VIBRATIONS OF DOOM MAGAZINE
EDITOR: STEVEN CANNON
Yes, back once again we're bringing you issue #12! We are glad everyone's been
with us through all the hardware failures, USENET problems, and glowing
reviews, and ya know, we forgot to give you our mailing address! So here it is,
send me your demo tapes, letters, concert reviews, video reviews, and whatever
else ya want to:
VIBRATIONS OF DOOM MAGAZINE
c/o Steven Cannon
1133 East 53rd Street
Savannah, Georgia 31404 USA
Or drop us a line through internet email at either of these addresses:
By the time ya read this, there should be some new digitized music files from
some of the bands we've been reviewing. The most recent issue of this 'zine and
the digitized music files (.wav files you can play with any .wav player. Most
popular ones are MCS Stereo, and sound blaster cards as well!) are available on
our web site, which can be reached at:
EXTRA SPECIAL FLIPPIN' THANKS GO OUT TO: Scott of the Spo-Its for booking so
many cool shows in Savannah and at the Flamingo, Vault .9 for their hard work
and musical creativity (and for being one of the first Savannah industrial
bands to get signed to a label!) Chase at Re-Constriction, Jeff at Relapse,
Marco at Century Media, Rhonda at Saenz of the Times, American Recordings,
Griffin Records, Noise/Machinery/Dynamica Records, Flying/Godhead Recordings,
and the many bands that took time out to do interviews with us! And last but
not least, the allmighty Megan Irvine, without whom none 'o' this would be
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- BURZUM "Filosofem"
- C17H19NO3 "Terra Damnata"
- DIE KRUPPS "Odyssey of the Mind"
- FA-Q "Each Hit"
- FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY "Hard Wired"
- G//Z/R/ "Plastic Planet"
- HYPOCRISY "Abducted"
- MEMENTO MORI "La Danse Macabre"
- OVERKILL "The Killing Kind"
- PAUL CHAIN "Alkaheist"
- PENITENT "Melancholia"
- POUNCE INTERNATIONAL "The Populace Oracle"
- SKREW "Shadow of Doubt"
- TROUBLE "Plastic Green Head"
- VARIOUS ARTISTS "Four Ways to Misery"
- VARIOUS ARTISTS "Hellscape 2"
- X MARKS THE PEDWALK "Meshwork"
- FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY
- PAUL CHAIN
- PITCH SHIFTER
- NOTEWORTHY ITEMS
- CONTACT ADS
- EDITORIAL NOTATIONS
From one of the masters of black metal comes a new, very surprising release!
Riding the current wave of ambient black metal, most of the songs here have
heavy synthesizer backgrounds. However, "Rundgang um die transzendentale Saule
der Singularitat" (whew!) is all synthesized utilizing synth bell notes swirled
over a beautiful but eerie landscape, interspersed with ominous bass notes.
This track, along with many others, are quite long, and this track in
particular, in addition to having no vocals at all, is 25 minutes long! Most of
his other tracks have ultra distorted guitars and surprisingly, a sort of
sorrowful, doomy style to them. Instrumentation wise, very different, though
some tracks are a little long and on such tunes like "Dunkelheit," and "Jesus'
Tod," there isn't much variety on the instrumentation, even when there are
distorted guitars present. Track 6 also utilizes piano notations, all very well
done, though he could have padded his songs out more. A very different black
metal project, production is a little low on some tracks, but overall it has a
nice feel to it! Ambient black metal. What will they think of next!
Anyone familiar with John Bergin and his various works, most notably Trust
Obey, will know what to expect here! This time around, it's very dark, cold,
and quite torturous! Especially the track "Scarifice," my personal favorite,
one of only 4 songs with vocals in them done up quite harshly in a scary,
distorted style backed by eerie and haunting symphonic notes. "Breeding" shows
John's unique ability to work with many different moods within the cold,
sinister framework, especially using slow violin notes to weave a mood of the
beauty of birth into a harsh landscape. "Androgyne" features a female vocalist
telling a story to an extent. The lyrics are very cool, and all written by John
except for "Razor Raped Pain" which is an old STG track. "The Imperator" was
rather plain, however, and "The Lords of Bone and Machinery" was a bit long.
Great dark pieces which present a horror filled atmosphere so well, I was
impressed by this work, which presented it's emotions in such a clear cut
fashion. This is a disc which those into dark symphonic music interlaid with
mechanical beats and sinister overtones will appreciate most immensely!
Truly one of the best industrial units to hit the road this year, their follow
up release to 'Rings of Steel' is quite truly a phenomenal album! This latest
effort features heavier guitar riffs and more skull crushing melody! Mixing
thrashy guitars with aggressive and mosh-laden keyboard "riffs," this is an
album you can mosh to as well as dance to! Feature tracks like "Isolation" and
"The Final Option" feature a sort of hardcore/rap style vocals, my theory is
that Biohazard was a definite influence on them! The songs don't totally
incorporate that style, but if you remember how heavy "Bloodsuckers" from
the 'Rings' album was, these are MUCH heavier! "Eggshell" is also a great
track, and live these guys are awesome so go catch them on tour whenever you
get a chance!
A sort of moshing, thrash style band, I guess, these guys are kinda hard to pin
down. Their first track "Leave Me Alone" REALLY caught me up, this thing has
choppy riffs, cool drums, great vocals, what more could you ask for in a song?
A near perfect mosh masterpiece! And those lead guitar riffs smoke with the
intensity of Satriani or some of those other melodic metal groups! So what's
wrong, may you ask? Well, the rest of the disc just didn't grab me for some
reason. Sure, tracks like "Rip-Off" and "Inside Man" do blaze on a bit, and
they manage to inject a little bit of speed in places, a la Anthrax or newer
style Exodus, but it just didn't click. "With Me," however, I did enjoy as a
powerful slow tune, it had a good injection of melody to boot, and the lyrics
spoke to me, man! They called out my name! It's obivous that they're having a
good time, and it's hard to ignore such good musicianship on the part of our
axemasters, but maybe someone else might appreciate it a bit more.
