Sunday, December 31, 2023

Full Length Review: Impetigo "Ultimo Mondo Cannibale" (re-release) (Hells Headbangers Records) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Impetigo
Location: Bloomington, Illinois
Country: United States
Genre: Death metal, grindcore
Full length: Ultimo Mondo Cannibale (re-release)
Format: Cassette, digital
Release date: February 1, 1990 (first release)
A while back I was browsing the cassettes provided by Death By Digital, and I realized both of the full length albums from Impetigo were available on cassette for 8.50 CAD each. I wanted these albums since I was a teenager, so I was quick to snag them. Earlier on the day of writing this “Ultimo Mondo Cannibale” arrived, and I was excited to plop it into my tape deck!
“Horror of the Zombies” is my favorite Impetigo release, only because it is very nostalgic for me. With that said, Ultimo Mondo Cannibale is entirely rad, and it helps show the early roots of what is now known as “goregrind”!
Simplistic riffs and feral drumming alongside chaotic vocals and well-chosen movie samples makes for a listen that is epic, splattery and genuinely disgusting (in the best way possible)!
The re-release I copped was put out by Hell’s Headbangers, though I can only assume there were quite a few different versions available over the years. Even if you just wanna check this out on YouTube (or wherever else it is available online) I would highly encourage it. The splatter is contagious, and I feel as if anyone who likes both extreme music and early horror could appreciate this!
Oh! And the tape itself is a really cool clear cassette with gold sparkles—so they really didn’t skimp on the “awesome” factor for this re-release! -Devin J. Meaney

Stevo Dobbins: Vocals, bass
Scott Bross: Lead guitar
Mark Sawickis: Guitar, backing vocals
Dan Malin: Drums, backing vocals

Track list:
1. Maggots
2. Dis-Organ-Ized
3. Intense Mortification
4. Revenge of the Scabby Man
5. Veneral Warts Part 3
6. Bloody Pit of Horror
7. Dear Uncle Creepy...
8. Bitch Death Teenage Mucous Monster from Hell
9. Zombie
10. Jane Fonda Sucks, Part 2
11. Red Wigglers
12. Harbinger of Death
13. Unadulterated Brutality
14. Mortado
15. Bad Dreams
16. Who's Fucking Who?
17. Heart of Illinois
18. My Lai

Saturday, December 30, 2023

EP Review: Repulsion Magnetica "Taofago" (Vias Negras) by Dave Wolff

Band: Repulsion Magnetica
Country: Ecuador
Genre: DIY experimental noise
Format: Digital
Label: Vias Negras
Release date: October 21, 2023
I started listening to Repulsion Magnetica after Eidan Yoson emailed me from Ecuador inviting me to listen to artists signed to his experimental-industrial-harsh noise-low fi synth label Vias Negras. This band/project has been associated with Vias Negras at least a few years. It was difficult to find information about them online, so I checked out several EPs and split releases with other projects.
Those who prefer structured compositions without excess distortion would likely dismiss these recordings, but I found them compelling as each release sounds distinctly divergent and possesses a sideshow-like variety. Much of the material recorded for said releases feel like a disturbing dream evoking mental and emotional responses from anxiety to panic. In general, Repulsion Magnetica is the aural equivalents to Herk Harvey's "Carnival of Souls" and Kyle Edward Ball's "Skinamarink", or more so to José Mojica "Coffin Joe" Marins' surreal Brazilian horror ("At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul", "This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse").
In listening to the ideas offered here, it is as though you are entering a similar world, where everything is grotesque, and paths appear and disappear at random. I consider the work of this project the labor of a musician working with an assortment of synthesizers and other instruments, composing from any stimulation experienced at the time, preserving what’s constructed for anyone who wants to become immersed in it. Without guidelines or expectations, or regard for what someone may or may not find palatable or even tolerable about it.
The developmental free-form capacity of Repulsion Magnetica persists in becoming elaborate with “Taofago”. And in a manner that urges you to journey further into bedlam. From ambient-industrial-rap to droning experimental techno-noise, Repulsion Magnetica nourish unlimited range and dedication to bridging the wide spaces between musical genres, turning up the morbidity while intensifying its attraction to admirers of unconventional musical fusion. Support the label housing this project and check out their other bands. –Dave Wolff

RM: Vocals, music, lyrics, bass, keyboards, pedals, effects, mixing, production

Track list:
1. Matrixificación (feat. Mari Swaruu)
2. No consiento
3. Corazón deforme
4. Pernografía

Interview with Ernesto Paez of Modern Mimes by Dave Wolff

Interview with Ernesto Paez of Modern Mimes by Dave Wolff

When Modern Mimes formed they put together different musical shades which you christened “future Goth”. Explain how the band incorporates your influences to make them stand out from most gothic rock? What common interests did you share when you started practicing together?
Ernesto Paez (guitar, bass): We basically just kind of got in a room and started experimenting with sounds at first. Adi and I didn't really have anything in particular in mind as far as what genre we wanted to do at first. That being said, we reached into our pool of influences and let things flow naturally. Once we were happy with a certain overall vibe and sound, we just went with it. We've always been fans of dark and haunting music and that played a big part in our writing in the beginning.

How does dark and haunting music speak to you and the band? While experimenting with different styles, how long did it take you to arrive at a style that you wanted to develop for the band? Do you strive to capture a particular sound or atmosphere?
For me personally, dark music just seemed to be an escape from the type of music that was around in my home when I was growing up! When I heard bands like Nine Inch Nails and Type O Negative, it almost brought me into a new dimension that I felt like I fit into. It took us a couple of years to find our overall sound. If you listen to our first album, you can almost hear that we were still kind of experimenting. I also think that we're still finding ourselves in our creations as we get older and more mature artistically. As far as striving for a particular sound at this point, we are well aware of what our strong points are. That being said, we do aim to fulfill those elements in our songwriting.

Did you listen to music as a means of escape during your formative years or as a method of expressing your unspoken thoughts? The experience of discovering a new band is like entering a whole new world. How would you describe this feeling you had?
It didn't start out as a means to escape, but it definitely is now. Back then, we were just drawn into something that gave us a sense of intrigue. Finding a new band or new sound just felt fresh. We seem to be drawn to bands and artists that have their own unique sound and artistry.

What mental images were intended to be evoked when the name Modern Mimes was first coined by the band?
One of the more common images would be picturing a light at the end of a dark tunnel. Also, images of dark figures or entities trying to take over our physical bodies.

