Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Interview with Chris Spann of Goo Fish by Dave Wolff

Interview with Chris Spann of Goo Fish

What’s the story behind The Jonesville Conspiracy, and for how long have you been developing the concept for Goo Fish?
GOO FISH began way back in 2003 when I gave up on the ideal of forming a band in the traditional sense (too many people working towards their own agendas, and trying to find the right type of person to jam with became too much of a hassle). It was also around this time that I discovered Ween’s “The Pod”: which inspired me to just record my music at the house and not worry about waiting to find all the right pieces to form a band and start making music. Just buy a drum machine and start recording” was my mindset at the time, and still is to this day. I have great respect for people who go through the trouble of forming bands and keeping them together, but at this point I couldn’t see doing it any other way than being a one-man operation. That being said, I have had a few collaborators over the years and really enjoy working with others, but it seems like there isn’t ever enough time to coordinate. So, I just plug in and do it all myself, for the most part.
My newest release, “The Jonesville Conspiracy”, is based on the idea that a small town in the middle of nowhere is the center of all things diabolical and evil in the world. At the center of this is The FUPA. He is the master of all and pulls the strings on every conspiracy known to man.

How many independent releases does Goo Fish have out? How do you make copies of and distribute your releases? Are you working with anyone for distribution or is that also an independent duty?
Currently GOO FISH has three releases available on Bandcamp for download: “Atomized”, “The French Navy”, and “The Jonesville Conspiracy”. As far as physical copies, I haven’t made any at this point. All the music is also available on Youtube for free on the GOO FISH You Tube page. I haven’t made any physical copies because I don’t see the point to be honest. It seems like most people just listen to music via a digital platform these days. Record it, release it, and move on to the next project to be honest. I have zero professional/financial aspirations for GOO FISH. This is a truly 100% artistic endeavor. It is all about the creative process and doing what I want, when I want.

Do you have your own studio to record in? Have you been able to acquire more sophisticated equipment to record with since you started the project?
I record at home. GOO FISH has always been and always will be a bedroom band, and I don’t see that ever changing. But to your other question - the progress of technology in the last ten years alone has been staggering. From the early 2000’s to now, what has become available for home recording has been nothing short of amazing. I started out with a tape 4-Track, distortion pedals, and a basic drum machine and now I record completely digital with an I-Pad. As a one-man operation, this has opened up so many doors that would not have otherwise been possible.

How much opportunity for growth has working with digital equipment given you and Goo Fish? Is it equally important to retain an organic sound with this equipment?
The equipment has been an improvement to the overall sound quality of the recordings, but at the end of the day, without riffs and songs you don’t have anything.

Who are the artists you’ve worked and collaborated with since 2003? What have each of them contributed to Goo Fish?
Collaborations are few and far between. Mostly, my cousin H.W. shows up from time to time with some riffs and they will get incorporated into some GOO FISH tracks. Recently I’ve been working on another project with a singer/songwriter, D.K. Goudeau in a more of a producer type role. D.K. has a ton of songs and poetry and I’ve been working with him to bring some of his ideas out. One track we’ve completed is called “Devil Does” and is on the GOO FISH Youtube page. I’m really proud of that track and would greatly appreciate anyone who would check it out and give it a listen.

What is the track “Devil Does” written about? How much listener feedback has it received since it was made available on Youtube?
Overall, it has been a very positive response. DK’s music reminds me of the American Recordings years of Johnny Cash; very dark and very foreboding type work – almost tales of caution. That’s what I get out of Devil Does – a tale of caution.

How many tracks do you plan to develop with D.K. Goudeau in all? By what techniques are you helping him write and compose?
I would like to get a full-length release of his work done and really showcase his writing abilities. I try to take a more traditional approach when working with D.K. I call it my “normal music” in the sense that I turn the “crazy knob” way down on his songs, unlike the GOO FISH stuff.

How did you come up with the tale of the Jonesville Conspiracy and The FUPA? Did you intend for this story to be supernatural horror, science fiction or both? What can you reveal about the story this far?
Like most things in the GOO FISH universe, “The Jonesville Conspiracy” began as an offhand comment and just grew from there. The idea has been floating around for a number of years – take a middle of nowhere, small American town and make it the center of all conspiracies known to man. So, in one sense it’s a conspiracy theory and in another sense the FUPA is kind of a supernatural puppet master that controls everything. As far as the actual identity of the FUPA, I’d rather not say for legal and personal safety reasons.

Why was a small town in the middle of nowhere chosen as the setting of the story? How important to the plot was it to place it there?
Jonesville, LA (aka ROUGHDALE) has always played a central role in all things GOO FISH. It’s a middle of nowhere small town that I am originally from and have been fascinated by since I can remember. Nothing ever happens there and there is nothing productive to do there. I always seem to come back to writing about it for some reason or another – whether true or completely fabricated.

Explain the Jonesville Conspiracy storyline as it’s told on the EP this far. What are the events depicted in each of the songs?
I didn’t really have a clear endgame in mind when I started the Jonesville Conspiracy other than The FUPA is some type of all-knowing puppet master that pulls the strings on all the world events. That being said, I’m not even too sure what the actual story line is!!!

How aggressively are you promoting Goo Fish, and what does this project offer musically and lyrically that sets it apart from other bands?
Promotion and marketing have never been my strong suit. I’m more likely to record something and sit on it for a year or two than let it see the light of day. I’m definitely more in the creative camp rather than the promotion camp. That being said, I’ve had a tremendous amount of help from the good folks at Radio Roach! Robby Roach and Lindsay Cake have been waving the GOO FISH flag for me for a number of years! Also, Brian with Blastbeat ATX does his part to get the word out about GOO FISH. As far as what GOO FISH brings to the table . . . that’s a harder question. I don’t think it sounds too much like anyone else. Do I at times wear my influences on my sleeve? Absolutely. There is such a strong WEEN streak throughout everything I have done. I have purposely stopped listening to any new bands and only listen to what I was listening to when I was 15 or 16. I make it a point to stay with the bands that influenced me to initially to begin playing guitar. So, in that regard GOO FISH has a grunge/early 90’s vibe to it. But, overall, I don’t think it sounds like anyone, unless I’m trying to sound like someone – if that makes any sense.

Do you release your material independently? Where can people find it if they’re interested?
100% independent. All GOO FISH is available at www.goofish.bandcamp.com for downloads or for free to listen on the GOO FISH YouTube page.

How much promotion have Radio Roach and Blastbeat ATX done for Goo Fish and through which channels?
Radio Roach has always flown the flag for GOO FISH and always had it in rotation on their station – along with many other great underground bands. You can check them out at www.radioroach.com. Blastbeat ATX had been great a spreading the word about GOO FISH via podcasts and word of mouth.

