VIBRATIONS OF DOOM MAGAZINE
EDITOR: STEVEN CANNON
Priests of the Black, Ravers of the Apocalypse, Children of the Night,
Prophets of Doom and Agents of Death, we have returned! Know ye this, in our
4th year of the written word, we bring you news from distant realms. Okay,
enough with the verbosity, we want to welcome you to our 15th issue and some
new thingies! First, let's get the pertinent info out the way. Send yer demo
tapes, letters, comments, reviews, raves, rants, sacrifices, lava lamps, what
have you to:
Vibrations of Doom Magazine
c/o Steven Cannon (duh.)
1133 East 53rd Street
Savannah, GA 31404 USA
Web site: http://www.kmf.org/~cl/vod_home.html
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are going to try and do a letters page on a regular basis, so send us your
stuff man! Email or snail mail is just fine with us...
Finally, we seem to have a small space problem on our web site, so even though
the sound files for this issue are in stereo, the next issue may see files
returned to mono mode, but we may up the bitrate to 16 to compensate. Sorry
about this, but it was unaviodable.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
LETTERS FROM DA MASSES
8-RED "Undervalued Feelings"
AGENT ORANGE "Virtually Indestructible"
ARCTURUS "Aspera Heims Symfonia"
BIRMINGHAM 6 "Error of Judgement"
CEMETARY "Last Confessions"
COLLAPSED SYSTEM "Berlin 2007"
COVENANT "Theremin EP"
DEAD BY DAWN "After I Eat Your Brains"
HANZEL UND GRETYL "Transmissions from Uranus"
INVOCATOR "Dying to Live"
LAKE OF TEARS "A Crimson Cosmos"
MISFITS "American Psycho"
MORGOTH "Feel Sorry For the Fanatic"
MY DYING BRIDE "Like Gods of the Sun"
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD "City"
VADER "De Profundis"
VARIOUS ARTISTS "4 Hits From Mars"
VARIOUS ARTISTS "Kanada Kompilation"
VARIOUS ARTISTS "Tricked Out: The Best of..."
VARIOUS ARTISTS "Violent World - Misfits Tribute"
ZERO DEFECTS "Komma"
Well, we finally have enough for a letters page. U make sure that you send in
comments, reviews, and what not, or just drop a line to say how we're doing,
whether ya love us or hate us!
From: Ryan (email@example.com)
Hi... Awesome page! I just wanted to note... That I am pretty sure that part
where you said in Issue #14 about Stuck Mojo: Pigwalk, you stated that Pigwalk
was their 2nd release. Well, it is actually their 3rd release. I love their
music, I have Violated, Pigwalk, and Snappin' Necks. I also used your reviews
and bought Crematory, which I like very much. I also bought Kilgore Smudge
which I love too. I also like your ratings system... A kick ass page...
Steven: Well, first off, we may have made a mistake, except that Violated is
an EP of sorts, so actually Pigwalk would be considered their second FULL
LENGTH release. Kilgore Smudge is quite different music wise, but still good,
so we're glad the ratings helped you out, although personally since it's
really just one person doing reviews (with a few exceptions each issue) I have
decided to try harder and tighten up the point ratings system.
From: DLCN59A@prodigy.com (Mr. Fred W. Rupert)
I'm an aspiring zine maker, and since you guys are so good at makin' a good
zine, I figured you may have some helpful advise. What i had hoped on doing is
focusing pretty much on the death, black, doom, thrash genres, and well, to do
reviews you need something to go on. What I'm getting at is that if I would
contact labels and tell them this would they be willing to help out? I noticed
many times in your reviews that you mention the label being kind enough to
give you a copy. I thank you for any information and advice. Later people and
keep making a great zine!
Steven: Well, first of all, I need to ask the question: Are you doing a 'zine
JUST to get free stuff! :> No, really, the REAL question is will it be a zine
on paper or on the internet? When I first started this little publication
almost five years ago, I did music reviews for a local NEWSPAPER type 'zine
called Good Times magazine, and those of you in New York and New Jersey area
may remember this as Good Times Metal Edition, which i did a whole page of
reviews for. Anyway, I used that as a start for my own 'zine and it was much
easier since my first labels Megaforce, Metal Blade, Roadrunner, and Energy
Records could check me out. Internet zines are harder to get service for since
unless the labels have web access, it's harder to verify your existence. Four
years later we are servicing labels worldwide, and there are over 60 that we
work with, but it's a constant process, you have to contact labels quite a bit
so they know you are still doing something. It's not easy, but once you get
enough product, you'll have something to work with.
From: SLAUS@webtv.net (David Slauson)
I just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed your web page. It is hard to
find any good information about doom metal nowadays and your page was very
informative. I would like to know if you can tell me how I could obtain some
of the CD's you reviewed. I am interested in these:
Paul Chain 7 inch "Internal Void"
Paul Chain "Hemisphere"
Electric Wizard "Come my Fanatics"
Orange Goblin "Frequencies From Planet 10"
Acrimony "Tumuli Shroom Aroom"
Thank you and keep up the good work!
Steven: Sheesh! Isn't there ANYONE out there with some criticism or some
negative comments? :> Anyway, all the titles u mentioned are available (as far
as the last press release I got) on Flying/Godhead Records out of Italy.
Unfortunately, I never got these as the U.S. office of Flying Records has
closed, and if anyone out there has any contact with those in charge of the
Italian branch, please let them know we want to service them. I have sent them
email and haven't heard back from them yet.
From: "Pearson Greer" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hi! I was surfing the web for stuff on one of my favorite bands,
loveliescrushing, and the search engine gave you guys as a result, I read some
of your reviews and saw that you were based in Savannah, Georgia. I thought
that was interesting, I'm in a band based in Chattanooga, Tenessee, and we're
a lot like loveliescrushing music wise. We play shows in Atlanta sometimes,
and opened for Lycia last time they came through Atlanta, about a week and a
half ago, do you like them? We play Atlanta again June 24th opening for The
Wake if you're interested, I could email you more info if you like. We also
have a website at http://members.aol.com/antifret/twu.html. We have soundbites
from all our songs there, if you like what you hear perhaps we could send you
a tape to review. Admittedly we're more indie than most but what the hell, if
you're into that sort of thing. If you stop by the site, please drop me a note
at this address... Cheers and see u in the next one.
Steven: Thanks for checking us out. As we try to state in the opening of our
magazine, we welcome tapes and CD's from ANYONE with a band, but be forewarned
that we cannot do music digitizing for you UNLESS YOU HAVE A CD... I do make
shows in Atlanta quite a bit, also for the TV show, and there's a great
possibility that we will be at the Wake show (since I liked some of their
Cleopatra released stuff) with video camera and interview questions in hand!
Our job here is to spread the word of great music, no matter how underground!
Fron: Fabrice Francese.
How are you doing? I believe I did an interview for your magazine "Vibrations
of Doom" a long time ago. I can't remember if it was by fax or phone, but the
label Godhead messed a lot of things up, and I think now their U.S. office is
closed. If you were supposed to have it by fax and didn't receive it, I'm
sorry but if you did publish anything about Paul Chain, I would love to see
it. I was the bass player (for the album) Alkahest and I founded the fan club
before leaving Italy for London (England). Now I am based in New York very
busy surviving and trying to stay legally in this country, plus making lots of
music with lots of different people. Hope to hear from you soon.
Steven: It's still unclear as to exactly WHY the U.S. office of Flying/Godhead
closed, but my theory is that lack of interest or support here in the States
forced them to shut down, either that or lack of the allmighty dollar. The
interview to which you are referring was run in issue #12, so Paul Chain fans
check this out, we are going to look into the matter and see if we can
reconnect with the Italian branch to bring you more great doom metal.
