Sunday, February 27, 2011
With Shine Derek Spear has set out to make an entire metal album based around the concept of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (and Stephen King's book under the same title). Unlike Spear's previous work with 237 this album takes a slightly slower approach. Filled with tight playing and an abundant amount of grooves Shine is quite the listening experience.
Musically comparing this to something like Fear Factory wouldn't be too far off. The guitar playing focuses on a groove throughout the majority of the playtime. Most of the tracks on Shine come close to or exceed five minutes. The enchanting grooves keep the listening experience fresh and prevent this forty plus minute album from becoming stagnant. Though there isn't much variation in the playing it fits the style Derek is trying to create quite well. The opening track has some excellent qualities. Aside from being the biggest standout track on the album it also employs some odd effects laced with slow riffing that gives off a very eerie vibe.
The vocal performance used on Shine is fairly clean. The style used here is very reminiscent of the latest Kosmokrater release, a sort of menacing snarl. On occasion some actual straight up, clean vocals will be used and it comes out sounding very similar to Ozzy Osbourne. The cleans fit the style quite well and it would be interesting to see this approach used more often on Shine. Catchy choruses aren't hard to find on Shine. The chorus to "The Bad Thing" will echo in your head for hours after listening. The drums on the record are programmed but unlike many bands that use a machine it actually doesn't come out sounding too bad.
Overall Shine not only features a very interesting concept for an album it also features a sound you don't hear that often. Tracks like "Shine" have a very epic atmosphere while songs like "Darkness Falls" are just simple metal songs that are driven by a constant groove. This album isn't by any means groundbreaking but it does what it sets out to do and does it in an entertaining manner. Fans of heavy metal should definitely give this a listen, while it doesn't feature the speed that was used in Derek's past project 237 it makes up for it with great, memorable songs. Shine on, shine on.
Friday, February 25, 2011
"IT'S DATE NIGHT!"
It isn't all too surprising to see a film like I Spit On Your Grave being remade considering the recent success with the Last House On the Left remake. Many are outraged about these horror classics being remade and in a day and age when it seems it is just being done for a quick cash grab it would be hard to say these people are mad without good reason. What's next? Last House On Dead End Street? Last House On the Beach? Forced Entry (okay, maybe that is a bit too far)? With all that being said, why fight it? Companies will continue to do this until they turn blue in the face and there really isn't much the audience can do. So why not sit back and watch the remake of one of your favorite all school flicks? The worst thing that could occur is you having a laugh at the mediocrity or how the new crew "missed the point" of the original film. Now with that out of the way it is onward to the story.
Jennifer Hills is a writer from the city that has traveled out in the middle of nowhere to a cabin in order to direct her focus towards her writing. When she gets her key from the nice old man who owns the place she is given a paper with some less than satisfactory directions. She goes about her way and ends up stopping at a gas station in the sticks to get directions, when stopping she is greeted by a group of hoodlums. The ringleaders proceeds to hit on Jennifer trying to impress his friends but much to his dismay, ends up soaked and embarrassed. With the knowledge of where the beautiful Jennifer Hill is staying it is clear that he is going to get his revenge. The group of friends are accompanied by a mentally challenged man by the name of Matthew, who the next day fixes Jennifer's pipes, she kisses him in excitement and he runs out nervously before getting payed. After these events the group goes up to the cabin to collect Matthew's cash, or so it seems until things take a brutal turn that will effect her forever.
There are a few big differences between this film and the original. Unlike the original the law enforcement gets involved with the situation which adds a great deal of depth to the plot. Some may take this aspect as a good thing while many others will consider it bad. This remake isn't quite as brutal in the rape scene but the revenge sequence takes a step up in violence. Many seem to be making this out to be the most brutal rape scene ever brought to film but that is in no way the case, not much is shown and films like Irreversible and even Gutterballs make this pale in comparison. The kills are fairly unique and painful to watch. Those who oppose eye violence, dick violence, and sodomy with firearms should journey elsewhere in their movie watching. Sarah Butler does an excellent job playing the part of a woman who has been broken and battered to the breaking point. While she is a beauty it is clear by the time that the credits roll that she can do some major damage.
Overall those who are fans of the original should enjoy this as well. If you're going to be disgusted to the point of complaining (yeah to all of you "this is vile and disgusting, what is the world coming to?!?" viewers) then simply DON'T WATCH THE FILM!!! It isn't like the director of the film created the concept of rape. This is a good film to watch for those who like to challenge themselves with what they can handle, you won't be calling this the most disturbing film you've seen when all is said and done but it certainly isn't something you'd gladly show your kids. Check out the I Spit On Your Grave remake, it shows a slightly different variation of the simple idea that was brought forth in the original and it will not disappoint long time fans of the genre.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Cross Pain is a two piece epic thrash band from the United States. The members are sixteen years old but should not be written off for their age. This is the band's first release which consist of just under twenty minutes of thrashy instrumentals. With a real drummer thrown into the mix this could be something to look out for.
We'll begin with the negative things about this EP. The drum programming gets to be a bit grating on the listener. This wouldn't be so bad if the mixing didn't have the drums so loud in the mix. The guitar playing on the album is great but on more occasions than one it is overpowered by the drum machine. The machine isn't programmed horribly but when it is this high in volume it does get a bit tedious.
As mentioned previously the fretwork is Cross Pain's main reason to terrorize your earholes. They are armed with catchy grooves and lots of soloing. Some of the riffs tend to be a bit underwhelming due to the loud drum programming but the song structures are good enough to get the general idea across. The epic intro for "Rain Ghost" is one of the highlights of this EP as well as the breakneck riffing displayed on "Revival (The Beginning). It is clear when listening that these guys have chops and have the writing ability to show them off.
Overall throughout the playtime of this EP Cross Pain shows some potential and with a little tweaking in the mixing department this could be an excellent release. Another thing that could have helped the end product is a vocalist. In the end this EP isn't anything amazing but it definitely isn't something to ignore. The things that are done right on this release are done quite well. This isn't something I can recommend to everyone but if you are a fan of thrash or instrumental music or just things with a progressive edge in general I'd say give it a shot, don't expect to be blown away but there is some quality to be found here.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Psycho is a nasty extreme metal band from Singapore. The band blends a vile mix of death, thrash, and black metal with a punk attitude. Imagine if Toxic Holocaust, Horrific, and Hellhammer had a Circle Jerk and the aftermath was artificial inseminated into a female zombie, Psycho would be the little zombie child that would eat it's way out after nine months. Prepare yourself for some horror themed metal with a distinct that will make you fear for your life the second it hits.
Pain Addict Pigs is over thirty minutes of mosh worthy metal that will possess you to rip the spine out of the person nearest you and play air guitar with it. The aggressive bass will leave you with bruises after one mere listen but you can't help but come back for more. Psycho just maims, kills, and cremates the listener and gets rid of all the evidence by evaporating the ashes so they can continue their murderous ways. The sinister grooves that Psycho churns out are not only memorable, but backbreaking to boot. When the Bryan John isn't crushing you he is either shredding your face off or playing an amazing bluesy solo. The morbid sounds pour out of the amp until blood shoots out of the listens ears like a geyser.
As mentioned previously the bass plays a big part in the overall sound of Pain Addict Pigs. It's up high in the mix and adds some thickness to the aural assault that Psycho is dishing out. JY is able to get some time in the spotlight and show off his talent in tracks like "Mater Lachrymarum…Mother Of Tears". Great to hear some more audible bass in a band with a sound leaning toward the sick and extreme. The vocals on Pain Addict Pigs are insane. Imagine screams from the deepest pits of the underworld backed by the vicious barks of a hellhound and you should have a pretty good idea out of what to expect from this. The vocal style fits the music perfectly and doesn't just stick to the cookie cutter death growl that is used so often.
