Monday, May 30, 2022

Single Review: State Of Mind "Shattered" (Misanthropik Records Promotion) by Corban Skipwith

Band: State Of Mind
Location: Beaumont, Texas
Country: USA
Genre: Rock, metal
Single: Shattered
Format: Digital, promotional video
Taken from their upcoming second full length
Label: Misanthropik Records Promotion
Release date: October 2021
Another single review to talk about today and this time it’s the returning band ‘State Of Mind’.
Now for those who don’t know I use to operate all my reviews from a Facebook group called the same name as this and this was one of the first bands I reviewed that got some decent attention and for well deserved reasons, they are a solid band with some interesting old school sounds behind them and this single is no exception.
What you have here is a country rock style single with some heavy handed guitar patterns and thumping drum sequences that give this ‘hypnotic’ rhythm effect that makes you think you could listen to that production for hours on end.
The vocal harmonies have this real southern ‘bite’ to them which is perfectly layered with the gritty, country flavour produced in the instrumentation and across the 5 minute time span they do a great job at maintaining focus, entertainment and creativity which is a plus in my book!
Definitely give this track a shot if you’re more a fan of those ‘country’ sounds, go get you some of that badass cowboy shit! Corban Skipwith

John Ferris: Vocals
Robbie Grossheim: Rhythm/lead guitar
Cook: Lead/rhythm guitar
Robert Culbreath: Bass
Robert Arena: Drums

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Single Review: Impact "Hometown" (Savage Records) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Impact
Country: Germany
Genre: Rock, metal
Single: Hometown
Format: Digital, promotional video
Label: Savage Records
Release date: May 13, 2022
It’s time for singles review again and I must say we must be catching on to some of kind trend as of late because on my last review I said how it was refreshing to get a little break from the really heavy shit and today we continue the trend with these funky boys who without a doubt know how to make an ‘impact’.
So what we have here is a song that resembles old school ‘Classic Rock’, ‘Hard Rock’, ‘Blues’ and ‘Hair Metal’ era sound with those kick ass yet smooth guitar strings, those catchy drum patterns and that ever so caramel sweet Bass strings to just bring the whole thing home, I love it. I love the vibe this song gives off as I said it’s very reminiscent of the ‘Classic’ era of Rock with a slight modern day feel which is really bringing the best of both worlds together!
Speaking of impressive the singer Joe Hanson is an absolute beast with his craft. I can feel every note, every vocal cord, every octave he uses I can feel it in my bones! His melody is comparable to the boys back in the day such as
-David Lee Roth
-Ian Gillian
-Bret Michaels and more!
So considering this, it’s no wonder why this track is so smooth, heartfelt and yet bitchin at the same time. Faithful nod to the golden era and a catchy, groovy track all same.
Do yourselves a favor and go check out this song! It has everything you could ever want from a Rock song! Corban Skipwith

Joe Hanson: Lead vocals
Morris Ramon: Lead guitar, vocals
Danny: Rhythm guitar
Dan Ringer: Bass guitar
Ian Hendrik: Drums, vocals, keys

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Full Length Review: Dust Mice "Earth III" (WormHoleDeath Records) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Dust Mice
Location: Seattle, Washington
Country: USA
Genre: Spacey atmospheric garage rock
Full Length: Earth III
Format: Digital
Label: WormHoleDeath Records
Release date: April 16, 2021
You know, every now and then you need that funky, groovy album to help break the cycle of nonstop ‘heavy’ albums that I get asked to review. Don’t get me wrong I love reviewing those heavier projects as I do love that style of music but again it’s not too often I get such a laidback record like this in my lap so I’m going to enjoy myself with it!
This is the 2021 release by the band who are showcasing eight new tracks for the world of rock in all its forms to enjoy! I love everything about this album and I can honestly say that because of just how ‘fun’ of a record it is, most of the time I’ll be describing a record as ‘brutal’ or ‘dark’ but here it’s just some good old fashion ‘fun’ and that alone made me excited to talk about it!
As far as the instrumentation side of things goes there’s plenty of stylistic choices such as
-Garage Rock
-Psychedelic Rock
-Prog Rock
-Post Punk and more!
When I first listened to this album the one thought that entered my head was ‘Led Zeppelin on Acid’ but then I thought that makes no sense (because chances are they were on that and more already haha) I guess it sounds like a more trippy, stoner version of Zeppelin with that subtle ‘Punk’ flare attached, either way what I’m trying to say is it sounds dope as fuck and it just makes you want to smoke some weed and fly to a whole new sonic universe with this album, it’s so colorful and bright and engaging and powerful I mean it’s literally a work of art cramped into 8 solid tracks.
Every band member does a fantastic job in creating this ‘sci-fi’ spacy world, they all pull their weight and it shows. There’s never a boring moment to be found on this album, every track has it’s own definition of ‘fun’ and ‘exciting’ its own special use of creativity and ambience, technicality and charm sown into every fiber of this thing, seriously just unreal.
Please, do yourself a favor (High or otherwise) but preferably high go check out this unique specimen of an album and see what all the fuss is about! –Corban Skipwith

