Thursday, April 27, 2017

Red Moon Artchitect/Return Of The Black Butterflies/Inverse Records/2017 CD Review


  Red  Moon  Architect  are  a  band  from  Finland  that  plays  a melodic  form  of  funeral  doom/death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Return  Of  the  Black  Butterflies"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  Inverse  Records.

  Atmospheric  sounding  synths  start  off  the  album  and  after  the  intro  clean  guitars  are  added  onto  the  recording  along  with  the  music  also  going  into  a  heavier  direction  which  also  introduces  death  metal  growls  into  the  songs  while  the  slow  sections  of  the  songs  bring  in  elements  of  funeral  doom  metal. 

  Female  vocals  can  be  heard  in  the  music  at  times  and  a  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  they  also  mix  the  heavy  and  atmospheric  parts  together  along  with  the  riffs  also  bringing  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  all  of  the  tracks  stick  to  a  very  slow  musical  direction.

  Red  Moon  Architect  plays  a  style  of  funeral  doom  metal  that  is  very  slow,  heavy,  melodic  and  atmospheric  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  memories,  despair,  and  death  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Red  Moon  Architect  are  a  very  great  sounding  funeral  doom  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Tormented"  and  "NDE".  8  out  of  10.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Merchant/Beneath/Black Bow Records/2017 CD Review


  Merchant  are  a  band  from  Australia  that  plays  a  psychedelic  mixture  of  funeral  doom  metal  and  sludge  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Beneath"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  Black  Bow  Records.

  Distorted  amp  drones  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  heavy  sludge  style  riffing  a  few  seconds  later  and  after  awhile  powerful  sounding  bass  guitars  and  drum  beats  are  added  onto  the  recording  and  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  along  with  both  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  give  the  songs  a  retro  stoner  rock  feeling  and  after  awhile  sludge  style  screams  are  added  onto  the  recording  along  with  the  heaviness  of  funeral  doom  metal  and  both  of  the  tracks  stick  to  a  very  slow  direction  while  also  mixing  in  some  psychedelic  elements.

  Merchant  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  sludge  and funeral  doom  metal  and  mixes  it  with  a  touch  of  psychedelic rock  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Merchant  are  a  very  great  sounding  psychedelic  mixture  of  sludge  and  funeral  doom  metal  and  if  you a re   a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Guile  As  Vice".  8  out  of  10.   

 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Zaraza Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
We have been mostly focused on promoting the album and getting the word out about its release.
The scene has changed drastically since our first album came out in 1997. I think it was easier to get exposure back then just be sending out physical CDs using snail mail.
Today, there is so much music being put out that all the metal magazines are just drowning in daily promos, press releases and getting noticed is actually more difficult for an independent band.
But we're learning and adjusting to the new realities of the metal scene in 2017.

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?
We describe ourselves simply as experimental sludge / doom metal.
Our first albums ("Slavic Blasphemy" in 1997 and "No Paradise to Lose" in 2003) were far more electronics-oriented. Many people hail "Slavic Blasphemy" as the album that invented the entire "industrial doom metal" sub-genre.
On the new album, we definitely wanted to go into a heavier, more guitar-driven, sludge-focused direction. Sludge as a genre only really came into prominence during the last decade or so while we were away and it just seemed like the perfect vehicle upon which Zaraza could plot a return.
I purposefully try to avoid using the term "industrial" to describe our style.
For me, the "real" industrial music was exemplified by the experimental work of 1980s bands like Laibach, Swans, Einstuerzende Neubauten, Test Department, Holy Toy, Hula, etc.
Industrial music in 2017 sounds nothing like that. It's mostly synth-driven, electronic goth / dancey crap that I cannot stand.
Every now and then I sample some albums from Bandcamp's "industrial metal" section and they're usually so awful, I feel like throwing up and cleaning up my mouth with chlorine afterwards to wash out the bad taste.
So, no. I do not see Zaraza as a band affiliated with "industrial" any more, since nearly all industrial music I hear today is commercial-friendly garbage that has little in common with the 1980s industrial I grew up listening to.
We're a heavy experimental sludge metal band and that is what it is.