Overall this album is the perfect balance between old school metal and a more modern sound. The band plays mad professor and amputates elements from multiple genres and stitches it all together creating a brand new musical beast. Death has never been so damn fun. Highly recommended for all the metalheads with a craving of gore and for those looking for something different within the piles of uninspired metal albums that come out these days.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Buried is a film that explores the idea of waking up in a coffin. The film brings claustrophobic horror to a new level and manages to keep you entertained even with it all taking place in one setting, a box. Imagine waking up only to hit your head when you try to sit up, you roll to one side only to be stopped by a wall. Submerged in darkness you reach around to try to find anything to create some sort of light. After shining light on the situation you discover you are in a box and naturally have a panic attack of sorts. This is the situation Paul Conroy finds himself in and with his wife and child back at home he'd do anything to get out. After waking from his slumber he begins to recall the events that had happened before awaking. Paul is a truck driver for a company based in the United States working in Iraq. There was an explosion that had taken out some of the men in his convoy and shortly after men wielding guns came out and killed most of the others, but for some reason Paul lived and was submerged in the sand to endure the psychological torture that we sure ensue.
Soon Paul comes to relise that in the box with him is a cellphone along with a few other things. Right when the film seems to be losing your attention the phone comes in to save the day and make the situation even more intense than it was initially. He speaks with his captors and they want a hefty five million dollars before they will release him. Paul contacts everyone he can think of, the police, FBI, his family, and even the company he works for but all of them turn out to be very little help. Soon he receives a call from someone who directs him towards a man that specializes in these sort of situations. The man gives Paul the hope he needs to continue on in his current state but he still has his doubts about whether he will get out or not and it seems everyone he speaks to is trying to keep his mouth shut in order to save their own reputation.
There are many gut-wrenching and stomach churning moments spread throughout this suspense filled movie. A highlight would be when Paul decides to contact his mother at the nursing home. It's hard to watch as Conroy fights to stop himself from having a mental meltdown while talking to his mother who has fallen victim to alzheimer's. He tries to explain how the phonecall would be his last time speaking to her but she can't comprehend anything he is saying. It is exhausting watching the struggle one man has to find his way out and to receive the help he needs. Every moment of this film is intense and keeps the watcher on the edge of their seat.
Ryan Reynolds gives an outstanding performance in Buried. He makes the movie extremely believable and real while watching. This really shows he has the skill to take more of these dramatic roles because he single handedly makes this film work. There are scenes of pain, despair, and regret as we slowly see Ryan Reynold's character fall into an endless stream of hopelessness. In the end all all the audience wants to see is Paul getting home safely with his family.
Buried is a tour de force of psychological terror. It is a horrifying descent into depression and really makes the viewer think "what would I do?" in the situation Paul finds himself in. It isn't often that a movie with one character, in one setting works or is even attempted but Ryan Reynolds pulls it off. This film is highly recommended to everyone who enjoys things that are good, plain and simple. Everyone should see Buried at least once, it is an experience that is definitely worth having.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Haiduk is a one man band that hails from Canada. This is Luka's debut release but when listening it seems like he has been at it for a great amount of time. It isn't often you find a band that has already crafted it's own sound by their first release. It is obvious much time and effort was put into this demo because it simply looks, and plays like a full-length album. This album breathes new life into what was beginning to seem like a stagnant genre. Haiduk plays melodic death metal that employs atmosphere as the driving force behind the music.
The fretwork is without a doubt the highlight of this album. The playing is delivered with a vast amount of precision and creates a very tight, professional sound for the album. The majority of the riffs played in the entire playtime of the record are ridiculously catchy, and along with that every element of Plagueswept is composed in an excellent manner. The hypnotic melody of "Dark Forest Path" is a solid example of what can only be described as amazing songwriting. The tone has a nice bite to it and utilizes just the right amount of distortion for the style.
Luka manages to incorporate large amounts of melody without sacrificing the raw atmosphere that makes Plagueswept such a special album. The vocals mesh well with the epic instrumental work. The vocal approach is a standard death growl but they are delivered with a certain exhaustion that adds an interesting flavor to the already attention grabbing sound. If the vocal style was to be any different than it is here it would most likely change the album for the worse, the technique used on Plagueswept is just so fitting that imagining it any other way wouldn't be nearly as satisfying.
The album clocks in at just under thirty minutes but when listening it feels like it ends so quickly, but hey, time flies by when you are playing good music. From the first note played on Plagueswept all the way down to the final note atmosphere is served up in abundant amounts. With all that being said there is one thing here that does drag the album down a bit. It's been said many times about a countless number of bands but, Haiduk would be better off with a real drummer rather than a machine. The drum machine is used in a respectable manner on Plagueswept but with a flesh and blood human working the kit the album would gain some depth.
Overall with Plagueswept Haiduk has created an album that has an enormous amount of replay value. With the addition of a new drummer it wouldn't be a surprise to see Haiduk gain some serious popularity within the metal community, it is evident on Plagueswept that he definitely has the chops to take this project further. Being a skilled player is only half the battle, writing ability is the other half, fortunately Luka has tremendous skill in both fields. Highly recommended to all metal fans.
Check it out:
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Blut Aus Nord is a black metal band from France. The band formed in 1994 and have since dominated the black metal scene with their brand of atmospheric annihilation. While this release may not be as good as their classic debut it is still black metal that should be held in the highest regard for it's vicious, cold atmosphere that would have most other metal musicians green with envy. This rerelease features three new epic pieces that clock in at just under thirty minutes.
The vocal performance on The Mystical Beast Of Rebellion is gut wrenching to say the least. Vindsval delivers a performance riddled with pain and struggle. The shrieks seem to be very distant and faded creating the effect of someone stranded in the woods calling out for help only to be abandoned and forgotten. The style brought forth is extremely fitting to the wicked conglomeration of sounds that is known as Blut Aus Nord.
The guitar tone used here is very raw and distorted but fits the tone of the album itself quite well. Tremolo picking is used a fair amount and manages to go by without becoming tedious. The Mystical Beast Of Rebellion proves to be an trance inducing album in some sections in the same manner as some of Electric Wizard's material (Dopethrone). The song structures are repetitive yet effective which adds even more depth to the already mindnumbing vibe the album puts out. The twilight zone esque closer for "The Fall Chapter III" adds a great flare to the track. The drumming featured here is very standard. It stays at a nearly constant pace throughout and rarely throws the listener for a loop (if ever). The shear atmosphere that is abundant in the album is more than enough to make up for this shortcoming. Sure, nothing in the performance could be deemed bad necessarily but a little variety wouldn't have hurt the album in anyway.
Overall Blut Aus Nord deliver what most fans have to come to expect, and that is in fact, extremely high quality black metal. This album is the musical equivalent of holding the reaper's hand as he guides you to the afterlife, this is the eye of a tornado. The album manages to have so many chaotic elements but be relaxing all in the same stride. If The Mystical Beast Of Rebellion wasn't enough the three new tracks featured are worth checking this out on their own. Highly recommended to fans of black metal and all things that reek of atmosphere.
Ten years later Kai has left his murderous past behind (though he is still a scumbag) and taken a job as a chef. He is underpayed and blackmailed by his boss who is aware of his unpleasant past. Meanwhile all the anger that he has built up over the past decade is coming to a head. It doesn't seem like it will be long before San decides to rekindle his past behavior.
Having stared death in the face Kai feels he is invincible and begins his rampage. As the body count grows higher so does the rate of food being consumed at his restaurant. Using his new found power he gets back at those who have held his past over his head and serves them up to all the hungry customers that happen to stop by.
