Monday, May 23, 2022

Full Length Reviews: Skaven "Discography" (Ruin Nation Records) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Skaven
Location: Oakland, California
Country: USA
Genre: Crust, sludge, metal
Full Length: Discography
Format: Digital, 12” purple vinyl
Label: Ruin Nation Records (Bremen, Germany)
Release date: May 23, 2014
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls people of all ages I have a confession to make, this is the first time I’ve been made aware of the sub-genre of ‘Crust’ (Yes I know, as a music journalist as prolific as myself that’s inexcusable) but I’m here to redeem myself by giving my unfiltered five cents on the matter.
So this album was released in 2014 and features eight devastating that’s entire purpose of creation was to melt your face off the existence of the planet (but I ramble).
To me, ‘Crust’ is an interesting combination of ‘Hardcore Punk’ and ‘Death/Grind’. You can hear the individual elements which I think is awesome when you’re working with such explosive sounds as these you need to make sure they aren’t randomly jumbled up and messy, you want them to mesh like controlled chaos in a way and these guys do a perfect job at achieving this.
The various instrumentation is as grimy, brutal and sluggish as you would expect given the sub genres at hand, the guitar is methodical and unforgiving, the drums hit with bullet precision and with violent effect while the vocalist shows how to sound truly miserable and passionate all at the same time.
He has these wretched screams combined with these death growls that could rival the best in the ‘Black Metal’ or ‘Grindcore’ game, but in most songs underneath the different vocal styles you can hear that ‘Punk’ attitude and rebellious nature creep through the songs and manifest itself through him, and I think that’s one of the main things I love about these guys’ performances.
If you’re a fan of bands like
-Black Flag
-Dying Fetus
-Cannibal Corpse
-Nails
then you’ll love this record because it has the best qualities of all these sounds while still keeping themselves original and refreshing in execution, production and heaviness! Go check out the sonic violence down below. Corban Skipwith

Lineup:
Zebediah: Lead vocals
Geoff Evans: Guitars
Shaner: Bass
Matusio: Bass, backing vocals
Ross: Drums

Track list:
1. Reflective Skin
2. Plague Wind
3. Abscess
4. Fleshy Curse
5. Like The Worms That Crawl The Earth
6. The Swarm
7. Severed
8. Flowers Of Flesh And Blood

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Full Length Review: Cartilage "The Deader The Better" (Creator-Destructor Records) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Cartilage
Location: San Francisco, California
Country: USA
Genre: Death grind
Format: Digital album, cassette, LP (Bone w/ Blood Red Splatter), LP (Mustard w/ Magenta Splatter), LP (Doublemint/Purple Swirl)
Release date: May 13, 2022
New review time (as exciting as always) and today we are talking about the 2022 release by Death Metal/Hardcore band ‘CARTILAGE’ featuring 11 new brutal tracks to head bang to!
Firstly, I want to say I love the aesthetic of this record because as heavy as it is, it still has that late 90’s/mid 2000’s ‘Death Metal’ feel to it which is easily my favourite era. Now I know if you look at the sub genres listed by the band themselves they list things like ‘Grindcore’ and ‘Gore’ but to be honest (and this isn’t a knock against them) but I just feel a stronger presence of ‘Death Metal’ more than anything else but done in the right way! I want you to imagine Cannibal Corpse’s prime albums or Death’s early discography that’s the vibe I’m going for on this record.
You can hear those sludge like yet groovy instrumentation with those heavy handed guitar strings and the marvelous drum work, the technically and the rhythms and patterns are so on point and flawless that it helps each track shine as its own independent ‘monster’ to embrace.
The vocal performances are top notch as well! I love the combination of high pitched notes and death growls, that’s what I like to see in ‘Death Metal!’ Early Corpse did the same and those were arguably their best work, but regardless this guy does a fantastic job at switching between the two styles and combined with that relentless production and instrumentation it just makes for a killer project.
Conclusion? This is probably my favourite ‘Death Metal’ project thus far this year, it done everything right in my eyes, it’s got that infamous ‘meat and potato’s’ style that I love from ‘Death Metal’ but also mixed it with some great technique, production and performances by everyone across the board! Definitely going on my list for album of the year contender! Go check it out yourself! Corban Skipwith

Lineup:
Mark Wallace: Vocals
Teresa Wallace: Guitars
Mike Flory: Guitars
Kienan Hamilton: Bass
Adam Houmam: Drums

Track list:
1. Intro
2. Slaughter Day at the Chopping Mall
3. The Deader the Better
4. I Skin You
5. Mallet Wielding Maniac
6. Gurgitor
7. Cellar Full of Stiffs
8. Axe Scratcher
9. Gashes to Ashes
10. The Casket Crawler Catastrophe
11. Boneyard

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Full Length Review: WOORMS "Fatalismo" (SuperNova Records) by Corban Skipwith

Band: WOORMS
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Country: USA
Genre: Sludge, doom, noise, atmospheric
Full Length: Fatalismo
Format: Digital
Release date: May 13, 2022
Today, we’ll be talking about the 2022 release by Post-Metal, Post-Punk band WOORMS.
They’ve provided us with 10 new tracks to sink your teeth into and considering this is my first time listening to them it got me pretty excited to experiment and see what they are all about (Also that name is SICK Worms with an extra ‘O’ amazing.
Besides the point I love so much about this record, firstly the production is top class!! I mean really above the line in terms of quality, execution, technicality and it’s all superb.
Every song is its own little journey, they all present themselves differently but all bring out individual masterpieces that sound like a world class orchestra have taken the time out to make sure everything is perfect, every time. Trust me on this one.
I also love how ‘doom and gloom’ the instrumentation sounds, always on a more ‘Sludge’ or ‘Doom’ side of the Metal spectrum which is similar to what bands like ‘Swans’ or ‘Godspeed You Black Emperor’ do in their music and you can see the influence (maybe not directly but in that line of sub genres that creative music like that).
Either way it helps set the mood for each track so well with the darkness and ‘apocalyptic’ aesthic to the whole thing, it’s haunting but magical at the same.
The vocal harmonies are great too! with this real raspy delivery and vocal tone, kind of like a ‘Dave Mustaine’ octave of singing that makes all singers sound badass and tough as fuck, it suits this album really well especially with how diverse in sound and nature it is, a voice like that is a real perfect balance.
Anyway final verdict? Fantastic record with a lot of interesting ideas and sonic designs to help entertain any Metal fan! Corban Skipwith

Lineup:
Joey Carbo: Guitars, vocals, noise, keys, samples
John Robinson: Bass, low end noise
Aaron Polk: Drums, percussion, backing vocals

Track list:
1. Seizure Salad
2. Quiet as Isaac
3. This is Nothing Short of Character Assassination
4. For the Time Bean
5. Mezzo Mort
6. And Heck Followed with Him
7. Lunge Meat
8. Grease Him Full and Well
9. Dead Dead Men
10. Red Meat for the Faithful

