Monday, July 24, 2017

Hands Or Orlac/The Wandering Midget/Cruz Del Sur Music/2017 Split CD Review


  This  is  a  review  of  a  split  album  between  Sweden/Italy's  Hands  of  Orlac  and  FInland's  The  Wandering  Midget  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  Cruz  Del  Sur  Music  and  we  will  start  off  the  review  with  Hands  Or  Orlac  a  band  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  occult  form  of  doom  metal.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  a  very  ritualistic  sound  along  with  some  drum  beats  and  folk  instruments  as  well  as  adding  in  some  powerful  sounding  bass  guitars  a  few  seconds  later  which  also  leads up  to  a  heavier doom  metal  direction  and  the  riffs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody.

  70's  influences  can  also  be  heard  in  the  bands  musical  style  and  after  awhile  female  vocals  are  added  onto  the  recording  while  psychedelic  elements  are  also  used  at  times  along  with  clean  playing  also being utilized  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  horror  movie  style  keyboards  being added  into  some  parts  of  the  music  and  there  is  also  a  couple of  brief  instrumentals  and  most  of  the  their  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Hands  Of  Orlac  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  the  occult  doom  metal  style  of  previous  releases,  the  production  sounds  very  old  school  while  the  lyrics  cover  horror,  magick,  and  evil  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Hands  Of  Orlac  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  occult  doom  metal,  you  should  check  out  their side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "From  Beyond  The  Stars".

  Next  up is  The  Wandering  Midget  a  band  that  plays  a  traditional  form  of  doom  metal.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  atmospheric  soundscapes  along  with  some  demonic  spoken  word samples  and  horror  movie  soundtrack  style  elements  and  their  song  is  over  18  minutes  in  length  and  after  awhile  the  music  goes  into  more  of  a  heavier  doom  metal  direction.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  their  side  of  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  dark  yet  melodic  fashion  and  when  vocals  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  traditional  doom  metal  style and  the  music  is  heavily  rooted  while  still  maintaining  a  modern  atmosphere.

  The  Wandering  Midget  plays  a  style  of  doom  metal  that  is  very  epic  and  traditional  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  fantasy,  horror,  and  mythology  themes.

  In  my  opinion  The  Wandering  Midget  are  a  very  great sounding  traditional  doom  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  their  side  of  the  split.

  In  conclusion  I  feel  this  is  a  very  great  sounding  split  and  I  would  recommend  it  to  all  fans  of  doom  metal.  8  out  of  10.

    

Disharmony 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?

Well, we had to clear out some “unmusic” things, such as emails to labels, contracts, finalize the layout of the physical copy and unpleasant stuff like that. On the other hand, we had some nice things to do, such as, get on with some new songs, record some voices and song arrangements.

We have already started the procedure of creation, and we are planning to give out a full-length album soon.  The songs are nearly ready, we just need to record, fix some details and then, mix it.

2. Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

I think that the audience should give a description of our music. We, the band, have a difficulty to define our music, as it combines many genres, but the one thing I can say is that Disharmony plays metal. Dynamic, open minded, traditional and modern in the same time. With a progressive and doom approach maybe? I can’t tell... Well, guys, listen to our music and send us what you think of it!

If I must compare our 2 albums, I think that “The Abyss Noir” is a more “in-your-face” album. It still has some introverted parts, but not as many as the “Shades of Insanity” has.

3. Between 1999 and 2009 there was no new material being released, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during that time frame?

Oh, there was a time when “adult obligations” came up. Some had to start working, some to travel abroad for studies, we all had to serve the army (about 2 years, it’s obligatory in Greece), and two of our members had to leave the band. So, the three of us who remained, just recorded demos of new ideas and piled them up in our hard disks.

The recordings of “Shades Of Insanity” were something that took us really long, but we did not have a time deadline, so we were not in a hurry. Afterwards, we had a real mess –messy deals- with some labels that wanted to release the album, so the whole thing took us back for about, mmmm…5 years? It’s been a long time for sure, so we must make it up to you with many new songs!

4. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?

I think we need to see this piece by piece.
The first song “The Abyss Noir” is about obviously about Justice.
Second track “Vain Messiah” is a scenario about the second coming of Messiah on Earth -if he's ever been here- and how modern people would react on his presence.
The third song “Delirium” is about some people that are just hard so hard to bear.
Tthe fourth track “This Caravan” is an introvert song and has to do with some things you have hidden deep  in you - like a treasure.
 I cannot tell you things about the Disposable Heroes, its lyrics are something awesome at least. You must ask James Hetfield about his lyrics!
But, the 6th track “A song for Friend” is obviously about a friend of mine who died long ago and never had the chance to meet my newborn son…

5. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Disharmony'?

Back in the beginning of this band, we needed a name someone should not forget. Its meaning is also something controversial. Disharmony is a Greek word and means “lack of harmony”  and it's the opposite of what we are. Our music is full of melodies and harmonies but in a dark way.

6. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

I obviously don't want to describe our stage performance by myself, we’ll  leave the audience to do this… We've done many shows… I cannot ever forget our first gig out of Athens, a great show in Agrinio city,  there was something electric in the atmosphere. And surely I cannot forget our supporting performance in the Sanctuary show in Athens back in 2011, as well as our participation in The Metalmorphosis festival in Cyprus supporting Angela's Arch Enemy.
Sanctuary has given a great inspirational boost  to our music, it was something unique to play with your idols.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

Oh yes! The next planned show is in December in a great festival in Athens but I cannot tell you more, it needs to be officially announced first. We want to perform in nice and adequate stages and play as many good shows as possible in order to promote our music. So if you need Disharmony in your city, we are ready to discuss about it!

8.You have done 'Dead Can Dance' and 'Metallica' covers, can you tell us a little bit more about your own versions of their songs?

To begin with the Metallica cover, I think it's not “our” version It's the original Metallica version played by Disharmony, in our own sound and changing just some small details. We had to do it this way because it was going to be included in the Metal Hammer magazine’s collection for 30 years anniversary of Master of puppets album. So, we afterwards added this as a bonus track. Now about the Dead can dance cover, I can say “Yes it is OUR version!”… John (gtr) had done a great experimental demo of the original song, added some distorted guitars and metal drumming.  We loved it instantly, so we began working on it in order to convert it to a great Metal song that expressed our music standards. And I think that something really good came out of this cover. Check it out guys at https://disharmony.bandcamp.com/track/oman-dead-can-dance-cover

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of heavy, progressive, and doom metal?

Let's see… our debut album “Shades of Insanity” gained fine to excellent reviews .This one has got also fine to excellent again and that's something that pleases us. It's good to know that you make music of high standards, so our next goal is to make an album that will exceed the quality of our first two!

10.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?

