Monday, October 30, 2023

Film Review: "10/31 Part 3" (Terror Films, 2023) by Devin J. Meaney

10/31 Part 3
Directed by Michael Ballif, Jed Brian, Jonathan Patrick Hughes, Jacob Perrett, Brad Twigg
Written by Michael Ballif (House of the Mummy), Jed Brian ("Radio Tower Road Faux Trailer"), Dustin Ferguson, Rocky Gray, Zane Hershberger (Hack in the Box), Jonathan Patrick Hughes, Todd Martin (Old Man Gross), Jacob Perrett (The Locksmith), Taylor Rhoades, Melissa Sapienz (Old Man Gross), P.J. Starks
With James Morris, Emily Ashby, Vickie Becker, Jordan Beltz, Brittany Blanton, Rylee Bolls, Krista Bradley, Jace Brian, Geovonna Casanova, Steve Christopher, DéRome A. Chrétien, Tony Collins, Devan Coulter, Nicole Coulter, Ben Dietels
Produced by Grayhouse Entertainment, Witching Season Films
Distrbuted by Terror Films
Release Date: October 15, 2022 (DVD, Blu-ray, premiere). September 29, 2023 (Internet)
Tonight (Devil’s Night 2023) I came across episode 3 of 10/31! This is a collection of micro-budget horror shorts inspired by Halloween!
The first short film involving a mummy is pretty cheesy and comedic—and it didn’t fail at bringing forth a few chuckles! The other 3 shorts are much darker and veer into the realms of “splatter” horror, with loads of blood and gore galore! Once again I will state that this falls under the category of micro-budget—but with that said all of the effects were practical and were pulled off quite nicely. As a lover of films that steer clear of CGI (especially when of a lower budget) I have no problem saying that this one was an absolute win! The acting was bad, the script was terrible, the blood looked like corn starch—but what else would you want for a Devil’s Night/Halloween viewing? Overall my favorite short in this collection was the first one. It really fell into the category of things that are “up my alley”! -Devin J. Meaney

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Single Review: Incognito Theory "Anthem" (Curtain Call Records) by Dave Wolff

Band: Incognito Theory
Location: Kearny, New Jersey
Country: USA
Genre: Southern groove metal
Single: Anthem
Format: Digital, promotional video
Label: Curtain Call Records
Release date: November 3, 2023
In the months following the release of "American Rebel", Incognito Theory has promoted new material as aggressively as ever. Their next single and promotional video "Anthem" is scheduled for release next month, and I have to give them credit for advertising the old school way with endorsements and radio previews, supporting traditional media while plugging the single at Facebook.
The band has released a lot of singles to generate interest, and it seems to work for them as they’re working with companies like EMG Pickups and Dirtbag Clothing. Their marketing approach is as basic as the song's ribald coarseness, which goes further than the raw disposition they achieved by working with Malcolm Springer. The more attention they get, the hungrier they become.
With the appeal of bands like Down, Black Label Society, Damageplan, Hellyeah and Alice In Chains, as well as some classic 70s rock, their sound may not be brutal death metal, the effect on your eardrums is similar to that of acid poured over a deep wound. There's still no secret as to what the band’s about, and they don't appear too concerned with woke progressiveness or cancel culture. As nomadic outlaws, they continue to search for the next tavern to imbibe alcohol and sample whatever pleasures (or troubles) they may encounter.
"Anthem" gives the impression they are performing on stage to an entire roomful of nomadic outlaws, and everyone present is pretty much on the same wavelength. A compelling attraction draws you into this bar setting on Saturday night when everyone is drinking and taking in the surroundings, and every sight and sound is sensory and tactile. As we know, Incognito Theory are open and receptive to incorporating groove into their songs, and the groove reinforces their heaviness instead of concealing it to be sunnier or more marketable.
The band’s next album is coming out next spring; "Anthem" may seem unrelenting to you, but imagine an entire album of such compositions when its finally made. –Dave Wolff

Dave Incognito: Vocals
Mike Butchar: Guitar
Kenny Peer: Bass
Gonzo Martinez: Drums

Interview with Megiddo by Dave Wolff


Interview with Megiddo by Dave Wolff

Megiddo's bio and self-titled EP on Selfmaderecords LLC’s website illustrate a wide range of influences, similar to many bands featured in this webzine. This includes early thrash, prog metal, stoner rock, death and black metal, as well as drone and industrial music. How has each member incorporated their influences into a unique style?
Joe Chutter
Joe Chutter (rhythm guitar, bass): When I write music, it’s similar to cooking. I know what tastes good. I know what smells good. I know what recipes work and don’t work. The studio is our kitchen. Those musical influences get mixed together with different spices and cooked different ways and that’s Megiddo. We’re led by an energy that only the Spirit could take us. We want our music to make you tremble from the truth of God’s Grace on one side of the coin and His wrath on the other. With that being said I think it puts us in the Christian metalcore genre.
Dustin (vocals): I would say the bands that influence my vocals are bands like Born Of Osiris, Wage War, ERRA, and Make Them Suffer. For me it shows up primarily in lyrical writing and vocal fluctuations. All three of these bands tend to write lyrics which make you start thinking. I try to use some of the more poetic aspects of their writing and incorporate it to convey a thoughtful message for Christ.

What is the significance of the name Megiddo and how does it relate to the concept expressed in the lyrics? How do your lyrics contribute to your musical creation of tapestries?
Joe: Megiddo is an ancient city in Israel that is known for its many battles in the Old Testament of the Bible, and most infamous for the Greek interpretation of Armageddon referenced in Revelation of the New Testament. It pertains to our faith and it pertains to the day and age which we live. It draws curiosity and mystery, which pushes us. We refer to God’s judgment in our song “Mouth of Blood”.
Dustin: I came into the band late so I cannot really speak towards the name. However, as far as painting pictures with lyrics goes, words are one of the most powerful tools mankind has. Wars have been fought and won because of words. The whole of creation began with a sentence, “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). Therefore, when I write lyrics, I try to bring one’s mind to not only enjoy the music, but to consider the message being presented, even if it's not the popular opinion.

