Friday, June 30, 2023

Full Length Review: Kristopher Battilana "Introspective 1" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Location: Geraldton
Country: Western Australia
Genre: Alternative, rock, metal, goth
Full length: Introspective 1
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: April 23, 2023
Kristopher Battilana’s compilation of singles composed from 2019 to 2023 is an exploration into unconventional and broad-minded songwriting in the sense that what appears here has been rarely tried, or not tried at all.
Granted he’s not the first musician I’ve listened to who made an effort to compound variant genres into one recording, or composed pieces that contrast each other back to back. The hardcore and metal industries have launched pioneering bands since the late eighties from bands I’ve discovered.
Battilana however takes the idea seriously of generating digressions of genres that don’t seem to fit together and carrying them off on his own tangent, without overindulging, rehashing what’s already been done or outright mimicry advertised as progression. This is as self-limiting as a band sticking to formula ad infinitum, and creating more of a brutal death growl or writing extreme music with new instruments are no less viable advancements.
That being said, Battilana does something new with the genres he has been exposed to and records songs that would raise questions as to why his ideas hadn’t been thought of. While being as smart and resourceful as “The Raven and the Robot” and Abysmal Dimension’s self-titled EP, this compilation is far removed from anything that appears on either of those releases.
Infusing metal guitars with a goth vibe like Bauhaus and The Sisters of Mercy, early punk overtones, industrial and electronica sounds, the songs present themes that are simultaneously retro and modern, emphasizing a much of each of those musical styles as needed to get their point across. Sometimes he'll remind you of Andrew Eldritch, sometimes he'll remind you of David Bowie.
The songs are also appropriately somber and grainy, reflecting goth club circuits of the 1990s without having those elements that some may consider too depressive. For those of us who miss those days, this album lifts negative preconceptions of those scenes and reveal the level of imaginative invention that existed there, and still do to this day. 
This is the second of a two part series from Battliana, the first of which ("Introspective 2") released April of 2021. –Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. For The Realm
2. Feel What It's Like
3. Black Electricity
4. Butterfly
5. Learning to Die
6. The Sea of Orbs
7. Armed to the Neck
8. Poisoning Time
9. The Coldest Tongue
10. Lo Ra Hey

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Article: "A Cultural History of Masks" by Laura Evans

A Cultural History of Masks
Article by Laura Evans

The history of masks is a fascinating look at human frailty and imagination. Humans have used masks for different reasons throughout time, from blending into scenery to standing out from other people. The main concept behind most masks, with the possible exception of funerary masks, is to hide a person's identity. Masks have been used for religious purposes, for artistic purposes and just for fun purposes.

History of Masks

Masks have been used for thousands and thousands of years in cultures around the world. Early masks were probably made from local materials. Harder-to-find or more precious materials would probably have been used to embellish more important masks in ancient times, as they are now.
Over the centuries, masks became associated with religion. For example, ancient Egyptians considered mummy masks to be an important part of the transition to afterlife. Today, masks made by the Iroquois people are so precious to their beliefs that the Iroquois leadership is requesting the return of face masks from museums and private collections. Traditional Iroquois want to properly care for these masks according to their ancient traditions.
Sometimes, a culture starts to use masks for a specific reason only to have that reason change over time. For example, masks were initially used during carnival to hide people's identities. Wearing masks allowed people to cross class lines and behave in inappropriate ways without fear of shame. As societies' morals and cultures have changed, wearing masks has become less necessary for concealing sexual indiscretions. Today, they are just another part of carnival's atmosphere. This is not to say some naughty things no longer occur behind masks.
Masks have long been featured in entertainment. Masks have been an important part of dances around the world. They have been an essential part of theater in countries such as China, Japan and Korea for centuries. Mardi Gras masks have been a part of American culture since the 17th century. Masks have also been indispensable in literature, plays, movies and television.

Film Review: The Devil Below (1inMM Productions, 2021) by Devin J. Meaney

Film: The Devil Below
With Alicia Sanz, Adan Canto and Will Patton
Written by Eric Scherbarth and Stefan Jaworski
Directed by Bradley Parker
Distributed by 1inMM Productions
Release date: March 5, 2021
Recently I had the chance to check out “The Devil Below” on Tubi. It was released in 2021—and I didn’t know what to expect—but after watching I can honestly say this was one of the best horror movies I have watched in a good while.
Something worth mentioning is that I think this movie would make for a good horror style video game in the same vein as Resident Evil. At times the vibes reminded me of “The Suffering” series for the PS2. Nearing the end I was reminded of “The Mother Boss” from “Turok 2: Seeds of Evil”—so more than once the “gamey” feels showed their face. This might not mean anything to anyone other than a classic gaming fanatic—but I guess it is worth throwing it out there!
The creature effects were great and the films ambience was spot on. Just like one of my favorite films “Pumpkinhead” this movie had the ability to not show much of what is going on leaving everything purely to shadows and the imagination!
I would suggest this one for a spooky night on the couch with some friends—so get your popcorn seasoned and your discount cola chilled! This was a sure-fire treat and a great example of how horror/monster flicks should be! -Devin J. Meaney

Film Review: Cocaine Shark (Polonia Brothers Entertainment, 2023) by Devin J. Meaney

