As many of you know by now, my involvement with Hallows Eve is no more. I DO want to thank everyone who encouraged me and helped me out along the way, your support and well wishes meant EVERYTHING to me... Though the camera work was not the greatest, at least I have video footage to commemorate the one and only show I did live with Hallows Eve, and I may be putting a few clips up on the site in the near future... Regardless of that fact, which was a devastating blow to me, I WILL be starting up a new project sometime in the future. My girlfriend will also be involved, and needless to say it will probably (if we can get the kinks worked out) be utilizing male and female vocals, violins and I'll let your imagination run wild on the rest of it...

We have a lot of ground to cover, so I'm going to get to it!

Address to send me stuff: (Send me stuff, SEND me stuff!)

Vibrations Of Doom Magazine
c/o Steven Cannon
P.O. Box 1258
Suwanee, GA 30024-0963 USA

ACHERON "Rebirth: Metamorphosing Into Godhood" (Black Lotus) SCORE: 75/100

I've never really heard much from Acheron before, and when this CD arrived with a rather graphic cover, I was intrigued. Especially since Adina Blase once played keyboards for Acheron and now lives in the same area I do. So popping this in, I immediately, of course, skipped the rather strange intro. (Further reflection, however, revealed that there were some kickass messages when I played the track backwards). 'Church Of One' starts the CD off in killer fashion, complete with vicious death metal work that is very clear and concise, and not the unintelligible growl I've come to be annoyed by. The dual vocal work is especially vicious on the chorus, and what really blew me away and smashed what was left of my senses is the AMAZINGLY melodic lead solo work found on damn near every track! There's some NASTY heavy leads to be found as well, and on 'Xomaly' the thrashy, choppy riffing takes on an extra brutal meaning. It was very cool to hear Acheron, on this particular track, utilize some nice Celtic Frost styled instrumentation and couple that with a cool female spoken word intro. It made me wonder if it was the same woman that did the spoken piece on a Frost record years back! Off to the next track 'Bow Before Me' and the pace is a little bit slower, but here LOTS of solo instrumentation takes the front, which is interesting since this and many other songs easily surpass the 6 minute mark. THAT in itself was surprising. 'The Kindred' was 8 minutes long and held my interest up until the very end. You have a short spoken word piece which is track 6, I had wished this was either dropped or placed at the beginning of a song (more on that in a minute). Another almost doom metal piece is found with 'Golgotha's Truth,' and this song shows the many different tempos Acheron is capable of working with. The worst "song" on here is the plodding and dreary 'Betrayed,'which made the vocals even sound rather strained and almost out of place. TOO slow. Finally, my biggest complaint of all: the last track, 'The 9th Gate,' which is just like a bad intro, except this time it's sounding like one of those TV test patterns that repeats for NINE MINUTES!! You have 9 "tracks" on the album, but you really only get 6 actual "songs," and one of those songs is not good at all. So a 9 song affair that only has 5 good songs. It's still worth picking up, though just barely, because these songs are all pretty well written and NOT your atypical satanic death metal rehash. These guys KNOW how to play their instruments and KNOW what a lead solo is supposed to sound like! More actual "songs" next time, PLEASE!
Contact: Black Lotus, BLR. Kon/Poleos 72, 17236 Himittos, Athens, GREECE
Web site:

DARXTAR "Tombola" (Record Heaven) SCORE: 77/100

I kinda flip flopped on this CD for awhile. And yes, it IS an older CD, released in 2001, but we just got it. We actually were surprised that Darxtar was still around, especially when you consider their only web site was down for many months. I was a bit skeptical about this CD at first, since their last full length "Sju" I wasn't extremely crazy about. And to be honest, since the Captain K. Bengtsson isn't the only vocalist on this record, his absence from some songs leaves me wondering if he shouldn't have done ALL the vocals. For instance, 'In The Spiral' is absolutely horrible. It makes me wonder if K. wrote all the music as well! Same goes for 'Aura Fiducia,' which reminds me of a love song composed for a spaceship! Horrid vocals once again drag this into the mud, but the rather off kilter guitar work doesn't help either. You won't find songs that are as dramatic as on their first three full lengths, but there are still some good songs on here. 'Silently Driftin' is the opening song that shows Darxtar at a true to form: nice spacey feel, beautiful violin sounds, and even some nice Spanish acoustic guitars! And of course, our favorite singer. 'Blue Frozen Flame' gets a bit more upbeat, and reminds me of a lost track from their third full length "Daybreak." Nice laser sounds abound on this track, and of course that voice carries the journey quite well. Odd guitar work starts off 'High On Hopes,' and some of the lyrics are a tad fruity, but otherwise the electronically effected vocals give this a cool yet melodically otherworldly feel. 'No Peak To Pass...' Well, I'll pass, especially since this song did NOT start off well at all. The solo instrumentation in particular is REALLY off. 'Healin Skin' is an interesting tune, reminds me of the Hawkwind track 'Hurry On Sundown' with the nice harmonica and showcasing a first for me: heavier, almost metal like instrumentation! Further evidence of this is on their instrumental 'The Tunnel Inversion,' which ALSO manages to throw in some nice flutes along with the fast and heavy guitar riffs! I even liked their 'Baby Gaia,' which sounded like an old 1950's bluesy rock and roll feel, complete with piano and a nice long set of solo instrumentation. The title track ends the CD in rather fine fashion as well, showcasing some acoustic guitars and very melodic and well sung vocals. Lotsa lyrics on this one folks! There's even some very cool female chanted vocals to round out what is a very effective 8 minute closing song. It's got some rough spots but otherwise it's almost what I waited over 5 years to hear. Contact: Record Heaven Music, Box 25, 230 42 Tygelsjo, SWEDEN
Web site:

DEVIL'S WHOREHOUSE "Revelation Unorthodox" (Regain) SCORE: 89/10

For those who don't ever read the damn interviews that take me forever to not only conduct but type up, if you go back and read issue #28 you'll notice an interview we did with Marduk wherein Legion mentions THIS particular side project that's mainly involving B.War and Roger. This thing sure took a LONG time to come out, didn't it? It's mainly a Misfits/Samhain inspired side project, and this suddenly leads me to a little understanding of just how and why Danzig picked Marduk to open for them on a previous U.S. tour (which Marduk had to cancel on due to improper travelling papers and what not). Anyway, on to the music, I REALLY wish I knew who was doing the vocals, because they do quite an adequate Danzig like impersonation. 'Death From Beyond' starts things off and makes me forget what this project is supposed to be about, as it's really fast paced, Marduk like black metal. When the vocals come in though it's very apparent. The choruses on this CD all have the singalong quality that made Misfits stuff so fun to sing. 'Swallow Your Soul' has a cool horror effected bit of sampled screams innit, and 'Bondage Goddess' has some really dark and nasty guitar work starting out. There's lots of the slower stuff that Samhain did, and you can hear some of the better influences from the first three Danzig records, so this "tribute" styled band really covers all bases. The only cover the band do is, funny enough, a Christian Death song 'Deathwish' which I thought wasn't their best choice. The only really weak cut on here is 'Funeral Dream,' where the choruses were extremely weak, though you have to love the slower and eerie guitar passages. Not really much more to say, but if you like Misfits and Samhain inspired stuff, with song titles like 'Blood Nymphoman,' 'Pentagram Murderer' and 'We Live Again' (which is a great CD closer) you might want to check this out. Oh and all the trademark "whooah's" and "Go's!" are all there.
Contact: Regain Records.
Web site:

DRACONIAN "Where Lovers Mourn" (Napalm) SCORE: 100/100

This kinda pissed me off as much as it truly amazed me. For those not in the know, the band I'm starting after leaving Hallows Eve, Broken Trinity, is going to sound something like this. It's something seldom heard in the music world, black metal styled vocals laid down to truly epic and emotional doom metal, complete with female vocals and violins. 'The Cry Of Silence,' a true 12 minute epic, never gets boring for one minute. The solitary guitars come in and although doomy, also have a rather beautiful and melancholic side to them. The female vocals on this disc are quite enchanting, and a real treat, besides giving the more melodic side of things a chance to be strengthened. The black metal styled vocals are truly sick when they're unleashed in full fury, making this disc a virtual lesson on diversity within the framework of such amazing songwriting. 'Silent Winter' proves that all is not totally doomy and slow, in fact the guitar work is downright sinister and dark, almost at a black metal pace is the somewhat faster instrumentation. Hell, even the solo piano notes bleeding from within make their own eerie aura! Melodic acoustical guitar work adorns many tracks, and starts off 'A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal.' One thing I didn't hear that much of were lead solos of the technical kind, though one popped up on 'The Solitude.' But keep in mind this is mostly doom metal oriented. 'The Amaranth' was an interesting tune as well, since the tone was a bit more upbeat starting out, and the female vocals got the chance to shine on their own. And of course the darkened musical vibe roars up again. It's interesting to note just how well the blackened vocals and female vocals mesh together, and they're utilized in this way all over this CD. A bit of a surprise to me was the very short tune 'Akherousia,' as it features nothing much more than acoustic guitars, female vocals, and a few violins. If you love doom metal and you still long to hear sick blackened vocals and occasional dark and heavy guitar riffs, this is a DEFINITE must have, and one of the strongest and most diverse and original doom metal releases that have come out this year (but I've said that a lot this year too, haven't I?)
Contact: Napalm Records.

EXODUS "Tempo Of The Damned" (Nuclear Blast) SCORE: 81/100

Like 80's thrashers Hallows Eve, it's good to see Exodus back in action. At first this record really hit me, though be forewarned: It's no "Bonded By Blood." Steve Souza's vocals are in top form though, and he does hit those crazed high note screams that I've been working on myself. 'Scar Spangled Banner' starts the venomous attack rather nicely, especially from a lyrical standpoint. 6 minutes is kinda long though, and you'll find that many of the songs near or exceed the 6 minute mark. The main reason for that seems to be the abundance of solo instrumentation on this record, so if you love well written guitar solos, this record has 'em in spades. Which in many parts makes up for a few lackluster songs. 'War Is My Sheppard' continues the onslaught, and like it's partner 'Shroud Of Urine,' is not only anti christian lyric wise, but also two of the most vicious tracks on the record. 'Blacklist' is done at a slower pace, but nevertheless is quite a kick ass tune in it's own right. Their track penned about Vlad the Impaler, simply titled 'Impaler,' could have been written for the "Bonded By Blood" album, and it does contain nice higher ended guitar riffs to boot. Didn't care for the nu-metallish 'Throwing Down,' though, especially some of the hardcore like yelling on the choruses. And the track 'Forward March' had a bit of an embarassing moment when he yells out nu metal style 'Who isn't any sucker!' Anyway, it's still a good record, despite 3 tracks I really couldn't get into, but like I said there's enough good guitar work going into this to keep you interested.
Contact: Nuclear Blast Records.

FINNTROLL "Nattfodd" (Spikefarm) SCORE: 88/100

I'm glad that Finntroll and Moonsorrow are featured in the same issue, because there is a tendency to see the two bands as very similar. I'm not completely familiar with Finntroll, but the main difference I see between the two bands (at least with this newest Finntroll release) is that Finntroll incorporates more of the folkish "drinking and partying" attitude in the music, whereas Moonsorrow's music seems, to me at least, more epic, emotional, and all encompassing. And sure enough, 'Manniskopesten' starts this CD off in speedy fashion, almost traditional like black metal! It reminds me a bit of Witchery, though those comparisons don't last long. Once the accordion/synths/whatever kick in you know this is a different ride! The biggest thing Finntroll has going for them here is a song like 'Det Iskalla Trollblod' where you have some really dark and almost evil guitar work, fast paced of course, and then to throw you off almost completely, there's melodic and somewhat lighthearted synths or accordions... Not sure which they're using. Because the melodies and accordion like riffs are based on Finnish "hummpa," things can get a little unsettling, especially on the song 'Fiskarens Fiende' which is nearly unlistenable to me because of that wierd accordion pattern which plagues damn near the whole song. 'Eliytres' too has moments that make me cringe, though to be fair the sick blackened vocal work and nice synth melodies mask the majority of this for me. 'Ursvamp' was interesting, as it incorporates a very fast and almost punk rock like vibe to it, and the multivocal work and funny but fast pianos and accordions make this a rather unique offering. 'Grottans Barn' almost blew my whole theory about the difference between Moonsorrow and Finntroll, as this starts off very melodic and more emotional, even going so far as to slow things down. The vocals here are even in a rough singing voice rather than blackened shrieks, so Moonsorrow definitely sprang to mind. And to round things out, there's a funny instrumental like track where you get to hear Trolls grumbling at each other over horses' hooves and what not. The CD ends up on a beautiful acoustic track, somewhat like Trimonium does, and I'm left with a CD that I'll definitely want to spin again. I wonder how well this would work at a rather American drinking party?
Contact: Spikefarm Records.

