Saturday, August 30, 2014

Abysmal Growls Of Despair/Abyss/2013 CD Review

  Abysmal  Growls  of  Despair  are  a  1  man  band  from  France  that  plays  a  funeral  form  of  doom/drone metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  self  released  2013  album  "Abyss".

  Dark  and  distorted  sounding  drones  start  off  the  album  along  with  the  sounds  of  wolves  and  after  a  few  minutes  heavy  bass  and  clean  guitars  are  added  into  the  music  and  after  awhile  guttural  growls  find  their  way  onto  the  recording  along  with  a  dark  atmosphere  being  utilized  in  the  background.

  All  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  on  the  second  song  clean  singing  female  vocals  are  added  onto  the  recording  along  with  some  grim  vocals  in  the  background  which  also  have  a  black  metal  feeling  to  them  and  the  drone  elements  have  a  very  dominant  presence  on  this  recording  and  as  the  album  progresses  the  music  starts  utilizing  a  small  amount  of  keyboards  and  there  is  not  much  in  the  way  of  a  traditional  guitar  on  any  of  the  tracks.

  Abysmal  Growls  Of  Despair  creates  a  style  of  funeral  doom  without  having  a  traditional  approach  and  mixes  in  a  good  amount  of  drone  to  create  a  very  original  sounding  recording,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  while  the  lyrics  cover  desolate  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Abysmal  Growls  Of  Despair  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  funeral  doom  metal  and  drone  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Only  Dread  And  Flight"  and  "Calm  Despair  Hollow  Life".  8  out  of  10.  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sagntid/Razor Wielder/Floodgate Moods Productions/2014 Single Review

  Sagntid  are  a  1  man  band  from  Norway  that  plays  a  very  dark  form  of  ambient  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2014  single  "Razor  Wielder"  which  was  released  by  FloodGate  Moods  productions.

  A  very  dark  and  atmospheric sound  starts  off  the  ep  along  with  some  synths  that  bring  in  elements  of  dungeon  synth  and  dark  ambient  as  well  as  using  a  variety  of  amny  different  sounding  keys  and  the  song  is  divided  into  2  different  parts.

  Sagntid  creates  a  very  interesting  approach  to  dark  ambient  which  also  mixes  in  a  bit  of  dungeon  style  synths  as  well  as  the  music  being  all  instrumental  and  the  production  also  has  a  very  dark  feeling  to  it.

  In  my  opinion  Sagntid  are  a  very  great  sounding  dark  ambient   project  and  if  you  are  a  fan of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  single.  8  out  of  10.

Razor Wielder, by SAGNTID 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kreiviskai/Zemmis Suapnai/Casus Belli Musica/2014 CD Review

  Kreiviskai  are  a  band  from  Tyver  that  plays  a  mixture  of  neo-folk  and  ethno  ambient  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Zemmis  Suapnai"  which  was  released  by  Casus  Belli  Musica.

  A  very  dark  and  atmospheric  ambient  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  acoustic  guitars  that  bring  in  elements  of  folk  music  which  leads  up  to  spoken  word  parts  being  added  onto  the  recording  as  well  as  some  traditional  Slavic  folk  music  instruments  which  they  also  mix  in  with  the  epic  structures  of  dungeon  synth.

  Melodic  male  and  female  pagan  chants  and  vocals  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  every  track  sounds  different  from  each  other  with  some  being  vocal  and  the  others  instrumental  and  you  can  hear  a  great  amount  of  traces  of  shamanistic  and  tribal  music  in  the  bands  musical  style  along  with  some  nature  sounds  being  used  on  a  frequent  basis  throughout  the  recording.

  Kreiviski  creates  a  very  pagan  orientated  style  of  neo  folk  which  they  also  mix  in  with  ethno  ambient,  dungeon  synth  and  martial  which  makes  all  of  the  songs  have  an  original  sound  to  them,   the  production  sounds  very  dark  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  their  native  tongue  and  cover  the  Paganism  of  Tyver.

  In  my  opinion  Kreiviskai  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  neo-folk  and  ethno  ambient  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Sny  Zemli"  "Malduns  be  Mergus"  "Marsh  Krivdy"  and  "Svyatvyachor".  8  out  of  10.  

Mologa/Self Titled/Casus Belli Musica/2014 CD Review

  Mologa  are  a  band  from  Russia  that  plays  apocalyptic  dark-trip  folk  with  elements  of  electro-  industrial  and  traditional  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2014  album  which  was  released  by  Casus  Belli  Musica.

  Nature  sounds  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  traditional  Russian  folk  music  instruments  and  melodic  female  vocals  which  gives  the  recording a ritualistic  and  pagan  feeling  and  on  the  second  track  distorted  guitars  and  elements  of  industrial  are  added  into  the  bands  musical  sound  and  as  time  goes  on  by  the  music  gets  more  experimental  while  the  main  element  is  folk.

  Traces  of  trip  hop  can  be  heard  in  the  bands  musical  sound  at  times  as  well  as  a  great  amount  of  avant  garde  structures  while  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  bring  in  an  influence  of  metal  along  with  a  good  amount  of  melodic  guitar  riffing  and  as  the  album  progresses  the  music  starts  getting  more  diverse  and  more  rock  orientated  guitar  leads  are  added  into  some  of  the  later  tracks.

  Mologa  creates  a  very  original  sound  with  their  music  taking  traditional  Russian  folk  music  and  addign  in  elements  of  metal,  trip  hop,  rock,  industrial  and  electro  music  to  create  a  musical style  that  stands  out  on  its  sound,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Russian  and  cover  Slavic  Paganism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Mologa  are  a  very  great  sounding  apocalyptic  dark,  tip  folk  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Gore"  "Mohzno  Poznati"  and  "Pro  Kota".   8  out  of  10.          

