Friday, January 17, 2020

review: Mindless Sinner

Mindless Sinner
Poltergeist
Pure Steel Records
January 17th, 2020
Mindless Sinner was a 1980s rocking heavy metal band in Sweden, at a time when young bands in the country were wild and crazy about the new heavy metal music taking the rock world by storm. Today, to the U.S. metal fans, this generation of bands is largely unknown and forgotten, mainly due to the fact that the younger crop of Swedish bands coming behind Mindless Sinner (and their contemporaries Nemesis, Europe, Heavy Load, 220 Volt, Torch, and a bunch of others) would take up extreme metal, and that particular trend would gain international prominence within the worldwide rise of death metal, leaving behind traditional heavy metal as untrendy, which often happens as young people tend to create false oppositions—in this case, traditional heavy metal versus death metal, and feel the need to declare one unfashionable and the other one as cool. That’s a shame because Mindless Sinner’s 1986 album Turn on the Power is such a fun, rocking album that you have to be a real anti-heavy metal stiff neck to not hear the tons of rocking going on.
Decades later Mindless Sinner has been active releasing new music and 2020 finds them doing well with their status as a cult band. The new album is a headbanging traditional heavy metal work with the classic-style riffs and the high singing that has been their brand. It’s a pleasure to report that they keep it rocking and have that great young-heavy-metal energy. It is even more exciting when you consider that these gentlemen are now grandfathers or old enough to be. Don’t expect a bunch of ballads, long slow introductions, tired songwriting and all that stuff. Expect rocking heavy metal for headbanging. If you did not know the ages of the band, you’d be hard-pressed not to think that these are bunch of rockers in their 20s who love Scorpions and Judas Priest, and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, which of course, actually, they once were. At any rate, the young energy of the album is contagious and the band should feel pretty proud for making such a good album. They have a little less hair (or, a lot less, in some cases) than they did in the 1980s when they were a bunch of handsome young men, but their hearts are still in heavy metal and the music sounds awesome, whether it’s 1986 or 2020.
facebook.com/mindlesssinnerofficial

review: Porta Nigra

Porta Nigra
Schöpfungswut
Soulseller Records
17 January 2020
Porta Nigra is black metal from Germany and they seem to have been around since 2010. This is their third album. Expect the traditional vocals (with a bit of variety in some places), guitar sound, speed and overall feel of black metal. Given this fact, there are at least two crucial points of interest for fans of serious, traditional extreme metal. First, the seriousness in the execution of their craft is very attractive. The tightness of the music and production is a great advantage for the listener. You can be confident that is not some loose-goose, tomfoolery job by people with nothing better to do than making loser’s metal music. This album sounds like it is made by people who are serious about their music as music (not as a “political” statement), hungry to prove themselves to themselves and to the knowledgeable audiences, and hungry to take their music to the highest level possible for them. This is all very good news because we do not have time for losers who don’t take their craft of being musicians as a life-long art. This band wants to be good at their instruments, and they are. In addition, the vocals are done very well. Harsh and extreme and all that, but the production makes it sound good to ears. This is professional-level musicianship and we are pleased about that.
The second point that we want to make here is the songwriting. The album is a good balance between the intensity and speed, on one hand, and finding ways to make the songs intelligible to the black metal audiences and to those lifer fans of extreme metal in general. For instance, throughout the album there are moments for the guitar melodies to come through, including places in which the soloing offers a substantial amount of memorable melodies, in ways that seem a bit surprising due to the catchiness therein. In January 2020 this album deserves for fans of headbanging black metal to investigate due to the overall quality and skill of the work in its entirety.
soulsellerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/sch-pfungswut
facebook.com/PortaNigraBand

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

interview: DarkTribe

Fans of melodic metal with good singing and progressive vibes will need to check out what the French veterans have in 2020 with their new album Voici L’Homme. The quality and skill of the music speaks for itself. Here is an exchange with the band.
Greetings, DarkTribe! We are listening to your new 2020 album Voici L’Homme! In 2019 there were lots protests and political turmoil in the streets in France. How is your mental health during these unstable times in France?
Hi all, thank you to listening our album. It's a pleasure to hear that you like it! Life is good in France and you know, protesting is a true French game, we are Master of Protests!! Here you don't need to be afraid by that, French people hate change and that's why every political or other decisions bring turmoil in the streets. Our country is based on values that go back several centuries and it's very difficult for French people to understand a change.
How does everyone feel now that the album finally finished?! Your previous album is from 2015, so it has been a few years, maybe a bit longer than you would have liked.
We are a little bit tired because it was a very long adventure to release Voici l'Homme (4 years). Meanwhile, we are also excited to get feedback from our listeners. After The Modern Age we really wanted to release a new album in the two years that followed but, personal and especially family obligations blocked the composition process, that's life.
What are the plans for 2020?
We are preparing everything for 2020. What I can only tell you today is that we are going to visit several European countries like Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and, of course, France. You need to stay tuned.
Where—outside of Europe—has DarkTribe played live?
We played in Japan, it was a fantastic time, really. We hope to play in United States as soon as possible and South America, too. I don't know if we will try to play in Eastern Europe and maybe Russia for 2020, why not.
Can you help us to understand the artwork and the title? Is it Jesus walking on water?
The cover and the album concept is based on the overall picture of a prophet. It's not necessarily Jesus, and as you can check in our lyrics, you will never find his name, we call him Prophet. Yes, the story we tell is inspired by the New Testament but with a generic approach. We wanted to do this, not to rewrite history, but in order to allow to our listeners the possibility to bring their own way of thinking.
Voici l'Homme is «Ecce Homo». The expression lent to Pontius Pilate, Roman Governor of Judae, when in Jerusalem he presented to the crowd Jesus of Nazareth.
What can you tell us about the first song “Prism of Memory”? Is it the oldest song?
“Prism of Memory” is our pure music style, like “Taiji” or “My Last Odyssey” on our first albums. It's not the oldest song, “Back in Light” is the oldest. “Prism of Memory” tells us the link between this Man and his mother, despite hatred and a certain death. Each song on the album will tell you a part of his/her story. As always Loïc sends us a general idea of a composition, very quickly I write lyrics and vocals, then step by step we build the song together.
Song number two is the title track. This song has a bit of French language in it. Would you explain why this is the title track, and its relation to the modern world?
There's something funny about this song. Two months before we entered in the recording sessions, the song “Voici l'Homme” did not exist. We hadn't decided on the title of the album yet. Loïc told us: «Guys, what do you think about this guitar riff? I don't know if it's good for the new album.»
Bruno, Julien and me were amazed. What a groove!!
I went back home, took my headphones, my recorder and after one hour of work, the verse and the chorus of “Voici l'Homme” were written. I found the title in stride and everyone loved it.
Singing in French was automatic, nothing had been prepared, it came like that.
The song talks about the difference between a father and his son, education, family link and also about this Prophet who wonders why life on Earth makes him suffer so much, why his father God doesn't help him.
It's hard to talk about the world and the link with our album. Each human lives the present day with his own desires, fears and strengths. You don't have to think about tomorrow but remember past mistakes to be better in your future.
We like the church bells in the song “Faith and Vision”! The prayer in the middle of the song adds to the sensation, also. Do you remember how you came up with the idea of adding church bells to this song?
Thank you so much! Songs are 95% ready when we go back to the studio but we always try to improve all songs until the last second of our recording session. The church bells are one of this last adding.
How much are you concerned with making sure that the second half of the album sounds as good as the first half? For this album, did you reject some songs that you felt were not as good as the others? In your opinion, which songs on this album were more frustrating to finish?
We attached great importance to the album being homogeneous from the first to the last minute. We abandoned three songs because their quality was not sufficient. In reality, we composed more than 20 songs before finding a balance, it's a very hard job to do. The most complicated songs were “The Hunger Theory” and “Symbolic Story”. We did not all agree with the structures, vocals, keyboard, duration, etc., but you need to make concessions, Darktribe is a great story of respect and friendship. Our music sounds what we like, what we are, with humility and honesty.
Why is the penultimate song called “The Hunger Theory”? What do you have in mind as the symbolic elements of the story, as you view it, and the social issues of today?
“The Hunger Theory” is a special song. We tried do to something different. We know that this song could divide our listeners. The main theme is the protection of our heritage, the prayer of unity between men, we are all the same and together we are stronger, so, why do we move away, we separate? Why do fairy tales make us dream and reality makes us cry? Through these questions the Prophet expresses himself.
I don't want to talk about problems in the world, my religion opinion or importance of Jesus/God, I'm a human being, that's all.
Did your band have any concerns about releasing an album with the themes of Voici L’Homme? Did your band worry that some people are going to judge and reject your band based on the cover?
We're not a religion band or members of those fucking sects, as I said, we are four men who played metal music, who love their family and friends, people who likes Darktribe know this. If you look further than the cover and the texts, you will see that Voici l'Homme is a criticism of our past and our present. We love the typical metal theme, too, but we prefer to leave that to musicians who choose this path.
How can people support your band?
World is connected, you can hear Darktribe everywhere, after the 17th of January you will find Voici l'Homme on major streaming platforms or by ordering it from your favorite music websites. Help us by buying it!! Support us and don't hesitate to contact us to get show tickets.
Thanks for answering! Take care.
Thank you so much, it's a real pleasure friend:) facebook.com/DarktribeOfficial

