Friday, January 28, 2022

Full Length Review: Rübezahl "Remnants of Grief and Glory" (Deviant Records) by Dave Wolff

Band: Rübezahl
Location: Alaska
Country: USA
Genre: Pagan black metal
Full Length: Remnants of Grief and Glory
Format: Digital album
Label: Deviant Records (Germany)
Release date: August 23, 2021
This is another new band for me so I searched their name for research. Besides information about them I found information about a 1957 West German movie directed by Erich Kobler and a folkloric mountain spirit from pagan German, Polish, and Czech legend, also known as a woodwose (wild man of the woods). I don’t know if the band named themselves after the legends or if the movie was based on it, but it seems likely those folk tales had some sort of bearing.
With Rübezahl’s “Remnants of Grief and Glory” we have yet another subgenre of extreme music, namely “Alaskan pagan black metal” as their style has been classified. As complex as adding another title sounds, it seems to fit where the band is taking the black metal genre thirty years after second wave black metal emerged in Norway and Sweden.
Rübezahl independently released their debut single “Of Night and Eternal Cold” in 2017, following it with an EP “Tempering of Northern Iron” (Sacrifical Sounds) in 2019 and another independent single “Alas Phoenician, Despair!” in 2021. Deviant Records picked them up soon after and unleashed their first full length “Remnants of Grief and Glory” upon the world. Due to its musical scope and vision it’s been greeted with enthusiasm since being made available.
While starting this review I listened to Rübezahl’s entire repertoire starting with their debut single. As I was introduced to them a few weeks ago I wanted to get the big picture of their development and progress. Their earliest material was unvarnished and vitriolic, and driven by the elaborate guitars of frontman Raróg (also of the Alaskan death/doom metal band Druj). His playing reminded me of the Swedish black metal project Arckanum, with significant amounts of Borknagar and Immortal added.
Charged by the rhythm section of Gravmond (bass) and Bergwächter (drums), whose presences invariably radiated through all their releases, the band generated an atmosphere that increased in breadth and fullness, growing to magnificent proportions on “Remnants of Grief and Glory”. With pronounced shades of folk and doom metal, and bottomless death growls from Raróg, this album manifests their evolvement into something transcendentally desolate and mystical.
From their debut single onward Rübezahl created a unique approach and elevated it to something grand and monumental. While they have made no effort to incorporate other genres, they build on their formula, tempering it with more intricate riffs and time changes to build a subgenre with potential to stand on its own. The darkness this brings about is fast becoming almost physically palpable, almost like a living entity. The band’s stirring folk elements serve to enhance their enclosing tenebrosity. “Remnants of Grief and Glory” is a far-reaching effort that strives even now to diverge from formula. –Dave Wolff

Raróg: Guitars & Incantations
Gravmond: Bass
Bergwächter: Drums

Track list:
1. Thunder & Oak
2. Alas Phoenician, Despair!
3. Ether & Steel
4. Accursed Victory
5. Meditations Of A Tyrant
6. Echos Of A Mighty Hall
7. Bloodlines Of Scorched Earth
8. Voyage
9. Anvil Of The East

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Full Length Review: Anguere "Descrença" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Anguere
Location: Rio Claro
Country: Brazil
Genre: Death metal, hardcore
Full Length: Descrença
Format: Digital album
Label: Independent
Release date: November 5, 2021
Well, album time again. What could we possibly be in store for now? How about a late 2021 metal drop? Because here we have it, eight new tracks to about.
So, after listening to this thing I came to one obvious conclusion (this record is batshit crazy) for many reasons.
First of all the sound, what I hear here is a strange hybrid between Nu Metal, Garage and Punk? It’s very interesting combinations at work here.
I feel that industrial/Hip Hop vibe from the Nu, that rough around the edges, lo quality aesthetic coming from the garage and then maniac, edgy and crude instrumentation and vocal performances representing the punk.
Secondly, there’s a strange evil or crazy laughter being injected into almost every track as a recurring theme at this point, it will pop up randomly from the start sometimes to the end of tracks, in between there’s really no consistency involved but I suppose it does give the album a ‘psychotic’ edge to the album which I suppose for a record like this it fits in well.
All eight tracks feel like a work of ‘controlled chaos’ I can hear the unity and technicality behind the madness but also feel the explosion, creativity and spontaneous workings of a madman all working in one. If you’re looking for an album that’s equal parts unpredictable and technical then this is the one for you! It’s got enough surprises to last a lifetime and it’s got just the right amount of metal to keep all you metalheads satisfied! -Corban Skipwith

Thiago Soares
Cleber Roccon
Ricardo Santos
Pedro Amaro Giachetti

Track list:
1. Mete o Loko
2. A 7 Palmos
3. Garotão do Papai (Feat. Dir Jay)
4. Truculência
5. I.M.I. (Instituto Medico Ilegal)
6. Roleta Russa
7. A Casa Caiu
8. Maloka Walmir (Feat. Leonardo/Injúria)
9. Truculência (Versão Oficial Vídeo)

Monday, January 24, 2022

EP Review: Mach FoX "Hollow Moons" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Mach FoX
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Country: USA
Genre: Sci fi doom pop
EP: Hollow Moons EP
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: December 1, 2021
Alright, I have a confession Relentless Family. I did something with this album that I haven’t done with any other, for better or for worse I prejudge what this album would sound like based on the tags and turns out I was completely right!
So, what we have here is a 5 track set of individual songs that help recreate and bring forth some pretty dope nostalgia for me of the early to mid 2000’s techno scene.
This is going to be a reference only millennials should get but if you can remember back to that Hot Wheels ‘AcceleRacers’ 4 part movie series and it features two specific groups of racers.
The Metal Maniacs and Teku! Well Teku was this real futuristic, techno themed group and the music they had playing (opposed to the heavy metal from the metal Maniacs) is exactly how I’d define the techno/electronic scene of the 2000’s and this is exactly how I felt whilst listening to this EP.
Heavy futuristic synths with that heavy bass and drone like keys and beats just with a touch of goth and emo added in to give it that ‘dark’ edge required for their sound, I find this sound a bit hard to describe without just instantly thinking Teku haha so my bad guys it’s just so iconic and memorable for me as a kid and to hear it represented again in 2021 is so cool.
I wouldn’t say this is a perfect EP but I feel I understand what the guy was going for and considering his vision I think it’s a job well done! It’s funky, futuristic, banging and emo all in the same sentence, the vocals are done fine for what the sound is looking for and I honestly feel if you wanted something drone like or hypnotic for playing a mind numbing game or waiting somewhere then this would suit the occasion perfect!
This EP is by Mach Fox who is also a member of Zwaremachine. –Corban Skipwith

Mach FoX: Vocals
Dbot: Bass (tracks 3, 4)
Dein Offizier: Drums (tracks 3, 4, 5)

Track list:
1. Xybrtron Cloudscape
2. Darkside Destiny
3. The Drain
4. Hollow Moons
5. Quasar

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Interview with Daniel S. Crane of Strings of Distorted Doom by Dave Wolff

Interview with Daniel S. Crane of Strings of Distorted Doom by Dave Wolff

Dave - Tell the readers why you decided to revive Strings Of Distorted Doom after your 10 year hiatus? How long did it take you to gather material for your EP and full length releases of “Doom Trials”?
DRSC - Not long, February to the end of June I finished vocals for the album. I did more for that album than I ever did in 6 months time than those 10 years alone.

