Thursday, September 29, 2016

Minneriket/Stjerner, Speil Og Svarteboker/Akslen Black Art Records/2016 CD Review


  Minneriket  are  a  solo  project  from  Norway  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  an  ambient  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2016  album  "Stjerner,  Speil  Og Svarteboker"  which  will  be  released  in  October  by  Asklen  Black  Art  Records.

  A  very  dark  and  raw  black  metal  sound  along  with  some  grim  yet  depressive  screams  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  melodic  guitar  leads  also  being  added  in  at  times  and  you  can  also hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  During  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  can  be  heard  and  after  awhile  elements  of  dark  ambient  are  added  onto  the  recording  and  the  songs  also b ring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fat  parts  and  the  synths  when  they  are  utilized  also  takes  the  songs  in  a  darker  direction  and  you  can  also  hear  some  melody  in  the  guitar  riffing  at  times  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  when  spoken  word  parts  are  utilized  they  give  the  music  more  of  a  ritualistic  feeling  and  on  the  last  track  the  vocals  get  very  deep  and  demonic.

  Minneriket  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  the  raw  and  atmospheric  style  of  ambient  black  metal  from  their  previous  release,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  a  mixture  of  Norwegian  and  English  and  cover  Faustian,  Paganism,  Existensialism  and  Melancholy  themes.   

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Minneriket  and  if  you  are  a fan  of  ambient  black  metal,  you  should check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Vinterblot"  and  "How  To  Write  Love  in  The  Stars".  8  out  of  10.

Irrilion/Egledhron/2016 EP Review


  Irrillion  are  a  duo  from  Venezuela  that  plays  an  instrumental  form  of  atmospheric  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2016  ep  "Egledhron".

  Acoustic  guitar  playing  starts  off  the  ep  along  with  some  nature  sounds  in  the  background  before  going  into  a  heavier  and  darker  direction  and  after  awhile  the  music  speeds  up  along  with  some  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  black  metal  feeling  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  No  vocals  or  song  writing  are  ever  utilized  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  you  can  also  hear  touches  of  doom  metal  in  the  slower  sections  of t he  songs  and  clean  guitars  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  as  the  ep  progresses  acoustic  guitars  also  return  briefly  while t he  main  focus  is  more  on  a  heavier  style.

  Irillion  plays  a  style  of  atmospheric  black  metal  that  is  more  guitar  driven  and  raw  than  most  bands  of  the  genre  while  also  keeping  everything  in  all  instrumental  musical  direction  and  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw.

  In  my  opinion  Irillion  are  a  very  great  sounding  instrumental,  atmospheric  black  metal  duo  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Tierra  Negra(Parte  One)"  and  "Egledhron".  8  out  of  10. 

Rest/Self Titled/Third-I-Rex/2016 EP Review


  Rest  are  a  band  from  Italy  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black  metal,  crust  and  hardcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2016  ep  which  was  released  by  Third-I-Rex.

  Drum  beats  and  a  heavy  yet  dark  guitar  sound  starts  off  the  ep  along  with  soem  hardcore  elements  while  the  vocals  also  mix  in  the  same  style  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  black  metal  feeling.

  Elements  of  both  crust  and  d  beat  are  a  very  huge  part  of  the  recording  and  the  songs  also  bring  in a   great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  solos  and  leads  bring  in a   very dark  and  melodic  style  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  and  the  whole  ep  also  always  sticks  to a   very  heavy  musical  style.

  Rest  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  raw  black  metal,  hardcore,  crust  and  d  beat  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own  and  while  the  mixture  of  black  metal  and  hardcore  usually  causes  me  to  have  a  headache  this  band  actually  knows  how  to  do  it  the  right  way,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  angry  and  hateful  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Rest  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black  metal, hardcore and  crust  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "I"  and  "IV". 8  out  of  10.

Simulacro/Echi Dall' Abisso/Third-I-Rex/2016 CD Review


  Simulacro  are  a  band  from  Italy  that  plays  a  mixture  of  post  black  metal  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "Echi  Dall'  Abisso"  which  was  released  by  Third-I-Rex.

  An  almost  silent  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  clean  yet  distorted  playing  a  few  seconds  later  and  once  the  music  gets  heavy  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  along  with  the  riffs  also  bringing  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  after  awhile  death  metal  growls  are  added  onto  the  recording.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  and  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  post  black  metal  style  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  female  vocals  can  also  be  heard  at  times  while t he  rififng  also  adds  in  technical  playing.