FORGOTTEN TOMB "Springtime Depression" (Adipocere) SCORE: 96/100

The self proclaimed suicide squadron of Southern Europe is back in action once again! At first I started to not do this record, especially when I saw the liner notes that said "thanks to no fucking one." Well, that's the thanks I get for doing a great review and interview with them several issue back. No matter, though, since this is a style of music I truly enjoy, and the darkness and depressionary topics are back in full swing. 'Todestrieb' starts things off in fine fashion, the rather slow, doomy and somewhat sorrowful guitar work that is a trademark of this band proceeds to darken even the brightest of souls. There seems to be a lot more use of acoustics on this record as well, and the track 'Springtime Depression' is an almost 5 minute piece of nothing else save for rather melancholic and sorrowful acoustic riffs. 'Scars' throws things in a bit of a different light, with the addition of some majestic and rather melodic high ended guitar riffs, which proves that Herr Morbid can keep the music diversified and interesting, which he needs to do since many tracks easily top the 7 minute mark. 'Daylight Obsession' has to be the fastest black metal oriented piece I've heard from him yet, though true to his style the music does slow down at times. The most awesome thing about the drumming is that as slow as the music is, there's some excellent fast double bass patterns at work, and of course the vocals are just as sick and torturous as ever. Ending track 'Subway Apathy' is the longest track on the album, but easily one that contains some of the eeriest, blackest and darkest set of guitar riffs on the record, and plenty of structure changes clocking in at over 11 minutes, and Morbid even chose to end the CD with very sick acoustical numbers that, when inlaid with his screams, add even more effect. 'Colourless Despondency' is truly one of my alltime favorite Forgotten Tomb songs as well, and despite the length of some of these tracks, this is a great followup to what was termed as "the soundtrack to your suicide."
Contact: Adipocere Records, BP 2, 01540 Vonnas, FRANCE
Web site:

IMPERATIVE REACTION "Redemption" (Metropolis) SCORE: 85/100

This is said to be more aggressive than their earlier output, and there's no doubt that there are some clubworthy tracks. The electronics on this album are definitely interesting, and I find a LOT of trance like instrumentation, like on tracks 'Faded Into One' and Redemption.' For the most part, though, the aggression is present mainly in the vocal work, especially on CD opener 'Arrogance,' though one suspects that the opening track for a band like this is meant to be one of the heaviest or at least the one to catch your ears and mind so as to keep your interest. The percussion on said opener is especially harsh as well. 'Something I Left Behind' would DEFINITELY make a good club piece, and even the sung vocals are a bit mroe aggressive than usual. 'Giving In To The Change' is easily the most dynamic and explosive piece on the album. The melodic sung vocals are quite soothing, but when the choruses kick in the song definitely throws you for a loop. I daresay this is probably one of the best club tracks I've heard this year. 'Guilt' kinda disappointed me though, as the louder sung vocals and instrumentation didn't mix well, and the instruments are kinda dull. And WHAT were they thinking bringing a female voice into the song 'Malady?' She sounds WAAY too poppy and almost with a soulful edge, and ruined this track completely. She can't pull off the dark edge at all. And the almost ballad like 'Alone' was way too melodic for my tastes, especially with the odd electronics. 'This Distance' was very cool to end the disc, utilizing trancey instrumentation coupled with some ambient like synths, while still remaining upbeat and bringing in catchy choruses. Catchy instrumentation, aggression in all the right places, and hey! It ain't no synthpop crap, and it definitely will give ya enjoyment...
Contact: Metropolis Records.

MOONSORROW "Suden Uni" (Spikefarm) SCORE: 96/100

What is utterly amazing about this record is mainly how OLD it is. We reviewed "Voimasta Ja Kunniasta" some time ago, and this new release is actually a reissue of an album that came out in 2001. Now that I think about it, it's not THAT old but you can't mistake the unique sound of Moonsorrow on this release. After the howling of the wolf, 'Ukkosenjumalan Poika' starts the disc off in FINE fashion, the trademark being where the synths and guitar riffs blend so flawlessly that you have to really give repeated listens to pick everything out! Most of the instrumentation here is about building mood and atmosphere, so only at select times is the paced the typical speedier black metal fare. Vocals are of course done up in vicious black metal style, and of course they add some clean sung vocals to the mix, which sound like, well, I guess a big male Viking choir. 'Pakanajuhla' starts off with a funny little accordion piece, which means that the band is having fun with this stuff too, but before you laugh you have to realize, through extended listening, just how well this works. I don'tthink any other band can pull this off and leave your jaw hanging in amazement. '1065: Aika' is quite a lengthy track, around 11 minutes! The awesome acoustic guitars and somewhat sorrowful atmosphere do a lot for carrying a song of this length and still making it enjoyable, though the track does take a few minutes to really kick in. And the blackened vocals mix with the sung ones very well. The bonus track 'Tulkaapa Aijat' was my biggest complaint though. It IS a bonus track specifically for this reissue, and you can tell it's kinda out of place with the rest of the material. It starts out with some nice flutes, but it's really too fast, and has a bit too much going on in it, even if it's not a terrible song, it sort of loses the mood and atmosphere the record has had going for it for 7 tracks. The jew's harp makes it's triumphant return here as well, and for those looking for something interesting and different from the harsh black metal realm, Moonsorrow has proven that they can ALWAYS deliver the goods. Limited editions of this reissue feature a DVD bonus that contains two video clips and apparently a live performance, which I have already bought and am awaiting it's arrival.
Contact: Spikefarm Records.

MY DYING BRIDE "Songs Of Darkness, Words Of Light" (Peaceville) SCORE: 98/100

WOW! For those of us stateside that have been missing the boat on M.D.B. for awhile now, thank VERY HEAVILY those gods in the States at Manic PR who are ALSO doing press for Candlelight and a few other cool labels. This record, quite simply, FUCKING SMOKES!! From the slow, eerie and haunting guitar work of opener 'The Wreckage Of My Flesh,' I just knew that this was going to be a step in a slightly different direction, especially when I heard our normal low toned singer and death metal growler do black metal vocals! Yes, I'm NOT kidding, and these vocals are absolutely SICK! And vicious! And ALL that good stuff. My Dying Bride has clearly created a monster and proven to the doom/death genre just WHY they are still the leaders of the cult. 'The Scarlet Garden,' lest ye forget, contains the sorrowful and slow guitars that are still heavy, and of course there's plenty of sung vocals to go around. These vocals are SO dynamic, folks. And yes, thee Olde English lyrics are in full force, these stories and lyrics sounding as if they were crafted by Shakespeare or Hamlet himself! 'Catherine Blake' tells a very unique story as well, complete with competing sung and black metal vocals describing a close encounter with an angelic war! Some of the most dramatic instrumentation and emotional passages are to be found within this song. 'My Wine In Silence' has nice solo melodic acoustic riffs, and though very mellow, you're almost very surprised to hear Aaron throw in black metal vocals to a rather melodic and sorrowful track. These are some ANGRY vocals people! One of my alltime favorites HAS to be the crushing and sinister guitar work and rough yet low toned sung vocals of 'The Blue Lotus,' MAN is that story ever wicked! No song here is a bad one, though the end of 'The Blue Lotus' had some very offkey sounding guitars, a minor point really. The other point drops for the rather hollow middle section of 'And My Fury Stands Ready,' here there's some cool rushing sea noises, but there's about a minute or two of almost nothingness that really aches at me to push the fast forward button. Closer 'My Doomed Lover' is probably the most strict doom metal tune on the album, with some slightly higher toned vocals, nice piano notes, and a very dramatic finish filled with lots of amazing solo instrumentation. There may have been some amazing doom/death styled bands to come up in the last few years (like Shape Of Despair, Mourning Beloveth, Swallow The Sun, etc.) but My Dying Bride have made an album that may surpass all and easily become one of the top 5 albums of 2004. COUNT ON IT!
Contact: Peaceville, P.O. Box 101, Cleckheaton, W Yorks BD19 4YF U.K.
Web site:

PECCATUM "Lost In Reverie" (The End) SCORE: 17/100

I wish this CD would get lost in a river somewhere. I'm sorry but this is HORRIBLE, and it is really sad to see the demise of Emperor over this crap. Ihshan's wife, Ihriel, can now be called the Yoko One of the black metal scene. Because I swear, if this woman was responsible for dragging Ihshan away from one of the greatest black metal bands ever, it will be like the Beatles all over again. I don't even know if I wanna talk about the music now, I'm so pissed off. Okay, well since it's my job... 'Desolate Ever After' starts this mess off with wierd haunting synths and flies buzzing... I guess they know what this CD consists of. There's some wierd spoken voices and at 8 minutes there's very little to like about this crap. Well, except for the unusually good harsh industrial landscape noises, and some surprisingly well done female vocals, though there's more annoying stuff than good stuff. 'In The Bodiless Heart' starts off with nice acoustic guitars but the female vocals here definitely grate the nerves. The sung male vocals don't help either. The acoustic guitar work would serve better on their own, but not for the 7+ minutes this takes. 'Parasite My Heart' is the one track that features Ihshan's only black metal like performance. Which has severly lost it's edge. This track is really a slap in the face to ANY of Emperor's fans, it's like "Okay, let's remind them what we used to do back in the day and then suddenly rip it from them." Ihshan can't even do the black metal vocals right anymore. Lounge lizard type of music is found on 'Veils Of Blue,' with even more horrid instrumentation found inside. The only redeeming quality about this piece of crap is the fact that, when actually done right, Ihriel's female vocals aren't too bad, which makes CD ender 'The Banks Of This River Is Night' the only decent tune on here. It's a nice bit of dark piano notes and good singing, this song could have been included in the Egyptian themed videogame Killing Time. Although after about 4 minutes, the scraping, jarring instrumentation come back to annoy me. Waste of time, waste of plastic. Your money is better spent elsewhere....
Contact: The End Records.

SPARZANZA "Angels Of Vengeance" (Water Dragon) SCORE: 95/100

I was a little afraid to tackle this album. The fact of the matter is, we reviewed their most recent "Into The Sewers" back in issue 37 and I contacted Water Dragon Records for their first full length release which was put out back in 2001. Water Dragon has had a perfect record so far and I didn't want to see it broken. Suffice it to say that perfect record is STILL intact! This release is definitely heavier than the newer stuff, especially from the get go. This album is a bit more "together" if you will, meaning the songs are all pretty consistent and raw. I still prefer some songs off the newer album simply because there's more dynamics to the songs, but these tunes are definitely heavier. He gets a bit long winded on some of the choruses tho, especially on 'Velodrome Home' and 'Amanda.' Just good, rockin' tunes! 'Coming Home In A Body Bag' was a bit surprising, because like the semi ballad like tune 'Little Red Riding Hood' off of "Into The Sewers," the track here has much of the same qualities but because of the rougher edged singing vocals, coems off as much heavier, making this the better "ballad" (and I use that term VERY loosely) of the two albums. 'Silverbullet' ends the CD with a faster, heavier edge, and the nice folks at Water Dragon even give you a cool video clip for this track included right on the CD! Kick ass choruses abound on 'The Sundancer,' and all in all there's not much to say except you'll only really have to skip the track 'Logan's Run,' as it was kinda basic instrumentation and vocal work that didn't really grab me. It's a short song but at a slower pace. 'Crossroad Kingdom' was done in a slower pace too, but the overall heaviness of the vocals and instrumentation keep you tuned in. VERY heavy effort, if you liked "Into The Sewers" you won't suffer from picking this up as well. Still 100%!!
Contact: Water Dragon Records.

TENHI "Vare" (Prophecy) SCORE: 92/100

WAAAY back in issue #22 we reviewed "Kauan," which to me was a fantastic piece of art that invoked very melodic and at times melancholic atmospheres. Things have changed just a bit for Tenhi and at first it really struck me hard. Sung all in Finnish again, this CD takes on much darker aspects than I think I've ever heard the group utilize. Starting off with 'Vastakaiun,' obviously the first surprise I will see is the almost ritualistic and tribal feeling this track has. Even the piano notes are somewhat dark! The vocals too are VERY low toned and almost sinister, but somehow Tenhi still manages to project an air of melancholy. It's a somewhat long tune but well worth sitting through. Next up 'Jaljen' and it's a bit lighter this time. Nice acoustic guitars work the majority of the tracks, and of course when they grace us with violins it's all very pleasant. This song could have easily been on "Kauan," as well as the next song 'Vilja,' which is a great melodic/melancholic piece. And the flutes just add to my overall pleasure. 'Kevain' I have a little joke with my 3 year old son, as he's an avid Dora The Explorer fan. Anyone who's watched the show can see how one could sing "backpack, backpack, backpack" to the opening acoustic lines. This one's rather short and all instrumental. The violins become rather dominant on 'Yota,' and of course once again the flutes rear their head, even going so far as to increasing in dominance towards the end of the song. Another "Kauan" like track follows with 'Tenhi,' showcasing a 6 minute instrumental. And then my major complaint about the CD, the rather odd way they present a sort of Middle Eastern style of instrumentation. It makes the flutes on 'Sutoi' sound very odd, and the low toned vocals sound very odd here. I'll pass here and I'm not too crazy about the style as it continues on with 'Katve,' though some of the Indian styled flutes did sound good. It's when the flutes speed up that they get off track. Tenhi's darkest track yet is 'Varis Eloinen,' and with the minimalistic dark acoustic guitars which are seemingly downtuned, plus the dark and ritualistic like multivocal chanting, this is one of the most surprising Tenhi pieces yet, and strangely enjoyable! It sounds almost sinister, which is definitely NOT a normal Tenhi trait. So all in all, though this CD is said to be more experimental, it still follow in line with what I enjoyed from "Kauan," and is sure to be an enjoyable part of any CD collection.
Contact: Prophecy Productions.

