Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Interview with Corix Baluca of Toxemia by Dave Wolff

Interview with Corix Baluca of Toxemia by Dave Wolff

Toxemia recently re-released their “Invocation of Misanthropy” EP, which was originally released in 2018. There were 66 copies released on pro cassette tape by the Chinese label Thanatology Production. What was the process of hooking up with them for the re-release and why was the amount of copies limited? Was this due to financial considerations or to any other reason? Will you be releasing more material with that label in the future or is this your only release with them?
Our drummer Ken hooked up with Thanatology Production. It was a difficult process since our communication was very limited due to China not having Facebook Messenger. I have no idea how they managed to connect with us - maybe they used a VPN or something. The label only released a limited number of copies, even to most of the bands in their roster. It could have been a financial consideration, but this process was actually cool for us. It gave our release a cult-like appeal that only true die-hard fans could appreciate. This is our first release with Thanatology Production, and we hope to collaborate with them again in the future.

What was the about of copies printed for "Invocation of Misanthropy"'s 2018 release? Nowadays, when social media makes bands more accessible to listeners and obscure bands from the 90s are given wider distribution, how often do you see unsigned bands going cult? Is that mystique still appealing to people today?
The 2018 release was also limited to 100 copies, potentially increasing its appeal to collectors of the band. As for the second part of your question, the mystique and appeal of unsigned or underground bands can still be attractive to some people, even with the rise of social media and streaming platforms, especially those who value authenticity and a DIY aesthetic in their music. Many unsigned or underground bands in the underground scene gain a cult following because they offer a sense of exclusivity and a feeling of being part of a tight-knit community of like-minded individuals who appreciate their music. These bands often reject mainstream commercial success in favor of staying true to their artistic vision and connecting with a more niche audience.

The band recently launched a YouTube channel where you uploaded your entire discography, including demos and full-length albums.
We have launched a new YouTube channel to showcase our entire musical history from 2003 to the present, in celebration of our twenty fucking years of existence. Our aim is to provide our audience with the opportunity to witness and hear the evolution and progression of our sound over the past two decades. Each video on the channel includes a detailed description to provide more context and insight.

Have all your  releases been printed and distributed on the same limited basis as "Invocation of Misanthropy" before you started your Youtube channel? Can you list the independent labels with which you have previously worked and describe how the band was treated by them?
All of our releases have been on a limited basis, with the exception of our two albums “Planetary Devastation” and “Ancient Demon”, which were released under The 3rd Inferno in the US and printed 300 copies on CD. Infernal Hail to Roy Sierra, the bastard behind The 3rd Inferno.
Our band has had the privilege of working with several independent labels and productions throughout our twenty fucking years of existence. These include Jobless Production (PH), Mort Humain Production (PH), Mandarangan Records (US), Undergrind Production (US), Human Discount Records (Italy), No Tomorrow Records (Italy), Metal Porn Production (Malaysia), Anugal Records (PH), Palakol Records (PH), Threshold Records (PH), and The 3rd Inferno (US). Each label has treated us with great respect and support, except this label from Thailand called Hellhouse666 Production is a fuckin’ ripoff.

Can you share your experiences of being ripped off by Hellhouse666 Production? Is there a history of dishonesty on their part in dealing with bands?
Our release with that label was a split tape with Enmachined from Bangladesh. Our agreement with the label was that they would send us fifteen copies as our royalties. However, it has been two years since the release date, and we still haven't received anything. After both camps complained, the label finally sent us seven copies of inlays without the tape. What can we do about that? Fuckin’ rip-off. We thought we had a friendship, but the label turned out to be a pussy.

Does exposing dishonest labels contribute to the strengthening of underground networks as a whole? Have you encountered other ripoffs or is this the only instance you have encountered?
Exposing dishonest labels, bands, zines, distros, and individuals is essential to strengthening underground networks as a whole. While I have encountered other instances of rip-offs before, the network was able to prevent them by being alerted to the issue.

Explain how you and Roy Sierra hooked up for the 3rd Inferno release of “Planetary Devastation” and “Ancient Demon”. Had he gotten wind of the band from any of their older releases or did you take the initiative of contacting him? What made him want to sign the band?
I have been in contact with Roy since 2001 when he was staying in the Philippines and trading stuff with my zine No Bullshit Zine. He's a good friend of mine and my drinking buddy every time he came home from abroad. In 2008, I lost contact with him when he left the country and moved to the US in Texas. Then, out of nowhere in 2011, he contacted me via email saying he just bought our EP, “Cavite's Beast”, released under Mandarangan Records in the US and said he liked it, hehe! To my surprise, he was already running The 3rd Inferno label with two bands in his roster: Usul, a Filipino expat in Saudi Arabia, and Rabies, also from the Philippines. That's how we started discussing our full-length release, which we already had, the “Planetary Devastation” album. It was originally released in cassette tape format by Metal Porn Production in Malaysia, but Roy agreed right away to release it in CD format under his label. Then, we followed up with another recording, “Ancient Demon”, our second album. That's the story behind it.

So Roy has been consistent in helping to support the band and keeping you up to date on the label's activities?
Roy has been consistently supportive of the band and keeping us informed of the label's activities. However, it seems that he has put the label on hiatus now since he has recently moved to Canada.

Why do you think bands choose to remain in the grassroots as opposed to reaching for mainstream success? How important is exclusivity and tight-knit audiences to Toxemia?
Many bands choose to remain in the grassroots because they value artistic freedom and creative control. The mainstream is the imitation or a rip-off of the real fuckin’ scene which is the underground, and when a band achieves mainstream success, they may face pressure from record labels, producers, and fans to conform to a certain sound or image. Staying at the grassroots allows a band to maintain their artistic vision and avoid compromising their music.
For Toxemia specifically, exclusivity and a tight-knit audience are important because our music may appeal to a niche audience. Additionally, staying at the grassroots allows us to maintain our unique sound and avoid diluting our music for a mainstream audience.

With all the labels you mentioned that support the band, does this help increase its popularity without requiring you to change or compromise? What role does social media play in the process of gaining more listeners?
Most of our labels are small and DIY labels, of course, it helps increase of our promotion but not popularity, we don’t even care about that! 20-30 record sale is equivalent to 666 record sales for us already because at least we all know that there are some True Underground Metal maniacs who know us and listen to us, and supported us. On the other hand, social media plays a significant role in the process of gaining more listeners.

Have finances ever gotten in the way of maintaining a tight-knit audience, or does the band manage to break even in that department?
Financial difficulties have sometimes gotten in our way since all of us are family men, and we prioritize our families first. The band is just second in priority.

Is it easy or difficult to balance having family come first with maintaining the band's career?
It is easy to balance because we prioritize our family first and foremost, and we do not view our band as a career. Rather, it is a passion and a hobby that we pursue in our spare time. All of us have day jobs to support ourselves and our families, so we do not rely on the band for income, underground music is actually meant to be free!

How many of your local audiences come to support the band? Aside from the pandemic, do audience turnouts give you a steady performing streak?
We don't pay much attention to the number of attendees at our shows. Even a small crowd of four or five people is significant to us and feels like a massive audience of 666 maniacs banging! Our passion for music and performing keeps us going, and we don't rely on audience turnout to maintain our momentum, apart from the impact of the pandemic on live shows.

Are you of the opinion that bands that have been around for a long time can progress and mature without completely changing or abandoning the heavier aspects of their music?
Yes, that’s why being independent matters. Bands can continue to progress and mature without losing their original identity and integrity.

What is the length of time you have been publishing No Bullshit Zine? What is the status of this fanzine today?
No Bullshit Zine has been publishing for twenty years now, starting with its first issue on the same date as the release of Toxemia's first demo. To date, there have been twelve issues released, and we are currently working on the 13th issue as part of our celebration of twenty years in existence.