Well, I sing for Art of Simplicity too and we have released our album this year as well! So I'm in the pleasant position of having two CDs released with my voice in 2017! Panagiotis and Thanos, our rhythm section is also playing for Scar of the Sun, and they released their latest album one year ago, they are in the recording sessions right now. Stefanos is playing in a few bands as well (check out Mute Tale), but he’s not playing only metal…
I should not forget to mention that Panagiotis, Thanos and me are performing in a regular basis for a metal/rock cover band called Bigus Dickus (https://www.facebook.com/bigus.dickus.the.band/) and we love it!

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

I think that the band will continue to compose new music. I think that we will not change something in a dramatic way, but some small changes due to what we love to listen from time to time. We’ll give you new songs that you have not already listened to, as we desire to make different kinds of songs, songs that the band will love to listen to. We try not to repeat same ideas again and again, it’s boring!

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?

All the great bands of metal music have been our inspiration: Metallica, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Dream Theater, Opeth, Death, My Dying Bride, Candlemass, Sanctuary and Nevermore and many many more.
Personally right now I am listening to Orphaned Land, some old Judas Priest stuff, Opeth, Sanctuary – they gave a show in Athens two days ago and theycame back into my mind!

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

Personally I like play football and exercising, Panagiotis likes archery, Thanos is a Yoga teacher and likes climbing over mountains.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Thank you very much for this interview and support! We need you to listen to our music and give us some feedback. You can subscribe in our YouTube channel, and/or become member of our Facebook page too, so as to keep in touch of what’s about to come. And have a nice summer too!



- DISHARMONY contact -
email: disharmony.gr@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ chris.disharmony

- DISHARMONY online -
Official site: http://www.disharmony.gr
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ disharmony.gr
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/ DISHARMONYOFFICIAL
ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/ disharmonymetal
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/ disharmonyofficial
Blogger: http://disharmony-band. blogspot.com/
Jumping Fish: http://www.jumpingfish.gr/ disharmony

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Warbeast/Enter The Arena/Housecore Records/2017 CD Review


  Warbeast  are  a  band  from  Texas  that  plays  a  very  aggressive  form  of  thrash  metal  with  a  touch  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Enter  The  Arena"  which  will  be  released  in August  by  Housecore  Records.

  Sci  fi  style  soundscapes  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  thrash  metal  direction  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  after  awhile  aggressive  shouting  and  screaming  are  added  onto  the  recording  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sounding  very  powerful.

  While  the  music  is  heavily  rooted  in  the  mid  80's  it  still  maintains  a  very  modern  atmosphere  while  the  solos  and  leads  also  remain  very  true  to  an  old  school  style  of  extreme  metal  and  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  amount  of  melody  in  the  guitar  riffing  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  war  and  movie  samples  are  used  briefly  as  the  album  progresses  along  with  a  couple  of  the  tracks  being  long  and  epic  in  length  and  at  times  the  music  adds  in  a touch of  80's  era  death  metal.

  Warbeast  plays  a  style  of  thrash  that  has  its  roots  in  the  80's  while  still  being  heavy  enough  for  the  modern  era,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  violence,  hatred,  war  and  horror  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Warbeast  are  a  very  great  sounding  brutal  thrash  metal  band  and if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Centuries  Of  Poisoned  Soil"  "Maze Of  The  Monotaur"  "The  Scalping"  and  "Ancient  Hate".  8  out  of  10.    

The Necromancers/Servants Of The Salem Girl/Ripple Music/2017 CD Review


  The  Necromancers  are  a  band  from  France  that  plays  a  very  psychedelic  and  progressive  mixture  of  doom  metal  and  occult  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Servants  Of  The  Salem  Girl"  which  will  be  released  in  August  by  Ripple  Music.

  Heavy  yet  melodic  doom  metal  riffing  starts  off  the  album  while  clean  playing  is  also  used  at  times  while  the  riffs  also  mix  in  elements  of  hard  rock  and  after  awhile  70's  proto  metal  style  vocals  are  added  onto  the  recording  while  the  solos  and  leads  also  utilize  a  great  amount  of  melody.

  Elements  of  NWOBHM  can  be  heard  in  the  bands  musical  style  while  a  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sounding  very  powerful  and  as  the  album  progresses  the  music  starts  incorporating  more  psychedelic  and  progressive  influences  and  while  the  music  is  heavily  rooted  in  the  70's  it  still  retains  a  very  modern  atmosphere.

  The  Necromancers  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  doom  metal  and  70's  era  occult  rock  and  mixes  them  with  progressive  and  psychedelic  rock  while  also  making  the  music  sound  more  modern,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Occultism,  Luciferian,  Paganism,  Mythology  and  Horror  Movie  themes.

  In  my  opinion  The  Necromancers  are  a  very  great  sounding psychedelic  and  progressive  mixture  of  doom  metal  and  occult  rock  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Lucifer's  Kin"  and  "Necromancers".  8  out  of  10.

Demon Eye/Prophecies And Lies/Soulseller Records/2017 CD Review


  Demon  Eye  are  a  band  from  North  Carolina  that  plays  a  mixture  of doom,  heavy  metal,  occult  and  hard  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Prophecies  And  Lies"  which  will  be  released  in  August  by  Soulseller  Records.

  Heavy  doom  metal  riffs  start  off  the  album  along  with  a  decent  amount  of  melody and  after  awhile  clean  proto  metal  style  vocals  are  added  onto  the  recording  along  with  a  great  amount  of  70's  classic  rock influences  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  melodic  and  remain  true  to  a  retro  style.

  While  the  music  is  rooted  in  the  past  the  production  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  modern  feeling and  acoustic  guitars  can  also  be  heard  briefly  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  as  the  album  progresses  elements  of  traditional  metal  are  added  onto  the  recording  along  with  a  small  amount  of  mid  paced  sections  and  spoken  word  parts  are  also  added  onto  a  later  track  and  the  closing  song  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Demon  Eye  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  doom  and  traditional  metal  and  mixes  it  with  70's  era  occult  and  hard  rock  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness,  occult  and  political  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Demon  Eye  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  doom,  heavy  metal,  occult  and  hard  rock  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Waters  And  The  Wild"  "Kismet"  "Power  Of  One"  and  "Morning's  Sun".  8  out  of  10.

  

Gateway To Hell/Clovers/Unholy Anarchy Records/2017 EP Review


  Gateway  To  Hell  are  a  band  from  Baltimore,  Maryland  that  plays  a  mixture  of  heavy  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  ep  "Clovers"  which  was  released  by  Unholy  Anarchy  Records.

  Clean  playing  starts  off  the ep  along  with  some  melodic  guitar leads  a  few  seconds  later  which  also  leads  up  to  a  heavier  musical  direction  while  the  vocals  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  70's  proto  metal  while  also  having  a  slight  Glen  Danzig  influence  to  them  along  with  the  riffs  mixing  in  the  heaviness  of  doom  metal.

  A  great  amount  of  melody  can  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  and  the  music  also  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  70's  influences  while  also  being  very  modern  at  times  and  also  adding  in  the  energy  of  punk  rock  and  there  is  a  brief  acoustic  instrumental  along  with  most  of  the  music  sticking  to  a  very  slow  musical  direction.

