VIBRATIONS OF DOOM MAGAZINE
EDITOR: STEVEN CANNON
Well, our web site address has changed! Oh, by the way, welcome back to yet
anotha music filled issue! By now many of you are grabbing the relatively
small sound files we have online, all files are 230k or less, and we had
about 40 last issue! My friend Megan got a new job and so the site address
changed, it is now:
By the way, before I forget, we are going to add a new feature to the 'zine:
I thought it would be a good idea if people got to hear some bands that are
obscure or long since out of print! Many things from my private collection I
will include as complete songs for people to download and listen to: this
month I am happy to announce I finally obtained on CD Iron Angel's "Hellish
Crossfire," you'll find digitized this month two songs in their entirety
for you to hear! Next month I will do another few songs from another band,
not sure who yet! PLEASE send me email and lemme know what you thought of
the songs, we'll try and post up the results later.
For those of you who haven't been able to find RealAudio players for our sound
files, we now have a link to the RealAudio home page! The files will still be
encoded with RealAudio 2.0, but make sure you grab the newest version 3.0
available for download through their site, 'cause next issue our digi music
files will be encoded in RealAudio 3.0 and they will most likely (file size
depending) be recorded in stereo!
Our address to send us material, whether they be concert reviews,
releases, demo tapes, info or just to write is:
Vibrations of Doom Magazine
c/o Steven Cannon
1133 East 53rd Street
Savannah, GA 31404 USA!
or Email us at:
Less bug, noogie!
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- CHEMLAB "East Side Militia"
- CREMATORY "Crematory"
- DEARLY BEHEADED "Temptation"
- DIATRIBE "Diatribe"
- EXIT 13 "Smoking Songs"
- HACIENDA "Sunday Afternoon"
- INNER THOUGHT "Perspectives"
- NIGHTINGALE "The Closing Chronicles"
- NOSFERATU "Prince of Darkness"
- PAIN STATION "Anxiety"
- PRODIGY "Firestarter"
- SAMAEL "Passage"
- STUCK MOJO "Pigwalk"
- TEMPLEBEAT "Mediasickness"
- THE BLACK "The Priest of Satan"
- THE EXPLOITED "Beat the Bastards"
- THE MOOR "Flux"
- VARIOUS ARTISTS "Operation Beatbox"
- VOIVOD "Negatron"
- W.A.S.P. "Still Not Black Enough"
- NOTEWORTHY ITEMS
- BIRMINGHAM 6
- EDITORIAL NOTATIONS
I must say I'm rather disappointed in this follow up to the brilliant debut
"Burn Out at the Hydrogen Bar." They have lost a lot of their edge and some
of the harshness, though they have made a few good tracks. 'Pyromance' however
is a good tune, though it is rather laid back and mellow. There isn't a whole
lot of innovative guitar work here, there is still a strong industrial
presence but it doesn't help much. 'Electric Molecular' and 'Exile on
Mainline' have distorted guitar tracks but the songwriting quality isn't up to
par. 'Jesus Christ Porno Star' is also a halfway decent tune, probably the
only track on here that is up to Chemlab standards. 'Pink' can pretty much be
ignored as a "song" that has lots of spoken samples. I have yet to see them
live, but here's to hoping their third full length will be better.
Even though the U.S. distribution office for Massacre Records has closed, the
German office was kind enough to send me this newest release by Crematory, who
impressed me with last years' "Just Dreaming" album, which showcased some very
strong instrumentation work matched with strong lyrics and a dominant
presence. This time around all the lyrics are in German, and the vocals, for
those unfamiliar with Crematory's style, is more on the harsh side as opposed
to bands like Tiamat and the new Paradise Lost. Credit must be given to the
keyboardist who has composed some amazing and symphonic pieces. Acoustic
guitar pieces are used throughout, especially on a track like 'Trugbilder.'
My only complaint is with the vocal arrangements on 'Istes Wahr,' they were a
little weak. This style is tough to pull off, since the majority of the
arrangements are meant more for an orchestrated and symphonically beautiful
mood. However, this they do quite well, I am afraid however that the lyrics
being in German may keep some from experiencing quite a powerfully written
I must say that this CD came out of nowhere and struck me senseless! It's
kinda old school thrash with a singer who actually sings in places, and the
guitar work is nothing short of phenomenal! One can see the raw power of
tracks like 'Behind the Sun, 'Temptation' and 'We Are Your Family.' Also,
there are tracks that inject a bit of melody within the hard driving thrash
edge, the best example of this is the track 'Witness.' These guys hail from
England, and are relatively unknown here in the States, but what a solid
release nonetheless! Heavy, heavy, heavy!
After first hearing their kickass cover of 'Cold Sweat' on the Shut Up Kitty
compilation, I was looking forward to hearing more, but unfortunately their
two EP's were VERY disappointing. However, this release is EXACTLY what I
expected from these guys, a kick ass four piece that uses a commercial sound
inlaid with emotion and some brutal guitar riffs! 'Another Time' is easily the
heaviest tracks and my personal favorite, however I have a hard time choosing
favorites out of the others! Honorable mentions go to the track 'Four Fifty
One' which has the group singing harmony at the beginning, kinda sounding like
a psychedelic Beatles chant. 'Sister' is a rather slow, ballad style tune;
very pretty and still danceable. Though this disc has a very mainstream sound,
it's not overridden with cliche lyrics, sounds, or material, in fact, the only
thing that kept me from giving it a 100 was the track 'The Son,' which could
have been a little better. one HOT industrial club item, VERY good, and damnit
I've been waiting for a good album from Diatribe and they had to go and blow
me away! Marc has a great voice, do yerself a favor and listen to the sound
clips to see what I mean! Oh, and before I forget, there's a hidden track on
here (it's track 22) that is rather wierd!
