Saturday, February 10, 2018

Black Royal/Lightbringer/Suicide Records/2018 Full Length Review


  Finland's  Black  Royal  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues  their  mixture  of  stoner,  sludge  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Lightbringer"  which  will  be  released  in  March  by  Suicide  Records.

  Distorted  amp  sounds  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  sludge  metal  direction  where  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  along  with  the  vocals  being  death  metal  growls  with  some  groove  metal  touches  while t he  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  stoner  style  melodies.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are utilized  they  are  done  in  more  of  a  stoner  metal  style  while  some  tracks  also  bring  in  influences  of  70's  rock  but  taking it  into  more  of  a  modern  direction  along  with  some  of  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  As  the  album  progresses  elements  of  blues  rock  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  along  with  some  of  the  later  tracks  also  bringing  in  a  small  amount  of  acoustic  guitars  and  synths  as  well  as  a  brief  use  of  female  vocals. 

  Black  Royal  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  their  mixture  of  stoner,  sludge  and  death  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Occultism  and  Left  Hand  Path  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  album  from  Black  Royal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  stoner,  sludge  and  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Self  Worship"  "Pentagram  Doctrine"  "The  Chosen"  adn  "New  World  Order".  8/5  out  of  10.

Autokrator/Hammer Of Heretics/Krucyator productions/2018 CD Review


  France's  Autokrator  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues  their  mixture  of  industrial,  drone,  death,  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review of  their  2018  album  "Hammer Of  Heretics"  which  will  be  released  in  April  by  Krucyator  Productions.

   Melodic  yet  heavy  riffing  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  chaotic  guitar  leads  while  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  are  heavily  influenced  by  doom  metal as  well  as  all of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  Vocals  are  mostly  deep  yet  guttural  death  metal  growls  while  the  drum  beats  are  mostly  programmed  and  give  the  music  a  touch  of  industrial  along  with  some  of  the  solos  and  leads  also  bringing  in  a  decent  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  and  most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  some  songs  bringing  in  atmospheric  drones,  movie  samples  and  tortured  voices  and  you  can  also  hear  the  heaviness  of  sludge  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing.

  On  this  recording  Autokrator  bring s in  more  of  a  raw  and  brutal  style  of  death  metal  while  elements  of  sludge,  drone,  doom  metal  and  industrial  are  still  brought  into  the  music,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  oppression  and  history  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Autokrator  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  death,  sludge,  doom  metal,  sludge  and  industrial,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Against  Flesh  And  Blood"  and  "Hammer  Of  The  Heretics".  8  out  of  10.


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Affasia Interview

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

Jason: We are a dark, atmospheric metal act out of Richmond, Virginia.
Noah: Don't know if you'll like Affasia until you try Affasia.

2.You have an EP coming out in February, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

Jason: Our music pulls from our various influences over the years, which includes many musical genres such as death/doom, prog, post-punk, darkwave, classical, etc.

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

Noah: This seems to be my area of expertise. I'm not sure why. I would say there is some personal experiences that inspire my lyrics for Affasia but it is more about creating imagery. Topics vary from loss, longing, remorse (obviously) regret, elation, substance abuse (legal or non), mortality, loyalty, relationships, nature and the human spirit and heart.

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

Noah: When I found Jason and then cosongwriter David Waltenbaugh they had a good bit of material worked up that is on this EP so it had a very specific sound/feel. We wanted a name that fit the vibe of the music. To be honest, if you can think of it, any single word in English is already a band name. And most two word combos are bands as well. There are millions of them. We didn't want to fight a royalty battle and really just wanted something original that worked. I found the old Welsh spelling of the term Aphasia. Aphasia is loss of ability to understand or express speech, caused by brain damage. And the old Welsh spelling Affasia just had the right ring to it. Like a musical note.

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

Jason: Being able to share the stage with our good friends in Grethor and LORD were definitely the most fun for us so far.

Noah: I have to agree with Jason that those were the most enjoyable shows we've had so far. It was pretty awesome to share the stage with Intronaut at Strange Matter in Richmond a couple of years back. Not the best show for us but it was still memorable.

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

Nick: Nothing in particular is set up or in the works at this time. I’m sure we will find time to play a show or two before long, but our focus right now is on writing new material.

Jason: We are currently working on solidifying a full live lineup at the moment for future shows.

7.The ep is coming out on 'Transcending Records', are you happy with the support that they have given you so far?

Nick: Yes, very much so. We’ve only been with the label a very short time but already feel very loyal to them. We feel like we’re part of one big family that is working together to meet a goal. A goal of selling records, ha. But they’ve been very friendly and helpful and we look forward to continuing to work with them.

Jason: Mike and the team at Transcending have been amazing to work with and we are very grateful for the opportunity to be apart of such a great group.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of atmospheric, dark, doom and death metal?

Jason: We are awaiting more input after the official release, but have been thrilled with the response thus far.

