Damn if this thing almost didn't come out! Besides being quite a few months late, my secondary hard drive finally crashed, taking out 85 percent of THIS particular issue, so much had to be redone from scratch. I think many labels were ready to give up on me at this point! BUT, fear not, I have soldiered on through MUCH worse in my life... Anyway, since the next issue will not come out until 2006, enjoy for now and worry not, for I will be working on issue #42 quite sooner than you think!

I guess we'll do the standard address statement like we've done for so many issues past. (sigh). Okay, if you wanna send us stuff, the address that we've had for about 6 years now still works:

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


ACID KING "III" (Small Stone) SCORE: 83/100

Heavy, somewhat sludgy with a female vocalist, that somewhat describes Acid King's sound (without trying to be overcliched and utilizing the "It's stoner rock! What more needs to be said" lazy journalism tripe). Song descriptions you need? Okay, well, '2 Wheel Nation' starts the disc off and though they go for a really slow buildup, it's not the lethargic pace most bands overabuse in this genre. Plus, Lori's laid back approach to vocals show she's willing to take her time to build up to an effect. Not that the 5 minute length shows them rushing through anything! 'Heavy Load' was crunchy but really slow, and it's here that Lori's vocals grated the nerves a tad, especially when she would drag out the word 'load' as if she was purposefully trying to gain that distorted effect. There's lots of cool solo instrumentation, but like with many other tracks, very little vocals, so the length of some of these tunes (especially the 11+ minutes of 'War Of The Mind,' which had almost a minute and a half of just ONE guitar plodding away!) seems a bit excessive in spots. More crunchy guitar work abounds on 'Into The Ground,' and it's nice to see Lori break style at times for some lead solos with some nice high ended notations to them! That one is a 4 minute track, by the way, so they're not ALL the long, dragged out songs this genre seemingly relies on. Yes, stoner rock bands DO have the balls to be different... Sometimes... But if it ain't broke and it WORKS, don't try to fix it! Echo effected vocals work well too, giving Lori's vocals the illusion of being another instrument (don't think about the obvious just for a minute) and taking things to another level. I don't know if this is not quite as enjoyable as "Busse Woods," but they do seem to take the Sons Of Otis approach as far as lyrics/music are concerned: Not a lot of vocals, but quite a bit of instrumentation.
Contact: Small Stone Records.

AMON AMARTH "Fate Of Norns" (Metal Blade) SCORE: 97/100

You know, the more I think about it, the more I hear elements of black metal in the Scandinavian warriors' sound (mainly vocal wise). This is a VERY strong record, even going so far as to spawn a video for the title track (which, unlike what some other bands do is not THE best song on the disc). 'An Ancient Sign Of Coming Storm' starts things off, and immediately you know who this is, the guitar work kinda gives it away. High ended notes ring out clear and loudly through 'The Fate Of Norns,' and I must say the lead guitar work is one of the highlights of this record. Vocals, of course, are another matter, and Johan's vocals are at their sickest ever, especially on 'Valkyries Ride,' which, incidentally, has some lead guitar riffs that are tuned VERY low, and at a somewhat slower pace this almost sounds like a death march. Very anthemic! 'Arson' is one of their slowest tracks on the record, and one that has a nice lead solo near the end, something that shocked me because you don't often hear many lead solos in Amon Amarth's music. 'The Beheading Of A King' has lots of melodic lead work besides, and as I said you'll find much to rave about for the Viking warriors to the north have put out yet another gem of a record, the last line in defense for true Viking oriented death metal. I've seen Amon Amarth at least three times live, and everytime I see lead singer Johan, he looks more and more like he's about ready to ride into battle with hammer in hand and bloodlust in his eyes, and it carries over into the music nicely. This disc will get your blood boiling and your battle cry firmly entrenched in your throat!
Contact: Metal Blade Records.

AMORPHIS "Far From The Sun" (Nuclear Blast) SCORE: 31/100

I knew Amorphis' sound had been changing from record to record, but this band is about as far removed from metal as you can get. And they even have the nerve to put the Hammer Of Thor on the cover, as if that's going to give them some credibility! Amon Amarth should be marching down there to kick their sorry asses right back to Finland. This record really is an embarassment. To be perfectly honest, though, there's some interesting guitar work to open up the disc (track 'Day Of Your Beliefs'). For a somewhat alternative sound, this opening song isn't half bad. From there it's pretty much all downhill, as 'Planetary Misfortune' continues on with some awful heavy singing that just grates the nerves. The opening synths were nice but that's it. The choruses especially are all whiny and shit, something I really hate. Okay, I'll TRY to hide my disdain and be fair, there's some nice soloing going on here. I'll give a point or two for the effort of going with Egyptian styled riffs, but it really ain't happening. 'Evil Inside' shows them trying the Middle Eastern thing and, once again, failing. The start betrays an almost industrial like approach, which pioneers of the genre (like Front Line Assembly, :Wumpscut:, and Die Krupps) have done WAY better. 'Mourning Soil' made me think maybe things would change; well, until Pasi opened his mouth again. Didn't Pasi do some doom/death metal vocals for some of the stuff on Spikefarm and Firebox? The title track was a bit interesting, some nice opening acoustics and very cool Hammond organs (which I'm a sucker for). The vocals here weren't half bad either, surprise surprise! Well, I should say the vocals are at their LEAST annoying here. 'Ethereal Solitude' could have had me at the synths and a decent melodic start, but the syrup starts to ever flow. Forget the rest of the CD, as they continue to butcher attempts at otherworldly guitar sounds (aren't they from Finland? WHY do they try to be Egyptian or Middle Eastern?) Sorry to be so harsh, but this just won't do at all. If this is their idea of metal then I think someone needs to pull their head out of the sand....
Contact: Nuclear Blast Records.

AXENSTAR "The Inquisition" (Arise) SCORE: 54/100

I REALLY, REALLY wanted to like this record. Especially since the past two were so amazing, and I considered this band to be one of the best on this label. But something's amiss, and it's not just the weaker choruses and lack of energetic songwriting. And of course, if you want to annoy me even further, start your opening song off with scratchy record sounds! (Especially since I literally spend hours and hours cleaning the scratches OUT of those treasured 80's metal vinyl pieces). The opening piano notes on CD opener 'The Fallen One' were kinda nice, and this tune isn't too bad, though the choruses seemed to be cranked out rather quickly. Regardless, there's some nice thrashy guitar work here and it meshes with the synth work somewhat nicely. Nothing's catching me here with 'Under Black Wings,' either. Fast synths and guitars. Weak choruses. Where's that dynamic vocal interaction? The synths seem to dominate the sound here. 'Salvation' showcases more melodic guitar work, though most noteworthy here is the nice solo instrumentation. Once again, not a terrible tune but I'm still not convinced. Very weak choruses finally bother me on 'Inside Your Mind,' which has to be one of the worst tunes on record. The choruses are seemingly devoid of life here, and it seems like another fast tune for speed's sake. Oh yeah, then the ballad like sung vocals near the end REALLY grate the nerves. Not too bad is 'Daydreamer,' and the choruses seem brought out better, though this is nowhere NEAR the caliber of EITHER of the first two albums this band put out. 'Drifting' IS your ballad. Short, acoustic, wussy lyrics, not much more to say. And finally, after 6 songs, I FINALLY catch a glimpse of the REAL Axenstar. 'The Burning' reminded me SO much of WHY I liked Axenstar in the first place: very cool choruses, and energetic vocal work everywhere else. Then the truth comes roaring back and they suddenly slow this, my favorite tune on the WHOLE record, way down and "wuss out" vocal wise especially. Thankfully it doesn't last long before they get back to the business at hand. And 'Run Or Hide,' while far from being abysmal, does nothing for me. The spark just isn't there, folks, and it would be a total crap CD if it wasn't for the fact that the guitar players can play and the singer can actually SING. I'm almost crying inside, but those tears are saved for the even more abysmal Falconer (unfortunately, also reviewed this issue).
Contact: Arise Records.

DARKTHRONE "Sardonic Wrath" (Moonfog) SCORE: 92/100

I was most definitely looking forward to this one, which followed quite soon after the "Hate Them" album we reviewed not too long ago. 'Order Of The Ominous' is somewhat an intro, so we'll skip that one. 'Information Wants To Be Syndicated' is next, and rather unusual lyrical matter for Fenriz and company. Regardless, it starts off in fine black metal fashion with some speed for ya, and of course in true Darkthrone fashion (these days) doesn't stay at one speed the entire length. Those vocals are just as sick as I remembered them too! 'Sjakk Matt Jesu Krist' reminds me of something from their last effort, and it starts off in fast (but not blazing) tempo. One of my favorite tracks here is 'Straightening Sharks In Heaven,' which utilizes some rather vicious riffing and a bit slower pace than what some b.m. afficionados may be used to. 'Alle Gegen Alle' probably betrays better than any other track their slower, somewhat Celtic Frost/Hellhammer like influences. Even the faster instrumentation on this tune is blatantly obviously the Swiss 'Frost influence. Another Norweigan sung tune 'Man Tenker Sitt' and it's too crystal clear. Finally "Sacrificing To The God Of Doubt' was another one of my alltime favorite Darkthrone tracks, especially the sick and heavy riffs and those insane vocals carrying the chorus to a fever pitch near the end of the song. I didn't care much for the hardcore styled shouted vocals on 'Hate Is The Law,' but it's not a bad tune. Likewise, I thought 'Rawness Obsolete' might have been dragged on a bit too long for it's 6 minute length, maybe because I'm not alltogether into some of the lead guitar parts. Otherwise, a good solid effort from one of the originators of the Norweigan black metal scene...
Contact: Moonfog Productions.

DEMONS & WIZARDS "Touched By The Crimson King" (Steamhammer) SCORE: 95/100

I was totally surprised by this band's latest offering, though not totally expecting it to be a failure. When their self titled debut album came out, I initially agreed it had potential, but was a bit disappointed by the heavier material not being written as well, and I thought there should have been more emotional and melodic passages, something which I wholeheartily agreed was their strongest point. They have indeed improved on both accounts, and though the opening track 'Crimson King' failed to impress me, from track 2 it's all musical bliss. 'Beneath These Waves' shows a great mix of the heaviness and the melodic and powerful vocals of Blind Guardian's Hansi Kursch (Jon Schaffer from Iced Earth rounds out the writing duo), coupled with the heavy but still melodic guitar work that really drives the point home. Choruses here, as well as throughout the disc, are especially potent, and this is one of their greatest strengths. The orchestrated pieces are also a wonder to behold. 'Terror Train' is the first dominantly heavy piece to grace the CD, and it is a MONSTER to behold! The fast and furious guitar riffing nearly pins you to the floor, and it's quite astounding to hear just how vicious Hansi can get vocal wise! 'Seize The Day' showcases some nice acoustic guitar work, and the lyrics are well written too. In fact, further along in the lyrics you're suddenly thinking of Lord Of The Rings, a fact not unfamiliar to the Blind Guardian camp (as they wrote an entire album based on Tolkien's writings). The multivocal work on the choruses is especially astounding, even more so on the acoustical "ballad" (and I use that term VERY, VERY loosely) like piece 'Wicked Witch,' which has the most intense, emotional and soaring vocal work on the album, and it's FILLED with multivocal work. 'Love's Tragedy Asunder' has a rather beautiful acoustic start, very well done orchestrated pieces and still retains a heavy thrash sound on the guitar parts. 'Down Where I Am' continues the amazing catchy choruses, intense vocal work and lyrical content that hits home (for me) on a personal level. I could have done without the rather lengthy spoken word type intro to 'The Gunslinger,' though not a bad track overall. Finally, they do a nice job covering Led Zeppelin's 'Immigrant Song,' and overall this is my pick for surprise album of the year. Even 'Dorian' crushed me in a way that for all the heaviness they don't scrimp on the melodies and man oh man, this is a great power metal album, that works on so many different levels.
Contact: Steamhammer Records.

DISSIMULATION "Prakeikimas" (Ledo Takas) SCORE: 84/100

Another sick black metal assault from Lithuania, Dissimulation had me very interested after their last release on the mighty Ledo Takas records. One big complaint I have is the insistence on dark ambient outros on just about every song, as a lot of them sounded rather similar and broke up the dark and heavy mood damn near each and every track portrays. 'As Jusu Prakeikimas' starts the CD off and has too long of an opening, with their useage of a rather odd, operatic piece that sounded more like it fit in with techno act Apotheosis rather than a sick black metal band. However, the sick vocals and ripping guitar work soon make you forget this simple transgression (it would have been a LOT better if that intro piece had it's own track number so as to skip right to the music). The start/stop guitar work of 'Suteikim Jiems Kancia' definitely piqued my interest, especially since they are of a rather thrashy nature. Fast instrumentation abounds, and 'Ju Septynetas' is no exception. Celtic Frost influences are found here, though slight, and there's lots of tight instrumental prowess going on here. Varied tempos keep things interesting as well. The vocal interactions between the lead vocalist and other members (or was it all lead vocals overdubbed) almost ruined the ending of the opening track, and the guitar/vocal mix was quite odd on 'Kol Viskas Niekur' as well. There's some complex riffing to hear on 'Omega Et Alpha,' and Voivod immediately sprang to mind , especially on the more solo oriented guitar work. Not at all a bad effort, and as long as Dissimulation keeps putting out albums like this, I will always be interested!! See what new sounds and influences keep brewing from deep in the underground forges of Lithuania!
Contact: Ledo Takas Records.