Anthony Wong gives one of his best performances of all time in this classic tale of depravity. He plays a very convincing psycho who gets a morbid sense of fulfillment by killing people. This marks one of the many films that Herman Yau and Anthony Wong team up on. While the story is very similar to The Untold Story, it manages to cram just a bit more insanity in between the opening and closing credits. Even though the film doesn't spill much blood there is plenty of sickness to be had, gorehounds and gross out fans are sure to enjoy the nasty acts that are projected on the screen.
Fabricant is a two piece death metal band from California. The band originally started as a school project but slowly turned into something a little more serious. Though something that started as a school project may not seem like the most metal thing in the world it is evident when listening to this demo that this duo has a love for the genre. Prepare for a mouthwatering display of some extremely sinister death metal.
The demo opens with a creepy intro that features quotes from Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Terence Mckenna, and William James. All the quotes focus on the restrictions of reality and consciousness. The lyrics seem to be heavily inspired by the five quotes featured in "Prelude to Aberration" in the fact that they are often about pushing the boundaries of one's existence to a point beyond what is considered normal and the freedom that is gained with the disposal of sanity. The lyrics are very well written and take a step away from what one normally hears from a death metal album (though violent images are still described, the focus isn't completely on gore).
Both Dawson and Roberts contribute vocals throughout the demo. Here we have a healthy dose of deep growls blended with some demonic shrieks. The vocals are often layered. In many cases the growls are very reminiscent of early Deicide. The guitarwork has plenty going for it, when grooves come in the headbanging begins. When listening it is obvious the band knows how to write a great track and keep the structures as fresh as possible. The track "Staring At the Imprisoned" is probably the best song to represents the band's overall sound. The slower moments are ridiculously infectious, and when the band turns things up a notch a neckbrace is highly recommended. The solos on the album aren't insanely technical or impressive but they fit the style and that's what honestly matters when all is said and done.
The drumming is excellent throughout this release. "Sojourn" has some very interesting drumming making it one of the biggest standouts on the release. There is more than enough variation in the playing for the release's short runtime. Dawson gives an energetic performance that works as the backbone of this release. Since this release the band has gained a new member but Dawson is still behind the kit and based on the playing here that was a good decision.
Overall this demo is a very superb first effort. With this release Fabricant has most certainly set the bar high by leaving a lasting impression on the listener. This is not just some sloppily made "hey let's make some cash!" demo this is a well crafted demo with three high quality tracks. The sound quality is the best I've heard from a demo since Aortic Regurgitation's debut. With this debut Fabricant has managed to turn a school project into some killer death metal infested with memorable riffs. The demo clocks in at a little under fifteen minutes and has an endless amount of replay value. It definitely leaves the listener wanting more and if the potential that is shown here is any indication we will be getting more, and it will slay.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Frontman of Ana Kefr Rhiis D. Lopez took the time out to tell us a little about the meaning of The Burial Tree, the history of the band, and the "two time" rule.
Foul Feast: Can you tell us a little about how Ana Kefr formed?
(I'm going to answer this question in second person perspective narrative just for kicks.)
Rhiis: So you're eking out a quaint little existence in Cairo; you tried making a living as an English teacher, even got certified, did some of that shoddy freelance writing for a stint. You never really found "it," whatever "it" was supposed to be. A friend of a friend of a friend introduces you to the right guy, a couple months later you're a casting director for movies, life smells real good. Fava bean breakfast, felafel lunch and a pasta dinner. Tea, coffee, hookah, bad breath for less than a dollar. Your mother's on the phone complaining about health problems, next thing you know you're back in California for what you are calling a "visit." The visit introduces you to Kyle, he's already got a music thing going but you try out on vocals anyway, you know, just for the hell of it. Bang-boom-pow, you're writing music now, line-up changes, living arrangements, sleep on a couch for a year. Two years piss by and your couple-month visit becomes a joke. Clarinets and saxophones, album number two on the way...life has a funny way of working out, you think.
FF: What can fans expect from the new album?
Rhiis: Anyone hoping we'd go softer is going to be disappointed. It's a lot harder than "Volume 1," with less structure and wilder musicality. Some of these songs have 20-23 different riffs in them, we're not talking about radio rock here. At the same time, it has the Kefr feel to it - it's intense but has the melody and emotion behind it. There is still a variety in the sound, but the hard got harder and the soft got more epic and complex. They should expect something different, one thing we aim for is to never repeat an idea, and this album is a big step forward from our first album. Every album should be the next step forward.
FF: Are there any plans of a tour in support of the upcoming album?
Rhiis: Yes. Since we are an independent band, it isn't financially easy to just throw together a massive tour. We do plan on putting together a few different things, something focusing on the westcoast and something else eastward bound, as well as our normal circuit throughout southern California. We're going to get out there and hit the road, but it will probably be spaced out a bit to make it financially practical.
FF: When it comes to tours you take part in are you normally the odd man out?
Rhiis: We've never actually been a part of a tour! We've played a fair amount in southern California and once in Las Vegas, but this album will have us getting out there finally. It needs to be done, whatever the cost. As far as shows we've played, we are always the odd man out, no matter what the line-up. I think we all see this as a good thing, though. Love or hate us, you'll probably remember us when the show is over.
FF: What inspired the album title The Burial Tree?
Rhiis: Mythology and religion. As the concepts for the album came together, I began polishing some ideas and weeding out others, coming closer to finding what the album needed to be centered around. I don't want to get too into it because a) it will take forever, b) it will take all the fun out of people finding things for themselves and taking their own meaning from it all, but the album generally centers around the idea of a path to enlightenment. As the second track, Emago, says, "For if from ignorance hails bliss then with enlightenment comes the abyss and hopelessness." One idea embedded in the album is that enlightenment/the search for truth can actually be a very dark and painful thing, however necessary it may be. Truth isn't always pleasant, but it's always truth and therefore valuable.
FF: Would you say The Burial Tree is a concept album?
Rhiis: I'd say it is both a concept album and a collection of individual songs tied together by underlying themes. There is an obvious thread going through it all, but the songs aren't all talking about the same thing over and over. There are a lot of hidden connections and meaning in both the lyrics and the music notation, some of them might jump out at the listener over time, others won't be found unless you dig really deep and thoroughly into it all.
FF: Are you satisfied with how the album came out?
Rhiis: Extremely, we put a lot of time into it. We spent about 3 months recording it, spacing the recording days out by going in on weekends and Wednesdays, and this gave us the opportunity to have time to sit on the rough mixes and really analyze it. It got to a point where we were overanalyzing and driving ourselves insane, but in the end it was worth it. The production quality is strikingly clear and sounds very big, we are all pretty happy with it.
FF: The band's sound is very progressive, is this something you were shooting for or did it just come naturally as you began writing?
Rhiis: We never sat down and agreed to write progressive music, it really just happened by chance. Starting with the writing core, Kyle and I both listen to a lot of different kinds of music and don't limit ourselves at all when we write. Everyone in the band listens to a weird mix, enjoys playing different styles and has been in other bands of different genres before, so we all bring a lot of different angles to the drawing board. There aren't any rules other than keeping away from repeating an idea, and that alone has probably had a lot to do with our songs all simultaneously sounding like the same band but still sounding very different from one another.
FF: Your music challenges the listener, do you find this to be important with how dumbed down a lot of modern music is?
Rhiis: Yes, it's very important, I feel pretty appalled by what's popular these days. There are some good new bands, but so much sound-alike crap gets churned out, it makes it difficult to sift through it all and find something actually worth listening to. We never made any conscious decision to make music that is unpredictable or whatever you want to call it, it kind of just happens because we get bored playing a riff four times and then following it with a chorus. We are fond of things happening two times, though, and only rarely does something happen four times. If you listen, you'll hear a lot of twos in The Burial Tree. I guess that's another general rule, along with not repeating an idea - don't repeat a riff unless you absolutely have to. Repetition is repetitively repetitive.