How much rotation per month has Goo Fish received on Radio Roach and Blastbeat ATX so far? How much has net radio and podcasts helped the band get listeners in general?
Rotation has been pretty constant on Radio Roach and Blastbeat ATX is more of a word of mouth type of thing.

When we started corresponding you were publishing Roughdale Zine. Is this zine still in publication today? If so, what is the distribution and what bands are you helping support?
Sadly, like most print zines, Roughdale has folded. I really fell like I came to the party way too late with the zine thing. Much like GOO FISH, I really enjoyed the creative side but not the marketing or financial aspect of it – not my cup of tea. I would love to see a re-emergence of underground zine publishers, but I think the day has past for that. Like most things, the digital world has replaced the physical. That’s not to say we couldn’t see that change (and I would love to see it) but it just seems unlikely at this point.

Are any back issues of Roughdale still available for trade or purchase?
They are sitting in a box in my closet. If anyone is interested, hit me up at roughdalezine@gmail.com.

You recently started the online record and book store Roughdale Records. How has the response been since you started promoting it and what are you offering?
Books and records have always been a passion of mine and I decided to dip my toe into the world of e-commerce. The response has been really good! I have sold quite a bit since I’ve been up and running. I try to focus on mainly non-fiction, military, history, and political science types of books. I used the Roughdale name since it has some visibility from the zine days. I have phased out the re-selling of records due to market saturation. But at the end of the day, I really like buying and selling books. Books and reading have always been a big part of my life.

Name some of the books and albums you’re currently selling through the online store? How much of a demand have you seen for said items?
I’ve purposely moved away from selling too much vinyl these days – market saturation coupled with customer demands for near mint version of everything. It gets frustrating to say the least. But I did have a good run of selling Lurcher of Chalice, Darkthrone, Isis, and some vintage albums from the 1990’s: STP, Smashing Pumpkins, and Foo Fighters. People seem to really still dig all the “post-grunge” stuff for some reason. Books, on the other hand, are a much better medium to sell. They are much less-likely to be damaged in transit. That is the part of the e-commerce world that is so frustrating – your partner is the Post Office. Overall, they do a great job, but have a $90 record show up to customer in pieces is a major bummer.

How many more books have you been selling through your store compared to say a year ago? Name some of the newer publications you’re offering?
Most of the books I sell are a little older and out of date. Books are a strange item to sell. Sometimes you post something for sale and it’s gone immediately, other times a book will sit for six months before it sells. There may be a rhyme or reason to the book selling game, but I’ve yet to crack that code.

Have you sold zines online through Roughdale? Do you see an increase or a decline in print zine sales in recent times?
I haven’t tried to sell any zines though the online store yet. It may be something I need to consider. Thanks for the idea!

What part of the Jonesville Conspiracy will be told on the next Goo Fish release?
I honestly haven’t even thought of that! A part two to The Jonesville Conspiracy? If The FUPA orders it, it shall be done!

What were you considering for the next Goo Fish release beforehand?
Well, I was definitely planning on another concept type album, but I wasn’t too sure on the lyrical theme. All the songs would be in the same key and would be interchangeable from a musical point of view. But I really hadn’t decided anything yet.

If you seriously thought about it, how many chapters of The Jonesville Conspiracy could you write to tell the entire story?
Dude, that could be an epic undertaking! I could probably spend the rest of my life working on that never-ending tale. That’s a very good idea that I might have to steal from you!

At the time of this writing do you have other conceptual ideas in mind for future EPs and albums besides the Jonesville Conspiracy?
I do, but they are such outlines at this point that they wouldn’t really make any sense. Just ideas of where I would want to go.

Considering the independent nature of your project, and the original story you incorporate into its concept, would it come as a surprise if your listenership were to grow in 2021? Would you think of performing live if that happened?
It would be a real surprise if this was to grow any. It would be nice, but I will keep doing what I’ve been doing since 2003 regardless of any growth. I plan on staying true to what GOO FISH began as. Yeah, I think I could grow it with live performances, but that’s not really my thing. A lot of things would have to align – finding the right musicians to work with would be the biggest part of that equation.

What are the biggest aspirations you hope to accomplish for Goo Fish and your other endeavors?
To be recognized as something and someone with a unique outlook, sound, and integrity. Nothing more or less.

-Dave Wolff

Monday, February 22, 2021

Full Length Review: In The Company Of Serpents "LUX" (Independent) by Gene Olivarri

Band: In The Company Of Serpents
Location: Denver, Colorado
Country: USA
Genre: Sludge/doom/stoner metal
Full length: LUX
Format: Vinyl, CD, digital, deluxe vinyl (sold out), test pressing (sold out)
Label: Independent
Release date: May 15, 2020
Welcome back to the tomb all you ghoulish metalhead freaks. Tonight we rip and tear worlds apart with the grand beautiful release of In The Company Of Serpents’ “LUX”.
Imagine, just imagine, being sucked into this black hole of every emotion the mind produces, plus more, with the most enlightened sounds that could be recorded. That's what this album is. It's a mind-blowing unique brand of heavy sludge, occult, doom, with a stringy spaghetti western twist that's so different. I being the head demon around have been through every level of hell and I found this a wonderful twist of music from behind a door no one noticed.
“LUX” is like a journey to many worlds one can't even think of. Literally, you are space truckin’ in purely unknown corners of the mind. The feel this band produces is devastating with heavy, bomb-dropping, powerful riffage. The music is hypnotizing as if occult wizards are keeping you in a powerful trance. It just keeps you falling into these different worlds the album has made.
This band has an occult vibe at times. Eerie black metal guitar picking and down-tuned open notes throw your mind into every universe In The Company Of Serpents take you to. There is a BORIS [experimental from Japan] feel at times with some drone. This band has such a dark concept of making music. I really didn't expect to hear something like this but I can honestly say they found a fan in me. The music is wonderfully paced with catchy parts and a huge bass and drum sound and they’re in perfect sync with the down-tuned guitars.
Grant Netzorg (vocals, guitars)’s talent cuts like a box of razors. His approach is really unforgettable and his vocals are amazingly delivered at different levels. Ben Pitts (bass, lap steel guitar) has great tones with a doomy Celtic feel. J.P Damron (drums) displays many textures of evil and beauty as if he recorded the drums in my tomb, or as if a portal from the sky opened and he was the key master with devastating, pounding hits.
Please buy this album as In this band is insanely awesome. Their cover art has a completely beautiful and gorgeous layout. You will not be disappointed with In The Company of Serpents; I honestly was blown away my hat goes off you guys.
That's it for me; I’m going back to the tomb. Before that I will look for the mailman to rip him apart for a feast. Remember my ghouls KEEP SUPPORTING ZINES AND UNDERGROUND MUSIC, AND MOST OF ALL KEEP THRASHING!!!!!!!!! –Gene Olivarri