WOW! What an amazing disc! It's been stated in their bio that Front Line
Assembly has been around for 10 years, and this album showcases PERFECTLY just
how well Rhys and Bill work together! Every single song is a perfect
masterpiece of harsh, industrial terror with vocals just slightly enhanced by
electronics! Many of these tracks would make great dance floor pieces,
especially "Re-birth" with its hard edged acid/trance notes mixed into the
industrial pounding of drums and machinery. "Barcode" is also a great club
track, lyric wise it has interesting notations as well. This time around people
cannot complain that this is a guitar driven album, only tracks like "Re-birth"
have any guitars in them and they are used to a minimum at that. "Paralyzed"
and "Mortal" take awhile to kick in, while "Modus Operandi" is slow and quite
torturous, especially on the vocal end of things. Lyric wise, instrumentation
wise, and all around, this is a great album, one of the best industrial efforts
I've heard in quite awhile! Shame that Roadrunner dropped these guys, as it
shows they are just as brutal as ever, if not more so than on past releases
like "Millenium" and "Tactical Neural Implant."
Geezer Butler teamed up with Tim Burton from Fear Factory? Yeah, and this disc
is full of fire! Starting out on the first track "Catatonic Eclipse" you can
hear remnants of the Black Sabbath sound coupled with the intense guitar riffs
and explosive vocals a la Fear Factory! Burton Bell's voice also displays a
unique singing style, evident on tracks like Give Up the Ghost" and "Plastic
Planet." His voice is ominous and eerie, and I'm wondering if that is actually
him singing a bit higher pitched on the last track "Cycle of Sixty," which is
inlaid with beautiful acoustic riffs. The title track "Plastic Planet" and
"Seance Fiction" were the only weak links on this disc, mostly in part due to
the "singing" parts of Tim somehow not matching up to the rest of the music.
Many of these songs have brutal riffs, but it's not all a speed fest, there
are slow and crunchy parts as well, especially on "Plastic Planet." A great
release, the combination of Butler/Burton works very well together! Hopefully a
tour is in the works soon!
Purveyors of fine death/black metal are going to be quite shocked at the
strange turn of events this band has taken. First off, and most noticeably, are
the references to aliens and alien abduction! Within the disc, however, the
vocals sound most like that of Jeff Walker and company in the Carcass camp!
Their ability to wrote songs hasn't taken a nosedive, however, the
instrumentation showcases their best works fast and slow! Their best tracks are
ones like "Killing Art" (which absolutely shreds!) "Abducted" (check out the
Slayer'esque riffs midway through the song) and "Point of no Return" though on
the latter I didn't like the way the lead breaks were written. Towards the end
of the disc, and this is where some may find fault with the band, things get
rather slow and doomy, and the last two songs are acoustic and keyboard ONLY
with Peter actually SINGING on "Drained." I found the disc a refreshing change
towards their usual style, the elements are all there and their "When the
Candle Fades" is slow and doomy in a Candlemass/My Dying Bride style. Some may
find fault with the last few songs on the disc, but to my ears they were very
interesting, this coming from a band that usually plays vicious, heavy music.
Not many complaints here, it was a nice change of pace that showcases mature
writing and direction.
Gone is Messiah Marcolin from the ranks as vocalist, however Kristian Andren
does quite a good job as the new throat man for this group. Instrumentation
wise, it's very classical oriented, utilizing keyboards that emulate string
sounds. The guitarist Nikkey Argento plays some amazingly intricate leads that
showcase a diverse classical influence. The whole record, with a few
exceptions, is amazingly well written. It's a sort of power metal with a
melodious feel, though some tracks do boast some heavy, borderline thrash
riffs, especially the intro leads on songs like "Lost Words" and a killer
instrumental "La Danse Macabre." My complaint was with the last song "The
Beggar's Walz," the vocals sound kinda hardcore-ish, though the instrumentation
was very heavy, a bit TOO heavy for the style they laid down throughout the
whole album. Trying to incorporate heaviness with a melodious atmosphere, they
succeed in creating a timeless masterpiece that shows these men to be masters
of their craft.
Yes, the home of many a great band that was dropped by one major label or
another, CMC International picks up the new Overkill record. Overkill, in my
honest opinion, is a band I lump into the same category with Testament; a band
that had a great killer debut album but never really could do another great
album since. And that's exactly how I feel about this new Overkill record. Sure
I enjoyed songs like "Horrorscope" and "Feel The Fire," but the only songs off
this record I really could get into were "Burn You Down/To Ashes" which has
some outstanding lead breaks and riffs (though the singing style of 'Blitz'
gets annoying as hell at times,) "Cold Hard Feet" which has cool bass lines,
and "Feeding Frenzy," which is a killer instrumental. Their instrumentation
writing ability is fine, and some songs are probably good mosh tunes for those
who like Overkill, it's just that these songs didn't really sit well with me.
And what's with "Morning After?" I can't see Overkill doing a ballad. I dunno,
maybe it's just that it didn't really grow on me yet, even though I had to
listen to it several times. What REALLY annoyed me was some of their strange
techniques on songs like "Certifiable" and "Battle" with the wierd arrangement
of vocal useage like screaming "Whooah!" and "Yeah!" several times within the
song. I just really couldn't get into it much, damnit!
Paul Chain, a legend over in Italy (see the interview we did this issue - Ed)
is just becoming known over here in the U.S. Responsible for his descent onto
American shores is none other than Lee Dorrian, who does vocals on tracks like
"Static End," "Voyage to Hell," and "Lake Without Water." The songs that Lee
Dorrian sings on are VERY heavy, sounding a lot like Cathedral but his vocals
are in more of a raw form than what you may be used to! The REAL beauty of this
disc are the first four songs, featuring the most amazing and beautiful lead
AND rhythm guitar work I've not heard in quite some time! Paul Chain's voice is
astounding in how much emotion, feeling, and beauty he crafts into every note.
Although his lyrics do not exist, according to the bio the language he uses is
purely phonetic, one can tell he uses regular words from time to time, and that
is my only complaint about this album, well, except for the track "Reality,"
which puts the instrumentation at too harsh a sound to match the beauty of
Paul's vocals. The keyboard and synth arrangements, when they are present, are
done rather well, and the riffs (those on the crunchier end) are well written
and catchy, not to mention HEAVY! It's amazing how well most of these songs
were written, the perfect marriage of beauty, the doom style of metal, and the
overall heaviness! One of the albums to watch out for, hopefully Lee Dorrian
will bring him over here so we can catch the full experience live!