About evoking images with the band's name, how would you describe the duality of light in the dark tunnel and dark figures seeking to take over physical bodies? Do you have any idea what the purpose of those entities might be? Typical possessions or something else entirely?
To us, the dark figures represent negativity within us. It’s our way of portraying certain struggles individually and within the band. We also like to sort of leave it up to the listener to interpret what it means for them personally.

In what ways do you view the balance between negativity and positivity that exists within each individual? Is there a reason why it has been depicted in underground music for so long?
I believe positive and negative emotions are the fuels that power the creative output in many, if not all artists. Seeing as underground artists have most creative control over their creations, the raw emotions don't seem to get watered down by outside perspectives.

You incorporate industrial and electronic sounds into your music as well as pop sensibilities. Do you find anything reminiscent of the early eighties in your gothic rock, or something more modern and contemporary? Have these been added in ways that haven’t been tried before?
We are highly influenced by a lot of early 80's type music. I'm not sure if we're really doing anything that hasn't been done, but we approach it with our own style.

What are the bands of the eighties with whom you have retained a personal connection, to the point that you drew inspiration from them while writing for Modern Mimes?
Definitely bands like Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, Joy Division and so on. Even 80's heavy metal bands like Van Halen, Slaughter and Pantera.

Based on your bio, the band would appeal to fans of Lacuna Coil, Sevendust, Motionless In White, Spiritbox, and Nine Inch Nails. It sounds that there is a balance between atmospheric music, guitar heavy music, and synthesized music. Are any goth bands, such as Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, and Christian Death for example, also reflected in your songwriting?
Not particularly, but some elements of goth music like the melancholic melodies, synth, and echo definitely inspire our writing. However goth metal and alt metal are the most prominent. I did listen to quite a bit of The Cure and Depeche Mode growing up.

Lacuna Coil particularly appeals to me as goth metal. Do Cristina Scabbia’s vocals resonate with the band in any way? How about other goth metal vocalists, female or male?
Lacuna Coil was one of my most influential bands growing up. I also really loved Kidney Thieves, and Type O Negative.

What is the level of experience that you and the other band members have as musicians? Which bands have you worked with before you formed Modern Mimes?
Ernesto was in various different projects before Modern Mimes. Another Black Day and Joan Red were a few bands he was in. Adi was primarily a solo singer songwriter and also sang with a band called Meridian Sky.

The vocals of the band are described as powerfully haunting, while your lyrics are described as subconscious and evocative. How do you apply this approach to your vocals and lyrics so that they contribute to the desired effect of your music?
We like to have our listeners dive into our lyrics from their own perspectives. Sometimes we feel like some of our lyrics are open to interpretation. Also, a lot of times the music itself will inspire certain feelings in which case the overall melodies and feel of the lyrics will tend to manifest as dark and haunting.

Up to this point, which bands have you performed live with, and what other public appearances have you made?
We've been fortunate enough to perform with bands such as Combichrist, Wayland, We Came as Romans, Memphis May Fire, Weezer, The Killers and so many more. We've also played many great festivals and appeared in many FM radio stations which we've performed acoustic versions of some of our songs.

Does Modern Mimes prefer to open for noteworthy bands, building a hardcore fanbase, or play larger festivals with more bands on the bill and reach a wider audience? Or does it depend primarily on the date?
It usually depends on the date, although we do honestly prefer full on tours. If a tour happens to include a festival or two, that's even better.

Describe the title and song list of your debut album, as well as how far the band had progressed by the time it was released? If you recorded any demos before finding the sound you wanted for the album, how many did you record?
Our debut “Wake Up” was a concept album that consisted of nine tracks. It was our awakening as a band. Our early demos were basically just small clips of ideas that we recorded on our phones and it was mainly guitar riffs and vocal melodies.

Did the band consider it a better idea to record with a producer or produce it independently to make a first impression?
Considering our first album was self-produced, we wanted the second to be a step up. At that point, we were lucky enough to meet Rick Lander and Chris Stanley. They were great to work with and brought a different perspective to our sound.

In order to promote your debut, you released a single entitled “Love Hate”. I read that you also released the song as a video and shopped it around quite a bit.
We had a few videos before “Love Hate”, but we definitely put a bigger budget into “Love Hate” which was self released and still very much grassroots.

How did you become involved with Carla Forte for the production of the “Love Hate” video? Have you seen previous examples of her work and/or do you believe she has the necessary experience to assist the band in achieving their vision?
We came across Carla's portfolio online and were impressed with her work. We were actually planning to do a video for a different song but we were convinced by our manager to do a more upbeat song. That’s where we got the idea to do “Love Hate”. We feel like she did a great job in executing our vision for it even though the vision was for a different song at first.

What did you find impressive about Carla's online portfolio? Would it be possible for bands to view it on the web and contact her?
Her ability to capture the message of an artist and portray it in a visual format is what impressed us. You can find her work at

Describe the video for “Love Hate” and what viewers can expect to see in terms of images and atmospheres. Is there any duality like the sort discussed earlier?
One image that comes to mind is Adi with the black balloons. Balloons usually represent some type of happiness but with the balloons being a dark color, it conjures up thoughts and feelings of duality within that.

Can you elaborate on the duality represented by the black balloons? In what song was this vision originally intended, and how close was Carla's vision to your own?
Carla was actually the one who suggested the black balloons. She understood what we were trying to say in a song like “Love Hate”. Her vision was spot on.

Describe the video release of your cover of Type O Negative's “I Don't Wanna Be Me” and how it paid homage to the original while adding your own touch. What motivated you to promote it before its official release?
It's funny how that worked out. Our manager at the time was good friends with Kenny Hickey, who is the guitar player for Type O Negative. Our manager sent Kenny our video just to get his opinion on the cover. Well that day, Kenny leaked the video on his Facebook page and it got a HUGE response and that’s what prompted us to release the song and video early.

Did you find it surprising that Kenny liked the video enough to leak it online? Was he disposed to express any thoughts on how it was made during the time he leaked it?
We were very surprised. We did not expect for him to share it on his Facebook page or even the official Type O Negative page. Needless to say, we were honored.

How did you improve your recording methods for your second album, “The Gray”?
It had a lot to do with who we worked with and where we went to record. We actually flew out to Louisiana and worked in a studio that had a lot more gear to work with. It was also the first time that we used a live drum kit, rather than electronic drums.

Why did the band choose to release your promotional video for “Portals” independently? Did you work with the same producer on all of your releases or do you work with different producers on each release?
For “Portals”, we worked with the same producers as in “The Gray”. We have tons of chemistry with them and will continue to work with them for future releases. We decided to release it independently because we were nearing the end of our contract with the label we were on at the time.