Grant Netzorg: Vocals, guitars
Ben Pitts: Bass, lap steel guitar
J.P. Damron: Drums
Paul Primus: Violist D’amore on “Daybreak” and “Nightfall”
Ethan Lee McCarthy: Guest vocals on “Scales of Maat”
Ben Hutcherson: Guest vocals on “Scales of Maat”

Track list:
1. The Fool's Journey
2. Scales of Maat
3. Daybreak
4. The Chasm at the Mouth of the All
5. Lightchild
6. Archonic Manipulations
7. Nightfall
8. Prima Materia

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Full Length Review: Everdawn "Cleopatra" (The Laser's Edge) by Dave Wolff

Band: Everdawn
Location: New Jersey
Country: USA
Genre: Progressive symphonic metal
Full length: Cleopatra
Format: Compact disc, digital album
Label: The Laser's Edge (New Jersey, USA)
Release date: February 5, 2021
It’s only their debut album but “Cleopatra” is already establishing Everdawn as having potential to blow Lacuna Coil, Leaves’ Eyes, Tarja and Within Temptation out of the water. “Cleopatra” is symphonic metal with a rich, full atmosphere that sounds recorded by a full orchestra though only four musicians and a vocalist were involved. Everdawn started in 2014 as Midnight Eternal (who released one EP and one full length) and their current lineup boasts bassist Mike LePond (Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins, Ross the Boss, Symphony X) and Alina Gavrilenko (Haven Dream, Snowmaiden, Случайные Связи) joining guitarist Richard Fischer, keyboardist Boris Zaks and drummer Dan Prestup. Producer, engineer and multi-instrumentalist Dan Swano who has worked with bands like Opeth, Dissection, Nasum and Therion mixed and mastered the final cut and successfully brings the band’s strengths to the surface. With his assistance the band’s arrangements, performance and the surrounding atmospherics are delivered with poise, elegance and a composite of each era of metal hearkening to Armored Saint, Savatage, Virgin Steele and Omen. Everdawn manage to introduce a gothic feel to their musicianship, occasionally coloring it with cold keyboard sounds, adding to the epic journey you undertake. The well-rounded inclination of “Cleopatra” allows for a distinct multifariousness in the material. Each song has its own context and you don’t feel compelled to adjust to each different mood. Gavrilenko is the consummate addition to Everdawn as her vocals adapt to each changing temperament while presenting a sensation of an opera. As needed, her vocals can be soaring, somber or serious. Her adaptability is a significant factor in Everdawn’s capacity for evolvement. “Cleopatra” is available for streaming on Bandcamp in a 24 bit hi res version as well as the original. –Dave Wolff

Alina Gavrilenko: Vocals
Richard Fischer: Guitars
Boris Zaks: Keyboards
Mike LePond: Bass
Dan Prestup: Drums
Thomas Vikström: Guest vocals on “Your Majesty Sadness”

Track list:
1. Ghost Shadow Requiem
2. Stranded In Bangalore
3. Cleopatra
4. Your Majesty Sadness
5. Infinity Divine
6. Pariah's Revenge
7. Lucid Dream
8. Heart Of A Lion
9. Toledo 712 A.D. (instrumental)
10. Rider Of The Storm
11. The Last Eden

EP Review: Atra Vetosus "Even the Dawn No Longer Brings Hope" (Immortal Frost Productions) by Lilith and Obscvre

Band: Atra Vetosus
Location: Launceston
Country: Tasmania
Genre: Melodic black metal
Format: Digital, jewel case CD
Label: Immortal Frost Productions
Release date: January 29, 2021
Atra Vetosus is a 5-piece melodic black metal project from Launceston, Tasmania.
After a single, an EP, 2 full length releases and 2 live albums- Atra Vetosus have released their 2021 EP “Even the Dawn No Longer Brings Hope” through Immortal Frost Productions.
A bleak, ambient introduction to this EP is delivered in the form of the atmospheric track “Azure Frozen” with its grand piano adds an ice-cold synthetic aura to this track. Its simplicity and layer guitar sound adds a hauntingly emotive feeling before launching into the chaotic style of black metal designed to destroy your ears in a frantic aural assault in melodic black metal.
Vocals are at the forefront of this track and soulful riffs are balanced beautifully to create a well-constructed and tight feel to this release. Folk influenced riffs add a touch of Swedish influenced black metal feel such as Vinterland and newer style tone and sound that MGLA started.
Clean vocals add a haunting and eerie element which makes your blood freeze while the ambient piano ending adds another atmospheric layer to an eleven-minute epic.
“Hallowed Sky” commences with dissident shrieks with a layer of synth ambience and melodic overtones that continue consistently throughout this track. Chanting vocals add a haunting layer adding to the melodic and depressive vibe while post black metal riffs add a unique touch.
Breaks with clean guitars and ambient bass guitar serves to build up and create anticipation for what Atra Vetosus will do next. Sure enough, they do not disappoint with increased mid pace elements and a more ambient black metal feel to “Silver Starfall”. Demonic shrieks give way to the intensity of a dramatic mid-paced ending.
Lyrically, this release is beautifully written, emotive, and depressive yet poetic at once and the outro is very appropriate and reflects the feelings held within it. It’s extremely easy to appreciate lyrics that are so well written and constructed and Lilith recommends taking the time to read them. -Lilith and Obscvre

Josh "Thorodan" Gee: Vocals
Josh "Slikver" Young: Guitar, backing vocals
Damon Parker: Guitars
Matthew Lopez: Bass
Josef Bound: Drums

Track list:
1. Azure; Frozen
2. Hallowed Sky
3. Silver Starfall

Friday, February 12, 2021

EP Review: Pagan Deity "Hierofania" (Jaibana Records) by Gene Olivarri

Band: Pagan Deity
Location: Chiriqui
Country: Panama
Genre: Melodic symphonic black metal
Format: Digital
Label: Jaibana Records (Panama)
Release date: August 15, 2020
Hello all my metal ghouls tonight we take a bite outta this new offering PAGAN DEITY, the Hierofania EP. The basis of this EP is melodic symphonic black metal from Richard Sáenz (Equinoxio, Ruins of Christendom). The project includes contributions from well known Panamanian underground performers such as José Aníbal Morales (Ruins of Christendom), Martín González (Vóran, Sköll), Felipe Camargo (Equinoxio, Filthgrave), Alexis Jiménez (Still Louder) and Rubén Rovira (Ruins Of Christendom). Every song has a unique flavor. At times with this style of music, after the second song you know how an album will end up. Not in this case at all. It kept me extremely zoned into every moment. “Hereje Maldito (Juan De Pomoceno)” is an interesting concept song about a legend from Panama. Juan De Pomoceno was a recognized rider of devilish bull horses that could not be tamed, but he could. You must read up on him as he was truly interesting when he was alive. Every song on this EP has such beautiful tones that make you take in the music so easily. The band did a great job on this aspect. The artwork this label does for their releases is so beautiful and unique. The instruments interline so well and are well produced. All in all I give it 4 out of 10 jalapenos. Take a chance and buy this EP. That's it for me; I’m going back to the tomb. Till next time my ghouls keep supporting zines and underground music, and most of all KEEP THRASHING!!!! –Gene Olivarri

