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
“Through repetition and space, we have a tendency to create anticipation for a climax that never arrives,” says Taurus of the sickening unease that permeates the entirety of their full-length debut, ‘No/Thing’. Cut to two-inch tape by Billy Anderson and self-released in a number of unique physical guises, the psychoactive terror trip of ‘No/Thing’ is, according to the Portland-based duo of Stevie Floyd and Ashley Spungin, a means of “translating a live ritual to a recording rather than a recording to live.”
The band ritualise experimental doom/black/death metal along with Arabic scales, spoken-word samples of inspirational women to Taurus (which includes Gangaji, Delia Derbyshire, Yayoi Kusama, and Lisa Gerrard), and lysergic Krautrock-inspired loops created to pierce your third eye. “The goal is to create music that challenges and stimulates our mind and body in a new way,” says Taurus. “Our inspirations stem from where science and nature meet, traditional music, Kahlil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’, the Kabbalah, the present moment… as well as Death, Immolation, Blut Aus Nord, Tangerine Dream, Dead Can Dance, Goblin, Swans, Leviathan… the list goes on.”
Speaking of Leviathan, Wrest guests on album closer ‘Receed’, a freeform piece written in the studio and heavy on the horror-thump of a … Read More
Municipal Waste may have crowned themselves as the kings of party, with a drunken fan-base stumbling behind them but Tony Foresta, like his other Waste bandmates, shows a different side with Iron Reagan. Despite playing “house shows and dive bars” for the last couple of years, the crossover project consisting of Rob Skotis (Hellbear), Mark Bronzino (Mammoth Grinder, ANS) and Ryan Parrish (ex-Darkest Hour) have just been added to the Relapse roster allowing their politically-fuelled punk to reach the masses. “For me it’s cool because you can’t really go into that territory lyrically with Municipal Waste,” Tony explains when discussing the very obvious political themes. “Nobody wants to hear a band that sings about drinking the entire time try to wax philosophical about women’s rights in Virginia!”
With their debut album ‘Worse Than Dead’ released last year, Iron Reagan are already following it up with a 13 song EP coming soon and although it only lasts an insane seven minutes, there’s an evolution to be heard. “I think with the addition of Mark and Rob to the band it definitely has a darker sound, as well as being heavier. It’s still fast as shit though. Hardcore punk metal, man.”
As well as … Read More
Bestial Devastation (no, we don’t know his real name either) doesn’t like being in the limelight, at all. Luckily, with his prime band Negative Plane he doesn’t have to be, since he’s “just” the drummer. But since he’s responsible for basically everything, from recording to performing all the instruments, on Funereal Presence’s first real full-length and since said album is one of the best damn proper black-metal albums of this spring, we had to ask him about it, even if, to his own admission, he doesn’t like doing interviews, thus rarely does any nor agreed to have any form of promo pictures taken; “I don’t think that any of this adds anything to my music or that I have many interesting things to say that the music doesn’t… I also prefer concise and esoteric album layouts immensely and some boring picture of myself would only interfere with letting one’s imagination run freely.”
Clocking in at 48 minutes yet featuring only four tracks, three of them being over 12 minutes long, ‘The Archer Takes Aim’s force is to (re)capture that Darkthrone dirty guitar tone and vibe circa ‘Total Death’ (even if the artist would rather cite the old German extreme pioneers Poison … Read More
“From the very beginning, Landskap was supposed to be a psychedelic rock band with hard rock, prog and krautrock influences,” says bassist/rhythm guitarist Frederic Caure (Serpentcult, ex-Thee Plague of Gentlemen), talking about the five-piece band he formed after moving from Belgium to London in 2012. “Unfortunately I believe the reason why people are labelling us under the doom tag is probably because we opened our album [titled ‘I’] with our slowest song that has quite a bit of a Sabbath-y feel to it. There are clear connotations with doom, hell, I’ve been playing it for ages, but I believe there’s something essentially different in our songwriting and approach. We focus mainly on the jamming aspect, and we’re mainly influenced by the styles we set out to play.”
What makes Landskap sound so distinctive is that insatiable need to allow each organ-driven song the time and space to develop organically out of free-flowing, late ’60s and early ’70s sepia-soaked jam sessions. This past January, Landskap released ‘I’ through Bandcamp as a “name your price” digital download, but have now decided to ally with the infamous Iron Bonehead for a vinyl release, scheduled for May 16.