Dave - Up until recently you were hosting an short lived internet podcast & online radio program.
DRSC- It was called Dan’s Takeover on Podbean and my DJ segment Dans Block which aired on 3 extreme metal radio stations online.

Dave - Describe this segment, and syndication.
DRSC - It was all featured on Metal Radio GR, Canada’s Extreme Metal Radio & Metal Devastation Radio.

Dave - How exactly did you hook up with them all for airing and explain why you retired now as a DJ?
DRSC - By online contacts.
I almost ended up at another station too.
Doing 3 stations was enough already.
It was a fun spare time segment to do in my free time at first like everyone else did that DJ just like me.
I made it into my job kinda for that period of time.
I also played many favorites of mine.
Amongst many promos, from bands from the stations and my own personal picks.
Up and comers I scouted. The latest that people dug, upon request…rarities, obscure stuff.
Even little pieces I thought about.
I made it all work.
Besides myself and my music.
So…a good question would be…
Why did I stand out from the rest?
From the huge crowd of DJs all online doing more than I ever did for many many years that I only did in 6 months?
Uh, well…I do not know.
Thanks everyone for tuning in! 🤘👌
I put all I had into it in all those episodes.
My own format, everything meshed well together.
All interconnected.
I promoted many other DJs across all 3 stations over mine during that time too & I even filled in when people couldn’t air.
They all know who they are.
I always DID my JOB, and more.
First one to walk in, last one to walk out.
All extreme, all in your face.
I knew it wouldn’t go on much longer after I saw the red lights before everyone else did.
I do not know.
What I do know is, I had to put it to rest.
For now.
I’m glad I wore everything and everyone down with my lack of compromise because they all showed me none so I got out because unfortunately I’m too savage to be on online radio right now.
If it wasn’t true then why did everyone treat me the way they did?
Honestly, I wanted to stay voiceless.
Which I hope I never do ever again now because for some reason everyone likes my own voice more than I do.
I’m glad you all enjoyed it while it lasted.
Then something dawned on me in the last few episodes.
So I hope what I plan to do now that is in the works…becomes something that becomes something some rare individuals like myself, can follow.
Until then, it is what it is.
The rest is history.

Dave - What other projects, if any, were you doing during the ten years S.O.D.D. was inactive? Or were you taking a break altogether?
DRSC - I was still doing Mors Omnibus, Dave. The whole time, in case anyone even noticed…or working on misc things here & there.
My last release before Doom Trials was the album Circus Verses by Mors Omnibus.
Another solo project of mine & it is horror soundtrack music.
It’s different. Very different.
It is not really a “band” or act where I put out albums for the sake of putting albums out.
MO is collectively a personal effort to reach out to people in the entertainment business that see potential in this musical style for the mediums they put out.
Maybe in L.A.? Who knows.
Wherever it may be.
I have not got that “HEY” yet, though.
I have been doing MO since 2012.
The new Mors Omnibus album Schizophrenic Prosthetics is underway…
The EP before that album release is up on Bandcamp.
It’s called Walrider.
It has a theme around it like Circus Verses and Nocturnal Carnival does too. The carny themes.
Except for Schizophrenic Prosthetics, it’s about my own personal mental health or others' own and it is more personal than the last two full length albums.
Lots of phenomena on it, as well.
t is also mostly focused around Rollins Hills Asylum in NY and off the same game, the video game that the EP is based off of.
Plus things I read lightly in medical books online.
And, much more.
So yeah, I didn’t sit around and do nothing for 10 years…but anyway thanks for asking.

Dave - Is there any way “Doom Trials’ differs from the material you wrote in S.O.D.D.’s earlier years? What emotions or attitudes were you looking to capture with it? DRSC - I don’t have to really answer this question how you phrased it but what I can say is yeah…it does differ, in many ways Dave.
My older material is just me you know?
Remember? Raw and unfiltered.
Doom Trials is an album I declare as only for me now.
It is WHY I still make it available.
If people want it they will get it.
The old stuff was cassette recordings, though.
I miss recording on cassette tapes.
I need an acoustic guitar and I would just record myself like I did in the old days.

Dave - Last December you released a new EP called “Dead Lights” containing three versions of the single of the same name.
DRSC - It is cool…I like to think…but it is my final offering to that song since to me it is the one & only song that stood out the
most… out of all the songs since the whole album Doom Trials started. I paid my tribute to the theme that is Dead Lights and in my mind it’s the only song there that is a single. Or a cult classic.
It is WHY I decided to put it out.
Then KILL it.
Once and for all.
That was when I also decided I had to finalize this album.
It was either this OR I keep it buried.
In blood.

Dave - How soon do you expect to finish your project album with Mors Omnibus to release Schizophrenic Prosthetics? Will you be releasing this recording independently, perhaps on your indie label Distorted Doom Records?
DRSC - No matter what happens…in America it will be released solely by me on CD & if I can fit it on LP.
For the most part.
I expect it to be completed by the end of this month, this long awaited 3rd full length album.
Maybe sooner.
Making albums for me is a moment to moment experience basis.
As it should be.
Not a set date or standard I have to follow, like a routine job.
Which has happened to me many times in the past for graphic designing & music things.
Say music with others own sole founded creations in music.
May it take long or not at all.

Dave - What other musical projects have you been involved in through the years besides Strings and Mors Omnibus?
DRSC - Many artists from all over the world through online communications. Those projects will be re-released soon. On cd & LP.
I also made communications with many prominent artists in the past.
That let me interview them, talk to them or I was allowed to cover a song.
Some very short lived projects…one involved the Lord Of Logos.
I still have the logo and some misc tracks I made. The one he made for us. Christophe.
It is amazing to me still that that guy did a logo for me though upon request…it’s too bad the person involved with me decided to seek fame by other means…in the public eye.
Rather than letting their music speak for themselves.
I wish that person the best of luck but that person has severe issues, from drinking far too much. Which is pretty, sad.

Dave - Speaking of Distorted Doom Records, how long have you been running that label? When you started, did you intend to exclusively release your projects or were you also considering other bands?
DRSC - Not long, 2 weeks so far. Everything is being uploaded on my site where all the physical merch is hosted for sale where it’s directly shipped from the company.
DDR is a huge distributor / distro / personal label of sorts.
By an artist, for the artists!
May it be my music or archives or special stuff I have there in the distro I make.
And more.
It is for all of you in the underground and all proceeds outside my name left over after merch purchase go directly to that artists from Bandcamp.
To help support them and also they can get reviews for a DDR distro item based on their works related to them too. Passed around.
May it be provided to me by them or what I make to distro to host for them for sale.
It’s very neat. Something I like doing too. It helps not just me but everyone.
I have much to put up and to do through the company in Brooklyn that makes all the merchandise before it is all on the Bandcamp page.
I’m building my distro with a little bit of everything plus all my stuff and other artists I am close with.
For free.
On CD & LP.
I don’t want to be responsible for anyone’s music licensing but my own if it moves or not through DDR.
That’s for other labels to deal with.
As long as you provide all art & mp3s. If you like the DDR records stamp? I can do that too with your album artwork or what’s given to me then you can officially say you are part of my label.
People are severely lost these days to the arts they use to strongly embrace. In a world like this where one is not paid to create unless they are, this is what I offer to you.
Especially since covid happened.
Whole world is upside down.
For the ones who always stayed on track unlike me?
You all have been through a lot more than myself and are super passionate people.
You confided in me & since I have a huge assortment of poems and have considered publishing them in an ebook of sorts. I like to put their names in the credits.
I like to make plans to have multiple volumes of all these writings I have that span back 20 years ago into a book in many formats and all of them are a piece of my journey as a kid growing up experiencing life as I did.
Around many different times and phases in my own life.
I wrote a whole song in Latin once.
Many years ago. An idea I came up with after watching Event Horizon for the 1st time.
As for when all that will be published and typed up or done?
No clue.
I only typed up a hand numbered amount so far. Not dozens yet. It is a-lot to type up and go over.