Richard A. Sáenz: all instruments, songwriting, lyrics on track 4
José A. Morales: guest vocals, lyrics on tracks 2 and 3
Martin González: guest lyrics on track 2
Alexis "Alexo" Jiménez: guest guitars
Martín González: guest rhythm guitar on track 3
Mabel Castillo: guest clarinet on tracks 1 and 5
Ruben Rovira; guest drums on track 4
Felipe Camargo: guest

Track list:
1. Espectro Maligno
2. Hereje Maldito (Juan De Pomoceno)
3. Repulsiva Absolución Sepulcral
4. Espectro Maligno (con Felipe)
5. Hierofanía

Monday, February 8, 2021

Interview with Will Feiner of Transplant Productions by Dave Wolff

Interview with Will Feiner of Transplant Productions

How long have you been booking shows for underground metal bands and for what reasons did you start? In what areas of the US do you usually operate?
Transplant Productions: “Transplanting valuable energy and insight into the underground heavy music scene in the greater Cincinnati area through event promotion.”
I first started booking shows about eleven years ago when I was the vocalist in a crappy little band from Kirksville, MO. Being from farm country, I got real used to going DIY for any show we ever put together. When we mercifully decided the band should hang it up, I gave up show booking for a few years.
Live music is the greatest thing in the world to me. Whether attending or playing. It’s the only way I can genuinely and consistently connect with the world around me. When I realized I was not a good musician, I wanted to become involved in the underground using whatever strongest skillset I may have. Born an organizer and with a background in retail management, I thought going back to the booking roots would be the best way for my skills to serve the underground community. I moved to Cincinnati in 2017 and started booking shows that summer. Shows started being booked under the Transplant brand officially during March of 2018.
Currently Transplant is booking in Cincinnati, OH and Newport, KY, along both sides of the Ohio River. While the majority of my booking over the last three years has been focused in the greater Cincinnati area, the very first event organized by the Transplant brand was held in Dayton, OH. Tons of great bands in Dayton, and I’d love the opportunity to book more there as well.
The majority of Transplant shows involve regional and local bands playing on tours or appearing for one-off performances, mostly drawing from the midwest and east coast. I have dabbled in buying some larger tour packages here and there, but my heart will always be with the underground.
Starting in July 2018, I began booking an annual metal fest in Cincinnati called Transplant Fest. Due to COVID the 2020 edition was first postponed and then cancelled. However, the event is being rebooted bigger and better than ever in 2021. I have been working hard to try and create a one of a kind experience for the underground metal fans in our area of the USA.

What was the local scene in Kirksville like when your band was active and how often did you perform before hanging it up? Did the band release anything during this time?
The local scene in Kirksville was strong but very eclectic. We played shows with whatever bands were active, were open to our heavier style of music, and liked to rage. To play with bands similar to us we often had to make friends with bands from one to six hours away from Kirksville. There was so little live music in my hometown other than radio country cover bands that anything original and tasty we were down to clown with. Our two main stalwarts of the local scene were a blues/southern rock hybrid band, and a progressive thrash band. We only played a few shows on the road, but we successfully hosted a dozen or so punk and metal bands in Kirksville over the course of a couple years. We threw gigs in the basement of the local newspaper printing building, in the local med school fraternity party house, basements, and the bowling alley to name the predominant spots.
We released a demo recording of six songs on CDR’s with the tracks handwritten on the front. I think we sold these for $5 and probably sold about 25 of them. They were only out for a couple months before the band called it quits. The demo was recorded in my buddy’s garage that was soundproofed with egg cartons because he recorded blues jam bands. Because he had no experience with recording anything heavier than blues or country, the tracks were left essentially as-is from the all in one live takes. It was pretty bad.

What were you doing in between booking gigs and what made you decide to resume your activities? How do you go about finding bands to book shows for?
After CTSP hung up the spikes, I moved to Columbia, MO due to a promotion at my job. I worked in corporate retail management. I stayed an avid supporter of the local scene there, and often drove two to four hours one way to go to shows in St. Louis, Kansas City, Jefferson City, Springfield, Kirksville, Warrensburg, Rolla, Warrenton, Chillicothe, Cape Girardeau, and Jackson. I had an epiphany moment where I knew I had to leave the corporate job or forever forfeit my soul, so I took the opportunity to start over doing something I love and means more to me than the money of a corporate job ever could.

What was it about corporate life that made you decide not to pursue it long term? What about getting involved in band booking did you find more appealing?
I wanted to get involved with something as a career that I was truly passionate about. I knew if I could make a living doing something I was truly passionate about that I would be a much more fulfilled person and make a far greater positive impact on my fellow humans. For five years I itched to get back into the music industry that I loved instead of just making a buck chasing promotions I really didn’t care about on a personal level. Switching my career path was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

How did you suspect booking metal bands would have more of a positive impact on your world and the world around you?
Ultimately I wanted to get back into live music and extreme music is what I am personally passionate about. Live music is the greatest thing this world has to offer me and so it just made a lot of sense to go into the event production side of things.

How did the scene in Columbia compare to the scene in Kirksville? How often would you visit the other cities you mentioned seeing shows in? Were there any bands in those cities you liked enough to support through booking?
The scene in Columbia was much deeper than in Kirksville. Being in a more central location of MO geographically speaking, many bands were more easily able to travel there and draw better crowds. This also allowed me to travel more easily to St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield for shows. I would say I was road-tripping to attend gigs on average probably once per month. There are many bands that I still follow in MO, and several I have made the effort to book in Cincinnati since moving here. NEVALRA has played here twice, and Dead Medusa and Degrave have both played here once each. Also have attempted to book Devourist and Gourmand out here, but unfortunately plans have fallen through to this point. There’s a ton of great heavy music in MO, but being an area of the country that doesn’t get toured super hard outside of the two major cities, a lot of the underground bands remain largely undiscovered. I will always have a ton of love and support for heavy music coming out of my home state.