interview: FROGG

The technical extreme metal of FROGG is pretty new to the world. The high-paced music sounds perfect for hyperactivity and doing everything fast, but what is FROGG? Here are some answers by Sky Moon Clark, the commander-in-chief.
We are currently enjoying your recording A Reptilian Dystopia and trying to keep up with the high speed of the music. So, friends, who are you?
Sky: Glad to hear you’re enjoying the EP! This started essentially as a one-man project, where we’ve had various people contribute to it. The current members of FROGG are myself (lead vocals & guitars) and Emma Rae (background vocals & keyboards), though FROGG’s intention is to be a full band. For recording the EP I reached out to some friends; Anthony Barrone (drums) & Siebe Sol Sijpkens (bass) to lay down their parts for the EP, but I’m seeking permanent bandmates for this project.
Where are you based?
Sky: We’re located in Stamford, CT, which is luckily only 45 minutes outside of New York City. Connecticut has killer bands and venues, too, though, like Shadow of Intent putting on shows at Webster Underground in Hartford.
Was the music all played by Sky? With drum programming or sampled drumming, right?
Sky: I did 90% of the guitar work, with some snippets by Liam Zintz-Kunkel. The drums were done by Anthony Barrone, who wrote and learned the parts in about a month and then slammed them out in the studio in a day and a half. There’s some sampling going on with the snare hits and he recorded using a MIDI kick which was later edited, but the hand and footwork are all there and the guy absolutely killed it in the studio.
I think drums being sampled over and somewhat programmed has become the norm in a lot of metal music because it just pushes the sound to the next level. I’d imagine it only makes the recording engineer’s job easier when the drummer behind the kit can also legitimately play the parts tight like Anthony did.
How long have you been preparing this music before the release?
Sky: FROGG started in high school, that’s when I really started getting into playing this stuff. A lot of this EP stems from my first two years at Berklee College of Music. The initial ideas for “Ancient Rain,” “Ranidaphobia” and “DNA” were morphed over the last couple of years. “Nuclear Storm,” however, was a little more recent. I was tweaking the songs fooling around with arrangements and minor details all the way up until a week before we hit the studio.
Did Sky graduate from Berklee? How was that experience, particularly as a guitarist in technical, fast metal?
Sky: I did graduate from Berklee and learned a lot about music, and it was an incredible experience. What music meant to me evolved. I was forced to learn and play completely different styles, which only made me a stronger musician. I got to make connections with talented and ambitious peers, like Anthony Barrone. We would meet up and jam to some of The Faceless songs like The Ancient Covenant, and things like that would happen all the time at Berklee.
In hindsight though, if your only goal is to play technical death metal, I don’t think Berklee fully encompasses their “you can learn every style” philosophy as much as they should. The school needs to increase their metal staff if they want to attract more serious metal players. Granted, the metal staff they have is amazing, it just lacks variety and resources that other genres are granted at the school. Being a metalhead kind of felt like being a second-class citizen at times. Not to say I regret attending, even with the astronomical tuition cost the learning experience was incredible and I consider myself very lucky.
How many years has it taken to achieve this level of guitar skill? Did you think that technical extreme metal was ridiculous when you first heard it or did you love it immediately?!
Sky: Funnily enough, I didn’t enjoy technical death metal at first. I started playing guitar late in the game as a self-taught freshman in high school. I fell in love with Alexi Laiho’s riffing and soloing and that’s what really got me hooked. Laiho has a great, recognizable style and I would spend endless hours practicing to bring my playing to the next level. Once I developed more theory and experienced Necrophagist in the right mood, my mind shifted. I also drew inspiration from bands like Necrophagist, Obscura, Arsis, The Faceless and some heavier, lesser-known bands such as The Zenith Passage, Soreption, Virvum, Exocrine, they’ve all contributed to developing my ear.
I think people hear the word technical and get the wrong idea or feel overwhelmed. And the sad part is a lot of technical bands don’t pull off a great live show. My biggest fear with writing FROGG songs is falling too heavily into the whole “djent” scene and losing originality with my guitar playing. I don’t want my music’s potential to be entirely dependent on savvy studio engineering. Live raw talent is still my priority.
What type of place is a reptilian dystopia? For instance, what are the inspirations behind the lyrics of “Ancient Rain”?
Sky: A Reptilian Dystopia paints the world in a place where big corporations go haywire and everybody ends up paying the ultimate price. Ancient Rain is about the polar ice caps melting and coastal cities getting ravaged by violent storms carrying prehistoric pathogens killing us off by the masses.
Of course, “Nuclear Storm” as a title does make people imagine a dystopia. “DNA” has some catchy melodies for sure. That is the longest song on the EP. We did not know, so we looked it up and it turns out that “Ranidaphobia” is a fear of frogs. Put it all together: reptiles, dystopia, frogs. Thus, what are we looking at? A world of fantasies and fears? Are all the songs connected as part of a concept, including in future albums?
Sky: I like your line “world of fantasies and fears,” that pretty much sums it up.
The fantasy world of FROGG is one that is dominated by the world ending in post-apocalyptic fashion. It’s kind of tongue and cheek and points to how we, as a collective species have been slowly pushing the earth’s limits and even our own limits as humans, slowly contributing to our own end. I’d love to do a fully-fledged concept album down the road, and that’s a lot what the songs for the album I’m writing are looking to be like.
Some fans are not into technical metal because they say that it is just show-off speed. What would you say to fans that have not given technical metal a real chance?
Sky: It feels like this question is mainly pointing out a “technicality vs. musicality” argument. You know, I’m not too sure. I personally don't write songs for the sake of difficulty or using a specific technique, but rather to just express what I’m feeling. I can sing and play all of the songs on the EP close to what you’re hearing, and I plan on releasing a live playthrough of me doing so down the road.
My dad passed away suddenly three years ago, and that heavily influenced my writing. My own ambition and mentality have been that I’m ready to pull this all off on a live stage and put on a show.
I don’t really have much of an ego and I don’t want to make it sound like this music is a cakewalk for me, because playing this fast with the right feeling takes a crap ton of effort. Hearing that my music is “difficult” just feels a bit tired. I guess I’m sort of a guitar geek and it comes out in my writing. I don’t personally feel that the songs are that fast, and they definitely don’t come from a place where they’re written just to be “technical”. I’ve spent years of endless practice to be able to execute my ideas with flow. I feel that if you’re true to yourself as an artist, then there’s a deeper connection made between you and your craft. Right now, I’m young and I express myself often at a high speed.
What’s funny is that we ended up slowing down “Ancient Rain” and “Ranidaphobia” by about 15-25 BPM, because I wanted to be able to execute the songs close to perfect while screaming and to match the record. It also allowed for a few sections in the songs to shine in a nicer light.
How does the support help you to continue making music? Where can fans keep up with your activities?
Sky: Fans are everything to a musician, and FROGG’s fan base is still in its infancy. I’m hoping to swing that around by filling the final seats in the band and playing live shows. I’d also love to meet up with other bands and well, and just make friends. The album will be on Itunes, Spotify, and is available now for pre-order on our Bandcamp (froggofficial.bandcamp.com/). The best spot to stay up to date is our Instagram (Instagram.com/Froggband) and Facebook (Facebook.com/Froggband). Thanks for taking the time to chat, and thanks everyone for reading!
Keep it metal,
Sky Moon