  Some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  also  mixing  in  some  progressive  elements  and  the  vocals  also  bring  in  black  metal  screams  at  times  and  when  fast  tremolo picking  is  utilized  it  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  black  metal  feeling  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  and  as  the  album  progresses  synths  can  also  be heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

  Simulacro  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  atmospheric  and  post  black  metal  and  mixes  it  with  death  metal  to  create  an  original  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  mind's  abyss  and  introspection  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Simulacro  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  post  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Eco  II"  "Eco  V"  and  "Eco  VIII".  8  out  of  10. 

Negative Symbols/Without Voices/2016 Full Length Review


  Negative  Symbols  are  a  band from  Germany  that  plays  an  instrumental  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2016  album  "Without  Voices".

  Acoustic  guitar  playing starts  off  the  album  and  after  awhile  the  music  gets  a  lot  more  heavy  and  brings  in  post  style  of  black  metal  while  the  fast  tremolo  riffs  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling  and  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  during  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs and  all  of   the  musical  instruments  have a  very powerful  sound  to  them.

  Throughout  the recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  solos  and  leads a re  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  and  none  of  the  songs  ever  use  vocals  or  song  writing  and  clean  playing  can  also  be  hear d  in  certain  sections  off  the  recording  along  with  a  couple  of  the tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  when  synths  are  used  briefly  they  bring  psychedelic  elements  onto  the  recording.

  Negative  Symbols  plays  a  musical  style  that takes  the  cascadian,  post  and  atmospheric  forms  of  black  metal  and  combines  them  together  while  also  keeping  everything  instrumental  and  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording.

  In  my  opinion  Negative  Symbols  are  a  very  great  sounding  instrumental  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "I'  "IV"  "VII"  and  "VIIII".  8  out  of  10.

Winterheart Interview

 1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
1. Winterheart was started as a one-man band by Ádám Tóth in Budapest, Hungary in 2007 when he started to write songs for a debut album based on a concept as always. When finished the songwriting he wanted to be able to perform live and and to record it so  he was searching for members. After playing with some people, he found the right man, Peter Nagy, so he joined the band as a drummer in 2011. We recorded our first full-length, My journey to suicide and played some gigs with a bassist too. A year later, Gábor Szalai and Zsolt Géczy joined the band as bassist and session (live) guitarist respectively. In 2014, we recorded our second full-length - Facing what I'm becoming - which was released by a russian label, Cvlminis records. This spring we have entered the studio to record our third album, called Nothingness.

    2.So far you have released 3 albums, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?
2. I think they differ a lot to each other. In terms of sounding, in terms of songwriting and in terms of recording quality too to be honest. The first album was completely written by Adam and recorded in our rehearsal room, it had a raw, old-school sounding. I think it was a good way to introduce our music to the scene. Actually we have received very good feedback on that album. The second album's sound is more clear, the songs are more progressive and also the guitar and bass riffs are not so typical for the style too. We can call that album quite experimental. But again we recorded that album for several reasons by ourselves so it could show it strengths the way we wanted. Learning from that we have entered a professional studio for our third album to be able to reach the sound we really wanted. As for songwriting, now, for Nothingness it is a complete and perfect teamwork. Everyone adds his own and it creates a perfect harmony. I would say Winterheart now is what it can be heard on "Nothingness", the sound, the emotions, the lyrics, the guitar riffs, the bass and the drums is what we are.
But one thing was always common in all albums and that is very important in our music: we write the songs in an intuitive way so it will make your music just like we are, so it will be honest. Maybe we could say we don't create music, we feel the songs.


    3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
3. Whatever comes to my mind when being in the writing mood. But for some reason these are always "negative" feelings. I'm that kind of person who lives and feels his emotions very strongly and deeply and experiencing these "negative" feelings is very influencing. The loss, the grief, the depression, the loneliness, being hopeless are so much powerful than being happy or such bullshit. These affect in a much greater level and a much extended period and you'll never forget them. But really... I'm not controlling what I want to write, I write the lyrics based on what I feel, that's it. And this is what all kind of music should be about I think. Music should be honest, not fake, not manufactured or something.

    4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Winterheart'?
4. Good question! It's never easy to find the proper band name: you want it to represent your music style and lyrical topics, you want it to be easily remembered but without any cliches. The name comes from a song (actually a cover) from my all-time favourite band, Judas Iscariot. I found that Winterheart suits perfectly our music, it represents the cold, dark emotions.

    5.Originally the band started out as a solo project but now have a full line up, what was the decision behind adding in more band members?
5. Well I think we covered this topic in our first answer. Being able to play live is one of the reasons obviously but it is also very important that the quality of the music improved a lot. "Nothingness" album perfectly shows this, shows us.

