Saturday, September 19, 2015

Hell's Guardian/Ex Adversis Resurgo/Record Union/2015 EP Review

  Hell's  Guardian  are  a  band  from  Italy  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  very  epic  and  melodic  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015  ep  "Ex Adversis Resurgo"  which  was  released by  Record  Union.

  Fire  burning  sounds  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some  acoustic  guitars  and  atmospheric  elements  which  also  sets  up  the  mood  for  melodic  guitar  leads  to  kick  in  and  after  the  intro  the  music  goes  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  and  also  introduces  death  metal  growls  onto  the  recording and  the  music  also  gets  symphonic  at  times.  

  High  pitched  screams  can  be  heard  in  some  parts  of  the  songs  and  the  music  also  gets  symphonic  at times  and  you  can hear  elements of  folk  in  the  bands  musical  style  and  as  the  ep  progresses  clean  singing  can  be  heard  at  times  and  the  acoustic  guitars  also  make  a  return  on  a  few  songs  and  they also  bring  in  a few  live  tracks  and  they  close  the  recording  with a  piano  track  that  also  bring  in  female  vocals.

  Hell's  Guardian   creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  the  epic  and  melodic  style  of  death  metal  that  was  established  on  the  previous  recording,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  from  Hell's  Guardian  and  if  you are  a  fan  of  melodic  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RE$COMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Fire  Of  Persecution"  and  "Cradle's  Lake".  8  out  of  10. 


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Human Desolation Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?

Well, the whole musical aspect of the album was finished last spring, and since then we've been working hard on getting all the other concepts in place. These are things like artwork, website/various channel updates, promotion, and pretty much going through our options on how we want to proceed in getting the album out there. All this while frantically rehearsing and developing our new elements. That said, we have started to gather a lot of new material for the future already and also formulating and harmonizing our music together with our live show

We did put together a pretty cool (physical) promo package that we sent out to countless labels across the globe, but the competition is fierce these days and it becomes terrifyingly evident that descent musical talent and song writing skills are often much less important than “having a way in”, so to speak. We won´t ever accept a bad deal limiting our freedom in the music making so we decided to try and release it on our own. I won't bore you with the details at this time, anyhow we instead decided to sign a distribution agreement with Nordavind Records and Plastic Head Distribution, as well as a solid PR campaign with Against PR.

2.You have a new album coming out in August and also released an EP in March, how would you describe the musical sound of the newer material and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

Well, to start off we recorded a total of fifteen songs from which twelve made it onto the final album. It's not that the other three were unsatisfactory, but we just felt that they didn't quite fit on the same record. The original plan was to release them as B-sides, but instead we came to the conclusion to put them together with re-recordings of two older songs and released the whole thing as an EP titled “Realm of Silence”. This really made it possible to bridge the gap between Project Wasteland and the upcoming album “Mind Grind Paradigm” – which, if you're observant, is noticeable in the cover artwork.

Musically though, the new stuff is a a lot more mature; it's more varied and daring but at the same time more gathered and better put together, as a whole. We've always stayed true to our core idea that we should be free to do whatever we want to do, rather than trying to sound a certain way. This is something I feel we pretty much nailed this time. There are a million bands out there, but only a handful of them have their own kind of character. While certainly being somewhat biased, I think that with this album we may have stepped into the realm of the latter. The lyrical concepts blends well into the atmosphere of the music and builds up the feeling as the listener gets more acquainted to the depth of our music. Hopefully?

One problem with today’s digital way of music exploration is the fact that a track actually needs to be listened together with the whole album to fully understand the music and get the attention it deserves. One could claim that whilst music is easier to find, unfortunately this also leads to making the listening more casual for many…

3.There was no new material being released for 5 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during that time frame?

Well, there's a lot more to an entirely self-funded, self-made, self-released record than meets the eye. That part we learned the hard way. We started writing some of the material shortly after 'Project Wasteland', but in that first year or so we did spend as much time as possible promoting, playing gigs as well as the occasional festival, etc. After that we've pretty much lived and breathed 'Mind Grind Paradigm' through its different stages, for almost four years.

Don't get me wrong, it's mostly been a fun and extremely rewarding experience, from which we've learned countless things we wouldn't have a clue about if we'd have gone with one of the record deals we were offered after the release of the above mentioned EP.

So all that hard work, plus we all have our daytime jobs, and some of us have families to tend to... it takes time, you know. We've also ran blindfolded into quite a few hard surfaced (time consuming) obstacles along the way, which was bound to happen sooner or later, but more on that another time.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
The lyrics are formulated and evolve around extreme behavior patterns and events set in different timeframes in a pre-described post-apocalyptic realm. The lyrics can be interpreted differently depending on the persons reading and exploring the music. Our goal is that the listener will “see” the music through their own aspects of their life experiences as visualize the “what if´s” beyond the borders of accepted individual thoughts patterns.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Human Desolation'?