All u stoners, listen up! This newest release from grindcore masters Exit 13
will definitely freak ya out, especially if ya partake before ya listen! It's
not like anything else you've heard Exit 13 perform in full, but what we have
here are mainly old jazz and blues numbers from the early 20's and 40's that
all pay tribute to the greener pictures of life! The songs are quite a trip,
especially the changing of the lyrics of an old Lou Rawls song 'Stormy Monday'
which they call 'Stoney Monday.' Bliss Blood lends her beautiful vocals to
such hemp-enlightening tracks as 'Jack I'm Mellow,' 'When I Get Low, I Get
High,' and 'If You're a Viper' (which I hope you'ze all are!) 'Willie The
Record Releaser' was a funny story, but sometimes got a little annoying, but
overall it creates a mellow mood that ANY stoner should be able to appreciate.
So laugh, like yer gonna do anyway with or without this disc, relax, space out
and stay mellow, you vipers!
I guess I need to relay the story behind this one. One day, a friend of mine
and I were driving along, smoking a rather tasty joint, and needed something
mellow and trippy to listen to for that ultimate chill out feeling. Usually,
Hawkwind's "Warrior on the Edge of Time" is used for this purpose, but for
some reason I had this CD in my car instead. Both of us were quite blown away!
THIS is the ultimate stoner's disc, and it's obvious that the German pioneers
behind this ambient, trippy trance piece have let the smoke flow through their
creative veins. 'Nightmare of Max' starts out with sandpaper scraping sounds,
to follow up with funky bass notes and cool little carnival organ sounds, man
what a trip! We laughed our way through this one, and even 'Crazy Jason Spills
My Bong' (told ya!) was a delight, with some wacky notations! For those who
want to mellow out even further, check out 'Soho Dragee' which has some cool
piano riffs flowing through, and the ultimate 'Plusch,' which incidentally,
like most of the other tracks on this disc, make fantastic dance club tunez.
'Plusch' contains some cool saxophone riffs, the whole damn CD is just great!
Next time you need something to relax and mellow out to, grab this one, if you
don't you WILL be sorry!
First off, check out the track 'Tortured.' Women like that have a way of
making you want to kill them, don't they? Well, here's yer chance with the
second full length release from these death metal pioneers from Canada!
There are lots of surprising twists this time around, and the female vocals
are back in force! Check out 'Rack of Lethargy' which is, for all pratical
purposes, a techno oriented song! They have the techno dance beats going
for a couple of minutes before they break it down into a death metal tune.
What surprises me most about this album is the use of dual style vox, one
is low growling and kinda in the style of a band like Sinister, the other is
very intense Lee Dorrian style but with longer duration, this Dennis guy is
quite versatile! Listen to those double bass beats and overall execptional
drumming that at times you would swear is electronically enhanced! (Hell it
may be for all I know!) There is SOMEONE doing a Jamaican reggae style voice
on the track 'Autodogmatic,' don't know who but it was very cool! The first
few tracks, however, had rather standard arrangements, but I did like the
guitar work throughout the rest of the disc! Very vicious, yet still finding
a way to be a bit innovative!
Dan Swano's side project (the mastermind behind Edge of Sanity) is quite
different from what most E.O.S. fans may be expecting. It's a wonderful disc
filled with emotion and gothic overtones at times. Tracks like 'Deep Inside of
Nowhere' and 'Revival' are rather hard rock oriented and rather mellow,
reminding me of styles presented by bands like Journey, Kansas, and such. One
really has to hear the emotion and deep rooted feelings stirred throughout the
disc to understand exactly what I'm referring to, so be sure and grab the two
RealAudio files we clipped. One drawback to the album was the track
'Intermezzo,' while a good track it's a bit more downtempo from the rest, but
does show Dan's ability to write music that is quite different and still
retaining a certain atmosphere that is prevalent throughout the entire disc.
'Revival' as well is rather radio friendly, frankly the whole album is great!
Hopefully we'll see more of this type of recording from Dan in the future.
This newest release from English gothic rockers Nosferatu sounds quite a bit
like a cross between Sisters of Mercy and Two Witches at times. The vocalist
has a vocal style like that of the Sisters, but with a lower tone. He is able
to express a good variety of vocal expressions, especially on tracks like
'The Passing,' and 'Uninvited Guest.' 'Eye of the Watcher' starts us out with
a long but nice haunting piano tune with inlaid chanting style vocals.
My three favorite tracks on here are 'The Hunger,' 'The Passing,' and
'Invocation,' the last one easily being the best track on here, and the three
aforementioned tracks are easily great club favorites. Some songs did take
some getting used to: I didn't like 'Graveyard Shift,' 'Into the Night,'
or 'Ravage,' mainly due to the rough way in which the vocals are composed.
'Uninvited Guest' has a nice bass line, and the guitar work is often a
highlight here, but some of their songs still need work. Club owners may be
hard pressed to find a gothic CD with more dancefloor worthy tracks.
The best thing about the CD was listening to the first 5 tracks through
headphones! Especially tracks 'Empty,' 'Alone,' and 'Perversion' showcase some
great ambient landscapes interlaid with heavy industrial beats and distorted
notations! For you "industrial fanatics," you may be surprised to hear that,
with one exception, there are hardly any guitars presented! My personal
favorite tracks are 'Empty' and 'Alone,' simply because they mix a heavy beat,
dancefloor industrial riffs with melancholy, rather slow atmospherics. 'Alone'
in particular is a rather moody song in itself. However, after track 5, the
rest of the CD gets rather strange, mostly dealing with instrumental wierdness
mixed with various vocal samples. Track 7, 'Hate,' is good though for it's
overall heaviness. I rather liked most of what I heard, though they could be
a bit more consistent throughout. Listen through headphones to wrap yourself
in the ambience!
This is only the CD single, but I figured I should give it honorable mention
because it is INCREDIBLE. When I first heard the title track on MTV, I must
admit the change was rather a shock from their last CD (Personally, I haven't
heard it all but I DID hear the title track, and saw them on MTV's "House of
Fashion" and it's pretty much in the same vein as "Music for a Jilted
generation." - Ed.) It has a fully distorted, heavy techno sound to it that
will make your head explode into tiny bits of bloody goo. The first track is
the radio/video edit of the song, full of groovy sonic blasts of pure energy,
and the vocalist starts the fire with his psychotic chants of British fury.
