you watch the seconds tick by on your stereo. There is a brooding continuity that permeates their latest work, and the songs never suffer from the pitfalls of redundancy or repetition that can sometimes plague the style. Each piece blends and bleeds seamlessly into the next while also twisting and turning within itself in a way that commands and controls your attention while never staying in the same evil dwelling place for too long for you to lose interest or turn away. There are moments of a slower nature that pull you in and subtly chew away at your soul, and there are moments where things pick up when you least expect them to that remind you not to trust this false sense of security by pummeling you out of your Doom-induced slumber. The entirety of their horror-laced bleak sonic approach feeds on itself and never stops regurgitating its innards outwards for the listeners enjoyment. With some added layers here and there, and the integrity of their brand of Death Doom remaining intact, they manage to refine their craft once again into an entity that cannot likely be controlled anymore by mere mortals. And they guide it like they've got the Hounds Of Hell on a very short leash. It's as if they have seized the ship sailing in the fiery subterranean depths of the Underworld and captained by Hades himself, as they grip the wheel and never look back with a course set on proving that artistry is alive and well, and boundaries or limits have no place in the genre that so many bands stagnate in. Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed will stand the test of time and force their contemporaries to keep up as they exceed expectations and demonstrate that the imagination is the only true limit to where the music can go. 9/10 -Alan Lisanti

Track list:
1. Sempiternal Grotesqueries
2. In Eerie Deliverance
3. Cathedral of Laybrinthine Darkness
4. Cascade of Ashes
5. Charnel Reflections
6. Black Moss
7. Sorrows of the Moon (Celtic Frost cover/bonus track)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Full Length Review: INSECT ARK Marrow Hymns

Profound Lore Records
Country of origin: USA
Genre: Psychedelic doom metal
Release date: February 23, 2018
Founded as a solo project by Dana Schechter (bass, lap steel guitar, synthesizers) in 2011, Insect Ark took on Ashley Spungin (drums, synthesizers, hand built analog nose pedals) in 2015 for touring purposes in support of their Portal/Well release. The addition of a second member allowed for the band to grow in its potential, surpassing the vision Schechter had in mind when she founded it on her own. Being that the band come from NYC and Portland, Insect Ark is testimony that unconventional, productive music can emerge from the meeting and merging of two environments that can’t be placed into a category. Schechter and Spungin are reportedly excited about the impending release of Marrow Hymns in February, and eager for underground circles to hear what they have created. They are referred to as multi-instrumentalists, gear heads and visual artists, and all of this shows in their collaboration. Marrow Hymns’ nine recorded tracks, self-contained scenes from a surreal nightmare, are composed as a horror soundtrack and presented in layers as if they’re sonic representations of a painting. No vocals are to be found anywhere, as the band’s purpose with this album is to channel the unspoken, the unexpressed and the silenced through their music. Acquired taste or not, they succeed if your mind is open to what they bring to the table. To cite elements of doom, dark ambient and pre-alternative would just scratch the surface of what they achieve and grossly oversimplify their shared imagination. Any and all preconceptions of underground music thriving only on woe and wretchedness are cast aside once the undulating, constantly changing waves of dissonant, atmospheric sound wash over you. Before long you’ll realize it’s not just hopelessness you are caught up in. You experience catharsis as well as anguish, strength as well as fragility, rumination as well as turmoil, inner peace as well as internal strife, rebirth as well as death, hope as well as despair. This duality came from Schechter and Spungin going through what is described as a state of existential crises during the time this album was recorded. As a result they take to its farthest extremes the concept that one sensation cannot be experienced without its opposite. It should also be mentioned much of what they experienced they experienced as women, and women working in a field that was once male dominated but not as much anymore. Again their method is not for shallow, one-dimensional, depthless minds seeking an immediate fix; it rather makes for an engrossing, concentrated odyssey into the deepest recesses of awareness. You may have to listen to songs like Arp 9, In The Nest, Skin Walker, Tarnish, Windless and Daath multiple times for a greater understanding of their depth, but it you take time to accompany Schechter and Spungin on their journey you’ll get more than you expected out of it. -Dave Wolff

