Wednesday, May 29, 2024

EP Review: Disrotter "Restless Death" (Old Shadows Records, Sewer Rot Records, Unholy Domain Records) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Disrotter
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Country: USA
Genre: Death grind
EP: Restless Death
Format: CD, Digital, cassette
Label: Old Shadows Records (CD), Sewer Rot Records (CD, cassette) and Unholy Domain Records
Release date: April 1, 2024
Vibing with a bit of the death/grind I threw on “Restless Death”—the newest 2024 EP from the USA based Disrotter! Hailing from West Virginia this is Disrotter’s fourth release—after a demo and two singles!
The vocals on this EP are force-filled and annihilating, the instruments bring forth both talent and heaviness—and when paired together one can assume that what is brought to fruition is a sincere blast of underground mastery! This is a four track EP so I won’t get lost in description. With that said, this is quite the little heap of shreds and gutturals and I daresay it is well worth a view or two!
As listed on YouTube you can find this release available in these places: Old Shadows Records (CD format), Sewer Rot Records (CD and cassette format) and Unholy Domain Records (cassette format). Also available in digital format at Disrotter’s Bandcamp!
Just give it a listen! -Devin J. Meaney

Joe Adams: Bass, vocals
Adam Guilliams: Guitars
Garrett Guilliams: Drums

Track list:
1. Quietus, Grotesque And Dispalyed
2. Restless Death
3. Thriving In Decay
4. The Retched End

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Interview with Pierluigi Piras of Warpit by Dave Wolff

Interview with Pierluigi Piras of Warpit by Dave Wolff

Andrea of The Triad Records informed me your self-titled debut EP combines classic metal and thrash with traditional music from Sardinia, a region of Italy. Does this come from your familiarity with Italian culture? What characteristics of Sardinian music do you draw upon?
Pierluigi Piras (guitar): I could say that more than traditional Sardinian music, I draw inspiration from our culture and history! That’s far apart from Italian history, because Sardinia as an island has its own history way more ancient than that of the Italian people. A multi-millennial history in fact. In the song “Parabellum” I talk about a battle that took place in 1274 BC in Qaddes in which our Shardana warriors (an old Sardinian tribe) flanked the troops of Pharaoh Ramses II! In this song you hear a rather ancient, primeval instrument called the “launeddas” which has very deep and ancient roots in our region. Let's say I’m deeply inspired by the warrior culture of my Sardinian ancestors!!

Tell the readers how the band formed and what each member contributes musically.
Warpit is a personal idea, grown about twenty years ago. I've always thought about exporting and disclosing our history and culture, and what better way than using metal to do it? I contacted Manolo Frau (bass) a few years ago and explained to him the project. The four pieces were already arranged by me and when I finally found the last two members Antonio Roxx (vocals) and Giacomo Macis (drums), we tuned the songs in a very short time and were ready to record the EP. So Warpit was born!!!

As far as you know, is incorporating your research into metal something that hasn’t been done before? Since the release of your EP, have listeners responded favorably?
As far as I know, others have done the same. Just think of the amount of bands naming Celtic cults, Viking stories or Norse gods. Or simply, as Iron Maiden did at the time, Alexander the Great! Up to now I’ve had very positive feedback from local and foreign listeners. Even listeners overseas appreciated the idea of bringing our origins to the fore. One of the most common comments is: "finally someone who talks about new topics which are unknown to most"!!!

What background do you have in Sardinian culture and history? How deep did you have to dig to obtain information?
Apart from being born on this wonderful island, I had to research thoroughly, reading several books and consulting articles about this topic! I’m in contact with historic experts, artisans or history enthusiasts who surprise me every time with new discoveries and details!!
Since the Italian domination, Sardinian culture has been buried and opposed; even the Sardinian language has been banned. Please note Sardinian is a language of its own, unlike other regional dialects spoken in the rest of Italy. So if you wish to study Sardinian history the only way is to study and research on your own. That’s what I and my bandmates do.
All the members of the band are Sardinian, and passionate about everything related to our history and origins!!

How hard was it to find books and articles? Which of them were most informative to you when you found them?
I can say it was not easy al all to find material or even reliable sources! Unfortunately, the history of Sardinia is so ancient it’s lost in the mists of time because of two main elements: the Nuragic Period sits between 1800 and 300 B.C. and the Nuragic culture left no written testimony.
The first fundamental knowledge come from the study of the work of the main Sardinian Historians of this century, such as Giovanni Lilliu and Massimo Pittau. They both the university chair in Cagliari and Sassari.
I had to search the web thoroughly, research paper texts and literary sources as much as I could. It took a lot of work to reach the right compromise between creativity and historical reality. In addition to historical facts, we draw from legends and folktales. So the source can be anywhere, from the most important museums where you can find plenty of information about the tens of Sardinian tribes, village festivals and celebrations and the carnivals where I found a lot of other enthusiasts like us with who exchange knowledge.

What articles and books were recommended by the historians you contacted? Are any of them published writers or educators?
Now I’m in contact with Andrea Loddo. He doesn't have a chair at the university but he is an archaeo-experimental technician, and an expert in Bronze Age artisan techniques and materials. He's a filmmaker of some movies about the Nuragic people, and his film “Roots of Bronze, the Land of the Sardinians” was released in cinemas! He is also the manufacturer of all the bronze, leather and various items that were used to make the movie. He is a great source of inspiration for me and my Warpit brothers.

What is the length of time you have studied Sardinian history, independently with the historians you contacted? What is the length of time your bandmates have studied?
My father passed down to me the passion for Nuragic culture and our history. I can therefore say the curiosity for discovery has always been in my DNA! My Warpit brothers started studying in depth as soon as the musical project started!

In what year was “Roots of Bronze, the Land of the Sardinians” released in theaters and how was it received after it came out? Is it possible to view this film online now?
“Roots of Bronze” came out in theaters just now. I think it will be published with English subtitles for the summer!

What efforts did Andrea Loddo make to ensure that the items in his movie appeared authentic?
Andrea has practically studied all the archaeological finds existing in the various museums around the island and throughout Italy, and has conducted various research with historians and sector experts!

How much of Sardinian culture and history do you represent on your debut EP? You mentioned the subject matter of “Parabellum”; what are the other songs about?
The whole album is deeply steeped in Nuragic history. “Tears”, despite being an instrumental intro, represents the tears of the priestess which I imagined are shed because her land will be set on fire by the war that will soon break out. “Monster”, on the other hand, refers to a mythological creature called the “s’Erchitu”. A man was cursed after a terrible crime, that during the moonlight nights he became a huge white ox with big horns made of steel. In those nights he walks in the village with a crew of demons. He who heard the ox, bellowing three times would die in less than a year.
“Dark Shadows” tells the nightmares of a Nuragic priest who during his sleep perceives an entity without really knowing whether it’s a good or demonic entity! The inspiration for this piece came to me from a small bronze figure (a typical manufacture of the Bronze Age) found at the end of the 1800s here in my town, dating back to 1500 BC. Approximately it represented a priest. Aristotele himself wrote about the Nuragic priests and the cult of incubation or “therapeutic sleep” at the tombs of the giants present in large numbers here in Sardinia!