Soulnerve Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before can you tell us a little bit about the band?
We are a melodic thrash metal band from the Zevenaar, a city in the south of The Netherlands. When we started out back around 2004 as a 4 piece band we played mainly covers of bands like Arch Enemy, Carcass and At The Gates. After a year we started writing songs, did quite a few shows and finally the band disbanded around 2008. A few years ago I breathe new life in Soulnerve and started writing new songs which finally led to what would become our first full-length "The Dying Light" which was released last month (July).
The revived Soulnerve, can be seen as a project at this time and that's a choice I made for a reason. I see so many guys starting a band with great ideas and plans and stuff and finally going their own way after a couple of rehearsals because they musically just can't get along. I wanted to come up with a decent debut and find the right guys after the releases so we can basically skip that frustrating and time wasting part and have kind of a kick start. Currently we are of course promoting our album as much as we can and we are already doing some auditions but we are still looking for some musicians to join us. So, lots of things going on. (STEPHAN)

My reason to join the band was really an adventure in what I was able to deliver with my voice. My recording experience was quite limited but I did have the necessary equipment to deliver high quality recordings to help Soulnerve out. It was a project that during the process has grown on me once I saw all the songs take shape both musically and production-wise and all of the fun that came with it. Looking back, it was really cool to do and I am proud what we have created! I hope Soulnerve will have a complete line-up asap and if my if my voice is needed once more, I am more than happy to oblige.  (KEVIN)

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 demo you had released in 2008?
We take our influences from a wide variety of styles, from 80's and 90's thrash, melodic (death) metal, new wave thrash and metalcore. I am are more into new wave thrash and Gothenbörg death metal and Kevin (vocals) for example is a huge fan of metalcore and deathcore. We try to use the best of both our own qualities and all the music we are influenced by.
In think that our demo wasn't that much different from our debut album in terms of musical direction. On the other hand, for this full-length debut we took quite some  time to shape the songs as perfect as we could and i think that the songwriting is a lot more mature then it was back in 2008. Our skills and vision developed over the years and that also had it's effect on the songwriting process for our debut album. We wanted the album to be in your face, tight, catchy and with a nice balance between aggressive thrash riffs and slower and more melodic  even melancholic parts.  We also had this album mixed in a professional studio while the demo was just a rough recording with a poor mix.

3.According to the Metal Archives page the band was broken up for a couple of years what was the cause of the split and also the decision to reform?
Well, this is kind of a complicated situation because I wasn't really involved in the split up of the band so I actually don't know the exact reason behind it. After a few years of playing with the band members who were in Soulnerve by that time (2004-2007) I wasn't really happy with the chemistry in the band so i decided to leave. The remaining band members continued with the band and found a replacement guitarist but apparently things didn't work out for them as well anymore so they split up around 2008.  In the years after I left the band I've always been playing guitar and writing and recording new songs. Music is one of the most important things in my life you know, and I always felt the urge  to write music and keep doing this. After a few years I decided to take up where we left off, since I was one of the founding members of Soulnerve and the others had called it quits and were focused on other music. (STEPHAN)

4.The band has been around on and off since 2005 but so far has only released one demo and one full length, other than the break up what was the cause of the gaps between releases?
That's mainly explained above. I don't know why the remaining members have never recorded anything new after I left the band. I started writing new songs around 2010 and took quite some time to do some demoing, finding the right singers and to write the best songs  I could come up with. I also recorded everything except for the scream vocals in my own home studio and I took care of the whole production and promotional process. When this has got to be done next to a full-time job, it will take some time though. (STEPHAN)

5.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
All the lyrics on the album are about humanity as an uncontrollable machine and the many aspects of our behavior that will probably lead us to our own demise in the end. It’s also about the struggle of living in a society that hardens both emotionally and physically and where it’s hard to find a balance and stay focused on what really matters in life. Songs like ‘They Come For Us All’ and ‘The Dying Light’ for instance are mainly focused on the downfall of the world as a result of human actions, motivated by greed and corruption without considering those consequences. But as with most music, the topics are open for the listeners own interpretation. Take the track ‘My Demise’, which deals with eternal struggles someone can have, whether this means dealing with an addictions or living with some terrible secret, it’s up to the listener to decide. The entire album covers a brought arrange of things that are terribly wrong with the human race, both on a personal and global level. (KEVIN)

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Soulnerve'?
There's no specific meaning behind that name, it just popped up in my mind. It sounds cool though, so I think it doesn't necessarily need to have a real meaning. The fictional contraction between the words Soul and Nerve is an interesting one though because one can interpret it as the physical connection with the soul through a nerve system or something like that. Even while the soul is an intangible concept on itself. We definitely want to touch people with our music, inspire them and make them feel good while listening to our stuff, so in that case you can consider the band name is representing this in a certain sense. (STEPHAN)

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
The last shows we did with Soulnerve were almost ten years ago, but we definitely  did some great ones back in the days. Some of the local metal fests and club shows we played in The Netherlands were pretty cool as well as the outdoor festivals.
I think it's important to create a certain energy on stage and share it with your audience.
Most of the times we were one of the opening bands and it's up to you to get the crowd moving and make them having a good time. Besides that, nobody wants to watch a band who's stage performance is boring as hell and in that case you definitely don't stick in anyone's mind, that's for sure. But our music is pretty technically so you'll always need to find a middle way between cutting loose on stage and being able to perform the songs well enough, without making that much mistakes.  (STEPHAN)

