Swedish death metal veterans Sarcasm have recently unleashed an album (yes, an actual album!) full of dark melodies, razor sharp riffing, atmospheric passages and catchy hooks. ‘Within The Sphere Of Ethereal Minds’ (recently released on Dark Descent) takes the listener on a multi-faceted musical journey with many twists and turns that takes you right back to the glory days of the early to mid ’90s melodic death metal scene before the genre became oversaturated and commercialised. There is a blackened edge to their aural aggression too much in the same vein as their fellow countrymen Unanimated and Dissection. Iron Fist spoke with frontman Heval Bozarslan to find out more about the album and comeback.
Your latest full-length ‘Within The Sphere Of Ethereal Minds’ just came out, what can we expect and are you pleased with it? They can expect 35 minutes of jaw-dropping, ball-crushing, catchy yet face-melting death metal. I’m more than satisfied, even though I listened to the pre-production demos a thousand times and knew that this material was strong I didn’t know it would turn out this good. All the people involved really gave 100 percent and believed in this. And so far the reaction from people who have heard it … Read More
TEMPLES FESTIVAL returns to Bristol in June and alongside Desertfest, Live Evil and Damnation proves that grassroots, DIY fests keep the wellspring of British underground heavy metal alive and kicking. Settling somewhere between doom pilgrimage Roadburn Festival and extreme grind holiday destination, Maryland Deathfest, Temples is the go to fest in the West (of England!!). Headlined by gore veterans Carcass and black metal cult Mayhem, alongside Melvins, the festival also boasts Iron Fist regulars The Gentlemans Pistols, Iron Reagan, Revenge, Mare and your dad’s favourites, Groundhogs.
Over the next few days we will be running through our tips for the festival. The whole line-up is unmissable and to start with we probed black metal upstarts Funeral Throne bassist and vocalist M (also known as Iron Fist scribe, Jack Welch) to give us his top five tips of bands you need to see…
DEGIAL Uppsala, Sweden: famously home to Watain and a whole host of demons residing in its blood-blackened soil. Uppsala is also home to snot-nosed upstarts Degial who have drawn from this wellspring of Chaos and spewed its black bile into their true Metal of Death. Their first efforts were very akin to Morbid Angel (no bad thing) but last year heralded their second … Read More
THE TOWER’s guitarist August considers rock music “to be a zealously syncretic religion, a holy tradition that includes but is not limited to the metal community.” Consequently the Uppsala, Sweden, quartet’s debut ‘HIC ABUNDANT LEONES’ (‘here are lions in abundance’) effortlessly captures a pure guitar-led homage to all the best parts of rock music from the past 40 years. DARREN J. SADLER talks to three quarters of the band about the making of this future classic.
Tell us about the reason why you have called yourself The Tower. August (guitar): “The Tower has a very dramatic symbolism, as the tower of Babel, the tower in the Tarot. As such it describes a process that is at the heart of our band and also of rock music in general; the alternation between tension and release in the music, the hubris of a rock star rising to the top, and the soteriological catharsis of collapse and rebirth inherent in every good crescendo. Apart from that the Tower is also a place. The archetypal rehearsal room outside of space and time, where the spirits and Bacchants convene, the ivory tower of the plectrum-wielding disciples of Apollo, and the fortress that gives me shelter.” Erik (vocals): “We all are … 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
Like so many others, Kim Kelly discovered superb Swedish black/death practitioners IRKALLIAN ORACLE online and was immediately blown away by the immediate quality and authoritative tone of their demo, and after being name-checked by Bestial Mockery’s Master Motorsag in Iron Fist #6 she tracked them down to find out more. The following Q&A sheds a few beams of light on their dark intentions…
Those behind the project have clearly had plenty of experience in writing and playing music, but choose not to divulge their past efforts, or indeed, any identities at all. It can be difficult for bands to preserve their anonymous status without seeming to resort to gimmickry; Ghost used it to their advantage and Dragged Into Sunlight have their members’ professional lives to consider, but then again, they inhabit a very, very different world from Irkallian Oracle. What is the purpose of your anonymity? “I actually never claimed to be anonymous at all but simply have chosen not to display and discuss such matters publicly as we see no valid point in weltering in our egos and past endeavours when focus should be laid on Irkallian Oracle and nothing else. Paradoxically I would say that our human faces and names actually … Read More
The Portland black metal scene is famous for twisting and manipulating the blackened template into whole new forms, but MATRON THORNS, former collaborator with Bethlehem, has come up with a new nightmarish vision that he believes takes the essence of the genre right back to its pure evil roots. OLIVIER ‘ZOLTAR’ BADIN gets a sermon from the ÆVANGELIST…
How do you come up with such a strange and disturbed entity like Ævangelist? Matron Thorns: “With no particular agenda in mind, I’d say. We don’t approach music with any specific genre in mind. As the title of this album implies, it’s meant to be an experience happening to you as opposed to something you are only listening to. We wanted to take the idea of evil in music out of the realm of just hypothetical.”
It is almost as if your music was strongly seeking to install an almost masochist relationship with the listener. To many, it’ll sound much too chaotic and suffocating, yet those who’ll dare look into it will most probably end up being drawn to it, as if they were looking to be swallowed by the void it created… “When you’re saying that, I can’t help but recall the ’90s when it … Read More
In fair Sweden is where we set our scene. Two cities, both alike in dignity… you know the story. You’re either Stockholm or you’re Gothenburg, and this isn’t an article about football. Sweden may have taken the crown (no Johan Lindstrand related puns please!) when it came to Europe’s burgeoning death metal scene but the line was drawn depending on if you preferred the melodic thrash of Dark Tranquillity and At The Gates (in the red corner… Gothenburg) or the buzzsaw, Sunlight sound creeping out of the darkness in Stockholm thanks to bands like Entombed, Dismember and Treblinka.
But 45 miles north from the Swedish capital lies a previously untapped pool of death metal nihilism. In a university town of 140,000, Uppsala is the religious capital of Sweden so it’s unsurprising that it gave us early progenitors of Swedeath in Sarcasm and black metal bastards Unpure and later Watain. But the spotlight has turned away from the old guards of the major cities and is glaring on this unassuming hub of metal mania. Invidious, Graveless and Degial have put Uppsala on the death metal map and it’s showing the big boys of Stockholm and Gothenburg that the sounds of the suburbs … Read More
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