FF: Ana Kefr translates to "I Am Infidel" can you explain a little behind the meaning of the name?
Rhiis: One of the first songs I wrote the lyrics to was called "Takeover," from our first album, "Volume 1." We hadn't chosen a band name yet, but the music and lyrics to this song were in place. A friend of ours, John Treadwell, pointed out a part in the song where "ana kefr" is chanted, and said that would be a great band name. We whole-heartedly agreed and the rest is history. The name being Arabic is obviously inspired by my time spent in the Middle East, I traveled Jordan while living in Egypt, as well as spending some time in Palestine/Israel, and my experiences really changed everything for me. We're obviously not hardcore Jesus-humpers, I feel that picking that name for the band totally marked the path we'd walk. I couldn't be happier that this is the path.
FF: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Rhiis: Thanks for the great questions! It's been fun.
Cernunnos lets out the shrieks of a thousand tortured souls during Denuntiatus Cinis. Along with the shrieks of the damned he also incorporates some booming clean vocals filled with despair. Denuntiatus Cinis clocks in at nearly seventy minutes. Given the length a fair amount of diversity must be employed to hold the attention of the listener. The musical madness that is brought forth on this release has no trouble in doing so.
The album has two different styles intertwining throughout the playtime. There are plenty of tracks that feature pure black metal mastery but laced in between are instrumentals of cleanly displayed gloom and lost hope. The instrumentals set the tone for Denuntiatus Cinis in a big way and manage to tell a story with the sounds that linger out of the speakers. In many ways this album could've have been two separate releases, one for the black metal and one for the instrumental pieces and they would have both been able to hold up on their own. When the two are blending together the atmosphere is overwhelming making it one of the best releases to come to mind in quite some time.
Cernunnos creates some of the most horrifyingly filthy black metal tracks when given the chance. While the instrumentals are a bit of a step in a different direction the heavy tracks are just as grim as one would expect from the greats of the genre. In saying that there are still some wicked twists and turns spread throughout this sinister showing of all that is evil. If you find one person whose jaw doesn't drop in surprise when the folk tune "Bemoan the Fallen" hits then you must have someone with their jaw wired shut.
Overall Cernunnos has crafted one of the best metal albums in a fairly long time. Throughout the playtime of these dark and chaotic ride many epic moments are created but they quickly die a brutal death. All the bright, happy thoughts that filled the listeners head are torn to shreds and used to keep the fire that powers Haeresiarchs Of Dis's unforgettable musical torture going. Listening to this one would assume the creator lives in a cave somewhere, the last thought would be that it came from the golden state. Highly recommended to those looking for something to feed their morbid desires.
Puteraeon is an old school death metal band from Sweden. The band formed in 2008 and have since released three well received demos and most recently their debut full-length. Armed with that filthy old school sound and riffs that demolish anything that dares step in their way Puteraeon manages to create a fun but crushing flashback to the death metal scene of the early 90's. This release is sure to have the legions of death metal fans banging their heads in a violent rage and when played in the graveyard will, in fact make the dead walk the earth.
The Esoteric Order features a guitar tone that packs a punch not much unlike Tyson back in his prime. The band writes some very memorable riffs throughout the album and when blended with the punishing guitar tone the end result is nothing short of deadly. Looking at the long list of previous bands the members of Puteraeon have taken part in it isn't at all surprising that the band pumped out a debut of such quality.
The lyrical themes are mainly based on HP Lovecraft's tales of terror. No lyrical themes could fit the dense, and horrific atmosphere the band sculpts on The Esoteric Order more perfectly. Even with all the positive things that can be said about this album there is one fairly off-putting aspect to this album and that is the playtime. The album clocks in at just over fifty minutes and unfortunately, in this bands case that is just a tad too long, the dragging isn't enough to bring the album down an awful lot but it does take it's toll after multiple listens. Luckily for Puteraeon this is really the only complaint that one can come up with and when all is said and done The Esoteric Order is still a killer album that will be in heavy rotation from metalheads worldwide.
Overall with The Esoteric Order Puteraeon has created a great slab of old school death metal. This is far from being groundbreaking but it is also far from being average. In the end the album comes out to be an excellent release that was made by people who clearly have a love for the genre. While there is nothing done here that hasn't been done many times before the fact in the matter is that Puteraeon has manage to do it well. Recommended for fans of the genre, in terms of more modern bands if you enjoyed the likes of Ribspreader and Revolting you'll most likely enjoy this.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Withering Soul is a melodic black metal band from Illinois. No Closure is their second full-length, the album is filled with gothic influenced black metal with some death metal influence thrown in for good measure. When blending these elements the band creates a sound that will turn the listener's earwax black as night. Sit back and prepare yourself for some quality melodic black metal.
One thing that separates No Closure from many other melodic black metal albums is the intensity of some of the tracks. Songs like "Sadistic Redress" blaze through full force with a great amount of ferocity while tracks like "Unquiet" feature beautiful female vocals over dreary, lingering guitarwork. The band borrows elements from a few other subgenres and mold a sound of their own. There is plenty of gothic influence as well as hints of other things spread throughout the album, giving it a fairly diverse sound that many bands in this category tend to lack.
The vocals consist of a few different styles. Shrieks dominate the majority of the release but there are also a rather large amount of low growls sprinkled in the mix as well as some clean vocals. Female vocals fit the style of Withering Soul quite well and this is displayed flawlessly on the track "Unquiet".The songwriting featured here is great. The guitar playing maintains enough variety to hold the listeners attention. Many memorable moments are created and this may be due to the haunting atmosphere that seeps into many of the tracks on No Closure.
Overall No Closure is an excellent display of how melodic black metal should be done. The only modern melodic black metal band that comes near what Withering Soul have with this release is Fairytale Abuse. This is highly recommended to those who enjoy black metal, sure the melodic tag may have many shaking this album off but in many ways Withering Soul has captured a sound that will appeal to many people who may have previously loathed the genre. Even though the album runs a solid forty minutes it leaves the listener wanting more. Check it out.
I had the chance to get the low down on the upcoming Volturyon album Coordinated Mutilation by none other than the band's bassist Stefen Eriksson!
FF: How did Volturyon come to be?
Stefen: Johan and Crille started what would become Volturyon in 2005. In the beginning the ambition was to simply make as brutal and good death metal as they could. The first year consisted mainly of trying out potential band members, for example they had Tim Scott (Ex, Remenant, Hateplow) trying out for the bass, some more came and went. After some time Andreas & Stefan joined and after a vocalist change in 2007 Olle completed the line-up.
FF: What can fans of your debut expect from Coordinated Mutilation?
Stefen: Pretty much what they heard on that, this time the material is written in a shorter time and so the material is more consistent. We tried to keep the core from "Blood Cure" and develop the best part from that. When we first heard the final result after getting the master tape we almost said in unison "Faster, harder, louder", which describes the development between the debut and "Coordinated Mutilation.
FF: The new album will be released by United Guttural Records. What made you decide to make the move from Obscure Domain Productions to United Guttural?
Stefen: We simply had a one album deal with Obscure, and they did a great work for us on "Blood Cure". We contacted United Guttural on myspace, don't remember the exact details. I remember I checked out their homepage and saw that they had some releases of bands we had something to do with. That and then they have been very straight forward with us and we can have a contact with them and expect replies almost on the same day. So when you have people that you feel don't bullshit you and does good work for you, the choice wasn't that hard. The fact that they based in the US is on the plus side of course since we have received many positive comments for our music from that part of the world and the potential market there is huge.
FF: Are there any plans for a tour in support of the new album?
