Saturday, March 30, 2019

Interview with Nicholas Roy of DOAN by Dave Wolff

Interview with Nicholas Roy of DOAN

The earliest incarnation of Doan formed as the cover band Ghettoblaster in 2011. What made the band decide to abandon this in favor of writing and composing originals in 2017?
I am the one who proposed that we try to do our own music. I was missing the creative side of music I was used to with my previous bands. Another motivation was that I’ve always wanted to do a music project inspired by bands like Tool, Alice In Chains, Deftones, Godsmack and many more in those genres.

What songs did the band cover as Ghettoblaster? Were any of them by the band that were an inspiration to you? Who were the others in the band listening to at the time?
We had a pretty long set list from Stone Temple Pilots' “Vasoline” to an electric version of Days Of The New’s “Touch, Peel and Stand” while going through Disturbed’s “Down with the Sickness” and the ever party lifter “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against The Machine.
Some of the most inspiring songs that we played as Ghettoblaster were Alice In Chains’ “Man in the Box” for the bluesy riffs and solo, Godsmack’s “I Stand Alone” with the moody breakdown, Alter Bridge’s “Metalingus” for the heavy riffing and Voivod’s cover of Pink Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine”. They have done an amazing job covering this song and making it their own! At that time we discovered our common love for progressive rock inspired music from bands like Tool, Rush and A Perfect Circle.

Are cover and tribute bands big in your part of Canada? Or do people prefer more original bands? What are your thoughts on cover bands these days?
It is a really big thing. But lately, I’ve been sensing a return to interest of original bands. I think that it can be a good idea to mix both on the same night’s lineup. It’s a good way to get more people into local original bands.

Is Doan’s lineup the same as Ghettoblaster’s lineup was? If the band has had the same members from the beginning, how do you account for having the same lineup all this time?
It’s the same. We just have a really good chemistry together. We have one rule, no matter what we do, it has to be fun.

Having a female vocalist in the band, do you have to work harder to be taken seriously? Or is the band accepted regardless?
I’ve never felt any setback from having a woman as a vocalist. We’re in an era where there is more female fronted rock and metal band than ever and I’m liking it.

Does your experience playing those covers help your songwriting? How many of your own ideas are written into Doan’s material? Does the band have any particular methods of combining your influences in your material?
It does help to learn and play someone else’s song. You get to understand how the song is structured and it helps improve your own songwriting skills. The band’s music is the result of a collaborative effort. I or Andre first comes in with their riffs in a structure as a base for a song, the others write their parts for their instruments, and Diane composes lyrics and melodies. We just let our inspiration and creativity do the work while trying to serve the song better.

Doan’s debut full length “Stupidity Kills,” first released on November 10, 2017 and set to be re-released by Sliptrick Records this year, is described by Jenny Tate as having “an unusual sound, creating space for your imagination to fill in the blanks.”
I like how Jenny Tate described the album. I think that she understood well the overall mood. But, everyone can feel the music in a different way so there’s no right or wrong, it’s a personal thing. To us, the album represents the exploration and the evolution of our identity as a band. If you’d listen to the album in the order they we’re composed, you could really hear the evolution!

What zine or webzine is Jenny Tate writing for? Or does she write freelance? Are other publications reviewing the band?
Jenny Tate, known as ‘The Rock Queen’, is former presenter of Saturday Rocks on Rhubarb Radio – she is a long-time reviewer of all things rock and metal. Her reviews are posted on her blog at We had a great review on and we have more coming with the release of the album on Sliptrick!

How does the title “Stupidity Kills” represent the songs that were recorded for it?
The lyrics of the album are about how humans can be stupid, and the fact that all the stupidity that humanity does will eventually cause its extinction. Humanity advisory, stupidity kills!

Are there specific examples of humanity’s folly in your songs? Are they inspired by current events, historical occurrences or both?
Some songs have specific examples of humanity’s folly like the song “Happy Sobriety”, which we’ve just shot a video for. The song is about how society is relying on medication to “fix” anything and everything that does not fit in the modern lifestyle.

Where is based and what did they have to say in their review of the album?
They are a 24/7 web radio based in St-Félix-de-Valois, a small town near Montréal. Here’s what L’bouc had to say about our album: “An alternative-progressive metal that moves and that stands out with its frankly good parts! Honestly a woman who sings in this musical style, it is frankly refreshing! I always thought that there was a place of choice for women in this environment and Diane Thibault demonstrates it very well. Their album is a real gem, each piece transports you to a different world from one time to the next. What makes it beautiful is that each of these universes become hyper personal. They transport us through their music in an emotional trip really "trippy”!!! It's up to you to discover your emotional destinations!”

Was Sliptrick Records one of the labels you contacted while looking for distribution, or did they approach you? Describe the deal with the label and how it benefits everyone involved.
Sliptrick Records approached us last summer through Metal Coffee PR, a company that handles PR for us. I think they offered us exactly what we need at the stage we’re at right now, which is digital and physical distribution and promotion of our album worldwide in a 50/50 investment and benefits deal.

How long has Metal Coffee PR been helping promote the band? How has the promotion deal between you and Sliptrick Records been working out this far?
We’ve been working with Wes for almost a year now and he’s helping us a lot! We’re really glad we made that move last year. With Sliptrick Records, we’re starting to see things moving already but most of the album promotion is yet to come.

Who worked on the promotional video for “Happy Sobriety” with you? In what ways does the video reflect the song’s lyrics?
Like our videos for “Step Back” and “We Belong To”, we do it by ourselves. It’s a creative process we do together. For this one, we transformed a room at Olivier’s house into a studio, after we shoot everything I’ll do the edition. “Happy Sobriety” is a live studio performance with a camera running around us so it doesn’t really reflect the lyrics. The video should be finished soon!

What equipment did you use to make “Happy Sobriety”? Was it the same equipment you filmed your other videos with or was any new equipment used?
For “Happy Sobriety” we used a Gopro on a stabilizer. We rented a stabilizer for the “Step Back” video and afterward we bought one. It’s perfect for making smooth moving action shots.

Describe the videos of “Step Back” and “We Belong To.” Are those videos uploaded on Youtube to get the band more exposure?
“Step Back” was a live video we did at our friend’s house (where he has a stage with lighting) in the summer time. We shot “We Belong To” on a fixed camera performing one at a time in front of it. It includes effects at the editing. They are both on our Youtube channel. The videos got great exposure on Facebook and we’re working on promoting our Youtube channel which is still new to us.

Have reviews of your videos been written since they were uploaded? Do you plan to short more videos to promote the new album?
We didn’t have any official video reviews yet but had a lot of nice comments about them! We sure will do more videos, we’re getting better at it and it’s a fun thing to do!

For what songs are you planning to shoot videos next? Does producing your videos independently give you more creative freedom than working with professionals?
The song “Some Kind Of” is gonna be the next video. A good friend of the band, a multidisciplinary artist Roberto Garcia, will be involved in the creative process and production. He’s the one who did the cover of the album. After that, we’ll see when we get there.

Name other songs from “Stupidity Kills” you deem worth mentioning for their lyrics and why.
Again I have to say “Some Kind Of” from which came the album tittle and “Wrong Number” about the plague that texting while driving is becoming.

Is the band previewing any of the material on “Stupidity Kills” while playing live? If so how have they been received so far?
We’ve been playing the songs live in the past year to tighten up our live set. They’ve been received pretty well. One of the frequent comments we get is that our music is nothing like they have heard before.