interview: Rat King

This January 2020 the Washington State, U.S.-based band Rat King issues its second album Vicious Humanity. If before they were considered a sort of sludge doom band, people are going to find a different animal, so to speak, this time around. Let’s get some details on the changes.
The new album changes the preconceived notions about your band. What has happened that the band has taken some new turns towards fast, headbanging extreme metal?
(Ricky). Hello, thank you for taking the time to talk about our album. I think there are 2 reasons our sound has evolved into what it is. 1.The addition of our new drummer (Carlos Delgado). Our first practice with him we ended up playing all the Sepultura songs we could, and it felt great playing fast! And I think we bonded on that. So it was just a natural step forward. 2.The music was just getting more and more aggressive and fast. The song title ideas we were coming up with just demanded it, I think.
Another change: you now have some Spanish lyrics (“Matanza,” “Borratanico,” “Chaleco de billetes,” “Soledad,” and “Chanchito”). Living in the Seattle area, how was the process of arriving at doing some Spanish in your music?
(Ricardo). Again, I think this started with Carlos being in the band. At practice, we speak Spanish and English to each other. Song titles in Spanish started popping up and we just embraced it! The only song that is all Spanish is “Soledad.” Once I wrote the first verse in Spanish it just went that way. We’ve never done this before and it fell amazing to scream in Spanish! It gives us “rock en español” vibe, but obviously metal and much more aggressive, so that’s definitely something we would like to expand on. We weren’t worried at all about screaming in Spanish, Seattle is a pretty diverse place, and people seem to have taking a liking to that aspect of the band. It’s just natural to us.
Who is in the band in 2020? Does everyone speak Spanish? Did anyone of you grew up listening to rock and metal music in Spanish? Mexico and Argentina have had scenes for decades and decades, but nowadays Central America has quite a few scenes, too.
(Ricardo).The band is: Ricardo Racines (guitars, vocals); Daniel Racines (bass, vocals); and Carlos Delgado (drums) and we all speak Spanish. Daniel and I are brothers. Rat king was formed by us and our former drummer Tyler when we met after moving to Seattle from Arizona. Growing up Daniel and I listened to some rock in Spanish, Soda Stereo (Argentina), Sal y Mileto (Ecuador) and metal in Spanish for sure. ANIMAL (Argentina), Brujería (Mexico, USA) Rata Blanca (Argentina), Criminal (Chile), Transmetal (Mexico), to name a few. I’ve seen the rise of metal bands in Central America, and bands touring there as well. Latest one I remember was Noisem going to Guatemala. I thought that was great! Hopefully we can get down there. Carlos parents are from Nicaragua.
Your 2016 album Garbage Island’s dirty, grey, marine album artwork gave the impression of environment concerns. Now in 2020 in the artwork there seems to be the theme of a big, angry octopus bringing death. Where is your head for lyrics at this point in the history of the band?
(Ricardo).We didn’t have many lyrics on Garbage Island, I think because Daniel and I had just started screaming and finding our own voices. Our lyrics on Vicious Inhumanity are about frustration with the current state of the world and what we are witnessing. Poverty, homelessness, drug addiction, suffering, greed, racial hatred, and there are so many things that come with that frustration, like pain, sadness, solitude and I think that’s another reason why the music evolved to this unhinged visceral release. I know my vocals aren’t the greatest, but the emotion is priority number one for me. That release is something I treasure now.
Do your lyrics take sides between the twin parties of capitalism, the Democrats and Republicans?
(Ricardo). We don’t really go into politics, and the different parties, and which is better or worse. Honestly it seems all the same to me. It’s a game they play. Our lyrics deal more with personal struggles, and relating to the suffering that we see around us.
What is Within The Mind Records? How many bands area there in WTMR? What are the advantages and disadvantages of WTMR?
(Ricardo). Within the Mind Records was formed by Daniel and I in 2012. At first it was an outlet to release projects that we were involved in. that slowly changed to us releasing music by friends and people we’ve met along the way. For 2020 besides the Rat King release, we will be releasing the debut album by Seattle Metal band Izthmi, which we are really excited about. It’s amazing! We usually do a few releases a year, if we are capable of doing it. It’s just Daniel and I so it’s a small DIY thing, nothing more than putting music out that we love. We’re not paying the rent with this. The advantages of it are being able to control every aspect of our music, from artwork to recording, promotion, etc. The disadvantages would be the financial part of it, and probably the contacts and experience that more established labels have. But we’ve been working with PR people that we like and have helped us spread the word.
Rat King is now sometimes speeding up to blast beats and also doing more melodies. Exploration seems to be on your agenda, like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath in the 1970s, going all over the place, from folk, blues, psychedelia, heavy rock, classical and more. How do you feel about categories and genres at this point?
(Ricardo). I personally love when bands experiment and go on a trajectory and evolve. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t know if we’ll go on a path as diverse as Led Zepellin, or Black Sabbath. I think for now at least the music will stay aggressive, with different styles of metal seeping in. Between the 3 of us we listen to a wide variety of music, but right now the energy that I feel and love in these songs is the most important thing for me.
Will there be shows in the West Coast, other parts of the U.S., and outside of the U.S.?
(Ricardo). For now we are planning a string of dates in February with Izthmi. Just PNW dates that we’ll announce soon. We’re also working on a West Coast tour in the spring with our brothers in Rhine, another Seattle band which Carlos plays drums for as well. We’d love to play outside of The United States and it’s something we’re gonna work on. Hopefully with the release of this album we can get some interest in having us play in other countries. That would be a dream come true.
Thanks for answering the interview!
(Ricardo). Thanks so much for listening to our album and doing this interview. We really appreciate it. We can’t wait for people to hear the new album.
Ratkingband.bandcamp.com
Facebook.com/ratkingseattle
Instagram. @rat_king_seattle
For physical copies: Withinthemindrecords.bigcartel.com