Patrick Seick: Lead vocals, synth, percussion
Robbie Houston: guitar, acoustic guitar, backup vocals
Nate Henry: Saxophone, backing vocals
Lewis Hunt: Bass, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Zane Graham: Drums, backup vocals

Track list:
1. Choom Wagon
2. Eye Make You Eye
3. Hepatitis X
4. Solitude
5. Sky King
6. Crisis on Infinite Earths
7. Desert Bus
8. Mountain Wizards

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Interview with Daniel Henderson of Newphasemusic by Dave Wolff

Interview with Daniel Henderson of Newphasemusic by Dave Wolff

Before starting your solo project Newphasemusic, you released several albums as part of the neo psychedelic darkwave/dreampop project Trance To The Sun. What is the musical difference between the two bands? Were you looking for a different direction when you started writing for Newphasemusic?
Funny enough, Newphasemusic preceded that and all of the other Portland bands I've been a part of. I was in a band in Ithaca, New York called Mr. Downstairs, and it was hardcore metal. The earliest pieces of music for Newphasemusic were a few rejected ideas for that. I cut my teeth writing parts then, and it was difficult for me. When I moved to Oregon it was to get an MBA, and playing went on the back burner. I didn't even bring drums with me. But I did bring our band's studio gear. So I started writing songs using midi emulators and plug-ins--trying to capture the intensity of my old band anyway that I could. I tried to break the sounds, mess them up. The very first song I wrote at that time, explicitly for Newphasemusic, was “Starter”. No words, just the drums, the bassline, and the production ideas. None of this was remotely goth...
Where I grew up there weren't many musicians to play with, so I just drummed along with my favorite bands. One of them was The Cure, which I learned a lot from--not the least of which was how to play multiple overlaid drum parts at once, like “The Walk”. I decided that it would be a good way to differentiate myself, and it really helped. Fifteen years later in my third year in Oregon, I saw posts about a Cure Tribute band called theXplodingboys performing shows in Portland--my dream band! So I reached out, and the co-founder and I started talking. I told him I could play La Ment and he let me audition. I got it, and my first show was Convergence 13. So in five years I hopped genres from a fairly recognized east coast metalcore drummer to a west coast goth drummer that nobody knew.
Trance to the Sun played their 2007 reunion at Convergence--right after we did! It turns out that Ashkelon had moved from Santa Barbara to Portland a few years earlier, and was even part of the Cure Tribute for a short time. He saw me play at that show. In 2009, Ashkelon rejoined theXplodingboys, and we started performing together--I heard a bit of Trance to the Sun during this time, Spiders, Aether and Rain and The Blue Obscurities. He was working with Soriah, and they had just released their 2009 album Atlan. When it was time to tour their second album Eztica, he and Soriah recruited me to play live drums on the 2011 and 2012 Soriah tours down the west coast. That was a dream come true too! I had been on the wrong coast. In 2013, Ashkelon and Ingrid reformed Trance to the Sun to release another album. That's when I came in. Ashkelon had always wanted a live drummer, and he always wrote parts as if he did, but for almost all of their original 1990-2002 run they didn't have one. None of this was expected in my “musical semi-retirement”. Newphasemusic went on the back burner for quite a while, but I was learning so much about songwriting, production and performance from multiple perspectives while also honing my drumming craft. I also did a lot of mastering of live shows for CD and video releases--most of the tXb and Trance live footage was mastered by me.
In late 2019 I found myself with no live projects. I had begun writing for Newphasemusic again around 2016, found a bandmate and played the first two Newphasemusic live performances in 2018, and was looking into building a new line-up and securing more shows in early 2020 when Covid hit. Instead, I finished and released The Precedents of the United States of America EP in 2020, recorded “Go” by The Indigo Girls with Jana Cushman of Darkswoon in time for the 2020 election, then released Precedents Remixed, a remix album of the Precedents songs. In late 2021 a few covers and remix/mastering opportunities came my way and I joined Luscious Apparatus in late 2021. But I was also finishing “Starter”. Basically, the difference between Trance to the Sun--and all the other west coast bands theXplodingboys, Magnon (with former theXplodingboys members Raven Meyers and Edgar Paras), Soriah, Devoured By Flowers and now Luscious Apparatus--from Newphasemusic is that the others were all someone else's vision that I had helped realize. Newphasemusic is 100% me with occasional guests to help me realize my own vision. It took many years to figure out what that vision was, and still more to figure out what a live show would be like. But now I am utilizing everything I've learned along the way to jump genres once more and make this happen.

