Monday, December 28, 2020

Split Review: Haggus/Toxocariasis "Worldwide Menticide: Grotesque Global Ganglioneuroma" (FYL Records) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Band: Haggus
Location: Oakland, California
Country: USA
Genre: Mince gore
Band: Toxocariasis
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Country: Canada
Genre: Goregrind
Split: Worldwide Menticide: Grotesque Global Ganglioneuroma
Format: Cassette
Label: FYL Records
Release date: July 2020
It is almost 2am in the morning while writing this. Sleep should probably be my priority; but it seems as if I am typing away on my computer... listening to goregrind music. Anyway...
During my usual escapades of Youtube goregrind and gorenoise foraging I happened to stumble upon a 2020 split between Haggus and Toxocariasis. The name of the split is ''Worldwide Menticide: Grotesque Global Ganglioneuroma,'' and it was released in July on FYL Records.
A supposed mix of mincegore and goregrind, this split is a short one; but it for sure manages to grab my attention. Haggus has always been a great band to bang your head to (or destroy your surroundings in a primal berserker rage), but I know much less about Toxocariasis.
After listening, I can state that the Toxocariasis is much more lo-fi than the Haggus, and although Haggus is my preference, I would for sure be interested in checking out some future (or previous) releases from Toxocariasis. (I will also throw it out there that I enjoyed Toxocariasis even more on my second listen... the speakers need to be loud).
Featuring 7 tracks in under 12 minutes, this one is a quick little shotgun blast to the cranium that should be enjoyed by many a grind fan around the globe. As for me, I am on my third play through, and I encourage everyone to give this one a spin.
Who needs sleep when you can grind? –Devin Joseph Meaney

Lineup:
[Haggus]
Gorehog: Vocals, bass
Hambone: Vocals, guitar
Lil Giz: Drums

[Toxocariasis]
Bender Ham: Vocals
Piss Lord: Guitar
Anal Bandit: Drums

Track list:
Side A
1. Haggus: Descent to Damnation 
2. Haggus: Infernal Demise 
3. Haggus: Entombed in Religion 
4. Haggus: Who's the Real Problem 
Side B
5. Toxocariasis: Trash Orifice 
6. Toxocariasis: Severed Brains Preserved in Gasoline 
7. Toxocariasis: Total Decimation at Uno

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Interview with Guns Sastrowardoyo of Diabolical by Dave Wolff

Interview with Guns Sastrowardoyo of Diabolical by Dave Wolff

Thanks for doing this interview, and do you want to start with some information on the extreme metal scenes in Indonesia?
The Indonesia scenes are extremely big. Besides black metal there is a death metal scene and a thrash metal scene in much demand in Indonesia. Almost every week we have big or small gigs in every city.

Do the shows held in Indonesia include metal fests? If so how many festivals are held there each year?
Before the pandemic various cities in Indonesia had big and small festivals; if counted there are thousands of gigs every year. We can choose to attend one of the events we are most interested in.

When was the band founded, and what is your lineup at present?
Diabolical was founded in 2005, and so many members have walked in and out since it was founded. I’m the only original member of the band now. Currently Diabolical’s members are: Weaponized - oration, Warplaque – guitar, Son of Anarchy – bass.

Besides Diabolical, who are some of the most active bands in the Indonesian death, black and thrash metal scenes?
There are many active bands in Indonesia that I would recommend. I would like to give you a few bands who have released new albums lately such as: Immortal Rites (Bhatara Api), Warkult (Deathhymne), Exhumation (Eleventh Formulae), Headkrusher (Opprobrium) and Northorn (The Art of Destruction). Of course there are many more bands who will release new albums and EPs in 2021.

Has Diabolical played any shows with Immortal Rites, Warkult, Exhumation, Headkrusher or Northorn? How well do the bands get along with one another?
Until now, Diabolical has done several shows with those bands except Exhumation and Headkrusher whom we haven't had the opportunity to share the stage with. The relationships with the bands went well. They are all good people. We always keep in touch to share information and contacts, and support each other.

How dedicated are the fans who come to these shows each week? Has the Covid pandemic had an impact on live performances as it has in other countries?
During a single show fans come in hundreds or even thousands in big events. Even in a small event a lot of people come and support. Of course the pandemic is influential as in most other countries. A lot of shows are postponed but in different cities you can still have small gigs in a studio or on caffe. We try to survive in the midst of this pandemic… fuck off!!!

How much advertising exists for local shows? Is it mostly done through flier trading and ads in print zines, or does social media play as much a part?
Until now, bands and event organizers use social media for agendas, propaganda, massive event promotions besides fliers and printed media.

The band has released three demos in full since you started in 2007. Were they released independently or through any labels?
We released our first demos by ourselves. At this moment we haven't thought of releasing them officially yet. For now we're focusing on preparing new ammunition and it will take a lot of time. We guess our demos will not be distributed for now.

Diabolical has five split releases with other bands. Discuss each of them and the bands and labels involved.
We have released: “Unholy Bestial Congregation” with Blasphmachine, black death metal from Malaysia, from Sadismetal Prod in cassette format; “Unholy Abomination” with Deathroned, death metal from Indonesia on CD format (Subnoise Prods) and cassette format (Hell In Others Records); “Southasia Battlefront!” with Brazilian terrorists Ravendark's Monarchal Canticle on cassette format, from Kult Of Belial Records; “Four-Beast Resistant” with Bloodbrother Militant Sereignos, Blastodest and Triumphator, on CD and cassette format. CD release by Dagger Klan and cassette release by Throne Musickness; “DCLXVI” with Wargoarcult Warbrother from Spain on CD format from Warmachine Prods (Belgium).

Diabolical has a new full length demo out on Total Death Records. Present a few things about this album, the formats it’s available in and the distribution through the label?
For now, the distribution of our album “Hooligans Regiment of Terror” is handled by Total Death. They trade to various labels and have a digital release on Bandcamp. We’re only distributing in the Indonesia territory. Besides CD format, “Hooligans Regiment of Terror” is out on cassette format from Deadly Throat Productions.

Who designs the cover artwork for your demos and EP, and the split releases you appear on? Do you hire the same artist or different artists each time?
Diabolical always works with different artists since the first demo and EP because there are a lot of good artists in Indonesia. The artwork for the EP is a masterpiece from Dechristianize Art. Most of Diabolical’s artwork, such as logo or album art, is done by Jenglot Hitam.

Where is Dechristianize Art based and what interested you in their work?
Dechristianize art is from Yogyakarta Indonesia, the same homebase as Jenglot Hitam. I have known Dechristianize for a long time, and he knows what I want for Diabolical’s artwork. In my opinion he has a devil-hand when he makes artwork.

Who else in Indonesia has Dechristianize Art done commissions for? Can we go somewhere online to view some of their work?
Rajam was one and lately a lot of death metal bands are using Dechristianize's artwork. You can see it at their fan page on Facebook.

How long has Jenglot Hitam been an artist for underground metal bands and who else has he designed album cover and/or logos for?
I don't know for sure when Jenglot Hitam started to create artwork. Maybe it was about eight to ten years ago. There are many bands from other countries beside Indonesia who used Jenglot Hitam’s artwork such as Warkult, Sereignos and Blastodest.