Will the band eventually want to build more of a fan base in other countries, such as the U.S. and England? What would you most want Doan to be remembered for?
We definitely want to build a fan base in other countries. The process is already started. We want to go on the road and play wherever we get the chance to get on the stage! DOAN wants to be remembered as a genuine group of people doing music that is true to them. We don’t try to please everyone, we do music that we like, that we connect with and we know we’ll find people that will bind with us!

-Dave Wolff

Monday, March 25, 2019

Full Length Review: AFTERMATH There Is Something Wrong (Sleaszy Rider Records, Zoid Entertainment) by Dave Wolff

Place of origin: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Genre: Thrash metal
Full Length: There Is Something Wrong
Release date: March 15, 2019
To say “There Is Something Wrong” is politically charged is an understatement. Not a traditional thrash album, it’s a conceptual work of conspiracy theories, corporate and media indoctrination and rumors of secret societies. Look no further than Youtube for examples, from “Idiocracy” to “The Obama Deception” to commentaries like Jello Biafra’s “What Would Jello Do?” and Joe Pilato’s (R.I.P.) “Rave from the Cave.” Whether you accept or reject their opinions will depends on your own. But from what I read on social media the last election has led to massive divisions between Americans on almost every issue, and it’s harder to tell reality from reality TV. You don’t have to be a crackpot to see how much conflict there is in the U.S., let alone the world. This is the idea of Aftermath’s latest full length, their first since 1994 and their first new material since 2011 (barring their 2015 reissues of their demo "Killing the Future" and their full length "Eyes Of Tomorrow") The band doesn’t take a stand on any issue in particular, but it does represent a demand for the populace to wake up, refrain from watching TV and see through the tricks. As Jello Biafra said on a recent episode of his program, “sift through it all and decide what’s real.” The album is described on Worship Metal as being “bullish, belligerent and fueled by anger”; aggressive for the sake of making its point. I perceive it as aggressive, but more of a crossover of many genres with thrash metal being the canvas to paint each song on. It’s one of those albums with the artistic license to be the aural equivalent of a movie, like several other releases I’ve reviewed. I’m thinking of something between “Videodrome,” “Halloween III” and “Metallica: Through The Never” with a soundtrack added at the most surreal moments. Generally, “False Flag Flying,” “Diethanasia,” “Smash Reset Control,” “Gaslight,” “A Handful Of Dynamite,” “Temptation Overthrown” and “Pseudocide” rely as much on samples and spoken word passages as on the raw energy of old school thrash to formulate a theatrical apocalyptic album enhanced with electronica, early grunge, Voivod-esque progressive post-thrash and atmospheric music. There are more than enough new ideas to inspire you to think about where underground metal can go in the decade to come; at the least it will inspire you watch some of those videos appearing on Youtube and think about things. -Dave Wolff

Kyriakos "Charlie" Tsiolis: Vocals
Steve Sacco: Guitar
George Lagis: Bass
Ray Schmidt: Drums

Track list:
1. Can You Feel It?
2. False Flag Flying
3. Diethanasia
4. Scientists And Priest
5. Smash Reset Control
6. Gaslight
7. A Handful Of Dynamite
8. Temptation Overthrown
9. Pseudocide
10. There Is Something Wrong
11. Expulsion

Interview with Kenio Gustavsson of WALKING RUMOR by Dave Wolff

Interview with Kenio Gustavsson of WALKING RUMOR

Walking Rumor is preparing to release their new full length album Symbiosis this year. How much of the album has been completed?
We can gladly announce that the album is complete, and we are looking for a potential distribution deal. It was produced by Claudio Andersen from LAK Studios and mixed/mastered by Chris Kreutzfeldt.

How did you and the band hear about LAK Studios?
We are a band that always wants the best team possible to work with, so we aren't afraid to go to great lengths for that to happen. During our pre-production we reached out to a fellow Danish band called Siamese, because we were curious about who recorded their music and where. We got a response from Mirza, their vocalist who got us in touch with Claudio Andersen at LAK Studios where Siamese recording some material at the time.

Had you worked with Andersen and Kreutzfeldt previously or was this your first time?
Before the recording of the full length album began, we worked on our teaser single Wasted Years with them. They did an amazing job and we had such an amazing connection, so we were excited to continue working with them. Having those two on a project like the Symbiosis album was like having two mind readers. They understood how we wanted our sound from the beginning and had much interesting input.

How many singles in all did you release before you began working on Symbiosis?
We've released four singles in the past, 'Proud of Me' being the first. 'Proud of Me' was actually the first song that we wrote as a band. It kinda cleared the path for us in the beginning. We released 'Dedicate To This' and 'Tears Me Apart' in cooperation with our previous label Mighty Music. 'Wasted Years', our latest, is a teaser for our upcoming album.

Have all four of your singles been well received so far?
It's funny you should ask that because they've all been received beyond our expectations, which we of course are thankful for. When we released 'Proud of Me' it was more of a way of saying: "Hi, we are Walking Rumor and this is what to expect from us". We had no idea that people would receive it so well and it would spread fast. It all happened faster than we could have ever hoped for. We hadn't the slightest idea that the first song we would ever release would be on the biggest rock radio show in the country just four months after. We even ended up representing Denmark in the Global Battle of the Bands 2016 in Berlin. This was our fifth show in all, so things were happening insanely fast.
The two other singles, 'Dedicate to This' and 'Tears Me Apart' were received as a follow up to the success of 'Proud of Me' and our EP 'The War Within'. The support we have gotten from people has been truly amazing and we are forever overwhelmed. When 'Wasted Years' came out it was like dropping a huge news bomb on the fan community, because there hadn't been any talk about a potential album from us prior, so seeing how engaged the fan base is in the arrival of a full length album is truly exciting for us to see.

Was 2016 the first time you performed at Berlin’s Global Battle of the Bands? Did other bands you are acquainted with appear at this event? How did this show turn out for Walking Rumor?
We were all bands from different nations from all over the world, so we didn't know anyone before we got there. We still keep in touch with some of the bands that we met there. We actually won third place for people’s choice, so we didn't return home empty handed. I personally am proud of that fact, based on how little experience we had as a live band at that time.

What bands from what countries are you staying in touch with since the event? Have there been any discussions about hooking up a show with any of them in the near future?
We've stayed in touch with Vonavibe from Greece, Vorbid from Norway and I'm not sure if Bow from Poland is still doing their thing together. That was a dream that quickly came to mind with all of us at the event, but an arrangement like that takes a lot of planning. We haven't forgotten about it and we would still love for that to happen one day.

What are the songs you recorded for The War Within? In what ways was recording it a step up from releasing singles?
We recorded 'The War Within' EP at Mørkværk Studios. Christian Agaton is an amazing producer and really helped us a lot setting up the beginning of our career. We recorded the EP back in 2015 and released it in 2016, which ended up a busy year for us. Things just took off after that. Releasing a single may be in some viewers’ eyes the way of earning money in the music industry these days. But if you want a potential booker to take you seriously as a band, he/she needs to see that you got more than just a few minutes of material ready for a show.

How much of a help was Christian Agaton when he produced “The War Within”? Would you work with him again if you had the opportunity?
He had a huge impact on the entire EP actually. He is a man filled with ideas, visions and creativity. It's like he saw the entire project from a perspective we hadn't even thought of.
Christian is a very honest producer. He can take any track with a skeleton and make it sound really good. I clearly remember when he was producing our single 'Dedicate to This' and everything was finished, we just had to put my lyrics on the track. I went into the booth and recorded my parts until he just stopped tracking mid recording and looked at me intensely through the glass. He told me to come out of the booth and sit down beside him. When I sat down he looked at me and was like; "You know I mean the best when I say, that this is crap". He didn't feel I actually expressed what I wanted to with the lyrics that I prepared, like I didn't mean it. So he asked me to spend the night writing something entirely different and have it ready by the next day. I had to write about something that actually really bothered me. I spent that entire night writing the lyrics on 'Dedicate To This', because I wanted to achieve success.
I highly recommend any musician out there who wants a new spin on their stuff, to contact him today and set up a meeting.

