Iron Fist Magazine


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


“Sometimes melodies arrive while I’m sleeping so when I wake I’m really stressed trying to remember the melody. Some of the ideas come from dreams and nightmares, or in that time just before I fall asleep,” says Posthum‘s Jon (guitar/bass/vocals). Hailing from Akershus, Norway, an area tipped by many as the new Bergen (“Akershus is both the old and new Bergen!” say the band), Posthum, rounded out by Morten (drums) and Martin (guitar/bass) are set to smash through the black metal glass ceiling with their sophomore full-length ‘Lights Out’. Signed to Indie Recordings, ‘Lights Out’ builds on the foundations of 2009’s ‘.Posthum’ and their 2005 demo, showcasing a tighter, scalpel-sharp approach. So what have the trio been doing with themselves in the interim? “After finishing touring with Dark Fortress, Shining and Satyricon in 2009 we began to think about a second album,” remembers Jon. “The process has been long and darker than before. The album has really got into our heads and has been exhausting at times. It’s been a time of many experiences and different feelings towards life, love and existence in general.”

He’s understating just how dark of a record ‘Lights Out’ truly is. Bleaker than infant death, ‘Lights … Read More


“After my old grindcore band split in 2006 (which featured our bassist Necroskull on guitar), I soon tired of not making music and decided in late 2010 to redress the balance with my own take on thrashy, song-based black metal.” Rob Belial of UK-based decrepit black thrash purveyors Cultfinder, who feature two members of British doomers Witchsorrow, has recently followed up his cassette demo onslaught with a CD-release, the EP ‘Black Thrashing Terror’ on Eldritch Lunar Miasma. One of the most exciting EPs to hail from these shores of late, Cultfinder slot right in with the current network of nasty blackened death and thrash in Southern England (Grave Miasma, Craven Idol, Salute etc). Rob says of the growing scene, “It’s definitely got its own momentum, and slowly but surely, it’s own infrastructure and support network in terms of labels. Pretty soon we’ll once again be completely self-sufficient in totally vicious heavy metal, which is nice for those of us too young to remember the last time! I was barely born when Bathory’s debut came out, and I’m not going to pretend otherwise!”


US black metal has always suffered from a ‘Born Too Late’ mentality. Although Possessed undeniably had an influence on the second wave rage and bands like Judas Iscariot and Grand Belial’s Key flew the flag for Uncle Sam, the country has always been slow on the blackened uptake. Recently though Illinois has unleashed a darkened fury in the forms of bands like Nachtmystium, Avichi, Alehammer and now Black September. So, is Chicago the new Bergen?

“No,” is the sullen reply from guitarist Chris Morrow. “I don’t consider Black September a black metal band.” That angry answer is the most black metal response we’ve heard this issue, so we’ll beg to differ, but listeners can decide what genre, if any, BS have to be tethered to after spinning new album ‘Into Darkness’, which summons a dissonance of black metal, Stockholm death metal and English crust.

“We had so many ideas going into this record,” Chris admits. “We started writing soon after the last LP was released, we wanted to start this album exactly where we left off with the last one. ‘The Forbidden Gates Beyond’ had nothing to hide. It was unrefined and to the point. We wanted to add another level of depth … Read More


“A nettle carrier is a spreader of death. Imagine a person walking the earth, smearing nettles on all life,” so says Ciekals, formerly of cult Oslo outfits Neetzach and Lja, bands so underground that they could have served as tectonic plates. When he’s not spending time with punk/BM hybrid Djevel, Ciekals is gleefully conjuring studio magicks with NettleCarrier. A blackened supergroup of sorts, NettleCarrier also features the drumming talents of Dirge Rep (Enslaved, Gorgoroth, Nattefrost, Orcustus) and Koldbrann’s Mannevond on vocals and bass duties. While all three have served time in Djevel, don’t be expecting a carbon copy. “We have less boundaries in this band than in Djevel, which is strictly based upon ancient Norwegian devil worship,” says Ciekals. “In NettleCarrier I draw inspiration from every corner of our occult heritage. Our lyrics are based upon the universal occult history, both future, past and present.”

Indeed, even though Ciekals admits that “I compose both Djevel and NettleCarrier material at the same time,” he feels that “Djevel and NettleCarrier are very different. I instantly know if a song I compose is for Djevel or NettleCarrier and that also applies to the lyrics.”

As to the song structuring process, Ciekals explains it thusly: “I … Read More



The Ungdomshuset (“the youth house) is a squat in the North West of Copenhagen, a stone’s throw away from the city centre; a Scandinavian ‘utopia’ of modern architecture, parks, cyclists and overpriced food and drink. Walking into the main venue of this tiny DIY event is like crossing into a different country; enter a graffiti covered courtyard, filled with a smorgasbord of battle jacket adorned long haired metallers. A wander around reveals why people travel from around the world for this event; food is super cheap, beers and shots are under £2, and at the back a small and dark alleyway is filled with goodies. It was like the ’80s never left, with stalls filled with boxes of vinyl, photocopied fanzines, patches, t-shirts and cassette tape demos.

