If you’ve been paying any attention to the bludgeoning South American underground there is a fair chance you’ll be able to name one or two Chilean black or death metal bands such as Pentagram, Death Yell, Force Of Darkness or Unaussprechlichen Kulten. But heavy metal warriors? Okay, we’re stumped. “It’s true that the genre has always been under-represented over here,” agrees Metal Grave‘s bass player Christopher Falk. “In the ’80s there was only Tumulto, Feedback, Panzer or Vastator to speak of. Then later on Inquisicion, but that’s about it. But, even though there are few of us, each one is unique and very dedicated!”
Formed in 2010 by the two guitar players of local thrash heroes Sacrilegio and influenced by “Mercyful Fate, Iron Maiden and Running Wild”, but also more obscure doom outfits, after two demos in 2011 and 2012, they’re about to release their debut full-length ‘The Eternal Flame Of Deception’, a seven tracker that includes a re-recording of their nearly ten minute epic ‘Journey Into The Unknown’. A conceptual album inspired by Dante’s ‘Inferno’, it tells the story of “one crusader knight, led by Richard Lionheart, who dies on the battlefield. However, unlike all his beliefs, he wakes up … Read More
Corsair are a rare treat: a classic hard rock sounding from the US (Charlottesville, Virginia to be precise) who proudly wear their influences on their sleeves – think Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden and a hell of a lot of vintage progressive rock – yet they have never sounded like a tribute-in-disguise, but more like a richer and more interesting act that is just getting started. Since forming in 2008 after guitarists Marie Landragin and Paul Sebring met at a local Black Sabbath tribute show they have released two EPs and one self-titled full-length. The latter has just been reissued worldwide by Shadow Kingdom Records, just in time to coincide with Marie and bassist Jordan Brunk’s bass return from a six months stay in France. “Paul has always been into those instrumentals Metallica had on their earliest albums and Marie loved Thin Lizzy so Corsair spun from both,” suggests Jordan, who joined a bit later. “But after we put a lot of effort into being cohesive, we started to branch out and break apart from each other as well. We love getting our guitars to intertwine while playing totally different parts.”
If their name was suggested by Paul “because of his love … Read More
The Netherlands may be small, but this scenic, friendly country has more or less got the market cornered on soul-sucking doom, mind-bending psychedelia and toke-totin’ stoner rock, thanks to the mighty riff Mecca that is Roadburn. There’s plenty of homegrown evil lurking through the tidy streets of Tilburg, Eindhoven, et al, and Groningen collective Herder are a particularly ugly example. Their latest release, the ‘Horror Vacui’ EP, came out on Reflections Records just before the new year dawned and is a nasty chunk of lumbering, miasmal doom that could’ve just as easily clambered out of a Georgia swamp, and should serve them well when they hit the stage come this year’s edition of Roadburn. The understated Southern influence bleeds through in the riffs’ occasional bluesy swagger; the rest of the time, Herder stick to their guns and hit hard, all tense chords, hardcore barks, feedback whine and near-fatal slugs of sludge.
“We are attracted to hard and extreme music, with a fucked up atmosphere. Although most Herder members come from a different musical background whether that’s black metal, death metal or hardcore, we are all attracted to the darkness and what it has to offer,” bassist Blitzer told us of their … Read More
Kurt Brecht is man whose lungs have earned him his name firmly carved into the walls of crossover thrash history and as 2012 heralded DRI’s milestone 30th birthday, the band, fronted by Brecht toured the globe in celebration. However, as the band have decided against recording any new music the dirty rotten singer has gotten himself embroiled in a side project, Pasadena Napalm Division. Taking their name from their Texan hometown and not the Californian suburb, PND were founded back in 2008 when local Houston death thrashers Dead Horse split and were looking to form a new band. Guitarists Greg Martin, Scott Sevall and drummer Ronnie Guyote set about recruiting bassist Bubba Dennis who’d served time in Texan/SF hardcore punks Verbal Abuse and when they heard Kurt was back in Houston on downtime while DRI guitarist Spike recovered from cancer surgery he was the obvious guy to get on board.
Brecht’s spoke of his choice to join PND saying; “I listened to the songs they had and realised that it wouldn’t be too hard to write some lyrics for them. The guys in the band all seemed really nice too. I’d never jammed with anyone outside of DRI before, except … Read More
Just before December 31, as the world turned from 2012, a year that was meant to see humanity hurtling towards its prophetic end, into the unlucky 13, Black Oath, a band we have been feverishly evangelising, offered a new song to their most devoted disciples, and not only that but announced it featured guest guitars from Sebastian Ramstedt of Nifelheim/Necrophobic fame. We had to find out more…
“We met the Nifelheim freaks two years ago at Metal Magic Festival in Denmark,” the collective voice of the band tell us of this exciting partnership. “Some days after we received a message from Sebastian asking if we were interested to collaborate with him. At first, he was supposed to play an Alice Cooper cover with us at Hell’s Pleasure, but, due to time it wasn’t possible, so we asked him to play some guitar on the new record and the final result is now online.”