How much of a transition was it from releasing singles and EPs to starting work on a full length?
We had in no way prepared for this step, but before the decision came I was talking to a friend regarding the future for Walking Rumor. He made an excellent point by saying: "You've already made an EP, released two singles and now we should be seeing a full length album from you guys". I couldn't agree more because it wouldn't make much sense for neither us nor the fan base to just see another single or EP. The band needs to move forward and the time is now.

Describe how you composed and arranged the songs appearing on Symbiosis. What musical and lyrical statement is the album intended to make?
The songs are mainly the outcome of parts of previous songs we've worked on in the past. It has been a long process that hasn't been without challenges and complications. Writing a full length album for the first time isn't an easy task to handle, especially because we wanted it to be as good as it could be. We mainly write our stuff as a group. A typical process could be that Andreas (guitar) comes up with ideas for riffs, puts them together with other riffs that Anders (vocals) may have come up with on guitar, I (Kenio) usually see each riff or written part as a building block and I love putting it all together. The skeleton gets presented to the rest of the group for judgment and the band puts the final touches on it in terms of bass and drums.
The main intention of this album is to make material that is as honest as it can be. We want to share what we feel, think and experience in a way that is relatable.

Were there specific ideas you presented to Andersen and Kreutzfeldt during the recording of Symbiosis?
Communication was important during the whole process, since we began working on pre-production. As we finished our ideas at home, we would pass them along to Andersen and he would give us feedback, like what would be more modern, interesting and get us closer to the message that we'd like to send. We did this with every song, so I can't say there was one specific idea that meant more than others.
By the time the recordings began, we had actually lived in the studio for two weeks. We brought our sleeping gear, food and clothing and just camped in the studio lounge. The reason was because the studio is far from home and we worked 18-plus hours a day for two weeks straight. We owe Claudio Andersen and the rest of the LAK Studios employers a great thanks for that.

How receptive were Andersen and Kreutzfeldt to your suggestions when you presented them?
They understand the fact that it is the artist who writes the album and thus in charge of what happens to it, so they weren't trying to force any ideas onto it. With that said they provided us with some great ideas and we couldn't be happier about the result. LAK Studios consist of a professional team that we are proud to have worked with, and definitely will again.

Describe your experiences living in the studio for two full weeks. In what ways did this have an effect on the completed album?
Being with the band is kinda like your family away from home, so it was a lot of fun. We understand each other and know each other’s limits very well. Back in 2017 we toured Europe with Ill Niño for a whole week and we had a blast, so it wasn't a totally new experience.
Of course it had an impact on how the album turned out, because you don't really get that privacy from one another and you easily tend to be up in each other’s recordings, luckily for us in a creative way. It gave us an opportunity to contribute ideas during the recording sessions, which gave us a very open minded working process. This however took time from our booked schedule with Andersen at LAK Studios, but it was totally worth it. Personally I think the album got lifted those extra 30% because of it.

What recording and mixing equipment was used to work on the songs?
I can't really give away the secrets about how we achieve the "sound". But we use a wide range of digital equipment during the recording process. LAK Studios provides the rest.

Who wrote the lyrics for the album, and which songs present their ideas to the listener most effectively?
Primarily I (Kenio) write our lyrics, but I would never pass on the lyrics to the final process without consulting the rest of the guys. When I write lyrics I of course write about what's on my mind, but I want to express it in a relatable way. So I bring my lyrics to the guys and ask them to take a hard look at everything, to make sure everything actually sounds like something that we all can stand behind. This process may not always be very pleasant, because it's a process where you've been sitting in the very deepest parts of yourself and wrote the most honest thing you could possibly struggle with. You are basically pouring out your soul on a piece of paper and then handing it to a bunch of people, whose job is to tear it to shreds basically. It takes a lot of soul searching and self-honesty to do that and trust in your team.
Answering what song represents the idea the most is hard to say, because everything is so divergent and every song differs. If I had to choose some that stands particular close to me, it would be songs like 'Expectations', 'Let Them Talk' and 'Burned Up and Blessed'.

What is the subject matter of 'Expectations', 'Let Them Talk' and 'Burned Up and Blessed', and what inspired you to write them?
When we write lyrics, we don't like to spell everything out for you. We like to write our stuff so that you can relate to it in your own way. With that being said, I can only describe my own line of thoughts while writing the lyrics.
“Expectations” is mainly about that constant battle you have inside your head when dealing with depression, anxiety or some other demon that keeps putting you down, telling you that you aren't good enough and that you shouldn't take a leap of faith. This invisible problem that no one else around you pays attention to, yet they want you to perform your best possible, without sympathy for the constant struggle you deal with every day. Who do you trust in this situation?
“Let Them Talk” is a song about not losing hope even when everything seems bleak. It encourages you to trust your instinct and believing in yourself. You can do whatever you want, if you just put your mind to it. Don't let anyone or anything hold you back.
“Burned Up and Blessed” is difficult to describe. It all came from a darker time in my life where I was really struggling with some horrific demons of my own. I put my faith in people very dear to me and I eventually ended up being burned by some, blessed by others. The whole thing took me down a path that was very unclear and I wasn't sure where I could go or who to talk to. I guess you could say that it came from a big variety of events during that time.
It's not like I write about one particular heartbreak or one particular day where I had a little too much pepperoni on my pizza. We want our stuff to be as honest as it can be, so when you listen to it, you can relate to it in your own way, because we all feel the same in one way or another.

Being a nu-metal band, what is the band doing to keep the genre fresh and inventive? What do you mean by generating material with a sense of honesty?
It's all about letting your guards down and not let yourself get stuck in a box. You have to be open to what's going on in the music industry right now and embrace the fact that you need to step up your game. Putting guitar on a beat is just not going to cut it anymore, people want something that is fresh, new and inspiring. I won't say that we are any of those things but we certainly do try to be.
That is actually the reason why our first full length album is called 'Symbiosis'. We experiment with a lot of different genres like heavy metal, pop, alternative rock, hip hop and electronica to name a few. This we feel goes into perfect symbiosis with each other to create the sound that is Walking Rumor.
Writing and performing with material that you feel to your very core convinces the audience of your authenticity. Of course we could write a song about drinking every night at the club, dancing with women and driving fancy cars, but what kind of message would that send? It all would be a big lie with no emotions to spread for the audience.
When I say we want to be honest, I mean we want to express what is truly going on for us and probably for someone else out there. That one kid out there who is struggling, needs to know that he/she isn't alone and that we can relate.

How soon do you expect to release the new album? Are you seeking labels from more than one country for distribution?
There hasn't been a set release date for the album yet. We are currently in the process of finding a distribution deal that will do the album justice. We have been in touch almost everywhere from Denmark to Sweden, Germany, UK, America etc. We have created an album that we one day can look back on and say; this is something I am really proud of. I believe that we've achieved that. So of course we want a deal with someone who believes as much in this album as we do.