Single Review: CARV.R "Bloom" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Artist: CARV.R
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Country: USA
Genre: Dark synthpop
Single: Bloom
Format: Digital, promotional video
Label: Independent
Release date: April 27, 2022
It’s 5:30pm here in Melbourne, Australia, I just finished taking Zeus for a walk and what do I stumble across? An interesting new single by another artist I’ve never heard before.
So, what we have here is a mix of Electronic, EDM, Techno and Synth Pop. Can you imagine the wild times coming your way when you mix those 4 things together? Well thankfully after you read all this you no longer have to wonder, as the experience will just be a click away.
But regardless, this is a wild track because we have this almost 2000’s era electronic sound, kind of like early era Deadmau5 with an EDM twist, it’s 2:54 of pure excitement in your ears, no vocals just fun techno production for everyone to enjoy.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet tonight, I’ll put it this way if you’re a fan of these kinds of sounds then this will be right up your alley! It’s upbeat, funky, trancelike and creative. Perfect for anyone looking for that little bit of energy throughout the day! –Corban Skipwith

Lineup:
Cristian Carver: Songwriting, mixing, production

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Full Length Review: Luis Maldonalle "Maestro" (Tree House Records) by Corban Skipwith

Artist: Luis Maldonalle
Country: Brazil
Genre Progressive neoclassical metal
Full Length: Maestro
Format: Digital
Label: Tree House Records
Release date: 2022
Today, I’m excited to share with you a very talented man, someone who I recently discovered but one that impressed me enough all the same that I felt obligated to write this review to hopefully share to the world the gift that is “Luis Maldonalle”.
Now, I haven’t had the time to dive deep into his past discography but with how much I’m impressed with this record you best believe it would be in my bucket list, my point being as far as this record goes I feel a strong ‘Power/Speed Metal’ vibe and we are talking skills up there with the best to have ever done it period.
The way he commands the tracks, the way his guitar flows so fast and precise and how effortless he makes it look it’s just insane. Throughout each track they all have their own unique ‘flavor’ and ‘personality’ so to speak and I love hearing what type of sonic meal he’s getting ready to cook us in each taste test I get going from track to track.
In style he reminds me of all the greats
-Eddie Van Halen
-Steve Vai
-Michael Angelo Batio
-Yngwie Malmsteen
I mean you name them he can either match or beat them! I haven’t heard talent like this in DECADES, well really since listening to those names mentioned above, there hasn’t been a guitarist that has blown me away (besides Ren Marabou) but his style is different (although amazing) to the level of pure fire, technicality and skill that Luis brings to the table, I mean with every song that passes I’m left in cold sweats just listening to the guitar work, all my hairs stand up I get chills up and down my spine it’s absolutely insane the capabilities of this almost god like individual.
I know it must sound like I’m dick riding here but trust me, you haven’t heard what I have! I’m going to link the record below because you guys HAVE to check this out, I heard from a few sources that he was amazing but I never expected this level of intensity, so I’m going to leave it to YOU the listener to experience what could very well be, you know what fuck it WHAT IS the most groundbreaking guitar focused instrumental project of the modern generation, yeah I said that and if you don’t believe me just click on the link below! Corban Skipwith

Track list:
1. Raptor Alpha 1
2. Medusa
3. Armata Di Sange
4. Mea Culpa
5. Partita Diablo
6. Crown Of Thorns
7. ‘Opus Valhalla
8. Stigmata
9. The Harder They Fall

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Poem: "Sacred Path Of Being" by Sky Claudette Soto

Sacred Path Of Being
Sky Claudette Soto

I was sun gazing...and kneeling unto the center of a family of deer,as I tilted my head upwards I deeply gazed unto this wonderous fawn looking deeply into her eyes while looking and peering up at the sun as red as fire agate more red than one could have ever imagined as I whispered words,of inspiration their tails had swayed from left to right as I had spoketh,to these gentile creatures ,sentient beings ,a sense of lightness of being presented itself inward towards I ,in this ever present circled center of where I kneeled before these wonderous white tailed and ever so majestic animal spirits of the forest whom walk this earth in an anima of thy deepest of gratitude,humbled by nature and it's gifts of an untouched land and of sacred paths and it's very existence.

Copyright: First American Publishing rights only and written by Sky Claudette Soto. Sept. 2021.

Poem: "The Last Resort" by Judge Santiago Burdon

The Last Resort
Judge Santiago Burdon

When it gets like this
it always comes to that
I'm left with only one option
There's always a vacancy
at the Last Resort
No need to make a reservation
Home to self loathing and misery
The only remedy is a lethal cure
Although anguish along with torment
Are all inclusive here
All I've done with my life
is serve my obsessions
I'm the only thing that stands in my way
One more screw up and I'll own the whole collection
I've learned to swallow the taste of shame
I poured my heart out
but I guess some spilled
And it's left a stain
it's my caustic comment
that can't be washed away
No credit no refunds at the Last Resort
You pay with your blood and tears
apologies invalid promises void
excuses and lies told to a deaf ear
No cocktail lounge
to drown your sorrows.
No chapel to kneel down in prayer
No sympathy on the menu
at the Last Resort
If that's what you're looking for
find somebody who cares.

Poem: "The Monk" by M Teresa Clayton

The Monk
M Teresa Clayton

Ever wonder if this is real, or is that place inside of us real? How about, life, death, dreams, awakenings?

Hello again, to no one there,
Shadows of those who really care.
I can feel you inside of me,
Waiting to listen so patiently.
The vision haunts behind my eyes,
Slowly appears, then quickly dies,
Like forgotten lies.
Whispers spoken to no one there.

I am lucid in all my dreams,
Astral projection laser beams,
Looking for something I will not find,
It remains back there, inside my mind.
I know not why, and I know not when
The memories haunt me once again,
Tell me where you’ve been.
I looked for you inside those dreams.

Then at once, something appeared,
Nothing welcomed; nothing feared,
Someone speaking, a hollow sound,
Someone searching, nothing found.
The only truth I comprehend
Promises break, truths can bend,
Broken hearts never mend.
Something stirred then disappeared.

I screamed out, one single word,
“You won’t listen. Am I not heard?
I can save you from what you’ve become,
Return those feelings where you are numb."
The message was lost, already dead,
No one understands what I have said.
Too much paralyzing dread,
Of what may come afterward.

People followed people, just like sheep,
I saw it all inside my sleep.
I tried to change the path they’d taken
But was pulled away as I awakened,
Aware that no one will ever know,
They will not ask which way to go,
Or see the visions that would show
They are sinking in the deep.

“Will we live before we die?”
The question asked, no reply.
“Will people fall into despair,
Awakening to no one there?”
Nothing is simply nothing shared.
Believing no one ever cared,
No one dared...
Whisper the question, “why?”

