A few months back I had the pleasure of reading the book ''Trapper Boy''. It was an excellent story, and I am more than glad that I had the chance to give it a view. More recently (within the last few days) I managed to read ''Us and Them'', the second book in the series. As stated on the back cover, Us and Them is set in a 1920s Sydney Mines, and is the story of sixteen year old JW Donaldson, who interrupts his high school education to work in the coal mine to help support his family. A fatal accident in the mine awakens JW to just how dangerous working conditions are and to how management seems to care more about production than about the men and boys who are the means of that production. Us And Them is just as enthralling as the first book, and I encourage one and all to give it a read for themselves. Both Trapper Boy and Us and Them are heartwarming in parts, well written, and bring light to a past that was once reality for the citizens of Sydney Mines, Cape Breton (Canada). Written by the talented Hugh R. Macdonald, Us and Them is now a personal favorite I will probably read again in the not so distant future. I am now looking forward to the third installment, and other works that Hugh may release. Great job, Hugh! -Devin Joseph Meaney
Genre: Psychedelic, stoner, doom, post punk, space rock
Full Length: Eschatology
Label: Small Stone Recordings
Format: CD, digital, streaming
Release date: September 6, 2019
Ok, listen very carefully, I am going to say this only once: LISTEN TO THIS ALBUM.
And that’s my review thank you for coming to my ted talk.
Ok but seriously this is an amazing trip of an album! So many gorgeous, tasty technicolour treats for your earbuds! That bass fuzz, those drum beats, the vocals that Ozzy would approve of and the guitars that just riff over the cacophony of awesomeness. Fuck I may just like this band!
This album, nay! THIS BAND! Will take you away from here. From all your woes, from all your bad moments that may be happening from all the sludge of your 9-5 job. They will wrap it up in the damn tightest roach you ever done see and smoke your blues away in a transcending mix of tunes.
One listen to this and you WILL be transported somewhere. Where to exactly? FUCK NOSE! ….wait….fuck knows! Nose fuck?… would that be called nasal sex?
Any way you see my point you will forget where you are in the space time continuum of life and be in another world of kickass riffs and fuzzing little bass numbers.
At one point I ended up flying along with a dragon – using him like a surfboard and beating the everlasting shit outta the Threads from one of Anne McCaffrey’s novels… good times yo.
Meanwhile the guy at the local corner store just looked at me and said “Dude, again?” while I was being obscene to the confectionary stand. I bought everything and left with my shame and the kick ass music of Pale Grey Lore in my head.
Excuse me, I gotta listen to this album again.
Rating: One helluva fuck yeah covered in all the fuzz! -Ghoul Shadows
Michael Miller: lead and backing vocals, six-string electric and acoustic guitars, theremin and mellotron sounds
Xander Roseberry: backing vocals, six-string and twelve-string electric and acoustic guitars, theremin and chimes
Donovan Johnson: bass guitar
Adam Miller: drums and auxiliary percussion
1. Sunken Cities
2. Greed Springs Eternal
3. Before the Fall
5. Waiting for the Dawn
6. The Rift
8. Silent Command
Check out Ghoul Shadows’ horror stories at Tales of the Twisted on Facebook and Wordpress.
Crimson Moon has produced seven albums since their coming together in 1994, with their 2019 release “Mors Vincit Omnia” being their latest. There is a reason these lads from Germany have the black metal community talking about and sharing the tracks off this incredible album. This is black metal, this is dark, atmospheric, unintentional emotive and sinters and is being called by many, one of the best albums of 2019. Take a listen for yourself and of course, you be the judge, however after I listened to this sheer brutal, nasty and blackened creation, I concur.
Crimson Moon has delivered an occult driven, evil and menacing sound, stained with an impressive and eerie atmospheric ambiance. As soundscapes of secular choir hymns feel like a subtle homage to Batushka, they are the perfect backdrop to the incursion of a spiteful and powerful vocal delivery from lead vocalist, Scorpios Androctonus.
Bringing a diverse vocal experience throughout this album, is guest vocal presentations from artists Ixithra of Demoncy, Proscriptor of Absu, Lord Angelslayer of Archgoat and Phaesphoros of Kawir. All of whom make their mark in blood copiously throughout this album and offer an excellent variance to the tracks, such as ‘Godspeed Angel Of Death’ and ‘Upon The Pale Horse’.
When albums such as “Mors Vincit Omnia” are released, it is hard to find words to justify such an incredibly black creation. This is an album resembling the thick stench of all things unholy, vicious and fearful with exceptional musicianship, creative and deep lyrical content and exemplary production.
Each track propels you, as the listener into the darkness with formidably heavy and seething riffs, punchy and weighted drum tracks and crushing melodies.
The first listen to “Mors Vincit Omnia” hooks and the second listen grows before the album evolves infinitely and becomes colder with each run.
“Mors Vincit Omnia” showcases synth and organ that sets the scene of a gothic cathedral full of all things sinful & unpleasant with an ambiance shrouded in mystery and iniquity as the vocal tones are hissing and skulking with scorn and contempt.
Crimson Moon released Canticles Of Dust in 2018, and in such a short time, you can feel the band's maturity, progression and diversity making “Mors Vincit Omnia” a very impressive effort, offering a dimmer and deeper artistry. These men have taken their signature sounds and amplified it.
Prepare to have shreds torn off your skin, and the hairs stand up on the back of your neck as you listen to the gloom and devastation of “Mors Vincit Omnia”. This entire creation is malevolent, grim and uncompromising black metal. -Kelly Tee
Scorpios Androctonus: Bass, Vocals and Synths
Sabnoc: Guitars and Backing Vocals
Lord Angelslayer: Guest Vocals on track III
Proscriptor: Guest Vocals on track III
Ixithra: Guest Vocals on track IV
Phaesphoros: Additional Choir Vocals and Wooden Recorder on track V
Outro music written and performed by Brian Artwick on track VIII
Interview with Alexander Olaya Ojeda of ABYSMAL DOMINATION
What is today’s Colombian death metal scene like, and what is Abysmal Domination’s role in it?