The second track, the Empirion mix, extends the song and warps it to a
completely different dimension with more industrial overtones and fuzzboxes.
The next two tracks lack the scathing, skin biting vocals. 'Molotov Bitch,'
the last song, provides us with a break from the many versions of
'Firestarter,' (the instrumental version being my least favorite) and really
slaps down in your face a heavy dance beat (not so fast though) similar to
that of hip-hop with a slight industrial twist to make things more
interesting. It's only a CD single, but it's worth it! This is indeed prime
Prodigy! -- (Review by Chris J. Waters)
Welp, it's no surprise that these Swiss black metal godz are heavily into the
keyboard sound, but this time around I do mean HEAVILY! The first thing you
notice when listening to this album is that the keyboards are WAAAAY out in
front, and seem to be the dominant instrument. The songs still have some heavy
guitar work, but it's not featured on every track, in fact, the tracks 'Rain,'
'Liquid Soul Dimension' and 'Born Under Saturn' probably have some of the
best guitar riffs on the whole album. Fans of their last effort "Ceremony of
Opposites" may be a little disappointed in their newest effort, however I did
find much of their work innovative and far from boring. Some things that did
annoy me, though: while the vocals are still raw and brutal, there were a
couple of tracks, namely 'Angel's Decay' and 'Moonskin' that had piano notes
in them, which I thought rather strange, since that was the only thing besides
drums going in places. Also, 'Liquid Soul Dimension' had a very strange
musical arrangement especially towards the beginning. Kinda freaked me out!
But, they are proving that they have a mature sound, those of you who don't
mind keyboard heavy material may find this new release a refreshing work,
still others may feel that they have lost their heavier edge. I am somewhere
caught in the middle, yet I do enjoy this release to a major degree.
This CD is Stuck Mojo's second release, and what an infectious blend of rap,
hip-hop, thrash and even a slight industrial influence, which is evident by
the fact that Strapping Young Lad's Devin Townsend had a hand in the
production of this album. Most all of the songs have a very heavy set of
thrashy riffs, very catchy and it's one of the first things you notice about
the album. The vocals are thrown down in a groove oriented, rap style, except
for the track 'Despise,' where he does a few verses singing. 'Violated' and
'Down Breeding' have heavy industrial influences, but still retain the heavy
guitar work, and the title track 'Pigwalk' has some ultra distorted vocals.
Check out 'The Sermon' as well, a funny spoken word track that has to be heard
to be believed! These guys have put out one outstanding record, and they're
right in my backyard too! (they're from Atlanta, Georgia.)
I remember this band as an introduction to what the Dynamica label coined as
"Metal-hacking industrial." Unfortunately, this release often drags itself
down with droning riffs, and on 'Magick Patrol' and a few other places the
vocalists' singing style gets annoying. 'Liberace' was rather enjoyable tho,
it was upbeat and had really heavy guitar riffs and cool distorted vocals.
'Gone With the Mind' had a certain heaviness as well, though it did sound
rather Swamp Terrorists'ish. 'Words in Motion' was an okay track as well,
but most of the other tracks were rather poor and basic, especially 'Magick
Patrol.' Not a lot of work went into most of this I'm afraid. The better cuts
from here are digitized for you to check out, they may be club worthy but I
wouldn't buy the CD just for them.
Okay, so this release is a little old, lots of what I got from Necropolis was
rather old but still worthy of review. This band has a new release out that
hopefully I'll review next issue. Anyway, on to the tunes, I must say that
this is one up and coming black metal band! What really impressed me is on
tunez like 'Lady Lilith,' 'Black Blood,' and 'The Priest of Satan' there are
so many killer old school thrash style riffs, and many of them slow paced as
well! The intro to 'Lady Lilith' sounded a lot like Bulldozer's 'Heaven's
Jail' from their "IX" album (though reworked to sound different) and I could
hear definite influences from everything of Kreator, Voivod, Slayer, Venom
and the like! Vocals are killer screams, 'Sign of the Evil Spirit' showcases
some of Rietas' handiwork. 'The Black Opal Eye' started out slow with haunting
keyboard overtones, and though they do use keyboards a little, the guitar work
is THE dominant factor here! My one complaint, besides the track 'Book of
Leviathan' being a little below par for a band of this caliber, is the cheesy
wolf howls that were sampled. Other than that it was quite vicious, and I
would have to brand this the black metal punk album, for the fact that the
average length of a song is no more than 2 or 3 minutes! 38 minutes for 12
tracks, doesn't that beat Slayer's "Reign in Blood" time/track ratio?
Here's the deal: they're not really the punk band you knew back in the 80's.
In fact I really can't call their music punk anymore, this is more like
hardcore. Their songs are much heavier, faster, and longer. Another change
in the band is the lineup, which now brings in Wattie's brothers. There is a
slight sign of wattie getting older, but I also think that a lot of the change
in vocal style has to do with the musical progression to hardcore. One really
cool addition to their music is guitar downtuning, probably to 'B' (Gee, you
musical prodigy you! - Ed.) which is evident in 'Police TV' and 'If You're
Sad.' Their lyrics still reflect the true style of British punk's rebellion
against certain political parties and issues ('Beat the Tories!' or just plain
anarchy.) "Beat the Bastards" is still a damn good CD, introducing a new,
heavier side of the Exploited that is still filled with their trademark
energy, however they've lost a lot of the punk edge that they are known to
have in their extremely fast songs -- the edge that truly makes them the
Exploited. -- (Review by Chris J. Waters)
A band that supposedly follows up the style of space rock pioneers Hawkwind
and other space rock acts. On the plus side, they do have some interesting
musical compositions, especially with flutes on the track 'Baby,' and the
saxophone melodies on 'Suck.' The problem is that while they have some
beautiful melodies, as well as aggressive guitar riffs (ultra distorted and
warped like on 'Soon' and 'Stay') they are not consistent, and sometimes the
unusual vocal style gets a tad annoying, especially on 'Suck.' While I
appreciated much of their unique style (they even went so far as to do a
rather techno-ish mood on 'Body') some of their lyrics were silly, and overall
I see a good deal of innovation but needing a bit more work in the songwriting
Ahhh, yeah! As you may have noticed, we've incorporated a bit of rap into our
ever growing list of musical influences. This compilation really got me
thinking about how most of us found our "roots." For me, rap and hip hop was
one of the first genres I ever got heavily into before I found metal. Run
D.M.C., Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, and others were faves of mine, and
represented here by many hardcore industrial artists. The CD starts out very
explosive with Christ Analogue's version of 'Natural Born Killaz,' and other
vicious cuts here are Terminal 46's version of 'Night of the Living Bassheads'
and 'Fight the Power' by D.C.K. The dumbest cut on here was Battery's cover of
'Gangsta's Paradise,' a rather 'wack' singing version of it. The two Run
D.M.C. covers were rather cool, the best one being Institute of Technology's
'King of Rock.' Highly recommended, as I said most of these covers are
electronically enhanced, and some bands here use distorted vocals to add a
heavier punch to these tunez. Fresh as a mo-fo!
