Saturday, September 15, 2018

Prophetic Scourge/Calvary/Klonosphere Records/Season Of Mist/2018 CD Review


  Prophetic  Scourge  are  a  band  from  France  that  plays a   very  progressive  and  brutal  form  of  death  metal  with  some  elements  of  black  and  thrash  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Calvary"  which  will  be  released  on  September  28th  as  a  joint  effort  between  Klonosphere  Records  and  Season  of  Mist.

  A  very  dark  and  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  brief  use  of  ritualistic  sounding  whispers  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in a  decent  amount  of  melody  as  well  as  the  vocals  also  utilizing  a  great  amount  of  death  metal  growls and  a  great  portion  of  the  tracks are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  brutal  sounding  blast  beats  along  with  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  as  well  as  some  black  metal  screams  also  being  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  technical  style  along  with  the  songs  also bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  the  riffs  also  mixing  in  thrash  elements  at  times  and  as  the  album  progresses  the  music  starts  getting  more  progressive.

  Prophetic  Scourge  plays  a  style  of  death  metal  that  is  very  brutal,  progressive  and  technical  sounding  while  the  black  and  thrash  metal  elements  makes  the  music  stand  out  a  lot  more,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  phantasmagorical,  occult  and  ancestral  themes  along  with  some  inspiration  from  the  writings  of  H.P  Lovecraft,  Frank  Herbert  and  Steven  Erikson. 

  In  my  opinion  Prophetic  Scourge  are  a  very  great  sounding  progressive  and  brutal  death  metal  group  with  some  elements  of  black  and  thrash  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Th Witchfinder-  Until  Your  Flesh  Departs"  "The  Medium  -  A  Spider  Goddess  Is  Revealed"  and  "The  Cultist  -  The  Rise  Of  The  Great  Lord  Cthulu".  8  out  of  10.

Creatures/II/Old Haunt Records/2018 EP Review


  Creatures  are  a  band  from  Toronto,  Ontario  Canada  that  plays  deathcore  with  some  touches  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  ep  "II"  which  was  released  by  Old  Haunt  Records. 

  Spoken  word  samples  start  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  along  with  some  symphonic  elements  while  the  vocals  are mostly  death  metal  growls  along  with  some  black  metal  screams  as  well  as  some  elements  of  deathcore  in  the  mid  tempo  sections  of  the  songs.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  technical  style  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  as  well  as  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to them,

  Creatures  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  deathcore  while  the  symphonic  and  black  metal  elements  makes  the  music  stand  out  a  lot  more,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  violent  and  humorous  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Creatures  are  a  very  great  sounding  deathcore  group  with  some  symphonic  and  black  metal  elements  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Old  Style  F.A"  and  "(Safe  Space)  Triggered".  8  out  of  10.    

Monday, September 10, 2018

Aesthetics Of A Loss Interview

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

The thought of it started somewhere about four years ago after a at the time very tragic and unexpected life event. While being in the depths of that event I started to feel that this just had to be put into musical terms. I kept thinking "what would the soundtrack of something like this sound like?". Apparently the sound of such events are melodic death metal I found out.



2.In March you had released an ep, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?

If I pick up a guitar and just strum randomly a melancholic melody of some kind always emerges. So I figured since this is my strength why not play on that strength? I've also during the last years worked a lot with my growling vocals - switching from a more high-pitched tone to a lower one and I wanted to get this on tape too. This in conjunction with always have been a fan of death metal lead to the natural conclusion of recording melodic death metal. The aim was to write songs that had lots of ambient parts, melancholic soaring melodies and hopefully well made compositions. Songs I personally liked - so if no one else found them interesting at least one individual enjoyed them.


3.I have also read that you worked on this ep for 3 years, can you tell us a little bit more about it?

This stems from a mix of an otherwise hectic life and perfectionism. It was written and recorded in bursts. I early settled on not putting out anything I did not like or thought was mediocre. Better to let things take time than to compromise. At first I wrote 5 songs which took about a year (with a huge number of outtakes or dead-ends). Then I had to research and get good at recording myself which took another year. Then realizing that 3 out of the 5 songs were sub-par and had to be completly redone which took about another year. Recording all instruments and everything that goes into it is in itself a very time-consuming process.