Dave - How did your need for writing start?
I am a writer more so than a musician. In many ways.
I make fantasy out of my writings or things that happen in reality but in ways that only happen in what I write.
Or what I experience.
It’s very weird. I got sappy ones, brutal ones, mental ones, mythical ones, odd ones, and even a very few sexually charged ones. Occult ones.
It really depends. Most were towards my views in life, too. Or I wrote down lyrics from other artists I really liked in my own way.
Like a cover song? A modified one.

Dave - How did your writing all the sudden happen?
Mostly in my high school days I wrote from 7-12th grade. So when I first inducted myself into black metal for good at 14 when all the other forms of extreme metal were cool to me but for some reason I felt under appreciated as a person and I am a very misunderstood MISFIT other than people who did take the time out…to know me more so that when I heard black metal music it sung to me in a way that no other form of music could.
Since it was raw, like myself. Unfiltered and honest. Thrash too!
I was extroverted to a degree and still am in ways.
Then I became more introverted from this bullshit societal conditioning… everyone these days falls under it for some reason but it was because I have a lot to say where others don’t.
Never fall under people or their petty resignation when not warranted with one's lack of equalized compromise.
Whatever their reasons may be.
Always. If you have a problem with that? Then confirm and accept it.
I can’t read everyone…like some kind of John Edwards or something but I’m forward when I need to be.
I only am “shy” when I feel like I am being myself then threatened or undermined in some way for it.
Or taken advantage of.
I’m not into just one genre musically or listening to Dave, too…
There is a strong eclectic layer to me.
You literally become that lifestyle.
It is all aIl I ever knew other than what I do outside the arts that embrace me as much as I embrace it.
It can be dangerous…
I have fellow musicians that support me though these past 13 years in the scene that I consider to be MY family.
Whoever that is left.

Dave - I listen to many genres, and support them through Asphyxium. I point out it was a natural progression, not forced. It’s good for an underground artist to broaden horizons without fear of being labeled a poser; on the other hand there are people who preach about being “open minded” and how versatile they are. Why not just listen to and draw from what you like?
DRSC - You summed up everything I said there. I play what feels right to me and listen to what feels right to me. As for anything else in my life. Which I believe is a very sound way to be. Never fall or be pushed into a box, by modern tricks may they be physical or psychological or cave to societal norms or what is deemed acceptable in the herd…rebel against all our kind readers of Asphyxium!

Dave - What sort of experiences do you write your poems about starting with your high school years? Would you expect readers to relate to them or are they of an extremely personal nature? Name some examples of your most personal writings?
DRSC - All kinds. May it be from people or things that were in my mind at the time or I wrote lyrics for all these previous short lived bands I was in before I decided to go solo of course.
They can relate. Some can be otherworldly or personal or based on books or quotes or any sort of medium I was at the moment with, say the Evil Dead movie franchise when I recorded the first self titled S.O.D.D. Ep on cassette. Or Night Of The Living Dead, Cyborg, and so on. Sampling in my songs.
Or just things I was witnessing at the time or experiencing I could not explain.
Examples…the lyrics I wrote on paper for Doom Trials were very personal.
One song I wrote has my blood on it.
Ones before that are personal too. Everything has its own meaning or own thought provoking process behind them. I reveal that because that is how music and art is naturally formed in my mind. Before I create it or it just happens.
Not to say, something along the lines of "oh I think MGLA lyrics are cool so let’s copy their style." Which to me is herd mentality. Or let’s record ourselves with just our phones solely because some band you like did that, which to me is just ridiculous.
And very uncool. Let’s do this to stand out in this crowd.
Let’s just riff raff and make what feels right.
It requires a real effort through many hours naturally making songs like that where it is all real and makes you go, oh…then dive in deeper.
I think people do it all in that modern stuff or form because it’s easier for them and it is noticed by a wider audience.
Without that anyone who makes art or music in the ways people do now unless they have something in it that is organic behind it in some sort of way…unlike Mors Omnibus which I only played guitar on one track for one song once for the whole discog so…it’s very program based but hits all the right spots for a inorganic outlet…it still FEELS like it is…a life of its own.
It can be a let down to me.

Dave - Which artists are you considering adding to your distro besides your own bands? What company or companies are you working with? Will there be a Bandcamp page featuring the bands on your label and distro, or possibly a compilation of sorts?
Many different artists on the distro side. The ones I mentioned earlier are for me alone. Plus many rarities you can not find published this way anywhere else. A real underground effort.

Dave - If you were to publish an eBook of your poems sometime soon, how much material would be included in it?
10 poems in each volume I like to think about, at some point. There are many, even only in digital form. It is one of the last things I want to do but it is always on my mind while I am busy doing music biz stuff. It is not in demand, yet. So I am letting it float up in the air till I have a handle on it.

Dave - Do you have other projects in mind in the weeks or months to come, band wise or zine wise? Would you consider another radio show if you could do one, or something like a podcast where you review bands?
DRSC - Well, I did some new songs for Mors Omnibus for a split album release I made in association with a Chilean otherworldly musical act only known deep within the dark corners of the psyche which will be released in time.
Something may come up soon, but I am not entirely sure yet on that. As far as a podcast, I like to keep things private here and I rather get to it when I find a setting where I feel ok with doing it. Until then, that is on the backburner while I quietly focus on things here that require my attention with everything else I already mentioned.
Thanks for the time Dave.

