Thursday, August 21, 2014

Svengali Interview

 1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
We're a Dubai based metal band, the project came to life around April 2013 and was the result of different people coming together from different musical backgrounds.
2.So far you have released an ep, how would you describe the musical  sound that is presented on the recording?
It is really hard to define our style or categorise it into one musical genre, "Unscathed" is a mix of few different genres, hardcore and industrial being some of those sounds.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics  and subjects the band explores with the music?
The EP had a lyrical theme that revolved around a positive outlook on life and generally an uplifting message.
That's not necessarily the theme of the band but rather the state of mind that we were in at the time of the writing process of "Unscathed"
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Svengali'?
Svengali by definition means someone who hypnotises people for evil intent. it was something we picked up from a novel and a stage show that got us really interested in the name, however seeing the state that the world is currently in, we'd say it's pretty much hypnotised.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
"Metal Eastern Night" in Dubai, UAE was by far our favourite show. Very well organised with an insane crowd who sang every single word to our lyrics!
Our performance has been described as energetic and very interactive. we try to connect with the audience as much as possible, make them part of our show as much as we are, it's like having one huge band in the venue.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
we have few one off's around the Middle East till the end of the year and will start looking into touring and performing outside the region starting early next year.
7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
yes, we are looking for the right label, however we haven't yet received interest that we believe could be the best fit for us.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of metal and hardcore?
it has been great so far, we're receiving messages from all over the place, the reaction has been nothing but overwhelming and as far as reviews go , we've been getting really good reviews from all over the world through magazines and webzines.
9.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
This is the first time we mention this but we are actually in the middle of the writing process of a full length !
it's a lot more technical and musically diverse than the EP and lyrically exploring a plethora of subjects that somewhat darker than the positive theme in "Unscathed"
10.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?
Everyone of us comes from a completely different musical background which we think is adding more diversity into our sound. the common ground we're settling with is incorporating a lot of different mixtures.
Right now we're listening to some Middle Eastern based bands like Benevolent, Aramaic and Coat of Arms.
11.How would you describe the metal scene in your home country of United Arab Emirates?
it is a small scene but on the rise. The scene here had its ups and downs but it's picking itself back up.
more jam spaces are being available, new studios and venues hosting metal, so hopefully it'll keep rising.
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
We each have foot in different segments of the industry, from production to graphics to sound engineering and lighting... other than that it is mainly our love for food !
13.Before we wrap up this interview do you have any final words or thoughts?
we would like to thank you for taking the time and interest in us, there's a lot of people supporting Svengali behind the curtains working as hard as we are  and are big part of this band, we truly thank them and appreciate all the effort they're putting in and last but not least we would like to thank the fans and their dedication to this band, we have seen some crazy stuff so far and hopefully more to come.

Volunteer/Goner/Forge Again Records/Triple Eye Industries/2014 10 Inch Review

  Volunteer  are  a  band  from  Milwaukee,  Wisconsin  that  plays  a  very  old  school  form  of  noise  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  10  Inch  "Goner"  which  will  be  released  in  October  as  a  joint  effort  between  Forge  Again  Records  and  Triple  Eye  industries.

  A  very  dark  and  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  album a long  with  some  powerful  sounding  bass  and  guitars  and  vocals  that  are  both  aggressive  yet  melodic  at  the  same  time  and  the  music  has  more  of  a  mid  80's  to  early  90's  vibe  to  it  as  well  as  remaining  in  a  slow  to  mid  paced  musical  direction.

  There  is  a  great  amount  of  reverb  and  distortion  in  the  bands  musical  sound  and  you  can  also  very  a  decent  amount  of  darkness  and  melody  in  some  of  the  tracks  that  are  present  on  this  ep  along  with  an  early  indie  and  alternative  rock  vibe  before  both  styles  got  mainstream  enough  for  the  radio  and  the y also  bring  in  a  cover  of  Jawbreaker's  "I  Love  You  So  Much  It's  Killing  Us  Both"  and  the  also  track  also  sees  the  band  bringing  in  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts.

  Volunteer  play  noise  rock  so  well  on  this  recording  that  this  could  of  easily  been  release d on  the  early  90's  and  they  ignore  all  modern  day  trends  with  their  musical  style,  the  production  has  a  very  dark,  heavy  and  old  school  sound  to  it  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  real  life  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Volunteer  are  a  very  great  sounding  noise  rock  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  10  Inch.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Nein"  and  "Goner".  8  out  of  10.    

Bask/American Hollow/The Path Less Traveled Records/2014 CD Review

  Bask  are  a  band  from  North  Carolina  that  plays  a  mixture  of  doom,  stoner  metal,  americana  and  post  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "American  Hollow"  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  the  Path  Less  Traveled  Records.

  Drum  beats  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  more  retro  rock/metal  musical  direction  along  with  some  melodic  vocals  and  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  amount  of  melody  in  their  guitar  riffing  and  after  awhile  the  music  starts  bringing  in  the  heaviness  of  doom  metal  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sound  very  powerful.