Hail the return of the kings! After Celtic Frost's downfall, Bathory's change
in style (and I didn't say it was a BAD thing) and Kreator seeming to lean
towards industrial tendencies, it's good to see Voivod herald a return to the
brutality of their older days of "War and pain" and "RRROOOAAARRR" but this
album still has all the technical intricacy of "Killing Technology" and
beyond! Their new vocalist is very vicious, and believe it or not sounds very
similar to their old vocalist! They ARE back down to a three piece, which they
believe is the best format to present their style in. What can I say? Songs
like 'Reality' and 'Insect' (you HAVE to see the full screen video for this
song, included as a CD-Rom track on this CD) have heavy choppy riffs, and
that singer dude Eric really has a lot of power. 'Nanoman' is a rather heavy
sing along hit, and the title track is a creepily slow, but powerful track in
it's own right! It gets rather wierd towards the end, but one cannot deny that
Voivod have stayed true while still evolving in their own little universe.
DO check out that CD-Rom video, it blew me away!
Was wondering what happened to Blackie after the last WASP album "The Crimson
Idol," and lemme say that WASP are back and strong as ever! Those of you that
enjoyed such killer albums from the past like "The Last Command" and "WASP" as
I did will find cuts like 'Still Not Black Enough,' 'Black Forever,' and
'Scared to Death' in that old school WASP style; heavy and this time around
even injecting some melody throughout! On the downside, I thought there were
just a bit too many cover tunes, though 'Whole Lotta Rosie' sounds very
kickass, and I even enjoyed 'Somebody to Love.' 'Keep Holding On,' however, is
a ballad that has Blackie and another female vocalist on piano, rather a weak
link for a WASP album (but still mellow enough to be enjoyable.) The trippy
highlight of this album was 'I Can't,' which starts off with Blackie singing
along to an acoustic set of riffs, with a bluesy feel, but he gets quite
vicious and intense midway through the song, with those trademark Blackie
screams of his. Quite a kickass album, not quite perfect, but WASP fans will
more than likely enjoy the power and intensity of this album, here's hoping
for a full blown stage show and tour!
Now, as many of you know, the year's end is a SLOOOW time for record releases,
so most of what ya read about here is what's making the rounds in 1997. Let's
start off with some rather sad news: Rhys Fulber has left Front Line Assembly
for good, but has been replaced. The split was a friendly one, with Rhys
concentrating on more heavy metal oriented material. The label that supports
them, Metropolis, has quite a few discs out for 97, look for things to come
from Mentallo & the Fixer, Noise Unit, Terminal Sect (a new home for these
guys) and Evil's Toy. Wumpscutt and Haujobb also have releases out, which
didn't make deadline for this issue, hopefully a write up will be due for the
next. Haujobb, incidentally, is now licensed through Metropolis instead of
Pendragon, as I am told by Metropolis manager Mike.
Tours, tours, tours! 1997 hopefully will see LOTS of new tours commence.
Right now we have word of a few shows happening in the U.S.: Type O Negative
is taking the Electric Hellfire Club on the road with them, while Stuck Mojo
returns to the U.S. in february with 24-7 Spyz as co-headliners. Vader and
Monstrosity will hit the road as well, and we'll try and keep ya posted about
the dates and routes for other bands, like Sister Machine Gun and Danzig.
Hold yer breath, Tiamat are in Woodhouse studios once again! Not much is being
said about their newest effort, tenatively titled "A Deeper Kind of Slumber"
except it has a spring release date. In otha Century media news, look out for
reviews of the new Judas Priest Tribute album, featuring Fates Warning,
Testament, Mercyful Fate, and other top metal acts (release date is January
28th), Strapping Young Lad, Morgoth, Nevermore, and others that arrived a
bit late for presstime.
Through the official Moonspell webpage, here's EXACTLY what happened with the
banning of their video "Opium" from a certain MTV Europe station in one
country. Apparently, though the video was very well done and appreciated by
many, one country said there were references to drug useage that were not
acceptable, though the band did make an appearance on the show and even did
a song from their sold out tour with Type O Negative. They plan to do another
video soon, in the meantime check out their web page which gives even more
info on the band.
Cleopatra, the label on the cutting edge of electronic music, has SO much
planned for 1997 it will make yer L.E.D. stricken eyes and ears go into sonic
overload! Here's a list of what you'll be wanting to spin:
Amon Duul 2 "The Best of 1969-1974"
V/A "Trancewerk Express Volume 2 - A trance tribute to Kraftwerk"
V/A "License 2 Rave"
Bypass Unit "Green Dreams" (On the Hypnotic Label)
V/A "Rocket Fuel" (on their new Jungle label)
Godheads "The Rush Inside (The Reshuffle)" (licensed from Hard Records)
Decoded Feedback "Overdosing" (Hard Records)
Decry "Complete Decry"
Also be on the lookout for compilation CD's from Zoth Ommog and Cleopatra's
own Hypnotic Records subdivision, as well as Sci-Fi Cafe (a collection of
film and TV science fiction theme songs) and a remix EP from Electric Hellfire
We recently got in touch with Progress Records over in Denmark, and we will
have reviews for you of the last Invocator record "Dying to Live." Sadly, they
have broken up, but they left behind a pretty killer album. Dying Fetus and
Centinex will also get reviewed, and look out for hardcore based Proboscis
to release "Stalemate" on February 20th, 8-Red throws "Undervalued Feelings"
at you on March 3rd, Exhumation, a melodic death metal unit from Greece will
unleash "Seas of Eternal Silence" on March 10th, and also look out for new
thingies from Blood of Christ, Grope, Black (From L.A.), Konkhr, and Barcode!