In the two decades since you started publishing No Bullshit Zine, who have you interviewed, including bands, zine editors, labels and distributors? What were some of the most informative articles you’ve gotten?
There are lots of them to mention. The zine focuses more on the local underground scene, but I have also featured foreign bands, zines, and other individuals. I would like to mention some of the foreign individuals and bands that I am in contact with and have featured. Since there are tons on the local side, I remember Keith of Eternal Darkness Creation, Patrick of Painful Reality Zine, Inhumate, Carnal Redemption, Creative Waste, Aaarghhh, Funerus, Rotten Cold, Putrefied Genitalia, Gab of Nihilistic Holocaust, Watch Me Burn, Bloody Sign, Opus Dead, Damnation Army, Nat of Slava Fanzine, and many more.

Has the zine improved quality-wise since the first issue came out? Upon release, how many copies of the twelfth issue were printed, and what format was it printed in?
It has improved a lot over the years. The first issue was very crappy and DIY, but it was still a proud underground product that I stand by. Since the first issue, the format has remained consistent and printed in a full-size photocopy format. For each issue, I print around 50 copies, sometimes up to 100 if the budget allows. My zine is ANTI-COPYRIGHT, so everyone is free to reprint, trade, keep it for their own collection or share it with others as long as it's not for commercial purposes.

Why did you decide not to place a copyright on No Bullshit Zine in order to allow readers to trade it or print additional copies? Did you provide free copies of the originals or did you charge a fee to obtain a copy?
No Bullshit Zine is anti-copyright because it reflects my philosophical or political belief that information should be freely accessible to all, and that copyright laws restrict the dissemination of knowledge and ideas. I am a proponent of the creative commons movement, which has been actively practiced in the punk scene since the 1970s or 80s. By allowing others to reprint and share my underground information for free, it will spread like a plague.
The early issues of No Bullshit Zine were actually free and available for trade, but as the cost of photocopying businesses increased, I began charging 50 pesos, or the equivalent to $1, just to cover the photocopy expenses. For those who are too fuckin’ lazy to reprint it themselves, they can buy or trade it instead. Additionally, as technology progressed, it became easier to send PDF files of the issue for free. If you have a printer at home, just ask me and I will send you the PDF file to reprint it in the comfort of your home, for free!

Does No Bullshit Zine have an artist or artists designing the front cover, or does it feature your own artwork? What is the current staff of the zine?
I don't have a specific artist or artists designing the front cover. Instead, I ask for trades with artists, and sometimes they allow their work to be traded for something valuable to them. As for the staff of the zine, I am the only one running it. I may have referred to 'we' in my previous answer because I have friends who have contributed to the zine, such as Patrick Schroeder from Painful Reality Zine (now Torment Webzine), who is an old-time friend and contributor based in the US, as well as Willie Desamero from Pathogen, Ron Sacueza (Noisecore Zine), Brian Castillo (Gangrene), Ken Sanglay (Toxemia), Aldwin Yap (Noise Reefer), MG Diestro (Ataul) who are also old-time contributors to the zine.

Do you have experience distributing the zine at local shows or metal festivals?
Yes, always. Local shows and metal festivals are some of the main places where I distribute the zine. I bring copies with me to every show I attend and am always willing to trade them for the band's demo or even just a beer or other alcoholic drinks.

Are you still in touch with the bands and zine editors you interviewed, if for any other reason than to keep up with their current activities?
Yes, I am still in contact with some of them, such as Patrick of Winter Torment, Canadian Assault, Soulgrinder Zine, Sangwitok Zine, etc. I lost some maybe because some of them are very underground and still don’t have a Facebook account.

How many issues of the zine are available for distribution to newer readers? Would you be able to print more copies of the older issues if the need arose?
I can re-print the previous issues if someone will ask it, but as I have said, since most people nowadays have a printer at home, I can send the pdf file, or you can even download it for free at all of the past issues were there.

Would you like to mention anyone who is currently being interviewed for issue 13? Can you tell me how many copies you expect to print and when the book is expected to be released?
For issue #13, I am currently in the drafting stage and have sent out questionnaires to a variety of bands, zines, and individuals, including Absit Omen (PH), Outlaw MC (PH), Canadian Assault Zine (US), Congregation (PH), Exituz (PH), Green Gass Effect (Finland), Winter Torment (US), and Seizure (PH). This issue is going to be an anniversary special, so I plan to print around 150 copies. As for when the zine will be released, I don't have a specific date yet, but I will announce it once it's ready.

What social media sites has the band been using most often? Which has had the greatest impact on spreading the word about Toxemia? Who has provided you with the most valuable information among the people you have interviewed?
After Myspace, we migrated to Facebook, and Facebook is the only social site we are using. All of them, they are all great.

Can readers access the zine online through an official website? What is your preferred method of reading zines, print or web? Or is it determined by the publication?
Readers can access the zine online, but only through a PDF download. I used to have a proper webzine, but unfortunately, the free domain like got fucked up, and I wasn't able to back up my uploaded files. I enjoy reading both printed and webzine formats, but print is my preferred method. It can become a collector's item after you're done reading it. I remember that the purists before used to say, 'you can't read a webzine or bring that inside the toilet.' Now, you can use your phone or tablet to do so. Time flies fast!

Would you be interested in receiving contributions from writers, zine editors, or distributors to assist with distribution?
Hell yeah! Contributions are always welcome, write me at or For more infos about my band Toxemia, email us at

-Dave Wolff

Split Review: Bodily Stew/Putrescine Inhalation "Cranial Decimation" (Gore Bubble Productions) by Devin J. Meaney

Location: Lake Elsinore, California
Country: USA
Genre: Goregrind
Band: Putrescine Inhalation
Location: California
Country: USA
Genre: Goregrind
Split: Cranial Decimation
Format: Digital
Release date: April 12, 2023
Hailing from the goregrind underground I present to you “Cranial Decimation” the 2023 split between Bodily Stew and Putrescine Inhalation! Two acts of grotesque gory fun come together to make for a listen that is both pleasurable and invigorating!
When it comes to Bodily Stew this is pure gore of the one man variety. With deep pitched gutturals alongside downtuned guitars and a pinging trash can snare I am reminded of one man acts like Autophagia!
When listening to Putrescine Inhalation (a two man act) the gore is equal to Bodily Stew but it is leaning more towards groove. I am reminded of bands like Plasma and Satan’s Revenge on Mankind! Both projects are top notch and I’d happily listen to anything from either when it becomes available to me. I can’t pick a favorite as both styles are highly enjoyable—so I will just close by saying fans of the gore should give this split a listen! -Devin J. Meaney

[Bodily Stew]
Eddie: Vocals, all instruments

[Putrescine Inhalation]
Gorey: Guitar, bass, vocals
dieocles: Drums, mixing and mastering

Track list:
[Bodily Stew]
1. Hypofibrinogenemia
2. Thrombocytopenia
3. Erysipelas
4. Psuedohermaphoditism
[Putrescine Inhalation]
1. The Wish Granter
2. Skulldozer
3. The Slaughter Of Man!
4. Cranial Decimation