From: H.K. Nandwani (email@example.com)
I am one of the profound readers of your magazine but it's hard to get here
in India. So I request you to kindly send me a subscription form. I need to
know that I can pay in a cheque. I also need to purchase a cassette "Hellish
Crossfire" by Iron Angel which is unavailable in India so kindly send me one I
can pay you by a payorder. Hope that you will do the needful immediately.
Steven: Thanks for the interest! It seems SOMEONE really liked the digitized
music files we did on Iron Angel. As we stated before, the web site holds ALL
the issues of Vibrations of Doom that we have, and as for Iron Angel, it took
me three years to track down the CD version, as it is not only out of print,
it was an import! I am sending you email on getting a cassette copy...
Forget about Biohazard, Sick of it All, and Pro-Pain, there is a whole
hardcore movement going on in Belgium, and 8-Red is just one of the bands
that Die Hard Music has released for your entertainment. Very brutal, with
Biohazard style group vocals in places, the only drawback was that at times
the singing voice got rather annoying, however they do utilize quite a bit of
dual style vocals throughout. The bass really shines through on several
tracks, most notably 'Hatred' and 'Fear No Regrets' where the bass has a few
riffs alone with nothing else in the background (or foreground!) 'Vice Versa'
was rather weak, though, especially on the chorus lines, and I thought
'Lacking of Breath' was a bit TOO fast for this disc, and what's with that
acoustic instrumental at the end? Doesn't fit at all with this type of music,
which incidentally does do some good variations between slower, powerful
instrumentation and faster, choppier riffs, though most of the guitar work
is not very intricate. Lots of power and aggression here, though they do need
to tighten their sound and work a little more on their songwriting.
Those old school surf punks are back with their newest record since their
double live album. I had actually thought they were dead, this CD is actually
almost a year old but was previously only available at their shows (see the
interview for more details.) It now has better distribution so I am told, but
lemme say first off for fans of the older stuff, they still write the cool
lyrics dealing with lost love, spy stories, and other madness. Their sound has
deviated into more rock orientation, but they still have some kick ass guitar
riffs, especially on 'Unsafe at Any Speed,' 'The Electric Storm,' and 'The
Truth Should Never Be Concealed.' Unfortunately, their rock orientation left
a few weak sounding tracks, most notably 'Broken Dreams' and 'You Belong To
Me' which were a little too radio friendly for my tastes. However, Mike's
vocals are still hella cool, and there's lots for the old school Agent Orange
fan to love about this disc, even the less aggressive tunes like 'Wouldn't
Last a Day' and 'Let it Burn' sound really well written. Still a three piece,
still making very well written music, and still retaining a little of that
punk edge, they have definitely matured without totally losing their cool.
I enjoyed seeing them live as well, and am glad to hear that they are still
Personally I'm not much for Black metal (Hmmm, with those punk roots, I guess
I know how to pick your review material, eh? - Ed.) but this was a shock! At
first, I was not very thrilled with it, I guess because the only Black metal I
was listening to at the time was Samael (which I truly love.) But after
listening to it for awhile it became one of the most enchanting CD's I ever
listened to. The first track 'To Thou Who Dwellest in The Night' starts out
with classically harmonic metal guitars engulfed in a sea of beautiful
keyboard melodies, and then rushes into a sea of mad demons growling with a
more chaotic keyboard melody. In fact the drums kick into a grindcore tempo
for a little while (which is what you will NOT find anywhere else on this CD)
but it also drifts into a soft melody of light guitars and synth. 'Wintry
Grey' is another one that gripped me, especially with the use of many vocal
variations. Whispers and dark spoken vocals also line this track, and these
variations are common throughout the whole CD as well as yhe numerous dark and
beautiful keyboard melodies filled with the not-so-dominant guitar harmonies.
'Whence and Whither Goest the Wind' starts with an incredibly beautiful piano
solo lined with flowing keybiards and a slightly harsh guitar (that you'll
tend not to pay attention to). 'The Bodkin' and 'Du Nordavind' start out
extremely soft and sweet, then they turn into a beautiful chaos! The mixture
of slightly sinister guitars, chaotic and beautiful keyboards, many vocal
variations, and the insane drum beats give us a well rounded masterpiece of
black metal. -- Review by Chris J. Waters
As stated in their interview, there are more guitar riffs, more keyboard
sequences, and this time around overall more aggression! I really enjoyed
their latest work, which in my mind has lots of great hard hitting dancefloor
tunes, and packing much more of a punch than their "Assassinate" LP. The
keyboards include trumpet sounds as well as spacey atmospheric effects, most
notable on 'The Kill,' and 'One of These Days.' They slow it down for 'The
Garden,' which is very sinister and dark, a majority of the moods that you
will find on this album. On the downside, 'Food For Thoughts' had a rather
strange vocal/instrumentation mix, and 'Die For Jehovah' sounded a little
forced lyric wise. The lyrical topics are very interesting, dealing with
various injustices and comspiracy theories, though their mastery of the
English language isn't 100%, they are understandable, and very hard hitting. I
must say I prefer this album much more to the last full length, but
"Assassinate" is still a very good release.
Continuing that Swedish tradition of totally abandoning the death metal roots
in favor of more melody, there are touches of Tiamat, Crematory, etc. BUT the
touches go a bit more gothic with this album, which is nicely done. 'Forever'
starts out with a bang, and most of the songs have good guitar parts in them.
There are some keyboard passages but the focus here is on the guitars
instrumentation wise. '1213 - Trancegalactica' was a little wierd, and the
vocals suffer the most on the track 'Carbon Heart,' as I said the singing
style is less like death metal and more like a low Sisters of Mercy format
mixed with Marc's new singing style on the newest Morgoth record. Lots of the
guitar riffs remind me of the style Tiamat presented on their "Clouds" and
"The Astral Sleep" discs, especially on 'Fields of Fire,' and 'Caress the
Damned.' 'So Sad Your Sorrow' was a bit more ominous, but on cool numbers like
'Forever,' 'Twin Reactor,' and 'Caress...' they do some heavy riffs. A nice
mix, I did enjoy this quite a bit. Fans of Tiamat and the newer style of
gothic metal may want to check it out.
Ultra brutal, ultra heavy, and ultra creepy! Most of the playing on this
release is rather brutal crushing speed, with surprisingly power metal'ish
guitar riffs! They're not as distorted or crunchy as in most bands of this
genre, and even though there is a majority of ultra fast drumming, lightning
speed guitar riffs (which sometimes don't stray much from their pre-set paths,
at least during the speed parts) and brutal Napalm Death/Sinister type vox,
there are some nice slow pieces and on the last track 'Into the Funeral
Domain,' there is an eerie acoustic piece mixed with some haunting keyboard
notes. The keyboards, incidentally are hardly used at all, which is good,
since the focus of this band is mainly speed and heaviness with a touch of
dark melody. One complaint I did have was some of the faster riffs did tend to
sound similar from song to song, especially on 'Darkside,' and 'Before the
Dawn.' The vocals get really crazy on 'Dimension beyond' and 'Carnal Lust,'
this whole release stays true to a skullcrushing atmosphere, check out the
digi's for yourself!