Will Symbiosis be available on digital format and social media as well as CD format? Is the band also considering cassettes and vinyl? Which format do you think will work best?
Symbiosis will be available on all streaming platforms and as a physical CD. We have plans for a vinyl edition in the future. We've seen other bands selling vinyl and it seems like retro is becoming modern again. It's hard to say what works best, but my best guess would be streaming platforms, because it's so easy to just grab your phone and listen to us anywhere, instead of having to pop the CD in the stereo constantly. I remember doing that with my favorite bands back in the day. Such a different era.

How many streaming platforms will you be uploading Symbiosis to give it the most exposure?
With the right distribution deal, as many as possible. At the top of my head we would be interested in platforms like Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, Wimp, YouSee Music etc.

How much is your fan base anticipating you releasing a full length, from the buzz you’ve been generating about it?
The support about it has been amazing and we get asked almost daily when it is to be released. We wish we could say more at this point, but we are still in the market for a good distribution deal. There have been messages from fans in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, America, the UK and so on. We had no idea that so many wanted this for us and we can't wait to release it for everyone to hear.

How often will the band perform to support the release of Symbiosis? How much promotion will you be doing for its release?
We will perform at often as possible. The shows are what's important and we love to meet our fans. We have recently signed over to a promotion company named Kingart Music in Sweden that will handle our promotion. So hopefully as much as possible.

Would you like the band to become well known in the US? How well do you think nu metal listeners in America will respond to you?
The band has strived for the US since the beginning. That has always been our main goal. Hopefully they'll respond with a positive response.

-Dave Wolff

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Twelve-inch Review: MURO Ataque Hardcore Punk (Beach Impediment Records) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Band: MURO
Place of origin: Bogota, Colombia
Genre: Punk, hardcore
Twelve-inch: Ataque Hardcore Punk
Label: Beach Impediment Records (Richmond, Virginia, USA) (Reissue)
Originally released by Byllepest Distro (Norway), September 9, 2017
Release date: January 22, 2019
It is a cold, rainy day and I have been sent ''Ataque Hardcore Punk'' by MURO. As water pelts against my bedroom window, I sit back and prepare myself for a vicious hardcore assault. The first thing I will mention is that these guys remind me of late-ish era G.G. Allin. (Before The Murder Junkies, but later than The Jabbers). I think G.G. would be proud to hear such music being recorded and produced to this day. I can also mention that in some ways this band reminds me of the Croatian punk-rocker Satan Panonski. Although I do not speak the language, I can sense power and true punk-rock energy pulsing forth from the vocals. The guitars are primal and simplistic, yet they are played with a certain degree of genuine talent. I can say the same for the drums... Primal and Simplistic. For a full length, this offering is very short, with most of the tracks clocking in at under two minutes in length. Still, this is common within the hardcore scene and gives a perfect example of the way the genre is supposed to be. Overall, I can say this release is a nice little blast of music, and I would for sure check out more of this band in the future. As stated on Bandcamp, this was ''Originally released by the outstanding Nordic based Byllepest Distro label in 2017. The "ATAQUE HARDCORE PUNK" 12" was re-pressed for the band's explosive appearance at NOT DEAD YET 2018 and the Canadian tour that followed shortly thereafter.'' This is some of the best hardcore I have heard in recent months and I highly suggest checking it out if you have interest in the genre. Great stuff, MURO! -Devin Joseph Meaney

(no information given)

Track list:
1. El Futuro
2. Desahuciados
3. Exterminio
4. Prisoneros
5. No Más
6. La Verdad
7. Voces Dogmaticas
8. Victimas
9. Exclusividad

Wednesday, March 20, 2019


Cast: Sky Claudette Soto
Editing by: Sky Claudette Soto
Filming by: Vlad Marco and Sky Claudette Soto
Lighting by: Sky Claudette Soto
Music by: Wendy Rule from the album Persephone
Copyright: Svproductions13, 2019
Release date: March 9, 2019
The latest production by Sky Claudette Soto and the NYC performance group Eros Fyre, according to Soto, is “a dreamlike daydream of curiosity and purging one's soul, clearing away fear of the unknown, death, rebirth, saging and cleansing the spirit within and without, and opening up the key to the soul.” This description of the ten-minute film called something to mind of a Nietzschean attitude of accepting the light and darkness within oneself, or what is considered light and darkness, as equal characteristics of his or her soul. Without the need to separate one from the other or to purge one impulse in favor of the other. Nietzsche’s “Beyond Good and Evil” explores these ideas more comprehensively. “Lucid” represents a similar journey to what Nietzsche proposes, to abandon dogma and discover one’s inner self. You might interpret this video differently, but it conveys this idea in visuals representing poetry and spirituality. “Lucid” begins with an image of a wilderness in winter (the kind often associated with black metal bands), that is vast and empty. From there a mysterious character (the spirit child of fire and curiosity) enters a house situated somewhere in that wilderness, descending a flight of stairs with nothing but curiosity. This sequence is followed by imagery of nature, snakes, fire, masquerade, urban legends and the occult, and before long she becomes part of the scenery as she begins to discover her soul. The songs included in the soundtrack, contributed by the Australian artist Wendy Rule, is as important to this production as the locations chosen for filming. Her compositions “The Dark Earth Opened,” “The Panic” and “Underworld Queen” are taken from her latest album “Persephone,” which has received favorable reviews from Rolling Stone Australia, The Age Good Weekend (Australia), The Music (Australia) and New Witch Magazine (USA). Her album retells the tale of the Greek goddess Persephone’s descent into the underworld. The tracks mentioned above serve to complement the journey taken by Soto’s character. Cerebral and introspective, “Lucid” is a huge improvement from Eros Fyre’s older film shorts and shows how far they’ve come telling their tales since they started in 2002. Soto has also appeared on Bravo, Fuse and Playboy TV. -Dave Wolff

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Full Length Review: DISEN GAGE "The Big Adventure" (No Name Records) by Wynter Wilkins Lore Sahjaza

Place of origin: Moscow City, Russian Federation
Genre: Progressive rock, art rock
Full Length: The Big Adventure
Release date: February 24, 2019
Shiroyama, the first track opens this album in a haunting way. The guitar along with slight percussion lure you into a vast entrance of imaginative musical variety. Once inside we transition into Adventures, and this track lives up to the name. A progressive form of rock is detected immediately but with a slight sense of humor to it. At times you feel as if you are walking the high wire in a grand show while the music builds and carries you further along your escapade that had me traveling through many eras and genres at once. Chaos Point begins with a heavier tone, feeling like you are about to rock out, the guitar catches you instantly only to be joined by horns blending in to lend some jazz elements to this number. Enough lulls you in more softly with the melody in ways that embody rock with softer and yet at times even darker tones. All the Truths’ Meeting placed me in mind of a rock mesh with disco feel. Selfish Tango has components of instruments which highlight the unique melody of this tune. Perfect for the right duo to perform an iconic dance number two upon the movie screen. Carnival Escape began with the feeling we were entering a spy movie. The wide range of this tune and the length of it reminded me of what bands produced in the 1970s. Fin begins ever so softly, the piano allowing you to finish your drink at the bar as it is time to close. The guitar comes to life while the entire piece builds to a finale. This album lives up to the name, it is in fact, The Big Adventure. -Wynter Wilkins Lore Sahjaza

Konstantin Mochalov: Guitar, sound engineering
Sergei Bagin: Guitar, synth
Nikolai Syrtsev: Bass
Eugeny Kudryashov: Drums

Track list:
1. Shiroyama
2. Adventurers
3. Chaos Point
4. Enough
5. All the Truths' Meeting
6. Selfish Tango
7. Carnival Escape
8. Fin