-Dave Wolff

Friday, January 21, 2022

Full Length Review: Vaino "Metsänpeitto" (Independent) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Band: Vaino
Location: Jyväskylä
Country: Finland
Genre: Black metal
Full Length: Metsänpeitto
Format: Digital album
Label: Independent
Release date: January 14, 2022
“Metsänpeitto” is an album my friend Lorne (the mastermind behind Cernunnous) sent me in a text. Hailing from Finland, Vaino provides a blast of eerie coldness that somehow also comes across as upbeat, and I have no problem stating that every minute of this album is highly enjoyable and filled with positive energy. Premiered on January 12 2022, “Metsänpeitto” is one of the better albums I have heard so far this year and I plan to return to it time and time again.
With elegantly played guitars, formidable percussion, and tight and rasping vocal work, I can see this one in the collection of black metal fans worldwide. You can snag a copy in various formats at Wolfspell Records, or if you just want to check it out, you can do so on Facebook, YouTube, and Bandcamp.
Featuring seven tracks in just over half an hour this is the perfect length for a casual listen. Not as short as a demo but not as long as a lot of black metal full lengths, “Metsänpeitto” spits forth just enough head banging and musical excellence to make Vaino known as a prime contender in the black metal scenes globally…so without further rambling I will just suggest giving this audio masterpiece a listen. It just might brighten your day…it for sure brightened mine. –Devin Joseph Meaney

V. Pasanen
T.K Nefandous

Track list:
1. Poismenneen Loisto
2. Noidankehä
3. Veriteko
4. Uhritemppeli
5. Missä Käärmeet Pesivät
6. Surutyö
7. Houreesta Hurmioon

Single Review: Zwaremachine "Effigy (Ministry cover)" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Zwaremachine
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Country: USA
Genre: Minimal hypnotic industrial body music
Format: Digital track
Label: Independent
Release date: November 22, 2021
It’s COVER TIME! With our hosts for the evening Zwaremachine and their edition of EFFIGY by none then Ministry!
So, what do I think about this cover? Well for starters they do bring a darker more cerebral vibe to the song that I like a lot, kind of similar to how Cradle of Filth made the legendary ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ song by Iron Maiden that much more surreal and haunting.
Zwaremachine accomplished the same on this one, of course being a cover they still keep that funky, early electronic vibe the original song has and maintains the groove and the aesthetic but comparing it to adding a drop of ink into an otherwise clear fountain and watch said fountain slowly but surely turn to black.
It’s still the same fountain, still the same water, the flows and waves still move the same it’s just that little bit darker.
After listening to both to refresh my memory on the original it’s clear just how careful and planned the band was to not overstay its welcome in the ‘changing’ department for this song, nothing worse than a band/artist who tries to do TOO MUCH to a cover and ruins the whole aspect of what made the song good to begin with!
But no need to worry here, their ‘dark polluting’ if you will is only in the presentation and background of the track, the main key components that made the original so damn vibrant and dance worthy are still there and as strong as ever!
If you’re looking for a great cover (if it’s not already obvious) go check this out it’s great and is the perfect level of change you’d want from a cover! –Corban Skipwith

Mach Fox: Vocals
Syn Thetic (Malice Machine): Guitar
Dbot: Bass guitar, programming
Dein Offizier: Drums

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Interview with Liam Anthony of Idle Ruin and Bone Marrow by Dave Wolff

Interview with Liam Anthony of Idle Ruin and Bone Marrow by Dave Wolff

Until recently you were involved in the Australian black metal band Elkenwood, releasing a single and an EP. Explain why they decided to call it a day?
Elkenwood was the brainchild of Gareth Graham (guitar, keyboards, vocals) and Nichola Williams (guitar), and I joined on a couple of years after they started the project as sort of a long-term hired gun. I can’t really speak for everyone, but I think that by 2019 some of us were feeling ready to move on creatively. Gareth was starting a new solo project and the following year he moved to a town several hours north of Brisbane, Alex (bass) had his own full-time band going on called Borodino, Amanda (violin) had moved to South Korea for work, and I too was planning to move overseas the following year (which didn’t happen, no thanks to COVID…). The last show Elkenwood did before the band went on ice was supporting Ensiferum from Finland in early 2019.
After the COVID-19 restrictions eased and live shows were allowed to happen again, Nicola, Gareth and I caught up for a drink and we talked about how Elkenwood felt “unfinished”. We decided it’d be best to just tie the band up with one final show for our fans and friends, and Amanda was back in the country to join us which was excellent. The gig went well and our fans were very glad to see us play again, even if it was for the last time.

Was the feeling of playing your final show as Elkenwood cathartic? How would you describe the vibes between band and audience?
I’d say so. It was that feeling of closure and finality I think we felt the band really needed. We played at an abandoned bowling club in Brisbane; it was DIY as all hell, and there was a sense of intimacy between the band and the fans. The atmosphere was great.

Do you prefer playing DIY shows over those organized by labels or distributors considering your connection with fans? Which option is more advantageous?
I enjoy both. I’ve had the opportunity to play some larger events with bigger bands, which are a nice treat for when your band gets to play them. However, when playing those shows it’s obvious from the stage who’s really come to see who. Over the years I’ve come to really enjoy the smaller DIY shows. There’s just an energy there that you can’t get anywhere else.

Are copies of Elkenwood's single and EP still available? Do you regret that the band didn’t get to keep recording and expanding their fan base?
We sold the last few copies of the EP at the farewell show, but it’s still available digitally. It’s a shame we never got to record any further material, but I think Gareth might be repurposing some ideas for his Jimmy Orion project. You might have to ask him.

How does streaming your final EP help to spread Elkenwood's name overseas?
That one I’m not sure about. You might have to ask the other members. We did get some great reviews from some overseas zines in Europe (and one from the US called Asphyxium Zine) which was really cool.

Looking back, do you think Elkenwood was part of a journey to grow creatively? How soon after Elkenwood’s disbanding did you seek new bands?
I think so. I was playing in several bands in Brisbane at the time which were all learning experiences both creatively and professionally. Some of the bands I was playing in were either a “bit of fun” or had varying degrees of success. However, around the time Elkenwood went on hiatus in 2019 I was also feeling a bit burnt out. Everyone has bad experiences in their creative career, and I was experiencing a lot of them at once. Someone would start a new project, invite me to play drums for them, we’d start playing shows, but then suddenly something would happen which would kill the project. It was such a recurring thing. I decided if I was going to do another music project again, I wasn’t going to just join another band but start one of my own.

Did you work with other bands around the same time as Elkenwood?
I was playing drums for a grindcore band called Decapitated Mum who were a lot of fun to play with, and a thrash band called Spektre. Both bands pretty much ended when COVID happened. Ben, the singer of D-Mum moved to Adelaide and the other members kind of went their separate ways. Like I mentioned before, there were a few other projects I was involved in that either ended prematurely or just fell apart due to… let’s just say “reasons”. Around the same time I was in Elkenwood I was putting together ideas for my own personal project. During COVID, after Elkenwood was put on hold and all the other bands I was in fell apart, I decided it was time to commit to my own project and get something happening with that, and this is what eventually became Idle Ruin.

How do you manage to find time to work with so many bands? Where can we find material from the bands you’ve worked with?
There’s a running joke that you could stop a town’s music scene by killing off their drummers. Elkenwood and D-Mum played very sporadically and I was playing Spektre gigs while Elkenwood were on hiatus, so the time management wasn’t a big deal. At the moment, my time is dedicated only to my project Idle Ruin and another death metal band called Bone Marrow. At the moment, you can find Idle Ruin’s and Bone Marrow’s EPs on Bandcamp and Spotify. Elkenwood, Decapitated Mum and Malakyte (thrash metal band) also have their recordings on Bandcamp.

How well is the underground metal scene in Australia doing these days?
The quality of the music that’s been coming out in the last few years has been great, but as for live music is going, we’re struggling. COVID has put capacity restrictions on venues, blocked international and even interstate tours. A lot of musicians and industry people who do this as a full-time career have been hit very hard.