Stefen: We didn't get so much time to prepare for this spring, and it's hard to get to organise any tour that would be possible to do without having a headline band such as Kataklysm or something of that dignity, and that leads to getting to pass through the needle eye of booking agencies. So for such reasons we have only a few things planned mainly in Sweden and a road trip booked for Ireland in May. We had to turn down a offer of a European tour, we simply didn't have the money for it at the moment. But we have more plans for the autumn, we looking at going to Portugal, have been asked to come to do 4-5 shows in the UK, as well as we hope that we might be able to get on some support act tour.
FF: You've played at the Sweden Rock Festival in the past, do you prefer the festival atmosphere or is a smaller audience more appealing?
Stefen: Both of them in their different ways. Festivals is good in the way that you can get people that not necessary are your fans to be able to check you out. But in the other hand, club gigs where you get closer to your audience is more fun to play since you develop a better contact. We're fans of music ourself so doing everything you can to make the crowd fell special, that they are the reason why we're there and we can do no less than 100%, if anything they are the one who should be put on stage and we should bang our heads of to them.
FF: When did you start the writing process for Coordinated Mutilation?
Stefen: The process started in the middle of 2008, we have a few songs that didn't get on the album. The last song we actually did the same week as we went into the studio,we where pretty sure we would have 9 songs on the album, but then Andreas and Olle came up with this song that we thought where to cool to exclude. The first song we wrote was "Ravaged" and the last one was "Intense convulsions"
FF: Is writing more of a collaborative process for the band or do you all just write your own parts?
Stefen: The process is like we have a riff or 2, put some drums of that and sometimes we can get half a song written in one rehearse. It starts off there, we record it and Olle gets into writing the lyrics, then on the coming rehearsals we puzzle things together. What we try to do is not be all 5 of us initially as it tends to slow down everything before we even have got to try out the riffs
FF: Have you played any songs from the upcoming album live yet?
Stefen: We have played Euphoria through execution, Ravaged, Sanguinolency & Savage gluttony live before.
FF: What kind of response did they get?
Stefen: They received a very positive response actually. Euphoria and Savage is quite straight on songs who's easier to get hang of than faster songs. We did some of the song in the UK and people there is less held back and restrictive so they went nuts!
FF: Would you say the band's sound has progressed since Blood Cure?
Stefen: Yes, the most obvious fans will notice is that we detuned the guitars and that the production is more in your face. The detuning was a bit of a try out as we wanted a heavier sound, but without compromising the aggressiveness you get from a non detuned guitar. We have tried to get it closer to the live sound without loosing the sharp edge and definition. We wanted more "muscle" in the guitar sound and get the drum sound more organic, as far as it's possible since we need to have the precision in the sound.
FF: Do you have anything else you'd like to add?
Stefen: Thanks for showing interest in the band and in Coordinated Mutilation, we're proud of it. Hope to see you all out at a club, festival or so and bang our head together some day!
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Ana Kefr is a progressive metal outfit from Riverside, California. With The Burial Tree the band has crafted what can only be described as unpredictable. The band is always one step ahead of the listener and thinking outside the box. They blend several subgenres together and manage to create a delicious concoction of bludgeoning, yet beautiful and unique metal. In the next hour you will have a wide variety of sounds wash over you, everything from clarinet sections, mind numbing melodies, and subtle electronics. All instruments are used to their full ability and nothing is left in silence within The Burial Tree.
The vocal styles on The Burial Tree vary, they range from majestic female vocals to gutturals and everything in between. There are blastbeats and pinch harmonics and many other elements that may be found in a typically metal album but in many ways Ana Kefr is truly bringing something new to the table. Six tracks on the album run well over five minutes. Each of these songs seems to take the listener on a journey, and like all journeys there is a climax or "payoff" so to speak. All of the unusual elements blended into the music come and go in a seamless manner. The album clocks in at just over an hour, for many bands this playtime would be far too long to hold the listeners attention, fortunately for Ana Kefr this is not the case. They hold your attention up until the final notes of the epic closer "The Collector", and if they truly wanted to continue they would have you in the palm of their hand for another hour.
Ana Kefr is sure to have the unseasoned listeners scratching their heads in shear disbelief, but upon multiple listens it is obvious that the band has done something great with this release. The Burial Tree manages to capture some amazing songwriting in the midst of all the chaos that is spread like wildfire throughout the album. "Parasites" is nothing short of a classic as well as many other songs featured on The Burial Tree, and while this tracks do work well on their own the album should be listened to as a whole. The Burial Tree plays more like a Dario Argento film than it does an album, it features a beautiful sound but maintains the menacing atmosphere and leaves you in suspense and confusion throughout.
Overall this album is very unique and should be heard by all metal fans at least once. Ana Kefr push the boundaries of metal and in doing so manage to create one hell of an epic and heavy album filled with twists and turns that will prove to challenge even the most seasoned listeners. The band creates an atmosphere that makes many emotions run through those who dare to listen. At times you may be wondering where Ana Kefr is going to take you next but only time will tell. The Burial Tree is nothing short of essential.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Mincing Fury and Guttural Clamour of Queer Decay are a goregrind/brutal death metal band from Czech Republic. The band formed in 1996 and have since released four full-lengths while in between doing splits with bands like Fuck the Facts and Screaming Afterbirth. Mincing Fury never limit themselves to the stereotypes of one genre, they play whatever they feel necessary and this may cause the album to be too crazy for many to handle.
The album is introduced with the soundtrack from the drug induced, mindfuck movie Requiem For A Dream, which is now re-titled "Requiem For A Fury". After this ends you descend straight down to the musical hell hole that is Devolution. The vocals on Devolution are insane. There is a dual vocal attack from Reef and Milcunt and many styles are used throughout the album. The majority of the album the vocals are the center of attention, whether the vocalists be using gutturals, gang shouts, hardcore yells, shrieks, squeals, croaks, or whatever other batshit vocal style one can think of.
Everything is very easy to make out on Devolution. The bass is audible the majority of the time and adds to the overall heaviness of this grind circus Mincing Fury displays with the album. Most of the tracks here consist of re-recordings of the band's past material but there are also five new songs for those seeking new Mincing music. The drumming is delivered with just as much energy as everything else featured here. Blastbeats are played with machinelike precision, and when a groove comes up the band runs with it.
The guitarwork here consists of tons of grooves that will make you want to punch the nearest human being (or animal) square in the face. Some moments of technicality pop up throughout the album, one of the most notable of these moments would be featured in the song "Blind". The track features complex riff that back the spastastic vocals that infest this release. The band throws in enough variety to keep things extremely interesting and tears the listener to shreds in the process.
Overall with Devolution Mincing Fury have managed to create something that can only be described as a full on brutal raping of the ear. This is what serial killers hear in their head all day as they commit their heinous crimes. This is highly recommended for those looking for a fun, heavy album to crank at full volume and scare everyone in the neighborhood. This is the musical equivalent of walking in on your parents doing the dirty.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Here we have three demos from the heavy metal band Axeman Triumph. The band formed in 2008, the three demos being reviewed are I Am The Ruler (2008), Darkness Child (2009), and Barbarian's Death (2010). Typically we would give these all separate reviews but the combined playtime of all the demos is just over thirty minutes, and in the end they all play well as one. All the tracks display the balls-out, filthy heavy metal that Axeman Triumph abuses the listener with.
First thing that needs to be made known about these demos is the fact that the production is very low quality, if you are not a fan of older death metal demos then you most likely won't be able to handle this either. The vocals consist of frontman Myth's foul howl which is delivered with loads of energy and in a very barbaric manner. Due to the production most of the lyrics aren't very easy to make out. Beneath all the fuzz given from the shoddy sound quality are some killer riffs. The lofi sound the band puts out could be compared to Fag Cop, while the actual music the band churns out at times is reminiscent of GG Allin mixed with a dab of Motorhead and a little Venom thrown in for good measure.