DOOMTREE "Down Below" (Long Live Crime) SCORE: 81/100

I believe bands shoot themselves in the foot by advertising the "hit single," which is also the video AND the CD's biggest highlight. In fact, had I not given this CD many spins, this would have probably brought a much lower score than you're seeing here. Opening track 'Severed' is such a rockin', kick ass, punk/metal tinged affair, complete with Misfits styled 'whoa's' that it really is THE main highlight of the disc. Nothing else here kills with the power that this opener has, however don't let that dissuade you just yet. 'Alive And Well,' granted, doesn't have that spark, and the choruses don't kick me where they should, but 'Stand And Fall' definitely puts the ideas that the Misfits and Samhain banked on from day one into a new light. Remember, members of this outfit are pulled squarely from both Samhain and AFI (the latter band going so far as to doing a straight up Danzig tribute with Sons Of Sam, reviewed here many issues ago) so this was going to be interesting from the get go. Heavy bass guitar attacks come opening up 'The Light,' and it's a rather rocking punk affair. Choruses especially hint at the power this band has, and their greatest strength is obviously in their chorus work (and the low toned sung vocals help create a dark mood before the more 'light' versions of the choruses [no pun intended] create a dramatic change). I can't dig 'Seven Lives' much at all, nor do I care for CD ender 'Soul Of Silence,' as it's WAY too alternative sounding for what this band is trying to achieve. The rather wussy sung vocals really drag this tune further down as well. However, the next best song here would have to be 'Don't Ask Why,' as it has some great dark guitar parts before exploding into a rocking motherfucker of a song. Complete with, of course, amazing chorus work. A slightly faster paced song at times, it's part of the charm and style Doomtree is looking for. Wicked guitar work adorns 'Down Below,' and 'A Perfect Way' is more Danzig like than even Danzig these days, but these last few tunes mentioned don't quite make the cut as far as the rest. It's an interesting affair, but PLEASE give this multiple spins beyond one of the coolest (and it IS included on the CD in multimedia format for ya) videos and "hit singles" I've heard this year.
Contact: Long Live Crime Records.

DRACONIAN "Arcane Rain Fell" (Napalm) SCORE: 100/100

This is very easily the pick of the issue, so much so that a portion of time was spent procuring an interview for this issue. This is such a fantastic piece of work, that it easily gets my vote for inclusion as one of the top 3 albums of 2005. After the masterpiece that was "Where Lovers Mourn," this albums seems a LOT more doom/death metal oriented, but they are SO much more than that. The female vocals are in force once again, to complement the harsh vocals of Anders perfectly. 'A Scenery Of Loss' starts things off perfectly, and the guitar work is SUCH a highlight on the entire disc, showcasing the most beautiful and also sorrowful of works that would give Candlemass a run for their money. Such emotional instrumentation definitely did NOT go unnoticed. Black metal vocals also rears it's head as well, most notably on 'The Apostasy Canticle' and 'Heaven Laid In Tears,' which have these amazing passages where the music gets about as brutal and as sick as you'll hear on this album. 'Expostulation' was a very poetic spoken word piece, and after finally obtaining the full version of this masterpiece (as opposed to the cardboard sleeve where I could finally get lyrics) I was surprised to see the lyrical content deals with much more than the usual sadness and sorrow all too commonplace in one of my favorite genres of music. 'Death, Come Near Me' is about a 15 minute piece that utilizes the growling male and beautiful female vocals in tandem for a very nice effect. Many people complained about the overuseage of spoken word passages, but they (in my eyes) add a nice effect of having different vocal styles running throughout the same songs, so it's widely varied. Such a moving album has spawned MANY repeat listens at work, at home and in the car, and it's been VERY hard to move past this to work on other titles for weeks. If you want something that will work for you on many different levels, especially emotionally, the followup to "Where Lovers Mourn" is a disc you cannot afford to miss.
Contact: Napalm Records.

FALCONER "Grime Vs. Grandeur" (Metal Blade) SCORE: 46/100

I knew that things would never be the same for Falconer after the brilliant but sadly overlooked minstrel singer Matthias left the band, but I had no idea the snowball would turn into an avalanche! Poor songwriting, lyrics and tired vocal abilities ruin any chance this band had at really making a mark for themselves in the metal world. To be perfectly fair and honest, 'Purgatory Time' is one of the best tracks here, mostly because of the emotional performance new singer Kristoffer Gobel puts into this track (he actually performed on their last full length "Scepter Of Deception," but he wasn't given the total free reign he has with this disc). The opening guitar work on this track will definitely remind you of the Falconer "sound" even if most everything else falls flat. CD opener 'Endless Skies' is your first glimpse that something's wrong. The heavier guitar work was nice, but the multivocal choruses, besides being REALLY fruity, didn't sit well with me. It wasn't worth replacing "the bard" with this guy for sure. 'Humanity Overdose' and ESPECIALLY 'Jack The Knife' suffer from very bad lyrics, and the latter song is ESPECIALLY confusing, as our famous English killer is referred to as both Jack The Ripper AND Jack The Knife. Forgive my ignorance but was he REALLY both? Besides, aren't lyrics about serial killers better left to the experts (like Macabre)? Some songs, like 'Power' and 'I Refuse' don't sound much like Falconer at all, especially in the most important part, the guitar sounds! 'I Refuse' irked me even further by making use of rather industrialized effected vocals, something which SHOULD be a no-no by the standards of this group. The guitar work in spots is often the only highlight, especially on songs that weren't terrible but just didn't have that catchy spark to them, like 'Child Of The Wild' and 'The Assailant,' the latter probably being the second best tune here. Oh yeah, and before I forget, what's up with 'The Return,' with Kristoffer not only doing a very weak Ozzy, but going so far as to insult us further with some lame attempt at death metal vocals. I think more work should have gone into this before it was flung on an unsuspecting public, but judging by the fact that there were a lot of positive reviews, it's obvious to me that these same reviewers either didn't listen intently to the first three Falconer records, or we're witnessing the return of "lazy journalism."
Contact: Metal Blade Records.

NOVEMBERS DOOM "The Pale Haunt Departure" (The End) SCORE: 97/100

I have the feeling people are going to think Vibrations Of Doom focuses primarily on, well, doom metal. When people think of successful bands in the doom genre, the first thoughts are to overseas, most notably Scandinavia and England. Add America with the release of "The pale Haunt Departure," which is a shining example of one top notch doom record. Okay, well in the last issue of Metal Maniacs I read, Novembers Doom were growing tired of lazy journalism as people constantly lumped them into a generic doom category. So let's give them the benefit of the doubt and delve more deeply into their individualistic sound shall we? The opening track, which is the title track, is a bit faster than normal for doom metal, so that would certainly validate their argument right off the bat. Thunderous percussion and some sick downtuned riffing give this a very unusual quality, and there are a few spots where I heard the blackened vocals rear their sick heads! 'Swallowed By The Moon' proceeds with some very dark acoustic riffs, and of course the trademark slower pace. However, there are quite a few instances where low tuned sung vocals will pop up, which accentuates the well written and emotional lyrics quite well. Speaking of emotional, the effect of 'Autumn Reflection' does not go unnoticed, as it is performed ENTIRELY in clean sung vocals. The emotional weight of this song cannot be denied. And on a lighter note, 'Through A Child's Eyes' is a somewhat more uplifting piece, complete with brighter acoustics and of course no death metal vocals (which, to my ears, would sound out of place, especially considering the lyrical subject matter). 'In The Absence Of Grace' was a fun tune to hear, as they perform melodic acoustics and suddenly rip into fast instrumentation and death metal vocasls. Even the angrier spoken word parts lend an overwhelming heaviness and help you get the anger and frustration out as you deal with the sadness and sorrow. The guitar work does it's job quite well, whether it's cranking out the angry, crushing downtuned atmosphere or just simply creating more emotional and mellow vibes. Defining and re-defining the genre they most certainly are, and doom metakl afficionados are well advised to keep their eyes on the American shores, as doom metal here is most certainly NOT dead. Amazing foresight for The End Records to pick up on such a high quality act.
Contact: The End Records.

PRIMORDIAL "The Gathering Wilderness" (Metal Blade) SCORE: 97/100

When I first heard about this I was like "What?!?" When did Primordial sign to Metal Blade? Obviously, there was not a whole lot of press or hype before the release, and if not for the frequent Metal Blade newsletter email, I might have never found out for this. But good for them, because this Irish band definitely deserved a jump to a bigger label, and this effort is monstrous! In fact, it ranks up there with Draconian as one of the best releases of 2005. (Top 3 or top 5? I'm still not sure, get back to me next year!) The Irish folk influences seem to be lessened a tad, as do the blackened vocals, which kinda frustrated me at first. However, when the blackened shrieks do come, they are SO welcomed that it's almost like anticipation before a date before you get to sleep with a woman.... It's all worthwhile and every effort was worth it. And in this case, the soaring and emotional vocal work of Nemtheanga makes the tiniest nuance SO damn enjoyable, you don't even notice that these are somewhat long songs. 'The Golden Spiral' starts things off with some thunderous, almost militaristic percussion, and of course he teases you from the get go with some sick but passionate blackened vocals. On to the title track, which has nice melodic and melancholic acoustical guitar work for that great folkish feel before the heavier guitars come roaring in. Lyrically this is very well written, and the soaring emotional passion you hear in the vocals just drives the point home that much further: this is a GREAT fucking band. Fast drumming and one long winded blackened scream later (YEESSSS!!) 'The Song Of The Tomb' breaks in with fast instrumentation, belying the black metal roots, or should I say influence. The chanting was a nice touch as well. Slow and majestic is the order of the day with 'End Of All Times,' a track totally devoid of the blackened shrieks of terror. Some of the darkest acoustic guitar work known to man is found opening 'The Coffin Ships,' and it's here that the vocals and instrumentation, especially the tear-inducing and utterly astounding high ended guitar work, soar to their highest point and leave you utterly speechless. 'Tragedy's Birth' and 'Cities Carved In Stone,' well, what more can I say? The length of some of these songs (especially near the end of the disc) makes me wonder if a small trimming of a minute or two here and there was warranted, but like with most bands in other genres (MOST notably doom metal) if the song's a-flowing then the time I ain't a-knowing! A band that truly deserves this jump to a label of epic proportions, it's proof positive that even in this cut throat music industry, the fates and karmas can be kind to those who exude true passion. Oh yeah, and dedicating this entire record to Quorthon of Bathory? Respect for this band goes up even further. HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommended!!!
Contact: Metal Blade Records.

PYRAMAZE "Melancholy Beast" (Nightmare) SCORE: 87/100

This band features none other than Lance King on vocals and they managed to pull in Morten Gade, the drummer from Wuthering Heights. As if that wasn't enough, their keyboard player lives in my neck of the woods. If you wanna know who he is, you'll have to read the interview! This is one of those progressive slash power metal bands that has a definite emphasis on power! 'Sleepy Hollow' starts things off, and once you sit through the first few minutes of low toned spoken word, things kick off rather quickly. The melodic instrumentation is accentuated by some heavy and almost thrashy riffs, and catchy choruses abound here. Not only can these guys play their instruments with skill, even the vocals storm across with passion. 'Forsaken Kingdom' starts off rather slow, and gives us some dark vocal deliveries, with nice vocal melodies. The title track is the first track that REALLY perks my ears, though a tad long at 6 minutes, and features some great choruses, right along with the dark and heavy guitar riffs. One thing that needs to be mentioned though, is that the synths and guitars are properly mixed to where one doesn't always drown out the other, and they complement each other well. 'The Journey' has some thrashy riffs as well, and of course the fantastic choruses keep you well hooked. My other favorite tracks are the fantasy lyrics of 'Legend,' and at a somewhat slower pace but still enjoyable is 'Mighty Abyss.' There's a rather nice keyboard instrumental in 'The Nature Of Triumph' which barely lasts a minute, and CD closer 'Power Of Imagination' showcases some fast and thrashy guitar work that easily betrays their progressive/power metal genre. The vocal work here is to die for, even when he goes up high (like the prechoruses on 'The Journey') it never gets out of hand and the emotions running through his pipes are worth hearing. Some of the songs I thought were just a bit too long, even my favorite 'Mighty Abyss' was 8 minutes long, due to some of the slower instrumentation and whispered vocals, but all in all, this is a band that will keep those who normally frown on the progressive/power metal scene interested due to their insistence that songs be heavy and catchy as well.
Contact: Nightmare Records.