Monday, January 13, 2020

interview: Wormhole

Guitar magician Sanil Kunar took a break from the hustle and bustle of their new album The Weakest Among Us to give readers more insight into the workings of the machine. Sanil also says that they have “lots of playthroughs to come” so it’ll be fun to see as the death metal band continues to roll them out in 2020.
Greetings, friends in Wormhole! Are you going to be taking the new music on the road throughout 2020? Do you plan to make your way to the West Coast in 2020 (Seattle?!)?
Yes! We just played in Seattle in 2019 as part of the Tech Trek tour along with Archspire, Inferi, and Virvum, and it was incredible. The crowd in Seattle is always one of my favorites. As for 2020, I can’t give too much information, but we will definitely be on the road a lot and back on the West Coast.
Your band used to a project spread out between the U.S., South Africa and Scotland, but everyone now is in the U.S., right?
That is correct, the entirety of Wormhole now lives in the United States. The band started between my brother Sanjay and I in 2015, we put out our first album Genesis in 2016. Since it was just the two of us, we had programmed the drums and done bass ourselves, and had our pal Duncan Bentley from Vulvodynia handle most of the vocals. Since we planned on touring in 2018, we needed to get a live line-up together, which eventually became the line-up for The Weakest Among Us. We still did not have a bassist until this year, so bass on the new record was written and recorded by our favorite bassist and person Alex Weber (Exist, Defeated Sanity (live)). Going forward the names of these amazing people and musicians that now make up Wormhole are Anshuman Goswami (vocals), Matt Tillett (drums), and Basil Chiasson (bass).
It’s cool that we hear the bass lines rather clearly in such fast, intense music. How would you explain the good results in allowing the bass guitar such room on the album?
There was a lot of time trying to get the bass in there just right. We knew from the beginning that we wanted it to be audible even before we had gotten the bass tracks from Alex. Once we heard what he was bringing to the table there was no question that it needed to be audible.
We all see the bass as an integral part of the sound, no question. For me, the coolest music comes from different instruments or voices comes together to make something bigger than what any individual instrument could create, and the bass guitar is a big part of that. Like, you could give me a sandwich that is just two pieces of bread and pork and I would probably enjoy it, but I would also much rather have a sandwich that only had little bit of meat, a little bit of lettuce, etc.
Speaking of production, where was the album recorded? How many guitars, in general, would you say that there are on the songs?
The vocals and guitars were recorded at me and Sanjay’s place. Recording did not take too much time, but we had a big delay between recording the drums and the vocals that set us back some time. The drums were also recorded in-house, in the same room in our drummer Matt’s house that we practice. We just took the computer and set it up there. Alex Weber also recorded the bass guitar in his home, and just sent us the tracks when he had finished. Matt and Ansh had recorded drums for their band Noisays just a few months before, so we knew more or less what to expect.
For guitars on the album, there are only ever two guitars playing, and then of course 3 during the solos. Sanjay and I are big into counterpoint in death metal and techdeth and we wanted to incorporate that into the Wormhole sound in a clever way, so sometimes the left and right guitars will “split up” and play their own things for a bit. Two guitars and a bass really isn’t that many different voices in the grand scheme of things, so we wanted get the most out of them.
The artwork looks like it is right out of a scary sci-fi movie with evil aliens that have to come to enslave the human race, and the situation is not looking too good for the humans! Do you provide guidelines to the artist?
We went to Lordigan Pedro Sana for the artwork on both Wormhole albums, and we were definitely more picky this time around. We had given him a sketch of what we wanted, which was just a little guy standing up to a big monster, as well as what kind of color scheme we wanted. There were some clichés we wanted to follow and some clichés we wanted to break. We like slam monsters so we needed a slam monster, and we wanted a lot of color – but not necessarily vibrant. We were going for grim. There were a couple weeks where we were sending the art back and forth asking for little changes here and there, but that stuff is important to us. One person may only see a few of those details, but the collective will see all of them.
What inspires such crazy titles like “Wave Quake Generator Plasma Artillery Cannon” or “Quad MB”? The song “rA9/myth” makes us think that we are going to need our calculators to do some equations while banging our heads!
The lyrics for the songs are connected, some more obviously or loosely than others. It was tough coming up with titles for some of the songs, as dumb as that might sound. Every piece of the album works together to make the final product, and the song titles are part of that to me. The song titles and artwork together create a vibe or atmosphere for the album, it is what the audience sees even before listening. The music and cover art for The Weakest Among Us is slammy, spacey sci-fi, and maybe a little unconventional sometimes, so the song titles needed to reflect that. Hence names you just mentioned.
Finally, thank you for remembering to make the album a reasonable duration time of just under the 30-minute mark. At that duration, with eight tracks, it is so much better to really dig in and get into what the band is doing on the album.
We noticed that most of our favorite albums were on the shorter side, mostly because of exactly what you just said. For a slam and techdeth especially, the music is either so intense or so dense that after a while it can be a little draining. We want the audience to finish the album and feel very satisfied like they heard the whole story, but still want to hear more.
laceratedenemyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/wormhole-the-weakest-among-us
facebook.com/wormholemetal/
instagram.com/wormholeslam/

