Saturday, May 30, 2020

About Asphyxium Zine


Dave Wolff

STAFF WRITERS (Interviews and articles)
Liam Anthony, Daniel S. Crane, Marc Del Cielo, Roberta Downing, Andy Horry, Alan Lisanti, Devin Joseph Meaney, Corvo Obsidian Sahjaza, Goddess Rosemary Sahjaza, Wynter Wilkins Lore Sahjaza, Tony Sokol, Alison Stone, Kelly Tee, Damien Lee Thorr, Karin Webb, Dave Wolff

STAFF WRITERS (Music, print and film reviews)
Ashara Armand, James K. Blaylock, Kaya Chaos, Teresa Clayton, Heather Dawson, Roberta Downing, Michelle Liberati, Alan Lisanti, Michèle Malavasi, Erik Martin, Sarah McKellar, Devin Joseph Meaney, Gene Olivarri, Reggae, Rrockhopper, Goddess Rosemary Sahjaza, Ghoul Shadows, Corban Skipwith, Tony Sokol, John Sorrell, Brynn Kali StarDew, Kelly Tee, Damien Lee Thorr, Jorge A. Trejos, Victor Varas, Adam Waters, Dave Wolff, Xan

STAFF WRITERS (Poems and fiction)
Dena Arnote, Michael Aronovitz, Astrid Beauvois, James K. Blaylock, Jaap Boekestein, Andy Bove, Lukas Andrew Bryson, Big Jim, Chris Chaos, Kaya Chaos, M Teresa Clayton, Omesh Darkchild Crasher, Heather Dawson, Koga Easter, Skitz J. Fitch, Ben Fitts, Eric Forsberg, Linzie Grotesque, Andy Horry, Johnny Hellion, Kay Irvin, Elena Karis, Alexander Kautz, James Ward Kirk, Joshua Laing, Jerry Langdon, Lee Lawless, Daina Lewis, Alan Lisanti, Hannah Marshall, Sarah McKellar, Devin Joseph Meaney, Craig Michael, Natasa Nikolic, Rich Orth, Steven Michael Pape, Laura Petellat, Steven Queen, Tanner Reiss, S.C.C., Corvo Obsidian Sahjaza, Ghoul Shadows, David Smith, Tony Sokol, Sky Claudette Soto, Susan Stiltner, Alison Stone, Jeremy Void

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

EP Review: No Murder No Moustache "Hold My Beer" (Smash Mouse Records) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Band: No Murder No Moustache
Location: Wales
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Celtic acoustic punk
Format: Digital album
Label: Smash Mouse Records
Release date: June 26, 2020
During my normal escapades on the internet, I happened to come upon some new tunes. The upcoming EP ''Hold My Beer'' by No Murder No Moustache. This release boasts of a delightful combination of punk-rock and ''a Celtic folk twist,'' as stated in the email sent to me by Beth Jones.
I normally review heavier music, but I have no qualms about broadening my horizons... so I humbly clicked play on the tracks when they were officially downloaded to my computer. The five tracks I listened to from this were Hold My Beer, Fragile Society, Lose Myself To The Dark, Only Lies So Far, and Cyn Mae'r Byd Yn Cael Ei Ddinistro. The first thing I will say is that this style of music does not frequent my CD player or my Youtube/Bandcamp streams, but honestly, the songs are catchy, played well, and recorded and produced with great efficiency.
The highlight of this for me would be the acoustics and the Celtic aspect. They are both aggressive and punk-rock driven, but for me personally, they also inspire a sense of adventure and a longing for epic quests. That may be a bit off the mark, but I dare say that these tracks would pair well with a pitcher of mead or maybe some cheap draught... (But hey, that is just me).
This EP will be officially released June 26, 2020, and is the work of Owen Crawford. Yes, you heard that right. This is one individual! With the additional vocal help from Chris Hudson-Silver, Chris Hopkins, Hannah Crawford, and Ceri Richards, Owen manages to craft an elegant form of music that is both pleasurable and invigorating to the ears and other senses. This is a great EP, and I encourage anyone to give it a listen when it drops. Keep it up! –Devin Joseph Meaney

Owen Crawford: Music, Lyrics, Production, Performance
Additional backing vocals: Chris Hudson-Silver, Chris Hopkins, Hannah Crawford, Ceri Richards

Track list:
1. Hold My Beer
2. Fragile Society
3. Lose Myself To The Dark
4. Only Lies So Far
5. Cyn Mae'r Byd Yn Cael Ei Ddinistro

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Full Length Compilation Review: Ignominia "Ars Moriendi/Falsa Divinidad" (Fallen Temple Records) by Dave Wolff

Band; Ignominia
Location: Santiago
Country: Chile
Genre: Blackened death/thrash metal
Compilation: Ars Moriendi/Falsa Divinidad
Label: Fallen Temple Records (Poland)
Format: CD (limited to 500 copies), digital, streaming
Release date: January 11, 2019
The Chilean death metal band Ignominia started as Haunted Christians and changed their name before releasing their debut demo “Movimiento Underground Metal en Español” in 2010. Yes, this band write their lyrics in Spanish instead of English, to keep a strong bond between themselves and their home death metal community. Still this is a band with the potential for accessibility to listeners in the U.S. and other English-speaking countries.
While Ignominia is in its early stage, the name change from Haunted Christians was a clear-sighted decision. The new name Ignominia generally sounds less commonplace and more likely to inspire the listener to more deeply consider their world view. Even if they’re not releasing full lengths regularly the band is already beginning to mature. The band seems a closely guarded secret but they warrant checking out if you like brutality with refinement from musicians who care about their craft and take it seriously.
Their debut EPs “Falsa Divinidad” (2015) and “Ars Moriendi” (2017) were released independently and through a marginal label from China, Thanatology Productions, respectively. In 2019 they were both reissued on one CD via Poland’s Fallen Temple Records (also a marginal label but dealing with a greater number of bands) to spread their work from country to country. Before this compilation they made a similar effort releasing their rehearsal tape, demo and first EP on an independent cassette with another Chilean band, Teofobia (who unfortunately disbanded in 2017).
I had to play and replay “Ars Moriendi/Falsa Divinidad” (previewing on Fallen Temple’s Bandcamp and Ignominia’s Bandcamp) a few times before it grew on me, but I’m realizing their expressiveness as well as their heaviness. As Ignominia is from South America, it almost goes without saying that special attention was paid to spawning brutal old school-influenced slabs during the recording process, complete with what you’d expect from South American death metal: raw Mephistophelean guitars and bass, hammering, macerating drums and rasping, roaring, unforgiving vocals.
While keeping strong ties to Chilean death metal, I noticed the band borrow from early German death metal (particularly Kreator from 1983 to ‘85) and Norwegian and Swedish black metal from 1992 or ’93. This is apparent from “Intro.Cosecha de Almas/Invocación al Abismo Oculto” which starts with a shady acoustic section, turns to a plodding BM/DM riff and suddenly explodes into blast, tastefully going into several slower time changes without losing any tightness.
Of the tracks from “Ars Moriendi,” “Hipocresía”, “Consumidos por El Poder” and the title track follow this pattern of tireless blast with constant energy and a wide range of slower progressions, crunching guitar riffs, well planned harmonies and inventive leads. The production is gritty but not too much. You can still make out the instruments and vocals clearly enough to hear everything that’s going on. “Iniquidad” had another acoustic intro that strangely reminded me of the intro of “Spiral of Violence” by Whiplash, but much grittier.
The tracks from “Falsa Divinidad” are rawer and more straightforward, paying more attention to relentless blast and less attention to subtlety. “Visión Blasfema” especially makes this clear from the get go following a particularly noisy intro. The tempo changes are fewer but more effective in the midst of the breakneck speed. “Asesino”, “Formula de Muerte” and “Falsa Divinidad” are also thrashier than the songs on their second EP, with some Slayer influence in there. For this reason I would have liked “Falsa Divinidad” a little more when these EPs first came out, but both of them are exceptional examples of South American DM. –Dave Wolff