Nick: There was some guy on a Russian download site that said something to the effect of “there are some bright moments, but overall a complete failure”. But everyone else I’ve heard from seems to love what we’re doing. In particular, the response from other musicians that have listened has been very encouraging

Noah: Just to piggyback on what Nick said, he didn't provide any reason to why it was a failure, so who knows. I found it quite hilarious and typical of online Trolls. It won't appeal to everyone. We hope to carve out our own little niche. Where that lies remains to be seen.

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

Jason: We are currently working on new music for a future release, and are very much looking forward to writing with new member additions soon as well, as we continue to evolve as a band.

Nick: We have talked a lot about playing around with song structures and mixing things up a bit. Also I think we will be incorporating more post-punk and darkwave elements into our sound. The metal will still very much be present but I think our non-metal influences will start to show themselves a lot more.

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?

Jason: I have always been influenced a great deal by bands such as Katatonia, Swallow the Sun, Anathema, Type O Negative and Saturnus over the years. I also tend to pull from more post-punk, darkwave, goth rock elements at times, having grown up listening to that as well. The Cure has always been an inspiration for me personally too. Some albums currently in my playlist are:
The Agnes Circle - Some Vague Desire
Advent Sorrow - As All Light Leaves Her
Grethor - Damnatio Memoriae
Winter Severity Index - Human Taxonomy
Hanging Garden - I Am Become

Nick: The Cure is a huge influence in my writing, particularly Simon Gallup. The man does things with a bass that are just... so simple but so damn effective. Other big influences would be Martin Mendez from Opeth and Freddy from this little band from DC called Juniper Lane that I got really big into when I was younger. I’m currently listening to a lot of bands like Junius, Port Noir, Caligula’s Horse, Vulture Industries, Leprous, Chelsea Wolfe, 2:54, Earth Electric, and Obiymy Doschu.

Noah: I have older and more recent influences and everything in between. Ealy: The Cure, Depeche Mode, Bauhaus, The Smiths, Type O Negative, Danzig, Faith No More, Tool, Morbid Angel, Testament, even some classic/prog rock. I had a bit of a 90s industrial phase that I still enjoy from time to time. Mid to current: Katatonia, Alcest, Anathema, Les Desrets, Swallow The Sun, Leprous, Kauan, Earthside, In The Silence, Vaskula, Voyager, Ikuinen Kaamos, In Vain, Ulver, Daylight Dies, The Foreshadowing, October Tide, Soen, Wilderun, Klone, I could go on and on. Ha!

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Jason: More recently I've really gotten into a lot of Netflix shows, especially the German series DARK. I highly recommend it, it's something that sticks with you well after watching. Also, shows like The OA, Black Mirror, and being a huge Marvel nerd, obviously all those shows as well, and the MCU films. Outside of that, I've always been a big Doctor Who and Game of Thrones fan, and of course the Lord of the Rings movies were big for me.

Nick: Star Wars. I watch the movies, the TV shows, read the books, everything. I just can’t get enough. Aside from that I’m mostly into video games. I can’t speak highly enough about my Nintendo Switch. Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey are getting a lot of playtime from me. And I am playing Skyrim again for like the 5th time. But now I can play it on the toilet, how cool is that?

Noah: I have zero non musical interests. Na. Instead of talking about me why don't I tell you the other guy's real interests. Jason is a total softie for animals but especially canines. Nick loves gaming and great film, almost as much as he loves the culinary arts.
Me, I'm a dog lover, they're a part of my family and family is everything for me. Especially my amazing wife. I very much enjoy the outdoors, hiking, fishing, canoeing. I game some, read a lot. I love film, I believe it can be the ultimate culmination of the visual/audio and physical arts. I get into the culinary arts a bit myself. But most of all, if I have a choice music is always a part of my ongoing life experience. It's always playing around me and in my head. Can't breathe without it. Ha!

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

Jason: I really hope people enjoy and identify with this EP, as much as we did when creating it.
Noah: I'll be happy with half as much as I enjoy the result. Ha. Cheers. 
https://www.facebook.com/affasiaband/
http://www.transcendingrecords.com/

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

LeechfeastNeon Crosses/Dry Cough Records/Rope Or Guillotine/2018 CD Review


  Leechfeast  are  a  band  from  Slovenia  that  plays  a  mixture  of  doom  and  sludge  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Neon  Crosses"   which  will  be  released  in  March  as   a  joint  effort  between  Dry  Cough  Records  and  Rope  Or  Guillotine.

  Powerful  sounding  bass  guitars  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  spoken  word  parts  and  movie  samples  a  few  seconds  later  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  a  few  seconds  later  along  with  some  high  pitched  sludge  style  screams  a  few  seconds  later  as  well  as  the  riffs  bringing  in  a  small  amount  of  melody.
 
  All  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  melodic  chants  and  singing  can  also  be  heard  briefly  along  with  all  of  the  songs  stick  to  a  very  slow  direction  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  as  well  as  the  music  always  remains  very  dark  and  heavy.