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

They are all connected to the feeling of loss that started this project in the first place. I didn't realize it at the time but I guess it's kind of a concept EP since things revolve around the same event and topic.


5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Aesthetics  of  A  Loss'?

The inspiration is partly me liking the word loss and the letter Æ which is so visually pleasing. The name also had to carry some meaning as to why I write music in the first place - it's largely driven by the feeling of loss and sorrow. So the songs are the literal æsthetic output or representation of a loss - hence the fitting name.

6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the ep cover/

It ties in with the lyrical theme and origins of the project.


7.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with a full band or do you prefer to remain solo?

I've been in several bands before and have written most of the music in those bands so this was actually a change to go solo. I like playing with others but for this project it probably wouldn't be possible or have come out the same way if it was done with others. The possibility to tinker, re-arrange and re-record when something didn't feel right would probably have driven others insane and the output would have to be more of a compromise. It's the quantity vs quality thing. Being all solo means things can take as long time as they have. So you trade some of the raw energy and creative input from playing with others for the possibility to wait until things come out right. I prefer to remain solo on this project but am open to doing other projects with others. It depends on the focus of the project at hand.


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

Not received any interest and haven't been on a label so far so I don't know what it means to be. A goal has been to make the music accessible to many - which labels can help, but also to make it as free (or cheap) as possible. I'm not doing this for any kind of money so I don't know what a label would think of that. If there's enough interest a kickstarter campaign of some kind would be an option.


9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of melodic death metal?

Tiny but mostly positive. My mom said she liked it.


10.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?

Well, good news is that the melodies keep pounding away in my thick skull so there's more material to write. The bad news is I tend to keep myself busy enough to find it hard to get time to record stuff (the same bursts that made it take 3 years to get the EP done). But I dunno, if there's enough interest it might be bumped higher on the prio-list.

As a musician I love to throw wrenches in the gears to mix songs up. Clean vocals were added to the last two songs two keep the writing interesting and not get into a rut. I recon this trend will continue with more experimental parts will be mixed in with the backdrop of the melancholic melodic death metal. Rest assured however that it will probably never be so experimental that saxophones will be added.


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 borrow ideas a lot from others and you can probably trace some influences on whatever I was listening to at the time when writing that particular song. I borrow a lot from Daylight Dies. I've also borrowed heavily from Rivers of Nihil, Misery Signals and Solace (Canada).

Nowadays I've just got a vinyl player set up at home so I'm rocking early 90-ies death metal on vinyl. On top of that the new Amorphis, Dimmu Borgir and Watain has gotten a lot of airplay.



12.What are some of your non musical interests?

I'm a part-time father of two children. I'm also into programming computers and doing improvisational theater.


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

To this day it still amazes me how genuine and authentic metal heads usually are. There is little to no money to be made and yet metal heads are some of the most loyal and engaged fans there is. This must stem from a pure love for the music and art in itself. It's just a very cool thing to witness and be part of. Makes you feel at home, y'know? So thanks for making this blog and thanks for reading this.

Also: you can find all of the songs on the EP for free at these streaming sites:Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/album/0xFF3nfOZrpymR0qQOrakm

Bandcamp:
https://aestheticsofaloss.bandcamp.com

Soundcloud:
https://soundcloud.com/aestheticsofaloss/sets/legoisme

You can keep up with any news (at a galcial tempo at this time) or get in contact here:
https://www.facebook.com/aestheticsofaloss/

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Hanzel Und Gretyl/Satanik Germanik/Metropolis Records/2018 CD Review



  Hanzel  Und  Gretyl  are  a  band  from  New York  that  plays  industrial  metal  with  some  elements  of  groove,  black  and  melodic  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Satanik  Germanik"  which  was  released  by  Metropolis  Records.

  Melodic  yet  ritualistic  chanting  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  atmospheric  soundscapes  while  programmed  beats  are  added  into  the  music  a  few  seconds  later  which  also  brings  in  elements  of  industrial  onto  the  recording  as  well  as  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them,

  On  the  second  track  the  music  starts  getting  heavier  while  also  added  in  a  decent  amount  of  melodic  riffing  along  with  the  vocals  being  done  in  an  aggressive  industrial  style  as  well  as  the  solos  and  leads  also  utilizing  a  great  amount  of  melody,  spoken  word  parts  are  also  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  the  music  also  mixes  in  elements  of  groove,  black  and  death  metal  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard.