This is a rather unusual release for a label that caters to mostly dark ambient
and industrial music, with a touch of black metal nowadays. This is just
absolutely beautiful, NO guitars whatsoever, however you will hear classical
compositions made up of piano and string synth sounds. The lyrics are mostly
in Norweigan, they are poems written by Beastus Rex and they praise the Norse
forests and various attitudes of their subconscious. Wonderful arrangements on
tracks like "I Det Uennelige" and "The Dance of Demons" showcase good
songwriting skills, though on tracks like "Dance of Demons" and "Stille" the
slightly electronically distorted vocals are a bit TOO menacing to go with such
a beautiful playing style. "Det Sorte Tjern" ends the disc quite nicely, with
a rather long piano intro with spoken word interspersed throughout, before a
rather majestic ending. The lyrics, by the way, aren't sung, they are spoken.
Very relaxing on most tracks, quite different an attitude than what most black
metal bands are into, unless you've heard the new Burzum! A good disc for those
late night hours.
I see now why this couldn't be on any other 'industrial' record label... It's
WAAAY too experimental! And in fact, only a few songs are TRUE industrial. Take
the first track "Serve and Protect" for instance. HEAVY thrashy guitars inlaid
to a killer industrial/techno landscape. It would make a GREAT dance floor hit,
and is only one of a few songs with vocals. Many tracks here are more ambient
pieces, utilizing, of all things, PIANOS! Yep, on tracks like "Violet
Eyelashes," and "Analogica" there are such beautiful sonic landscapes that one
would forget you're listening to an industrial band! They even use female
vocals, like on "Velum Heart" they are soulful, groove oriented, while on a
track like "High Altitude Nosebleed" they are operetta style and quite
beautiful! My only complaint, besides the male vocalist sounding a little thin
on the only other 'industrial' track "Wirethief," is the fact that they didn't
do more heavier tunes. If you like Ministry or Nine Inch Nails, this isn't the
band for you, however, if you are ready for a relaxing experience, one that is
so utterly different, and one that gives you dark keyboard instrumentation that
melds with beautiful, atmospheric ambience beyond belief, you have come to the
right place! (And the Ministry/Nine Inch Nails fan will still enjoy "Serve and
Back once again with their third full length release, the bio was correct when
they stated that there are so many heavy riffs in this one! Instrumentation
wise, Adam and company have written some very crunchy, thrashy riffs! Many
songs like "Knotted Twig," (which could be a MTV or radio hit due to a slow and
powerful sound) "Sam I Am," (one of the best cuts on the album) and "Black
Eye." The only complaint is some of the weaker cuts on the disc, namely "Head,"
which sounds closer to their debut album 'Burning in Water...' than anything
else. That and "Generator" are just too slow, with whispered vocals, lacking
the serious crunch of their other numbers. There is much more emphasis on the
guitar work than the keyboarding effects of their 'industrial' side. They have
written some powerful tunes, several of them are slower in scope but retain
that thrashy feeling. Many will find this a heavier work than their previous
effort "Dusted," but not more so than their debut. Gone it seems are the days
of ultra distorted vocals that were so predominant in their first album!
Overall, they are still very powerful, but they lose that heaviness from time
to time. Still, there's enough to keep you interested.
FINALLY Trouble has a home! For you Trouble fans it was well worth the wait,
lemme tell you! May I say that after hearing the cool 'Trouble' album released
on American, this one blows most everything they've ever done away! Songs like
"The Eye," "Opium Eater," and "Plastic Green Head" have such crunchy, fat leads
and killer guitar work that the whole disc takes on a much heavier atmosphere!
Even their respect and admiration for the Beatles is evident in their nice
cover of an old Beatle classic "Tomorrow Never Knows." It's hard to pinpoint
the best tracks, though special mention MUST go to "Requiem," for it's haunting
and beautiful lead and instrumentation work. At times a few songs sound similar
in style and vocal wise to their self titled release on American Recordings,
but overall it's trippy, heavy as hell, and is definitely their best work yet!
The only complaint I had was with "Another Day," obviously the weakest cut on
here, with its over repetitive riffs and sound structure, but this disc is so
damn good, you'll forget all about that! Vocal wise Eric is still able to
maintain a good range, it's the classic Trouble you all know and love with a
harder, heavier edge!
From across the Atlantic comes 4 bands guaranteed to pulverize your brain into
little tiny fragments. First up we have Caesarean Section, born out of the
ashes of two former Inner Thought members. The vocals are Cannibal Corpse style
but the playing is the thing! Out of all the bands on this comp. these guys are
one of the most interesting to listen to! The dual vocals work quite well, in
fact, most of what you will find with these 4 bands is dual vocals, insane
grindcore riffs, and varied tempos and speeds. One of C. Section's tracks,
"Dietary Discomfort," features slow jazzy riffs interspersed with speed, speed,
speed! Nyctophobic sounds closer to Deicide in vocal approach, but they like to
write in slower riffs and instrumentation alongside the grindcore approach so
well known and loved. The coolest thing about this group is the constant vocal
samples from various TV and radio shows, especially cool is the song "My Soul's
Lament" with a sample about the Grindcore movement, and "Far Beyond Reality,"
taken from a Bob Larson Christian radio talk show about a guy who carves up his
arm after listening to a Venom record! Winter of Discontent sounds like, don't
be surprised, a more insane version of bands like Winter and Disembowelment,
however the interesting change here is that the vocalist is a FEMALE! Backing
her up on dual vox is a swirling, ultra low growler you have to hear to
believe! There are many touches of gothic overtones in their few songs, which
do at times tend to drag a little too long for the average fan of grindcore.
Groinchurn, that South African unit I reviewed a few issues back, hasn't
changed their style much, however their dual vocalist does screech a little
more and on some songs it gets a little annoying. Overall, the bands presented
here aren't doing much you haven't heard before, but Marcus did put together a
well balanced diet of brutality you should be able to sink your teeth into
quite easily, as at least the tempo and speeds of the song do not remain
constant throughout! Bon appetit!