Where online can Jenglot Hitam’s work be viewed by bands seeking cover artists? Do you plan to hire him for future releases?
On Facebook: "Jenglot Hitam Artwork." On Instagram: "jh_blackk." Diabolical will be using Jenglot Hitam’s artwork for next release.

With all the contacts you’ve made, has Diabolical had the opportunity to play outside Indonesia yet? If not, what countries do you have in mind?
As I recall, on several occasions there were opportunities to play outside Indonesia, but for several reasons they could not be realized. All countries would be very interesting for Diabolical to visit.

Can you remember some of the opportunities you had to perform in other countries that you had to pass on for one reason or another?
There were about two to three chances to play in other countries that we passed on about a few years ago.

Which countries in particular would you like to travel to and perform in first?
Maybe Germany, because our label Total Death Records is located there. Other reasons are that Germany has many good bands and one of the biggest metal scenes in Europe, or we could say in the world.

Is there anything else you want to say about any new full length you’re planning to release? When would you want to travel to the US to perform?
There are no plans for a full-length in the near future, but our next release “BASTARD KOMMAND” is a cassette split with Rajam released by Aggrezzor Production in 2021. Limited edition of only 66 hand numbered copies.
We’d like to come to the US as soon as possible. If there is an organizer or anyone else who wants to work together with us and take us on a tour there, of course we will go.


-Dave Wolff

EP Review: Vazum "Vazumnacht" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Band: Vazum
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Country: USA
Genre: Deathgaze
EP: Vazumnacht
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: December 4, 2020
Just in time for the holidays, Vazum reinterprets three traditional Christmas hymns paying homage to the other side. Recorded shortly after the release of their Halloween album “Rated V”, “Vazumnacht” retells holiday tradition, presenting cheer that fans of dark music can easily understand and appreciate. If radio holiday fare doesn’t warm your heart, this may be for you.
According to Austrian and Bavarian folklore, Krampus was not a personification of evil but an assistant to Saint Nicholas. Krampus is said to have terrorized misbehaving children during the Christmas season. Dating before Christianity and often mistaken for the Christian devil, the legend was suppressed by conservative, far-right and fascist political parties in Austria. Recently, however, it’s been revived in Europe and becoming part of popular culture in America and Canada.
My search for untried music drawing from forgotten pasts and filling the void of assembly-line pop is ever ongoing. Again I find it as Vazum takes inspiration from a suppressed legend. No one dimensional, saccharine-sweet holiday cheer, but driving malevolence that’s multilayered, catchy and uplifting in its own way. Darkening holiday tradition with tales of witches, demons, and hellhounds, Vazum presents us with an innovational synthesis of goth rock, deathrock, post-punk, and industrial/dance.
For an EP recorded in the band’s home studio, “Vazumnacht” boasts production fitting of any goth club in New York or Los Angeles. While the EP is limited to three songs, this is more than enough to provide the cold winter with hell’s warmth. Reinterpreting “Carol of the Bells,” “O Holy Night” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” Vazum personify dark menace with an aggressive, primal percussive sound, inharmonious guitars, creaking vocals somewhat likened to Marilyn Manson and nefariously sewraphic female vocals illuminating the surrounding darkness similarly to Patricia Morrison of Sisters of Mercy.
Vazum shot a promotional video for “Vazumnacht” to coincide with the release of this EP. With some similarities to the cover art of the first Black Sabbath album, the video was filmed at an isolated location in Ann Arbor, Michigan they discovered by chance while taking a drive in the area. The video can be viewed below and at Vazum’s Youtube profile. –Dave Wolff

Lineup:
Zach Pliska: Vocals, guitar, keyboards, drums
Emily Sturm: Vocals, bass

Track list:
1. Carol of the Witch
2. Unholy Nite
3. Bark the Hellhounds

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

EP Review: Holy Water "Holy Water's New York Poser Delicatessen" (Faith In Failure Productions) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Location: Rochester, New York
Country: USA
Genre: Gangster Grind
Format: Digital album, cassette
Release date: November 13, 2019
Once again, Dave Wolff from Asphyxium Zine has sent me a slew of cool tunes. The band is ''Holy Water,'' and the release is ''Holy Water's New York Poser Delicatessen,'' an EP released in 2020... supposed gangster grind from New York. 
After listening, my first thought is there should have been more hip-hop/rap samples. The ones added were a nice touch, but a few more would have fit in the mix quite nicely. As for the grind itself, everything from the vocals to the guitar right down to the bass is spot on. Aggressive, full frontal, and in your face. And the tightness of this EP as a whole and clarity of production also need to be mentioned... it's phenomenal!
The cover is not something you would expect from a band with the title ''Holy Water,'' but overall, the art is done well and manages to reach the status of passable/intriguing grindcore art. So basically; what I am saying is that everyone should dig into this grinding mess of audio putrefaction and have a damn good time doing it.
Holy Water was founded in 2018; and you can find this EP released (cassette format) on Faith In Failure.
Seven short tracks in Just under ten minutes. Scoop this one up, yo! –Devin Joseph Meaney

Lineup:
Tim: Vocals
Kevin: Guitar
Tyler: Bass
Austin: Drums

Track list:
1. Sucks To Be You
2. Message Of Hope
3. Coastal Elite
4. Trapaholics
5. Rabid (Mortician cover)
6. Selling Crack
7. Worthless Piece Of Shit

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Full Length Review: Cardinal Wyrm "Devotionals" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Band: Cardinal Wyrm
Location: Oakland, California
Country: USA
Genre: Doom metal
Full Length: Devotionals
Format: Digital album, limited edition cassette
Label: Independent
Release date: December 11, 2020
I appreciated “Devotionals” immediately as I started listening to it. If nothing else, it was for the effort Cardinal Wyrm put into bending doom metal with gritty psychedelia, grunge, prog rock, black metal, hardcore and avant garde goth metal, and most of all storytelling. If you thought Notre Dame and Charmand Grimloch’s Tartaros are bizarre I suggest you check this album out, or anything Cardinal Wyrm has released since 2013’s “Another Holy Trinity.”
It hasn’t even been out a month and it’s already receiving praise from Blabbermouth, MeatMeadMetal, Last Rites and The Obelisk. After seven years of experimenting on albums like “Black Hole Gods” and “Cast Away Souls,” the band sought to return to their origins in the DIY ethic, hence the album’s title, and reviewers seem to be catching this drift quite easily. During the writing and recording process they made a point of making an album that would speak to the listener’s sense of independence and individuality.
The band worked to achieve this by creating on their own terms, and from emotions they felt from deep within their souls, despite the ire and resentment that statements like this are too often greeted with. Usually by those who believe they know better when it comes to what makes a band popular. Cardinal Wyrm consider themselves fanatical about being themselves and doing what others would normally consider impossible. And they wear this attitude on their sleeves to blatantly it’s rather difficult not to relate to it.
This attitude certainly works for me as “Devotionals” is so unconventional, progressive, intricate, spiritual and hauntingly immersive it reignites my passion for doom metal, making me want to seek more bands to discover originality and creativity from. If you’re expecting plodding, repetitive songs prepare to be shocked beyond belief by an album of musical theater without a stage set or costumes. Their songs are schizophrenic, unpredictable hymns to madness written by musicians who traveled as far as they could to the brink without continuing to whatever awaits beyond.
“Devotionals” displays the griminess of doom metal, but the similarities stop there. Right from the beginning the material suggests something strange and far-reaching is at hand. From there the songwriting, vocals, guitar solos and choral sections seek to demolish every boundary that has been established in doom metal since the 1980s. Their energy and artfulness is in their ability to tell tales through their lyrics as much as the musical backdrops to them, drawing on mythology, legends of selling one’s soul to the devil, tales of encountering mirages and feelings of facing an uncertain future.
With “Devotionals” Cardinal Wyrm has created an album that reflects the times we’re in. And if they continue to experiment on their next full length and beyond they’ll prove it fakes a slow, gradual climb to make a difference in popular music, as opposed to choosing the easier options. –Dave Wolff

Lineup:
Pranjal Tiwari: Drums, lead vocals
Nathan A. Verrill: Guitars, vocals
Leila Abdul-Rauf: Bass, vocals

Track list:
1. Gannet
2. Mrityunjaya
3. Imposter
4. Selimesh
5. Canticle
6. Abbess
7. Nightmarchers
8. Do We Have Another Battle Left In Us?