Why do you think it took you so long to find your own direction, considering how many bands you've worked with over the years? Were any of those bands helpful in developing your diversity and songwriter abilities?
Early on I figured out what Newphasemusic wrote. There was a visceral heaviness centered on drums, with vocals here and there. It was borne out of aggressive music because I loved playing aggressive music—but it was industrial because that was easy for me to create it and to make it sound the way that I wanted. I utilized a lot of musical dissonance, and I was fascinated with including major-scale parts which gave the impression of being off the rails in the song but which sound like a happy tune to hum to oneself when taken out of context. The end of Helmet's song “Milquetoast” is one example. After four minutes of bludgeoning guitars, the outro is a simple repeated root-to-major 3rd guitar riff that sounds completely demented. These have remained core principles of Newphasemusic songs.
My Mr. Downstairs bandmates were absolutely vital in giving me initial songwriting feedback. They helped me discern which parts conveyed something and which ones simply meandered, and what my early writing patterns were so I could work on diversifying them. The earliest parts were written for the band I was in—guitar, bass, drums, vocals. Eventually I learned how to write parts for synths instead of guitars, how to write a song around a lyrical idea, and then how to make my own parts convey tension, resolve, humor and surprise. It was like developing a language. Working with the Oregon bands taught me a lot about song crafting and arrangement, and helped me further refine what connected with listeners and what didn't. I learned not to overthink parts, to let ideas flow. From Trance to the Sun in particular, I gained mastery of orchestral levels of finesse and minimalism, and how to invent new song ideas. As I gained confidence, it just became easier to write and arrange parts of my own. But there were other roadblocks.
Vocals were a challenge. The very first songs I completed also didn't have vocals. I tried some vocals here and there and some of it worked, but there were a lot of gaps. It wasn't until the Precedents EP was written that I really worked on my vocal style, focusing on what made me and my voice unique—low range, dry/sarcastic delivery at times, interesting word choices and rhythmic delivery. And then sometimes I just needed to belt out some lines, because like my drumming, I am also passionate and explosive when needed. Being in bands with such accomplished singers actually hurt, as I kept feeling like I was out of my depth. Eventually I just realized that I simply wasn't trying to do what they did. There are a few songs on The Dark Side of the Earth that need someone else's vocals—and now I see it as an opportunity instead of a limitation.
The live performance was also a hang-up. I write for the stage, so I need to envision what that looks like. Not knowing what the line-up was going to be clouded how the songs should be constructed. But after a while I drew up some ground rules—real drums with electronic rhythm elements on top, a bass part played on guitar or synth, some sort of synths or guitars, and vocals. That was enough to write for. I am still working on a new line-up. I think two additional members could work, as long as they each do electronics and vocals as well as instruments. Apply today!

In particular, Trance to the Sun released a lot of material in 2010 and from what I've heard, each of them had its own distinctive sound. Do you feel that working without any set of rules is a unique experience for you and the others working on that project? Has this freedom always been available to you?
That would be the “All the Covers” release, cover songs that were released on compilations or kept in the vault from throughout Trance to the Sun’s career, and The Blue Obscurities in 2011–rarities and unreleased or re-imagined tracks from the Ingrid Blue era of the band. Those collections are as varied as the discography. Each album was unique, and certain consecutive albums–usually with a change in vocalist–were so different that it’s hard to recognize that they were the same band. But that variety was part of the appeal of joining. I mainly played the Ingrid Blue-era songs since I did not join until 2013. When Ashkelon and Ingrid began to write Via Subterranea, they wrote knowing what I could bring to the band, so they worked in some bombastic songs and drum parts. I don’t believe “Loch Ness Square” would have turned out the way it did, or at all, without my involvement. And the energy I brought to the live line-up led us to become more “rock-and-roll” than previous live iterations. Trance to the Sun had a few hard and fast musical theory rules, otherwise whatever they feel like goes. I did contribute some flourishes–I drafted the piano part in “Purple Mushroom House” and part of a synth line in the opening of “When Smoke Blows Across”–but what I could offer for musical parts largely wasn’t suitable for Trance to the Sun. And that’s fine. I didn’t join to change Trance to the Sun, I joined to more fully realize its vision while adding a new chapter to it.