Before releasing “Portals”, what label was the band signed to? While you were with this label, did it help them reach new listeners in more than one country?
We were working with Curtain Call Records before releasing “Portals” and I think we actually were the ones that gained new listeners while working with them. They also own Rock Rage Radio, which helped us reach a wider audience.

What were the advantages of releasing independently to build your recording career from the ground up? How did it give you a push before you began to record for independent labels?
We didn't really plan on releasing anything with a label. It just happened. I guess you can say we learned a lot about releasing through labels, which in turn will help guide us when we release independently.

Which producers did you work with on “The Gray” and “Portals”? How did they assist you bringing their vision to life in the studio, and what additional pointers did they provide? Was your experience with them helpful in improving “Portals” from “The Gray”?
We worked with Rick Lander and Chris Stanley. They brought in new energy and fresh ideas. We felt that they had great chemistry and their chemistry rubbed off on us and gave us a new perspective on how to arrange and produce a lot of the demos that we had done.

Let the readers know about some of the subsequent promotional videos you have produced and the latest video you released, “Heavy Heart”. In what ways has Modern Mimes musically and lyrically improved with each video?
We actually had our photographer/videographer come out on a run with us, and he made us a little mini film which you can find on YouTube. It’s called “All For 30 Minutes”. It’s basically a rundown on tour life and a few interview questions with the band. We always push for our next video to be better than the last. Heavy Heart, we feel, definitely brought out the visuals and interpretation of the lyrics very well.

I read the band have more new developments planned for next year. Care to reveal some of these in this interview? Something about the Monster Hall Music Fest in Wisconsin for example?
Monster Hall was an event that we played when it first came to fruition. We were stoked when they invited us back. We've definitely got some more music and content coming out in 2024, starting with the release of our next single “Roses in Ruins”. We very much look forward to continuing our musical endeavors.

-Dave Wolff

Friday, December 29, 2023

EP Review: Månegarm "Urminnes Hävd (Remastered)" (Black Lodge Records) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Månegarm
Location: Stockholm
Country: Sweden
Genre: Pagan folk
Format: Digital, CD, CD box set, vinyl
Label: Black Lodge Records (Stockholm, Sweden)
Release date: September 25, 2015
Urminnes Hävd (Remastered) by Månegarm, or “The Forest Sessions”! This is the first release by Månegarm that I’ve owned physically, aside from a few dubbed tracks on cassettes my friend Cernunnous gave me (In fact, it was Cernunnous who bought me this album as a present for Christmas 2023!).
My favorite release still is the untitled album (the one with the reddish backing and the wolf as the main image) but this EP is pretty nifty. It is very much a mellower side of Månegarm, with acoustic tracks throughout, featuring different instruments played to peak performance. With that said, there is as much talent on this cassette as there is within the realms of their heavier stuff—and the only negative thing crossing my mind after listening for the first time was this was not long enough! Featuring six songs, this is much shorter than their other albums. Either way, I’d still consider it a valiant winner!
To keep my word sloshing to a minimum I will just suggest that you give this a listen. Metal fans should appreciate this, but so should fans of folk/folklore and anyone that wishes to shine a light upon “heathen roots”.
The cassette is available through Black Lodge. Get it while you can, and may Odin bless you all! -Devin J. Meaney

Markus Andé: Guitars
Jonas Almquist: Guitars, songwriting, lyrics
Janne Liljeqvist: Violin, cello, flute
Pierre Wilhelmsson: Bass, lyrics
Erik Grawsiö: Drums, vocals, songwriting

Track list:
1. Intro
2. Immelsfursten
3. Utfärd
4. Älvtrans
5. Hemkomst
6. Döden
7. Vaggvisa

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Full Length Review: Darko US "Oni" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Band: Darko US
Country: USA
Genre: Experimental deathcore
Full length: Oni
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: September 26, 2022
Another side project I came across by chance, that is secure in their genre(s) while disregarding the perceived rules associated with them. Named after a demon of Japanese folklore with possible origins in Buddhist beliefs, Darko US’ album “Oni”, their third release since 2020, lives up to the depictions of those demons in traditional art and legend.
When Tom Barber (also of Chelsea Grin) and Josh Miller (also of Spite) pool their resources, you can bet its something memorable. Darko has a way of crafting their songwriting to give their material a theatrical sound that comes across as concept driven. Not quite like more well-known death core and math metal bands, but sometimes something will surface and trigger recognition of those artists you’re familiar with. Appealing to Meshuggah and Mastodon camps, Darko US multiplies the elements to imbue “Oni” with several distinct levels of ponderous motion, syncopation and ambience.
What’s more, they’ve managed to get attention in the industry without any advertising, label backing or even live exposure. While you may wonder how a band could shatter any and all methods of getting publicity, it might have something to do with their multi-instrumentalism and an instinctual sense of what many metal fans want to hear. Darko US sounds like an act that embarked upon a free form of evolution, without outside interference, and developed a sincerity that speaks to people.
The intro track and the beginning of the following track paints bone chilling environs where you don’t expect the band’s heavy factors to enter the picture. It’s more like what you’d expect from the soundtrack of “Blade Runner 2049” or “The Matrix”. Massive heaviness arrives as a counterpoint to what was previously established, making room for inklings of death metal, hip hop, EDM, industrial, nu metal and some jazz and prog rock, with themes including science fiction and existentialism. It doesn’t have the impact of a weight, but constant gravity pulling you inexorably into the ground.
Darko US is indiscriminate of what they write and, equally indiscriminate about how they write. Exploring as many opportunities as possible to test unheard of arrangements, they’re perfecting tight transitions for every time and mood change and injecting songs seemingly unrelated to the rest of this album, but fitting when you consider the big picture. They’re likewise perfecting an adeptness at arranging songs in a completely unpredictable manner, crammed with different sounds, and you won’t find their implementation tedious or monotonous in the slightest. –Dave Wolff

Tom Barber: Vocals
Josh ‘Baby J’ Miller: Guitars, drums

Track list:
1. Begin
2. Looking Glass
3. Hyperkill feat. Ryo Kinoshita of Crystal Lake
4. Dragon Chaser
5. Rosaria’s Fingers feat. Kyle Anderson of Brand of Sacrifice
6. Infinite Beauty
7. Evolving feat. Shaolin G of UnityTX
8. R.T.G.O.B
9. Gantz
10. Oni
11. Ana feat. Taylor Barber of Left To Suffer
12. Sand Script
13. Acid Inject
14. Come Home feat. Rory Rodriguez of Dayseeker
15. Redo