Poem: "Ode to NYC" by Robert McDermott

Ode to NYC
Robert McDermott

I want to see the clash of the classes
The dichotomy between the debutantes and the downtrodden

wallow in the welfare
scream at those who don't care

soak up society
revel in the rivalry

step on the suited
smile at the smart

vilify the antagonists
snore at the soporifics

bleed in the gutter
be saved by another

turn out the lights
smile at the night

experience the extremes
of a midnight's dream

Poem: "The Clackernoose" by Levi Mericle

The Clackernoose
Levi Mericle

“For Poe”

There stands in the depth of night
A reaper at my door
To depict a certain shadow light
To remind me of what’s in store

My fractured soul is steady
To embrace what life enclosed
My pillow rests plump and ready
To accept what fate has chose

I snarl at the brink of midnight dew
In exchange for a rapid chill
Yet my mind can only think of you
When the sandman comes to kill

The clock strikes one as I hear the hum
Of the Clackernoose and his clan
For they will not come in the morning sun
Or when the stars caress the land

They are made of demons and wonder
Of discretion, damnation, and filth
They appear in the sound of thunder
Clapping laughter at our guilt

Built with bodies of children they’ve eaten
Of embryonic means
They swallow the treasures that suit them
And wear skin as clothing scenes

Their shrilling speech will grind the mind
Like the stones against a pier
And they bleed a certain scented sign
Indented in the atmosphere

They feed on the weak of heart
Heartache is their meal of choice
And once you scream they simply start
To catalog your voice

The door frame starts its shaking
My candle blows its flame
A hand started simply taking, taking
My identity from name

My withered words are so very few
As I simply plea to stay
But the Clackernoose comes straight on through
To dismember me from day

Now I have no existence
I’m but a tainted apple tree
Like Adam and Eve, repentance
Is not a choice for me

I offered a symbolic flag
Of no disclaiming truce
As I fell into the choking hands
Of my fateful Clakernoose

Previously published in The Autobiography of a Broken Kid

Poem: "Goddess" by Renascentia Bella Morte

Goddess
Renascentia Bella Morte

Her eyes swallowed me whole as if I was lost in the Bermuda Triangle.
Her touch smelt like I was knee deep in the middle of the forest surrounded by cloves.
Her lips tasted as if I had the light of the moon upon them leaving me both dizzy n a little high.
Her connection left me feeling with this

Poem: "Echopraxian Sea!" by Rich Orth

Echopraxian Sea!
Rich Orth

Echopraxian Sea swallows shoreline
Wherest undertow defies
Silencing pleas.....
Of seekers... who habitually deny

Upon precipice....
Cacaesthesia wails
Zephyr portends tempest
Sins 'neath sanctifying premise

Doth one taste of the flesh
Kiss invisible she
Fear taphephobian night
Deny truths believed

Upon precipice....
Cacaesthesia wails
Zephyr portends tempest
Sins 'neath sanctifying premise

Waves wash away xeniality
For helminthobiacs...
Seas wash away disease...
Tease ecclesiastics...
....Consuming
Consummation...
Infestation...
Defiling destinations…
For tonight she feasts
Marrow... succulent taste
Sparrow-like mind released

Echopraxian Sea swallows shoreline
Wherest undertow defies
Silencing pleas.....
Of seekers... who habitually deny

Poem: "In this drawer" by Steven Michael Pape

In this drawer
©® Steven Michael Pape, 2022

In this drawer
Faces peer put
Reviving memories
Before the last light.

On this cardboard
Where memories belong
Be it a favourite poem
Or a well known song.

These memories remain
Deep in our hearts
As our dearly beloved
Bring light to dark.

And we've sat and held
This two-page sheet
Tried to hide the sadness
Underneath.

And relived the good times
Conversations we've shared
The hugs and the kisses
The way which they cared.

And as the music plays out
For their final lament
All of us are remember
This love that they sent.

Poem: "99 Problems" by Tanner Reiss

99 Problems
Tanner Reiss, Feb. 18th, 2022

I got 99 problems
And this phone is
Every single one
I'm fucking done!
But how can I be done
When this virtual reality
Is my only identity?
I'm so addicted to
Being online
That if I get sober
I'm scared it'll be over.
I'm living in "The Circle"
Like Emma Watson
And "Going Under" like
Evanescence.
Screw this,
Screw this goddamn
Social media presence.
They say money is the root
Of all Evil
But I beg to differ
This hand held

Computer is a slave driver
And I'm the commuter
I wish I had never
Picked those flowers
That weild Bubonic powers
Because ever since I
Chose to smell that rose
I've felt these walls close.
Used to pride myself on
Being my own master
But now I'm out in paster
Where the Rains Reign
Dreaming of being free
While screaming for someone
To finally save me
I'm not lying when I say
It's life and death
I swear this shit is
Just as bad as meth!
I'm sorry, but I'm down
To my last breath
I can no longer breathe

So pretty, pretty please
I got 99 problems
And this phone is
Every single one
I'm fucking done!
But remember me
By my memes.

Poem: "Feast" by Alison Stone

Feast
Alison Stone

Give me ice cream and obsidian.
The dark, the frozen parts of you
are sweet forbidden.
Feed me peaches to
tickle my tongue, seed-rich juices of fresh
tomatoes, the bread of flesh.
Share with me sunlight of honey,
salt delivered to my skin by ocean froth,
your tongue translating bluejays' tangy
notes. To hold such life in my mouth!

Fear -- our guest
in black robes, toothless
uninvited angel, whispering curses
on the banquet he will never taste --
has kissed you. With lips sealed,
you stand apart from me
like a beaten child refusing food
to pretend the hunger is voluntary.

Love ripe and dangerous around
us, you brush my skin with one thumb
and retreat as burned.
Swimmers in autumn,
we stand trunk deep in a lake full
and sweet as a bowl
of fruit. Dive with me or we will
stay uncertain, safe, and unfulfilled.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Full Length Review: SOM "The Shape Of Everything" (Pelagic Records) by Corban Skipwith

Band: SOM
Genre: Atmospheric doom-pop
Format: Digital, 8XFile, CD, LP, limited edition evergreen LP, limited edition green translucent with white splatter LP, limited edition green clear brown translucent striped LP, limited edition stereo edition (animals edition)
Label: Pelagic Records (Germany)
Release date: January 21, 2022
Another day for another review and this time we are going for a more ‘ambient rock’ sort of vibe which is never a bad thing, I know I cover a lot of heavier acts but I enjoy all types of sub genres and styles. In fact some of my favourite albums are
-Weather Systems by Anathema, Writing Of Blues and Yellows by Billie Marten and YS by Joanne Newsom so I love when an album can incorporate the most ‘delicate’ and ‘harmonic’ elements and turn them into something amazing and this is exactly what’s happened here!
The way this band fused the various elements of ‘soft rock, ambient, lo fi, hard rock and ASMR’ is truly brilliant, you can hear how careful they are in what goes where and how they do it, you can hear the precise execution in the instrumentation and also in the vocals how specific they are depending on the song, tempo, groove everything is done with purpose and I can’t appreciate a band enough who takes this time (especially) when working with such risky elements like this that could hinder an album ‘boring or slow’ if done wrong but these guys have walked that narrow line and came out successfully on the other end!
So go check out these guys as they pull off a modern day sensation! Corban Skipwith

Lineup:
Will Benoit: Vocals, guitars
Mike Repasch-Nieves: Guitars
Joel M. Reynolds: Guitars
Justin Forrest: Bass
Duncan Rich: Drums

Track list:
1. Moment
2. Animals
3. Center
4. Shape
5. Clocks
6. Wrong
7. Heart Attack
8. Son of Winter

Interview with Columbarium Station and Lord A by Dave Wolff

Interview with Columbarium Station and Lord A by Dave Wolff

Discuss the origins of your musical project and why you first began working together.
Lord A: We are longtime friends and members of a discreet society and brotherhood called "Strigoi Circle", where one of our fields of practice is aesthetics, which refers to the experiences of estrangement and attraction through art, music and the like. Recording Vampyric Ritual Chamber Music was something inevitable for us.
Fabio Hattock: Lord A is a longtime friend and brother, as he said, we are part of the Strigoi Circle, and we had already discussed working on a project like this seven years ago.