Web site:

TEXTURES "Polars" (Listenable) SCORE: 84/100

Just when you think the Gothenberg style of At The Gates/Soilwork/etc. has been done to death, along comes a band that truly creates, well, many textures in their music. The name really fits. Trust me. 'Swandive' starts off bringing up STRONG reminders of Meshuggah, especially with the almost hardcore styled screaming that carries the punishing aura of this disc. There's even some melodic riffs and melodic sung vocals as well, bordering on alternative but done VERY tastefully. The choppy, thrashy and downtuned as hell guitars really do the job on your head. 'Ostensibly Impregnable' continues the assault in Gothenberg styled fashion, but also daring to showcase more melody than many of the Swedish brethren dare to attempt. And of course it was cool to hear the shouted vocals inlaid over a progressive metal sounding set of instrumentation! 'Young Man' becomes a dead ringer for At The Gates era (like "Slaughter Of The Soul") and this definitely could have been a heavier Soilwork track. They kinda botch the ending a bit, but you're still in there for the ride. And if you weren't shocked enough, 'Transgression' takes the brutal progression and stops it mid stream to add a solo saxophone passage! Those guys gots balls, lemme tell ya. Nick Turner's influence can definitely be felt here! 'The Barrier' continued to throw me for a loop, with guitar work that crunches straight out of an Invocator record, especially when the track is very fast and very short, but still packing a punch. My ears were curious at the instrumental ambient like piece 'Effluent,' but what disturbed me was the last track 'Heave,' which clocks in at over 14 minutes and is basically an extended clone of 'Effluent.' 'Polars,' the title track, clocks in at well over 18 minutes and is really too long for most to sit through, but the progression changes and tempo switchups are very interesting, going from speed to melodic slowness, heavy and thrashy to almost alternative sung styled. It's a damn good record and one of the most varied you'll ever hear, but an 8 song CD really needed a bit more substance than the final three tracks provided. Still, it's a rather surprising effort that needs to be heard. Regardless of it's faults. See where metal is headed in the Y2K era!
Contact: Listenable Records.

THE HEAVILS "Heavilution" (Metal Blade) SCORE: 21/100

I still find it hard to believe that a band like this is actually a priority for Metal Blade. Vocals come across as a rather (at times) weak hardcore sounding Crowbar (who I've never liked) coupled with some annoying alterative and whiny sung vocals. It's obviously meant to inject a sense of humour (song titles like 'Chicken Soup Can' and 'Space Heater,') but comes off more annoying than anything else. What pisses me off MOST about this CD is opener 'Outside The Circle' and 'Get Behind Me' merely hint at how powerful this band could possibly become if they'd lose all the damn wierdness. The start/stop/start instrumentation does come across rather forceful, and it's here that a Strapping Yound Lad influence can be felt, albeit slightly. 'Get Behind Me,' for the somewhat overrepetitive chorus lines and vocals, had a heavy start. And the CD falls rapidly downhill from there, only showing a few moments of promise, like on 'Floaters' where the heavy guitar work is slamming it's way forward, only to be drowned out by the hardcore vocals this time being a bit too high toned. Most songs here have really awful guitar work, and the hardcore vocals don't help, especially when the guitars are somewhat acoustic and twangy based, it all grates the nerves further. 'Touch' is about the worst, complete with the goofiest lyrics I've ever heard, and the overrepetitive chorus and main vocal lines. The songs here are very short, though, but they can seem to drag on when things aren't going well. The fact that this tragic disc was produced by Devin Townsend is even more surprising, especially since this is such a horrible mess, but now I start to think the hints at better things to come could have been Devin's idea. A band Metal Blade should NOT have signed. At all.
Contact: Metal Blade Records.

TORCHBEARER "Yersinia Pestis" (Metal Blade) SCORE: 93/10

Damn good record. This is a pretty sick assault of black and death metal mixed with thrash overtones, which makes for a really brutal release. Featuring members of Unmoored and Satariel (and one member from Setherial), these guys really know how to write some powerful material! 'Assail The Creation' starts the CD off in rather speedy fashion, though make no mistake, there's plenty of variety within each song. There's some brutal slow thrashy guitar passages, and they get plenty of space to breathe on their own, this is most notable on tunes like 'Faith Bled Dry' and 'Pest Cometh.' 'Sown Are The Seeds Of Death' is one of my favorite tracks, complete with a vicious catchy chorus and intense drumming. 'Dead Children, Black Rats' starts out slow and haunting and reminds me HEAVILY of one of my favorite In Aeternum tracks from "The Pestilent Plague." The guitar riffs have a slight tendency to add melody as well, and this is evident on a few select tracks. I didn't care much for a few higher toned lead guitar riffs, this really grated my nerves on 'Far Advanced Closure,' but there's still some cool stuff to enjoy with this track. 'Thus Came Dying Unto Kaffa' was the most interesting of all, as it had some really melodic lead work that made for a nice break midway through the song, for both the faster and slower instrumentation. Every song on this disc varies things up so you can't really become bored; also taking into consideration there's not one track that exceeds 4 and a half minutes (with many clocking in at barely 3 minutes) and there's seemingly a lot of music for the short duration of the songs. Get in, do the damage and get out quickly, this thing hits hard! It also helps that vocal wise you'll hear extreme death growls and sick blackened shrieks, so variety all the way around is the name of the game.
Contact: Metal Blade Records.

TRIMONIUM "Blow The Horns" (Folter) SCORE: 84/100

This is pretty much folkish inspired black metal, mostly of the faster paced variety with plenty of higher ended guitar work. They capture the epic feeling quite well on many tracks, especially on 'Battle Axe Destruction' and 'Forgotten Heroes.' You'll find no song, save for the untitled CD ending instrumental, shorter than 5 minutes, and sometimes that makes some of the instrumentation seem a little less varied than it should be. For example, a track like 'Of False Friends' starts off with slow and solitary guitars, then thunderous drums come in, and your instrumentation will be mostly slow for awhile, then speed up as the vocals are about to come in. This particular track doesn't start vocal work until around 3 minutes and 16 seconds! However, the epic feeling is kept intact by invoking slower passages within the framework of mainly speedier black metal. The vocal work mostly stays in a more midtoned range, but make no mistake about it: the vocalist can make his throat work sound pretty sick at times! 'The Burning Witchhammer' has a nice Celtic Frost like guitar pattern starting out, before going back to fast black metal speed. I did have a problem with some of the higher toned riffs on 'Banner Of Fortress,' especially in and around the choruses. Some of the solo instrumentation on 'Forgotten Heroes' could have been fleshed out better, but after all this is a more black metal oriented affair, complete with the fast pace and more aggressive overtones. Ending instrumental, as noted above, ends the CD nicely with some water sounds and folkish acoustics. Due to the length of some of these songs, you'll find interest waning a tad on a few tracks, but overall it's nicely done and will definitely become a welcome addition to your black metal collection.
Contact: Folter Records.

VOODOOSHOCK "Voodooshock" (Psychedoomelic) SCORE: 92/100

This release is a good example of the varying styles of a label like Psychedoomelic. There's psychedelic touches here, stoner rock and doom metal presented, but not all at once and in varying degrees over the course of 10 tracks. 'Fountain Of Freedom' starts things off with killer guitar work, such is the power of slow, crushing almost Sabbathy doom metal. The vocals too are slightly rough edged, almost Ozzy like but please, no Ozzy/Sabbath cloning comparisons! Cool choruses abound on this disc. 'Rainbow Sky' has slow but more melodic guitar work, with the definitive stoner sound, but when the melodic acoustic guitars and higher toned vocals kick in, I knew this was going to be something different and UN-atypical for the genre. (What genre?) Back to heavy guitar work yet again, 'Tomorrow's Bloom' reminding me a tad of heavier Cathedral circa their second and third albums. The 'I love you's' were a bit much, but lyrically this is more akin to psychedelic 60's and 70's rock than the usual doom and gloom lyrics you normally find. Kinda like Datura with the crushing heaviness and the "enlightening" lyrics. 'Lady' gets REALLY ominous, especially with the vocals and the SLOW pace. This is probably their darkest tune here. Another Cathedral like opening occurs on 'Amazing Fire,' showcasing some melodic sung vocals and guitars. This CD was a lot more varied than I, and many around me, thought! I didn't care for 'Showtime,' though, as some of the sung vocals are rather odd but the instrumentation wasn't bad. It could have been better. The one track I REALLY couldn't get into was 'We Cry,' which is a cover by some band called Elephant Mountain I've sadly never heard of. This track had vocals that REALLY drag, though several minutes later there were a few vocal lines I could enjoy. The true gem of this release, though, HAS to be the sloooooow, doomy, and killer cover 'Nights In White Satin,' which sounds very little like the original and is a true gem of a cover. If you think all stoner rock and doom metal is overtired and cliched, check these guys out and trip on their vibes for awhile. You won't be sorry.
Contact: Psychedoomelic Records, H-9653 Repcelak, Avar u. 6/B HUNGARY
Web site:

WARRIOR "The Wars Of Gods And Men" (Reality) SCORE: 38/100

It's VERY hard for me to believe that this is the same Warrior that put out that 80's metal masterpiece "Fighting For The Earth." Gone are the vocals of Rob Rock and on board is the vocalist from Krokus. Now I will admit I've never heard any Krokus songs (their look, image and song catalog just sounded too "commercialized" I guess, for lack of a better word) but this guy does these songs NO justice at all. His rough edged delivery sounds very thin and uninspiring, for proof you only need to listen to the slow and plodding pace of 'Love Above All.' It's funny, but with 'Love Above All' and 'Hypocrite,' it sounds a bit like doom metal instrumentation is the order of the day. As heavy as these guitars are, the overall songs themselves just don't inspire any great feelings in me. The CD starts off with the title track and it's not too fast, with somewhat heavy guitars. 'Do It Now' is an obvious commercial track, complete with annoying twangy guitars even found on the solos. 'Never Live Your Life Again' suffers horribly from grating, overrepetitive choruses and heavy guitars that just aren't speaking to me. The one track that surprisingly worked well was not even a metal song. 'Mars' starts off with some rather interesting electronic percussion, only to see Krokus headman singing rather cleanly. It's almost ballad like, but heavier (still slower) guitars do come in, and I would have liked to hear more songs done like this. The heaviest of riffing goes on in 'Naked Aggression' and 'Three AM Eternal,' but as I said the song structures and the rather weak vocal delivery makes me say that I could care less if I ever heard the majority of these songs again.
Contact: Reality Entertainment.

WITHERING "Gospel Of Madness" (Firebox) SCORE: 96/100

Firebox does it again, but this time it's a bit of a different signing than what I've heard from them so far. Withering plays more melodic styled death metal with some amazing guitar work, and very little doom at all. The vocals, death metal though they are, are quite forceful and clear, and a few songs showcase a slight black metal influence. Like on 'Anguish Of Frustration' and 'Feeble Morning' especially on the long winded screams. Comparisons to early (and I mean EARLY) Amorphis have been floating around, and that may not be alltogether untrue, but the guitars do possess a crunch to them as well as crafting some amazing melodic structures. See the song 'Reborn' which is one of my alltime favorites on this disc. It's not the doom/death metal combo that I have been hearing but it's obvious that Firebox Records will sign a band that has TALENT and plays with conviction and feeling, so this artist fits right at home with everyone else. Go grab it.
Contact: Firebox Records, Teollisuustie 19, 60100 Seinajoki, FINLAND
Web site:

:WUMPSCUT: "Bone Peeler" (Metropolis) SCORE: 79/100

German torture industrialists :Wumpscut: have been going at this for quite some time. Their newest album (which sports a very cool name, by the way) is a bit diverse like the last full length we reviewed in "Wreath Of Barbs" in that you'll hear somewhat fast and slow songs, some melodic passages and some torturous synth and vocal passages. 'Crown Of Thorns' starts the album off in fine fashion, with some rather sorrowful synths, militaristic percussion, and the harsh, distorted vocal effects that give this the heavy edge. You'll find the various movie samples well in place throughout, of course, and the spoken word samples get rather funny (taking religious overtones, you know how christian hating those industrial guys are!) on 'Just A Tenderness.' It's really the vocal work that makes some of these songs heavier than they sound, just listen to the sorrowful tones and rather sad lyrics of 'In The Peace Of The Night,' with rather disturbing lyrics but yet the most melancholy synths I think I've heard from Rudy and company. I didn't care much for 'The March Of The Dead,' despite the militaristic beats and harsh vocals; the simplistic vocal delivery and instrumentation left MUCH to be desired. Further, the song arrangements and young girl speaking in German on 'Our Fatal Longing' turned me away almost at once. All around, the choruses are very simplistic on many tracks but they get the job done without bogging things down. Very catchy are some of these tunes, especially the dynamic 'And Life Goes On' with the even more dynamic vocal work. 'Rise Again' also shows the contrast between the harsh and sometimes dark atmosphere and high toned synth work. 'Your Last Salute' ended the album on a sour note, with instrumentation sounding like it was done in the 1930's or 40's, and the female spoken vocals were all in German. Not that that bothered me or anything, but the wierd electronics and rather "unorthodox" song structure (well, at least for what I've come to accept from the :W:) made this a track I'd rather skip. Still, though, for a 12 tracker that only has 4 bad songs, this is a better effort than "Wreath Of Barbs," though I must also point out that some of these 6, 7 and 8 minute songs have very little in the way of vocals, so if you're liking the instrumentation there's a LOT to hear.
Contact: Metropolis Records.