Did you get to attend any national metal fests before thinking of starting your own? Which ones have you gotten to see and which would you like to if you haven’t yet?
I was fortunate enough to attend Blood Of The Wolf Festival in Lexington, KY in 2017before its conclusion in 2019. Great festival with strong underground pull both nationally and internationally. I also attended Full Terror Assault Festival in 2018 and that event is an absolute blast. I personally love the open air format and it was a great experience. I’d also like to attend Mass Destruction Fest in Atlanta and Maryland Deathfest in the near future when possible.

How did you spread word about the first two Transplant Fests, and who were the bands that performed at these events? What are you planning for the next event?
At this point I would say I have a decent sized network across the midwest and east coast. Word of mouth recommendations and reaching out first hand to bands I want to work with is absolutely how I have booked the vast majority of shows over the last three-plus years. I want to book what I like, but I also have to book what people in the Cincinnati/NKY scene want to see, so I like to live in the cross-section between the two. Predominantly I book death metal, black metal, thrash metal, grindcore, punk and everything in between. Typically I work with bands out of the surrounding five or six states unless I catch someone I want to work with going on tour. This keeps travel short and costs relatively low. My goal is to really strengthen the local and regional touring networks especially coming off unprecedented circumstances such as COVID. While I have booked a couple of tour packages for Continental, Crawlspace, and Ashley Talent in the past, Transplant Fest is the only event where I go out of my way to draw bands from farther across the US or internationally.
Transplant Fest 1 Lineup was Incantation. Ringworm. Black Fast. Estuary. Valdrin. Nevalra. Cryptic Hymn. Cemetery Filth. Burial Oath. Apocryphal Revelation. Well Of Night.
Transplant Fest 2 Lineup was Dismemberment. Automb. Bane (Serbia). Negative Reaction. Molder. Inoculation. Machinations Of Fate. Automaton. Weed Demon. Verment. Blessed Black. Zuel.
Transplant Fest 3 Lineup (cancelled due to COVID) was Midnight. Malignancy. Shed The Skin. Morta Skuld. Warsenal (Canada). Tyrant. Limbsplitter. Stonecutters. Obscene. Lectularius. Black Knife. Ascended Master. The first two editions of the event were advertised online via Facebook and Instagram. They were also advertised physically (like all other Transplant shows) via flyers and handbills hung across central and southern OH, northern KY, and hand to hands at shows in the same areas. For the 3rd edition that was set to be held in July of 2020, I had an official press release drawn up and set to be sent out to publications, radio stations, and other appropriate media outlets across the country.
For 2021, I do not yet want to divulge too much information at this time, as all specific details are yet forthcoming to the public. A venue has been secured and much of the lineup has already been booked. The event is taking a major step up and forward with several changes to the format of the event itself. I want to eventually make Transplant Fest the biggest and best event of its kind anywhere in the United States, and this year will be a huge move in that direction! Stay tuned!

How were the turnouts for Transplant Fests 1 and 2 due to advertising? Did you consider doing the third fest as a streaming event of sorts, or would that have been too difficult to arrange compared to arranging a live event?
The first two editions of Transplant Fest both drew between 200-250. In 2018 there was massive storming and even flash flooding in Cincinnati which may have hurt the turnout, and in 2019 the headliner cancelled less than a week prior to the event’s announcement. Given these two factors, I think they still did pretty well especially for a more bare-bones style promotional approach. The venue for those first two years was Northside Yacht Club, a 250 cap punk club, which obviously the event was quickly outgrowing despite some of the circumstances I have mentioned above. In 2020, the event was to be moved to The Southgate House Revival in Newport, KY directly across the OH River from Cincinnati. This club has a total capacity of 600, and with the likes of Midnight and Malignancy coming to the party, I’m certain Transplant Fest 3 would have continued its growth in a big way. Doing a streaming event for Transplant Fest was never really an option for me. While setting up an event of that kind is surely much different and comes with its own set of headaches, it wasn’t really about the logistics of making a streaming event happen. This year for the TF3 reboot, the event will be taking some major steps forward with the formatting and promotion of the event. I can’t wait to show everyone what is in store! Live metal music is the greatest thing in the world to me and why I started Transplant Production in the first place. This is my passion, and I know that we’ll be able to come back from the current circumstances stronger than ever. Transplant shows will always be live events, and if the day ever comes that live events as we know them are no longer permitted, that will be the day Transplant ends and I take shows truly underground! DIY and basement shows will never die. That’s how I started booking shows and if that’s how they end up, I’m prepared for that!

Were the first two fests caught on video? If any of the bands were filmed, would you consider releasing it on DVD format to show what the event is like?
I believe there is some video footage from Transplant Fest 1. Gus Geraci was able to capture the Estuary set and a few other bands. This was shared on the Facebook event page I believe.
In 2021 there will be a professional videographer on hand and the goal is to get a compilation video of some sort to release for free and use as promotional material in the future. If the event ever gets big enough to fund a DVD shoot that would be amazing!

Until you have the funding to release a DVD, are you streaming any footage from the first two Transplant Fests on Facebook, Youtube or Vimeo?
No footage from the first two events exists at that level that I am aware of. I’ll be working with the videographer for TF3 to do some live videos from the event, as well as putting up some full sets and compilation videos of the event for free on YouTube.

If you had a chance to release a DVD, would it be an independent release or would you release it through a label?
If I had the opportunity to release a Transplant Fest DVD it would definitely be independently released. This way the folks involved with the production of the film would keep the lion’s share of the profits of their work, and the fans would have more faith in the intentions and integrity of the product I believe.

Describe any other plans you can mention for the third Transplant Fest? Do you still think Covid will still be an issue by then?
Unfortunately, there’s so much that I can’t yet say about Transplant Fest 3 as it is unannounced at this time. The format of the event will be much larger in scope than either of its past editions. I think that by August things will definitely be better than they are now for live events, and I feel confident that with the preparations that are being put in place we will have no issues holding Transplant Fest successfully. I think that local, regional, and even national fans of extreme underground music will be excited upon the revealing of this event’s details, and I am champing at the bit to give it to them.

