Thursday, November 16, 2017

Lorelei/Shadows Of October/Solitude Productions/2017 CD Review

 Lorelei  are  a  band  from  Russia  that  plays  a  mixture  of  goth,  doom  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Shadows  Of  October"  which  will  be  released  on  November  24th  by  Solitude  Productions.

  Clean  playing  and  melodic  guitar  leads  start  off  the  album  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  before  adding  in  more  of  a  heavier  doom  metal  direction  and  when  vocals  are  added  onto  the  recording  they  are  mostly  death  metal  growls  and  the  music  is  heavily  rooted  in  the  early  90's.

  When  keyboards  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  tragic,  atmospheric  and  gothic  style  while  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  along  with  the  riffs  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  when  screams  are  utilized  they  also  add  in  a  touch  of  black  metal  and  when  female  vocals  are  utilized  they  give  the  music  more  of  an  operatic  feeling,  a  couple   of  the  later  tracks  are  instrumentals  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  can  be  heard  and  all  of  the  music  sticks  to  a  very  slow  musical  direction.

  Lorelei  plays  a  musical  style  that  goes  back  to  the  90's  atmospheric  and  gothic  doom/death  metal  style,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Russian  and  cover  dark  and  depressive  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Lorelei  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  mixture  of  goth,  doom  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Ya  Severniy  Veter"  "I  Teho  Vetly  Shelestyat"  and  "Canticum  Angelorum".  8  out  of  10. 

Graceless/Shadowlands/Raw Skull Recordz/2017 Full Length Review


  Graceless  are  a  band from  the  Netherlands  that  plays  an  old  school  mixture  of  doom  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Shadowlands"  which  will  be  released  in  December  by  Raw  Skull  Recordz.

  A  very  heavy  and  old  school sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  the  music  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  early  90's  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  deep  death  metal  growls  as  well  as  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  being  very  heavily  influenced  by  doom  metal  and  all  of  the  songs  sound  like  they  could  of  easily  been  recorded  and  released  more  than  25  years  ago.

  A  great  amount  of  dark  and  morbid  sounding  melodies can  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  while  the  solos  and  leads  are also  done  in  a  very  dark  yet  melodic  old  school  fashion  along  with  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard,  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  long  and  epic  in  length  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  clean  guitars can  also  be  heard  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Graceless   plays  a  musical  style  that  goes  back  to  the  early 90's  era  of  doom  and  death  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  old  school  yet  professional  at  the  same  time  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark,  mythological  and  real  life  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Graceless  are  a  very  great  sounding  old  school  mixture  of  doom  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Shadowlands"  "Sumerian  Flames"  "Die  On  Demand"  and  "When  The  last  Light  Fades".  8  out  of  10.

DeathCrawl 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?
The album was just released, officially, about two weeks ago. We played with Weedeater back in September and sold quite a few copies to folks who checked us out then, but otherwise our main focus has been an album release show on November 18th. We’re playing in the near-by college town of Kent, OH at a great space known as the Stone Tavern at Michel’s. Our good friends in goosed and Night Goat are playing as well. We’ll be performing the record front to back and it’s going to be fun.

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 form the stuff you have released in the past?
Acceptable Level Of Misery is our third LP and continues to display the type of heaviness we’re after – a bottom-heavy sludge that draws from many influences (including stoner, doom, noise rock, and grind). In the 10 years we’ve been an active band, we’ve stayed pretty true to our sound. I’d say the lyrics are little more abstract on this record than they were on 2012’s Accelerated Rate Of Decay.

3.This is your first album in 5 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during tat time frame?
My (Jason) wife and I had a couple of kids since 2011 and everything just sort of slowed down. In that five years, we practiced nearly every week and we played a handful of gigs every year (playing with the likes of EyeHateGod, Deafheaven, and Weedeater to name a few). The songs that make up Acceptable Level Of Misery were written over that time and we actually recorded it all back in the summer of 2016. It took us more than a year to finalize lyrics, art, and the mix.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
We tend to tell stories about apocalyptic scenarios: disasters (both natural and man-made), famine, disease, war, etc. We also have a more surreal side with songs like Lichen off our first record or Zenith from Acceptable Level Of Misery, where we let imagination take us to a strange place beyond fiction.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'DeathCrawl'?
Dave and I were working on another project that was destined to fail due to an inability to keep a steady drummer (Dave was on guitar initially). Dave switched to drums to try to at least get an EP recorded out of the ashes and lamented the songs were too fast and/or complicated and that he wished we had written slower songs that sounded like someone crawling to their death. That was it. We scrapped the songs we'd spent about 9 months on and started writing the first DeathCrawl songs. Damon joined shortly thereafter. We tuned low and played slow at first, but it didn't take long for us to start speeding up.