  Gateway  To  Hell  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  70's  heavy  metal  and  doom  and  mixes  them  with  a  touch  of  punk  rock to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Gateway  To  Hell  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  heavy  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Tin  Roof"  and  "Scorched  Earth".  8  out  of  10.

Karamazov/Self-Control : 23:28/2017 EP Review


  Karamazov  are  a  solo  project from  Minnesota  that  plays  a  mixture  of  post  metal,  hardcore,  rock,  noise  and  ambient  and  this  is  a  review of  his  self  released  2017  ep  "Self-Control:  23:28"  which  will  be  released  in  August.

  Electronic  music  sounds  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some  drum  beats  a  few  seconds  later  and  the  music  also  incorporates  a  decent  amount  of  industrial  elements  and  after  awhile  post  rock  style  guitars  are  added  onto  the  recording  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Some of  the  tracks  are  instrumental  while  the  synths  mix  in  elements  of  ambient  and  on  the  second  track  elements  of  metal  and  post  hardcore  style  vocals  are  added  onto  the  recording  along  with  some  melodic  guitar  leads  and  clean  singing  is  also  used  briefly  while  another  track  also  adds  in  a  small  amount  of  saxophones  and  elements  of  noise  are  added  onto  the  closing  track.

  Karamazov  plays  a  musical  styles  that  takes  post  metal,  hardcore,  rock,  noise  and  ambient  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound of  his  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the lyrics  cover  dark  and  philosophical  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Karamazov  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of   post  metal,  hardcore,  rock,  noise  and  ambient  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Rich  Red  Light"  and  "Sleepwreck".  8  out  of  10.      

Friday, July 21, 2017

Howling Giant/Black Hole Space Wizard Part 2/2017 EP Review


  Howling  Giant  are  a  band  from  Nashville,  Tennessee  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  progressive  mixture  of  psychedelic  rock,  stoner  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their self  released  2017 ep "Black  Hole  Space  Wizard  Part  2"  which  will  be  released  in  August.

  Distorted  amp  sounds  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some  melodic  guitar  leads  a  few  seconds  later  and  after  awhile  psychedelic  style  keyboards  and  heavy  riffs are  added  onto  the  recording  while  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  give  the  songs  more  of  a  stoner  rock  touch  and  the  vocals  are  done  in  a  70's  proto  metal  style  along  with  the  riffs  also  adding  in  the  heaviness  of  doom  metal and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  there  is  also  a  brief  instrumental  that  introduces  acoustic  guitars  and  saxophones  onto  the  recording  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction.

  Howling  Giant  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  the  progressive  and  psychedelic  mixture  of  stoner  and  doom  metal  form  previous  releases,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  Space  Travel,  Magick  and  Druidism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Howling  Giant  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  progressive,  psychedelic  rock,  stoner  and  doom  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Visions"  and  "Earth  Wizard".  8  out  of  10.  

Devil Electric/Self Titled/Kozmik Artifactz/207 Full Length Review


  Devil  Electric  are  a  band  from  Australia  that  plays  a  mixture  of  stoner,  doom  metal  and  occult  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2017  album  which  was  released  by  Kozmik  Artifactz.

  Heavy  yet  melodic  doom  metal  riffing  starts  off  the  album  while  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  and  after  awhile  female  vocals  are  added  onto  the  recording  while  the  music  also  has  a  lot  of  roots  in  the  70's  but  with  a  more  modern  atmosphere.

  A  great  amount  of  stoner  and  70's  occult  rock  elements  can  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout the  recording  while  the  solos  and  leads  also  remain  very  true  to  a  melodic  and  retro  style  and  they  also  bring  in  a couple  of  brief  instrumentals  while  a  couple  of  later  songs  also  adds  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing  along  with  all  of  the  tracks  sticking  to  a  very  slow  musical  direction.

  Devil  Electric  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  stoner,  doom  metal  and  occult  rock  to  create  something very  dark,  heavy  and  retro  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness and  occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Devil  Electric  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  stoner,  doom  metal  and  occult  rock  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Shadowman" "The  Dove  And  The  Serpent"  and  "Hypnotica".  8/5  out  of  10.

  

Maharaja/Kali Yuga/2017 Full Length Review


  Maharaja  are  a  band  from  Dayton,  Ohio  that  plays  sludge  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2017  album  "Kali  Yuga"  which  will  be  released  in  September.

  Powerful  sounding  bass  guitars  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  drum  beats  and  melodic  riffing  a  few  seconds  later  as  well  as  some  aggressive  vocals  while  elements  of  hardcore  can  also  be  heard  on  the  recording  and  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  are  more  influenced  by  sludge  and  doom  metal.

  When  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  while  also  adding  in  a  touch  of  stoner  metal  and  after  awhile  high  pitched  sludge  style  screams  start to  make  their  presence  known  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  along  with  some  of  the  tracks  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  a  couple  of  the  songs  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  clean  singing  is  also  used  briefly.

  Maharaja  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  sludge  metal  while  also  mixing  in  the  energy  of  hardcore  punk,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness,  occultism  and  apocalyptic  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Maharaja  are  a  very  great  sounding  sludge  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Blood  Moon"  "Ouroboros"  and  "I,  Undyimg".  8  out  of  10.

Highrider/Roll For Initiative/The Sign Records/2017 CD Review


  Highrider  are  a  band  from  Sweden  that  plays  a  mixture  of  heavy,  thrash,  doom  metal  and  hardcore  punk  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Roll  For  The  Initiative"  which will  be  released  in  September  by  The  Sign  Records.

  Thrash  metal  style  riffing  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  blast  beats  and  angry  shouting  vocals  a  few  seconds  later  while  atmospheric  keyboards  can  be  heard  in  the  background  at  times  while  the  mid  tempo  sections  are  very  heavily  influenced  by  hardcore and  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  some  of  the  guitar leads  also  add  in  a  touch  of  traditional  metal  along  with  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  adding  in  elements  of  doom  metal  and  you  can  also  hear  some  psychedelic  touches  in  the  keyboards  at  times  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  70's  feeling  and  the  faster  sections  of  the  tracks  also  bring  in  the  energy  of  punk  rock  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sound  very  powerful.

  Highrider  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  heavy,  thrash,  doom  metal,  psychedelic,  punk  and  hardcore  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  something  very  original.  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  negative  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Highrider  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  heavy,  thrash,  doom  metal,  psychedelic,  punk  and  hardcore  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Nihilist  Lament"  "The  Greater  Monkey"  and  "The  Rope  And  The  Blade".  8  out  of  10.   

False Gods/Reports From Oblivion/2017 EP Review


  False  Gods  are  a  band  from  New  York  that h as  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and   plays  a  mixture  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  with  some  elements  of  southern  metal, thrash  and  hardcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2017  ep  "Reports  From  Oblivion"  which  will  be  released  in  August.