Well, frankly the band name was not easily conceived, thinking back on the process still makes us laugh. Actually “Human Desolation” was more like ripped out through a caesarean. Even though you can agree on the concept and topic of a band’s music a single name can evidently be very difficult for everyone to accept. We went through a number of alternatives until we landed on Human Desolation. I guess it in the end resonated well with all of us, even though its meaning probably is quite individual - which is a good thing. For me personally it's about Mother Nature deserving a kind of peace that can only come from a world where humanity has been desolated, which is also reflected in my own interpretation of the lyrics. Hence our somewhat post-apocalyptic theme.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Our goal is to always enjoy our gigs more after another; this is unfortunately not bulletproof! Whilst the audience is having a large impact on the whole performance but the energy and mindset of the band is outmost the largest contributing factor. One proof for this being true is one gig at Metaltown Festival where we played first the second day of the festival. Most people had not arrived to the festival yet possibly suffering from the withdrawals from the day before, BUT we were extremely dedicated to this gig and. Anyhow we really managed to get the crowd with us and received massive feedback even from HuDes virgins long after that show!

Our Performance is described as intense and weaving in the depth of our music together with slower acoustical parts as well as from pre-recorded background noise. When playing on larger stages the stage we want it to be prepared with special lighting and special artifacts and signs, this is not always possible though. We have a determined stage look formulating over our fictional characters and binding ourselves to the spectators. We want to portrait our alter egos and natural extremes on stage
7.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
We have a couple of tour offers, nothing is decided yet though since these plans has to work with our personal elements of planning. We have a couple of gigs planned in Sweden, more updates on that TBA on our social media channels!

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

As mentioned earlier, we did get quite a few offers after the release of “Project Wasteland” back in 2010, all of which we turned down as we decided to do everything our own way without anyone interfering in our process.

But sure, the same goes for now as back then, if someone would hand us a good deal we'd certainly consider it! However, our main goal is not to get signed – it's to get our music out there, and hopefully make some of the money back that we spent making it (which was a lot, haha). Mainly so we can afford to do a bit of touring, and when time is due, make another record.

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

I'd say very positive, it's actually flattering as hell! We're just a bunch of peculiar dudes doing what we love and believe in, and the fact that other people seem to love it too is downright overwhelming. Our fan base may still be relatively small, but as with everything else I'd take quality over quantity every time. Although, the album is not released yet so we're all really excited to see what people have to say once it's out.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We believe that we still maturing and developing our mindset around our endless noisemaking, which also goes for our musical skills and the meaning of music. We can see that we are turning more progressive over the last years and deep, we are not on purpose going in a more commercial or more “easy to” listen style of music. The music we create is a much created for ourselves as for our audience, we believe that if music is real for the artist it will also become more attractive for the crowds which also eventually broadens the masses for the HuDes experience.

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?

You know, I actually think that this – if anything – is what makes us stand out a bit. We all have different sub-genres that we tent to lean towards, and it all blends in somehow, in a way that feels right. Not that this would be particularly unique in any way, but it does take some guts to just throw something really out-of-place into a song and make it work. Like the rather strange riff in the second half of “I Am Evil” for example, I have no idea what we were thinking there but it turned out pretty cool.

To try to further answer your question though; obviously we all listen to death metal, but personally I gladly listen to anything and everything as long as it's musical, and preferably also a bit challenging. I enjoy listening to everything from Fair to Midland to Dissection to Coheed and Cambria to The Faceless to Clutch to... well, you get the idea.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
We are very diverse on personal levels in this bands, we can be described as an almost dysfunctional family that loves the differences we have between us. In some aspects this enriches us but sure it can also be annoying at times when no one wants to compromise. This also leads to that the members have quite diverse interests such as biking, climbing, drinking, videogames, SM, mind exploration and running to name a few and without telling which interest belongs to whom.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Since the reader of this interview manages to follow us this far I am quite sure they will check out our new album. We believe and certainly hope that our hard work over this very long process will be genuinely appreciated and remembered, for sure not by great masses, but from those who appreciate our own style of music making!

It is interesting also that social media seems to bind the artists and audiences really close nowadays. We indeed look forward to more interesting discussions and feedback in the near future!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Mutilated/Dissecting Your Future/Seeing Red Records/2015 CD Review

  Mutilated  are  a  band  from Ohio that  plays  a  mixture  of  brutal,  slam  death  metal  and  goregrind and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2015 album  "Dissecting  your  Future"  which  will  be  released  on  September  25th  by  Seeing  Red  Records.

  Distorted  sound  effects  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  brutal  death  metal  direction  along  with  some  growling  vocals  and  blast  beats  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced and  fast  parts  along  with  the  faster  sections  being  very  heavily  influenced  by  grindcore  and  there  are  also  a  lot  of  90's  influences  in  the  bands  musical  style.

