Sunday, January 21, 2018

Transilvania/The Night Of Nights/Into Dungeons Records/2018 Full Length Review


  Transilvania  are  a  band  from  Austria  that  plays  a  raw  and  old  school  mixture  of  black  and  thrash  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "The Night  of  Nights"  which  will  be  released  on  January  31st  by  Into  Dungeons  Records.

  A  horror  movie  orientated  synth  intro  starts  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  musical  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  along  with  the  music  also  mixing  in  influences  from   the  first  wave  era  of  the  genre.

  A  great  amount  of  thrash  elements  can  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  while  the  riffs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  also  remain  true  to  a  very  melodic  yet  old  school  style.

 Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  classical  guitars  are also  used  briefly  along  with  the  music  also  mixing  in  both  80's  and  90's  influences  in  with  a  more  modern  touch  and  as  the  album  progresses  another synth  instrumental  can  be  heard  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  long  and  epic  in  length,  demonic  growls  can  also  be  heard  at  times.

  Transilvania  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  first  and  second  wave  black  metal  and  mixes  it  with  thrash  to  create  a  sound  of   their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  old  school  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Transilvania  are  a  very  great  sounding  raw  and  old  school  mixture  of  black  and  thrash  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Night  Of  Nights"  "One  Night  In  Salem"  "Moonlight  Sorcery" and  "Ghost  Along  The  Candle".  8/5  out  of  10.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Marozia/Immortal As Hatred/2017 EP Review


  This  is  a  review  of  another  recording  from  Marozia  which  is  also  in  the  raw  and  old  school  style  of  black  metal  and  the  ep  was  self  released  in  2017  and  called  "Immortal  As  Hatred".

  A  very  fast  and  raw  sound  starts  off  the  ep  along  with  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  music  is  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  some of  the  riffing  also  brings  in  a  small  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  along  with  all  of  the  songs  sounding  like  they  could  of  easily  been  recorded  and  released  more  than  20  years  ago  and  when  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  raw  yet  melodic  fashion  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly.

  On  this  recording  Marozia  brings  in  a  style of  black  metal  that  is  raw  in  the  90's  second  wave  tradition,  the  production sounds  very  raw  and  old  school  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  a  mixture  of  Portuguese  and  English  and  cover  dark  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Marozia  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  raw  and  old  school  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Daughters  Of  Heresy".  8  out  of  10.  

Ulvegr/Vargkult/Ashen Dominion/2018 CD Review


  Ulvegr  are  a  band  from  Ukraine  that  has  had  an  album  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  pagan  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Vargkult"  which  will  be  released  on  January  30th  by  Ashen  Dominion.

  A  very  fast,  raw  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  the  music  is  heavily  rooted  in  the  Eastern  European  style.

  At  times  the  vocals  get  very  deep  while  the  music  only  slows  down  for  a  few  seconds  as  well  as  focusing  on  being  very  fast,  raw  and  aggressive  throughout  the  recording  along  with  only  a  small  amount  of  guitar  leads  being  utilizes  and  the  music  also  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  90's  second  wave  influences.

  Ulvegr  plays  a  style  of  pagan  black  metal  on  this  recording  that  is  very  fast,  raw  and  aggressive  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  Pagan  Mysticism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Ulvegr  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  fast,  raw  and  aggressive  pagan  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Rune  Ice  Frozen  Hatred"  "Death  Is  Our  Law"  and  "We  Remember  The  Blood".  8  out  of  10.

Scumpulse/Rotten/Gore House Productions/2018 CD Review

 Scumpulse  are  a  band  from  Scotland  that  plays  a  raw  and  melodic  mixture  of  black  metal,  crust  and  grindcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Rotten"  which  will  be  released  in  February  by  Gore  House  Productions.

  Black  metal  screams,  heavy  riffs  and  melodic  guitar  leads  start  off  the  album  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  along  with  some  death  metal  growls  also  being  utilized  at  times  as  well  as  the  music  also  mixing  in  a  great  amount  of  crust  elements.

  During  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  a  great  amount  of  grindcore  influences  can  be  heard  while  the  tremolo  picking  also  gives  the  songs  a  more  raw  feeling  along  with  some  of  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  the  music  also  mixes  in  elements  of  punk,  back  up  shouts  and  shouting  style  vocals  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  a  couple  of  tracks  also  brings  in  a  small  amount  of  spoken  word  samples  and  synths.

  Scumpulse  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  a  very  raw  and  melodic  form  of  black  metal  and  mixes  it  with  crust  punk  and  grindcore  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  alcoholism,  addiction  and  depression  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Scumpulse  are  a  very  great  sounding  raw  and  melodic  mixture  of  black  metal,  crust  punk  and  grindcore  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Rotten"  "King  Of  Dogshit"  and  "Sand  And  Dust".  8  out  of  10.  

Claret Ash/The Great Adjudication: Fragment One/Casus Belli Musica/2018 EP Review


  Claret  Ash  are  a  band  from  Australia  that  plays  a  very  progressive  and  atmospheric  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  "The  Great  Adjudication:  Fragment  One"  which  will  be  released  in  March  by  Casus  Belli  Musica.