These days the death metal scene in Colombia is growing in all its territories; here we can find all death metal styles from old school to new. There are legendary bands like Masacre who for thirty years have worked hard within this style of music. There is Internal Suffering one of the most important brutal bands around the globe. There are Mindly Rotten, Under Threat, Nameless, and more great bands that keep the scene alive. The Colombian Death metal scene is global now.
Abysmal Domination is a new band. We have been active since 2018, playing brutal Death Metal, growing in this short time, playing important shows and fests with the biggest bands in the local scene, and foreign bands. This December we will release our first professional production "Cryptica Manipulación Omnipresente" with nine tracks of our style of death metal. Our lyrics talk about crushing reality, with extreme melodies. We are preparing different shows to promote the album. Our next gig is with Horna and Divide in our country on the 24th of October.
Have the members of Abysmal Domination been part of the Colombian scene for a long time? What previous bands, if any, were you members of before starting this one?
Harold the bass player was in Krashing Scum (grindcore) and Necropsick (death metal) band and was the vocalist from Cremonensis (deathgore). Cesar the drummer was in Witch Hells (thrash/death metal) and I was in Necropsick, and other bands. All the members of Abysmal Domination now just work for this band.
Is material still available from the bands you were working in before Abymal Domination? If so, where can it be found?
There is no material from most of these bands but Krashing Scum are still playing with other members and they have records available.
How much has Colombian death metal grown since it began? What makes the death metal genre in your country unique next to death metal from other countries?
The death metal scene here has matured a lot. You can see it in the bands’ professional work, their sound, their technique and their performances. You can see this in death metal fests and events. The death metal in our country is so different; the first bands had a particular sound that influenced global black metal. What I mean is ultra metal, a Colombian style of raw, extreme and noisy metal, and bands like Parabellum, Astaroth, Necromantie, Reencarnación, Blasfemia, Masacre and others who were around in the beginning. This influenced bands like Mayhem, especially through merch distribution between Mauricio Montoya (Bull Metal) and Euronymous.
How would you describe the “ultra metal” sound of the bands you cited above?
Ultra Metal has a particular raw sound, coming from the violence prevalent in Colombia. The difficult economic conditions here make professional studio recordings impossible; there were no studios where metal bands could record; so the first ultra metal bands made home records. Parabellum was the first band with dark lyrics and an extreme raw sound.
As much as early death metal from the 1980s/90s, does early grindcore or the subgenres that grew from it (deathgrind, goregrind etc) play a part in Colombian death metal’s development?
In the 80s and 90s American, South American and European grindcore, death grind and gore grind were part of the development of the music. They are all a benchmark and we have all the tools to experiment with our music. Venom, Sarcófago, Celtic Frost, Death, Sepultura, Obituary, Morbid Ángel, Deicide, Suffocation, Carcass, Napalm Death, Deeds Of Flesh, Avulsed, Lividity, Gorgasm, Exhumed, Disgorge and new bands like Cephalic Carnage and Nader Sadek influence metal globally.
Have more independent labels, distros and zines appeared in Colombia over the years? Do metal fans in other countries know much about the Colombian scene, or would you like them to know more?
In Colombia you can find studios, labels and distros, and the global scene knows about Colombia as one of the most brutal scenes in the world. Mutilated Records, Lorito Records, Soundblast Records, Eleven Beats, Ultrametal Productions, Wolf Legions Productions… There are many bands from Colombia touring like Masacre, Internal Suffering, Undertreath, Revenge Witchtrap and Reencarnacion.
How many metal fests are held in Colombia each year? At which has the band appeared for as long as you’ve been active?
There are so any festivals in each region of the country, but the biggest festivals are Rock Al Parque, Festival Del Diablo, Grita Rock, Alta Voz, Grind Death Fest and last year’s Knotfest and Nariño Vive Underground. So far our only fest appearance was at the last Nariño Vive Underground.
Who did Abysmal Domination appear with at Nariño Vive Underground? Was there a healthy turnout at this festival? How much press coverage did the event receive?
We appeared at this fest due to a direct invitation after our work from July to December of last year. Every year people from other countries come and the events are growing every year with local media covering them.
What equipment did the band have to work with when they started? Have you been able to get better equipment since then?
When we started we worked with basic drums, bass, guitars, digital pedals and a mic for the vocals, but now we have a better equipment for rehearsals and live gigs. We have good drums with bass, analog pedals and guitars and we work whit an engineer to play live.
Who is the main lyric writer of Abysmal Domination, and what are your lyrics written about?
Vocalist Andrés is the main lyric writer, but we all have a hand in writing. The lyrics focus on a wide range of relevant themes; mostly human predation, systems of domination, pollution, etc. It’s mostly about our own country and society in general. The idea is to transform minds and take them out of the lifeless world of virtual technology in which we live nowadays.
How would you explain seeing virtual technology as lifeless? How is this idea expressed in your songs?
We think technology and social media in many ways has people blind and enslaved, to take control of us. There are so many people who use this technology to make life comfortable, and it makes them dumb and lazy. They live their lives on social media believing all that happens in the virtual world; they’re controlled by lies and fake news and take from reality. Another topic is the rape of your privacy as the government has all our personal information, and knows the things we do. An example is the Snowden Declarations on Wikileaks. We are "living in the pupil of 1000 eyes."
Does the band have demos available to genre fans at home and abroad? How many have you released, what formats are they available in and how many copies were made?
The band has a physical demo out titled “Abysmal Domination”. It contains five tracks, “Portal Del Engendro Séptico”. “Grotesca Programación Monarca”, “Infierno Interno”, “Implacable Genocida Beligerante Y Perpetuo” and “Abysmal Domination.” We made only 100 independent copies on CD for the local scene. There are no copies available now but we will make copies when the álbum comes out. We have a pair of songs, one from the demo and one from a professional live sessión on Soundcloud and Reverbnation. A live professional track of “Homosapiens Origen Del Horror” and a demo version of “Portal del Engendro Séptico” from the “Abysmal Domination” demo. On Youtube we have live videos, rehearsals and professional/live videos including one for “Homosapiens Origen Del Horror.”
Did you shop any copies of your demo to any zines? If so, were the reviews favorable?
