With a sound steeped in the scythe-swinging, melodic majesty of ’90s black metal, Sweden’s Astrophobos have drawn critical comparisons to the deified Dissection since the January release of their impressive full-length debut, ‘Remnants Of Forgotten Horrors’. “It’s definitely a compliment, since we grew up listening to bands like that, but even if we play no-frills black metal, we want to create our own identity,” says vocalist/bassist Micke Broman, when asked whether comparisons to Dissection and early Naglfar are a positive or something the band feel they need to overcome. Guitarist Jonas Ehlin adds: “[’90s black/death metal] is the music that binds us together. However, we don’t really put much effort in making it sound ‘just like it did in the ’90s’. We play the music that comes natural to us, and we would never throw away a good riff just because it doesn’t sound like something from that era. So I think it’s more the chemistry between us as musicians that results in the way Astrophobos sounds.”
Taking their name from the title of a poem found amongst the ungodly works of H.P. Lovecraft, Astrophobos’ lyrics, at times, read as though they were summoned forth from the same yawning abyss as … Read More
Back in 2009 Cursed 13 released a split with Domgard, within moments the ground we stand upon shook and cracks started to appear and fumes from the bowels of Hell began to rise, but with the release of ‘Triumf’, their first full-length, they are ready to reach right into the depths of the underworld, bringing about the apocalypse. Brought together by bassist and vocalist Heljarmadr, “The line up came to be as we all are involved in Grá and now each other well, both musically and personally.” And though they have strong team Heljarmadr explains that he has written virtually all of the music and lyrics for ‘Triumf’, admitting “this album is the culmination of a long struggle.” When asked what influenced them musically there were the usual Mayhem and Burzum references, but Heljarmadr was unafraid to confess his interest in acts such as Johnny Cash, Nick Cave or even Wagner, and one listen to Cursed 13 and you’ll wonder where the hell those guys creep in, but that will be a fleeting thought as you’re taken back in by the rip roaring nastiness that they spew at will.
So many bands give out clichéd responses to their band philosophy, some … Read More
Something has been stirring in the waters of the Mersey over the last few years. The Old Ones have clearly awoken in the Liverpool Scene with the likes of Black Magician and Conan exporting excellent Northern darkness to the rest of the country. Joining them is Crypt Lurker, an extremely promising young death/doom band who offer sinister riffs and atmosphere of claustrophobic, terrifying brilliance. Front Man J.C.H explains the bands approach and unique sound:
“Our brand of doom metal is one that I find difficult to put my finger on, despite it’s inherent simplicity. This perhaps arises from a disparate set of influences from across our line-up. Nonetheless, things could certainly be described as crawling, monotonous and claustrophobic, I’d like to think.”
Having just released their debut EP, ‘Baneful Magic Death Worship And Necromancy Rites Archaic’ on underground label Ulthar, the band take their occult concept seriously and there is real thought and praxis behind the project; “The name Crypt Lurker was intended as being a subtle reference to the process of seeking liminal spaces, places like the crossroads, a sea cave or a crypt, which mark the threshold between realms; similar to the significance of sitting upon a burial mound and … Read More
As tempting as it was to name every feature in our anniversary issue after Bathory songs, it made sense to title both the Watain feature (‘Wild Hunt’ being an ode to Bathory at their most epic) and this one after the songs of Quorthon. However, we best not call TWILIGHT OF THE GODS, a new band put together by PRIMORDIAL frontman ALAN AVERILL, a Bathory tribute band anymore. They’ve moved on. Get it? The name remains, the story is so very, very different. GUY STRACHAN gets to the bottom of the how a tribute band became a full-on project and gets to grips with his “other” bands while he’s at it
“I tried to explain something the other day to somebody who wasn’t remotely into metal, that when you’re inside the bubble you see what other people find curious about it, and the things that they perceive as clichés, you understand that they are borne of the original blueprint of heavy metal; that you didn’t second-guess yourself. There was a naïve bluster and charm because of the era that it was in, so when some kid in 2013 assumes that everything has to be pastiche and parody and they can’t take … 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
“This is the end”. At least so croons Master Motorsåg of warlusting black metal maniacs BESTIAL MOCKERY. Coming straight of stage at New York’s Marytrdoom Festival and into the inquisitive lair of KIM KELLY, she finds out about best-laid plans and how it’s better to burn out than fade away
It’s a clear, humid night in one of Brooklyn’s many warehouse districts, and you’re sweating like a whore in church. The concrete maze you and a few hundred other leather-clad, sticky longhairs have crowded into smells of sulphur and swamp-ass; the air conditioner’s broken, the toilets are backed up, and the drinks are overpriced. This is Hell, and fittingly so, for the murderous apparition that’s just stalked onstage demands nothing less. Martyrdoom, NYC’s nastiest annual underground black/death metal festival, is upon us, and the reason we’re all suffocating ourselves and clutching $10 whiskies is about to begin. This is fucking Bestial Mockery’s final live performance, and they make sure it’s one to remember. Gasoline and chainsaws and ragged, hoarse howls punctuate the rapacious din, as some of Sweden’s most demonic souls hurl themselves towards oblivion and we hurtle down alongside them. It’s hard to believe that this night marks the end … Read More
Fuck Conan and his hearing the lamentations of your women bullshit, true heavy metal warriors VOMITOR think there’s much more to life – metal, hanging out with friends and downing a few jars. ALASDAIR BULMER couldn’t agree more as he hangs with DEATHDEALER on the eve of their latest Aussie Assault.