More videos available for streaming at Youtube

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Full Length Review: Dying Fetus "Make Them Beg for Death" (Relapse Records) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Dying Fetus
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Country: USA
Genre: Brutal death metal, grindcore
Format: LP, cassette, CD, digital
Label: Relapse Records
Release date: September 8, 2023
While browsing Facebook I noticed that Matt Canova (the vocalist of Athymia, early Unbidden and various other local extreme music bands/projects from Cape Breton) posted his list of favorite albums for the year. Due to that post I realized that Dying Fetus (my favorite band when I was like 12) released a new album a few months back! The album is called “Make Them Beg for Death” and it is pretty friggin’ rad!
Sound wise it is very similar to their more recent albums (most notably Descend into Depravity and War of Attrition) but the snare sound at times reminds me of some of their earlier work. The same deep (arguably the deepest I’ve heard aside from bands using a pitch shifter) gutturals are featured, alongside their signature heavy groove oriented guitar work. After listening to the album in full I can state that this is entirely a solid album, but I still view the Grotesque Impalement EP as my favorite DF release. With that said, DF has never released an album I did not like, and now that they are 9 albums deep into their career it is obvious that they utterly refuse to pale their unique and signature sound.
Fans of grind, death metal and hardcore can all hold hands with this one. It is a culmination of various sub genres, and as always, it is something I’d happily add to my personal collection. -Devin J. Meaney

John Gallagher: Vocals, guitars, lyrics, songwriting
Sean Beasley: Vocals, bass, lyrics
Trey Williams: Drums, songwriting

Track list:
1. Enlighten Through Agony
2. Compulsion For Cruelty
3. Feast Of Ashes
4. Throw Them in the Van
5. Unbridled Fury
6. When The Trend Ends
7. Undulating Carnage
8. Raised In Victory/Razed In Defeat
9. Hero's Grave
10. Subterfuge

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Full Length Review: Cypress Hill "The Very Best Of Cypress Hill" (Sony BMG Music Entertainment) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Cypress Hill
Location: South Gate, California
Country: USA
Genre: Hip hop, rock, alternative rock
Format: Digital
Label: Sony BMG Music Entertainment
Release date: July 8, 2008
I often peruse the thrift stores in my town to check for books, CDs, and tape cassettes that I might like. Not too long ago I attained a handful of CDs, and one of the discs I landed was “The Very Best Of” Cypress Hill from the Playlist compilation series.
Now, hip-hop and rap are not forms of music that I know a lot about, but when the vibes are right and the mood strikes, I do like to indulge in tuneage of the hip and beat-tacular variety. With that in mind—I can state that while I never got into Cypress Hill as a teenager or even in my twenties, in my thirties it is something that I thoroughly enjoy.
I am not a super fan, in the sense that I don’t “fan girl” for them, but every song on this compilation is genuinely groovy (I haven’t used that word in a while, but I guess Bruce Campbell would be proud).
The song “Tequila Sunrise” would need to be one of my favorites. I’d suggest this one to fans of hip-hop—alongside anyone who has an appreciation for good creative output and a varied musical palate.
In conclusion, even though I have been let down by the Playlist series before (I own a KoRn CD with so many censored words it is almost as if the songs are skipping) I can say that this release is within the top tier, so I guess Playlist has some redeeming qualities.
Also, as a final note, hit up your local thrift stores. You never know what kind of treasures you may find. I got this disc for a dollar! -Devin J. Meaney

Track list:
1. Latin Lingo
2. When The Ship Goes Down
3. How I Could Just Kill a Man
4. Hand on the Pump
5. Hits from the Bong
6. Latin Thugs
7. Looking Through The Eye Of A Pig
8. Illusions
9. Insane in the Brain
10. Tequila Sunrise (feat. Barron Ricks)
11. Another Victory - Clean Edit
12. The Phuncky Feel One
13. Boom Biddy Bye Bye
14. I Ain't Goin' Out Like That

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Full Length Review: Twilight Force "At the Heart of Wintervale" (Nuclear Blast) by Devin J. Meaney

Country: Sweden
Genre: Symphonic power metal
Full length: At the Heart of Wintervale
Format: CD
Label: Nuclear Blast
Release date: January 20, 2023
While listening to a dance music stream on Youtube, my buddy Seagull messaged. After a brief conversation about music and other things he sent me a link to an album. The album I am speaking of is “At the Heart of Wintervale” by Twilight Force! I didn’t know what to think when clicking the link, but after a quick audio inspection I realized that this was something golden!
Twilight Force is epic power metal, that I am sure of. I don’t know as much about power metal as I do about other sub-genres of metal, but I do enjoy it. Different power bands present very different vibes, as is true with all musical genres and artists. This release happens to have a vibe that is up-beat, “happy” and genuinely uplifting!
The musicianship is excellent, with intricately played guitars paired with powerful and booming drum work, elegantly crafted vocals and lyrics and other instruments played to peak ability. Again, power metal is not my usual “breed” of metal, but for tonight the aura present on this amazing album was spectacular—and it carried my mood to a level of peace and mental clarity I haven’t felt in quite some time!
For fans of bands like DragonForce, Hammerfall and Stratovarius (and other acts similar), I’d suggest this for an evening when you want your brain’s wanderings to be brought to mental scenes of epic battles, adventure and good-spirited wholesome heaviness!
I usually strive for the darker, murkier stuff—at least when it comes to metal. But sometimes, it seems, sunlight can break through to me as well! -Devin J. Meaney

Allyon: Vocals
Lynd: Guitar, lute
Aerendir: Rhythm guitar
Born: Bass
Blackwald: Piano, keyboards, harpsichord, violin
De'Azsh: Drums

Track list:
1. Twilight Force
2. At the Heart of Wintervale
3. Dragonborn
4. Highlands of the Elder Dragon
5. Skyknights of Aldaria
6. A Familiar Memory
7. Sunlight Knight
8. The Last Crystal Bearer

EP Review: Meatcleaver "In The Flesh" (Independent) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Meatcleaver
Location: New England
Country: USA
Genre: Goregrind
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: December 10, 2023
Earlier on the day of writing this my music tastes changed from classic rock and roll to up-beat dance music. As always though—there came a point where I felt myself craving a blast of the gory stuff!
After a quick search (it was literally one of the first links I clicked) I found myself 2023’s “In The Flesh” by Meatcleaver!
First and foremost I need to say that musically I am reminded highly of the work by Pierre De Palmas, the mastermind behind Blue Holocaust and Vomi Noir. Vocally this is a bit different, and the grunts and gurgles are varied and sporadic. I can’t tell if every vocal is pitched, but either way, the vibes presented are entirely on point!
The guitar is low and simplistic but great. The drumming is tight, and everything meshes together to create something that is absolutely dripping with gore-tastic awesomeness!
This band is a two-piece from New England, USA. This is their debut EP that has currently only been released digitally. Fucking listen to it! -Devin J. Meaney