We don’t promote the demo to zines’ we only sold to friends and the local scene. We also want to remix the tracks for a better sound.
How much exposure has Abysmal Domination’s Youtube and streaming pages gotten the band outside of Colombia?
Youtube and streaming pages can also be useful to expand our music and make people outside Colombia know and follow our work. We think the most important thing here is honesty between the band, the listeners and the scene. We do the best we can, and time and perseverance will say a lot about us. We just do what we feel. People like you give us support and we will give everything with honesty.
How many zines outside Colombia have interviewed you? In those interviews did you get to talk about the scene in your country besides the band?
We did interviews with No Te Calles Zine and Comando Under Zine in which we talked about the band’s history and the local scene/
Did you record “Cryptica Manipulación Omnipresente” independently or did you attend a professional recording studio to work with engineers and mixers?
We made “Cryptica Manipulación Omnipresente” at Xieleven Studio Professional. First we recorded drums, then four guitars for each song; two leads and two rhythm; then bass, vocals and finally the solos. The album is in the mixing process now then we’ll master the material. It will be ready in mid-November; we’ll send it to be pressed and it will be out mid-December. We’ll send it to different labels. We want a label that will do good promo work to move the band in the global scene.
Was the equipment at this studio sufficient when it came to having a good sound? How long did it take the band and the others involved to record, mix and master your debut full length?
All the equipment in the studio produced a great sound. The studio has all new recording technology, but we prefer the old school sound so the studio gave us all the tools to make that possible. We started recording in August and now we are finishing the vocals. When we finish the studio will take a month and give us the final product. In October they are mixing and mastering, then in November we will send promos to labels. The plan is to have the album on December 20.
Does the band have any labels in mind to release the album on? Will you mostly be looking for distribution through Colombian labels, or labels outside the country?
We have many labels in mind and will wait for the best and most serious offer. I think all serious labels can make a great distribution inside and outside the country. We are interested in labels like Green Revolution, Unmatched Brutality Records, Headsplit Records and Season Of Mist (jaja I’m dreaming).
Where in Colombia and other countries do you plan to perform to promote the new album?
We have shows in Ecuador in differente dates in November and we want to play in Peru and Brazil.
When you release enough albums farther down the road and gain enough of a reputation, would you eventually like to break into the U.S. market? What U.S. bands would you most like to perform with?
We want to play with classic death metal bands like Morbid Angel, Suffocation, Immolation, Monstrosity, Terrorizer, Malevolent Creation, Cannibal Corpse, Hate Eternal, Possessed, Incantation… the list will never ends. Alsovbands like Malignant Altar, Blood Incantation and Fetid
Kelly Tee: Day Of The Beast, a relatively new band to the black metal scene. How did it all start for you guys? How did Day Of The Beast spawn so to speak?
Hi Kelly, thanks for giving us an opportunity for an interview with you and Dave from Autoeroticasphyxium Zine.
The band was born in May 2017, Demoniac and Sheogorath were in a pub together and discussed a project to create an old school black metal and then Day of the Beast was created.
I joined them a few months later, in July 2017, as a guitarist.
Dave Wolff: What is the band's name Day Of The Beast inspired by and supposed to mean?
The band's name is inspired by horror Spanish movie: El Dia de la Bestia. As you noticed on our EP's cover, The Beast is some kind of Icon for us.
Kelly Tee: Before Day Of The Beast, was it black metal for you musicians or did you guys dabble in other forms of heavy metal?
On my side, I was not used to listening to a lot of Black Metal, I knew the big names like Marduk, Immortal, Emperor. I was more involved in Thrash Metal and bands like Machine Head, Exodus… My two partners made me like this music and especially the old school wave which influences our writing / composing of our songs.
Demoniac listened to Black Metal for a long time but he also likes Thrash (he is a huge fan of Slayer), Heavy Metal, War Metal. He has this knowledge of underground music.
Sheogorath is probably the most eclectic of the band. He listens mostly black metal music but also listens to other kinds of music I mean other than Metal.
All of us are using all these different inspirations to compose our music and sometimes you can find a more thrashy or heavy riffs or drums section which is pretty cool and this allow us not to stay in one genre all the time and create some surprises when you listen to our songs.
Dave Wolff: In your interview for Occult Black Metal Zine you stated your lyrics are not meant to cast blame on Christianity but rather to express your views about it.
In our lyrics, we only expose our visions of Christianity BUT we would never tell anyone through our music that this religion is bad or good. We are not here to create any polemics: People have their own opinions and we fully respect it. We play music because this is our way to express feelings… we make it for people's pleasure and also our pleasure. We create music that we like.
Kelly Tee: Your 2018 EP release First Invocation was three tracks of rough, nasty black metal. How successful has this EP been for you guys?
For us, it is with great pleasure that we see that our first EP was so well welcomed everywhere. We got very nice reviews in France but also in foreign countries (Australia for example ).
Honestly speaking, we were not expecting such great feedback and selling so fast our EP and Merch.
This is so motivating for us to get all this support around the world. It pushes us to make a fucking good first full-length album 😊
Kelly Tee: What is First Invocation all about? What is the inspiration for the impure and evil content?
The inspirations are numerous: horror movies, books, old school atmosphere/vibes. Regarding Lyrics and Demoniac watches a lot of horror movies and reads lots of satanic books which helps us to create this atmosphere.
Kelly Tee: The content of First Invocation is deliciously satanic and dark, with tracks such as ‘Bastard Jesus Christ' and Descent Into Hell and of course Perversions De Sade. Is this type of content more than just art for the boys of Day Of The Beast or do you use the power of the anti-Christ themes to amplify your art?
We choose to put all the nasty/ugly sides of the black metal music and its topics like Satanism, occult, religion (anti-Christian). We want those people when they listen to us or read our titles to feel a little bit shocked but in the good sense if you get what I mean. We are not here to create polemics or anything like that we are here to play our music and that's it. As stated before, everybody has his/her beliefs and choices and we respect that.
Dave Wolff: What inspired you to write a song about the Marquis De Sade, and in what ways does it fit the band's concept? And how much research did you on De Sade before writing about him?