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Split Review: Psychoneurosis/Herida Profunda/Suffering Quota "In Fear We Trust" (7 Degrees Records) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Country: Poland
Genre: Grindcore
Country: Poland
Genre: Grind/crust
Country: Netherlands
Genre: Grindcore
Split: In Fear We Trust
Format: Digital album, 12” vinyl (also one sided vinyl, 7" pizza boxset tape, 3 way split CD, split cassette)
Label: 7 Degrees Records (see links for additional labels and formats)
Release date: December 11, 2020
A while back Dave Wolff from Asphyxium Zine sent me a split to check out. I didn't get around to viewing it right away, but when I did, I was glad that Dave happened to be thinking of me. A three way between Psychoneurosis, Herida Profunda, and Suffering Quota, this split happened to be the little zing I needed to get me back into the reviewing side of things.
Starting off with Psychoneurosis, we have an Extreme Noise Terror cover and some original material. The cover is pretty great, and the original song throws up the same level of head banging awesomeness. With an Extreme Noise Terror cover, I feel as if I don't need to explain what you are in for here. Fans of the grind should know full well the leanings pushed forth from this kind of act.
Clocking in at second is Herida Profunda. The same kind of energy is presented here as with the Psychoneurosis, but the recording quality is a bit raw-ish, the sound is a tad more primal, and the tracks have a shorter duration. Still, Herida Profunda (I'm pretty sure this is my first time hearing of them?) manage to create a sound that is pleasurable to my ears, and I am intrigued to hear more from this band of supposed maniacs.
Lastly, we have Suffering Quota. Again, the grinding is the same style as the first two acts, and again, these tracks are definitely worth listening to... and I'd be glad to give more of Suffering Quota's material a shot. There is not much more to say except that I fully support the purchase of this album... and the last track closing this split really drives the whole thing home.
It is hard to pick a favorite, but I am leaning towards a slight preference to Psychoneurosis, with Suffering Quota coming in at a close second. (No worries HxPx... your tracks are pretty damn solid too).
When it comes down to it though, I think all bands on here chuck up a solid effort, and although the split is not very long, it fully manages to grab my attention... and I hope it does yours too. Fucking solid! –Devin Joseph Meaney

Lineup:

Psychoneurosis
Sonia: Vocals
Laski: Guitar
Jędrzej: Bass
Janek: Drums

Herida Profunda
Piotr "Edi" Kwiatek: Vocals
Jędras: Guitar
Gavlish: Bass
Jachu: Drums

Suffering Quota
Gerald: Vocals
René: Guitar
Stiff: Bass
Martin: Drums

Track list:
1. Psychoneurosis: Believe What I Say (Extreme Noise Terror cover)
2. Psychoneurosis: Where Are We Heading
3. Herida Profunda: Power of the People
4. Herida Profunda: Holy Books
5. Herida Profunda: Remembrance Day 
6. Herida Profunda: Alerta 161
7. Suffering Quota: Rage
8. Suffering Quota: Bastardized Yesterday

Interview with Billy Nocera of Razorback Recordings by Dave Wolff

Interview with Billy Nocera of Razorback Recordings by Dave Wolff

Razorback Recordings started in the late 1990s and remains active to this day. Present some history of the label and explain how it lasted this long.
The label started with Jill Girardi and me in 1998. She was doing Mortal Coil Records and I was doing Be A Freak Records. We just decided to combine both together into one label that was more focused on death metal and grindcore music. Our first release was by the Portland, Oregon band ENGORGED and we also did two compilation CDs that were pretty popular at the time: GORE IS YOUR MASTER and A HOG-WILD TALE OF TERROR. The label has since done 87 different releases, all on CD format. It's a miracle it's still alive today because it's almost impossible to sell music these days with all the digital and streaming web sites basically offering music practically for FREE now. The label was on hiatus since 2016 but I recently released a new CD by my own band HEADLESS EYES through it and here I am today still going with it. My other focus is my horror publication EVILSPEAK MAGAZINE which is currently being worked on for its 7th volume in book format.

Why did you and Jill decide to exclusively support death metal and grindcore? Did many labels support those genres when you founded Razorback?
I wanted a specific type of death metal, not just any one. I was more into AUTOPSY, REPULSION, NIHILIST, early-CARCASS, and especially IMPETIGO. I wanted all the releases to be inspired by horror movies, books, art, comics, etc. That was a must for me. Jill and I both agreed that was the direction and we were very successful with it. It took a while for people to catch on to what we were doing because in those early days of the label the metal scene was more into technical/slam type of death metal. So it took a while to get our concept out there to those that later appreciated it. Lots of hard work in those days with mail, packages, promotion, etc.

Do you remember the bands that appeared on Gore Is Your Master and A Hog-Wild Tale Of Terror after all this time? Are any of those bands and/or Engorged still active today?
It's hard to remember every band, but I actually do think most of those bands are long gone. Engorged was the very first Razorback band but hasn't been active in a long time.

How many mailings did you and Jill do for Razorback per month? How much advertising in zines was done at that time?
Impossible to remember that, honestly. We did a lot in those older days. It was a different scene back then. More about physical media and physical promos. Now it simply costs too much to do that. Lots of fanzine advertising in those days for sure. That's all it was before the internet took over completely. I miss those days! 

Why did Razorback go on hiatus, and what made you decide to restart it? Are you remaining in touch with Jill today?
Jill is one of my best friends ever and we are collaborating today on the label along with Evilspeak Magazine! I brought Razorback back to release the debut HEADLESS EYES album and I have a few other things in the works. I just felt like it was the right moment though it will never be what it used to be. I'm doing it for fun more than anything else.

How has advertising and band promotion changed since you founded the label in 1998? Does the label stream their releases and offer them in digital format? If so, how much does it help keep the label above water?
Back in the old days, it was more about sending physical CDs to actual zines, but those days are long dead now. It's too expensive to ship CD's out to zines all over and zines hardly even exist anymore. I still offer digital but my main thing is physical media always. If I didn't do physical media, then I wouldn't do music at all. Digital sales are not that great as most people download illegally for free anyway.