  Distorted  amp  sounds  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some  drum  beats  which  also  leads  to  a  heavier  direction  along  with  some  angry  hardcore  vocals  being  added  onto  the  recording  a  few  seconds  later  while  the  riffs  also  use  a  decent  amount  of  melody  along  with  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  being  influenced  by  sludge  and  doom  metal.

  When  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  dark  yet  melodic  fashion  and  the  music  also  incorporates  elements  of  southern  and  thrash  metal  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  sloe  and  mid  paced  parts  along  with  the  vocals  also  using  a  semi  melodic  tone  briefly  along  with  a  brief  use  of  sludge  style  screams  and  the  music  always  remains  heavy.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  False  Gods  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  hardcore,  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Spirit  World".  8  out  of  10.

  

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Neurosis/The World As Law/Neurot Recordings/2017 CD Re-Issue Review


  Neurosis  are  a  band  from  Oakland,  California  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  played  more  of  a mixture  of  crust,  d  beat,  hardcore  punk  and  extreme  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  1990  album  "The  World  As  Law"  which  will  be  re-issued  in August  by  Neurot  Recordings.

  Acoustic guitar  playing  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  melodic  guitar  leads  and  powerful  bass  guitars  being  added  onto  the  recording  a  few  seconds  later  which  also  take s the  music  more  into  a  hardcore  punk  direction  along  with  some  shouting  style  vocals  and  the  music  also  mixes  in  elements  of  d  beat.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  elements  of  noise  rock  can  also  be  heard  at  times  and  acoustic  guitars  also  return  briefly  as  the  album  progresses  and  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  along  with  a  couple  of  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  some  of  the  more  aggressive  riffing  also  adds  in  a  touch  of  thrash  and  one  of t he  songs  shows  signs  of  the  future  experimental  style.

  On  this  recording  Neurosis  played  mostly  a  d  beat  style  of  hardcore  punk  while  a  great  amount  of  metal  influences  can  be  heard  along  with  an  experimental  touch,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  devastation, evolution  through  pain  and  spirituality  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  was  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Neurosis  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band,  you  should  check  out  this  re-issue.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Double-Edged  Sword"  "To  What  End?"  and  "Blisters".  8  out  of  10.      

Brume Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?



JM: Brume is a slow playing, monotonous three piece doom/metal band from San Francisco California. Think if Portishead played metal, yeh that. We got together in 2014 over a love of bands like The Melvins, Yob and High on Fire. Since then we've released two records, our most recent being our debut full length we recorded with the legendary Billy Anderson.



2.You have a new album coming out this month, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the ep you had released in 2015?



JM: Rooster is a sonically more diverse and dynamic record overall. We focused on writing an album that would balance the slow, hypnotic vibe we had captured with Donkey, and create more diversity. More focus lyrics and vocal melodies, greater contrast musically not only throughout the album but within songs themselves.



SM:  I like to think of music being a timestamp on that part of our lives.  That is who we were at that moment and it won’t be who we are tomorrow.  So 2015 sounds like us and our vibe in 2015 and 2017 is what we were vibing in 2017. Courage, freedom and darkness reflects 2017.  2015 represents stress, hope and wonderment.



3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band has explored so far with the music?



SM: The lyrics are adapted poems from one of the thousand notepads I have laying around my home to get repetitive thoughts out of my head for good and find peace.  Foolishly, I now find myself now repeating them over and over again on a microphone.  I suppose they are about self-torment when I think about it that way.  



One song talks about that we are all contributors to fuck faces power whores, if we don’t stop depending on other humans. Another is about the fear and healing behind honesty.  Another about my soul being at war and it manifesting itself in another fucking dream about the devil.  Another about this backstabbing cunt who always plays the victim. Another is about a man I admire. It’s about real life.



4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Brume'?



JM: We desperately wanted to call the band Fog not only because of where the band lives (SF) but the mood fog brings. Unfortunately there are plenty of bands called Fog. So we landed on the name 'Brume' as a French word meaning fog that also had the secondary 'witchy' element to it. There is an electronic artist in France that has used this name, at the time we picked and started using it he was defunct but alas, he's back. We now both use it.



5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?



JM: Desertfest in London was absolutely incredible. We played to a fully packed 700+ Underworld/Camden (a line around the block to get in whilst we played) We were joined by my brothers Gareth and Rich from London Sludge band Gurt for our last song of the set. Inter Arma played later on the same stage and we saw so many incredible bands over the course of the weekend. So much love, beards and drinks. Epic. I hope we get to play Desertfest again soon.



SM: I’m in love with elephant tree, inter arma, sedulus, gurt, vodun, graveline and we shared a stage with them, like Jamie said, at the Underworld.  So my stage performance reflected my gratefulness for performing for or with people I admire.  I try to feel like each show is my last show so I stay in the moment and appreciate what is going on at the time I’m playing. Sometimes I’m grooving with one person in the audience the whole show as if they are the only person there and we get each other.



JPL: I’ve been told we smile too much for a doom band. It can’t be helped. I love these two.



6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?



JM: We toured the UK the day we released the record. We have some shows planned around the bay area (with Inter Arma and High on Fire/Big Business/Holy Grove) and plan to get out to more of the west coast later this year.



JPL: I’m hoping we’ll do an extended tour of the US and more of Europe in 2018.



7.The new album is coming out on your own label, do you feel you have more freedom working by yourself than what you would have with a label?



SM:  We are more into timing when it comes to releasing our album rather than being a part of a label.  Not to mention, we love and support our favorite bands and the labels that support them.  Ripple and STB treat us like family and they have wicked bands on their label.  Don’t forget about vinyl! We released with DHU, they are wonderful and supportive label.  Lucky to work with someone so flexible and accommodating.



JPL: Most definitely. We’ve always clung to the DIY principle and having the label is another way of continuing that and elevating our sisters-and-brothers-in-arms who are also making incredible music that may otherwise go unnoticed.



8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of stoner and doom metal?



JM: The feedback has been awesome. From a scene perspective the love has been pretty overwhelming. JJ at the Obelisk, Billy Goate, Zachary Painter and co at doomed and stoned plus the past three months we've been in the Doom charts top ten is just crazy. We've done a lot of interviews and had a ton of great reviews. Our Vinyl has come out on DHU Records and seeing all the photos of people lose their shit on the wax is a blast too. We are so happy with the response.



SM:  I’m still shocked.  I think it has been way more than I expected and it seems like it grows every month.  All of that support has allowed us to keep writing, travel, record, etc.



JPL: The scene is very much alive. It’s been a lot of fun so far.



9.Are any of the band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?



JM: Susie is an Engineer Wizard and mom to a 3 yr old. I am a Creative Director and Jordan works in video production and runs a record label. Brume takes every ounce of our spare time away from our incredibly patient wives and husband.



SM:  Nope.  Brume, family, engineering and sleep takes the full 24 hours in a day.