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Article: Irish Vampires by Wynter Wilkins Lore Sahjaza

Irish Vampires
Article by Wynter Wilkins Lore Sahjaza

Some information about a few types of vampire and vampire entities associated with Irish folklore.
In Irish Lore there are a few types of Vampire and Vampiric like entities. Though the lands are more known for a pantheon of deities, the Fae folk who can bless and run amok, and a myriad of other wondrous beings, there are some which do possess the traits what most know as vampiric.
A Dearg-diulai, which means literally “red blood sucker”, is a vampiric entity which often embodies a beautiful woman who feeds upon the blood of wayward and unwary travelers and those who can be seduced by her sexuality. Legends exist in Waterford, in Antrim, and in County Kerry about the female Dearg-diulai. There are legends which exist of the rare male Dearg-diulai as well in County Derry and Slaghtaverrty. Though in his case they deal with unspeakable acts of evil and cruelty prior to death which only continued on after he crossed into the realm of being classified as this type of vampiric entity.
A Gancanagh is known to be a vampiric type of Fae who seduces human women by possessing an addictive toxicity to his skin. Women who are seduced by this type of vampiric Fae die from pinning, withdraw, or fighting for his love.
A Leanashe/Lhainnan-Shee/Leanan Sidhe are also part of the grand vampiric Fae tradition of these lands in many ways. Most of the folklore her can be traced to the Isle of Man, however it can be found all over Ireland and many parts of Scotland as well. This vampiric spirit appears as a beautiful and irresistible woman. She attaches herself to a man and then begins to pull the life force from him while slowly ruining his body and his soul. Now there is some confusion as to whether these are all the same type of vampire of if they vary in one small way. Many legends associate the Leanan Sidhe with a Vampiric Fae Muse. It is believed that they inspire the artist that they attach to and feed from their creative output. They drive the artist to fits of madness in creation and thus burning through their energy at high rates of speed. Those arts who are chosen by this type of vampire live explosively bright and short lives often. It is believed that you can only free yourself from this type in one of two ways: find another as creative as you that the vampire can and will accept as the new donor or die.
But do not let these legends discourage you from visiting the beautiful lands of Ireland. And while there walking alone beside a still lake, when you are approached by a woman so beautiful the gods themselves would weep, and as you believe yourself to be in a dream and wander toward her for that embrace, remember…..


Directed by Joshua Michael Irwin
With Victoria Archer, Tyler Dunivan, Victoria Fox, Joshua Michael Irwin, John James Laws, Vance Major, Lezlie Sawyer, Glen L. Wolfe
Company: Avalon Universe
I am normally an avid fan of great science fiction and Star Trek is a name that always pops up, having been a great influence on society. I have loved the Star Trek series and the films. Everything has been well written and produced and with the great advances in CG technology in the last few years, I have come to appreciate and enjoy them even more.
There have been countless fan made productions based on the series and Ghost Ship is by far, one of the worst I have seen. Even though it is divided into 2 14 minute sections, I struggled with my lack of interest in it due to the poor writing and horrible acting. It does have some pretty cool CG effects but still falls short in every department. I did not enjoy this nor did I care for it. I gave it an honest effort but this was just a horrible effort by someone trying to impress beyond their abilities. I give no stars if I had to use stars for points. -Damien Lee Thorr

Article: "Legendary Atheist Metal Band Announces New Lead Singer" by John McCue

Legendary Atheist Metal Band Announces New Lead Singer
Article by John McCue

I have been a fan of obscure metal bands for a long time and I have to say that legendary Florida atheist rockers, PREDATOR, are the best of the bunch. With a discography of 2 decent selling albums in an age where almost no one buys cd’s or downloads anymore, their self-titled debut and their second album, Born In Blood, Predator has proven to be an unstoppable force in the realm of Heavy Metal.
Although it is no secret that the band has had some serious personnel problems, the band has announced the addition of new lead singer and frontman, Jason Rushing, a US native who declares himself agnostic, whose voice is one that can awaken the dead.
I asked founding member, guitarist Damien Lee Thorr, how he discovered Rushing, and this was his response:
“I searched everywhere. We even considered singers of other genres because in our South Florida area, there really isn’t anyone who can handle the position of being our lead singer and many, frankly, did not even want to try out for us. There were two days of auditions where people who said were coming to audition never showed up. When we did have people audition, they were absolutely terrible and we just cannot take in a lead singer that sucks because that will certainly ruin our good name. I found Jason Rushing when he was singing for a Maiden tribute band. After several conversations with him, we hit it off. After I heard his voice I immediately knew he was the right fit for us. I am glad the previous guys we had did not work out because Rushing’s voice and presence are far superior to anyone we’ve seen or heard and he helps us retain our high standards of talent. That is something we will never compromise even though too much time has been wasted in our career during the search.”
Thorr sent me some very private sound clips of Rushing’s voice and I have to admit, the band sounds better than they ever have, reminding me of a blend of Iron Maiden and Slayer, but with virtuoso level guitar playing and astonishing vocals.
Predator will no doubt be recognized among the elite heavy metal greats in the industry along with Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath.
According to guitarist Thorr, they are planning to release a live album featuring Rushing and a third studio album that has long been written but never produced, entitled “Castles in the Sky.”
When I asked Thorr about the band’s stance with atheism, he explained it as follows:
“We are not trying to convince anyone to abandon their beliefs. What we do get involved with is that the government must always be separate from what the church wants. There are way too many religious politicians who don’t respect the beliefs and cultures of others and are always attempting to sneak their religious beliefs into our laws and into our schools. The bottom line is that their religious beliefs have no foundation in reality and thus must not be allowed to influence government. Their beliefs are often inhumane, bigoted and has provoked xenophobia and all sorts of discrimination, just to name a couple out of many other problems. If we don’t stand up and oppose them, we will all be forced to live in a fascist theocracy. The government has no right to tell anyone to pray or who to fuck or not to fuck. This has to be taken very seriously and that’s why Predator gets involved and writes the songs we write.”
As a free thinking humanist, I agree with Predator and I think it is very easy to see that the band will be a grand success in the next coming years. -John McCue

Please check out Predator here:

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Interview with Asramis of LORDRAN by Dave Wolff

Interview with Asramis of LORDRAN

On December 1 Lordran released their debut full length “Divulgence of the Rotten Spire”. As the band’s debut album, what would you say it has to offer black metal and extreme metal in general?
"Divulgence of the Rotten Spire" offers to black metal, as well as extreme metal, concrete evidence that black metal is not just a sound but an atmosphere and an experience. As an avid fan of black metal for years, I have often seen the genre criticized for having simplistic musicianship, an unnecessary obsession with satanism and/or the occult and not having a lot of variety. Conjointly, these stereotypes have led to some believing black metal cannot exist without these points being present, i.e. if a band is too technical, doesn't dabble in a left path ideology or experiments with odd influences, it could not be considered black metal. We wanted “Divulgence” to be an album that quashes that ignorant stance. Though the album has complex song structures, varying dynamics and influences and a concept album steeped in horror-fantasy, the atmosphere is undeniably black metal. We wanted to submerge the listener with the vibe of black metal, rather than rely on minor second half steps and inverted pentagrams to establish it. In an extreme metal standpoint, I believe “Divulgence” offers a melodic ferocity. We tune our guitars to E flat standard, which isn't done often in extreme metal, but there are points in the album that hit the listener with audible intensity. Divulgence gives the listener an experience that is the perfect balance between melodious and vicious.
In short I think “Divulgence” offers proof that it doesn't matter if black metal is simple, complex, satanic or rooted in fantasy. It is an atmosphere rather than a distinct sound.