Approximately when did you two decide to record “Vampyric Ritual Chamber Music” last year? When you started working together, what inspired you and what was your goal?
Lord A: Vampyric Ritual Chamber Music started back in 2014, about seven years ago and was released on Halloween 2021 during the Vamp Halloween Network. Our inspiration was the joint rites where we explored lucid dreams and the so-called mystery of night flight. We sought to record what we could of the atmospheres, nebulae and the isthmus that we traveled during this period. I put it together in arts and words. Fabio created music from the core of his soul that expressed everything even more clearly back in London in England. I was in São Paulo, I believe we were successful in exploring the thresholds of what is now called the fifth dimension.
Fabio Hattock: In mid-2014 I started to explore the classical music of the shadows, and was inspired by horror movie soundtracks, especially the old Hammer movies, I started to create the sounds little by little. In the meantime I read Lord A's book, Mistérios Vampyricos, and the music started to flow faster. Dreams and nightmares made me create some sounds and I felt a vampiric aura intertwining the whole concept. With the partnership of my noble brother Lord A, I believe we have managed to create an album that will touch the soul of those looking for the soundtrack for their night walk.

Is "Vampyric Ritual Chamber Music" a project that you have independently released? Did you seek out a label before releasing it independently?
Lord A: Yes it is an independent project like many things we do, an advantage of living in 2022 where with a generous base of appreciators and engaged fans of our creations we can create many interesting experiences together. Something unthinkable in the 90s or even in the first decade of the 21st century. I was never the type to seek endorsements or labels, but what I create always ends up attracting the attention of a publisher or producer - and good partnerships come from that.
Fabio Hattock: Yes, it's an independent release, released by my small label "Hattock Records". We are not looking for labels to release the album, but we are open to future proposals.

Tell the readers about the topics covered in Lord A's “Mistérios Vampyricos” and how it may leave an impression.
Lord A: Mistérios Vampyricos (Vampyric Mysteries, in English - we are waiting for a Publish House in that moment) is a book that I started to write between 2003 and 2013, we never had anything like it in the Brazilian literary market. First, because there were no books around here that discussed or commented on an international and well-structured vamp community in the northern hemisphere. Then because in our country the vampiric theme has always been approached in a shallow way. In my book Vampyric Mysteries I offered a journey through time from the speculative means of etymology and the origin of the term vamp in the 9th century as well as its resignifications in later centuries. Therefore, the book deals with a unique trait that comes from the Neolithic in the human species; which tries to answer what it means when we dream of people who have died and others we have never seen coming to talk to us. It talks about journeys where we can fly, transform into animals or even ride strange black animals and head to a big meadow where it's always sunset. The Vamp is our “Arché” Figure of power or what is most attuned and expresses our nature and aptitude for this mysterious nocturnal flight and other practices. As well as acting with what comes of it in practical life. Our music touches and plays about the stations and estancias we visit, about the encounters and duels during such journeys through the night flight.
Fabio Hattock: Adding to what Lord A mentions, Misterios Vampyricos Book should not be read once, it should be consulted sporadically, and the rich information contained in it builds the entire mystery to be unraveled.

If people wish to read “Mistérios Vampyricos”, how can they obtain a copy? What will readers gain from the book in general?
Lord A: By reading “Vampyric Mysteries” , you will certainly be able to appreciate more layers, filters and comparisons of this powerful figure that is the Vampire as a hunter spirit and something that drives humanity towards the unknown, the darkness, the new or even the horizon. One advantage is that my book is primarily based on historical research as well as art history, richly illustrated with sources and always including a look beyond European or North American material which allows me to cover a richer spectrum and provide more sensible markers than enrich the repertoire of my readers. Unfortunately, it still only exists in Portuguese, but it can be a good experience for readers to learn our language while we don't have an English version. It is for sale at https://redevampyrica.com/.

Since you began studying vampyres and their legends, how much knowledge have you both gained?
Lord A: The Vampire of legends and folklore enchants me for appearing associated with wilder and generally mountainous regions, his stories are told and set in these mountainous places in Europe. He talks about those higher places and where we are distant from the people around us in our thoughts and worldviews. It's about understanding your own flaws, flavors and qualities, knowing the price of your own freedom and still being able to pay for it with your own Blood. It is almost an atavistic clairvoyance that we see what we carry and how we project and spill our expectations on others. There is a lot going on in these that extinguishes our spontaneity and vitality because we don't live by our own measures. The vampire of folklore educates us about this sad science that we lose much more than we gain while depriving ourselves of self and idealizing what we don't live or are not. Knowing and being able to contemplate this landscape helps me focus more on what I want, on the flavor and taste of what truly nourishes me in life. Being able to see reality from a higher point, even if it is a rocky mountain and Saturnian baldness, helps us to cultivate and act with greater dignity, sovereignty and principles - even though we need to live in the midst of the culture and society where we are. We are foreigners, eternal foreigners in a strange world as the Gnostics and the Sufis would say. As a vamp community we are much closer symbolically to them than we think.
Fabio Hattock: The knowledge I have over time has been mixed with experiences, but you always end up learning and discovering new things every day. And the mystery is always present.

When you study authors who deal with vampyrism, do you look at the present or the past? And which authors have you found most influential?
Lord A: Naturally I really appreciate the Book of Secrets written by Goddess Rosemary, my Spiritual Dark Mother and she is an absolute reference in the last almost 5 decades on this theme. A beautiful and powerful pagan woman who inspires and leads by example. I think that the books by Thomas Karlsson and also by Asenath Manson, European occultists, are very interesting because such authors do not sublimate or hide from this tension that is life and strength that is to live and truly nourish the Destiny that we carry through our life choices. I think that most of what I read about vampirism as a spirituality and mystic in the works of many North American authors in this context on 21th century, is quite shallow and borders on kindergarten; the Protestantism that influenced them, full of rationalisms and thinking about something that they proved they didn't experience or contact is very clear. It will never reach the darkness and vastness of authors who lived a Latin Catholicism; still less those who come from an inherited root of paganism. But Vampyrism also has ties and roots together along with Voodoo and Hoodoo communities too and this unfortunately is not shown with frequency. At the same time, I am saddened by the lack of respect that the many contemporanea USA authors have for the history and ethos of the community that has existed there for almost 5 decades, this is very precious to be forgotten or deleted by his egos. It's as if in the 21st century every new author wants to reinvent the wheel or swears it all started with him or her.
We are in the second decade of the 21st century so I think we can also include authors of digital and transmedia content. I really enjoy seeing Fangsmith Maven Lore and the work of their VC Rant Radio channel rescuing this history and this sense of community. I also appreciate Kelly Q Rea's Hollywood Vampires event circuit and her graphic designs and podcasts. There are names that I respect and admire in the USA and there would be no lines here to properly mention them.
I really like Nietzsche and am considered a Nietzschean figure by one of the most important Brazilian philosophers, called Luiz Felipe Pondé. Augustin of Hypona and Blaise Pascál, also Dante Alighieri and Boccacio are on my favorite readings. Whitley Strieber, Anne Rice, Charlane Harris and Poppy Z. Brite are wonderful in delving into the depths of their obsessions in their books. I think that Brazilian authors such as Nelson Rodrigues and Giulia Moon, in their short stories and novels, masterfully touch on this issue of the Tension that is really living.
Fabio Hattock: I can mention a few from the past and present: Sheridan Le Fanu, Lord Byron, John Polidori, John Stagg, Bram Stoker, Whitley Strieber, John Ajvide Lindqvist, and Lord A.