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

EP Review Pyra "Pyra" (Immortal Frost Productions) by Brynn Kali StarDew

Band: Pyra
Country: Italy
Genre: Black/death metal
EP: Pyra
Format: Digital, jewel case CD, vinyl
Label: Immortal Frost Productions
Release date: September 30, 2022
“In a Thousand Different Voices”: This track really didn't strike me as that impressive. Definitely has a DOOM metal sound... but what is different about that? The drumming sounded good and the sigil on the cover is pretty cool too! This track makes me wish I could play Hedon Bloodrite on Steam so bad!!!
The intro to track one “Omen” was kind of different actually. It definitely had the feeling of being out in the cold on a very dark night. Totally what I wanted to hear though! “Barren Earth Dug”: instantly got heavy and harsh, but I didn't mind, I love their punchy snare that hits like a techno beat since it's so fast! The ending was surprisingly very original 10/10 color me shocked!
“Abandoned Shrines of Light”: this track didn't have the pizzazz I was looking for, but still a really solid death metal track! As for “Eternal” I really liked the guitar riffs it wrapped up the album quite well. I'm extremely curious about lyrics and the meaning of the art btw! A nice ambient ending which really hit home with me at the moment. -Brynn Kali StarDew

L.: Vocals, guitars, bass
I.: Guitars
A.: Drums

Track list:
1. Omen
2. Barren Earth Dug
3. In a Thousand Different Voices
4. Abandoned Shrines of Light
5. Eternal

Monday, April 24, 2023

Full Length Review: Muert "Haeresis" (Immortal Frost Productions) by Brynn Kali StarDew

Band: Muert
Country: Spain
Genre: Death/black metal
Full length: Haeresis
Format: Digital album, jewel case CD
Label: Immortal Frost Productions
Release date: January 28, 2022
Track one of Muert’s “Haeresis”, “Metal ¡Enajenacion!”: I really have never gotten into the death metal scene, however bands like Muert honestly make me feel like I am missing out. A really solid metal track for anybody into death/black metal.
The next track “Axantemir” sounded kind of like the devil was talking to me and said “check this out Brynn!” I speak English and so it was hard to translate this song but I kept seeing cool dragons flying around volcanic eruptions spitting about when I listen to this. Another solid track.
Track three “Damaso, El Brujo”: The bit of vocal sampling at the beginning was very refreshing! I also liked the guitar riff at 1:23; very metal! Not to mention the ending! 10/10 for originality!
The feedback at 3:06 of “¡La Niña de las Peras!” sounded great. I didn't think they really needed to add it to the very beginning of the next track (“Las Brujas del Bailadero de Anaga”) though that kind of felt like overkill. I really liked the build around 1:50 though, it showcased the drums nicely and it went well with the albums aesthetic. It also has a bit of an Iron-Maiden-esque feel to it at with the guitar chugging at certain points. Stuff like this really does make me wanna break shit and smash my head through a wall, literally… but I need to finish this review.
The final track “Majanos de Chacona” was ok, but it just felt like every other track on the album; nothing really amazing. All in all I think they were great and I wouldn't mind seeing them live. I bet their Moshpits are sick. -Brynn Kali StarDew

Ebola: Vocals, guitars, bass
Guayota: Drums

Track list:
1. Metal ¡Enajenación!
2. Axantemir
3. Dámaso, el brujo
4. La maldición de Laurinaga
5. ¡La niña de las peras!
6. Las brujas del Bailadero de Anaga
7. El 4° jinete sobre la Adelantadía
8. Majanos de Chacona

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

EP Review: Noorag "fossils" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Band: Noorag
Country: Italy
Genre: Groove metal
EP: fossils
Format: Digipack CD, digital
Label: Independent
Release date: March 11, 2023
Available digitally at BandcampYoutube and Spotify
Noorag is a single-member project from Italy, described as "baritone riffs from a futuristic post-atomic civilization", coming from "a wandering studio and a bunch of random unrecommendable friends". Things become more interesting when you discover that its founding member Federico Paretta writes and arranges all its material in the style of a private jam session rather than in a professional recording studio. Throughout this EP, all seven tracks sound as though they were composed freestyle in one take and encompass all their influences with an effortless technique.
At their outset, blues-influenced rock and metal and early Seattle grunge made sudden and irrevocable changes to popular music, striking a nerve with the general public that had not yet been touched. In an apparent effort to draw on both, Paretta and Noorag hold a match to a razor blade with these instrumental pieces, proceeding to drag it over those frayed nerves, tearing them open again to leave an indelible mark.
Initially, Paretta's compositions may appear simplistic as they do not exceed three minutes in length, but as a result of the tight spaces created, his musicianship comes across as rawer and heavier than you would expect it to, which in turn expressly emphasizes its conglomeration of grooves, stoner rock, jazz, early grunge, and rhythm and blues. The more you listen to Paretta's bare-bones presentation, the more you realize how much attention he paid to detail and begin to wonder how it would sound if he had taken more time to expand on his riffing and musicianship.
As if to emphasize how much musicianship is packed into short periods of time, there’s an intricate interplay between the guitar, the bass, and the drums, also unusual for the tracks' brief duration. The presentation reminded me in some ways of Rush in the early seventies, although the communication between the instruments is stripped down and not as grandiose. Paretta could easily have added a larger-than-life approach, but he and drummer Daniele Marcia allow baser creativity to speak for itself within the apparent simplicity of their recordings.
Low-tuned strings and occasional dissonant chords add even more depth to the composition, neither of which would be traditionally associated with grunge, r&b or funk. There are also some guitar and bass lines that seem incompatible, but they fit together well when they are placed in the appropriate places. Paretta is essentially starting from scratch and going back years to discover new paths forward with his work.
This EP represents the meeting of different personalities on a rain-drenched afternoon and their discovery of how much they have in common. It is evident that Paretta has the potential to grow in more than one way, whether by incorporating more progress and interaction into limited spaces or by lengthening his compositions in order to provide more space to elaborate on his ideas. This also applies to whether or not he decides to include lyrics and vocals in future recordings. It wouldn't be a requirement, but it would contribute to the success of his project. –Dave Wolff

Federico Paretta: Guitars, bass
Daniele Marcia: Session drummer

Track list:
1. hhon
2. amanita shot
3. brachiopod
4. cochlea stone
5. ritual electric
6. acid apricot
7. digital cave (bonus demo tape)

Book Reviews: The Big Shiny Prison, Fortress Europe, Return To Fortress Europe (Ryan Bartek, Anomie Press) by Dave Wolff

The Big Shiny Prison (Anomie Press, 2016)
Fortress Europe: (The Big Shiny Prison Volume II) (Anomie Press, 2016)
Return To Fortress Europe (The Big Shiny Prison Volume III) (Anomie Press, 2023)
Written by Ryan Bartek
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads
I was inspired to begin writing about these books no sooner than I had begun reading them. For a seemingly endless period of time, I experienced whitewashed pressure to conform to the social structure that author Ryan Bartek rejects as a way of life. Such is the strength and conviction behind his “Big Shiny Prison” series that if you find yourself experiencing similar pressure to any degree, regardless of age, reading it creates a sufficient paradigm shift to break that indoctrination and view your surrounding world from other perspectives, creating an approach to journalism that hasn’t been tried before.
With the expression of Jack Kerouac, the autobiographical theme of Henry Miller and the realism of Hunter S. Thompson, Ryan Bartek eschews the American Dream for its ivory tower absurdity. Instead of taking the route of mainstream music magazines in interviewing bands and presenting the same rehashed information, he travels America and Europe like a modern day beat poet, years after this breed of humans seemed extinct. He meets known, respected figures in alternative subcultures including metal and punk underground scenes, speaking with them on a one to one basis and defying traditional journalism in his presentation of their views.
In an age of extreme yellow journalism, spin propaganda and less opportunity than ever for critical thought, when anyone expressing an opinion others find offensive essentially becomes an unperson, Bartek's writings are more necessary today than they were during the Reagan and Bush eras. His brutal realism remains a threat to middle and upper America as it exhorts readers to go beyond hack journalism and mainstream generalizations. But he’s not trying to piss people off as much as to appeal to the readers out there who are still thinking, shatter remaining lethargy and urge them to perceive with their own minds.
Bartek's interviews with musicians, artists, freaks and odd men out would take weeks to digest, especially since everyone has their own unique perspective. There is no sugarcoating or whitewashing, nor preaching about trying to change to better oneself, and his stark descriptions of the places he travels are equally raw and unromantic. This is the first written account of its kind I have encountered since Peter Kalafatis’ 2006 novel “A Rebel Life: Murder By the Rich,” which blows a hole in the illusion of the American Dream by juxtaposing the author’s “straight life” with his late brother’s experiences with drug addiction.
Each of these volumes delves deeper into the underworld of life in the United States and abroad. From metal, punk, alternative rock, and industrial scenes, he explores contemporary radical movements such as Occupy, and concludes by discussing the fabled Bohemian Grove. Despite their unvarnished accuracy in reflecting a world increasingly battle-scarred due to 9/11, the Covid pandemic, religious intolerance, book bannings, and the threat to world peace presented by Vladimir Putin, these volumes have potential to open the general public's eyes to the impact these events have on people who remain staunchly committed to freedom of expression.
The most extensive, in-depth critiques of Bartek's work would barely scratch the surface of what he attempts to accomplish. But it's intelligently written and arranged, and just reading it all in one sitting will have the effect of shredding your mind, but tearing apart your preconceptions about modern society will also give you the feeling that you have gained some knowledge that you had never imagined possible. This is where the real revolutions begin to take place. –Dave Wolff