ACHERON. Interview with Vincent Crowley.

  • The new record is a bit surprising to me, it seems like you guys have done a lot of label jumping.

    We've had some bad experiences in the past, and we're hoping Black Lotus steps up to the plate on this one. They seem to be promoting pretty good in Europe, but the U.S. needs some work.

  • This new record is pretty kick ass, though I haven't heard much from you in the past. I was a little disappointed in the fact that there wasn't much music on this record though, I mean you have an intro, an outro and a spoken word piece, but I really just wanted more songs!

    The next album will definitely have more music!

  • That album cover artwork is pretty wicked! You guys definitely don't pull any punches!

    We've been reading reviews online and what not: the cover's just like the album, either you love it or you hate it. It's funny because we've seen stuff saying everything from one of the best album covers ever to the cheesiest of things... (laughter here). It's funny, you know but it represents us and if people don't like it they can fuck off.

  • I hear ya man... That girl on the cover's got some nice tits, don't ya think? (laughter on both sides). How did you come up with the artwork and who was responsible for this? Sorry if I didn't really go in depth on the credits in the booklet.

    This guy named Timo Wuerz, he's a German artist that Black Lotus Records has worked with before. He did a cover for that band Thou Art Lord. He also did an old school 80's kinda cover for the Tribute To The Devil's Music CD that we put out a couple of years ago.

  • What's your deal with Black Lotus Records like? Is it just a one off deal or are there to be more albums on the label?

    We're not really obligated at all, we're kinda like album by album. We put out 2 CD's now and we're getting ready to put out a double CD set. We'll see how they do. For our next album we'd like a little bit bigger budget, a little bit more time in the studio and get our worth out of it.

  • I've seen the album advertised in Metal Maniacs and what not, of course I don't really get a chance to read any other metal magazines around the area, so I don't know how well advertising is doing elsewhere.

    My only problem with the U.S. deal, is I'm not seeing it in stores. We need people to push the CD in the chains, like Media Play and stuff, where The End Records' CD's are already being carried. Stores that actually carry underground music, places where the kids can actually go and get it.

  • Well, with a cover like that it might be a little difficult to see in stores.

    When we got the whole U.S. deal, there's a slipcase that goes over the CD graphics, it's the inner photo of crib, kinda like the Rosemary's baby theme? That shouldn't be a problem at all with getting it into the stores.

  • One thing I've been curious about, there's a girl that lives in the Atlanta area with us, her name's Adina (I'm sort of laughing here at this one). She used to play keyboards with you guys, and I'm wondering why you didn't decide to keep her? I was thinking maybe you decided to forgo the synths, since I didn't really hear them on this album.

    We actually did CD's where we still used keyboards. There's a little bit of, uh... It just didn't work out (laughing). I think in this band, any female that is going to be a part of it, even as a session musician... We've got too much testosterone in the band to deal with the girl issues.

  • (We talk about the Hallows Eve reunion and some of the new material I'm writing for the new lineup. Then the conversation shifts a bit). I don't know about you but I totally support that stuff (the church burnings that took place in Norway). You have to feel sorry for these guys, you know because their heritage, their whole culture was just wiped out by a bunch of pussies.

    I totally understand now what they were pissed off about, the only thing is, if you're going to do it, don't do it just to get on the cover of Kerrang! (laughs). If you're going to do it, you don't have to announce you've done it, if you really want to be a terrorist you don't go around bragging about it (laughing again).

  • Maybe they just didn't give a shit, hell over here in the States you'd be put to death for that stuff!

    Yeah, well, the church burnings didn't make me shed a tear (Much laughter from both).

  • One thing that really caught me was that speech on the album 'A Long Time Ago,' where you talked about maybe Jesus didn't really rise from the dead?

    There's so many stories about Christ you know? Just because supposedly his corpse wasn't in the tomb, maybe he just walked out (laughs). To me it's like you could write 2,000 years from now about Charles Manson, or David Koresh. And who's really going to debate you? You know? I mean who was there? The whole idea of Christ is funny, as far as weakness, as far as everything I'm against.
  • A lot of people don't even stop to think that there is a very dark period in our history. Well, not really here but over in Europe. Basically, the bible was considered too sacred a book for common man to possess. If you were caught possessing a bible back then you could be burned at the stake or killed or whatever. My thought processes goes; as corrupt as that was, to keep the bible out of everyday working man's hands, don't you think that lent itself to the "holy clergy" going "I don't like this part, let's just change it?"

    Right, and it's been proven that the bible has been updated and revised like a million times. It basically goes for the church, you know the church is like the sacred holder of it. I remember as a kid when the King James version turned into the more updated, hip version. The translation was like a change of words, basically. It makes no sense to me. I always considered the bible a work of art plain and simple; it's no different to me than an Edgar Allen Poe poem. It's based on some historical fact, but not much.

  • I know there's some wicked stories in there, esepcially about the apocalypse towards the end of the bible, but I tell ya, I don't know if I believe in that whole "burning in hell" concept. I mean, it makes for cool record album covers, and some nice little stories, but it just sounds too silly to me...

    Satan is the "infernal boogeyman" for the christians. But being a satanist myself, I'm not a devil worshipper; I use Satan as an archetype. Satan was the one that told God in christian mythology, "Fuck you. I don't need to bow before you, I'll be the king of my domain." And that's just how Satanists feel, they're like fuck everbody. The whole burning in hell, I mean I get that stuff all the time, and it's like I don't believe in a hell. My hell is on earth right now, I have to live on this piece of shit planet. I do believe that there are dark sides, I believe in the working of magic but that's the natural forces that are already out there...

  • Stuff that's already been here before us.

    Right, exactly. The whole idea of worrying about after you're dead, I'm just worrying about right now.

  • Everytime I do a talk with a black metal band, we ALWAYS end up talking about the whole christianity bashing thing, but one thing that always puzzles me is... I did an interview with Legion from Marduk and we got to talking about Satanism, and my question was you are one of the bands that are more vocal about it, Acheron is definitely one of the bands that practices what they preach, and there's no bullshit about it. How do you feel about Satanism as defined by Anton LaVey and what not... Legion said that once you take the worship of Satan out of it and you know, "Do what thou wilt" and do what you want praising yourself as your own god; they say that leaves Satan out of the equation. So is it really Satanism or just an expression of self worship. You see what I'm saying?

    Yeah, I do. I would say that Satan to me is no different than Jesus Christ, than Santa Claus, it's just a mythological figure. Instead of saying, "Oh, I believe in this, I'm going to die for this, I worship this," I'm saying, okay this symbol is very similar to me. If you ever read Karl Young, he talks about the relationship between the self and the archetype. Some people may resonate the oath for foreign gods or whatever. In Western civilization, Satan is a very recognizable figure, so that's why a lot of Satanists will use Satan as that symbol. And it comes with a great, devilish aesthetic. You have great imagery, and you use these images and symbols in your rituals. To a point, yes it is self worship, but it's also kind of bonding with this mythological character and embracing these evil little things you're not supposed to indulge in...

  • Like food, sex...

    Right. To me Satanism is a lot more thought than just drawing a pentagram on the floor and throwing the horns up in the air. Because realistically you can wipe out every bit of pentagrams, upside down crosses, and the word Satan and the idea of Satan still exists upon the philosophy part.

  • Technically, you're not supposed to worship Jesus, well, at least from a biblical standpoint, from a quote unquote "christian standpoint." You're supposed to worship God, and I suppose Christ was maybe just the guy that was supposedly just showing the way. So I guess Satan was maybe more like someone that says "I'm just helping to show you a different path," or whatever. Not like someone that's supposed to be knelt down to and given obeisance to or whatever.

    Right, right. It's pretty interesting different people's concepts on it. I remember back in the day when the black metal scene was hung up on the whole church burning thing. I was kind of against it at first because it became more of like a "look at me, I'm fucking even more evil than you" thing. I just thought it was stupid especially since realistically churches were getting sympathy. And they're getting insurance money to build bigger churches! I used to give interviews where I said, you know, they want to burn churches that's fine, but churches can be rebuilt. You wanna make an impact, you wanna go to jail? Make sure those churches are filled when you get rid of 'em! (MUCH laughter on this one)

  • Ha ha... There ya go! Well, what gets me is bands that started out in the black metal scene, I guess they felt that in order for people to take them seriously, like this was no laughing joke, they had to commit these acts. I know about being true and all, but the world just isn't set up where you can freely commit murder and burn churches and what not without some trouble. Like these bands, what they commit murder, do all this stuff, put on this evil aura and then go home and cook dinner for the wife and kids?? You know what I mean?

    Back in the day I think the older bands were more vocal and more out of hand, but I think now people are more realistic about things. Those guys nowadays are a lot more rational about stuff. The fact is, like you said, we have that dark side that we express through the music and what not, and then we go out and do stuff, but there's always that time when you have to go out and buy yourself food, and you have to go out and see a movie. There's different things you're going to be involved in doing and you're not going to be walking around in corpsepaint and wearing a goddamn sword to do it. Even with the newer Deicide stuff, I mean Glenn seems like he's pretty much done with the upside down crosses, blah blah blah, he just wants to play music and come home to his wife. Is he wrong for that? Some people would go "Well, he's changed," but I think he's just more like he normally is all the time you know? At this point in the game, everybody that's been in the music for so long has done all this, we have nothing to prove anymore.

  • Yeah, I mean you already have the fans of your music, what else is there left to prove?

    Exactly, exactly. And the people that gripe about these musicians living a normal life, these people want to live the fantasy life 24/7 ya know? Sure, my fantasy is to walk down the road and put a bullet in some asshole's head that I don't fucking like. But is that realistically going to happen everday? Is that going to realistically going to happen at all?

  • Maybe once or twice if you're lucky! (much laughter here)

    Well, I'll be in a 10 by 10 cell after that. It's the rationality of everything too, you have to really put perspective...I've always said that the best way to fight the system is through propaganda and stuff. To me that's what the music is, it's making these kids, these people listen to themselves and go, "You know, what the hell's wrong with this problem? Why are we submitting to a society that's based on a guy that's hanging on a cross? And if you notice, Christianity has kind of lost it's stronghold for the last 10 years, and it's really been going down...

  • Well, the priest scandal is really the thing that struck a big blow to this. I mean, you never thought you'd see people looking at a priest with hatred and disgust. Maybe it's just a sign of the times, ya know?

    Yeah, but what's funny is, Mel Gibson puts out a movie out about Jesus getting tortured for 2 hours, it's one of the most popular movies and people are going (said very snotty and sarcastically) "Yeah, this is beautiful" and then people start going to churches again. It kills me, people are fucking sheep! The majority of the human race are sheep! You know what? Satanism does NOT exclude sheep. I'll tell you what, I've met as many black sheep as I have white sheep. Just because you don a pentagram and act like you're all into it... big deal, I don't give a motherfuck... You live the lifestyles, you really believe it? Or are you going skateboarding next weekend? (HUGE bouts of laughter). I've seen people jump from trend to trend. And then I've had people write to me asking me if we use this for a gimmick. I've been in this for over 15 years, that's FAR from a gimmick. I damn sure don't make no goddamn money off a gimmick. And realistically, there's a new sherrif in town called Muslims, and they don't play around. They're doing what Satanism should have been doing, you know? "Fuck you! Let's blow up a goddamn building to make them listen." That's the kind of stuff that proves that religion is fucked up.

    AREKNAMES. Interview with Michele Epifani via email.

    I want everyone in the world to stand up and take notice of this band. Right now! For those of you that say there aren't many bands that are trying to do something original and different, Areknames is about to blow the doors off of whatever you THINK you know about music. Bringing the sounds of the 60's and the sounds of the 80's coupled with the energy and passion of TODAY, this band sounds like no one else you've ever heard. I was extremely pleased to be able to speak to a band who MOST DEFINITELY will see their self titled debut album (reviewed AND DIGITIZED for you last issue) become, quite easily, one of the best albums of 2004...

  • It's amazing to me that a record like this is made by a band that seemingly comes out of nowhere! Have any of you played in other bands before or created other music?