While “Mistérios Vampyricos” was being compiled, which of the authors you cited provided the most reliable research material?
Lord A: On Brazil my favorite ones was the Hystorians: Andrezza Ferreira, Arturo Branco and Shirley Massapust. Marcos Torrigo (A.K.A: Frater Piarus) is an amazing author and someone who makes difference here writing about vampirism from Occult perspective. Nicholaj and Katy Frisvold books are amazing ones. From North Hemisphere: Havelock Ellis, Carlos Ginzbourg, Kenneth Grant, Nigel Jackson, Michael Howard are very interest ones. Goddess Rosemary Sahjaza’s Book Of Secrets is amazing. Thomas Karlsson from Sweden is another one that I appreciate the views about vampirism, very convergent with my perspectives. Radomir Ristic, deceased some years ago writes a classic called Balkan Traditional Witchcraft. One that I admire was Nichlas La Vére, very crazy in the conclusions but interesting one on quoting some principle and ideas. These names was good companions during that ten years writing “Mistérios Vampyricos”.

While vampyres and vampyrism have long been associated with negative connotations in the mainstream, do you view them as something more spiritual and positive?
Lord A: We live and exist in a world where the unbalanced “positive” of today is already quite toxic if we stop to think about it today. The other day I watched an advertisement with an actress playing a pregnant woman in front of a beautiful forest and telling the child in her womb how this child was already responsible for saving everything and everyone when it was born. What kind of adult is this who has been raised in the last two decades, without responsibility and only believing and throwing others his responsibilities and living as a victim of circumstances? We are in a world where marketing invents fashion and psychiatrists give drugs for people to dope and think they can live in such fashion and everyone is like that. We establish the unsustainable in this culture of toxic positivity. It's always someone else's fault that it doesn't happen and it's still someone else's fault to make it happen. We seem to have regressed to childhood as a human species in the West - and in this wave of positivity we come to believe that the whole world is exactly like that; from there comes a hideous and reprehensible barbarism like Russia invading Ukraine or the massacres in the Middle East. And when Putin and other butchers of human flesh really come at us, the “Atlantists” as they call it, I'm not sure we'll be able to take the brunt of all this toxic “positivity” and how it has weakened our lives.
What we see most are young people medicated from an early age because they can't stand the pressure of living and meeting their own demands and those of their families on them. We see people on social media every day falling over from the anxiety of the promised success that never comes; for the presumption of judging to be what they idealize and not what they understand or actually achieve and what is in their measures. We watch people attacking others because they look better to them or simply edit their lives better on social media. It is a culture of rancor and resentment coated with purity and justifications for canceling and condemning the unbearable to the autos of faith. Ecological, religious or social puritanism is almost synonymous with the toxic positivity we live in today. As a human species, few really learned or took lessons from what happened in Salem in the United States, because of a kind of religious puritanism. And now that there is no lack of puritanism of all kinds?
I believe that the negative is a standard of quality and even balance for my life. There was a religious named Pseudo-Dionysus Aeropagite who wrote about negative theology, a strange but fascinating topic, which started briefly from the premise: “All that we can say about God is not God”. Isaiah Berlin, Jewish philosopher talked about Negative Freedom as a concept where one is not enslaved by outside forces having equal access to the resources of a society. The very idea of a negative or black light described as Ain Sof na Qabalah, with a refreshing flavor and that keeps away the so-called “poor mortals” and their “puritanisms” of those times of people and our daily lives is the best part and is still a trait indelible sign of one who lives a healthy Vampyric spirituality or mysticism. It's the most positive thing I can get!
Fabio Hattock: Yes, without a doubt for me, vampyrism is associated with something spiritual and therefore positive. Blood may be a metaphor, but often such a metaphor can be covered in blood... the bloodline and the blood that runs in the veins doesn't matter, blood was made to drink.

Can you explain how vampyrism is an alternative to the various forms of “toxic positivity” that dominates mainstream culture?
Lord A: It may sound strange to readers less accustomed to philosophy, but the “negative” tone offers a counterpoint, a harshness and hostility that takes the ablest and most skilled out of the autopilot who live their lives - deprives each of them of absolute certainties and compelling convictions. Them to the here and now. A kind of short circuit in the automatism and status quo of their lives. To a certain extent it is a welcome acidity and corrosiveness, freed from shallow thinking and superficiality - it offers a broader and liberating vision for those who endure such tension. Toxic positivity comes from not facing life as it is; we deal with the most diverse vanities, envy, greed and wrath of both ourselves and others most of the time. Realizing the “negative” we talk about here is not about becoming an insensitive idiot who doesn't care about the feelings of others. But it's realizing that evil is also in us and being deceived by the promises of an industry of self-esteem, of a toxic positivity is just numbing yourself, getting drugged and leaving your life and strength to live entirely in the fickle hands of others; which can be from people to even big brands and their deplorable marketing campaigns that invent a perfect human to inhabit their artificial and horrible “shells”. In these more than two decades I realized how Vampyrism as a spirituality and mystique were paramount for me to preserve my creative strength and improve myself in life and in my skills. In the Vamp Community we can find good people who can withstand the stresses of life - and pay the price of their freedoms.

Since you started writing books and composting music professionally, how much toxic positivity have you seen flourishing aboveground?
Lord A: We live in times of what you call toxic positivity is everywhere. I’m old now with 43-44 years and Lord A is around almost twenty five years on the road. I don’t have more the privilege of being positive all time… life happened… but I think is necessary being positive at least to try to be realistic. I choose being more saturnine for my personal quality control around what I develop on books and on lyrics. This costed two to three years to write our lyrics on Vampyric Ritual Chamber Music… I start my books and delete all of them three or four times before reach the middle of content… until I reach a way to leave my thinking more crystalline…
Fabio Hattock: In my case regarding composing music, I see that there are artists who try in a tiresome way to demonstrate a politically correct appeal. And one generally realizes how false this whole narrative is, not to mention the total lack of creativity and originality. Very tiring to watch a crowd of followers agreeing and acting like "the good humans".

How did you write and compose “Vampyric Ritual Chamber Music”? Did you ultimately achieve what you envisioned for it?
Lord A: There was an atmosphere and a landscape, an isthmus as Ibn Arabi would say that we hoped to walk through, visit and let ourselves be touched by what we would experience at each new stop. In my books I tend to postulate spirituality as a process, a journey through small ranches and their reliefs that make up meadows or larger stations. And whenever we pass through them, each time we find something we didn't know about. Much of our journey was captured and crystallized into music by the heart and Fabio's ability to musicalize what we found. Whether it was in his lucid dreams or in the stories he shared with him or even in the rites we practiced in the Circulo Strigoi. My lyrics originated in these rites and in my ecstatic process questioning ancient Sybils and Dakinis by candlelight, and by wisps of moonlight that entered my rite chamber.
Fabio Hattock: Usually when I read, I listen to music, usually classical or instrumental. When I received the Mistérios Vampyricos book here in London, while reading I had ideas for sounds and songs, as a soundtrack for the information that was in the book. The book opened more doors, and through dreams, and conversations about this vampiric spiritual aura with Lord A, the songs flowed. It took seven years to polish the sound nuances, high and low frequencies, sounds that emerged almost like a breath. I believe that Lord A and I managed to musically transport this gateway to this universe, to this vampyric cosmovision.