Track list:
1. In the Flesh
2. Alone With a Deranged Psychopath
3. Mangled With a Meathook
4. Lingering Death
5. The Intruder
6. Stabbed Repeatedly
7. Uncontrollable Impulsive Behavior

Monday, December 18, 2023

Full Length Review: Kristopher Battilana "The Raven and The Robot 2" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Artist: Kristopher Battilana
Location: Geraldton
Country: Western Australia
Genre: Alternative, rock, metal, goth
Full length: The Raven and The Robot 2
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: August 16, 2023
When it came out in October 2022 “The Raven and the Robot” was an ambitious project by which Kristopher Battilana expressed his ideas through visuals as well as music. When I reviewed his collection of singles “Introspective 1” earlier this year I noted the variety of ideas brought into it. I imagined they would undertake a process of maturity, and this is happening with his new full length.
Battilana referred to “The Raven and the Robot” as a digital storybook with the songs serving as a soundtrack to his character depictions and descriptions of the events taking place, complete with lyrics and a fictional account. Battilana used "AI" generated art to express the story visually while keeping it organically rooted through the written word. A work that was brought to life by stimulating all of your imagination, it has been well received by reviewers who gave it a fair chance and showed potential for expansion into unexplored modes of expression, perhaps in audiobook or movie form of some kind.
Battilana channels ethereal/medieval/brutal death songwriting for his other band Abysmal Domination toward moving his project into something that sounds as if it originated from the otherworldly universe he created on “The Raven and the Robot” and “The Raven and The Robot 2”, an expansion on told on his debut. That eclectic metal remains a major part of Battilana’s writing on the second part of what’s becoming an epic, with more prominent constituents of industrial, early punk and gothic rock, again calling to mind David Bowie, Andrew Eldritch of Sisters of Mercy and Peter Murphy of Bauhaus.
The production is less gritty on this album, paying closer attention to mechanized and computerized themes to enhance the contrast between man and machine. The biggest difference between Battilana and musicians who draw upon keyboard and synth-driven influences is, while a lot of it is presented with a cold lifelessness projecting lack of vitality to make its point about the misuse of technology, Battilana makes sure to inject humanity into that rampant technology. A feeling derived of earthborn mortality remains invariably unimpaired through all the contrasting sounds, as if signifying the importance of adhering to what makes us flesh and blood creatures, not automatons with chips in our brains.
At Battilana's Youtube is a brief teaser for “Did I Forget?” which offers the barest taste of the storyline. The narrative and the landscape shown is enough to make you want to see more. –Dave Wolff

Kristopher Battilana: Vocals, all instruments

Track list:
1. Did I Forget?
2. Overload
3. Nowhere to Hide
4. The Keeper of Ravens
5. From the Dirt
6. Aura
7. The Last 8 Minutes
8. Human
9. Afterglow

Full Length Review: La Cattrina "Todos Muertos, Todos Santos" (Jade Empire) by Dave Wolff

Location: Mexico City
Country: Mexico
Genre: Folk metal
Full length: Todos Muertos, Todos Santos
Format: Digital
Label: Jade Empire
Release date: November 2, 2023
La Cattrina from Mexico City is one of the first Mexican folk metal bands as far as I'm aware at present. Although there’s little to read about them in connection with their debut “Todos Muertos, Todos Santos” (All Dead, All Saints), most of them are experienced working with other bands based in Mexico of varying genres (thrash, gothic, avant garde progressive death).
The band is working hard promoting the album at Spotify, Youtube, Apple, Deezer and other streaming services since last November. All the news you’d be interested in is at their official Facebook, including links to live interviews they recently conducted to promote the album at El Llamado De La Bestia MX and El Rock de todos los Días. I’m certain they won’t be difficult to find in 2024. Their incorporation of traditional Mexican legend and folklore into classic thrash and symphonic metal is educated and knowledgeable, acquainting listeners to traditional Mexican holidays such as the Day of the Dead.
The music is mature and sophisticated for a first effort, meticulously sharp when it comes to arranging thrashy riffs, classically tinged solos, precise blast beats and themes allusive to Mexican, Celtic, French, Native American, Italian and Russian folk. These nuances are arranged and executed with concentration paid toward harmonizing them as if they intrinsically accommodate each other. Add an intense push forward on the band’s steam and the vocals of newcomer Karín Cruz who embodies the passion and tradition of Mexican culture. There you have a whole greater than the sum of its parts with potential to broaden metal’s range while as radically thinning the differences between metal and folk. –Dave Wolff

Karín Cruz: Melodic vocals
Hugo Reyes: Guitar, melodic vocals, harsh vocals
Jorge Pedrazza: Lead guitar
Mau Henson: Bass
Julio Contreras: Violin
Iván Muñoz: Flute
Álvaro Romero: Drums

Track list:
1. En soledad, la muerte
2. Cuando el tecolote canta
3. Pulka
4. La bruja
5. El espejo de los dioses
6. El callejón de los dioses
7. Nuevo amanecer
8. El sentir de un alma en pena
9. Día de muertos
10. El llanto de los mil cadavers
11. Tzauindanda (Flechador del sol)
12. Revolución

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Full Length Review: St. Madness "Last Rites: The Final Blessing" (pre-release) (Nasty Prick Records) by Dave Wolff

Band: St. Madness
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Country: USA
Genre: Southern groove metal
Format: Digital album
Label: Nasty Prick Records
Release date: July 8, 2022
Having started in 1993 as Crown of Thorns and renaming themselves in 1997, Arizona's St. Madness has earned a reputation as a recording and touring band, releasing eleven full lengths (including a live album), and performing with a variety of artists, including Van Halen, King Diamond, Misfits and Destruction. It is credited that they invented the "Tempe Sound" and won Los Angeles Music Awards' Metal Album of the Year award for their album "Carnimetal", all from the grassroots and through their own independent label.
Having listened to a few songs from older albums such as "Vampires in the Church" and "Saintanic", I gather they specialize in gallows humor and social satire, as if they’re thumbing their noses at people who take metal too seriously. An idiosyncratic sound is devised by St. Madness with foundations of horror punk, Southern rock and metal, outlaw biker, tongue in cheek Mentors-style chauvinism and a touch of appeal for enthusiasts of occultism and true crime accounts. Additionally, the band has been known to record a few covers over the years. Several of these covers are of familiar songs: Ozzy, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Troggs, Johnny Cash and Billy Idol for example. Familiar or not, St. Madness has a way of reinterpreting them in a flawless manner.
It is evident their releases up to "Last Rites: The Final Blessing" contain a lot of controlled energy and an ominous rumble that’s held firmly in check, like a volcano waiting to erupt when the time comes. Musically, they've become heavier, but their lyrics are becoming more sober and ruminative. Like the innermost thoughts of someone who is struggling with his free spirit and past mistakes, a struggle most people experience sooner or later. Are you changing completely to come of age, or are you learning to make decisions for yourself, learning from human error, developing more knowledge, and bettering yourself on your own terms? This is the discord running through this album, a struggle to find balance between oneself and the outside world.
As Kipling put it, “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” For this it seems appropriate that youth is remembered through the band’s cover of W.A.S.P.’s “Wild Child”. –Dave Wolff