Marco Gajardo: Vocals, guitars
Andrés Valdés Guitars
Pablo Valdés: Bass
Claudio Anacona: Drums

Track list:
1. Intro.Cosecha de Almas/Invocación al Abismo Oculto
2. Hipocresía
3. Consumidos por El Poder
4. Iniquidad
5. Ars Moriendi
6. Intro
7. Visión Blasfema
8. Asesino
9. Formula de Muerte
10. Falsa Divinidad

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Interview with Melissa Wolfe of Sepsiss by Dave Wolff

Interview with Melissa Wolfe of Sepsiss

Did coming from a family of musicians and performers help shape your interest in playing in bands and becoming an alt model? How early did you start and how much support did you receive?
Since I grew up surrounded by musicians I have always had a love for music. My father is a guitar player, so as a child I had the chance to watch him play in his own band. This developed into an interest to seek out a band of my own as I got older (I was about seventeen years old when I formed Sepsiss with William Savant). My mother used to be a dancer and performer as well, but of course with age came other health issues and complications. She had to put her dancing career aside, but she has always seen me as her shining star. In a way, I think that she lives her dreams through me. My family is extremely supportive of everything that I do (including my modeling), and for that I could never thank them enough.

What is your definition of alternative modeling, compared to mainstream modeling?
Alternative modeling is when a model does not conform to mainstream ideas of beauty. You often see them using their own styles and subcultures such as tattoos, goth, and fetishism. They may be pierced, have Mohawks/Dreadlocks, or their hair is dyed an unnatural color. This type of modeling can be clothed or unclothed.

What band was your father in and how often did you see them? Does this band have shows on audio, video or streaming?
My father was in a band they called "Baker Road" (they named it after the street we were living on at the time). I never had the opportunity to see them play live, because I was just too young back then. However, I did get to see them practice all the time in our basement. I guess I never really cared how loud it was, I just wanted to be down there with my family and the music. They did make a CD, which I still have today... but none of their songs ever made it to a digital copy, since this was before the "digital age", so to speak. So you won't find it online, unfortunately. They made some amazing rock n' roll and they did manage to make one music video before the band broke up.

How long was Baker Road active before they disbanded? Do you still listen to their releases?
Baker Road was active from 1994 until 1999. They had disbanded because the singer got addicted to drugs and he was ultimately fired by my father. They tried to go on without the singer for a while, but it didn't seem to take. I do listen to their CD now and again for the memories, I really do enjoy the music. I feel like it could've gone somewhere for sure. After doing some digging, I realized Baker Road did make a few promotional videos with their songs "Back Off Me" and "Loan Me Some Time" that were aired on public television at that time through a local station in Amesbury, MA. It was a station similar to the "local licks" we have today on the radio, but I can't recall the name... and it did air from time to time for a couple of years on local Comcast Television. You can listen to "Back Off Me" here and you can listen to "Loan Me Some Time" here.

What about the dance and performance art your mother was involved in generated your interest in modeling?
My mother was a modern dance instructor and also an exotic dancer/performer. She had an agent that booked her around the country as the headliner and she's had her face on billboards in Florida. Her beauty and confidence in herself, as well as her confidence in me, allowed me to push forward with my own dreams.

What dance styles did your mother teach? Did she receive mainstream attention in television and magazines?
My mother instructed dance at Lannie's Dance Studio in Daytona Beach, Florida. They were part of Florida State Ballet Company. She taught what they called "modern jazz" or "modern dance" which is similar to hip-hop today with a ballet background. As far as exotic dancing, she was featured a couple of times in a magazine called "Easy Rider" back in the late 70's. During that era she was the headliner for TC Enterprises (her booking agent) which sent her all over the country to perform. She went by the name "Raven Blue."

Were you inspired by any alt models or other sources when you began alternative modeling?
When I first started my alternative modeling, I took inspiration mainly from other artists (Arch Enemy, In This Moment, Evanescence, etc) and comic books (Wonder Woman, Gene from X-Men, Harley Quinn, Catwoman, etc). I also look up to models such as Bella French, Lana Rain, Babs, Lexi Belle, Danica Logan, and a handful of others from mild to wild.

How do you reflect your attraction to those comic book characters?
When it comes to my modeling, I do a lot of fetish themes and cosplay. So it didn't take me long to figure out I could play stuff like that off very well. I really enjoy wearing costumes, leather, and lace much like those superheroines. I take a lot of it into account from the way they hold themselves right down to their hair and makeup. The bold flashy colors, glitter, and designs are a must.

In what ways did those alt models inspire you to seek your own vision?
The alternative models I mentioned earlier inspired me to look further into fetish and fashion. I really liked the way some would show off their feet, the nail-polish, and even the way some would re-enact a character during a cosplay. I've seen them really bring those characters to life with the costumes they chose and how they would dive deep into that character's personality. The makeup is also very important as sometimes a character's makeup really pinpoints who they are to the audience. Seeing all of this just makes me want to play with my own toes and throw on an outfit to become something or someone else for a day.

Do you notice mainstream models taking ideas from alt models and passing them off as their own? What examples have you recently seen of this, or of alt models being overlooked? How detrimental is it to alt modeling?
Mainstream models often do just that. I feel that alternative models often get by-passed or looked over just for the fact that they are a little different or in some cases too explicit.
I have seen plenty of mainstream icons model alternative concepts, such as Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna. They have all experimented with dyeing their hair in crazy colors, bondage themes, cosplay and furries. One of their favorite hair products being Manic Panic which has become almost a necessity in fashion for people who experiment with dyes at home. This used to be an alt model thing, but now it's becoming more of the "norm" to have wild colors in your hair. Heavy metal culture has always seemed to embrace adult sub-culture fashion, but has only become popular more recently with mainstream entertainment and modeling. The transgender, lesbian and gay community has also helped make erotic modeling and fashion more acceptable.
Growing up I felt a lot of alt models were overlooked for things such as tattoos and piercings. Though these things are becoming progressively more popular, many still feel this look is "unprofessional" and it can be hard to land a photo-shoot unless it is alt-specific. It would be easy to remedy this problem simply by people being more accepting of this.

In your view, are alt models copied because the mainstream is running out of creative ideas?
For some presentations, I'm sure they're exploiting a lack of variety, introducing ideas and styles that appear to be taking risks. The mainstream drops the ball on authenticity, but trends come and go. Call me neutral.

Do you think tattoos and piercings are more accepted than they were in the 90s and 2000s?
I believe tattoos and piercings are more accepted then they used to be. However, there are still some folks remaining out there that are not very accepting of it. Unfortunately it is still difficult for an average person to get a job if they have skin art, unless they cover it up with long sleeves and turtle necks.

What modeling projects are you planning for the immediate future?
I hope to engage in new networking, partnerships, and projects beyond the keyboard. Maybe some brand partnerships and sponsors. I would love to grow in goth fashion and alternative brand awareness. I think this year we will do an adult picture book or calendar.

Was Sepsiss the first band you worked in or were there others beforehand?
I was in many "bands" before Sepsiss that could never so much as finish writing a song, never-mind make it to the stage. I would consider them to be more like "jam bands" rather than something professional. We were supposed to get creative and that just never happened. Nobody ever gave me the time to grow and learn. They just expected me to be something amazing immediately. But with Sepsiss, I had that time, we did create, we even got signed and we became that band I've always dreamed of. I would say Sepsiss is my first real professional band.