All things look quiet on the Roadrunner front with the exception of Coal
Chamber's newest disc (which will get a mention next issue) which looks to me
like a rather bizarre Marilyn Manson type heavy project, and Obituary is
supposed to be working on a new disc along with Deicide.
Nuclear Blast, after having been dropped from Relapse's line of distribution,
is back once again and relocated in Tampa, Florida. We hope to not only have a
Sinister interview for next issue, but we will also review the newest release
from Therion (which i must say is quite amazing), basic but bonecrunching
death metal from Brutality, new Sinister "Bastard Saints," new Abyss, and
BIRMINGHAM 6. Interview with Michael H. at the Cleopatra Offices.
Many of you may have heard some of Birmingham 6's hard edged industrial
techno via their "Assassinate" album released domestically through Cleopatra.
They were supposed to tour with Numb and Rorshach Test, but sadly, as Michael
informs us, "the tour didn't go as planned, because CMR corporations was very
incompetent. We did 4 shows and then we cancelled the rest of the dates. They
promised us a full coast-to-coast tour with 26 of 30 dates, and everything
was supposed to be set up like the acommodations, club fees, etc. We were
told when we arrived in Seattle that Numb had cancelled out, and there was no
tour bus for us, and also lots of other shows had been cancelled. We were
told this not by the corporation, who didn't even seem to want to get
involved, but by the supporting act." For those who might think this was
about a money issue, remember these guys came over from Denmark for this
tour, paid for out of their pockets, and they even had to pay for a van to go
from town to town, pay for their food and lodging, and even their plane
tickets to get here. On top of all of this, their singer Kim has left the
band, even though he did the four shows and left in Phoenix.
"Assassinate" is their first full length album, American wise anyway, which
is mostly a kind of 'best of' compilation album, which consists of 6 tracks
from their "Mindhallucination" LP, and 5 remixes from "Contagious" EP. Mostly
their lyrics deal with conspiracy type theories, the whole concept, as
related by Michael, deals with "The side of people being used and abused and
told in our own words. Many lyrics reflect stories we heard, read about or
saw on the news. 'Policestate,' for example, deals with (from their EP of the
same name) an incident in 1993 where a voting in Denmark took place for the
joining of the European union. This voting was against the European union,
but the government didn't want this to happen, and they even had a revoting
process, for which finally the joining was agreed upon; however many citizens
were very angry and started demonstrations. Police were put out upon the
streets to handle this, and they were totally out of control, they started
shooting at the people in the mob. One of the main streets in Copenhagen
looked like a battlezone. 'Birmingham 6' deals with an incident in England
that happened roughly 20 years ago, where these IRA attacks were occuring.
They made some new laws against terrorism which allowed police in that area to
arrest anyone they thought was suspicious and hold them for quite a long time
while they were investigating and interrogating. The IRA group was against
this of course and they did bombings all over England, in Birmingham and
several other places. The English government took 6 people out one night (the
night of the bombing) and singled them out because they were typical Irish
working men on their way home that evening. They just sort of discriminated
against them and every time the 6 men tried to get an appeal of this (there
is a book written about this) the judge kept saying that they were the guilty
party and they would never get out on the streets again. They were also beaten
up by the police when they were interrogated, they were beaten yet again while
in jail because they were made unpopular due to the feelings of the citizens
of England as a whole. Finally, evidence came out that these 6 men were not
guilty, and while they were in jail the guilty party was caught, and the
police did everything but admit that they made a mistake." The song
'Contagious' is the one song that had me rather baffled, a few lines in the
song seem to refer to a deadly disease that always 'gets his man.' The
references for this song have to do with a book and Kim's theory, according
to Michael, "This book puts a viewpoint that the Aids virus was a chemical
weapon which was invented by rich governments to get rid of unwanted humans,
like blacks, homosexuals, etc. It's a very strange sort of science fiction
thing, one of the conspiracy things that we like to write about. It's been
placed upon different minority groups, like people say 'Oh, it's only
minorities that get aids, only queers get that disease,' just like another
Birmingham 6 is on a Danish label known as Hard Records, who I always
associated with hard and heavy industrial and techno music through various
compilations and licensing deals, but Michael laughs at this and says: "Do you
really think they are hard? They have been very good to us, though they are a
big label in Denmark, they have been supportive as far as they can even though
they don't have a load of cash in reserve. They do the best they can to get us
license deals around the world, in general they are very reliable. They have
given us advances on our royalties even. The industrial scene is not going
very well in Europe, and they are sort of closing down on the Industrial side
of it; however they do have a side label called Out Loud which they have
merged with the Hypnotic label of Cleopatra to do some ambient type stuff.
Dozens of compilations have been released to date. There are only three
bands left on Hard Records, the rest of the contracts have been cancelled.
Godheads, Birmingham 6 and Lights of Euphoria are all that are left, and I
have to say we are considered the head industrial act around here." I was into
a band called Good Courage from Hard Records, who Michael says is "Acceptable.
It's more like pop in the style of Depeche Mode, but their side project Neotek
was really good. Their album 'Brain Over Muscle' was very dancelike but
aggressive and I like that. Godheads is great too, it kinda reminds me of a
cross between Die Krupps and Nitzer Ebb, but the remix version which is on
Cleopatra is much better, but still great."