  The  leads  and  solos  the  band  uses  are  very  dark  and  melodic  sounding  and  you  can  hear  clean  playing,  acoustic/slide  guitars  and  psychedelic  sounds  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  some  elements  of  americana  and  post  rock  and  during  some  of  the  heavier  parts  the  vocals  start  bringing  in  some  aggressive  screams  leaning  more  towards  sludge  and  a  few  of  the  tracks  are  long  and  epic  in  length  and  one  of  the  tracks  also  sees  the  band  adding  in  a  brief  use  of  blast  beats.

  Bask  creates  a  very  dark  and  original  sound  with  their  music  taking  the  heaviness  of  doom  and  stoner  metal  and  mixing  it  with  psychedelic,  post  rock,  psychedelic  and  americana  which  makes  the  music  have  a  southeastern  and  Appalachian  feeling,  the  production  sound s very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  depressive  themes  that  result  from  a  person  living  in  the  middle  of  nowhere.

  In  my  opinion  Bask  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  doom,  stoner  rock,  post  rock,  psychedelia  and  americana  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "American  Hollow"  and  "Endless  Summer".  8  out  of  10.    

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lucifer's Fall/Self Titled/Rotedoom Records/2014 CD Review

  Lucifer's  Fall  are  a  band  from  Australia  that  plays  a  very  traditional  and  occult  form  of  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2014  album  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  Rotedoom  Records.

  A  very  dark  and  melodic  70's  doom  metal  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  powerful  bass  and  melodic  guitar  solos  which  leads  up  to  some  vocals  as  well  as  the  music  getting  more  heavy  and  on  the  second  track  early  Mercyful  Fate  style  vocals  are  added  into  the  bands  musical  style  while  they  are  only  used  briefly.

  All  of  the  bands  music  sticks  to  a  slow  style  of  doom  metal  that  sounds  like  it  could  of  easily  been  released  in  the  70's  or  80's  even  with  the  production  being  very  retro  and  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  melodic  they  do  have  their  aggressive  moments  at  times  bringing  in  a  touch  of  early  Hellhammer  and  Celtic  Frost  and  the  band  also  brings  a  few  long  and  epic  tracks  to  the  album  as  well  as  adding  a  touch  of  early  70's  occult  rock  to  their  musical  style  and  on  the  last  track  clean  playing  is  added  into  the  music  along  with  the  track  being  all  instrumental.

  Lucifer's  Fall  goes  back  to  the  early  70's  style  of  doom  metal  and  creates  a  very  dark,  retro  and  heavy  sounding  album  while  also  adding  a  touch  of  80's  metal  to  create  their  own  sound,  the  production  sounds  very  old  school  yet  professional  at  the  same  time  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Occultism  and  Darkness.

 In  my  opinion  Lucifer's  Fall  are  a  very  great  sounding  occult  doom  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Lucifer's  Fall"  "A  Sinners  Fate"  and  "Death  March".  8/5  out  of  10


Earth/Primitive And Deadly/Southern Lord Records/2014 CD Review

  Earth  are  a  band  from  Seattle,  Washington  and  one  of  the  creators  of  drone  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Primitive  And  Deadly"  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  Southern  Lord  Records.

  A  very  dark,  heavy  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  leaning  towards  doom  metal  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  all  6  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  there  are  a  great  amount  of  drones  present  throughout  the  recording.

  When  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  in  a  melodic  progressive  rock  musical  direction  and  after  awhile  clean  singing  vocals  are  added  into  the  music  and  at  time s the  music  has  a  70's  classic  rock  feeling  to  it  along  with  some  elements  of  blues  and  at  times  the  music  also  brings  in  a  proto  metal  atmosphere  along  with  a  few  instrumental  tracks.

  Earth  continue  their  drone  metal  sound  while  also  adding  in  more  elements  of  proto  metal,  blues,  psychedelia  and  classic  rock  which  takes  their  musical  style  in  a  different  direction,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Earth  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band,  you  should  enjoy  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "There  is  A  Serpent  Coming"  and  "Rooks  Across  The  Gates".  8  out  of  10.     

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hero's Last Rite Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

We've been trying to do as much PR as we can to get the word out on our new album because feel we have a great product and want it to land on as many ears as possible. We're doing a small Maritime tour and hitting all the major cities in our area over the next couple of weeks and hoping to expand our audiences over the summer.

2.You released a new album in May, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new recording and also how does it differ from the album you had released a few years back?
The music and production has definitely taken a mature step forward. It's been four years since our last release so we've been taking our time honing our craft so that we can ensure we deliver the best possible product.

3.This is the first album to be released in 4 years, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap between releases?
We've played quite regularly over the years building our audience and we're hoping the leg work we've done will pay off. It's easy for any band to be forgotten if they fly off the radar so I think it's important to stay out there and play regardless of whether you are promoting an album or in the process of writing one.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new release?
While the album isn't a "concept" album, it certainly has a theme. The title track, The Mirror's Face, deals with being aware of yourself and ensuring that when your time comes, you can look back on your life and be satisfied with who you are and that you made a difference. Whether it's going against the grain for the greater good, questioning authority you don't agree with or simply being a good person, it's about knowing you lived a life that your proud of. While this is what the title track is about, many of the songs touch upon this theme as well.