Film: Cocaine Shark
With Samantha Coolidge, Ryan Dalton and Natalie Himmelberger
Written by Bando Glutz
Directed by Mark Polonia
Distributed by Polonia Brothers Entertainment
Release date: May 23, 2023
I recently hit up Tubi to see what was available of the cheesy and B- variety. I was instantly drawn in by a movie called “Cocaine Shark” that was released in 2023. Now—I knew this was probably going to be terrible but with a title like Cocaine Shark how can you not give it a view? I mean—I have heard of that Cocaine Bear movie or whatever it was called so I figured this was some kind of mockbuster playing off that film’s success…but after watching I only have a few things to state.
Without question this was one of the worst movies I have ever perused. I expected B-…but the truth is it is a lot closer to Z--. “Cheaply made” is even a stretch as the film appeared to be thrown together on a two dollar budget. A lot of it didn’t make sense—and although there was a “hallucinogenic” drug in the movie—there was actually no cocaine in the film to speak of! I don’t smoke weed anymore but I think this movie’s only saving grace would be to watch it while completely ossified with your friends just so you can tear it apart for how truly awful it is.
In closing—no I would never watch this again. It did have a few good (although still really bad) monster and “face melting” effects but in the long run I’d leave this one off of your watch list. The only reason I finished the film was because I figured it might have a few laughs (it actually did in parts) but as I said this one was mostly (almost entirely?) a dud. Oh! And the cover doesn’t even relate to the movie! Zoinks! -Devin J. Meaney

Film Review: Balls of Fury (Rogue Pictures, 2007) by Devin J. Meaney

Film: Balls of Fury
With Dan Fogler, Christopher Walken, George Lopez, Maggie Q, James Hong and Terry Crews
Written by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant
Directed by Robert Ben Garant
Distributed by Rogue Pictures
Release date: August 29, 2007
A movie I recently checked out was “Balls of Fury”. I didn’t know what to expect when I threw this on the screen but after watching I have no problem saying that this film was genuinely hilarious.
The pacing may have been a bit quick—but that is the only negative thing I have to say. There was loads of hidden humor and many parts were “more than” giggle worthy. I watched this early in the morning while everyone else in the house was asleep but I still had to stifle at least a handful of full on belly laughs.
I expected Christopher Walken and Dan Fogler to really bring in the most laughs but some of my favorite parts of this were brought forth by James Hong and Diedrich Bader (Diedrich played Oswald on the Drew Carey show). A blind kung-fu ping pong guru who loves prostitutes and a male sex slave seem to have stolen my heart in this one and in the long run I would absolutely watch this movie again.
To make a close—yes—this one was an absolute win! -Devin J. Meaney

Monday, June 26, 2023

Full Length Review: Punebre "Ang Nasa Dako Paroon" (Death In Pieces Records) by Dave Wolff

Band: Punebre
Location: Manila
Country: Philippines
Genre: Old school death metal
Format: Digital album
Release date: May 15, 2023
According to Alexander Dela Cruz (In Dark Purity zine), Punebre is named after the Filipno word for "dirge". The band was founded by Cruz in the late summer of 2017 as a one man project, inspired musically by early nineties “chainsaw death metal” bands such as Autopsy, Dismember, Impetigo and Phlegm and lyrically by folklore, horror and mythology.
By the time work began on “Ang Nasa Dako Paroon”, it had grown into a full band. Since Punebre were releasing demos, rehearsal tapes, and digital singles prior to hiring a full ensemble and composing enough material for a full album, “Ang Nasa Dako Paroon” is not too shabby as a debut.
The band members may be familiar to some of you out there since they were previously in Raspatul, Saviorskin, and Demiurge; their experience working with those bands has evidently contributed to Punebre's take on old school DM.
For instance, the slow pace of the introduction to "Burning The Pot" is presented in a considerably foreboding way, adding weight to the double bass-laden mid tempo and thrashier progressions that follow. The relentless grinding feel of this song is a lot like Autopsy, still sounds fresh and should be appealing to you if you like them.
Nearly all of the songs are relatively short, but this serves to sustain the listener's attention for these reasons: the influence of Autopsy is clearly prevalent throughout "Ang Nasa Dako Paroon", particularly in the vocals and guitars. The bass guitars also provide menacingly stimulating support for the tracks. You can hear just enough bass underneath the guitars to perceive something malignant lurking beneath the surface; this aspect gives the album an undeniable sense of ominousness, giving depth to the persistently ruthless energy pushed onward by the drums.
The lyrical content is also consistently brief, to the point and easy to understand over the music, not overstaying their welcome. Thirty years on and Punebre can still make the chainsaw sound relevant. –Dave Wolff

Ian Cuevas: Vocals, guitar
Alexander Dela Cruz: Guitar
Christian Igna: Bass
Ryan Quiray: Drums

Track list:
1. Burning The Pot
2. Holy Maou
3. Balete Overdrive
4. The Burning Crusade
5. Itim
6. Hele Hele
7. Shaken And Rattled
8. Great White Grin
9. Prom Knife
10. The Ghost Of Pepsi Paloma
11. Sa Dako Paroon

Full Length Review: Avi Rosenfeld "Battle of Rock" (Independent) by Brynn Kali StarDew