How does “Mouth of Blood” and the other songs on “Mouth of Blood” represent the band's beliefs and the Greek interpretation of Armageddon?
Dustin: We are unapologetically a Christian band. One of the primary missions of any Christian should be to address wickedness, both culturally and within the church. “Mouth of Blood” is addressed to the church, specifically to call out perversions in the church.
Brad (guitar, production): Three of the songs on the EP are instrumentals but still driven by faith. “Megiddo” is our self-titled song. It has a pretty epic sounding chorus, almost having the feel of being lifted up. Psalm 97:10 is a verse about hate and really the only time in life we should hate would be directed towards evil and sin. Psalm 113:3 is a verse that sums up “Spirit of the Sun” and how we should praise him every day. “Mouth of Blood” was originally called “Mouth Full of Blood”. When Dustin came on we let him have full reign of it because we wanted to see his full creative liberty. I mean, we had ideas that we discussed, but he ran with it.

When you stated Megiddo was calling out perversions within the church as well as outside, what were you referring to?
Dustin: In order for me to answer the question about perversions, let me first step back and say that as a Christian metal band we have three missions. Mission one: Glorify God. Mission two: spread God's message of Grace and Judgement. Mission three: disciple believers.
The song “Mouth of Blood” falls into mission three: disciple fellow believers. The lyrics for “Mouth of Blood” are aimed at church pastors and leadership who compromise the word of God for monetary gain, personal fame, or any other ungodly reason and as a result lead those new in faith astray or bring reproach on the name of Christ.

Underground metal subgenres with Christian concepts have existed since the 1980s and ‘90s with bands like Living Sacrifice and Mortification. In what ways is Megiddo familiar with Christian metal as a whole, and what bands do you listen to besides those mentioned earlier?
Dustin: This is my individual take on this. Though Christian metal bands have existed for some time now, many of the older generation Christian bands lyrically came across cringy. Not that they were saying anything wrong. But overall quality and lyrical content tended to be theologically shallow.
Modern Christian metal bands have done a much better job at delivering quality and deeper theology to those who would listen. Bands such as For Today, Memphis May Fire, For All Eternity, Fit For A King, and others have been able to bring relatability and theology to the forefront of Christian metal. I am to do the same.
Brad: Growing up, Christian metal was difficult to find for me. FYE didn’t offer much and the Christian bookstores were too conservative in their business plans. It wasn’t until Zao and As I Lay Dying came out and I read about their influences. Mortification was a blessing for sure. Not just an “alternative” to secular metal but a leading force in metal as a whole. We understand that there are many bands that may not claim to be Christian artists but have religious or positive lyrics. The difference is, is that Megiddo is a ministry, a purpose, a message. We’re not just an Armageddon centered band.

How do the lyrics of For Today, Memphis May Fire, For All Eternity, and Fit For A King relate more personally to listeners? What makes the theology of those bands and Megiddo deeper from that of past Christian metal bands?
Dustin: Let me first say, the early Christian metal bands of that time were in a unique spot. They were essentially fighting on two fronts. They were trying to spread a message that isn't always very well received and fighting the backlash of the church at the same time. So let me give credit where credit is due.
Throughout the years CM developed a stigma of being “preachy” and lacking in quality. Some bands have managed to break that stigma such as Haste The Day (older stuff), Underoath (older stuff), Demon Hunter, For Today, Memphis May Fire, For All Eternity and others.
Several factors have helped them break that stigma. One of which is less push back from the church. The other is that modern CM bands have learned to better present our message by being vulnerable with our audiences and admitting we aren't perfect and have our own struggles with faith.

Was “Mouth of Blood” up to your expectations when you completed the songs and recorded it? Was the recording in a professional studio or independent?
Joe: “Mouth of Blood” was done completely independently. No outside producer or engineers. Each song on the EP is a ladder story of how our writing and production increased in quality. It got real fun when Dustin entered the mix and we started collaborating from different states. We are excited and pleased with this EP, and even that much more excited about what we’re bringing to everyone next.

How did Brad and Joe become aware of Dustin's bands and projects, and why did you decide to work with him long distance?
Joe: I didn't know about Dustin until he commented on a post from Facebook. Once we talked a few times we sent him “Mouth of Blood”. I believe God lead Dustin to Megiddo. He was the first vocalist we tried. Once Brad and I heard him we knew he was a fit sonically. We knew we didn't have a drummer at the time and for now we are a studio band. We do quite a few unconventional things. We're blessed that Selfmaderecords LLC found us on an indie playlist. We didn't look for a singer. We didn't look for a label. But God gave us a voice in Dustin and a platform through our label. He's taking us places for sure.

After discovering Megiddo's material, did Selfmaderecords LLC contact them immediately? Where did they find the playlist on which you were featured? What about the band attracted the label's attention?
Erik Scarlet (Selfmaderecords LLC): When the owner of S.M.R. Katrina Scarlet passed the band’s material over to me she made it clear to me that I had to sign this band. I listened to their music and I instantly knew that this band had something special so I reached out to Joe and everything fell into place.

Have other zines and webzines besides this one been contacted for an interview? How many of those have taken the band up on the offer?
Joe: This is our first. And we appreciate it greatly. It's a pleasure to share ourselves a bit and our purpose.

Can you provide a brief description of the equipment you used to record “Mouth of Blood”? How much creative freedom did the band have recording it independently as opposed to recording with a producer or engineer?
Dustin: My mic at the moment is a simple Blue Yeti that I have had for several years. I've recorded the vocals for Megiddo, my solo project Through This War, and several other things with it. Though it is not a top of the line mic by any means it has been serving me well.
As far as creative freedom goes, I have never worked with a producer or engineer so all I would be able to say is what I have heard from others. Personally, I prefer independent recording simply because it allows me to bring my ideas and visions into place with more or less no compromise.

Since the band members are located in different states, how do they compose songs together before they are recorded?
Dustin: As of right now, the instrumentals are assembled by Joe and Brad, and I take the instrumentals and write to them, occasionally making/suggesting my own changes to the instrumentals. Joe: We each have our own studios, each setup is different in the way of what we produce. Brad and I write most of the content at his studio because we want you to feel the musical connection that we have as well. I write a lot of the riffs and we will pull an idea sometimes and run with it together. It’s different almost every session. We bounce ideas off each other through Dropbox.

What is your experience of doing Through This War, and how does it compare to Megiddo in terms of addressing religion?
Dustin: My experience with my solo project Through This War has been pleasant. I do everything for it. I write the lyrics, the riffs, and the drums. I record, mix, and master everything, and I publish through Distrokid. It is still predominantly Christian metal in nature, however I do explore other metal subgenres as well such as pop punk, trap metal, and some softer and more melodic sequences. It really serves in unison with Megiddo as it keeps my vocals going and helps shape our sound in a unique way.