Overall I can only recommend this to those that feel they can handle the low production quality that these demos feature. Sadly many people will write this off immediately when they hear the first note. Those who can handle it are in for a treat though. Are these demos amazing? No, but they are a damn good display of heavy metal with balls of steel. It's really quite hard to explain what makes these tracks entertaining, maybe it is the fun, ruthless style that does it but for the people who can get past the production it is hard to deny that this band has a certain charm in their sound.
Apostate is a death/doom metal band from the Ukraine. The band formed in 1993, they released a demo in 1995 and an ep in 1997 and had since been inactive. Thirteen years later Trapped In A Sleep, the bands first full-length was released. "Filling the Void" features lyrics that state "hell will merge with heaven" and this line defines the sound Apostate creates quite well, at times beautiful synths merge with crushing riffs and melodies come and go and it all happens in a very cohesive manner.
All the tracks aside from the intro and the closer go well over seven minutes a piece in length, the album features seven tracks and clocks in at just over fifty minutes. The band manages to make these lengthy songs breeze by with very little dragging. With tracks of this length many bands would be digging themselves in a hole, but Apostate handles the responsibility of keeping the listener's attention and most of the feelings they want to come across the listener flourish.
The moments where Apostate let their doom side shine prove to be the most effective. When the band slows things down they obtain an atmosphere that makes this a very enjoyable listen, but unfortunately they don't create these moments often enough to make this album amazing. The band is most certainly pumping out music that is far above average but with this album they haven't reached their full potential. The solos on the album are few and far between but when they do pop up they sound great. The riffs featured are very memorable and catchy but at times the band does seem to repeat them a bit longer than necessary.
Kozub shows that he has chops in both harsh and clean vocals on Trapped In A Sleep. On the title track his clean vocals fit the music perfectly and it adds a great deal to the song. There is a good balance between the clean and harsh vocals throughout the album. The harsh bellow that Kozub delivers has a distinct sound. It isn't quite a growl but instead a very deep yell. Even though the vocalist doesn't leave his comfort zone often it doesn't effect the sound much because he is superb at his style of preference.
Overall Apostate haven't quite created their masterpiece with this release but they definitely show they may have the ability to in the future. They aren't lacking in any area in particular but they also aren't executing certain things as well as they could be. Maybe with the next release Apostate will create a classic but until then this album is far better than many other releases in this genre and is by no means bad or even average. Recommended for those who are into the style and Trapped In A Sleep could also be an excellent gateway album for individuals looking to get into the death/doom genre.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Fester was a death metal band from Norway that formed in 1989. Winter of Sin was their first full-length after a demo of the same name, they later on released one more album and disappeared for over a decade to later reform. Winter of Sin was released in 1992, while most bands in the area were beginning to turn to black metal Fester were pumping out music that could be considered blackened death metal in it's early stages. This is one of those records that has a major crossover capability. Fans of death metal, doom metal, and black metal can all find something to enjoy within the contents of Winter of Sin.
Picture an old school death metal release with a pinch of doom and the raspy vocals that black metal has become known for and you have Winter of Sin. It is hard to compare this album to any others that were out at the time because it honestly has it's own sound. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that this album is far ahead of it's time. Winter of Sin also has one of the most epic sounds to ever grace a death metal record around this time.
The fretwork on Winter of Sin is reasonably simple. The album is jam-packed with crushing riffs. The heavier moments on the album hit like haymakers due to the punch the bass adds to the overall sound. There are a few odd moments on this album that definitely make it standout. The most notable would be the solo on "Victory!!!" which features a nice little solo that is backed by a clean melody, the melody slowly builds up as the solo winds down, it gives the track an exceptionally creepy atmosphere. Moments like this keep things exciting throughout the entire record. All the tracks range from very close to well over five minutes in length, the band manages to get through the lengthy tracks without dragging even a bit.
This release is also very bass dominant. This element adds a very chunky sound to Winter of Sin that adds to the already doom-laden sound the band displays. It is great to hear the bass throughout the entire release and it adds quite a bit of depth to the sound. Bass is something that many death metal records lack and it is quite a breath of fresh air to hear it so clearly here. Skjolden was a great bass player and sadly he passed back in 2000.
Overall Winter of Sin is one of the most interesting releases in death metal from this era. When listening it is truly hard to believe that this is such an unsung classic. This is highly recommended to fans of extreme metal in general. The reissue of this album also features a live track recorded in 1991 and damn they sure did rip live. Let's just hope if they release new material they tour to support it.
Volturyon is death metal band from Sweden formerly known as Contortion. The band features members that have been in their fair share of metal bands in the past, most notable is the Netzell, the current drummer from the highly praised In Mourning. Here we have ten tracks of some of the tightest played death metal around. Considering the band has been on stage with Carcass they have to be doing something right, and upon listening to Coordinated Mutilation it seems like they're doing just about everything right. If all modern death metal was up to par with this it would be ideal.
These guys pump out some very aggressive death metal with such a large amount of energy that it is hard to not pay attention. Many bands that feature a more technical sound have a difficult time keeping things interesting for an entire album. This isn't a problem for Volturyon, the album could be twice as long and it still wouldn't drag at all. Ekman bounces around vocal styles enough to keep his performance fresh. He uses growls and gutturals for the most part but on occasion he will belt out a powerful scream that sounds eerily like the legendary George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher.
The guitar playing is fairly diverse on the album. You have some technical moments, plenty of grooves, and some thrash influenced sections. The guitarwork on the album could be compared to that of brutal death juggernauts Flesh Consumed. It's hard not to headbang when the band falls into a groove The soloing on the album is proficient, whether it be the slow but effective solo on "Coordinated Mutilation" or the blazing one featured on "Abide Under Eminence" Volturyon is always right on their mark.
The drumming on Coordinated Mutilation is extremely well done. There are many tempo changes to keep the listener on their toes. His playing style is savage and meshes incredibly well with the rest of Volturyon's barbaric assault. Netzell shows some serious endurance on this release and gives a very consistent performance that never gets the least bit tedious.
Overall this release should appeal to just about every death metal fan. It has plenty of complex moments to keep tech death fans happy, just enough groove to keep the brutal death fans happy and it's just too entertaining for the traditional death metal fans to ignore. Obviously this is highly recommended for everyone. The music is just as vile as the cover art.
Desolator is an old school death metal band from Sweden. They formed in 2009 and since have been crafting their brand of chunky death metal. If someone were to go into this album knowing nothing about the band they would most likely think the demo was released in the early 90's. Prepare yourself for some of the most dense, misanthropic death metal these modern times have to offer.
The demo kicks things off with the title track "Gravefeast". The song is an excellent representation of the bands overall sound and does a great job at foreshadowing what's to come within the next twenty minutes or so. The vocals consist mostly of traditional growls. On "Second Killing Of Christ" we get an awesome chant that features some very low, brutal growls compared to what is heard throughout most of the demo.
The guitar playing on Gravefeast is simple for the most part. That being said we all know technicality doesn't have to be present to make things interesting. These guys incorporate extremely catchy grooves and have many memorable riffs. Tremolo picking is used frequently and booming guitar sections pop up quite often. The amps were clearly set to sickening when this demo was recorded, the tone used on this album really captures that ancient death metal vibe. Certain tracks on the album have a more thrashy sound while tracks like "Antimortem Autopsy" have drawn out sections that slowly creep their way back into the fast pace that dominates this demo.
Desolator does an excellent job getting that retro death metal sound fine-tuned and in doing so they get the optimal result. Though this might not sway those who dislike the genre it will certainly please those who are fans. This band may hone it's style from multiple legendary bands but in the end it's all evil. Gravefeast shows up and crashes the party with it's cataclysmic sound and then leave a heap of rubble in it's path. This release definitely leaves you wanting more. It will be interesting to see what Desolator has in store next. Highly recommended.