In “Parabellum”, is the battle of Qaddes in 1274 BC presented as a first person narrative or as a historical narrative? Tell the readers about the battle and how much of it is reflected in the lyrics?
The narration in the song is in the first person, as if we were the warriors who fought it! It's something we feel we owe to our ancestors!!! The battle of Qaddes saw two different sides on the field, on one side the Egyptian forces led by Ramesses II and on the other the Hittites, known in the ancient world for the use of war chariots in battle!!! At some Egyptian sites it is still possible to see depictions of warriors with horned helmets and heavy lozenge swords, typical of Shardana warriors! Warpit's lyrics 100% reflect this battle as well as all the facets of the warrior culture of my Nuragic people!!!

Who is the priestess depicted in “Tears” and what war is about to begin? Does this idea originate with the band or is it based on a folk legend?
The priestess represented in “Tears” is based on a bronze found in an archaeological site in the north of the island; her clothing similar to that of a tribal chief suggests that the Nuragic matriarchal society was very devoted to these figures. Linked to the cult of the mother goddess, the pose with open arms as if to give protection, I imagined that the imminent departure towards the Egyptian coasts (and the thought that not all the warriors will return home) caused the tears of this very as important as it is mysterious!

Where did you obtain information about the “s’erchitu” and the legend associated with it? What accounts have you read about this legend?
As for the legend of “s’erchitu”, ours is a very rural, agricultural and pastoral culture, these types of stories and legends are lost in the mists of time! It is still told today in many countries, from father to son!!! However, it is possible to find several articles that talk about Sardinian popular legends, furthermore from this point of view we have a fairly extensive bibliography!!!

Are the majority of articles about Sardinian legends found on the Internet or on sites such as YouTube? If so, which of them would you recommend most frequently?
There are plenty of books about the topic. Also you can find a lot of material on amatorial web pages. You can even find some videos on the National Geographic channel about the Shardanan people. The topic is so large that you need a rather large amount of time to gather enough information.

When it comes to the transmission of legends, are they told and retold through written accounts? To your knowledge, are these topics discussed on television stations such as the History Channel?
Coming to legends and myths, unfortunately, there are very few official books, because we are talking about very ancient history (1800 BC) and the Nuragic people didn’t have a written language.
Some traditional legends have been well preserved, and have been kept alive during the centuries by folk festivals and carnivals, other have been rediscovered in the recent years. A lot has been handed down from father to son, and kept alive by groups of admirers. Also, we find traces and clues about our Nuragic civilization in the writings of classic age writers, such Aristoteles, the ancient Egyptians, and all the ancient civilizations that have been in touch with the ancient Sardinian tribes.
On the internet you can find a History Channel video that talks about the correlation between Egypt and the Shardana people, for example.

What videos on the National Geographic channel and the History Channel offer the most worthwhile information about the Shardanan people?
National Geographic mentions Sardinia and the Nuragic people several times, and spoke on several occasions about the “peoples of the sea” and the still unsolved mysteries about the warriors who sailed the seas 4000 years ago! As regards to the History Channel however, there is a very interesting documentary that can be found online entitled “Forbidden Archaeology”! I think it offers a lot of food for thought because it calls into question several arguments about the history that we were taught at school about the origins of Mediterranean civilizations!!!

Where do you expect to take the band musically and lyrically? Is there new material you’re working on or planning to release this year?
I talked about the Battle of Qaddes, the Shardana warriors and the Nuragic priest. The next projects are to close the circle and talk more about the tribe that inhabited my land almost 4000 years ago!!! We’ve been working on the full album for several months already! Surely the first step for this year will be to record a new single with an attached video!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for this very interesting interview! You gave me the opportunity to explain and make our warrior origins better understood as a band and above all as members of the Shardana people!!! Greetings to you and all your readers!!! Stay metal, stay Warrior... stay Nuragic!!!

-Dave Wolff

Interview with John Ferris of A Stāte øf Mīnd by Dave Wolff

Interview with John Ferris of A Stāte øf Mīnd by Dave Wolff

Discuss why you wanted to play classic heavy metal in the vein of bands like Dio, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Queensryche a decade after they broke aboveground? Black Sabbath are also cited as an influence; which of their characteristics inspired you?
The classic heavy metal bands made music that spoke to you. They were full of emotion and artistry. All of us having been influenced by the greats, I guess there was no chosen reason to play that style. We just created what we felt. Those were the bands that had the most influence on us besides many more. The live performances were filled with power and energy, tangible to the innermost depths of your soul. There's no better feeling. We are proud to be labeled New Classic Metal.
Black Sabbath’s music and lyrical presentation was awesome. It inspired me to write. Ozzy Osbourne's stage presence and audience interaction inspired me the most.

Has A Stāte øf Mīnd had the same lineup from the beginning, or did band members leave and enter during your tenure as a band?
Forming in 1994, we have gone through lineup changes from time to time. The founders of A Stāte øf Mīnd are: Scott Peters (RIP) (drums), Robbie Grossheim (guitars), Mike Wright (bass), John Ferris (lyricist, vocalist, lead guitar). We eventually brought in Doug Hayes to take over lead guitar so I could concentrate solely on vocals. Our drummer quit and we brought in Steven Ritchey. That was the first year, and we recorded our first cassette in 1995. Then Doug quit, and we brought in Jeffrey Elliott (RIP) on lead guitar, and on bass when our bassist quit. There was a huge break, and we got back together in 2014 with myself John Ferris (vocals, lyrics), Robbie Grossheim (guitars), and Mike Wright (bass) with Doug Hayes (lead) and Barry Uptigrove (drums).In 2017 Robert Arena (drums), Brett James (RIP) (bass), John Cook (lead). We released our first EP in 2019 before Brett passed, which he never heard. Then we had Kye Campbell, Robert Culbreath, Anthony Martinez, Josh Smith (bass). The drummer quit, then drummers Barry Uptigrove, Mark Robbin. Now A Stāte øf Mīnd is I, Robbie Grossheim, John Cook, Kenny Thomas on bass and Kenny Starnes on drums. We've just recorded our second EP soon to be released through Earache Records Digital Distribution. Band members came and went and we lost some to addiction.

In relation to your music and lyrics, what is the name A Stāte øf Mīnd intend to mean? Are we talking about the state of mind of a musician or an enthusiast of metal or both?
A state of mind is where music comes from. Every decision made in life comes from your state of mind, be it positive or negative. Everything we've written, from music to lyrics, to performance comes from a state of mind. The subject matter from any state of mind could be dark or light, happy or sad, drug induced or alcohol driven. You could say any given state of mind fuels our music, and most music.

When you discovered heavy metal, how did it resonate with you personally?
Heavy Metal seemed to have more passion and fire. The artists were godlike in stature and commanded their audiences with mega stage shows and props, and audience interaction was off the chain.

Black Sabbath's use of the tritone, or devil's interval, had a profound influence on everything from classic metal to death and black metal. What makes it resonate with so many, and what kind of inspiration did it have on A Stāte øf Mīnd?
I think the tritone has a dark feel and people can relate it to their own darkness. Being able to write out of darkness makes the music real to the point that it actually brings light to the darkness of the listener.