Who have you most often booked at clubs, and which clubs have been easiest to work with?
I’ve been very fortunate to work with some outstanding venues on a regular basis pre-lockdown. Northside Yacht Club, Northside Tavern, and Urban Artifact were all mainstays for Transplant shows for two plus years during 2018, 2019, and into 2020. I really hope that things improve enough for these businesses to back to live events as soon as possible! From the top down they are outstanding establishments and I’d be honored to take Transplant shows to any of them in the future. Towards the end of 2019 I started getting some shows booked at The Southgate House Revival in Newport, KY, directly across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. They feature two full size stages and 600 total capacity in a renovated church building. The venue is beautiful and Morrella is both exceedingly professional and pleasant to work with. Over half of Transplant shows that were on the books for 2020 (booked before the initial lockdown occurred) were located at SGHR, including Bastard Fest, Transplant Fest, and several national and international tours. After the initial lockdown came and passed, we started up shows again at SGHR in July and held four shows there before December. During this time, I also had the pleasure of booking three shows at a more unconventional venue, Fuzzy’s Tacos in Clifton. Ron is great to work with, and with the help of some out-of-work sound technicians and show production folks, we’ve had that place rocking like you wouldn’t believe. At this time, these are the only two venues that I am booking at moving forward into 2021, but I am sincerely hopeful that things improve and Transplant shows can return to some of the amazing clubs in Northside! While I could list you a slew of hard working and talented bands in the greater Cincinnati/NKY/Dayton area, and I certainly mean no slight to any bands not mentioned hereafter, I would like to mention three bands in particular whom I have worked with most frequently since starting Transplant Productions. Verment, Valdrin, and Nithing. FFO death metal and black metal. The music speaks for itself so please check them all out on YouTube or Bandcamp and support via physical merchandise when possible!

How reliable have Verment, Valdrin and Nithing been as business partners since you began working with them? How much originality do you think they’re offering extreme metal?
I have had only good experiences working with Valdrin, Verment, and Nithing. They are all team players and pay attention to detail. Musically speaking, they all have a very original sound and show maturation with every release. Valdrin is a blackened death metal band with a distinct mythos and unbelievable musicianship. They have released two full length records on Blood Harvest Records and show no signs of slowing down. Verment is death metal influenced by the old school with a twist of modern brutal death metal. Catchy and aggressive, their songwriting is superb with no room for filler. Nithing is pretty eccentric in the extreme metal dominion. Fusing raw black metal with death metal aggression and a rough crust punk exterior, fans from all across the spectrum will find something fruitful in their ferocious approach.

How active will publicity and advertising for Transplant Fest 3 be?
At this point it’s still too early to divulge my accomplices’ identities. However, Transplant Fest 3 should have a lot more legs than the past events due to the change in format as well as some of the entities working with Transplant on producing the event.

At this point will booking metal festivals be viable for you career wise? How big do you eventually want to see Transplant Fest become?
For me, Transplant Fest is my brand defining event and the goal is to grow it to the point of being the premier event of its kind in this general area of the USA. However, Transplant Fest is only a piece of what Transplant brings to the table. Transplant Fest is about supporting the metal underground and its fans, and I do this because I love it, so if the event pays for itself I’ll be a supremely happy individual. Ultimately I’d like to grow Transplant Productions to the point it pays all my bills and meets my needs, but this is my passion so that’s a secondary priority to putting together cool events and booking sick bands.

Does the level of success you’re envisioning include booking national and international bands at the fest at some point? How viable do you think this would eventually be?
TF2 was the first time this specific event hosted an international band which was Bane (Serbia). 2020’s cancelled edition was to have hosted Warsenal (Canada). With travel conditions being what they are in 2021, TF3 will most likely host USA bands only. However, I can say that I have already talked with bands from Europe, South America, Canada, and Mexico about playing the event in the future. I would definitely say it is a goal to eventually feature international bands on every installment of Transplant Fest.

Which bands from those countries have you started discussing future fests with? If booking bands from Mexico and Canada would be easier in terms of travel, would it go a ways toward giving the scenes in those countries more recognition in the US?
While I cannot discuss which international bands in particular I have talked to about future performances at Transplant Fest, I do think it would be a huge step up for the event to book bands from Canada, Mexico, South America, and Europe. I think that quite often a lot of underground bands in Canada and Mexico are relatively unknown here in USA simply for the fact of the expenses for them to tour here. When a band is playing for door deals and small guarantees every night, it can be daunting to take on the expense not only of the correct visas and legal fees, but also the general expenses that come along with touring on the road for any period of time. Hopefully Transplant Fest at some point will allow some of these bands a destination event for underground tours of such and help create a pipeline for underground bands to come to the midwest and east coast from across those neighboring borders.

How would you want to be remembered for your contributions to underground music and the impact Transplant Fest made with fans of extreme music?
If people say anything positive at all, hopefully they’ll say “he booked some badass bands.” Honestly I could care less whether people remember Transplant, but I hope they keep the memories they made at these shows unto their death. Live metal music is the greatest thing this world has offered me and I only want to pass that on to others. Anything else that comes along with my passion is of no significant importance as far as it pertains to me.


-Dave Wolff

Full Length Review: Upon Shadows "Modern Obscurantism" (Ground Media Group) by Daniel M. Ryan