Demoniac read books from Marquis de Sade and took his inspiration with it to compose the song. This author was a perfect to fit for our music, and we wanted it to be "shocking". The universe from him corresponds 100% to what we would like to include in our music/lyrics. We also look at the internet information regarding the person, who he was. You need to understand something before writing or composing about it. It is crucial so that what you tell has a sense.
Kelly Tee: The European metal scene, particularly black metal is solid. Has France always been a country to embrace black metal? Or this a relatively new sub-genre to take off over there?
Of course, the European scene is great for Black Metal mainly Scandinavia or Eastern Europe but in France, this genre is not so well known. It was a challenge for us to create an old school black metal band from France as the scene hasn’t got a lot of representation here.
In France, there are some blackened death metal bands but True black metal or any other types of BM not so much. So creating old school black metal meant that we took a risk but we won is a good way of putting it.
Kelly Tee: How was Day Of The Beast been received by your home town Dunkirk? Have you had any opposition given the ungodly and possibly offensive (to some) nature of your music?
Dunkirk is not a big town for metal. We have a couple of friends that enjoy our music but if you want to get known you need to see venture outside of Dunkirk. For example, the main town in the North of France is LILLE where you get exposure for concerts, radios …
Regarding offensive or bad feedback we have yet to get any, but who knows what future could bring 😊.
Kelly Tee: Where would you say your largest fan base is and why?
As a French band, our main fan base is in France. But we are surprised that we sold EP and been listening to in Australia, Malaysia, Mexico, the USA, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Russia.
This is great to know that our music is being listened to around the world.
Kelly Tee: Day Of The Beast is currently working on new material. How will this compare to the sounds of First Invocation EP, what can we all expect?
We have a path with our first EP so the full-length album will follow this path. We have the sound that we want to keep. However, we will try to add more melodics, atmospheric passages and try to make songs that have a larger time duration. Expect even more violent, nastier, uglier, creepier, more everything! I have already said too much. I have to stop now ha ha ha 😊 surprise surprise.
Kelly Tee: When can Fans expect your next onslaught of blasphemy to hit Bandcamp & digital platforms?
We haven’t got a set date yet, however if you follow our Facebook page we will be keeping bands updates. It is not too far away.
Dave Wolff: How soon do you expect to start performing outside Europe, and where would you most like to make an appearance?
Of course, we would like to play outside France: Belgium, Holland, Germany, Australia (isn't it Kelly? 😉) We got people in the US asking us when we would come over but you know it is not easy for a band to plan such a long trip. First, we will work on the album and then we will see how we could arrange to play outside of France.
Kelly Tee: You guys have been busy doing some cool gigs around France and Europe. For those of us who might have to wait to see you play, what can one expect from a Day Of The Beast live show?
Our live performances are based on an atmosphere of which we want to be the darkest possible. We wear some kind of Priests' suits and thanks to this our faces are hidden. We want to leave a certain mystery around the band. We also have lots of accessories which point to occult and dark atmosphere but the best way to see this is to come to our future gigs! 😉
Kelly & Dave: Thanks for your time Arno, is there anything else you would like say? You have the floor.
Thanks for your time and for the great support you have offered us since the beginning. Thanks to all the people around the world who support us and spread the Beast's speech. Without your support, Day of the Beast would not exist so huge thanks to all of you!
Just released by Cadabra Records is a collection of poems written by the legendary H.P. Lovecraft. As we know, Lovecraft is a classic American author in the tradition of Washington Ivring, Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker, having published his complete body of horror fiction and weird fiction by the age of forty-six. “The Rats in the Walls,” “The Call of Cthulhu,” “At the Mountains of Madness,” “The Shadow over Innsmouth” and “The Shadow Out of Time” were unlike anything written before his time, influential to contemporary authors but never quite equaled. Cadabra Records is taking the task of preserving his work for the millennial generation of horror fans with extreme care and planning. Millennials who may be familiar with Lovecraft’s fiction will discover he was as gifted at writing verse. The poems featured here were written in the late 1920s, and their imagery would be elaborated upon in “Madness” and “Innsmouth.” Lovecraft’s ability to bring eldritch creatures too horrible to imagine to life is more than convincingly reproduced by stage/screen actor Andrew Leman of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. Composer Fabio Frizzi who contributed to the soundtracks of the horror classics “The Beyond” and “City of the Living Dead” and Quentin Tarantino’s grindhouse movie “Kill Bill” delivers acoustic compositions to accompany Leman, ensuring your attention is firmly, unbreakably held. “H.P. Lovecraft’s I Notturni Di Yuggoth” is an anthology you should listen to well past midnight with a single light on close by, as it will produce the same effect as reading a book of his poems in this setting. You might even find yourself looking over your shoulder every now and then, just to see if something is lurking in the dark behind you. Leman and Frizzi work together as if they’re painting a wall mural with every word recited and guitar note played, the acoustic guitars complement each verse creating a fitting mood for the gripping images read to the listener. Frizzi’s interpretations of Leman’s animated narration creates a monumental cinematic panorama inside your mind that’s infinitely better than virtual reality because you’re free to put your imagination to work and explore. The exclusive vinyl release comes with instrumental versions of each track, commissioned artwork by Jeremy Hush, liner notes by Frizzi, an essay by weird fiction scholar S.T. Joshi, a foldout insert and poster. -Dave Wolff
Andrew Leman: Spoken word
Fabio Frizzi: Acoustic guitars
1. H.P. Lovecraft - The Book-Pursuit
2. H.P. Lovecraft - Star Winds
3. H.P. Lovecraft - A Memory
4. H.P. Lovecraft - Night-Gaunts
5. H.P. Lovecraft - Nyartathotep
6. H.P. Lovecraft - Azathoth
7. H.P. Lovecraft - St. Toads
8. H.P. Lovecraft - The Familiars
9. H.P. Lovecraft - The Book-Pursuit (instrumental)
The dark ambiance of Dungeon Synth subgenre has significantly evolved since its creation in the 80s, and this has been clearly demonstrated by Byrhtnoth Dungeon Synth project with the 2018 album “Brethren To The Fire Trumpets.” The artist behind this project is Liam ‘Baelathvan' Mohor, from Adelaide, Australia. And without doubt, what has been created is pure sophistication with blackened aesthetics in six stunning and moving tracks. Tracks which feel and sound less like a video game and more like a well-written and epic novel, one that is mature, captivating and showcases exceptional melodicism with a medieval and elegiac appeal.