This post is just an update on what you will see very soon here at Foul Feast accompanied with random, unnecessary pictures of things I own that are awesome.
Withering Soul- No Closure
Desolator- Gravefest demo (done)
Ending Quest- Led to the Slaughter demo
Loathsome- Lepers of the Loathsome demo
One Step Beyond- Beyond Good and Evil
Sex Prisoner- S/T 7"
Fade To Black
My Sweet Satan
At the moment quite a few are in the works but until are 100% confirmed I won't list names.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Deus Otiosus is a Danish death metal band that formed in 2005. Murderer is their first full-length release. This is just over forty minutes of pure unflinching old school death metal. Deus Otiosus features members of many other projects such as Hideous Invasion, Victimizer, and Church Bizarre among others. With this release the band rightfully earn themselves a spot among the altar of the metal gods.This is an all out old school slugfest so those who have to have their music served up with a polished sound need not apply. The album opens with Rasmussen's bellowing growl which you'll be hearing plenty of for the next forty minutes.
The guitarwork here is all about the killer riffs. The band never misses a beat and pumps out some of the most consistent riffs in the genre these days. They drive their brand of thrash influenced death metal straight through your skull and when all is said and done it feasts on the contents within. From start to finish Deus Otiosus never lets up and by the end of the album you are reduced to a fine powder. That being said if you are looking for a great amount of diversity you need to go somewhere else. This album is clearly made for fans of the genre and when listening it is obvious that the band members are dedicated fans of the genre as well.
The vocalist sticks to one style the majority of the album and it sounds pretty good but some may find it a bit repetitive. When the band slows things down a little things get very interesting. An eerie atmosphere is created on songs like "Ash World" which features a whole track full of very infectious guitarwork. We're not just talking "huh, that's kind of catchy" memorable, we're talking about stuff you'll find yourself humming days after listening.
The drumming on Murderer is decent. Bentsen delivers a barbaric performance behind the kit but some more variety wouldn't have hurt. Calling Bentsen a boring drummer would be ridiculous but the performance on this album doesn't have the mindblowing quality that the rest of the elements featured do. That being said this doesn't really hurt the overall sound of the album much. The drums drive the record along at a nice pace and get the job done just fine.
Overall Deus Otiosus is just one of those bands that has captured the old school death metal sound and did a damn good job doing so. There is very little melody to be had here, this is just evil riff packed death metal that deserves a hell of a lot more attention than they are receiving at the moment. Murderer is just as raw as the cover art that represents it. Obviously this is recommended to fans of the genre.
Here we interview Hassan Umer, vocalist for the crossover band Foreskin.
FF: How did Foreskin come to form?
Umer: To play a style of music that no one seems to care about here, not even the metal crowd. Most bands that put out original material were either Modern Death/Thrash, Prog or Lamb of God worship. And we're cool with that - it's just that it was time to introduce the Pakistani Metal scene to the wonderful world of microsongs, thrash breaks, d-beats and retarded vocals.
FF: I've read that Foreskin started off as a punk band, the influence still shows but what made you start leaning more torwards crossover?
Umer: To be honest, we weren't completely punk but we had a lot more punk in us as compared to metal which you can hear in the first demo. I guess it was a natural progression to get thrashier, especially once we started jamming and playing live. But me and Amar have a side project called The Circumsized where we intend to do the type of retarded punk shit we did earlier, perhaps even finally record some of our old Foreskin punk shit.
FF: All the members of the band have seperate projects would you say that Foreskin is the main project?
Umer: It used to be the main project, but we played our last gig in January. We basically split the band up in 2 projects - Necropedophile which is gonna be a death metal band with Me, Faaiz and Omair, and The Circumsized with me and Amar. To be honest, the band was to split up but after the encouraging response the BITP demotape got, we decided to continue only in the 'studio' and further improve our sound. But yeah, it's definitely gonna take a back seat to everything else we have going on.
FF: Are there any great metal bands from Pakistan that you'd like to plug?
Umer: Haha yeah sure. Odyssey is an amazing progressive metal act and is probably the best live act in the country regardless of genre. Takatak's a brutal act, they've got the perfect balance for a metal band and really know how to kick it live. Other than that, there's Downfall Humanity who play kickass death/thrash, Necktarium who do this ambient black metal shit, Berserker with their Morbid Angel worship, Dementia is a monstrous groove metal band, and I just fucking love the latest addition to the scene, Myosis, who do some straight up doom metal." and my favorite Pakistani band MARG who make the most awesome hard rocking punk/metal this side of the subcontinent.
FF: How often do you guys get gigs? (with any of your projects)
Umer: Well "opportunities" come for metal bands every other month and sometimes every other weekend, it's just a matter of having the contacts to get you up there on a stage. We played a total of only 4 gigs from July til January, passed on like 3 others because of line up issues.
FF: What do you guys have planned for upcoming releases?
Umer: Well we might finally decide to re-record our old "Attack of the Radioactive Posers" EP which we lost in a hard drive crash back in August, just days before it was to go for printing and shit. But only if we get the time, since it's not our 'main' project anymore. I'm actually interested in doing some split releases, that's actually a great way to spread the word.
FF: Yeah splits are a great way to gain some exposure. Are there any bands you want to do a split with in particular?
Umer: I'd love to do a split with Agnostic Front or Suicidal Tendencies! Hahaha. But seriously, I don't think there's any particular band I want to do a split with (it'll probably end up being a band I'm connected with, or involves a friend), I think what matters is that they play a similar type of music and actually want to put out a split with us.
FF: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Umer: Yeah, would just like to give a shout out to the Lahore Mosh Crew and the Islamabad Metalheads, you guys rule.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Today I also did an interview with the band that occupies the other half of the Dawn Of Genocide split with Lys. Gurut plays a very personal form of black metal. Here we speak about the depression that led to Selbstmord's desire to make music and his past releases.
FF: How did Gurut come about?
Selbstmord: Gurut started in the December of 2009. This was when I was tired of seeing all of this positive and fake happy music around me, and decided to create something very dark. At first, the project was only taken half-way seriously, but then I went through a serious depression and Gurut is being taken VERY seriously now.
FF: So the music you release is a therapeutic thing for you?
Selbstmord: Yes, very therapeutic. I don't really make music for other people so much as I make music for myself. When I make a song, I put my entire self into the composition to release the demons and to release the evils that can lead to self-destructive behaviors
FF: That shows when listening. You've just recently released a split with Lys, is this your first official release?
Selbstmord: My first official release from a label, yes.
FF: Tell us a little about your past releases.
Selbstmord: Well, Demo I was just my introduction into the genre of black metal. It's very raw compared to my new material. Also, my friend, Thor (Kelkum, Lys) helped me through it a lot. Demo II was very much the same. In this time period, I had very little gear to work with and just used a USB microphone from a video game to record. I didn't even have a microphone stand! However, I had more fun with this release as the music is slightly more technical. Demo III marks one of my favorite accomplishments thus far. With two songs that are 20+ minutes long each, and very much inspired by Make A Change...Kill Yourself. This release was, for me, very time consuming and technical. Demo IV is my least favorite release. I say this because I do not like my guitar tone, all the drums are off time, and the vocals are odd sounding. I also believe that the riffs were overly simple.
I also have done a split with Schwarzwald (not a band anymore) in which I had two songs. I took these the same as with Demo III. Trying to create atmosphere over quality and, for the first time, used a distortion effect on my vocals to make them sound better. I also made it even more complex by harmonizing the vocals with myself.
Additionally, I have a tribute album. A tribute to other bands, no, but a tribute to my girlfriend that died and myself. This is when the depression really hit. All the songs have a very ambient sound and are all instrumental excluding "Until the End" in which Thor handled vocals. This is also marking the first release that I've used a metronome on and proper equipment.