Band: Upon Shadows
Location: Montevideo
Country: Uruguay
Genre: Dark metal
Full Length: Modern Obscurantism
Format: Digital album
Label: Ground Media Group
Release date: October 18, 2019
First off, I'd like to say the lyrics for the song, "Out of the Blue Comes the New Plague..." are very relevant... to our current times... Chemical conspiracy!!!
The multifaceted works of Tamara & Natalia expand among many musical efforts in many professional mediums available today. If you had to look up one band this female metal duo is known for the most, it is here in their darkest efforts for their latest album Modern Obscrunatism from 2019 with their band, Upon Shadows. If you are seeking out really great extreme metal female minds creating original black metal that doesn't sound like all the other stuff that is really generic, it is all right here.
The whole album itself to me is a soundtrack to a show like ancient aliens, or this weird andromeda-themed metal space opera with a dark vibe to it. Along with the influential sounds highly regarded of dark metal music that is known to be absolutely menacing.
A real authentic & fresh black metal sound that is always evolving in their music they have made together over the years!
The vocals by Tamara always have a dark ferocious feel along to the sung clean vocals like a honeydew whisper...that suddenly is exploding in my ears like a Big Bang theory in my own mind...purely mesmerizing! The guitar compositions here mixed with keyboards resonate sonically inducing realms along with the musicianship found throughout the album kept me tentatively listening. It adds elegance but also a devastating feel that raises the hairs on my arms. Goosebumps all over here!
In the intro, Back to the Dark Ages, I played this many times over, you get that initial mythical vibrant feel that gives off the cosmic presence. Not too long of an opener and very pleasing to my ears. Vanity's Bonfire is a solid track to follow up to it with a crushing theme that moves things moving smoothly along to the metal here. That from its shadows claim! In this parody of life. A great start here.
The Archaic Censorship Of Your Eyes has many meanings to me. Very well composed and thoughtful compositions at play here. Keys that are playing ring notes in my mind that last forever. The drums here and bass are moving everything along to its very forward purpose with the guitars that keep everything sounding super well done. Aiming right towards the wounded heart.
Creators Of Shadows opens up real strong and shows off some sounds that I would like to put in my own music too when I hear them. The way they compose songs like this is very deep and dark. It is a feeling to me of embrace with one's darkest self. Bringing an idea of the creation of shadows that we see but sometimes never care to look to notice. Also absent from our own selective ears, and our own cut-out thoughts.
Dogma; The Infamy Of Fire starts with leading keys that are now set aflame, fire burning slowly in mounds of molten magma ever-flowing inside an ancient cavern of inner thoughts that bring a passionate but strong sense of raging red colors I can feel in the track from start to finish. In it is an inescapable aura of burning red to me that eventually ends in the song when it burns itself out into glowing embers & ash. Going against the grain of our own individualism & realizations. The neverending burning found in the infamy of dogma & fire.
Lux et Umbra has to be my personal favorite. A very heavy track on the album because it is a dreamy song that is also nonstop destruction all at the same time. When I think of aliens in deep space from other galaxies in fleets of ships traveling through dimensions, I hear Lux playing along to their galactic travels. It leaves you with a trail of specks & dust. A turbine burning the arrogant sights of the limited knowledge of man.
Illusion Of Freedom, what can I say? The song title itself is very thought-provoking whereas the music gets right to the subject of the matter. No further explanation required here. A really great track I can vibe to, too. In the existence of sad truths, & the banality of everything shared.
Did I mention the drumming on the album is super well done & on point here too?! Excellent job, Joonas! \m/
I know to some readers I may be exaggerating or to who remember me from the past doing metal journalism, I'm doing one of these reviews where I describe totally cold what each track while listening to them offers to me & the feelings I get from them all here. Which is pretty indescribable to describe in this format, but I digress.
Time well spent on making music like Upon Shadows has done on this album to me deserves time & thought well put into it. With me telling the readers exactly where they can go or get out of listening to this album. Coming from a whole different perspective. From someone else who is well acquainted in the realm of extreme black metal when I am playing this gem from start to finish. To any other metal fan out there new or old, you also may find high interest in this record too if you are a fan or have not heard their music yet.
Handling Cognitive Factor. I can tell you one thing, it sounds like to me it has a lot to do with personal mental health. "Overwhelmed with information... mix with lies & hate." Knowledge is a useful weapon very few these days can use. Without the real awareness from their own minds knowing where they may be heading... Big Data! Our culture to me is more unhealthy in this world than we want to admit it to be. People have a right to do what they please, be who they are, no matter where they are from, and be with whoever they want in their lives. Even though very few last long enough to find their true self when they are worried about what we have in life that takes time away from more rational things. Meaning, the things we should be grateful we take for granted & for what we have that has become an everyday use to us in our daily lives.
Especially the handling of current technology in these times where we must also remember to keep in check. We must re-focus our psyche back to basic instincts & more important life fulfilling, cognitive factors. Not to say we can't enjoy what we have, but we also must learn something called moderation. Life offers many choices now to us but somethings can be lived without. Hunting eyes are following the traces we leave behind!
Out of the Blue Comes the New Plague was the first song I listened to from this album. Like I said earlier, this song covers a topic we all know much about. But this is just my opinion on it other than the lyrical & musical presentation on here. Even though it can mean many things to many different people. A lifetime treatment. Where suddenly no one seems to be strong enough to hold their own cries. This plague from which we already have had in the first place. Side note, some songs are also sung in Spanish that speaks of this disease induced by depression in this perpetual melancholy...
Now the last track, simply titled, Lucifer, is not a heavy track like the others but is somewhat similar to the intro. A majestic atmosphere that is portrayed here in the mix of a clean vocal presence of Tamara again sends chills down my spine. The lyrics here also are of an ideological standpoint to me that many may not agree with but I can explain for others to possibly understand from my own personal religious background.
I don't know if I can honestly say I believe in God or Lucifer or such entities existing in the afterlife when we die even though I heard of people who have said through near-death experiences they have seen or felt such things come before them but what I do know is growing up, whoever Lucifer maybe, also rebelled through disobedience according to what we all were taught growing up from the Holy Bible. If you came from an occasional church-going Christian family like mine.
It is told here lyrically, through all this disobedience, or rebellion that one learns to eventually master one's true self. May it be in the league of Lucifer, or not. It is a song I believe even God-believing people could enjoy. Regardless of your background.
The message I get is that throughout history, we, as people, progressed through such rebellions or through our own personal disobedience. No one is ever born purely good or evil. Unless they boldly claim to be one day. No one is perfect as you know. Which is also ridiculous to think one can ever be. So to me, this track strikes a chord in me in more ways than one. There is a choice though when it comes to it all in life. You can choose one side, light or dark, or you can find it in yourself to be in control of both. Which I find to be something I can identify with. In both.
The quote here is also by a man named, Oscar Wilde. It has to be one of the best quotes that I have read in a very long time that I can personally relate to, to the fullest. Through my own life experience.
"Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion".
So I can say, this is not just another black metal album I just can play to say I like metal like this in a particular genre, but I can personally find a deeper meaning to it all lyrically and musically from a mindful place. It offers me a great insight into myself. If it can do that with me, I'm sure it can with others too. I only wish I had the initiative to listen to it much sooner. Listening to it 3x over got me to this point. Remember also, well this may just be me talking because I must be getting old... to read the lyrics and liner notes along to the music! I can't stress that enough. I know, don't listen to the old guy! I never did either.
Thank you Upon Shadows for giving me the time to collect myself to look much deeper into your latest album here entitled, Modern Obscurantism. I like to believe in my own small way, that this record was personally made for someone like me. I can't describe exactly what it is about it or why other than a sense I get from it. Which is something that I have to learn more to trust. I find immense meaning in the music they made here. I have been a listener of them for years but to me, this album seems much different from the rest. I am behind them both on this, all the way.
You can find the album digitally and physically, here-Daniel M. Ryan

Natalia Arocena: Bass
Tamara Picardo: Keyboards, guitars, vocals
Joonas Alaräihä: Session drummer

Track list:
1. Back To The Dark Ages
2. Vanity's Bonfire
3. The Archaic Censorship Of Your Eyes
4. Creators Of Shadows
5. Dogma; The Infamy Of Fire
6. Lux et Umbra
7. Illusion Of Freedom
8. Handling Cognitive Factor
9. Out Of The Blue Comes The New Plague
10. Lucifer

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Full Length Review: Beastial Piglord "Visitation Hour" (Slorebs Castle Records) by Dave Wolff