They do have a new album out which Cleopatra hasn't sent me yet entitled
"The Error of Judgement." According to Michael this album features Jean Luc
DeMeyer fron Front 242 fame, and Michael has this to say about the sound of
the new album: "It is a completely different album, it has more dance
influences, more synthesizer textures and sequencers, and more guitars, MUCH
more guitars than the last album. Every song on this new album has guitars
on it, and Jean Luc is singing on 7 tracks, Kim our old singer sings on 4
and there is one instrumental." This brings up to something I was curious
about and that is the old debate over whether industrial should have guitars
or not, and Michael's industrial preferences may surprise you, stating: "I
don't like the old style of industrial at all, the thing is I always thought
old style was lacking in catchiness and a certain groove, most of the old
bands sound like noise in a way. We always wanted to blend different styles
together, we like things from the industrial scene but most of the grooves
were stiff and mechanic, very noisy and had very little melody. A lot of the
dance songs we were used to in Europe had great dance grooves and catchy
melody but absolutely no lyrics. We always wanted to blend those two things
together (lyrics and groove, catchiness, or melody) and especially have some
meaningful lyrics. This latest album is closer to the sound we have been
looking for for quite some time."
Though the band is now completely broke, they had been saving all their
money to come to the States and do the tour, there is talk of them doing
another show, though it may not be for quite awhile. In the meantime, do
yourself a favor and check out their "Assassinate" LP on Cleopatra, their
"Policestate" EP (Which features them doing a cover of a KMFDM song,) and
hopefully we'll be able to review and digitize their newest effort "The Error
of Judgement" next issue!
HACIENDA. Interview with the band via email.
Hacienda, for those not in the know (and you REALLY should listen to the
digitized music files on this one!) is an ambient/techno/trippy type of music
that really impressed me. Hacienda consists of Jurgen Kadel and Marcus Finger,
two artists who have extensive backgrounds in electronic music. On asking a
bit more about their backgrounds, Marcus reveals: "I am a student of
advertising psychology at the University of Frankfurt. Ths first time I was
interested in electronic music was around 1987 or 1988. I was just getting
into Front 242, Depeche Mode, Skinny Puppy and Nitzer Ebb. I also liked to
skate and listened to punk (like Suicidal tendencies) and sometimes even Iron
Maiden. I heard of the label +8 in 1991 (this label has artists like Speedy J
and FUSE, who have been featured on Wax Trax's "Artificial Intelligence"
series - Ed.) through a friend who worked in a record shop in Frankfurt. I
liked these sounds almost instantly, because they were so cool and clean, but
at the same time warm and powerful. I then started to go to clubs and buy lots
of records, which prompted me to start work in a record distribution company
to gain money and to get my records cheaper (I know how that is! - Ed.) I met
Jurgen at this time, who was very sympathetic and later on we put our
equipment together to make work more efficient. We liked the same minimalistic
acid sound. Jurgen had already released some music on smaller labels, however
by 1995 we were sick of the normal 'techno' and acid music and wanted to do
something completely different. We both like downtempo music but also house as
well. The beats were slowed down and we had fun connecting electronic and
acoustic instruments within our tracks. This first album of ours is also
influenced by Portishead, tricky and some old jazz and hammond records we
sampled a lot." Some of these influences are VERY prominent in Hacienda, one
can hear saxophone notes, piano notes, and several other instruments not often
heard very much in the standard fare of techno and trance. I also found out,
according to Marcus, "We do a LOT of sampling, if I didn't emphasize that
before. About 60% of our music is made of filtered, stretched and reversed
samples, like the saxophone line in the track 'Plusch,' but we also like to
play realtime. I played the piano when I was 10 years old and I stopped when I
was 14. Sometimes we are just improvising on the keyboards and we record the
whole thing with our sequencer. A good mixture betwen both is okay."
After repeated listening, it's a bit obvious to me (and to my friend as
well, see the review of their album for more info) that this band has created
what I would term as "the stoner's groove," as this whole disc has some crazy
notations and some laid back, mellow riffs. I had to ask how big an influence
was marijuana on the music they make, especially after seeing song titles like
"Crazy Jason Spills My Bong." The answer they gave me was quite surprising,
and made me think they were a little paranoid about opening up on the subject:
Nevertheless, Marcus relays his thoughts on the subject: "Believe it or not,
we can't report about our thoughts and feelings while smoking marijuana
because we don't smoke it. O.K., we think our minds have to be crazy enough
that we can create such dope beat tracks without having smoked pot. I did try
it a few times but it had no effect on me at all. While my friends smoke and
feel good I take my normal Marlboro medium or Kool cigarettes and sit beside
them. Our music is our only drug and we feel that it's a very good substitute
to pot. A lot of people say they enjoy our music while high. This is not
intentional on our part, and don't be irritated by the song title "Crazy Jason
Spills My Bong." The title derives from Jason of the film Friday the 13th. We
imagined if Jason entered a party, he comes in the room where the boys and
girls sit, he has his mask on his face and nobody speaks. He grabs the bong,
breathes in and out, everybody stares in fear, he leaves the room and then
they see what happened: The bong has been spilled." (Whew! Cray-zee!) "We want
the listener to relax, feel good, do whatever they want and listen to some
nice music. Our intention is to go our own way with the Hacienda style. This
is not the most popular way here in Germany, but it's the way that gives us
the most satisfaction of all (Amen to that! Screw the trends! - Ed.) It's
obvious that most of the German producers make this typically teutonic trance
or techno music. That's just horrible!"
Speaking of Germany, as many of you are already aware, there of course is a
huge techno scene over there, but many of our longtime readers think of
Germany as the breeding ground of early 80's thrash and death metal. Though
they are not big into heavy metal, Marcus admits that he does like some guitar
oreinted music: "We both really do love crossover bands like Ministry, Nine
Inch Nails (which Marcus says that 'Pretty Hate Machine' is their best album,
which I kinda agree with - Ed.) or Rage Against the Machine. Jurgen does play
in an independent guitar band and he enjoys bands like Live, Smashing
Pumpkins and the sort. I have to admit, however that I don't really like bands
like Smashing Pumpkins or R.E.M. so much even if they have a few great songs.