REX INFERI "Like A Hurricane" (Sonic Age) SCORE: 82/100

Many of you have probably heard the nice little EP "The Damage Has Been Done," which has been in the classic albums section for a few years. What many of you probably DON'T know is that there was another album in the works that never saw the light of day, well, until now. The band had broken up before their 1988 release date could be confirmed. Well, it's why you're reading this review instead of listening to this in the classic albums section. Granted, it seems to have been polished up a tad, but there's no denying this has galloping 80's metal written all over it! 'Angel Of Might' starts the disc off with rather nice singing vocals, though it's noteworthy that there are two different vocal performances here. The drum work is especially quite intense and pounding, as the first two tracks especially showcase. 'Ghost Horse' is one of my favorites, especially due to the soaring vocals and catchy choruses, a must for true 80's metal afficionados who appreciate good songwriting. 'Flight To The Sky' has some rather INSANE guitar work, probably their fastest stuff to be found on record! The sudden drop in tempo did throw the track off a bit, however, though lead solos are all over the place. 'Like A Hurricane' features more intense and speedy guitar work, though the tune picks up considerably once the vocals come roaring in. Another favorite tune of mine is the bit slower paced 'Welcome To The Slaughter,' complete with multivocal choruses that are almost shouted, but still catchy, and it's our first glimpse (on the CD) of our second vocalist Zephyr. WHY they had two vocal performances is beyond me, however I think an interview in the future may shed more light on this. 'Back From The War' had some rather unusual chorus design but regardless the skill is there for our intrepid axeslingers, and closing instrumental 'Murder In Time,' good though it was, could have been left out as they dragged this on a bit. Nice release, for the first time, even though it does show a tad bit of age and definitely could have used more fleshing out, maybe with some bonus demo tracks or live clips? All in all, a good piece of history that's never been presented... Until now.
Contact: Sonic Age Records.

RHAPSODY "Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II" (Steamhammer) SCORE: 93/100

It seems like Rhapsody may be running out of ideas, though some good things have ocurred since their last outing. Christopher Lee has come on board (played the character Saruman in the Lord Of The Rings movies) to do voice narration, and this is possibly the best thing that could ever happen to Rhapsody. Music wise, the songs are still strong and full of life, especially with the multivocal choruses, but here and there you can hear parts of other songs' past, especially 'Unholy Warcry,' which is one of their heaviest, and 'Nightfall On The Grey Mountains.' Overall, though, the concept reminds me of the Lord Of The Rings story, even if laid out over 12 tracks clocking in at around 70 minutes. It's a rather ambitious project, and yes, there are still some cheesy spoken word parts, especially the demon's dialogue on 'Erian's Mystical Rhymes,' 'Guardiani' was an interesting piece, sung entirely in Italian, and Fabio's vocals carry over very well. Orchestration is suitably tight and strong, and the self proclaimed "hollywood fantasy metal" is still pulling it's magic. Some of these songs I thought may have been a bit too long, though, as both "Sacred Power Of Raging Winds' and 'Erian's Mystical Rhymes' clock in at over 10 minutes a piece, even though 'Dragonland's River' is about 4 minutes in length, and the melodic medieval like instrumental 'Elgard's Green Valleys' is roughly 2 and a half minutes. A good solid effort, but giving the disc a few spins you'll be asking yourself quite a few times "didn't I hear such and such repeated in some of their earlier albums?" Still worth a listen, if for nothing else to hear Mr. Lee pull off that Elvish chant on 'Sacred Power Of Raging Winds.'
Contact: Steamhammer Records.

SIX "The Price Of Faith" (Embryo) SCORE: 79/100

WHen I first heard about Six, I was VERY excited. Lauren is one of the most maniacal and vicious frontmen I have ever had the pleasure to witness both live and on record, and his previous band Drown put out two monster releases that still stand the test of time today. The industrial laced metal hasn't deviated from the original Drown format (upon first listen) but the music has seemingly gotten a tad more, and I REALLY hate to use this word where Lauren is concerned, "commercialized." And that's not totally in a bad way, though there IS a bit more of an emphasis on melody and catchy hooks, something that Drown was able to accomplish but in such a brutal way that you NEVER NOTICED. The brutality is still there, and for that I commend Lauren. 'Something's Gotta Give' and 'Everything' still have the screamed vocals, though it's Lauren's SUNG vocals that make Drown fans go "what?" Don't get me wrong, these are GREAT CD openers for what Six is now doing, and once you get into them and try and distance yourself from the Drown catalog, you'll do just fine. Six seems to concentrate on explosive vocal work mainly during choruses, which was NOT how Drown approached songwriting, but maybe it makes you appreciate the heaviness more when you're not blinded by it. The melodic sung vocals aren't ALWAYS tactfully done, in fact they kinda grated me a tad on 'In My Life,' this despite the fact that Lauren is screaming throughout the track, and on "Sad State Of Apology' his interaction with a female vocalist (singing wise) didn't sit well with me. However, Drown is not totally dropped from Lauren's radar, as an unreleased Drown track 'Stranger, Killer, King' is, rather obviously, the heaviest, sickest and most damaging track on the record. 'Lay Back' is probably the second sickest, especially the way the dirty, distorted guitar work builds up to choruses of such explosive and epic proportions. 'Leave Me Dry' is a tune that stands out in my mind, simply because for most of the album, you're thinking, melodic (somewhat) sung mainlines and explosive, shouted/screamed choruses, and Lauren completely reverses this on this track. So the man's got some ideas left in his skull, and we are all better for them. Not quite what I wanted to hear out of Six, but I'm definitely looking forward to the next record, if for no other reason than to KNOW I'm going to at least get half a record full of anger, explosion and aggression.
Contact: Embryo Records.

SKYFORGER "Semigalls' Warchant" (Folter) SCORE: 83/100

This is actually a reissue of Skyforger's very first release, and it's rather unusual to hear after all the other material I've heard. In fact, we were going to review "Thunderforge" beforehand, but once we got this we thought we'd work it first. The black metal styled vocals are rather inhuman and very sick, if you want a little insight as to how they got this sick sound, make sure to read the interview! 'Sunrise Over The Sacred Forest' starts this CD off with nature sounds, tribal drums and flutes. After this brief instrumental, we can hear some sick guitar work with 'Werewolves.' The blackened guitars have an interesting sound to them, and this is rather primal sounding black metal. 'Chief Nameisis' continues with a somewhat midtempo pace, and though they incorporate what's hereby referred to as the "blackened blast," many of their numbers incorporate slower to midpaced instrumentation as well as fast. The solitary bass guitar notes add a thick bottom end, giving 'Chief Nameisis' a somewhat doomy Celtic Frost like sound. 'Signs Carved In Stone' has some of the sickest vocal work on the record, and is a rather dark piece containing some blistering riffing. What I penned to be a bit wierd at first though later appreciate more and more (in a somewhat headbanging sense) is the opening tribal instrumentation and thick, distorted guitar mix, truly showing their folk roots. They even had the nerve to throw in some dark acoustical number midway through this. What REALLY surprised me however was the track 'Long I Heard, Now I See.' This track is amazing in the vocal melodies and harmonies. It's all a vocal track, no drums, guitars, synths, bass, or anything else, and it's derived from a folk melody. Personally, I'd love to hear more of this type of stuff from Skyforger, as they do it so well. 'Semigalls' Warchant' closes out the first portion of the disc with nice, high ended melodic leads and some doomier passages as well as semi fast paced blackened guitars. As a bonus, there are 4 tracks which showcase a DIFFERENT style of singing (they are new tunes, and apparently ONLY for this reissue). Personally, I thought they could have left a few tunes off, as the multivocal work on 'Kavi' grates the nerves a bit, though these 4 tunes have the trademark tribal instrumentation and slight differences from other black metal bands. A band worth checking out if you're into tribal and folkish black metal, this is well worth having.
Contact: Folter Records.

SONS OF OTIS "X" (Small Stone) SCORE: 91/100

THIS is the record I had been waiting for, as I knew a band like this wouldn't stay unsigned very long. I also figured that they would end up on Small Stone, as this is where good Man's Ruin bands go to survive. Nothing much different on this latest affair, their fourth full length album, though it seems to tie up everything from "Spacejumbofudge" all the way up to their last release "Songs For Worship." A 7 minute track 'Way I Feel' starts things off, and they do a pretty good job of messing with your head (the song sounds like it ends for good around 3:40, of course that's the stoner in stoner rock!) Anyone NOT familiar with Sons Of Otis should know right off the bat this is NOT atypical stoner rock anyway, though they utilize the warping Orange and Green amp guitar work. More like heavy sludgy stoner doom in the deepest and coldest depths of space (just in case you missed the last three reviews). 'Relapse' shows us that the 'Sons are still capable of throwing us a curveball: Middle Eastern guitar work! And yes, it's echoey. Definitely heaviness abounds in this song, and this particular track reminds me strongly of something off the "Templeball" album. It's a shame they didn't do more of the Middle Eastern sound (it's strictly a beginning song only affair), but the heavy vibe still reigns. '1303' could have been off either "Songs For Worship" or "Templeball," and there's a lot of vocal work in this one, though not a lot of length. 5 minutes and not much variety, but it's Otissally consistent. 'The vocal work seemed a bit off on 'The Pusher,' which definitely seems more bluesy to me. One of their most mellow tracks to date, and probably not out of place on "Songs For Worship." A 4 minute track!? I kid you not, and 'Help Me' has some crazy vocal effects this time around. This one has a more "upbeat" feeling, something they were working more with on "Songs..." Some very heavy and dark ambience reminded me of something, and thus starts the 10 minute opus 'Eclipse.' Some rather angry and DARK guitar work, coming from the angriest, darkest and loneliest reaches of space, and then it hits me: This is like the vicious instrumental from "Spacejumbofudge," minus the higher ended, scraping feedback guitar work! Of course, there's no vocal work, and some wicked guitar noises still abound. Finally, 'Liquid Jam' will test your patience at around 14 minutes, and you at least have to stay for the early era Orange Goblin like acoustic segments. It jams for quite awhile, but around the 4 minute mark things slow down even further. There's some long lead solo work to balance things out as well. A good solid effort, doing the smart thing and mixing the songs up by combining influences from their past three records, to create an album that was quite a few years in the making, but well worth the wait. Now, please come back and tour the States? (THIS time making sure the new drummer extraordinaire can PLAY songs from the first two records?)
Contact: Small Stone Records.

:WUMPSCUT: "Evoke" (Metropolis) SCORE: 84/100

Rudy has had a very long career with the :W:, and this marks the first time (as far as I know) that female vocals have taken a more prominent position in the arrangement of songs. The harshness and militaristic industrial stance seem to have fallen by the wayside as well, as CD opener 'Maiden' will attest to. Very nice and melodic, however, this is a good start for the German industrial pioneers. The lyrics and storyline are rather sad though, but still a good tune. 'Churist Churist' shows that Rudy has no problems writing lyrics in German, and this is a bit faster paced, a bit more club worthy. And Rudy does 'sing' on this one. (Yes, he still uses the somewhat harsh distorted vocals, but they seem a bit tempered this time around for some reason). I didn't care much for the female vocals on 'Don't Go,' as they seem a bit warbly, and the lyrics have gotten a bit, 'softer,' if you will. 'Evoke' was a good title track I thought, especially with the interesting synth sounds and more melodic tone offset by the harsh vocals of Rudy (which seems to be a trend with harsher industrial bands these days). 'Tomb' has some eerie synth notes, though also presenting a melancholic and melodic side as well. A rather beautiful instrumental, and still club worthy. 'Hold' really bothered me, the female vocals here are TOO in synch with the instrumentation, and sound a bit rushed. Not only that, the lyrics are REALLY sappy, I won't go into that here. 'Krolok' is yet another instrumental, this time utilizing some cool samples and an almost spacey sound. 'Breathe' I'll pass on as well, the kid vocals were very odd to me. It's another instrumental, which makes three on the record, which is in my eyes a bit too many . 'Rush' is classic heavy :W:, and probably their heaviest and darkest on this record. 'Perdition' is almost relaxing in a way, and with nice choruses as well, and 'Obsessio' has female vocals, presumably all in German, with nice violin notes. Not the strongest :Wumpscut: album as some diehards may say, but a nice refreshing change of pace and still keeping a bit of the old charm.
Contact: Metropolis Records.


DRACONIAN. Interview with Anders via email.

  • Some people have said this newest record, "Arcane Rain Fell," is a bit more doom metal oriented than your first full length "Where Lovers Mourn." How do you see the progression from the first album to this one?