Were there any “jam bands” you would have liked to see become more professional? Do you have any “garage recordings” from those bands?
The jam bands I was involved with never grew to the point where they could write any material, so unfortunately I do not have any garage recordings I can share.

Tell the readers how you met William Savant, decided to form a band with him, sought other musicians to work with and decided to name the band Sepsiss.
I met William Savant at the age of seventeen down in a creaky basement in Manchester, NH (after responding to his Craigslist ad). We were both looking to start up a project and I was showing up for a tryout. There was another girl (Ashley) that was supposed to try out that day, but she never came through. I landed the position for lead singer that day. And of course, William could play a mean guitar... so we decided to team up and make some killer music together. We've been through about twenty nine-plus band members since we started (and I’m not kidding about the numbers). But after a lot of hard work and dedication, I believe we finally have the right line-up for what we're about to do.
We named the band "Sepsiss" because it is unique and it's a word of its own. Unlike the disease, "sepsis," (spelled with one "s" at the end) which is based on a blood-born infection. We are Google searchable and it's easy to find. It's not like some other band names out there that are super long or too hard to read or say. It just kind of rolls off the tongue.

What did Sepsiss set out to do musically, and what fanbase did you expect to appeal to?
Our goal has always been to take over the world right from the start. We weren't very good when we first started out, but we've always had the dream and Sepsiss has grown into a complete monster since then. At first we imagined we would get a lot of hardcore and heavy metal fans moshing to our sound, but it's actually become so much more then that since the early days. Now we get fans from all over, including but not limited to hip-hop, r&b, country, and even pop fans. They all came together and there's a place for everyone in our music.

Who were the most inspirational bands for you and Savant when Sepsiss formed?
The bands that inspired us the most when Sepsiss started were Asking Alexandria, Avenged Sevenfold, Evanescence, Axxis, Halestorm, Metallica, Motley Crue, Dragonforce, Epica, Pantera, and so many more.

Why were there so many changes in lineup? How close is your present lineup to the vision you and Savant had?
The band went through so many members that just couldn't hack it. We've been through guitar players, bassists, keyboard players, and most of all... drummers. They've either quit on us, been fired, or simply couldn't keep up with the kind of work ethic this band requires. Our current lineup, however, is everything we've always wanted it to be. We've got all the right personalities and most of all we've got the skill-sets for the job.

Who is working with you in the band now? Were they previously in other bands? If so, how does their experience help?
Our current line up are pretty solid musicians. Cam and Johnny (guitar and bass) come from traditional metal and rock backgrounds, both having other projects before this one. Mr. Goodbarz (Tim) is our keyboard player. Both he and William come from urban music and underground hip hop production. Most of our compositions’ blue prints are generated by William, being the oldest has a lot of theory education.

What makes Sepsiss’ influences unique to extreme metal? In what ways does the music written by your current lineup differ from that of past lineups?
I believe that modern metal tends to lean in on heavy and harsher vocals. We know there is an amazing place for it in the mix. Songs these days tend to be dominated by one or two song elements. For us, there tends to be longer relationships between song parts, notes, and syncopation. The goal for us was to keep things competitively musical without confusing listeners or lots of yelling. We wanted screams to be purposeful and bring attention back to the lyrics and writing. We work like a revolving door of sonic possibilities, passing the baton during performances without having abrupt distractions or losing connection to the piece. I am a melodic vocalist, and my guitar players often make smart choices creating an environment with musical opportunity.
Line-up has always been a key factor. Our staff and band members developed our own language early on, and it was important that everyone understood it. The music is strict and the dance is delicate. Played poorly, or lack of practice and discipline, can be devastating with this sort of music.

Did your expansion of musical boundaries progress naturally? Should musicians force themselves to “branch out” or simply play what they feel and take it from there?
I would say that it was natural and certainly over a length of time. You should never have to force your music. If it's working for you and your fans like it (and you like it) then just play what feels right. You also have to live a little to write, and we had a lot of living to do before we felt comfortable with our sonic fingerprint. In heavy metal we expect to hear bands expressing darkness, anger, violence and frustration. A handful of acts even dig into politics and religion has been a popular topic in metal from the beginning. Our version of heavy metal had to say something different. We didn't design our sound trying to win over existing metal fans. We designed our sound to create NEW fans of heavy metal, period. High energy, content-rich, melodic, and aggressive. Aggressive doesn't mean anger or hatred. We wanted to be a band that could put the sex back into heavy music or pull you into a captivating story. No ages, no colors, no politics, no violence, just the people's metal. If you can't dance to it, it isn't Sepsiss.

How much material has Sepsiss released altogether? Did you start out producing your releases independently, then move on to working with professionals? Do you prefer professional studios or your own equipment?
Sepsiss started out independent, releasing our EP "Badd Blood" in April of 2019. Grammy-nominated. We have since then won the New England Music Awards for best Heavy Metal/Hard Rock act of the year for 2019. Now, recently signing with Pavement Entertainment, we plan to release our first full-length album "Almost 11" through them this August 21st, 2020. I do enjoy the calm and comfort of working from home, but there is nothing like the feel and quality of a professional studio environment. Something about being there just puts your mind where it really needs to be.

Are copies of “Badd Blood” still available, or can it be streamed on the internet?
Unfortunately "Badd Blood" is completely sold out, since we only made those CD's when we were still independent. So there are limited copies out there. I guess you can call it a collector's item now, lol. However, you can download a small demo version of the CD (which has 4 songs on it) digitally from our store while you're waiting for "Almost 11" to be released. You can find it at our site.

What do your lyrics cover, and in what ways do they complement your music?
Our lyrics cover everything from love and lust, to sci-fi/fantasy, the apocalypse, and even murder. I would say the lyrics matches the music perfectly and it really helps to bring out the emotion behind the song. While I might pick a topic with William, we approach each track transparent after a theme. Without disconnection, we build a deeper relationship with each paragraph. If you didn't already feel something before, you'll certainly start to feel once you've connected with the words. The music alone is enough to make your heart skip a beat with the screaming cries and sweeping melodies from the guitars, the pulsing dance of the drums and bass, and the atmospheric whisper of the keyboard.

Discuss some of the topics that you and William choose. How are the lyrics channeled to get your listeners to feel them?
Because we write about everything and nothing, we have quite a variety of topics ranging from aliens to relationships and multi-sensory consciousness. No agendas or politics. Just human music to use your imagination and provoke personal inventory.

Explain how your music is geared toward fueling the imagination? How much effort do you put into your lyrics toward this purpose?
Because of transparency and concept phrasing, we focused choosing a lot of neutral and interpretive lyrics. For some acts, they don’t feel satisfied unless they write the most confusing technical or aggressive piece. We feel this is a big disconnect for a hand full of people. This makes it difficult for people relate with intelligently. While they might enjoy some noise they usual don’t relate to it or able to interpret it. It’s a balanced diet of the unpredictability predictable to quote Cam.

Are you working with Glen Robison to engineer “Almost 11”? How much more work is needed before it’s completed?
Glen Robinson worked on engineering “Badd Blood”. Coming back to the table for “Almost 11” after a rather successful four song indie release, we quickly set out to improve released tracks and added four unpublished and three more brand new songs. A lot of our music is popular in the region so it was important to track new songs regardless. Glen is definitely the seventh member of the band. Our record label has the album right now. It is complete.