Friday, December 27, 2019

Friday night right now: Excuse All the Blood

Listen to the live broadcast right now, Friday night:
radiofreeamerica.com/station/kaos
Excuse All the Blood is a metal music show from the state of Washington, U.S. The show features black metal, heavy metal, death metal and other metal genres, too. The show is on Friday nights, but it is also available any time here: www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/seamus-o-reilly
Friday night, 10pm to 1am Pacific Time (Seattle), listen to Excuse All the Blood metal music, out of Olympia, Washington state, U.S.
www.kaosradio.org
www.twitter.com/EATBRadio?lang=en

Thursday, December 26, 2019

in case you missed it: Overthrust 2019

Fans of old-style death metal should find their primal urge to hear something brutal and catchy satisfied with this 2019 EP called Suicide Torment. Rocking out for more than ten years at this point, Overthrust (Botswana) has an album to their credit, a couple of splits, and this 2019 EP. The main characteristic about their death metal is the straightforward delivery of songs that fans of the old school will recognize immediately as candy to their ears.
overthrust3.bandcamp.com/album/suicide-torment-2

in case you missed it: Angel Witch 2019

Angel Witch first formed in the middle of the 1970s in the United Kingdom and made some headway by the end of said decade and they topped it off with the highly regarded self-titled debut full album in 1980. As fans of classic-style heavy metal know, Angel Witch is a cult band that is respected and it’s not too difficult to find people online who will not stop singing the praises to this band and the debut album.
In 2019 they issued Angel of Light and the album continues in the tradition of the band. Equipped with a better production than all those years ago, the music is melodic and hard-rocking as is the style of the band. Die-hard fans of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and of cult, classic-style traditional heavy metal should be pretty happy with the contemporary Angel Witch.
angelwitch.bandcamp.com/album/angel-of-light