Impressive soundscapes from the synthesizers glide over this album perfectly. Distant and faded blackened vocal tones provide impact with a sense of fantasy, fear, and wonder. Each track will carry you away, leaving an eerie and beautiful impression on the listener, one that often feels foreboding, prophetic and dramatic. While some tracks are instrumental, others such as "Between The Dawn Of Faerie And The Domination Of Men" are an anthem, a war cry to men and creatures heading to battle. This is a most ominous and atmospheric conception, in which Liam can be heard using his vocal skills to establish encouragement to a fight that feels victorious. This was a truly magnificent experience, which transferred emotion and power.
“Brethren To The Fire Trumpet” is large, theatrical and mystifying, with superb orchestral scores, emotive melody and a crawling black metal vocal style. To maximize the experience of this album, one should listen in solitude for a heightened appreciation of the musicianship and to travel to the battlefields of Middle Earth. -Kelly Tee
Liam "Baelathvan" Mohor: Vocals, all instruments
1. The Trumpets Of Fire
2. In The Nightside Battle For Helms Deep
3. Vratyas Vakyas
4. Cair Andros
5. Between The Dawn Of Faerie And The Dominion Of Men
It’s 2019 and Tool’s new album is finally here with all the fun and excitement one can expect. After 13 years of waiting Tool fan boys can rejoice!
…Ugh, It’s difficult to dance around this one. So here we go…
It is an album that is neither here nor there.
Off the bat I am going to say it’s not a bad album – but it’s not a good album either. I don’t hate it like I do that movie Ghost Busters 2016. And it’s nowhere near as bad as that “Lars Ulrich’s Snare” fucking album. It’s not really bad at all. But it’s not that great either.
The whole album feels underwhelming, but why? People have been saying it’s going back to their old ways with being a prog band etc. etc. and I can respect that. But it still doesn’t seem to strike any chords – pun fucking intended. Then it hit me, - I have heard this before.
You may not have noticed it.
But, your brain did.
A lot of the tracks almost appear to me like they were leftovers from other albums. Bits and pieces that they have picked up off the cutting room floor and packaged into a new album to get money from the saps that call themselves fans. I will come back to how they strip-mine their fans of their hard-earned dollars later.
There is this nagging feeling of: I have heard this from you before, Tool.
Like, I get it, it’s the same band, but I can’t be the only one who is hearing this can I???? You practically raise the dead on this album, Maynard!
Justin Chancellor (bass) made mention that some elements of the album traced back to some ideas they had back in 1995 when he first joined the band. Which explains; in part; why it sounds like it does.
This album was made with the fans in mind. After 13 years this is probably the best direction to take with it. They wouldn’t want to alienate their hardcore fans on the chance of gaining new ones. Which in retrospect was a solid bet. Although for new listeners it’s a lower hit rate you are going to enjoy it as opposed to long time listeners. So, I think they made the right choice. They keep their fans happy and that’s half the battle won. So long as your fans are singing your praises you can sway others to your sound and it will grow. Many other bands have come out with a new sound and completely botched it and been attacked by their own fan base. But then not many bans as big as Tool have waited so long to put an album out. Between the two choices (new sound verses something tried and true) I am glad they went with what worked. Only for the fact it kept the fans happy, but as for me not so much.
I know Tool has some very talented individuals. Honestly, to me it sounds like they released this as soon as they could to shut the fans up about releasing an album. And after 13 years who could blame them?
With all the hype about the album what I notice is a focus on the attention on sales and how much money they have made and how many albums they have sold.
Is it really a big deal that Tool has beaten Taylor Swift on the billboard charts….really? I mean, Tool is obviously better than Taylor Swift hands down…we don’t need a bill board chart to tell us that. It is merely a “Tool money” vs “Swift money” thing. Really, does anyone think Tool fans give a flying fuck about what Taylor Swift is doing? Please. Fuck off and die in your hole Ms. Swift. I mean, why the fuck are they even comparing a band like Tool, who is unique and writes their own material against a Pop star who writes (and I use that term loosely in her case) a song every time she has a bad moment with a guy? Ugh, is this what music has become? Who makes more money? Can we go back to when it was good please????? When music was about what message you gave across and how fucking amazing you were at your instrument? Not the fact we waited 13 fucking years for an album to drop from people who think you wanna hear the same riff for the next 10 mins to make more money than a talentless bimbo?
But hey, Tool, at least you’re better than Taylor Swift, well done.
That’s not an accomplishment. Am I supposed to be impressed?
So the fans wanted to hear an album better than Taylor Swift? …Honestly tell me. Do you think the album was going to be better than Taylor Swift?
Do you think if Fear Inoculum had made less sales than Ms. Swift the album would have been worse?
Do you think with whatever Tool did - Fear Inoculum would have been better than Taylor Swift? Do you think Taylor Swift had any influence on what you thought about this album??????
So don’t try that fucking cry baby argument with me. Not gonna fly, chump.
Compare this album against Tool’s previous albums. Now there is a test. Is it better? Is it not? That’s the real topic we should be discussing. Think about it.
Some of their best songs from Tools past albums are Hooker With A Penis, Forty Six And Two, Sober, Prison Sex, Schism, Stinkfist and The Pot (?). I will just let you add to this list shall I?
Then there is Puscifer. Not Tool but still its Maynard-flavoured “sauce” nonetheless.
I could go on put you get my point.
I actually have a fond memory of “Sober” when it first came out. This song would always greet me when I got home on the TV without fail. After a night out on the town getting drunk it was always an awesome feeling to hear this. Great fucking song.
If I was going to be real about this and brutally honest, it took 45 mins of listening to this album before I got anything out of it. It actually just sounds like a bunch of guys who like Tool who know some of the riffs from some of their songs and decided to make their own songs in a garage band.