How did you find Glen Robinson to engineer your releases? How would you describe his work for you?
We had some really rough demos floating around the internet gathering feedback. We’re not exactly sure how Glen found us. But one day, a strange email popped up with his name on it. William was familiar with Queensryche, Annihilator and Gwar. William wrote it off as a scam, so we ignored the message. Weeks later, we did some research and were pleasantly surprised that indeed it was the real Glen Robinson. Glen became a massive influence in re calibration, and tweaked some presentation ideas to make the presentation a bit sturdier. Since then, he truly is the 7th member of the band.

Does Sepsiss have their own record label, or have you been signed to the same label from the beginning?
We have a small production company and a huge stage staff. We are signed to pavement entertainment for this next album. This is our first world published collection.

Are you considering drawing from less mainstream friendly genres for your formula?
I'm going to be upfront. We love a very wide spectrum of metal styles... tried, true, and traditional. Thrash or Death. Symphonic or Metal-core. In terms of modern metal, we hear lots of truly amazing bands that simply get lost because they only seem to appeal to certain groups of fans. Singing in modern metal, I have noticed a slight difference in the frequency of the listener. William and I knew this, and we wanted to create a kind of heavy metal that a much wider variety of people could learn. That explains why we have such a time chamber of sounds and presentations. We want our heavy metal to be for everyone. The people's metal.

Would you look for inspiration from doom, black, ambient, death or folk metal?
We have a tremendous amount of love and respect for many shapes and versions of heavy metal. We get asked all the time about me screaming or more death style breakdowns. Sepsiss is a growing band and we have much more living and learning before we rule out anything that can help improve or add to our recipe. Finding a great balance between preforming solid sets and musical ability will always be a priority for us. We released a folk song on Facebook called “No Strings Attached” it just reached 200k over there so who knows. Maybe acoustic versions of the music. We’re so new to the ears, practicing a lot and studying the art. I would expect our next album will be very advanced. There are three songs in production as we speak. The evolution is there already. It’s going to get Interesting.

What styles of folk music did you base “No Strings Attached” on while writing it?
Campfire guitars and haunting lyrics remind me of country and blues. With Williams approach using arpeggios to accompany Tim’s piano parts modernize it for me but I believe William when with a country feel.

Speaking of fry screaming, do you have any previous experience? How much practice would you need to do with your vocal cords so you can sustain your fry screaming?
I have tried half-heartedly for fun before. Truly it would be a distraction for me because I have so much more to learn and grow as a singer. Maybe one day when my current goals as a vocalist have reached a place for me. I love my position and without ruling anything out, it will be quite a while before I consider heavier aggressive vocals.

When do you plan to release “Almost 11” and how do you plan to promote it once it’s out?
Almost 11 is coming out via Pavement entertainment August 21 this year. Promotion is so different now. It’s all about the prerelease and what leads up to an actual release. We have a hand full of surprises, games, give always, band interaction and an amazing pr team and strategy. Most of our staff are in house and we create content on the fly. Sepsiss is a military mechanism. We hit the ground hard and fast. Keeping a high energy discipline and quality content. This whole year will be full of surprises even after the release.

What do you and the band hope to accomplish with Sepsiss, musically and otherwise?
Our goals as a metal band are to make heavy music beyond the predictable. Let go of trendy and safe ideas in metal music. Sepsiss isn’t a violent form of rock music. There’s no hate fueled content or segregated ideas. No politics or dominated by heavy vocals or over processing. We use human voices and keep our mistakes when they fit. We have heard so many band that fail to create what you hear on the albums. For us that was a massive goal, staying with the integrity of performable songs, sonically and physically.

-Dave Wolff

Full Length Review: Gut "Disciples of Smut" (Splatter Zombie Records) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Band: Gut
Country: Germany
Genre: Pornogrind
Full Length: Disciples of Smut
Label: Splatter Zombie Records
Format: Double Gatefold LP, CD, cassette, digital
Release date: May 14, 2020
The ''Disciples of Smut'' album by GUT. Released 2020 through Splatter Zombie Records. I normally don't frequent much pornogrind, but I have a bit of a history with GUT. I enjoy some of their earlier releases, and I am even a fan of their notorious Cumback album that was given a lot of both praise and hatred in the underground. By the time GUT made it to that album, I figured their sound would be forever tongue-in-cheek. But goddamn... this new release is super intense. They have changed their sound once again. They are more serious. More putrid. More vile.
Clocking in at over 40 minutes this is no simple album. This is a full-length adventure into the realms of the perverse and the misunderstood. The chaotic and the disturbed yet beautiful. I would encourage most people to give these tracks a spin but I really think that this is more suited for those who frequent iniquity and the extreme. This is not for the squeamish or the faint of heart.
I have always been a fan of GUT, even after I pretty much rejected the blatant misogyny of pornogrind. But even after that, this is one of the few bands of this ''brand'' that still come off as unique, interesting, and worth a listen.
If you weren't disturbed before your first listen, prepare for some cold sweat and goose flesh. This is for the dark ones. Don't take this one lightly! –Devin Joseph Meaney

Oliver Roder: lead vocals
Joachim Pröll: Guitar
Markus Zorn: Bass
Tim Eiermann: Drums, vocals

Track list:
1. Summoning The Befouled Servants Of The Bizarre
2. Smothered With Austrian Chloroform (feat. Martin Schirenc (Pungent Stench) and Patrick Klopf (Disharmonic Orchestra))
3. Disciples Of Smut
4. Altar Of Domination
5. Make ‘Em Cum Slowly
6. Hypnotized Harem (feat. Martin Maty Matoušek (Gutalax))
7. The Well Of Ghouls
8. Empire Of The Centipede Of Pigs And Hoes
9. Anus Anubis
10. Cacophonous Rites
11. Dickslapped And Shrinkwrapped
12. Cave Of Sexual Savagery
13. From Below
14. Chants From The Sex Dungeon
15. Diabolical Degradation
16. Myth Of Perversion

Friday, May 15, 2020

Full Length Review: Iconicide "Engine Of Apocalypse = 1988-2018: The First 30 Years" (All Rites Perverse) by Dave Wolff