JPL: I’ve always got my ear to the ground. I’m always ready to take on too much.



10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?



JM: I am excited to see how much more diverse and sonically boundless we can be. We have ideas already brewing on the next record that already break any mold people might think we use.



SM:  If we stay on the same trajectory, we’ll fit less and less into a specific genre and create music more and more that represents who we are at the time we make it.  That typically is not healthy for your musical career and at times can be disappointing for your old fans; but it still feels right and what we want to do, so fuck it.



JPL: I think we have a lot of surprises left in us.



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?



JM: I Love Monotonous Blues like Junior Kimborough and West African band Tinariwen. I also love sad music. Folk music is a constant source of beautiful sadness for me, i'm really digging Sean Rowe at the moment. Radiohead was a huge influence on Rooster for me. In genre, I'm a Yob obsessed boy. Can't get over it but All Them Witches are one of the best bands out there. You'll find between the three of us that influence wise we are kinda all over the map. I love it that way. It means the next record will be even weirder.



SM: I’m from Louisiana, USA.  I grew up with Blues and Traditional Jazz and fell head over heals for punk rock in 7th grade.   It changes often but a few on my constant rotation this month is Wovenhand mostly and, also, King Dude, Elephant Tree, Spelljammer, Gurt, He whose ox is gored, Inter Arma, Chelsea Wolfe, Grimes, Earth, Bjork and Diamanda Galas.



JPL: I’m a sucker for a catchy melody. Right now I’m into marimba videos on YouTube. I don’t know why.



12.What are some of your non musical interests?



JM:  I'm a designer so I spend a fair bit of my time designing for brands, people and friends too. I surf. As much as I can. It's the most relaxing thing in my life.



SM:  I like chemistry, engineering, software, sewing, fixing people’s hair, making hats



JPL: Like all good Americans, I love fishing and baseball.



13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?



JPL: Thanks to everyone for their support from all over the world. We definitely feel it and we hope to bring you lots more music in the future.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Tommy Stewart's Dyerwulf Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Tommy Stewart’s Dyerwulf consists of me on bass and vocals plus my friend Eric Vogt on drums. I’m also the bassist for the classic thrash band Hallows Eve, who is inactive at this time. So I decided to get up and do some different stuff! Amonst several projects I decided it would be fun to just strip it don to me with a drum accompaniment. II have admit, I was a little apprehensive at first, but then got so much positive response I decide to keep doing it awhile.


2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

Very heavy and very raw. I did some crazy shit in the studio to record this thing. For one thing we actually did record it loud as possible. The decibel meter was hitting about 108 which is totally unnecessary, but that was half the fun of it! I wanted to get that real roar, that real live sound I can make on a bass that gets covered a lot in most recordings I’ve been on. Also we straight up recorded each song only 3 times and took the best one. So all the mistakes are there and that’s how we wanted it. Very real. Please turn it up when you’re listening to it or you’re not getting the full thing! The vocals I did sit down to do and they’re definitely produced, but I did some odd shit with them as well.


3.On the album you have the bass guitar as the lead instrument, what was the decision behind not using any regular guitars?

I just didn’t hear it as needed. These songs needed a beat, a melodic passage, and some vocals to talk about it. That’s all. Simple minimalism. Plus it’s kind of a dig to my guitar friends to say, see, guitar can be done without. I love guitar! But not always important. What really matters is the song and atmosphere. People forget about who did it one day, but a real good song is remembered.


4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

Some people ask me what the hell are you talking about in your songs?!  Most of it is about something personal and real to me. I can explain each line. There is one song called Horrorshow which is my doom redo of an old Hallows Eve song I wrote from Tales of Terror. It was about my disillusionment as I grew from a boy to man. Another is With Darkened Eyes which I refer to as possibly the only doom metal love song ever written. It’s about the passing death of one lover to the awakening of a new one. And that happened to me so, again, for me it’s real.


5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Dyerwulf'?

Nothing cryptic. I rleeased a solo album under the name Tommy Stewart. Apparently my name is so common I needed to alter something so people could find me. I’ma  Game of Thrones fan. So there ya go! This project is my direwulf. My companion.


6.You have a musical history that goes back to the mid 70's, what is it that motivates you to keep going after 40 years?

I just have nothing better to do. Seriously. I’m sure I would be dead or in jail if I didn’t be obsessed with my music projects till the day I can’t do it anymore. I care very little for much in the world. Some small close family, art, music matters to me. That’s about it. I’m not meant to do other things. I think this is meant to be m  mission. I don’t know why, but I know to do it.


7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

At this time we have only played 6 shows I think. We are quite new as a band. Of course I’ve played a lot of shows in forty years, but these few shows have had tremendous response. People have been over the top nice and encouraging to us after the shows.


8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

Yes! I am booking some US dates right now, today, for some Bludy Gyres and Tommy Stewart’s Dyerwulf shows in the north Midwest in September. I’m going to also be working up more fall dates, mainly for the US east coast, but also applying to all the European festivals. That’s where I really want to be.


9.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you open to expanding your line up or do you choose to remain a duo?

Who knows? I try to be open minded and color outside the lines. We did have 2 drummers at one of our shows just for fun. Right now we’re planning on a doing a second album as is, but maybe something will be different later.


10.On the album you had done a cover of The Monkees 'Porpoise Song', what was the decision behind doing your own version of this song?

Ah. This is very personal. I’ll tell it in a short way. This was a favorite song of my wife who passed away in 2010. One day I was singing it to her container of ashes and I suddenly felt I was singing it with much enough passion that perhaps I should record it. The best music, to me as an artist, is that which is truly felt as you play it.


11.The new album was released on 'Soman Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

It’s in France and run by Mister Eric Ruether! I liked the deal which seemed to be a good deal for our goals at this time. I liked his ideals about the package and passion of the music is more important than the money.


12.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of doom metal?

So far, we are hearing that fans of doom metal should hear this, we’re getting the thumbs up, good, good. I’m glad because that’s who I made it for. I don’t expect everyone to like such a specialty sound as roaring basses and tribal drums with some guy, that’s me, hollering about fools and the breast of death and so on. If your waiting for the guitar sound like a cat screaming when his tail is stepped on, it’s not there. This is all very aggressive bass and played with abandonment.


13.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that you are a part of?

Ah ha! Now, on the other hand I’m also in Bludy Gyres which has a new album out called Echoes of a Distant Scream. It is also doom metal, but more in the vein of Solitude Aeturnus or Candlemas. More rich and possibly the main signature sound is the two harmony guitars at work. This band is the opposite of the other. I also produced this one, but it’s done meticulously, 164 hours of editing, nothing live about it, very studio, lush and precise. A little outside the box, unique, but well thought out.


14.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?

I don’t know! I have been doing more producing. I just produced an album for a band called Malviant. I have a studio I call Blue Ogre noise Lab. I’ve worked on six albums this year. I’m also toying with the idea of starting my own small label. I’v also thought of doing an album with guests only on it. Sort of the same idea as the old Probot, but different music. We’ll see!