Band lineup:
Dana Schechter: Bass, lap steel guitar, synthesizers
Ashley Spungin: Drums, synthesizers

Track list:
1. Thelema
2. Arp 9
3. In the Nest
4. Skin Walker
5. Slow Ray
6. Sea Harps
7. Tarnish
8. Windless
9. Daath

Fiction: THE HATRED ORB by Devin Joseph Meaney

THE HATRED ORB

The hatred orb surged like a beacon of malicious distress. It was responsible for all war, famine and human created disaster. It was only alive because of the evil that permeated the earth since the dawn of time. It lived off darkness, black desire it's sustenance of choice. Its black light could penetrate the hearts of even the purest individuals, leaving them feeling nothing but malaise and disdain. The only ones who could escape its dark seduction were a small faction of humans known as the light-bringers and the black ones themselves.
The light-bringers were the children of the holy light. They were the only hope that the earth had to ascend from total darkness. The black ones were the cloaked figures of an ever-growing sub-population. People of a faithless ideology, the children of the orb itself. The majority of the good people left in the world were eventually completely addled by the hatred orb, leaving the black ones to rule the lands.
Darkness descended upon humanity like a swarm of plague flies consuming a week old carcass. Riots ensued, chaos sweeping the streets. In a place where all was unholy, could light once again grace the planet? The light did not come quick, but eventually the darkness consumed itself, leaving the remaining light-bringers to plant the seeds of a new and improved world. The earth blossomed into a beautiful paradise, the ashes of a godless civilization acting as fertilizer for a better world. Like a phoenix reborn, the earth was soon fresh, clean and once again stable.
Humans would inevitably repeat their mistakes, helping complete an age-old cycle. The hatred orb would soon rule again, blocking out all light like an abysmal shroud. The curse of man is that we never learn from our mistakes, destroying all that is good as we live like animals... which in truth, is all that we are anyway.

Preview Review: ALGHAZANTH Facing The North

Facing The North
From their upcoming full length Eight Coffin Nails.
To be released on CD format by Woodcut Records March 31, 2018
To be released on vinyl format by Woodcut Records June 2018
I am just finishing an excursion at a friend's house with home brews and grape-fruit radlers, now I am being sent an advance track called ''Facing The North'' by a band called Alghazanth. The album this song is from is titled ''Eight Coffin Nails,'' which will be their eighth and final album. This saddens me, as this is my first time hearing this band and I can honestly say that I really enjoy this. I guess I should not be too forlorn, as I do have eight entire albums to check out. This album will be released on Woodcut Records, vinyl and compact disc being the formats of choice, and once it is released I plan to listen to it in full. The song ''Facing The North'' is really well produced black metal. It still retains the cloudy and lo-fi depressive sound of what I consider ''good'' black metal, but the recording itself is much more hi-fi, as the quality is immaculate. The musicianship is professional grade and the vocals are your standard black metal rasps, yet they are done extremely well. The guitars are depressive, both heavy and melodic in parts. The drums and bass are just as awesome, flowing together perfectly with the track. I cannot make a comment on the track list or cover art, as neither are officially posted yet. I will end on a positive note, saying that this album from what I can hear sounds like it is well worth listening to. I will always have a soft spot for good black metal, and this is exactly that. Listen to ALGHAZANTH. If you are a black metal fan, you will not regret it. There are thousands of black metal bands in this modern age to listen to, but this one is pretty impressive. -Devin Joseph Meaney

Monday, January 22, 2018

Video Review: SKY & VLAD, JULY 1ST 2017 FIRE SHOW

SKY & VLAD, JULY 1ST 2017 FIRE SHOW
SVproductions13 presents a live fire show and luau performance by Eros Fyre (Sky Claudette Soto & Vlad Marco), July 1st 2017 in Westchester. Copyright 2017 SVproductions13