Finally, my full lengths. I took these very seriously. Isolating myself to only music for days at times. In the lyrical content, I describe life when institutionalized as I had been twice previously. I also describe the delicacies of life and, most importantly, death.
FF: Sorry to hear about your loss. Considering Gurut has only been around for a little over a year that is quite a few releases. Are there any difficulties that come with being a one man band?
Selbstmord: Yes, but I think I prefer being a one man band over being a full outfit. This is due to that I am not a very good people person (haha) and I don't want others to interfere with my vision of what I want my music to be.
FF: What would you say influences your project the most? Does all the inspiration come from personal experiences or does music you listen to play a part in the sound you have molded as well?
Selbstmord: I'd say that my personal experiences in life definitely influence the music more, now. In the early days of Gurut, I was heavily influenced by Thor's project, Kelkum, and Xasthur. But now I rely on whatever I can pull out of my own mind to create the music.
FF: What are your future plans for the band?
Selbstmord: I plan to take it as far as it can go. I don't strive to be the "best" black metal band in the world, I strive to be able to change somebody's life with my music. All I can hope is that I create some music that people can connect with on a very personal and spiritual level.
FF: Are there any bands that you would like to do a split with in the future?
Selbstmord: Moloch definitely. I also think that a Gurut/Kelkum split is going to be possible, then I also dream to do a split with such big names as Anti and Astral Melancholy.
FF: What's your take on the modern metal scene?
Selbstmord: I think it's ridiculous. Every band, it seems, just tries to copy what other bands have done before them, or what other bands are doing presently. There are very few modern bands that I enjoy.
FF: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Selbstmord: I'd like to believe that I don't hold myself to any higher standards than anybody else; any "normal" people. I'm very big on not acting like some big celebrity and I want to stay in touch with my fans!
firstname.lastname@example.org is my email.
Today I am very proud to post the first interview on the Foul Feast Of Flesh blog! Here I interview both members of the atmospheric black metal band Lys. We discuss their plans of future releases, their various other projects, and the metal scene in their area.
FF: How did the two of you come to form Lys?
Vyhladit: I think I can answer that. I met Thor through his main project, Kelkum. I contacted him to purchase his self-titled demo, and after that we became contacts on MSN. We found that we had similar musical tastes, and after a while we decided to combine our talents; thus Lys was born. We spent a few months putting together the songs for the Drifting Through Despair demo, and eventually released it ourselves, after several unsuccessful attempts to find a label to do so.
Thor: I had been working on a few guitar tracks that I was possibly going to use on a new Kelkum demo, but the sound didnt fit Kelkums style. So, I figured they would go well with a new project that I could form with Vyhladit, since we share musical ideas and such.
FF: Does the fact that you both reside in different states change the way you would normally go about writing and recording?
Vyhladit: It certainly is different from the ways one would normally go about recording. Obviously, there are no live sessions, and most songs must be sent via e-mail multiple times before a final version is reached. For our debut demo, Thor would send me the guitar track, to which I would record a drum track, as well as doing a bit of mastering. This version would be sent back to Thor, and he would add vocals, finally creating the finished version of the song. As far as writing goes, I usually find writing parts to be a very personal experience, something I do on my own anyway, so there really isn't much difference as far as that goes.
Thor: Somewhat. It seems like it would be easier to have live sessions and what not, but either way, its easy to record the music and vocals and such. To most people it would seem very difficult, and the thought of it made it seem difficult, but it seems to have come out easier than I thought it was going to. But there's also a reason why the distance makes it easier: Sometimes, I might record tracks that we can use for Lys, such as drum tracks, or guitar tracks, none now, but Im just saying, and when I do record them, Im alone. Every time I make music, its in solitude. Ive had no help, except for lyrics which Vyhladit made for me, but other than that, Ive been alone in the process, and when Im alone and have no interruptions, it makes things easier.
FF: Both of you have other projects aside from Lys, can you tell us a little about those projects?
Thor: Kelkum was originally called Uruk-Hai back in 2008 under a big influence of Burzum. As time went by, I was inspired by many other bands and started experimenting in different styles. Eventually I wanted to try DSBM, and it didnt go so well, then I tried a traditional Black Metal demo, and I liked it better than my self-titled demo. Now my style of music has changed once again and I am now playing Nihilistic Black Metal, which is where Im going to stay. I also have a Black Ambient project known as RazoR. I formed it under the influence of Nattramn of Silencer's new project, Diagnose: Lebensgefahr.
Vyhladit: My other band is Amalgamation, an experimental drone/ambient/noise project that I operate by myself. It started out as a name under which I filed my drone experimentations, until I managed to get enough songs together for a promo, which was sent to several labels, and was eventually picked up by Barren Meadows Recordings. That album is to become Qi, once it is released. There have been several delays, since the label has run into some financial issues. Thor actually provided the artwork for that release (as is the case for all of Lys's releases as well).
FF: Drifting Through Despair was released on a limited release tape. Do you plan on using the cassette format for future releases?
Thor: Possibly. A label is in the works at the moment, since Drifting Through Despair was easy enough to release, though its release date was a few months longer than we'd had expected.
Vyhladit: Yes, the tape format has great appeal to us, however, Lys's releases will not necessarily be limited to this format. For example, our newest release is tentatively scheduled to be released on Salamander Lane Productions on CD, in conjunction with the tape release it is receiving through ACHTUNG! Records.
FF: What are your future plans for the band? And can you tell us a bit about your newest release?
Thor: Keep going with releases to help get our music around. Id like to do a few more demos, then maybe a good, solid EP. Our newest release is a split with a friends project, Gurut. I met gurut back in December 2009, and I was his inspiration to start Gurut.
Vyhladit: Yes, our most recent release also marks a bit of a change in sound. We do not want to make the same album twice, you see. We draw a wide variety of influences, so not all of our albums will be explorations into the same emotional fields. Drifting Through Despair was, as its title suggests, wrought with despair. For our newest album, we bring a slightly more warlike feel, which is reflected in the lyrics.
FF: What would you say are your main influences musically?
Thor: My biggest influence has always been Burzum, his music has the best atmosphere Ive heard in Black Metal. Immortal comes next, because I like their themes of Winter and Nature, and Im also very close to both. I could go on with influences and inspirations.
Vyhladit: Well, I've tried to develop my own playing style somewhat, but I do have quite a wide range of influences. The biggest influence on my guitar/drum playing style, on our later work at least, has been Norway's Aeternus; their early albums are amazing, and I consider "...And So the Night Became" to be one of the best albums ever written, especially in the guitar/drum department. Apart from that, I have a great respect for a great many bands in various styles of metal, many of which contribute some aspect or another to my playing style, and again, far too numerous to list.
FF: How is the local music scene where you are located? Are there many bands that play a similar style in the area?
Thor: No. The music scene around here is shit. Its all kids who want to be rappers. Luckily I live far from any town to where I dont have to listen to that shit 24/7.
Vyhladit: Completely barren here as well. Most people in this area have no concept of metal outside of horrible radio rock bands that they deem to be "extreme". Mention black metal and you'll be met with a confused stare. The only "bands" around here are insipid indie-pop groups run by angst ridden high-schoolers. There are a few exceptions, a few death metal bands, but they're far too modern/core influenced for my tastes. There are a few dedicated musicians, but not enough to get anything serious started, sadly. Such is the greatness of the internet that we are able to share our music from these musical wastelands.
FF: Have you guys ever played a live show?
Vyhladit: No, and at the moment, as we do not have any session musicians, this would not be possible. Perhaps in the future, but it seems unlikely.
Thor: The distance makes it impossible for that to happen. Maybe one day, but its doubtful.
FF: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Thor: Look forward to future releases.
Vyhladit: Many thanks for your support of our art. Let the flames never die!