But who cares what I think. I am just a nobody who enjoys listening to music. Your music Tool. At least I did. Was this album worth the 13-year wait? No way.
I am more pissed off for waiting 13 years for a fucking album than the album itself. It’s mediocre at best. And yes, many of you will defend the time signatures. OH!!! BUT GHOUL!!! THE TIME SIGNATURES!!!!?!?!?! WARGARBLE!!!! But what about the time signatures!!!!
Listen, I don’t give a fuck about time signatures - I want to hear good music. And while I could get high off bath salts while eating my neighbor’s face passionately to this album, I don’t feel like it has the same bang for its buck like the old Tool songs. Coincidently, if I gotta be high to enjoy your music then your music really isn’t that good – period. That applies to any band.
The album sounds old and dated. You must have been so high, Tool.
For me it truly is a case of your old stuff is better than your new stuff.
Will the album grow on me? It might, but I seriously doubt it.
But hey, who am I to wave my finger?
After the third listen, I stopped listening at about the 25min mark and changed to a different band.
People wanna feel that rush the first time they heard a Tool album. They wanna experience the awesomeness of how cool they were. How listening to a Tool album will take them back in time, to a simpler time. To where listening to this band was in the minority and how they exposed their friends to Maynard’s dick.
This is the problem with taking too long to release new material from any source whether it be a movie or an album. People have expectations. We listen and watch everything related to what we like and start putting bigger and bigger expectations and when it finally gets here…oh…is that it…meh next.
Maybe their next album will be better.
I guess we will have to wait another 13 years and see.
Whether or not you like the album or not. Whether you enjoy it or not the thing is that you have an opinion and it is your opinion just like mine is. I am not a huge fan, I may not even be considered a casual bystander in the epic wait for this album but one thing, you, me Tool and Maynard and his penis can agree on is…
Fuck Taylor Swift.
Rating: 13 years out of a million Taylor Swift dollary-doos. -Ghoul Shadows
Maynard James Keenan: Vocals
Adam Jones: Guitar
Justin Chancellor: Bass
Danny Carey: Drums, synthesizer
1. Fear Inoculum
5. Culling Voices
6. Chocolate Chip Trip (instrumental)
1. Fear Inoculum
3. Litanie contre la peur (instrumental)
5. Legion Inoculant (instrumental)
7. Culling Voices
8. Chocolate Chip Trip
10. Mockingbeat (instrumental)
Check out Ghoul Shadows’ horror stories at Tales of the Twisted on Facebook and Wordpress.
How early did you begin writing poems and short stories for publication in magazines and local newspapers in your home country of Bangladesh?
I can still remember the day I was invented by my home tutor. I was about seven years old then. I never knew that I could be a writer! All the support and help I got from him! There is a backstory of me for being a writer. When I was in class four, my school was going to publish an annual magazine. Our teachers asked us to submit any kind of writings like short stories, poems, rhymes, etc. My home tutor knew that I could write. But for being shy and having a lack of confidence all the time I skipped from participating in any functions or competitions. Then he forced me to submit a rhyme and it was selected. That was my turning point! Then I began to write many short stories, poems, and rhymes in my native language for magazines and local newspapers.
How difficult was it for you to be published in those days?
Honestly, it was very easy to publish in those days rather than it is nowadays! In those days people got respect for their true talent. But nowadays the true talents don't get any respect or recognition from people worldwide. The path is also full of difficulties for people to get the recognition they deserve. The media plays a vital role to introduce creative people not only locally but globally.
I have seen when young writers like me wanted to publish in newspapers and magazines! And the media always welcomed their creativity. Even at that time, you didn't need to have any kind of connection with editors or journalists. When you submitted to them, if the work was authentic, creative and raw they would publish it without any kind of demand. But nowadays, without any kind of connection, they won't publish it at all.
I have seen nepotism and cronyism in this area and have been a victim of it. When I published my first book "6th September: A Very Unknown Mysterious Story" worldwide in 2017 (my first English-written book), I asked many editors to feature it in their newspapers or magazines, but they refused. The story was based on the true story of a teenage boy who committed suicide. I requested it to them because I wanted to raise public awareness about teenage suicide through the newspapers. But most of the time they said I wasn’t famous enough to be featured. Not even when I released the official trailer of my horror short film "Lost in the Black Hole" in 2019, which is Bangladesh's first symbolic cult horror short film! Again I asked many editors and journalists to write about the film for its authenticity. The same thing happened! They said I wasn’t a famous artist nor did I belong to any well-known artist's family, from which my film was officially selected and appreciated by international film festivals.
I also have seen, if the same type of work or work with no creativity was done by someone they know, they got crazy to feature it which always shocked me. Some people may tell me it’s sour grapes, but I am straightforward.
There were so many times I was a victim of racism as an indie artist worldwide. I've faced and am still facing many difficulties for being a Muslim from Bangladesh which upset me. Many international newspapers and magazines rejected my creative works for those reasons. Even many production houses declined to work with me. But at the same time, my creativity and true words were welcomed by fans, and critics all over the world, which encouraged me to go forward.
In what local magazines were you being published when you started writing? Do you still have copies of those magazines today?
Most of the time I was published in the weekly Kushtia Batraa newspaper, Vorer Khobor (News Of The Dawn), Ajker Potrika (Today's News), and the half-yearly magazine Bishwo Shahitto Kendro (World Literature Center) of which I was an active member. I took part in several essay writing competitions, won many prizes and was featured in their magazines. My most notable winning competition was the essay writing olympiad in Kushtia Zila.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any copies. And I feel regret for it. But I still have some prizes including books and medals. Most of them were lost only for my negligence. In that time, our country had no digital means to archive. For this reason, many artists lost their early work.
Being a writer is so unfortunate for me! My parents have never supported me. Even my home tutor's support was not enough. So tell me, how far can a caged bird fly? I was young when I began. I didn’t have much knowledge about how to save my work for the future! I just miss those times and the support which I got from my teachers, friends and other people.
If I had full support I could be a well-known writer today! But it couldn't happen. After passing my 9th class, I hardly wrote for newspapers and magazines due to giving full concentration on my studies. It created a huge gap between me and the world of literature. In 2014, I came back by writing blogs in English. Mostly I wrote about social injustices.