  A  very  fast,  raw  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  while  the  songs  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  along  with  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  the  vocals  also  having  their  clean  moments.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  music  also  getting  very  atmospheric  and  progressive  at  times  as  well  as  most  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  a  brief  use  of  acoustic  guitars  as  the  recording progresses  and  one  track  also  brings  in  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts,  growls  are  also  utilized  at  times.

  Claret  Ash  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  progressive  and  atmospheric  while  also  having  its  raw  moments,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness,  violence  and  nature  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Claret  Ash  are  a  very  great  sounding  progressive  and  atmospheric  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Essence  Of  Fire"  and  "The  Gyre".  8  out  of  10. 

  

Phendrana Interview

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

Phendrana was born in 2016 from the ashes of a past project I had. At the end of that year, I started working on the debut album: “Sanctum: Sic Transit Gloria Mundi”, which was released on January 8, 2018.



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

I think the sound on it is very rich. I implemented many musical influences from different genres, so that every song can have its own essence. I also think it is very complete and balanced, since it has some progressive elements, like instrumental passages and odd time signatures, but they also have their simple, minimalistic counterparts.



3.The lyrics on the new album have a concept to them, can you tell us a little bit more about the themes of the new album?

The album tells the story of a sanctum, an ethereal place where all lost souls are destined to find their eternal shelter. The lyrics for “Sanctum” are a visual description of this place, Ethereum and Gjenganger are two different stories about the lives of some sanctum inhabitants, and Where Ages Meet is an ode to the night.



4,Originally the musical project was known as 'Pakistuf', what was the cause of the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Phendrana'?

The name changed along with the project’s direction, genre, and approach. The name Phendrana belongs to a snowy and icy region on the videogame “Metroid Prime”, and I chose it because the atmosphere created in this region is similar to the one I intend to create with my music: Cold, Inner peace, and beautiful solitude.



5.On the album you recorded mostly everything by yourself, are you open to using a full band in the studio?

Taking care of the writing and recording duties allows me to craft my ideas better, and I’ve been very comfortable working this way. There are, however, times when I want to express something I just can’t play or sing, hence the guest vocals from Vera and AraCoelium, which gave the music a whole new meaning.



6.Under your previous name you had also done some live shows, how would you describe the stage performance of the shows you played and also where some of the most memorable gigs that you had played?

We had a really good time playing those shows and sharing stages with great bands. We also had a positive response from the audience. Maybe the most memorable gig was the first one, when we had the chance to share stage with Alcest back in 2015. None of us had played on a big concert before that day, and we didn’t know what to expect. It turned out really good, there was a lot of chemistry onstage, and the audience liked it. We also enjoyed a lot sharing stage with Nader Sadek.



7.Are there any plans for any live shows under the new name?

Of course!



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

It is an underground Mexican label. They have worked with some good Mexican bands and I am glad that I have worked with them too. The album turned out very well thanks to them.



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

I’ve had a very positive feedback from the people who have heard it, even though I still have to spread the word about my project.



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

Music is my passion, and my goal has always been leaving a mark on the metal scene.



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?

I find a lot of influence in baroque music, progressive rock, and many kinds of metal. If I had to list some bands/artists , I’d say Opeth, Alcest, Yes, Vivaldi, and Agalloch.



12.What are some of your non musical interests?

Black coffee, politics and videogames.



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

Thanks to everyone that has taken the time to listen and support the project!

Isgarde/Eowlandsvintr/Fila Sophiae/2018 Compilation Album Review


  Isgarde  are  a  solo  project  from  Sweden  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  on  these  recordings  plays  more  of  a  folk  inspired  form  of  pagan  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2018  compilation  album  "Eowlandsvintr"  which  will  be  released  in  March  by  Fila  Sophiae  and consists  of  his  2017  ep's  "Olandsvinter"  and  "Olandscinter  II".

  Ambient  style  soundscapes  start  off  the  compilation  along  with  some  atmospheric  sounding  synths  before  going  into  a  heavier  pagan  metal  direction  which  also  introduces  melodic  guitar  leads  onto  the  recording  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  When  tremolo  picking  is  utilized  it  gives  the  songs  a  more  raw  feeling  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  along  with  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  when  acoustic  guitars  are  utilized  they  bring  in  elements  of  folk  music.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  compilation  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  along  with  the  atmospheric  and  heavy  parts  also  being  mixed  together  at  times  and  some  songs  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  pagan  chants  and  as  the  compilation  progresses  a  brief  instrumental  can  be  heard  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction.

  On  both  of  these  ep's  Isgarde  plays  a  style  of  pagan  black  metal  that  is  very  melodic,  raw,  atmospheric  and  epic sounding  while  also  mixing  in  elements  of  folk  music  at  times,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Swedish  and  cover  paganism  and  nature  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  a  very  great  sounding  collection  from  Isgarde  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  raw,  epic,  melodic  and  atmospheric  pagan  black  metal  with  a  touch  of  folk,  you  should  check  out  this  compilation.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Skedemosse"  "Harski"  and  "Doluft".  8  out  of  10.