A rather strange and sinister industrial unit that utilizes strange
acid/trance notations (especially the Chemical Brothers warp notes from their
'Poison' song on 'Track Nine') and mixes them with some unusual beats. The
vocals get a little wierd at times, most tracks the vocals sound very bizarre
and sometimes get annoying, however on tracks like 'Addiction,' 'Observe the
Rules,' and 'Trapped' the shouted style vocals work well in adding a heavier
atmosphere to the strange and sinister style they present. 'Die Ziet' had a
rather ominous beat, but a very bizarre vocal style, while 'Re-Fusion' had
piano notes and was a cool instrumental. 'Berlin 2007' was the weakest track
on here, mostly for the vocals, and a few songs had a wierd instrumental
style. I recommend the singer working on the shouting style, as it sounds much
better, and though the tracks are dancefloor worthy, not all will appeal to
This release may not have you "dancing to the sound of sirens," but it is a
strange industrial/techno release. 'Theremin' starts out with some deep and
heavy beats, being slightly danceable; some tracks would make good dancefloor
hits. The vocalist has a rather dark and Sisters of Mercy/Zero Defects (ala
'Hostages' from their "Non-Recycleable" album) quality, which can detract on
the track 'Void,' however he also displays a Depeche Mode'ish singing voice
at times. It's a little hard to accurately put this into words, suffice to say
I'm still a little undecided on this one. 'Voices' was rather laid back,
mellow instrumentation with little tinny beats and mellow vocals while still
being dancefloor worthy, though that dark and sinister style creeps up through
at times, it's like they can't decide on a proper mood for the songs. 'Speed'
I didn't care much for, but the remix of the song was a little better. Can't
say I hated it, I did find some pieces of songs I liked. 'Figurehead,' by the
way, sounded like it needed a bit more added to it instrumentation wise.
Looking at the cover and band name, I was thinking maybe this was a Misfits
influenced type band, but alas, it's a very White Zombie'ish type project.
This is rather obvious by such song titles like 'Electric Corpse' (Electric
head, anyone?), 'White Knuckle,' and 'Yeah.' It's funny too listening to the
MANY M.F. words infecting the lyrics, check out the lyrics to 'Electric
Corpse:' "I am electric synthesized flesh pot a glow in, metallic skin
slithers across ripping a hole in, I want it, I need it, I hear it everyday."
'KTMF' (guess what it stands for) overdoes the 'Yeah, ouh, I know' Zombie-ish
style chorus, which works for White Zombie even though it is a bit repetitive
and rather amateurish. The vocals at times get rather annoying, he does at
LEAST try and sound different from his obvious idol in Rob Zombie. The guitar
riffs are nothing outstanding for the most part, it's straight forward riffing
that is not quite as distorted or thrash riff laden as W.Z., which maybe I
could have accepted had the song structure shown a bit more originality.
'Pain,' however showcased some heavy riffing, great guitar work, and a HEAVY
style that shined on it's own, which I had to digitize for ya. T.C. even
dipped quite low vocal wise for this one. 'Yeah' has a slow, hardcore feel to
it, which wasn't bad. Most everything else just didn't do much for me, they
need to focus their sound and direction a LOT before they will really win
Though bands like Hawkwind and Darxtar have shown us that space can be a
beautiful place, even those who spend too much time amogst the stars and far
away from home can become slightly peeved... Enter this awesome four piece who
have put together a high intensity, kick ass, industrial/techno with a few
slight touches of trance. Their brand of spaced out industrial'ism works very
well, there are SEVERAL tracks that are not only mosh worthy, but also work
well for club play, like "Pleiadian Agenda," "Take Me To Your Leader," and
other. "Mutant Starseed Creation" is a typical aggressive track, the lead
singer is female and has a very vicious vocal style. There are guitars present
as well, and lots of trippy samples. Check out 'Hyper Erotic Joy Helmet,' the
ultimate in erotic sensual pleasure. Where can I get one of those! There are
lots of spacey notes, and on the whole this works very well. My only few
complaints against such a fantastic work (there are 16 tracks, so only a few
bad moments don't distract much) is the last two tracks, 'Astronafti' and
'Om Zentrale Station,' they do utilize some saxophone and trance notations,
however the latter track was too mellow with it's piano notes and even wierder
than the rest. The former track has a rather arabic sounding synth style to it
and was rather unique. All in all, a very aggressive, diverse piece of work. I
long to hear their first album 'Augseflippt' which is sung in German I am
told. Take me to your leader!
The last release from Invocator, on Progress Records, follows in the style of
their previous release "Weave the Apocalypse." There are lots of innovative
slow, choppy riffs, the guitar work is still on par with that of their
previous effort however. It's obvious that they wanted to keep the trademark
style that worked so well for them on their last album while trying a few new
subtle ideas. It still works out very well and made for a very enjoyable
release. 'For a While' shows the vocalist doing more of a singing voice,
though he still has the patented aggressive vocals. Outstanding guitar work
can be heard on many tracks, some prominent ones are 'Kristendom,' 'For a
While' (which incidentally starts off with some cool tribal drumming), and
'Hole' which shows off some insane machine gun style guitar riffs. 'Search'
and 'South of No North' show off some ultra high note leads, the latter sounds
a little like Cannibal Corpse's playing on their "Tomb of The Mutilated"
album. GREAT album, it's a damn shame they broke up.
Yeah, I know, yet another high ranking review, but this disc is really damn
good! The vocals are clean sounding, sometimes with a slight edge to them, but
the playing is rather doomy but more heavy metal/rock oriented. Their lyrics
are strange, though, especially on 'Boogie Bubble' and 'Devil's Diner,' but
they're rather trippy, check out 'Cosmic Weed!' I didn't enjoy 'To Die is To
Wake' very much, it's an okay track that features some guest female vocals,
and 'A Crimson Cosmos' is a little more mellow, which is cool for me but some
may find it a bit too mellow. I think these guys are going the route that
Cathedral went, check out the waaaaay cool artwork front and back covers!
Really trippy, man, I dig it, and it's definitely different! Oh, and I guess I
forgot to mention there's some piano playing in there too.
Many people have said in the Misfits Bible on the 'net that this new album
sounds like it has too much speed metal influence, Michael's not Glenn, etc.
To all of these people I say, open your mind and realize that not only does
Michael have the ability to sound like Glenn at times, he carries to the
Misfits a unique vocal ability and gives this punk/sci-fi legend the 50's
atmosphere of some of the movies and sci-fi themes they write about. Lyric
wise, the words are up to par with ANYTHING Glenn has written, and even
surpasses them! The title track, 'Walk Among Us,' 'Speak of the Devil' and
many more have that kick ass Misfits trademark sound, even down to the
backup whoahs and ooh's they made famous. Keep in mind that the Misfits was
never really Glenn's band anyway, and with original members Doyle and Jerry
still in the band, they have proven to be able to write intense material, and
when you listen to 'Dig Up Her Bones,' 'Blacklight,' and 'Mars Attacks,' you
will hear the Misfits have incorporated lots of melody, hell you actually will
find yourselves singing these songs for days like I have! My only complaint,
as good as Michael's voice is and the unique singing style he brings, his
voice wavers just a bit on 'This Island Earth,' and the Elvis impersonation
style on 'Day of the Dead' (before you rip on this, just remember that one of
Danzig's main influences was Elvis) may not appeal to all. Other than that,
the Misfits live on, and better than ever!
The title of their new album seems rather fitting since they have TOTALLY
abandoned the brutal crushing style of their first two EP's "Resurrection
Absurd/Eternal Fall." The first track 'Fantastic Decade' I thought was rather
bad, I almost didn't want to finish listening to the album, but I stuck it out
for 'Last Laugh,' which had a certain heaviness to it. The guitars are no
longer distorted in that death metal style, and Marc now sings more, though
you can still hear the years of death metal growling in his voice. On tracks
like 'Last Laugh,' and 'Curiosity,' the riffs are good, and you can still hear
slow haunting riffs that they worked with on their album "Cursed." '...And
it's Amazing Consequences' is a heavy techno song laced with acid trance riffs
that was rather unusual, and 'Forgotten Days' has some keyboard techno notes
in the background. Some lyrics were hard to take to, especially on 'Cash' and
Marc does a lot more of a mellow singing voice on 'Watch the Future.' I am
rather disappointed by their total change in style, but this release had some
enjoyable tracks on it. It's good to change and be diverse, but it's hard to
take after hearing such mind crushing music, the two EP's in one album they
started their career with is still one of my favorite death metal albums of
In the darkest night, the most beautiful moment, the deepest sadness, My Dying
Bride is there. I could not find one thing wrong with this album, the lyrics
are so deep, emotional, and poetic, especially on tracks like 'For My Fallen
Angel,' a spoken work piece, and 'Dark Caress.' There is so much going on in
a MDB song, take 'Here in The Throat' for instance, where it starts off with
fast and heavy doom style riffs, only to break into beautiful violin pieces.