How much material have you released with Through This War, and how much distribution have you received through Distrokid? Are you able to reach audiences that might not otherwise be attracted to Megiddo by adding more melodic genres?
Dustin: At the moment, I have 23 songs released over two EPs, several singles and instrumentals. The majority of my engagement actually comes from a site/app called BandLab where I have 151 followers. I also have much more published there other than my 23 wide releases. I would say the audiences I reach by exploring different subgenres is relatively the same. Right now “Through This War” is a small thing. I would like it to get bigger eventually. But in the meantime I'm just enjoying making music.

Assuming you have a private recording studio to record Through This War, does the equipment at your disposal allow you to achieve your desired sound? Does Megiddo record in the same environment with the same equipment?
Dustin: I am continuously getting better with my personal quality in my home studio. My latest single “Yahweh // Lord of War” and a cover song (“Faint” by Linkin Park) I am about to release will have the best quality I am capable of achieving at the moment. As you listen through my songs in order, you can audibly hear my progress in mixing and mastering.
Joe: Brad and I live in Asheville, North Carolina while Dustin lives in Texas. And our equipment is different along with the software we use.

Does Through This War primarily distribute its digital releases through BandLab? On what page of that site can they be streamed? Is Dustin looking to stream TTW on other internet outlets?
Dustin: TTW primarily releases through Distrokid. My BandLab page is more of my behind the scenes kind of page where several iterations of my songs are often published leading up to the final versions. For example, I may publish one revision, later change a part of the song, and publish that revision as well. So the audience gets to hear the song coming together before the final version.

How long has Dustin been collecting equipment for his home studio? Can he say how long it took to become proficient with the technology and master the art of mixing and mastering?
Dustin: I've been collecting equipment and VST3 plug-ins for probably the last two years. My current setup is fully digital. I run my guitar and bass into an M-Audio Air 192|4 directly into Cakewalk. I then use a slew of plug-ins from there. As far as mixing and mastering goes, I'm constantly learning new things.

What was the reason did Dustin cover a song by Linkin Park for “Yahweh // Lord of War”? What is its conceptual basis? Does the single intend to be released exclusively in digital format or will physical copies be available?
Dustin: I decided to do a Linkin Park cover because they were one of the bands that got me into heavier music as a child. I'm considering doing an entire album entitled “Inspirations” were I redo a few songs from my childhood in my style. “Yahweh // Lord of War” is a song/prayer to God on behalf of Israel against Hamas and the atrocious acts of violence they have committed as of late. They are to be released digitally.

In what ways has the situation between Israel and Hamas affected each of the band members personally? Have you been following it on the news as closely as you’re able to?
Joe: Both peoples are lost sheep. Neither testify that Christ is their savior. So that is the primary break in my heart. This is a spiritual warfare that started thousands of years ago with Abraham and two of his sons Isaac and Ishmael, that has manifested into physical warfare. Stemmed from bitterness of unforgiving. It's a war that will end in Megiddo. Isaac was the ancestor to the Israelites, which in time gave us Judaism, and this is direct lineage from Jesus Christ. As a Christian I stand with the Jews in this war but pray for the salvation of their souls.

Even though the band hasn’t gone out to perform live, are there any Christian metal festivals in the US you’re aware of, which you might eventually consider after meeting face-to-face?
Dustin: I believe we would all love to play live. I'm not sure of any Christian metal festivals personally. However if they would have us after we have the full band, then I'm sure we would love to play it.

Is there an increase in the number of Christian distribution companies over the past decade or two? What do you think would be most beneficial to the band? Do you know when you’ll be ready to begin seeking broader distribution?
Joe: I’m not sure of the number but the presence seems bigger because of the popularity of Christian metal. Anyone would assume a Christian label might be the best fit but who’s to say. We’ll go where the Spirit leads us. We want to gain some sort of fan base and we have a goal of releasing another EP/album while in our first year with Selfmaderecords. But once again as we focus on our music, we focus on our faith, and a strong faith makes the hard roads easier.

Is the band starting to write and prepare material for a new EP or full-length for Selfmaderecords? Do you have any lyrical ideas at this point that could be set to music?
Joe: We have a good amount of content to work with. I'd like a nine-song album, but a six-song EP may be more realistic. We plan on releasing singles and compiling them back together. We like “Mouth of Blood” a lot and will probably put it on the next compilation. We feel it's a beginning of a new era and should be seen in a different light. The title of our next single is “The One We Forgot”. We are most excited about this one. We come together on concepts and context but Dustin pushes the pen.

How would you want Megiddo to be remembered for their contributions to Christian underground metal?
Joe: Jesus' miracles mostly occurred outside his following. His contribution in this way is a creed in Christian faith. So we want to contribute Jesus to metal. We want everyone to feel the spirit through Megiddo.

-Dave Wolff

Friday, October 20, 2023

EP Review: Fake Figures "From Within" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Band: Fake Figures
Location: Southern California
Country: USA
Genre: Alt rock, metal
EP: From Within
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: September 29, 2023
This is the second musical act I’ve listened to with a member referring to his creation as therapy. Open to relate to, this therapy is about the conflict between writing what you feel and being told what you should write. Also the ill effects that result from corporate and social media. “From Within” and previous releases by Fake Figures boasts a feeling of purging angst and frustration through the very songwriting under pressure to change, and a feeling of desire to rise above said pressure.
There’s a distinctive aura of a band fresh out of high school, entering college and commenting on the “real world” around them while maintaining their world view, tailoring and fine-tuning it for adulthood. Bands, podcasters and distro runners are known to continue into their fifties as they believe in their choices. It goes to show you're never too old to decide something for yourself.
Fake Figures is comprised of members of Atreyu, Scars of Tomorrow, Cassetta, Adamantium and Cold War who have been active musicians for some time; forming a new band shows they still harbor sufficient energy and ability to mature directly from the state of mind they started with. Compared to their older material “From Within” is a little less disorderly and more focused. Not precisely metal, metalcore, pop punk, desert rock or post-hardcore, the EP draws from each genre when needed to manifest states of agitation, pain and repulsion.
Introducing divergent predilections, often presenting brief outbursts of distress, Fake Figures display enough shades of Integrity, Foo Fighters, Butthole Surfers, Alice In Chains and Killswitch Engage to attract most college radio audiences, and draw them into lyrics reflecting emotional states not touched with as much intensity as those bands. “Miasmatic”, “Best Intentions” and “Polymer” particularly exhibit the struggle to keep one’s own identity in the face of self-interested, hubristic advice. A message that’s as relevant today as it was in the 90s, 2000s and 2010s. Neve change, never shut up, never buy into what you’re told to believe. –Dave Wolff