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Article: "Take Back The Night" by Goddess Rosemary Sahjaza

Take Back The Night
Article by Goddess Rosemary Sahjaza
July 7, 2012 at 9:22pm

Perhaps you recently read about our campaign to re-install basic manners and chivalry into the community at large in our articles in the summer edition of the Sahjaza Newsletter, (June - August 2012). If not, I will tell you something of this now. It has come to our attention that basic manners are at epidemic proportions of moral decay. This is ramped not just in our close-knit community but the community at large.
As I first said in 1985 I say again now, "Chivalry is the new Macho," and please note that, this applies to both, men and women.
I hereby challenge you to do something about this disgusting and degrading behavior. I call upon you to take part in our efforts to take back the night and bring it back to the proper decorum and civility that once ruled our nightside and make it new. Return to what once held us up and apart from others and make it current and trendy. There is nothing honorable in being rude, and snotty and lacking manners, it only makes you look like a disgruntled ass and nothing more then out of control and in need of some sort of hostility counseling, or anger management, or medication. No I think that we are all better than that.
Trolling out and striking at others from behind computer screens does not make you some kind of hero nor is it interesting. In fact, it's rather akin to bottom feeder energy and seeking that should be deplored not heralded by our community (a once respected part of the sub-culture, if we're to continue to be a subculture and not some dying out thought some staged effort by those with an axe to grind).
I see that group bashing is ramped and in style heralded on by those who cheer and applaud this activity, but never are any specific individuals mentioned by name. If there is a person or group you have issue with be bold and name it do not blanket bash groups because your angry with “so and so group” or some individual name them and deal with the issue at hand.
The Sahjaza 2012 objective is to lead by example and to spread the world that respect of Elders is a good thing dayside and nightside. I hope that the concept spreads throughout our community. It would be good for the soul if our community could influence the world at large in more then fashion statement, but in the concept and actions of civility, manners and respect.
The whole world lacks for the most part the rudimentary concept of civility and is so disrespectful and seems to think that this is an okay or cool way to be or rebel. Clearly it's not. This is an underhanded concept that will eventually lead to unrest and hate crimes against those who oppose this concept or any concept that is not with this hateful movement I call the, "Jerry Springer," attitude. Heaven forbid we as a subculture revered for Victorian civility and manners begins to look like that.
Let's all turn back the clock and start to show the world what were really all about, that we hold our Elders up high -- those that are worthy have much to say that is useful and will teach us how to deal with and move though life.
We will show via example that the new macho is chivalry and practice this in our everyday lives not just in nightside or dayside, and we will talk to others about the benefits that traditions and culture bring to your life and the lives of others. This is our year to create the year of the dragon. Feed your inner dragon and carry on this message to all who will listen. If they do not hear you, perhaps they will see you and some day feel you when they are the ones in need of this in their time or turn we have always led by example and will do so now and keep our message on point. I assure you we attempt at all times to practice what we preach.
Blessings and wonderful weekend and summer to you all! Blessed are the Crones, Shaman and Elders in your midst. See what they have to impart on you of their sacred knowledge information and more.

Hail Sahjaza!

Goddess Rosemary
High Priestess and Matriarch Temple Sahjaza.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Article: "Technology: A Blessing or a Curse? The Complicity of Complexity, Planned Obsolescence, and Price Escalation" by Goddess Rosemary Sahjaza

Technology: A Blessing or a Curse?
The Complicity of Complexity, Planned Obsolescence, and Price Escalation.
Article by Goddess Rosemary Sahjaza