By Sabbath's lyrical presentation, did you mean the structure of the lyrics or their personal nature or both? What effect did it have on the lyrics you write?
As a vocalist, lyrical presentation is the lyrical story, how the vocal melody rides on the music and the emotion and soul conveyed by the vocalist. Seeing that a song could be written about dark subject matter or ominous tones with light lyrics opened the door to my imagination and helped me write better lyrics.

With the myriad of changes that have occurred in the music industry, how has the band managed to maintain the passion you mentioned?
It's just something we love to do. Robbie Grossheim, (composer) and I (lyricist, vocalist) can always write a song. It's been that way from day one. It's easy to maintain passion when you do what you love, and see that it does speak to people and shine a light into their darkness. And now days the ability to reach the masses across the globe with some work and dedication helps fuel that passion.

Why do you think bands continue to be enthusiastic about metal past their twenties as a result of this passion? What makes them stick with it for so long rather than view it as a passing phase?
I don’t know if this is the case in general, but from my first day (audition/practice) in 1994 when writing our song “Wardance” we got the enthusiasm to continue to write. With ten original songs and an audition at the Landing Bar and Grill, the house was packed. We played our songs and the owner asked us if we could keep playing. He said to play them again and paid us all a hundred. Our success fueled our passion and our love of music keeps our passion driving to this day.

How successful was your first recording, before your second EP, in terms of establishing the band as a whole?
Our 1995 six song cassette was our first release. In 2019 we released our first six song EP. It was pretty successful I believe. We accomplished a lot because of it. Fans, air play, interviews, awards, reviews, videos. After having to find a new bassist and drummer and finally writing new material with them, we established A Stāte øf Mīnd as a whole. The release of our second six song EP is on the horizon.

What is the complete list of songs that appear on your 1995 cassette? At the time you composed those tracks, how much potential did they have for growth?
Our 1995 release is: “Wardance”, “Caught in Time”, “Deadly Kiss Me Slowly”, “It’s Too Late”, “Reigning Death” and “Sail Across the Ocean”. We really were unsure how they would be received, or grow at that point. Most bands at that time played covers with an original or two. Our all-original approach went very well. And I believe there was huge potential for growth outside of our hometown.

What was the reason for the long interval between your six songs cassette and your debut EP? Considering the cassette was released in the 90s, how did people respond to it?
The space between the cassette in 1995 and the EP in 2019 was due to A Stāte øf Mīnd disbanding. Robbie and I stayed together in another band called Styltskyn. People responded well to the cassette; I believe we sold them all but a sacred few.

What was the response to your debut EP now that A Stāte øf Mīnd had already started making a name for themselves? In what ways has the band's sound and professionalism improved?
The response to our first EP was overwhelming and gratifying. The more people it reached the more fans we gained. A lot of good things came from it. Airplay, interviews, awards, videos, friends and.... fans!!! Our sound and professionalism improved with the induction of new members with the right attitude to continue our growth as professional artists. Our attention to detail in writing new music has taken our sound to the next level with a familiar feel with new energy.

Before A Stāte øf Mīnd reformed, how long were you and Robbie active in Styltskyn? Did they follow a similar path to A Stāte øf Mīnd or take a different direction? When you worked with them, did you release any EPs or full-length albums?
Robbie and I were active in Styltskyn for two or three years, maybe. As far as playing and performing originals we did follow that, with a whole new set of originals. So we did A Stāte øf Mīnd originals and Styltskyn originals (which were completely written by someone else) Unfortunately we didn't record any music.

Tell us about the songs you recorded for your 2019 EP, and how they reflect the band's mindset at the time the music and lyrics were written.
The songs on the 2019 EP are about life. The demons we all have, reflection, addiction, loss and resolve we all go through it (and a vampire movie). I write lyrics a lot so I already had lyrics with no music. Robbie would start playing around with something and I'd have something that is right. Our mindset was to put out great music that was relatable and could bring someone some light in their darkness.

Was it more of an uphill journey to re-establish the band after so many years, or did you capitalize on the attention you had gained before?
Starting A Stāte øf Mīnd again after fifteen years and establishing us was easy. After the 2019 release we released a single called “Shattered” in 2022 with a video. Our drummer had differences so he quit. Re-establishing A Stāte øf Mīnd was more difficult after that, having to find a bassist and a drummer that fit our sound and creative aspirations. We did capitalize somewhat from the cassette as we brought “Wardance” and “Too Late” from the cassette and re-recorded them. The next EP coming out is more raw and live sounding. We opted for a live off the floor recording. We wanted the human quality to remain for that live performance feel.

Discuss the process of writing and recording “Shattered”, and how the band had eased back into those processes after fifteen years apart. What is the subject matter of the song, and how does it show improvement from your previous EP?
I wrote the lyrics in 2001. It was originally written as a rap type flow calling out my ex and her bullshit. A bit more explicit lyrically As the normal process goes, Robbie played something and I went through my lyrics and ran across “Shattered”. Then the rest of the band added their flavor. “Shattered” only uses the first paragraph of the entire content. And Robbie gave me the idea for the chorus. I believe we improved in making commercial sounding music. “Shattered” was actually supposed to be the first release off our second EP.

What characteristics of “Shattered” did you wish to convey in the promotional video you made? Did you produce it independently or work with professional videographers and producers?
When we shot the video I wanted to convey a shattered life. The outtakes of me at the table looking at pictures in a dark place. Hanging with the guys, playing cards, and music. That was my life then. In the video, that's actually a pic of my ex that I set on fire. The video was professionally produced, and took about nine hours or so to record all the footage.

What are the improvements you have made to your re-recordings of “Wardance” and “Too Late”? Did you maintain the feel of the originals or did you take liberties with reworking them?
I believe we maintained the original feel in those two songs. There's not much different in our re-recording of “Wardance”. Some vocalizations have been added to intensify the emotional angst of the song. “It's Too Late” was changed quite a bit vocally. By suggestion by our producer and to see how it would sound, I sang it in a lower voice. The band didn't know this until they heard it. I thought it gave the song a deeper feel. So it stayed.

If the sound of your new EP is expected to present a more live and raw feel than before, in what way do you anticipate it to do so? How do you hope listeners will respond to it?
A lot of our fans have only heard the first EP and the two released singles. This is great, however they’re lacking that human feel that you only get live. We wanted to present our fans with something that's as authentic as seeing us live. With all the human hiccups that happen in live shows. To me that's where the emotion is. We're hoping that our fans and listeners will hear and feel the heart and soul of this EP and want to come see the performance that goes along with it.