Sometimes it's torture for me, if I really have no choice but to listen to
rock music like U2, or Bon Jovi! What I really like are bands like Alice in
Chains, Faith No More, Spookey Ruben and old Red Hot Chili Peppers albums.
As for the techno scene itself it has grown faster and faster in Germany since
1994, which is really amazing to me. One reason why techno and house are so
famous is the 'Love Parade' in the streets of Berlin in June every year. In
1996 there were about a 800,000 party people on the roads towards Berlin and
the Love Parade itself nearly reached the million mark. The media reports
about techno and of course drugs. There are tons of magazines for techno,
house, and ambient lovers in Germany, the best ones are Front Page from Berlin
and Groove from Frankfurt. In Frankfurt, there is a club located near the
airport called the Dorian Gray, which plays hard techno and progressive
pumpin' house. It's really nice and atmospheric, especially when someone plays
live, like Speedy J who I saw three years ago. There's also a club called
"Nachtleben" (It means Nightlife in English - Ed.) where my favorite DJ's Ata
and Heiko play. During the week there are very good parties and the vibes
really flow. Another great club was The Box, formerly called XS but the
ownership changed hands two years ago. People in Frankfurt didn't know what a
good club it had in this and so it had to close sometime for lack of guests,
but the XS was famous for the ambient and chill out nights during the week and
the awesome house weekends with famous DJ's like John Aquaviva, Joey Vasquez,
and Laurent Gamier. The Omen is one other club I'd like to mention, this is
the one where Sven Vath plays every week together with other famous DJ's and
seems to me the club where the people had the most fun and biggest parties of
So, after all the good press reaction to their latest effort "Sunday
Afternoon," where does Hacienda go next? "The next Hacienda record," Jurgen
relates, "will be a bit more progressive, still downtempo (from 78 to 110
BPM) and will contain spanish trumpet samples, because Marcus' girlfriend is
spanish and she gives him a lot of old spanish records, but there will be some
tracks like 'Plusch' that maybe you will want to dance to as well. I will
finish my studies this year and after that there will be a lot more time to
tour or play live that now, though at the moment there are no concrete plans
to tour with the group, just some live gigs here and there." And outside of
Hacienda, Marcus has a little surprise in store for us as well: "I am working
on a really nice progressive ambient album with a friend. The story is: We
arrive on a new planet outside our galaxy and every sound that you hear stands
for an animal or something else that we see or hear while exploring this new
planet. We don't have any label support yet, though. Also I am doing some
tracks for an ambient dub project that is as yet untitled and just beginning.
It's a bit like Hacienda with dope beats and a nice grooving 303 sound."
Eye-Q has been very supportive as a label to these young musical pioneers,
however, even though Marcus' reply surprised me a bit: "Eye-Q was not our
first thought when we wanted to release our music, but they liked it very
much, especially in England, and so we have a two year contract. It is normal
to release two 12 inch discs and one album in one year, but we have the
opportunity to choose if we want to release more. Sometimes we get the
impression that the people who buy the Harthouse records in Germany are not
satisfied with Hacienda, because they want to have a straight bassdrum with
the twittering 303 sound, claps and open hi-hat. They don't really expect
music like Hacienda on Harthouse (formerly well known as a pure techno label.)
They are not open minded enough, that's the only problem. We do like some
releases Eye-Q has brought out, like Yokota, Alter Ego, and Freddy Fresh."
Before we wrap this interview up, let Marcus relate an interesting couple of
viewpoints about the marijuanna issue over in Germany: "Since 1994 or 1995
(I'm not sure which) the government has released a new policy that you are
allowed to carry up to 3 or 5 grams of pot with you but you are not allowed to
smoke it. Otherwise the police can arrest you. Of course, no-one cares and as
far as I know, the situation remains the same: You buy it if you want some,
you carry it with you as long as you want, and smoke it whenever you like and
as much as you like." And the perfect Sunday Afternoon? "It is in July when
the hottest sun of the day is slowly leaving your veranda, you and your
girlfriend lean back into the big comfortable (and soft but not too soft)
chair on your veranda, listen to the birds and have some friends over for a
chat, bring their latest records and to visit you. Nice and smooth music plays
and there are enough cold drinks and cigarettes for all, and everybody just
relaxes until the sun goes down in the distance. Try it out for yourself next
summer!" (Sounds like a great chill party! - Ed.)
VOIVOD. Interview with "Away"
Yes, those technical Canadian metal masters are back, and armed with a
brand new record and a new label, with Mausoleum Records here in the States.
"What was appealing about Mausoleum," states Away "was all the tour support.
We toured 4 different times with this album in the States, something we had
never done before. We did tour for every album, but most of the times we
only did once or twice for each album. We have to be in the face of the
people quite a bit since our music is rather different." I then asked Away if
he saw the label change and the long wait between albums as hurting them where
fan support was concerned, and he replied: "It's like we have no choice
sometimes, especially with the label change. Sometimes it's not working and it
would hurt the band if we stayed with the label."
"Negatron," their newest release, is heralded by many as a hard and heavy
return to the days of "War and Pain," "RRROOOAAARRR," and "Killing Technology"
even while still keeping the technical sense of "Killing Technology" and their
later releases. "It's definitely a 90's style record," says Away. "However it
is true that we retained our aggressive style of the earlier times. Our next
record, which we are working on right now, will have a new approach. We don't
want it to be like another Negatron, but Negatron was consciously directed
towards the Killing Technology era because we missed that style a lot, we
kind of got away from it for a couple of albums where we went more for a space
type approach. We wanted to bring the hardcore feel back to the music."