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

interview: Austin Pattison, drummer for Ex Nihilo; former drummer for Opropos

interview: Austin Pattison, drummer for Ex Nihilo; former drummer for Opropos
Hey, Austin, how was 2019 and what music do you have planned for 2020?
2019 was a pretty solid year, musically. Despite dissolving the band near the tail end of the year, Opropos killed out a few good shows but even before then, things started to slow down and become stagnant for reasons I did not wish to continue trying to push through. Eli and I in Ex Nihilo became increasingly restless after releasing Ego Ex Nihil at the beginning of the year and just could not stop ourselves from bringing on more projects. For almost a year now, I have been working with a dear friend of Ex Nihilo – Josh Fitzner of Peanutbutterfly & Jellyfish Film Productions – on a music video for one of the tracks from Ego Ex Nihil. Eli even got shot into the video when he visited during the summer of 2019!
As for music already recorded… Yes! Ex Nihilo has just recently signed on with a label based out of the UK called Black Spark Records. Eli and I recorded two tracks this year titled ‘Total Waste ov Humanity’ and ‘Funeral Beneath the Cold Moon’ which will be released through BSR on cassette titled ‘Praeludium’ – Which will be two tracks on the upcoming album (Hoping to release BY 2021) titled ‘Enantiodromia’
In how many entities are you active?
As stated above – Opropos, who was set to become Visceral Descent, was dissolved. Whether or not the other lads will continue as VD is not anything I have info on.
Besides Ex Nihilo, Keanu F (vocalist from Opropos) and I are working on a two-piece project titled ‘Hewa’. It is a beautiful project Keanu approached me about mid-2019. It’s all songs about the oppression of his native Hawaiian people and the stuff Keanu is writing on guitar is wildly crushing and groovy at the same time!
Besides sitting in for Done to Death as their interim drummer, an idea for a DSBM band has started to fester inside my head but it is something I am going to take a good amount of time to bring to the surface. Not only because I want things arranged perfectly, but because I am also learning bass for it and hope to front a band for once instead of be behind everyone on the drums!
The Ex Nihilo album Ego Ex Nihil was released in 2019. Who are the members of Ex Nihilo and how did this project begin? Where were the different parts of the music recorded?
Ex Nihilo consists of Eli and I. Eli writes all the music and primarily all the lyrics. Eli records at home in North Carolina and emails me his ideas – I’ve hardly ever turned them down so he just slaps a click track over them and I download them to my phone and spend some time coming up with what I want to do on the drums. Two tracks from Ego Ex Nihil were recorded somewhat decently through an interface and using microphones, but my computer was going through some PSU problems and would shut down randomly in the middle of recording. It became frustrating, so I bought a decent field recorder and recorded the drums best I could through that. I would then line the drum tracks up to the demo click that Eli sent me, isolate just drums, then shoot them over. Eli mixes and masters everything back on his end. As for the two new tracks on ‘Praeludium’, Keanu F recorded my drums for me under the name of Dirt Eater Productions. Everything else was done as per usual on Eli’s end.
What is the future of Ex Nihilo?
As far as Eli and I are concerned – Ex Nihilo will continue on for as long as we live. We would absolutely love to take our music on the road some day. We were very inspired by Sacrament ov Impurity/Weary with how full of a sound they could reach as a two piece, and we feel determined to be able to do the same. I’m even in constant contact with Sam of Weary and he’s been a very big help and supporter on what Ex Nihilo has been doing this year!
What is going on with Opropos at this point?
Opropos is finished. Starting in 2017, Opropos was simply just Calvin Burns reaching back out to me years after a failed high school death metal band never came to be. He writes some pretty fucking crazy death metal widdly widdlys on the guitar, and I told him I was primarily just looking to play black metal. We combined our efforts and came up with some pretty cool stuff in my opinion, finding a good balance between black and death. Keanu was next to join in, one audition as the vocalist and we were both sold on him instantly. We went through a few bassists, Gadge Becraft being the first. Then, Liam Hughes joined and he brought some vile fuckin’ blackened riffs and for the first bit we all just piled our ideas together. I wrote some lyrics – ‘Fate ov the Faithful’ and ‘Opropos’. Keanu then took over on that part and changed the game, putting a lot more thought into the themes. For the most part, we started out just as any other edgy metal band – Satan and anarchy – But Keanu really started putting some deeper meaning into the words he wrote. In the end, we were pretty heavy into the death side of things, which I actually came to like because it pushed me to become a more solid and versatile drummer outside of the trve and slow blast beasts. Opropos lasted about two years, and I was the drummer the whole time!
Why did Opropos come to an end?
From my point of view, Opropos dissolved because of scheduling and priorities. I have always been a very ambitious person, always wanting to write music with serious people that had kindred dreams of creating a life with music. Things seemed to go well for a time, then it felt like just an immediate severance. We couldn’t keep a bassist, and then it felt Liam and Calvin were putting a lot more thought and effort into any new project that they could start up. Despite telling them that I would be at my drums every night of the week ready to go, it felt like Opropos was in the back of others’ minds. One day a message shot across the group chat saying we all need to take things more seriously and blah blah blah and I said aloud to myself upon reading it “Nope, fuck this. This is exactly what I’ve been complaining about and they’re acting like I haven’t been trying.”
What other instruments, besides drums, do you play? What instruments interests you, besides drums?
HA! Anything besides drums? Nope. But, as stated I am hoping to pick up bass for a new band I want to start. But no other instrument has really made sense to me besides drums. I played keyboard in the beginning of high school marching band, but even then I never learned how to read the music. I would have someone show me what keys to hit and learn by muscle memory.
I used to write some of the most insufferable electronic music in my free time by sampling stupid shit and titling them after the nicknames and inside jokes of my friends. The tracks have never, and will never, be released because they are such (purposely made) trash!
At what age did you begin playing drums? How were you introduced to the drums?
Now, you ask my mother and I apparently told her at a young age that I didn’t want to upset my father - a bassist/guitarist – but I wanted to play drums. However, it wasn’t until 7th grade just after turning 12 that my dad came to me and said “You need an elective class. Orchestra, choir, or band?”
I had already tried my hand at stringed instruments growing up and could never understand how to play them, and I had no interest in singing. So, just before school started, my father bought me my first snare drum, which was a vintage 1970s Ludwig… I regret selling. Now, 11 years later I am still at it! I had enthusiasm since the beginning, but kit drumming didn’t become the main focus of my percussive career until about 2012/2013. I didn’t actually play live for the first time until 2015, and even then it wasn’t an extreme metal band. It took a few years until I started playing the type of music that I wanted to.
Did you like any drummers in particular? What music did you like when you were a child; then in middle/high school? What kind of music was popular amongst high school kids back then?
It took up in to high school before I found my true musical identity. Growing up, my mother and father always listened to heavier music. My father showed me the ways of Rush, Queensryche, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Dio – You know, the usual stuff!
My mom was always into heavier rock, but not a lot of it is anything that stuck. I distinctly remember my very first album I ever owned was American Idiot by Green Day. I listened to that album until I became absolutely sick of it.
Fast forward through the bullshit music phases of middle school and we land in high school. I always had a bad habit of finding one artist I really liked and listening to them and just them day after day, never branching out. Then, a friend I met online showed me Volbeat. At the time, their most recent album was ‘Beyond Hell/Above Heaven’ and on it was the song ‘Evelyn’ featuring Barney of Napalm Death doing guttural vocals. This song surprised me as it starts with a rather heavier death inspired riff and that first “OOOOH!” that is belched out had me wanting more instantly. From Volbeat, I went into the only other heavy band I remember hearing about growing up – Lamb of God. I listened to those two bands back to back for a few years, with some of my own discoveries trickling in. It wasn’t until my best friend’s cousin popped in Wolves in the Throne Room’s ‘Black Cascade’ album that I was introduced to black metal (elitists need not say a FUCKIN’ thing!). Then, my next exposure was when my sister visited home and put a blank CD in my computer after hearing I liked WITTR. Computer loads it up and that striking opening riff to Transilvanian Hunger started to play. At first, it didn’t make sense to me. I skipped through the album. It all sounded the same. I took it out, but kept it with my music for years. As time went by, I got more into different heavier and more abrasive black and death metal bands. Then, one day I popped Transilvanian Hunger back in and it hit me like a fuckin’ wave and it made immediate sense. I had found home within it.
As for the music, my friends and classmates listened to, it was 2010-2014. I could give a shit about their music. My friends hated what I got into but I never asked them to care. There were a few metalheads at my school, but they listened to extreme stuff that didn’t come to me for a few more years.
As for drummers I liked, of course Neil Peart from Rush was brought to my attention when my dad shared their music with me. But Chris Adler was my first definitive inspiration in drumming around the same time I was finding the crazy lads like Flo Mounier of Cryptopsy, Inferno of Behemoth, Fotis Benardo and Krimh of Septicflesh. Now, I still dig them all but I can’t stop myself from being constantly floored by the performances of Darkside on all the Mgla albums he has performed on. I feel I have began to emulate him in an unhealthy way.
In your own time, do you listen to a lot of music? Is there any genres or bands that you find fun to listen to nowadays?
I am always listening to music, as much as possible. When it comes to leaving the comfort of extreme metal, I like my shit weird and different. I got into some rap, but for the most part the way the beats resonated with me just never really kept me. I still go back to cringey bands like Mindless Self Indulgence because their music actually pops off and can be fun as fuck to sing along to when you’re in a weird mood. Other than that, some electronic stuff like Daft Punk, Pendulum, and Alex Clare will come on. I am also shamelessly into – what I assume is – the French equivalent to the Jonas Brothers. When in high school French class, I discovered the BB Brunes and if I don’t understand what the hell they’re saying and like what they play, I’ll always find time to listen!
What are some personal goals of yours for 2020? Some people plan to get a new job, become a world-famous puppeteer, take up the tuba, or finally begin training to be a professional cage fighter whose hands are legally considered “lethal weapons.” What are your 2020 life-changing goals?!
I keep telling myself, 2020 is the year of self-sustain. I will cook more for myself and become the absolute best me inside and out. I am already getting way back into working out. Running, lifting, and drumming every day if I can help it. No excuses!
I will spend my money more wisely. I will finally get out of this town for the first time in years and take a few well-deserved vacations.
I’ve never seen myself becoming rich, but I will be successful in the choices I make. Ex Nihilo WILL play live for the first time (and many more times than that), because Eli will be moving back the summer of 2020! We have an ambitious idea for a tour, as well. It will take time to plan out logistics, but even if it doesn’t work out we can just shoot down the west coast with another band for two weeks or so and spread our sound to whoever will listen.
I’m also going to finally buy a kayak and be out on the water as much as I can because that’s been something I’ve wanted to do forever. As much as I hate inner Bellingham these days, the natural areas around me never cease to amaze me. 2020 will be the perfect foundation for what my future holds with music. I do not hope it, I know it!
exnihilocult.bandcamp.com/releases