One of the most innovative and bizarre industrial compilations I've ever heard
coms to us from a label better known for darkwave ambient projects. One word of
warning before I proceed: Do NOT, and I repeat, do NOT under any circumstances
attempt to use mind altering drugs while listening to the track "Caged
Distortion 3" by Yarn of the Moonfruit. Why? Well, remember the "Revolution #9"
track off the Beatles' White Album? Imagine that 20 times worse! Yes, this is
no song in the traditional sense, just random samples and harsh electro noises
thrown together guaranteed to warp any sane mind! To the rest of this disc, the
tracks presented here do industrial music in quite a different fashion from
what most of us are used to: some of it works and some don't! Martyr Colony has
some interesting sounds, and Syntax Error has nice harsh, slow pounding electro
drums and the overall atmosphere of their track "Zukunftstaume" is rather
horror effected. ECM has very unorthodox instrumentation utilizing uptempo drum
sounds mixed with metallic pipe-banging and warped laser shots! Abstinence has
showcased some of the harshest distorted electro-industrial sounds and styles
I've ever heard, on their track "Fractured" the first half of the 'song' is
comprised of brain shredding metal string grinding noises inlaid with speaking
samples. Before the rest of the song kicks in you hear a funky bass line
interlaid with turntable scratching and vocal samples. Some songs have no
lyrics at all, the worst of which is "Syntaktik Struktures" from Permutation
Test: it's overrepetitive and annoyingly fast. A rather odd compilation, many
will find that there is indeed a fresh breath of life being expelled on this
disc; the vocals, by the way, are all overtly distorted, some in the harshest
Though this should be on Cleopatra in the next few months or so, Zoth Ommog was
kind enough to send me an advance. Unfortunately, I can't say I was all that
impressed. For those of you familiar with their harsher style of industrial
on such albums and comps like 'Abbatoir,' 'The Killing Had Begun,' and 'Human
Desolation,' you will be surprised greatly. "Meshwork.m.1" starts the disc off,
a rather uninspiring ambient piece with dance style beats, moving onto
"Monomaniac" which has very bizarre lyrics which are hard to understand. The
singing voice presented here doesn't sound too well, and the high pitched
robotic effected voice is rather annoying. "Free and Alive" is very interesting
with a female vocalist; while she sounds very nice it is unusual to say the
least. The female vocals are also presented in "Emotion," and while a beautiful
song it is, one gets tired of hearing the same chant over and over for 7
minutes. Although on the plus side, it's a very unusual mix of atmospheric
ambient instrumentation mixed with those heavy industrial style dance beats,
but it's way too experimental for true XMTP fans. I did enjoy some of the more
atmospheric parts, but the one that hit me the strangest was "Never Look Back,"
one rather weak attempt to mix the harsh vocals from XMTP we all know and love
with more ambience.
FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY. Interview with Rhys at the Metropolis offices.
Going on ten years now, Front Line Assembly started out in 1986, and Rhys
gives us the rundown briefly it's history: "Bill, the singer started the band
after he quit Skinny Puppy. He started making tapes under the name Front Line
Assembly, which is when I met up with him and started jamming on a couple of
tracks. I didn't really join the band full time until about 1989, however in
1990 we made an album called Caustic Grip, then we released Tactical Neural
Implant, which brought us over in 1992 to do a U.S. tour, after this we
released Millenium and finally this year we have unleashed Hard Wired. There
aere a few other albums that Bill did with a guy named Michael, who later left
and joined Revolting Cocks." Into this long history, Rhys talks about the many
side projects that both band members have been involved in, including Intermix
and Noise Unit: "Noise Unit actually started out as Bill and this other guy
from Belgium who was in The Klinik, back in 89/90, when that scene started to
take off in Europe, they were one of the premier acts to tour, and we started
touring with them overseas. Mark was his name, and after awhile he couldn't
commit to Noise Unit anymore, so Bill and I started doing the last couple of
records on our own; the last Noise Unit release was actually Front Line tracks
that we didn't use on the album Millenium. We don't really concentrate on the
other projects anymore, just in the last year it's been strictly Front Line
Assembly. Delerium is rather different, more in the style of bands like Enigma
or Deep Forest. Commercially, it did really well for us, better than Front Line
in terms of sales, but we actually did another album and we're waiting on the
vocals to be completed. Right now we're just going to concentrate on F.L.A. and
getting them out more."
Fresh off their tour with Die Krupps, they have done quite a bit of touring
and have more plans in the works: "We're getting ready to do a European tour
and then we come back to the States, after which we go BACK to Europe and do
some festivals, one show overseas we're doing is a tour with Motorhead and
Type O Negative. Everything's so crossed over now, and in Europe we were
drawing people from the metal scene and they'd come check it out because they
were more open minded. I always thought of everything as aggressive music
whether it's techno, metal, or industrial!"
Onto the new album Hard Wired, which Rhys admits is one of the best albums
they've ever written. I was rather intrigued by the fact that the guitars
which rather dominated their previous album Millenium are kept to a minimum in
this new effort, and Rhys explains a little about the Front Line sound:
"Basically, it's just a sound, and to me Millenium was a total Front Line
record because of the structure of the sound and the way it was written. The
guitars were all sample loops, very mechanical, and a lot of industrial heads
think that's like a rock record, which it isn't at all! We wrote a bunch of
songs after Tactical Neural Implant, and we just didn't think they were
aggressive enough, they were kinda getting more Euro-trancey, synth poppish
style. I guess they sounded softer and more melodic and we weren't pleased
with this because F.L.A. has always been aggressive, in your face and hard
edged. Those are actually the songs on that Noise Unit record. Actually, the
songs without the guitars we kept on Millenium, and when we were signed to
Roadrunner I started listening to a lot of metal, I thought utilizing some
metal guitars would be a good idea to add a fresh perspective to our music,
it would make it exciting for us to make a new, different record without
repeating ourselves. We didn't think it was a compromise for us, and actually
on Hard Wired the guitars are played by our friend Davin, we integrated it
better. On Millenium, the guitars were all sampled and we had to clear them
with the bands first, it made it much easier. We pulled riffs from Pantera,
Sepultura, Metallica wouldn't give us clearance and made us wait for like four
months, songs like 'Millenium' have samples from Fear Factory and Pantera.