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?
We’re a no-frills live band. We don’t have a fancy light show, or any multimedia aspects. What we do have are the three of us and our amp stacks and drums. Damon plays a full stack, I play through two bass stacks, and Dave built himself a gigantic drum set that barely fits on some stages we’ve played. We push a ton of air and people seem to dig it. As for best shows, we played a really fun dive bar in Wheeling, West Virginia that was a blast because the kids there had a vibrant scene and everyone was into it. We once played a blowout for my birthday where both my bands were on stage at once as we slogged through some heavy covers at a little dive bar in Akron, and that was a ton of fun. Both times we played with Weedeater were great as well as far as crowd response goes. Anytime we’ve been able to share a stage with Bridesmaid from Columbus, OH has been a great time to.  Truthfully, we don’t play a ton of gigs these days and those we do – we make it count. We play with bands we respect and every show since has been a good time. Ohio has a ton of fantastic bands that we’re happy to consider friends.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
It’s almost impossible for us to tour – we’re weekend warriors at best. As for upcoming shows, we have our CD release show on November 18 at the Stone Tavern at Michel’s in Kent, OH, and then we’re playing a party in January along with our good friends in Axioma and some others TBA at Now That’s Class in Cleveland. We say it every year – we’d love to get out of town (Pittsburgh?, Columbus?, Chicago?) in 2018, but only time will tell if we can do it. Our last out-of-town was already more than two years ago, with Battle Axe in Columbus.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge and doom metal?
Response has been good, but it’s hard to get your name out there without a big promotional budget that we just don’t have. We’ve had huge support from The Sludgelord over the years. Aaron runs a great blog over there and has been very kind towards us. Back in the early days of the band, we had some interest from an Israeli label to put out a split, but we wound up self-releasing our contribution after we stopped hearing back from them. I’m not sure it’s much of an indication of popularity, but it didn’t take the Russian hackers long to put up .RAR files of Acceptable Level Of Misery.

9.Are any of the band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
I play bass in a heavy rock band called supercorrupter. Dave runs a studio by the name of Bad Back Studios up in Cleveland. He’s worked with the likes of Fistula, Midnight, Gluttons, and Brain Tentacles to name just a few. He’s also playing guitar in a hardcore project that’s still incubating, and he’s the bassist for Cleveland thrash legends Soulless, whom seem to be on hiatus at the moment. Damon doesn’t currently play in any other bands.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We’ll keep writing heavy riffs and figure out some words to scream over them, and then we’ll drag our thousand+ pounds of equipment out to a few clubs a couple of times a year and do it live.

11.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?
Neurosis, Godflesh, and Crowbar are the obvious influences on us. Other influences are far and wide – anything from Steely Dan to AmRep Noise Rock. As for new releases, I have found a lot to enjoy in 2017, including the new Chelsea Wolfe, Pachinko, and Unsane albums to name a few. I’m really excited to hear the goosed record that’s coming out hopefully soon, and equally excited to hear the new Pillärs record (killer sludge/punk from Cleveland). We try to keep up on new releases – it’s easy to turn into the guy that hasn’t been inspired by an album in over a decade by losing touch with what’s happening out there.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Sci-Fi/Dystopian cinema/literature, Making (and consuming) beer, old cars and motorcycles.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
We’re sitting on a couple of songs we initially tracked back in 2011 that I hope we finally finish and release for free on Bandcamp in 2018. These tracks were intended for a split that never happened and were forgotten about as we got more focused on recording Acceptable Level Of Misery. Keep an eye on our bandcamp site (http://deathcrawl.bandcamp. com) to grab that once it does become available. Thank you for taking an interest in us spreading the word about DeathCrawl!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Ixion 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?



Hello !  Well, as we do a lot of things by ourselves, the weeks following the recording and mixing were quite busy with the artwork. But since the release, things are not in our hands anymore ! We were waiting for the first feedbacks, and they seems to be very positive, so it makes us very happy of course !
And we already think about the following…



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 would say this new album is an extension of our musical universe, on its brightest side.