Band: Iconicide
Location: New York City, New York
Country: USA
Genre: Punk, hardcore
Full Length: Engine Of Apocalypse = 1988-2018: The First 30 Years
Label: All Rites Perverse
Format: CD (available for purchase on Bandcamp)
Release date: December 30, 2018
Iconicide is a name you’ve heard before if you’ve been reading Autoeroticasphyxium for some time. A few years ago I did an extremely intimate and indepth interview with frontman Chris the Antimessiah, who formed the band back in 1988 and has been raging against the system ever since. As I mentioned when reviewing their eighth full length “Give Me Extinction Or Give Me Death!”, this is not your typical punk band. If you expect typical or stereotypical, you will find your presumptions torpedoed and demolished as completely as everything you thought was true about the American Dream. Iconicide is a threat that is not going away.
This is not your typical punk band in musical terms. This is not even typical apocalyptic punk. Rather than warning about the downfall of civilization, it is a celebration of the inevitable, both intimate and cataclysmic. Aside from metal, punk and hardcore, Chris grew up on Motown, soul, old time big bands and crooners and even polka. If you listen to Iconicide’s music as closely as their lyrics you couldn’t accurately say they limit themselves to a single genre as their diverse influences spill into their formula. Add gruff vocals with harsh, brutal lyrics described as “scorched earth blues” and you have the logical progression of 90s street punk that, while being calamitous and ill-boding, breaks its mold and creates its own subgenre. Iconicide goes beyond this.
Finally, on to their latest album. Released in 2018, “Engine Of Apocalypse = 1988-2018: The First 30 Years” commemorates Iconicide’s thirty years as a band as it pays homage to former members who passed away in the second half of the last decade (Shane Keogh, Mario Rienzo, Roger Arson, Lynn Haze). Chris was candid enough to email me additional information on the twenty-five songs included here, and suffice it to say they’re all of an extremely personal nature. In some cases too personal to mention in this review. You might find them unattractive and disturbing in their depiction of human ugliness and humanity’s tendency for self-destruction. But upon reading their lyrics and the accompanying blurbs I find them undeniably earnest and thought provoking.
“Engine of Apocalypse” is divided between studio tracks (tracks 1-11) and live recordings (tracks 12-24), with the final track being a spoken word piece by Mario Rienzo aka Maj Da Beast. The members of the band who passed away (Shane Keogh, Mario Rienzo, Roger Arson, and Lynn Haze - who appears on the front cover in a photo taken two months before his death) appear on the live recordings to commemorate their time in the band. Also some of the live songs were performed only once, and haven’t been part of the band’s set list since. I couldn’t discuss all these tracks in detail without taking up a page or two, so I’m going to recall several that caught my attention for one reason or another as I pass along a little of the background information I was sent.
“Walk Towards the Light”, the first from the track list, sounded to me like a slower Discharge with some metal added. Lyrically it brings to light the decline of progress, the rush of the human race toward extinction and its inevitable conclusion. Basically the concept that serves as the basis of this album. “Evolution” and “Engine of Apocalypse” reiterate those ideas, adding that industry and human greed go hand in hand and will achieve no bright future.
“Cicatrice” is a heavy and hypnotic song fusing metal, blues and reggae, described as “part lullaby, part love song, and part funeral dirge.” It is based on a character of the underground novel by Chris, SickWorld! I’ve never read this, but after looking it up on Amazon it seems an intriguing tale. “SickWorld Global Anthem” is likewise based on his book; the lyrics go well with the rest of the album. “Defenders of the Faith, Blindest of the Blind” is one of the bleakest of all these songs, with lyrics to match: “Rotting in slumber, lulled by screams/Self mutilation, death in dreams/Divine damnation, charnel creed/A new perversion all we need.” Not a pretty picture of organized religion, and it ends with blind faith leading to death and suicide, as does “Whoreship.” Jism from Ism appears playing keyboards on “SickWorld Global Anthem” (appearing as Chris wrote it back in 1984, later to be covered by NYC’s The Denied) and other songs including “Cicatrice,” which features guest vocals by Kim Kaos of The Graveyard School.
“Top of the Charts” is like a breath of fresh air after long being exposed to “rock star” hype and sanctimonious preaching about “open mindedness” (except when it comes to anything that challenges what’s “popular”). This song would bug the shit out of people with its mockery of arena rock, but the people it would piss off probably deserve it. Easily one of my favorites from this album. “Biochipped” and “We Who Are About to Die” tell you it’s the end of the road as we blindly accept the new world order at face value. All with a sound and attitude that makes much of the acid rock of the late sixties sound lightweight, “Engine of Apocalypse” demands to be heard and mulled over during many a sleepless night. And will make you want to hear more. –Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Walk Towards the Light
2. Wirehanger Abortion
3. Sanity by Default
4. Suffer This
5. Evolution
6. Engine of Apocalypse
7. Cicatrice
8. Eat Shit or Starve
9. Sickworld Global Anthem
10. Lurking in the Darkness
11. Wirehanger Abortion Original Version
12. Darkened Skies
13. Usurper
14. Defenders of the Faith, Blindest of the Blind
15. Top of the Charts
16. The Hell You Made
17. Feelings Fears and Fate
18. Whoreship
19. Worldsend
20. Just Do It
21. Biochipped
22. Just a Child
23. Lemming Nation
24. We Who Are About to Die
25. A Message from Maj da Beast

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Demo Review: Burier "Burier II" (Independent) by Kelly Tee

Band: Burier
Country: Australia
Genre: Raw black metal
Demo: Burier II
Label: Independent
Format: Streaming, digital download
Release date: January 16, 2020
Burier is a one-man black metal project hailing from Australia. There is little known about this mysterious artist as he succeeds in keeping his identity hidden, however he is wasting no time in showing the black metal community he is here to stay and is hell bent on creating dissonant and torturous experiences for his listeners.
Burier released Burier II in January 2020, and this comes one year after its predecessor, Burier I, both of which can be heard on Burier’s Bandcamp site.
Let us talk Burrier II. I find some of these obscure, harsh, and devastatingly angst-driven albums can be quite hard to listen to. Not because I don't like the music or appreciate this style, I thrive on this kind of black metal. What this style of grim and tortured black metal can do for me is create deep reflection on what it was that conjured up these emotions that are being translated through the artist's music and that, of course, can be quite confronting. Burrier II did just this for me.
Burier II is a journey through pain, discouragement, darkness, and gloom.
The production of this album reeks of decay. It is very distorted, extremely foggy, and messy, and it does so to create an atmosphere that can be described as extremely grim and reverent. It has a strong feeling of damnation interpreted from the incredibly cathartic lyrics. Believe it or not, amidst this absolute mayhem, there is a faint, stirring melody lying under the distorted, warped sounds making up these five tracks. It is this melody that assists their huge, intense and emotive pull. Vocally, it quickly becomes clear that this artist is expelling so much doom and raw emotion with his style and therapeutic lyrics, in a manner that had a continuous effect on me. It was as if I was walking within the shadows of this entire demo. It's uncompromising, compelling, extremely unrelenting, and it just goes and goes; it does not give you rest. Its hard, hateful opinions are being vocally bestowed on you in such a way, it's just incredible. This artist wants to share the pain, it's obvious; share the pain, share the misery, and he has done this well. Add to this crushing distorted guitars, and the creation of a huge dark suffering mood and it will weigh heavily on you as the listener.
This demo kicks off with 'One Thousand Wings', running just past ten minutes in duration. It is an emotionally exhausting journey full of arduous attitude, perfect for wearing you down. It is smothered in haze and rot, and transcends absolute decline. The sounds of disdain and torment are strong, and therefore, I had no choice but to let myself ride with it and let it carry me away. I won't say that it took me to nice places at all though. There's nothing nice about this experience; it was a challenging and confronting listen and there is power in that. A truly brilliant track to commence the spiral of suffering of this demo. 'One Thousand Wings' ends with effective, fitting synth that carried a sense of finality, almost a peace within the suffering so to speak.
'Deep As The Fear That Circles': I loved this track’s title, however I loved the guitar patterns more. The tremolo picking is not shimmering at all; it is so abrupt, so stark, yet it remains aligned to the cold, chilly atmosphere of the album. The musicianship comes together while growing in volume. As the composition continues to strengthen it feels like large, dark, forbidding, and low-lying cloud hovering over me, creating a bleak and heavy feeling. I loved the riffage in this manic track, the melody that the riffs carried, matched with low toned guitars. The overarching soundscapes took the experience to the darkest corners of the mind and the most taboo areas of the psyche.
The ritual of letting go through this music has been done so well by Burier, on Burier II. The chaos created confusion for me, the riffage was unique and obscure, the beats were sometimes off-centre, and there was a distortion to this production surely done so deliberately as to create a sense of disorientation while creating a moody and raw listen.
Rawness is most certainly the law within Burier II’s demo. It provides an encounter that’s damaging and stained with filth as it transports you along a steady journey of aggression, pain and dejection. -Kelly Tee

Burier: Vocals. All instruments

Track list:
1. One Thousand Wings
2. Blades Of Rapture
3. Trapped By The Dawn
4. Deep As The Fear That Circles
5. Rot Eternal

Watch Kelly Tee's video review of "Burier II" here. -DW

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Interview with John Sorrell of Morgue Rot Magazine by Dave Wolff

Interview with John Sorrell of Morgue Rot Magazine

You are currently working on the debut issue of Morgue Rot Magazine. The title of the zine has an old school death metal feel. Was this the angle you were looking for while choosing a name?
As a huge fan of 80/90's death metal, I wanted a name that screamed death and gore. At the time, I was listening to Morgue’s “Eroded Thoughts” quite a bit. So there's an obvious influence on the name. Morgue Rot was the first thing that popped into my skull. And it was available.