Prophet: Vocals, lyrics
Sid Ripster: Lead guitar
Messorem: Lead and rhythm guitar
Devlin Lucius: Bass
Evil T: Drums

Track list:
1. My Music Manifesto
2. A Time for Reflection
3. Biologic Manipulation
4. The Blood is the Life
5. They're All Gone
6. Wild Child [W.A.S.P. cover]

Monday, December 11, 2023

Book Review: When it Rains at Night (Cellar Dolls, 2022) by Devin J. Meaney

When it Rains at Night
Written by Rebecca MacFarlane
Format: Paperback, Kindle
Language: English
Length: 160 pages
Publisher: Cellar Dolls
Release date: April 21, 2022
I ordered myself a copy of “When it Rains at Night” by Rebecca MacFarlane. It didn’t take long for the book to arrive, and it took even less time for me to finish reading it after it came in! Here is the bio from the back of the book:
“A self-proclaimed lone wolf, Spencer is a drifter who lives life by his own rules.
When he crosses paths with a young girl walking alone on the highway, his gut tells him to keep walking. He nearly passes her by, but there’s something familiar about her that he just can’t ignore.
Paige claims to have lost her memory, and Spencer finds himself drawn into a stranger's bizarre predicament. Against his better judgment, the pair set off on an unexpected journey to uncover Paige’s identity. When a jittery trucker and a roadside café prompt some terrifying memories, the truth of who Paige really is unfolds into a mind-bending nightmare.”
I didn’t know what to expect when ordering this, but I can say without a doubt that this was one of the better novellas I have read in the last little bit. Some might consider this book short, but at just over 160 pages for me personally it was the perfect length. This allowed me to finish it in one sitting over the span of a few hours, and each hour of reading was filled to the brim with excitement—and I have no problem suggesting this one to readers everywhere!
The characters were intriguing, and in the long run, I plan to check out more from Rebecca some time soon. Rebecca is sincerely a talented writer, and she is deserving of any attention that she gets! -Devin J. Meaney

Full Length Review: Mind Control "Elements" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Location: Abruzzo
Country: Italy
Genre: Progressive death metal
Full length: Elements
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: December 1, 2023
This Italian prog-melodic death metal band has released only two albums in nine years. However, those albums show them remaining brutal while massively pushing their boundaries, drawing inspiration from as many sounds and atmospheres as different genres. As Mind Control jammed so many influences into “Elements”, it initially sounded like a huge mess. However, after listening to it again and again, their skill as musicians and where they were taking their song structure became clear to me.
Despite the nine-year gap between “Elements” and their debut album “Heptagon”, it's more than sufficient time for a band to establish themselves as innovators. They're gaining a reputation for hybridizing underground and aboveground metal, as well as shuffle the listener fast. This is done by leading you in one direction and suddenly thrusting you in another. This is done to heighten your awareness and anticipation of what's next. All the while striving to reach the level of Steve Morse or Billy Sheehan.
There is no doubt that was an audacious statement. However, both albums demonstrate the band’s adeptness to a variety of musical persuasions as well as the range of multifariousness achieved by merging and integrating them. The members of Mind Control could have been melodic death metal, industrial metal, classical metal, progressive rock, jazz fusion, or funk/rhythm and blues. They would have been just as convincing of their ability to arrange and execute songs as they are here on “Elements”.
Mind Control compose crushingly heavy music, unfaltering and resolute, but not as single-minded as some may think. Their heaviness is often a backdrop for the temperaments provided through the addition of metal, prog rock, nu metal and funk. Many songs assume different themes corresponding to Massimo Boffa's guitars and the resolute rhythm section of Stefano Tatasciore (bass) and Luca Nicolucci (drums). Stefania Salladini’s alternating delivery of clean and harsh vocals is equally convincing.
The transitions and layering in the songs are more natural. Mind Control takes liberties with time changes, instrumental sections, and intense guitar solos to maintain a cohesive, uncontradictory atmosphere. The core material of a song remains unchanged regardless of embellishment. 'Elements' establishes this with an industrial theme that unexpectedly turns toward melodic death and post black metal, encouraging close listening to the songs to follow.
As evidenced by “Rage” with jazz solos, time changes comparable to Voivod and Meshuggah and strings, “Effluent” with a tranquil guitar with atmosphere and angelic vocals easing into funk-tinged melodic death metal, “Air” with its recurring industrial-prog-melodic DM guitars, overlapping vocals and fluctuating mood changes, and “Maelstrom” with prog and post black metal themes mixed with post hardcore and some techno, “Elements” demonstrates how hard the band works to take extreme metal to new, uncharted territories, and should inspire new bands to consider new ways to grow. Also check out the video for “Hurricane” below. –Dave Wolff

Natisfea: Vocals
Massimo Boffa: Guitars
Stefano Tatasciore: Bass
Luca Nicolucci: Drums

Track list:
1. Elements
2. Rage
3. Flames
4. Effluent
5. Wind
6. Storm
7. Air
8. Tempest
9. Hurricane
10. The River
11. Ether
12. Maelstrom
13. Blame (feat. Simone Evangelista)

Sunday, December 10, 2023

EP Review: Gut Juice "Gut Juice" (Gore Bubble Productions) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Gut Juice
Country: USA
Genre: Goregrind
Format: Digital
Release date: February 26, 2023
Scrolling through YouTube I happened to come upon the 2023 self titled release “Gut Juice” by Gut Juice! Featuring 7 short blasting yet groovy goregrind tracks this was super fresh, and it hit the spot with all the force of a shotgun blast!
This is some awesome D.I.Y. goregrind—raw enough, yet with enough clarity and decent production quality to warrant a few listens. The vocals are burping, bubbling and gurgling, the guitar is low and groovy and the drums are just about perfect! I am highly reminded of early Plasma and bands like Necro Tampon that graced Myspace in the early 2000’s!
For someone looking for something within the mainstream this might not be for you, but for those of you that like to indulge in goregrind of the “purest” form I’d suggest giving this a listen. This is another one from Gore Bubble Productions. I have heard a handful of releases from this label, and for me, everything I’ve heard has been “so good so far”! -Devin J. Meaney