Many riffs are true doom metal masterpieces, but it rarely ends there. My
personal favorites are 'For You,' a dynamic, encompassing intro which leads
into some truly beautiful instrumentation; some of the best on the album, and
'Grace Unhearing,' which has some cool lyrics, check out a sample: "Falling,
drowning, deeper and deeper, Choking, sinking, deeper into this ocean.
Screaming, crying, for someone to save me. Reaching, hoping, calling to no
one." Their lyrics are truly amazing, whether reaching the deepest depths of
sadness and depression, to the most light, fluid and free flowing beauty,
this English band should finally achieve their greatest success with this
masterpiece. I can't say enough about it, so check out the soundfiles and see
The best way to describe S.Y.L. is to say take Fear Factory and replace all
the band members with homicidal hyper maniacs, and throw in more keyboards!!
This second release is even more insane than their previous effort "Heavy As A
Really Heavy Thing." and tracks like 'All Hail The New Flesh' and 'Detox' have
not only very thrashy and heavy guitar riffs, but have a certain catchiness
that will gouge out yer eyes, rip off yer flesh, and break your bones in two!
Devin Townsend has varied his vocals as well, at times going full hate into
a death growl, and at other times with a scream that is almost high pitched. A
very brutal assault on your senses, except for a few weak tracks. 'Room 429'
was one of my least favorites, simply because the slow tune and the wierd
vocal style didn't fit the rest of the band's sound. 'Underneath the Waves'
does tend to drag a little too much for its length, and 'AAA' took awhile to
get into, but one thing is certain: There is just so much over the top hatred,
aggression, and brutality that it overwhelms you completely. Devin is truly a
Many Front Line Assembly fans may recognize this as one of many side projects
that both members work on, this one features both Bill AND Rhys, and is
startlingly beautiful, what is even more surprising is how vastly different
this project is from the harsh electronics and brutal sounds Front Line puts
out. It is a mixture of tribal beats and beautiful ambient landscapes, and on
tracks like 'Nomads,' and 'Intelligence Dream' there are some dark and
sinister passages before delving into some trippy, beautiful dreamy
sounds. It's a good disc to trip to, though 'Descartes' was a slight downer.
After hearing a disc like this one has to ask if the turmoil within Front Line
Assembly wasn't a good thing! I really enjoyed this CD, and though some of the
songs are quite long and take a minute to go into the great ambience, it is
very well worth it and a CD filled with great material.
Those death metal masters that released "Of Darkness" some years ago have
changed greatly these past few years. This is a GREAT album, one that is
destined to be a classic though there are a few tiny flaws. The guitar work is
usually up front, they do make grand and majestic use of The Siren Choir, and
the North German Radio Choir, in addition to a grand piano, several keyboards,
and Dan Swano lends his voice to a few tracks. There is so much going on in a
Therion song that you can tell quite a lot of effort and expense went into
this, truly their best ever. 'Invocation' is VERY heavy, most of the guitar
work contains thrashy and heavy riffs, and keyboards don't necessarily
overshadow the guitar work. The choirs are amazingly beautiful, they do vocals
very well, especially on 'To Mega Therion,' and the only downers were the
low intoned vocals on 'Nightside of Eden,' however you kinda forget about that
once the Choir's talented assemblage kicks in. 'In The Desert' makes use of
some really wild guitar effects, it is a mysterious track and Dan Swano's
voice (of Nightingale, Edge of Sanity fame - Ed.) lends itself marvelously to
a great track! 'Siren of the Woods' has some beautiful acoustics and
instrumentation, though the lone female singer took some getting used to. A
classic disc, quite different from the rest in the death metal genre, I highly
Imagine the ultimate weapon that has you completely powerless, unable to move,
speak or think, then without warning sonically obliterates you into millions
of tiny fragments. The second release from Poland's unholy death squadron do
just that with their "De Profundis" album. Let me first say that normally I am
not a very big fan of fast music, but the way they put this together totally
left me speechless. 10 songs, 38 minutes total, and the first two tracks
'Silent Empire' and 'An Act of Darkness' rush in, kill and drop out! The
drumming abilities of 'Doc' are mind boggling, I found myself speechless for
about 10 minutes! After the first minute and a half of brutal beyond hyper
speed drumming and very well wiritten and brutal riffs, you hear Peter's
vocals which reminds me of Entombed but with more force, power, and
conviction! The music is not ALL fast paced, though, on 'Reborn in Flames,'
the song starts out with some skullcrushingly slow riffs and these guys do
have complete mastery of such a dark atmosphere the whole way through. The
songs vary quite a bit for their average 3.5 minute length, the songwriting,
lyrics, and the whole thing are just full of power! The only downer? The last
track, which includes kinda techno'ish beats: it's a cover of a Depeche Mode
song 'I Feel You,' which is slow, droning, and will have you laughing, until
you hear that the whole group can really play their instruments at any speed.
Not the best track, but after all that hellish energy forcing you to your
knees, the last track laughs in your face as it lets you up and says, "Did
you enjoy your nightmare?" "I AM THE LORD OF DARKNESS!!" Believe it, boy.
This Misfits tribute 7 inch is for those who want to hear covers that sound a
lot like the original songs, and many Misfits Bible subscribers really enjoyed
this. (My congrats to Chris for being able to get ahold of this one! - Ed.) It
is very hard to find as it was limited to 300 vinyl copies (100 each in black
vinyl, gold and blue.) and were only made available to Misfits Bible members
and those who had Fandango's address. Anyway, the disc starts off with a nice
brutal version of 'Die Die My Darling' by Undermine: pretty heavy and the
vocals are reminiscent of a much younger James Hetfield from their "Kill 'Em
All" days. Silent Noise (a.k.a. Tim Cotter) does a pretty cool version of
'Horror Business,' which sounds a little like that solo 7 inch Danzig did back
in 1981 ('Who Killed Marilyn/Spook City U.S.A.') -- all instruments and
production done by one person. Ripsnorter does an almost exact studio replica
of 'Skulls' which sounds really good, kinda makes you wonder what their
original stuff sounds like. The Idiot Police (Wow! Where do they come up with
all these cool names?) covered 'We Are 138,' which sounds different from the
original, mainly the vocals, and it's also rather poorly produced, which is
rather a downside but it does keep that punk edge to it that '138' was always
known for. Overall it's a pretty good album, nothing whiny or whimpy about it.
These are all true Misfits Fiends, and this disc is a good tribute to one of
the greatest bands on Earth. -- Review by Chris J. Waters
Okay, so you may be wondering why this CD isn't going to be rated, well, it's
for two reasons: A. This CD is mainly a showcase for two new tracks from
Infernal Majesty's upcoming album and B. These two said tracks are going to be
re-recorded anyway. Suffice it to say (see the interview for details) that
Infernal Majesty are back and with two tracks 'Where is Your God' and 'Gone
the Way of All Flesh,' the vocals sound a bit different but it is kick ass
death thrash! These songs will be vastly different from the versions (which
will be longer in scope, but I've said too much already. GO READ THE DAMN
INTERVIEW ALREADY!!) The other two bands, Custom and The Harpoons, are okay
but nothing really great, in fact, the 'Drunk Tank' song by The Harpoons was
the worst track on here. Custom wasn't really all that bad, 'Product' was
kinda heavy in a way, and The Harpoons' 'Wishful Thinking' had some funny
lyrics. But, as I said, this was mainly obtained by me to get an idea of what
the new recording is going to sound like.