Our sound is based on a combination of melodic / atmospheric doom metal and ambient / electronic music. And it has also always been enriched with elements from gothic metal, symphonic scores, or celtic music, and marked by the use of different kind of vocals.

For Return, we have developed, at least on some tracks, a more luminous vibe, and also introduced some post-rock and cold-folk shades, with quite a prevalence of clean vocals. This is consistent with the more terrestrial themes on this opus. But our identity is still clearly recognizable, and this is a new journey through vastness !



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



From the beginning of the project, we have chosen to base our artworks and lyrics on science-fiction concepts.  It just perfectly matches this kind of spatial and cold music, and we love to take our listeners on a journey through ethereal worlds !  More precisely it appeals to the “contemplative” side of science-fiction, with space as a main character, huge landscapes, and humanity lost and questioning through the infinity…
We are often inspired by some “hard SF” books, or some films.



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



Ixion is the name of a planet in the Hyperion saga, and we simply liked this sound !
It is also a real celestial object in the Kuiper belt, numbered 28978…





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



Well, we are not a live band at this moment. We would love to play concerts, but we encounter two difficulties. First, it should be quite difficult to build a line-up to reproduce our music in live conditions. Secondly, it would require substantial means to develop a visual show matching our music and our thematics.





7.The new album came out on 'Finisterian Dead End', are you happy with the support the label has given you so far?


We were very happy with the work of the label for the release of our previous album Enfant de la Nuit. It has led us to a new step in terms of recognition. So it was quite natural to team up again with them. And we’re in a trusted relationship with Laurent (the label manager), who lives in Brittany as we do !



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

We have fans all around the world, which is really great, and for several years now, their feedback is really very positive !  Of course, not every doomster likes our music because of this combination with ambient/electronic – but those who are sensitive to this genre tend to love our music. Our audience is probably quite moderate in size, but they are real fans !




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



It’s going to be interesting to start with a blank page again ! The tracks on Return come from a sequence of composition in 2012-2014, as for the tracks on Enfant de la Nuit !
But I have already some ideas for the future. Our universe is wide enough to explore its different corners. For example, I consider making a more radical work in terms of coldness, perhaps on an EP.


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?



Historically, I was influenced by ambient/electronic on one side, and curious about “classic” metal on the other side. Quickly I’ve focused on bands or artists who blend these two approaches, as well as a melodic trend, regardless of whether it was gothic, doom, or prog… So I can mention My Dying Bride, Swallow the Sun, Shape of despair, Paradise Lost, several funeral doom projects, but also Katatonia, Dark Tranquility, or Amorphis for example.
And simultaneously, I stay a huge fan of atmospheric music in the broad sense. I love some artists from post-rock, trip-hop, shoegaze, not forgetting 70’s-80’s electronic music. I would name Sigur Ros, Archive, M83, Klaus Schuzle, JM Jarre, Vangelis, and I’m quite interested by the current synthwave scene.
One point may surprise our listeners : it’s with the post-rock and atmospheric dimension that we feel closer with Yannick, even if he has also some metal roots, and know how to produce it.



11.What are some of your non musical interests?

In the artistic field, I like cinema and books, especially science-fiction as you can imagine !
Otherwise, I like nature, hiking, or gardening.


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


Well thank you for your interest, and a huge thanks to our listeners and fans for their support !
We hope that Return will take you to a journey out of time !



Svarthart Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
We are currently focusing on playing as much shows as we can. These days we only play in our own region (Belgium
and The Netherlands). We are also writing a follow-up album to our debut. The first new track "Waiting" has already been released.

2.How would you describe your musical sound?
Doom/death metal with a lot of focus on melody. In the style of early My Dying Bride.

3.The band has been around since 2011 but waited until 2016 to release an album, can you tell us a little bit more about the earlier years?
In the beginning we started as a small project while the band members played in other bands. In the first years we focused on writing and recording some songs. After we had a couple of songs and the sound we were happy about, we started to rehearse them and making a playlist for a few local gigs. During these years we released a small demo with 2 tracks on it. After we did a few shows we started to record a full-length. But we did the recording on a very slow tempo, so we did not have to rush anything.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
We are mainly focusing on the darker and worse things in life. There is always some kind of story behind every song, for example a family member who died, tragic love affairs or just situations which get you down.For us, these darker emotions in life give a lot to express in the lyrics.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Svarthart'?
We wanted our band to have a dutch sounding name. Svarthart is actually more Norwegian sounding than dutch, but it's just an easy sounding name with a little rhyme in it.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We have played a weekend of live shows this year together with French doom band Lying Figures. The shows we did in Antwerpen (Belgium) and Tilburg (The Netherlands) were really amazing. We will always remember them and it was also fun making new friends during these shows.We try to be as doomy as we can during the live shows, with very sober light and headbanging on the faster songs.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
We are planning another weekend next year with another foreign doom band. But we are still organizing, so I can't say anything more yet.