Gore Bubble (Gorey Corey): Vocals, all instruments

Track list:
1. Common Room Discoveries
2. A Cup Of Guts
3. Corpse Disposal
4. Intestinal Jump Rope
5. Deadly Vaccination
6. Chewing On Infested Insides
7. Dead Finger Diddler

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Interview with NothingNew by Dave Wolff

Interview with NothingNew by Dave Wolff

Before NothingNew, Andrew C. Zinn was a member of the death/thrash band Head Not Found and a handful of other bands. Can interested parties listen to any of those bands via streaming?
Andrew C. Zinn (vocals, lyrics): Head Not Found is on Youtube but I can't say if anyone would care to hear it. Jerry Clayton was in a hardcore band called Stand Strong that did pretty well. Stand Strong is also the name of his record label. I looked up Stand Strong but didn't find anything. Jerry also played in a pop punk band called New Leaf.

How long has Jerry Clayton run Stand Strong Records? Is he assisted by a staff or does he handle everything on his own?
Jerry Clayton (guitar, bass): I started Stand Strong Records to release our music. I guess I’ve been doing it about two years or so. There is no staff, just me and anyone willing to help. We try to be as DIY as possible. Honestly it’s not much since we just do digital releases.

Does Stand Strong Records exclusively sign hardcore bands, or also bands of other genres? How many bands are currently with the label?
JC: I haven’t signed many bands. Honestly I just offered to help out one more band with recording and release. Mainly because they are friends and I already do it for us. They are in the writing phase now. When it’s done, if they decide to let me release it, they will be the second band on Stand Strong.

Who is Jerry assisting and how long has he known them? When and if the release is handled by Stand Strong, will hardcore fans be interested?
JC: I have known the members of NothingNew for well over twenty years and I have known the members of New Leaf around five or six years. I hope the listeners of Stand Strong will be interested in New Leaf’s songs. If I get to release it and since Stand Strong is so new and pretty much unheard of I think it will be okay. I don’t really want Stand Strong to just release one genre or another. I want to release good music no matter what the bands are doing.

Before NothingNew, what level of experience did Sean Lyons have with bands? Are you working with him for the first time?
Sean Lyons (guitar/bass): I have mostly jammed with friends or added guitar solos or parts to tracks recorded by friends. I briefly played with a heavy alternative rock band called Jericho Quick Stop in college. I’ve played as a member of a house band for stage productions. Jerry and I have been friends since high school so we have jammed together before. NothingNew is the first time we’ve done something together formally.
ACZ: I knew Jerry years before we started the band. I used to work at a mall; he would come in and we'd talk about music. We always discussed trying to start something, but we would be in other bands, or other things were going on and it never happened. That changed at an Eyehategod show we went to at The Knick in Birmingham, Alabama. We were there separately but it was weird because Birmingham was a pretty good drive for us both. We had the same conversation again but it was different because Jerry had been learning recording and how to use drum sims. He told me he could play everything and record it and I could do the vocals. That's where it started from. Sean is a childhood friend of Jerry’s. Jerry was looking to expand the possibilities of songwriting for NothingNew and to take some of the songwriting burden off his shoulders. He suggested Sean; if Jerry said he was good people, I knew it would work. Sean and I had talked a few times at shows or online but didn't know each other really well before he joined the band. He's been an amazing addition and he's my brother as much as Jerry.

In what ways has working with drum sims benefited Jerry's performance with the band?
JC: The drum sims benefit us in the way of using a perfect drummer. It’s perfectly in time at all times. It was used out of the fact that we didn’t have a drummer at first, and it let us record and release music without finding someone that might not have the same work ethic we do.

Can you tell me about the stage productions Sean was part of? How active was Jericho Quick Stop, did they intend to attract a larger audience or was it a local college band?
SL: It was just a couple of local theater productions from when I lived in the Muscle Shoals area. A coworker who was a drummer knew I played and connected me with the director. Jericho Quick Stop was fairly active with live appearances before I joined. They played original material but had not released anything, to my recollection. Unfortunately, shortly after I joined a couple of members decided to pursue other interests, so that basically ended the band.

NothingNew composes songs influenced by death and black metal, doom, sludge, and hardcore. Is there a way you mix these genres? If so, what steps are taken to make it unique?
SL: Personally, I don’t focus too much on genre when writing. Songs generally start with a riff that I’m excited about, and from there it’s about building around it in a way that makes musical sense. I’m inspired by bands more than genre, though the goal is to create something honest that sounds like us.
JC: I think our songs sound unique because we are the ones writing and playing them. Our band name comes from the idea that there is NothingNew in music. But I think when we have a song finished it’s going to sound like us. And that’s what makes it unique.
ACZ: Related to the mixing of different genres of metal, I've always mixed death, black, and hardcore guttural vocals to the songs. I feel using different vocal timbres helps keep the vocal delivery interesting throughout the song. And it adds more textures to the overall completed song. Also, the music itself started more with sludge, doom, and death/doom in the early days of the band. As we've gotten more comfortable and improved as musicians we've branched out some into other, more extreme, metal genres. We even did a full black metal EP. With Sean joining the band, we've moved into more thrash, hardcore, and death metal places in the music. However, we'll never abandon our doom and sludge roots. The slow and heavy will always be a major component of what we write.

How much of a unique sound are you striving to achieve? Are you close to reaching this goal?
JC: For me I don’t try super hard to be unique so much. I just try to find a sound I like, then see if the band likes it. As for different styles I just write what comes out that day. Sometimes it’s doom, sometimes it’s something else. A goal for this band is just to keep making good music and having fun with my friends.
SL: For me, I’m just trying to write music I would want to listen to. Like Jerry, I’m not consciously aiming for uniqueness. But I don’t think we’re copycats either. I think we sound like us even though our various influences are there. As long as we like what we’re doing, I expect it will continue in that direction.