Artist: Avi Rosenfeld
Country: Israel
Genre: Progressive rock
Full length: Battle of Rock
Format: Digital album
Label: Independent
Release date: June 2, 2023
Track one “Raven” started out excellent. Songwriting reminds me a bit of the great Edgar Alan Poe. Definitely has a thrash metal sound. I really enjoyed the guitar solo at 3:35; it was killing it!
Track 2 “Burn The Light featuring Timo Tolkki” was good. I liked the melodic guitar solo in the beginning. His voice sounds a lot like Dio which I enjoy. The lyrics were also very beautiful and touching! The galloping bass was a lot of fun for me actually.
Track 4 “Bite Your Tongue”: the lyrics reminded me a lot of an Iron Maiden song; a pretty solid metal track! Seems all their songs reflect the aggressive album art, very typical of the metal genre.
Track 5 “Rosamaria” was pretty good. I thought it sounded fun. I can definitely see the Latino influence in this even if it's a little heavy-handed. Still a nice love song nonetheless. “Rosamaria beautiful eyes they can see ya in the dark”: That line had me busting up laughing; no offense. I just wasn't expecting it. The drum part around 3:20 was cool, and the guitar riffs were very interesting as well!
Track 7 “Send Down the Angels” had some nice sounding guitars at 1:00 that I enjoyed and the piano in it around 1:20-1:30 sounded good too! I'm not super into music like this but I could definitely see myself dancing to stuff like this at a bar.
Track 9 “Parachute” kind of reminds me of Rush and King Crimson. Pretty typical progressive metal sound.
The final track “Nature's Awake” was definitely a tribute to the pillars of 70's rock. The rocking organ and lyrics about “shelter from the storm” were very 70's rock and I think anybody who enjoys that era of music would appreciate this album! -Brynn Kali StarDew

Musicianship 8.5/10
Songwriting 8.5/10
Production 8.5/10
Memorability 8.5/10
Overall 8.5/10

[see Bandcamp page for complete information]

Track list:
1. Raven
2. Burn The Light feat. Timo Tolkki
3. Half Of Your Face
4. Bite Your Tongue
5. Rosamaria
6. Blame
7. Send Down The Angels
8. Its Hot
9. Parachute
10. Nature's Awake

Friday, June 23, 2023

EP Review: Antihvmano "Impregnated Demon Eyes Gazing Upon a Catholic Rosary Failure" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Band: Antihvmano
Country: Sweden
Genre: Black death metal
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: December 12, 2022
We once again return to the early 90s when Blasphemy, Sarcofago, Archgoat, Black Witchery, Sadistik Execution, Impiety and Impaled Nazarene were composing the most disorderly, uncommercial metal available at the time.
Sweden's Antihvmano have been around for a few years and have released two irreverently profane EPs featuring one-to-two minute songs that embody the ultimate affiliation with bestial tenebrosity and the ultimate execration of piety. Again the question arises as to why this approach to extreme metal still speaks to the sensitivity of some musicians, inspiring them to write the most basic forms of extreme metal.
What resonates with them on a fundamentally primal level, or are they simply seeking to disturb and repel people as they begin their grassroots recording careers? In relation to Antihvmano, there appears to be no distinction as both their debut EP “Morbid Crucifixion” and their recent release “Impregnated Demon Eyes Gazing Upon a Catholic Rosary Failure” are intended to appall and disgust those who feel a fire lit under their asses by blasphemous subject matter or prefer what they consider to be quality music.
There’s no official site to speak of, little readily available information about the band, and no printed lyrics at Bandcamp, and the EP’s musicianship and production are designed to make early Venom, Sodom and Hellhammer sound like easy listening and most grindcore bands sound like the stuff to mellow out to.
It is not difficult to discern the band's logo, however, the cover art provides clear indications of what is contained within, and from there things only become more excessively extreme. The appeal of this EP lies in its distorted, dissonant blur, complete with vocals like incomprehensible howling. If you have the fortitude, you’re not easily offended, and you have the most hardcore taste in extreme metal you will want to listen to it repeatedly. -Dave Wolff

M.B: Vocals
M.C: Guitars
K.S “Hammeraxe”: Drums

Track list:
1. Intro
2. Supreme Atrocity of War
3. Vengeance Absolute
4. Violator of Truth
5. Baptised in Blood of Human Sacrifice

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Interview with Rigel Berlingeri of Dowhanash by Dave Wolff

Interview with Rigel Berlingeri of Dowhanash by Dave Wolff

According to your biography, you had the idea to start a conceptual band in 2018. The concept of the band is based on what you refer to as the Knowledge of the Dragon. How did you come to choose this concept for the lyrics and what does it mean to you?
Hi bro, I tell you: it’s the concept that chose me… (we think we choose but we choose nothing at all). I follow the Black Dragon’s teaching from the year 2003, so for the lyrics I am inspired directly by my Master. But I must to say that this is my will, it’s not an idea of my Master. In the beginning I wrote the lyrics for let the people know about the truth but now I know… it’s only for myself. People can read my lyrics and can understand everything but I don’t care anymore.

How long have you been a musician, and what was your purpose when you started learning to play instruments? How many instruments have you learned to play altogether?
I began in 1986. My purpose was to play the best metal music in the world and it still remains the same. I can play drums and guitar but I like more to create than to play.

You were the drummer for several bands before you founded Dowhanash. Name the bands you had the most experience with as a musician, what you learned from working with them and whether they’re still active?
Three bands have been important for me:
1. Detestor is my first band that I create in 1986 with my best friend Fabio Rasta. I began to play drums in this band. Now Detestor is dissolved but slowly we are putting all our music on digital platforms.
There is a death metal band that copied our name, we don’t care but I think it’s not very nice… They’d better change the name… However they have very good stuff! 😉
2. Antropofagus are still active nowadays. They are one of the most important Brutal Death Metal band in Italy. In their first album I played one of my best performance.
3. Spite Extreme Wing is an icon of the Italian Black Metal. This band is appreciated from all Black Metal fans. They stopped their activity but the singer and the bass player made another interesting band, called Poseidon.
All these bands taught me something. I learned to appreciate all kinds of music, in fact the Dowhanash Draco Metal touches various genres.