4.4 of the 5 members use to be in Obsidian Reign' do you see this band as a continuation of your older band?
Yes, only because the majority of the members were in Obsidian Reign. Musically, Hero's Last Rite is much different than OR was simply because we're older and more mature as individuals and musicians and it shows in our songwriting compared to the albums we released as Obsidian Reign.

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Hero's Last Rite'?
We actually had a song from our last album (Inevitable is the End) called Hero's Last Rite that we wrote in the last few months of Obsidian Reign’s existance. The song is about the murder of Dimebag Darrel. I am/was a huge fan of Pantera and Dimebag and I wanted to put my thoughts and feeling surrounding the murder in song. When Obsidian Reign was done and we decided to carry on, we knew we needed a new name and we always came back to Hero's Last Rite. It just seemed like a logical choice.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We've played some pretty awesome shows over our time as a band. We've opened up for Cancer Bats, 3 Inches of Blood, Behemoth, Quo Vadis, Augury and many more amazing bands. All were very cool in their own way but there's one show we played last year that is definitely close to the top for us. It was the Maritime Metal and Hard Rock Festival held in Aylesford, Nova Scotia. We played last summer and were asked to play again this year. It was, hands down, the most well organized festival we've ever done and the beauty is that it's all local bands that play. Anyone wanting to check this festival out should go
As far as our live show, I think anyone in a band has said that they'd like to see themselves live in concert.  Having said that, I can only go by what people tell us which is that we are intense, brutal and extremely high energy. We pride ourselves on our live show because we put absolutely 100% of ourselves into it and we've been told we never dissapoint.

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new release?
We're in the process of doing a small Maritime tour where we hit all the major cities in the Atlantic Provinces. We are certainly not opposed to taking it to Quebec and Ontario and I'm sure eventually we will but with our personal schedules, it's difficult to plan a long touring schedule. For now, we'll play to anyone that will have us on the east coast and see what the future holds.

9.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
We're not really looking, but if someone shows interest and it works for us, it's certainly not something we'd turn our backs on. Currently, we're just focusing on making as much noise on the East Coast as possible and we hope with our new release in hand, we get the attention of some new Metalheads..

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of thrash metal?
Everyone that has heard the album has had nothing but positive feedback. We've had some amazing reviews on everything from song structure, lyrics and production and it's all been amazing! We've gotten some perfect scores which blow our minds.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
It's too early to tell since our album has only been out for a couple of weeks but we've toyed with the idea of doing something different. Maybe something a little more mellow in the vein of Opeth just to keep things fresh. We love the heavy stuff so much I'm not sure if it will happen. When we start writing again, we'll just go with whatever comes out.

12.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?
We're all pretty big fans of Gojira,Opeth and old school Thrash like Testament and Exodus but we all have our own musicical tastes that influence our individual
musicianship. Personally, as the vocalist, I have a lot of love for Phil Anselmo, Mikael Akerfeldt, Phil Bozeman, Chuck Schuldiner and about a million others.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?
Honestly what I enjoy most is simply hanging out with my wife and son. I love and cherish their company so much that any time I get to just sit and talk with my wife or wrestle with my boy, it’s the best possible thing I could do.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Just want to say thank you to people like yourself for taking the time to conduct this interview. As well, all the support everyone has given us over the years. We have so many great friends that help and support us and it doesn't go unnoticed.

Under The Sun/Self Titled/Lost Pilgrims Records/2014 CD Review

  Under  The  Sun  are  a  band  from  France  that  plays  a  very  dark  and  apocalyptic  mixture  of  metal,  hardcore  and  post  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2014  album  which  was  released  by  Lost  Pilgrim  Records.

  Clean  playing  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  drum  beats  a  few  seconds  later  and  you  can  also  hear  a  great  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  in t heir  musical  sound  which  also  takes  the  recording  in  a  heavier  musical  direction  and  the  leads  and  solos  bring  elements  of  post  rock  into  the  bands  musical  style.

  All  4  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the y utilize  a  good  mixture  of  clean  and  heavy  parts  and  when  vocals  are  added  into  the  music  they  are  very  aggressive  sounding   screams  while  also  using  a  small  amount  of  clean  singing  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  the  music  also  has  a  doom  metal  feeling  to  it  at  times  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  album  and  some  of  the  cleaner  sections  have  a  very  experimental  and  psychedelic  vibe  to  them  at  times.

  Under  the  Sun  creates  a  very  dark  and  melancholic  sound  with  their  approach  to  post  hardcore  and  while  this  genre  mostly  bores  me  this  band  is  an  exception  since  they  demonstrate  the  ability  to  create  a  very  dark  and  heavy  atmosphere,  the  production  sound s very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark,  apocalyptic  and  Egyptian  Mythology  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Under  The  Sun  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  hardcore,  doom  metal  and  post  rock  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Burst  In  Dawn"  and  "Anubis  Path".  8  out  of  10.