Iron Fist Magazine

40 WATT SUN PREVIEW BRAND NEW SONG: “I SPENT ROADBURN DRINKING TEA”

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When not sticking to a good ‘ol cuppa at Europe’s most psychedelic festival, Patrick Walker is 40 Watt Sun, Britain’s most evocative doom band since, well, Warning. In Iron Fist #10 Sarah Kitteringham spoke to him about musical catharsis, influences and a potential new album…

Two years on and that album is here. To mark the release of ‘Pictures’ (scroll down for a sneak preview), a new song from the forthcoming ‘Wider than the Sky’ (out on October 14 on the band’s own label Radiance Records) we are re-publishing that article in its entirety. Welcome back Mr Walker.

Guitarist and vocalist Patrick Walker was just 17-years-old when he formed Warning. The band, and the project that followed in the wake of their final breakup in 2009 – the luminous 40 Watt Sun – inspire flagrant emotional hyperbolic description that seem entirely out of place within the realms of metal. This is music that gives you the “feels”.

Emotive descriptors aside, 40 Watt Sun’s music is slow and dense with dynamic Sabbathian bass lines and reverb soaked percussion; the cymbal work gives the music light and shade, bouncing alongside Walker’s simple, cascading riffs. The vocals are expressive and clean; in contrast the guitar tones are beefy and … Read More

PLAY AND RECORD: THE DARK FOREST MIXTAPE

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Last week, Black Country heavy metal minstrels Dark Forest unveiled their fourth album ‘Beyond The Veil’ (Cruz Del Sur). Whipping up stirring paeans to nature, the seasons and the mighty, gallant genre of power metal, these Brits deservedly took their place among the great and the good who are putting the traditional metal values at the heart of their song-craft.

Falling in love with each and every song on the album, we cornered main song-writer, lyricist, guitarist and all-round English eccentric to find out what was on the Walkman on those long meanders through the woods to inspire such an collection of heavy metal anthems. Here is the tape he made for us, if you need us we’ll be in the forest…

 

Side A

Isen Torr – ‘Mighty & Superior’ This is heavy, thundering metal at its best from the genius that is Rich Walker (Solstice). Full of energy and power!

Blind Guardian – ‘The Soulforged’ I always loved the way Blind Guardian infuse elements of medieval and folk melodies into their music, great example here.

Forefather – ‘Miri It Is’ A brilliant take on a Middle English poem written in 1225.

Iron Maiden – ‘Dance Of Death’ Maiden always has to be in there! I chose ‘Dance Of Death’ … Read More

11PARANOIAS: PSYCHEDELIC DOOM PATHFINDERS UNEARTH THEIR RELIQUARY FOR A DREAMED OF WORLD

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Back in Iron Fist #11 (Summer 2014) Paul Schwarz met with Bong’s Mike Vest to find out about the beast that was 11 Paranoias. Now back with their latest report from the frontiers of heavy psychedelic rock, the trio of Adam Richardson (Ramesses), Mike Vest (Bong) and Nathan Perrier (Satan’s Wrath) have once more aroused gargantuan riffs from ancient slumber, mustered intangible streams of irradiated noise, and arranged them to form an impressive, overdriven creation that shall see the light of day on October 28 via Ritual Productions. In the run-up to the release of their fourth release ‘Reliquary For A Dreamed Of World’, and with the honour of unveiling a brand new video, we present that interview once again in full.

“When you’re in a band with such inspirational people, you don’t need to tanalyse things too much. Adam and I are always discussing dimensional possibilities, surrealist ideas, music and artwork; out-there concepts and nightmare situations of drug induced states. Our mindset is always strung out beyond the rim.”