DAMN! The bass hits on this thing are unbelievable! From the opening track by
Hard Hop Heathen throughout, these songs build up to a sometimes explosive
climax, and the style of music is some of the most brutal hardhop, acid and
extreme bass beats without dipping into the hardcore techno range of 200
BPM plus (Beats per minute, see some of the past reviews of KNOR Records/XSV
Records releases we did in the past.) While you may not be able to hear too
well how deep these bass explosions are, lemme say that Wizard of Oh's 'Off to
Demention X' REALLY screwed with my 190 watt Blaupunkt speakers in my car!!
Lots of the tracks presented here have brutal acid trance notations, and
nearly all the tracks pay tribute to rap artists of the past with such lines
like "Everybody just scream," and "I won't stop rockin' till I retire." There
is old school all over this disc, which makes it even more interesting. The
most evil acid/trance notes I found were in Hard Hop Heathen's "Double Dove,"
and my main complaints were on tracks 'Pure Havoc' and 'Double Dove,' they
overdid it with the old school samples. I even found touches of Prodigy's
wicked opening trance notes from their hit 'Poison' reworked in two tracks:
'Oh-Zone Layer' and, again, 'Double Dove.' Damn near every track is club
worthy, though 'Pure Havoc' was the weakest overall. 'Temple of Boom' was
about the most commercial sounding, but still retained heavy elements. Great
for club play, definitely brutal, and all mixed down by Omar Santana, so you
can put this on and just let it play non-stop! To the beat, y'all!
Before I let Chris get his words in edgewise, though he is pretty much THE
authority in this 'burg on the Misfits I would have to say that I would have
given this album a little bit lower of a rating. Anyway, go Chris...
Many people tend to think that a tribute album is supposed to have songs that
sound exactly like those of the original band. NOT TRUE! And this album proves
that the covers sound just as good even if they aren't exact replicas. There
is one thing that a Misfits cover must have to be a good cover: it must
preserve the creepy mood, and in many cases (SOME cases - Ed.) this was done
really well. Two prime examples were Prong's 'London Dungeon' and Sick of It
All's 'All Hell Breaks Loose.' (That's what I'M screaming! - Ed. interfering
again!) Prong gives this eerie tune one helluva bite by adding heavy guitars
and industrial overtones. Sick of It All was the perfect band for 'All Hell!'
This one was simply chaotic and brutal as hell, and will definitely make your
eyeballs pop out. Farside had a really cool, jazzy version of 'Return of the
Fly,' with that early Misfits Cough/Cool sound (which, I must also add, sorry
to butt in again, was what I thought was some of the Misfits' worst works -
Ed.) Shades Apart did a really cool twist on the guitars with '20 Eyes,' and
Deadguy tripped me out with their version of 'Horror Business' which is almost
exactly word-for-word like the version of said song on "Evilive!" It even
includes the vocalist shouting Glenn's death threats to the kids throwing full
beer cans during one of the evilive shows. Bouncing Souls and 108 also keep
the speed and visiousness of 'Mommy' and 'Death Comes Ripping' (respectively).
However, NOFX's 'Last Caress' and Goldfinger's 'Ghouls Night Out' really took
the mood out, especially with the whiny vocals. The Misfits are by NO means
whiny! Other than that i really enjoyed this album and the mood was kept
throughout most of it, I think Jerry and the gang would be proud...
-- Review by Chris J. Waters
I really had a hard time rating this album. The follow up full length to the
smash success of "Non Recycleable" is all in German this time, and it seems
the guitars are almost non existant (although I seem to recall there
were very little guitars on the Non-Recycleable album as well.) They do seem
to be utilizing more acid/trance notations this time around, and the songs
really don't seem to hold up extremely well to this new style, though some
songs are better written than the ones on their EP 'Thoughtographic.' They did
do the saxophone thing again with 'Leb 2' which is a beautiful song. I
guess the days of "Non-Recycleable" are gone, but on a positive note, songs
like 'Leb 2' have potential if they can work it into their sound more. It
seems to me like they're stuck in experimentation mode...
AGENT ORANGE. Interview with Mike at the Bay Street Bar.
Anyone who skates or surfs should be familiar with this Southern California
punk legend. After releasing a great live album chock full of good material,
I had wondered indeed what happened to this powerful three piece that had
released such killer less than 2 minute classics like 'Bloodstains,' 'The Last
Goodbye,' and 'I Kill Spies.' A question which I had to ask first, to which
Mike replied: "Where were YOU last year?" Hey, I ask the questions around
here! But, that's just the kinda cool guy Mike is, he obviously didn't want
this interview to be too atypical, even if it was for my hard to get running
TV show entitled Doom TV. But enough of that, let Mike finish explaining what
Agent Orange has been up to since the last major label TYPE release: "We have
toured at least once every year. When you say you haven't heard from us you
probably mean album wise. The new album ''Virtually Indestructible'' has been
out for a year now. It was kind of a low key release, we put it out on our own
label and we wanted a record to be OUT while we were touring, because I didn't
want to answer any more questions from people about 'where is the new album,
why isn't there a new disc,' etc. So we got it back from the pressing plant
and they shipped it to us out on the road, the shipment arrived in Phoenix,
Arizona which was the first day of our tour. During the tour the album was
only available at the shows, and once we got home I started working with
independent distributors here in the U.S. to get a good distribution going. It
took a lot of work and time, but it should be in stores by now..." Speaking
of the new record, which as we noted in the record review is a little
different from their power punk days, Mike had a lot to say about the
direction they are progressing in. Progression is the key word of the day for
Agent Orange, and of course I'll let Mike elaborate on this: "If you listen to
''This is The Voice'' then you will see that this new album is a natural
progression from that, of course it took seven years to do it in between
records, but it all holds up and even though we have had record label problems
and a couple of band member changes (Mike is the only original member left -
Ed.) It all holds up very well. But, if you go all the way back to ''Living in
Darkness,'' you may think it's a drastic change in sound. Let's face it, with
every release we're moving further and further away from ''Living..'' so if
that's the only record you've ever bought, guess what! It's 19... uh, 1997,
get with it!! Maybe the next release will sound more like the first one, but
there IS a progression going on, we're not stuck in 1981, so give everything a
listen and give everything time to soak in." Obviously, I had not even heard
the new record before doing the interview, I had only listened to a couple of
sound clips, so there was a lot I didn't know about their new sound... Which,
if you read the record review, you will see.
Just to drift back for a minute, I wanted to talk about the re-releasing of
"Living in Darkness," redone with bonus tracks on Rhino Records. As many of
you are no doubt aware, the Posh Boy original (which I own on cassette, minus
a few tracks, probably THE rarest form of this cassette copy in existence) is
no longer pressed and never was, to my knowledge, pressed on CD. There is a
version of 'Bloodstains' on there that sounds quite different from what most
of us have heard, and according to Mike, "That song was actually recorded
three different ways, the first time it was recorded for our own seven inch
single, and THAT version is NOT on CD, it is only available on that limited
edition EP, and the back of that featured 'America' and 'Bored of You.' The
second version was done for ''Rodney on the Rock Volume 1.'' The version of
'Bloodstains' which appears on the album ''Living...'' was actually done
again against my better judgement because we had already done two versions of
it!. And of course, the two songs 'America' and 'Bored of You' from that
extremely limited 7 inch vinyl showed up on the repressing of ''Living..''
which is now on Rhino Records." There's a little bit of history too behind the
recording of ''Living...'' which is interesting, Mike even explains what one
of his songs, 'The Last Goodbye,' is all about: " ''Living...'' was actually
recorded in two sessions, one day for basic tracks, the other day for guitar
overdubs; which were minimal, and vocals. 'The Last Goodbye' the words were
written in between the two sessions. So we went in and recorded the basic
tracks for it then I went home and wrote the lyrics. Basically what that song
is about is that in the time we recorded the basic tracks and came back the
second time, we signed the contract. I seriously wondered if we would ever
record another album after that, because we were in a BAD contract. The deal
was so bad I thought that the only way out of it was to break up, but
fortunately we were left a loophole and got out of it, the only time in our
history." Of course, the next few albums, as we all know, came out through
Enigma/Metal Blade, and we all know how that label worked... If it's not yet
obvious to you, let Mike tell ya what the deal really was: "Well, THE DEAL
was that Agent Orange was touring and doing all this stuff and things were
really working for us, especially with our involvement with the skate and surf
community. Now we know that things were going our way, especially when we used
hindsight and looked back on our career, but Enigma chose to sink all their
money into bands like Poison and Stryper." Sheesh! You ready to gag yet!?