Does your music allow the listener to partake in the spiritual journeys that inspire the songwriting you both create?
Lord A: Our music draws to this Savage garden some of the scarlet spirit and atmosphere we visit. There will be those who will dance, gaze and play in the immortal meadows of the old north while listening to our album. The soul and wild heart of some will be even more nourished than others and will soar higher. This can cause your subconscious and conscious to clash, like two rubbing sticks pulling sparks to ignite the flames of the superconscious, which is good and profitable. We make Art and Music for us and that may be precisely why some more get involved and this is already fascinating and true to our hearts. While Vamps, at least for me, Love is this flame that scatters all that we are not and isn't ours in this wild garden... we burn and burn and burn as we live - strangely we pray that we want such a flame even more. Thirst for the soul or hunger for the spirit and so we transform our lives into Art, elevating and sublimating to the spirit again and another kingdoms of Sophia.
Fabio Hattock: I believe that not everyone will feel the energy the first time they hear the songs, but if they let themselves be involved, the journey will be guaranteed, perhaps as a trail to be traveled and discovered. Songs and words must circulate like blood.

When you think of how spiritual your music is, and how it has the potential to fuel love and hunger, you can argue that gothic music etc is not as dark and negative as some perceive it to be (since they probably haven't given it a fair chance).
Lord A: My words and now also the lyrics and interpretations in Vampyric Ritual Chamber Music carry what I walk in life, experiment and accumulation of mistakes that I no longer repeat. It's about what affects me and what I nourish myself when I experience Soul Hunger and Spirit Thirst. Sometimes a sad science, a kind of melancholy tone who directs for spiritual and saturnians themes. Another times for a more elegant posture and view of life. These are not easy topics, it's more or less like talking about sensuality or even death. There is tension there and agony. Everyone knows that they are (or will be) touched by both while alive, this affects, bothers and disturbs stealing the focus of the present - it bothers as pain, as thirst and even as hunger. We are talking about Desire and this is a problem if it is fulfilled and also if it is not fulfilled. Nobody likes that, because realizing this tension consumes them. The rabbis speak of the frictions of a wild soul (instinctual or instinctual) and of a more solar and generous soul, which resides in people. Sensuality and death expose friction and friction between them, tension again. We try not to hide from these things in our art and in our lives. As humans we aspire to the pinnacle of rationality, that's good, but maintaining and sustaining it consumes too much and we try to feed it with fast-food of positivism coming from the self-esteem industry and heavy medicines so we don't live and hide from this tension. The name of this tension is life, this one is beautiful, raw and outrageous - Vampyrism only illustrates that any attempt to dull or eliminate any of these three characteristics and the tension between them also eliminates life. Who knows, “Living” is receiving this slap in the face given by nature that we are more irrational than we think, we fear it and therefore we hide in the super resolved facades that we invent to post on social networks - while we get psychically sick and stop living the present in the its totality and fickle fortunes. In my heart I also hope that by sharing this we bring some hope to those who also experience all this to leave the room, face another day of work, study and parties - even if these can be more Dark.
Fabio Hattock: Music as an art form in this case will function as a personal soundtrack. In a spiritual vibration, the tendency is to feed the soul, to bring out more unknown instincts. Far from being dark or negative. May I add that this music and art was not made for everyone? I leave a little tip about the “Vampyric Ritual Chamber Music”. Listen to the whole album and pay attention to the cover art.

Do you think people who listen to “Vampyric Ritual Chamber Music” will be able to appreciate it if they listen to it on a personal level and as a soundtrack for their own thoughts? Can it help them to accept their "darker" sides, so to speak?
Lord A: During my times writing reviews from shows to rock and metal magazines on Brazil I learned to write thinking in my readers and his personas. On my books I realize that on a more open flow. I think peoples always will have a strange moment to travel on his dreaming and ideas while listening our album. The dark side many times is like a looking glass who magnify that we are not as rational as we edit for Instagram and another social networks. The dark side just shows that we are guided by emotions and feelings, many more as we think; we are controversities incarnated on this plane. But we try to hide from that, then we lost the best part of life. Anyway we aspire and get inspired by rationality, this is good, but consumes us and have a high higher cost to sustain that. And the Dark Side is always there waiting; we take a rest from that…
Fabio Hattock: Undoubtedly, but first of all, understand that to embrace the shadows, you also need to emit light. A dark light, which blends with its own shadow. So the album will fit in perfectly as a soundtrack.

Can the listener gain a better appreciation of the album by studying the cover art? Did the artist design it specifically for the album?
Lord A: I was the one who created the cover art for the album and the back too. They are part of a series of images that I created inspired by the years that Fabio and I worked in this “atmosphere”. It even expresses well what I call “atmosphere” when I think of Vampyric Ritual Chamber Music as a travel diary through this nocturnal land and its mountain ranges. The red ruby stones depict an important constellation of the northern hemisphere, which guard the meadows where the immortals play. There are more details as well as in the back where we have actor Max Shrek playing the Angel of Death. And there's more, much more to the eye of anyone who appreciates the album.

Was your feel for atmosphere the reason you designed the cover rather than hire an artist to do so?
Lord A: Apparently fractals of images and sounds that form something musical simply merge by affinity in our imagination and are like an enchantment; that is why they are beautiful, they do not respond to regimes, policies, expectations and anxieties; they are from the affective and emotional meadow, naturally irrational. It has its own cosmology. When we decided to organize them either in an illustration or in a song, we left the swamps of Dionysus (where everything is impulses and the gaze has not yet emerged) and went to the lands of Apollo (metrics, strangeness and the aesthetic gaze are born)… things are like that. When Fabio allowed me to create the cover and the upcoming booklet it was quite a blessing. I wouldn't imagine anyone else doing this booklet. It is a page from a dream diary, part of a grimoire with its owners, peculiar atavisms and resurgences in each one's imagination.

Has "Vampyric Ritual Chamber Music" been widely covered in the press? Are the reviews indicating that critics get it?
Lord A: In fact, we never sought or performed any kind of press office service of any kind. Some interviews happened naturally because of who liked and appreciated our album. The membership of the Vamp Community from South America and Portugal, as well as DJS and producers in other countries delighted us. We have not yet counted how many participations we had. In fact, in the daytime I work as an advertising copywriter and art director. Fábio also has a tough routine in his work. So, we are not always able to participate or give many interviews.
Fabio Hattock: I make Lord A's words my own, in this matter.

Have you had the chance to visit vampire communities abroad through correspondence or travel? Which communities would you like to visit and make new contacts with?
Lord A: We have the opportunity to correspond regularly with New Orleans and my Brother in Sahjaza, the 3D Artist and Fangsmither Maven Lore; our beloved Darkmother Goddess Rosemary and many other ancients from our dynasty and allied families. Undoubtedly in the USA there are many Vamp communities that we want to visit like in New York, in the interior of the east coast and in Miami and its surroundings. Although, I believe that a trip through Europe through England, the South of France, Portugal, Italy, and Romania where we have many friends would be fantastic in this sense. Fabio can speak more about the English community.
Fabio Hattock: Here in England and Scotland I've had contact with some communities, "London Vampire Group" was one of them. I've also been part of one of the oldest vampire societies for almost ten years, "Dracula Society" which is here in London.