Magnetic and captivating are the first two phrases that immediately spring to mind when viewing the Fire Performance by Vlad and Sky (performing as Eros Fyre).
Unbelievable muscular strength, control and flexibility are displayed by Sky consistently throughout the performance- before even taking into account the added skill and professional level of the fire twirling involved. The consistent skill and creativity of Sky’s performance is both awe-inspiring and unmissable, as well as serving as genuine inspiration for anyone with even the faintest interest in fire performance.
Vlad adds a commanding, unmistakeable presence in the performance - his fire breathing and fire eating are a sight to behold. I particularly enjoyed his involvement of the audience - especially the more hesitant spectators initially. Vlad’s personality projected through his interactions with the audience seared a sense of genuine fun and enjoyment into this performance.
Vlad and Sky work together in a professional and practiced manner - especially as the performance includes Vlad using Sky’s fire tools to breathe fire remarkably close to her without a flinch from either performer.
An exceptional performance captured to perfection - I look forward to seeing more of both Sky and Vlad’s work, both individually and as Eros Fyre. -Sarah McKellar

EP Review: DYING FETUS Grotesque Impalement

Grotesque Impalement
Blunt Force Records
Release Date: 2000
I am now realizing that I have never done a review for Grotesque Impalement by DYING FETUS. This is a shame, as this song alone is pretty much responsible for the rise off my interest in extreme music. I had been listening to thrash metal and mainstream punk rock since I was about eleven. When I was twelve or so, my cousin gave me a bag of thrash cassettes. For years I listened to these religiously, but one fateful day, my interests were peaked to an entirely new degree. When I was thirteen or fourteen years old in the eighth grade, a guy who was in my class asked me if I had ever heard of the band DYING FETUS. He told me it was some pretty extreme stuff, his brother had showed it to him. He told me to look up a song called ''Grotesque Impalement.'' He did not like it himself, but he figured that I might enjoy it due to my musical tastes. When I got home, I looked up the song Grotesque Impalement on my computer, an old-school Dell.
What I heard completely blew me away. It was one of them moments like in the movies where your hair flies back due to the violent sound-waves, your teeth chattering as the metal vibrations coursed through your body. I listened to the song on repeat many times, and I soon knew I was hooked. I looked up the whole album, The ''Grotesque Impalement'' EP. This whole EP was mind blowing. My young teen brain could barely handle it! I sent the album to all of my friends. Most of them did not get it, but there were a few who knew this EP was pure gold. It started at thirteen or fourteen, but I still listen to this album to this very day. This is not the only good album they had. I love all of the DYING FETUS albums, new and old.
A fun fact, The song ''Grotesque Impalement'' was originally on an old demo tape that the band had put out in their earlier years. The version that I heard first was actually a remake put out years later. There is so much I could say about DYING FETUS, but I could go blue in the face. My mind would race and explode as all my questions and realizations came to fruition. I guess I have one more story though. When I was seventeen or so, DYING FETUS came to Halifax, a city roughly four and a half hours from my town. It was nineteen plus, but I was determined I was going to sneak in some way. I even grew a beard, to try and seem as if I was older. I didn't end up getting a drive, and to this day I am bummed about the day DYING FETUS came around and I was not there. (Come to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Do it, DYING FETUS!) I guess all I can say now is that the Fetus will forever be one of my favorite bands, their style the reason my musical works are what they are today. DYING FETUS is a great band, and you should really listen to them. -Devin Joseph Meaney

Track list:
1. Grotesque Impalement
2. Streaks of Blood (Baphomet cover)
3. Bringing Back the Glory (Next Step Up cover)
4. Tearing Inside the Womb
5. Final Scream (Prelude to Evil: Davey's Nightmare)
6. Hail Mighty North/Forest Trolls of Satan (Anno Clitoris 666 Opus II)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Full Length Review: PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue

Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue
Season Of Mist (Europe)
Release Date: January 26th, 2018
All-star collaborative bands have been increasing in number and activity for the last ten years. One of these, featuring none other than Phil Anselmo, has caused a stir since 2013. When it comes to bands finding new directions from scratch, I got that spark from listening to their new CD Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue. Their reconstruction of the crossover of black and death metal, with impressions of accessibility to fans of Down and Superjoint makes for what Pantera was described as having been when Vulgar Display Of Power was released, “a new kind of beast.” Two members of this band worked with Anselmo in Superjoint and two others worked in several death, black and grindcore bands, so it sounds like their symbiotic working relationship in Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals is birthing this new beast and raising it with a mind of its own. If there are questions of whether the material is honest and not deliberately geared toward giving the masses instant gratification, a single listen should be enough to convince you of their honesty. I buckled down and looked into the abyss of their collective effort and found no insinuations of pandering so far. Now I’ve seen my share of negative press on Anselmo, but being able to mentally divorce his work from said negative press, I realize his band/s originality could be another statement aboveground metal needs. If for any reason to blow an even bigger hole in the contrived, choreographed inadequacy of pop and pop-punk. It certainly did for me. The beginning of Little Fucking Heroes is akin to a war cry against it, its message something to think about. Is metal “cool” or a way of life? Anselmo remains as relentless and vital as he has shown himself with Pantera, Down, Superjoint and the other bands he has worked with. His single minded approach to fronting bands is shared by the musicians backing him (guitarists Stephen Taylor and Mike DeLeon, bassist Walter Howard IV and drummer Jose Manuel Gonzales). They all had equal songwriting input, and the entire album was recorded in a cut and dry manner, angry and to the point, described by Anselmo as “unforgiving.” This kind of abhorrence can be an album’s most important asset or cause it to implode from within. Fortunately the band match their inventiveness with enough gumption and devotion to craft to establish their attitude without apology. As if you have to accept their emergence onto the scene whether you like them or not. No lyrics came with the advance stream I was emailed by Earsplit PR but the message and presentation of the first track is enough to convince me this is not a band for those seeking a superficial lyrical fix. Following this are nine more tracks written as hard-hittingly introspective as  the music is relentlessly, brutally heavy. Utopian, The Ignorant Point, Individual, Delinquent, Finger Me and Mixed Lunatic Results, while encompassing their influences from the mid-nineties through the 2000s to the present, sound penned to make Pro-Pain and Type O Negative seem like easy listening by comparison. What's more, Choosing Mental Illness... gives you something different to listen to with each track. Another welcome diversion from the inane pop the industry is oversaturated with. You can listen to any pop radio station and hear how painfully formulaic their rosters are. Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals stay as far as possible from the "sameness sells" mindset, and make the extra effort to stand out from the crowd.  In the album's official bio Anselmo says he hasn't even close to reaching his peak yet, and this is “the tip of the fucking avalanche.” I for one hope so. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Little Fucking Heroes
2. Utopian
3. Choosing Mental Illness
4. The Ignorant Point
5. Individual
6. Delinquent
7. Photographic Taunts
8. Finger Me
9. Invalid Colubrine Frauds
10. Mixed Lunatic Results

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Full Length Review: IMPETIGO Horror Of The Zombies

Horror Of The Zombies
Release Date: 1992
I managed to get my computer back up and running today and the first thing I decided to do was this review. I personally think this release needs no introduction, but to those of you who are not enlightened, I introduce to you HORROR OF THE ZOMBIES by IMPETIGO. This band has put out a plethora of great releases, but this one is my favorite. An old-school splatterfest that I first heard when I was in my teens, this album helped shape my musical leanings, as this is truly how goregrind is meant to be. Metal-ish yet gurgling with insanely chaotic high pitched shrieks, along with deep gutturals and low-pitched classic-style gore vocalizations. Hell yes! The guitars are pioneer-grade, as the sound has been replicated many times by many bands, but they never ace it like Impetigo did. The bass is sludge-laden and nearing perfection, the drums keeping time and organized chaos in check. I literally love all the songs on this album, but my favorites would have to be BONEYARD, I WORK FOR THE STREET CLEANER and WIZARD OF GORE. With samples that chill the bones, these tracks are grinding perfection. The lyrics from I WORK FOR THE STREET CLEANER are stomach-churning and deliciously nefarious yet they manage to not take things too far. BONEYARD is quick and simplistic, yet it is a track I never grow tired of, destined to grace many of my playlists for many years to come. WIZARD OF GORE starts off slow and creeping, but it does not take long for a wave of violent chaos to assault your ear-drums. All of Impetigo's other songs are great too, not just on this album. I also suggest checking out Impetigo's album ULTIMO MONDO CANNIBALE, as it is another delectable grinding opus. Impetigo to me will always be gods of gore, their sound never to be forgotten in a scene they helped to build. All in all, I guess what I am trying to say is that the next time you are strolling through your bone-yard, you should throw on this album or others by Impetigo to add to the atmosphere. It couldn't hurt, right? IMPETIGO RULES. Devin out. -Devin Joseph Meaney