In today's world, technology is evolving at a rapid pace, with new and improved devices being released every few months. This technological progress can bring many benefits to users, including improved functionality, speed, and convenience. However, it can also lead to the complicity of making equipment obsolete to profit from the long-time user point of view.
One of the primary ways that technology companies achieve this is through planned obsolescence. Planned obsolescence is the practice of designing products to have a limited lifespan or to become outdated quickly, thus forcing consumers to buy new products frequently. This practice benefits companies by increasing sales and profits, but it can be frustrating and expensive for consumers.
In addition to planned obsolescence, technology companies also often engage in price escalation. As technology becomes more advanced and complex, the cost of producing it also increases. However, companies may choose to increase the prices of their products beyond what is necessary to cover these costs, thus increasing their profits at the expense of consumers.
Furthermore, many technology companies have shifted to a subscription-based model, where users pay a monthly or yearly fee to access software or services. While this can provide a steady stream of income for companies, it can also be challenging for users on fixed incomes, such as retirees or those on disability or social security. These users may not be able to afford the high monthly fees for high-end software, leaving them without access to the latest technology.
In conclusion, the complicity of making equipment obsolete to profit from long-time users, price escalation, and subscription-based models can make it challenging for consumers to keep up with the latest technology. While there are some benefits to technological progress, it's essential to recognize the potential downsides and hold companies accountable for their practices. Consumers can make informed decisions by researching products, choosing to support companies that prioritize sustainability and longevity, and advocating for policies that protect consumer rights.
While technology was originally intended to make our lives easier and more convenient, it has become increasingly complicated and difficult to use. This trend has been driven, in part, by the desire of companies to sell more products and services, and to increase their profits by making it harder for consumers to repair or upgrade their devices.
One of the ways that technology has become more complicated is through the increasing number of features and options that are available. While some users may appreciate having more choices, others may find it overwhelming and confusing. This complexity can also make it more challenging for users to troubleshoot problems or to perform basic tasks, leading to frustration and dissatisfaction. Another factor contributing to the complexity of technology is the increasing use of proprietary software and hardware. Many companies have designed their products to be difficult to repair or upgrade, or to work only with their own proprietary systems. This can make it more expensive for users to maintain or upgrade their devices, and can also make it more difficult for third-party repair services to work on them.
Finally, as you mentioned, the trend towards making equipment obsolete has also contributed to the increasing complexity of technology. Companies may design their products to become outdated quickly, or to work only with the latest software or hardware. This can force users to buy new devices more frequently, even if their current devices are still functional.
Overall, it's clear that the increasing complexity of technology is a problem that affects many users. While there are some benefits to having more features and options, it's important for companies to prioritize simplicity and ease of use, and to design products that are easy to repair and upgrade. By doing so, they can help ensure that technology remains accessible and affordable for all users.
Subscription price for paid apps and streaming services and still charging for individual titles within the subscription plan is unfair when it comes up in a search and your ready to watch and they want even more money for that particular title the price of each type of app or service adds up to a hefty price given those who need it the most are shut in those in acclimate locations who are forced to find activities inside the elderly and most on fixed incomes cable was broken by streaming now streaming threatens to become the new pocket gouging giant.
rising cost of subscriptions and the additional charges for individual titles within those subscriptions. This practice can be particularly unfair to those who are on a fixed income or live in remote locations, as it limits their access to entertainment and other media.
One of the main issues with subscription services is that they often lure customers in with a low monthly fee, but then charge additional fees for certain titles or services. This can make it difficult for customers to know how much they will actually be paying each month, and can lead to unexpected charges that are difficult to budget for.
Furthermore, the cost of subscriptions for multiple services can quickly add up, leaving many consumers struggling to keep up with the cost of entertainment. This is particularly true for those who are shut in or live in remote areas, as they may rely on entertainment to stay engaged and connected with the outside world.
While the rise of streaming services has certainly disrupted the cable industry, it's important for companies to prioritize affordability and accessibility for all consumers. This means being transparent about pricing and fees, and offering fair and reasonable prices for individual titles or services. By doing so, they can ensure that streaming services remain accessible and affordable for all consumers, regardless of their income or location.
In summary, the rising cost of subscription services and additional fees for individual titles can be a major burden for consumers, particularly those on a fixed income or in remote locations. Companies should prioritize affordability and accessibility for all consumers, to ensure that streaming services remain a viable and affordable option for all.
the importance of high-speed internet access for all Americans. In today's world, access to the internet is essential for everything from education to entertainment, and even for basic tasks like online banking or job applications.
Unfortunately, many people in rural and remote areas still do not have access to reliable high-speed internet. This can make it difficult for them to keep up with the pace of modern life and can limit their opportunities for education, employment, and social engagement.
The lack of high-speed internet access in rural and remote areas is a problem that needs to be addressed at a national level. Governments and private organizations should work together to build out the necessary infrastructure to provide high-speed internet access to everyone in the country, regardless of where they live.
In addition to the benefits of education and entertainment, high-speed internet access can also be a matter of public safety. In the event of a natural disaster or other emergency, access to the internet can be critical for receiving updates and staying informed about evacuation orders or other important information.
Overall, the need for high-speed internet access is clear, and it's important for policymakers and organizations to prioritize this issue. By doing so, they can help ensure that all Americans have access to the tools and resources they need to succeed in today's world.
AI is important to all areas of business and the arts because it has the potential to enhance and automate processes, improve decision-making, and create new opportunities for innovation and creativity. In business, AI can help companies optimize operations, reduce costs, and increase efficiency. For example, it can be used to analyze data, identify patterns, and make predictions, which can help businesses make more informed decisions. In the arts, AI can be used to create new forms of art, such as generative music and visual art, and to assist artists in their creative processes. Furthermore, AI is becoming increasingly accessible, with a growing number of tools and platforms available to businesses and artists alike. This accessibility is opening up new opportunities for innovation and creativity, as well as making AI more affordable and easier to use. As a result, AI is becoming a gateway to the future, providing the key to unlocking new possibilities and driving progress across all areas of business and the arts.
The new opportunities with AI are so astonishing and the door is wide open to new opportunities as fast as we can think of them but software must be affordable. AI is a gateway to the future but we all need a key.

Goddess Rosemary 2023

Split CD Review: Kraanium/Existential Dissapation "Polymorphic Chamber of Human Consumption" (CDN Records) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Kraanium
Country: Norway
Genre: Slam/brutal death metal
Band: Existential Dissapation
Country: Canada
Genre: Brutal death metal
Split CD: Polymorphic Chamber of Human Consumption
Format: CD, digital
Label: CDN Records
Release date: April 29, 2022
One of the CDs I recently ordered from CDN was “Polymorphic Chamber of Human Consumption”…this is a split between Kraanium and Existential Dissapation! Normally I would review both bands separately—but as both bands share a very similar sound—for once I will lump them both together.
The first thing that I need to say is that both bands are very “Dying Fetus-ish”. I am also reminded of acts like Skinless and Disgorge! Deep gutturals with slamming guitars paired with immaculate percussion and a vibe that is heavy and booming brings on an intense need to bang my head!
Each band throws up six tracks with the full release clocking in at just over 40 minutes. This was released directly by CDN and once again CDN has proven that they are an exceptional label. The production quality and professionalism of this disc is top tier—and the cover art is pretty intriguing to boot!
To make a close I will just say once again that if you are a fan of bands like DF and Skinless and Disgorge—maybe you should give this one a listen. It’s damn good eh? -Devin J. Meaney

Jack Christensen: Vocals
Mats Funderud: Guitars, backing vocals
Jason Varlamos: Guitars
Mika da Costa: Bass
Tobias Tellenbach: Drums

[Existential Dissapation]
Kyle Lam: Bass, vocals
Nicholas Luck: Guitars
Jason Burt: Guitars
Justin Sayne: Drums

Track list:
1. Intro [Kraanium]
2. Acid Burnt Genitalia [Kraanium]
3. Knee Deep In Stillborn Afterbirth [Kraanium]
4. Necrosodomized [Kraanium]
5. Diarrhea Induced Gag Reflex [Kraanium]
6. Kill the Christian (Deicide cover) [Kraanium]
7. Depraved [Existential Dissipation]
8. Sickening Voracity [Existential Dissipation]
9. Cadaveric Adoration [Existential Dissipation]
10. Decrepit Pathologies [Existential Dissipation]
11. Momentos of Dissection [Existential Dissipation]
12. Scum (Fuck the Weak) (Dying Fetus cover) [Existential Dissipation]

EP Review: Atria "New World Nightmare" (CDN Records) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Atria
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Country: Canada
Genre: Nu metal, melodic death-thrash
EP: New World Nightmare
Format: Digital
Label: CDN Records
Release date: November 16, 2018
“New World Nightmare” by Atria! This is a 4 track EP released directly from CDN Records! I copped this one recently for five bucks and overall I am pretty happy about this. New World Nightmare is a solid little collection of music clocking in at just over 20 minutes!
This is a piece away from my normal listening choices. When I listened to the first track I had to check the credits in the booklet to make sure the vocals were not done by Corey Taylor of Slipknot as the deeper gutturals are very much in the same vein as Corey’s catalogue. When the vocals switch from gutturals to “clean” I am then reminded of bands like Three Days Grace. This might seem like a bit of a stretch—but as I said above—overall this is some pretty decent music! I will also add that there is a strong atmosphere to each track and the cover gives off similar vibes!
The production is fantastic and the instruments are done efficiently and all together this disc pairs emotion with talent in an elegant way! Although this is much different from anything else I have purchased from the label—once again CDN has made it known that they are a prime contender as an underground music label!
Lastly—if you are looking for something that is “heavy” and “pretty” at the same time—give Atria some of your time. You won’t regret it! -Devin J. Meaney

Tom Emmans: Vocals
Tim Ross: Guitar
Travis McGinnis: Guitar
Brent Westmoreland: Bass
Matt McGuire: Drums

Track list:
1. New World Nightmare
2. Someone With Me
3. Less Than Equal
4. Follow You Home

Friday, April 14, 2023

Interview with Vin Varg of Lord Of Horns by Dave Wolff

Interview with Vin Varg of Lord Of Horns by Dave Wolff

What has been the response to Lord Of Horns' debut full-length album "The Forest at Dusk" since its independent release last July? You mentioned in our correspondence that a label had agreed to print and promote copies on compact disc when it was released, but they still have yet to do so.
The feedback has been very positive in general. I have attained many fans worldwide since the release. Through guerilla marketing on social media, I've gotten the album in front of a lot of people. Those who dare listen to it have reported back with high praise. Online and magazine critics have rated the album 7/10 or higher. Recently, I've been playing live much more often and this has garnered me a sizable local following. Everything I play live is from the album so they seem to like it. I recently won the first round in the Wacken Metal Battle. The second round is Friday of this week [April 3]. I'm not expecting to win, but a lot of people are coming out to support me. The only one negative mark I received was just last week from WSOU's Street Patrol where people are supposed to vote if they want to hear more of an underground artist or not. I guess not many fans of that station liked it, but they don't really play REAL metal on that station anyway, so it's not a big deal to me.
As for the label, DON"T SIGN WITH SLIPTRICK RECORDS. They have been screwing over many other bands, as well. If they delivered on their promises, the album would have been in stores back in November 2022. The CDs have yet to even be printed. I signed with them only for their PR relationships that they claimed to have. If they upheld their end of the contract my album would have reached substantially more ears than I could with the small amount of guerilla marketing I've been employing. I don't like to dwell on it too much, but when promoting a new album, it's only new for so long.