Tell the readers about Dracula Society and the knowledge you picked up visiting those countries. Will your experience in vampire culture abroad have an influence on music you compose in the future?
Fabio Hattock: DraculaSociety was founded in 1973, and remains to this day as a discreet society, where it promotes meetings, thematic travels, awards on films, theaters and literature, mainly focused on the vampiric universe, but also on terror and the supernatural. The experiences are always enriching to visit and live in these European countries. Its legends, folklore and even the energy emitted in certain places. I can say that all this certainly has and will have an influence on future compositions.

When do you two plan to record your next full-length album? How will the music build on what you composed for "Vampyric Ritual Chamber Music"? Do you plan to branch out or are you growing naturally?
Lord A: There's still a lot to come from Vampyric Ritual Chamber Music. There are video clips of some tracks that are being edited by us and our partners. There is an art album and with excerpts from my dream diary during its production, I'm sure Fabio will also include many moments from his too. There is a meditation script and another for contemplation where the music takes on an even more powerful body. We are still orbiting for some time the universe of Vampyric Ritual Chamber Music like everything that is transplutonian. However, Columbarium Station already has a fantastic new album on other views and themes.
Fabio Hattock: The album "Vampyric Ritual Chamber Music" came naturally, but many paths will still be trodden, as mentioned by Lord A, and new insights will be turned into songs as well. I am fully convinced that other stars will align and more songs and visions will flow.

How will the videos you mentioned represent your album musically and visually? What other projects are planned in connection to it?
Fabio Hattock: The videos will possibly have subliminal images and visions of me and Lord A, mainly based on the visual arts that Lord A creates. The album will get its physical versions and maybe even a virtual reality version, a project I've been researching for a few years.
Lord A: Our videos take the risk of recording these pages of our dream diaries and this particular grimoire formed by our album. They are an authorial work where we walk a path and contemplate the landscape, its fauna, flora and atmosphere. And that certainly transforms the lives of those who are enjoying it. Joseph Campbell has a lot to say in this regard. They are made from cuttings of provocative images that align or tune with what we express in our music. Small doors and windows to something bigger and accessible to all who carry a certain spiritual legacy - their blessings and curses.

Is there anything else you want to reveal about the next album before it’s completed and released?
Fabio Hattock: I can only reveal that it will be as epic as this one, but it is still in the air, waiting for the moment to transform, be born and flap its wings.


-Dave Wolff

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Full Length Review: Bloodred "The Raven's Shadow" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Bloodred
Location: Baden-Württemberg
Country: Germany
Genre: Blackened death metal
Full Length: The Raven's Shadow
Format: Digital album
Label: Independent
Release: September 25, 2020
In the dark corners of Germany, where the winter is harsh and the darkness more so you have a band that not only is immune to the scent of ‘fear’ but thrives off the unknown and dwells in the abyss.
The sonic prowess of a band this powerful cannot be overstated as they (using energy and sadism) to crush down all that oppose them, the sound of crunching souls heard with every step taken, closer and closer the screams are heard and chances of escape are a firm zero.
What makes a band like this so devastatingly effective is how they are able to combine the best parts of your traditional ‘Death metal’ elements and just with what seems like precise accuracy incorporate just the right amount of ‘Black metal’ flavor to twist the already brutal art of ‘Death’ and manipulate it to this new, relentless beast that plays off the violence and chaos of the former and that’s not an easy thing to accomplish.
The instrumentation of all the instruments leave me very happy as everything from the guitar to the drums it’s all so technical and creatively done which (in most cases) isn’t the case for either sub-genre being used here but they have decided to move things up a level and force all other contemporaries to fall in line because of how smooth, groovy and skillful the band is.
The vocal performances are impressive too! Those death growl, scream combination working perfectly with the production provided it’s just a match made in hell and you can hear the fluency and how well they sync, it’s something I always love to hear.
So, is this devilish record something to listen to? Two words FUCK YEAH. Corban Skipwith

Lineup:
Ron Merz: Vocals, guitars, bass
Joris Nijenhuis: Drums

Track list:
1. The Raven's Shadow
2. Immense Hall of Agony
3. Hör Den Tod
4. Blood On Thy Hands
5. Raise the Mound
6. We Who Ruled The North
7. Shadow Warrior
8. Under This Sun
9. The North Star Whispers (To The Blacksmith's Son)

EP Review: Noctis Aeternae "Noctis Aeternae" (Sol Records) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Noctis Aeternae
Country: Germany
Genre: Black metal
Format: Digital, CD, MCD
Label: Sol Records
Release date: February 15, 2022
How many of you thought I just flipped out and wrote the same thing twice? Well I don’t blame you if you did but today we have the EP which happens to be the same name as the band! The track list is as follows:
-The Legacy Of The Untold
-Nocturnal View Over Frozen Landscapes
-Sleeping Under Tartarus
As you can already guess from the title names this album is rooted in mythology, darkness and mystery. Honestly when listening to this album you can hear the influences in forms of subtle choir nods (such as that marvelous intro to the first track) or the overwhelming sense of despair and loss that seems to reign supreme throughout this whole EP.
One thing I love is the production, because although this shares a lot of common similarities with the trademark ‘Black Metal’ aspects and essence they’ve found a way to place their own spin on things and mark themselves apart from the respect with their ever so ‘devastating’ yet ‘hypnotic’ use of the instrumentation and the sonic aesthics like.
The best way I can describe something like this is walking through an ancient ruins at midnight all alone with nothing to accompany you but fear itself and mystery (and sometimes that partnership is enough to activate some powerful things).
The vocal performances on this thing are wild! truly ghastly and monstrous all at the same time with some vicious use of death growls and screams that would leave Danny Trejo up at night, it’s absolutely insane. Also I have to give a huge shout out to the guitars and drums because the way they sync and perform these long drawn out chords and pattern to further stamp the ‘horror’ into the record is nothing short of outstanding.
Overall if you’re a vivid ‘Black Metal’ fan or just ‘metal’ fan in general this haunting experience is one for you! It may be short but what it lacks in length it more than makes up for in pure terror. Corban Skipwith

Track list:
1. The Legacy Of The Untold
2. Nocturnal View Over Frozen Landscapes
3. Sleeping Under Tartarus