Track list:
1. Boneyard
2. I Work for the Streetcleaner
3. Wizard of Gore
4. Mortuaria
5. Cannibale Ballet
6. Trap Them and Kill Them
7. Cannibal Lust
8. Defiling the Grave
9. Staph Terrorist
10. Breakfast at the Manchester Morgue

Band Interview: SUFFERING by Dave Wolff

Interview with Sturmgeist Fornicator Insultus of SUFFERING

I came across a documentary you shared on Facebook called British Black Metal: The Extreme Underground. It covers England’s current black metal scene. Discuss how well it reflects the bands, and where your bands fit into what’s going on.
I have watched it several times. I think it reflects our scene and bands accurately. Andy Horry did a great job and knows our scene firsthand from playing guitar for Slaughter Throne. The bands are different and diverse, but that is exactly what our bands have brought to the world. That’s just the way it has happened. Old Corpse Road have a symphonic, atmospheric sound influenced by the likes of Cradle Of Filth and sing about English folklore, myths and legends. Then there is Eastern Front who is what you call “war torn black metal”; savage, militant and almost mechanical whose subjects are all about war, the Second World War to be exact. These are just a couple of examples considering the differences in our bands is vast. I am good friends with most of the bands in the documentary and have been for some years. I think Suffering fits because we have nearly a 50/50 mixture of black and doom metal. We have a distinct English sound. Our doom aspects have been compared to bands like My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost which is a great compliment. We’re not doing anything massively outside the box but what we are doing is different in respect to other bands in our scene. That difference is what fits us in nicely because all our bands are diverse, yet for the majority there is this spark that makes them all inherently British and instantly recognizable.

When did the new wave of British black metal start? Was Suffering founded around that time?
There have always been steady bands like Cradle Of Filth, Hecate Enthroned, Bal-Sagoth et cetera, but never really a big influx of bands like we have now. It was probably the early to mid-2000’s when everybody started to appear. Suffering originally started in 2012 but due to our members living far apart it made things difficult, so I put it on hold until I found a whole new lineup just over a year ago.

Was it easier to form a lineup now that the UK has a solid, self-sustaining black metal scene?
It was, actually. Which was extremely surprising to me. For many years I was forced to just do studio based stuff on my own or with one or two other people because of not being able to find other band members, drummers being the hardest to find, it is literally like rocking horse shit but with Suffering this time around it was our drummer that I found first from a musician ad website who had recently moved from London to a town near where I live. Then within just a week we found two guitarists and a bassist and it all came together within about two to three weeks. Our first bassist didn’t stay with us long for various reasons, then we found our second bassist who was with us for a good few months and played on our album 11. Unfortunately he is no longer with us but we are trying out a new bassist that will hopefully be joining the band.

How experienced is the new bassist you are trying out have as a musician, and how does his experience help Suffering?
He is more than capable. He’d already learned nearly all of the songs completely coming into that first practice. He has experience from other bands/projects, and as a multi-instrumentalist, and generally fits right in.

In England do musicians usually hook up through social media, print magazines or word of mouth?
I can’t speak for other people but from my experience it has always been through musician advert websites.

Did Suffering’s mix of black and doom metal develop naturally from your personal tastes?
I think it was quite natural. I come from a complete black metal background whereas some of the other guys are more into doom. But we are all into the same kind of music as each other, different genres, subgenres etc. It just ended up coming out that way because we knew we wanted to make extreme disgusting music, but that can mean many different things. One extreme being fast and brutal to the other being slow and doomy.

When I last interviewed you for Autoeroticasphyxium you were involved in Sturmgeist. Is this project still active?
My solo project Sturmgeist.Fornicator.Insultus is still going. I haven’t done anything with it for a while, because of other projects like Perverted Funeral Home and Suffering among others, but I do actually have the first Suffering album coming out.