What was the level of drama you experienced with Sliptrick Records during the delay in printing your CDs? Were their reasons valid to you or were they irresponsible?
I was really wrapped up in my own things and promoting the album within my own reaches that I didn't give much attention to the delays. Every now and again I would ask for updates, but they were either met with non-responsive messages or no response at all. I threatened to terminate the contract once or twice because of their lack of transparency. But I didn't act on it until quite recently when I caught them in a lie. They sent me screenshots of graphs and charts representing my album's productivity and the money they paid to advertise it, but nothing proved that those numbers actually corresponded to my release. One chart was from Spotify which dated back to 2019, but the album wasn't released until 2022. They tried to say that they sent the wrong link and wanted me to send them more production stuff, like videos from shows and flyers. They haven't even promoted the album from what I can tell, so I'm not giving them more content. I told them to reimburse me or promote me as they detailed in the contract.

Do you and the band have any plans to seek out other labels and/or distribution companies that would be more willing to assist in promoting the album since those experiences with Sliptrick?
I've always been skeptical about labels, especially now that it's so much easier to release an album independently, I don't see the need for them. I only signed because they claimed to be able to put the album in brick and mortar stores and promote it on major metal magazines and websites. At this point, I'd rather work with a PR company that has those connections.

How much can labels not living up to their responsibilities negatively impact underground scenes both domestically and internationally?
It can drastically hurt the underground scene. Most of us aren't rich and can't afford to advertise in the bigger media channels. We spend the little money we have to help the label print the albums so they can promote it on the bigger networks. When they don't uphold their end of the contract, it's money wasted. Where we could have just hired a PR agent to get promoted, our promotional funds are substantially diminished. The lack of PR is why the underground scene is so underground and thinning with each decade.

Several interviewees have left me hanging after agreeing to do an interview, evidently deciding they were too busy to respond to repeated inquiries. Some even acted as if I were bothering them. Does this kind of thing slow things down as much as the labels do?
Your method is perfectly fine. I actually like it because sometimes interviewers send basic cookie cutter questions in one email and then I have to sit there for an hour to fill it out. It's not very personal and time consuming when it's all at once. This way fits my life, at the moment at least. I can respond to one or two questions a night and continue with my busy schedule. Overall, I'm pretty patient as long as I see growth in the areas I'm focused on, but I'm very understanding with problematic situations, so I don't expect instant results. As for the label, if they were behind a few weeks and had a legitimate reason, I wouldn't be mad all. But it's been months since when they planned to release it. I've spoken to other bands who are dealing with the label, too. They don't receive their CDs until a year after its intended release. That's unacceptable even with international shipping.

How much independent effort did you put into promoting, self-advertising, and/or doing interviews to let people know about your album? If the band wants to print CDs on a limited budget, do you know of any labels that could help?
I put in about four hours a day promoting in some fashion, or at least “working” for the project. I have conducted interviews for several zines, magazines, podcasts and radio shows. I've paid for advertising in Metalized, RockHard Italy, Scriptorium, and Bloodmoon Rising mags (maybe more), both in print and online. I've submitted my album for reviews and air play in a slew of magazines, fanzine, bloggers, podcasts, and radio shows. Almost anywhere to get people to talk about it or listen to it. Whenever I find a new outlet, I send them a message.
So fortunately, through all my connections, I have found independent labels that will actually print your CDs and cassettes for free and send you a handful for you to sell and they make money off the ones they keep. For those interested, check out Demon Plague Records and Blasphemous Creations of Hell Records for CDs and Rat Covenant and Angel of Cemetery Records for cassettes. Otherwise, there's CD Baby and other sites that you can order like 200 CDs for $300, or other amounts. I never anticipated many people wanting a physical CD or cassette in our day in age, but fans really want it, so I may look into doing something like that once I run out of the CDs I have.

What benefit has self-promotion through all those mediums brought to the band compared to that one label? Is it difficult for those labels you mentioned to print your CDs for free and keep a portion of the proceeds? If they work with a significant number of bands, I am sure they would be able to stay afloat.
The one true benefit of self-promotion is making connections with fans and other bands and event organizers. The feedback they give is usually really honest. You get a good sense of what fans want to hear when you play live, for instance, I didn't think many people would be drawn to “Ritual Hunt.” I put it on the demo and it was the most favored of the three songs and remained one of the most favored on the full album. I would have steered away from performing that song live, but because of that personal feedback, I never play a set without it.
As for the label, let's be honest, any money you give the label is going to be spent on printing the CDs. They may call it a marketing plan and will insist they print the CDs for free. But the fact is they have (or at least claim to have) connections to these media outlets that they will market to. It costs them very little to maintain those connections and because of the bulk amount of ads they run and prints they order, they get preferential pricing. They will claim to match your contribution to the partnership, but realistically they are probably spending a fraction of whatever amount you are putting in. The overall deal will have them taking 50% of the profit of all sales of the album, even from your own personal Bandcamp if you don't read the fine print and negotiate that term out. So it's very easy for them to break even on each release, if not make a sizable profit. When a label, like the one I'm dealing with, is seemingly screwing bands over and effectively stealing their money, they can continue to do this until they get a bad enough reputation from the community. But they figure there will always be new bands to exploit that know nothing of their “business model.” So it's always smooth sailing for them.

During the recording and mixing, how many resources were spent? Have you recorded at a professional studio or at your own studio like many unsigned bands have?
Everything was recorded in my dungeon. Luckily, I knew the sound I wanted, so I mixed everything, and even more luckily, my friend is an audio engineer and he mastered the album. We had to keep going back and forth with the mix because the mastering process accentuates certain frequencies while diminishing others, so we had to find the right balance. Besides buying him dinner for a week, there was no real investment I had to make to get the album recorded and promotion ready. Had I done this at a studio and worked with an engineer who wasn't a friend, this process would have probably cost thousands. I have never worked in a professional studio, and I don't think I'd want to. I like keeping the rawness of at home recording and with today's technology, there's no reason to have to spend that kind of money for an over polished sound.

Who is the friend who assisted you in mixing your album? Has he had previous experience mixing before you and he worked together? Describe your working relationship with him and the process you and he underwent, sharing suggestions while you searched for the sound that ended up on the album.
Well, to clarify, I mixed the album. I knew the exact sound I wanted. I was aiming for the atmosphere of “In the Nightside Eclipse” but the audible clarity of “Storm of the Light's Bane.” Personally, I believe I hit the nail on the head. From all the feedback I have received, the general consensus agrees.
My friend, Clinton Jones, went to audio engineering school in NYC. He is very knowledgeable in this field and keeps up to date with the new technologies that keep coming out. We've been friends for over ten years and we worked together on a number of projects. He mixed and mastered “Oktober Myst” from my Acryptylyse project. He's not really big into black metal and was completely new to the genre when he mixed it, so it didn't come out as I imagined it should. Because I knew exactly how I wanted “The Forest at Dusk”, I opted to mix it myself. But he is much more knowledgeable when it comes to mastering. So, I sat with him for a week and had him master the tracks. I would listen to each song and take notes, go back in the mix and make adjustments to be mastered again. I'd listen to the mastered tracks in different headphones and speakers. What I learned was that you could have a perfectly mixed song, but the mastering will accentuate certain frequencies. So for instance, I would have to lower the high hats, raise the snare, or cut the reverb for the toms. Eventually we got everything as close to perfect as possible considering the week of sleepless nights.
We have a very mutual relationship. I play bass for his alt rock/industrial band, Succumbed, and he helps me record short videos for Tiktok and live shows.