3.The band was broken up for a few years, what was the cause of the split, and also the decision to reform?
After our second album "No Paradise to Lose" in 2003, we started working on a new album.
Usually, we were a band that was brimming with ideas, we seemed to always have too many ideas and constraining them and keeping them all focused was a major challenge.
But suddenly, all of that stopped. We wrote 2 new songs for our 3rd album back in 2004 or so and I will honestly say they were not very good. It's as if all of  a sudden all of our inspiration had dried up overnight. I decided that if we do not have it in us to make outstanding music, then we should quit and that was it.
During those 10 years when we were away I would occasionally pick up a guitar, but there was nothing. No new ideas, nothing. I kinda accepted that my times with music were over, just a memory of the past.
But....about 3 years ago something changed. Various traumatic life events awoke something in me. I started feeling that "hunger" again, the same one we felt when we started out in 1993.
Started practicing guitar again on a regular basic and on one morning the opening riffs for the song "Maskwearer" arrived from underneath my fingers. I knew that we were back.
I was living in Houston, TX at that time. During my next trip to Montreal I met up with the other original member of the band (Brian Damage) during a 2015 Godfesh concert. He too has been musically inactive for a few years but felt the need to start doing something again. Long story short we agreed to restart Zaraza and collaborate on a new album via the Internet.
A few months later I moved to Ecuador, but the work on the album continued and after 1.5 years of hard work "Spams of Rebirth" was released and Zaraza officially returned to active status. I hope this is just the beginning of the next stage of our journey.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
Our main themes are either our atheistic view of the universe (as exemplified on the song "Church of Gravity") or just dealing with the difficult challenges that life throws at you at various stages.
Zaraza has always been a band very much focused on the ugliness of reality.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Zaraza'?
I just wanted a Polish name for the band, being a brand new immigrant when we started in 1993 in Canada. "Zaraza" is the Polish word for "disease" / "plague".

6.Currently the band members live in 2 separate parts of the world, how does that work in the recording process?
On this particular album I did all the recordings myself. Music was recorded at my home studio in Ecuador.
All the vocals were recorded at a professional vocal booth in a recording studio in Houston, TX.

7.What where some of the best shows that the band played in the past and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Being so remote, we don't really play live. Zaraza has always been more of a studio project.

8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
We did send some demos prior to the album, but getting signed purely on the strength of a demo is quite a challenge. Labels are also drowning in demos, so it seems they are also looking for something more, especially seeing a band live. Relapse explicitly states for example that they rarely, if ever, sign a band based purely on a demo.
That is OK. There is a lot of work that a record label does that is much easier today: releasing music, distributing it, promotion, etc.
So although being independent is definitely a challenge, in some ways it is noticeably easier to be your own label as well.
And you get a lot more of long-term control over your own music, which is important in the long run
.
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of industrial and doom metal?
Well, we are always an experimental band, trying to push the envelope
I saw some comments where people wished we had put out another "Slavic Blasphemy Part Deux", i.e. with lots of symphonic keyboards, sad doomy interludes, etc.
Sorry, no way. That was Zaraza in 1997. This is us 20 years later. We did not want to come band and sound the same or do the same thing.
We wanted something new, something uglier, something more foul. We are not a 90s nostalgia act. I'd rather quit than allow Zaraza to live in the past.
Outside of that, the response has been very positive from those fans who knew we are here to push the envelope and not just give them a re-heated meal of something from the past.
There are plenty of other bands who are happy to do that for you. We are not one of them.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Heavier, uglier. Maybe even a bit faster, who knows?
Just because we're both in our 40s or 50s that doesn't mean we're mellowing out.
I think I am actually more pissed than when I was 20-30 years old. Our music reflects that.