Describe some of the times racism got in the way of your being published as a writer or recognized on a grander scale.
First I want to clarify that I never compare myself with others or think that I am the best! We all have imperfection. As a person, I am simple! In the writing or entertainment world, my goal is not to rule! I am only here to get love from the people and give them the motivation or influence to do good things in this world.
For the first time, I became a victim of racism when I begin to write blogs in English. Once I published a blog about women empowerment, rape, and prostitution all over the world, I was told to stop writing about the world because I don't belong to the international platform! They also told me I was a bad writer and did worse things rather than encouraging me.
I even got a death threat from ISIS and compared with Taslima Nasreen! Things became worse when I was continuously attacked by those harsh words. After this, I had to delete the blog. I was in trauma and suffered from depression. I am still suffering from mental health issues a lot due to those things.
I stopped writing for a long time, then I slowly began to write again. When I released my first silent short film "Bloody Dark Dream" in 2014 I had to use my nickname Akash at that time, because if I used my full name people won't accept me for being Muslim! At first, they thought I was Hindu or Christian from the USA or India! But when they got to know I was from Bangladesh and Muslim I again became a victim. A group of people bullied and trolled me online. I still can't recover those horrible experiences. I thought I would be welcomed cordially worldwide but I got little acceptance. I also noticed I couldn’t interact with them in any world issues; I was attacked by their harsh words. Very few people took my side.
From childhood, I always thought English speaking foreign people were good with noble virtues, ideal and nice to people. But after those experiences my thoughts were completely changed. All foreign people were not good even though they lived in well-developed big countries. Some were good, some were bad and some were mixed! Sometimes I think, why me? Did I make a mistake to dream about being to be welcomed worldwide? Lots of questions spun in my head. I was brutally judged when I tried to become an international author and actor. The path is not so easy for me! What other people suffer in this writing or entertainment world, I suffer more.
Do you think news coverage of world affairs has something to do with the intolerance you endured as a writer and filmmaker?
When I step into the international entertainment world, I face a lot. Suppose, any native English speaking person is publishing a book and at the same time I am publishing a book. Who will get the priority in news media? Of course the English speaking person! At present, 90% of the international news and media are corrupted. They only prefer to showcase their things! 5% are showing only true things after neutral analysis. And the other 5% are mixed. That 90% of media has already manipulated all the people. What the media shows people blindly believe without knowing the truth. News media has the power to spin truth as falsehood and falsehood as truth.
International news media will publish what Kim Kardashian does on her vacation. They won't publish a Muslim girl is brutally raped and killed. Or if a Muslim guy is assaulted, beaten or robbed. They will publish if the Muslim extremist kills people. I don't mean all news media does the same. Honest news media will always tell true news. I respect all religions because we are human and my top priority is humanity.
In 2016, a bakery named Holey Artisan in Bangladesh was taken hostage by Islamic extremists. Many foreigners and people from Bangladesh were killed by those extremists. But international news media hardly mentioned them and blamed all Bengalis. In that time, in the eyes of others Bengalis are dirt and prostitutes ready to sell themselves to tourists, etc. Not only me, but other artists also got the same labels.
Nowadays news media is becoming so commercial. To sell their news, they are ready to spread anything rather than truth most of the time. They kind of set a brand value of their news. They will publish who wears what on the red carpet but they hardly will publish if any powerful person or government person kills any homeless person by accident. And people like me, if we dare to tell the truth or clarify those incidents, that will be our mistake. We’ll be bullied online. I always tell people that truth is shaded by the cover of lies. I want to advise people that without knowing the full story, they should not judge anyone. Because people are trying to manipulate and dominate others! If they want to explore the truth they must have a neutral mind. Without this neutrality, people can't reach the truth. I believe neutrality, honesty, and truthfulness should be the main characteristics of news media. If they don't have any of those, then their news is full of lies.
Despite those experiences, were there times people from other countries appreciated your work?
When I was regularly getting harsh comments, I almost lost hope I would be accepted. But one day I got a message: "Akash, your work is so unique and the presentation is brilliant..." Those words made me cry. I was so happy on that day, I can't tell about those feelings! Then day by day, all my works were appreciated by the people. Many celebrities liked my work. People loved my quotes and are still loving those. They said those words inspired them so much. When I search myself on the internet, I find my works get many wonderful remarks! What I am today is only for their love and support. If a single person in this world loves and supports me that is enough for me to stay alive as an artist.
Did you ever consider writing fiction or making a movie about your blog experiences, so that people would understand how intense and negative it was?
All my work is based on real-life experiences. My films and photo shoots are especially symbolic, dark, bold and difficult to understand. I always try to represent my work artistically. If the people deeply analyze my work they can understand what it’s trying to say. Besides making independent art films, I want to make a feature film based on my life. Because there are many untold stories buried inside me! In these twenty-five years, I went through many horrible situations not a single person knows. I also want to make social awareness films on prostitution, rape, racism, child abuse and sex trafficking. You know, those things are ruining people's lives and spreading like an epidemic in this world. About my writing, I always love to explore. I have a great desire to write books in different genres. But most of the time I want to write about social awareness.
What other stories based on your real life experiences do you have in mind to write? Do you think people outside your country are ready to read them?
I have faced good and bad experiences that a boy or girl should not experience. If I remain alive I will probably write about what I have gone through in my life. It may be in a fictional or nonfictional way. A true reader doesn't seek who has written the book! Before reading the book they don't want to know, which country the writer belongs or which religion does the writer perform, what is the mother language of the writer or what race the writer is!
I am tri-linguistic. Few people know my ancestors are from India. After British rule, they settled in West Pakistan, now known as Bangladesh. I can speak in my mother tongue Bengali, Hindi, and English. When I read any book in English or Bengali or translated from Hindi, I don't see the writer's bio first. If the content is good I read the book. I do the same with music, movies, TV shows, etc. I always try to write in English because English is the language anyone can use all over the world and it paves the way to communicate. If the reader is going through the same situations, of course, they will read my stories. Readers always want to feel the circumstances, the characters, the moments, etc through reading.
