We love a mixtape here at Iron Fist. The ritual of choosing the track, pressing play and record at the same time, perfectly timing songs to fit on one side of a C-90, doodling your own hand-written cover. Days were endlessly passed doing this in our youth. Bringing back the tradition we ask some of our favourite musicians to make us a tape and let you know, via the magic of YouTube, what they picked for us.
In the first instalment, JB Christoffersson of Iron Willed warriors GRAND MAGUS picks twelve songs that inspired his band’s latest album ‘SWORD SONGS’ in a mixtape called ‘SWEDISH STEEL’.
1. BATHORY – ‘Shores In Flames’ This is the opening song on BATHORY’s masterpiece ‘Hammerheart’ and one of my favourite songs ever. No one combines atmosphere with power like Quorthon did.
2. DISSECTION – ‘Xeper-i-Set’ The Reinkaos album was very controversial when it came out. Personally I think it’s a fantastic album with brilliant playing and songwriting. This is probably the fastest and most aggressive track on that album and it’s ferocious.
3. WOLF – ‘The Bite’ When it comes to proper heavy metal in the modern age, I think that WOLF is one of the best bands … Read More
Better by name and better by nature, the occult clergy known as GHOST are back with their new album ‘MELIORA’, but have they left their underground spirit behind on album number three? The NAMELESS GHOUL doesn’t think so, and tells LOUISE BROWN that their rebellion against religion, society and the constraints of the scene that birthed them inspires them even more than ever
When we put Ghost on our cover of issue #4, two years ago, we already talked about them in terms of being “our band”, but “not for long”. The mysterious entity, who began their mission in 2010 with a 7” on the cult underground doom label, Iron Pegasus were quickly signed to Rise Above for their debut, ‘Opus Eponymous’ and the rest, as the cliché goes, is history. Going from strength to strength the band were hailed as a favourite of members of Metallica and Foo Fighters and signed onto Slayer’s management company. They left the underground in their dust, but not its ethos, not its attitude and certainly not its rebellious heart.
With a third album ‘Meliora’ (latin for “better”, an apt name indeed) out this summer, sounding more avant garde tinged AOR than true doom, we met … Read More
Epic! That’s the word that kept creeping up for those few who knew about Ocean Chief. Sadly, for far too long, there wasn’t that many of ’em, as these Swedes were just too weird, with their repetitive brand of Viking-themed swampy doom, even though they featured former Dawn and Regurgitate drummer, Jocke Pettersson, on bass. To add insult to injury, besides minimal live activity, when their releases weren’t criminally limited nature would get in the way – such as hurricane Katrina, which destroyed most of the re-release copies of their ‘Oden Sessions’ demo back in 2004! But according to guitar player and founding member Björn Andersson, also of Vanhelgd, it’s all in the past now, as testified by the release of a new album (‘Universums Härd’) only a year after the previous one (‘Sten’). “The 2000s were different in the sense that we were a three piece that rehearsed frequently,” he admits. “In the early days, we used to smoke pot and just zone out without much thinking about arrangements or song length. But after the recording of our third full-length in 2009, we really felt something need to happen to keep the spirit alive, hence the addition of a … Read More
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
Even if yours truly’s once reliable mind was largely intoxicated and thus not fully functioning, I was still taken by surprise when, back in 2010 while visiting Stockholm, Nifelheim’s Tyrant revealed that he, David Blömqvist and Fred Estby (from the then recently deceased Dismember) had just formed a “classic sounding hard rock band à la Rainbow” and were already penning some tunes while looking for a singer. Three years later, with sadly Tyrant now out of the picture due to lack of time, but now with an actual name (Dagger, suggested by former Entombed mainman Nicke Andersson, who also designed their logo) and a first EP (‘Mainline Riders’), that unlikely prospect has become reality. And yes, it couldn’t further from the HM-2 empowered brute force of Swedish ancient dödsmetal, as if after two decades of playing ‘Skin Her Alive’ at full speed those boys had needed a break.
“Yeah, it was something like that,” confirms drummer and ringleader Estby. “After Dismember went on hiatus before breaking up for good, I did the Necronaut album with me playing most of the instruments and friends like Tompa from At The Gates or Dread from Tormented doing the vocals, but I think it was … Read More
When Live Evil was launched in 2010 it made the crazy decision to base its booking policy 100 per cent on the acts picked by Fenriz’s then-new Band Of The Week blog. It’s a policy that they’ve stuck to through to the third edition this month – if he keeps unearthing great new bands they’ll keep booking them. But of all the bands that have trod the stage at Live Evil, it’s Swedish thrash pack Antichrist that have played every single edition… it’s become a tradition. On the eve of Live Evil Attack III Dylan Hughes of A Fist In The Face Of God blog along with Brad Smith of Nocturnal Cult blog tracked down the hard-to-reach band for Iron Fist zine…
A few years ago on an email to a certain Mr Gylve Nagell I was warned to check out a new thrash band from Sweden called Antichrist. I never heard of this band and there was nothing about them anywhere online. I was ordering the Bastard Priest demo from Blood Harvest at the time and noticed they had Antichrist’s ‘Crushing Metal Tape’ demo so I added it to my order. Fuck it, a recommendation of anything with a hand-drawn cover should … 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
There’s a particular type of scream in heavy metal that sends shivers down the spine. It’s a key signifier – like a yell from beyond that acts like a clarion call to all heavy metal heathens. If you have the scream all is good in the world. Halford had it – he was the king of the sustained “yeaaaahhhhh”. Dio, Kiske, Adams – hell, even Deceptor who are featured elsewhere in this issue have the scream. It’s up there with the Tom G “OOH”. The “yeah” in ‘Number Of The Beast’ takes some beating, but 27 seconds into brand new single ‘Mesmerised By Fire’ by Swedish leather boys Enforcer and we’re won over. We’re home. There’s something so comforting about that high-pitched cry of determination. Fuck the world. We are heavy metal. We are strong.
There’s always that fear of the new. It’s not a worry that’s left only to the metal tribes, all groups of music fan have it we’re sure, but it’s maybe moreso in heavy metal because it’s a love born of passion and, yes, we’ll admit it, ownership; so when a band you’ve loved since you heard their demo in 2006, and who you’ve made a pact … Read More
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