Aside from ads, promotions and digital streams, how has fandom for underground/extreme metal changed since the late 90s? For example, do you consider aboveground exposure to be better or worse for the genres?
Aboveground exposure hasn't really done much for the underground. It probably ruined it? It's hard to say really. I guess it has benefited some bands but those are usually the sellout shitty ones that always wanted to be "big" so it's not really shocking. What sucks is that some of the bigger labels gave up supporting underground labels by refusing to stock their releases anymore. I guess every label has to do what it needs to survive, but that really helped kill a lot of labels struggling to get their stuff out there. In the end though maybe it's for the better as a lot of stuff is more obscure now ironically and that might add to the charm, who knows.

Black metal seemed to thrive on that obscurity in the 90s and to a point it still does. Also, a greater amount of smaller labels and obscure bands are promoting their own releases independently. Do you think this would attract new would-be listeners?
I guess it works differently for each band/person. Some are successful, some are not. It's really hard to make a name now with a band or music. Most people just don't give a fuck anymore about music or actually buying a copy of a CD or whatever format. For some, just hearing it on Youtube is enough. You have to tour or make a lot of band merchandise to "make it" but even live bands don't really do that great either. It's a shitty time for music now and it doesn't seem like it will get much better.

Did you keep the printed fanzines you collected in the 1990s? Do you know of zines that are still in publication now?
I still have lots of my old fanzines, but mostly the ones from the early '90s. I can't think of a single old fanzine that is still being published today for those days, honestly. That's kind of sad, but just how it goes I guess.

How long has Evilspeak Magazine been in production to date? Who have you interviewed since the first issue was released?
The first issue came out in 2013 and it's still going. It takes a long time to get an issue out because I publish it in a book format and we have a lot of different writers so it just takes a while. I don't like to rush them at all. It's mostly articles about old horror and cult exploitation films, not really interviews though I have done interviews with Chris from Autopsy and David Gregory of Severin Films.

How long does it usually take for an issue of Evilspeak to be completed and published on average?
The past few years it has taken a long time. Much longer than I want but I'm so picky about what goes into an issue now and I always want it to be a book so I want more material in it. I'm always looking for more stuff to put into it so it's hard to settle on when it's ready to come out.

Where do you take completed issues of Evilspeak to be copied when it’s ready for publication? Do you go somewhere to keep costs down, or are you printing it on your own?
The first two issues were printed by two different printers, and now I use Amazon's printing company to get it done.

What did Chris of Autopsy and David of Severin Films have to talk about when you interviewed them? Have you interviewed other bands besides Autopsy or do you mostly interview film companies when you do interviews?
I spoke with Chris about horror movies more than metal. Severin was all about their Blu-ray releases and all the cool stuff they have coming out. That’s been the only band interview but it wasn’t really a traditional band interview. Just with Chris about movies! Great guy!

Why did you decide to publish Evilspeak as a book instead of publishing it as a zine? Was this intended to earn a larger readership or because there is so much material included in every issue?
I feel like it stands out more as a book and you can also display it on your shelf with a spine showing the title and everything. You can also fit a lot more material and I love that. I’m more of a book collector than a magazine collector also so it’s a personal thing as well. 

How many writers do you have on the staff of Evilspeak at present, and what does each staff member do?
I have a lot of freelance writers so the number of is different each issue. Everybody contributes articles and interviews. Lots of variety and fun stuff. No issue is ever alike. 

Who contributed to the current issue of Evilspeak and what are some of the articles appearing in the said issue?
The current issue is volume 6 and you can read what's in it at this link.

What eras of horror cinema are most often covered in Evilspeak? Which of those genres do you most prefer?
Anything from the '60s, 70's, 80's, and some 90's stuff. It's rare to feature anything modern or new. My favorites are Italian horror from the '60s, '70s, and '80s as well as the Hammer horror films, along with Spanish horror such as the films of Paul Naschy and Amando de Ossorio from the '70s.

What movies from the Hammer era would you be most likely to recommend, along with movies from the Italian and Spanish industries?
Billy: Horror of Dracula, Curse of Frankenstein, Brides of Dracula, Vampire Lovers, Lust for a Vampire, Twins of Evil, Countess Dracula, Vampire Circus, Hands of the Ripper, Horror Rises From the Tomb, The Vampires Night Orgy, The People Who Own the Dark, Night of the Werewolf, Werewolf Woman, House By the Edge of the Park, The Gates of Hell, New York Ripper, Suspiria, Night of the Devils, Hunchback of the Morgue, and so many more that I could go on for the rest of my life haha!

Does the magazine cover any movies from the Japanese horror/gore/splatter industry? Many people have heard of Guinea Pig and Flowers of Flesh and Blood; are there others you know of that are worth mentioning?
Billy: I love a lot of those films but so far Evilspeak hasn't really covered that genre yet. Evil Dead Trap is amazing also! I haven't watched those Guinea Pig films in a long time. I remember they are mostly just shocking for the sake of shock basically. I prefer more actual films with stories than just being "gory".

What appeal exists in those indie and foreign horror movies you cited as recommendations that you find missing in today’s horror movies from Hollywood?
Good creepy atmosphere, better set designs, and authentic locations, better acting, old-school hand crafted FX, and no digital or CGI. I like a few newer horror films today but compared to the old stuff it's just not the same anymore and hasn't been for decades now.

Are there any recent mainstream or indie horror movies you saw as worthwhile as the older movies you still appreciate?
I really loved The Witch a lot. That's been my absolute favorite newer horror film in the past few years.

How long has Headless Eyes been active? Discuss the making of your debut CD “Horrorpilations” and how well it has been received to date.
It all started in April 2020 actually. My other bands Surgikill and Vaultwraith both broke up so I wanted to keep doing music. My good friend Willie (from Vaultwraith) and I wanted to keep working on music so we started up Headless Eyes and immediately started on the album. We skipped doing a demo because there's really no need to do demos anymore in 2020. It's all bullshit. Better to just do an album since I was releasing it on my own label anyway! The response has been great so far and we're already working on an EP and then eventually the second album!

When before Headless Eyes was Surgikill and Vaultwraith active? Did those bands release anything that can still be ordered by snail mail or streamed online?
I was involved with those bands for the past five years. There's still some more releases coming out from them that were recorded later. Yeah, you can get VAULTWRAITH stuff from Hells Headbangers. They have t-shirts as well. Most SURGIKILL stuff seems sold out but still floating around various distros, Amazon or eBay.

Is Headless Eyes just you and Wille or are you working with other musicians? How do you go about composing songs?
Yeah just Willie and I. For the album I wrote all the lyrics first and then Willie wrote the music around the words. It worked out great. We're working on a new EP now and this time he's coming up with the music first and then I'll work the lyrics into the music. It's a great collaboration and Willie is a great friend of mine.