Do your lyrics vary as much as your music? What are some topics or themes you've covered? For example, the lyrical content on your album “Blood From The Southern Sky” seems to stand out.
ACZ: Song lyrics for the band are generally stream of consciousness. They are purposefully left vague and open to interpretation. I prefer the listener to get from it what they need to. There have been few exceptions from that. We did a song called “Work to Death” that Jerry wanted a specific theme for lyrically, so that's what we did. The black metal EP is going to have black metal themes such as evil, darkness, and general anti-Christian sentiment. As a whole, I'd prefer not to force concepts down the listener’s throat. I'd like the lyrics to mean something different to everyone who hears them.

How has your band been received locally and on social media/streaming sites so far? What improvements have been made over the years?
JC: I think we do better on social media than locally. I feel with every release we gain a few more people that like what we do. So on all our albums we do all the mixing and producing ourselves. I do most of the recording. Now we can do our own parts at home. Mastering is also done by me. I just took up the recording side of it because I always wanted to learn. And I’m still learning as much as I can. I know I need to be a lot better. But it’s also night and day from the beginning of the band.

Exactly how much have you learned about recording? Does recording your own music make it closer to your vision that working with a producer?
JC: I learned a ton about recording from the beginning of the band till now. And I still learn every day. I think recording our own music does help with the vision of each album. I do tend to let outside people listen to our records after we’re done to give me ideas on how to make it better.

What equipment do you have available for recording, mixing, and mastering?
JC: I’m always trying new VSTs and sims. Different DAWs as well. I and Sean are always looking at new guitars. I have found a lot of things I like to use for mixing and mastering, but new VSTs come out all the time I check out. Right now we use Reaper for the DAW and a MOTU m4 for my interface. We used a ton of different amp sims for amps and Superior Drummer 3 for drums, a few different EQs and reverbs for finishing and Ozone to help with mastering.

Does the band prefer a raw or polished sound, or does it depend on the song or the album?
JC: The sound of the band changes song by song. If the song needs to have a rawer sound we do that. If it needs to be polished we do that.

Describe the process of creating your full-length “In This Together”. Did the band mix and produce the album independently or did you hire professionals?
JC: We recorded and mixed this ourselves. This is the album Sean joined on. This album we recorded and I was not happy with it. I felt like my solo playing should have been a lot better. Sean’s solo playing is nearly perfect so we asked him to join.

Your full-length “Wretched Paths” featured covers of Black Sabbath, Sepultura, Joy Division, Superjoint Ritual, and Darkthrone. What was the process of selecting songs and adding your own touch?
JC: We each picked a few we liked and thought would sound good done by us. As far as adding our own touch, I just did the songs as I’d do any NothingNew song.
ACZ: Choosing the cover songs for “Wretched Paths” was really some give and take. Jerry picked some, Sean picked some, I picked some, and we picked some together. Satyricon and Darkthrone are the only ones I'm positive I picked on my own. There were a few songs that really made me step out of my comfort zone. Honestly, I may have butchered some of those beloved songs, and if I did, I apologize to anyone I've offended. I swear I did try my best. On the flip side, doing covers is good for musicians because it gets them out of their comfort zone. It can get you out of a musical rut and try new things which you may even apply to your primary music. This allows you to grow as an artist.

The vocals on your cover of Sepultura's “Refuse/Resist” are spot on and one might mistake them for Max Cavalera's. How long did it take you to record it so accurately?
JC: The Sepultura song was honestly pretty quick. I’ll let Andrew talk about the vocals. The one thing I will say about the musicianship is Sean recorded that song in one take. He had that solo down perfectly and nailed it one take.
SL: Thank you for the kind words. As Jerry said, the guitar tracks were done in one take, even the guitar solo. I can be pretty obsessive over recording solos, so I was proud of that one. Sepultura is one of my favorite bands. I’ll also add that “Refuse/Resist” was the catalyst for me joining NothingNew. Jerry texted me and asked if I’d be interested in playing the solo, and the rest is history. In retrospect, I’m glad I did a good job, haha.
ACZ: In reference to the Sepultura cover, they are a band I used to practice with a lot over the years. I don't know if many vocalists would admit it, but doing karaoke in the car is how I keep up my vocal chops because we don't practice like a band who does shows. Crowbar, Pantera, and Sepultura are bands I've done a lot of karaoke with. Particularly Crowbar. With that said, “Refuse/Resist” was one I worked with before.

Your rendition of Black Sabbath's “Children of the Grave” is rawer and more stripped down, like doom metal in its root form. In addition, it was arranged in a slightly different manner.
JC: The Black Sabbath song was actually done for a comp that was released a couple of years before “Wretched Paths” came out. So the recording is rawer because I wasn’t as good. Plus I found the actual Bill Ward drum track and used that. The reason it was arranged differently was because of time issues. We got behind on time and had to kinda rush it to finish. And I honestly love it. It is very fitting for NothingNew.

Your diverse range makes you ideal for this webzine, which has covered a wide variety of genres. When conducting interviews, do you seek zines that do the same?
JC: As far as interviews go I’m always excited to talk to anyone that’s interested in the band.
SL: I’ll talk to anyone about the band as well. I think because of our sound we would primarily attract interviews from like-minded publications or people, but I’m open to anyone.
ACZ: We appreciate anyone, and not just interviewers who take interest in what we do. And thank you for taking the time to speak with us. I don't foresee us turning down any publication for an interview any time soon, regardless of that journalist's specific genre focus.

As you continue to experiment as musicians, would you consider releasing another album of covers? What does NothingNew have in mind for their release?
JC: As for another covers album, it would be a long time from now. We would get a few more releases out there before I’d want to do another covers album. Right now we have “Wreathed in Bone” coming out on December 15, 2023. We are working on videos and things like it. Then we start the next album.
SL: If we ever do more covers, I think it would be either a one-off or an EP. I’m excited about “Wreathed in Bone”. We worked hard on it, and it was a long time coming. Beyond that, I’m excited to continue writing new music.
ACZ: As far as covers go, I'd have to agree with Sean when answering with my gut. I would think it would be a song or two here and there, but I don't feel like we would commit to a cover album in the near future.

How do you envision NothingNew's long-term impact on underground music? Are you beginning to have that impact or do you have a way to go?
JC: I can’t say about our impact in underground music personally. I just enjoy making friends and releasing music. I hope we are liked and people listen.
SL: I haven’t thought too much about our impact. I just hope people check us out and dig the songs.
ACZ: Our impact on the music underground is impossible for me to quantify. When you do something creative, you have no idea how many people it reaches, the impact, and how it affects the rest of the art community. My approach is, I work hard to put out a product the three of us are happy with and we release it to the world. What the world chooses to do with it is out of our hands. I can only hope it impacts others in some positive way.

-Dave Wolff