Fear Factory thought it was cool, and we have worked with them quite a bit, I
did all the keyboards on their last album. We've hung out with the guys quite
For those who are a bit confused with all the changes Front Line has made
from label to label, Rhys tries to simplify things for us: "The thing with
all the American labels is it's all licensing. We've never actually been
signed to an American label, especially with us being from Canada and all.
That's why over here the labels will change alot because we have different
licensing deals. We're actually signed to a small German label called
Off-Beat, and they've done a great job for us overseas, setting up tours and
everything." So how hard is it being managed by different labels? "Not hard
at all!" Rhys jokes, "Especially with telephones and fax machines! The main
thing with Roadrunner was that they had bigger bands to cater to, we didn't
get much priority, and we didn't even have a manager so we relied on the
label to do a lot of the management stuff and they weren't really down with
that. We both agreed that Roadrunner should let us go, and actually I say
small label, but we went to Off-Beat, which is huge for us, they totally do
everything for us, and they take care of a lot of stuff for us. We had such
a good time, and we did a live video and live CD in Germany that we will
release this summer. It was really great, it was at a club called the
Kraftwerk, where about 1,500 people showed up! I'm glad they filmed the show
as it was nuts! For us that's a really good crowd. We've been doing a lot of
shows like that in Germany, and the long absence (we hadn't been there before
since 1990) really made the show more special. This live project should be
going through Metropolis Records, and the video is also going to have our
videos on it and some interviews. The live footage will be cut with a lot of
other stuff so it won't seem boring to some people. A lot of people haven't
seen our videos, and we have released a single 'Plasticity' and also a remix
by a band called Haujobb, they did a really cool remix of this song."
Mentioning other infleunces, Rhys tells about some other bands he's been
listening to: "Death metal for me is sorta drying out, but overseas I have
been to see Paradise Lost, they're really cool and huge overseas! I also like
Type O Negative and Tiamat as well. I'm pretty open minded myself, I listen
to a lot of different things and I played with Nailbomb at the Dynamo Fest.
They called me up to play that one show and I went to Phoenix and rehearsed,
after that we flew to Holland and did the show, which was just awesome! Fear
Factory, Type O Negative, Biohazard, Paradise Lost, Dog Eat Dog and a few
others played, we played as well but we weren't really that industrial live.
We had the bass player from Neurosis on bass, and Igor from Sepultura played
on drums, and it rocked! Over 120,000 people got into what we were doing.
Tiamat and My Dying Bride played the night before our set at about 3 in the
morning. We did remixes for Die Krupps and they did some for us as well, and
that will be coming out in an E.P. sometime this year." With a variety of
projects, they are one of the forerunners of the industrial movement, so
be on the lookout for their new Delerium project, and watch out for their
other albums popping up on various labels.
PAUL CHAIN. Interview with Fabrice Francese at the U.S. office of Godhead
Paul Chain, a legendary cult figure in the Italian metal scene, has been
involved the music scene for many years. Fabrice tells a bit about his
involvement with Paul Chain over the years: "I've known Paul for about ten
years now, but we've never really worked together until this album, as I've
been in England living. At the moment I'm very pleased with the result of the
album, and am glad to be working with him. As far as my involvement in the
record, basically I wrote my own arrangements for bass parts on the album and
that's about it. Paul is basically a philosopher of different times, he should
have been born in a different time period because of his ideas. He struggles to
keep his identity and integrity together in this crazy world we live in. A
true artist, he's been doing musical projects for quite some time, since about
1977, and he is finally making a statement here in the States, which broke for
him in the last 5 years. It's great to finally see him make it after working
so long and hard." Many don't realize that he was also involved in many other
projects, like Death S.S. and Paul Chain's Violet Theater, which Fabrice
expands upon a bit: "He has had success all over the world without a lot of
distribution. 7 years ago, I was in London and tried to get his works around
so people could hear it. Death S.S. had nothing to do with religion or
politics; despite the name, it was just a shocking title for him to use at the
time for a heavy rock band that started in '75. They were doing something very
shocking and very different for the whole Italian music scene, and that's why
they ran into lots of problems getting the record out. Lots of people didn't
want to know about it, they utilized makeup, horror and lots of different
ideas and effects. Paul has talked about doing a reunion with the original
members of his first band, putting out singles and possibly touring." As of
now, most of the Death S.S. and solo stuff is only available on import, due
to the fact that Paul has never really been signed to any label, and most
of the record deals were verbal agreements anyway.
It is very evident that Lee Dorrian has been doing lots of work with Paul
Chain, and I asked about the possibility of a tour here in the States to expose
Paul Chain to a wider audience: "Well, the reaction has been great for the
album, unfortunately it IS a matter of money. We are getting good efforts from
the label, and though we're talking about scheduling and free time on maybe
Cathedral's part, everything is still open, right now nothing is confirmed. I
think for doom metal in particular it would be a unique opportunity for fans
who have never been exposed to this style of music."
Before we wrap things up this issue, it is interesting to hear from Fabrice
about his extensive musical background: "I have played with a variety of bands
in Italy, and had my own project working. I stopped work on these to join a
band called Trininga, which featured Ray Felix, the original drummer from
New Wave of British Heavy Metal band Budgie (who has had a slight influence on
Metallica, per their cover of "Crash Course in Brain Surgery." - Ed.) After
that I left Italy and moved to Wales, then I played with Nik Turner from
Hawkwind while he was doing his Space Ritual tour. I toured England with Nik
for awhile, I never made it over to the States for that leg of the tour
though. At some point Ray and I were talking to Paul Chain about doing a
project, but when it came down to a monetary aspect it just wasn't possible,
even though Paul and I are huge Budgie fans. I had even played some African
music with performers, after that I formed my own band which was called
Treason, we did one album, but the label we were on just went and spent our
money on someone else, and it never came out, but we had a good following
and did some shows. Hopefully we can release it someday, but it was hard for
us to get things going with that, because at the time we were trying to keep
a true Sabbath sound, mixing in that spirit of N.W.O.B.H.M., and everyone else
was into thrash metal." Thrash or not, I'm sure that Treason will be brought
back to life through Flying Records, and the rest of you should keep up with
what is coming out on Flying as well, as Lee Dorrian and company have more
surprises for you in the coming months!