What motivated you to re-release Detestor's music after so many years? Do you still have access to the material you released with Antropofagus and Spite Extreme Wing?
We thought it was a pity the new generation of metal kids didn’t know Detestor and we have a lot of fans that ask to us to do so… It’s difficult but not impossible that we will make another CD (a new one)… You can find the material of Antropofagus and of S.E.W. on Youtube and other social platforms…

Are you still in contact with the other members of Detestor? Would you and the band adapt your style to fit modern thrash or would you stick with your 1980s style if they were to record a new album?
Sometimes we contact each other’s but I meet only the bass player Alessandro Paolini (now he is the Dowhanash producer with his label “The Black Library”) in that case we will play the old Detestor style.

Are you working with other bands besides Dowhanash or is this a project which will represent all your musical and lyrical ideas?
I spend all my energy only for Dowhanash. I haven’t time for other projects. Dowhanash satisfies me completely. Non plus ultra.

When you started Dowhanash, how did you plan to go beyond what you had contributed to your previous bands? What are the ways in which Draco Metal incorporates different musical genres?
Thanx to the old bands I can feel the soul of Black, Melodic and Brutal Death music so this feeling contributes to my music. What I feel I do, so it’s not a mental work but it’s a heart work. I canalize music from beyond with the seventh chakra directly…

Would you be able to explain how channeling music you perceive from beyond through your seventh chakra enhances your songwriting and musicianship?
I just have to let go. I take the guitar in my hands and the melody comes to me. It’s a kind of meditation.

Based on what I heard, your sound is strongly influenced by German thrash from the 1980s, with similar double bass percussion to Swedish death metal and atmosphere reminiscent of Norwegian black metal. There are also influences of 80s power metal, classical metal, and some industrial metal in the mix, all of which are equally balanced. Have you listened to those genres specifically or did your sound naturally develop in that manner?
Obviously, I listened to that kind of music but my purpose is not to copy it. I naturally developed in that manner. Normally I don’t listen to Metal music… Nay, normally I don’t listen to music… 😎

In addition to these genres, your songs have an otherworldly quality that is unlike that of other bands. If this aspect of your music results from your meditation, are you satisfied with how it has been portrayed?
Everyone can understand that Dowhanash are different from the other bands. Our music is not easily catalogable. Yes, meditation helps me to create music and lyrics and I am very satisfied, but my meditation is not like the other’s meditation.

In contrast to the usual death metal vocal style, the band's vocals possess a distinct quality. They appear to have a creepy quality and reminded me of the Deadites in the "Evil Dead" movies. Is this style also a result of the energy you channel?
Our singer is my all-time favorite singer. He feels the music and naturally chooses the best way to sing. In every album the voice (and the music) is different and in every song, the voice (and the music) is different, because everything is changeable and we have to ride the waves.

Can you explain what the Knowledge of the Dragon is and how what you’re learning from it benefits you intellectually and spiritually?
The Knowledge of the Dragon is “the Knowledge”. From the beginning of time, the Ancient Serpent (the Dragon) taught his Knowledge to the First Man. In this world, spirituality comes from him. Awareness is the benefit. To know myself and to see clearly is all that I want/need.

Did you read any books or other printed materials about the Ancient Serpent or the Dragon? If the readers are interested in any of them, which one would you recommend they read?
There are a lot of books and articles explaining the Dragon’s teaching but if you want something very useful without losing time, you must to go to see the site “”. Here there is everything you need to know.

Looking on the website you recommended I found one printed book that seemed interesting called “Un Mondo Virtuale”. If you have read this, how valuable an educational tool would you say it is? Give some examples as to why.
This is only one of their books, in the future will be out many books like that. Is value is incommensurable.
It can change your life. The book opens your eyes. What you will see is not very nice but is very useful.

The website, in English, is titled “Order of the Dragon”. Is this an occult organization or just an online study center where people can learn more about the Knowledge?
Should be better don’t translate the name “Ordine del Drago” because this is the name for the Italian Order. Dragon’s Orders out of Italy have other names… so could be the cause of mistakes… The Black Dragon (Master of “Ordine del Drago”) is an Italian man. This organization was secret until the year 2000. It’s an esoteric school of life. In 2023 you can see it like an online study center where people learn more about knowledge, but it’s more… more than what you can think… 😎

Are people visiting the site welcome to post about their experiences discovering the Knowledge?
It’s like a school, only Students are allowed to post their experiences. They can talk but there are right places and right moments to do it. However “to hear” is better than to talk”. 😉

Why did “Ordine del Drago” remain secret for such a long time? What can you tell us about its founder The Black Dragon and his life?
Before was secret because it was necessary. Now it’s necessary to stay in the daylight because the time has come. The fruit is ripe. A great paradigm shift is upon us. Will humans be able to survive the adverse events that are about to happen?
Black Dragon's life must remain secret and I can talk no more about him. 😎

How did you contact Ocularis Infernum Booking & Promotion to promote Dowhanash, and how have they been treating the band?
Before Covid 19, we wanted to make some gigs around Europe and ask Andred of Ocularis Infernum if she can help us but every live project was stopped. After that we had problems with the lineup and we decide to do not make live events anymore. Andred ask us to participate at the CD compilation “A Time of Sorrow” and we gladly accepted it. She gave us a lot of visibility and so we ask her to promote our single “They Will Resist” and our third album “Promethium 61”. We are joyful for her work. She is a professional.