When was Perverted Funeral Home started? Lyrically speaking, what are the differences between that band and Suffering?
Perverted Funeral Home started earlier this year. I had never any plans for it really because I only recorded a short EP as a piss about because I was bored. I have never done just straight death metal so I decided to give it a go without much thought. But due to interest from the guy who owns Carvetti Productions he decided to release it on tape. Perverted Funeral Home is basically just a Mortician rip off, haha. The lyrics are horror movie inspired and the music is my interpretation of Mortician style death metal filtered through black metal. Suffering originally started as a straight DSBM band, but due to my inability to face those subjects I wanted to sing about, that theme only seeps into the music little by little. The main subjects I have adopted for Suffering are very dear to me and I have researched and studied them for years. Things like satanism, the occult, ritual, the ancient gods, magic and so on. There are some aspects of the music from the DSBM style and some of the lyrics, but nothing obvious.

Briefly mention the other bands and projects you are involved in that are worth mentioning.
Mundus (black metal) is currently on hold. Perverted Funeral Home (death metal) may possibly be doing a follow up to the They Won’t Stay Dead E.P. My solo project S.F.I has a full length album due out at some point in the new year.

Where is Suffering currently rehearsing? Do you use the same practice space for all your projects past and present, or have you worked in different locations over the years?
I have use different places over the years but we use a studio in Birmingham.

How extensively have you researched occult and satanic subjects? When studying them did you expect to base songs on them? How prominently does your research show in your lyrics?
The majority of my life I have researched and delved into satanism and the occult. From the start of joining/forming bands when I was younger I always knew I would be writing about these subjects. The nature of black metal to me has to have a satanic/occult theme, but that’s not saying you can’t have non-satanic black metal bands because you can, our scene being one of them where the majority of our bands aren’t satanic at all. But all black metal is dark so it still works, I just personally prefer the satanic/occult kind. When it comes to the satanic/occult I won’t ever write or sing about something that isn’t properly thought out, factual or legitimate. One of the worst things is uneducated music. Unless you believe it and know what you’re talking about, you shouldn’t do it as far as I’m concerned. I understand the general music listener won’t understand most of my subjects nor will they care, but there is always a message and education to be learned. And if they listen to this music then they will be subjected to it whether they like it or not. If they take something from it and think this mindset is for them, then great! But if not then this music obviously isn’t really for them.

Name some of the bands whose lyrics most resonate with you for accuracy and factual basis?
Bands like Watain and Behemoth are two bands that have an honest and important message but there are many bands that I love for many reasons.

In May 2017 Suffering was included on the compilation CD UK Underground Black Metal Warfare. The comp was released by UK Black Metal Promotion and featured many new English black metal bands. What led to your inclusion?
With the compilation we had just recorded a couple of live rehearsal demos and I saw that they were looking for bands to include so I just mentioned we had these tracks and that was it.

How much publicity has the band’s appearance on UK Underground Black Metal Warfare gotten them since this compilation was released?
No publicity really haha. It wasn’t a major thing or anything so we weren’t really expecting anything from it. It was just a nice little thing to be included in.

So far is this the only compilation Suffering has appeared on, or have you gotten offers to appear on other comps?
We have submitted a track to another compilation but we don’t know if we are included or not yet because we haven’t heard anything about it.

Talk about the recording process of Suffering’s debut album. Is it being recorded in a professional studio or are you using a home studio like many bands are doing these days?
The album is already all finished. We recorded it at Temple Of Boom studio in Stourbridge in the West Midlands. It was produced and mixed by Luke Bowers who plays guitar for a Birmingham based band called Opium Lord. It was mastered by Greg Chandler at Priory Studios who is most well known for being the guitarist for Esoteric.

Did Luke Bowers and Greg Chandler’s experience as musicians help the making of the album?
Luke and Greg being involved most definitely helped. It isn’t something we could have done on our own or wanted to for that matter because we couldn’t have done the album justice. Luke did a great job recording and mixing it, it sounded great just from mixing but once it had been mastered by Greg it just took it to another level, sounded bigger but especially the drums, had more of a punch to them. Everything just overall sounded how we wanted it to. A more than professional job was done.

Name the songs on the new album that best represent the band’s direction. In what ways has the band improved musically since they got together?
I wouldn’t say we have a direction. I think probably the one track that has pretty much everything in that represents us is our final epic album closer, Rebirth Through Cursed Dirt.