Several years ago, you were publishing The Fallout Magazine to inform people about Australian metal. Would you consider restarting it?
I guess I kind of repurposed that into what became the documentary web series my friend Chalky Hill, Scott MacMahon and I put together a few years ago called “Thrash or Fuck Off”. In my old zine I occasionally wrote articles about a nearly-forgotten Australian metal band from the early 80s, or wrote pieces about the early days of my hometown’s metal scene. I had intended on doing more articles on the history of Australian metal but they never eventuated. With the web series however, we got the chance to tell the story about the golden years of Australian heavy metal in a format that was a bit more immersive and with a wider distribution to more people.

Who do you remember covering as a writer and zine editor? Why did it fall through?
I had been doing it for about seven years and it was becoming more difficult and more expensive to keep going. I was writing for a few other online metal webzines and was putting more time and energy into drumming. It was a fun time though. It was certainly a privilege getting to interview people from bands that I admired like Judas Priest, Helloween and Death Angel. What I really enjoyed the most about the zine was talking to those older Australian metal bands from the 80s I mentioned earlier. There wasn’t a whole lot of documentation about the Australian scene at the time (it was 2007), so it was an interesting insight into how things were back then compared to how they are now. Whoever I’d call to interview would be surprised that some kid twenty or so years younger than them had taken an interest in their band! One of the bands Nothing Sacred even wrote back later to tell me that their interview had inspired them to reform, which was a nice surprise!

How many episodes of “Thrash or Fuck Off” are available for viewing? Are there plans to work on additional episodes?
We produced six episodes, which can now be viewed online and on TV through the Roku channel OSI74 (shameless plug – go check it out!). We had planned to do eight but after the sixth episode we felt the story had reached its natural conclusion. We may do more if we can come up with a good narrative, but for now the series is done.

How extensive is your coverage of Australian metal in the series?
Originally the web series was intended as just a showcase of Australian thrash bands in response to documentaries like “Murder in the Front Row” and “Get Thrashed”. There was one scene in “Get Thrashed” where a guy is talking about thrash metal emerging in different parts of the world, and he says something like “There’s a band from Australia called Mortal Sin… I mean, Australia?!” We felt we had to answer to that!
However, the further we went down the rabbit hole of interviewing bands the more we realized how integral the Australian thrash scene really was to us. During the 1970s, Australia had a lot of pub rock bands that sounded like AC/DC or Led Zeppelin. Heavy metal as we understand it within the current context didn’t really hit its stride in Australia until the 1980s when the local speed and thrash metal bands emerged like Nothing Sacred, Renegade, Mass Confusion and Tyrus (their frontman Peter Hobbs later started Hobbs’ Angel of Death). It was around this same time when Australia’s metal scene developed infrastructurally with the first dedicated Australian heavy metal record stores, promoters, festivals, record labels and the first time an overseas metal band came to Australia and conversely, the first time Australian metal bands toured overseas (Mortal Sin).
We got to look at how much of a lasting foundational impact the 1980s extreme metal scene had on developing Australian metal as a whole and how it opened our gates to the rest of the world. We also got to look at the profound influence some of our early extreme metal bands from the mid-80s had on the Scandinavian scene (Slaughter Lord and Sadistik Exekution). The last episode we did showed the re-emergence of the older bands from the early years, as well as the current generation of Australian thrash bands.

How did you, Chalky Hill and Scott MacMahon expect “Thrash or Fuck Off” to be received? Was its reception what you hoped it would be?
We didn’t really know what to expect, honestly. When the episodes were released, we did get quite a lot of help from all the bands we interviewed, who shared it from their respective Facebook pages. When Mortal Sin shared Episode 2 from their page, it went viral. We still get messages from people saying how much they enjoy the series and how it’s brought back good memories. We’re very happy with the end result.

Did you think of doing other underground music documentaries after "Thrash or Fuck Off"?
We did have an idea on making another documentary about the divergence of death metal in Australia during the 1990s, but we ended up using those ideas into an episode of “Thrash or Fuck Off” instead.

How much did Hobbs’ Angel of Death place Australian metal on the world map?
Hobbs Angel of Death were one of the first Australian metal bands to be signed to a major label overseas and they still have quite a strong cult following. If you go online and look at some of the top 100 thrash metal albums of all time lists, you’ll see his album is on there. When Hobbs’ Angel of Death reformed in the 2000s, they went and played numerous festivals over in Europe including Wacken Open Air. I can imagine those shows would have gone off.

I heard Hobbs’ Angel of Death’s frontman Peter Hobbs recently passed away; how deeply was his passing felt?
Peter Hobbs’ passing was felt by a lot of people, especially the metalheads in Melbourne where he was originally from. Everyone was talking about it for a while. We had tried to get Pete on our web series but his health was not the greatest when we asked him for an interview, and ultimately it didn’t happen. About a month after Pete’s passing a tribute show was put together in Melbourne in his honour with some of his mates covering songs from his back catalogues of Tyrus and Angel of Death.

How much material has been released by Idle Ruin? Who in the band did you work with previously?
Our guitarist Kaleb played one show with Decapitated Mum as a fill-in. We both found out we were into the same sort of music and had had similar experiences with previous bands. Chalky Hill (one of the producers of the web series) also helped us out on bass for a few shows. Our current bass player Tim is from Kaustic Attack and Wartooth, and we’d always talked about doing a project together for several years. So far, Idle Ruin has released a self-titled MCD which has just been re-released on tape by Life After Death. An extended version with extra tracks will soon be released on vinyl in the new year.

Was Idle Ruin’s debut MCD first released independently? What made you decide to re-release it and how did you hook up with Life After Death for distribution?
We released it independently just to see how it would be received. We ended up selling out of our first press within a few months, and it got some great reviews. We managed to get distribution in other areas of the world, including Japan, Europe and South America and while we were hitting up distros in the US we came across Life After Death who offered to re-release it on tape. We’d heard about Life After Death through two US bands we got in contact with, Pagan Impaler and To the Dogs, who recommended them. Eric who runs the label, really knows his extreme metal and has done a great job.

In what publications was Idle Ruin's MCD reviewed? Any quotes that stood out?
It was reviewed on a lot of the underground metal blogs, like Skull Fracturing Metal, Metal Noise etc. I think my favourite quote from one of the reviews was from Skull Fracturing Metal, who called our EP closer track “Gods of Glass”; “Immolation if they were a thrash metal band”. The three of us laughed out loud at that remark. There was another reviewer who claimed how much he enjoyed our EP that he wanted to punch his fists through a concrete wall. I hope he’s healing fine.

What labels or distros were distributing the MCD in Japan, Europe and South America?
We sent copies of the CD to Dying Victims Productions in Germany, RockStakk Records in Japan, and Suicide Records in Chile. We basically just contacted all the distros that we trusted and seemed legit, and RockStakk had previously distributed Malakyte’s album in the past. The EP sold out very quickly in Japan and Chile. They love the Aussie stuff.