15.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

I really listen to a lot of of doom such as Electric Wizard. In daily listening while cleaning the studio for instance, I might have on some super old Pink Floyd or probably some friend’s album.


16.What are some of your non musical interests?

Tough. I do like to go on adventures with my close family. I just got back from staying in the French Quarter in New Orleans for a week. Our family has a condo there so we go occasionally and soak up the atmosphere. I’m fully attending 70000 Tons of Metal in 2018. So I guess you could say I like to travel. I spent about a week in Yellowstone that was awesome and involved a lot of hiking. I’m ready to go anyday, let’s go somewhere!


17.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

 I’d say that I really do appreciate the fans who have sent me good vibes about the dyerwulf album. And I appreciate the feedback of any kind! It really means a lot to me because this isn’t just another album for me. It’s a very personal album. So thanks to those who have been telling me they dig it.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Dead Is Dead Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

We’ve been playing together for about a year and a half. Nick (bass and vocals) and I have been tentatively planning on starting a new band for 10 years or better, but it just never really panned out. We played in a very active band in the late 90s and early 00s, and that band started when most of the members were in middle school. After that fizzled out, I suppose it was difficult to figure out how to pick up the pieces and move on with something new. We’d recorded some demos throughout the years, and some parts of those demos came back to life as portions of the first batch of Dead is Dead songs.

We’ve known Eric (vocals and guitar) for a handful of years now, and the idea of playing music together has always been there, but it existed in an “if only…” sort of way for years. When we finally got up off our asses and started playing, the songs started coming together pretty quickly.

This is the band we should’ve been doing for the past 10 years or so, but we just got a late start. It’s better late than never!

2.You have a new album coming out in September, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

I like to refer to it as sludgy post-hardcore. It’s heavy and slow, but it’s not only heavy and slow. It’s atmospheric, with lots of room to breathe. The songs are all on the longer side, but none of them go on forever and ever.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

I asked Eric for his input on this matter:

It's the sense of urgency; like a nagging sense to get something done cause time is finite at least to yourself.

Anxiety and belonging, figuring out where you fit in the puzzle, redemption, cynicism and betrayal, there's an overwhelming theme that whatever is can be undone and started over. Sometimes it's just better to burn it, forget about it, and start over.

Sometimes I'm just intentionally vague to spur thought. Ideas of philosophical introspection. Nihilism.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Dead Is Dead’?

We like that, depending on how you look at it, the name can be either optimistic or pessimistic. Once you’re dead, you’re dead. That’s it. The positive way of looking at that is that you have to make the best of whatever time you have here, because that’s all you get.

The idea to use it actually came from a Coalesce song, but oddly enough, not their song which is titled “Dead is Dead.” There’s an older song of theirs that has “dead is dead” screamed at the end a couple of times. I always really loved that song.

Long story short, we just liked how it sounded, and it was (more or less) available. There have even been other projects called Dead is Dead before, but that’s the way things go in 2017. Every band that ever exists ends up making a Bandcamp page, even if they only manage to release a demo that no one cares about before they disappear back into obscurity.

5.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 never played any bad shows so far… because we’ve yet to play our first show! We’ve got some lined up for later this summer, closer to the album release date, but we’ve been laying low until now.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

As of right now, we don’t have any big touring plans. We’re working on a couple of extended weekends, but that’s about all we can do for the rest of the year. We’re hoping to get out on the road a little bit in 2018 when we’ve got more vacation time at our jobs. We just up and quit jobs like we did when were 20 and wanted to go on tour.

7.The new album is going to be released on 'Triple Eye Industries', are you happy with the support that they have given yo so far?

Full disclosure, I’m a co-owner of the label, but yes, we’re happy with our relationship with the label.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge and post metal?

At this point, almost no one has heard us. We’re playing the PR game and waiting to release the music streaming in the most efficient way possible, some time just before the release of the album.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

We’ve already begun work on our next batch of songs, so it’s not too difficult to imagine where we might be headed, but only time will tell. So far, the songs are a little more drawn out, a little more shoegazey, with more complex chord progressions.

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?

Our influences come from all over the place. Some of them are obvious in parts. Neurosis, Sumac, Cult of Luna, bands in that realm. Nick and I are huge Mogwai fans, so there’s aspects of that in there. I think elements of the post-hardcore scene that we came up in during our time in Forstella Ford show up in little ways throughout the songs, too.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

I like to make websites and go hiking. Our bassist Nick brews great beer. Our guitarist Eric likes to work on his garden and plot the destruction of rabbits. When he’s not mixing Dead is Dead records, that is.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Yes. Please support local bands and labels as much as you can! As someone who been playing music since the days of Geocities and dial-up internet, I can tell you that it’s much more difficult in this day and age.

Toro 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 ep?
Z-For sure. Since the EP has been released, we have been playing shows around the Atlanta and Athens area quite a bit, as well as playing in Spartanburg S.C. several times. We have had nothing but great reception and feedback at every show we have played thus far, which is always reassuring, especially since we are still a newer band. We have also stayed pretty active with writing new material and have been demoing songs for our next release, which we are planning on being a full length. Promoting the band has been a priority as well, as we are trying to reach as many people worldwide as possible.




2.Recently you have released an ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
Z- Well, obviously there is no denying the metal element. I think it is safe to say that all the members of TORO would agree that's our strong suit. It is the most obviously apparent sound to our music, but we are all influenced across the board by a variety of styles and bands. I for one proudly fly the metal banner, but we have no desire play metal by the numbers. We never want be typical or contrived. There is a lot of raw emotion on this EP, not just from a vocal stand point, but from the musicality of the guitars and drums. Every riff, hook, drum fill, bass line etc..has a point and a voice that says something. If I had to express one disappointment I have with a lot of metal bands that I hear these days, it is that much of it sounds too recycled. It seems so many bands take influence from one or two bands that they like, and it kind of stops there. We take influences from many bands and styles, and I think it shows on this EP.




3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Z-Hmm. I was recently asked this very question, and I'm sure it's bound to be a mainstay in future interviews. I write the lyrics for TORO. I put a lot of care into how I approach the lyrics to our songs. The lyrics need to serve the music and vice versa. As I stated in the answer to the question above, one of our goals is to never be contrived. I don't approach the lyrical themes for the songs in a straight forward, typical, or obvious manner. The lyrics are all available in the EP booklet, and I'm sure upon reading them that most people could see right away that they are dark in their vibe, but I don't like to go into heavy detail about a song's message or meaning. I strive for the lyrics to be as intelligible and easy to understand vocally as possible, at least as much as my type of vocal delivery will allow. I would like everyone to take away a meaning from a song in a way that is personal to the individual listener. I know what the lyrics mean to me, but it's up to you to decide what they mean to you or how they make you feel.




