Last week, Black Country heavy metal minstrels Dark Forest unveiled their fourth album ‘Beyond The Veil’ (Cruz Del Sur). Whipping up stirring paeans to nature, the seasons and the mighty, gallant genre of power metal, these Brits deservedly took their place among the great and the good who are putting the traditional metal values at the heart of their song-craft.
Falling in love with each and every song on the album, we cornered main song-writer, lyricist, guitarist and all-round English eccentric to find out what was on the Walkman on those long meanders through the woods to inspire such an collection of heavy metal anthems. Here is the tape he made for us, if you need us we’ll be in the forest…
Isen Torr – ‘Mighty & Superior’ This is heavy, thundering metal at its best from the genius that is Rich Walker (Solstice). Full of energy and power!
Blind Guardian – ‘The Soulforged’ I always loved the way Blind Guardian infuse elements of medieval and folk melodies into their music, great example here.
Forefather – ‘Miri It Is’ A brilliant take on a Middle English poem written in 1225.
Iron Maiden – ‘Dance Of Death’ Maiden always has to be in there! I chose ‘Dance Of Death’ … Read More
Finnish death metal godfathers Amorphis have recently given us the opportunity of seeing them perform material recorded right back in 1994, looking back to their second album ‘Tales Of A Thousand Lakes’ on its 20th Anniversary. Lead guitarist and founding member Esa Holopainen has been there all along and one has to wonder if they have everything down to an easily workable formula now that they have finalised their 12th studio album ‘Under The Red Cloud’? How do the road dogs even find the time to record, perhaps they write the material on the back of the tour bus between shows? Esa makes it quite clear that this is simply not an option. “I think it’s an impossible idea. It’s such an uninspiring environment when you are on the tour bus. I don’t know how any musician can do that. Usually what happens is, when we have done enough touring, we start little by little to write new music. In the week we are at home and can concentrate on writing. That’s the way of the business though; you have to be on tour if you want to make a living out of it.”
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
There’s a reason that black metal alchemists Sodb are one of the most buzzed-about bands in Ireland. Drawing upon their considerable combined experience (we’re talking members of Altar Of Plagues, Putrefaction, Abaddon Incarnate, Dordaid Dam, Okus, Fuck You Written In Shit…) the three men and one woman of Sodb have created some truly special music on their first release, ‘Don Seantalamh A Chuid Féin’. The atmosphere is chilling, the talent and songcraft undeniable, and songs themselves as hypnotic and emotive as anyone could wish. It’s a startlingly mature release, and doesn’t sound much like a traditional shoddy demo recording. There’s a depth to the songs that only a certain level of care and consideration can create, and it’s a fair assumption that the band’s own deeply-rooted aesthetic is the cause of it. If that name hasn’t tipped you off yet, Sodb is an Irish band in every sense of the word; half of its members even hold university degrees in Irish culture, and all save for bassist Irene Siragusa are Irish born and bred. Vocalist O’Loingsigh, whose own musical background is split between black metal and traditional Irish folk music, is happy to shed a bit of light on the … Read More
English black metal band WINTERFYLLETH have returned with their third album in as many years, but determined to step away from the shadows that have followed them since their formation, CHRIS NAUGHTON tells Louise Brown how British metal is back in black.
“The idea of a ‘threnody’ is that of a deathly ode, poem or lament to those who you have lost and is a way of honouring their memory,” explains Chris Naughton of Northern England black metal collective Winterfylleth. New album ‘Threnody Of Triumph’ is, well, a triumph, continuing their uncompromising attack on Britain’s less than stellar black metal output, frontman and guitarist Chris and his colleagues, Nick Wallwork (bass), Mark Wood (guitars) and Simon Lucas (drums), have been driven to unleash three full-lengths in as many years, all more accomplished and ambitious than the last. Gaining critical acclaim, front cover status and live bookings galore (as well as the odd left-wing bashing, more on that later) Winterfylleth are a beacon of black metal Britannia.
“The album is based around the idea of how our forebears viewed spirituality in terms of how the soul and the body were linked and how the transitions through death worked,” Chris continues, explaining the themes … Read More
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