-Dave Wolff

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Full Length Review: Witchsword "Demo III" (Anti-Christ Propaganda) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Witchsword
Country: USA
Genre: Raw black metal
Demo: Demo III
Format: Cassette (limited to 200 copies)
Label: Anti-Christ Propaganda
Release date: March 22, 2024
Feeling like an eerie blast of cold black metal I made my way to YouTube. I listened to a handful of bands—but they weren’t really offering what my vibes were calling for. After a while I landed on “Demo III” by Witchsword!
Witchsword hails from the US and this particular demo is just under 18 minutes long. From intro to entry track I could tell this was a pretty standard blast of low-fidelity BM—with that said, the vibes were correct for my mood and the production quality was exactly what I was looking for!
A one man project of a “Lord Noxam”—this demo showcases tracks that will be available on his forth-coming full length! I’d for sure be interested in taking a listen to that release—as if it is anything like what is presented I’m sure it would be a real winner! Throughout what is offered here I can hear a strong Burzum influence I might add!
The only negative thing I have to say is that I do wish the percussion was a bit heavier/louder in the mix. A good treble oriented approach does fit well with black metal…but I feel as if the atmosphere presented would be enhanced with a louder drum sound!
None the less—this is a great little demo and I’d imagine it would sound pretty rad on cassette or something. Cop it! -Devin J. Meaney

Lord Noxam: Vocals, all instruments

Track list:
1. Intro
2. In The Depths of The Forest
3. Interlude
4. Resurrection of The Strigoi

Full Length Review: FilthXCollins "Primate Violence" (Eggy Tapes) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: FilthXCollins
Location: Nottingham
Country: UK
Genre: Grindcore
Full length: Primate Violence
Format: Cassette, digital
Label: Eggy Tapes
Release date: May 3, 2024
After a few days of sickness I decided it was time to plop down and do some music writing. After some mild contemplation I brought myself to the YouTube search bar and typed in “Gore Grinder 2024”. After a brief search I came upon “Primate Violence” by FilthXCollins!
I have heard of FilthXCollins before—but it’s been a while since I listened to them. Not really remembering what they sounded like I didn’t know what I was in for—but after invigorating my ears with their noises I can say this was a merry little blast of upbeat and blasting grindcore!
Featuring 17 (very) short tracks in just under 6 minutes I can say that I am impressed by how “full” this release sounds for how short it is. As for the musicianship everything is melded together to near perfection. The guitars are low and crunching ranging from blurr riffs to slams, the vocals vary from high to low gutturals and the drumming is as if the man behind the kit is a literal machine!
FilthXCollins hails from the UK and have been active since 2017. This is their newest release. So go ahead…listen to it! -Devin J. Meaney

Danial Malik: Drums, vocals
Kez Whelan: Guitar, vocals

Track list:
1. Primate Violence
2. Boomer Punks
3. Gombe Chimpanzee War
4. Fungal Interloper
5. Muscle Memory
6. Honest Slop
7. Passageways
8. The Discovery Of Fire
9. Primitive Life Forms
10. Disinterested
11. Fields Of The Nepotism
12. The Great Grindcore Shortage
13. Cannibalistic Infanticide Observed In Ape Communities
14. Hacked Up For Market
15. Knuckledragger
16. We Don't Even Like Phil Collins
17. Through The Wringer

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Interview with Cullen Gallagher by Dave Wolff

Interview with Cullen Gallagher by Dave Wolff

As a resident of Brooklyn, New York, how long have you been involved in the New York hardcore scene? What motivated you to become involved and how did you learn about it?
I was born in August, Georgia and grew up in Orono, Maine, where I played bass in a bunch of “attic” bands (since we couldn't play in the garage). I moved to NYC in 2003 and played in a couple rock bands, but mostly I was traveling in the repertory/indie/experimental film scene. I was making a lot of guitar-based instrumental and experimental music as Modern Silent Cinema, but these were home recordings and I was looking to play live, play loud, and I knew I wanted to sing, too. Problem was--I had no idea “how” to sing, or “what” I wanted to sing. And despite having played guitar since I was like four (mostly classical, but a little jazz), I also had this imposter feeling, like I wasn't a real guitarist. Then in 2013 a buddy turned me on to stuff like Descendents, Adolescents, Angry Samoans, and something just clicked. I loved the individuality of expression in these bands. They wrote, played, and sang exactly the way they wanted--and they didn't apologize for anything. I loved it. These bands gave me the confidence to stop trying to sound like other people. We formed a band called Night Squad and started playing shows right away.

When you first heard Descendents, Adolescents, and Angry Samoans, what about them appealed to you? In what ways did they inspire you to express your own ideas?
They were fast and loud and not afraid to embrace being weird. I guess I felt a bit like an outsider in my skin at the time, and when I heard them I could imagine myself with a guitar, belting that stuff out, and it just felt right. You could say that about a lot of music, but for whatever reason the stars aligned the moment I heard those bands. Descendents screaming about coffee and food. Angry Samoans turning a horror movie like “The Todd Killings” into a song (though it's more like a word game based around the title). The music was aggressive but also fun and nerdy, I could relate to that.

What was your experience playing in “attic” bands while living in Maine? Were any bands you formed serious in nature, or just for the hell of it?
This was the mid-90s in small town Maine. The local school probably barely had a few hundred students. My older brother managed to put together some groups but usually needed a bassist, so despite being four years younger I often got to join in. Hanging with older cooler kids playing rock n roll? Loved it! This was also before Myspace and internet communities were a thing, so we barely played beyond our town or knew any other bands with kids our age. In 1999 my brother moved to New York City to study classical guitar, and when I went to visit that’s when I realized there was more to playing music than just being in an attic in Maine. My last attic band moved to NYC in 2003 and gave it a go, but we didn’t really know how to get gigs so we only played a couple shows.

After moving to Manhattan, which rock bands did you work with? Were you considering it a local stint or something more serious? What were the number of clubs that hosted rock shows at the time, and how was the attendance when you performed?
Shoot the Piano Player was my first band in the city, indie rock, we moved from Maine together. We only lasted a year in the city before we went to other parts (I went back to Maine for a year, but returned to New York in 2005). At the time, I was trying to pursue some sort of career in cinema studies—programming/curating, reviewing, film history. For some reason, that seemed a more stable career than being a musician (boy, was I dumb!). So at that point I mostly recorded music in my apartment as Modern Silent Cinema, though I did play bass briefly in an indie rock band, Medium Cool, we did a small weekend tour, but that was about it. Early 2000s were great for rock clubs in NYC—more than I could possibly count, ranging from backrooms at bars to basement clubs to warehouses to actual big pro venues. One warehouse party in the meatpacking district was so crowded and sweaty I could barely keep my hands on the strings. Medium Cool opened up for Albert Hammond Jr. at Webster Hall which was definitely the biggest gig I’ve ever played, probably a couple hundred people there for us as the opening act? A lot more people were there for the headliner, haha. Fast forwarding to Covid, that’s when I really started to get more serious about getting my music out into the world. Demoted’s first two albums (“No Use” and “Not Myself Today”) were unused demos from Night Squad. Those lead to re-teaming with Squad bassist Phil Harrington and Anti-Difrano guitarist/singer Chris Hopkins, who agreed to drum for Demoted. When Chris moved to Texas after recording “Shit for Brains”, Demoted had to slow down (but we haven’t stopped! Working on a new E.P. remotely, and planning a short tour), and that’s when Steve Carface started, my solo hardcore project.

Were you able to visit any New York clubs before they closed, such as Continental and CBGB?
I made it to Continental but not CBGB, much to my regret. Had the chance, but I was more interested in movies at that point. I spent more time later on at more recent venues like Palisades, Silent Barn (second one), Death by Audio, Shea Stadium, Acheron—sadly, they’ve all closed. Saint Vitus is still around, but they are temporarily closed due to some permit issue stuff, hopefully it will be resolved soon.