What were your first two full-length albums and how were they promoted before you met Ocularis Infernum?
People have changed… everything is faster now… People like no more full-length albums… They listen one song here, one song there, one band here, one band there… So we have to adapt to this strange world and for this reason, our CDs don’t last longer.
For our first CD “From the Ashes” the manager was Daniele of “Black Tears Label” while for the second one “To the Stardust” the manager was me.

How much exposure did "A Time of Sorrow" give you and which of the band's songs were included?
In this compilation (produced in 25 December 2021 by Ocularis Infernum and Black Tears) we put “O.N.W.O.”, the fastest song Dowhanash made till now. Grind Core mixed with Melodic Death Metal. A Time of Sorrow was a good business for us. We did interviews with many radios. I love the interviews because, thanx to them, I can explain better the concept of Dowhanash.

Please inform the readers about Alessandro Paolini's label The Black Library. For how long has he been supporting the band through this label?
Alessandro Paolini ask to me for collaboration to create a label called “Death Inside” (our CD “To the Stardust” was produced by this Label) but after I quit he changes the name in “The Black Library”. It’s a very new label.

In what ways did “From the Ashes” and “To the Stardust” represent your growth as a musician? How much further will "Promethium 61" take your experience and talent?
It’s evident Dowhanash has grown a lot from the first work to the third. My purpose is to constantly improve. Go forward and never go back! “Promethium 61” is one of the best CD in the world! 💪

Were "From the Ashes" and "To the Stardust" well received by fanzines and magazines? What has been said about the originality of your material?
Our albums are very appreciated but we aren’t famous so, at the moment, the problem is not the music but the visibility of the band…

Your single "They Will Resist" was released on the 19th of June. On what internet outlets was it made available? Did any online events run concurrently with it?
“They Will Resist” is available on all major digital platforms. Soon we will put the video on Youtube.
"They Will Resist" is pure power. Rough and edgy music suitable only for trained ears. Not recommended for fainted-heart people.😉

What was “They Will Resist” written about and how does it fit your beliefs and practices? Has it received favorable reviews since its release so far?
“They Will Resist” is meant to warn people of imminent danger. We must be prepared for the worst but with a smile on our faces. We must be warriors… not soldiers. I believe that everything is born, grows and dies and we are not the exception. This song received only positive reviews but the other songs of our CD are even better.

What has been the reaction of your listeners to "They Will Resist" since it was released? When the rest of the album is released, how do you expect they will respond?
The reaction has been outstanding. They Will Resist has a marvelous refrain and it remains inside your ears a long time, after just one time listening.
For "Promethium 61" our expectations are higher than the previous albums.

Is Ocularis Infernum aggressively promoting "They Will Resist" and "Promethium 61" and which media are they using?
Andred spreads our music around the world by radio, magazines and Facebook groups principally.

What impending paradigm shift were you referring to? What effects will it have on the world when it happens?
Everyone knows the myth of the Apocalypse. We are at the end of an era. You can consider the Dragon like a savior. But he can only save a few people. I can’t talk about the details.

Has the band had opportunities to perform in their country or in other countries since the Covid pandemic tapered off? Where would you most like to play in 2023?
We don’t play live. Live performances are currently not possible for us. Maybe in the distant future, things will change for the better… maybe… 😅

Do you have any ideas for the next Downahash album now that the most recent album has been completed? When do you anticipate beginning work on it in the second half of 2023?
I am already preparing the next work (7 tracks CD) and it must be better than the previous ones. I hope before the end of 2023 you can listen to another single.
However, my intention is to make only 4 CDs (3 are already done) representing the principal elements of this universe and then a fifth and final CD, representing the Black Dragon, to complete the cycle of life of Dowhanash. After that, I’ll break up the band.

What impact would you like Downahash to have on underground metal, and how would you like the band to be remembered?
We will do our best to reach the highest number of people is possible, then fate will take its way.
You must to be flawless… it doesn’t matter what result you get.

Would you like to make any final remarks to conclude this interview?
Thank you for your interesting interview. I hope we will meet each other again in the future.
My last words: Follow the Draco! 🐉

Pablo: Vocals
Dani: Guitar
Kane: Guitar
Eddy: Bass
Rigel Belingeri: Drums

-Dave Wolff

Friday, June 16, 2023

Full Length Review: Azaghal "Alttarimme On Luista Tehty" (Immortal Frost Productions) by Dave Wolff