Originally a side-project which saw Ramesses bandmates Adam Richardson and Mark Greening team up with guitarist Mike Vest (best known for his work with the droning Bong), 11paranoias have been in flux for two years, have, to date, played five gigs … Read More

INTO BATTLE: THE DAHMERS

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“We were formed after a wild halloween party in late 2011. Karlsson [vocals/guitar] had a couple of songs recorded that I thought sounded cool and suggested that we rehearsed them to see how it all sounded with a full band. We met at a garage the next day hungover as hell and that’s it.” Tobias Augustsson is explaining how garage rock, horror punk, biker exploitation movie, booze hounds The Dahmers came into being. Last year’s debut ‘Demons’ twists The Stooges, Misfits, Thin Lizzy and Motörhead with fellow Swedes The Hellacopters.

“We have always listened to a lot of different music so we never decided that we should stick to one kind of genre or try to sound just like a specific band,” Tobias says of their pick ‘n’ mix punk rock sound. “The basic idea was to play loud and have a good time while doing so. We find inspiration in everything from old punk and ’70s rock to ’60s pop songs and much more. “There has always been bands around that aim towards sounding old school and that’s usually fine and we dig a lot of them as most of our favourite bands are old bands,” he continues of his homeland’s revolving … Read More

PLAY AND RECORD: THE HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE MIX-TAPE

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We don’t want to make such a bold statement just past the halfway point, but Jesus H Cobbett, the latest Hammers Of Misfortune album, ‘Dead Revolution’ (via Metal Blade) will be hard to top in the end of year polls. If last album ’17th Street’ was HOM gone even more prog, ‘Dead Revolution’ is the band’s violent kneejerk reaction. It’s thrashy, it’s angry, it’s deadly – and that could be largely down to the fact that the band have been, in no particular order, involved in the Occupy movement which rightly has them mighty pissed-off, involved in a gnarly motorbike crash, losing sleep with the addition of a baby Cobbett, putting out crusty black metal under the guise of Vhöl, being kept busy with incredible death metal side-project Vastum, playing doom with The Worship Of Silence and joining Death Angel.

However all parties have regrouped for album number #6 (well, #7 if you count ‘Fields’ and ‘Church Of Broken Glass’ as two albums) and it’s amazing. Imagine Slough Feg gone even more bonkers; if Pink Floyd had a heavy metal cousin, it would be Hammers Of Misfortune. Mindblown by the layers on ‘Dead Revolution’ we just wanted to find out what the ingredients were … Read More

INTO BATTLE: SALEM’S POT

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Using an asylum as their rehearsal and recording space, and citing influences such as horror movies and Black Sabbath, you can almost imagine what Salem’s Pot are going to sound like before you even hit play. However, there is a rough charm to these Swedes that urges listeners not to dismiss them as just another trend-hopping ’70s garage rock rip-off just yet.

“It all started with just two of us watching old horror movies and listening to ’60 and ’70s music all day and night. We figured that we had to do something creative together since there wasn’t much more to do in a small, doomed town where no one wants to know you”, they explain when elaborating on how it all began. “There was only one of us who could play an instrument [that would be Knate on guitar!] and the other took care of the visuals and artwork. Along the way we stumbled over two freaks that could play bass and drums [that would be Direktörn and Peter] and then we recorded a demo [‘Sweeden’] at the asylum where we rehearse. Eventually the other one picked up an organ and some synthesizers and learned how to use them.”

A lack of … Read More

MAUSOLEUM GATE INTERVIEW: “CALL ME OLD FASHIONED BUT MUSIC FOR ME IS THE THING THAT COUNTS”

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When it comes to new bands who stand head and shoulders above the metal warrior brigade, Finland’s Mausoleum Gate are one of the first names that comes to mind. Their 2014 eponymous debut album was a shock to the system and of the best albums of that year. Now the band is back with a brand new 7” single (‘Metal And The Might’) so we took the chance to have a catch up with Count L.F. (guitars), Wicked Ischanius (bass so far, keyboards from now and on) and Oscar Razanez (drums)…