Monday, December 23, 2019

interview: Overwrought (Washington State) [conclusion]

interview: Overwrought, black metal from Bellingham, Washington State, U.S.
This is the second and concluding part of the interview. If you already have read the first part, scroll down to the pictures: the second part begins after the pictures below.
Hello! What is up with Overwrought heading into the new year of 2020?! For people who do not know much about your part of the country, is Overwrought based in the city of Bellingham (a few hours north of Seattle)?
Greetings MBPZ, thanks for the interview! Overwrought has a CD release show for our "Volatility" EP on December 21st in Bellingham, then we'll be gearing up to enter the studio to record our first full-length album in early 2020. Other than that, we'll be playing Idaho Deathfest in April and I'm sure a slew of other shows to help promote said album whenever it comes out.
Overwrought is fully based in the beautiful city of Bellingham, WA. This city always used to be one of Washington's best kept secrets, but with time, both the city and naturally, our metal scene, has grown exponentially; I'd liken it very much to Olympia (shoutout to Grim Earth). There are plenty of places to play here for a metal band, such as The Shakedown, The Firefly, Make.Shift Art Space, and some buddies of ours are even trying to book shows at the local veterans’ hall.
Is Overwrought the only metal band in Bellingham or is there a metal scene? If there are other bands, what metal bands do you like in Bellingham? Do Bellingham metal bands share anything in common, such as a sound?
As I touched on before, Bellingham has a very healthy scene right now, though we have taken a few casualties in the metal department as of recent, but there are plenty of new projects in the wings that we know of that are close to being gig ready. That being said, our brothers in Gallows Hymn are also from Bellingham and are absolutely killing it. Aside from them, Bellingham has plenty of other great metal bands: Melancholia, Serpent Sun, Cavurn, Necrotic Divine, Noceur, Mount Saturn, Dryland, Thoughts for the Builders, Tetrachromat, Purulent Conception, and our drummer is in a new death/doom band called Inexorable. Otherwise, there's plenty of other awesome punk and oddball bands such as Done to Death, Monstress, Gallowmaker, Proud Failures, Earth Years, Boxcutter, Slothmonger, The Sheen, and I'm sure plenty of others I'm forgetting. We are especially excited to see what our friends in Ex Nihilo are brewing up in 2020.
As for a Bellingham "sound", there was definitely quite a large amount of black metal bands running in Bellingham as of last year, but since some bands called it quits and new projects have gotten off the ground, there's been a healthy leveling out of different sounds within the metal scene as of recent.
Did you grow up going to metal shows in Bellingham? Are there older bands from the 1980s and 1990s from Bellingham? Or, are you a pioneering metal band in Bellingham?
We all grew up playing and going to different local metal and punk shows in Bellingham (outside of Andrew, who spent more of his teenage years in Lake Stevens). Full Frontal Assault was a huge band for Bellingham back in the day and any project that has been touched by a member of that band since has turned to absolute gold. Black Breath is without a doubt the biggest metal band to originate from Bellingham, but I have no clue as to their current status. We did also have another local progressive metal band called Wild Throne that ended up getting signed with Roadrunner records, but unfortunately split up after one album.
There were bands here back in the 80's, though that's a little before our time; the only one I know of for sure is Catastrophic Disaster. Then through the 90's and early 00's there was more of an influx of metal with bands such as Immoral Intent (which eventually sort of became Umbillical Parricide), Blood Shit, Piano Mover, and some others.
We are definitely not pioneers in this scene; it's only from all the massive groundwork that was laid out by other bands, artists, and scene supporting folk (like photographers, interviewers, promoters, etc.) before us that we have the opportunity and privilege of getting to play shows and have people attend them.
Your first recording is from 2018 and it was a demo, correct? Did you record that demo by yourselves at home? Overall, how was that experience?
Yes, our first recording was "Demo 2018". The demo was recorded entirely by our bassist, Andrew Shore, in our rehearsal space. Andrew had recorded for a few bands back in the day, such as Abject Offering, and even did some mixing and mastering on an EP by Gallows Hymn's proto-band, Empyrean.
Overall, we don't have many fond memories of the recording experience for the demo. We were working with pretty subpar recording equipment that failed numerous times within the process. Laptops crashing, headphones cutting out, mics clipping, overall, not the best time (and the demo took entirely too long to get released). But looking back on it all, we’re immensely proud we stuck it out and got those songs recorded with some level of quality.
Before the demo, how did Overwrought form and how long were you all active in the Bellingham area before recording some music?
Overwrought was originally formed as a side project by our guitarists, Trevor and Nate, and our drummer, Drake. Andrew and Keanen joined shortly afterwards on bass and vocals respectively. Trevor was playing in a tech-death band called Defenestrator at the time and Drake and Andrew were playing together in a doom project called None. Both of those projects ended around the same time at which point Overwrought became all members’ main musical focus. Trevor, Nate, and Keanen had also previously played together in a band called Bastard Son, so the formation and quick transition came very natural.
Trevor and Keanen have been playing longest in the Bellingham scene, with their first serious band being a black metal band by the name of Harlot. Overwrought has deep roots in everybody knowing each other, as Keanen and Drake were childhood neighbors, and Keanen, Trevor, Drake, and Nate all grew up in a small outskirt of southern Bellingham called Sudden Valley. It's very forested and isolated, so naturally we developed a pretty deep connection to nature and music there.
Who started this band and what were the main reasons to form a band and what were your influences? How did you all gravitate towards black metal, as opposed to other genres?
Trevor was sort of sick of all the stress that came from playing in a tech death band and had wanted to rekindle some of his initial musical loves in black metal and classic heavy metal. Trevor, Nate, and Drake all started Overwrought together to overall play anything we thought was just plain good music, and we've generally stuck with that mindset ever since.
Probably the two biggest mutual love bands we had starting out were Nachtmystium and Dissection. I'm not honestly sure how we all gravitated more towards black metal, it probably has to deal with growing up in such an isolated part of Bellingham. Living basically in a forest, we all got really absorbed in our individual instruments and artistic passions, and those early childhood experiences have continued to follow us even into adulthood.
Do you feel content within the framework of melodic black metal? Is a there a particular person driving the music of your band?
We are only interested in playing what feels natural and honest to us at any given moment in time. Lately, some more of the stuff we've been writing has been a little more thrashy, which really harkens back to some of our members early roots. Overall, we believe that if you're going to create music, you should ultimately be trying to ADD SOMETHING to the music scene as a whole, so I actively seek to add new dimensions to our sound and not get comfortable in just one particular styling. We play this music to expose and express the inner contents of our being, even if that means lifting the veil on really ugly or delicate parts of our personalities. But worthwhile art is, above all things, honest, and should never seek to put its performers on a pedestal. If we ever feel we need to write a song to cater to a certain crowd, that's when we'll know it's time to throw in the towel.