    They are right, of course. The new album is more doom-oriented and it was made on purpose. We wanted to take it further into the dark and mellow… more back to the roots of the sound of old My Dying Bride and Anathema… as well as retro Doom/Death bands such as Mourning Beloveth, but without losing the true Draconian sound. The progression was there even before we recorded “Where Lovers Mourn”. We knew already then we wanted something else for the next album. We had grown quite tired of those songs since most of them had been included on the “Dark Oceans We Cry” demo. Personally I think these songs are still better on that demo. I dislike the sound “Where Lovers Mourn” got. It was not what we were looking for at all.

  • Vocal wise, it sounds very death metal oriented but there are touches of black metal singing styles as well... It's sometimes tough to categorize music these days, but where would you say the vocal range falls, and was it your intention to have blackened vocals in the music as well? How easily do these types of vocals come for you?

    Well, I think it’s important to vary the vocal style in order to heighten emotions and so on in the lyrics, taking the music to a higher and more powerful level. We are neither black nor death metal just because we use those types of vocals. I use extreme vocals because that’s what Draconian is about. Draconian uses death-vocals much more than black-vocals because we are that type of band, it’s darker… but it’s important not to limit yourself. I always vary my vocals according to the emotions in the lyrics and the music.

  • I hate cardboard sleeves! I was quite surprised when I did finally get ahold of the lyrics, and despite the female vocals, synths, focus on sadness and solitude, I was reading some topics that seem a bit black metal oriented, especially the brazen attitude against god and the desire to be independent from Christianity. How were the lyrics constructed for this record, and how do you personally see the theme progressing from song to song? Is this lyrically based on personal feelings or an outside, third person view?

    I think you can use any type of lyrics without limiting yourself into a certain genre. The black metal movement doesn’t have a patent on these matters, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard a black metal album which made this subject that interesting either. (To them) It’s just all about evil, hatred, cursing Jesus and sodomizing virgins. That is not really my thing. I am more interested in Lucifer and the fallen angels as victims of a tyrant god, so I use this concept in order to clear Lucifer’s name from religious prejudice. One great album recommendation about this matter is Elend’s “Les Tenebres Du Dehors”… I think Elend have captured the genuine essence of the luciferian spirit on that album. To me that album is superior! These lyrics are very personal for me in one way, since I consider myself (more or less) a luciferian. If it was all up to me I would have developed the lyrics for “Arcane Rain Fell” even further into the luciferian state of mind. To me that is the real truth of what happened all those millenniums ago. The universe is infinite and everything is possible, so I chose to believe in this because it has something to say about religion, humanity and its injustice… and it strikes me on a personal level. Lucifer saw what God was really about and he revolted against him, but Lucifer and his legions suffered a bitter defeat. And you know, the rest is history… and history has always been written by the victors.

  • Speaking of, how do you view black metal ideology and views of the Christian based faith (you can leave out the church burnings and murders within the Norwegian scene if you wish, as we have discussed that ad nauseum in other interviews)? Do you feel Christianity has any place in society, and how are your views of Satanism as they pertain to what many other bands have sung and screamed about?

    Well, I have nothing good to say about Christianity… and I’m no big fan of Satanism either. The ideology of Satanism is very divided – just as the Christian faith. I don’t think the general black metal attitude against Christianity is very intellectual. I can respect truly devoted Christians as my enemies, but generally, I cannot respect these retarded Blackmetallers as co-warriors in the final battle (if you know what I mean). Christianity should not have a place in society, I believe, but since the human nature is so submissive and weak I think religion suits them well. It makes them even more narrow-minded. The Jewish and Christian god is just a tragic and oppressive figure. I cannot really understand why more people haven’t seen through the lies and deceit.

  • One thing that struck me at first, more so now that I have read the lyrics, is the sadness and solitary feelings, especially in passages that have nearly brought a tear to my eye, but the overwhelming anger and aggression in some of the harsher edged vocals (almost black metal in style) on songs like 'The Apostasy Canticle' and 'Heaven Laid In Tears.' I would love to get your feelings on this, but one thing that I have noticed is, sometimes in order to get over extreme sadness and move on to better emotions, one must be angry enough to not want these feelings of sadness anymore, and that's where I see the death metal vocals mixing well with the more doom metal oriented approach. Hopefully I explained this well enough...

    Perhaps you are right. I always try to use sad and bitter emotions constructively – I try to make something creative out of it, instead of just becoming a victim. I believe my soul is very rich because of my suffering, otherwise I would not have learned anything deeper about myself, life and beyond. I used to say that I'd rather suffer and know the truth, than live my life like a naive zombie – thinking that everything is peachy. There’s so little in this world of true value, if you think about it. It’s all falling apart and it’s spiritually crippled by narrow-mindedness and lies. Humanity is like a disease, a cancer – and generally they are all sheeps – slaves of the common opinion. Their gods are tyrants disguised as prophets of love and promises. But in the end, the human kind means nothing… there are larger and much more important things out there. My lyrics are just reflections of all these realizations and feelings inside, and if people cherish them and feel with me, I know I am not alone – that is my reward, except for my honoured position in Draconian.

  • Napalm Records as a label puts out a lot of music that features female vocalists and synths, almost to the effect that people label this extreme form of metal as "gothic," when of course Draconian has very little to do with gothic (true gothic) music. Was it a conscious effort to minimize the amount of female vocal interaction and synths, or does it matter to you at all?

    About synths and female vocals - it has been like that from the beginning, or at least when I joined the band in late 1994. I wanted more atmospheres and I also wanted female vocals – so I guess I was responsible for that from the start. To me it’s important to show many aspects of emotion in music like this, and therefore I wanted it. But it wasn’t until sometime in 1997 we gained a full member keyboardist. We live in a small town and Draconian had not really gone anywhere in the development. With our first demo in 1995 we got excellent reviews… but it was hard to follow that up and go further from there. We have gone through a lot of problems during our time as a demo band. On “Arcane Rain Fell” there are less female vocals, but it’s no less synths. About Lisa’s vocals, it was both a conscious effort but still not. When we created the songs we did not pay any attention to it, we just made the songs the way we wanted it, and we felt Lisa would not fit the way she did before. She just had to leave more space for the grunts and screams. Next time I guess there will be a little more of Lisa in the songs. The new songs leave more space for these kinds of arrangements.

  • How has Napalm been as a label for you? Do they give you tour support, and what is your album deal structured like?

    Napalm is a great label – we have nothing to complain about, except for tour support and merchandise. They are a little slow in that department. But I hope that will turn around. It must.

  • I'm curious about the "Dark Oceans We Cry" demo, which has seen some of those songs turn up on both full lengths... Any chance that will get a proper reissue? I would especially like to hear songs like 'Cthulhu Rising' and 'Memento Mori' which, as far as I know, haven't been redone yet. How different from the album versions are the demo versions of these same songs?

    No song on “Dark Oceans We Cry” needs to be redone, I think. We did a remake of 'Death, Come Near Me' this time because it’s our most popular song, so the fans more or less demanded it from us – and of course it’s a great song as well. There were also some remakes from that demo on our debut album, but I think they were quite bad. The “Where Lovers Mourn” versions from the demo songs just got too flat and without substance. I blame the production and the lack of time. We also had a producer that was wrong for us. The best versions are still on “Dark Oceans We Cry” and the demo is still available to buy. We felt we had to make more copies, because of its success.

  • I'm curious to know about some of the side projects, I didn't know there were so many!! I definitely want to hear Doomvs, as I love funereal doom bands like Winter, Disembowelment and especially Shape of Despair, who are one of my faves. What sort of doom bands are you into? I love the newest My Dying Bride, it's good to hear extreme blackened vocal styles in doom metal!

    The Doomvs album will be out sometime in the beginning of 2006, and I can promise you a great release. I haven’t heard much of it yet, but I know it will rule anyways… hehe. My fave doom bands are: My Dying Bride, Anathema (old), Katatonia (old), Paradise Lost (old), Esoteric, Shape of Despair, Saturnus, Mourning Beloveth, Solitude Aeternus, While Heaven Wept, Necare, Novembers Doom, Pantheist, Evoken, Morgion… and of course Disembowelment are great. I remember when I bought their album all those years ago – I’m still stunned by it!

  • Any chance you might be touring the States? I would definitely love to see the band play over here... Tell us about some of your most recent tours, who you played with, and if there are any funny stories you might share with us.

    A tour in the states is not planned yet. We have actually never toured yet. Sad but true, but we are about to. So I have to return to you in a while…

  • I really enjoyed the spoken word piece 'Expostulation,' I'm assuming the opening words are in maybe Hebrew or something? How did you decide to do an entire spoken word piece? I really enjoyed it but I have seen some reviews that thought the spoken word parts were too many on the record. (I of course disagree).

    I think they are too less. I wanted more narrations of the album, but there wasn’t enough time to fix it. Ryan Henry (Necare) really did a great job there. The Expostulation lyric was written by Ryan and the words in the beginning are various names of God with various meanings. They are all from the Middle East. When I heard “Gethsemane” from the latest Necare album, I wanted something similar. I have always loved narrations in both movies and music, and this is not the last time we will use it.

  • Any chance Draconian is working on a new album? If so, anything you can tell us about it, like if you have song titles, themes, or what not...

    We have made a couple of new songs. They will be included on a “bonus album” Napalm records wants us to release at the end of the year. This album will contain new songs, remakes of old demo material (not from “Dark Oceans…”) and a few covers. More info will follow on our website very soon.

  • Something that seems to affect a lot of Scandinavian bands (so I've been told) is the fact that there are very few days out of your calendar year that have sunlight... Is this something that is hard to deal with over there? I know here we do get lots of sunshine, but sometimes I prefer the not so hot days where skies are grey. You don't hate the sun, do you? ('Daylight Misery' perhaps?)

    Yeah, I really dislike the sunlight, and even if we don’t get really much sun over here (compared to other countries), there is still too much for my taste. I think it numbs all the inner emotions. Therefore my most creative time is at night. I need to get in touch with my soul to live and breathe from within. At night, your emotions are closer to the consciousness. Mankind are afraid to confront themselves, they are afraid of the unknown, so therefore they despise the dark... they are slaves of fear. Of course this also has religious meaning. The attitude and principals of religions are so deeply rooted in society, so people believe things without even knowing why… they just believe. To me, loving and adoring the sun is like fornicating with your own inner destruction. Sounds extreme perhaps, but just think about it for a moment. You need darkness to know who you truly are, sunlight blinds the insight. It truly drains you from power. Those who must have the sun to feel some kind of happiness are just individuals who are afraid to confront themselves. For example, people who must take light-therapy at the wintertime, or feel the urge to travel to a sunny country at that time of the year. To me it’s pathetic. Darkness is the true light.

  • Just curious if this music of yours is an outlet for pain and depression... Personally I love listening to Draconian just about anytime, but when I'm going through a rather painful ordeal, music like this helps... Still, as I said above, it helps to have the extreme aggression to go along with the sadness... What's your best method for dealing with depression and painful issues of the day?

    To me it feels very rewarding and comforting with sad and depressing music in a state of distress. It feels I’m not alone feeling the way I do, so I take comfort in that. As I mentioned before, I'd rather suffer for my realizations, than not having them at all… but to be alone with all these feelings are more or less unbearable… so it feels a lot better when I listen to bands with lyrics similar to mine. I feel some kind of hope of finding unity. When I am depressed or feel anguish I usually try to sleep or watch a lot of movies… I try to escape into another world where I don’t have to deal with it. This kind of escapism is perhaps not the best choice in the long run, but if you are alone it’s very hard to focus and deal with the problems. Often I also put some suitable music on… very loud… and perhaps clean the dishes or something. But in the end I know my pain won’t perish until I’m dead and gone from here… but I have learned to live with it. There are things in life I do cherish very much.

  • So what bands really get to you emotionally? I know more and more these days, I prefer bands that put a lot of feeling, intensity and emotion into their music (whether it be extreme anger, beauty, sadness or whatever).

    Oh damn… there are so many bands I like in that way. I like many types of music as well. More serene, dark and ethereal bands like Elend, Arcana, Lycia, Dark Sanctuary, Gothica, Angels of Venice, Dargaard, Ophelia’s Dream… generally touches me on a deeper level. Metal in one way is quite limited, but of course there are bands in that category too, but mostly bands like My Dying Bride, Anathema, Nevermore, The Wounded, Pain of Salvation and Saviour Machine… the list would go on forever. One band which has meant a lot to me emotionally is Porcupine Tree. I have much to thank them for.

  • Finally, do you think it's difficult having female members of the band? I'm sure some might think it's a gimmick to get more male followers (especially at live shows), and some might use female vocalists even to jump on a trend that many other bands utilize...

    I see what you mean. Lisa is with us since we want some beauty and tenderness in the songs… the feminine aspect, the other aspect of the whole thing, you know… like a balance. I have spent very little time thinking about how it looks and how it can be interpreted. I don’t try to generalize the genders when it comes to music. We are all the same breed, and if someone thinks it’s some kind of a gimmick, they are welcome to believe so… but they are wrong. We have used female vocals since 1995.