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Not yet. At the moment we are trying to find the right musicians to get a full line-up so we can start practicing the songs and become a live band. So, anyone interested,  keep an eye on our website and contact us in case you think you are the right person of filling a spot in our line-up. (STEPHAN)

9.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Actually, we haven't sent out any CD's or demo's to any label. As mentioned, Soulnerve 2.0 as i like to call it started out as a project, that's why I worked with sessions singers (Koen and Kevin) for example. Every label wants the bands on their roster to play live as much as possible to get lots of attention and that's something we cannot do yet. But with our future releases we are surely interested in working with a label and booking agencies by the time we are ready to hit the stage. (STEPHAN)

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of extreme and melodic metal?
Reviews from both fans and magazines/e-zines worldwide have been awesome so far. In most of the magazines our album got a rating of 8 or even 9 out of 10 and even the magazines that are focused on extreme metal seem to be diggin' our tunes. All great so far! We are always interested in new album reviews, so any magazine or ezine that's interested can contact us. (STEPHAN)

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
The Dying Light is a very technical album with lots of different styles. I never wanted to limit myself to play just solely one metal style and I like to combine interesting elements of a variety of styles. I don't feel the need to create a whole new style (if that's even possible nowadays) but I think we created kind of an distinctive sound when it comes to compositions and riffing. For the future I have got already some ideas of how I can develop our sound even more in terms of songwriting, melody, riffing, diversity and vocals. One thing that we want to do is keeping the tracks more basic without losing the technical feel. "Less is more" you know.  (STEPHAN)

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?
When I started playing guitar back in 1997 I guess, there weren't such things as Guitar Pro and YouTube. So if you wanted to learn songs you either had to figure them out by ear, learn them from someone else or study some tab books. By that time I was just getting into metal and really liked albums such as Ride The Lightning (Metallica) and Seasons in the Abyss (Slayer) I basically learned to play all songs from those albums from tabs and by ear. Ride the Lightning certainly laid down a basis for my playing, because it's also one of Metallica's albums where they showed a great balance between hard riffing and fast songs and lots of melody and groove on the other hand.
Later on I really started to get  in to Megadeth. Dave Mustaine is such a great songwriter and he really influenced me as a guitarist. I also really like Marty Friedman's lead playing because of his great sense for melody and the way he builds up his leads for example. His solo's are like a story on their own and he's still one of my all-time favorite players. Nowadays I like to listen to bands like All That Remains (Oli Herbert is an insane guitarist), Killswitch Engage and Darkest Hour. The latter has been an huge influence in the songwriting process for our debut album, because I really like their way of combining the classic Gothenbörg riffing with metalcore, thrash and lots of melody.
When it comes to guitarists, I'm also a big fan of Steve Vai, Satriani, Dimebag Darrell,Vinnie Moore, Jeff Waters (Annihilator), David Davidson (Revocation) and the guys in Shadows Fall for example.  (STEPHAN)

I jumped a bit later in the metal boat, during the early 2000’s. The usual suspect bands like Slipknot, Soulfly and Korn laid a nice foundation for my need of intense, heavy tunes and also left room for me to explore more technically and melodically challenging music which preserved the ‘heavy’ feel to it. My choice to become a vocalist was made after doing a few local shows and experiencing the freedom a singer has to interact with the crowd. Furthermore, I realize every musician looks at this in a different light ( ;) ), but in my opinion, creating lyrics for a song decides what the subject and mood the song carries with it. In a way, the vocalist can become the face of a song, which to me is a very interesting thing to explore. Nowadays, I enjoy mostly metalcore and deathcore bands like Hatebreed (Jasta’s my favorite frontman) The Acacia Strain, Fit For An Autopsy (their newest album ‘Hellbound’ is INSANE), Caliban and Still Remains to name a few. Other bands worth mentioning are Demon Hunter, Devin Townsend, Dragonforce (I loved the last two albums), Def Leppard and dozens more which slip my mind right now. All of the bands I’ve listened to have shaped me in a way to become the singer I am today.  (KEVIN)

13.What are some of your non musical interests?
Travelling certainly is one of my interests. I'd like meeting new people and visiting interesting places. It broadens your horizons and gives a lot of inspiration when it comes to writing new songs and lyrics. Travelling costs money but will make you an even richer person and gives you a lifetime experience. Besides that, I'd like to watch a good movie every now and then, and I'm really into series, at this moment The Walking Dead, Dexter and Sons of Anarchy for example. Besides that i'd like to hang out with friends, family and I really like to spent some quality time in the kitchen. I also do some guitar teaching next to my job which is a fun thing to do. (STEPHAN)
I am a total multimedia enthusiast, which is a polite word to say that I’m a huge nerd. Also, coming up with setup improvements keep me busy to create the best multimedia experience  possible (after hearing the new Opeth album in surround-sound, I’m glad took the effort).I love movies and story-driven games and I’m not ashamed that a few of both have inspired me to go write some lyrics. Visiting new places is also one of my hobbies which I would love to do more often though.  (KEVIN)

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for the interview and your interest in the band. Anyone who hasn't checked out our latest release; It's available almost everywhere like on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon etc. Physical CD's can be ordered directly through us (just send an email to or via our Bandcamp: We'd love to stay in touch with our fans via Facebook or Twitter so give us a like and share your thoughts on the new album with us! (STEPHAN / KEVIN)


Underjord/Sheol/Massacre Records/2014 CD Review

  Underjord  are  a  band  from  Finland  that  plays  a  mixture  of  doom,  death  metal  and  dark  experimental  music  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Sheol"  which  was  released  by  Massacre  Records.