Two years after your debut album, how do you reflect back to those days and is there is something you might have changed? Count: I am very satisfied with the response. Absolutely better than we could expect. Our way of doing things is so different that one must be amazed at this response. I am also glad that we didn’t have to please anyone.We had basically a freedom to do what we like. Ischanius: I am still very very satisfied with the end product. It’s testimony of what Mausoleum Gate had been so far! Like with every release, it’s a product of its time and all the factors surrounding it. I personally always have a feeling … Read More

PLAY AND RECORD: THE GOLDEN GRASS MIXTAPE

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Providing the hazy, laid-back, psychedelic rock anthems of the summer, Brooklyn’s The Golden Grass have been on the road since the release of April’s ‘Coming Back Again’ (Listenable Records). Desperate to know what was on their stereo when recording their second full-length (they even told us which songs in particular each song inspired!) and what’s been playing in their van on those long road trips between gigs, the band made us the perfect mix-tape for summer nights.

1. The Move – ‘Lookin On’ 1970 “It’s amazing how HEAVY The Move were! They were one of our main influences when we formed the group and are a constant inspiration to us. ‘Lookin On’ is filled with monstrous riffs, killer guitar harmonies and soaring powerful vocals, not to mention the Eastern-tinged psychedelic odyssey in 5/4 that closes out the tune.” Song of relevance: See It Through

2. Jefferson Airplane – ‘Today’ 1967 “It’s just a love song – which this group was surprisingly adept at – that is both gentle and powerful, with wonderful vocal harmonies and chord passages, particularly on the chorus and at the coda. But the clincher for me is that atmospheric two-note modal flourish that Jorma Kaukonen provides – so simple … Read More

CAUCHEMAR INTERVIEW: “WE LOVE FRENCH METAL FROM THE ’80S”

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It’s no surprise that we love CAUCHEMAR here at Iron Fist. The Montreal metal machine are fronted by the one and only Annick Giroux, author of our World Downfall column. But nepotism be damned, even if Annick wasn’t part of the family we’d still be a sucker of their Sabbath meets Mercyful Fate meets Sortilege meets Blue Oyster Cult vibes. With a new album ‘Chappelle Ardente’ out now we look back to Iron Fist #6 (Summer 2013) when Dave Sherwood had a dangerous meeting with the band around the release of their Nuclear War Now! Productions debut ‘Tenebrario’

We know you as our world correspondent, but not for your own music – tell us about Cauchemar Annick: “Cauchemar started as a doom metal project between myself and the guitarist, François [Patry]. At first, I wanted to play bass, but we couldn’t find a vocalist so I decided to sing instead. We were aiming to play ‘trad’ doom but our heavy metal influences took over and it ended up being some sort of bastard mix of heavy/doom. We recorded and released our mini-album ‘La Vierge Noire’ in 2010, and did our first three gigs in Canada afterwards. In January, 2011, myself and the guitarist … Read More

OMEN INTERVIEW: “I GAVE IT EVERYTHING” KENNY POWELL PUTS THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON ‘HAMMER DAMAGE’

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While we tend to bathe in our own homeland’s glory, let’s not forget that the United States had a great history of heavy metal too. During the 1980s, legends were forged in every state, city, neighbourhood, and OMEN is one of the best bands of that era with three landmark albums (‘Battle Cry’ from 1984, ‘Warning Of Danger’ 1985 and ‘The Curse’ 1986).

Formed when Kenny Powell left Savage Grace in 1984, the band were featured that year on Metal Massacre IV and catapulted themselves into the heavy metal pantheon. The band have sporadically attempted to recapture that initial spark, playing live as much as they can in front of rabid fans who worship their early heavy metal, proto power metal mastery, but now in 2016 they’re back again with a new album ‘Hammer Damage’.

Getting a not so favourable review from our own website, Kenny got in touch to put the record straight and get a re-appraisal. We sent Andreas Andreou to beg our pardon…

Omen founder, guitarist and main songwriter, Kenny Powell, has a lot to tell us about the controversial new album Andreas, thank you for giving me a chance to maybe clear the air on the making of ‘Hammer … Read More