    We were all involved in other projects before Areknames. I'm a classical organ player and compoers (mainyl contemporary classical music). On the other hand, I played Hammond organ in many obscure bands before Areknames was formed. None of these bands released anything except for a jazz-rock outfit called Arco Del Pendolo (a demo CD in 1999). Piero Ranalli was the bass player of the space/doom band Insider (they've made three albums and a fourth is on it's way), and Mino Vitelli played the drums with the psychedelic band Perizona Experiment. This, more or less, is our musical background.

  • The musical styles of the group as a whole are so diverse that I wonder who is the resident metalhead and who brought the influences from the 60's? I'm also curious as to what the band name means, as I haven't ever heard a name like this before.

    Areknames was born solely to play a few songs I had written. I wanted to create a doom band with a 70's progressive attitude. So the project started with a single songwriter and has stayed that way. I compose everything on the piano imagining the final result as it could be. So when I've finished a new song we're ready to play it together. The different styles mixed into our music stem from my musical background. I started searching for musicians who had the same taste and attitude, but above all the same mood. I was very lucky 'cause I've found the best travelling companions I could. Areknames is a Battiato song taken from his second experimental album "Pollution" (1972). It's an Italian word written backwards, and it means something like "If it shall lack." It implies an absence. We thought it was perfect for our music.

  • I was really pleased to see in an interview that you liked the band Voodooshock, who will be reviewed in this next issue. Also I noted you liked a lot of the newer doom metal bands, so what doom bands have you been listening to in the last 5 or 10 years? Did you ever get to hear the Probot project that Dave Grohl did with Scott Wino, Lee Dorrian and Eric Wagner?

    I was into doom metal when nobody knew anything about bands like Cathedral and Solitude Aeturnus. Looking at my doom collection I think I've bought almost everything that has been published. In my opinion, in the early 90's there were only a few true doom bands but the quality was excellent. You could go into a record shop and find gods like Revelation, Unorthodox, The Obsessed, Solitude Aeturnus, Sevenchurch, Penance... and they were new and fresh! They were underground, and I supported them with all my heart. I think of that period as unique. Nowadays, you can find lots of new bands, some of them with good and fresh ideas but, at least to me, the standards are lower: Before discovering a band like Voodooshock, you bump into countless bands that just repeat what they learnt at school. Apart from Voodooshock and some (welcome) returning veterans, my favorite new doom bands are Ordoruin, Slow Horse, Dragonauta, Mirror Of Deception, Jack Frost, Las Cruces, and While Heaven Wept. I must say though that I haven't listened to the Probot album yet!

  • How in the world would you describe the music you make? It's really, to me, like a mix between the 60's and 70's psychedelia/classic rock and modern 80's and 90's heavy and doom metal. Is there a certain set of rules for what influences are used and where?

    To be honest, I've never asked myself what kind of music I'm going to create. But everything you hear in the album was deeply assimilated and filtered by our experiences. We've mixed progressive and psychedelic rock with doom metal. I've been very careful to avoid simple juxtapositions of styles because I have something to express that's mine. I think when you feel like this, you can't think about your music as if you were going to write a review of it. I've always been very suspicious of musicians who talk about their music a lot.

  • I do notice a definite Pink Floyd feel to some of the songs, and I know Hawkwind must be an influence as well. Some of these tracks are so epic that it must have been difficult to keep them dynamic and especially the first and last songs have great beginnings and strong, dramatic finishes.

    I really like Pink Floyd up to "Atom Heart Mother." I love their first two albums in particular (not to mention Barrett's solo albums). But to be honest, I didn't think about their music when I wrote the material. I don't mean you're wrong, but sometimes the listener's feelings can be quite different from what the composer had in mind. If you hear Pink Floyd in our music you're quite right! But I'd like to make it clear that the Pink Floyd influence on our album was a reflection of another, possibly bigger influence that comes from 70's German bands like Paternoster, German Oak, Amon Duul II, Necronomicon and so on... Most of the so called Kraut-rock bands were influenced by masterpieces like "A Saucerful Of Secrets" and "Ummagumma." Whereas Hawkwind music was in mind when I wrote some of the passages here and there. I think their influence would be clearer in a live performance, especially during long improvisations.

  • Are you a big collector of 60's and 70's rare and obscure music? I know I have been trying to track down stuff from Atomic Rooster, Camel, Captain Beyond and more...

    Yes, I'm a big collector of all that stuff. It's a sort of sickness. Often you seek out a very obscure name, which every collector is looking for, to discover that the cover is much better than the music! But when you find some rare and musically excellent LP, it's an indescribable joy. (My sentiments EXACTLY - Ed.) Bands like 2066 And Then, Frumpy, Cornucopia, After All, Zakarrias, have recently amazed me. The difference betweem obscure names of that period and today's underground bands (apart from the price) is that you never know what will happen when you play the record. If you pick up an obscure death metal band LP, you don't know whether it'll be any good or not, but you know it'll definitely be death metal. While a band from the 70's, apart from the sound production, can be really surprising from every point of view.

  • If you guys are Hawkwind fans, what do you think about the direction Hawkwind took with the "In Your Area" album? I know I was upset that they seemed to be going in a more hip-hop oriented direction with that vocalist they had for a short time. What would you consider to be some of the best Hawkwind albums?

    I loved Hawkwind, but in their early years, so I don't know anything about their later material and their new direction. Their first classics are so profound that I will never finish exploring them. All the first six or seven albums are great, but my favorite is definitely "Warrior On The Edge Of Time." (YES! Mine as well - Ed.) When I play this LP I really feel lost in dark outer space... Maybe it's the Simon House presence, but I can't say exactly why I love this album more than the others.

  • It's interesting to me to hear mellotrons and I believe the Hammond Organ was invoked on these recordings. How difficult would it be for you to pull all of these instruments off live, since it seems that it's only a few of you on the record.

    The Hammond organ is my main instrument. It's a C3 model customized by me. I didn't use it in order to obtain a "vintage" sound (that's simply a side effect). I think that the new synthesizers have lost the personality of the first generation keyboards. Those instruments, like the Hammond or Mellotron, also required a specific technique. They are still THE sound of electric keyboards. Modern synths are only able to emulate them, and they don't really have their own sound. I borrowed the Mellotron, because it's very expensive and I think it's not essential for our music. I've never tried playing the Mellotron in concert; it's too stressful because it can often be out of tune, and if you have a problem with the tapes it can turn into a right balls up!

  • How did you come to be signed by Black Widow Records? Are there other bands on Black Widow you enjoy?

    I thought of Black Widow as soon as I realized that it was time to search for a label. I knew them from years ago because, as you probably know, Black Widow is also a record shop and I was in touch with them for this reason. So I sent them a demotape recorded live in our rehearsal room just to see what they thought of it and they liked it. I think that most of the Black Widow bands have their own style and attitude, and consequently a Black Widow "sound," like a Hellhound sound for example, doesn't exist. Nonetheless all the bands I've heard have something in common, but it's something very deep and hard to describe. The bands I prefer are obviously Pentagram, and then Malombra, Northwinds (their first album) and Rise & Shine, but I confess I know most of the Black Widow bands only by name. I'm sure I'll hear them in the future.

  • Have you played out live and what is a typical Areknames show like?

    The typical Areknames live show is set up with time for long spacey improvisations. In the album we had to keep it short, but there's room for jamming in every song. Maybe we'll put out some live recordings that we have in our archive in the near future.

  • There's a line in one of your songs that says "I send my sperm to the bank of the dead." I thought it was a very unusual thing to say, so besides the whole concept of the album, what influences the sometimes dark lyrics? It's musically a trip from the 60's and 70's but lyrically it sounds pretty metal oriented.

    I think it's a coincidence. I didn't want to write metal oriented lyrics but, evidently, I was in that mood at the time. To tell the truth, all the lyrics are just one long poem, which is why we put them in the booklet without a break. The whole thing is a sort of auto-analysis where memories, thoughts, dreams and visions converge in a poetic dimension. When you're writing like this, there's no room for compromises, so sometimes you end up with peculiar thoughts. I was only interested in the overall result. This attitude blends all of the different styles in our music: it helps us express ourselves. In a certain sense, we've learnt the Black Sabbath lesson - in "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" and "Sabotage," they included many different styles, not giving a damn about orthodoxy. That's the real meaning of the word "progressive." If you freeze progressive rock in a set of cliches, you're going in completely the opposite direction.

  • Have you ever experimented with Astral Travel? I know the ability to explore other realms and worlds intrigues me greatly, so much so that I am studying how to do this. Do you think maybe some of the artists of the 60's and 70's were able to visit other planes and this may account for some of the lyrical input they had?

    Astral travel, and meditation in general, is not a school trip; it's the best way to delve inside yourself whilst seeing what's outside. I think that the real lesson is that you don't need anything but your purity to know who, where, and why you are in the universe. For example, bands like Ash-Ra Temple, Dzyan or Yathra Sidra (to name just a few) knew this very well. But for other bands of that period, I'm afraid it was just a trendy attitude.

  • I am assuming you have listened to some ambient music, some instrumental techno perhaps? There's lots of passages that seem to show a great knowledge of relaxing ambient music. I know Moonshine Music, Instinct Records and even Manikin Records in Germany have put out some of the most beautiful, relaxing instrumental ambient music I've ever heard, and I'm wondering how much of an influence you consider this.

    I don't know if you can consider "ambient" bands like Cluster, Neu, Tangerine Dream, Cosmic Jokers, late Can, or the various projects of Klaus Schulze, and even the early works of Battiato. Maybe they can be defined as "proto-ambient." I was into Dead Can Dance and Death In June too, for example, but I think they are not really "ambient," maybe more dark wave. As for the labels you mentioned, I don't know them so I can't comment.

  • What can we expect from the next Areknames record? I read in an interview that the next disc is going to be a bit mroe experimental and radical, though considering what masterpiece you have already created, I can't imagine what could be any more different! So let us know about concepts and song titles! How far away IS the next release?

    Our next album will probably be entitled "Love Hate Round Trip," it will be longer (maybe 12 tracks) and much more varied than the previous one. We are working very hard on it; all the material is already written, and the arrangements are half done. I feel I'm now more mature as a songwriter; obviously, the material from the first album dates from 1997-98. Our next album might be out next year, but I have no definite date. Some of the songs are different from those on the previous album, while others are in a similar style, but the general mood is the same. We have improved our sound, and I think (and hope) that those who appreciated our first effort won't be disappointed.

  • Finally, any chance Areknames will have a website? There's not much info for fans out there except for the Black Widow records website and a few interviews and reviews online. And anything else you want to mention?

    Yes, I think you are quite right, but we're going to put our website online, possibly this summer. I'd like to thank you for the space that you've put at our disposal, and also thanks to all the people who have supported us 'till now, and the guys at Black Widow Records who made this all possible.

    DARXTAR. Interview with K.Soren Bengtsson and Marcus Pehrsson via email.

    The newest release from space rockers Darxtar, "Tombola," (also reviewed this issue) is over 2 years old but almost came to me out of the blue! The old Darxtar website was down, and I thought (like the storyline on the "Darker" CD) that they had been lost, drifting aimlessly into deep unreachable space! So imagine to my surprise when I heard they not only had a new record, but a new website! Comparisons to Hawkwind are, unfortunately, inevitable, but starting with "Sju," and of course "Tombola," they have moved a little further away from that classification. Not too far though, and though we originally interviewed them WAAAY back in the early to mid 90's, sadly that particular issue is also lost to the deepest regions of space (that being the internet). SO, finally we can give you one of our feature interviews from a band that decidely deserves more coverage than it's going to get.

  • It has been a LONG time between releases, so I'm curious as to what exactly happened with Darxtar? It seems "Tombola" has been out for quite some time now! And I'm also curious about the old website being up one day and then gone the next, for a period of a year or so!

    KSB: Considering how we live, our daily work and being parents I think you must not expect us to follow the tempo of professional artists that make a living out of it. For us music is something we need to do to keep us from going mad, and so far we haven't made a penny out of our records in some 15 years. We live far from each other and have to plan VERY carefully to keep this thing going, and at the same time we need to make a living to provide for our families. This means 3 months can disappear very quickly without any visible action at the Darxtar HQ. Still, this way we're flooded with ideas and plans each and every time we meet and it's never boring to be in this band. You just have to be patient. In the end it's worth it. The same goes for websites, etc. Since no money comes in from the music we can't spend too much on things like that. However, is here to stay now!

  • The "Tombola" album seems quite a bit different from the last release "Sju." Do you feel you needed to move further away from the space rock styled sound and the unfortunate media tags of being Hawkwind clones?

    KSB: Absolutely! But I don't blame anyone for the "Hawkwind clone" tag. When we started out we really wanted to capture the feeling (rather than the actual sound) of the early Hawkwind albums, all culminating with "Daybreak" where we came pretty close I'd say. But we didn't want to be Hawkwind, it was more like a tribute to a great band that was regarded as "has beens" at the time. It was actually the death of Robert Calvert in 1988 that triggered the whole thing. I was a big fan of his, especially in the 70's. But as time passed by we evolved into a "new" band. The space influence was there, sure, and I think it will always be to some degree; we're simply space rockers at heart. The thing is we've always been into all sorts of music (some of us since the 60's), and we wanted to incorporate other influences in our sound and hopefully come up with something unique. We're still moving in that direction; there's nothing stopping us since we're our own masters.
    MP: I would say we don't really plan for new or different sounds, it's just the way it happens when we write the songs. Different moods and influences at the time of writing a song more or less decides what it will come out like.