When did you first get the idea of publishing a zine? Were you inspired by any zines you were reading at the time or was it from a desire to support extreme music?
Originally, the idea was to release a small art book, showcasing my artwork alone. But, after discussing the idea with my wife, the suggestion of additional content arose. In the beginning, I planned to write a few album/film reviews myself. I really had no intentions of working with anyone on this. After I decided on the name, Morgue Rot, I posted on social media what my intentions were. I just wanted to create a little hype for my project. Almost instantly I was receiving messages from friends who wanted to help out. Shortly after, the bands started sending me their works for review. It quickly started to take its own form, and over the course of a week, a rough version of issue 1 had been planned. Promoting my artwork was the only real inspiration I had at the time of conception. Everything else just fell into place.

How long have you listened to eighties and nineties death metal, and what attracted you to it?
I discovered death metal around 1995, I would have been fourteen. I always had an interest in metal, I had been listening to Megadeth and Metallica for a few years. I think I was eleven when I picked up my first Metallica cassette, “Master of Puppets”. And it was life changing to say the least. Anyways, I found a metal mag at a local book store one day. I don't remember the names of either. But, the mag came with a sampler cd which included the likes of Dismember, Sinister, Six Feet Under and others. Needless to say, this was a game changer, and so my quest for death metal began. As for what attracts me to this music... death itself. I've always had a fascination with the morbid and macabre. Death Metal is the perfect soundtrack to my life.

What fascinates you about the morbid and the macabre? How and why do you relate to the subject matter of death and black metal, etc? What bands would you cite as examples?
It's something that I have no control over. The darkness called to me at a very young age, five or six years old. I clearly remember the first time I saw an image of the grim reaper; I was mesmerized. I couldn't look away from it. It's hollow, lifeless eyes spoke to me on some level. By age eight, I was watching every horror movie I could find. I began trying to recreate these monsters, killers and demons on paper. I was obsessed. “The Gate” was a very influential film for me. It triggered an interest in Satanism and the Occult. This presented a bit of a problem as my parents were devout Pentecostals.
And while my love of horror was supported, that is where it would end. Keeping my new found “faith”, or lack thereof, a secret was challenging at times. There was no internet for me back then, I was left at the mercy of the church library. I managed to find a few books that touched briefly on the subject, but always in a negative light.
It wasn't until my 18th birthday, that I finally acquired a copy of the Satanic Bible. After reading it cover to cover, multiple times, I knew the path that was before me. I'm thirty-nine now, and nothing has changed. I still find comfort in the darkness, peace in death and power in the Devil.
I wouldn't say I relate to the lyrics of death metal really. I think that's reserved for serial killers and the like. Ha ha. Black metal, however, is very spiritual in nature and so for obvious reasons, I can relate to the content. As for bands/albums that I can identify with... I don't know, Bathory’s “The Return of Darkness and Evil” comes to mind first.

What spoke to you about The Satanic Bible when you read it? Did you look for other published works by Anton LaVey and/or other occult authors afterward?
From the beginning of the bible, with the Nine Satanic Statements, everything that Satan represented rang true with me. This was the person I was struggling to accept due to my religious upbringing. Through those few words, I found liberation. And after reading “The Book of Satan”, I found my fire. I knew who I was now and I embraced it.
I soon became aware of LaVey's other works but never had any luck finding them. Today, copies are readily available, but at that point in time, I was limited to the "religion" section at the local book store. In that book store, I learned of other occult philosophers. Crowley, Nietzsche and others. But none of these held my attention the way the Satanic Bible did. You have to remember, I was only eighteen at the time. And "real" Satanism was new to me. So I was content with LaVey's teachings.
As an adult I have read all of LaVey's works and a few by Michael W. Ford. Most of what I read is on the history of the occult, by various authors, covering a wide range of topics.

When did Michael W. Ford live and what books on occultism did he write in his lifetime?
Michael W. Ford is alive and well. He's a Luciferian author and the master mind behind the U.S. black metal band, Black Funeral. Some of his works include “The Bible of the Adversary” and “Apotheosis”, among others.

What is the difference between Satanism and Luciferianism? How much of an understanding of Luciferianism do “The Bible of the Adversary” and “Apotheosis” provide for interested readers? Also, is Black Funeral still active?
Satanists are mainly focused on the physical nature of man. They are content to explore and enjoy that nature and typically reject endeavors to rise beyond it. Satan is an emblem of carnality and materiality.
Luciferians view Lucifer as a spiritual and enlightened being. And while Luciferians do embrace the enjoyment of one's life, they accept that there are greater and more spiritual goals to be had.
Many do see Satan and Lucifer as being different aspects of the same being, the carnal, rebellious and material Satan vs. the enlightened and spiritual Lucifer. The Apotheosis is a beginners’ guide and may be more ideal for someone that's interested in Luciferianism. Both books are essential reads and offer a great understanding and direction down the left hand path.
Black Funeral I believe is still active. Their latest offering, “Ankou and the Death Fire” was released in 2016.

In what ways was “The Gate” influential? Did it make you interested in watching more occult based horror movies? If so, were most of them at least partially accurate or Hollywood schlock?
Seven year old me thought the one kid Terry, played by Louis Tripp, was just the coolest. Ha ha. I watched this film not long ago and I was like, what the fuck? These kids are fucking nerds, ha ha. But back then I wanted to be one of these guys. I wanted to play records backwards and summon demons through a hell pit in my backyard. That sounded great to me. Of course everything turns to literal shit in the film, but I never focused on that part ha ha.
I definitely wanted to see more occult themed horror after watching “The Gate”. One of my favorites from 1993 is “Warlock: The Armageddon”. It's a cheesy flick, but I love it. I've seen it countless times. I feel the subject matter was handled well in the film. This would also be the first time I heard the band Nuclear Assault. Their track “Something Wicked” plays during the credits. It's really hit and miss, some films get it and others don't so much. A prime example of an occult film done properly is Polanski's “The Ninth Gate.” The film coupled with the score, is a work of dark art in my opinion. Probably one of my favorite films of all time.

I didn’t see “Warlock: The Armageddon” but I saw the first “Warlock” on cable TV many years ago. I thought it leaned more towards shlock but was entertaining, especially where Julian Sands’ performance was concerned. Did you ever catch it? How about “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Devil’s Advocate”?
I've seen the film a few times. Overall, I don't care for it much. It is shlock. Maybe the second is too, but it's much better in my opinion. The remainder of the series, without Julian Sands, is utter garbage.
“Rosemary's Baby” is an occult classic for sure. The only other Polanski film I've seen is “Frantic”, with Harrison Ford. I can't say any of his other films really interest me. I first became aware of Roman Polanski after reading “Helter Skelter”. He was married to the late Sharon Tate, victim of the Manson murders.
“The Devil's Advocate” is a good film, overall. Al Pacino's portrayal of the Devil is perfect. Animalistic and powerful.

Since you have been a fan of underground music from your teens into your adulthood, how do you respond to people who say the music is an adolescent fad to grow out of? Do you think the genres have grown with you over the years?
I think that if you “grow out of” metal music, then it was never really meant for you to begin with. I've heard that shit my entire life and it's never happened to me. Never will. I think my musical tastes have grown over the years, I don't know about the genres. I guess there have been a few groundbreaking albums but none come to mind. The number of bands in the underground scene have grown for sure.