The cover art for the new album is being designed by your fiancée, who is an artist. Is your cover art her first band collaboration or has she been designing cover art for some time?
She has done artwork and logos for a few bands before but mainly does other commission work for people.

How soon do you expect the debut recording to be released? And the new releases by your other projects? Will all of these be streamed on social media sites as well as released on CD?
I can’t give any details on the release of the album yet because that is something we are still currently sorting out. There will definitely be a physical release and the plan is to get the album on streaming platforms.


-Dave Wolff

Friday, January 19, 2018

Lyric Video Review: FOR MY DEMONS Reborn

Reborn
Official lyric video from their full length Close To The Shade, to be released on Revalve Records May 19, 2018
Preorders available April 24, 2018 at Revalve Records’ Big Cartel
Advance screening available at https://player.believe.fr/v2/3614974375827
Made by Stefano Mastronicola
The dark alternative rock band For My Demons have released a promotional video to build anticipation for their next full length Close To The Shade, which is scheduled for a May release. I’m pleased to say there is nothing of the trendy alternative that radio subjected us to, nor is there any indications of the band copying the Seattle sound from before MTV picked up on it. For My Demons reinterpret the meaning of the term alternative rock, constructing a new sound that merges melodic vocals, somber acoustic and electric guitars, string instruments, tribal percussion, and a dusky, crepuscular atmosphere. Also some Latin themes in the acoustic guitar solos mixed with Sisters Of Mercy. What comes of this is something you haven’t quite heard before. Watching the video closely you’ll see the profound job it does adding visuals to artfully placed lyrics describing the end of a long journey in which a nameless narrator sought his true self after extinguishing the damaged, scarred ghost of a past that is not illustrated except for the residuum upon his soul. The animations of Stefano Mastronicola, apparently done with computer programming, denotes a balance between surrounding darkness and distant light the lyrics are based on, and a darkly magical air that is not seen as much as it is felt. If the graphics are by computer, there are just enough graphics to tell the tale and Mastronicola’s method of animation is not forced down your throat as they are in movies. There is still an organic feel to it, and it is beautifully presented. For some reason I thought of the novels of Stephen King, his technique of familiarizing you with his characters in short fiction like Nona and All That You Love Will Be Carried Away. There is something about the lyrics driving home whatever experiences led him to this wilderness and the rebirth within his reach. There’s still some searching to be done in the end, but the hope, thin as it apparently is, is still palpable. Recommended viewing. -Dave Wolff

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Video Review: CLAN OF XYMOX Loneliness

Loneliness
Official video of the song from their full length Days Of Black, released on Trisol March 31, 2017
Directed by Zoe Kavanagh
Cinematography by Ismael Diarra
Edited by Zoe Kavanagh
Color Grading by Zoe Kavanagh
Produced by Thomas Andrew Quain
“We wear the mask that grins and lies. It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes. Why should the world be over wise in counting all our tears and sighs? The world is a veil of tears. It is getting worse by the years.” This lyric written for Loneliness would likely strike a nerve in people who spend much of their time on Facebook, Youtube and other social media networks and dealt firsthand with drama from attention seekers, extremists and so called social justice warriors. The net allows for people to slam people anonymously for lack of concern for being called out on it offline. Just another mask to add to those of money, status and materialism. And less room for us to relate to each other as real people. Clan Of Xymox convey the heightened reclusiveness I hear someone commenting on daily, and places a human face on the fallout it has on the average soul. I got wind of the German band from Laura Petellat-Entiwsle who recently spread word they have a New York City performance coming in March. It’s at Saint Vitus Bar and tickets are reportedly sold out. They play electronic gothic music influenced by Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, Pixies and Throwing Muses. My first impressions of this song is that it resonates with an early 80s new wave sound, mixed with some Cure, Sisters Of Mercy and She Wants Revenge. In the 1990s I heard a lot of goth and ambient music, with this as a further basis of comparison Loneliness is notably more commercial but doesn’t head too close to the mallgoth audience or become stereotypically petulant. Rather it has secure ties to goth’s lineage and furthermore embodies one facet of their work. I took time to listen to a few other songs recorded by them and each brought something different to the table. The video for this song is a narrative, or more accurately a short film, that moves farther away from what is visually expected from goth bands, presenting a brighter past recalled by the two central characters as if they were photographs in a museum. The stark contrast these images have with the sense of loss depicted is cleverly executed. The isolation felt by the characters is communicated through facial expressions and body language that hardly needs words. Though the lyrics reflect their inner anguish when one of them writes them out on walls or blackboards, establishing a connection between the film and the song it illustrates. The conclusion of the video should come as a surprise, but again it’s probably not what you would expect. -Dave Wolff