Wanting to know as much as possible about this forthcoming record we asked the band for more details, but they were typically cloak and dagger. The band told us that, “yes, that track will be on our next album [‘Ov Qliphoth And Darkness’]. We already played it live twice and … Read More
With the likes of Coffins and Abigail flying the Japanese flag in the underground scene, it was only a matter of time until more promising contemporary acts started to get the attention of the West. Darkcorpse’s black metal angst, fuelled by a DIY passion reminiscent of the punk era may have only started a couple of years ago, but the five-piece already have two demos up their sleeves. After playing in other bands and vocalist Kraahl setting up underground zine, the Japan Metal Guide, the band, now made up of Harbinger and Korvus (guitars), Marax (bass) and drummer Skuld, were able to gig around Yokohoma.
“Playing here has been an amazing experience. The sense of community within the scene is really strong and bands really look out for each other,” explains Skuld. “I suppose the only bad part is how expensive shows are here due to the prevailing pay-to-play system. Actually, this system has a seriously crippling effect on the bands, making it difficult for most bands to scrape together enough money for recording and touring.”
Despite this, Darkcorpse’s independent approach has created two misanthropic records, with a third already in the pipeline. “As a band we tend not to mull over … Read More
It seems fitting that in the same issue that we celebrate the legacy of Voivod that we also delve deep into DECEPTOR, a power trio from London, England. Though not musically similar to the Quebecois maniacs, there is a direct line between Voivod’s dystopian vision and Deceptor’s. Newly signed to Shadow Kingdom and with a new album ‘CHAINS OF DELUSION’ ready to be unleashed onto an unsuspecting world, Sam Mackertich (guitars, vocals – with a scream to beat Halford’s!), James Ashbey (drums) and Paul Fulda (bass, vocals), are injecting new RAM into thrash’s overloaded motherboard.
Having formed in 2005, you pre-empted, supported and have now outlived the mini UK thrash boom. Do you miss the scene’s peak? James: “I miss the sense of community and the great times that were had amongst friends. The scene at large never had a huge amount to say musically, and those bands who were simply rehashing an already cloistered sound have predictably fizzled out, but I still value all the friendships that resulted from those years.”
You must be happy with, might we say excellent, new release ‘Chains Of Delusion’ and the Shadow Kingdom deal? Sam: “The stars really aligned for us, we managed to record the EP … Read More
It’s tough breaking into any scene, but for a fledgling British stoner band, you’ve not just got a rich history of bands that dominate the scene to contend with, you also have to tame those 20 tonne behemoths that they call riffs. Whilst even the most seasoned acts can buckle under the weight, newcomers Throne have taken to it like ducks to water, and they have a very simple method; “We just try to be honest about who we are and write the songs we want to hear,” William Michael admits. Some bands might find it all too easy to ignore those who have come before them, but for Throne it’s about bringing together the new and the old. “It’s like trying to strike a balance between honouring traditions and bringing something new,” the London-based bassist admits. Well, it’s an approach that is working well and 2013 looks set to be a big year as it will see them releasing their as-yet-untitled debut album as well as heading out to Texas for SXSW, “and we’ll have a go at the rest of Europe too, fuck it,” William laughs.
There’s a whole stack of reasons why Throne should be one of your … Read More
Raise hell, get seduced by the dark and shun the light – three things WITCHGRAVE make us want to do in 2013. The young Swedes have just vomited forth their first full-length and it’s not been off the Iron Fist stereo since it landed. Hearing everything from Venom to the blues in there we had to find out more and sent DAVE SHERWOOD to the cabin in the woods to infiltrate the coven.
“Vomit on the fucking priest!” That’s probably the best greeting we’ve had from a band this issue. And it’s no surprise that it comes in email form from Swedish youth gone wild, Witchgrave. Their self-titled full-length arrived in our postboxes like an early “fukk you” from Santa just before Christmas. Fitting since we’ve not exactly been the best-behaved children this year. The album, which contains juvenile blasts of thrashing fury such as ‘Seduced By The Dark’, ‘Raise Hell’ and ‘The Virgin Must Die’, is just the dose of merciless, Venom-ous, old metal brilliance we needed to end the old year, and ring in the new. Witchgrave are inhuman, they’re forged from the molten wax of someone’s complete Neat Records collection which has been burned (and died). A little bit of … Read More
If you described Attic as a traditional heavy metal band from the famous Ruhr area (Kreator, Tankard, Sodom), obsessed with occultism and dripping in late 19th century gothic atmosphere, their guitar player and main composer Katte would be chuffed. Always a stronghold for any kind of back-to-basics subgenre, Germany has lately had an extremely healthy underground scene, where black/thrash (Desaster, Nocturnal, Cruel Force) and heavy metal (Iron Kobra, Alpha Tiger, Serpent) collide. But no matter how hard he tries to defend himself in the wake of their first European tour, opening for The Devil’s Blood, he knows too damn well about that gigantic elephant in the room.
The man knows all about the business of living in someone’s shadow: in 2006, he founded Erazor, which owed more than a large debt to Dissection. Around the same time, he briefly played in Warhammer, Germany’s answer to Hellhammer. Still, it seems impossible now not to have the names Attic and Mercyful Fate in the same sentence and Katte acknowledges it, even if he says that he’s always been more into “obscure heavy metal” the whole time and that he had a secret plan to form an occult band in this vein for a … Read More
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