Do you visit other clubs that are still open, or visit newer clubs?
There are good newer clubs. TV Eye is terrific, got to see The Crosses there a couple weeks ago (the original Die Kreuzen singer with a new band), Mirage opened for them and they're an insanely good hardcore band. Market Hotel was one of the classic early 2000s DIY venues, and it reopened a while ago as a legit spot, saw a great black metal bill there a few weeks ago (Ebony Pendant and Lamp of Murmuur). Hart Bar has a basement and is willing to host punk and noise shows, and Mama Tried in Sunset Park hosts free outdoor gigs all summer, lots of weirdo punk bands like Oof play there, it's great there are places like these still around. And there's always new places opening up. A few years back I was lucky enough to befriend some people doing basement and garage shows—incredible scenes that shined briefly. I'm sure there's more things like that happening, if you look deep enough.

What led you to become involved in the independent and experimental film scene in New York? When you began composing music, was this industry undergoing rapid growth?
As I mentioned, I was studying film history, and the years before streaming were incredible for the NYC film scene. Not as prolific as music clubs, but there were tons of great small venues still getting 16mm and occasionally 35mm prints of crazy ass movies. Writing about them for local magazines helped me make friends in that world, eventually I started writing for a site called Not Coming To A Theater Near You and we got invited to program a monthly series at 92Y Tribeca. It was a blast. The biggest relation to music was that these experiences showed me the benefits of being part of an active artistic community, which motivated me to get back into music.

What movies did you review before and after you began writing for Not Coming To A Theater Near You?
I don’t really know the numbers of our web hits, but for an early 2000s website reviewing mostly out-of-print and obscure movies I think we had an audience, and by design we didn’t accept any advertising so it was completely volunteer. Some of the writers have gone on to be successful, which is great. I wrote about silent cinema whenever I got the chance, and occasionally there was a crossover with music, like Pere Portabella’s “The Silence Before Bach” (2007), an experimental doc about Johann Sebastian Bach.

What do you think readers might find interesting about Portabella's “The Silence Before Bach”?
If you want a straight biopic, this is not the movie for you. I find that sort of biographical approach to music really boring and trite (and often it focuses on the wrong aspects of the artist’s life). “The Silence Before Bach” is more of a series of cinematic performance pieces—like a cellist playing Bach on a subway car. It’s about the music and space and ambience more than “Bach was born in yada yada yada.” If you want a different approach to music on film, it’s well-worth checking out.

During your tenure at Not Coming To A Theater Near You, what were the benefits of reviewing rare and out-of-print films? Did most of the films featured come from independent studios? Can you recall any that were particularly exploratory?
At the time, NYC had a thriving repertory scene, so you could see some amazing stuff that wasn’t easy to come by, and see it on a big screen. This was also before streaming, before Netflix, before full movies being uploaded to YouTube. We had access to Kim’s Video on St. Mark’s Place, so we could find tons of out of print VHS and DVDs and bootlegs, imported movies, stuff that was not easy to find. We did a series on Nicholas Ray—the director of “Rebel Without a Cause”—and at the time, many of his movies made for big studios were just completely unavailable, and we had to reply on crummy bootlegs. It’s wild how even a name like his, and movies made for big money, could still fall into obscurity. A good reminder that one should always dig! That certainly informed my approach when I got back into music.

Are you observing any changes in the indie film industry in terms of indie movies receiving more attention, and websites and podcasters offering their perspectives on indie and mainstream productions without the assistance of mass media?
I think there’s great potential for indie film, music, and indie arts journalism—but I think it’s going to be a struggle. Amazon, Spotify, the big names still control the market, they’re money machines and the money is in mega pop stars, not Demoted or Steve Carface, and not no-budget features without Hollywood stars. Stuff like the Oscars is as much about patting themselves on the back as it is reinforcing their dominance on audiences—they’re telling us that they’re important, that they’re the best, and they’re trying to groom audiences to want what they’re selling. Indie artists and writers have to support each other to get both of their work out there and reach a wider audience, we’re all in it together, and we’ll rise or fall based on how well we stick together as a real community. A great lesson one can learn from the history of punk is how they built networks of shows, touring, distro, fanzines, before the internet age. With the tools we have today, we should (and hopefully will) continue that legacy.

As a result of mutual support, the punk and hardcore scenes in New York are larger than ever despite the loss of CBGB, Continental, and other clubs from the classic era. You see the same at metal festivals organized by independent labels that draw crowds of arena proportions, built from the grass roots.
Bands and fans keep the community going, when one place closes another opens up, always new opportunities. Real estate prices are more insane than ever here in NYC, and that’s making it harder and harder for clubs to stay open and new ones to start, but people are trying to make it happen, one way or another. Union Pool, Kingsland, Alphaville, Windjammer, Wonderville, there’s still lots of great places to play here in New York.

Tompkins Square Park, where the activists who publish The Shadow and protest the real estate increases, are still hosting free shows and giving artists as well as bands a platform to promote their work. What do you find most beneficial about this?
Tompkins is such an iconic and symbolic part of NYC (going back to Tent City), I think it is great that the shows can be a way to keep it active as a political space and as a link between the past and future. Every inch of the city is being bought up, parks are some of the last public spaces out there, they are vital to the community.

What movies did you compose music for with Modern Silent Cinema? What guitar and recording equipment did you use during these sessions?
Modern Silent Cinema started in 2004 when I moved back to Maine as just some guitar chords recorded into a laptop so I could practice bass. The project grew—I scored a couple classic silents, like “Gertie on Tour” and “Anemic Cinema”—but mostly I just explored songwriting. Twenty years later, it’s still going, and I’m releasing (at least) six albums this year—the first in Jan. was solo piano, the second in March was an acoustic guitar and synth soundtrack to “The Cinema Detective”, an experimental dystopian essay film by my friend Matt Barry. MSC is also what lead me to writing hardcore punk. The instrumental songs kept getting closer and closer to resembling punk rock in their tempos and arrangements, and got to the point where I had to stop and finally start adding vocals. I’m now working on how to play MSC live as a solo guitar project, and that is going to be very influenced by my hardcore punk. In between writing these responses I’m trying to blend classical guitar-ish stuff with more noisy punk riffs. Not sure how it’s gonna work, but I’m trying.

In what areas of the print industry are Modern Silent Cinema’s albums getting recognition? What newer movies, if any, have you scored of late?
Still working on getting more coverage for MSC, the challenge with that project is it’s never sat firmly in “avant garde,” “noise,” “classical,” “rock, or any other genre. I can’t even call it 100% instrumental because I do a few songs with vocals on the album “Ghost”. Even though it isn’t easy to categorize, it’s the longest running music project in my life, and probably the one closest to my heart. 2024 marks twenty years of MSC, so to celebrate I’m releasing a ton of material, six CDs planned (and maybe a 7” if I can swing it). “Passages X-XXI” is my second collection of solo piano, sort of influenced by Ligeti and Satie. “The Cinema Detective” is mostly solo acoustic guitar with a few solo synth pieces, it’s a soundtrack to a movie by Baltimore artist Matt Barry, a dystopian sci-fi essay film about two film scholars doing detective work into some pirate broadcasts. The newest album is “The Cabinet of Modern Silent Cinema”, an archival collection of pieces that went astray or got lost over the years.