  Hanzel  Und  Gretyl  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  industrial  metal  while  the  groove,  black  and  melodic  death  metal  elements  makes  the  music  stand  out  a  lot  more,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Left  hand  Path  and  Occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Hanzel  Und  Gretyl  are  a  very  great  sounding  industrial  metal  group  with  elements  of  groove,  black  and  melodic  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "We  Rise  As  Demons"  "I  Am  Bad  Luck"  "Hellfire  Und  Grimstone"  and  "13  Moons".  8/5  out  of  10.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Callidice/Anthem For Resistence/Inverse Records/2018 CD Review


  Callidice  are  a  band  from  Finland  that  plays  a  mixture  of  industrial  and  melodic  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Anthem  Foe  Resistance"  which  was  released  by  Inverse  Records.

  Clean  playing  and  atmospheric  sounds  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  and  melodic  direction  along  with  some  symphonic  and  industrial  elements  being  added  in  with  the  heavy  parts  of  the  music  as  well  as  the  vocals  being  mostly  death  metal  growls  and all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Screams  can  also  be  heard  at  times  while t he  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  along  with  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and fast  parts  as  well  as  a  brief  use  of  whispers  and  spoken word  parts  as  well  as  some  progressive  elements  also  being  utilized  at  times  and  some  tracks  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  vocals and  acoustic  guitars  and  the  closing  track  is  very  logn  and  epic  in  length.

  Callidice  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  industrial,  symphonic  and  melodic  death  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  a  concept  about  two  brothers,  their  bond,  friendship  and  fear  of  losing  everything  in  the  world.

  In  my  opinion  Callidice  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  industrial  and  melodic  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Colors  of  My  Life"  "Ypung  Blood"  and A"nthem  For  Resistance". 8  out  of  10.

Illusion Of Control Interview

Answers by Csiszár Gellért - guitar, founding member
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
A: We are a metal band from Cluj (Romania), formed in late 2007. The decision to start a band (during one of our usual drunk weekends) was made by myself, Szabi – guitar and Huni – vocals. After some initial member changes, the band reached it’s current line-up with the arrival of Pista – bass and Csaba – drums . We were most active between 2008-2011, followed by a hiatus that lasted until late 2017. In January 2018 we officially reunited and now we continue from where we left.

2.In March you had released an ep, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on this recording?
The ‘Grim New World’ EP is a collection of the songs recorded (but never officially released) in the 2008-2011 period. Came the reunion, we wanted a proper closure for that era, hence the EP. The musical style on these songs contains multiple genres, the biggest influence perhaps being Opeth but the there are also traces of Nevermore, Dream Theater, Death, Evergrey and many other bands from which we knowingly (or unknowingly) drew inspiration from. If we were to define our music, we’d say ‘progressive-death-doom’.

3.The band has been around since 2007 and waited until 2018 to release any music, can you tell us a little bit more about the earlier years?
The band has three distinct periods so far: the early years (2007-2011), the hiatus (2012-2017) and the reunion (2018-). In the beginning we all lived in the same city, we hung out together almost every weekend, regardless if there was band related activity or not. We were more like a group of friends who also made music together. We didn’t have any clear direction or set goals. We didn’t really care if people like our music or not, as long as we were happy with the result. Things were good, even if not great, and we slowly progressed as a band. But various circumstances led to me moving away to another town and the 250km distance proved to be too much to go on and eventually in 2012 we ceased activating as a band. We remained good friends however through the hiatus years and I for one, never really could let go of the band.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores on the recording?
The way we do things is that first we write all the instrumental parts and then our singer Huni writes the lyrics. Sometimes we talk about what we were thinking about when we came up with a riff or a theme and often he’ll base the lyrics on that. The most common topic is misery, suffering, sadness, anger and such. We write about stuff that affect us, so the lyrics too are very personal even if it isn’t too obvious. It is our way of releasing the negativity in our lives.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Illusion Of Control'?
After a few months of rehearsal we eventually came to a point where we needed a name. There were a few ideas kicked around, some better others not so much. While trying to come up with a good name, I went to Wikipedia and started hitting the ‘random page’ button, and the 5th or 6th result was ‘illusion of control’. I liked the sound of it immediately, and it’s meaning too. It is about a certain human trait and how people need to feel in control of things even when they are not. I made a little research and didn’t find any other bands using the name, so I put it up to debate with the others and it went through.