  A  lot  of  the  mid  paced  riffs  bring  in  elements  of  new  York  slam  death  metal  and  most  of  the  tracks  are  very  short  in  length  except  for  the  last  track  and   you  can  hear  guttural  screams  being  utilized  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  dark  and  melodic  guitar  leads  can  be  heard  and  some  of  the  riffs  also  use  melodies and  elements  of  groove  at  times  and  the  last track  also  gets  very  experimental  and  avant  garde  towards  the  end.

  Mutilated  plays a  musical  style  that  goes  back  to  the  90's  style  of  New  York  death  metal  while  also  adding  in  a  good  dose  of  slam  and  goregrind  to  create a  very  heavy  and  brutal  sounding recording,  the production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  gore  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Mutilated  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  brutal,  slam  death  metal  and  goregrind  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Skinned  While  Alive"  "Forced  to  Stay  Dead"  "Dissecting  Your  Future"  and  "Turned  Into  Ash".  


Iniquitous Savagery Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?

We've just been rehearsing, keeping the songs tight, playing shows and planning stuff out for the future once we get the album out.

2.In October(September) you have a new album coming out, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

We're not the fastest, most technical or slamming band we just try and write Brutal Death Metal that is catchy and fun to play. The difference from our older stuff to the new album is that we're a more solid band now than we were back then and we've put more thought into the song writing than on our older material.

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

All the songs's lyrics explore different ways the human mind can be corrupted, manipulated and moulded for evil intentions. Josh wrote all the lyrics with a bit of input from Euan and I just gave a couple of ideas for words that sound cool to use so I can't really go into too much detail about them.

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

Josh was messing around with song titles trying to come up with the most ridiculous, long names he could and I took those words from a song title he came up with and it stuck. That's pretty much it.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

My favourite shows we've played are probably Houten Deathfest in the Netherlands and all of the shows we played on our USA tour in 2013! We try to play as tight as we can live but at the same time have a lot of energy, playing live is definitely the thing we enjoy most from being in the band.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?

We want to tour, play shows and festivals as much as we can after the album is released. We're doing a mini UK tour at the end of October with Omnipotent Hysteria and Black Skies Burn and we have another tour in the works right now that will hopefully all come together soon.

7.The new album is coming out on Grindethic Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

Grindethic is a legendary Brutal Death Metal label based in the UK. We got in touch with Tom about mixing our tracks when we first recorded and he offered to release it for us, we were on the label before we even had any music out or played live, it was amazing for us because Grindethic got us into this kind of music in the first place! Tom also made the artwork for our debut release and mixed our promo track we put out in 2013. The artwork and the concept behind it for Subversions of the Psyche was all his idea and he recorded vocals for one of the tracks as well.

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

The feedback for the first preview track we put up from the new album has been Awesome! People who already followed the band are digging it, there's new people checking us out and we've had people from bands that are huge influences to us give us positive feedback as well which is insane for us!

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

We're always trying to write better songs and add in new ideas to make each track stand out and have something to it the others don't. We'll stick with the style we already play and just keep trying to progress it.

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?

There's so many that inspire us and everyone in the band has their own preferences so it's really hard to write a short list of bands because there's too many to think of, We're massively influenced by all the classic Brutal Death Metal bands(Guttural Secrete, Defeated Sanity, Cenotaph, Disgorge, Condemned and loads more) and We like to have some old school death metal influences come through in our songs as well. There's also some influences from outside of death metal and outside of metal in Euan's drumming. Right now I'm really hyped on the new albums from Iniquitous Deeds and Dysentery!

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

Loads of stuff from skateboarding to juggling, Josh has recently started drawing a lot so hopefully he keeps that up and can eventually design stuff for us to use.

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

Thanks for the interview and thanks to anyone who reads it, Check out our album when you get the chance! Cheers!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Never Again/Death Metal Tsunami/2015 EP Review

  Never  Again  are  a  band  from  Italy  that  plays  a  very  melodic  form  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2015  ep  "Death  Metal  Tsunami".

  A  very  fast  and  old  school  Swedish  influenced  sound  starts  off  the  ep  along  with  some  high  pitched  screams  and  a  great  amount  of  melody  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  growls  at  times  as  well  as  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  style  and  the  solos  and  leads  also  remain  true  to  a  melodic  style  of  death  metal.

  While  the  music  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  Swedish  style  you can  also  still  hear  modern  elements  at  times  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  recording  along  with  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  whole  ep  also  remains  heavy  from  beginning  to  ending  from  the  recording.

  Never  Again  plays  a  style  of  melodic  death  metal  on  this  recording  that  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  old  school  Swedish  tradition  while  also  being  very  modern  at  the  same  time,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Never  Again  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep. RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Immobility  And  Trauma".  8  out  of  10.