We’ve been enjoying our recent C90 series. Okay, fair enough, it’s hardly original. What music magazine has not, in one form or another, asked musicians to create a playlist of bands rarely off their turntables? It’s a classic and we have no shame. But this one is especially exciting as it’s actually happening. This is not a fictitious mixtape of songs and bands that inspired the artist, this is a list of songs and bands that the artist – none only than King Fowley of the mighty Deceased – has covered and gathered together on the aptly-titled ‘Metal Massacre 31’ with his equally mighty band October 31. Out on November 25 via Hells Headbangers King kindly explained his reasons behind each cover and offered us the first full stream of the album to get your teeth into. If you’re a sucker for those early Metal Blade compilations and love early American heavy metal from Hallows Eve to Omen then this will get your engines revving. All hail King Fowley. All hail ‘Metal Massacre’ compilations. All hail propa ‘eavy metal.
STREAM ‘METAL MASSACRE 31‘
Metal Massacre 31 by OCTOBER 31
1. ‘Cross My Way’ by DEATH DEALER “This is track 2 from ‘Metal Massacre 4’. A killer French Canadian … 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
Legendary German thrashers Exumer (who formed in 1985) have returned to the scene with their fourth album ‘The Raging Tides’ (their second since reforming in 2008). It’s a fierce slab of energetic Teutonic thrash metal that showcases a band clearly firing on all cylinders, sounding rejuvenated with new blood in the ranks and burning bright with musical fire. Original vocalist Mem Von Stein gave Kat Gillham an insight into the new album and the recent events in the Exumer camp…
Your new record ‘The Raging Tides’ has just been released, are you satisfied with how it turned out? Mem: It’s definitely a step up from our last album ‘Fire And Damnation’ in terms of how it’s a lot more direct, I think. We tightened the edges in many ways and I think it just pops a lot more. It just has a bigger punch than ‘Fire And Damnation’, we did like the sound of that album but I think this is a step forward in regards to bringing the mix upfront and really making sure that the guitars and drums are really punching you in the face so to speak, so yeah we were really happy with how it turned out overall. … 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
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
Pilgrim are in an unusually strong position for a band of their age. Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter The Wizard is just 22-years-old; drummer Krolg Splinterfist, Slayer of Men, just turned 23. Their live bassist, who goes by Bradoc the Barbarian, is the oldest at 24. Despite this, their 2011 ‘Forsaken Man’ demo caught the ear of Primordial front man A.A. Nemtheanga, they’ve unveiled two splits with Ice Dragon and Gypsyhawk, and are on the verge of releasing their sophomore outing ‘II: Void Worship’, the second of four records they owe to Metal Blade. In 2013 they appeared on the Roadburn lineup, and before this issue hits the stands they will have embarked on a three-week tour with Spirit Caravan. Their origins are humble, their love for the trudging doom genre they operate within is palatable, and their progression from their debut, ‘Misery Wizard’, is impressive.
“When I was in high school, two years before I started Pilgrim, I fucking hated metal. Me and Krolg thought that metal was the stupidest thing. It’s a bunch of chauvinistic men, muscled out dudes, playing this stupid brutal music,” recalls The Wizard, laughing. He spends over an hour on the phone with Iron Fist being … Read More
Hitting us with a last minute contender for album of the year, the latest offering from Uppsala hard rock legion Noctum, ‘Final Sacrifice’, has been the soundtrack to this issue. It’s way more Mercyful Fate than people accuse their neighbours In Solitude of, but with their own twist of classic heavy metal and doom intricately weaved into addictive and masterfully crafted songs. If you’re lamenting Ghost’s move away from the classic rock template and into disco territory then here’s your salvation. So we’re surprised when bassist Tobias Rosén admits that before the band started in 2009 he didn’t play any instrument. “We all went to the same school and since I wanted to start my first band I asked David [Indelöf, guitars] if he was up to it and well, here we are,” he says. Five years on he’s mastered the four strings, telling Iron Fist that, “The dedication, desire and danger that heavy metal brings fuels me in a way that I’ve never experienced in any other aspect in my life.”
About the new album, he also admits that, “I was sitting down listening to ‘The Wall’ by Pink Floyd and read ‘Black Cat’ by [Edgar Allan] Poe and just … Read More
Renowned Dutch death metal brigade, Hail Of Bullets, recently completed their third Metal Blade full-length, ‘III The Rommel Chronicles’. According to drummer Ed Warby, “After a half-year period of slightly worrying metal fatigue I finally started writing in June 2012. I had to recover from several years of doing one album after the other: Gorefest, Hail Of Bullets, Demiurg, Star One, 11th Hour, etc, without time to breathe. I needed to recharge the batteries so to speak. But once I had the basis for what would become ‘Farewell To Africa’, the floodgates of inspiration opened wide and with contributions from Stephan [Gebédi – guitars, also of Thanatos] and Paul [Baayens –guitars, also of Thanatos and Asphyx] we soon had a full album.”
Ed explains further, “In the months before I had no desire to even pick up a guitar or play metal, so when that [‘Farewell To Africa’] riff finally came to me it felt like such a relief. It was one of those moments where the song almost writes itself, one riff leading to another until you have a fully-formed song. That gave me such a confidence boost, and even more importantly it put me back in ‘metal’ mode. At … Read More
Formed in 1983 by guitarist Kenny Powell, Omen were part of a thriving scene that included the likes of Fates Warning, Jag Panzer, Helstar, Shok Paris, Virgin Steele, Liege Lord and Queensrÿche. Dubbed power metal years before it became a term of abuse, these outfits played a muscular, aggressive style far removed from the AOR and glam which dominated America at the time. Influenced by British bands and the culture of old Europe, Omen’s epic tales of sword and sorcery never brought them major success, but in terms of kudos, respect and sheer cult worship, they’re as good as Gods. Like many bands of their era, Omen lost their way as the years rolled by and fashions came and went. More than once they tried – and failed – to change with the times. But it takes more than a couple of dodgy albums to wipe out the golden legacy of their early days and in 2013 – thanks in no small part to the Internet and a few thousand Greeks – Omen’s popularity is at an all-time high. Currently hard at work on a brand new album, guitarist Kenny told Greg Moffitt about the highs, the lows and the lessons learned…
How did your … Read More
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