  • Have you had any press for "Tombola?" What are the majority of people saying? And also, do you remember any noteworthy media from your other 3 albums?

    KSB: The reviews for "Tombola" have been overwhelming! We are really amazed. We thought it would turn out like the other albums that got good reviews from a handful of space and prog enthusiasts, but "Tombola" seemed to open doors since we are reviewed in prog, space, hard rock, metal, pop, you name it type magazines. That's what we like, to cross borders set up by record companies and journalists ages ago. "Sju" was also knocking on some doors, but then it's far from "Tombola" quality wise, isn't it?

  • One thing that bothered me a bit about the latest record is all the different vocal performances, when I felt that the vocal work that had been done on all the other releases was VERY sufficient. Why did the band feel the need to add other vocalists, as they all seem to pale in compairosn to the one I know and love from years past?

    KSB: But that's your personal opinion, the other guy tells me something else. And to be fair there was never only one vocalist in Darxtar. On the first 3 albums Juba (ex bassplayer) did quite a lot of vocals. I guess you're referring to "Sju" where I did most of it and that was because Marcus (resident bassist) hadn't settled in when the recordings started, and the material was already written when he joined. Patric (drums) on the other hand finally agrees to do some vocals after some time of harassment and contributes more and more. Call us strange but we just record what we like to hear ourselves at the time; it is made and if we're happy then so be it! That doubles the fun when people show appreciation for it.

  • When you look at all the albums you have made, which one stands out the most and why? Personally, I think that "Darker" is one of the best Darxtar albums ever made, and I love the darker feeling that the first record has.

    KSB: As a musician I must insist that our next album (being recorded at this very moment) will be the best ever. Why? Because we're on another trip and it's fresh. But of the ones already made... Well, I don't think I can pick one over the other just like that. "Sju" is the one I like the least because it wasn't finished properly, and some of the songs were rushed in because we were short of time (which was unusual) and money (as usual). The vinyl version at least has a decent mastering. I tell you what, give me 3,000 dollars and I will do a compilation of the first four albums and remaster them properly. That compilation and "Tombola" would be my favorites.
    MP: When I'm in the mood for the diversity of "Tombola" that one's great but when I'm not I'd rather listen to a collection of songs I define as Darxtar classics. A few would be 'Stars' ("Darker"), 'Voices Of My Dreams' ("Daybreak"), 'Sju' ("Sju"), 'Silently Driftin' and 'Tombola' ("Tombola"). I agree with Soren that the new album will absolutely be THE standout and I don't just say that because of our enthusiasm right now. I have honestly never been this excited about any of our recordings and I can't wait to get the album out!

  • Some of your earlier CD's are becoming next to impossible to find, is there any chance the band will ever reissue any of these? Especially since some of the original labels are hard to locate!

    KSB: Since the first release I realised that one of the things I really enjoyed before we made our own albums was to find these really obscure bands. You know what I mean, the delight to find something new, exciting and sometimes awesome that you couldn't pick up in the local mart. It adds to the excitement. And anyone who is willing to spend weeks or months to find a specific record is more likely to give it a fair chance, knowing from the start it isn't a hit record. So we said we'd rather release them in small quantities than find them in hundreds on the "unwanted" shelf for a few cents. I still like this idea; people talk and it generates interest which means there will be a demand for the first couple of thousand copies of the new album that we need to sell to break even. Don't expect to see any of them re-released, maybe except for "Tombola." But as I said, a compilation should be very nice to release, with the remastering they needed in the first place (no remixing, that's impossible due to the nature of our low budget recording techniques). As usual, it all comes down to money.

  • One thing I was wondering about, and that is since Black Widow Records in Italy issued "Sju" initially, why didn't the followup record "Tombola" get issued through Black Widow as well? I thought they would have been perfect especially since their roster includes America's oldest doom metal band in Pentagram, and they have also worked some Hawkwind releases. Did you ever approach Black Widow about the newest record?

    KSB: No, we did not. We have a very stringent approach to copyright matters, which means we want full control of our own compositions. We had a deal for "Sju" with Black Widow and some things happened that made us lose faith in their commitment to honour done deals. Working with a non budget like we do we really need to get paid in full to survive and that means no ripoffs. As far as I know they paid us in full (at least after we informed our copyright bureau) and we have no hard feelings. We met some of them at the Stockholm Prog Festival in 1998 when they were there with Standarte and they were really nice. But business is business and the songs belong to us, no one else. Too many composers have made that discovery too late. That's why we have released some of the albums ourselves. I mean, how hard is it to sell 1000-2000 CD's of a band like Darxtar? I'll be frank with you, we have paid for all studio time, studio equipment and mastering for all recordings so far except for "Tombola," where Record Heaven paid us for the master, that's all. But that's okay with us if the record company can advertise, promote and distribute the record so that more people can hear it. And if they pay us our copyright fees. These small labels don't. They just press it up and sell it - we can do that ourselves. We just haven't had the time lately to do so, but I wouldn't be surprised if you see the next album out on our own label. Black Widow is no worse than any other I've dealt with; they're all good guys but they don't appreciate the work of the artist. It's not like spitting out new riffs by the minute, it's more like being pregnant for some years and then delivering a baby. And you don't want to lose that baby, do you?

  • Tell me more about the show with Hawkwind that went down in your country? I know there was a live CD that chronicled the show, but what songs were played and how was the crowd and press response?

    KSB: It was actually not with Hawkwind but with Nik Turner from Hawkwind. A guy I knew planned to bring over Hawkwind for a gig but I warned him he would go bust (he was no professional arranger and Hawkwind do cost a bit to bring in). I knew Nik had been touring in the States with his Space Ritual and I said we could be his backing band. We did one hour as Darxtar and then two hours with Nik! The gig was great, it was (somewhat poorly) recorded and we released a CDR in 100 copies only to commemorate the event and called it Hawxtar. The crowd loved it and Nik was very pleased. You can see it mentioned on his own website. I'd rather point you to to read the full story there. Press response was absolutely zilch.

  • Just out of curiosity, have you actually heard any of the newer Hawkwind material? I know their last full length album I heard "In Your Area" wasn't very enjoyable at all, in fact they seemed to have picked up this new vocalist and were doing some hip hop oriented material, especially in the lyrics and vocals department.

    KSB: Have some sympathy for Brock. He's had his hard times and refused to lie down and die. Now he picks up the rewards. They sell quite a few records and tour for good money so good on him. Musically, though, I'd say I lost interest completely many years ago. They're still one of my favorites and not only the 1970-1975 stuff, but when they started to reuse old songs with new lyrics it was time for me to look elsewhere.

  • Since it's been about 3 years since "Tombola" was released, can you tell us anything about new song titles, album concepts, anything at all? I'm also curious as to what's going on with the band since the website hasn't been updated since November of 2003!

    KSB: Ha ha, we took a vacation from the website since there's little point in telling the world we're recording bits and pieces here and there. I think too much info is worse than no info actually. We are working on a new album and have been since ages, but as mentioned earlier, it takes time. Most of the hard work is done however, just have faith in us. We won't go away unnoticed.
    MP: We can tell you that the album will be called "We Came Too Late" and it will be darker and more psychedelic than "Tombola." Among the future Darxtar classics are titles like 'Secrets,' 'Sky Is Open Wide,' 'It All Happens Here,' and the title track 'We Came Too Late.'

  • Back to "Tombola' for a minute. The word is rather unusual, and there still seems to be somewhat spacey themes on the record, though some songs are presented in a more down to earth sort of manner. So I'm wondering how it all ties in? Maybe you could tell us what lyrically went through your head when you wrote tunes like 'Blue Frozen Flame,' 'Ode To The Undone,' and 'Silently Driftin.'

    KSB: It was a good friend of ours, called Sputnic, who went with us to a gig in Belgium in 1994: he came up with the lyrics. He said he dreamt them up. The whole story can be found at if you click on the "Tombola" button to the left.

  • I know Sweden and to a lesser extent Norway and Finland have some doom metal, stoner and space rock bands, though Scandinavia is more commonly known for it's extreme death and black metal bands. Are there other bands playing similar styles of music to yours you could recommend? Have you heard of releases by bands like Honcho, The Satellite Circle, Gate 9 and others?

    KSB: To be honest I have very little time left to discover new bands these days. I tend to think, eat and sleep Darxtar. When I do have time to relax in front of the stereo I like to go backwards rather than forwards. I get my kicks from doing new stuff with my own band. Marcus is the one with ears open and now and then hands me a CD with good new stuff, but not often space related. The only band in Scandinavia we have some relation to now is Finland's Dark Sun (Hello Santuu) and maybe Jubas' own band Pseudo Sun.

  • When I think back on the very first album you ever releases, it was in a way cool that the entire album was just one big long track, but as you said on the website, it seems kind of silly today. I guess if you reissued that album you would probably split the CD up into separate tracks?

    KSB: That was the idea of the record company. They thought it was meant to be heard that way, from start to stop. Mad! Of course we would split the songs, I can get crazy myself fast forwarding the CD to track 6!!

  • It's amazing to me to read about all the stuff that went wrong prior to the release of the "Darker" akbum, but as I said before that album is my alltime favorite. Do you think that Darxtar would have taken a different direction had A. the recording been redone as your first label asked or B. the album been split into two single CD releases as you originally attempted?

    KSB: A: There's no way we would let a record company dictate how we make our music. It's simply unthinkable! It's not about money. It's the "pregnant" thing I was talking about before.
    B: No, I think it could have been cool to split it on two single CD's as the track listing would have been the same anyway. But it was better off the way it went I guess.

  • One thing that amazed me from the "Tombola" record was the track 'Baby Gaia.' It sounded to me like rather a 1950's era or early 60's blues/rock song, and sounded so different from the usual Darxtar material, yet somehow it seemed to fit! So I'm curious what made you decide to do a track like this for the new record?

    KSB: Stretching the limits, that's all. We don't like tage. If it fits, it fit, you can do anything. Sometimes it works, sometimes it won't. That's our philosophy, that's why you're surprised, and that's good!
    MP: And again, we didn't really decide to do a track like that, Patric simply came up to us with the idea for the song and we thought it was good fun.

  • I think too it's the instrumental track 'The Tunnel Inversion' that features some of the heaviest, more "heavy metal" riffs I think I've ever heard Darxtar do. Any chance that metal styled instrumentation will pop up on future releases? And if so, are you a fan of metal at all?

    KSB: Fans? Oh yes! Very much so! 'Tunnel Inversion' is more like thrash or punk I'd say, but we do like heavy metal. It's not our natural element so we only do it if there's a specific purpose. Who knows what we might come up with!?

  • I know there are some Norweigan black metal bands who have experimented with using spacey themes and concepts, not to mention synthesizers and more "space rock" oriented musical ideas. Do you feel that (besides maybe Hawkwind) Darxtar has been an influence to any Scandinavian bands in this area? After all, you have been doing this style of music since VERY early 1990's, when many black metal bands were just rearing their heads in Norway and Sweden.

    KSB: Well, I certainly hope that we've had some influence on other musicians in Scandinavia, otherwise I would be disappointed. But being a prophet in your own homeland isn't the easiest task. There's some strange legacy in Scandinavian countries that your neighbor simply can't be doing something out of the ordinary. So most kids here look over the pond to the U.S. or U.K. to find their influences. But I really do think that we have opened the eyes of some younger bands, even if they may deny it since we're "just another Swedish band."

  • As we wrap this up, if there's anything else you want to mention at length that we forgot to talk about, please do so. I am eagerly looking forward to the next Darxtar release!

    KSB: Well, it's nice to do this interview and we have some news for you too: We have just recorded a track for a Moody Blues (yes, you heard right!) tribute album! I can guarantee you it will stand out from the rest. As you maybe know we like to participate on tribute albums (Eno, Genesis, Hawkwind) but we don't like to do covers, rather our own interpretations of the songs. This one is a monster - check for news on it on (soon to be updated).
    MP: I'd like to say thank you too for your interest in the galaxy of Darxtar, it's been a pleasure!

    EXODUS. Interview with Gary Holt.

    Exodus made what is unarguably one of the best thrash releases from the 80's with "Bonded By Blood." Sadly, the man responsible for screaming forth venom on this record has left this world, in Paul Baloff. However, Steve Souza carries the torch and does a great job. The newest Exodus release "Tempo Of The Damned" proves that age has not tempered the fires of the mighty thrash juggernaut, and it was an extreme honor to receive my baptism by fire in Hallows Eve by opening up for the might Exodus. In fact, "Tempo Of The Damned" was the yardstick by which I felt Hallows Eve's upcoming material needed to be measured. If anyone could come back from the 80's era of thrash and kick everyone's asses, it should be Exodus, and the job was satisfactorily performed. Anyone who knows of my work with 80's metal knows this is an interview that, eventualy, HAD to happen.

  • I know you had reformed quite awhile ago, long before this newest release, but it seems like it took such a long time to put out the new record!