Was “Passages X-XXI” composed as a film soundtrack? What are Ligeti and Satie and how did they influence the recording of that album?
Cullen: That album wasn’t intended as a soundtrack, it was recorded while visiting my mother in Maine. Every time I passed by the piano, I tried to sit down and write something that would come naturally. I wrote and recorded the album in the exact order that it appears on the album, one of the most pleasurable and natural albums that I’ve ever made. Erik Satie and György Ligeti are two of my favorite classical composers, big influences on me. Ligeti has a series called Musica Ricercata, the first piece has one note (but at different octaves), the next piece two notes, and so on. I think it’s incredible the mood and melodies and rhythms he creates with so few notes! Satie is an impressionist known for his Gymnopédies, very atmospheric and delicate, I tried to keep that sensibility in mind.

For what recordings are Erik Satie and György Ligeti best known? Would you recommend these recordings to the readers of this interview?
Satie is best known for his Gymnopédies and Gnossiennes for piano, I grew up on the Aldo Ciccolini recordings and he’s great. They’re very soothing and calm, and even if you don’t know them by name I’m sure you’ve heard them in movies, very popular and iconic. I discovered Ligeti through the soundtracks of Stanley Kubrick, parts of his Musica ricercata series was included in Eyes Wide Shut (the single and two-note haunting themes). Pierre-Laurent Aimard is the most acclaimed Ligeti performer (and the composer’s favorite), I got to see Aimard play Ligeti’s songs at Carnegie Hall last year and he was incredible.

In order to fit the Matt Barry movie, how did you arrange the material on “The Cinema Detective”? Why did you consider acoustic guitar and synthesizer an appropriate soundtrack?
I had worked with Matt on Forbidden Frames in 2022, and I had one acoustic guitar piece left over, and I couldn’t figure out what to do with it. My guitar was tuned in a weird way, and I whenever I went to tune it naturally I just kept remembering the melody and I’d keep it that way. When I saw the footage for The Cinema Detective, I realized it was the right place to start. Thematically, The Cinema Detective is about solitary people—a lone scholar contemplating the footage of a lone driver, taking to an AI simulation of a scholar. A single guitar seemed fitting. And because of the tech aspect of the story, a synthesizer also seemed appropriate.

What songs did you collect for "The Cabinet of Modern Silent Cinema", and how were they arranged to fit together?
"The Cabinet of Modern Silent Cinema" is the first of three archival collections coming out this year, the other two are Anemic Music and Aphonia. They started when I decided to organize my digital files and realized I had a lot more finished songs (or nearly) just sitting around. Most of Cabinet was actually an album called Bored Out Of My Fucking Mind that I had sequenced and mixed like ten or twelve years ago, but just completely forgot about it somehow. They’re cassette and micro-cassette based, so I threw on a few others songs from that era, including three guitar duets with my brother Boru which I also totally forgot we recorded. All of the material on the three albums is 2008–2012ish, so it was mainly just an issue of organizing them according to what sounded best to my ears, or that were related (like the stuff with my brother).

You mentioned two songs you wrote for Steve Carface, “Side” and “Other People”, which deal with making personal changes and prioritizing self-care over creating on the side. To what extent do these songs reflect your desire to create?
By Fall 2022, I was pretty frustrated with where I was in life. The Covid years did hell on the New York music scene. A lot of friends dispersed to other parts, or just stopped playing music. The community felt fractured. As I mentioned, Chris, the drummer for Demoted, was living in Texas. And all I knew was that I wanted to play music, and I wasn’t doing that. Steve Carface grew out of renting rehearsal space on Monday nights, sitting in a dented metal folding chair and banging a guitar and yelling until something coalesced. “Side” literally puts these feelings into words, “I’m not satisfied by living on the side.” For years that’s what I had been told was the smart thing to do—play music “on the side.” I absolutely hate those words and never want to hear them again. “Other People” channels a whole bunch of frustrations, haha. “I’m sick of doing shit for other people that doesn’t mean shit to me, why am I always putting myself last and pissing away my precious life?” There’s no subtext there—I just want to create something personal and that I believe in. I know for now I need a day job (and probably always will) to pay for rent and food, but do I have to be satisfied with that? Hell no. I’m trying to reclaim my mind and energy and time, as much as I can.

How long was Night Squad active, and did you release any material with them?
Night Squad existed for around four years, fall 2013 through spring 2017. We put out two tapes (“Fat Again” and “Shaken”), and posted a live album on Bandcamp, but we never really knew how to distribute the albums. Hell, I barely know that now, but that's something I'm trying to learn! Did a lot of emailing and packing up CDs/tapes and standing in line at USPS this year, but it's been fun seeing Demoted and Steve Carface get out into the world. I'm also working on putting together a collection of my demos during that period, and another compilation of live recordings.

Describe your experiences recording the earliest material for your bands. Which did you prefer, working in professional studios or recording on your own?
I’ve done almost exclusively home recording. Back in the 90s it was on Yamaha and Tascam cassette 4-track and 8-track recorders. Since the 2000s I’ve been using GarageBand, Logic, and I dabbled a bit with Ableton. The most “pro” experience was Night Squad recording in the drummer’s office (he worked in commercial jingles). For Demoted, “No Use” was recorded in my apartment on GarageBand, and “Not Myself Today” was recorded in my rehearsal space, I’d set up two mics (the most inputs my interface could handle), jump on the drum kit, then try to stay on tempo best I could. I’d then swing the mics around in front of my Fender Pro Jr. and record the guitars, which were usually way too far in the red. But I was impulsive, these weren’t intended to be released, it just turned out that years later when I finally learned to mix better (somewhat, haha) that they were able to be released. “Shit for Brains” was also recorded in a rehearsal space, but our drummer Chris Hopkins had much better gear so he could mic up drums properly, and he, bassist Phil Harrington, and I could all play together. The whole album was recorded live together. Steve Carface was a return to the “Not Myself Today” style of one-man-band recording, but I used a Zoom Q2n video camera to capture the drums, then I threw that into Logic and started adding guitars/basses/vox.

How have your bands evolved since their early releases? Considering all the instruments you play and the materials you have recorded with, how have they helped you progress in a natural way?
The biggest change since 1994, when I played in my first band, to now, is that back then I was playing bass and not super active in the songwriting process at first, whereas now I’m mainly playing guitar/singing and am the primary songwriter in Demoted, Steve Carface, Modern Silent Cinema, and the country singer-songwriter stuff under my name. I’m involved in other projects were I’m not the primary songwriter, sometimes I’m just learning a pre-written part, other times I’m contributing my own parts to a song someone else wrote. I love both ways of making music, it’s fun collaborating with other people, but I also enjoy projects where I’m working solo. Playing multiple instruments is helpful in that it provides different viewpoints on how instruments can contribute to and shape a song, sort of like walking a mile in another person’s shoes, gives you a different perspective on elements of composition and performance.