Steve Ludwig: Vocals
Travis Miguel: Guitar
Geoff Harman: Guitar
Bob Bradley: Bass
Matt Horwitz: Drums

Track list:
1. Burn The Tyrants
2. Miasmatic
3. Best Intentions
4. Polymer
5. My Homage

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Full Length Review: Pale Fallen Dead "Why Do I Feel Dead Inside?" (Independent, Rotting Sun Records, Bastard-Premonition Tapes) by Dave Wolff

Location: Oklahoma
Country: USA
Genre: Sludge metal, ambient
Format: Digital, CD, cassette
Label: Independent, Rotting Sun Records, Bastard-Premonition Tapes
Release date: October 15, 2023 (digital)
While researching this one-man project’s site I found this quote from the late great Peter Steele (Carnivore, Type O Negative), which read “functionless art is simply tolerated vandalism”. Something to make you think while listening to the new visions of Decomposed Dave. Dave is the driving force behind Pale Fallen Dead and Life Has Soured, a sludge metal act dealing with serial killer psychology and mass murder.
Dave worked with a number of doom, sludge and drone bands prior to starting his current project, which while still being somber and spine-chilling comes from a more private and intimate place. As it is a progression of sorts from his last project and dedicated to people close to him who are no longer with us, “Why Do I Feel Dead Inside?” is taking a journey toward fully evolving as a musician by diving into broader perceptions of lifelessness and forlornness.
Listening to “Why Do I Feel Dead Inside?” is equivalent to traveling through an endless city of ruins. It is also equivalent to witnessing nightfall that doesn’t move in when day fades but actually absorbs all the light of day. But as the quote above suggests, it’s no directionless expression of angst, no murder of the light. It isn’t negative for the sake of being negative, but intended to serve a purpose known only to him. To fully understand it, you’ll have to follow him into the abyss; with a modicum of insight you’ll eventually emerge the wiser.
The songs here are incredibly long, repetitive and droning, with jarring drums and achromatic vocals. There’s no effort to assume commercial appeal here. However, appearances deceive and its nuances lie in how narcotically it wanders into mournfulness. Something about them immerses you as comparably to Type O Negative and Pink Floyd as to Earth, Eyehategod and Church of Misery. Especially the way the tone in “Pale Goddess Descending”, “Wind Stripped Spirit Decay”, “Among the Pale Fallen Dead” and “An Imminent Ending” unexpectedly alternate between drone and ambient, giving even greater weight to the intended effect.
The final track “Dead Inside (Where Emotions Go To Die)” has a complete ambient vibe ending things on a chilling note. However “Why Do I Feel Dead Inside?” will be released with three different outro pieces according to who released it. –Dave Wolff

Decomposed Dave: Vocals, all instruments

Track list:
1. Pale Goddess Descending
2. Wind Stripped Spirit Decay
3. Among The Pale Fallen Dead
4. An Imminent Ending
5. Dead Inside (Where Emotions Go To Die)

Monday, October 16, 2023

Film Review: The Thing From Another World (RKO Pictures, 1951) by Devin J. Meaney

The Thing From Another World
Directed by Christian Nyby, Howard Hawks (uncredited)
Written by Charles Lederer, Howard Hawks (uncredited), Ben Hecht (uncredited)
Based on the story "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell Jr.
With Margaret Sheridan, Kenneth Tobey, Robert Cornthwaite, Douglas Spencer, James Young, Dewey Martin, Robert Nichols, William Self, Eduard Franz, Sally Creighton, James Arness
Produced by Howard Hawks, Edward Lasker (associate producer)
RKO Pictures, 1951
Looking for something to watch I made my way to Tubi in search of something cheesy. After a brief perusing I found “The Thing from Another World”—a 1951 B flick. I do enjoy a good black and white film—especially when it involves aliens or monsters or things of that nature. Here is the bio from Wikipedia:
“The film's storyline concerns a United States Air Force crew and scientists who find, frozen in the Arctic ice, a crashed Flying Saucer and a humanoid body nearby. Returning to their remote arctic research outpost with the body still in a block of ice, they are forced to defend themselves against the still alive and malevolent plant-based alien when it is accidentally thawed out.”
Honestly after watching the film I only have a few things to say. The vibe was great and overall this was a fun film but I can also state that the “creature” looked far too human to be visually appealing and the ending was “anti-climactic” to say the least. These are the only two negative things I have to say though as overall this was a decent piece of classic B- grade cinema and since I now have the bug for old films I hope to find more movies like it in the near future.
This was based on an even earlier writing—so to make a close I will say I would be interested in reading the original story. It made for a decent movie—but I daresay it would make for an even better piece of readable fiction! -Devin J. Meaney

Film Review: The Dark Side of the Moon (Trimark Pictures, 1990) by Devin J. Meaney

The Dark Side of the Moon
Directed by D.J. Webster
Written by Carey W. Hayes and Chad Hayes
With Robert Sampson, Will Bledsoe, Joe Turkel, Camilla More, John Diehl, Wendy MacDonald, Alan Blumenfeld, Ken Lesco
Produced by Keith Walley, D.J. Webster, Masahiro Nishizawa (executive producer), Paul White (executive producer)
Trimark Pictures, 1990
I made my way to Tubi to see what B grade cinematic treasures I could find. After checking out a handful of movies that I had no interest in I came to “The Dark Side of the Moon”. Here is the bio from IMDb.
“In 2022, a repair crew is sent to fix an orbital weapon but their spaceship malfunctions and ends up heading towards the dark side of the moon. There, in a mysterious, seemingly abandoned space shuttle, a sinister force lies in wait.”
First and foremost I think it is amusing that this all takes place in the “distant future” of 2022. Secondly—this movie wasn’t half bad! It wasn’t the greatest film I have ever watched—but it was far from the worst!
One negative thing I have to say is that at times things were hard to understand. By the end of the film I still didn’t figure everything out—but it was entertaining none the less. I won’t go into too much detail as I think watching the film would be the best way to digest the story but I think fans of horror and sci/fi fusion films might dig this one! I will also say that although this film is very spacey it is also a tad “devilish”!
This has a rating of 4.9/10 on IMDb so just under half the people that watched it liked it—by IMDb’s standards anyway. If I was to give this movie a rating I’d rate it 6/10—and the reasoning behind that would be even though I didn’t fully get it the creep factor was strong and the eerie vibes were pleasant to senses! -Devin J. Meaney