    After the 1997 reunion, things kinda fell apart. The timing just wasn't right for this band back then, I mean I had personal problems at home, stuff like that. And then in 2001 after we started gigging again 4/5 of the band, myself included, were just too fucked up to do anything right. It took Paul's death and then some for us to clean up our act and get serious about getting down to business.

  • It's a damn shame about Paul, and my condolences go out to the band. The world really lost a metal legend, and I heard about a lot of the crazy stuff he used to do...

    Well, he was a madman... To put it mildly (laughs).

  • (We talked in depth about the Hallows Eve reformation and the fact that both bands are somewhat in a "rebirth" period now). So what do you think about all this, I mean Hirax got back together, lots of 80's metal bands are coming back in and doing tours and records. Maybe it's something in the water I dunno. (laughing).

    It's almost like a little rebellion going on. I dunno, I think it's a good thing, but people ask me why we're doing this second reunion. So we kinda have a leg up on most bands. I'm all for it. This nu-metal thing is thankfully starting to die out.

  • Well, I've always told people that if nu-metal is a gateway to heavier music for kids, then it's a good thing. To give you an example, there was a couple of kids wearing Korn and Slipknot shirts at some concert I was at, and I told them, you know, if you guys want to hear some really heavy, kick ass metal, you should come to the Nile/Morbid Angel show next week. And that pretty much did it.

    I liked Korn and Slipknot. I look at most of the nu-metal bands the same way I looked at the hair metal bands of the 80's. In a way I think there were some good ones and some bad ones, you know?

  • Yeah, and you know you still listen to Motley Crue anyway! (laughing)

    I like 'em, hell yeah. I love Ratt, ya know? I can never get enough of listening to George Lynch play, Warren De Martini. They're a couple of my favorite guitar players!

  • I gotta ask you, man, I was over at a friend's house watching the Ultimate Revenge Tour (the show at infamous Studio 54 that showed Venom, Exodus and Slayer) back in the 80's? What was that like for you guys being up there in front of all those rabid, fanatical metal fans

    That whole show was totally fucking awesome. That whole night was kick ass. We made a lot of new friends that night, it was the first time I ever met and hung out with the guys in Overkill. We had a great time.

  • So tell us about the new record, because (at the time of this interview) I still haven't received it yet, and don't know if I will. (Of course, I have to thank Hannah at Nuclear Blast for her help in getting the record AND interview).

    Well, the release date got pushed back, but it's the heaviest thing we've ever done. I mean, everybody always says that, hell it's not beneficial for a band to have a new album come out and say "Oh, it's not as good as the last one." (laughing). But everyone else seems to think the same, and definitely the production is by far the best we've ever had.

  • So I'm guessing the record has already been out in Europe for awhile.

    It came out in Europe February 2nd. It was slated to be a little bit behind the European release in the first place, but then there was problems at the manufacturing plant.

  • Well, hell, tell us about some song titles and stuff.

    The album opens up with 'Scar Spangled Banner' which is just furious and crushing. It's hard to describe them without you having heard them. There's that, 'War Is My Shepard,' 'Shroud Of Urine,' 'Forward March,' 'Culling The Herd.' I'm trying to remember them all now. 'Tempo Of The Damned,' 'Impaler...'

  • 'Impaler,' eh? Any influence from the guys in the band Impaler?

    No, that's a 20 year old song! That comes WAY before them.

  • Well, is this all fairly recent material then? I mean, besides the 'Impaler' song?

    Yeah, well, that's the only song we've ever recorded from the Kirk Hammet era. 'Sealed With A Fist' and 'Throwing Down' were songs that were originally done in a band Tom, Jack and I had called Wardance in 1996. Everything else is all new material.

  • So what is lyrically going on these days, I know "Bonded By Blood" had some pretty sick lyrical things, which was cool, you know.

    There's a lot more realism, just the general hate and anger for the christian religion in the United States....

  • There you go! (laughing).

    ...Ignorant, inbred people, you know, stuff like that.

  • I tell you, it's really great that there's no lack of things to be pissed off at to inspire a metal record, you know! (MUCH laughter here)

    Ah, definitely not, there's plenty of that!!

  • I remember when "Bonded By Blood" first came out, and it was on Torrid Records. That was funny when people kept nicknaming it toilet records. What was the whole deal with that, because it seemed like not long after that deal you were on Conbat Records! The only other band I know of that Torrid did was Tension I think.

    Yeah, Torrid folded pretty quickly. A couple of guys, Todd and Ken Adams, started the label. They were great guys, and we're still in contact with Todd. They just realized that they got in over their heads. Before they folded they just sold the rights to Combat.

  • So I gotta ask you, are you pissed off enough at Metallica?

    Nah, I never really have anything bad to say about them, I never have.

  • Well, I do, because you look at their whole argument about this MP3 deal, and all this bullshit, it's really pointless. I remember back when you had so many copies of "A Lesson In Violence" floating around...

    Well, it was UNintentional, believe me. It wasn't supposed to be that way.

  • Wow, I didn't know that. Well, the thing is though, didn't that record, even though it was the same songs but retitled "Bonded By Blood," didn't that sell like I dunno 20 or 30 thousand copies in it's first week of release? So that's a good argument in favor of that, that's how you people got started isn't it?

    We did a lot of tape trading, but the difference back then was when the tapes were going around of "Bonded By Blood," back when it was called "A Lesson In Violence," those were like shitty, fifth generation cassettes. Now you're living in the age of pure, perfect digital copies. So a lot of people who have the album their copies sound like crap you know? Tapes wear out, and get to the point where they're practically unplayable.

  • I know when you guys first got back together, you must have been hounded by people to do tours and festivals. I know personally, when Hallows Eve started back up again, all of a sudden I've got people going "Hey, why don't you guys do the Cleveland Classic Metal Festival," and Oliver from Germany is going "Yeah, come do the Keep It True Festival."

    The first tour we did over in Europe was the Dynamo festival playing to thousands of people! In May and June we're playing Sweden live, and Grasspop, some dates in Finland.

  • It's kinda funny seeing you on Nuclear Blast.

    It's the perfect home for us though.

  • Anything else you want to talk about before we wrap this up? Are you doing a lot of interviews this time around?

    No, not really, I mean right now I'm in the middle of moving so I'm staring at a wall of boxes.

    MY DYING BRIDE. Interview with Aaron via telephone.

    If you read the review, then you know that this crushing and longtime running U.K. doom/death outfit has added a new twist to their latest release "Songs Of Darkness, Words Of Light:" Black metal vocals! We actually interviewed Aaron WAAAAY back in issue #6, and we thought that it was high time to do so again, since they are so AMAZINGLY consistent from release to release.

  • I have to say, the new album just blew me away from the first note all the way up to the end. It's quite surprising because I believe this is the first time I've heard My Dying Bride take a more black metal oriented approach to the vocals.

    Well, I can't play an instrument so I need to make the vocals as interesting as possible. I don't have a great reach...

  • (Feeling the need to interrupt...) Well, I don't know about THAT!

    I do things that I am comfortable with, because obviously you have to do everything live as well. There's no point in doing something unique in the studio and not being able to recreate it live. I'm trying to do all the ranges of metal and a few other whispery, quirky things as well. If you do the same monotonous thing over and over again, it becomes a bit boring. I try and fit the vocals to whatever the music might be doing.

  • So how did you come to start doing blackened styled vocals? Were you listening to a lot of black metal?

    Not really, I did listen to a lot of that stuff in the early days and it actually influenced the actual formation of My Dying Bride. But I could never actually do it because it was quite extreme, and I guess over the years my throat has kinda loosened up a bit and it just seems easier to do now! It's actually quite enjoyable, it's rather bizarre for me to do. It's all this anger and fury. In every single syllable the screaming feels really good, to spit out this venom. It kinda cleanses you almost, you feel really good and fantastic afterwards. I encourage everybody to try it! (laughing) Of course, at the end of the gig when we've played for maybe an hour and a half, I feel wasted! I mean I don't come off sounding like Barry White, the voice is a bit cranky. There's definitely a rasp to the voice, but a couple of hours later I'm fine again! I'm really fortunate that after doing this for nearly 14 years there's been no damage to my health at all, which I think is quite remarkable.

  • It seems like you have been on Peaceville for nearly your entire career, of course over here in the States it's a different deal. You were on Mayhem/Fierce for a few albums or so and one day that deal just folded! Then there was "Light At The End Of The World" which was on a different label.

    Yeah, we did that one followed by "Dreadful Hours." There was a live album as well, "Voice Of The Wretched." And then this new one.

  • So what exactly happened with the deal with Mayhem/Fierce records? It just seemed like one day they were working stuff and the next they were just gone!

    I'm not really sure. I mean, we were aware of the changes over in the U.S. but we couldn't really do anything about it. It's not really up to us to decide who distributes our records. When I came over to the States to do some press a few years ago for the "Like Gods Of The Sun" album, it was Mayhem/Fierce. Or no, it just changed to Futurist.

  • Well, I think it was all part of the same company.

    Yeah, yeah, it was like Peaceville who also had Deaf records. So it was all a bit sort of mixup. I don't even know who Paula works for anymore!

  • Well, Paula is still doing stuff, I think she was the one responsible for getting My Dying Bride worked with Manic PR. Anyway, about the new record, sometimes it's quite draining to sit through a whole My Dying Bride record, as you have the orchestrated pieces, the doomier stuff, all the dynamics. You have all these dynamics and emotions. But even as good as the record is, there were still a few things I had a problem with, like the ending guitars on 'Blue Lotus,' they just seemed so out of tune... Maybe there's something in that part I'm not getting...

    Oh yeah, there are moments when we're recording this stuff and we're kinda looking at each other and saying "Can we really get away with that?" Then we think, "To hell with it, we're My Dying Bride" and we really don't have a formula. Let's do what we want and we'll deal with the criticism when it comes in!

  • Well, surprisingly that's one of my favorite songs off the record, and I'm wondering what that song is about! The way you describe it it's like the Lotus is like a rare flower and then it's like a woman or something...

    Well you've just about hit the nail on the head there. It's kind of like a black, gothic, fairytale. Almost like the Sleeping Beauty. And she IS the Blue Lotus, that's what the locals in the surrounding hills call her. There was this program I saw on TV here in the U.K., something to do with the Nile and one of the old Egyptian queens. I can't remember now it was unpronounceable! (laughs). The whole Lotus thing was associated with death. Instead of having a character's name you know like the Evil Witch, I thought I'd have something like the evil witch.

  • The other song that puzzled me was 'Catherine Blake,' because at first it sounds like lines about a woman's anguish, and then suddenly it invokes the wrath of the angels in heaven. I didn't get lyrics for this so I'm even more puzzled about the lyrical concept on this song.

    I wrote this short story, which was really too long to use in a complete song. The lyrics would end up being about 5 pages long. It's too much for me to think about. I just took some of the lines and twisted them to make actual lyrics. I guess the story is classic good versus evil stuff. I used the whole Catherine Blake theme because you know we've done the whole good versus evil thing before, like on 'Return Of The Beautiful.' It's nothing new, like Star Wars, Lord Of The Rings, it's all been done a million times before. And so just to make it a bit more interesting I thought I would start it off using this female character. It forces people to ask questions, you know, "Who is she," "Where is she from?" "What happens to her?" And I start off describing her night's sleep, and it wanders off into some other realm, turning into utter mayhem. That's exactly what I wanted, instead of doing the "these are the good ones, these are the bad ones" type of classic thing, big fat war. I needed a different angle. We've written over a hundred songs and to come up with more interesting ideas is more and more difficult. So if you have an idea that you know has been done before, you can still get away with doing it by approaching it from a new angle. 'Return Of The Beautiful' was about this big epic war.

  • I was actually listening to some of the older stuff today, and I think I had "Angel And The Dark River" and "Trinity" in the CD player. And I noticed that both of those discs came out at about the same time but they're both very different. It was very surprising to listen to just how rough and heavy "Trinity" was, even though I know it contains a lot of your earliest works.

    The first contract with Peaceville was to do three EP's and three LP's. We don't do EP's anymore but it was the thing everyone did back then. So we did "Symphonarie Infernus" which was our first EP and then our first album. "The Thrash Of Naked Limbs" was our second EP followed by our second album and then "I Am The Bloody Earth" was our third and final EP. A lot of countries, especially far off countries, wouldn't import EP's, they would only import full albums. So in order to get these songs to the fans who wanted to hear them in these far off countries, we had to put them all on one CD, hence the "Trinity" record. It's a good idea of the progression of My Dying Bride, obviously some of it's a bit raw and a bit rough and ready. With no budget at all, and we're in the studio for a weekend and that was it. You rush in, set your equipment up and you're really nervous because it's the first proper studio we've ever been in. And this is the first deal for the record label. We were kids and nervous as hell. We didn't have a clue about mixing the record so we just sort of said turn everything up! (laughs). It's rough around the edges but there's still some good quality songwriting in there. With a bit more polish, a bit more time and a bit more cash it could have sounded much better.