I know people from outside my country who don't have much knowledge about our culture and customs. But I have seen the eagerness in them! They want to know about those things. I also want to tell that people's tastes are not the same. Some like romance, some like horror, some like thrillers, some like sci-fi, etc. If my book is in a specific genre then they will read it.
My previous talks might hurt many people. But my intention is not to hurt or disrespect! I just show what painful situations those were! If any person put him/herself in my situation then he/she can feel how much bitter they were!
I always welcome people from different races, religions, and languages. We are human and humanity should be our religion. If we went color blind and mute, then would be no differences among us. I know those wishes are like a sandcastle! But hate and discrimination won't bring peace. I want to see drastic changes in the international entertainment world where artists from different parts of this world get the chance to explore and show their art.
Are you in touch with anyone from the U.S. who would be interested in helping distribute and promote your work?
I have communicated with many distributors in the past. But I am not able to afford them. I know it is their profession to promote and distribute an artist's work to big houses. And I know how much it is needed for the artist to promote! Whatever I am today was only for the kind support of people worldwide. I am grateful to them. Many independent promoters have promoted my work for free on their media. I am thankful their kindness and support. I have a friend from the U.S.A. who always supports my work and loves to share my work with the people. I have other good friends from different parts of the world who help me a lot. I always try to communicate with others, especially people from the U.S. Some show interest and some don’t!
Who is your friend from the U.S. who supports and shares your writing? Do you have contacts in South American, European and Asian countries who support your work?
My bestie's name is Crisis Mattie. He is the most amazing person I have ever met in my life, though we only talk online! But it is like we’ve known each other for ages. Distance won't reflect any bad things if there is honesty and trust. And my other friends' names I prefer not to mention. I have plenty of friends all over the world, but due to lack of time, we can't talk that much.
Tell the readers about the movie you mentioned earlier, “Lost in the Black Hole”, the casting and filming process, and how well it was received.
In the angle people want to find the meaning, they will get answers. Because I have made it on a multidimensional perspective. The film is a silent, dark and symbolic cult horror short. People can guess how dark it is by watching the trailer! This type of short film was never made in my country. In this movie I play five metaphoric characters (the hope, the thorn, the truth, the nature and the spark) all alone. People can see those characters as some adjectives which don't have any existence in real life that they can only feel. I did the whole filming process including editing, background sound mixing, etc. Though at the last moment my mom produced the end of the film. It has taken 1.5 years to complete a four minute length short film. To play the three major characters (the thorn, the truth and the nature) I had to shave my head several times. You can't imagine, to shot a less than 30 second scene, I had to give an expression for more than two hours. For the make-up, it took more than an hour to get ready for the scene. Another interesting fact is, I was totally nude in this film. In the middle of filming I tried to stop, because my physical and mental health wasn't good. But my friend Crisis always encouraged me to complete it. The movie is not my movie; it is connected with everyone's emotions that remain in the dark. It is not a drama movie or a narrative movie that can be understood easily. It is based on emotions played by metaphoric characters with symbols. The film was officially selected by film festivals where jury teams appreciated my work. I couldn't reach the final round but the official selections were beyond my expectation. I am grateful because they understood the true meaning of the presentation.
What are the latest projects you have out or are preparing to release this year?
I haven't yet released "Lost in the Black Hole" world-wide. It has only taken part in some international festivals. So I am going to release the film this year. Besides this, I am writing a book called "Infamous Words of Akash" a totally nonfiction book or as people can call it a mixed book. I have put some poetry in it. In this book I used very raw and real topics about social and human issues. The book is now in the process of being written and 75% of it has been completed. I hope it will come out this year also. Other projects are blogs and articles about prostitution, rape, child abuse, sexual exploitation and sex tourism. Those blogs and articles might be too heavy for the hypocrites in this earth. Though people don't take my things very seriously and are totally shameless in this case. But small matters can change things drastically if taken properly.
Did you ever consider distributing your work independently, by starting your own distribution company? Would this be financially viable for you at this point?
I always think about it. But right now I am not able to. I can't tell about the future, because the future is unknown! If fate allows me, of course, I will open my own indie publishing house and welcome newcomers all over the world and support them.
How would you want to be remembered as an author and filmmaker should you eventually reach a wider audience? What kind of an impact do you want to make?
Honestly, will people remember me forever? Nowadays, people don't remember their nearest, dearest ones. For example; today's people have almost forgotten artists from the past. When they see their work uncertainly, then they try to remember them. Few will remember them every time. Some artists are remembered for their work, some are remembered for their personal lives, some are known for their lifestyles and some are remembered for other reasons! It is natural that when a new one comes the older are forgotten. I don't know how much I will be remembered for my work! But I always want to be remembered for my bold, true and honest talks. Because everything I tell, I tell in neutral mind. I want to remain alive through my artistic works in this world. But not as an author or actor or filmmaker! I want to be remembered as me! A person who is neutral, fearless, bold, honest, enigmatic, truthful and able to feel people's feelings.
In these days who doesn't want to get attention from mass audiences? All artists deserve to be respected. When a true artist produces, the pain he bears during the birth of his art, only he and people who love and respect the art can feel it. So, why shouldn't I deserve to reach a wider audience? My works are dark, raw, bold, enigmatic and real, and many people compare my work to negative energy without knowing its true meaning.
I don't know how much I can impact on people's minds! But as long as I breathe, I am determined to do something. I want to save innocence, true kindness and honesty. Because nowadays innocent, true kind and honest people are rare in this earth. And various circumstances have forced them to fade away. They are losing their true nature. I know that there is no tomorrow for me, and my life span is short, because I am not immortal. But in this battlefield, I want to create an army before leaving this earth, who are like me and will save and protect rare noble virtues. How much I can be successful, for now I can't tell. Because alone I can't totally remove the evil of this world. Bad things are mixed in human DNA and most of it is active. I always wish to be like Mother Teresa and Bayazid Bastami. Most of their work always influences me. My intentions are to motivate the people to do good work by true justice with honesty, kindness, peace, equality and humanity. And I want give them the eyes to see what is right and wrong by universal laws of justice.