    EWIGKEIT. Interview with Mr. Fog via email.

  • First of all, how is Ewigkeit constructed? Is it all the brainchild of one person, or do you have various other personnel to help you create your vision?

    Right, Ewigkeit is music that I write/produce. Sometimes I have used bits from friends (who gladly donate them rather then put the effort in themselves!) but that probably accounts for about 1% or less. The remaining 99% (or more) is mine. Essesntially it is a solo project with which I create what I want to do, in my own time.

  • I'm curious about your previous band, Meads Of Asphodel, are they planning on doing anything in the near future? I'm also curious as to your thoughts on the black metal scene, both past and present, including your thoughts on the Norweigan scene.

    I dont know anything about them or what they are doing. I'm not really interested to be honest. My thoughts on the black metal scene...hmmm.... well, I think that the Black Metal scene of 1990 - 1996 was really exciting. There were lots of ideas coming out, people doing new stuff and all going in different directions. I think that it's over now. I think it's waiting for something to happen, because at the moment it is dead. It's not a style which interests me any more. As for the satanic stuff - that was never something that interested me anyway.

  • Speaking of the Norweigan scene, are you in contact with any of the members, maybe from bands like Mayhem or Darkthrone? I know one thing that people who are so called "black metal purists" fail to realize was that Eronymous was listening to ambient and avant garde bands like Dead Can Dance and Kraftwerk, so it's funny to see people who think black metal shouldn't evolve, when it had roots as far back as it's inception with other styles of music.

    I dont know any of them, but I am kind of friends with Stian (Iscariah) from Immortal - though I don't see him much. He's a cool guy - i'm sure a lot of that Norwegian scene could learn a lot from him now that he has lived in the UK for a while ;-) For me, the big thing about Black Metal was the ambience of it, the semi-classical chord structures, the use of melody and the re-introduction of synths into metal. It was all great and really exciting for me - a real change from the mundane american death-metal bands who (generally) were all about speed and about as melodic as someone gurgling beer (which no doubt has been tested).
    I think metal could really progress light-years by embracing some new ideas, but it seems that the majority of folk are into this idea that retro is cool. I find it funny, because rock music was always about challenging the old-school of thought and doing something new/dangerous/challenging.

  • One thing that's rather odd to me, your "bio" on the back of my promo CD mentions bands like Killing Joke, The Orb, Opeth and the ever so mentioned Pink Floyd, but no one ever cites Hawkwind as an influence. Does Hawkwind have any influence on the music, as I hear some spacey stuff in there, and if so what were some of your favorite periods of Hawkwind (albums and songs). I love the tunes that Hawkwind made, but they were very inconsistent from album to album. I feel "Warrior On The Edge Of Time" was their best and most complete album.

    I think the main reason that Hawkwind were left off was that they are not that well known outside the UK (where they enjoy 'cult' status - much like the 'Grateful Dead' in the US). Hawkwind's best moments (for me) was when they used the electronics and radical ideas for mixing tracks (more than half their creativity was done at the production stage). My favourites of Hawkwind were the Bob Calvert stage of their existance (about 1976 - 1982) - my favourite albums being the studio albums "PXR5" and "Quark, Strangeness & Charm". That guy was one of the most outstanding, perceptive and creative lyricists I have ever heard.

  • Anything you can tell us about the band name or album title "Radio Ixtlan." I know that there was a book published about this title, but I have yet to read it so if you could enlighten our readers...

    The book was one of the Carlos Castaneda stories about his journey to becoming a shaman warrior or brujo. It is the shortest book (about 30 pages) and is included at the end of one of the other books (can't rememebr which). There is this scene at the end where Don Juan (the old mexican-indian who is teaching Carlos) and his brujo freind Don Genaro are sitting with Carlos and Don Genaro tells this story of what had happened to him as he began his own path. He was spun off the earth and landed in a place he recognised as being near his childhood village called Ixtlan. He began to walk down a road which he thought led to his Ixtlan, and met this guy going in the same direction. This guy didn't talk, but they walked together. They came to a cross-roads, and the man gestured that Genaro should follow him - Genaro didn't and continued on his way. Next he meets two guys with a mule travelling the same way, same thing happens. Next he meets some women, same thing happens. Then Genaro stops telling the story. Carlos then asks "what happened when you got to Ixtlan" - Genaro replies "I am still on my way there". Essentially, Ixtlan is a metaphor for the end of the road for a shaman/brujo. It is death, it is rebirth, it is the goal at the end. The people who were trying to lead Genaro from the path were malignant spirits/powers/forces. We meet these (people) everyday ourselves - people that attack you for following your own path. So for me, Radio Ixtlan was like this imaginary radio station being broadcast from your personal "final destination". I thought it was interesting, but I guess many people either wont like it, or find it too involved...

  • The album seems to have gained quite considerable press and great reviews... I haven't read any bad reviews, maybe you can humor us with some of the funny things you might have read concerning bad press... I'm assuming some people just won't get it no matter what...

    90% of the reviews have been really positive. The worst reviews were (understandably) from the UK. I think it's because they have been aware of me for longer, and judge me from what I have done in the past. Also, there are certain people who would like nothing more than for me to stop doing music altogtether - well, they're shit-out-of-luck ;-)
    One ridiculous review just mainly talked about this silly photo I did from about 5 years ago. Another said that I had "an outdated idea of what 'avant-guard' is" (the album was not intended to be 'avant-guard', and the reality is that they have an out-dated idea of what is 'normal'). I guess the main thin is that most negative people have a lot to say, but not much is worth listening to. Good luck to them - I dont really hold any grudge.

  • I know you mentioned getting tired of the generic death and thrash metal as the reason for creating Ewigkeit, do you still feel that way or can you still get an energetic feeling from some of the 80's thrash bands that put out crushing works (like Iron Angel or Exodus or even venom)? Some 80's albums I listen to today I have a hard time getting back into them while others, like IRON ANGEL'S "Hellish Crossfire" or RAZOR "Violent Restitution" I have no problem still listening to.

    I view metal from an outsider's perspective. There are great things about the type of music as a whole, and there are note-worthy bands who I make reference to. What I don't do is get all wrapped up in any "scene" - boxes are for things you dont really need - i dont want my music to be in a box. When I do rarely listen to any music, it is the bizarre french radio station that we get here (I am on the south coast of England). On that station they play everything from 20's blues, to classical, to underground french rap, to acid jazz to chinese pop music. It is totally un-commercial, and most of the music is quite horrible, yet I find it really exciting that someone (probably insane beyond belief) could get all that and play it on the station. They don't have any adverts, minmal news and I think they record a 12-hour program and leave it on loop for a few days. In short, it is my ultimate radio station because you NEVER know what is coming next!
    Other than that, I tend to listen to classic rock (Sabbath, Deep Purple, The Who, Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, Led Zep) also some later heavier stuff (Maiden to Metallica) and rarely some heavier metal. I am always listening out for something new - one of the recent bands I heard were the french band "Carnival In Coal" who are on Elitist Records. They are like a hybrid of technical Death metal, 80's chart-pop, classical/jazz and cartoon music. Totally unlistenable, yet fantastic beyond belief...

  • Or maybe do you think age has tempered us to a point where the more melodic and mellow influences are going to creep in (like old age sets into our bones) and influence our writing and direction in sound? I know one black metal artist I read an interview with (I THINK it was Satyricon) said that the older he gets, the angrier and more "crotchety" he gets, as he sees even more stuff that pisses him off... I guess an angry old man can still make angry and hate filled black metal.

    I think that rich kids from one of the world's richest countries don't really have much to be angry about. I think they have stuff to feel ashamed about, like living the life of Riley while the rest of the planet are either in a war-zone of our making, or starving to death because our countries have robbed or enslaved theirs. What does the guy from Satyricon have to be angry about ? I think he just has to keep up this 'act' of being "evil". It must be quite stressful to keep that up everyday - especially when he goes to have dinner with his dear old mum.

  • I'm curious if there is a new Ewigkeit album in the works? Can you tell us about themes, song titles or concepts that will grace our ears once again?

    There IS a new album which has been completed last week; CONSPIRITUS... The theme of the album is about realisation of a huge global conspiracy that's aim is to control mankind through brainwashing, destruction of knowledge, control through the media and enslavement through debt. These conspirators are also guilty of creating mass death through wars and manufacturing killer disease. They are the most despicable and, some might say, weakest human beings alive. They make the Nazis look like kindergarten teachers and will not stop until they have turned our world into a global-prison ! This is all started by an "attack" which is used for an excuse to start their "masterplan" of global domination. The simple thing is that, to escape, you just need to see the problem and spread the message. Their house of cards will start to fall and mankind will be free. That is why I communicate the idea to you. Some might say it is a bizarre idea for an album - others may see more truth to it than others. Is it fiction or not? Look at the world around you, educate yourself - then make your own decision based on what you believe - not what the controlled media, education systems or your pre-conditioning tells you. You may come to the same surprising conclusions as many others are coming to every day!
    The album has been produced by John Fryer; he has mixed lots of other bands in the past including Nine Inch Nails, White Zombie, Fear Factory, Paradise Lost, Cradle Of Filth, Depeche Mode and many other well known artists. I feel lucky to have him work on my stuff. The core sound of Ewigkeit is still there, although I have (finally!) removed the death-metal vocals. I intended to have Radio Ixtlan as a "clean vocal" album - but as it was originally recorded for Metal Age Productions, which is a small death metal label, I kept them. This album was the right time to get rid of them and make the vocals a part of the music & harmony too. Another key element to the album is the artwork - the ideas were roughly described to this great artist called Mick Usher, and he has managed to create one of the most epic album covers I have ever seen!

  • I read that you had a previous album "Land Of Fog." Nice to throw your own nickname into the mix! Anyway, how would you describe this album compared to the newest one, and is it still available? I have read a few reviews that said some thought you rocked the boat too far with the myriad of influences on this particular record. How do you feel these days about "Land Of Fog?"

    Land Of Fog is an album that I am almost tempted to go and mix again. It is quite raw, but has a real "atmosphere" to it. Some people have said it is like a Death Metal record that had been recorded in the 70's. I dont know why or how specifically, but there is a kind of classic rock feel to some parts of it. It's a great album that I really enjoyed making (probably because I was stoned ALL the time) but it is quite rough around the edges (probably because I was stoned ALL the time). I have some copies if anyone wants...

  • Tell us about your deal with Earache Records. I know I didn't see a whole lot of press for this record, but then again I don't read a whole lot of metal magazines these days... Are you happy with the job they did and how many more albums will you do for them?

    Well, I think the amount of coverage that was given to Radio Ixtlan (or any album come to that) is proportionate to the amount of money put into it. Earache came in at the last minute to release that album. I originally wanted to re-record and produce the whole thing in a good studio, but time & money did not allow. "Conspiritus" is the first album 'proper' for Earache, and I think that it will, or at least should be, promoted more. Digby (founder and owner of Earache) told me that he will always support what I do because he really admires the music - I hope that I can continue to write music which is commercially released. It's either that, or give it away for nothing through my webs(h)ite.

  • Okay, time for most asked question #24... Is Ewigkeit ever planning to become a "visual" band, and by this I mean not only doing tours with a live unit, but maybe a video or two? I saw on the Earache website where they have videos from their bands, and I thought maybe some nice computer graphics or visuals would work really well for this band...

    I think there is a plan to have a video made for one of the tracks on "Conspiritus" (probably the first track "Its Not Reality"). Also, I was thinking some while ago to have some videos made that would be played in synch with backing drums, which live guitars/bass/vox would played along to. This wouldn't be your average gig I know, so I guess I will have to wait until people WANT to see Ewigkeit live till I get to do that. I dont see the point of going out and playing gigs everywhere trying to convince people that my non-conventional music should be liked by them. I think it will have to be a case of the demand being there for me to play before I go down that road for the time being.

  • From the bio on we read "Initial demos saw James mixing heavy riffs with layers of ambience to unusual, if amateurish, effect." Are these demos ever going to be made available again at some point, and how do you feel about "Dwellers On The Threshold," as this was apparently the deal getter with Neat Records? (Yea, and I haven't forgotten about "Battle Furies," which I'd like to hear as well...

    The "Dwellers On The Threshold" demo was avaialable to download for free on the Ewigkeit webs(h)ite ( That's undergoing a rebuild right now, but should be back sometime soon.

  • "A Dark Side Of The Moon" for the death metal generation. That was a pretty funny quote from Earache, and I'm wondering if that was written by you or someone at the label. I know that Earache said this hints at a possible way forward for the scene, what are your comments on that? I think personally that there is a lot the scene can draw from, and what's surprising to me is that some of the most popular bands (most notably Opeth) seem to be drawing a big fan base because they draw from music of the past...

