After 25 years, California metal masters CIRITH UNGOL have hauled their undead corpses from an untimely grave. IRON Fist scribe J. BENNETT spoke with drummer and co-founder Rob Garven about life, death and resurrection.
Originally printed in Iron Fist Issue 19
It’s a Tuesday evening in late August, and Cirith Ungol are sweating their balls off in a Ventura, California practice space. “Some previous band blew up the air conditioner so when we come in here at night it’s like 100 degrees,” drummer Rob Garven explains. “We were gonna fix it but it’s like $10,000, so we bought a fan instead.”
A few weeks after we speak with Rob, Cirith Ungol will play their first show in 25 years when they headline the Frost and Fire Festival, a weekend-long metal extravaganza in Ventura that will also feature appearances from elder statesmen Grim Reaper, Omen and Ashbury alongside young guns Midnight, Visigoth and Night Demon. For Rob and his bandmates — vocalist Tim Baker, guitarist Greg Lindstrom and guitarist Jim Barraza (with Night Demon main man and festival organizer Jarvis Leatherby filling in on bass) — it’s pure vindication for a career plagued with label calamities, poor timing and bad luck. The band slugged … Read More
Danish sinister hard rockers Demon Head are about to unleash their second full-length album ‘Thunder On The Fields’ via The Sign Records and Caligari Records (it will also be available via Crypt Of The Wizard in London!). Their sound is a marvellously memorable mix of rockin’ riffing, Danzig-esque vocals and heady hooks, which will embed themselves into your memory, plus there’s an occult, organic nod to the past without sounding like a retro throwback. Their upcoming album has already caught the attention of Darkthrone drummer Fenriz, who recently made them a band of the week, and they’re set to turn more heads. We caught up with the band to find out more about this still quite mysterious musical entity.
You have a new album due out soon, what’s up with that? B.G.N (guitar): You can expect a very generous and honest record that mostly take use of guitars, bass, drums, voice and words as instruments of expression. M.S.F (bass): Real music for real people.
Are you chuffed with the end result?. M.F.L (vocals): Yes, as Birk says it has been a lot of hard work; recording it ourselves, making the artwork (luckily with help for the final layout part). We are perfectionists about the songwriting and … Read More
With Desertfest London coming up soon we thought we would dredge the archives for some interviews to get you in the mood. Back in Iron Fist #16 SATAN’S SATYRS mastermind CLAYTON BURGESS talked with J. BENNETT about Satanic lesbian films, life as Electric Wizard’s bass player and reluctantly entering the 21st Century
Clayton Burgess doesn’t have a smartphone. The Satan’s Satyrs vocalist, bassist and all-around mastermind explains this while apologising for being all of five minutes late for Iron Fist’s call. “I’m holding out for as long as I can,” he says with a laugh. “The funny thing is, I just got my first iPod in my life yesterday, so I’m still coming to grips with that.”
Anyone who’s heard the Satyrs’ howling retro fuzz rock or seen photos of Burgess stalking the graveyards of his Virginia hometown in black flares and battle vest might not be surprised to learn that our man prefers the pre-cell phone, pre-Internet, pre-mp3 good ol’ days, when land lines, the local library and physical formats were the natural world order. “I do buy a lot of CDs – as well as vinyl, of course – but I got tired of bringing them everywhere I went because I’m … Read More
Virginia biker doom punks SATAN’S SATYRS have been one of the standout bands of 2013, espousing the same traditional values and old school spirit as Iron Fist. So, it was no surprise that our boss Will Palmer signed them up for his new label BAD OMEN. With a new album ready to go in early 2014, DAVE SHERWOOD talked to CLAYTHANAS about the creation of a new breed of wild beast
Some of you are probably thinking “Satan’s Satyrs? What? Who?” And rightly so. Well, continue reading and you’ll know more about them than those already in the know. With their second studio album soon to be unleashed by Bad Omen records in early 2014, Satan’s Satyrs are still an unknown force within the heavy metal community. However they go beyond heavy metal, beyond doom, beyond punk. All the elements that in fact create their monster sound. The bringer of evil, Claythanas (or Clayton to his friends), describes the band as “almost like a spectacle.” And this is not far from the reality of things. Fixated on the heavy side of ‘60s and ‘70s rock music and the darker side of NWOBHM, Satan’s Satyrs bring to the table a prestigious element … Read More
Friends since their school daze, CC Company is yet another infectious rock ‘n’ band outta Stockholm, in the vein of Hellacopters and Motorhead, but with some recognisable faces at the helm. It makes sense that the three-piece should consist of Enforcer guitarist and bassist, Joseph Tholl (also of Black Trip) and Tobias Lindqvist (also of Dead Lord) – after all there is that throwback vibe that all three of their other bands showcase so perfectly, but CC Company is pure, unadulterated rock swagger this time around. They’re joined on drums by Tribulation vocalist Johannes Andersson, but don’t call this a supergroup.
“We’ve had lots of side projects with this line-up during the past ten years,” weighs in frontman Joseph about the band’s formation. “It’s been all kinds of different stuff, depending on what we feel like doing for the moment, just for fun, you know?
This latest incarnation of their jamming habit was born last summer and they’ve already racked up gigs at the infamous Pussy-A-Go-Go bar and caught the attention of new label (and Fist cohorts), Bad Omen Records. “The songs came out very natural with a sound of rock ‘n’ roll and heavy metal,” Joseph explains. “Our first 7” is … Read More
“We had been discussing a name change for a couple of months prior to playing the Noctis festival,” muses Lester Skelter, drummer and vocalist for Western Canadian traditional metallers Spell. A continuation of the NWOBHM metal lineage begun by the young trio’s previous act Stryker, Spell is the sum of this basic equation: Stryker + ‘70s prog + ‘60s psychedelic imagery. Confused yet? So were we…
“When it turned out that Striker from Edmonton (they were featured in Iron Fist Issue 9) got booked on the same show… that was kind of the final thing that made us go ahead with the name change,” says Skelter. Indeed, the act played the final Noctis 666 in September of 2013, and was somewhat humorously double billed by a cheeky promoter.
“Although really, underneath that, the name change had been a long time coming as well, because the initial name reflected more of the ‘80s heavy metal style that we started playing. We’ve taken on a lot of new influences and gone in a new direction and become better and more capable players, and so we thought the new aesthetic and direction we were going in needed a new name.”
Far from embarrassed by their initial … Read More
Forming in 1993, it took Yorkshire, UK’s traditional metal mob ASOMVEL 16 years to put out their debut full-length, but 2009’s ‘KAMIKAZE’ was the attack British metal needed. Four years on and the band are not resting and in the wake of the death of founding frontman JAY-JAY WINTER they are fired up and ready for their next onslaught.
Forming in the early 1990s and almost adopting the name The Hairy Mary’s, Songs Of Praise were never really on the agenda for this Yorkshire outfit. Luckily the band conceived by Lenny Robinson and Jay-Jay Winter chose the less hirsute moniker of Asomvel and another classic UK heavy metal group slowly emerged. Asomvel, which actually has no significant meaning, saw a band with no real goals or direction forming from humble origins as Lenny reflects: “I asked Jay if he wanted to start a band, ‘cos I got on with him. He was the coolest bloke in town and we seemed to have the same attitude to things. I was gonna play bass (‘cos I had one) and Jay was gonna sing and we were gonna have two guitarists. Of course, nobody else was interested, so Jay ended up with the bass … Read More
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