Which independent labels have helped promote your bands since you began releasing material, and to what extent have they helped you expand your fan base?
The only label I’ve worked with is Fuzzy Warbles, and they’ve been great! Ben Mancell is the brains of the operation, super supportive, heck he gave me the confidence to actually get Demoted off the ground, I just figured I had some demos that sounded ok, but his enthusiasm helped me get back on my feet and writing new material and playing shows. HIs tape label has a cool lineup of oddball rock, punk, synth, and other weirdo bands, I feel right at home there! They do a lot of shows together, so it’s a great community spirit. The Fuzzy Warbles experience inspired me to start my own label, Bad Channels Records, and right now I’m just dealing with my own recordings but hoping to start helping other bands once I have a bit more experience under my belt.

How long were you operating Bad Channels Records? Was it originally established to promote your bands? How did your experience with Fuzzy Warbles inspire you to form the label?
Bad Channels started October 2023, so it’s still very new. With so much music floating around on the internet, I feel like there’s a renewed importance for labels to act as hubs for artists and listeners. I see Bad Channels less as a “brand” than a gathering place. I’d like to start releasing other music, but I still have so much to learn and I’m using my own stuff to workshop and gain experience. I love Ben’s work with Fuzzy Warbles, they’re the sort of label I order everything that comes out, I don’t even listen ahead of time, I know it’s gonna be great, and at the same time I don’t know exactly what it’s going to sound like, and I like that element of chance, it’s cool that the label is willing to take chances on different sounding groups.

Has your label expanded, or do you plan to expand it to support other bands? How much promoting do you do to let people know the label exists?
I definitely plan on expanding, and still figuring out how to let people know! Greenpoint, where I live in Brooklyn, has a lot of great record stores, and Record Grouch has been super supportive and has carried a couple of the releases so far. I’m still packing up promos and sending CDs and tapes to zines and radio stations, and emailing files to internet shows, which is a fun way to connect with people, and it seems to be working. Got recent play on WFMU (New Jersey), Half 'n Hour Boots (Radio Bandito) out of Italy, Clean Nice Quiet (8K.NZ/KPISS.FM), Radio Eustachio (Italy), Punk AF Radio with Paul Hammond (England), WRUW FM91.1 (Cleveland, OH), and WMSE 91.7FM (Milwaukee). I was psyched when Maximum Rocknroll wrote about Demoted! There are so many streaming links online I think putting copies in people’s hands is the way to go, or at least offering—many times when I email asking for an address they just say to send files, but they seem to appreciate the gesture. Other people def want the physical copy, which I totally get, because that’s mostly how I listen to music.

Maximum Rocknroll is still active? I thought they folded some time back but I could have been wrong. Anyway, how often do you read that magazine?
Every Monday they post a batch of new reviews on their site, so I check it weekly, they still cover bands from all over the world so it’s a good way to find out what’s out there.

Do you likewise do mail order to support Bad Channels Records? What local bands and bands from elsewhere are you currently thinking of signing?
Yeah I’m doing some mail order tapes/CDs, would love to do lathe or real vinyl at some point in the future. I’ve talked with one band about releasing their complete discography, and I have a couple projects in mind that are currently active, but before I announce anything I wanna make sure I can handle the albums responsibly, get them produced in the right media format, get them in some stores and get press coverage.

Do you believe your work has had potential to influence popular music in any significant way? Would you like to expand the range of instruments you record with?
If I’m ever able to have any influence, I’d like to think that it’s from the audience side of things, supporting local shows, independent bands, and independent record stores. I love making music and will continue to do it, but it’s also deeply gratifying to be able to give back to the music community and other artists and show my appreciation. Regarding other instruments, I really want to buy a pedal steel—I play lap steel in Hard Job and love it, but the pedal steel is a totally different instrument and I’d love to give it a shot, I’m such a sucker for classic country music.

Would you be interested in joining a new band or project in the near future? If so, how do you anticipate growing as a musician? In what ways do you likewise wish to grow as a lyricist?
As far as lyrics go, I’d like to write happy songs, often I grab the guitar and write when I’m feeling low, and it’s a great outlet, but I’d like to find that same sort of connection when I’m in a more positive state of mind. And I’m certainly open for collaborations—been playing bass with an industrial noise metal project called 8 Hour Animal, we did a short West Coast tour last summer which was great. Playing that style was totally new to me, and it was a fun challenge to push myself as a musician to play that style and understand the compositions. Playing with other musicians and connecting with them is a great and rewarding pleasure, hope to be able to do it for the rest of my life.

-Dave Wolff

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Single Review: Hanibal Death Machine "Stupid" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Band: Hanibal Death Machine
Country: France
Genre: Indusrial/groove metal
Single: Stupid
From the forthccoming album "Éclipse Anthropocène", to be released November 2024
Format: Video, streaming
Label: Independent
Release date: March 7, 2024
Hanibal Death Machine formed in 2014 and released three albums rooted in techno, industrial, goth and groove metal. Although elements from each of their albums have been retained in their new promotional video "Stupid", a new emphasis is placed on melodic death and Viking metal by the band.
Techno, industrial, and goth artists tend to have a penetrating, numbing, mechanized awareness in their writing. There's a human element to this band's music, even during their most lugubrious moments, making their melodies inherently easier to relate to. After listening to their discography I’d say the new video reflects a darker, more atmospheric and somber theme, as it depicts the inhumanity of humankind through the centuries, from the Middle Ages to the Information Age. It's somewhere between Rammstein and Amon Amarth, with Alien Weaponry and Wolves in the Throne Room playing a part.
The clip is under five minutes, with a professional production value. Its polished but primal demeanor seems intended to convey a gripping sense of the violence, emotional anguish, the dependence on gain and especially the lack of consideration for nature, on screen. The lyrics are in French, but you don't need to speak the language to comprehend the pictures synchronized with the evocative atmosphere and throaty vocals. Though the lyrics are provided in both French and English beneath the video.
You should take a listen to this song, and also check out the single and video release of "Mon Cadavre", which was released in 2020. –Dave Wolff

Jean-Luc Loret: Vocals, bass
Marco Rave: Guitars
Jacques Maupeu-Wise Drums

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Article: "Embracing the Chaos: The Unconventional Journey of Misanthropik Torment" by Erik Leviathan

Embracing the Chaos: The Unconventional Journey of Misanthropik Torment
Article by Erik Leviathan

Misanthropik Torment stands as a testament to the raw, unfiltered essence of metal music, driven by the relentless spirit of its creator, Erik Leviathan. Through a complete DIY approach, the project rejects traditional music industry norms, embracing full independence in production, management, and marketing. This article delves into the chaotic yet fascinating journey of Misanthropik Torment, exploring how they have carved a niche in the extreme metal scene with their unique sound and fierce independence.

The Genesis of Misanthropik Torment
From its inception, Misanthropik Torment was built on a foundation of do-it-yourself principles. Erik Leviathan, the band's founder, insisted on a hands-on approach to every aspect of the band's creation and operation. This ethos not only shaped their music but also their identity within the metal scene.

Erik Leviathan's Vision
Erik Leviathan envisioned a band that was not just a musical project but a movement. His vision was to create a sound that was both raw and uncompromising, reflecting his deep-seated views on society and culture. This vision has been a guiding force for the band, pushing them towards unique musical territories.