During the mixing of the album, which frequencies did you have to eliminate and which did you decide to keep? In your opinion, what is the difference between a sound that is too polished and one that is raw, and how did working with home equipment help you achieve this?
Something I learned through all my years of writing music is cutting the reverb for frequencies below 300 is best to keep everything from getting too muddy. I played around a lot with the graphic equalizer on each instrument and made some really weird configurations that I did not expect to make. But, it fleshed the song out and filled in a lot of areas that would normally have been empty. This way really helped make sure each instrument had their own frequency range and nothing drowned anything out.
Most finished work that comes out of a professional studio will sound almost “plastic.” Everything will have their own predestined space to be placed in, so it fits a mold and then has several layers of effects on top to make it “smooth” and “glossy” like plastic. It may sound great from an audible perspective, but from a fan's point, it sounds cookie cutter. It's not real or true. Like filters on Instagram every chick uses now to hide their blemishes.
Raw sound is rigid, like hammered iron, very gritty. I don't consider my production to be all that raw, but compared to the professional sound, I get why others call it as such. True rawness is like Armageddon, Satanic Warmaster, Darkthrone, and the “Deathcrush” album [Mayhem]. I didn't want it to be so raw that it turns people away, but I still wanted some grit to be there. The atmospheric keys could have easily subdued the intensity of the tracks, so I made sure they weren't a blanket and that everything cut through them. This helped ensure the sound remained gritty and raw, yet ambient. Although Clint has professional equipment, I opted not to take advantage of it.
However, in most cases, home studios don't have the variety and resources a pro studio would. So naturally, the lack of knowledge and resources can easily factor into how polished a home recording will become.

Give the readers an overview of the album itself. Which musical influences were incorporated into the songs and what are the lyrics about?
During the writing process, the musical influences were early Burzum, early Darkthrone, the “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” era of Mayhem, some Carpathian Forest and a little “Storm of the Light's Bane” Dissection, all with the atmosphere of Emperor's “In the Nightside Eclipse”. All my lyrical content is based on some form of horror, ranging from folklore, classical horror, pagan and satanic based horror, and Lovecraftian cosmic horror. I am a fan of horror stories and I like writing music that conveys that. I want the music to tell a part of the story the lyrics can't.

What aspects of those bands and their albums did you incorporate into your compositions? What amount of reading and research was conducted for the lyrical content?
I really like the overall atmospheric traits of “In the Nightside Eclipse,” however it's really difficult for new listeners to get into. So I wanted the album to be more clear than that. The keys create a great amount of atmosphere and dread without being overpowering. “Screams of the Oskorei” and “The Sacrifice” are prominent examples of that. I really like the single-note tremolo runs from early Burzum and Mayhem, so I wrote a few of my own, like in “Nightmare Castle” and “Nocturnal Crusade.” I have two songs heavily influenced by the classic Darkthrone style. “The Screaming Woods” may not be as obvious because I added keyboards. I like the keys in that because I made them flow and move around as if spirits were screaming as they passed you by. With "Graveless Wraiths" I intentionally didn't record keyboard parts for because I wanted to keep that raw Darkthrone like sound as an homage to their style. I even added a backing guitar chord progression that is barely audible. But with that one I added melodic runs, possibly inspired somewhat from Dissection and a bass solo inspired by Satyricon-like melodies. Songs like “Purveyour of the Black Book” and “Through the Woods” have some Carpathian Forest elements in them, such as thrashier riffs alongside keyboards. “Through the Woods” specifically gives me career-spanning Satyricon vibes from “Dark Medieval Times” to some of the black and roll type of stuff.
“The Sacrifice” is the true anomaly on the album. It's not even black metal. It's a theatrical thriller movie score with black metal vocals. It's unlike any of the aforementioned bands and I really don't know what to equate it to, inspirationally.
As for the lyrics, for some of them I had written many years ago while others were inspired by horror movies I've seen since then. General horror tales I came up with based off my knowledge of whatever folklore it was based on. “Purveyour of the Black Book” was inspired by a swath of Lovecraft stories. To write lyrics for “The Screaming Woods” I researched haunted forests as that's what I wanted the song to be about. I found folklore of a forest in England called The Screaming Woods and wrote lyrics referencing the lore. “Nightmare Castle” was the hardest to write lyrics for. The name comes from an old Barbara Steele movie. I loved the title, but the plot of the movie was very lacking. There was another similar movie she did the year after that was a lot better and had many of the same character relationships as the prior movie. So, I tried writing lyrics based off of both. But I didn't like how they came out. I then tried creating my own story, but was constrained by the length of the song. Eventually, I researched the folklore behind nightmares and wrote about demonic elves who dwell in an abandoned castle. In one of the many versions is where I came up with the phrase “Few ever survive the night.” I really liked it, but I couldn't make it work with the newer lyrics. I tried putting them at the end of the album intro until I started writing “Ritual Hunt.” That song started as a song about a cannibal savage tribe like in “Cannibal Holocaust” and “The Green Inferno”. I started with “Few ever survive the ritual hunt” and then realized it can easily transition to “Few ever survive the night.” As I added the keyboard parts, I quickly realized it had a swaying rhythm like being on a boat. That coupled with the keyboard effects reminded me of pirates. So, I decided to write about pirates encountering a cannibal tribe while looking for a place to bury their treasure. Luckily the song was long enough that I could flesh out a full story.

As a horror/gore/splatter fan, how does “The Green Inferno” compare with “Cannibal Holocaust” and other movies of the genre from the late seventies/early eighties?
Usually they don't compare, so much so I don't even keep track of horror movies nowadays. A few different people have to tell me to watch something before I even consider devoting my time to something that will most likely suck. For instance, I still haven't seen either Terrifier movie even though everyone tells me I need to. They are on my watch list when I have time to watch a movie. I do like Eli Roth back from his Cabin Fever days, so when I heard he was making a "Cannibal Holocaust" for this generation, I thought if anyone could do it well, it would be him. I liked it from what I can remember. I loved how the hippies got tricked into a corporate war which eventually lead to their deaths. I think it shows the true naivety of the modern civilized culture. And at the end, the chick is still brainwashed in her cult-like mindset that she lied about the tribe eating all her friends.
But my horror obsession goes back even further to the Universal Monsters and "Nosferatu" and "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari." I like atmosphere and the building of suspense more than outright gore. The first Dracula movie and much of Hitchcock's works were pure atmosphere and building of tension. There are some comparisons to contemporary movies that I can draw. For instance, "The Witch" is one of my favorite modern horror movies. From the first second, there is an ominous feeling of dread that lingers throughout the whole movie. This movie impressed me and inspired me so much, I stopped half way through and started writing "Witch of the Wood." When "Hereditary" was previewed, I looked forward to that and I saw it in theaters. The story was nothing like I thought it would be and because of the unpredictability, I loved it. Also, lots of tension from the opening scene all the way through till the end. "Midsomer" I think I saw opening day. I liked the idea of trying to shoot a horror movie with light juxtaposing every other movie of the genre. Even though, it was about Nordic paganism, it just didn't get there with me, but 2 out of 3 ain't bad! Getting away from the A24 movies, there was another movie I watched on a whim. It wasn't much talked about, but it was on Netflix, so I decided to watch it. That movie was "The Ritual" and I loved it! Dark and spooky atmosphere with Nordic pagan folklore.