How many songs were included on your MCD and what is the title?
It’s a self-titled four-song EP, though we’ve added some extra bonus tracks on the upcoming vinyl. Opening song “Whipped to Death” is about people who take advantage of your goodwill, draining you to the point there’s nothing left of you. “Spiritual Contagion” was written at the beginning of the pandemic, all about religious people who believed their god would protect them from the virus only to end up dying from that very same virus. “The Devil’s Trade” is from a piece of local folklore about a haunted building in Brisbane; workers who didn’t remove their wedding rings upon entering the building would apparently lose their lives. “Gods of Glass” is just a standard middle finger toward narcissists and other fuckheads who are nothing but hot air.

How much effort has Eric put into promoting Idle Ruin since signing to Life After Death?
Eric has helped push the tape to a lot of listeners in the US and I believe he’s also had it distributed in other parts of the world, too. Like I said before, Eric really knows his extreme metal and we couldn’t be happier with his efforts.

In light of the ongoing pandemic in Australia, how do you plan to continue Idle Ruin?
We will persevere! We recently had our East Coast shows cancelled thanks to Omicron, but we’ll focus our efforts on writing our full-length. We’re currently working on new show dates for Melbourne and Sydney.

Would you consider getting involved with other bands or are Bone Marrow and Idle Ruin enough for you? Can we expect new material in the near future?
Those two bands are enough for me! Bone Marrow are writing material currently and hopefully we’ll get into the studio soon enough. Idle Ruin should have another recording out this year, and we’re aiming to start recording again for our full-length in May.

Besides the bands we discussed, who else from Australia is currently worth niticing?
Kaleb has his own project called When Death Replaces Life who released an EP in 2019, and he’s got some new material on the way. Brendan Auld, who recorded our MCD is involved in a number of projects including Resin Tomb, Feculent (a band he’s doing with Kaleb), Descent and Snorlax. Some great Australian bands I can recommend from over the last few years include Shatter Brain, Vexation, Odius, Pustilence, In Malice’s Wake and Earth Rot.

Do you have  final acknowledgements or shout-outs you'd like to extend before singing off?
I want to give a shout-out to Lobo at OSI74, Pip at Black Blood Audio, and of course you David for all your support with my projects over the years! Thanks for the interview.

-Dave Wolff

Monday, January 17, 2022

Full Length Review: Hanibal Death Machine "A bout de soufflé" (M & O Music) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Hanibal Death Machine
Location: Montauban
Country: France
Genre: Industrial doom metal
Full Length: A bout de soufflé
Format: Digital album, compact disc
Label: M & O Music
Release date: January 3, 2019
I’m here today to introduce you to a band from France and this being their 2019 record I figured why not be the one to help shed light on this interesting nine track extravaganza!
Firstly, I have to mention that this album does take strength in the unpredictable. I didn’t feel much in the way of ‘sonic conceptuality’ meaning this record didn’t flow for me as strongly as other albums do, the nine songs provided didn’t flow into one other, more standing on its own two feet and representing its own unique flavour and style that’s solely it's own.
I picked up quite a few different styles and influences such as
-Hard Rock
-Industrial Metal
-Heavy Metal
-Alternative Metal
Which as you can probably guess by the list above that this thing would have the tendency to go in sharply different directions at any given time in the album without so much as a warning, it’s definitely a desired taste but I mean I can’t imagine there aren’t people out there who wouldn’t enjoy that kind of drastic change within a record when the mood hits.
The singing style is very raspy and deep, sung in all French so to me the lyrics aren’t understandable but you can still hear the emotion and the drive and passion within the vocal performances and within all the shifting madness that is this album it provides a nice stable balance to cancel out the chaos.
Look, if you’re up for something different and you're stuck for ideas then by all means give this a listen! It should provide any metal head with the rush they crave and the head bangers to rock out to! -Corban Skipwith

Track list:
1. L'enfer
2. En guerre
3. Pantin d'acier
4. I have a dream
5. Le cliquetis de l'argent
6. Fer rouge

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Full Length Review: Angr "I" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Angr
Country: Russia, Belarus
Genre: Black metal
Full Length: I
Format: Digital album
Label: Independent
Release date: December 18, 2021
Once again we find ourselves in the grips of ‘Black Metal’ a subgenre so dark in nature yet so lively in presence, distribution and global influence. This time around though we have a two man line up
-S. (instrumentation)
-Corpse (Vocals)
And let me tell you now, this duo is here to make a wave unlike anything I’ve heard in a while regarding this subgenre.
First of all, I can tell by the vocal performances and the certain breakdown instrumentation and brutally executed production that they have mixed various elements such as
-Death Metal into the mix to create the alcoholic stepfather of Black Metal and help unleash this violent beast into the art that is music. Firstly how much more of a badass statement can you make than to make your introduction song over thirteen minutes long! If that doesn’t tell you they are here to kick the sonic door down then I don’t know what will.
Throughout the whole listening experience I love how they are careful which elements of the various styles mentioned above that they use and which they don’t, this album isn’t just a random collection of five tracks put together at will, no this was carefully calculated and cerebrally crafted to bring out the most disturbing and emotionally gruesome sounds possible.
In some parts of a song you’ll hear that animalistic growl that your use to hearing in Grindcore, in others that trademark raw, lo fi quality sound of pure, unadulterated Norwegian Black Metal and in others you’ll hear the savage execution of what Death Metal has to offer with those sadistic guitar riffs and hellish drums to pair.
Honestly, when it comes to bands putting their own take on Black Metal (with the exception of a band like Liturgy that seems to be stirring up the extreme pot of Black Metal in quite the controversial fashion), mostly its bands infusing the subgenre with things like
-Groove Metal
I’d say it’s very rare that a band would use Black Metal as a base to go even more heavier and extreme! It’s quite the idea to pull off and especially to pull it off as creatively and technically sound as these guys have but they did it and did it near flawlessly!
I encourage every metal fan on the group to go check this record out and share this review to everyone and anyone you can! Corban Skipwith

S.: Instrumentation)
Corpse: Vocals

Track list:
1. Ymir
2. Restless god
3. Light of black flame
4. Hesychasm
5. Epiclesis Apocalypsis


Saturday, January 15, 2022

Full Length Review: Columbarium Station and Lord A "Vampyric Ritual Chamber Music" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Columbarium Station and Lord A
Location: London
Country: UK
Genre: Dark Ambient Ritual Music
Format: Digital album
Label: Independent
Release date: October 31, 2021
I think now is the perfect time to inherit our inner ‘goth’ mode and unleash the demons!
Columbarium Station and Lord A with
-Vampyric Ritual Chamber Music
What to say about this 11 track experience right here, I can tell you one thing this is the kind of album that I would flourish back in my youth.
Quick backstory, when I was young (say 15/16) I would love to seek out and discover the darkest types of music out and for me that would feature a whole range of sounds from
-Dimmu Borgir
-Cradle Of Filth
-Marilyn Manson
-Carpathian Forest
Anything that sounds ‘dark’ and ‘brutal’ is what I gravitated towards, anything to give me that overwhelming feeling of ‘hopelessness’ and ‘sorrow’.
It wasn’t for any reason other than I wanted to FEEL the music, feel the extreme emotions that saturated the records, it’s something mainstream music just didn’t have period. It wasn’t just dark music I would use to feel it would be anything that displayed an extreme sense of aesthetic or emotion that I would look for to give me that rush that only music can provide.
This album is the very essence of what I craved and still look for today in my music, it’s an unapologetically dark album with larger than life chords and strings lurking at every turn and the overwhelming sense of ‘depression’ taking centre stage in this orchestra of sadness and despair.
Woe is me who present the crimson sky, invisible shackles bind my feet to the ground and lay me worthless upon the ‘greater good’. Evil the four letter word that speaks more profound in the hearts of man than there are books of words to read and study.
Amen to the modest man who takes his pain on the back of his aching back moving step by painful step refusing to crack under the millage of sin, amen.
This album, will break you if you’re not ready to understand what makes it so unique, this isn’t just a collection of songs this is a statement, a statement made in anguish and in sin, an album that defines a hundred years of pain and suffering, unjust actions and lies, terror and deceit.
From the devilish production to the outerworldly aesthetic that is far beyond the mortal man’s comprehension this album speaks only in tragedy and death, are you the one to survive the inevitable? Corban Skipwith