Band: Beastial Piglord
Location: Kinston, North Carolina
Country: USA
Genre: Extreme metal
Full Length: Visitation Hour
Label: Slorebs Castle Records
Format: Digital album
Release date: January 4, 2021
It’s the beginning of 2021 and Hudson Conner is at it again, finding new molds to break with his project Beastial Piglord, finding new methods to confound and entrance. I’ve discussed BP at length in the past year and a half, so there’s no need to elaborate on the exclusive fantasy worlds Conner creates. For more about this you can refer to older BP reviews at the bottom of this page. Each of his albums travels farther into the ether, and “Visitation Hour” starts like typical electronic metal only to grow progressively stranger. This album is a cybernetic nightmare fueled by sleep deprivation, set somewhere like a mental asylum a thousand years in the future. Set in a time where technology has literally taken over the population’s minds, computer chips and all, and those whose minds respond adversely are confined, locked away and forgotten. In contrast to the immaculate future envisioned so often in science fiction literature, the asylum (most likely a basement) is dark, dank and resounds with the screams of the insane. Think of a high tech mental asylum like the one in “In the Mouth of Madness”, only twice as dismal. I watched an online review of that movie and thought if people were driven insane on a mass scale by nameless horrors invoked by music instead of horror literature, “Visitation Hour” would likely be directly responsible. For all this, it’s obvious from listening to the songwriting and arrangements that Conner doesn’t resort to following formulaic guidelines when experimenting with musical genres to learn and grow as a musician. Taking thrash, death metal, ambient, cyber, horror soundtracks, electronica, funk, grind, jazz and blues, prog rock, psychedelia, and hip hop and adding menacing robotic voices and voices you would vaguely remember from disturbing dreams, Beastial Piglord is a project that is versatile in that nothing is planned and there are no limitations to what you can do when composing a song. Since releasing “Visitation Hour” Conner released another full length for BP entitled “OddBall.” –Dave Wolff

Hudson Conner: All vocals and instruments

Track list:
1. Plot
2. Dither
3. Modulating Humans
4. Answer/Solution
5. Brain Acupuncture
6. Depersonalization

Monday, February 1, 2021

Full Length Review: Plasma "Engulfed in Terror" (Rotten Roll Rex) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Band: Plasma
Location: Frankfurt
Country: Germany
Genre: Goregrind
Full Length: Engulfed in Terror
Format: Compact disc, digital album
Label: Rotten Roll Rex (Germany)
Release date: November 6, 2020
Just as I thought my playlist couldn't get any better, I was led to “Engulfed in Terror” by the legendary German goregrinders Plasma! When it comes to the recent history of Plasma, in 2019 they offered us “Ethical Waste,” which has proven itself to be a delightful gory extravaganza. And once again, Plasma has hit the nail on the head it seems. “Engulfed in Terror” in my opinion is even better than Ethical Waste... so it seems as if Plasma just improves as time goes on!
Heavy on the gargles and the gurgles, “Engulfed in Terror” has gone back in time a bit vocally. When I sent my review of “Ethical Waste” to Plasma I was told that there was some negative criticism when it came to that album (I don't understand why). Personally, I thought it was pretty great... but hey, everyone is a critic. I can only assume that this is why the vocals are pitch shifter heavy. But honestly Plasma is excellent no matter which way they present themselves.
The best way I can explain this album is a cross between the vibes of Creeping! Crushing! Crawling! and the production quality of “Ethical Waste”. Old-school vocals and new-school tightness makes for a delectable array of audio carnage... and to be quite honest I don't have a negative thing to say. (I rarely do when it comes to Plasma).
Plasma hails from Frankfurt, Germany since 1998 and this is their fifth full-length album! So unearth this cavernous sickness, dust off the worms and the maggots, and dig in for a splendorous catastrophe. When it comes to gore... could you ask for more? –Devin Joseph Meaney

Ulfinator: Bass, vocals
Smoke: Vocals, guitars
Schnaps: Drums

Track list:
1. Blotching Protoplasma
2. Raid of the Undead
3. Human Extermination
4. Martian Massinvasion
5. Crawling Giant
6. Unearthly Warfare
7. The Horrifying Horde
8. Eight legged Terror
9. Rampaging Master-Beast
10. Afflicted Zombification
11. Primordial Fury
12. Shattering Swarm
13. Test Tube Terror
14. Deadly Menace
15. Thundering Sea Giant
16. Atoms Gone Wild
17. Tremendous Terror-Beast
18. Hungering for Human Pray
19. Prehistoric Abomination
20. From Laboratory Into War

Full Length Review: Matianak "Compilación De Insaniam" (Independent) by Reggae

Band: Matianak
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Country; USA
Genre: Black metal
Format: Digital album
Label: Independent
Release date: November 27, 2020
Matianak hail from Chicago, Illinois. They have a sound that basically reminds me of an early to middle period Mayhem, mixed with some stuff like Dark Funeral etc. Matianak aren't really doing anything particularly original but they are filling a void left by many of the brutal black metal bands either not putting out records or leaving their original sound behind.
A few songs in it becomes clear that Matianak are very good at what they do. The guitars have the usual droning brutal sound the above mentioned bands have but they do cut in with some great melodies and the song writing is actually quite top notch. There are some quite inspired moments that tend to remind me of Dissection a little bit as well. The drumming has a great groove and while not as intense or relentless as some bands like Marduk or Mayhem this guy plays well, and it doesn't smother the songs which is good. The vocals also sit within fairly Norwegian black metal territory. One thing the band have managed to do is sound fairly old school but still clear and easy to listen to as well. After a quick stalk of their Facebook, it would appear these guys are known for putting on some wild black metal shows! It's got me curious I have to say, I’d love to see how these people evolve and follow their journey!
Overall I have to say I quite enjoyed this. It took me back to 90's when this stuff was first coming out of Europe. Very much a solid and worthy effort. Sometimes it’s just great to kick back with a beer and kick it old school and these guys deliver the goods for those underground black metal creatures out there!
Be sure to chuck the guys a like on https://www.facebook.com/MatianakOfficial -Reggae

Arelys Jimenez: Vocals, lyrics
Taylor Cook: Guitars, songwriting
Joel Miller: Bass
Rick Hernandez: Drums, guitar solos, samples, songwriting of “Voodoo Possession”

Track list:
1. Awaiting Doom.
2. Tumba Noxus
3. Psychedelic Insanity
4. A Haunting Testimony
5. Black River Falls
6. Delusional Obsession
7. Homicidal Offering
8. Ceremonial Blood Ritual
9. Voodoo Possession

Read Dave Wolff's interview with Arelys Jimenez of Matianak here