How was it to work with Ingrid Blue and combine your skills as musicians while you both were members of Trance to the Sun?
I thought it was a lot of fun. I don't think she knew what to make of me at first. I met her in Santa Barbara on the 2012 Soruah tour. We didn't meet in person again until late 2013 when the three of us took a press photo. When we practiced before the tour she saw what I was about, and shortly after that she gave me the nickname 'Spider Monkey' that I think is great. We didn't see each other much but her partner Terry was the tour bassist, and they and my wife KD and I bonded with them as both parents and friends. We communicate from time to time but I haven't seen her since pre-pandemic when we stopped traveling. She actually made the artwork for The Dark Side of the Earth cover.

After working with so many musicians, was starting Newphasemusic liberating for you? Was naming your solo project symbolizing a new phase in your musical evolution?
The name did come from a goal of personal advancement, but it also has a nice dystopian, robotic feel to it. At first, Newphasemusic was about developing my own musical ideas—I wanted to write parts as well as arrange them. I was anything but confident about it. But, I did dive deep into myself and pulled out some things that I never fished for before, and it was very liberating to see what I had in there. It was even more liberating to learn how to write songs around those ideas, and then to share it and find that people were receptive to it.

Describe the visions you realized during your deep dives, and how close your compositions come to capturing them?
There were two experiments that helped me find the direction that I went. The first was to take a song that I had written and was quite happy with, and I “industrialized” it–I re-produced it into as heavy industrial a track as I could manage. And I really liked that, so I made a mental note about trying an industrial format. The second experiment was free form. I constructed a completely unstructured series of notes–no defined time signature–and looped them. I listened to it for a bit, and added a few additional random sounds to it–percussive, but also pitched (one main benefit of MIDI being that any sound can be made into a music scale). It was an ambient idea. I listened to it over a few days, figuring out what I was hearing and what I liked about it. Then I kind of quantized it to groove in a 4/4 pattern, correcting some notes to bring it into some semblance of a key with a defined scale, and made it an ambient piano part. And then I wrote a song around that chord progression–guitars, bass, drums and. I worked very hard on it to get all of it as profound as the main chord progression. I am happy to say that final versions of both experiments will be appearing on The Dark Side of the Earth. I still write by listening to initial ideas over and over until the next piece comes to me.

Are your arrangements for Newphasemusic designed to be a mystery to your listeners or can they figure things out more easily?
I don’t believe there is much to the arrangements as much as song structure goes–verse/chorus/breakdown and so on. As for the parts, there apparently isn’t much that is easy to figure out. I don’t go out of my way to make my songs mysterious, but I do try to make them unique. If anything, I sweep back through them and simplify them as much as I can. Prog taught me that if you do something complex, you need to give the listener something else to hold on to while they take it in. Give them a solid downbeat, give them enough repetition to pick up the groove, keep the other parts simple, whatever fits the song. In “Starter”, the bass/kick drum parts are complicated, and the bridge drums when the other parts drop out. This keeps the songs flexible enough for some complexity without the listener getting lost in a labyrinth. I hope.

The single release of “Starter” includes three different mixes, each with a different theme and atmosphere. How did these versions come to be and what inspired them?
“The Geodome Mix” is the version of the song, barring any final adjustments for the album. There is a lot of remixing going on in the electronic music world these days, where you provide someone else your individual vocal, bass, drums, etc. studio tracks and they do their own thing with them on your behalf. Remixes are a great way to collaborate with others, to learn something from them, to expand the reaches of your music and support each other. I also miss working with a band, and collaborating with people on remixes provides camaraderie that helps fill that gap. On top of all that, I really enjoy hearing how other artists re-interpret my strange songs. For such a rhythmically dense song like “Starter”, I thought it would be fun to ask other drummer/producers for remixes, so I asked Dan Milligan from The Joy Thieves and Rona Rougeheart from SINE to contribute. Then Colin C of Slighter/The Cell Studios, who has supplied me a remix in the past, mastered the tracks to perfection. They all did amazing work and I am very grateful!