Track list:
1. Avernunm
2. Sanguis Cursus
3. Sanguis Meus
4. Sanguis Noster
5. Vampyres - First Movement (Umbra)
6. Vampyres - Second Movement (Vagari)
7. Vampyres - Third Movement (Silentium)
8. Vampyres - Final Movement (Aeternum)
9. Vampyres – Praesagium
10. De Sanguine Somnia
11. Oratio Strigoi / Dracvs Devs Est

Interview with Brett Clarin of Journey Into Darkness by Daniel S. Crane and Dave Wolff

Interview with Brett Clarin of Journey Into Darkness by Daniel S. Crane and Dave Wolff

Daniel S. Crane: Let’s go over Sorrow here in heavy detail before we go into JID, what were the ways of things back then that stood out the most to you as opposed to what you are doing now? Was it a big change for you? Or do you still think or plan at some point in time to have your former bandmates end up doing music in JID with you? I am very new to your older music and I am surprised it’s been under my radar till recently through JID. Is there a reason for that, Brett? Only real tough multiple choice question I’ll ask here, haha.
Logistically and the way I create music now is very much different than how Sorrow worked. The most obvious difference is having a band and doing it solo. In Sorrow, I would write a song (music and lyrics) and then present that to the band. Mike, the drummer, would figure out what he wanted to play to it and we would rehearse. The bass player would also figure out what he wanted to play. The way I do it now, I must create all the parts myself, but there is less rehearsing as this is all studio music now. Then there is also the amount of music I have to write. In Sorrow I wrote half the songs and the other members would write half the songs (or more). So I need to write many more songs by myself. There is also a difference in the way I write music now. Back then, I would write all the music on guitar as there were no synths at all. Now, I do a lot of my writing on keys and then create guitar parts around those melodies. It keeps the music more original rather than just relying on palm mutes to sound heavy.
The short answer about having my old bandmates in JID is no. I really have no interest in putting a band back together. We are all still friends, which is great, but our musical tastes have differed over the years and I prefer not to compromise what I want to play.
My only guess as to why you didn’t know about Sorrow before is we weren’t that popular! Haha.

Dave Wolff: How long have you worked and released material with Sorrow? Did you release anything nationally or mostly regionally with the band?
The drummer, Mike, and I started a band Apparition around 1987. We soon recruited another Guitarist, Andy and a bassist and singer. We released a demo in 1988 which was more thrash. Mike and I wanted to be death metal so we asked the singer to leave (he didn’t want to sing death metal). We then released another demo “Human Fear” in 1989. Both demos circulated in the tape trading community but we played mostly local shows. Then in 1990 we released a 7” on Relapse Records that was their first death metal release! In 1991 we got signed to Roadrunner and changed our name to Sorrow. We released an EP and then a full length. In 1992 RR dropped us and we soon after broker up. So in that respect we were an international band as we were distributed in Europe and Asia. But we never toured, in fact, we never played further than about 300 miles from our home in New York.

DSC: Now Brett, times have changed after 30 years since the glory of Apparition/Sorrow… is JID a band you do that might be able pull off any dark extraterrestrial covers remolded from the old days of Sorrow?
I will never cover any Sorrow/Apparition songs. Those songs were written for Sorrow and the style we were playing at the time. I don’t think porting them over would come out well.

DSC: When did you decide to go solo with the cosmic extreme metal style you have now?
Towards the end of Sorrow, I had already been experimenting with MIDI and synths (you can hear that at the very end of Hatred and Disgust). I loved the intros and interludes on death and black metal albums and after we broke up I started writing full songs using my keyboard. At the time, dungeon synth was just getting started, but I didn’t like it much as it was too minimal. So I started adding programmed drums to the synth sounds and I really liked how it came out. This was around 1994 and I just continued to write music. I enjoyed the freedom and creativity of doing everything myself so I just continued writing and I decided to write a full album and make it a full solo project.
As a bit of history, in late 1993 I also opened a record store, None Of The Above, and then started my own label (also called None of the Above) in 1995. I decided to put on my own music as well as a few bands I was friends with at the time. The initial releases, besides my own, were industrial followed by a few hardcore bands. I sold off the store in 1997 and closed the label about one year later.

DW: In what ways does writing and composing with MIDI and synths make Journey Into Darkness different from all of your previous bands?
With synths, there is a whole new dimension to what I am able to create. I can add more complexity to the texture of the music. Not necessarily complexity to the individual parts, but having more layers of sound to work with. With my other bands, I did all my writing on guitar. With JID, I do most of the writing on the keyboards. As I mentioned, I do not want to just write palm mutes to make the music heavy. When writing on guitar, it is easy to get caught up in syncopation rather than melody. Now I focus on writing music that sounds heavy, emotional and sinister on orchestral instruments and synths. Then I work on guitar. The combination, to me, is extremely potent and then when I add drums to it, I just get a feeling of euphoria. This method of writing, I hope, gives my music some uniqueness.

DW: Are you looking for a balance between melody and syncopation when writing first with keyboards and synths and then with guitars?
By starting on keys, it's more about melody and then rhythm. To be clear, when I say syncopation, I am thinking more about palm mutes and Morse code metal. On guitar, it's easy to fall back on doing a few palm mutes and skips. Sure, it sounds heavy, but there is nothing unique to it, nothing that stands out. Every way you can syncopate a palm mute in 3/4, 4/4, 5/4 and 7/8 has been done. There are only so many combinations you can do. I like palm mutes of course! But after 35 years of hearing those riffs it gets boring. I prefer to use that technique only for accents. So the syncopation on guitar gets added last (usually)!

DW: Where was the None Of The Above record store located? Did you advertise your label a lot through the store? Why did you eventually shut down both entities?
The store was located in Centereach, which is in Long Island, New York, about one hour from New York City. Of course I did push the label in the store, but I also did a lot of advertising for the label outside the store. This was part of the reason I shut down the label. I spent way too much money advertising the bands on the label and it just became a losing venture. This was more the case for the first bunch of industrial releases. Everything sold well in the store, but not so much elsewhere. I sold the store because I was planning on moving to California and I would have continued the label there. But after the second batch of releases, which were hardcore bands, I felt like I was running in circles. I shut the label and I never ended moving. To quote myself: “Throughout your life the decisions you make, Put the rest of your life at stake, Behind your life an infinite tree, what could have been you'll never see”.