  Leechfast  plays  a  musical  style  that  mixes  sludge  and  doom  metal  together  with  a  great  amount  of  melody  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Leechfeast  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  sludge  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Sacrosanct"  and  "Razor  Nest".  8  out  of  10.    

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Affasia/Adrift In Remorse/Transcending Records/2018 EP Review


  Affasia  are  a  band  from  Richmond,  Virginia  that  plays  a  very  dark  and  atmospheric  form of  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  ep  "Adrift  In  Remorse"  which  will  be  released  on  February  23rd  by  Transcending  Records.

  A  very  dark,  melodic  yet  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  keyboards  are  also  added  onto  some  parts  of  the  songs  as  well  as  the  vocals  bringing  in  a  mixture  of  clean  goth  vocals  and  death  metal  growls.

  Elements  of  post  rock  and  shoegaze  can  also  be  heard  at  times  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  along  with  all  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length and  the  slower  riffs  are  very  heavily rooted  in  doom  metal  as  well  as  some  of  the  songs  mixing  in  elements  of  darkwave  and  classical  music,  when  screams  are  utilized  they  add  in  a  touch  of  black  metal  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  all  of  the  music  sticks  to  a  slow  direction.

  Affasia  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in dark  and  atmospheric  doom/death  metal  while  elements  of  darkwave,  shoegaze  and  classical  music  gives  the  songs  more  originality,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  depressive  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Affasia  are  a  very  great  sounding  dark  atmospheric  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Another Host"  and  "As  You  Never  Where".  8  out  of  10.    

Friday, February 2, 2018

Iron Reagan/Gatecreeper/Relapse Records/2018 Split CD Review


  This  is  a  review  of  a  split  album  between  Virginia's  Iron  Reagan  and  Arizona's  Gatecreeper  which  will  be  released  in  March  by  Relapse  Records  and  we  will  start  off  the  review  with  Iron  Reagan  a  band  that  plays  a  crossover  mixture  of  thrash  and  hardcore  punk.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  a  very  heavy  hardcore  punk  influenced  sound  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  heaviness  of  thrash metal  as  well  as  the  vocals  being  done  mostly  in  shouting  fashion  and  back  up  gang  shouts  are  also  used  at  times.

  Most  of  their  music  is  heavily  rooted  in  the  80's  while  the  guitar  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  along  with  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  brutal  sounding  blast  beats  and  there  side  of  the  split  always  remains  heavy,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  social  ills,  politics  and  violence  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Iron  Reagan  are  a  very  great  sounding  crossover  mixture  of  thrash  and  hardcore  punk  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Warning"  and  "Burn  For  This".

  Next  up  is  Gatecreeper  a  band  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  mixture  of  crust,  doom  and  death  metal.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts out  with  dark  yet  melodic  and  heavy  doom  metal  riffing  while  the  guitar  leads  also  use  a  great  amount of  melody  along  with  the  music  also  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  early  90's  as  well  as  adding  in  a  great  amount  of  Swedish  influences  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Vocals  are  mostly  death  metal  growls  while  the  music  also  mixes  in  a decent  amount  of  d  beat  and  crust  elements  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  sticking  to  a  very  old  school  yet  melodic  style,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  substance  abuse,  apathy  and  death  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Gatecreeper  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  crust,  doom  and  old  school  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  their  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "War  Had  Begun".

  In  conclusion  I  feel  this  is  a  very  great  sounding  split  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  crossover,  thrash,  old  school  death  and  doom  metal,  you  should check  out  this  album.  8  out  of  10. 

  

On Thorns I Lay/Aegean Sorrow/Alone Records/2018 CD Review


  On  Thorns  I  Lay  are  a  band  from  Greece  that  has  been  featured  before  in this  zine  and  on  this  recording  returns  back  to  an  atmospheric  doom/death  metal  direction  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Aegeon Sorrow"  which  will  be  released  in  March  by  Alone  Records.

  Spoken  word  parts and  guitar  amp  sounds  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  and  melodic  direction  which  also  introduces  death  metal  growls  onto  the  recording  along  with  the  slower  riffing  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  doom  metal  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion.

  When  keyboards  are  utilized  they  give  the  music  more  of  an  atmospheric  feeling  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  along  with  some  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  some  songs  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  stringed  instruments  and  acoustic  guitar  guitars,  as  the  album  progresses  spoken  word  parts  also  return  briefly  and  a  couple  of  tracks  also  brings  in  a  small  amount  of  whispers  and  clean  vocals and  all  of  the  songs  stick  to  a  slow  direction.

  On  this  recording  On  Thorns  i  Lay  return  to  the  atmospheric style  of  doom/death  metal  from  their  earlier  releases,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  sorrow,  pain,  feelings  and  human  emotion  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  On  Thorns  I  Lay  and  if  you  are  a  fan of  atmospheric  doom/death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Aegeon  Sorrow"  "In  Emerald  Eyes"  and  "The  Final  Truth".  8  out  of  10.