PITCH SHIFTER. Interview with Mark Clayden.
After a rather long delay, due to the band's equipment getting stolen TWICE,
Pitch Shifter is back with a new album in "Infotainment." Which musically is
quite different from other albums, as Mark explains: "This is a natural
progression for us. It's really nice to play those three chord monoriffic songs
that are so mind crushing, but it's terribly limiting. After a while you reach
a point where you say 'I can't do any more with those three chords now' and
I don't really listen to much music that sounds like us, I'm into more techno,
tribal, jungle, ambient and old punk and hardcore, and that's what we decided
to incorporate into the new album. It's a big musical experiment, every Pitch
Shifter record is a bit different from the last one, and this is the one I like
the most out of all the ones we've done, which is a pretty high recommendation
from me, as I'm usually very severe. In general, the album cuts more of a
groove musically. We haven't shied away from the old sound, but we have put
everything in there! The songs are still about all the things that piss me off.
One of the things going on with me, is I haven't eaten meat in about ten years.
I gathered all the information I could about this and decided I could live
better as a vegetarian. Now it's rather amusing that here in England this mad
cow disease is running rampant, it is something that humans can catch from
cows, and the way it happened was that the farming industry was allowed to
regulate itself a few years ago, so it mixes a part of cow feed with sheep
carcasses. The cows don't eat sheep, so you have perverted the food chain. You
pervert the food chain by making a vegetarian an omnivore. Onto the musical
aspect of things, I see music as an opportunity to exchange ideas and see if
anyone has the same ideas or same questions as myself, to raise awareness.
There's a lot less statement on this album. I believe that people have had
their imagination stripped. Like, you can go to Disney World, or watch
Terminator II on television, which doesn't take much imagination. I don't want
to have to pay to experience Walt Disney's insights, and people should be able
to have imagination to organize mass rallies or to bypass the system so that
you don't have to pay all the money, or even make your own art very cheaply."
On the subject of the Internet, which both Pitch Shifter members and I agree
that it is the most powerful tool we have today, Mark feels very strongly about
the way it is being utilized: "I don't want the Internet to be some crappy,
trendy art-core 'elite' thing, like 'Hey, I'm having a lunch party, meet me at
the Internet cafe.' You have this massive power with computing at your
fingertips. I have friends who are hackers, they can do such insane things!
On the back of our CD is our email address, so anyone who knows of some hackers
that want to work for Pitch Shifter, let us know! I have a few hackers who are
working for us now, but I don't think they're good enough. Anonymity will
definitely be preserved, so there's no worries there!"
Tour wise, they have to come back to the States, they just have to! So, I
asked Mark about the touring schedule, which he sums up as "Starting May 9th,
we are doing a full tour of Europe for about 6 weeks and Above All has their
very first album out on Roadrunner. Then we come to the States and do a tour,
but it's gonna be a bit different this time around. Maybe Neurosis will go out
with us, because basically, I'm sick of doing these big 'rock star' style
tours, where the big rock band charges loads of money for their T-shirts, and
you have to charge a lot for your stuff, and the door charge is too much, it's
embarrasing to me, I want to play 300-500 size sweaty halls where no-one can
escape and we come on, we play, and then we leave. We will be able to interact
with people, I don't want any stadium crap." Though the show they did with
Carcass was a good show, (for Pitch Shifter, I could care less about Carcass)
I wondered if they would be bringing back the video screens they used on
stage: "I don't know if we're gonna do that this tour, simply because we like
to experiment all the time, we've been experimenting with throwing stuff into
the crowd and singing from the crowd level. We just try to do mad stuff, and I
want to break down those barriers between crowd and performer, I want to say
there is no teacher/pupil thing, there's no artist/audience concept, there's
no stage there's just a space. This album hopefully will be a stepping stone
for people with experimental tastes to check out some jungle, techno and
hip-hop. People who are open minded are really interesting to me; We've played
with a lot of good bands who are open minded and diverse, like Girls Against
Boys, Neurosis, Fugazi, and one of the best examples, we played with a band
called Sick Of It All, and though they're not the same style of music as us,
we did a couple of shows with them and they stood at the side of the stage and
watched us play and they were like, 'Good show, man!' I like anything that's
experimental, I really like the Beatles' White Album track 'Revolution Number
9' and also Revolver. I like extreme ambient music, some of the Cold Meat stuff
is good, but some stuff is like 90 percent cheese and 10 percent quality. I am
really getting into a band called Art Core, they do ambient jungle music, it's
like the only ambient jungle I've ever heard." I was a little concerned with
just how they would utilize their new tribal sounds on stage with their
touring itinerary, and the process, according to Mark, goes something like
this: "With Dean, the percussionist, we have the sample drums and then he plays
his tribal stuff over the top. So he's a stand up drummer, and he overlays the
core sounds of the tribal drums with his drumming patterns. It usually ends up
being different each time we play out, and we all change various aspects of
our instrumentation; I change the intonation of my vocals, the guitar player
changes certain riffs, etc. You know, every time we play an old song live, we
remix it. So, even though we're playing songs off of 'Deconstruction' and older
albums, we remix it at home since we use samplers. We're probably one of very
few bands that actually play our own remixes." The new album also has a few
extra tracks, which are 'stolen,' from various artists, including a few dead
ones! What really surprised me was how the whole copyrighting process takes on
a different form overseas, and as Mark was quick to point out, there were
things about copyright laws overseas that even I was not aware of: "In Japan
and Italy, there are really no serious copyright laws (as pertains to the
useage of samples - Ed.) but in the rest of Europe, technically, you can only
be sued for sampling something that contains melody. That's why you hear a lot
of people that sample John Bonham, you know, that whole drum bit from the song
'When The Levee Breaks.' There's no melody in drums basically, according to
the laws as they exist overseas." While I find ot very amusing that drums are
said to be devoid of melody, I had to point out the fact that one industrial
group Industrial Heads from Norway (who we interviewed a few issues back) told
us that because of the lengthy and expensive process of prosecuting overseas
and the whole hassle, they felt pretty safe in their ongoing sample wars. Mark
points out that "The whole thing really is stupid. I consider it an honor if
someone's prepared to incorporate a bit of your work into theirs and bring it
over to a whole new genre." I tend to liken the whole thing to free publicity
and exposure! In wrapping up, I'll let Mark carry us out: "Go see us on tour,
get the album, steal the samples, make your own music and open your mind,
Peace from Pitch Shifter!"