  Ethnic  sounding  acoustic  guitars  starts  off  the  album  before  adding  in  a  more  heavy  and  melodic  sound  along  with  a  small  amount  of  psychedelic  sounds  which  leads  up  to  some  viking  metal  style  vocals  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  as  well  as  the  music  bringing  in  elements  of  folk  and  progressive  music  at  times.

  When  synths  are  utilized  they  make  the  music  sound  more  atmospheric  while  the  guitars  bring  in  the  heaviness  of  doom  metal  as  well  as  the  vocals  bringing  in  death  metal  growls  at  times  and  as  the  album  progresses  the  music  gets  more  experimental  and  you  can  also  hear  traces  of  ambient,  electronic  music  and  spoken  word  samples  being  utilized  at  times.

  Ritualistic  chants  can  be  heard  on  some  of  the  tracks  and  the  solos  and  leads  the  band  uses  are  in  a  more  melodic  musical  direction  and  some  of  the  alter  tracks  also  see  flutes  being  added  into  the  music  and  it  gives  the  album  more  of  a  middle  eastern  folk  music  feeling  along  with  the  band  bringing  in  that  same  atmosphere  with  some  of  the  guitar  scales  and  there  are  also  some  instrumentals  and  long  and  epic  tracks  being  utilized  at  times,  towards  the  edn  the  music  speeds  up  for  a  few  seconds  and  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  find  their  way  onto  the  recording.

  Underjord  creates  a  very  original  sound  with  their  music  taking  the  heaviness  of  doom  metal,  the  aggression  of  viking  and  death  metal  in  the  vocals   as  well  as  bringing  in  a  good  amount  of  experimental  elements  with  the  instruments  to  create  an  album  that  stands  out  on  its  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Paganism  and  Occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Underjord  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  doom,  death  metal  and  dark  experimental  music  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Book  Of  The  Dead"  "Hunt  Of  The  Death  God"  and  "Dance of  Death".  8  out  of  10.



Friday, August 22, 2014

Dartropia Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the project?
Dartropia is a one man band project i created last year . Originally, it wasn't a real project, I started  to record songs for myself, just for pleasure. But I thought that several of these sound good, so I decide to put them on internet, and due to positive feedback I had, it finally becoming Dartropia. And now, I'm keep on composing...

2.In June you had released your first album/demo, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

I think that « Sons of Gaïa », the first demo, is a good compromise between Doom/Death and funeral doom. It's something raw and melodic at the same time, melancholic and depressive too. It's hard to describe his own music! The better way to know how it sounds is certainly to listen it.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your music?

Depression, Mankind selfish and nature destruction.

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

Absolutely nothing! When I was younger, I created a one man band call « Dark Utopia », I built the bases of what Dartropia will be! So when I was looking for a name, I take it, just shortcut. And I wanted a name that it's sure it didn't exist!

5.Currently there is only 1 member involved with this project, do you feel this gives you more freedom to create the music you wanted on this recording?

Absolutely... I was playing in a band before creating Dartropia, but when we're numerous, it's harder to make that the music sound exactly as we want. Every member wants to add is personnal touch. And the result can be different of what we want. That's why I started composing music all alone.

6.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

Yes I received proposal from label, but to be honnest, I'm not really interested in... at least for the moment. All my tracks are available for free on internet, and if one day, I want to release it in physical copies, I could do it by myself. I absolutely don't run after a contract with a label, but if one day, an interesting one contact me, with interesting offer, maybe I will change my mind!

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

Pretty good! Some people send me messages about my music and it's generally positive things. People from Mexico, USA, Russia, Poland... That makes me totally glad to know that people from all these countries listen to my music! Even if they are not so many! (laugh)

8.Are there any other musical projects or bands that you are involved with?

Not for the moment, but I have a lot of differents things in my head. But nothing concrete at the moment,

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

I live from day to day... I'm not thinking of what tomorrow will be. But I think I will continue to play and to record my songs. Actually I've composed several tracks which certainly appear in a new album. And if one day, I have the occasion to play them live, I will do for sure.

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?

Bands I listen are various. I'm very eclectic. Bands I'm listening nowadays are Agalloch, Remembrance,  Empyrium, Summoning, Peste noire, Doom:VS, Moonspell...

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

I spend a great part of my time to watching movie! Especially gore movie!

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

Above all, thank you for your time! And I would like to invite anybody who will read this, to take a look to my first demo. It's free downloadable on bandcamp! Maybe they will like it!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Soulnerve/The Dying Light/2014 CD Review

  Soulnerve  are  a  band  from  the  Netherlands  that  plays  a  mixture  of  melodic  death  metal,  thrash  and  metalcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2014  album  "The  Dying  Light".

  A  very  melodic  Swedish  style  death  metal  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  blast  beats,  guitar  solos  and  metalcore  style  growls  and  you  can  hear  some  hardcore  style  back  up  gang  shouts  in  the  background  at  times  and  after  awhile  acoustic  guitars  are  added into  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

  There  is  a  good  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  throughout  the  recording  and  some  of  the  high  pitched  screams  the  band  uses  have  a  black  metal  feeling  to  them  at  times  and  there  are  also  a  good  amount  of  clean  singing  vocals  on  some  of  the  tracks  and  as  the  album  progresses  spoken  word  parts  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  the  thrash  side  of  the  bands  musical  style  really  starts  to  kick  in  on  some  of  the  later  tracks  as  well  as  the  band  bringing  in  a  few  power  ballads  and  instrumentals.