Trip on what Mike said about their involvement in the skate and surf industry:
"We had been skating and surfing long before we were in a band. I was not
jumping a bandwagon there. Music is just an extension there, if you're into
extreme things like surfing and skating, punk music is like the soundtrack for
it. It's hard to get aggro when u listen to Elton John or something!"
The last few years Agent Orange has been working on doing international
shows, especially getting a chance to do places they've never done before,
like, um; well, hit it Mike! "We've gone to Japan twice, we've gone to
Australia, we're working on Europe which is one place we've never gone. It's
wierd for us because everyone else has gone there. We actually played South
America for the first time, and that worked out really good." Finally, Mike
tells us about the whole stage thing, their philosophy and sound: "Even though
some might have thought we were gone, we never went away. We were touring
constantly, doing many U.S. tours when we weren't releasing records. It was
our concept that the most important thing is the bond between band and
audience. Releases are obviously important and promotion too, but without that
live situation it just doesn't work for us. On a final note, when I go back
and listen to ''Living in Darkness.'' it sounds not as intense as it does
live. That's the whole premise, just trying to make as much noise as three
people can make on one stage. Now we play this stuff with so much more
intensity now, there's just no comparison. I think our next record will be in
more of a stripped down style sorta like that, we've proved to ourselves that
we can really play, really write songs, and now it's like we can get back to
our roots, get comfortable with the sound and style we worked on." Truer words
were never spoken, as the show in Savannah was electrifying and the crowd
response was unbelievable for a little over 300 people. This interview was
actually part of a video shoot at this location, if you want to see the tape
drop me a line either in email or postal, and I'll see what I can do about
setting ya up with a copy!
INFERNAL MAJESTY. Interview with Steve via the telephono!
Many may remember this killer thrash outfit from back in the 80's with their
classic "None Shall Defy" release, well, they are back and with the original
lineup! The vocals sound different on these new recordings (see the "Kanada
Kompilation" review for more details) and Steve tells us: "Chris, the original
singer, still sings the same way, but it has been a long time since he has
sung and his voice has changed a bit. Ron from Displeased Records didn't like
his voice very much, but Chris is able to do a little bit of both styles. The
way the music has progressed is like all bands, but we got to the point where
we needed to sound a little bit heavier, but we think he's gonna have a blend
of the old style with the new. We actually worked on the songs for only two
weeks before we performed them. Lyrics were done almost a week before we went
in, it was kinda rapid. Once we do some shows things will blend a little bit
better, and the vocals will progress themselves." The bio mentions that these
are shortened versions, but Steve states that "The new songs will be appearing
on the new album, and they are already recorded in their new format. In order
to do some European shows, we were forced to do some new material because
people overseas were questioning the fact that we were still a band. So we
decided to do these two songs, which were basically done in a weekend. The
songs will be changed for the new record. We picked the two songs that we had
the lyrics already finished for, and the recording of the two tracks for the
''Kanada Kompilation'' didn't cost us any money, but it also helped our friend
out, who owns Lifestyle Records, because it gets his name out there."
Many people may immediately jump on Infernal Majesty for jumping on the old
reformation of old bands bandwagon, but actually there was so much chaos
within the camp, that there is much more to this story than just them "getting
back together," which steve will explain: "This recording that is coming out,
we actually did almost three years ago. We went to Scott Burns, and he didn't
like the lyrics, which were written by Vinnie, who was our second singer. We
were kinda floored by Scott's response, until he said Vinnie wasn't a good
enough singer, then he finally told us not to finish the recording. As we
looked around for another singer, things dragged on a bit, so we tried Chris
and Scott said his voice wasn't heavy enough! The original singer, no less!
I moved to Vancouver and kinda took a break for awhile, and I was planning on
looking for a singer out there, but we were always wanting to finish the
record. We were just kinda slack I guess. We then heard Displeased put out the
CD ''None Shall Defy'' and then caught word that people liked the album and
wanted to see us tour, I was very surprised at this news obviously. It's a
real struggle when you don't have a label backing your work, and you have no
management and troubles with the lead singer." Many of you know that "None
Shall Defy" was released on Roadrunner, but the album is very hard to find.
The album, according to Steve, "was actually deleted by Roadrunner about three
or four years into the album's release, and at the time Roadrunner was
basically just signing everybody and anybody, their policy was to sign it, put
out a record for as little money as possible and just see what happens. And
they didn't give us any tour support, or do anything for us, they may have
advertised the record, but they didn't have very good distribution back then
either. Now I think they have distribution by MCA, and now they are very
selective with their bands, who probably have managers now. Our touring
situation was pretty bad too, that show you have from Detroit is pretty rare,
we didn't get chances to tour where we wanted to. The reactions from Vince's
vocal ability on that ''Creation of Chaos'' 4 song demo was pretty bad. He was
pretty entertaining to watch, kinda muscular and like Danzig, he was a real
freak onstage. His voice just didn't hold up though. It's funny too, because
Chris' performance on THAT tape (after we got him back) was the best
performance on the ''Creation of Chaos'' demo I thought. The funny part was
that Kevin had sold his drum kit so we used a rental kit, and it didn't have
good double bass drum petals, we all kinda played rather sloppily. The playing
quality that Scott had helped us on with Chris is way better, he really pushed
us hard to make sure we made no mistakes."
The touring plans they have set up are really amazing! "Although we haven't
signed contracts," Steve admits, "and we have had letdowns before, there is a
guy in Belgium who faxed us some dates for shows he has set up for us, and
this itinerary looks really impressive. We're hoping that these shows will
either generate enough money for us to finish the record, or by doing these
shows we can get a new record deal, because labels really don't sign bands
unless you play a lot. The dates start around the end of August and go until
about the end of september, and we're playing like every single day for like
25 dates! We're starting off in the Netherlands, then going into belgium,
Germany, Paris, back into the Netherlands, Hamburg in Germany, some city in
Austria, we're not sure but it may be Vienna, Chezkoslovakia, Switzerland, a
few in Italy one being Rome, Barcelona in Spain, France again and we hear that
there may be about 9 or 15 added to this." This is a heck of a touring
schedule for a band that just gave word of getting back together! "The
promoter that put this together is providing everything for us, he supplies us
with transportation, room and board, the gear, a road manager, roadies, and
whatever we need. There are three other bands on the bill however, Vader,
Malevolent Creations, and Vital Remains. I keep hearing great things about
Vader's new album, though." I had to interject how great Vader's new album was
and it was sad that we missed their performance in Atlanta due to their being
jet lagged. This touring itinerary will supposedly guarantee Infernal Majesty
a touring link with a major festival next year if they do well. Steve also
adds about this current touring itinerary: "I know it sounds rather suddenly,
but apparently Joey Severance, who runs a radio show, told us that Vital
Remains lives down the street from them and they told him they were playing
with us so we have a good feeling this may be coming together, especially
since we have all these cities and venue names. Malevolent Creations we have
not heard from yet, and we'd like to talk to them as well because this is
a co-headlining show with this band."
Final thoughts on this situation are pretty amazing, there is so much going
on for a band that JUST announced they were reforming. Listen to what Steve
tells us he has seen across the Internet: "There are reports of all kinds of
bootleg stuff for us, someone on the Internet is selling a copy of one of our
demo tapes burned onto a CD with a couple of other songs, pretty blatant too!