When you started listening to black metal, who most personified the atmosphere and experience you refer to? When you started Lordran, did you borrow influence from them or did you set out to create your own sound?
If I had to narrow it down to four bands with the richest atmosphere that really inspired me, it would be Emperor, Drudkh, Xasthur and Windir. "In The Nightside Eclipse" by Emperor was an album that perfectly describes the atmosphere and experience I refer to. The album art was dark and majestic and the music reflected that. They pulled you into the raw and epic world that both the lyrics and music weaved. The other bands I mentioned creating different atmospheres/experiences but were just as enticing. "Microcosmos" by Drudkh had an album cover that was a desolate forest and the guitar chords and phrases were so massive on that album. I truly felt like it made black metal feel like an element of nature. Any album by Windir, especially "Arntor" truly enraptured the sound and brisk grandeur of winter. Xasthur is my personal favorite, though. The disgusting chord shapes, the lo-fi production, the unnerving artwork, it created this bleak and dismal, almost nihilistic experience that knocked me in my feet. That's why I love black metal. When I initially started Lordran I did borrow from the ideas these bands brought to the table but ultimately I wanted to make my own mark. The influence from these bands (particularly Emperor and Windir) bleeds through in some of the writing but the top priority was to create our own, unique atmosphere.

Black metal has undergone many changes since those albums you cited were released. Have those changes added to or taken away from the sense of darkness and mystery it had in the early 1990s?
This is a question that creates a great divide in the metal community. You have those that say that black metal peaked in the mid-90s and everything to come after was just trying to imitate that early sound. Then you have those that feel that the genre has gotten better as its reach crept beyond Scandinavia. I am of the latter opinion. The changes over the years have certainly added to the morose mysticism of black metal. Bands like Ulver experimented with electronic music, Panopticon threw bluegrass elements, Agalloch dabbled with post-rock and folk, but the music was still drenched in a black metal aura. You have bands now that are weaving audio bleakness that goes against every musical rule the 90s bands had, yet it is undeniably black metal. I love all of it. Black metal can no longer be seen as an obscure genre, but the past two decades have proven that it can be versatile while still feeling dark.

Why do you think black metal has become so expressive and diverse over the last two decades? Is there still room for expansion in 2019?
I think that black metal is just like almost every other art form, in that there are those that easily dismiss it and then those who fully immerse themselves in it and want to put their own stamp on it. Black metal at its core is a cauldron of influences, thus it's natural for other influences to find their way into the genre. I think it becomes expressive because we all at one time or another, feel the emotions black metal often conveys; whether that be bleak seclusion or unchained fury. The diversity comes from different interpretations on what one musician thinks black metal should be. I think it can still expand. Every musical genre that has stood the test of time undergoes an interminable evolution. Black metal is no exception. I look forward to future moldings.

Is it a good thing or a bad thing that black metal broke into the mainstream in the 2000s? In the early years the genre was much more exclusive and bands were of the mindset that “black metal is not a trend; it’s a cult.” Where do you think its mainstream acceptance is taking it now?
It's popular to criticize any black metal band that had a hint of success. It never really bothered me, part because the success wasn't an overbearing and oversaturated one and part because it didn't compromise any of the output. Thankfully black metal didn't become an inescapable blot like say nu metal did. So I'd say I'm neutral on the success. I didn’t hate it and will not criticize a band for gaining recognition. I will agree with the sentiment that black metal is a cult, in that it has a deeper understanding than some care to give it credit for. Some look at the corpse paint and see it as a gimmicky trend but there are those that can look beyond its face value and see something with a lot of artistic integrity. There are those that see lo-fi production and half steps and those that see the intent behind them and see that the palette is much broader. Black metal being widely accepted nowadays is both good and bad for that exact reason. You'll either have people write it off as a satanic joke or you'll have people that take the time to understand it and put their own spin on it. I admit that my taste in newer black metal dwells in the underground but if any band becomes successful doesn’t bother me.

What is your view toward bands who refer to themselves as “kvlt” and “trve black metal”? Are most of those bands who describe themselves as such keeping it underground or is it becoming a trend?
I despise the terminology. When Lordran started gaining attention locally I had a lot of friends (once they found out who I was) tell me that I need to have "kvlt" production and write songs about burning churches. "True black metal" implies that the genre is forbidden to change from the early 90s sound and that is ludicrous. When people shout "kvlt!" Or "hail satan!" It's honestly embarrassing. It makes the genre feel like a dated meme. I love traditional black metal but can’t really get behind a modern band that isn't Norwegian calling themselves kvlt. Black metal is definitely a genre susceptible to elitism but terms like that take it too far.

Is it still possible for black metal bands to grow and succeed on their own terms without becoming elitist?
I think it is possible. I am a big supporter of DIY bands that don't compromise their vision and get wide recognition. Some say the internet is killing the music industry but from my perspective it is giving a voice to bands and artists that may have never had another venue to have their voice heard. With that being said, a band can put out an album with an uncompromised vision and gain a following. Success is subjective but I think it’s possible for a band to gain a following on their own terms. As for the elitism it’s entirely up to them. I've seen some bands accept their fan base and some that criticize it. Burzum is still popular in spite of Varg's extreme actions, views and elitism so it is possible.

How much more creative freedom and creative control does social media give to obscure bands and musicians? What is Lordran’s role in this?
It makes it easier to connect with a wider audience that you couldn't necessarily do years ago. You are also able to present music in whatever way you prefer, no matter how strange or straightforward it may be. I'm not a fan of websites that cajole you into paying for artificial fans but that sort of capitalism is inevitable. We handle Lordran differently than other bands. Our social media presence is scarce, not posting unless we have something to release and when we do post, presenting it in a unique way. We don't have a lot of followers but those that do follow us seem to deeply enjoy the music. I much prefer a small, dedicated fanbase than a large fake one that neglects the output. A lot of bands would say that we are handling our online presence incorrectly but that's the beauty of bands on social media/the internet in general, you can present yourself however to see fit. I have no complaints or regrets for our current status. I know that fiscally it isn't the best but I put artistic merit over making money. The fact that someone can gain thousands of followers by recording a passion project entirely by themselves and simultaneously present it in an unconventional way is a good thing to me. Not to mention if not for social media outlets, a lot of my favorite underground bands might have gone completely under my radar.

Have you see the movie “Lords of Chaos” directed by Jonas Åkerlund? If so, what are your thoughts on it? How does it compare to the documentaries produced about black metal?
I have not seen it but have read the book. I was a fan of it when I was initially getting into black metal but multiple sources have accused it of being inaccurate. The Norwegian scene was highly controversial, so it made sense that a movie would be made. The best glimpse into that era was the documentary "Until the Light Takes Us", part because of the interviews with musicians that lived it and part because it allowed a voice that other documentaries and books on the subject could not speak. I don't have negative thoughts towards "Lords of Chaos" but I'm undecided if I'll actually see it.

What about the interviews in "Until the Light Takes Us" makes it stand out? What other documentaries would you recommend?
It allows a raw look into two sides of the Norwegian scene that no other documentary or book could properly portray. I'm not a fan of Varg but seeing that interview felt cold yet intriguing. Hearing his accounts of what happened, no matter how biased, resonated with me more than a second-hand view. Also seeing how Fenriz conducts business and lives day to day gives someone a glimpse into the reality of being a famous underground musician. For anyone interested in the second wave that documentary is essential. I can recommend two documentaries. “Black Metal Satanica” is a great documentary for anyone fascinated with extreme ideologies in the genre. But my personal favorite is "One Man Metal" a documentary put out by Noisey that follows Jef Whitehead (Leviathan), Scott Conner (Xasthur) and Russell Menzies (Striborg). It gives you a raw look into the isolation and inner struggles that are synonymous with writing black metal in seclusion. I wrote the early Lordran songs completely alone and dealing with depression, so that documentary hit me hard. I loved it though. I would also like to mention Dayal Patterson, who writes excellent books on the subject of black metal.