Have you previously collaborated with Dan Milligan and Rona Rougeheart or is this your first time? Has Colin C collaborated with you before?
First time with Dan and Rona. Colin did a Division By Zero remix for me for the Precedents Remixed release, and we had talked then about mastering because he can master his own contributions if asked. I met them all through the Sounds and Shadows Facebook group, which has been wonderful for me.

Will finding additional members of Newphasemusic depend on how they expand on your approach to writing and composing songs?
Yes. But first and foremost, I hope to find people who can replicate the parts from the tracks that I’ve come up with so far. There will be some flexibility in reproducing them, but I’ve been waiting an awfully long time to play many of them live as close to the way they are as we can manage. But however that goes, I think that will help the new members understand the way I compose and what the project is “about”. And then after “The Dark Side of the Earth” is released, I would like to do a collaborative album next where others are more actively involved in composing the tracks. So far, I have given collaborators structured parts and an arrangement to add their parts to, and then I iteratively re-arrange and produce all of the parts based on how their contributions updated vision of the track, moving the target. And I have enjoyed where they went, and acknowledged what each collaborator brought, so I would like to do co-writing and explore that. And this would be when the new band members can really help make this project theirs as well.

What was the process of incorporating your collaborators' contributions to Newphasemusic? How would you build on this process?
I leave placeholders for vocals, and for some guitar parts, and re-arrange the song based on what I get back. For future recordings I think I would pick someone first, and then we would work out how to write it together–who wants to write what, who wants to contribute the first part, and so on. For a vocalist collaboration, I’d like to try having them give me a lyrical idea that I could write a song around. Maybe with additional members this will go on the back burner, but either way I am open to writing with additional contributors.

Is there a vocalist or musician you are considering collaborating with, or would like to if circumstances permitted?
There are a few. Some have been asked, others still need to be. Soriah will be one of them, I am happy to say. Brian Bessire, the vocalist from Mr. Downstairs, is another.

Which bands has Soriah and Brian Bessire (besides Mr. Downstairs) worked with? What do you suspect would come of working with them?
Soriah is a globally known award-winning Tuvan throat singer; that is his main thing. He just opened for Bauhaus on three dates, in fact. But Enrique and I have been friends for over 10 years. He was also in the Cure Tribute theXplodingboys in 2010 as the bassist. A while back he was in a band called Sumerland with Dorian Campbell that is very good. Brian and I are very close and he has a very diverse range that involves soulful pop. He hasn't done much musically since. I chose both because of what they would bring to my music. Brian is singing a song I wrote about working long hours to commute and trying to hold things together. Both he and I relocated and went back to school to start new careers after Mr. Downstairs, so it fit well. And Enrique is helping me with a song so big that it gets into his more mystical, otherworldly realm… and so he is what that song needs.

How much more work is needed before "The Dark Side of the Earth" is completed? Which other songs are taking Newphasemusic in new directions?
Several vocal parts need to be added including my own, and some guitars/bass are still needed. That's about it. This release is going to be a bit more organic, I guess is the word. There are a couple of full band-style tracks, as opposed to the more electronic cuts on “The Precedents of the United States of America”. There are also a couple of tracks with symphonic elements. I love pairing orchestral and electronic, I think they go together really nicely. I enjoy layering parts, so orchestral composition is really fun. Lastly, there will be as close to a pop single as I will likely ever get. So there is a lot more variety. I am thrilled with it, and I hope everyone will find something to enjoy.

How much of an impact do you think your music and collaborations have had on your local music scene and underground music in general? What kind of an impact do you want to have in the years to come?
For Newphasemusic, you would have to ask everyone else in it. I have had a sizeable impact in the live Central New York metal scene, and in the Portland and West Coast Goth and Darkwave scene through my drumming contributions, and I hope to one day match that. I would like to be known as someone who makes unique and interesting music and who puts on a live show that leaves you blown away, wondering what you just saw.

-Dave Wolff

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
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

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

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

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

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

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: "Feast" by Alison Stone

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.

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

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...
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

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
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.

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

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

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