There's T-shirts, CD's, and videos too." I then had to ask how integral has
the Internet been to their success? I know without it I wouldn't have a music
magazine, and Steve admits that it has been very helpful to get the word out:
"It's been just amazing. When we heard that Ron from Displeased had a web page
we checked it out, it was pretty amazing. We didn't even know it was up, one
day Kenny was sitting at home playing around and surfing on it, and he just
typed in the name Infernal Majesty and lo and behold there it was, and we
couldn't believe it! So he then decided to make his own web page, he got some
books on it and we incidentally just updated the page. The address is:
www.cgocable.net/~fish. This has all the tour dates listed and some other
relevant info for everyone." Hopefully when Infernal Majesty returns from
Europe they will play some U.S. shows, but Steve mentions that: "We have some
border problems in coming here to the U.S., a couple of guys here have records
from a long time ago, like ten years old, and they have to be pardoned before
we can get in, but a pardon takes like 4 months and costs 300 bucks, so we are
working on that right now. Actually, there is an agent in California who says
he can get us some shows in January down the West Coast. We'd like to play
everywhere, we just have some things to clear up." They are all looking
forward to playing a grueling schedule, and hopefully they will do well! Look
for more updates as I talk to them more in later issues.
THERION. Interview with Christopher Johnsson.
I remember the first set of reviews I ever wrote back for Good Times Metal
Magazine, one of them was for Therion's first record "Of Darkness." They have
come a long way since then, their newest masterpiece "Theli" is truly a unique
and astounding piece of work for them. I asked Christopher about how this
progression came to pass, and he stated, "As you know, we started back in '87
under the name Blitzkrieg. We were one of very few bands in our area doing
what we did, but sooner or later we found that since many bands were popping
up with death metal sounds, we decided that we weren't really doing anything
unique anymore. With our second album ''Beyond Sanctorum'' we started to move
in a symphonic direction, adding different elements to our music. We're just
trying to be a little ahead of everyone else. We started using lots of
keyboard sounds and people called us posers, then when we started adding
Arabic and Persian folk music people called us wierd, and with the more
symphonic sound people thought we were too ambitious. Now we are doing an
opera style and I think it's still a little ahead of the rest of the genre.
For the first time we are actually selling a bigger amount of records with
''Theli,'' so it seems people are really getting into what we do. Usually
people catch up with what we are doing later on." For this album, there was a
very hefty price tag, as Christopher explains it to us, "This album costs
about 45,000 dollars, quite a lot of money. We worked with two choirs, the
North German Radio Choir, which was presenting the operetta style, and the
Siren Choir which is more rock oriented. When we chose our studio to record
in, we realized also that we needed a studio that could handle recording with
choirs, plus we had to work with two producers, one that dealt with metal and
rock and one that dealt with classical and opera. Our classical producer
actually played classical music and had a lot of connections so it was a big
help for us. The expenses came mainly because we couldn't find any freelance
musicians." They also got Dan Swano to perform some vocals on "Theli," and one
particular interview we read on him he noted some tracks were left off of
this album, which is explained by Christopher: "We have a ten year anniversary
album out now (which we got too late for the deadline) it's a shame you don't
have it yet, you should kick your record label's ass! The two leftover tracks
are 'Black Fairies' and 'Rememberance' (though he didn't state which) and one
was just too pop oriented, it's a good song, it's symphonic and all but it
just didn't fit with the album's theme, and the other song was just straight
forward heavy metal style. It was basically an extra song we recorded for
filler, it always helps to record extra songs just in case you need it later
to fill out a single. There are also some cool covers, we did 'Flight of the
Rainbow' by the Scorpions from 1974, early Scorpions material is just
brilliant. A lot of people don't like the Scorpions in the 80's or even the
90's and neither do I. We did an Iron Maiden cover 'Children of the Damned,'
a Running Wild song 'Under Jolly Roger,' and Judas Priest's 'Here Comes the
Tears.' The remainder of the tracks are highlights from a soundtrack we did
for an art movie, and many people said how brilliant it was and why didn't we
release it as an album instead of wasting it on this movie? It was all
classical music, and we took four highlights from the movie and added drums,
bass, and guitar; basically we Therionized the songs. Also, we did a
re-recording of the old ''Of Darkness'' song 'Symphony of the Damned.'" Though
they do not do older material much anymore, this newly recorded version is
probably the only time you will ever hear any songs from their first album.
Lyric wise, there is a whole sphere of influence for their topics, and it
does come off to me as a bit otherworldly. It was hard to understand at times,
but you can tell there is much deep meaning behind the words, as Christopher
explains: "I didn't write all the lyrics myself of course, one of my best
friends helped me out, he writes much like I do but he is a little bit better
in my opinion. I wouldn't label the lyrics as religious or anything, they are
influenced by Aleister Crowley, and there's some ancient Babylonian, Sumerian
and ancient Egyptian influences as well. The lyrics are revelations that have
come up through astral projections and lucid dreaming." Christopher is also a
member of the Dragon Rouge, and I made the mistake of calling it a Lodge,
something he quickly corrected me on: "It's a magikal order basically,
Swedish in origin and has 500 members, which is quite a lot if you consider
that Sweden has a population of around 8 million. We practice partially the
old fashioned magic, we are not really into much of the classic stuff, we use
the Kavela to categorize and put a label on things; humans are pretty stupid
and dumb sometimes in that they need a name on everything or else they can't
refer to it. So we use Kavela which is a categorization system to get names of
all revelations and experiences and places we have been like if you do Astral
Travel. We do work more with the dark side of the Kavela which is called
Kliffoth, and we do also practice Enochian magic but mainly we try to do new
techniques for our order. One example of updated techniques of magic are like
in the book of black magic, you go out three months in the desert and meditate
and only drink and not eat anything. That's not really possible of course
because in Sweden there are no deserts, also my instincts are really too low
compared to the old men, I couldn't survive three months in a forest I would
starve to death. We have to develop new techniques according to the way of
living we have today, there's too much romance around this way of doing things
especially with the grimoires, and you have to follow all these procedures,
like standing in the circle while you hold the ring at a certain angle, this
is not really necessary because the ceremonial items and rituals are merely
tools to obtain something. Why use methods which were done during medieval
times when we live in the realms of today? In general, the Dragon Rouge is
very modern, we try to make progress instead of looking in the past to achieve
Live, Therion is able to pull off all the sounds on the record from the
symphonics to the choir voices. This is extremely amazing considering bands
like Type O Negative have their sounds stripped down in order to produce a
heavier sound, even their backing vocals are gone. Christopher agress, and
adds: "Well, not everything, the orchestration is done by a keyboard on stage,
but we do try and recreate all the sounds of the album. It's very difficult to
do, because a full scale orchestra doesn't compare to a keyboard. The choir
work is still there, but we do have a smaller choir than what we used in the
studio, it's not as massive but we can do all the harmonies and stuff. I MUST
point out that we are losing money for every show we do, even though we have
sold over 50,000 records in Europe. We are very well paid for the shows we do
but it's so expensive to bring all these people with you on tour, from city to
city and country to country. It's one thing to pay off rock musicians, but one
of the sopranos for instance is a real opera singer, and there's another
singer who is a musical artist doing big productions. We're going to do an
experiment this summer, we have officially stated that we may have to stop
touring because we can't really afford it, we need to double our album sales
in Europe, like 100,000 if we're going to make something out of touring. We've
been around for ten years, we've sold lots of records and we lose so much on
touring. We are going to try and do a ten year anniversary tour after the
summer, we're going to try and put some of the choir stuff on DAT tape and
then we will put some live singing upon that, so it will still have that
massive sound, and if it works then our monetary problems will be solved, but
if it sounds like crap then we will scrap the whole project, and that will
probably be the last tour." It's an interesting idea, and I noted that a lot
of industrial groups do this live, with samples and things, but Christopher
pointed out that there is indeed a difference: "Industrial music that's okay,
because when they use tape loops and things the music seems machine-like, but
for us we want that magical feeling, and the dynamic sounds, we are taking our
chances but we'll see what happens." They have played lots of shows, most
notably was the Dynamo Festival where they played a headlining gig to 25,000
people. Most of their shows were played to clubs of 1,500 people though.
