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
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
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
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
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
Majestic hard rock from Tasmania. Not a description we use very often! Formed in 2011, Tarot released three cassette EPs during 2014 and then in 2015 these songs – including two new ones – were compiled for ‘The Warrior’s Spell’ album. “We don’t consider it to be a full-length album, rather a look at the all the band’s output up until that point”, says frontman Will Fried, AKA The Hermit, who also happens to be the owner of Heavy Chains Records.
According to him, the mystical names behind the band, such as The Hermit, The Hierophant and The Magician are taken from tarot card suites and they chose to use pseudonyms so that the listener focuses entirely on the music they play, rather than who is playing it.
Musically, Tarot wants to capture the same mystical atmosphere created by bands like Rainbow, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Wishbone Ash et al, all the while putting their own spin on things. “I think we have our own sound that incorporates these elements”, The Hermit believes, but words are also important. “In my opinion the lyrics of Tarot are better left to the listener to interpret in their own way, as for me they are … Read More
The Colorado-based Excommunion were one of the too many unsung heroes of the underground ‘dark’ death metal scene. MIA after only one monstrous full-length, ‘Superion’ in 2001, their vocalist Christopher ‘Christbutcher’ Clark moved to Finland in January 2007 after a tentative reunion with his first proper band Dethroned fell apart. But in no way did this mean he gave up completely.
“I started looking the very day we had set it in stone that we were emigrating. I emailed like-minded musicians who were in the area and eventually put together our first line-up, although it seemed at first that the north Savonia region in the middle of Finland was the wrong place to play death metal!”
Even if it took Maveth three years to come up with their first EP (‘Of Serpent And Shadow’), that recording and its follow-up ‘Impious Servant’ proved to be of such high-level that they soon got re-released together on one single CD by Nuclear Winter Records in 2011. And with their now first proper full-length, ‘Coils Of The Black Earth’, ready to hit the stores later this year through Dark Descent, Christbutcher feels he’s come full circle.
“At first, I made a conscious decision to use all the … Read More
Those youngsters love to cover their tracks don’t they? Not only have they chosen an, erm, questionable moniker but despite their Mexican passport and young age, Question are playing an unpolished yet mournful form of death metal that seems to have crawled out of the Tico-Tico studio circa 1991. “Indeed, we have certain affinity for the Finnish rottenness,” admits their 24-year-old bass player, Héctor. “But you can easily find that element in many of the old Mexican bands so it’s all connected. We are big fans of metal in general, and I think lots of styles are present in our music, not only Finnish death metal. The early ’90s scene is special to us because of its naivety though. If later on, the genre became jaded, back then it was still young, fresh and dared exploring many different areas.”
The band is based in Querétaro, 200 km North-West of Mexico City and where Disgorge or Hacavitz are also from. It was put together in the spring of 2010 by Héctor and guitar player Rodrigo: “The scene over here got boring lately, the new generation doesn’t have any ideas, nor dedication besides being ‘cool’. At least we have some good punk gigs … Read More
Having helped form Amon Amarth in 1992 and played on their debut EP and album, Anders Biazzi nevertheless chose to leave in ’98 to focus on his personal life. Only ten years later did the guitarist resurface, first with the gloriously old-school Blood Mortized and now with Just Before Dawn, a studio-project à la Probot. The formula is simple: first, a basic line-up – consisted of Biazzi, his BM compadre Gustav Myrin and Puteraeon’s Jonas Lindblood – record in his own studio what his creator calls with a wink “Streamroller death metal songs” about that immortal topic called war (“Mostly from the darkest times in the WWII but also from the future. We sometimes focus on a specific event, like the battle of the Bulge on the song ‘Bastogne’ or about the U-boats in the Atlantic with ‘As Death Breaks the Surface’ too.”) Then, various guest singers and drummers, “contacted through mutual friends or social networks”, pitch in, adding their own two cents to the recipe. With a total of twenty four (!) musicians involved, their second album ‘The Aftermath’ is an even more ambitious undertaking than its predecessor, ‘Precis Innan Gryningen’. It feels like a high-school reunion with Rick … Read More
Without something of a misty-eyed perspective on metal in the ’80s, it’s quite possible this publication you hold in your hands wouldn’t exist. Yet even amidst the blizzard of tassles, battle-jackets and Nike hi-tops that oft constitutes a vision of the decade, it’s quite possible to lose sight of the original spirit – the true, bloody-minded essence of steel that battled against adversity throughout that often tricky era. At a time in which Bryan Adams’ ‘Reckless’ was voted Kerrang!’s album of the year, in which Bon Jovi headlined Donington, and in which Candlemass were dropped by Black Dragon Records due to lack of sales, the racket we now cherish often was forced to maintain its strident and overblown demeanour in the face of indifference and hostility. The indomitable elixir that led it to survive is a thing of vainglory, a thing of Cecil B. De Mille-esque grandeur (often on a tight budget) and frequently a thing of sheer foolhardy hubris. Moreover, true rivetheads wouldn’t have it any other way.
One suspects that Below, Nykoping, Sweden’s relatively fresh-faced troupe, understand all this only too well. Arriving in the wake of an EP that gained them considerable plaudits for their refreshingly epic take … Read More
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