    6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
6. We use red lights on our concerts which we control by our feet based on the music. These are placed on the ground behind us so gives a really great look from the audience, we look like fucking silhouettes. We also have a smoke machine and some lights controlled by the drums. So actually we can make sure that the stage looks how we want to and it can really follow the music. It's important to create the matching atmosphere for the music.
We also run a small booking agency - called Engulfing the void - to organize some gigs here in Budapest so we had the chance to play some really great shows for example with Nocturnal Depression, Forgotten Tomb or Selbstentleibung etc. Obviously these were great shows but we also really like playing in small clubs, especially in the Czech Republic. The audience there is very sick and supportive!

    7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
7. Yes, we will be playing here in Budapest in October with Infernal War, Outre, Fatality and Sekhmet, then we will perform at 10th Phantoms of Pilsen festival in Czech Republic which is actually one of our favorite festivals so it's an honor to be able to play there. Currently we also have a fixed date for April with two, well known depressive metal bands.

    8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
8. Yes, it would be great to find a label we can have a deal with but we didn't have time to e-mail them yet.

    9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of depressive and suicidal black metal?
9. I think the feedback is quite decent. The people really enjoyed our first album and had some nice words on the second too. We believe the third, Nothingness will also have some nice reviews and satisfied listeners. Actually we think this album is a very strong one in every terms and people will realize and appreciate it.

    10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
10. Our music always changes depending on our mood, let's say it evolves, it is a living thing just like humans. You are a different person compared to the one you were 10 years ago for example. We will have a new drummer starting from 2017 which certainly will affect our music - as I already mentioned, everyone is involved in songwriting. One thing is for sure that we will keep recording our albums in a professional way to make sure it sounds the way we want to.

    11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
11. I think we are very open minded with music I think. At least I (Adam) for sure. I always look for the emotions in music, not the genre. I love listening to City and Colour anytime for example (that guy can always put me in deep depression haha), and a lot of post rock bands like This will destroy you or If these trees could talk, Mono, etc. But I also love the traditional, old school black metal, also the new styled too. My all time favorites are Judas Iscariot, Abyssic hate, Coldworld, Katatonia and Dodsferd I guess.These I'm really into Freitod's new album and into Dysangelium. As for the others, Gábor is a fan of traditional black metal stuffs like Satanic Warmaster, Membaris and Gorgoroth. Zsolt, our other guitarist has a very similar musical taste to mine while our drummer is mainly into progressive metal stuff, his favorite is Opeth.

    12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
12. Well, thank you for the opportunity to share our thoughts and keep doing what you are doing. The underground scene needs such people to spread the disease! And don't forget people, the pain is everywhere, the pain is strong, destroy yourselves!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Rudra/Enemy of Duality/Transcending Obscurity Asia/2016 CD Review


  Rudra  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  black  metal  and  mixes  it  with elements  of  thrash,  death  metal  and Asian  folk  music  to  create a  musical  style  they  describe  as  being  'vedic  metal'  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "Enemy  Of  Duality"  which  will  be  released  in December  by  transcening  Obscurity  Asia.

  Indian  classical  music  along  with  some  melodic  chanting  vocals  start  off  the  album  giving  the  recording  more  of  an  esoteric  and  ethnic  feeling  and  they  also  mix  in  with  the  more  heavy  and  melodic  side  of  the  music  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sound  very  powerful  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams.

  When  guitar  leads are  utilized  they  take  Asian  style  scales  and  mix  them  in  with  the  more  extreme  metal  side  and  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  during  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  while  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  at  times  and  the  songs  also  bring  in a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Elements  of  death  and  thrash  metal  can  be  heard  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  and  the  tremolo  picking  when  it  is  utilized  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  black  metal  feeling  and  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  some  of  the  percussion  beats  when  they  are  utilized  sound  very  tribal  and  a  couple  of  tracks  are  long  and  epic  in  length  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  female  vocals  and  acoustic  guitars  are  added  onto  the  last  track  briefly.

  Rudra  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  black  metal  while  also  mixing  it  in  with  death,  thrash  metal  and  Hindu  folk  music  to  create  a  sound  of t heir  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Vedic  themes,  Hindu  Philosophy  and  Mythology  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Rudra  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black,  death, thrash  metal  and  vedic  folk music  and  if  you  are  looking  for  something  very  original,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Slay  the  Demons  Of  Duality"  "Seer  of  All"  and  "Ancient  Fourth".  8  out  of  10.