DW: Would you consider restarting the label and record outlet if you could?
Well, I guess the short answer is no since there is really nothing stopping me from doing it again if I wanted to. As a source of income these days you also have to carry other styles of music outside of metal, and I have zero interest in other styles of music haha. As a hobby it might be fun, but I prefer to spend my extra time writing music.

DSC: What has your experience been like working amongst Spirit Coffin Publishing and Grizzly Butts (lol sorry I just can’t get past the name)?
My first interaction with Josh was when he published a list for 2020 in Grizzly Butts and my second album was on it. When I was working on the new album I sent him a copy of the music and the cover artwork. He really liked both and was just starting up his publishing company, Spirit Coffin Publishing, and asked if I would like to be on his label. Josh is very meticulous, professional and very honest so I told him I would be very happy to work with him. Since he liked the music it made working with him easier, we were both very excited for the release. He did all the CD, CA and vinyl layouts and handled a lot of the PR for the first few months. It’s been an excellent experience. You can check out the Grizzly Butts website for an explanation of the name!

DW: What bands besides yours is Josh helping support through Grizzly Butts? How much traffic does that website receive as far as you know?
Grizzly Butts is his webzine, so he supports and covers hundreds of bands. But on the label, Spirit Coffin Publishing, one of my favorites is Zetar, they are a sci fi based blackened death band. He also has some tech death bands, as well as some thrash bands. I really don't know how much traffic Grizzly Butts gets, it seems to be fairly busy. As far as webzines go, his is one of the best. Very well written and organized. I'll plug some of the websites here:

DW: Who else of note has Grizzly Butts featured? How entertaining and informative were said interviews?
The features and reviews in Grizzly Butts are always very informative. He has a vast knowledge of music and is able to dig beneath the surface when he does the articles. He's featured too many bands to list here, but he gives equal weighting to the lesser known bands as he does with the well known ones.

DW: Did you have a chance to be interviewed for Grizzly Butts?
We have not done an interview yet, it's being planned for the near future. The vinyl copy of the album just came in and I think he will be doing a feature in Grizzly Butts on the whole release, from start to finish. I am sure it will go well! We have gotten to know each other in the past few months, and he always has insightful questions.

DW: What is your frequency of zine interviews these days? Are you doing more print or live interviews?
If I count your questions, it's about once a week haha. I'd say about one to two interviews per month. Definitely more print interviews, I've only done a few live ones.

DW: How do your live interviews go? Were you comfortable enough answering questions live, or do you prefer to answer in print so you can put more thought into it?
The live interviews went well. One was with Zach at Metal Devastation Radio, he's a big fan of metal and really likes my music so it was a well thought out interview with good questions. One was with Necropolis Podcast which was really interesting, we discussed music but also my love of physics and science. Another interview was just some guy asking random questions and clearly had no idea about the music. I was comfortable and able to answer the questions. Of course after listening to them there are some things I would have said differently. But live is fun, you can get a feeling for the personality of both the interviewer and the interviewee, and the interview can take different random paths. However, I do prefer written interviews, so, as you put it, I can put more thought into it.

DSC: If you had a choice of bands to gig with if you did gig with JID who would your top five bands be currently you enjoy or associate yourself to? (Please don’t say my music)
I guess I can start with listing some of the classics: Emperor, Limbonic Art, Immolation (we played together back in the early 90s!) and I’ll plug a few bands that I have become good friends with that would be fun to play a show with: Tattva (France) and Chestrcush (UK/Greece).

DSC: Can you tell the readers what equipment you use to record with and what guitars you own? Also do you have experience playing drums?
For my DAW, I use Cubase, I’ve been using Cubase for 20 years. I own only one guitar since my Sorrow days, it’s a Yamaha RGX 1220S. All my recording is done DI (direct in), my amp sims of choice are ML Sounds. I have very modest experience on the drums. When I record, it is a mixture of me playing live MIDI and programming. Although I do a lot of touch up on the drums (my playing is not too good) I spend huge amounts of time on making sure they sound natural. I do not want them sounding robotic, and I prefer to have control over them rather than have someone else interpret what beats should go over the music.

DW: Do you ever think of working with a professional drummer to continue expanding the band’s sound?
I've thought about it, it would certainly make it easier for me. But there are two things that prevent me doing it. The main reason is I prefer to write the drum parts myself. The other reason is money. Hiring out a drummer would be another expense I wouldn't recoup. If someone were willing to do it for free, there would still be the problem of style and sound. I am not convinced it would make the music sound any better and to say ‘no thanks’ after someone put in the time is not fair to them.

DW: What are the other advantages of doing JID as a solo project?
The main advantage is artistic freedom of course. But another advantage is there is no time constraints. I can write and practice anytime I want. I'm not the type of person who needs a schedule to get things done, so I do not need specific rehearsal times. This leads to another advantage, I do not need to rehearse as much! I can spend the majority of my time creating and writing new music rather than having to rehearse with a band.

DW: When anyone and everyone can start a band or solo project and stream online, how important is creative control, originality, and creativity?
And it seems everyone has! Haha. I have mixed opinions on this. It seems that the bands that are generic, cliché and play music that fits nicely into a genre have an easier time getting some attention. They have an easy 'first impression' that people can latch onto within a few seconds. And I fully understand that, you throw on a track and it smacks you in the face with the familiar and you can bob your head. But, if others are like myself, after a while you need to hear something besides the basics. It takes more than a generic riff to get you excited. This is starting to sound weird haha. So I think there is room for both, there will always be room for the basics, but there are plenty of others who look for originality, who crave something creative, and that does not have to come at the expense of heaviness. I like to think that I am doing something original and creative, but still heavy, aggressive, and powerful.

DSC: Last question on my end… what do you hope to accomplish in 2022 and what is your favorite movie from the Alien franchise or sci-fi in general? (Even Horizon / Predator / Alien 2 & 3 for me… notable mentions… The Black Hole (Disney) and Supernova (2000)
That’s a 2fer question! Haha. In 2022, I’d like to focus more on writing music than on promotions. I do not have much new material right now, so I hope to have enough written to make another album by the end of 2022. Out of the Alien franchise, I like the original! For my all time favorite sci-fi movie – Terminator 2. It’s a perfect movie (T1 was amazing too even with crappy special effects, but after T2 the rest were total garbage). A notable mention is every Star Trek movie, including the first!

DW: Have you or would you consider basing lyrics on the science fiction movies you’ve seen? How do you think you would fare in that regard?
I've thought about writing science fiction lyrics, but not based on any movie, I prefer to have my own original ideas. If I were to write a sci-fi story, it would still need to have meaning. As mentioned, the lyrics need to have meaning to me, so a story would have to have some point to it, some message or idea that I am trying to convey. It's possible you may see something on the next album!

DW: Are there any other projects you have in mind for the coming year?
I may try to write some music that would be more suited for movies, TV, games. There is the whole library and sync licensing part of music I've never explored. Some of my songwriting skills I think would be well suited for those, so I may give it a try. But JID is my priority, it has become my life.

-Daniel S. Crane
-Dave Wolff