List the songs on “Horrorpilations” and describe what they are about. Your song “Long Live The Skincrawling Flesh” was released as a single five months prior to the album; how much interest did it build in that time?
1. LONG LIVE THE SKINCRAWLING FLESH is like our theme song! Just saying we will tear you apart and we don't give a fuck!
2. PHANTOMIZED is about a horny fucking ghost!
3. MURDER HOOK MANSION is inspired by the film Scream Bloody Murder from 1973.
4. COUNTESS LOBOTOMY is inspired by movies like Faceless, Lady Frankenstein, and bands like Venom/Ramones.
5. WASTE CITY is a fun song about where all the characters of Headless Eyes dwell!
6. A BONE TO PICK is inspired by the film Frankenstein 1980.
7. HORRIPILATIONS is an instrumental.
8. WINTERBEAST was inspired by the film with the same name
9. MEAT OF THE MATTER is a total fucking splatter gore metal song!
10. AN OLD FLAME RETURNS is inspired by Hello Mary Lou, Prom Night part 2
11. ENTRAIL CLOAK is inspired by Mardis Gras Massacre from 1978
12. SKULL SPLITTING HEADACHE is inspired by Blue Sunshine from 1977
13. LADY MAUSOLEUM is inspired by the film Mausoleum from 1983. The "single" was just some advance promotion, but it had a good word of mouth for sure. We were really happy with it.

In light of the situations with your previous bands, do you intend for Headless Eyes to be a long term prospect?
Yeah this is the only band I'm doing now. I have no interest in doing anything else musically.

Podcasting has been growing in metal communities the past few years. Is this something you would be interested in doing for your band, label or zine at some point?
I doubt I'll ever do that but you never know! I've thought about it sometimes. 

How soon do you expect to record another Headless Eyes release, interview again for Evilspeak or sign new bands to Razorback? Where can parties interested in being interviewed or signed contact you?
I'm not looking for bands for the label anymore as I basically plan to reissue older stuff. Evilspeak will continue to be mostly articles. We're planning the second Headless Eyes album right now actually! Looking to work on it in 2021 for a 2022 release!

-Dave Wolff

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Article: "A Christian Thanksgiving" by Damien Lee Thorr

A Christian Thanksgiving
Article by Damien Lee Thorr

Spend all day preparing a meal while bickering because something is not postcard perfect. Go out for last-minute items, rushing through a store, and belittling supermarket employees because you think your skin color is superior, and ignore beggars asking for food on your way to the car. Bicker once again at the dinner table and complain the turkey is too dry. Then you sit in front of the TV set after eating more than you should have. Rise up early and complain there are too many leftovers while you strap your handgun to go shopping for Black Friday bargains at Walmart. You threaten those who get in your way and shove people around as if it’s your right. You shout the N-word at Walmart employees because the checkout lines are too long for your patience to endure. You go on home and ignore more poor people on the streets as you define yourself as a Christian...

Monday, December 14, 2020

EP Review: Entität "Schwarzmassa" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Band: Entität
Country: USA/Malta
Genre: Black Metal
EP: Schwarzmassa
Format: Digital album
Label: Independent
Release date: September 18, 2020
Entität is a self-proclaimed anti-NSBM black metal band based in Malta. Black metal bands taking a position against national socalist black metal is a recent development but is growing in underground circles. Compilations like Resistance, Crushing Intolerance and Worldwide Organization of Metalheads Against Nazis are making rounds on social media and streaming platforms and there was even an article published in Kerrang! in 2019. Formed by Nagoth of Cursed Be Thy Flesh (US/France) and Marton Saliba of Sahhar (Malta), Entität is apparently part of this phenomenon that has been gaining steam in print and underground networking. A few days before their debut EP “Schwarzmassa” they released a debut single “Dreams of a Silent Place” on Youtube and Bandcamp. While these releases are not too remarkable they’re solid introductions to the band if you like mid-tempo compositions with coarse-grained vocals and vitriolic guitars. The band plays with a minimal amount of groove, just enough to immerse you in the biting, acerbic mood the band sets from the opening riff of “Treasures of Eternal Chaos.” Nagoth may completely forego the clean vocal approach to the black metal genre but he nonetheless enunciates the lyrics so you can clearly distinguish what he’s saying. I couldn’t make out the bass as much as the other instruments, which is a roadblock I often encounter with new bands, but the drums deserve mention as they fill the songs with loads of energy and dexterity without rushing them too hurriedly. The band’s sound overall is traditional 90’s black metal with touches of Bathory, Necromantia, war metal and the groove mentioned earlier. Entität include a Rotting Christ cover at the end of the EP that remains faithful to the original while adding their own flavor. –Dave Wolff

Lineup:
Nagoth: Vocals
Marton Saliba: All instruments

Track list:
1. Treasures of Eternal Chaos
2. Gräuel
3. Vers I’autel Noir (Towards the Black Altar)
4. Visions of a Blind Order (Rotting Christ cover)

Friday, December 11, 2020

Interview with Rich Orth by Dave Wolff

Interview with Rich Orth by Dave Wolff

Since I interviewed you for the print version of this zine you published two books of your poetry and written material for a third you plan to release. Tell the readers about this?
First, it is hard to believe it has been that long since the last interview, wow! The third book is entitled Dreamonology. Unfortunately, there have been many hiccups in the process of completing this project. All problems gravitate back towards me, but I sincerely hoped to release Dreamonolgy in 2017 or early 2018. There are more similarities than differences between this creation and the others. I am blessed to have my dear friend and Brother in Art, Alex Kautz returning as the purveyor of my vision.
As many know, I have surrounded myself with many artists and photographers with otherworldly talents. Dreamonolgy is no different in that aspect. There will be one major difference as the new book will contain my first short story titled “Recurring Cameo”.

Not to sound self-aggrandizing in any way, but you mentioned this zine played a part in your recognition as a writer. To what extent would you say so?
Asphyxium (Autoeroticasphyxium) was the first time that I was ever published in print form. My poetry now came in a medium that was something tangible to show people. I save every rough draft and have copybooks filled with my creations, but to be a published writer should be every artist's dream. Hence, the reason that you are and will be in the dedication section of any book of mine. I have also had the privilege of seeing other poets that I befriended also be posted for the first time by Asphyxium! You have always attracted a talented group of writers like moths to a flame.

Who are some of the poets and fiction writers you discovered through the zine that you have kept up with on a regular basis?
Sarah McKellar comes to mind immediately. We have been coconspirators on some poetry...and I keep promising we will take that ride again. Unfortunately, I am in the throes of an entire year of writer's block.

How much material have you and Sarah McKellar worked on together? How would you say your approach to writing poetry meshes with hers? Are there other writers you’ve written poems with?
Sarah and I have conspired on two poems, "Wake to the Salt" and "Descartes a la Carte". If not for my writer's block, we would have at least two more. My approach is the same with all collaborators, we banter back and forth four to eight lines at a time, whilst creating a cohesive thought. I have yet to be disappointed! I really do more collaborating with artists and photographers than I do with poets. Other than our collab (Angel?) and those with Sarah, the only one in last year or two was one with Natasa Nikolic which we did over messenger. A bonus for all reading the interview:

Wake to the Salt!
Sarah McKellar & Rich Orth, 01/27/2019
Once more upon a time,
A woman loved a man, 
Before he set sail,
She knew she'd not see him again,
She tasted salty air
Parched lips
trembling despair 
Weathered... she dreamt whether 
He... the one should return
The storm rose quickly, 
Along with the breeze, 
As she stood anxiously,
And with horror watched the seas,
Shift and shape
into forms of denial
Wherest she could not wake
From the crest of this wave
Caught in the dream...
of a meandering sea,
Was this a twisted nightmare,
Or a new heartbreaking reality?
So as siren's mist...
Drifted away....
How she knew...oh, how true.
he was gone
Gone this day

Tell the readers about your collaboration with Natasa and how long it took to develop until it came to fruition. Where on the web or in print can it be read?
I became acquainted with Natasa Nikolic through her band at the time, Tragederia and your zine. I commented on her music, she plays keyboard and sings and she complimented my writing. Then as things go, we didn't communicate much, but then one day when we were, Natasa mentioned she had written lyrics for the first time. I mentioned possibly collaborating on some lyrics. She agreed and threw out the first few lines and off it went. Each of us doing a few lines or a verse at a time over messenger. Within an hour or so we had a basic set up and then I tried to put in the form of lyrics.
I messaged her today to get the ok...so here for the first time anywhere other than messenger.....

