As one of the world’s most groundbreaking metal masters prepare to release a brand new album (see the video below for a sneak peak) we look back to the creation of one of extreme metal’s most influential albums. In 1990 it would perhaps not be as noteworthy were it created in the West, but behind the Iron Curtain, in what was then Czechoslovakia, it faced the threat of arrest and even imprisonment. GUY STRACHAN spoke to BIG BOSS of ROOT about the making of ‘ZJEVENI’
Although ‘Zjeveni’ sees its 25th anniversary being celebrated with a deserved re-release courtesy of the I Hate label and the debut album of long-standing Czech black metallers Root is rightly held up as one of the early foundations of the second wave of black metal, the band’s leader and vocalist, Jiří ‘Big Boss’ Valter, is today less than keen to discuss the work. “You must know I’m 63 [years] old and I forgot a lot of things from that era,” he says by way of a preface to his email interview, “and now we prepare and work on [our] tenth album.”
The son of a university professor, Valter grew up in a musical household in the town … Read More
Snotty, brash, Entombed and Darkthrone worshipping metalpunks OKKULTOKRATI are about to lay waste to the UK next week with a short tour of London, Sheffield and Birmingham. With a new video for ‘Magic People’ from their blistering new album ‘Raspberry Dawn’ just released we caught up with the band to find out what songs will be on the van’s clapped out cassette player as they drive between the homes of Sabbath and Priest. Out now on Southern Lord, their label’s boss Greg Anderson described them best: “Fucked up in all the right places! Super original and I can say that I’ve definitely never heard anything like this! Visions of Bauhaus and Darkthrone listening to Joy Division albums by torchlight in the dark forests of Oslo.” Actually that’s something we can imagine Fenriz doing… enjoy the sounds of darkness
The Spits – ‘Tomorrow’s Children’ “This is our favourite band.”
Emperor – ‘Cosmic Keys to My Creations And Times’ “Imagine being 17 and writing songs like this…”
New Order – ‘Dreams Never End’ “We covered this song on all of our tours in 2014. I like to think we took something from that song, and New Order in general, with us into the new album.”
Alan Vega – ‘Ghost Rider’ “Obvious pick, … Read More
A love for hard rock and heavy metal convinced two school friends, and the singer’s younger sister, aged just nine at the time, to form a band. That band would go on to win them support slots with the likes of Iron Maiden, front covers of Kerrang! and record deals with major labels. And now they’re back! GREG MOFFIT meets ROCK GODDESS and discovers that LOVE LINGERS STILL
Formed in Wandsworth, south London in 1977, Rock Goddess were one of the few all-girl rock bands of their era. The original line-up of sisters Jody (guitar/vocals) and Julie Turner (drums) alongside bassist and school friend Tracey Lamb released just two albums at the height of their fame, but they remain one of the most memorable acts from the NWOBHM, and not just as members of the fairer sex. In ’77, Jody and Tracey were a mere thirteen – that’s one three – years old, while Julie was – wait for it – just nine. They may have still been several years away from gigging or recording, but their sheer fresh-faced innocence places them none too far from the likes of The Jackson Five in terms of diaper-to-stage career curves.
Casual observers might baulk … Read More
Forming in 1975 as Painted Lady, GIRLSCHOOL have been together for 40 years and are showing no signs of slowing down. With nothing to lose, KIM MCAULIFFE and ENID WILLIAMS are back in the studio and back to school. KEVIN STEWART-PANKO is asked to see teacher after class
There’s a girl, her name’s Louise and she runs things around here. On any old, average day, she’s charming, delightful and lights up the room with her smile. But today, the ribbons in her hair are fluttering more than usual, her grin is wider than wide and the rainbows she usually shits are blindingly bright. All that because we’ve managed to get the almighty Girl-Fucking-School in Iron Fist and if the emails throughout our exchange on the matter are any indication, to say she’s honoured, happy and tickled to have one of her all-time faves in these pages is like saying Lemmy’s gone a few rounds with a bottle of whiskey.