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?
Great question.
Personally, I find metal today to be at its most stagnant and uninspiring in a long, long time. And I've been listening to it since mid 1980s.
With rampant piracy (which is basically another word for "so-called fans spitting in a band's face and stealing for free something the band worked on for months"),
it seems many bands today are just playing it safe and giving fans exactly what they want.
When I see video footage from huge festivals like Wacken, so much of the music is bloody boring, predictable and dare I say...commercial.
Even if you do growling, screaming, blast beats...but if  you are giving the audience exactly what they expect, then I say extreme metal has become shockingly "commercial".
Hence, most of the music that inspires me today is from totally unknown, underground bands in various genres that I discover on Bandcamp.
These artists are still hungry, looking for a new path and a new sound that is their own.
Their thinking is exactly the same as hours.
Here are some of the bands that have greatly influenced Zaraza's comeback:
Fever Dreams - stunning atonal hard core, major influence on our new album:
https://feverdreamshc. bandcamp.com/album/life-has- departed
Disrotted - ugly sludge, huge influence on the new Zaraza:
https://diseasedaudio. bandcamp.com/album/self- titled-lp-2
https://disrotted.bandcamp. com/album/demo-i
Palehorse: brutally heavy use of dual bass guitars:
https://palehorse-uk.bandcamp. com/album/looking-wet-in- public-2
LORN  - brilliant atonal black metal:
https://i-voidhangerrecords. bandcamp.com/album/arrayed- claws
Car Bomb - violently inventive brutality:
https://carbomb.bandcamp.com/ album/meta
Darkher: best doom of the last few years:
https://darkher-uk.bandcamp. com/album/realms
Chelsea Wolfe - incredible female vocals
https://chelseawolfe.bandcamp. com/album/pain-is-beauty
https://chelseawolfe.bandcamp. com/album/abyss
FVNERALS: stunning epic alternative doom
https://fvnerals.bandcamp.com/ album/the-light
Cursed Earth - brutal Australian hard core / death metal:
https://cursedearth.bandcamp. com/album/enslaved-by-the- insignificant
https://lifelairregretrecords. bandcamp.com/album/vae-mortis
Rise and Fall: "Faith" is a stunning brutal hard core album:
https://riseandfallband. bandcamp.com/album/faith
Bleak: another crushing hard core band:
https://hexrecords.bandcamp. com/album/we-deserve-our- failures
https://ihatebleak.bandcamp. com/album/bleak
Gazelle Twin - one of the very few industrial/electronic artists I listen too, her minimalistic style really inspired our new album
https://gazelletwin.bandcamp. com/album/unflesh
Hessian: brutal crust mixed with black/death:
https://hessiansl.bandcamp. com/album/manegarmr
Lucifer the Lightbearer : crust meets doom and sludge
https:// luciferthelightbearerhc. bandcamp.com/album/demo
https:// luciferthelightbearerhc. bandcamp.com/album/ generations-2
Arc of Ascent - amazing trad doom from New Zealand
https://arcofascent.bandcamp. com/album/the-higher-key
Hexis - a skull crushing wall of crust/black sound
https://hexisband.bandcamp. com/album/abalam
Napalm Christ - one of the greatest metal albums of the last decade
https://a389recordings. bandcamp.com/album/napalm- christ-napalm-christ
Watchtower: stunning sludge metal
https://watchtowerwatchtower. bandcamp.com/album/watchtower- radiant-moon-ep
https://watchtowerwatchtower. bandcamp.com/album/watchtower- absinthism-live-single-2014
GUST - possibly best HC album of the last decade
https://gustsl.bandcamp.com/ album/s-t
Morkhimmel: brilliant black crust from Czech Republic:
https://morkhimmel666. bandcamp.com/album/zlosk-ivec
NOD NOD : imagine if Bjork did a doom metal album:
https://nodnod.bandcamp.com/ album/nod-nod
..,\and many more....

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Trying to make sure my body and my mind last me for a long time. Once you hit your 40s you realize they're not indestructible any more.
I am sure Lemmy would disapprove of my lifestyle: little alcohol, no drugs, mostly organic vegan food, living in the countryside, in the Andes mountains of Ecuador.
Not all of us are lucky to have his a-bottle-of-Jack-Daniels-a-day genetics.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for the support.
You can buy the album from our Bandcamp site:
http://zaraza.bandcamp.com/
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/ zarazadoom/
Official video for "Church of Gravity":
https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=mDOkxy3-Ix4
My last words may be unpopular, but I will say them anyway: piracy is stealing. Nothing less.
When you download an album that took a band 1-2 years to create, you are just spitting in their face.
Pure and simple. Nothing fucking else to it.
It doesn't have to be Zaraza, but if there is a band out there whose music you love, go out and support them. Every single one of them.
That is what I do, spending hundreds of dollars every years supporting the artists that mean something to me.
You can see them all on my Bandcamp account:
https://bandcamp.com/sekator
Cheers
Jacek / ZARAZA

 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Alne/Stworz/Warnija/Werewolf Promotion/2017 Split CD Review


  This  is  a  review  of  a  split  album  between  Poland's  Alne  and  Stworz  called  "Warniha"  which  was  released  by  Werewolf  Promotion  and  we  will  start  off  the  review  with  Alne  a  band  that  plays  a  pagan  form  of  neo  folk.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  clean  yet  distorted  guitars  along  with  some  drum  beats  and  female  vocals  a  few  seconds  later  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  their  side  of  the  recording  and  acoustic  guitars  are  also  used  quite  a  bit  on  a  regular  basis.

  Most  of  their  tracks  are  long  and  epic  in  length  and  their  is  also  a  brief  use  of  grim  whispers  that  also  adds  in  a  touch  of  black  metal  and  melodic  guitar  leads  are  also  used  briefly,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Polish  and  cover  Slavic  Paganism  themes.


In  my  opinion  Alne  are  a  very  great  sounding  pagan  neo-folk  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  their  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Warminska  Nok"  and  "Tesknota".