  Soulnerve  take s the  melodic  Swedish  style  of  death  metal  and  mixes  it  with  old  school  thrash  metal  and  modern  metalcore  to  create  the  musical  style  that  is  presented  on  this  recording,  the  production  sound s very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  real  life  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Soulnerve  are  a  very  decent  sounding  mixture  of  melodic  death  metal,  thrash  and  metalcore  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  these  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Dying  Light"  "Lost"  "End  of  the  Line"  and  "Salvation".  7/5  out  of  10.  

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dartropia/Sons of Gaia/2014 CD Review

  Dartropia  are  a  1  man  band  from  France  that  plays  a  funeral  form  of  doom/death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  self  released  2014  album  "Sons  Of  Gaia".

  Dark  sounding  synths  start  off  the  album  giving  the  music  and  epic  ambient  feeling  before  going  into  a  slow  and  melodic  funeral  doom  metal  direction  along  with  some  deep  death  metal  growls  and  after  awhile  depressive  leads  and  solos  find  their  way  onto  the  recording  along  with  most  of  the  songs  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Clean  playing  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  most  of  the  music  sticks  to  a  slow  doom  metal  direction  and  when  synths  are  mixed  in  with  the  heavier  parts  the  album  starts  having  more  of  an  atmospheric  feeling  and  as  the  album  progresses  spoken  word  parts  can  be  heard  briefly  and  at  times  the  vocals  almost  have  a  grim  black  metal  feeling  to  them  and  there  is  also  a  brief  ambient  instrumental  before  making  a  return  back  to  a  heavier  musical  direction.

  Dartropia  creates  a  very  dark  and  melancholic  sound  with  his  approach  to  atmospheric  funeral  doom/death  metal  and  keeping  everything  in  a  slow  and  depressive  musical  direction,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  mythological  themes.

   In  my  opinion  Dartropia  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  funeral  doom/death  metal  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Things  That  I  See"  and  "Sons  Of  Gaia".  8  out  of  10.    


Blakker Nio Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the musical project these days?

Well, I have quite a few projects going on at the moment. At present, I am working with an awesome psychedelic musician in my hometown and we are creating a 60's psychedelic garage record. The project is called Dead Land and we are working on tracks right now.
I also have this synth pop project I'm working on with a few people through soundcloud. I will have a girl sing on the tracks, she is this awesome artist from Baltimore called Adryelle. She has stuff of her own on soundcloud. I really dug her vibe and voice. That should be out in the coming weeks. With Blakkr Nio I will be recording some more drone stuff but want to do it in a professional studio. I will be releasing a tape through Achrinidiscs (Toronto) in the fall with my goth folk project The Unquiet Grave, its basically going to be the best songs from two EPs I released. One of the EPS Whispers in the Wind was reviewed by this cool blog called Weird Canada.

2.Recently you have released a new ep, 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 few months?

I would describe the Blakkr Nio sound as haunting drone for a dystopic age. The first collaboration I did was called The Doppler Effect which was about using abandoned urban space in modern music and integrating ambient guitar. I was influenced by the Situationist movement in 60s France. The idea of creating a spectacle in urban space was very appealing to me. I was influenced by Ghost Cities (Abandoned cities) in China and places like Detroit.  The sound for the second ep was similar in sound but thematically different. It was about the Chernobyl disaster and I wanted to create a sound art piece about it. Very haunting place and I was inspired to create something about it. The two drone metal release were pure self indulgence on my part. I am a big fan of drone metal bands like Sunn O)), Earth and Boris. I love the heavy and doom ridden riffs they create. Very awe inspiring music.

3.In the last few months you have released a good amount of material do you feel this musical project takes up a great amount of your time?

Yes, I wanted to nurture this project because I got all these great ideas when exploring the large genre of drone. However, I am going to spend more of my time now focusing on more accessible music. I like to mix and match. I really love 60s music and want to focus more on guitar based stuff with lyrics. I tried the drone stuff out for fun, its a hip genre at the moment and figured why not try it out. I explore many different music styles with all my projects. I don't like to be lumped into one genre. It limits you and you can get lazy just doing the same thing over again. I want to keep things fresh all the time.

4.With each release you seem to have a different concept, can you tell us a little bit more about the themes you have brought out with your music so far?

Well as I mentioned, I was influenced by Guy Debord of the Situationist movement and The Chernobyl disaster. I am very interested in 1980s Soviet Russia. Its a strange and mysterious time. With the new 60's garage rock project its about my time in San Francisco and it was just a weird time for me so I wrote stuff about it. I explore lots of different concepts some personal some impersonal. I have traveled the world a lot and met tons of people from all walks of life, It would be a waste not to channel my experience into creative things like music and writing. I see all experience as equal, good and bad. Its all there to make you think about the world around you. I would like to use my rights and freedoms to share that with people. People are generally interested in the stuff I put out. I am thankful for the support and interest from everyone. Life is short might as well give it my all and enjoy the ride.

5.Your musical style covers a variety of many different musical genres from ambient, drone, doom metal and post rock out off all the musical styles that you have experimented with so far which one do you prefer?

I like all the genre's generally. I think my favorite would be psychedelic music/post rock. I listen to mainly 60's music generally. Obscure psych and folk stuff.  I also love bands like The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Anton is a genius and his music is always inspiring. I love tripped out Indian drone music too. My taste is extremely diverse. Music is out there to be explored, its all serves a purpose to open your mind to new feelings and visions.