In your opinion is extreme music as valid as classic rock from the sixties and seventies, in spite of preconceptions about the talent required for the music, lyric writing and vocals?
I think extreme music is just as valid, if not more so. There's no denying that we wouldn't have the bands of today without the bands of that era. But, I feel the influence is not as great as it was previously. Extreme music from the 90's seems to be the formula that today's bands try to emulate. As far as talent goes, if you think that extreme music takes no talent, then I wouldn't even waste my time on you. I know people think that, and it's fucking ridiculous. I think maybe these kids playing one chord in their mom's basement are giving hard working bands a bad name.

While most bands today are emulating the 90s sound, have you heard of any taking extreme music in different directions? Is it still possible for underground bands to do something original?
I haven't heard many. The most recent would probably be Craft’s “White Noise and Black Metal”. I think it's a good example of keeping extreme music fresh. I love that the bass is audible in the mix, which is rare for black metal. As for originality, I think so, it's just about finding a new approach to old ideas.

Judging by your correspondence with people, are there more or fewer print zines these days? What do you think are the pros and cons of running print zines, web zines and video channels?
I couldn't tell you for certain. I know there are not many physical zines, that I'm aware of, that interest me. Most of them are strictly reviews and a little boring. I'm trying to do something different with Morgue Rot.
I'm going to have stellar content and be aesthetically pleasing at the same time. Some of these zines are lazy when it comes to the visuals. I can promise that with Morgue Rot, that will not be the case.
Any time you’re doing a physical release, the cons are many. There's no guarantee that you will recoup the funds invested. And if you consider the amount of time spent, there is virtually no profit to be made.
It is a labor of love. Web Zines and Video channels are a much safer route. You've nothing to lose but your own personal time. I chose print because I'm a physical media junkie, not because it was the smart thing to do.

Who do you plan to interview for the zine, and what genres will it support? Do you have a staff or are you publishing it on your own?
I already have a few interviews done for issue 1. Most recognizable would probably be Voltaire, the front man for black metal titans, Deiphago. Morgue Rot will primarily cover black/death/grind acts, however, I'm a fan of all metal so nothing is off the table.
I don't have a staff really, but a very small group of content contributors. Sarah McKellar and Devin Joseph Meaney are both supplying reviews and interviews. Artist Alaric Barca (Goat Metal Comics) will be a regular contributor as well. The design and layout is being done by myself. And of course, I have the final say as to what sees print.

Did you contact Deiphago when you first sought out bands to interview? How many bands had you contacted by then and what made them want to do an interview with you?
I've been Facebook friends with Voltaire for several years. Never talked to him before though. Initially, I was looking for bands to appear on the compilation CD I'm releasing with Morgue Rot. I had four or five bands already, and was feeling brave, so I reached out to him and asked if Deiphago would be interested. He responded with great enthusiasm. Originally, we discussed an obscure Deiphago track being on the comp, but Voltaire decided to talk to the label, Hell's Headbangers, and got permission to use a track from their latest offering, "I, The Devil ". He volunteered for an interview without me asking, which I thought was pretty cool of him. As to why anyone wants to be associated with me or Morgue Rot...I don't know. I must be doing something right.

Who are the other bands you have interviewed this far? Is there enough information about them so readers first hearing of them will get to know them?
Other than Deiphago, I have a short Q & A with Cody Black of Throne and an interview with black metal musician, Cernunnous. I believe there are two or three more that are still being finalized. I would say the interviews are fairly personal and should give a look into the artist's mind. They are short, but insightful.

What other genres would you consider featuring in Morgue Rot? What would you say is your purpose in publishing a fanzine of an exclusively underground format?
I love all sub genres of metal and also listen to a lot of goth rock and industrial/ebm. I would be open to covering any type of music that I feel embraces the dark side of human nature. As for my purpose, it's fueled by an undying passion for underground art and music. The mainstream gets plenty of attention and while I do enjoy some popular bands, it's just not what I spend my time listening to. I'm not trying to get famous here, this is a representation of what I love.

I noticed a few artists posting on your profile on Facebook. Are you searching for artists to do the zine’s cover and possibly some art for the pages?
I'll always be searching for artists, however, issue 1 is nearly full in that department. The great Silvano Calligari will be illustrating the cover and I have a handful of artists that will be featured in the "gallery". But yes, I am currently looking for artists for issue 2. So if anyone is interested....

How did you hook up with Sarah and Devin for interviews and reviews in the zine, and Alaric Barca for art contributions? Are you still looking for writers to submit material?
I've known Sarah for several years. She friended me on Facebook because she enjoyed my artwork and has always been very supportive. When I announced I would be doing Morgue Rot, Sarah was the first to volunteer. I met Devin through Sarah not long ago. He's a great guy with a lot of talent and we hit if off immediately. In addition to reviews and interviews, Devin is contributing a few short stories, and his band Nosebleed Section has a track on the comp. Alaric and I have known each other for a long time. I don't even remember what year we met. We've been supporters of each other’s art and I've done some graphic design work for his comic company, Goat Metal Comics. And yes, I'm always looking for writers to contribute their works. I plan on doing this for a long time.

Do you contact labels for physical or digital promos for review, or do you search social media and streaming websites?
Yes to all of the above. Although I have to say that 90% of the artists and bands that will be in issue 1, contacted me first. Same applies to the bands on the compilation CD.

Tell the readers about this compilation CD you have been hinting at. Will it be released to coincide with the first issue of Morgue Rot? Are you at liberty to name the other bands you’re including?
The compilation will be included for free with Morgue Rot issue 1.It's entitled “The Coroner's Playlist Vol.1”. I fully intend on releasing a new comp. with every issue. I do have ten bands / tracks confirmed at this time. With three more up in the air. So far the lineup is: Throne, Deiphago, Sun Descends Black, Hate Doctrine, Tanatos Mundi, Process of Suffocation, Cernunnous, Nosebleed Section, Teratos, Sebum Excess Production.

What was your basis for selecting the bands to appear on the compilation? How do you plan to print it as well as the zine?
Well, I wanted a decent mix of black and death metal. I know several local bands, so I knew I wanted them on the comp. for sure. Other than the Deiphago track, the rest were submitted for approval. If I liked it, they were in. I'll be printing the compilation CD myself. Initially, I planned to print the zine in house, but changed my mind and will now have a printing company handle the task. I don't really feel like printing and assembling fifty copies to save a couple of bucks. And in the end, the quality will be better than what I planned to do.

How many printing companies did you search for before settling on one? What format will the first issue be printed in?
I looked into several companies before making a decision. The format will be standard magazine style. I wanted something with quality, while still having a zine feel. There's not a publication out there that I'm trying to emulate. I want to do something different with Morgue Rot.

Would you consider doing the zine online, or will you publish it exclusively in print? What response do you hope for the first issue?
I'm actually looking into an online version as well, but I'm not certain if it's something I will do. Print is my preferred format. Obviously, I hope Issue 1 sells out and generates a great response. So far there has been a lot of interest, so hopes are high.

Will you consider live, book and/or movie reviews in future issues of the zine? Anything else you would consider adding?
I very much want concert reviews to be included in the zine, and after live shows resume, I'll be working that section in. Book and movie reviews are something I would like, but honestly don't have the time to do. I would definitely be open to contributions in that department. Beyond that, I'm not really sure. I'd be open to any ideas.