Born of the Black Jackal’s womb in 1999 Australian alcoholocausters Vomitor have consistently flouted any inflated notions of trend and musical sensibilities, opting for beer-fuelled chaos and destruction via the “Death Metal or Die!” philosophy. Amassing a sizeable arsenal of splits and demos, they released their third full length ‘The Escalation’ through Invictus Productions last year. What’s more, with Europe anticipating the ‘Satan’s Escalation Vomitour’ in July, and the Yanks getting their due last December with a short Northeast stint, it’s all part of a burst of activity not least related to frontman and mastermind, Rob, aka Deathdealer, and his strategic relocation to Dublin.
A change of scenery, maybe, but a change of heart, never. Even with the most subtle hints of added complexity (‘The Escalation’ utilising two guitars no less) the aural clusterfuck that is Vomitor remains the same. “For me death and black metal should be raw, nasty, horrible, … Read More
From the dark heart of England’s Midlands comes Antinomian, a sinister and mysterious orthodox black metal cult. Born from the sacrificial fires of the now defunct underground band Subvertio Deus, the Antinomian sound is at once reminiscent of Deathspell Omega, Svartidaudi and Malign, while at the same time presenting a uniquely intellectual aesthetic and a complex, compelling experience. Antinomian’s clandestine leader, Malaghod explains the origins of the project: “Shortly after the recording of Subvertio Deus’ ‘Psalms Of Perdition’ I withdrew from the metal scene. Antinomian was brought about from the sense of reinvigoration and illumination I had upon returning to it with a new perspective; I had looked into the eyes of death, humbled and reverent.” Debut album ‘Nihilum Infandum’ (on N.C.U Productions) presents four tracks of maddening and terrifying black metal. Describing the concept as Apophatic death worship, Malaghod again elucidates, “Antinomian is an exploration of the holy and terrible metaphysical nothingness, the divine absence of being.” A cut above the usual level of cult black metal releases, ‘Nihilum Infandum’ is a masterful example of black metal done right.
He was one of the first to come out in support of Iron Fist, sending us constant emails of support (and scoldings when he disagreed with our Attic review), so it was a pleasure to interview the ultimate metal fan FENRIZ. Just so happens he had an album out, too…
Phone interviews can be a bitch for a number of reasons; let me give you a nice little example. So it’s almost 3pm on a dreary weekday afternoon, and I’m swearing like a lovesick sailor at my obstinately blank Skype screen. I’m meant to be calling Fenriz “Rock ‘N’ Roll Gas Station” Nagell for an interview in roughly ten minutes, and nothing’s working. A flurry of frantic emails to him and my long-suffering editor later, I realize – fuck, it’s Wednesday. Our interview’s scheduled for Thursday. I’m what someone on this side of the pond might charitably refer to as “a knobhead”. Fast-forward 24 hours and a few effusive apologies, and I’ve finally got the phone to ring.
“Hey, Fenriz? This is Kim Kelly from Iron Fist.”
“So, Sebastian Bach is quite a character, hey?” an excited, lightly accented Scandinavian voice squawks back at me. Without so much as a “hello”, black metal’s … Read More
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