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Single Review: Newphasemusic "Starter" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Project: Newphasemusic
Location: Portland, Oregon
Country: USA
Genre: Neo psychedelic darkwave/dreampop
Single: Starter
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: May 5, 2022
Portland, Oregon’s Newphasemusic is described as a drums-driven visceral industrial project by founding member Daniel Henderson, who currently works for several projects including the neo psychedelic darkwave/dreampop project Trance To The Sun. I recently received an email from Henderson asking if I could listen to and write about his latest Newphasemusic single, and something made me curious as to what I'd experience if I agreed. I ended up in an industrial world I wouldn't forget for a while after following my intuition.
I checked out some material by Trance To The Sun while writing this review in order to gain a better understanding of Henderson's musical outlook. As a starter, I chose the EP "Lost Garden Gnome Hotline" and felt drawn to its atmosphere, organic musicianship and haunting vocals. This marked a striking contrast to the myriad of severe, glacial electronic effects on Newphasemusic's three versions of "Starter", and demonstrated Henderson's multifaceted tastes and ability to channel them.
While he plays drums for that band, Henderson runs Newphasemusic as a solo project, in addition to designing the cover art, doing all of the mastering and producing the promotional video released with it. Although he’s based in Oregon, his work is testimony that something inventive and original can transcend state lines and beyond as his projects voice the mystery and strapping expressiveness of underground Manhattan culture (which remains alive and well despite years of upper class gentrification). I thought of the local bands I heard from the 90s to the present and realize obscurity doesn’t denote a band’s potential to change the face of music.
Like Trance To The Sun, Newphasemusic is based in a well-defined subgenre but the growth factor should go a ways toward laying the notion to rest that remaining in touch with where you started is not tantamount to limiting oneself. Not if you have the imagination and the resources to explore every aspect of said subgenre. I saw this in underground metal and gothic music, and this is reinforced with a vengeance on the “Starter” single.
I mentioned three different versions of the song were recorded for this single, and each one is so radically different you might suspect they were different compositions altogether. “Starter” is based on an incident that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia in the summer of 2017; for more information about this you’ll have to refer to the link provided. Musically it was almost required to come across and stark and harsh so it could accurately convey the author’s impressions about said incident years after it actually happened.
“The faces that you know/The faces that you don't know/Broken pieces and scattered teeth/Could it be you're not the one that's weak?” With media spin and misdirecting scandals involving Sharon Osbourne, Marilyn Manson, Chris Rock and Johnny Depp it doesn’t seem as if we’re getting any closer to alleviating real intolerance and suffering, but we’re only moving more slowly toward doing so, according to Henderson when he wrote it. For all the darkness it displays musically, “Starters” offers a hint or two of optimism.
From cold and robotic to a menacing mix of industrial, metal, jazz and blues (!) to somewhat reminiscent of Devo and old Prince (!), the three mixes of“Starter” are an exercise of ignoring boundaries without completely changing to reach mainstream popularity. And a promising preview of Newphasemusic’s debut full length “The Dark Side of the Earth” which will be released this year. –Dave Wolff

Lineup:
Daniel Henderson: Vocals, all instruments, programming, treatments, engineering, production, mixing, cover artwork, video production
Dorian Henderson: Geodome
The Joy Thieves and SINE: Remixes
Colin C.: Mastering

Track list:
1. Starter (Geodome Mix)
2. Starter (The Joy Thieves Remix): Remixed by Dan Milligan 
3. Starter (SINE Remix); Remixed by Rona Rougeheart

Monday, May 9, 2022

Full Length Review: Sci-Fi Scientists "Sars Attacks" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Sci-Fi Scientists
Country: Ireland
Genre: Industrial Metal
Full Length: Sars Attacks
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: April 7, 2022
I suppose why not? Why not start the evening reviewing a fun, introspective, tongue and cheek record first thing off work? It’s not like I cover a tone of these so any that I do get the chance to cover is always great fun.
Today we have the latest 7 track record by the group and as it stats in the Bandcamp link this is a conceptual record and I quote
“This is a concept album providing an alternative narrative to the psychological warfare the human race has been subjected to by the mainstream media, government, and globalist technocrats for the past three years!”
First of all, if this description doesn’t peak your interest then go fuck yourself because you're obviously lying because that has to be one of the sickest explanations to a record I’ve ever heard! But the question is, how does the final product sound?
Well, as far as production goes I hear a lot of interesting influences and styles mixed into this giant sonic pot such as
-Punk
-Synth Pop
-Metal
-Industrial
-Noise
I will admit this is more ‘messy’ then most albums who incorporate the various styles method but I wouldn’t hold that against them too much as you can tell by their whole aesthic and vibe that they are going for a more ‘fun/over the top’ maniac type experience and the messy presentation works well for what they are going for. If this was meant to be a record to take seriously then yeah I might judge it more harshly but you’d have to be dumb, deaf and blind to assume this, they are a band who likes to have fun and make an interesting project in the process so can’t hate on their approach! It’s fun and educational at the same time and that’s what matters.
The vocal performances are something else, the lead singer ‘Billy Ray (lovebuzz) Virus (even their artist names are fucking amazing!) has this off the cuff, everywhere and anywhere type free lancing singing where he fathers no style specific just does what he feels depending on the song! Not a very common approach but that’s what makes this record unique! If I had a gun pointed to my head and had to narrow his voice down to a certain genre/sub-genre I’d lean more on the punk side of things, but that’s just a small taste of what type of performance he gives, you’d have to hear it to understand what I mean.
Overall, this is quite the record. Some fun songs on here for sure that actually raise some eyebrows (the song ‘Who is W.H.O’ especially) the end part where he’s actually spitting some deep questions about the whole situation of how COVID started, as someone who loves a good conspiracy theory I had no choice but to take a small breather to think about what he was saying haha The instrumentation is colorful and vibrant, the production funky and exciting and overall just a fun set of tracks to make you sit there and ponder on the world and the events surrounding it. Corban Skipwith

Lineup:
Billy Ray (lovebuzz) Virus: Vocals
Jabs Hetfield: Guitar
Rick Awakeman: Synthesizer
Vax Cavalera: Bass
Sars Ulrich: Drums
Amy Schwabhouse: Dancer, actress

Track list:
1. It Began in a Lab
2. The F.E.A.R - False Evidence Appearing Real
3. Who is the W.H.O?
4. Bill Standing at the Gates of the Lizard King
5. The Horror
6. New Horizon
7. N.W.O - Natural World Order

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Full Length Review: Ancestral Sin "Social Hate Speech" (Dance Hard Records) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Ancestral Sin
Location: Leeuwarden
Country: Netherlands
Genre: Hardcore, metal
Full Length: Social Hate Speech
Format: Digital album, limited edition 12" vinyl
Label: Dance Hard Records
Release date: April 29, 2022
It’s crazy to me that I get to review a a band that has been going since 1989! Literally 5 years before I was even born and yet here they are still making music, kicking ass and taking names! Here we have a grinding Thrash Core band that truly lives up to their sub genre name sake with their brutal and fast instrumentation, their aggressive singing/shouting style and their short bursts of mostly one minute tracks to give you that quick dose of energy and violence and I love every second of it.
If I had to draw comparisons three bands come to mind!
-Black Flag
-Nails
-KENMODE
To me they have the vocal style of KENMODE with that intense shouting style, then you have those short bursts of violence that Nails is infamous for as well as that classic late 80’s early 90’s hardcore rebellious Punk sonic aesthic that Henry Rollins and the crew in Black Flag would be known for! So if you were to combine the best elements of all those worlds then this is the album you would get and I couldn’t be happier with the result because at first glance based on the lengths of the tracks it doesn’t appear to be a long album but regardless they provide the same energy, passion and hunger for 100 bands!
I love also how on some songs they add these little doom inspired interludes such as intros to songs like ‘Paracide’ or ‘Demon In The Demagogue’ there’s even a tiny Bill Burr voice sample added in here somewhere if I’m not mistaken? Regardless I love it, makes the record that much more colorful and interesting and memorable.
In closing, this is one fucking badass record, for a band that has been going as long as they have they have definitely mastered their craft in every way possible and I can’t wait to hear more from them! Corban Skipwith

Lineup:
Jake: Vocals
Klaas: Guitars
Shantia: Bass
Ragnar: Drums

Track list:
1. Social Hate Speech
2. More Of The Shame
3. The Apathist
4. Release Peace
5. Paracide
6. Narcissus Borealis
7. Grind To A Halt
8. Waste Of God
9. Demon In The Demagogue
10. Greenwash
11. Wrong Side Of Right
12. Western Paradigm
13. Conspiracy Theme (Infodemic)
14. Why Do You Hate Me
15. S.T.I.T.C.H.
16. Dark Matter