First band of the day are France’s Ritualization, crossing the tones of early Morbid Angel with Angel Corpse and an awesome sign of things to come over the next 3 days. Fleshless seem a little out of place, even admitting it themselves. Their modern take on brutal death metal with guttural vocals, the antithesis to the old school vibe of the other bands playing over the weekend, but they manage to … Read More


Ultimate rattlehead Dave Mustaine has been spending too much time starting a Holy War instead of writing songs likes it. Proving lately that there’s not much in the skull beneath the skin, Jim Martin reads him his last rites.

At the age of 14, Dave Mustaine was a strange kind of hero to me. Somewhere between and beyond the Medusa-like tangle of blonde locks and tassled leather of his image, the badass dystopia of Megadeth’s name, the eldritch shrieks and grunts of his voice and the speedfreak shred of their music lay an anti-establishment figure; an ornery freak with an axe to grind. Mustaine was an outsider and an underdog-ousted from the world’s most exciting metal band and possessed of such a malicious fury in plotting his revenge that the febrile clangour of his music was hammered into a scary overdrive. Moreover, as a listen to the sarcastic croak of ‘Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying’s title track would seemingly testify, he seemed unwilling to play by anyone’s rules, forging his own narky path and god help all that crossed him on the way.

It was obvious right from the outset that Dave had something of a predisposition to act like a prannet in … Read More


Bastard Sapling could easily be described as the best American black metal band you’ve never heard, but this would be selling them short, they’re the best black metal band from anywhere that you’ve never heard of. Formed in 2007 by ex-Cannabis Corpse guitarist Drew, who was in need of a new direction to channel his energy and aggression after being left without a band and living in squalor, He was joined by drummer Elway (ex-Celebrity Murders, ex-Murdock and ex-War Torn), guitarist Steven (Inter Arma), vocalist Mike (Inter Arma, ex-Dick Butkis) and bassist Peter (Battlemaster). The quintet plays brutal black metal in the truest of senses, stripping away all pretence, gimmicks and other nonsense that gets in the way. The raw beauty of Drudkh, Immortal and early Enslaved pulses through their veins, but these Yanks they have their own voice, and it’s fucking loud. They’ve spared no time in tearing the scene apart since they made their first unholy appearance at 2008’s Heart Of Winter festival in Richmond, Virginia. Here they made available a raw rehearsal demo and this exposure saw them head off on a nationwide tour, to conquer new turf and corrupt the minds of the innocent. They quickly followed … Read More


It’s rare to find one-man projects in the death metal scene, especially one as technical as Willowtip’s latest protégé Sophicide. The German lone ranger Adam Lazslo was just 19 when he formed the project, with EP ‘The Art Of Atrocity’ only showcasing half his potential. With Sophicide meaning “murder of wisdom”, it’s clear what the themes are. “It’s about failures of modern society and the misery it brings, value systems that try to impose their ridiculous ideas, like religion and in general things that one should worry about nowadays. [This is] my humble attempt at musically executing these ideas”, explains Adam.

To go solo so young is a brave move; however debut ‘Perdition Of The Sublime’ proves Adam’s technicality and songwriting is close to challenging already credited artists. “I didn’t have fitting band members at that time, so I decided to start on my own.” he says. “I also found it easier to realise my musical ideas without having to make compromises.”

Adam’s influences are prominent throughout – the brutality of Bloodbath, the technicality of fellow countrymen Necrophagist and the even the guitar wankery of Animals As Leaders. ‘Perdition …’ challenges both your brain and brawn and despite the isolation, a live … Read More



Satanic gimmick and headline-grabbing controversy has allowed black metal to be perceived as the proverbial pantomime villain, but Sam McKavanagh argues that there are bands around that keep it close to its original rebellious strain. With a new album and a new source of power BEHEXEN are taking the power back.


For a genre that was meant to be a big fuck-you to the status quo, black metal is becoming somewhat conventional. Slap on some corpse paint; write lyrics about Satan or the occult, record everything so it sounds like it was conceived deep underground in a damp and dirty bunker and you’re almost there.

It is also said that to be a ‘proper’ black metal act you have to be from Norway. Sure, the second wave kicked off there with hordes of painted faces, standing topless in frost covered forests, holding inverting crosses, pledging their souls to Satan and burning down churches. It all made for quite the spectacle, making headline news stories of the corrupted youth. It put Norway on the musical map, but could the genre be facing a the problem in that the now-truest black metal bands are being overshadowed by poster-friendly acts like Dimmu Borgir, Satyricon and … Read More

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