Getting back to the touring situation, Voivod has always been more popular
in Europe, where they did a few tours. "We did more in store appearances in
the European area, we definitely played bigger crowds in places like Italy and
the Czech republic, but I will always want to play New York and San Fransisco
and other big areas in the U.S. Heavy music is not as popular now as it was in
the 80's unfortunately." Now for the big question, one I'm sure many longtime
fans of the old Combat bands (Bathory, Celtic Frost, etc.) may be asking:
If you had to compare your fanbase or the scene in general as it was in the
80's with the way it is today, or if you played a show tomorrow or another
U.S. tour, which would you say would have brought or would bring you the most
appeal? Enquiring minds had to ask, and Away responds in kind: "It's really
hard to say, I mean even though the 80's were big for thrash metal, Voivod was
always an underground band. Except for when we toured on 'Nothingface' with
Soundgarden and Faith No More, we didn't ever really have a big crowd at our
shows. Some people will say that 'Killing Technology' or 'Dimension Hatross'
albums were the better days for Voivod, but the truth is sometimes we played
shows in the U.S. and nobody would show up because it was so underground. We
always sell around 100,000 copies of every album we put out, and everytime we
tour it's always the same friends we meet, so it's allright. Most people would
say that it sucks because it (the scene) doesn't grow, what I think is that
every one of the bands that we have been lucky to tour with for the past 12
or 13 years is good for us. Some bands will do really good, and a year or two
later they will only draw 10 people and that has never happened to us." This
is definitely true, the show in Atlanta was great and quite a lot of people
showed up even though the place wasn't packed.
Lyrical influences are pretty obvious for this new release, and according to
Away, "The lyrics were written in 94-95, and back then we were really into the
comspiracy theories (sound familiar?) a lot of these dealing with flying
saucers, Area 51, and things like that. On a side note, when we played in
Buffalo, Piggy and I saw, or thought we saw, U.F.O.'s in the skies over
Buffalo. Even though I had drawn them all my life, it was the first time I saw
something that was not normal in the sky. They looked like two triangles with
lights on every edge moving in a very mechanical way. Suddenly it started
moving in a random pattern and disappeared almost completely over the horizon.
You just know what it feels like when you see these things happen, you can
feel inside that this is not normal, not from earth. But, maybe it IS from
earth, that's the whole idea behind the comspiracy theories!" I then had to
ask him if he was familiar with the B1 Stealth Bomber, and he assured me he
knew about these planes, adding "It couldn't have been that, because it moved
in such an erratic fashion, it couldn't stay in place and move around like
As longtime fans know, since Snake's departure Eric has since been handling
the vocal duties, and believe it or not, the sound of the new album and the
singing style rather go hand in hand, and Away clarified for me just how
things progressed, since it was my impression (as it will be yours) that it
was the same singer from days of old: "When Eric came in he had his own
distinctive voice, but as time progressed and we had to learn the older
material, he started to learn the old songs and style of Voivod from earlier
albums, about 16 or 17 tracks. It was right before we wrote the new album,
and he seemed to pick up on the older style and sound that we had. When we
started writing songs for the new album, he definitely kept much of what he
had learned about our old sound, but even if he does sound like Snake it is
not intentional, but it's wierd because sometimes he sounds like he has two
tones. Right now we are writing some new stuff, and we hope to be recording
in March for a new album to be released maybe around Spring. We also plan on
touring for about a year and a half. There is also a live album that we
recorded that we have to mix, this was done at the Dynamo Festival in 95 and
96, also in a club in Berlin and a club CBGB's in New York. Look out for those
to be released as well."
Tales of Reefer Madness anyone? We weren't specifically trying to make it a
theme throughout every issue, but it's interesting to note just how much it
can enhance the creative process, as I well know and as Away is very in touch
with: "Hashish and Marijuana was always a part of the writing process for
Voivod. We don't do heroin, cocaine, or any hard drugs because that would
destroy our creativity. I do think these 'soft' drugs that we indulge in
sometimes help, but the one problem is that when you smoke marijuana, you tend
to think that everything you do is good, and as soon as you straighten up and
read the lyrics or listen to the songs you realize that there are some parts
that are not that good, so we always try to do a bit of both to make sure that
we're not completely overwhelmed by the feelings we get." Personally, I have
done writings under the influence so to speak, and found that much of what I
have written WAS great, and sometimes I cannot figure out where I got the
input from this from, how I could have been so inspired. "I tend to think that
if you abuse hashish and pot," continues Away, "you can lose your creative
awareness. There's a certain line you should know not to cross, like if you
smoke 20 joints a day, you couldn't get any more stoned, but we don't really
promote this, it's just a way of working that we adapted for us. I do have to
end this that whenever we write or record a song we intend to smoke beforehand
and this also works well before going on stage." (This was obvious from the
smell and smoke that followed them onstage during their last touring effort.)
One positive thing to note was that neither one of us smoke cigarettes, as
Away points out as I do that it's more harmful to a vocalist, however he does
take a break for a few months sometimes just to clear out his lungs and get
pure. So while many may disagree about the usefulness of Marijuana in society,
think back on all the great albums Voivod has made before rendering final
judgement. Look out for more stuff on Voivod in future issues.
We're glad you stuck with us for what has been nearly 4 long years. The TV
show we have been talking about is tenatively titled "Doom TV" and has already
started working on it's first episode, which we went all out for. There will
be an interview and live footage from Stuck Mojo at the Masquerade in Atlanta.
The show was quite insane, and you'll see from the footage that S.M. is INDEED
Atlanta's hottest band right now, with over 1600 people packing the house and
ensuring a sold out show. Those labels interested in having features on the
show, PLEASE send us all you MTV style or live concert footage videos of your
bands and we'll get them in! The master tapes should be ready in three to
four weeks, and we will have at least 4 shows done and on videotape before we
approach Channel 7 here in Savannah with the approval for a time slot.
Sorry for the extremely long delay with this issue, we look to rectify that
in the near future. Be rest assured that we are constantly moving onward and
upward, as the only internet magazine that brings you the music along with the
print! As a final note, every stoner should have the following CD's in their
rotation for relaxing, trippy mellow madness:
HAWKWIND "Warrior on the Edge of Time"
HACIENDA "Sunday Afternoon"
VARIOUS ARTISTS "Artificial Intelligence Volume II"
HAWKWIND "Hall of the Mountain Grill"
PINK FLOYD "Dark Side of the Moon" (Classic, but still good!)
Until the next issue, remember to support your local music scene if there is
one, and keep an open mind!
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