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Full Length Review: Windfall "The Burning Microcosm" (Sons of Hell Prod) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Windfall
Location: Buenos Aires
Country: Argentina
Genre: Black metal
Full Length: The Burning Microcosm
Format: Digital, CD, cassette
Label: Sons of Hell Prod
Release date: October 1, 2023
Once again while listening to gorenoise I was linked to a melodic black metal band! I have listened to this release before and forgot to review it so it makes sense that since I was re-linked to the album I should give it a review while I have a chance. The release I am speaking of is “The Burning Microcosm” by Windfall! It was released in 2023 by Sons of Hell Prod. on CD and tape and was uploaded for our listening pleasure at the Black Metal Promotion account on YouTube!
First off this is your standard BM but it has solid production and tight musicianship. The vocals are on point and atmospheric, the guitar work is immaculate with cold tones and shredding riffs and the percussion pounds on with all the force of a winter storm raging upon your doorstep!
The Burning Microcosm features 6 tracks in under 40 minutes so the songs are on the longer spectrum—which is standard. The polar opposite of most goregrind and gorenoise and grindcore—but each genre has its pros!
You can check this out on YouTube or you could buy a copy physically from the label mentioned above. You can also check the band out on Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp or the Metal Archives! Lastly—this is some pretty good black metal. The vibe is spot on and again everything is put together nicely. This is something that both new and life-long fans of BM should enjoy—and I wouldn’t doubt that anything new or older from Windfall is just as good! -Devin J. Meaney

Amend: Vocals, bass
Ventriz: Guitars
Mathias: Guitars
Lord Funeris: Drums

Track list:
1. The Howling of the Mad God
2. The Burning Microcosm
3. Swords Shall Bring Peace
4. With Open Wings Towards Nothingness
5. Of Light and Tunnels
6. Footprints of a Forgotten Deity (Part I and Part II)

EP Review: Fumier "It’s good for your health" (Independent) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Fumier
Location: Quebec City, Quebec
Country: Canada
Genre: Gorenoise
EP: It’s good for your health
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: April 5, 2023
After some intense searching—I have pretty much depleted most of the good gorenoise from YouTube it seems—I came to “It’s good for your health” by Fumier! Fumier is a Canadian gorenoise project and this is my first time giving them a listen!
It states on YouTube that this is a two piece! 7 tracks in under 4 minutes makes this a short listen—but as a lot of gorenoise releases are uber short this is entirely acceptable. There is just enough here to make you put your head in your hands and say “WTF?”
“Ping ping” jackhammer percussion and splattery and obscurely obnoxious vocals paired with blur riffs and sludgy tones makes for your standard noisy listen. With that said—this is done well and I’d like to hear more from the project!
There is no bio to speak of aside from the “names” of the artists involved. But this was uploaded by the “Sickphoque” account on YouTube that I am just hearing of. So if you have any interest just give this a listen on YouTube and give that account a view!
PS: The cover amuses me! -Devin J. Meaney

Track list:
1. Who's #1 with Hoes and Cows
2. Le tas de purin a pau-paul
3. Asking Joe Pesci if he wants to collab on the album
4. j'ai attrapé la rage en mangeant de la coaticook a saveur de marde
5. Randall Bobandall vs Marc Lepine
6. Happy Manure Mother's Day
7. Horse Passing Gas

Interview with Gene Olivarri of Dirigiri by Dave Wolff

Interview with Gene Olivarri of Dirigiri by Dave Wolff

Tell the readers about Dirigiri's history and how much of a stir the band has caused in underground metal.
Dirigiri is from San Antonio, Texas established in 2004 with a thirst for the EXTREME Lone Star State style. For many years we have done things our own way, mixing and matching brutal, extreme genres plus horrific reality into our brand of brutal, extreme Texas Death/Thrash. The stir has been caused by our work ethic and pushing our music in the extreme metal underground. Global consistency has been the key which is just working hard at what you do and love.

As a band playing death and thrash metal, how hard has it been to promote and find a listenership without label backing, building a reputation from the grassroots? How many pitfalls has the band experienced and what makes you continue through them?
The only one thing that keeps me at this is to make the metal masses of the world remember San Antonio, Texas, which will always historically be the heavy metal capital in America. We did our best to build our fence with the first release without label support, continuously and consistently pushing our music out to the world. A lot of mailing and a lot of money on our part was involved. That was the sacrifice to push our music out globally without any label. Talking to distributors, sending an already-made product, and praying hard they would stand behind it and help us push it out. We didn’t skip one day to tell everyone and anyone about Dirigiri and where we were from. It took a lot to build lots of time and pushing. We’ve had many pitfalls and bitten the bullet many times in various situations. Like AC/DC says, “Gettin' had gettin' took, I tell you folks it’s harder than it looks. It’s a long way to the top of you wanna rock n roll.”

What distinguishes the Texas style of metal from the sounds produced in other states such as Tennessee, New York, and California? In this era of underground metal, how important is it for bands to pursue their own paths?
Each of those mentioned paints with their own brush, but the Texas way is plugging straight through the amp head, tightening up the tone a bit, dialing it in, and jamming it out like ZZ Top. It’s very important to do your own thing even if someone doesn’t understand it as long it’s your own thing on your own path; that’s what makes you different.

Despite no updates in the Dirigiri camp for some time, you recently discussed everything to do with the band on Lady Red's “Path of Blood” show at Metal Devastation Radio. Was your upcoming release part of what you discussed regarding Dirigiri?
Her show “Path of Blood” on Metal Devastation Radio is always amazing and full of killer music and interviews. She is an amazing DJ and everyone should check her show out. We talked about the new release “Cursed Masters” and the title track was extremely well received by listeners. We were very happy that the listener count went up as Lady Red played the title track. Plus we conversed about things that have happened out on the road, like haunted venues I’ve been in and things of that nature. Just stories of the road and fun times. Plus about how our new label Dark United Media is putting out a limited edition Digipack and a mega rare release on cassette tape in early 2024, and where our first self-titled release was released with no label support and was well received around the world. It was released by me. I manufactured my own CD artwork, put it out, and sent it everywhere around the world from my little home in San Antonio. Dark United Media felt that it should be re-issued and re-released. Since it has become a cult CD in the metal underground, and a mega rare CD for any metalhead’s collection since only so many copies were manufactured by me. This was also revealed on “Path of Blood”.