4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Toro'?
Z-Picking a band name is always the worst, haha. We threw names around for what seemed like months. Bruno, our bass player, randomly suggested TORO one day, and it just felt right. I'm fairly certain we all agreed immediately. Obviously TORO means bull in spanish. I think the name is perfect for us. It encapsulates the intensity and weight of what we do. You have two options when a bull is chasing you. You either run like hell or stare it in the eye. Either way the outcome will have a major effect on you. I think our songs have the power that's akin to the force of a bull. From the vibe of the EP and our live show, it's confrontational, and it's unrelenting. TORO is the perfect name for us.




5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Z-From a personal view point, I think that our shows thus far have gone very well, and it seems to exceedingly get better every time. From recent memory, we played a couple of back to back shows with Mothership that would be a highlight to me. I would describe our stage performance as confrontational or even spiritual at times. I tend to go off the hinges quite often, and there has always been an element of danger at our shows. I don't see that going away anytime soon or at all. Already there have been a plethora of smashed microphones, constant barrages of self injury, and several people inadvertantley kicked in the head or face at shows. I can't stand still and hate it when I see heavier bands being stagnant on stage. And I can't convey enough how damn good the other guys in the band are! Pablo, Adam, Bruno and Jason are all masters at what they do. I have never played with a group of tighter musicians in my life. Not only do they own their instruments on stage, they also go for the throat with their presence. They have never failed to impress me, and they just keep getting better! There is no denying that we are sincere in what we do onstage. Love it or hate it, no one can argue that point.




6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Z-We do want to tour in the future, and all of us plan to. We are very aware that will be a happening on the horizon. As of this moment, we only have two more shows booked for this summer: July 22 with Darkest Hour and Havok at the Masquerade in Atlanta, GA and August 19 with EYEHATEGOD, Negative Approach, and ANTiSEEN at Ground Zero in Spartanburg, S.C. After that we are going to take a mini "break" so to speak from playing shows. We are gonna spend a couple of months working on new material and recording, as we do not wish to be idle with writing and want to consistently be productive and produce new music. After the next two shows are behind us, we should be back to playing live, hopefully by late autumn or early winter of this year.




7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Z- We have received interest and that is very flattering, especially this early on for us. I am not willing to divulge what label(s) we have been in contact with at this point, but let's just say we are all excited at the prospects and take them very seriously.




8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge metal?
Z-We have received amazing feedback internationally, and we are very stoked about that! One thing about metal fans this day in age is that they are way more open-minded than when I came up. Not everything is so black and white anymore. There are so many shades of color to heavy music, and it seems people have enjoyed the diversity of what we offer. People have complimented us on our progessive elements, our more brutal moments, melodic sections, and of course the sludge factor as well. People from all over the globe have shown interest and appreciation for our band and that feels great! We have gained tons of interest in South America (mostly Brazil) Spain, Italy, Mexico, Lebanon, Canada...it's all extremely flattering.




9.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Z-We are already in the process of undertaking writing and demoing songs for what we hope will be a full length. As of this moment, we have two new songs more or less written and are in the skeletal stages of demoing. As of right now, these songs are headed in a heavier direction than some of the stuff on the EP, which is exciting considering that the EP has no shortage of extremely heavy moments. But that's the thing with TORO. We approach song writing in many ways, so we never know where the song may end up and that is exciting as well. In recent talks

Poseidon Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

So, the band has been going for around about two years but has taken a little time to gear up to its current point. Raza and Matt have been friends for a very long time and played together back in ’91. Unfortunately, they lost their original singer and guitarist in the first iteration of this project. Luckily, I was just wrapping up with my previous band so I was more than happy to join the band. We spent a long time writing and ceremoniously throwing songs away until we eventually need a new member of the band, so we asked Roland Scriver who also plays guitar in Serpent Venom to join. We played a few shows with him, including Desertfest 2016, but work and time constraints meant that he had to leave. This is when we brought Jamie into the fold, whom I had worked with previously many times. We’re pretty much joined at the hip. After this, we kind of got a good thing going and we managed to make it the finish line of releasing a record.

2.You have an album coming out this month, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

I think we all have a pretty universal idea of how we wanted this album to sound. We share a lot of musical influences whilst also having our own individual muses. However, I don’t think we ever chucked these in to the detriment of the sound.

We have always be interested in heavy dense music from early days of the genre to more contemporary influences. We all have great appreciation for bands such as Yob, Eagle Twin, Neurosis, Melvins, Sleep, High On Fire et al, and more classic band like Black Sabbath and Led Zepplin (of course). We still do try and make sure that we’re at least trying to progress the genre by using music that extends beyond metal.

For instance, given that we have a narrative concept behind the music, film scores make up a major influence on the direction of the song writing. Repeated phrases, themes and tones which tie into the story are integral to progression of the band’s sound. We may revisit a riff or theme on a future record should we feel these allows us to conjure up the right character or mood.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

The lyrics can get a little complicated as I have around 5 albums worth of narrative and themes worked out already but I guess the major crux of the band is a message of hope. Given our sound, that can be quite a juxtaposition.

Basically, the lyrics behind the band follow a civilisation very close to our own which has abused their planet to the point of the no return; resulting in a complete collapse of society. Nations have been toppled – enveloped by the unforgiving oceans and reducing the populations back to primitive scavengers. Through mutual cooperation the remaining denizens of earth form a global community to build an underwater society based on egalitarian principles and eventually work towards leaving the planet altogether. However, not everyone embraces such notions. That's only part one!

The story is an incredibly personal thing and is not essential to enjoying what we do as a band. But if people dig it and want to come along for the ride I will be publishing something to go along with the records in the future.

4.I know that the bands name comes from Greek Mythology, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?

To be honest, the name kind of floated about and stuck. I don’t think it really has much of an impact on the style of music that we play. However, the name does tie quite nicely into an aspect of the story.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

We haven’t played a huge amount of shows thus far. We spent quite a lot of time focusing on creating this first album. However, we have had the absolute pleasure of being asked to tour with some great bands such as Orange Goblin and Mothership. What’s worth bearing in mind is that we play quite different music to those guys, so attempting to win over or at least get everyone on board with our sound can be quite a challenge. But so far people have been pretty supportive of having to sit through 15 minute long songs. We’re all pretty reserved and our music kind of reflects that, so when you have to go head to head with Orange Goblin who have one of the most enthusiastic front men in the world, it can be a little intimidating to say the least!

6.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?

Nothing set in stone currently. We’re hoping to make it over to Europe at some point in the early months of next year. I have a huge affection of touring on the continent, especially smaller D.I.Y spots. We have a couple of bands in mind but we will have to wait and see. In the meantime, we hope to continue writing in order to maybe have a new split out at the end of the year and the follow up album around this time next year.

7.The new album is coming out on 'Ripple Music', are you happy with the support that they have given you so far?