About how many copies are you printing for this issue? How will you price the zine so it makes up for printing costs while making it affordable for zine readers?
The first issue will be limited to only fifty copies and will be $5.99 + shipping USD. At that price point, I can stay in business and still have an affordable product.

What are the things you most want to accomplish with Morgue Rot Magazine? Do you want to see it succeed in the mainstream?
Exposure for underground artist is the main focus. So as long as I'm doing that, I'll be happy. As far as "mainstream " attention, I'd rather avoid it, but if the opportunity presents itself it will be on my terms.

Tell the readers about your artwork and graphic design company Fallen Asylum. Do you provide artwork for bands and zine editors, and if so in what formats? How long has this company been active and how many clients have you had so far?
I started Fallen Asylum in 2015. In the beginning, I mainly did flyers and album layouts for local bands. In the last year I have started doing custom stickers and that has been going fairly well. I've made over 1000 stickers for multiple clients. The future for Fallen Asylum is custom screen printing, which should be up and running this summer. I've only worked with a handful of bands, and that is something I hope will change. It's been a challenge to find new clients as the market is oversaturated. Everyone is an artist these days haha.

-Dave Wolff

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Full Length Review: Mazikeen "The Solace of Death" (Satanath Records) by Dave Wolff

Band: Mazikeen
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Country: Australia
Genre: Symphonic death/black metal
Full Length: The Solace of Death
Label: Satanath Records
Format: CD, digital (Bandcamp, Youtube)
Release date: March 23, 2020
When discussing Mazikeen’s new album and those involved in writing and recording it, I have to start with drummer Marco Pitruzzella who really pushes the band and raises the bar for extreme metal in general. He’s in his mid-thirties and has played with about thirty bands. He has seriously pursued it since learning jazz and rock at nine and discovering metal at thirteen. He was also married and divorced with three kids who he spends his free time with. I have no idea how he summons the energy to keep it up, but with Mazikeen he proves himself one of metal’s most impressive drummers since Flo Mournier (Cryptopsy, Vltimas, Tribe of Pazuzu).
Pitruzzella’s fills, double bass, breakdowns and especially his blast, are monstrous, mercilessly quick and precise, almost nonhuman in their delivery. They have to be to equal the facility and concentration of the rest of the band (listed below) as they perform on this album. I should also note this is their first full length since releasing several singles and one EP since 2017. And yet again, this is a recording that shows a band as long-serving, accomplished professionals who have been together for much longer. If you think the likes of Dark Funeral and Marduk have reached the limits of underground metal, you really need to give “The Solace of Death” a listen. I’m sure there must be other drummers out there with similar aptitude, but Mazikeen astonished me with this album.
Songs like “Apostate,” “Vexation Through the Golden Sun,” “Fractricide” and “Psychotic Reign” are utterly staggering in their fierceness. But as I said, this is in no way a noise band who don’t take songwriting seriously. Mazikeen give new meaning to the term quality music which they demonstrate in equal quantities. From guitar solos relating to classical metal, cold and atmospheric piano and keyboards calling back to the second wave of black metal, fry screaming with the sensation of being flayed alive with kamas, machetes and war scythes, a balance between black and death metal and folkish guitar sections, the band advertise plentiful adaptability on this album.
Fans of Mayhem, Dakthrone, Dissection and Dimmu Borgir get the added bonus of covers of those bands at the album’s Bandcamp page at Satanath Records. –Dave Wolff

James Cronovras: Vocals
Andrew Shiells: Strings, synths
Kris Marchant: Guitars
Aretstikapha: Keyboards
Marco Pitruzzella: Drums

Track list:
1. The Solace Of Death
2. Apostate
3. Vexation Through The Golden Sun
4. Fractricide
5. Psychotic Reign
6. Harrowing Cessation
7. Mors Vincit Omnia
8. Cerulean Last Night
9. Freezing Moon (Mayhem cover)
10. Night's Blood (Dissection cover)
11. The Mourning Palace (Dimmu Borgir cover)
12. Transilvanian Hunger (Darkthrone cover)

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Single Review: Erszebeth "Child in Time" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Artist: Erszebeth
Country: France
Genre: Dark ambient ritual
Single: Child in Time (Deep Purple cover)
Label: Independent
Format: Streaming (Soundcloud)
Release date: April 2020
If you ever wondered how a Deep Purple classic might sound when covered by Diamanda Galas, Erszebeth’s cover of “Child in Time” may be the closest you get. I always thought Metal Church did the best job covering Deep Purple's “Highway Star” for their first album with enthusiasm and raw energy. But when I got wind of this vocalist (who I’ve never heard before) and this single of hers I thought I’d give it a chance just to see how she approached DP’s monument to progressive/classic rock. You would think this track can't be touched, but I have to attest that you’re seriously missing out if you pass on this.
Erszebeth is based in France and got started in 1993 singing for her self-titled dark ambient project. Releasing several demos before her project disbanded in 1998, she went on to collaborate in a series of musical projects. Erszebeth briefly reformed in 2010 to record “Inferno,” a concept album based on Dante’s “Divine Comedy.” Today she continues Erszebeth as a solo project, in addition to singing for Corona Barathri, Haiku Funeral and the ambient/neoclassical project Stupor Mentis. Considering her unique originality, determination and work ethic, it’s a wonder why she hasn’t been noticed yet.
The first thing I can say is the musicianship in this cover is reproduced perfectly. Of course having her own influence and sound will create subtle but noticeable differences. There is a slightly darker and more atmospheric feel, a sense of calamitous power swelling and growing as the song begins and slowly builds in intensity. This feeling grows the more the song progresses but this updated motif doesn't stray too much from the original vision Gillan and Blackmore had back in 1970.
The most noteworthy quality of the song is the different dimension Erszebeth carries it to by way of her haunting, operatic vocals. As she croons, howls and shrieks her way through, she almost literally becomes a demoness enticing you to the other side, to a realm filled with the souls of the damned. In not so simple terms you're taken to a dreadfully alive pagan universe so horrific and otherworldly it’s no longer human. The pain and longing she channels is equally enervating and profound.
This cover compelled me to listen to Erszebeth’s older releases and her more recent singles to see what I've been missing. If you like classic rock and dark ambience you'll want to hear this. –Dave Wolff

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

EP Review: ICD10 "Pleasure for Everyone" (Independent) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Band: ICD10
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Country: USA
Genre: Hardcore punk
EP: Pleasure for Everyone
Label: Independent
Format: Cassette, streaming (Youtube and Bandcamp)
Release date: February 6, 2020
Continuing on with my hardcore spree, I happened to come upon ''Pleasure For Everyone'', the 2020 tape by Philadelphia ensemble ICD10. I have listened to a bunch of hardcore and other forms of vicious punk in the last few days... so lets see how this sounds!
The production quality is muddy, but it gives this short release a genuine underground feel. I am really reminded of punk acts from the mid to late eighties and early nineties. Nothing modern sounding about any of this. This is genuine hardcore punk. Old-school style!
Power-chords and overdrive paired with rough, gritty vocals and your standard punk rock percussion. There are even a few shitty (the good kind of shitty) guitar solos! I don't know if it is a punk thing, but after listening to this I was really craving a beer. I don't have any, but I have a bit of home grown... I guess I will get into some of that now before bed!
I also really dig the cover for this. Really D.I.Y. style... which is absolutely perfect! Overall, this short release rules. Give it a spin, you bunch of losers! (I'm kidding. I love you all). Keep it classy, fuckers! –Devin Joseph Meaney

Belén: Vocals
Alex: Guitar
Zach: Guitar
Allen: Bass
Mac: Drums

Track list:
1. What We Deserve
2. Jarring Fright
3. Hollow Words
4. Static And Stagnant
5. The Pigs 1+2