Is the band seeking other podcasts to be interviewed? How many local podcast shows are based in Texas? Are you finding any shows outside your state or in other countries to seek more exposure?
There are so many and yes we seek anyone, anywhere, and every way possible for us to get Dirigiri’s music and know about us as much as humanly possible. It is a fun task for us to do this; we love it.

When did the material development for “Cursed Masters” begin? Tell the readers about the time and effort channeled into it?
Lots of song picking was put behind it, and we were thinking about how we could outdo the first self-titled release since it was written in about three years. A lot of stir in the underground happened because of that first CD. Not many people around the world have been hearing about death metal coming outta San Antonio for a long time. Member changes were made to possibly take Dirigiri to a different level. This is why the album is called “Cursed Masters”. Only I and vocalist James Kuhn were the only two members left standing, plus I got the title from an old 1970s samurai movie. The development was really bringing more groove mixed with brutal death grind with Dirigiri’s signature death/thrash style mixed into it. James Kuhn did a good job with his unique way of singing death metal and putting his ingredients into it as always.

How well-known is Dark United Media, and how did you come to be signed with them?
Dark United Media is an independent label from Jacksonville, Florida releasing and distributing lots of great underground music. Label owner Ed Perez had been hearing about Dirigiri for quite some time now through all kinds of media outlets, and he had been waiting for the proper moment to approach us. It was the right time as the new album had been finished. Then he approached us at the same time with the re-issue of the self-titled album; since there was a stir it had become cult. The first release sold out six times and I had manufactured it myself six times. It was a shocker for us because we had no label. Ed believed in it so much he wanted to reissue it through Dark United Media.

Is Ed planning to include additional features in the re-release of your debut album that were not included in the original pressing? Can you tell me how many copies of the reissue will be printed and how much advertising will be done for it?
No additional features we wanna keep it raw and real like when it was first released. At the moment we don’t know how many copies will be made lots of advertising will surely be made to get it to everyone’s hands we can reach.

In addition to Dirigiri, what other bands does Ed support through Dark United Media? Does the label have an official website that can be accessed by interested parties?
You can find all that info a

In what ways did adding groove and brutal death/grind to “Cursed Masters” add to your death-thrash formula while retaining the heaviness of your debut album?
Our thing was to outdo the first self-titled release, which I feel good about with this CD. We changed our members for a different ingredient for this album to push Dirigiri in a different direction. Plus we wanted to showcase our rhythmic sections more on this album and to somehow try to accomplish making it a bit heavier than the first album.

If your newer members have experience in other bands, how will that help steer Dirigiri in a new direction?
The great thing is about the musicians in my band and musicians in general you learn different grooves and timings from different minds and hands like being a carpenter of sorts. It’s a great thing to have those different views to see what works to accomplish a good song.

How long did it take you to collect enough material to begin working on "Cursed Masters"? At this time, what is the band's lineup, and what is the extent of each member's participation in songwriting?
It didn’t take long we’re always writing thinking of ideas. James Kuhn is such a great writer he loves just writing songs short stories anything and everything he brings a huge ingredient to the table with our writing process. Everyone brings everything they got to the table it makes writing music together great.

Which songs from the new album are the most representative of the new direction Dirigiri is taking with their music?
I would say the songs “Cursed Masters” and “Holy Perversion”. We still want that edge but with tons of power in the back of it. “The Swing Of The Axe” and “Bury Your Dead” represent our new direction; they have so much catchy groove.

What was the inspiration behind your new lyrics? Is your lyrical ability improving at the same rate as your musical ability?
It all has to do with horror; true horror; and horrific things that have happened. “Holy Perversion” deals with possibly Pontius Pilate’s feelings on the crucifixion of Jesus, and also about the trial the rabbis had against Jesus. We are always trying to improve on many things as much as we can. We take a step back and really look at the music, trying things in a different way always.

How is the band progressing with the recording of the new album? In terms of your equipment, has there been an improvement?
Better recording tools and higher-quality amps were the same as always. It’s all in the hands and what you make outta it is my belief.

In what formats will “Cursed Masters” be available when it comes out? How does the band plan to cover the cost of pressing copies and how does Dark United Media plan to promote it?
It will come out on a limited edition Digipack and a mega rare cassette tape release this has never been done with our music. How many copies I’m unsure of at the moment; things are still being worked out. I’m sure they have a huge plan and campaign behind this album we hope it is very well received by the metal community.

Do you think Dirigiri is ready to perform at bigger shows at this point? At the rate the band is progressing, how soon would you be able to share a stage with bigger bands and play local metal fests?
At this point, touring is hard for anyone and everyone no matter at what size of platform any band is sitting on at this point in time for music. If we were to go out and do this it would have to really be made worth it.

-Dave Wolff

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

EP Review: Dark Moon Spirit "Under The Dark Moon" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Band: Dark Moon Spirit
Location: New Jersey
Country: USA
Genre: Gothic rock
Format: Digital album
Label: Independent
Release date: October 31, 2017
As the Halloween season arrives, here is an exploration of the dark recesses of the mind from the depths of New Jersey. Witches, zombies, and demons abound seeking fresh souls during this time of year; what better time for Dark Moon Spirit? Are those creatures real or shades that dwell within all of us, offering opportunities for escape from the mundane existence of everyday life? If they’re the latter you have to be willing to open the doors to those places often left closed and observe them from a different perspective. During the day, these places can appear somewhat primal and frightening, however, at night they become clearer and more appealing.
Dark Moon Spirit offers that opportunity with a sense of balance reminiscent of the line from Omen III: The Final Conflict: "True evil is as pure as innocence." Their frequent live shows blur the line between the physical and the metaphysical, with the vibe of a Vincent Price or Hammer Horror film, with 60s sci fi added for good measure. With mystical, mystifying overtones, that dynamism is replicated beautifully on their debut EP. The darkness on "Under The Dark Moon" is not all baleful; but you wonder whether the forbidden pleasures revealed are so because of how intensely they can be felt if you embrace them as part of yourself. This is reflected in lyrics resonant of wizardry, illustrating hidden desires and passions with personal frailties existing alongside personal strengths.
These lyrics, set to an eclectic shuffle of rock, punk, Gothic rock, noise pop, acid rock, surf rock, desert rock, and pirate radio, explore those desires as blessings as well as a curse. Emptiness accompanying those desires, a sense of being apart from the mortal world, longing for something better yet elusive, are linked to the joy of finding a kindred spirit with whom you can create your inner universe where your dreams become a reality. The realization that one can cultivate one's perspective of oneself and the surrounding world is a feeling of dark ecstasy. The vocals are particularly gripping and furnish the songs with a sense of warmth and belonging.
"Under The Dark Moon" isn’t for everyone, but it’s undeniably wide-ranging and appealing to fans of AC/DC, The Cult, The Doors, Jan and Dean, The Misfits, Medicine and Christian Death. Dark Moon Spirit make consistent appearances at a yearly event taking place in New York City known as Witchsfest USA; you can view some live stream videos from the event at this link. –Dave Wolff