Guitarist/vocalist Kim McAuliffe and bassist/vocalist Dinah ‘Enid’ Williams originally came together in 1975 under the moniker Painted Lady after growing up alongside one another on the mean streets of Wandsworth while staring down the inhospitable climate that greeted the idea of the “fairer … Read More
Devil horns, Satanic rituals, and a 45-year-old debut album that became a benchmark for what has since become known as occult rock – in darkened circles COVEN – and their album ‘Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Soul’s – legacy is of paramount importance. At the tail-end of 2013, a new album, entitled ‘JINX’ was released marking a new era for the pioneering troupe. JINX DAWSON – High Priestess and the original wicked woman– spoke to Iron Fist about its creation and the legacy that she and her band has created. Now as the band prepare to perform a brand new ritual at ROABURN FESTIVAL we present that interview once more in its entirety
Tell us about the creative process of the new album… Was it a continuous process or has it been carried out over a longer period with breaks? “In some ways, this album has been over 40 years in the making. But summer of 2013 was when I decided it was time for a new Coven album. One must always close the circle, so I starting mixing together a wicked brew of olde and new. There were a few songs back in the day that were never finished or considered too bizarre and … Read More
Epic hard rockers ASHBURY have been enjoying renewed popularity in recent times, thanks to the rediscovery of their private-press LP from ’83, ‘ENDLESS SKIES’; a true lost-classic of melodic hard rock which marries the melody of Wishbone Ash with the delicate vocal lines of James Taylor and the grandiose scope of heavy metal. In light of this much-deserved renaissance, the band has regrouped for several successful appearances at metal festivals on both sides of the Atlantic. Now, this weekend will see Ashbury tread the boards at Frost & Fire II Festival in Ventura, California. JAMES BLACKFORD caught up with band-leading brothers, ROB and RANDY DAVIS to revisit ‘Endless Skies’ and survey the band’s long history…
ON DISCOVERING MUSIC… Rob: “Our Dad was in the Army, so we moved around a lot, living in France for three years, as well as in Oklahoma and Georgia. Dad played guitar and loved Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Elvis and Fats Domino. He owned a state-of-the-art Telefunken stereo and bought records every week, so growing up we didn’t watch TV, we just listened to music. Music and family were Dad’s passions in life, although his first attempts to get us to play guitar were useless! We had no interest, … Read More
Once upon a time, there were two brothers with a unique musical aura and vision. Archon Vorskaath created Zemial in 1989 and Eskarth The Dark One created Agatus in 1992. They were both swapping ideas and each one helped the other capture their creativity. Starting in Greece, then moving to Australia, back to Greece again, now The Dark is based in the United Kingdom with a brand new album under the title ‘The Eternalist’. Coming out on the mighty Hells Headbangers Records it is already the subject of high-praise amongst those in the know.
This third Agatus installment shows confidence in the marrying of the creator’s two loves; traditional heavy metal and orthodox black metal. From the debut black metal bite (‘Dawn Of Martyrdom’, 1996) to the NWOBHM-tinged progression of the second album (‘The Weaving Fates’, 2002) and now transcending beyond both paths, Agatus in 2016 exercises freedom in expression. We grabbed the opportunity to ask him how and why he chose now to return…
It’s almost 14 years since your last album, with an intermission of two EPs in between. What have you been doing all these years? The Dark: As you may know I have been involved in various projects/bands and … Read More
When we came up with the idea of doing a Mix Tape idea for the Iron Fist website there were three people we knew we needed to ask. Jason Decay and Ian Chains from Cauldron were a given, at least one of them were bound to put Bleak House on there, and the other was Ryan Waste. Now the latter has a brand new album out for his snotty speed metal punks BAT, we knew the time was right to hit him up. Ryan has spent the summer driving a taxi (seriously, read the latest Livin’ Fast column in Iron Fist #17) and on the tarmac in Europe with his thrash comrades Municipal Waste so we know his ear is gonna be trained to the right songs for the right road so we asked him to gather together some of the songs that inspired BAT’s latest album, ‘Wings Of Chains‘. It was through MW that we first met Ryan and got to know just how vast, and how perfect for the party, his music taste is. Buckle up and hit play!
SLANDER ‘Lonely Nights’ Let’s set the mood here. I feed off the sound of desperation in music, so what better way to … Read More
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
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…
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
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