  • When I listen to that first song 'The Cry Of Mankind' off of "The Angel And The Dark River," after not having listened to it for a long time, and when that somewhat string oriented instrumentation comes in, I'm swearing up and down that I've heard something very similar, maybe on the new album? Or it could have been on "Like Gods Of The Sun," but as I said that opening piece sounds VERY familiar and I'm sure something only you have done before.

    Wow, that's the first time anyone's said that! I'll definitely have to do a bit more research. Because Hamish joined us a few years ago, as our other guitar player, and he is obviously a big fan of My Dying Bride. Because when he's writing new material, every now and again, you can tell he's been listening to early works of ours! (laughs). "There's a riff in there, that's almost identical to something from a previous album!" But Andy, the other guitar player, will hopefully spot it right away and he'll reel Hamish in and say "That's from 'X' album, you can't do that." And of course Hamish will say, "Ah, I didn't realize that!" You're the first person to mention that similarity from "The Angel And The Dark River," it certainly doesn't ring any of my bells. We're going to rehearsal tonight and I'll mention it to some of my guys and see what comes up.

  • You usually have pretty detailed and elaborate cover artwork but on one of my favorite records "Like Gods Of The Sun," the cover is extremely basic and simple and I'm wondering what happened to the somewhat dark, gothic art? It's like there's a butterfly and that's about it!

    That was one of the covers that I didn't do. That was done by Andy Green, who actually did the cover for the new album as well. We were busy, I think we were on tour with Iron Maiden in Europe when the record label said, "You've recorded "Like Gods Of The Sun," it's coming out while you're on tour! We need a cover!" Obviously we're like somewhere in Madrid, and we contacted an old friend of ours Andy Green, and we said "Look, can you knock something up!" And we weren't going to see it until we got back home! It turned out nice, very pleasant, and also it's moody and dark; nothing that's overtly controversial. And for this album, I was originally working on a cover, but unfortunately for me the rest of the guys and the record label didn't really like what I was doing. They just said it wouldn't suit the sound of the album. So I asked Andy if he could come up with something that would be a visual interpretation of the mood captured in the music. I'm a bit disappointed that my art wasn't used but hey, you can't have everything. I believe it's a classic case of I couldn't see the woods for the trees! (laughing). Sometimes I'm SO into My Dying Bride that I just need to stand back from time to time and just let someone else do it because I just can't quite hit the nail on the head. I don't know what I'm looking for.

  • Yeah, I've never seen an angel with a nipple ring before! (MUCH laughter from both of us).

    Well, Andy and I were debating whether or not that should be removed. At first I said that's a really modern thing, everyone gets their nipples pierced these days. Andy's girlfriend stepped in and said "Well, actually people have had piercings like that for thousands of years." So I just said, alright, then let's just go with it! Actually, and I'm blowing my own trumpet here, but I've got some artwork if fans want to see it. It's at That's got all my artwork on it, some of the My Dying Bride stuff and some other stuff on it.

  • You guys have been doing this since at least 1990 or so, about as long as I've been doing my magazine. We interviewed you many years ago, and it was when I was first picking up all the Peaceville stuff. And recently so many bands have come out, I don't know if you've heard bands like Mourning Beloveth, Shape Of Despair, Ordoruin, things like that. There's a whole label devoted to it now, and there's lots of bands doing stuff like this now. Shape Of Despair is great, they actually pull in flutes, female vocals and what not, have you heard any of these bands?

    Over the years we have, and some have actually approached us and said you know, we influenced them. It's a nice feeling, it's nice to know we influenced these younger bands. And then there are those who are blatantly influenced by My Dying Bride and refuse to admit it. But we don't mind, we've been at it long enough. It's a wonderful position to be in but we're not that familiar with that many bands going on. We don't actually, we've never had a manager, we do eevrything ourselves. And so from time to time I REALLY need to get away from the whole metal scene. To chill out, and relax... I like Nick Cave and stuff like that, so I rarely dip into my own genre. I mean, I eat, drink and sleep it so I need to get out of it from time to time. It might sound wierd but sometimes I just can't take it. Hamish is REALLY into the scene and I'll have a chat with him about it, I'm sure he has some of these albums.

  • Not if I'm not mistaken, some time ago you actually did a full U.S. tour?

    We toured with Ronnie James Dio for 6 weeks! It was really good, we had a great time and it was at the time when we were promoting "Like Gods Of The Sun." So we were playing mostly the songs from that new release.

  • Are you ever planning on coming back? Because I hear things in the works and then it seems like something goes wrong and it never happens...

    I don't know why, we really need to come back because we had such a great time. I actually got an email from Paula maybe about two weeks ago with the dates on it, and we were like "that's cool!" But then we realized, Sean had booked a holiday like last year already, for this year. And it was already paid for, you know, the hotels, flights and everything. And it happened to be right in the middle of when the show in America would have been. It's just a show and we know you can't always plan for that...

  • I guess I'm going to have to go over to England to see you play!

    We rarely play our own country because, I dunno, we don't seem to do so well in this country. On the continent it's really good, we've got a gig at the Inferno festival in Norway, and then we're doing the Grasspop festival. We're fixing to do an Alice Cooper festival as well. I think we're doing about 10 shows, big festivals this year. In the past we used to tour a lot, like 6 months to a year, but as we've grown a bit older, we've kinda thought "Is it really worth doing that? Is it worth it carpet bombing an entire nation with umpteen shows?" And we decided it wasn't, that's not really what My Dying Bride is. So nowadays we tour, we pick where we want to play and then we try and make sure we don't play there again for at least 2 more years.

  • I guess you don't want to bombard the people over and over like some touring bands I know.

    We do subscribe to this kind of mysterious, dark ambience. And we don't want to play on a regular basis in the same country, because that image that we created would be shattered, we'd just be another touring band. And we haven't played in Norway in over 6 years!! So the Norweigans will be coming out in force to see us play. And that's rather how we like to do it. Like I'm a big Cradle Of Filth fan, and of course one of my old best mates Dave is playing bass with them. I love the band, but the people that are fans seem indifferent. But Cradle plays live ALL the time! And I've had people say to me, "Well, I was going to go see Cradle Of Filth but there's a good movie on tonight." (MUCH laughter). That's because they've just seen Cradle Of Filth, and they'll have the chance to see them again before the year is up. When it comes to My Dying Bride, people don't give a shit what's happening, even if it's somebody's birthday, they're going to see us because they know we're not going back for a long time!

    WITHERING. Interview with Raimo via email.

  • First off, I'm curious about Warhorse Records, have they done any other releases? I can't seem to find any other info on them anywhere!

    Warhorse Records is our own record company, mine and Henkka's. And we decided to do things this way when we both were accomplishing our military service in the army. It just seemed that it would be the thing for us and so far it's proven to be the right decision.

  • How did you come to work with Firebox Records, since obviously this deal reminds me a bit of a licensing deal.

    We had some talk with Firebox already before the album was recorded and then when they heard our album they wanted to start distributing it right away. And we made a choice that they are going to distribute our album and they do all the license deals with other countries.

  • I'm curious about the two demos that came out before the full length first album. How did you go about the track selection process, and is there any chance that the demo tracks 'Deep In Veins,' 'The Signs Of Betrayal' and 'On My Grave' will see release on future recordings? I thought you should have made MP3 files available for these songs, since they are the only demo songs not available on the full length.

    There has been some talking about those old songs, especially 'On My Grave.' That is very possibly a song to be also on the next album, and MAYBE 'Deep In Veins' also. Just if we get new inspirations about that. The reason why they aren't on this first album is because we already had so much good stuff to put on the record so we left those aside, and (the) other reason was that we didn't have any clean vocals on the album. I believe that is the way we are going to continue on the next album.

  • And speaking of the demos, were these songs re-recorded or just transferred over from the original tapes straight to disc? And maybe you can tell us just when these songs were originally recorded.

    Well, the first time we went to the studio was the "Signs Of Betrayal" demo, and we had never been in (a) studio before so it was basically learning how thigns would go. And we were trying some clean vocals and growling and then mixing those. The second demo "Justification For Unavoidable' was more about finding our own style and finishing the sound of Withering. Then we started to put the final stuff together for the album.

  • Firebox is a pretty good record label, dealing mostly with bands doing a mixture of doom/death metal, and so far you seem to be one of the few bands that does straightforward melodic death metal with some black metal touches. Do you feel Firebox can give you the special attention you need, especially with so many bands that have come out recently in the same vein?

    Yeah, we believe Firebox was the right decision to go. So far everything has been really great and they have been really great helping with the marketing and everything. Really important for us.

  • Tell us about your favorite and least favorite tracks on the record. Personally, I feel that one of the best tunes is 'Reborn,' especially with those amazing guitar riffs! I'm also pretty particular with the opener 'Northern Breeze.'

    It is really hard to find a favorite track on the album for me. Every song touches my cold, stoned heart deeply but in a different way. There are really great riffs just like the opening riffs in 'Northern Breeze,' and the verse for 'Penance,' but it is impossible to decide this. It just rocks all the way through for me.

  • I'm pretty amazed at how easily the vocals switch from death metal and black metal almost instantaneously. Is this an easy feat to pull off live? How do you know which sets of vocals go in different parts of each song?

    The changing of the style is not a problem, (I'm) just screaming differently. I don't really need to think about that anymore, nor concentrate that much. We are just playing the songs in practice and then everybody is free to share their own ideas about the vocals and then I just try to make those ideas true as good as it's possible with my voice.

  • I'm curious about some of the lyrical input you had for this album, what do you draw from when writing lyrics? I'm especially curious about 'On Death's Colour' especially since I was under the impression that death's colour was black!

    Well, we had 5 people writing lyrics for this album. Mika, Ville and me for our other band and then we had 2 outsiders, Therese and Mika Kolu. 'On Death's Colour' was Mika Kolu's writing and I really cannot say much about that. But the message in the lyrics is not that important to me personally, I am just the messenger of other people's words.

  • Any plans for live shows? Maybe a U.S. tour would be in the works? Have you ever been to some of the doom festivals like Doom Shall Rise, or our own Emissions From The Monolith festival here in the U.S.?

    We have a mini tour here in Finland with Insomnium and Before The Dawn, but I guess that is it for now. I guess it is too soon to start talking about a tour in the U.S. or in Europe, let's just see after the summer how the record starts selling there.

  • Tell us about the use of Finnvox studios. Apparently, they boast that they have recorded most of the artists that reside in Finland, and I was looking at their website: their credentials are very impressive! And it seems that they have several rooms serving various functions, and even a whole wall lined with gold and platinum albums!

    Yes that is true. They have an impressive studio. They have lots of studiorooms for recording, mixing and mastering. We just mastered our album there so we just got a peek of what is in there. I guess most of the big artists record their albums there. I haven't gotten to know the studio much more than that.

  • I couldn't tell from the pictures, but maybe you could tell us about some of the more noteworthy artists that recorded at Finnvox, and tell us some of the albums that make up the records on their gold and platinum records wall!

    Well, there were lots of gold and platinum albums which are not metal, just Finnish pop groups mostly, but I guess the biggest metal names were HIM, Nightwish and Stratovarius, who had some gold or platinum albums up there.

  • Any chance we'll see a new record soon? If so let us know about song titles, album titles or even how the sound of the album will be?

    We have booked the studio to next January. One new song is 'Between The Hammer And Anvil.' A few tracks are almost ready and I just have to say the next album is gonna be even better and is going to rock even more if it's possible.

  • That front cover artwork is pretty interesting. It kinda looks like something you might see in a mausoleum or something. How did you come to choose the cover, and who was responsible for the artwork?

    Our guitar player Ville did the covers. He wanted to do those and we knew he has the skills to do that kind of stuff so he got free hands to do what he liked. The figure in the cover is a statue of a monk, and he is holding a really big sword but it doesn't show on that picture.

  • Anything else you want to mention at length we didn't talk about before we wrap this up?

    True metal will never die! And thanks to all the people who went to get our album and help us trying to continue this battle against pop music. We won't let you down!


    Wow is this thing ever late! We're talking like over 4 months late! As many of you know, our website was down quite a few times, once for almost two months!! Hopefully the problems are over with and we can get back to the business at hand. Sorry there's not more interviews or content but I thought it would be better to get out the magazine, since it was mostly finished anyway, than delay it any more. Hopefully the next one will go out in three months, we're shooting for a late January release date. Probably the 30th. That will give us a few extra weeks to start catching up on music for the next one.

    Thanks to all the labels that stuck it out with me on this. There's quite a few labels that have cut back on support, and I don't blame you one bit, especially when there's other magazines who have their stuff together. But now you can let the releases roll!! Not much else to say here, except look out for Broken Trinity to have a demo or something out hopefully by the end of the year. I'll go ahead and leak a few song titles I have completed: 'Sutekh The Destroyer,' 'Council Of Nicaea,' 'Trapped Between Life And Death,' 'Sacred Temples To Ashes,' 'Cloaked In Black Shadow,' and 'Conquerors Of The Astral Plane.' I'm not quite sure yet which ones will be recorded and which ones will be held back for an album release, so we'll have to see. Thanks again for sticking around and we hope to have the next issue out in three months!!

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