Lineup (studio):
Fred Darkmoon: Vocals, all instruments

Lineup (live):
Fred Darkmoon: Vocals, guitar
Dave Meyers: Bass
Dave English: Drums, vocals

Track list:
1. Dark Moon Spirit
2. By the Moonlight
3. Naked
4. Feel Your Heat
5. Love Me Tonight

Demo Review: Liquidying "Mauled and Liquified" (Sewer Extract Records) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Liquidying
Location: California
Country: USA
Genre: Gorenoise
Format: Digital
Label: Sewer Extract Records
Release date: March 18, 2023
“Mauled and Liquified” by Liquidying! Yet again this is another (extremely) short blast of nefariously pungent gorenoise! With vocals that are watery and “toilet-bowl-esque” paired with simple drum machine driving this is pretty cool! There is not much to say aside from that fact that only fans of the dingiest gore will dig this one! To most people it would just be a wall of headaches—but for those of us that “get it” this provides a nice little listen or three! The fact that I couldn’t find the cover art on Google proves the absolute obscurity of this!
This is available on YouTube and is brought to us by Sewer Extract Records. You can also check it out on Bandcamp! Featuring 6 short tracks in under 2 minutes I won’t waste any more words…just go listen to it ok? -Devin J. Meaney

Track list:
1. Advanced Decay
2. Black Putrefaction
3. Active Decay
4. Putrefaction Sets In
5. Rapid Decay
6. Gone Decay

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Full Length Review: Uranium USSR 1972 "Avarie" (SmallVoices) by Dave Wolff

Project: Uranium USSR 1972
Country: Italy
Genre: Experimental electronica
Full length: Avarie
Format: Digital
Label: SmallVoices
Release date: 2006
By pure chance, I came across this album and decided to review something really out there that's not metal, hardcore, or hard rock. Something that cannot be described as typical industrial, electronica, or synthpop either. There is nothing ordinary about these epic experimental instrumentals by a solo artist trying out varying sounds and atmospheres.
It's always a pleasure to listen to music that has never been attempted. I gave Uranium USSR 1972 a try and found "Avarie" to be a stimulating blend of mechanized and organic voices that allowed for a great deal of metamorphosis into unexpected states of mind. Take the most outlandish and fantastical science fiction published in Heavy Metal magazine and allow your imagination to expand infinitely, and you'll have an idea of what to expect from this Italian solo project.
An experimental electronic project, Uranium USSR 1972 was created by Angelo Bergamini, who is also the founder of the electro wave band Kirlian Camera, Siderartica, Stalingrad Valkyrie, Hipnosis, and Ordo Ecclesiae Mortis. As a result of his refusal to be pigeonholed, his music is an graphic mix of electro, synth pop, ambient, chamber music, industrial, urban, noise, and minimalism, complemented by gratuitous atmospherics and sound effects.
I refer to this album as graphic since the way it's arranged and recorded, the songs tell a story without having to use lyrics. In some ways, it is reminiscent of something from Heavy Metal magazine, while in others, it is reminiscent of the soundtracks to early 20th-century expressionist films. The first film that comes to mind is Fritz Lang's "Metropolis", but it also evokes deeper perceptions of the society it depicts and makes one desire to learn more about its history.
Bergamini undermines your expectations from the very beginning. "Avaria" begins with a minimalistic tone that gradually assumes depth before an urban/electronic rhythm enters at a different pace. As the contrasting rhythms fade and return, they sometimes overlap to create a sense of cognitive dissonance. It's played with harsh, calculating keyboards, which are reminiscent of the Industrial Revolution of the early 20th century, also a source of inspiration for these compositions, according to the bio.
"Glaciation Room" and "Rain Aesthetics" reiterate this, slowly assuming the isolation of the individual in the midst of urban sprawl. In this way, "Avarie" conveys the sense of humanity struggling to survive in the face of a cold industrial environment. “Lumet Metro Cine*Ma” depicts the solitude and despair of this spirit as it tries to escape its industrialized confines. Described as multifaceted and visionary, "Avarie" is different from anything you've heard before. –Dave Wolff

Angelo Bergamini: Waldorf Pulse synth, E-mu Orbit synth, Yamaha RS7000 workstation, Waldorf Mini Works 4 Pole filtering module, Roland Juno-60 synth (midi equipped), Ensoniq EPS-16 Plus sampler, Roland MC-505 Groovebox, Korg Microkorg 1 synth, Technics radio, etc.

Track list:
1. Avaria
2. Glaciation Room (feat. Elena Alice Fossi)
3. Rain Aesthetics
4. Lumet Metro Cine*Ma
5. Glaciation Room (Trance Club Mix) feat. Elena Alice Fossi

Full Length Review: Kiss "Kiss – Icon Series" (Mercury) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Kiss
Location: New York
Country: USA
Genre: Rock, shock rock
Full length: Kiss – Icon Series
Format: CD, digital
Label: Mercury
Release date: 2010
To make a change from the normal gorenoise and goregrind and black metal that I post/write about I decided to delve into a bit of rock and roll. I took a trip to “Blue Star Traders” today—one of the local thrift stores. I snagged some cassettes of Pat Benatar and Fine Young Cannibals—but with them I snagged a CD. The CD in question is a KISS compilation from the Icon series!
This CD includes Strutter, Deuce, Hotter Than Hell, C’mon and Love Me, Rock and Roll All Nite (Live), Detroit Rock City, Beth, Hard Luck Woman, Calling Dr. Love, Love Gun, Christine Sixteen and I Was Made for Lovin’ You! I don’t know as much about KISS and rock and roll as I do about the heavier genres I usually speak off—but in my later years it is something that has grown on me positively!
First and foremost I need to say I love the production on this! The older KISS tracks have a certain “grain” about them that drives me wild! I can say the same for most old rock and roll! The drums on this are simplistic but tight and the guitar is very much the same with simple crunchy rhythms—though there are some wailing solos and leads!
I had heard of the Icon series before. I don’t know what happened to it but at one point I owned a Godsmack Icon CD. I know there are plenty more—and if those two CD’s are a testament to the brand I can say that they include nothing but the best of the best!
In conclusion—I’m a tad young to remember KISS and the heydays of rock and roll. But through cassettes and CD’s I manage to indulge in classics from another time. It took me until my late twenties/early thirties to really appreciate “old school” rock and roll—but now that I dig it I can say the vast majority of it is well worth checking out! -Devin J. Meaney