UNFORSEEN!
Natasa Nikolic & Rich Orth
Bow to falsified dreams
Drop to your knees
Pray to stupidity
Walk away from your needs

Through this misty wind, in one rosy night..
How sympathy swirled
Oh, my Love... how destiny called
Cried out for a wandering soul
Kiss me on this morrow...
Love me each yesterday..
I awoke from a dream
Life tis never what it seems

Let us clasp our hands...
gaze towards the sky 
May we cry and smile...
Together, we stand defiant

Bow to falsified dreams
Drop to your knees
Pray to stupidity
Walk away from your needs

Within our excitement 
We rise above.. embrace the love 
....that once was left to the right
Lost to horrors that excite

Our empty hearts shriek
Attract hidden might
Rinse the unforeseen
so we Can leave all and everything

Bow to falsified dreams
Drop to your knees
Pray to stupidity
Walk away from your needs

Were you planning to publish your writing when you started channeling your thoughts? How long had you thought of getting published before we met on social media
I began writing poetry in 1980. There was never a thought of anything other than writing thoughts on paper. Once written, I would share with some close friends or family and then store the drafts in a trunk and the finalized poem would be written in a copybook. Yep, state of the art for the day. Continued this method until 2009, when I began writing everything on the computer in my Hotmail. Oh yeah, publishing, I never thought about it at all for the first thirty years of writing. I did dabble in lyric writing for bands in the mid 90's, but other than that, the system of draft to trunk and finished to copybooks stayed intact till 2009. 

You have long cited Edgar Allan Poe as your main inspiration, besides a few other writers. What influences if any do you have that your readers are not aware of?
I have always enjoyed finding inspiration anywhere. Of course some easy ones are, Jim Morrison, Universal and Hammer films, Movies in general and writers like Keats, Shelley, Wilde. Even Night Gallery and Dark Shadows. Many times it can just be a bumper sticker, a phrase, words in a sign on a box, scriptures, a dictionary. Sometimes inspiration comes from the strangest places; you just have to keep an open mind.

Can you describe how those poets and TV shows personally speak to you and inspire you?
In all cases, I believe they were atmospheric conduits. Their stories, the imagery, be it a movie, a song, or poetry brought about mindful thought. I have been known to write happy poems even spiritually inspirational, or so I have been told. Though from a young age I was always drawn to the darker side of life. As a child my parents never hid my eyes to horror in fiction or death in our daily lives. I love looking at fluffy clouds and the sun's rays bursting downwards like a holy card coming to life, but many times I just preferred to meander through a misty field as darkness fell and storms were rolling in from the distance. 

Are there any newer movies you’ve watched lately that compare to the movies and television shows you grew up with?
Finding myself constantly watching older movies that I love, going to answer with an emphatic NO. The amount of movies that Lora and I give a chance, but turn off after twenty to thirty minutes is quite abundant. As for TV, we enjoy, Lucifer, Stranger Things, Glitch, The Umbrella Academy, and then of course we still find ourselves watching the Honeymooners, Carol Burnett and Dark Shadows. I do enjoy searching Netflix for international shows. I even found myself enjoying subtitled series like the Russian show, The Sniffer. 

What do you look for in a phrase to inspire your writing? Does something with wittiness or an idea that’s otherwise unpopular or not as entertained as others? How does it help to expand on your writing?
I do enjoy word play and hate to follow any traditional rhyme scheme in my attempts. What one looks for...hmmm... truly something just seized my attention. It doesn't have to be exotic or even interesting at first glance. Imagine the sculptor with a clump of clay and somehow something is born of that. 
Unpopular...that is in children's eye...I have written poetry about a serial killer's love, that many seemed a beautiful love poem. There are several that state my political beliefs not so cryptically in my mind, but when shared people and what they envisioned, not what I has in mind. 
As for any expansion of my writing truly just occurs when I take up a pen or keyboard. Rarely, other than when I am writing lyrics for Demon Boy, do I have a plot or cadence as I begin the process of trying to bring a story to life that effectively awakens all of your senses.

What kind of setbacks have you experienced releasing Dreamonology? Is it meant to be an independent release or are your plans to release it through a company?
Dreamonology just had been eluding completion. For all intents and purposes it should have been in the readers’ hands two years ago. It will definitely be Independent...My wife, Lora, myself and possibly one other person will be involved in the layout and self-publication. In all honesty, I am the only reason Dreamonology has not been completed... and I really can't put a finger on why.

How much work is being channeled into your new publication and what similarities does it share with your previous anthologies?
Other than the minor complications like my computer dying and such, this book was simpler to complete. I follow a pattern in all three books of surrounding myself with some of the most talented photographers and artists. It is a give and take atmosphere. With the same artist, I may write to their art on one creation and on another they are drawing to my words. This formula will be used until I no longer find it feasible...and honestly, I do not see that ever happening.

Can you discuss the reception your last two books received upon their release? Any reviews you remember in particular?
My first book, POEtry Girls did very well. Everything I do with my poetry is through self-promotion, so I unfortunately limit myself. Those that read or reviewed both books seemed to enjoy my musings. I do believe that they were published too close together. My feeling is that if the second, Bloody T'is My Valentine was released about six months to a year later than it was, it would have outsold POEtry Girls.

Since your first two books, are you finding new partners to cross promote or collaborate on projects with?
I have a core group of talented friends with phenomenal artistic ability. That being said, not everyone is available at any given time. Luckily for me, I have been able to find talent in many environments. Dreamonology has two of my daughter, Cait's friends involved. I sometimes find out that friends have artistic abilities that we never had previously discussed. As of this moment in writing, I have not collaborated with anyone in the last ten months. I have rarely even collaborated with myself during this period. This bout of writer's block is decimating. Rarely have I ever succumbed to a dry spell this long, when I am actively trying to write.

What have Cait’s friends contributed to Dreamonology while it was being written?
Cait has some very talented friends. The two appearing in Dreamonolgy are both artists. For Lauren Rachlin it was me writing words to her art titled Sandman. With Jim Simpson, the reverse. He drew to my poem, Slivers!

What projects have you and Alexander Kautz been collaborating on besides the new book you’re publishing?
Alex and I have discussed doing a fourth book together. He actually came up with the concept. Tentative title is “Cemetery Girls”. I have archived roughly twenty-five poems for the project at this time. My difficulty is just getting Dreamonology completed and published first. Dreamonology will be the experiment on how to proceed with “Cemetery Girls”.

What would Alex be planning to contribute to “Cemetery Girls” when you and he begin work on it?
Alex has full reign...The cover is a given. I am honored that Alex is always there for me. I have many unpublished poems, some never seen by anyone ready to go forth and breathe. I hope to have this book be only a family endeavor. Artwork by Alex, photography by Lora, Cait and myself and about forty five of my truest Cemetery Girls type poems from me.