6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the name 'Blakkr Nio'?
The name comes from Old Norse it means Black Moon. I  like Norse mythology and Greek Mythology, wanted to use some of the cool language for a music project. It has a dark ominous vibe about it which was appealing. I like music from Norway and Iceland. Very awe inspiring and epic. One of my favorite bands beside Brian Jonestown Massacre is The Dead Skeletons. Jon and his band mates are amazing and super inspiring.

7.So far you have recorded most of your music solos while you have also worked with other musicians on some of these releases, do you prefer to work solos?

I like both to be honest. I am a newbie at music. I only started a year ago really. So its good to work with others who are stronger in areas Im not that proficient in. I love to experiment on my own though. I really am open to both and will continue to be.

8.You have worked with Newgrange and King Brude on some of your tracks how do you feel their musical styles are compatible with yours?
Well, Newgrange is excellent in the drone genre and really added another dynamic layer to the drone sound I wanted to create. He also has some studio knowledge and was able to mix it in a more professional way. That is an area I am working on. King Brude is awesome with his guitar. I really like his style. We seem to like the same 80's British Bands. I have spent a quarter of my life living in England and Ireland. So I am really influenced British post punk. I live in Canada now and have drone for quite a while. There is so much good stuff coming out of Canada, one of my closest friends Alex, has this awesome new band called Holy Data, they are great, very catchy psych pop stuff.

9.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Some of my release are on Netlabels around Europe. I will be releasing as Tape through Achranidiscs in Toronto, I would like to release more stuff with them if it works out. I am interested in more label attention but am wary of contracts and corporate agenda's. Its really an old model that is dying out. I like releasing stuff through Bandcamp and make some money here and there. I am looking forward to my tape which I will be selling myself.
It would also be available through Weird Canada's web store called Weird Dystro. It should be out in the early fall hopefully.

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of ambient and drone? Generally, people really dig it. I have been reviewed by some notable blogs such as Boston Hassle, Weird Canada, Attn: Magazine UK and Grey Point Owl Canada. People on soundcloud are really great, I have collaborated with people through that site and they have some nice things to say about all the music. I get to check out their stuff too. King Brude's solo stuff is awesome and Newgrange is amazing with his solo drone work.
I also got a lot of support from Tom who runs the Sound and Vision music blog in Ireland. He has been really great in checking my stuff out.

11.Where do you see your musical direction evolving into during the future?
I would like to do my psych rock and drone stuff but in a professional studio and hopefully play live sometime soon. I will always be creating and nurturing the different projects. 

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?

I mentioned bands like The Brian Jonestown Massacre which were a big influence for the Dead Land project. I also love the Dead Skeletons from Iceland as I mentioned. I love old psych bands like 13th floor elevators, Love. Australian punk stuff from the 80s is amazing Birthday Party, Rowland S Howard (my fave guitarist)  I am also a big fan of the sublime frequency compilations of psych music from Burma, Vietnam and other countries. Its all old 70s stuff that were digitized. Its so awesome, the music is amazing.I don't know what they are saying but its awesome all the same. Obviously my buddy's band is awesome Holy Data and old folk singers like Karen Dalton always get me. I saw St Vincent (Annie Clark) recently, I'm not going to lie, I have a crush on her. She is so amazing.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

Writing Poetry and Short Stories. Making music videos from old stock footage. Ski Racing. Reading. Anything to get the mind going. I love to be out and living life any chance I can get. Time is precious, I want to get my value for it. Being creative is the ultimate therapy.

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

I wanted to thank you for the great interview and support. I am appreciative of your interest and support. Its great that these blogs and online mags are popping up exposing people to new underground stuff. I do have a website which anyone can check out, the address  It has all my stuff and press on it. Thanks a lot man. Peace.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Blakkr Nio/War Time/2014 EP Review

  This  is  a  review  of  another  ep  from  Blakkr  Nio  which  shows  him  continuing  his  experimental  ambient  drone  sound  with  the  ep  being  self  released  in  2014  and  called  "War  Time".

  A  dark  sounding  drone  starts  off  the  ep  along  with  some  elements  of  ambient  and  atmospheric  music  and  all  of  the  music  is  instrumental  with  the  first  song  being  10  minutes  in  length  and  after  awhile  more  experimental  elements  are  added  into  the  recording.

  On  the  second  track  the  music  starts  having  more  of  a  sci-fi  atmosphere along  with  more  of  an  avant  garde  edge  and  on  the  3rd  track  Newgrange  makes  a  quest  appearance  on  the  ep  to  create  a  very  dark  and  atmospheric  sounding  ambient  drone  song  as  well  as  making  the  music  sound  more  dark  and  ritualistic.

  Blakker  Nio  continues  his  ambient  drone  sound  on  this  recording  while  also  adding  more  atmosphere  into  his  music  this  time  around,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  while  the  song  themes  have  a  war  like  feeling  to  them.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  ep  from  Blakker  Nio  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  ambient  and  drone,  you  should c heck  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Rusted  Carousel".  8  out  of  10.

Newgrange/Blakkr Nio/The Doppler Effect/2014 EP Review

   Newgrange  and  Blakkr  Nio  are  2  solo  artists  from  Canada  that  team  up  on  this  recording  and  create  some  experimental  drone   and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  ep  "The  Doppler  Effect".

  A  very  dark  and  atmospheric  ambient  sound  starts  off  the  ep  and  the  music  is  all  instrumental  with  a  great  amount  of  soundscapes  and  on  the  second  track  the  music  starts  having  more  of  loud  drone  feeling  along  with  a  distorted  sound  and  you  can  also  hear  a  little  bit  of  programmed  beats  in  their  music  at  times.