  Next  up  is  Stworz  another  project  that  plays  a  pagan  form  of  neo  folk.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  nature  sounds  and  folk  instruments  along with  some  ritualistic  spoken  word  parts  a  few  seconds  later  and  after  the  intro  acoustic  guitars  are  added  onto  the  recording  and  they  use  a  good  mixture  of  both  finger  picking  and  full  chords while  all  of  the  other  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  One  of  the  songs  is  all  instrumental  while  the  closing  track  is  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  drum  beats  when  they  are  utilized  give  the  music  a  more  tribal  and  shamanistic  feeling,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Polish  and  cover  Slavic  Paganism  themes.

 

  In  my  opinion  Stworz  are  a  very  great  sounding  pagan  folk  music  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  their  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Lyna"  and  "Jutzenka".

  In  conclusion  I  feel  this  is  a  very  great sounding  split  and  I  would  recommend  it  to  all  fans  of  pagan  folk  music,  8  out  of  10.
   

Friday, April 14, 2017

Below The Sun/Alien World/Temple Of Torturous/2017 CD Review


  Below  The  Sun  are  a  band  from  Russia  that  plays  a  progressive  mixture  of  drone  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Alien  World"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  Temple  Of  Torturous.

  Ambient  style  drones  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  atmospheric  synths  and  after  awhile  clean  playing  is  added  onto  the  recording  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sound  very  powerful  while t he  riffs  mix  in  the  heaviness  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion.

  Vocals  are  mostly  deep  death  metal  growls  along  with  a  few  screams  that  add  in  a  touch  of  black  metal  while  clean  singing  is  also  used  at  times  and  the  acoustic  guitars  also gives  the  songs  a  more  progressive  feeling  and  most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in length  and  a  couple  of  tracks  are  instrumentals  and  all  of  the  songs  stick  to  a  very  slow  musical  direction.

  Below  The  Sun  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  sludge  and  doom  metal  while  also  mixing  in  elements  of  drone,  progressive  and post  rock  to  create  something  different,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  a  concept  album  based  on  a  science  fiction  novel  called  "Solaris"  which  was  written  by  Stanislaw  Lem.

  In  my  opinion  Below  The  Sun  are  a  very  great  sounding  progressive  mixture  of  post  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Mirrors"  and  "In  Memories".   8  out  of  10. 

 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Zaraza/Spasms Of Reality/2017 Full Length Review


  Zaraza  are  a  duo  with  members  from  both  Canada  and  Ecuador  that  plays  a  mixture  of  experimental,  industrial,  sludge  and  funeral  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2017  album  "Spasms  Of  Reality".

  A  very  heavy  doom/sludge  metal  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  spoken  word  parts  and  programmed  beats  while  harsh  industrial  style  vocals  and  melodic  riffs  are  also  used  at  times  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  heaviness  of  funeral  doom.

 A  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  sludge  style  screams  are  also  used  at  times  and  as  the  album  progresses  the  music  starts  getting  more  experimental  while  some  tracks  also  add  in  a  small  amount  of  grim  sounding  growls  that  also  add  in  touches  of  black  and  death  metal  and  a  brief  use  of  melodic  guitar  leads  can  also  be  heard  and  all  of  the  songs  tick  to  a  very  slow  musical  direction.

  Zaraza  plays  a  musical  style  that  mixes  experimental,  industrial,  sludge  and  funeral  doom  metal  to  create  something  very  original,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Zaraza  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  experimental,  industrial,  sludge  and  funeral  doom  metal and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Maskweaver"  and  "Wulkan".  8  out  of  10.   

Bittered/Foreign Agenda/Lost Apparitions Records/2017 CD Review


  Bittered  are  a  band  from  Pennsylvania  that  plays  a  mixture  of  grindcore,  sludge  and  doom  metal  with  some  elements  of  black,  thrash,  traditional  metal,  crust  and  hardcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Foreign  Agenda"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  Lost  Apparitions  Records.

  An  atmospheric  sounding  intro  starts  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  very  fast  and  brutal  grindcore  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  as  well  as  some  high  pitched  screams  that  have  a  touch  of  black  metal  to  them  and  hardcore  style  shouts  are  also  used  at  times.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  you  can  also  hear  elements  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  in  the  slower  riffing  and  after  awhile  crust  style  vocals  along  with  some  death  metal  growls  start  to  make  their  presence  known  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  also  very  short  in  length  and  the  music  always  remains  very  heavy.

  On  this  recording  Bittered  remain true  to  the  grindcore,  doom  and  sludge  metal  mixture  of  previous  releases  while  also  adding  in  elements  of  black,  thrash  ,  heavy  metal,  crust  and  hardcore  to  take  their  style  to  another  level,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  angry,  hateful  and  political  themes.   

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Bittered  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  sludge,  doom  metal  and  grindcore,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Follow  Your  Leader"  "Planetary  Meltdown"  "Bible  Fucker"  and  "Witch  Hunt".  8  out  of  10.