What books has Dayal Patterson written about the black metal genre? Are his books mostly about the scene in Norway or does he cover other countries?
The two that I own (and he has written others) are “Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult” and "Black Metal: The Cult Never Dies." His books are extremely detailed and well written. There is plenty of coverage of the Norwegian scene but there's also heavy discussion around bands hailing from the US, Poland. Sweden and so on. He dedicates time to off-shoot genres like Dungeon Synth and even discusses the influence the art of Theodor Kittelsen had on black metal. If anyone wants a deeper understanding into the genre, his books are essential.

How much of an effort did you have to make to find like-minded musicians seeking to experiment with black metal and take it in new directions? Does each member bring something fresh and original to the band?
I had to put in a significant amount of effort to find band members that were interested in what I wanted to do. Lordran had close to twelve band members that came and went, and each brought something different to the table. We had a guitar player that wanted to make Lordran a black metal version of Death. We had a drummer that wanted to make Lordran an American clone of Satanic Warmaster. I loved all of these ideas but I didn't want Lordran to be limited to just one aspect of the genre. It took a few years but I found band members that accept my love to experiment and not have limitations. Even though I started Lordran, I don’t like to think of it as "my band." Everyone brings their own voice to the table and without them, Lordran just wouldn't be Lordran. I couldn't be happier with what they're doing. The bass is ferocious while oozing with melody, the drums are fast and chaotic yet have a lot of control, and the guitars are a combination of bardic and epic while maintaining a black metal vibe. I'm not sure if we bring anything necessarily original to the genre but everyone meshes so well together and compliments the songs so well that I wouldn't change any of it. In this day and age it’s hard to sound completely original but it is still possible to have an original approach to writing music, which I think we definitely have.

How did your lyrics for Lordran’s early songs reflect the state of mind you were in when you wrote them?
The early Lordran lyrics were very disjointed. Lyrics always come second for me. What I had was fine but much prefer having them focused with a concept. I would describe them as "majestic and melancholy" because most of my lyrics have a sadness to them. I'd say the lyrics now feel more gothic but I like that. I wrote the songs in the midst of a deep depression but that's honestly the only time I can write. I feel the music reflects that more than the lyrics.

How original an approach to black metal does Lordran have now, after there have been so many changes in lineup? How do the bardic and epic guitars contribute to your sound for example?
On the surface I'm sure some would refute our originality. If you listen to “Divulgence” you can easily hear our influences. But I think our originality comes from how we write songs and approach music in general. Lordran has gone through an overwhelming amount of lineup changes, but the band has vastly improved each time. I love working with the current lineup, not just because they are all fantastic musicians but because they contribute heavily to the songwriting and making each Lordran song feel like a piece of art. The bardic and epic riffs are not original in concept but original in approach. That's honestly what music performance is trying to find your own unique approach instead of always trying to reinvent the wheel. Over the past two years, especially since collaborating on songs with Tala'zjar, Lordran's vision has been concrete. I think that as long as that vision is clear, to write music that doesn’t worry about boundaries; being too technical/simple or whatever is a pitfall a lot of bands find themselves getting stuck in; people will see us as an original band.

Who is in Lordran’s current lineup? Do they have experience from playing in bands before joining Lordran?
On all of our social media listings you will see only stage names. Although some people know who we are, we like to keep anonymous whenever possible to feed the mystical aura that surrounds the band. We all do have previous experience in several bands and Lordran was mistaken as a supergroup by a small circle of people that were near our early rehearsals. But the current lineup is: Asramis - Guitars/Synths, Tala'zjar - Guitars/Vocals, Mikëlaeth - Bass/backing vocals, Kr'tx – Drums.

What bands were Lordran’s new members previously involved in? How much does their experience help the band in terms of practicing and performing?
For the sake of ambiguity I would rather not reveal the band names. But each of us have a lot of experience with both performing and intense practicing. Our drummer currently plays with us as well as in a symphonic deathcore band. Our bass player plays guitar in a progressive death metal band and does guitar and vocals for a hard rock band. Our vocalist/guitarist has an atmospheric black metal project and played drums for various bands. I myself have played guitar, bass and synth for various bands over the years. All of us have extensive musical backgrounds and it makes practicing and writing an absolute dream. Songs come together so quickly because all of us are both professional and well versed with music in general.

Do you think people would be surprised knowing the other bands Lordran’s current lineup are playing in? What is the reason for the anonymity?
I think that people would be absolutely surprised. Some of us are known for playing other instruments or playing in bands with genres that are far from black metal, so knowing that we play in this band would cause heavy chatter. I keep the anonymity for selfish reasons. When I was first getting into extreme metal, I loved hearing a great album and not knowing who anybody was or what they looked like. I loved that mystery. It made the experience almost mystic. I want to convey that with Lordran. We do wear hooded robes live and have only stage names credited but it won't be the end of the world if someone figures out who we are. I don't want the anonymity to be a gimmick, moreso a symbol that the music we create is more important than who makes it. I won't do every interview in full costume/character but some I absolutely would.

When do you think would be most appropriate to do an interview in character?
We are honestly arbitrary on when we do interviews like that. Our very first interview was on a local radio station. We walked in fully robed and gave our interview in character. Those that heard it, ate it up. It was serious while also being tongue in cheek. I think as the story of Lordran becomes more well-known we will do more interviews like that. I want to keep everyone on their toes and never fully expect what to get from a Lordran interview.

What kind of intensity does tuning your guitars to E flat standard give your songs? How would you describe it to someone who hasn’t heard the band’s material?
E flat standard gives our songs the aura of heavy melodicism. I've always been impressed with bands like Atheist and (early) Morbid Angel that could write punishing riffs without tuning way down. That, combined with my tendency to write on higher registers made E flat standard the best choice for us. It can be a dark tuning and an honest tuning. If a band can be heavy in E flat or even E standard, it's a badge of honor to me. I love bands with low tunings but I've always felt comfortable playing in E flat. Plus Mikelaeth plays a six string bass and Tal'zjar plays a seven string so if we need to hit lower registers we have far ability.
To someone who hasn't heard us before, I would describe our sound as epic, melodious and mystical. The entire album feels like a "best of black metal" because we pull from a variety of influences but the music stays linear and organized. It's not a raw sound but it's also not polished. It is the audio equivalent of a dusty tome in an abandoned tower that belonged to a mysterious necromancer.

Is E flat standard the lowest you tune your guitars, or are you experimenting with even lower tones? Is the band experimenting with any dissonant chords?
E flat standard is currently the lowest our guitars go. Eventually I would like to experiment with different tunings but I'm not sure when. I love C# standard and even chord tunings like C11 but I'm not sure if I'd use them for Lordran. We are using dissonant chords a lot more than I expected. Our drummer is heavily influenced by Dodechahedron, Portal and other dissonant bands and it has inspired me to write that way more than I used to. Tala'zjar uses dissonant chords a lot more than I do but we have a song (not currently title) where I am weaving what I refer to as zombie chords. We will still have a heavy sense of melody but every now and then I want to create really dissonant, abysmal feeling songs."