Black Mark Records has new records due out by Seance, Necrophobic, and
Fleshcrawl due out by summer, and Bathory's "Blood Upon The Ice" should be out
around May. Also, they plan on sending Cemetary on tour through the States
sometime in August, no dates confirmed as of yet. Keep watching the new
Canadian office division of Black Mark, as they have a few surprises planned
for the rest of the year.
Slayer's new record "Undisputed Attitude" is set for a release date of May 28th
and features a host of punk covers, by such legendary artists as Verbal Abuse,
T.S.O.L., Minor Threat, D.R.I., and Dr. Know, plus two brand new Slayer songs
presented in a punk style. Slayer was very much influenced by old school punk,
and hopefully fans are looking forward to it. Also Paul Bostaph is gone from
the ranks of this mighty machine, they have recruited John Dette, whose work
with Testament and Evil Dead beat out Gene Hoglan, Glen Evans from Nuclear
Assault, and Jean Mooney (ex-Acrophet/Killing Culture)
Speaking of Dr. Know, a longtime favorite punk band of mine, Kyle Toucher is
involved in a new project that is very innovative! Keyboard-stabbers tuning in
to the alt.rock-n-roll.metal.death newsgroup may know already what this band is
called, though we won't divulge any info right now, we will surprise ya with
it probably next issue!
In other 'new project' news, Dismember vocalist Matti Karki and Entombed axeman
Uffe Cederlund are playing together under the moniker of Slaughter Ceremony, a
unit who has roots in early 80's death metal. Carcass guitarist Bill Steer is
said to have his own project going, which is rumoured to be a 70's style rock
band, and the greatest news to me of all: Messiah Marcolin, formerly of
the late great Candlemass and also having done vocal work with Memento Mori and
Stillborn, fronts a group known as Colossus which will record an album on
Dynamite Productions. For those unfamiliar, Dynamite is the record label run by
King Diamond/Mercyful Fate manager Ole Bang. Dynamite Productions will also put
out new albums by two side projects of Mercyful Fate/King Diamond members:
Hank Shermann's 70's rock style project Gutrix, and Andy Larocque's new effort
under the band name of Illwill. Also worth mention is Serpent, a Stockholm
based group featuring Therion members Piotr Wawrzeniuk and Lars Rosenberg. They
have signed with Nuclear Blast Records over in Germany (on their subdivision
label Radiation Records) and hopefully will have an album out by the time you
read this. The style of music they incorporate may surprise you to a degree:
a rather St. Vitus/Obsessed style of playing.
Godhead Records is moving right along this summer, and they have signed another
Swiss act by the name of Sludge. A 4 track mini CD from them entitled "Sweet
Daisy" will be released in May, and their sound is very unique - a Doors style
vocals with gothic undertones reminiscent of Bauhaus, and references to Alice
in Chains, Cathedral and The Young Gods! Also, Dark Passages II (Lee Dorrian's
Rise Above Records compilation) will be released shortly afterward, featuring
tracks from Eye Hate God, Acrimony, Mourn, Electric Wizard, Orange Goblin, Paul
Chain, Pentagram, Trouble, Down, Cathedral and Solstice. In June we will get to
hear more bands from the Rise Above label, by way of new records from Orange
Goblin and Electric Wizard. June will also see a new live recording of
punk/hardcore legends Raw Power. And finally, autumn will see new efforts from
Acrimony, Expulsion, Nero Circus and Sadness.
REUNION TIME! Yes, those unsubstantiated rumours are true! The Misfits are
planning on rejoining, unfortunately without Glenn Danzig. As reported in Metal
Maniacs this past issue, Jerry, Doyle and company have decided to record some
new material, in addition to playing some surprise dates with Type O Negative
late last year. Doing extensive rehearsals and playing a few shows, there is
definitely plans for more from this newly revamped lineup, featuring new
vocalist Mike Graves from New Jersey, who it has been told sounds strangely
like Glenn during his early days. As to WHY Glenn wouldn't accept the position
as frontman for the group, no one knows, though it's obvious that his massive
ego gets in the way of something that is LONG overdue. I have just two words
for the overactive machismo of one poseur Glenn Danzig: SCREW YOU!! When it
comes to your fans, obviously they come a distant second to your 'physique.'
(I'll jump down off the soapbox now. - Ed.)
While on the subject of reunions, by now I'm sure everyone has heard about the
group Kiss donning the makeup and coming back for more. With a new Unplugged
album out and a few dates played in Florida selling out in sheer minutes, it
looks like 96 is the year for reunions! With the Sex Pistols also making a
comeback, it remians to be seen if other bands will jump on the 'hey, there's
money to be made' or if they're just doing it because they're bored with
holding down a regular job. Either way, the fans have more to look forward to
in the coming months.
Metal Blade has quite a busy release schedule lined up for the summer, here are
some release dates: Cannibal Corpse "Vile" May 21st, Decoryah's newest effort
slated for June 4th, Wardog's "Scorched Earth" (a powerful thrash unit) will
hit on June 18th, July 2nd we will see Ancient's "The Cainian Chronicle" (a
good black metal band) August 20th will see a new album from Mercyful Fate
entitled "Into the Unknown," Desultory returns to our shores on September 10th
with "Swallow the Snake," King Diamond will unveil "The Graveyard" on September
24th, and Guitars that Rule The World Volume II will hit stores October 8th and
will feature Billy Sheenen from Mr. Big, Billy Corrigan from Smashing Pumpkins,
Kim Chayle from Soundgarden and Jack Owen from Cannibal Corpse!
Fresh off their tour with Kreator (a series of dates I was VERY disappointed in
fan wise, see the editorial notations section for details) Skrew will embark on
a tour in July with label mates Thought Industry and Pitch Shifter! Cannibal
Corpse, with new vox shredder George from Monstrosity, will start their US tour
after the summer.