    I didnt think of that slogan man - i couldnt/wouldn't say anything so positive about my own music. I'm like quite self-defacing... Digby came up with it, and I thought it was humourous. You know, I think it was intended to be taken with a pinch of salt - so many people took it literally! Wow - some people were even angry about it! I think that in itself is quite funny, and it shows that people in metal sometimes lack more humour than in other styles of music.

  • Have you checked out any other bands that are pushing the boundaries of metal music, like Maudlin Of The Well, Subterranean Masquerade or even some of the more daring Opeth records? There's a cool band down in Italy called Areknames that blends a rather occultish sounding brand of doom metal with the psychedelics and Hammond organ sounds to create a unique brand of music.

    Like I say man - I hardly have the time to listen to other bands. It's a shame really, because I know that somewhere out there are other musicians trying to do something different to the mass of crap that is the underground scene. I liked the first 3 or 4 Opeth albums (especially "Morningrise" and "Still Life") but I havent bothered with them since. I heard a low-quality MP3 of one of their new tracks for their RoadRunner debut - it was okay. A bit more commercially acceptable, but that's not neccesarily a bad thing! You can only scream on every record for so long before you think "why is it that I do this?" Good luck to Mr Akerfeldt and the guys!

  • Anything else we forgot to mention that you want to talk about, feel free to do so... Any news on when the website will be updated and ready to go?

    I have just finished writing an album which is the best Ewigkeit album yet. I really hope that as many of you hear it and consider the messages therein. For me, this is not just "another concept" - this is about a topic I personally believe to be vitally important for people to educate themselves in, whatever conclusions they may come to. Whether you buy it or download it - I want you to hear this album. Thanks for the interview and good luck!

    PYRAMAZE. Interview with Michael via email.

  • One thing that many of our readers might not know is the fact that your keyboard player also plays with Atlanta based Lilitu, something I did not know! Which is even more surprising since he lives in Vermont. How are his priorities as far as bands goes, and how did you first come to work with him? I also wondered why you didn't try to find a keyboard player more local to your area?

    Yes, Jonah plays the keyboards in Lilitu - that's true. However he does not live in Vermont anymore. He moved to Atlanta earlier this year. As far as priorities go, I can't tell you that he prioritises the one over the other. I know that Pyramaze is something really special for Jonah, since he was with us from the start. He is a permanent part of Pyramaze, just like the rest of us. Hell, the guy even has our band icon tattooed on his back :-) Besides this, he was in Pyramaze long before he joined Lilitu. Let me make this very clear: Pyramaze is NOT a project band or anything like that. We are a real band, and we play live too. Sure - some of the Pyra-members also play other bands, but Pyramaze is equally serious, if not more, than the other bands. The reason for why I chose Jonah for Pyramaze was that there aren't many good 'metal keyboardists' over here. Then when I got in touch with Jonah, I just thought 'screw the big distance between us, it's the 21st century, we can handle it' and so we just went for it.

  • I'm curious about your last record "Melancholy Beast," is there a theme or subject matter most often dealt with in the lyrics? The concept of a melancholy beast is a rather interesting, and almost contradictory one! Or rather, it seems like a new twist on the old 'Beauty And The Beast' story.

    There's no theme throughout the album. I chose the title "Melancholy Beast" because that's a pretty fitting phrase to describe our music. It's kind of melancholic, but also very heavy, therefore 'Melancholy Beast'. The title song on the album, is about a terrifying beast that is not at all pleased with being considered to be a monster and evil. Its appearance might be very frightening, but inside it's sad and just wants to be accepted.

  • The song 'Mighty Abyss' of course, reminds me of the quote from Frederick Nietzsche "if you look into the abyss the abyss also looks into you."

    Yes - I've heard that been said before. Actually when I wrote the song, I did not think about that at all - but it's very interesting that you noticed it. Actually I was a fan of the movie 'The Abyss' - where I later remembered that the movie starts with exactly those words too. So I guess this was a subconscious thing, but certainly not my intention.

  • Progressive power metal is always greeted with a sort of skepticism, as many will say that most progressive metal bands are more interested in playing lots of notes and showing off how fast they can play, while sacrificing good songwriting or even sacrificing sheer power. "Melancholy Beast" has quite a bit of both, how do you see this relatively difficult to explain field of metal? Some have even said that usually it's only musicians who can appreciate this kind of music, from a definition of the band members' skills.

    Yes, I agree that 'real' progressive metal for the most part only is enjoyable for musicians. But I definitely don't consider Pyramaze to be a progressive band. I think I would describe our music as 'epic heavy metal with progressive elements'. We have lots of melodies and catchy choruses, so we are pretty far away from the typical progressive metal band. In Pyramaze we focus on the melodies instead of playing fast. And if we can combine both elements and also put in lots of real heaviness, then better so.

  • I have been told you have a new album about ready to be released, are you able to divulge song titles, album titles or themes the lyrics will take on?

    The album is called "Legend Of The Bone Carver". It's a concept album about the eternal fight between good and evil. I think Lance has written a very nice 'teaser' for the album - it goes: Close your eyes and picture an epic tale from this album's beginning to it's final close... A tale of the world's evil consuming all that is good, and a prayer that brings a young hope of unknown origin to the world. Will this young innocent be able to help against the massive upheaval and chaos? You'll have to hear the album in its entirety to know the whole story and find out what the LEGEND OF THE BONE all about!

  • What are your favorite songs from "Melancholy Beast," and some of your least favorite? If you had to go back and redo anything from those recording sessions, what would it be?

    I think some of my favourites are 'Sleepy Hollow', 'Legend', 'Until We Fade Away' and 'Power of Imagination'. But it often depends on what mode I'm in. If I could redo anything, then I would just like some more time to mix and master the album. But studio time is expensive, so I just didn't have the money for it at that time. But considering that we only had four days to mix the whole album, I think the outcome is fantastic.

  • It seems like it took a rather long time to get everything together for this album to be released! How is your recording deal structured with Nightmare Records? Have they offered to bring the band over to the United States to play? (Good thing is, one of your members is here already!)

    Well, the deal with Nightmare is a license deal. So Nightmare only has the rights for USA. We have other labels in the rest of the world (EMI - Japan, Replica - Europe, Melodic Heaven - Asia, Mega Hard - South America). With the new album some of these names have changed, but it's too early to reveal that now. We have been in the USA already. We played the Minneapolis Mayhem last year. And actually two of our members are over there already - Jonah and Lance.

  • One thing we talked about in email earlier, was you thought an interview was not a good idea since the release of your last record was so long ago, and I said that this shouldn't be an issue, because it keeps your name in the spotlight. One thing I always hated was when record labels told me they wouldn't help me set up interviews with their bands unless they were close to having brand new records out, and this bothered me because I didn't want to run the same interview that 30,000 other magazines had run. So I'm wondering how you think now after you've maybe had some time to think about this!

    Well, I did not say it was a bad idea. I just pointed out that this did not have high priority right now, 'cause we are concentrating on "Legend Of The Bone Carver," and the promotion starts in a couple of months. I still think that our new album has a bigger priority at this point. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to talk to you about "Melancholy Beast," but this album was released last year in June, so it's been a while.

  • So over in Denmark, how do those living in your country feel about Nordic culture? I know personally a lot of bands I love, 90 percent of them come from Scandinavia. I DO remember Invocator came from Denmark, and of course Mercyful fate/King Diamond, but other than that I don't know a whole lot of Danish bands.

    Unfortunately in Denmark Heavy Metal is considered to be underground music. No airplay in mainstream radio, and it's hard to get on the bill on the larger festivals. Denmark has turned into a real 'pop-country'. That's a shame when you consider that we were once the mighty Vikings! But metal is well and strong in the underground. This just doesn't provide any strong sales, so it's a shame. We have some really good metal bands in Denmark, but we are all relatively unknown in our own country, while in some other 'metal countries' we have a strong following.

  • Any touring plans over in Europe? Have you played any good shows, and if so do you have any funny tour stories to tell us? (I LOVE a good tour story. Tommy Stewart from Hallows Eve used to tell me back when I was in the band about the funniest things that happened on the road, and he had a million stories!)

    We played a few shows in September last year, in Denmark, Germany and France. Playing the gigs and meeting the fans is always funny, but nothing really hilarious happened. We where only on the road for four days, so we had very limited time for "real tour stories". We didn't get much sleep though, so between a few of the shows, we just walked around like zombies, which was kind of funny. Looking over the photos always brings a big smile to my face. Next year we will play a few shows in Denmark and one in Germany. More is in the planning, but we still have lots of time for that.

  • If there's anything else we missed that you want to talk about, feel free to use this space. Thanks again for the help and hope to see you play here in the States one day!

    I just want to thank you for the interview, and all you readers out there: thanks for your attention and check out our album (soon albums) and feel free to visit our homepage at
    Stay metal!

    RUNNING WILD. Interview with main man Rock 'N' Rolf.

    Over 20 years in the music business and STILL putting out albums to this date. That in itself is somewhat of a legacy, whether you like the stuff that came after the first three classic records, "Gates To Purgatory," "Branded And Exiled," and their first foray into the pirate universe "Under Jolly Roger." I had a LOT of questions to ask, so this interview is VERY lengthy, but it delves into many areas of Running Wild's life, including the short lived fan club and of course, due to my fascination with 80's metal, the particular era of theirs focusing on the first three records. Our secondary feature interview, so enjoy!

  • I know you guys have a new record out, and it seems like image wise you're still carrying on with the pirate theme.

    It's just on two songs, because I never really wanted to do a full album about that. It would be too limiting concerning the lyrics and the music. So I wrote 'Skull And Bones' and then 'Libertario' which was the bonus track on the limited version of the album. I just wrote songs about the pirate stuff which stands as a symbol for Running Wild, but only when I had the right idea for that. If you ever look on the "Victory" album, there was no songs about it.

  • And I know with previous records you did other topics as well, like 'Little Big Horn,' the American Civil War, and things like that. But I don't think there's any other metal band that ever really did much with the imagery and themes of the whole pirates era, so you guys definitely brought something new to the table in the metal world.

    There's a reason why we used it when we were working on our third album. One day I had a great idea for a riff and a melody and it really sounded like it would be on a thieving or a pirate ship. When I was a kid I knew that the flag of the pirates was called the Jolly Roger and the idea for the song was, of course, 'Under Jolly Roger' because it really fit into the chorus I was working on. And I played it for the other guys and they said it was the strongest song we had so far. When they heard the song they asked me what it was called, and when I told them they said it would be a great album title. I had this idea for a cover to have a great sailing ship on the front, and on the ship we had our symbol. And some other guy in the band, I can't remember who it was, came up with the idea to let us paint the pirate clothing on the back of the album cover. And when we saw it for the first time, we thought it looked great, and I said we needed to do our stage clothing like that, because nobody else was doing anything like this. So we didn't really plan this, it just came natural and became a part of Running Wild.

  • I know that "Under Jolly Roger" was the very first Running Wild album I ever heard, and I distinctly remember those cannons firing in the beginning of the album. I'm curious how you went about doing that, because I know there was a big warning sticker on the front saying "loud sound effects" or something to that effect.

    That was the idea of our manager we had at the time. We just wanted to play around with the image and stuff like that, it was never meant very seriously.

  • You guys have SO many albums out, it must be very difficult to pull songs for a live set. How far back in your album history do you go when you start playing live?

    When I try to figure out the songs we want to do in a live set, normally it takes me about three days (laughs). Because we have so many classics we have to play, but I've figured out a kind of rotating system, because otherwise we'd have to play for like three hours, and with what we are doing onstage, how we move and everything, it would be impossible to play for more than one and a half hours.

  • I've followed your career from practically the beginning, ever since the first record "Gates To Purgatory" came out. I remember reading some EARLY interviews where you said you weren't that happy with your first two records. Now like I said, I got "Under Jolly Roger" first but it made me go back and pick up those first two albums, which are my favorite Running Wild albums of all. They were pretty unique for the time because many bands tried to go for a dirtier sound, or they used harsh vocals, but the production on those two records raised a lot of eyebrows because they were so clean, and there was such a lot of high ended guitar work. So how do you feel about those two records today, and do you still like playing stuff from those albums live

    We always have to play, from "Gates To Purgatory," 'Prisoner Of Our Time.' It has been in the live set since the first tour we ever did and we can't cut it off because it's an absolute classic. From time to time we've done 'Branded And Exiled.' Even when I did the 20 years of history album, I really had to work on all this older stuff. When I listen to those records, it was worth it to see what we were doing back then, but I would do a lot of things different today for sure, but you could see that there was something very special in the band, something that made Running Wild a very unique band. Running Wild was always looking for it's own way so to speak. Even listening from the first song to the very last, we always focused on getting better and growing by writing songs and how we play our instruments. This was the very main point for me. And not to have a look on all these trends that were coming and going for the last 20 years.