A Unique Sound Emerges
As the band progressed, a distinctive sound began to take shape, characterized by its aggressive blending of genres and thematic darkness. This sound, which began as an experiment, has now become their signature, setting Misanthropik Torment apart from their contemporaries in the metal scene.

The Philosophy of Independence: Rejecting Traditional Music Labels
Misanthropik Torment has always stood apart by rejecting traditional music labels, choosing to carve out a unique path in the metal scene. This decision has allowed them to maintain a pure, unadulterated form of expression, free from the constraints typically imposed by commercial interests.

Self-Production and Management
The band takes pride in handling all aspects of their music production and management. This DIY approach ensures that every chord and lyric remains true to their original vision, providing fans with an authentic experience.

The Freedom of Artistic Control
With complete control over their music and image, Misanthropik Torment enjoys the freedom to experiment and evolve without external pressures. This independence is not just a choice but a necessity in preserving the integrity of their sound and message.

The Sound of Rebellion: Blending Extreme Metal Genres
Misanthropik Torment has always been known for its ability to blend various extreme metal genres into a cohesive sound. This fusion creates a powerful platform for their themes, making their music not just heard but felt on a visceral level.

Themes of Misanthropy and Anger
The band's music is deeply rooted in themes of misanthropy and anger, reflecting the darker sides of human nature. Their lyrics often explore the depths of human despair and societal flaws, providing a cathartic experience for listeners.

Creating a Distinctive Audio Identity
By consistently pushing the boundaries of metal music, Misanthropik Torment has carved out a distinctive audio identity. Their unique sound sets them apart in a crowded genre, attracting fans who seek something beyond the conventional.

To download the album "Declaration Of War" for free, go to and enter the code ybwx-9wv6.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Full Length Review: Carnal Diafragma "The Garden of Earthly Delights" (Bizarre Leprous Production) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Carnal Diafragma
Location: Ostrava
Country: Czechia
Genre: Goregrind
Full length: The Garden of Earthly Delights
Format: Digital
Label: Bizarre Leprous Production (Czechia)
Release date: May 6, 2024
On a weekend goregrind binge I happened to find myself at the stream for “The Garden of Earthly Delights” by Carnal Diafragma! This is their 2024 (short) full-length album! I have known about Carnal Diafragma for many years and I have always enjoyed them—but it’s been a while since their name graced my computer screen—and just as long since their unique sound graced my speakers!
This is some sincerely on-point Czech goregrinding! When I first heard CD years ago my first thought was how unique and different the sound was from many other goregrind bands. Now that we are well into 2024 I can say they did not stray from their signature tones and atmosphere! Each track offers a blast of genuine head banging absurdity—the likes of which very few would be able to emulate! The closest in sound I can think of is Gutalax—but personally I think Carnal Diafragma is much better and a lot less “poopy”!
This is their fifth full-length album (I’m actually surprised there aren’t more for how long they’ve been in the game) and it is available on CD, streaming and digital format. “The Garden of Earthly Delights” was released through Bizarre Leprous Production—a name that is well known and respected by anyone who peruses the underground wasteland known as the worldwide goregrind “scene”!
I won’t harp any longer. If you are looking for something fun, heavy, upbeat and almost “dancey”—check this album out. You should also check out some of Carnal Diafragma’s back catalog—their earlier work is just as pleasantly nauseating as this! Cop it! -Devin J. Meaney

Kino: Vocals
Robert: Guitars
David: Bass
Chuchvalec: Drums

Track list:
1. Head XCVII
2. Cichajda
3. Alice in Analland
4. Cramps in a Nightshirt
5. Explosions of Pink Moons
6. The Garden of Earthly Delights
7. Interview with Teaspoons
8. Closely Watched Sacks
9. Urethral Kiss
10. Oasis of Pampered Cactus Balls
11. Juicy Melodies of Hunger and Lard
12. Women in Red
13. My Wife Doesn´t Understand Me
14. Strenuous Walk on Rough Sound Waves

Full Length Review: Canis Majoris "Eternity Borns from a Moment" (Satanath Records) by Dave Wolff

Project: Canis Majoris
Country: Poland
Genre: Doom/death metal
Format: Digital, Jewel box CD with 8 page booklet (limited to 500 copies)
Label: Satanath Records
Release date: April 28, 2024
The Satanath Records label has consistently introduced me to metal bands with a vision to impart mystery and wonder to the listener. Canis Majoris' debut full-length exceeds most of what I've heard from it. While many metal bands have explored enigmas of the universe in their work, this project infinitely stretches the parameters of this idea.
Through a philosophical perspective on the beauty and emptiness of the universe, and an artistic style illustrating how vast it is, "Eternity Borns from a Moment" both illuminates and subdues. Opening you to the boundlessness of infinite eons, it reminds you of how minute humanity is as it considers the eventual end of all things.
The music was composed and recorded by a musician from Belarus who goes by the stage name Alienus. Canis Majoris began as a doom/death metal project, and he composed the songs with elements of ambient, black metal, and organic and synthesized keyboard tones that greatly intensify the contemplation that went into this work.
For an album that was in the making for about three years, "Eternity Borns from a Moment" displays ambition, imagination, and capacity for thought. The album is played entirely by Alienus with vocals provided by Brut of the Belarus death metal band Raspatory (whose debut full length "Pathopsychology" was released in 2021).
The dissimilitude between space and time, energy and matter, existence and nothingness is evident from the very beginning. As soon as the first instrumental "Space Overture I" begins, it paints a striking picture of the endless black and the stars illuminating it, characterizing the extreme cold of the cosmos. Icy, freezing, piercing, numbing cold.
A total of six "chapters" are presented, consisting of an ambient instrumental and a full song. From what I gathered, they depict the ancient origin and inevitable conclusion of existence, pondering universal cycles, anomalies such as black holes, and exploring the vast expanses of void out there, the isolation of each interstellar object in the midst of all that barren space.
Amidst the doom/death tracks and ambient interludes, "Eternity" features soporific guitars, massive bass, resounding drums, and guttural vocals that seem to emanate from everywhere. This distinctly multilayered keyboard accompaniment reveals a colossal amount of astronomical content, often enhancing the guitars’ interpretation of the temporal and spatial.
Occasionally reminiscent of My Dying Bride, Anathema and November's Doom with elements of choir, gothic metal and industrial, "Eternity" elaborates on the scope those bands explored on their albums, bringing new and unfamiliar musical blueprints from the darkness to the light, extending the songwriting to new lengths of experimentation. In many instances, the album draws the listener hypnotically into the mix, making them feel as though they are a part of the grand scheme of things.
In terms of pushing the boundaries of extreme metal in general, "Eternity" represents another important step forward. Particularly toward its conclusion, which contains some of the darkest and most progressive compositions recorded for it. –Dave Wolff

Alienus: All instruments
Brut: Vocals

Track list:
1. Space Overture I
2. Eternity Borns From A Moment
3. Space Overture II
4. The Birth Of The Universe
5. Space Overture III
6. The Black Hole
7. Space Overture IV
8. The Path Of The Star
9. Space Overture V
10. The Emptiness Of Eridanus
11. Space Overture VI
12. The End Of Civilization