Iron Fist Magazine

INTO BATTLE – SHEOL

Although having only formalised a line-up and commenced rehearsing in January 2013, Sheol have already made waves; their ‘Live Demo MMXIII’ and mini-album ‘Sepulchral Ruins Below The Temple’ proffering some particularly vicious and cavernous blasts of prime, unholy death metal or, as founding member A.B.S describes it, “sepulchral death metal rising from the primordial Abyss.”

With a healthy and growing reputation, wholehearted support from both Iron Bonhead and Invictus as well as a delivery aesthetic that follows in the footsteps of the Father Befouled and Encoffination school of deathliness, great things are expected of the British band. With such a gaping, hellish and bleak sound adding to the audial decimation of their forceful songwriting, Sheol sound keen to maintain their individuality. Kat ‘Shevil’ Gillham discovered more about these tyrants…

Hails A.B.S.! Please give Iron Fist a quick background history on the band. “She’ol was formed around 2012 by me and our former drummer, A.H.S. (Vorage). We both have a longer experience in black metal but She’ol began initially out of ideas which did not fit elsewhere, closer to death metal inspired by Incantation, Sadistic Intent, early Darkthrone, Autopsy and Absu – but so too was there a significant difference in vision. … Read More

INTO BATTLE – BRULE

To many, doom is the molasses-thick primordial sludge found at the lower reaches of the guitar’s tonal range. For others, it’s the molasses-thick primordial sludge found around rim of their favourite bong. For Alastair Riddell of heavy metal doom band, Brule, “doom is the ‘Tempter’ by Trouble; anything else is just an added bonus”; an austere definition perhaps, but one that chimes with the existential obscurity that underpins the genre.

Reminiscent of Pentagram with Kyuss and, indeed, Trouble, London’s Brule will more than satisfy orthodox doom tastes but it is their broad creative palate, taking in psychedelic rock and meat-n-potatoes ’70s rock, that sets them apart from the Wizard-Bong-Witch cliches of much that passes for contemporary doom.

“The main influences are the Maiden, Rainbow, Grand Funk, Trouble, Scorpions, WASP, Vitus, Pentagram, Bang, Rush, Saxon, Witchfinder General, Purple and Gillan’s solo albums, Accept and Manowar,” Riddell lists. “However there is also stuff like the obvious ’60s bands – The Who, Kinks, Stones, MC5 and even the Beatles, but also a lot of the proto-metal and early heavy prog bands as well. The genre name is not really all that important; the quality is what matters, whether it’s Budgie or Bathory, Acid or Aphrodites … Read More

INTO BATTLE: BLACK VIPER

Apologies to the guy in Black Viper who our editor attacked outside The Little Devil in Tilburg during Roadburn Festival. She overheard him telling some guys in the smoking area that he was in this “new band called Black Viper” and she just sort of grabbed him and scratched him, which is kind of her way of saying ‘Your band is fucking great’. They are. Marek Steven is less violent so we sent him to find out more about them.

Storming With Vengeance demo is great. Can you introduce us to Black Viper? Cato: The band actually started around 2012 as a one-man project because I made some riffs which didn’t fit into [his other band] Deathhammer, but I thought they were good enough to make something out of. I then made some demo tracks without vocals but didn’t release them. I also started to record an EP in 2013 but that also didn’t get finished. Then I moved to Oslo in 2013 right where Arild and Christoffer live. I hooked up with them and Black Viper finally became a full band. Then we rehearsed without vocals for a while – as we couldn`t find anyone who could sing – and we … Read More

INTO BATTLE: NIGHT VIPER

Gothenburg-based heavy metal maniacs Night Viper are the one of the latest heavy metal exports to come out of Sweden and have released a debut album that is an energetic affair. The up-tempo ’80s heavy metal of early Maiden and Priest collides with the galloping speed metal of ‘Kill ‘Em All’-era Metallica and a duelling twin guitar attack that features the ever-productive Tom Sutton (The Order Of Israfel, Horisont, ex-Church Of Misery). We caught up with Tom to find out more about this exciting new band.

When did the idea for Night Viper first come about? “I have often wished that Metallica and Slayer could have held off from maturing for just one album more each. I love their second albums and what came later too, but I love the freshness of that almost rock ‘n’ roll style of thrash metal that they both had in the beginning. I’d often thought I’d like to do something with that kind of vibe, although I doubted I’d ever get around to it. At one point I was going to ask Sven, the drummer from Antichrist, to just do a single with me so I could get it out of my system. I couldn’t be … Read More

INTO BATTLE: PSYCHEDELIC WITCHCRAFT

Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane, Free, The Faces, “but, at the same time Donny Hathaway, Howlin’ Wolf, Dina Washington, Big Mama Thornton and Muddy Waters. Those are the one who taught me a lot of things about music.” That is the leap-off point into discussing ‘The Vision’, the debut album by Italian doominatrix Virginia Monti and her band Psychedelic Witchcraft. Fronted by the bewitching Monti, the only one in the band that “isn’t classically trained”, this Florence-based blues rock group were only formed a year ago but have already played with the likes of The Vintage Caravan and Dead Lord and have been snapped up by Soulseller Records (Spectral Haze/Demon Eye) for their debut album.