The record has been doing well, and hopefully they can make some sort of U.S.
appearance soon. They are doing a digipack in the future with some bonus
tracks, so look out for that in the near future.
Finally, I have been noticing that European musical tastes have been getting
more melodic lately, especially with Type O Negative selling out shows and
festivals, and The Gathering selling 30,000 records in Holland alone. I'll let
Christopher carry us to the end of the interview with a few notes on this:
"Moonspell has sold 100,000 in Europe, it's really incredible. It seems like
European audiences are going more symphonic and epic. At the end of the 70's
there was this trend for symphonics, it never got very big like today's music
buit bands like Kansas did very well here. It's not really a retro thing,
because most European bands nowadays don't really know about 70's bands, but
like Amorphis, they are very influences by symphonic bands from the 70's. I
like Pink Floyd too, their album ''Atom Heart Mother'' was kind of a rock
classic opera. I don't like ''The Wall'' at all but ''Dark Side of the Moon''
was good. Once I heard ''Atom Heart Mother'' I knew that you could do more
than what Celtic Frost did on their ''Into the Pandemonium'' disc, where you
can add horns, a violin section and a small soprano section. ''Atom Heart''
was what brought it all out even though I never thought I would get a chance
to do all this someday." Hopefully things will work out well with Therion, and
it was nice to hear someone who is also into Hawkwind, and we both agree that
Hawkwind music is good to smoke out to!!
Ozzy has a great summer planned for all you metalheads: The Black Sabbath
reunion tour is GOING to happen! Ozzy will bring Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler
on the road with him for the Black sabbath reunion tour (the OFFICIAL one)
minus Mr. ward on drums. They plan on bringing Marilyn Manson, Pantera, and
Type O Negative with them, some shows may feature different artists. Starting
in May, this show is what many have hoped for, even Ozzy is quite impressed by
the numerous generations who have attended Ozzy concerts in the past.
Did you enjoy the Misfits on tour with Cannibal Corpse? Well, as we did, they
will return! They are doing a stateside tour very soon... Not only that, there
are definite plans to release Static Age (their ill fated first album which
was presented in the coffin box set but minus a few tracks) very soon as well.
News from the Darxtar camp, they are working on a new album, though it is
rather slow going at the moment due to the vocalist K.S. Bengtsson's vocal
problems, though I am told all is moving along, though at a slow pace. They
expect his voice to return to 100% before their festival in late August. Also,
their bassist Marcus Pehrssons has a side project out called Last Laugh and
that group has a record deal inked with Swedish label Record Heaven. The album
is due out in the fall but the group swears that the Darxtar album will come
out before the side project album!
Over in the Century Media camp, battle plans leaked to the enemy talk of a new
live Exodus record entitled "Another Lesson in Violence." Sources close to the
enemy camp site say Exodus is on the move and plans to hit the road sometime
in late summer. Also, we have reports of a barrage of releases which should
make their way into the pages of issue #16, notably a new Emperor record,
the new Tiamat record "A Deeper Kind of Slumber," and we will have some old
skool black metal for ya from Satryicon, Old Man's Child, Ulver, and more...
Hehe. War rulez!
This is rather odd. The Canadian branch of the Black Mark offices are closed
for the "summer holidays" until around the end of August, BUT, next issue we
will have a new tribute album reviewed for you, with covers of bands like
Kiss, The Beatles, Sex Pistols, Motorhead, and Prodigy! There is also a new
compilation album of unsigned bands Black Mark has taken an interest in, and
though there is only one U.S. band, there are several from around the
Scandinavian territories... Also look for the new Bathory record and a host of
The whole mixup with Napalm Death/Extreme Noise Terror is finally finished.
Barney went back to Napalm Death in time to finish their latest album, and I
forgot what happened with E.N.T's vocalist. Maybe he's washing dishes
somwehere in a all night diner. No, I think he went back to E.N.T. In any case
look for Napalm Death to be touring in support of their new disc.
Testament goes out on tour near the end of summer with Strapping Young Lad and
Stuck Mojo, sure to be a heavyweight tour if ever there was one! THREE kickass
bands to blow yer ears in! Testament, by the way, has a new album out in
"Demonic," and it should be out hopefully by the time next issue rolls around.
It's still on their own label Burnt Offerings, distributed by Mayhem/Fierce.
Though Gene Hoglan is out as drummer (he's working now with Strapping Young
Lad fulltime) this record is said to be one monster of a thrash album which
returns to the days of "The Legacy" and "The New Order," though hopefully more
of the former than the latter...
In some rather bizarre news, that Christian death metal band Vengeance Rising
has gone totally black metal!! Citing Glenn Benton of Deicide for influence,
their new album, which is set to be released any day now, is totally filled
with hate for the Christian faith! I guess all that hypocrisy in the church
finally made him realise something was wrong. There is a web page set up to
give you more info about this total 180 degree move, the web address is:
I really, REALLY need to do something about these delays! Oh, well. I just
wanted to thank all my loyal readers who are able to keep up with my quirky
deadlines, you guys are what makes me continue to do a 'zine. There were many
times when I had considered giving up on the whole 'zine thing altogether, but
alas it was more of a refusal to lose the benefits of my 'zinedom than
anything else! Well, sorta. Anyway, as many of you know, the classics section
is going to be expanded upon with each and every issue, there's still time for
you to email/write/call/fly in your letters about the Iron Angel soundfiles,
they will be up until issue #16 comes out (which HOPEFULLY will only be like
2 or 3 months away). We still plan on keeping the last issue and current issue
soundfiles online, so even if you missed last issue's soundfiles they'll be up
for another couple of months. There are quite a few classic titles being
released upon CD, including my alltime favorite thrash band Onslaught, though
you can read about it in the upcoming (probably current and dead by the time
this gets out!) Metal Maniacs, we'll have a bit of info on those titles and
their respective labels in the next issue.
Touring situations have picked up a bit this summer, even our little 'burg
of Savannah is getting some cool shows! Agent Orange played here, I think I
missed seeing Pro Pain here at the Bay Street Bar, and by the time you read
this, we will have seen Malevolent Creations and Oppressor play as well! Our
TV show is still slow going, with my videotaper in another state for a few
more weeks, but when he gets back things will be jumping! We'll keep ya posted
as things happen. PLEASE support your local music scene, if there is one, if
not, hell start your own! Our local bands have really been doing some great
things, what with outside label interest in both Vault Point Nine and now
Damad is doing a compilation track on Dwell Records, you probably heard about
it it's the all female compilation disc. Although I can claim NO credit for
helping them get this prestigious offer, I must say I support them in whatever
else they may want to do, Victoria and company are very talented and very,
VERY dedicated. Until next issue, please remember to keep an open mind and be
sure and LISTEN to the music before you say it sucks. That's what we have the
digitizing services for, they are mainly there FOR YOU. There are SO many
bands worldwide that even I never get to hear, much less hear OF, and my job
is to find that new talent, unheard of band, or exciting new style of music
that keeps spinning in yer CD player long after you get bored listening to yet
another death metal band churn out the same sounds, or the same techno band
sound totally poppy, or hell, even when you haven't listened to the radio in
years for fear of being subjected to someone ELSE'S playlist. By the way,
anyone who can tell me where I got 'Last Nail in the Coffin' from, I'll send
them a free CD! Email replies are fastest, so keep that in mind when you
reply. First one gets it! Adios amigos!