Band: Azaghal
Country: Finland
Genre: Black metal
Full length: Alttarimme On Luista Tehty
Format: Vinyl, jewel case CD, digipack CD, box set, digital
Release date: February 24, 2023
Established in 1998, Azaghal is the brainchild of the Finnish musician Tomi “Narqath” Kalliola, who is also a member of Rutonkantaja, Svartkraft, With Hate I Burn, Wyrd, and Vultyr. He has also been involved with Belfegor, Hellkult, Finnugor and Necromortum to name a handful. Adding to a long line of personnel changes, their twelfth full-length "Alttarimme On Luista Tehty" features lead vocals by new addition Jukka "Thirteen" Pitkänen joining Narqath and drummer Lima (Amberian Dawn, Hautakammio, Lathspell).
Hailing from Finland the band is credited with drawing heavily from Swedish death metal and black metal; specifically Dismember and Dark Funeral. Sticking to formula, they strive to maintain that excessiveness in their original form rather than moving toward post-black metal. They could have done the latter if they thought it would add depth to this album, but they decided instead to take a purist route. If their recent lineup change is intended to breathe new life into this formula, it seems to be working for them.
”Alttarimme On Luista Tehty” is my first experience with Azaghal, and had I not known they were veterans of extreme metal, I would have thought this was one of their early albums. The proof is apparent from the beginning; with equal parts ease, seasoned familiarity, and commitment, the opening track launches an offensive on your senses. The guitars and bass balance sharp, trebly dissonances, unorthodox scales, and lower pitched, slightly grindcore-like melodies while the drums reinforce and maintain their energy.
Atmospheric sections woven into the songs demonstrate the new lineup's ability to broaden their range while remaining harmonious and congruent. There are even some elements that reminded me of Burzum and Immortal for their hypnotic hyperblast. The vocals are suitably coarse for the song structure, warbled in an approach that is somewhat reminiscent of Mika Luttinen of Impaled Nazarene. With the instruments backing them, the vocals come across as full and from the gut, and in tight sync with the songwriting.
Finally there are slight shades of rock and blues added to the extreme approach the band takes with ”Alttarimme On Luista Tehty”, and the method by which they’re added certifies a band doesn’t have to diminish their intensity to display them. All of these elements combined generates increasing intensity with each song. In turn this gives the album a cataclysmic sound you might not have expected Azaghal to achieve if it were not for the fresh ideas and vitality brought to the formula with their revamped lineup. –Dave Wolff

Thirteen: Vocals
Narqath: Guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals
Lima: Drums

Track list:
1. Alttarini on Luista Tehty
2. Kuolemanmarssi
3. Kultti
4. Paholaisen Musta Kieli
5. Myrkkyä
6. Kaaos
7. Syöpäläinen
8. Syvyydestä Liekkien Takaa
9. Verivirta
10. Ei Valoa Tuonelassa
11. Seitsemän Ihmisen Irvikuvaa

Thursday, June 15, 2023

"Celestial" by Alison Stone

Alison Stone

I don’t know how angels feel
about our struggles and hungers,
our fragile, beyond-control
flesh. Did these haloed ones
have bodies once,

and somehow get promoted to gossamer?
Or have they always lived on clouds
of our imagination, listening
to lyre hits as the sky
recycles its blues?

Why do we imagine we’d be happier
up there? Our natures being
what they are, we’d probably gripe
about altitude sickness or envy
the gold in another’s curls. Isn’t

their satisfied expression what we’re
really after, a smug glow
available to all of us
if we could pause and listen
for the beating of wings.

"'Numb'" by Tanner Reiss

Tanner Reiss, Jan. 6th, 2023

Thoughts scream in my mind
Fractured with a bruise
Injured by another's abuse
An outcome I did not choose
Thoughts scream in my mind
Telling me to end my life
Clouded and weighing
Walking in a thick fog
Stranded in a lethal bog
Thoughts scream in my mind
Too weak to find my feet
But I will not survive defeat
I have never seen Chicago
But such as Linkin Park
"I've! Become so Numb!"

Numb to the noise
Numb to the smell
Numb to the taste
Numb to the touch
Numb to the agony
Numb to the joy.

No longer can I see delight
Nor the brightness in my eye
As thoughts in my mind scream

Confusion, frustration, isolation
Unholy, unsafe contemplation
External rage, internal pain
Radiates every which direction
All whilst these never-ending
Thoughts in my mind still remain
Entrappening me in their lethal rain
I know I must never let the rains reign
But my ADHD mind is broken and strained

Eight months have elapsed
Since my mind was bruised
Concussive effects still linger
Creating uncontrolled anger
Putting me in critical danger
Whenever, wherever I see a trigger
I honestly hate this version of me
I wish I was "Consequence Free"
Exploring the Great Big Sea
Instead of battling this PTSD.
I wish there was a rewind button
To regress this depression into submission
And a way to control my aggression
Because it feels like I'm open season
If everything happens for a reason
Tell me, what the hell is the lesson?
When does the schoolbell ring?
If this is supposed to be a fight
Where is the Ref to save my life?

Thoughts scream in my mind
Fractured with a bruise
Injured by another's abuse
An outcome I did not choose
Thoughts scream in my mind
Telling me to end my life
Clouded and weighing
Walking in a thick fog
Stranded in a lethal bog
Thoughts scream in my mind
Too weak to find my feet
But I will not survive defeat
I have never seen Chicago
But such as Linkin Park
"If One More Light goes..."


"Poverty, so prevalent" by Steven Michael Pape

Poverty, so prevalent
©® Steven Michael Pape 2022

Poverty, so prevalent,
In this god damn age
As it now hurtles forward,
Taking centre stage.

In the school classes,
At the chairs and the desks
We were not taught to revise,
For this long final test.

From the factories, we rise up,
Shop workers stand tall
The bricklayers down tools,
And kick down every wall.

To the Doctors and Nurses,
Those on the front line
Is the struggle too much?
Do we really have time?