For those not in the know, Milwaulkee Metal Fest X will be held July 26th and
27th and will feature over 35 bands, including the likes of Gwar, The Misfits,
Pitch Shifter, Vital remains, Sadistic Intent, Machine Head, Brutality, Master,
Monstrosity, Acheron, Ancient, Marilyn Manson, Anthrax, Carnivore (which I
find surprising, since the band is now known as Type O Negative,) Testament,
Overkill, Malevolent Creations, and more! Updates will be given on the
USENET newsgroups, or contact the following email address for more details:
MHuntPub@aol.com (he is updating weekly).
On the Silent Records front, after the near dissolution of their east coast
office, there are several new releases planned for the summer and beyond.
Makyo will release "Rhasa Brava" in June, and this record will also feature
a Bill Laswell remix on it. For those not in the know, Bill has done work with
Godflesh and John Zorn. Phauss will release an album which the title is still
to be announced this summer. They have been described as a very experimental,
VERY dark and harsh ambient group. Finally, there is a Various Artists
compilation album to be released in the fall entitled "Land of Baboon" which
features bands from the New York area doing darkwave style hip-hop! Bands
to be featured include Spectre (similar to Scorn with some dark trip-hop,)
Dr. Israel (who has done work with the group Techo Animal,) and a couple of
Century Media has quite a bit of surprises planned for your listening pleasure
as well, from some top acts. Coming your way in July are new releases from
Nevermore, entitled "In Memory" and released as a 5 song digipack, and Iced
Earth's "The Dark Saga." Both are scheduled for release July 23rd. June 4th
will see a release from Turmoil, described as a cross between straight edge
and Metallica, their album is entitled "From Bleeding Hands." On the 18th of
June Madball will re-release "Ball of Destruction" with some bonus tracks.
Finally, the kings of overseas death metal Morgoth will enter the studio in
June to record their as yet untitled fourth full length album, which they hope
to have ready by November.
In addition to new records by Out Out and Swamp Terrorists, Metropolis Records
will have some new releases out, guess when, this summer! Crocodile Shop will
unveil "Beneath" between late June/early July, Haujobb will have a single
available with a few remixes on it, and Evil's Toy, a strong gothic/electro
combination, will release "Morbid Mind" also in late summer. Fall releases
will include new records by Numb and Mentallo & The Fixer.
Many of you may know that Carcass will finally release "Swan Song," which
should be out by the time you read this, however, label executives at Earache
have informed me that there will be one final Carcass record after Swan Song,
with a tenative release date of September 10th. This final eulogy of the
death/grindcore unit will feature many unreleased tracks that have never
before been available until now. Also out on Earache, all the Columbia efforts
(including the Entombed, Napalm Death, and Carcass albums) will be totally
remastered and reworked with new artwork and graphics and even bonus tracks!
This will occur in September, and Cathedral will unveil their brand new studio
effort which is still to be announced near the end of the year. Also, the new
Godflesh record will appear around August 20th, along with new discs from
Scorn, Johnny Violent (responsible for Ultraviolence,) and Massacre. And it
is confirmed, Pitch Shifter WILL be hitting the road with Bloodlet and
Neurosis, that tour kicks off August 9th!
Griffin Music is an independent label with a catalog comprised of established
'70s and '80s artists previously unavailable domestically in the U.S. As The
Official U.S. Hawkwind Label, Griffin carries an extensive Hawkwind collection,
including: "Astounding Sounds," "Quark Strangeness and Charm," "25 Years On
Box Set," ... The BBC Radio One Live In Concert series includes: Jethro Tull,
Robin Trower, Selector & The Specials, Stiff Little Fingers, Thin Lizzy, XTC...
Griffin also features artists Rick Wakeman & Wishbone Ash.
The summer is soon to be upon us and I must admit the touring situation has
improved a bit. It was nice to see the newly revamped Iron Maiden lineup
looking rather strong at a showing in Atlanta, Georgia last month. While new
vocalist Blaze Bayley is no Bruce Dickinson, he sounded similar to the man we
all have grown up with for years. His performance as frontman was very
refreshing, and there was only a couple of songs that he couldn't quite pull
off. Other than that, new Iron Maiden sounds good! On the other end of the
spectrum, I am a little disappointed by Rob Zombie's vocal performance at the
recent White Zombie show we had in February. His vocals just don't seem to hold
well anymore, their stage show is still very impressive, but this journalist
still wonders if his voice isn't deteriorating. Either that or he doesn't pace
himself, as he always seems out of breath missing delivery on words altogether.
It seems he also had the same problem at the Atlanta show, however I don't know
if I bought his line about being sick, since he said the same thing when he
came down here. I really appreciated Fear Factory's appearance (touring with
Iron Maiden was a strange bill) as quite brutal and melodic at the same time,
the pit activity at this particular billing was fierce and everyone who was
there was impressed by their sound and delivery.
Hopefully there will be a radio show in Savannah hosted by yours truly,
though things are moving a bit slower than I'd like. There will be two shows
planned, one will be an all-metal show and the other will feature the hardest
and heaviest (not to mention UNDERGROUND, IE. no Nine Inch Nails or anything
else already getting radio play on some of the other stations!) in techno and
industrial music. More info on that as it becomes available. This is something
that Savannah has been needing for quite some time now.
I am VERY upset at the recent turn of events with the Skrew/Kreator tour
that I was a party to in Atlanta! I guess it was the choice of venue, the Wreck
Room, which is rather small compared to places like Masquerades and the
International Ballroom, but the turnout was VERY small! And no moshing hardly
at all! Come on guys, this is KREATOR we're talking about here, the thrash gods
of the 80's! And Skrew? These guys are totally kick ass! It's a shame when a
great billing like that receives almost no notice, however at least the people
that DID show up seemed to appreciate what Kreator has done for the whole metal
scene in general. I guess Kreator has been away too long, still there should
have been a better attendance, if for nothing else than for respect for one of
the longest running early thrash bands in existence. And I have to say it's now
no real wonder why there has been a lack of good shows in Atlanta as of late.
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