“All of us in the band have done … Read More
Before Skelethal, there was Infinite Translation a classic sounding thrash band from the north of France whom guitarist Gui Haunting joined in late 2009, right before the recording of ‘Masked Reality’, their second full-length. “I had seen the band live few times but didn’t know them personally before I joined,” he recalls. “Their bass player Jon and I really hit it off although I’ve always been into a more extreme style of metal, whereas he was first and foremost a thrash fan.” Being a former drummer, Jon used Infinite Translation’s rehearsal place to relearn his way around the instrument and in 2012, the two hatched an evil plan to play death metal, the ancient way. “We love playing in both bands but we went to keep things separate: like Infinite Translation was meant play thrash, Skelethal’s raison de vivre is to perform real death metal. We love the atmosphere and vibe from the early scene and even if I’m not old enough to have had the chance to live that period, I think there was a honesty and a dedication then that sadly got lost at some point. Nowadays, there are way too many bands and everything is just a … Read More
“I was inspired by something that happened to us and made me conclude that everything you do has a consequence. If you do bad things, bad things will come your way. If you can’t take responsibility for your decisions, you become a victim of yourself.” Brazil’s Nervosa believe karma is a bitch and won’t blame anyone but themselves for life’s outcomes. It’s a philosophy that bassist/vocalist Fernanda Lira treasures and has made the dominant theme of debut album, ‘Victim Of Yourself’. Though, when you consider the stigma that unfortunately still follows the phrase ‘all-female band’ and their hailing from a country whose geography and infrastructure isolates them from the epicentres of metal business, Nervosa know they’ll have to work twice as hard to expose half as many people to their fiery thrash. Good thing they’re not afraid of a little elbow grease.
Both Lira and guitarist Prika Amaral (drummer Pitchu Ferraz completes the line-up) tell familiar tales of making developmental leaps from Maiden and Sabbath to Metallica and Slayer before becoming obsessed with “old-school American and German thrash.” They played in various São Paulo bands before stumbling upon on each other and the idea of getting rid of the figurative, and literal, … Read More
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
“Everything’s good, everything’s fine” so sang Ian Gillan in 1971. And everything’s still good if North Carolinian, dark riffing, blue collar, horror novel rockers Demon Eye are anything to go by. Taking their name from that Deep Purple song, Paul Walz (bass), Bill Eagen (drums), Larry Burlison (guitars) and Erik Sugg (guitars, vocals) play laid-back, bluesy hard rock with more than a nod to their forebears, putting them alongside Orchid and Danava in today’s contemporary scene.
“I was playing with a high energy, MC5 inspired band called the Dragstrip Syndicate. After that I played with some similar styled bands, always tending to borrow from ‘60s Detroit rock or heavy psych groups like Blue Cheer,” explains Erik of how Demon Eye came to be. “When I first met Larry and Bill they were playing with Richard Bacchus from the old New York City rock band, D-generation. Demon Eye was born after the four of us got together to play in a ‘70s rock cover band called Corvette Summer. After about a year of playing tunes by groups like Budgie, UFO and Humble Pie we started writing our own music.
“There are many things that attract me to this music,” he continues of why … Read More
“Don’t be worried, new material is on the way.” Phew! That’s in response to our constant harassing of Jack MacMichael, lead guitarist with Lancaster bombers, Eliminator, who have only put out one single and a split since their EP ‘We Rule The Night’ in 2011. The five-piece are set to rule the night once again, as they’ve been hand-picked by Brofest to represent the UK’s new tribe of traditional heavy metal heathens. “We’re currently putting the finishing touches to an album’s worth of new songs, which we’re currently rehearsing with a view to record as soon as possible! We’ve been taking a lot of time with this, as we had a line up change early in 2013. It’s been tricky finding the time to get the new material penned, we also don’t want to release a load of crap just for the sake of getting a release out quickly. We require your patience, the end result will be worth it. You’ll hear a few of these new numbers at Brofest.
“We’re happy to be playing Brofest,” Jack continues of the golden ticket he was handed by Stu Bartlett and the Bro boys. “A couple of us attended last year’s edition and … Read More
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