The foodbanks are open,
Families stand in line
Children going hungry,
A Country in decline.

And if you have a car,
They will make you pay
For they will raise fuel prices,
Every single day.

And you'll work till you’re seventy,
If you live to that long
If you survive the surroundings?
And don't pick your swan song.

The wages have risen,
Are we to be saved?
Or do we continue,
To be so enslaved?

They put money in one hand,
Then just take it back
Our heads above water,
Slowly turning black.

Their aim is to weaken,
And crush us like ants
As they sit in their opulence,
With a drink and a dance.

But if the people can rise,
And stand toe to toe
With our own revolution,
Our ideas can grow.

With people there's power,
And they do not like that
They want us covered in soil,
With a well used epitaph.

If we're under their boots
We've still space to crawl
If we're faced with hostility
We must never face the wall.

With poverty we find strength
As we refuse to give in,
The options are limited,
Our future's seems slim.

And yet we'll be the ones,
Speaking from our own stage
As we spit out our ideas
That will lead to a change.

"Creation of Man!" by Rich Orth

Creation of Man!
©Rich Orth 11/06/2022 1:46pm

around his neck
hung a cross...
what amounted to
his Christian albatross...
with little meaning
for he had no faith
only a demeaning
a caricature
of a feigning saint
false idolization
of himself...
oh, what a waste
years of idle prayer
clasping his idle hands
chattering to
visions invisible
to naked eyes...
clothed in
a cloak and dagger
imaginary world...
within his self-appropriated
devil's workshop
wherest evil is contrived
yet, exuded
by Samaritans
feasting upon blood
from stones of a rosary...
of vestments drenched
in coagulating
sanguinary of innocents
on this pretense
of a defined Hell
one created by man
to enslave other's minds
whilst feasting
on humanities carnality...
whilst feasting
on humanities immorality...
whilst pleasing themselves
on humanities venality...
whilst pleasing themselves
on a false narrative
of humanities spirituality...

"All living" by Natasa Nikolic

All living
Natasa Nikolic

It stalks you til the end
Round the corner, inside
Everywhere, come is the storm
to lay its kiss on you

One bleeding to the very bone
Second sinks with heavy lungs
Third swept away too soon
Fourth swallowed by a hole

My creed is like wind
Sweeping doubts away
My creed is running water
Drowns my enemies
Can you hear it whispering?
Talking and caressing you?

One, one, watch your step
Two, two, for dear life
Three, three, keep treading
Four lives burn on the stake

"A new poem." by Robert McDermott

A new poem.
Robert McDermott

The petals of your tongue
Were honey
Sweetness tinged with bitterness

Beginning of sensuousness
Lost amid the ambiguity
Of strained love
Seriousness or lust

Newfound and waning destiny
Awaiting amidst
True desire

A waltz wearing spiked shoes
Skating on sand
With hooves
Where do we stand

"Revelations in the Funhouse" by Alan Lisanti

Revelations in the Funhouse
Alan Lisanti

Crystal sheen reflective wallpaper
refracted light like folded tin foil
an angular function
activated upon alignment
specific degrees
in a veil of illusion
the mind never sees it coming
the eyes blind them to it
not in the offering of darkness
not in concession to the wool
in the distortion of circumstance
the exaggeration of fiction
encouraged by the ease
with which it's coaxed into
trapping your tendencies
the walls don't need to move
the war is waged on thresholds
fear dilutes the rational
as vulnerability extends
in it's absence
here or there
here and there
there are, simply
subtle and extreme
the mirrors only feed
natures innate need
for second guessing
herein, on this
pattern is built
the labyrinth of seduction
and therein you have found
the poison in the berry
of demise as bittersweet
the residual intoxication
numb desensitization
descent into the suspension
of your own disbelief
it always comes full circle
conscience and shadow
questions and answers
images and shapes
pendulum and punishment
because the mind
is destroyed by
the thoughts it creates
now the palace
is a prison for you
now you can sleep
even if you're awake
in the shelter and
shroud of comfort
the paradox of

"Dartmoor (Hound of the Baskervilles)" by Kay Irvin

Dartmoor (Hound of the Baskervilles)
Kay Irvin

A train from London will be here soon
Hooded coach drivers wait, station bound
Arriving passengers number few
Macabre yarns have spun about a hound

The foggy moors are unforgiving
For any wanderer left to night
The house beacon, on the hill, is far
Wailing wind sends ... like briars in flight

Now that dusk is upon us,... listen
'Tis christen louder than steeple bells
Dead of Winter approaches swiftly
As twin daggers, whose fangs slay noels

There is a curse that must be knotted
Moors to the doors of Baskerville Hall
Bloody crux too shall pass with ending
And ghastly landscapes will lastly call

The foggy moors are unforgiving
For any wanderer left to night
The house beacon, on the hill, is far
Wailing wind sends ... like briars in flight

"Wheelman" by Judge Santiago Burdon

Judge Santiago Burdon

This run is my swan song, after tonight this smugglings gonna stop, every headlight in my rearview mirror, looks like it’s a cop, all these kilos in back, they’re weighing heavy on my mind, I can’t get busted, Lord knows I’m too old to do anymore time. I
I sleep with one eye open, I keep the other on my gun, I’m the only friend I’ve got, and I’m not sure, he’s one I can trust, you think it’s easy money, it costs far more than it’s worth, profit made from broken lives, blood stained and cursed.
I run on stolen luck and unanswered prayers, no guarantees in this business, my only insurance is some criminal’s word. Everyone with an alias, my real name I forgot, lost my wife and my family, and too many friends to count.
Before you pass judgment I'm not the one to blame
I'm just a Wheelman, bringing you, you and you what it is you crave.