6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the recording?
Needless to say, we paint a not so bright picture of the future and the artwork bears the same theme: a decaying, grim world, brought on by the greed of those in charge. We know we are not the first, nor the only people with this message, but we feel like this all the same. The picture itself is from around 2011, with a little artistic work by our bassist Pista. I have to admit though that it isn’t a very professional artwork, mainly because we aren’t professional graphic designers. Hopefully our next one will be better.

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?
One of our best shows was our very first one, perhaps because it was so unexpected for us. After we recorded our first song, we submitted it in a local talent contest hoping to get some fair reviews. To our biggest surprise we ended up on the 4th place from almost 50 bands, which meant a live gig in the semifinals. We didn’t win in the semis but the gig was awesome all the same, the place was packed, the crowd was cheering, it was awesome. There were some objectively better shows after that, but the first one is the one that stands out in my memory. Regarding our stage performance, we don’t really jump around the place, however we do some headbanging when the music calls for it, but all in all our playing style is pretty relaxed. Except for our bassist, he’s a freaking party animal.

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
No, we don’t have any touring plans. Due to the distance between us, family obligations, jobs, other activities, we decided to take some time off from live shows. Also as we don’t have a manager, I took it upon myself to organize the past few gigs, but it proved to be a lot of work for very little payoff and it led to some tension between us. We agreed in the beginning that friendship comes first, the band second.

9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of melodic and progressive death metal?
I don’t think we have much fans worldwide, but the few reviews that we got were mostly good. Maybe because we are such an unknown band, I appreciate every positive feedback immensely. Perhaps we’d got some more reactions if we wouldn’t suck so bad at self-promotion. I personally have a very strong dislike for this new trend of ‘like-begging’ and shameless online advertising. I am aware that this is the new way to go, but I can’t bring myself to do the same.

10.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We already started writing new songs and now that we don’t have to prepare for live gigs anytime soon, hopefully we’ll be a little more productive than usual. In contrast with the past, now we have a very clear goal and that is to release a new material (EP, or even better an LP) in 2019. I don’t know yet what direction we’ll take musically but I’m pretty sure it will be of the heavy kind. Maybe we’ll shoot a video too, who knows.

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?
Wow, too many to count. There are some bands that we’re all fans of, but some bands are liked only by a few members. The two single biggest influences are: Opeth (the most major influence on our song structures, clean/harsh vocals) and Nevermore (they inspired the seven string Schecter guitars, the half-step downtuning). Beside them we are fans of death metal, power, doom, thrash, progressive, and we also like some stuff beside metal. The thing I like about metal is that there are so many different genres, and what I listen in any given moment depends mostly on my current mood.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Motorcycles, engineering, sci-fi movies. Most of the band members are medium-to-huge nerds, myself included. We can discuss movies for hours, on and on. And we are pretty big philosophers when the circumstances are right.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you for the interest in our band and let’s hope you’ll hear from us in the near future.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

House Of Atreus/From The Madness Of Ixion/Iron Bonehead Productions/2018 CD Review


  House  Of  Atreus  are  a  band  from  Minnesota  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  very  melodic  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "From  The  Madness  Of  Ixion"  which  will  be  released  in  October  by  Iron  Bonehead  Productions.

  A  very  hard  and  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  while  the  screams  also  add  in  a  touch  of  black  metal  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  death  metal  growls  and  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  melody.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  the  riffs  also  utilizing  a  lot  of  melody,  tremolo  picking  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  fast  riffing  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  as  the  album  progresses  they  also  bring  in an  instrumental.

  House  Of  Atreus  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  the  melodic  death  metal  style  that  was  established  on  their  previous  album,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Greek  Tragedy,  War  and  Shakespeare  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  House  Of  Atreus  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  melodic  death  metal,  you  should  check  out t his  album.  RECOMMENDED TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Zealous  Inequity"  "Call  To Thee,  Concubines"  and  "Bonded  beyond  Supremacy".  8  out  of  10.