  All  4  of  the  tracks  have  a  different  sound  to  them  and  on  the  third  song  nature  sounds  find  their  way  into  the  music  and  the  ep  gets  more  experimental  as  it  progresses  and  on  the  last  track  the  music  starts  evoking  more  of  a  militaristic  vibe  along  with  some  acoustic  guitars  being  utilized.

  Newgrange  and  Blakkr  Nio  creates  some  ambient  drone  on  this  ep  that  is  very  diverse  and  experimental  while  keeping  everything  instrumental,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  while  the  song  themes  have  a  dark  feeling  to  them.

  In  my  opinion  Newgrange  and  Blakkr  Nio  create  some  very  interesting  ambient  drone  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Cave"  and  "In  Your  Grave".  8  out  of  10.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

John, The Void Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
1. The band was ready around 2013 after several line-up changes started in 2012, and is currenlty formed by marco, marco, matteo, matteo & alessio (LOL), some of us have some parallel projects in various other genres or come from other good bands. We found our way in a dark, noisy, abstract kind of music (that will be even heavier in our next release) and in a strong friendship between the members.
2.Recently you have released a new ep, can you tell us a little bit more about your musical sound?
2. We've been inspired by some "classic" bands in the scene like Cult of Luna & Amenra, but everyone of us has his own particular influences with drone, noise, shoegaze…so we try to keep all our influences in our music in the attempt of doing something "fresh" and personal.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
3. We like to write about the relationship between man & the world, between the mind and the concept of time, space and body.
the ep talks about the abandonment of the world by man, after the total decadence and the rebellion of nature. The next full length will probably talk about the future and the concept of time and parallel realities.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'John, The Void'?
4. we were trying to find a name for our project, but none seemed to be the right one. Then, while we were chilling with some casual words, "john, the void" came out, and we liked it from the start, it sounded like a "lovecraftian" character and we decided that it was the right one.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
5. Maybe the best one was in May with two AWESOME bands: BUIOINGOLA & THE HAUNTING GREEN (check them!!), we're like a big family and the show was full of great friends that play in great bands and it's all we need to be happy. In our performances we always try to transmit our energy and adrenaline to the people, we don't like the lights, we love to play just with 2 white neon lights and a lot of smoke around us. We try to bring a heavy, distant and "cold" situation on stage, with a high volume obviously.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
6. Not for now, we're writing some new stuff so we'll start again to play around this autumn, it would be cool to organize a little tour for our full length album that we hope to release in mid 2015.
7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
7. Yes, we've received interest from a cool Italian label, and we hope to work with it for our next release, we'll try to find the best way to bring our music to the audience.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of post and doom metal?
8. We received a lot of support from people out of our country! internet gave us the possibility to spread our music worldwide and -especially from the USA- people gave us a lot of feedback buying our ep, writing some reviews and even played our tracks on a radio show! This means a lot to us and makes us so proud. We hope to play for those people in a show one day.
9.Are any of the band members involved with any other musical projects?
9. Yes! our guitarist Marco also plays in a post-rock band called R.O.FI.X, our drummer plays in a hardcore band called "Don't try this at home", our singer has several projects, some electronic stuff under the name of "ankubu" and some shoegazing music with a homie, called "weaver".
10.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
10. We hope to start the recordings for the full length in 2015, we're actually testing some more "extreme" solutions for the song: heavier riffing, a lot of drones, and a more dilated structure, especially in the ambient moments.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
11. We feel inspired by a lot of bands and music, even because each of us has his own preference, a lot of post/ambient/experimental bands give us imput to make our own music, from ambient black metal to drone music, from sludge to stone, and even from electronic music! everything that is heavy and "psychological".
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
12. We are all interested in arts, our guitarist Marco has his own mobile studio to record bands (he produced our ep!), it's called "Your Ohm", our singer makes some graphic works under the name of "èn | broken luna", and we also love food hahaha!
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
13. Sure! First of all thank you for giving us this chance to talk of our music!
Thanks to all the massive people that constantly show us support, and last of all, please check these cool bands, they're great friends and great musicians! One love!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Day Before Us Interview

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

This project saw the light back in 2012 after several experiments for various collective works, including a conceptual album (Flatland, for a romance of many dimensions) in collaboration with G.L Baroncini (Krell)…My first recordings mainly include processed and looped piano patterns in a very lo-fi, primitive recording style. Thanks to my meeting with Giuseppe Verticchio (Nimh, Hall of Mirrors) it encouraged a new turn and I started more consistently to think about writing and releasing materials under my own project name. My musical identity and aesthetic sensibility naturally lead me to explore various soundscapes which could encourage a feeling of solemn quietude and introspective mood on the listener.

2.So far you have put out 4 releases and have been a part of a compilation, can you tell us a little bit more about your musical sound and also how has it evolved over the years?

As a piano player I’ve been primarily formed in classical music. I took this learning background to the fore when I’m composing but I became rapidly more and more interested to psych-acoustic potentials, sensorial environment and the phenomenon of perception around “sound colors”, tonal colors” and temporal quality. Surfing on ambient music and particularly its industrial, isolationist, ritual and organic dimensions enable me to accomplish a bridge between more neoclassical instrumentals around the piano and transversal explorations on timbres or various sound sources. From the album “under Mournful Horizons”, until “Misty shroud of regrets” and the last EP “Child of a new light” I’ve injected a dose of new ideas and compositional schemas but keeping in mind a certain continuity in terms of “cinematic” approach and emphasize on processed acoustic sound motifs.

3.What are some of the concepts and images, you bring out with your music?