Ripple have been absolutely amazing. Such great guys to work with. Everything has run so smoothly and its down to their hard work ethic. They’ve taken a bit of risk releasing our record as Ripple tend to release more 70’s influenced Stoner rock but I hope the gamble has paid off.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge and doom metal?

So far it has been pretty good. We have had some shining reviews and some relatively lukewarm ones but not everyone is going to enjoy what we do. We try and make this music as personal as possible and that can sometimes be a little alienating but, hopefully, those that do enjoy it really get into what we offer.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

We’ve already discussed the trajectory for the new records. We want to progress both as a band on macro level as well as individual musicians. We’re getting into new music and sounds every day and that needs us to up our game. The first record was pretty droney and full of atmosphere – all elements of which we wish to retain – but we want to push beyond that now.

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?

It's so difficult to really boil it down to certain genres as I think we have a pretty eclectic and scattershot taste in music, especially as a whole band. I know I have spent the last couple of years listening to more blues and classical, as well as atmospheric black metal. Anything really where its not so much about writing a great riff but just as much emphasis is given to creating a powerful mood. This is something I hope we are able to reflect in our music.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

We are all pretty busy people, hence why this could not be a full time thing. Jamie, our guitarist, works as a cinematographer and has great interest and keen eye for visuals. He designed our record, as well as our T shirts. Having abilities which cross over into other aspects of the band gives us so much more control as to being as independent as possible and making every facet of the band reflect a defined vision. Raza and Matt are both parents of young children, so their downtime is spent with them.

I currently run a record distribution called Protagoras Collective which I'm hoping to fully expand into a full blown label at some point (once I save up enough money). Also, I have a huge interest in film and literature which goes someway to informing what is put into this project.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Just to keep enjoying being creative as we have and hope to continue as such. Create as much art as possible and enjoy it in the process.

Hive 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?
Well, the process of beginning recording all the way through until holding the record in our hand took about a year.  We self tracked the entire thing, so we were able to take our time.  After mixing and finding a home for it in Crown And Throne we then had to wait on vinyl manufacturing.  Nevertheless, we’re a band who likes to stay active and did so during the entire process - playing live as much as we’re able and have already written new songs we are gearing up to record for a few upcoming split 7”s.

2.In April you had released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
The material on Parasitic Twin was definitely more far reaching than our first record.  I wouldn’t call it experimental, but we had already established the framework of our sound on our first record, so there was less restraint with PT to stay glued to a particular niche sound.  The main goal was to build tension and intensity by all the means we are able - whether that meant playing fast, slow, quiet, heavy, etc - but have it still all fit together as a cohesive album.  I have always been the song writer in the band, but the other members made contributions on PT that I feel gives the album a lot more weight and depth.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
The 2016 election and it’s lead up definitely played into and influenced some of the lyrics.  But, I didn’t want to beat that topic over the head, especially since I knew the presidency was about to create lyrical fodder for the next 4 years at least.  I broadly touch on themes I have in the past such as isolation, false idols (both literal and hypothetical), and servitude - But I also chose to write about certain things more head on.  For instance, songs about circumcision (and it’s subconscious practice in controlling western societal norms), the American military’s use of class warfare as a recruitment tool, and euthanasia and insistence of it’s place in civilized society.  We also have a song called “No Irish Need Apply” which is a pro immigration anthem where I do my best to juxtapose the anti Irish mentalities of the mid 19th century, and the intentions of Trump and his bootlickers in regards to their baseless attempts to throttle immigration.
I consider Hive to be a political band - almost every song we have written has a socio-political slant, though it’s not something that is put above the music per se.  Being the lyricist/vocalist in a band gives me a rare platform and a captive audience, so I see it as mortal sin to waste it with hollow content to just fit a mold (dark, aggro, mysterious, etc).  We make sure our content is accessible via lyrics in our releases, lyric sheets on our table at shows, and making ourselves available face to face for anyone who wants to know more.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Hive'?
Personally, the word Hive brings to mind themes of isolation and protectionism.  These are characteristics I would be happy to have someone equate to our band in one way or another.

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?
 Our intention for our live shows is to be perceived as calculated and imposing.  We try to keep our sets at the 25 minute mark, with little to no stops or hesitation.  There is no political rambling, nor scene glad handing.  Big amps, big drums, intense volume.  We are who we are and try not to disappoint.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
We stay as active as we are able.  As members, we’re not a young band and all have responsibilities at home which can’t be ignored (spouses, children, careers).  As such, we will never be a full time touring band.  That being said, right now we’re focusing on playing regionally as much as possible (beginning with our native Midwestern US).  This summer we will be playing Appleton WI for the first time, as well as playing Northern Isolation Fest in Duluth MN.

7.The new album was released on 'Crown & Throne Ltd.', are you happy with the support they have given you so far?
Yes, Garth has been great.  He’s very much like us - in his hardcore twilight years and focusing on his involvement simply for the love of the music.  We had no “terms and conditions” going in.  We just wanted to work with someone who was excited about what we’re doing and was in touch with the DIY esthetic of playing hardcore.  He made producing the record easy and has supported us in all ways he is able, which is all we can hope for.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of crust punk and d beat?
The response so far has been positive, though we are still largely unknown.  People have seemed to understand and appreciate the blending of influences we try to carry, but still read us as a crusty hardcore band.  Our reach has largely just been in the US thus far, but I’m hoping we can hit nerves in Europe, UK and Japan specifically - the birthplaces of most of our biggest influences.  It’s obviously much easier for bands nowadays, even just having a Bandcamp page, versus when the four of us started playing music and had to tape trade and use calling cards just to get our name in front of people on other continents.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
To be honest, no expectations.  I can see us focusing on an album full of fast, 1-minute ragers…I can also see us trying to fill an entire side of one LP with a single song.

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?
I would say when we first started writing and forming our sound our biggest influences were bands like His Hero Is Gone, Cursed, Wolfbrigade, Gauze - a good combination of US dark hardcore, Swedish d-beat, and Japanese distortion.  I think we’ve refined things a bit since then and found our own footprint, but I still consider all of those bands huge influences on my writing today.
Lately I’ve been listening to Civilized - Chopping Block, Full Of Hell - Trumpeting Ecstacy, Interment - Scent Of The Buried, Cripple Bastards - Nero In Metastasi, and Sect - s/t.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Outside of our day to day lives we all stay pretty busy with music.  Paradise plays in a death/thrash band called Antiverse (antiverse.bandcamp.com), and is also performing with Disembodied and Martyr AD at this years This Is Hardcore Fest, Emma plays in a queercore band called Contentious (contentious.bandcamp.com), Duffy is part of the 113 Composers Collective (113collective.com) and also performs with the noise duo Shield Your Eyes (shieldyoureyes.bandcamp.com), and I stay pretty busy writing for Hive as well as my two solo bands Prey For Death (preyingfordeath.bandcamp.com) and Prison Shank (prisonshank.bandcamp.com).

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Thank you for the interview and the interest in us.  Keep hardcore underground.