  • When you were writing lyrics for "Gates To Purgatory," I noticed you used a lot of, well, I don't want to say 'Satanism' or 'black metal' topics, but it's funny to me that before black metal got established as a music form like it did in the early 90's with Norweigan bands like Mayhem, Enslaved and stuff, I remember reading magazines like Kerrang, Metal Forces and stuff where they were saying all these metal bands are doing the black metal thing. And back then, black metal wasn't even really established, it was just a name that Venom came up with. So when you have a song that has a lyric like 'Black metal's graffiti are thrown against the wall' I'm wondering what your mindset was at the time.

    We just used it, not in a religious way, but it was a political symbol for us for rebellion. We never meant it in that way. When we did the first record, everyone liked that. When the second record came out, Venom was there and everything, and everybody figured Running Wild to be a black metal band. And we said no, we're not. So they misunderstood what we wanted to say, because they all stated that we say "hail satan" and stuff like that, and we told them that we have nothing to do with that. So if you don't understand what we want to say then we have to leave that off. If you ever look on "Branded And Exiled," we totally wanted to change our lyrics, because we figured out that the people really misunderstood what we wanted to say. I mean we didn't set out to create a new religion or anything! (laughs)

  • If further proof needed to be mentioned, how about the song 'Chains And Leather' from the "Branded And Exiled" album? The lyrics are really cool, so you gotta laugh. But one thing that struck me was the amazing guitar work, which I heard on "Gates To Purgatory" but absolutely SMOKED on "Branded And Exiled." I've heard that many of those members left the band in the early days.

    It was Preacher, the guitarist who left the band. We started out with the idea that we could live on music, but it was not enough for him, he couldn't live on that. So he had to make a decision, whether or not he really wanted to go and become a preacher or stay a guitar player not making the right amount of money he needed to live. We had some problems between our drummer and Preacher as well. And he left about two months before we had to go into the studio to record "Branded And Exiled," so I had to write all the songs on my own. And I had to write all the rhythm guitar parts on my own as well, because the new guitar player at that time, Mike, he just added some solos and stuff like that, because he couldn't play the songs so far. He hadn't time to learn it, he came to the band about 20 days before we went into the studio. So I played all of the rhythm guitars and half of the solo guitars.

  • Many people have said you're kinda hard to work with because you've had so many lineup changes. Did you ever get to a point where you thought you'd have to hire session musicians because maybe people weren't working out or people just couldn't understand your vision?

    It was a very wierd situation because most of the lineup changes had nothing to do with my person. Throughout all the times there was a lot of points where I was standing in the middle between two people fighting in the band. And I was oftentimes busier solving the problems between the musicians and all their ego problems, but what I really wanted to do was do music. It was very frustrating. When we did the "Victory" album, it turned out that Running Wild became a solo project more and more. Peter left the band because he decided just to care about his family. He said he couldn't do both things, he had 3 children and it was a big problem at the time. So I made a decision that Running Wild should be a solo project from that point on. I worked with hired musicians because they were paid like that. We never acted like that inbetween the band, but it was that way, they were paid for every song they played, and all the shows they played for years. It was their idea, not mine, to get the money off that. When I'm working on the albums, they have the time to do different things, like working for other bands.

  • I'm curious about something, the album "Branded And Exiled" was re-released here in the States, and now it's difficult to find the original version, as the reissued version has completely re-recorded vocals for the song 'Chains And Leather,' and I'm curious as to why that was done?

    We just wanted to re-record it for an EP we were working on in 1989. We decided that the version of the song that was on "Branded And Exiled" was not the quality we wanted. There's actually three versions of that song, there's one that was one of the first things we ever recorded for Modern Music for a sampler of theirs. The second version we did for "Branded And Exiled" we were totally NOT happy with. So that's why we decided to re-record it.

  • Well, the main difference is in how the vocals are sung. I am somewhat of a completist, in fact when Sentinel Steel reissued the two Angus albums "Warrior Of The World" and "Track Of Doom" and put them both on one CD, I was all for it until I found out they cut one song from one of the albums. It was a ballad, sure, and maybe many people won't like it, but the fact is, I think those albums should be reissued in their entirety. People that are into this kind of music want to hear how it sounded back when it was first recorded, especially since many coming into metal today never got to hear the original versions. That's why I got so upset at this...

    I never heard about that, it's the first time that I knew about this. Maybe it was just done for the American market.

  • That's something that I wanted to ask about as well, because for most of your career you were on Noise here in the States, and then you had an album or two for Pavement Music, and now it seems to me like you don't even have a U.S. deal in place.

    No, not so far. Some of our records were released through a company in the U.S. but it was just for a few months, something like that. It's always been a bit of a problem for us, because that was handled by a guy in Berlin who ran our record company. And I don't know if it was because he couldn't find a record company in the U.S., or if he didn't WANT to find a record company.

  • I know America has always been a rather difficult market for success with heavy metal. Did Running Wild ever play shows or do a tour here back in the 80's?

    We did a tour, I think it was around 1986, and it was a very wierd tour. Modern Music at the time wanted to do a tour with Celtic Frost and Voivod, and they needed a third band for the tour and asked us if we wanted to do it. They told us we didn't have to pay anything, we just had to come over here and play. So, of course we said we'd do it! (laughs). And it was really great because we played the biggest cities, I forget which city it was but I think it was not that far away from Long Beach, California. And the same day we were playing there, Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica were playing an arena! So we thought, oh, no, that's too bad for us. But we had 2,000 people!! It was great, and even all the bigger cities was great for Running Wild. But the smaller cities was better for Celtic Frost and Voivod. I think it was just 10 shows. But we never got the opportunity again, so maybe someday in the future we will, I hope so.

  • I have a few more things I wanted to talk about. First off, I was rather curious because I remember that Running Wild had a fan club that was run by Dane Kurth overseas, and I wanted to know what happened with that because it seemed like that working relationship came to an end rather suddenly.

    I don't really know what happened there, but at a certain point when we did the album "Pile Of Skulls" we had some problems, and problems with Dane Kurth herself. I don't know what she thought, or what she had in mind, because I had a girlfriend with me at the time, and she didn't like that. There was a lot of trouble going on since that day, so we just said "okay, forget about it." I don't know what kind of ideas she had about my person, I don't know if she had a crush on me or what, I dunno (it sounds like he's having a hard time putting into words what he really wants to say here - Ed.), it seemed like she had something in mind which had nothing to do with reality, and I really couldn't help her.

  • This is an interview I had been after for some time, so I really appreciate you taking the time to get back to me on this. Is there anything else we might have forgotten about that you wanted to speak of?

    No, I think that we've covered everything that was really important!

    SKYFORGER. Interview via Peter via email.

  • I just got the re-mastered version of "Semigalls' Warchant" and it surprised me to hear that your vocal style was very black metal oriented! What prompted the change, and do you ever plan on utilizing blackened vocals again?

    Hello Steven! I am Peter and I am the singer so I guess this is my question. Indeed, the vocals of the demo album are very black metal like, and the only explanation is that at that time period such bands like Darkthrone and all the rest of the Norwegian black metal style hooked us up. We wanted to find our style and rather not purposefully it turned out to be like that. Also another small factor that is not widely advertised is that I had bad nose inflammation but we didn’t want to wait any longer to record the vocal parts, it had to be done straight away and we were all excited about the result. It sounded really menacing and horrid, so we were satisfied with the end result, if I can say so. The newest tracks of the bonus EP are not of that kind anymore. I don’t think that I will return to black metal vocals because I want to create something recognizable in music and if I can do it with my voice, then it is cool. Many black metal bands are just like the same, and you don’t see any difference, so I turned away from that. In live situations I sing all songs in one style and here we can hear black metal vocals again.

  • I really love the song 'Long I Heard, Now I See.' It was a very interesting track, and I'm wondering if you ever plan on doing more songs like this.

    This is a track of really old Latvian folk heritage; it tells about the goals of the pagan god and it’s connection with men. It is a national folk song but we arranged it in our way; we tried to give the magic meaning here, because we felt that this is the right vibe how to sing it. We have more such tracks on our folk-only album “Sword Song”, which we self-released in 2004. There are 13 tracks and if you like this one, give a try also to our folk music album. All the songs are about mythology and war of ancient Latvia, we can say that we are fans of that style, so we try to get those songs out for the public. Besides, all instruments played on the album are real authentic ones, we play them by ourselves. The same we do in metal concerts too, because we have a special folk musician on stage.

  • I noticed that you are from Lithuania, but yet not signed to Folter Records. How do you view Ledo Takas Records, and I'm just curious why you are not signed to them, since they seem to sign many of the metal bands that come from that country.

    Sadly, this is a very widespread mistake by foreigners. We are not from Lithuania, but from Latvia. This is like you would make a mistake - mixing India with Indians. Yes, the Ledo Takas label is located there, right, and it is a solid underground metal label specializing on black and pagan metal artists. We know the guy behind that very well, because the scene here is a very small one and everybody knows everybody. We are not signed to Ledo Takas because it simply is too small for us and cannot give us what we want. We want more promotion in western magazines and more tours with famous bands, but this is not possible on this label. Instead Folter Records gives us the opportunity to be on a bit higher level and so far it suits us. They are a team and it means more work for you; also more possibilities because they are located in Germany. Folter runs a big underground metal concert place in Berlin, so he has contacts and it helps us in some way.

  • So, what is your record deal with Folter like, how many albums, and do they offer tour support and good press/advertising?

    We are now on Folter for 3 years and so far I can say only good words about them. They are of course also a small label, but rather dedicated and also honest metal maniacs. We are there for one more album, and when this expires we will see what to do. Maybe we will seek for another label, maybe stay there for one more - I cannot say that yet. It all depends on offers and conditions. If some label can offer us for example a world tour, then we will take this one surely, because that’s all we wanted when we started hehe. Yes, Folter does some press advertising, we have promo CD’s sent around, in the last month we had a song included in the biggest German metal magazine Legacy compilation CD, so things are not bad. As for tours, we have done right now two tours under Folter, and they were pretty successful; all the days filled, people and fans everywhere, no cancelled dates, money paid, tour bus is luxurious, so I guess, nothing to complain about. We are planning a tour again for next year, which should become the biggest so far, so we are looking for bands to tour with.

  • The new version of "Semigalls' Warchant" has 4 bonus tracks, which I assume will appear on your next album? Anything you can tell us about the next full length? Will these songs ('To The Northern Shores,' 'Bloodfield,' 'Kavi,' and 'Sunset Over The Sacred Forest') be redone or remain as they are on the "Warchant" CD? I'd love to know some song titles and lyrical themes if you can.

    No, these four songs are meant to be on the demo reissue, and they will stay there too. We have no plans to release them again. The idea was such: we got many emails and offers to release a demo album (which initially was on limited tape edition) on CD/LP from various labels. But as the demo is only 27 minutes, this is only a MCD. We figured out that we need some extra material to make it longer and thus we decided to make some new songs to throw in as bonuses. I came up with idea to do it and everybody agreed. We have included a four track EP “Asinslauks/Bloodfield” as bonus material, which is a mystical story about an ancient Latvian tribe of sea-riders; the Kurshi, who were similar to the Scandinavian Vikings, and who are often mentioned in the olden tales of our forefathers. I cannot say yet anything about next full album, because I have not thought much about it. In this moment we have one song completed and maybe some 3-4 half done, so many work has to be put into next album. I think that we will return to the history again and make some songs about old forgotten events, which deserves to be better known actually.

  • It was nice to see English translations for your songs, which I assume were sung in your native tongue. Will there ever be plans to sing songs in English? (Personally I don't mind the foreign language, as it is very interesting to me).

    Exactly, we sing all songs in Latvian and I feel that this is the perfect language to express all that I want for myself. In demo times we still wanted to be an English singing band, so we had a couple of pieces in that too. But later I understood that we lose many important details in translations, and also it’s easier to remember lyrics in my native tongue. I am not very good as an English poet, so I would definitely lack something. But as we want our foreign fans to understand what’s going on too, we always include translations. I can even say this is our style. No plans for the future, we are not going to sing in English. Every language has it’s own beauty. Too many English singing bands sometimes are too boring.

  • One thing I have noticed is the artwork, runic styled lettering and some mention of the gods and goddesses of your ancient land bear a striking resemblance to the Nordic gods of old. How similar are the ancient cultures of Scandinavia and your own lands?

    They are similar, but definitely not the same. We have the same background which lasts for many thousands of years, but history has turned people to be different and by the time people here have developed their own mythology, their own gods and rituals. Basically Scandinavian mythology is so well known in the world because there are simply a lot of bands that sing about that. From this corner of the Baltic Sea we are almost alone telling people about our history, culture and mythology. So, it is similar in some way, but we are still very different.