“I started alone, just for fun, posting a song on YouTube,” says Monti of how the band begun. “I wouldn’t have ever imagined the reaction the metal community had. I had so many people asking for more! It took me almost six months to find my bandmates because I was looking for guys that shared the vision of style and music I had in mind. I found was my guitar player [Jacopo Fallai]in my hometown, then I met Riccardo [Giuffrè, bass] in Milan and he moved … Read More

INTO BATTLE: TEMPLE OF VOID

American doom/death dealers Temple Of Void recently had their debut album ‘Of Terror And The Supernatural’ re-released by the mighty and far-reaching Shadow Kingdom (originally released in 2014 on the small underground label Saw Her Ghost Records). And it deserves it, as this album should appeal to fans of Hooded Menace and the like and when vocalist Michael Erdody is asked to describe their debut he replies; “The album is very dense, yet atmospheric; bludgeoning, yet gripping. It’s an attempt to create doom-influenced death metal in the strictest denotation that we could. Hopefully the listener is left with a collection memorable songs that tastefully encompasses all the elements of doom/death that we all mutually love. Sometimes the songs end up more on the death side of the spectrum, and other times they lean more towards the doom side.”

How did the reissue with Shadow Kingdom come about? He must be happy about the album getting released to a wider audience so soon. “The SKR signing was very happenstance,” he says. “We were approached directly by [label boss] Tim as a fan of the band. We were already picking up steam rather autonomously, but self-promotion can only go so far. SKR just … Read More

INTO BATTLE: SPIRIT ADRIFT

Weaving opulent soundscapes through the kaleidoscopic lens of epic doom and maudlin post-rock, Spirit Adrift, a secretive three-piece project released through Prosthetic Records, has sent the Iron Fist crew into horrific depths of despair and lifted them with shimmering hope with their first video for debut EP ‘Behind – Beyond’. After us badgering the label for any information about this crushing yet masterful release, they finally succumbed and let us stream this brand new video for our readers.

Conjuring the shades cast by Warning/40 Watt Sun and the masters of the heavy riffs from Black Sabbath to Pelican, ‘Behind – Beyond’ is a two-song EP crafted by musicians with a meticulous adoration of the more otherworldly aspects of doom metal’s 46 year reign. “The ideas behind Spirit Adrift, and the songs themselves, materialised on their own,” explains vocalist/guitarist, JK. “Our lives had become disastrous in the years leading up to the formation of the band. “Not to sound too melodramatic, but the discovery of these songs truly coincided with our own self-discovery and healing. The writing process was natural, maybe even unavoidable. Many of our biggest artistic influences, Tony Iommi for example, have claimed that they aren’t responsible for creating their art, they are simply unearthing … Read More

INTO BATTLE: DEAD FEATHERS

Chicago is rarely thought of as a celestial otherwordly plain, but with the roots of soul and gospel buried in its very foundations, perhaps a band like Dead Feathers were inevitable. Tony Wold and the psychedelically named Shaggy Shadric (guitars), Rob Rodak (bass), Jose Bernal (drums) and the bluesy lungs of Marissa Allen came together to create a sound that harks back to the ’60s explorative rock of bands like Procol Harum, Pink Floyd and 13th Floor Elevators while sitting easy on the ears of fans of Jex Thoth, Blood Ceremony and Royal Thunder. Conjuring perfect wintery moods in the Iron Fist office while we dive headlong into another stressful deadline, we caught up the band to ask them how they weaved such magic and thanked them for honouring us with a stream of their stunning new EP…

Your new self-titled EP (out this month on HeviSike Records) is crushingly beautiful, where the hell did you come from? Tony Wold: “Thank you. The band was started by myself and the bassist, Rob Rodak. We started it in high school and were looking around for a drummer who then got us in touch with our second guitarist, who ended up knowing Marissa, our lead singer. … Read More

INTO BATTLE: KETZER

Ketzer have made a drastic change in musical direction on their new album ‘Starless’. What inspired such a shift from the rabid thrash aggression to a more dark hard rock style? Was it just a case of evolving naturally or wanting to experiment outside of the restrictive confines of black-thrash? Guitarist Sinner responds; “Actually, we did not even intentionally step away from what you called the ‘confines of black-thrash’. That ‘evolving naturally’ phrase might sound like a cliché but in the end it’s the easiest way to describe it. It started about three years ago, when Marius [aka bass player Necroculto] had an idea for a song that would later become ‘Shaman’s Dance’. We changed the song but it didn’t really feel right until we just jammed together and suddenly the parts all fell together naturally. So this was the moment we noticed that it works really well for us to write songs together by jamming and seeing what happens, which is a very organic way of creating music. The outcome is different than before, but to my ears the expressions and vibes that are being created are still very similar to our other two albums. I especially experience that … Read More

INTO BATTLE: HORRIFIED

North-East England-based death metallers Horrified are about to have their second album ‘Of Despair’ released on CD by Stormspell Records. It’s an album that sees the band shifting musical direction and fully embracing their Swedish influences, taking the listener back to the mid-’90s evoking the atmosphere of albums such as ‘Far Away From The Sun’ by Sacramentum and the sophomore albums by Dissection and Necrophobic. Even the album cover – by Raul Gonzalez – looks like it could have been drawn circa 1994. Dan Alderson, the band’s frontman and lead guitarist was interrogated about his band’s walk down the left-hand path.

You have just recorded your second album, what can the readers expect from it? “It’s dynamic, melodic and ripping death metal which is equally as savage as it’s emotionally involving. The earlier material for Horrified was wrote when I was quite younger, I think as we grow up our musical taste also evolves and changes, which was one element which inspired the evolution on this album. I also wanted to make the album a lot more impactful. “Edge Of Sanity has been my favourite band for a long time, so melodic death metal has always been one of my favourite styles, this just seemed to … Read More