Many guitarists and bassists play with multiple-stringed instruments to expand their range. Is this something Lordran is currently experimenting with or considering experimenting with?
Two thirds of our instruments are extended range. There is one six string bass and one seven string guitar, the other guitar being a normal six string. We tend to use the extended range very selectively but I like that. I'd prefer not to go to eight strings and beyond but it's not completely ruled out.

Do you and the band hear the differences made by a six string bass and a seven string guitar added to the formula?
When we hit those moments in songs where we use that range it definitely changes the dynamic of the song. I love that it's so sparing to use the extra strings because it makes the moments they are used that much heavier.

What songs on “Divulgence of the Rotten Spire” are examples of the expanded range the band achieves with their instruments?
"Impious Majesty" and "Eye of Quintessence" both tap into that low end. It's subtle but effective. Between the time we wrote and finished the album I was using an 8 string guitar. I sold it because that low end was more than I needed. However, I had a part on "eye of quintessence" that tapped into that low end and made it sound very abysmal. I rewrote the part for my current guitar and I'm satisfied with it but sometimes I miss the intensity the low end brought to it. It's ultimately better to not become too reliant on it, though.

What are the lyrics in "Impious Majesty" and "Eye of Quintessence" written about and how does the music complement them?
"Divulgence of the Rotten Spire" is a concept album and each song contains a pivotal part of the story. "Impious Majesty" is about the antagonist killing the God of that kingdom to make himself a God. He then sheds his own body (the body of a dragon) and turns it into a spire of rotting flesh. The music compliments the lyrics perfectly. It's fast and chaotic and then ends on a melancholy note. The guitar solos at the end feel very sad and mournful, which is perfect for the song about an evil entity becoming a God and plunging the world into an abyss of his weaving. "Eye of Quintessence" is the epic conclusion to the album. The antagonist possessed our main character Zorven and two thousand years after the events of "Impious Majesty" took place, the curse over him breaks. He recalls a secret pit that lies beneath the grounds that would essentially eat the entire grounds and end all existence. Zorven decides that an existence of nothing outweighs an existence of misery and seeks out the pit, known as the eye of quintessence. So the song is about that journey. The music has so many parts (some of which are very difficult to play live) and it takes the listener on a journey. It has moments of ferocity and moments of contemplation. My favorite part of that track is the very end where the music comes to what feels like an explosion and then you hear subtle chords creeping in. Tala'zjar carne up with that idea and it was absolutely perfect.

What was the concept of "Divulgence of the Rotten Spire" inspired by? Did inspiration partly come from authors or script writers, or was it composed of ideas you had in mind for some time?
The Divulgence concept wasn't pre-meditated. The idea of the flesh tower inspired us to just keep adding one idea after another. If I were to name any main literary influences I would narrow it down to three; Clive Barker, Mike Shel (particularly the book The Aching God) and Harlan Ellison. Tala'zjar added more to the fantasy aspect of the concept and I added the horror aspect.

Explain how the concept of "Divulgence of the Rotten Spire" was thought up and developed, and how long it took for it to complete.
The concept for Divulgence was spontaneous. I had all of the early versions of those songs written musically but didn't have anything for lyrics. I mentioned to everyone else about doing a concept album and they loved the idea. Every week after that point it slowly developed. It started with the album name itself, "Divulgence of the Rotten Spire" and then a very rough draft of the plot surfaced as ideas came. Tala'zjar and I would develop the story more and more each week, staying awake until two or three in the morning ironing out the details. I'd say it took about a year to solidify the story and marry the music to the concept.

After the lyrical concept was worked out, was the music composed to reflect on the storyline? How were the desired themes included in each of the song?
Once we had the story flashed out, it boiled down to deciding the order of the songs and where they fit in the narrative. Some songs, especially "Eye Of Quintessence", had parts added to convey a certain mood. The music consciously written with a theme in mind but it feels synonymous with the lyrics now. We all deliberated for a long time on the song order but I think they flow into each other perfectly. "Vile incantation" starting the album is beautiful irony, since I had written that song eight years ago and played it in two bands prior to Lordran. It’s completely different now, though.

How much input did each member of the band have when it came to developing the concept musically and lyrically?
Musically everyone had tremendous input. I would present the skeleton and everyone would add their own voice to it and discuss the song structure. I wouldn't be so proud of this album if not for everyone's own musical input. Several parts were added that enhanced the feel of each song. Lyrically I was given free reign. I am a fiction writer in my spare time, so I used that passion to fuel the lyrics. Tala'zjar wrote the narration leading into "From Darkest Murk" and had suggestions for vile that I kept. The name Kelgaroth (the antagonist) was his. Aside from that, I wrote the lyrics and narrations and everyone was okay with me doing so. I love writing lyrics for a band like this.

How important was the horror aspect in presenting the concept of the album to your listeners?
The lyrics convey a story much darker than normal fantasy. By no means did we go for traditional horror either but we wanted it to feel as bleak and dark as some of our influences, while still having the feel of an epic fantasy. I think that we accomplished that.

How many similarities exist between your fiction writing and the lyrics you write for Lordran?
They are synonymous with each other. I write primarily horror and fantasy and the concept mirrored both of those. Once we had the story it honestly felt like writing an epic poem. Our lyrics feel more poetic than lyrical but the reception about them has been good.

How long have you been writing fiction? What genres of horror and fantasy do you usually write it, or does it vary?
I've been writing off and on since I was about fifteen. I experiment in other genres but ultimately everything I write has a very gothic feel. All of my characters often meet either a melancholy or a cataclysmic end and Divulgence is no exception.

Do you have any fiction pieces published in print or posted on internet sites? Or if not, do you plan to have some of your fiction published in the near future?
I had a few things put on the internet some years ago but ultimately deleted them. I do however, have large archives of things saved or placed in a tangible folder that I have yet to send anywhere. I would like to see some of those works published, even if I did it myself. There's been talk to publish the Divulgence story into an E-book but I haven't begun work on that yet.

Would you publish your fiction independently if you published it in book form? How many of your tales would you publish in all?
I treat my writing how I treat this band. As of prevent I present things independently but if the opportunity arose to release it to a wider audience than I would. I've always preferred the books (when it comes to horror) that contained several short stories instead of one long one. If I were to put a book out I would say I'd like to put twenty of my favorites into one volume. Only time will tell if that happens.

Do you imagine the band will continue the concept of "Divulgence of the Rotten Spire" on the next full length or come up with a new concept you haven’t tried?
I think that ultimately I would rather not continue the concept. I envision Lordran to be a band that makes moves one can never expect. The concept has received wonderful feedback but I. and I know everyone else in Lordran, have so many ideas for new releases. This isn't to say that there wouldn't be another concept, just not the Divulgence story. I respect bands that have a story that goes album to album but I'd rather approach it differently.

All things we discussed considered, what is Lordran contributing and will continue contributing to extreme metal?
We are contributing music heavy with melody but steeped in mystical atmosphere. We are contributing a discography and approach that cannot be easily predicted. The next few releases will be a reflection of what we want to do as artists. Years from now, if we are fortunate enough to be a part of the annals of extreme metal, I'd like Lordran to be seen as a band that crafted songs without compromise and put cohesive songwriting over mechanical technicality. I don't see Lordran as being flawless or revolutionary but I'm proud of what we are doing and the reception thus far has been great. In short, we contribute to extreme metal a band that wears many masks as far as influences and musicianship but is still covered with the foggy cloak that is black metal.

-Dave Wolff