"One Night, I’m Hoping" by James Kenneth Blaylock

One Night, I’m Hoping
James Kenneth Blaylock, 3-15-23

one night, I’m hoping,
you’ll come on along

without any falsehoods
nor gaslighting, try truth

because, sure, I like being
appreciated and cared for

but, more often, than not,
I get a wealth of agonizing

as my heart is far from the common
rubber-band, meaning: I tear apart…

"The Morning of Discontent" by Ted Axe

The Morning of Discontent
Ted Axe

Is death
so bad?
To be free?
Free at last?
When she went out,
She hated it
When others laughed.
Her complaints were cries,
Cries for help.
No one felt
What she felt.
Alone in her world
With her pain,
She thought of a way
To an eventual end!
Her body laughed,
At her in her rage.
''I give up'' she said
''I don't want to ever
Wake up again''

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Film Review: "The People that Time Forgot" (American International Pictures) by Devin J. Meaney

The People that Time Forgot
Directed by Kevin Connor
Written by Edgar Rice Burroughs (story), Patrick Tilley
With Patrick Wayne, Doug McClure, Sarah Douglas, Dana Gillespie
Distributed by American International Pictures, Amicus Productions (uncredited)
Release date: July 6, 1977
Not too long ago I read the Caspak Trilogy. Even more recently I was scrolling through Tubi and I realized “The People that Time Forgot” was uploaded for free viewing. I thought this to be quite the convenient coincidence—and as I have never checked out the second installment (“The Land that Time Forgot” is the first) I figured I would give this a watch.
Once again this takes place on Caspak on the Island of Caprona. Just like the first movie there are dinosaurs, cave people, and a slew of prehistoric style adventures that unfold.
With that said—I found the first movie to be much more entertaining and the second one for me was much less memorable and I will also throw it out there that I did prefer the book version. The dinosaurs and other creatures have the same cheesy dated feeling as the first part but the story line was less intriguing overall and it differed highly from the original texts.
Would I watch this again? Probably. But only because I am a lover of “The Land that Time Forgot”—and maybe the only reason this one was less memorable was because it was not one of the high points of my childhood memories. Again—the effects were cheesy (maybe a bit too cheesy?) as well but I guess with a film hailing from 1977 that is to be expected! -Devin J. Meaney

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Book Review: Shivers #24: The Ghosts of Devil's Marsh (M.D. Spenser) by Devin J. Meaney

Shivers #24: The Ghosts of Devil's Marsh
Written by M.D. Spenser
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Length: 124 pages
Publisher: Mass Market Paperback
Release date: December 25, 1996
I did pay some shipping—but a book I snagged on Amazon for under a dollar was “The Ghosts of Devil’s Marsh” by M.D. Spenser. This is number 24 in the Shivers series and as I have read a few of the various Shivers books I figured I’d enjoy this one too.
Anyone that knows me knows I have a sweet spot for YA/youth horror. With that being said this was not one of my favorites from the series. Even though I usually enjoy the easy consumption of youth fiction the writing in this was a bit too simplified for my liking. Also—the story itself I found to be less enjoyable than the others.
With that said I can go out on a limb and say that young readers might enjoy this one. For fans of books like Goosebumps and FrightTime and American Chillers I could see this easily consumed by a vast array of kids around the globe—and even though it is a bit old and dated I’m sure the enjoyment factor would still be quite prominent! -Devin J. Meaney

Single Review: Bolt Inc. "Ossos" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Band: Bolt Inc.
Country: Brazil
Genre: Black/death metal
Single: Ossos
Format: Streaming
Label: Independent
Release date: April 5, 2023
Recently, I heard about this debut single from out of nowhere, and after searching around I found little information about it or the band that recorded it, other than a Facebook community page and some video clips on their YouTube channel. Other than that, there was no official site or any other streaming platforms available. According to the posts Bolt Inc.'s Facebook page, some of their favorite bands include Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Sepultura, Death, Sodom, Voivod, Obituary and Pungent Stench, thus I conclude that there is a heavy influence from 1980s and 1990s death metal on their part. Thus, "Ossos" makes for a good introduction to the band, especially if you enjoy Brazilian DM that is significantly downtuned, heavily distorted, and resolutely thrashing, with a tumultuous, bloodthirsty feel. It is true that the single lasts no longer than three minutes and fades out far too soon, but the introductory air raid siren and unrelenting guitars sending you from one section to the next convinced me that they are dedicated to writing the most hardcore riffs possible. In keeping with extreme metal from South America, the vocals are low and menacing while making the Portuguese lyrics understandable enough, the bass makes its presence known at the appropriate volume and the drums are comparable to Abaddon (Venom), Igor Cavalera (Sepultura), Leprous (Sarcofago), and 3 Black Hearts of Damnation and Impurity (Blasphemy). Whether this sound can still capture the attention of listeners depends on how receptive you are to early black/death metal, but Bolt Inc. appear to be sincere and passionate enough. Bolt Inc. should record an EP or full length soon as I would like to hear more in one sitting. –Dave Wolff

Crusher: Vocals
Black Mass: Guitars
Destruction: Bass, guitars, backing vocals