Who are some of the newer artists and/or writers you arrived into contact with since your previous collections were published?
Julie Dunic has an array of art in Dreamonolgy. Lora saw her art at a Macabre Faire event and Julie was open to collaborating. Such a talented artist, I can't thank Julie enough. Two of my daughter Cait's friends are also involved. Jim Simpson did some knockout art on his phone with a stylus to my poem, Splinters...I was in awe and Lauren Rachlin allowed me to write to her fantastic piece, Sandman...a perfect marriage of art and poetry. I have many longtime friends involved also...Including Killian Baker who created a mind blowing photograph...I love it...many will know of Killian as the subject of my poem, Killian's Curse featured on page 66 of Bloody T'is My Valentine!! 

How long ago was “Recurring Cameo” written and why did you decide to include it in a book of your poems?
I started writing “Recurring Cameo” in 2015...it was completed in 2016. Ironically or not, I began writing it in the Children's toy store where I was working at the time. It seems a fitting ending to Dreamonology...as a dear friend Patrick Devaney told me after reading that it sounded like a poet wrote it.

What is the storyline of “Recurring Cameo” and where did the inspiration to write it come from?
The premise is an object of beauty is passed from one to the next over centuries. The idea just happened...I don't even recall now but I have always been infatuated with cameos as jewelry. The title is a play on actors doing cameos. If I say any more...I would have to kill you, haha.

You mentioned writing lyrics with Demon Boy and we discussed that in our previous interview? What collaborations have you and he done in recent years? 
In June The Amazing Demon Boy released a video for our latest song “Horrifying”, co-written by Demon Boy and myself. Also released was a remastered version of our song, “This Halloween” in a very cool video, which came out last month. I am sure there is more to come. I wholeheartedly enjoy hearing any of the songs we have collaborated on over and over again. Check out what's brewing in the Demon's Lair at http://amazingdemonboy.com/.

Describe the process by which you and Demon Boy worked in the lyrics for “Horrifiying”. You’ve collaborated with Demon Boy on past projects; did your mutual experience help this time around?
Typically, our process is the music is already written, usually by Demon Boy himself. Once music is primarily complete, Demon Boy will write the "Hook" and then I fill in the verses. This is not necessarily a given, but more often than not. Fortunately, we have co-written for some time now, so we have a good sense of what is needed to make a finished product that pops. The goal is to always make the next better than the last.

How much exposure has “Horrifying” received since its release? Are you and Demon Boy planning more collaborations in the future?
When you are in league with Demon Boy, exposure is never a problem. The Horrifying video is bolstered by nearly 20,000 views in the short time it's been on YouTube, so it is getting seen. In fact, I just requested Alexa play Horrifying and I am now listening to our song on Amazon Music. Here is the link to the video. As for future collaborations, there most definitely will be more to come. Just this past week Demon Boy contacted me. One of our collabs, “Ezmerelda”, is about to be recorded in the studio in New York. There was a couple of lines that made sense when I wrote them, but just weren't right. I stated before that my inner voices that help me write have been eerily silent for over a year. My longest drought in nearly 15 years. A phone call from Demon Boy and a quick revisiting of the lines just ignited the spark. It's funny, but when Demon Boy says no pressure, I just need it yesterday, my mind just slips into savant mode. The lines came to me instantly. Fortunately, when I sent the new lines back to Demon Boy it was what we needed all along.

Before Covid 19 you have made a number of local convention appearances to promote your work. Describe some of these appearances as you remember them. Are you still in touch with some of these convention organizers in the past year?
Lora and I were fortunate enough to have been befriended by Elsie & Adam Ginsberg. Through them I have gotten to walk a Red Carpet, mingle with celebrity and even have my book, Rich Orth POEtry Girls be a prop in the movie, Long Island Serial Killer. My first time meeting them in person was the movie premiere on Nov. 12th 2013. I was lucky enough to be invited as a guest (my first book signing as an "author") to Elsie & Adam's Macabre Faire Film Festival in January 2014. That began a whirlwind time over the next couple of years of meeting and not just befriending, but truly becoming Family with such an array of talented, loveable and somewhat demented people. Amazingly, I even got a shout out in the trailer for the Festival...talk about thrilled! Since then I have been to several of their events and despite the situation now, Lora and I stay in close contact (not less than 6') with so many, as I said before, Family members. Sadly, Elsie passed away this year... a devastating loss for so many. Recently Adam posted this, I'm proud to announce that the Macabre Faire Film Festival will be returning Sept. 30 - Oct. 3, 2021 in the historic Capitol Theatre located in Lebanon TN! It's very fitting the Elsie's legacy will continue on. If all goes well, Lora and I hope to travel to this event!

Do you think the pandemic will have tapered off by the time the next Macabre Faire festival comes around? How will the festival/convention scenes in LI and Pennsylvania be affected in the long haul?
One would hope that Covid-19 will be gone by then, but we shall see. I am sure there will be ways to address how to hold events given that reality has become virtual reality. I am sure many events will fall along the wayside, but once this clear, the ones that remain standing will be overwhelmed by the live support. Of course, this is merely my conjecture. The world could end tomorrow...or not.

How much more work has to be done to complete Dreamonology at this point? And how much more creative control do you have from publishing independently? Do you intend to continue or are you seeking a professional company to publish through in the future?
The only work remaining for Dreamonology is formatting it. The artwork, photography and poetry is completed. We have complete control start to finish as with my last book Bloody Tis My Valentine! Seeking professional help...hmm is that a thinly veiled question about my sanity? Seriously, if I could have complete artistic control, I would love to have a company assist me in getting a larger audience. My soul though is not for sale, as of yet!

Having written poems for such a long period, is there a vision you have in mind or is there one you’re developing? Does the way your readers resonate with your writing help fuel it?
The vision is always to make my "VISION", what the reader wants (ok, what I really want). As a reader, I want a living, breathing entity...I want to taste, smell, touch, hear and see what the words promote. When I write it usually just happens, on occasion I have researched a subject, but that is not my norm. I just want anyone reading it to feel like they are involved, a mere 20-line poem takes said person into a movie theatre chair and then they find themselves suddenly at the precipice of a rollercoaster ride. I don't ask much...no really...

In what ways do you equate what you want as a writer with what your readers want as your readership?
As a writer, I want to paint the perfect portrait, direct Citizen Kane, prepare an exquisite seven course meal...I can't think of what more a reader would want or what more an artist could expect of themselves. The only thing I aspire to do differently is to possibly expand my subject matter. I write about whatever triggers me at the time. Most times it borders on the dark side. I may shift to a broader vision...as long as whatever path taken, never seems forced or contrived.