I’m sincerely thinking about a poetical art whose essence could be musical, which means turned to a state of internal ravishment and intimate relationship toward the nature and even the divine around invisible / visible intertwined manifestations, subjective temporality, sentimental reveries and the existential sense of human destiny. Because of this I’m profoundly touched by vertical properties of listening experience. All concepts around the Taedium vitae, the sunt lachrimae rerum or the Japanese Mono no aware help me to enrich and stimulate my thought around those leading themes that I’m trying to translate in my musical continuums and piano based flowing hymns to the universal-spiritual ego.

4.According to the fb page some of your non musical influences include the empyrean heaven, lost paradises, euro paganism, inner church, the anatomy of melancholia, portraitism, and the grey hours of despair, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

This is a corpus of influences mainly taken from literature, from Dante’s metaphorical world, to metaphysical, politico-religious and anti-materialistic visions of Friedrich Hielscher or Ernst Jünger, to poetically melancholic meditations of romantic authors mainly from Germany (Sturm und drang, Bidermaier, weltchmerz movements), French “poètes maudits” and foreign poets linked to this tormented existential sensibility (the Italian Dino Campana, the Georgian Terentin Graneli or the Greek Kostas Kariotakis). Outside of rational-positivist attitudes which dominate our modern thought, those authors tried to investigate on the secret, mystical and shadowy parts of human nature and self-reliance, this under a more immediate, personal, intimate, affective view which admits a closer relationship to music as a spiritual vehicle.

5.On one of your albums you have also taken inspiration from Georg Trackl, Ludwig Tiek, and Nicholis Leneu, can you tell us a little bit more about these poets?

This is a circle of poets who are currently associated to the Weltchmerz movement and who next to Novalis encourages the rising of the mystical romanticism turned to visionary elements and to this search of an intimate link between the absolute transparent beauty and lyrical ecstasy in a world condemned to spiritual despair. These are authors who directly inspired me to compose the album “Autumnal wandering” which features a few spoken words taken from a few representative poems.

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Day Before Us'?

This name is really enigmatic and deeply spiritual for me. It is taken from a devotion-like poem by Flower Adams. I like to feel an implicit reliance between the world of the dead and our existential path, those few words translate it very well and are an invitation to self-meditation on human temporality, generational transcendence.

7.Recently you have added a new member, do you feel this adds to the music sounding more powerful on the new release?

My music is resolutely narrative and cinematic. Early 2013 I discovered the singer Effrosyni Papamichalopoulou (from the apocalyptical folk band Decadence) and after having listened to her first experiments on my instrumentals I was thinking that the lyrical component would help to follow such “cinematic / narrative” direction with more nuances and sense of achievement. We started to exchange on a mutual basis and rapidly found a great level of understanding about a singular way to encourage this communication between sound lyricism, cinematic soundscapes and subjective poetical inclination. I’m deeply satisfied by the musical signature we accomplished on our last opus. The third full length release we are preparing will follow the same musical path with maybe more densely orchestrated parts for a very colorful dark ambient / dark waving score sustained by profoundly evocative lyrical embellishment.

8.Over the years you have worked with many different labels, do you feel these labels have been very helpful when it comes to getting your music out there heard?

I’m very grateful to each of them, whatever their size and policy to promote signed artists in their respective structures. Rage in Eden has been particularly helpful to enlarge the audience because of the more standard type of edition but also because they distribute published materials to various renowned labels / distributors (Malignant Records, Steinklang, Cold Spring…) in the particular dark ambient / industrial / neo-folk underground and independent world.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of ambient?

Curiously or not, listeners come from an extreme diversity of musical communities, I mean not only from the ambient-deep listening world but also from the metal, gothic, ethereal pop and electronic music universe. Geographically and culturally speaking I would like to say that is also very diversified, from western Europe, to Asia and South / north America. The most important is to keep the music universal and to be convinced that is a way to facilitate fruitful exchanges also from the creative side. I’m deeply satisfied by my recent collaborative works with musicians but also visual artists from abroad, it definitely helps to feel immersed in an authentic “community of feelings and visions” that goes beyond the strict artistic dimension.

10.According to the fb page you have a new album in the works, can you tell us a little bit more about it?

As mentioned above the new album will develop a stylistic bridge between the more post-industrial dark ambient facet of my first efforts and the lyrical neoclassical folk-ish side of the last EP with the add of a few challenging ideas I can not reveal now. The writing process is now finalized. I’m improving the technical side. Logically the album will be out this autumn on Twilight Records for a similar edition to my past releases for Rage in Eden.  

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?

When I’m connecting myself to the creative process I’m trying to make abstraction of musical influences despite those can be advocated unconsciously. I’m following my own musical path without thinking of being affiliated to any musical genres. However my musical background and listening interest are mainly turned to the neotonal minimalist schoo in its wide diversity, from East Europe (Arvo Part…) from the American side (Moondog, Terry Riley, Rhys Chatam…), also classical symphonic music (from Bruckner, Gliere…). From contemporaries I really appreciate the picturesque, evocatively dense and doom-like atmospheric musical universe of Bohren und der club of gore among others.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

Various intellectual topics in anthroposophy, in philosophical anthropology, sophiology  because of the holistic view on human being, also because it is taking into consideration the noumenal / ontological side of our existence outside of the mutilations generated by the corrosive positivism thought which rules this world. My interest also goes to the “cinema of poetry” (from Andrei Tarkovski, Frantisek Vlacil, …) linked to literature, also folklore, mythological and historic-religious studies.

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

Many thanks for your interest in our project and especially for bringing to metal fans new musical horizons which could admit implicit connections / influences on a few bands.