Many of the movies and authors you cited have been subject matter for many bands in extreme metal. How does your process of lyric writing stand out from other bands?
I'm not really sure because I don't focus on other bands’ lyrical writing, or even musical writing that much. I can only speak for myself. When it comes to writing lyrics, I see it as a way to convey a story in a more compact form than a full fleshed out novel, movie, or series. As any story, it has a beginning, climax, and resolution, so I usually write with that intent in mind, take “Nightmare Castle” and “Ritual Hunt” for example. But if I'm writing about a place or a recurring event, then I will focus on describing the place and the actions taken with references to the folktales. This form can be seen in “The Screaming Woods” and “Screams of the Oskorei.”

What information did you find while researching the legend of The Screaming Woods in England that inspired you to write lyrics about it?
I liked that it was similar to the suicide forest in Japan, but for the western world. I believe the lore is much older and I enjoy writing about olden times over contemporary times. There were reports of children finding the bodies hanging and that imagery stuck out in my mind. Originally, people would go there for the sole purpose of hanging themselves. In time, the lore evolved so that people believed that they could hear the crying and screaming spirits of those who committed suicide. Then anyone who heard the screams would be lured by the spirits. Many random travelers would get lost and end up hanging themselves. The belief at that time was the spirits had convinced them to kill themselves. I thought the whole idea of suicidal souls luring people to commit the same fate was rather sinister and it instantly motivated me to start writing.

Where did you draw your inspiration for the lyrics of “Screams of the Oskorei”? What was the degree of similarity between the lyrics and your research on it?
“Oskorei” means noisy ride or noisy hunt. It is when Odin leads his Valkyrie out of the night sky to abduct lonely travelers. In Nordic lore, their screams are heard coming down from the sky and are the last thing their victims hear. There were many accounts of lone travelers going missing without a trace overnight while traversing the forests of Scandinavia. They were attributed to the Valkyrie abductions, especially during October when the veil between realms is the thinnest. My lyrics describe the events a soon-to-be abductee witnesses, but narrated by a pagan priest who prays to and summons Odin and his horde to continually remove lonely wanderers from this world. We don't know the priest's motivation, maybe I'll explore that in another song...

Do you have any special techniques for your vocals, to be able to maintain the guttural or brutal edge of your voice and make your lyrics sound understandable to the listener?
Well, do you find my lyrics understandable? That was a focal point when I was mixing the album. I wanted the lyrics just barely understandable.
As far as maintaining my vocals, I developed my style based on a mix of Maniac, Shagrath, Abbath, and a little bit of Dead. It took over a year to get it to where it sounded good, but once I got it, I never lost it. Picking it back up after ten years was like riding a bike again. I have had a lot of theater experience and worked with many vocal coaches who taught me how to keep my vocal cords healthy and how to use them without straining them and ultimately destroying them.
Also, plenty of mint green tea and cough drops. I usually suck on a cough drop a few minutes before taking the stage. It helps keep the vocal cords wet, warm, and loose.

Who are the vocal coaches you were working with? The reason I’m asking about this is because many people who aren’t fans of extreme music complain about the lyrics on a band’s recording; I wanted to listen to your point of view on the subject.
Random music and theater teachers who work for the school and school programs. Also, my stepmother was a singer, so she gave me a few pointers as well. But I always sucked at singing, I could never put my voice in the same key as the music, even though I could tell I'm off. When I discovered black metal it was a huge weight off my shoulder. I just had to work on developing my style. I think the audibility of a band's vocalists is determined by the style of the band. If you listen to generic pop music, the singer/rapper always sounds like they are in a different room than the rest of the instruments. There's so much more musicianship that goes into metal, so the vocals sound more leveled with the rest of the tracks. With Black Metal, atmosphere is everything. The lo-fi rawness plays a key role in many bands. Others, like myself, like to fill in that space with ambient keyboards. With that in mind, the vocal levels are usually intentionally lower to keep the track sounding kvlt. Personally, I like my vocals to be audible and just understandable enough without overtaking the music. I want the recording to sound like I'm in the same room, or cave, or dungeon as the rest of the music.

Are you familiar with Melissa Cross, the producer of the educational “Zen of Screaming” videos and DVDs? If so, how much has she contributed to the development of vocalists in extreme metal?
Is that the woman who taught the dude from Lamb of God how to scream? I never gave much attention to her. I knew a few people who attended her seminars, but I've never gone myself. But I think overall, most vocalists don't know how to scream without wrecking their vocal chords, so if they can learn to not do that, then it's definitely a good thing for metal bands, otherwise every two years each band will need a new vocalist.

George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher (Cannibal Corpse) has been a vocalist for close to thirty years. There are also Youtube channels like Voice Hacks that feature interviews and carefully arranged tutorials. In light of this, why do you believe guttural vocals and fry screams have sustained their appeal for so long as there has been extreme music?
Frankly, because the genres need those types of vocal styles. Could you imagine Michael Jackson's vocal style, or hell, even Peter Steele's, on “I Cum Blood” or “Hammer Smashed Face”? How odd and mismatched would that sound? You need the vocals to compliment the tone of the guitars and the overall music. I couldn't imagine “Transylvanian Hunger” with clean vocals. I find it a little unnerving listening to Control Denied “covering” Death songs with clean vocals. So, I think that's the main reason, but also, because they just sound so fuckin sick!!!

Getting back briefly to your side project Acryptylyse, how do you compose music and write lyrics? Do you follow a similar process?
“The Forest at Dusk” was intended as the follow up to “Oktober Myst”. So with those intentions my writing process would not have changed. However, looking at any of the projects I've been involved with where I had creative input, my writing style hasn't changed much, if at all. Maybe I take less risks now with weird tempo changes or I work on my transitions better between sections, but all around my writing style has been pretty much the same.

How long has Acryptylyse been a project and how has it matured and grown? What is the status of that project? Are you still working on it?
It's safe to say that Acryptylyse is dead and anything new I release will be under Lord of Horns. As a project it hasn't grown or matured at all. Not many people knew of it and I didn't market the last album as heavily as I wanted to. Since I wrote almost the entirety of “Oktober Myst” and the only one working on new material after its release, there was no other direction the project could have taken.
It's not to say that I will stop creating the music I like, I will continue to write horror infused black metal. The best way I can describe it is Acryptylyse is the husk of a cocoon I emerged from and then left behind. So in essence, Acryptylse matured or evolved into Lord of Horns.

Can you share with us your ideas for the next Lord of Horns release? Do you anticipate that it will have further growth potential in the future?
Yeah, so I'm doing some collaborative work in the near future. I did an April Fool’s joke song with Lord ov Witchcraft about penguins. It was his idea and we just thought it would be funny. But besides that, I am planning to work with Namtar Axarcuth who runs Plague Demon Records, one of the indie labels that printed some of “The Forest at Dusk” CDs. We will be working on an EP together with 4 songs - 2 from each - and then we are planning on working on a full length album for his project Namtaru. I have some thrashy songs left over from Dark Reverence that I want to revamp and release. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them at first, but now this gives me an outlet to release them.
As far as my next sole release, I am in the process of brainstorming lyrical topics and accumulating riffs that I like. I think I will be pushing a little bit towards more technical guitaring with a lot of influence from Dissection and Death, but in a way that works with the ambiance of the track. Hopefully I'll have enough time to create, write and record and by this time next year I'll have a demo out for the next album.

-Dave Wolff