How far have you come as a writer since you started? Have the years flown or dragged by? How do you expect your writing to develop in the near future?
When I began, I just thought Poetry meant rhyming the end words of sentences. Not a bad thing to do, but Poetry is so much more. The art will take you as far as your mind allows. If I shared the 1st poem written by me in Dec 1980 and lined it up next to my last one written 11/19/2019, I believe the progression would be...shall we say, noticeable. I can truly say, there is no thought of 20 yr. old Rich thinking, "yep, I am gonna be a published poet." No belief in that outcome, to this day I am amazed at how many have read my work.
The years have flown by...the writing of poetry has not...it sometimes drags. Life never stops, poetry on the other hand has peaks and valleys...dormancy...kind of like the 17-year cicada. In a suspended animation of sorts and bammmm, lights, camera, action...annoy everyone with some noisy clicking and then RIP.
I hope only that words decide to revisit me, when their respite is over. I have enjoyed expressing an array of thoughts and visions. The writing and thought choose when they need to be heard. As they say...recently, "The silence has been DEAFENING!" if the luck of the draw has passed me by, it was a great run. I have hundreds of poems squirreled away, that are unseen. I have almost 500 drafts sitting in purgatorial Hotmail. We shall see...and rest assured if the ability returns, I will share ....I am fortunate to have written as many poems as I have. The fact that my words actually have affected people's lives is more than one could hope for. I have quit many times, but then I will be told a tale of how my words made someone's life different, better even. That may sound self-effacing, but I still get chills thinking of those conversations. So...yeah, no freaking idea where the path is leading me now! I WILL get more books out there within the next 2 years. Dreamonology seems like mythology now, but it is reality. I WILL complete and publish Dreamonology prior to HALLOWEEN 2021. My goal is April. 
Final word...Thanks to Dave Wolff and his Asphyxium Zine. Dave was the first to publish yours truly! He has supported so many artists and given them a forum to be heard. Through Dave, I have had the chance to see 9 other poets published in Asphyxium for their first time. Don't care how popular you are...you always remember the 1st. If you don’t, you are an effin idiot. 
Can't think of a witty salutation,
Rich Orth...soon to be Richard Orth on Dreamonology & Cemetery Girls!


-Dave Wolff

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Single review: Elle Noir “Like A Black Doll” (DTM Music Production) by Sarah McKellar and Obscvre

Band: Elle Noir
Country: Italy
Genre: Gothic metal
From the full length “Like A Black Doll” released by DTM Music Production November 27, 2020. Also available as a video.
Format: Streaming
Label: DTM Music Production
Release date: October 29, 2020
Elle Noir is an Italian Gothic singer who recently released “Like A Black Doll” in November 2020. “Like a Black Doll” is the namesake single of her EP “Like a Black Doll”. 
Lyrical content of Elle’s music is always autobiographical with death, mental illness and emotional states of discomfort being primary focuses in her music.
With “Like a Black Doll” being both a single and a film clip- the initial montage of stuffed animals covered in spider webs accompanied by ambient and horror influenced sound and lyrics complement each other in a visual and musical manner.
The use of clean female vocals by Elle Noir is very reminiscent of Alice Cooper and Lydia lunch shoots to a montage of Elle before switching to a slightly darker tone both lyrically and visually- with the darker tone taking over and a confused vibe to the vocals. The distorted guitars come in halfway through this track and adds a hypnotic gothic rock vibe.
The visual aspect of Elle Noir appearing to be controlled toward the end like a puppet and the switch between the “sweet” visuals and the “darker” visuals allude to a darker meaning and add weight to the lyrics.
A catchy, raw doom influenced gothic rock track that will entrance and hypnotise you into a dreamy state- Elle Noir is perfect for those who enjoy gothic rock, with a heavier aspect and ambient tone. -Sarah McKellar and Obscvre



Single Review: A Mors Et Bello "The Harlot of Christ" (AMEB Productions) by Sarah McKellar and Obscvre

Location: Monterrey
Country: Mexico
Genre: Pagan black metal
Single: The Harlot of Christ
From the upcoming album “The Lords of Evil"
Format: Streaming
Label: AMEB Productions
Release date: 2020
A Mors Et Bello is a Mexican symphonic black metal project from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon formed in 2001. After 15 years, an EP and a full-length release- A Mors Et Bello are back with “Harlots of Christ” from their upcoming album “The Lords of Evil”.
This track commences with furious guitars and a heavy symphonic black metal feel while guttural vocals add a chaotic touch to this track- before launching into a dramatic epic style black metal reminiscent of early Emperor.
Consistently face melting epic black metal with a slight touch of death metal riffing adding a blackened death vibe. Samples over an acoustic interlude add an eerie gothic vibe with female vocals and a panicked more frantic vibe to their sound. The vocals are at the forefront during this track and are consistently strong throughout this release.
A technically tight and solid symphonic black metal track guaranteed to melt your face off and rip your eardrums apart with blast beats- “The Harlot of Christ” is packed with excellent riffs, blistering drum beats and enough symphonic vibes to satisfy the most hardened symphonic black metal fans. -Sarah McKellar and Obscvre

Lineup:
Alverdark Bello: Vocals, bass, guitars
Andras Bello: Drums, guitars

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Full Length Review: Baume "Août Approche" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Solo Project: Baume
Location: Paris
Country France
Genre: Post black metal
Full length: Août Approche
Format: Digital album, Limited edition digipack, compact disc
Label: Independent
Release date: October 9, 2020
With every EP this project has released since 2018, Baume persists in seeking darker, more outlandish places to draw from. Gaetan Juif’s debut full length dives deeper into experimental rock and post-black metal atmosphere than he previously dared. On "Août Approche" he composes with a myriad of ambient sounds and percussive effects, with guitars and strings in the background, to create a world as romantic as it is unsettling. Juif invents another reality with his songwriting, one that envelops you and makes you curious to experience more of it even as the chills, emptiness and sense of impending desolation fills your body, mind and soul. As those sensations grow richer and more encompassing, you start to suspect what you’re hearing is the effect Juif has been building towards with "Les Années Décapitées", "L'odeur de la lumière" and "Un Calme entre les Tempêtes". I somewhat saw this progression coming from those EPs; however the material is far from predictable as I wasn’t completely prepared from the full effect of these hypnotic soundscapes. If Juif’s purpose is to distance himself from his other projects Cepheide and Rance, he is well on his way to doing so. Baume’s EPs and this full length play like chapters in a novel in which the narrator descends into a madness unheard of by the human race, only to find a kind of cathartic tranquility in the end. His vocals, in the spoken word form, is almost like the narrative describing this descent while his mind is being taken over, almost consumed, by whoever or whatever is guiding him deeper and deeper with each passing moment. The end of the narrative has not come yet, as there are subtler sounds suggesting greater darkness on the horizon. You probably have to listen to every Baume release back to back to appreciate the big picture. What’s most disturbing about this part of the journey is the time the horror takes to ease itself into your being, crawling slowly into your consciousness as opposed to taking it all at once. Dare you find out what Juif has in mind for the next chapter? –Dave Wolff

Lineup:
Gaetan Juif: Vocals, all instruments

Track list:
I. Rien ne Dure
II. Blessures Nuptiales
III. Un Calme entre les Tempêtes
IV. Dans les Mystères de la Dissolution
V. Août Approche



https://aeafanzine.blogspot.com/2018/03/full-length-review-baume-les-annees.html
https://aeafanzine.blogspot.com/2020/01/ep-review-baume-lodeur-de-la-lumiere.html
https://aeafanzine.blogspot.com/2019/11/ep-review-baume-lodeur-de-la-lumiere_2.html
https://aeafanzine.blogspot.com/2020/06/ep-review-baume-un-calme-entre-les.html