  • Something else I have noticed is that even your lands did not escape the wrath of the christian hordes... I know they wiped out a lot of the Scandinavian heritage but how much did your ancient peoples suffer at the hands of the self righteous, hypocritical christians? How were your people able to carry on the legends and traditions of old? And how do you feel about christianity today?

    Yes, sadly you are right. It happened in 13th century when they started to expand here as peaceful traders but later they became more and more and the wars started. When they entered here, all that was invented during many a thousand years was destroyed and undoubtedly many cultural values were lost forever. Luckily enough all-traditional heritage didn’t die and from mouth to mouth, from father to son they were able to carry it on until today. Thus we know millions of folk songs, many tales, customs, and myths of our ancestors. I have a deep hate against all that disease called the christian plague, and with hope I see how it dies away slowly. The new dawn has become and previously forbidden things are getting stronger with each day. Just look at the growing number of pagan / Viking / folk metal bands. Especially USA is also under church influence; here we have still relatively free air to breathe. I don’t think that any free man needs some factitious god; only to be shown the only right way where to go. Old pagan religions in this way were easy going and man could decide what he likes to believe - an old oak or thunder in the sky. And it was a personal one, not a money making machine like it is now.

  • The artwork for the two CD's I have (The other being "Thunderforge") look very similar, both in style and themes. Who does the artwork, and what can you tell us about how the artwork ties in with the themes of both albums?

    The artwork for the “Semigalls’ Warchant” album is taken from an old painter's work from the 1920’s - “Semigalls’ Fight with a Crusader”. We thought it was a perfect example of what we wanted to be on the cover and later it became one of our trademarks. Some guy drew the “Thunderforge” cover, I explained to him the idea and after a few takes, he brought me 3 artworks. After many computer tricks, it was ok for the CD cover. The album themes are in tight connection with the album artwork, we wanted them to tell people straight away what this or that album is about. “Semigalls” is about brave fights against intruders in our land. “Thunderforge” is about a magic story of the Thundergod who shaped in heaven’s forge with a mighty hammer, and the embers fell down. We wanted that to look really like a master of the sky. The songs here are more about Latvian mythology; and the ancient God pantheon is an important part of the whole story. More of this you can read in our homepage; we have a story section, where readers can get more info about each album.

  • Speaking of themes, maybe you can touch upon what some of the songs on "Semigalls' Warchant" are about, since I have no lyrics and I'm wondering if the black metal vocals were used to convey a somewhat angrier mood...

    Well, to start with, I have to tell you that the style of the demo is harsh pagan black metal, in vein of Darkthrone and Immortal. That is in conjunction with our (back then) recently discovered black metal and it seemed something new for us. But this doesn’t mean that we copied those bands, we rather tried to evolve in that field. The songs tell about the brave pagan tribe Semigalls who in the 13th century fought more than 100 years against Christian invaders into our land, so we thought this was a significant history page and didn’t want it to be forgotten. Here maybe I will write more about Semigalls as people. Semigalls were our forefathers and they inhabited these lands before many centuries. They had their own culture, language, and mythology; they were strong craftsmen, sailors, hunters etc. But then in the start of year 1200 came the ugly Christian hordes and started to kill everybody and plunder these lands. Mostly they were just a bunch of criminals who were sent by the Catholic Church for getting new lands and new slaves. If you read historical sources, then you will know that their wars of the Cross to the promised lands of Israel ended with next to nothing, and new enemies have to be found anyway. So, they burned down castle-hills, slayed everybody who would not kneel to them and their new faith. Semigalls were proud people and they fought for about one century but they lost the game because the crusaders were simply too many. Each day brought more ships from Germany with them and they had to leave their own country and they went away. But that free spirit has always been inside us up to these days when we broke free from bloody Soviet Union 15 years ago. We thought that it could not be forgotten - these glorious battles.

  • Just out of curiosity, have you played many live shows? Where have you played and what is the live show like? Do you pull off all the traditional and non-traditional instruments?

    We have played live shows since our beginnings and this is very important to us. I don’t know exactly but I think that during our ten-year history we have played about 150 concerts. This is maybe not very much, but we all have regular jobs and we cannot afford to go on lengthy tours, although we have had offers a lot. So far, we have played around the Baltic countries, in Finland, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Czech republic, Switzerland, Slovenia, Belarus, and probably somewhere else that I don’t remember. This October we are going to visit Slovakia and Hungary with our shows. USA is still in our future plans; we hope that in the next few years we can play some small tours there. Live show… it is just like for many bands, we don’t make any pyros or other shit, just play as honestly and with full force, as we can. Giving all the emotions that we feel to the audience. Yes, about Skyforger's outlook - well, you should know that we don’t look quite like “normal” metal bands after our dress code, but that was our decision to look like that since the very first days of the band in 1995. We wanted to create music about old forgotten tales of our country’s heritage, so we decided that it would be cool if we can bring extra feelings onto the stage also by our image - ancient dress, swords, banners with olden signs, old music instruments, jewelry etc. I personally think that this is something for the “eyes” of the audience, but their ears we fill with music, which is also our attempt to collide two seemingly not possible to join styles: folk music and modern metal music. I guess, this is maybe something fresh; we don’t want to be yet another band clad in metal t-shirts and playing tedious death metal. Btw, our girlfriends make all our clothing at home, so we don’t buy it somewhere in shops. We try to be totally authentic, but at the same time we want to keep showing that we are also metalheads.
    On stage we also play traditional folk instruments. All these years we played folk music parts only in studio, and in a live atmosphere we performed all folk melodies on guitars where it was necessary. But in the last year we found a folk musician who is a full time member now, and he does all the folk parts in a live situation. Right, it is quite hard because all guitars and drums can overshadow a tiny noise of bagpipes, but therefore we make a good soundcheck and now live concerts are just like on the CD. After much experience I can tell that people like very much the sound of live played instrument. His name is Kaspars and initially we found him for only one song for playing live in the Latvian Music Awards, we got nominated there for “Thunderforge” album in two categories in 2004. That went great, and we asked him to stay. So, now SKYFORGER is a five-piece band.

  • I am rather curious about the political movements in your country. How is the ruling class set up? I'm afraid I don't know much about the country, except where it is located, so maybe you can tell me who is involved in the lawmaking processes, and how you view American democracy and to get your take on this whole war we have going on with Iraq? How does your governing body treat citizens who like to play music and want to start bands?

    Oh, I don’t like questions about politics. We have the same system like all other countries - parliament republic, free elections once in four years, democracy etc. I am not too much into this puppet show, because somebody will always be angry that he is not elected, and the other is. And vice versa. Latvia is a big friend of America in the world scene and without help of you we probably would not be able to get away from the filthy claws of the Soviet empire. That time was simply terrible; we really lived like we were behind the iron curtain. I also don’t think that the war in Iraq was very necessary, but now maybe it is too late to say it. There are too many interests and money involved, so a usual man goes there where the country’s flag takes him. In Latvia we don’t have any support for music, all depends just on yourself and how smart-ass you are. The better music you make, the bigger you get. It’s a normal process like everywhere else in the world.

  • How is the English language treated in your country? Are kids taught the language from an early age, and is it a language that is mandatory for students to learn like it is in many European countries?

    Yes, English is taught from the age of 10 maybe, but generally kids have free will what to learn. Nevertheless basically English is the most popular foreign language here in the Baltic. Also later in all universities, this is a must. Otherwise I don’t know how they would understand what to do with a computer, for small example…?

  • If there's anything else you want to talk about at length that we missed, feel free to do so. Thanks again and I look forward to hearing your next record!

    I think that we always can talk about something, but I tried to answer only your questions. Ok, about our plans - right now we just last week returned from a nice German metal festival and now we will concentrate on making of the new album. No exact release time I can provide, but we have some songs ready. Maybe after two years we can provide you with something new again. Plus concerts all the time, wherever possible. Maybe one day we will visit the USA also, so if any promoter is interested - then get in touch. I think they are very simple future plans and I could not surprise you with anything. Ok Steven, it’s been very nice to answer to your magazine, and have my best regards from Latvia to all your readers! Stay Metal!

    :WUMPSCUT: Interview, albeit a SHORT one, with Rudy via email.

  • I like the new record "Evoke," though it seems like :Wumpscut: is heading down a different path these days, especially with the more emotional lyrics and the dependence on more female vocals. Has the anger and aggression pretty much left you these days?

    No idea where :Wumpscut: will go - but be sure, it will be a FINE path ...

  • Remembering the "Embryodead" album, to me that record seemed a bit more speed oriented (maybe on a heavy metal slant?) and really seemed to upset quite a few of your fans, even though there were some really emotional songs like 'Is It You' and the title track. How do you feel about this album?

    "Embryodead" has the same value for me than any other :W: album ...

  • I read a review somewhere that was intrigued by the use of anti-war imagery while presenting the lyrics in a somewhat harsh German vocal style. I am somewhat anti-war myself, but want to know how you feel about Germany, especially their Nazi past and the current situation in your country.

    For me, the Third Reich is a part of Germany's past like any other one.

  • Have you gotten flack from German press about some of your statements?


  • It's amazing to see all the releases that you have done since the early 1990's...

    Really? Thanks a lot...

  • How do you find the vision to keep :Wumpscut: going?

    I just sit down and start working on new tracks.

  • Does it take a lot of time and preparation to get some albums released?

    Well, 3 to 4 months.

  • How do you know when you've got the right ideas for songs on an album? I'm assuming you are the only composer and performer for :Wumpscut:?

    Yes. Well, I don't produce songs that don't get released - the simple truth...

  • Metropolis has been a major player in your career from early on. What's your contract with them like, as I'm sure you've had to renegotiate with them at least once or twice! (Since many bands sign 4 or 5 albums deals with labels, for the most part).

    The work with Metropolis is very easy - although I would like to put out the TWO-disc versions of the last 2 albums - they don't.

  • Will :Wumpscut: ever tour the U.S.?

    No. (I'm guessing Mr. Rudy doesn't like Americans... - Ed).

  • Here in the States, it seems like industrial is almost a dying breed of music, though the concerts (few and far between they are) always seem to bring out the fans... What is the industrial music scene like in Europe, Germany especially?

    It is VERY alive - but keep in mind that you cannot call ALL scene stuff Industrial. (no, but many clubs I have been to, both in Atlanta and Savannah, tend to mix the gothic and etherial with hardcore techno AND industrial. But I assume mr. Rudy thinks I have no idea what a club scene is - Pissed off Editor once again).

  • I know with "Dried Blood Of Gomorrah" and "Blutkind" some of your earliest demo tapes and works have been reissued, but are there any other recordings that have yet to be released?

    "Preferential Tribe" offers the same period.

  • How difficult was it to transfer over these tapes, and what sort of remastering software do you use?

    Not very hard, apart from EQ'ing. I use Pro Tools, Logic and Waves.

  • Are you a fan of other types of music?

    Have a look at the latest updates.

  • Anything else we didn't talk about that you want to mention feel free to do so.

    Stay tuned for April 2006 folks!


    Roughly 15 years have passed, give or take a year or so, and I've seen much transpire throughout this time. I remember the very first big package I ever got from a label after starting out on my own, it was a BIG Megaforce package containing an SOD video, some Anthrax stuff, and a bunch of other I can't quite remember now. It's still a thrill to go down to the post office and turn that key to see what treasures will come to me from lands far away. But this old music fool needs a bit of a break, so the next issue will probably not see the light of day until a few months into 2006. Besides, it's October, and we all know that baseball is winding down it's rather lengthy season and the arrival of the dark winter nights shall soon be upon us.

    As I mentioned earlier, this issue almost didn't happen this year. The magazine was over 85 percent finished before a windows crash took out not only my primary hard drive but my secondary one as well, where I stored all my pictures for the classic albums section as well as other important files (like the adult clips, but ah, I'm saying too much already!) It seems like fewer CD's got reviewed this time around but I didn't want the delays to complicate things any further. So hopefully after I take a few months off, things can progress at a rather normal pace. Don't worry though, as I WILL be listening to new stuff that I get in, in hopes to fill the reviews section with many more titles for you to peruse at your leisure. I will, however, be extending the classic albums section with quite a number of titles that I recently obtained in a massive trading scheme that saw this particular issue delayed by a few days! Ever working I am... I just wish I could make this my life's work (as in, the ONLY job I need to gets' paid, yo!)

    I want to thank everyone who stuck around to read this far, and especially those who have supported my magazine with not only cash donations, but other items, as I have had people send me those titles I needed for the classic albums section without asking for a thing in return. We are a united, strong people, bound by our one common goal: the love of music. I also want to thank the people who stuck by me and believed in me enough to help me grow and become a better person, and of course to April Smith for not only giving me a new and better way to look at life (even though we're not together anymore) but also for giving me lots of material for future song endeavours with my new band Broken Trinity. Stay tuned to 2006 folks, as I am sure there will be lots of good things yet to come!

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