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Lyric Video Review: SWIRL The Lift

The Lift
Produced by Emad "Emo" Alaeddin, Swirl and The Swirl Society
If the sonic qualities of what traditionally constitutes hard-rock as a genre was considered to now be defunct, a group by the name of Swirl exist to revitalize such a movement. Their new single 'The Lift' is full of 80s-style vocal harmonies, driving drums, soft guitars and an upbeat tonality somewhat reminiscent of a heavier U2 albeit with a pop-punk edge. This group at the moment are somewhat unknown but I can guarantee they'll gain a lot more positive exposure if they continue to decorate their output with half-ballsy, half-sentimental excursions of melodic, rhythmic and lyrical interplay. Look out for Swirl. -Jaime Regadas

Full Length Review: SACRILEGE Within The Prophecy (Reissue)

Within The Prophecy (Reissue)
Release Date: February 2, 2018
Original Release Date: January 5, 1987 (Under One Flag)
The United Kingdom band Sacrilege were first active from 1984 to 1990 and officially reformed in 10`4 after a series of demo and lost tape re-releases. There is no word from Hammerheart Records if they’re recording new material but the label is reissuing two of their full length albums from the 1980s. 1987’s Within The Prophecy and 1989’s Turn Back Trilobite are considered unsung classics today, the former representing their transformation from crust punk to thrash metal, the latter being their first attempt at doom metal. I never got around to listening to Turn Back Trilobite when it first came out, but did come across Within The Prophecy late in 1988. The surreal cover art of Music For Nations’ original pressing made me interested in hearing what Sacrilege were offering inside. Before long I was absorbed and engrossed by what I heard; looking back and listening today I perceive the songs as one of the first expeditions into the epic domain bands explore on a continuous basis. Sight Of The Wise establishes what in those days was new territory for underground bands, with an ostentatious opening riff and lengthy buildup into the raw thrashing energy it eventually unleashes. Much of the rawness of the band’s roots in crust punk are present in the guitar progressions and frenetic percussion, and even the vocals to a lesser extent. These shades don’t get in the way of the musicianship too much, though the production tended to sound a little blurred for what thrash was evolving into at that time. But there is something about the all-encompassing wall of sound and siren-like vocals of Lynda "Tam" Simpson that draws you in. And at least the band wasn’t cloning Slayer or Metallica or trying to write more radio friendly music, which is most likely what gravitated me toward this recording. Besides this, the band had a female vocalist in a time when female vocalists were viewed as novelties at best and sex objects at worst. If Within The Prophecy was released a year or two earlier it just might have received more attention from underground press and lauded as more of a milestone. Hammerheart Records says Within The Prophecy is a milestone regardless; experiencing these songs again I can see their point without much effort. Like Znowhite, Sentinel Beast and Blessed Death, Sacrilege were both ahead of their time and in their own class. Without such bands taking chances, we likely wouldn’t have bands playing epic compositions as we know them. Listen to Winds Of Vengeance, The Fear Within and Search Eternal (the versions on the album and the demo versions) for a sense of their unspoken influence on the doom metal, power metal and symphonic metal of today. I may well want to listen to more classic material from them after listening to this album. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Sight Of The Wise
2. The Captive
3. Winds Of Vengeance
4. Spirit Cry
5. Flight Of The Nazgul
6. The Fear Within
7. Search Eternal
8. Insurrection
9. Search Eternal (Demo)
10. The Fear Within (Demo)
11. Winds Of Vengeance (Demo)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Band Interview: SOLFERNUS by Dave Wolff

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