8.Currently the band is getting distribution through 'Sepulchral Silence', are you happy with the support that they have given you so far?
Yes, they do a great job of spreading our music online. It sure helped us to get some more fans because they can get you on streaming services such as Deezer and Spotify. Releasing music as a band only without help from a label is quite difficult these days.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of doom and death metal?
We have not really gone worldwide by ourselves. But at the local shows we played so far, we got some compliments of the fans and have sold records at almost every show we did. Of course doom metal is a smaller genre which not everyone likes, but we just try to improve ourselves every time. And we are still a young band, so we still need to develop and evolve a little further.

10.What is going on with 'Verderf' these days a band that also shares a couple of the same members?
That band is currently on hold, because we lack the time combining multiple bands and work.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I think musically we will always keep playing the doom/death metal genre, because it's the music we love the most. We will mainly focus on upgrading our overall sound as a band and keep on improving our melodical skills.

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?
For me it started out with early My Dying Bride, Anathema and Paradise Lost. These bands are the founders of the doom/death metal genre, so of course we pour some musical inspiration out of their albums. But we always add our own elements so we don't sound like a copy of other bands.
Nowadays I listen a lot more to the local doom scene over here, because we have great and talented bands like Officium Triste, Faal and Treurwilg which have all released great stuff to listen to!

13.What are some of your non musical interests?
Just enjoying life as much a I can, spending time with friends and seeing some places of the world.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I hope we can remain playing and listening to music for the rest of our lives. And I wish a good health for everyone!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Dreamgrave/Monuments I. The Anxious/Prog Heaven Hungary/2017 EP Review


  Dreamgrave  are  a  band  from  Hungary  that  plays  a  mixture  of  neo-classical,  prog,  goth,  doom  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of t heir  2017  ep  "Monuments  I.  The  Anxious"  which  was  released  by  Prog  Heaven  Hungary.

  Acoustic  guitars  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some  goth  style  female  vocals  a  few  seconds  later  while  stringed  instruments  are  also  used  at  times  and  they  also  mix  in  with  the  heavier sections  of  the  songs  which  also  introduces  male  vocals  onto  the  recording  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  bringing  in  more  of  a  melodic  prog  rock  style.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  neo  classical  as  well  as  some  avant  garde  elements  are  also  used  at  times  along  with  some  death metal  growls  also  being  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  which  also  add  in  a  touch  of  black  metal  at  times  and  most  of  the  music  sticks  to  a  slow  direction  and  also  mixes  in  a  great  amount  of  doom  metal  influences.

  Dreamgrave  plays  a  musical  styles  that takes  prog,  neo-classical,  goth,  doom  and  death  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  melancholy,  personal  feelings  and  disbelief  themes,

  In  my  opinion  Dreamgrave  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of   neo-classical,  prog,  goth,  doom  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Monuments".  8  out  of  10.

     

  

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Throneless/Cycles/Black Bow Records/2018 CD Review


  Throneless  are  a  band  from  Sweden  that  plays  a  psychedelic  mixture  of  stoner,  sludge,  and  doom  metal  with  touches  of  hardcore  punk  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  album  "Cycles"  which  will  be  released  in  2018  by  Black  Bow  Records.

  Drum  beats  and  powerful  sounding  bass  guitars  start  off  the  album  while  the  music  brings  in  the  heaviness  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  along  with  some  clean  stoner  rock  style  vocals  as  well  as  all  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody.

  Acoustic  guitars  along  with  some  psychedelic  elements  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  some  of  the  riffs  also  mix  in  the  heaviness  of  death  metal  as  well  as  some  hardcore  punk  influences  and  all  of  the  songs  stick  to  a  very  slow  musical  direction  from  beginning  to  end.

  Throneless  plays  a  musical  style  that  mixes  stoner,  doom,  and  sludge  metal;  together  with  some  psychedelic,  hardcore  punk  and  death  metal  influence  on  create  a  sound  of t heir  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Throneless  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  stoner,  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,   you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Cycles"  and  "The  Oracle".  8  out  of  10.