Paul Stanley: Vocals, guitar
Gene Simmons: Vocals, bass
Ace Frehley: Guitar, vocals
Peter Criss: Drums, vocals

Track list:
1. Strutter
2. Deuce
3. Hotter Than Hell
4. C'Mon And Love Me
5. Rock And Roll All Nite (live)
6. Detroit Rock City
7. Beth
8. Hard Luck Woman
9. Calling Dr. Love
10. Love Gun
11. Christine Sixteen
12. I Was Made For Lovin' You

Friday, October 6, 2023

Full Length Review: Gorebones "Stages of Putrefaction" (Bednoiseroom Records) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Gorebones
Location: Vladivostok
Country: Russia
Genre: Gorenoise
Format: Digital
Label: Bednoiseroom Records
Release date: October 1, 2023
Yet again on one of my whimsical adventures through YouTube’s underbelly I found another solid piece of gorenoise! “Stages of Putrefaction” by Gorebones is something to throw on at Thanksgiving or Christmas when your grandmother is getting ready to chow down on a feast of turkey and stuffing—well no—not really—but it for sure is something that peaked my interest!
This is splattery and gurgling just how I like it! At times the percussion can be a bit repetitive—but that is the only negative thing I have to say. Otherwise this is a genuinely noxious blast of noise and gore! The vocals are straight out of the sewer and the guitars—very lo-fi—chug on with a blatant disregard for my bedroom’s usually quiet and peaceful ambience!
There is no bio on YouTube to speak of—but there is a link to a label called “Bed Noise Room Records”—so if you dig what you hear give them a view! This one is for fans of the rawest gore only—so if you’re expecting something even slightly melodic steer clear! -Devin J. Meaney

Track list:
1. Autopsy Tools
2. Christian Faith
3. Commandment
4. Desecrated Excavations
5. Devouring Rot
6. Divine Sign
7. Easter
8. Examination After Exhumation
9. Foaming Scabs
10. Ghost of a Ruined Church
11. Gore Feast
12. Holy Water
13. Paranormal Action
14. Sanctification
15. Schemamonk
16. Self-Digestion of Tissues by Proteolytic Enzymes
17. Smell of Sawn Bone
18. Stages of Putrefaction
19. Vomiting Worms
20. Zombie Apocalypse (Mortician Cover)

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Full Length Review: Amorphis "Queen Of Time (Live At Tavastia 2021)" (Atomic Fire Records) by Dave Wolff

Band: Amorphis
Location: Helinski
Country: Finland
Genre: Progressive metal/rock
Full length: Queen Of Time (Live At Tavastia 2021)
Format: Digital, digipak CD/Blu-ray (EU), jewel case CD/Blu-ray (US), double green marbled gatefold LP, double red marbled gatefold LP (exclusively from Atomic Fire Records)
Release date: October 13, 2023
How many of you are familiar with Amorphis' 2018 release "Queen of Time"? If you’ve heard it, you will know it’s one of their most indulgently progressive efforts to date, blending Celtic folk, progressive metal, rock and power metal with melodic death metal from “The Karelian Isthmus”, “Tales from the Thousand Lakes” and “Elegy” from early in their recording career. The band has demonstrated unwavering integrity while taking increasing risks, and metal purists responded approvingly.
Considering all the innovation Amorphis has pursued, it is not surprising that fans of Iron Maiden, Queensryche and Fates Warning would commend their efforts as much as fans of Amon Amarth, Hypocrisy, and In Flames. The band combines harsh vocals with melodic harmonies, Celtic and Egyptian influences, metal riffs, and cybernetic keyboards, all of which combine to spellbind anyone within hearing range. Easy-to-understand phrasing and orchestral choruses aid this process.
For a new live album (their third), the finest aspects of "Queen of Time" have been enhanced and magnified. Filming of this session took place in 2021 at the Tavastia Club in Helinski, Finland. As they performed without an audience (during the Covid pandemic), they drew on each other's energy and felt the music they recreated from "Queen of Time" in the manner of an actual concert. In many ways this made for a set that was solid and close-fitting, amplifying the album’s strong points.
The release of "Queen Of Time (Live At Tavastia 2021)" coincides with the Halo European Tour 2023, which is scheduled to begin late in October. It is evident from the two advance promotional videos that Amorphis put a great deal of effort into their presentation. There’s just as much importance placed on the stage set and lighting as there is on the instruments, sound system, the club’s acoustics and especially on the level of concentration focused on "Wrong Direction" and "Amongst Stars".
All these elements organized into the show create a wall of sound and visuals allowing these songs to express every minute shading. The stage lights convey the lyrics and the images they are intended to evoke by playing on light and darkness. This is further illustrated by the contrast between the melodic and harsh vocals vocalist Tomi Joutsen delivers with equal force. He also switches into a mechanized style in the middle of "Wrong Direction" without missing any mid-song cues.
Each change in time or mood is handled flawlessly by the entire band, and everyone involved gets a chance to shine. This includes Anneke Van Giersbergen, known for being the vocalist of The Gathering who has collaborated with Within Temptation, Napalm Death, Moonspell, Anathema, Novembers Doom, among others. Her appearance on "Amongst Stars" adds to the mystical elements of this song as much as Joutsen’s melodious passages. All a taste of what’s to come this month. –Dave Wolff

Tomi Joutsen: Vocals
Esa Holopainen: Guitars
Tomi Koivusaari: Guitars
Olli-Pekka Laine: Bass
Santeri Kallio: Keyboards
Jan Rechberger: Drums
Anneke Van Giersbergen: Guest vocals on “Amongst Stars”

Track list:
1. The Bee
2. Message In The Amber
3. Daughter Of Hate
4. The Golden Elk
5. Wrong Direction
6. Heart Of The Giant
7. We Accursed
8. Grain Of Sand
9. Amongst Stars
10. Pyres On The Coast