Generally speaking, Trevor and Drake do the majority of the writing, but with that being said, everybody in this band adds their own personal touches to help shape and contour the sound of each song we have, and without these contributions, our songs would undoubtedly not be as strong as they are. Nate has written a song and a few chunks for others, and Andrew and Keanen are both in the process of writing material as well. We'd love to get to the point where everybody is regularly contributing songs to this project.
Being such a young band, do you care at all about an old band like Dissection? Is that simply too old for you and you grew up listening to younger bands?
We're all in our mid to late 20s, so we weren't around for that time. That being said, there's been a lot of great bands that came out of the post-2000 scene that were huge in helping to mold us into who we are today (such as Nachtmystium and Crebain). And yes, we all love Dissection and the other Swedish black metal bands. We all grew up mainly on the old stuff, it wasn't until we got older that we started paying more attention to newer bands.
How would you describe to fans the objectives of your music?
The objective of our music is to be honest about ourselves within our art and with our audience. We have an undying respect for bands that keep their noses to the grindstone (i.e., Abigail Williams, Crowbar, Motorhead, etc) and stay true to themselves in the face of goofy trends or fan expectations. Hopefully, a listener feels we've been honest with them, first and foremost, and if we're ever able to help someone out with our music during a tough time, that would mean all the world.
In 2019 you have the EP Volatility. Compared to the 2018 demo, how is the EP different? Your logo is now more legible!
"Volatility" was recorded with all the same guys, but this time around we enlisted the help of Rich Canut, a tried and true producer with an actual studio. Sound wise, the difference between the two recordings are night and day, with "Volatility" being the far and away superior product. We stayed local and recorded in Bellingham.
I think this EP has a better continuity throughout than the demo, which was very intentional. The demo was essentially recorded just to give to friends and prove to venues that we're a competent enough band to book for shows. With this EP, we walked in with way more to prove. We wanted to experiment a little more with a producer who could take our really crude, ambiguous ideas and be able to flesh them out without a hitch. That's the benefit of working with a guy who's been around the block and has heard every "mouthed out" guitar part in existence. There was also a lot of duality to this recording, with the first song being more of a straightforward asskicker written by Trevor (which just so happens to feature the nastiest riff we've ever had in a song at the end). Then "Labor" takes a complete 180, with it being really melodic and written by Drake.
In regards to the logo change, basically, the logo seen on the cover of "Volatility" we've actually been working with for quite some time. When we initially formed Overwrought, Gage from Melancholia whipped us out a logo immediately. All the while, Keanen had been working furiously on a logo for quite some time. When it came time to release the demo, Keanen still had some finishing touches to add to his logo, so we decided to use Gage's. Consistently, gigs we've played always feature our old logo on flyers, so we really wanted to make a point to feature our new logo on this cover as we're immensely proud of the work Keanen put into it and think it's distinct look helps to separate us from most bands within this genre.
What can you tell us about “Telepathic Hallucinations”?
Telepathic Hallucinations is basically about a general annoyance and disregard for certain people who believe they are psychic or intuitive who are in fact just reading too far into nothing and making wild assumptions based off a vibe they claim to pick up on. I feel like we all know a person or two like that. It’s sort of an obscure, Chuck Schuldiner-esque idea that we thought would be an interesting theme for a song. All this being said, we aren’t discounting the possibility that ESP is real, especially as we do have some pretty big X-Files fans in this band!
What about “Labor”?
Drake wrote the music and lyrics for Labor. The music was written in the very initial stages of Overwrought's existence and was actually the very first song Drake wrote for the band. We ended up shelving it for a while because it's initial form was too long and needed some changes. We always kept that song on the backburner though and after cutting the length and making some other changes, the song became the version you hear on the record today.
Lyrically, the song is essentially about life having no intrinsic point and humanity's capability to dictate that point. Generally speaking, we'll all be living a lot longer than we think, and each day that passes counts towards our future and who we are, whether that's to our individual benefit or detriment. "Labor" is an exploration of that choice we make every day.
What cities in Washington State have you played in so far? Have you played in Everett yet?!
We've played all over Western Washington and would love to play anywhere else in the US or great white North, it just hasn't been in the cards for us yet, but anyone who might be reading this in a different state or country, please feel free to hit us up to play your show! And yes, we have played Everett and would love to play there again, just book the show and we'll be there.
So far, your band has five songs released to the public. Are you going to use these songs for the album? If you were going to record the songs again, what would you change?
We're beyond satisfied with the production on "Volatility" so we'll leave those songs be, but we absolutely want to re-record all of the demo tracks for a full-length album now that we're a little more "studio smart". There's a lot of things we've changed or wanted to add in the studio for those songs as well, so they're past due for a recording touch up. When we do re-record the songs, we obviously want to beef up the sound quality, but also add a few more atmospheric elements with keyboard and other sound effects, as well as change up the arrangement a bit potentially where we see fit.
How can fans support your band at this point?
Anybody interested in our band can check out the following links:
Music/merch on bandcamp: overwroughtnw.bandcamp.com/music Booking/Info on facebook: facebook.com/overwroughtnw/ Booking inquiries: overwroughtnw@gmail.com
Thank you so much for taking the time to interview us, it seriously means a lot. Keep an eye out on our social media for information regarding shows and future album updates. Thanks also to everyone who's ever supported us, you know who you are!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

interview: Overwrought

Here is the first of an interview with the Washington State black metal band OVERWROUGHT. They have a show tonight, Saturday night in Bellingham!
Hello! What is up with Overwrought heading into the new year of 2020?! For people who do not know much about your part of the country, is Overwrought based in the city of Bellingham (a few hours north of Seattle)?
Greetings MBPZ, thanks for the interview! Overwrought has a CD release show for our "Volatility" EP on December 21st in Bellingham, then we'll be gearing up to enter the studio to record our first full-length album in early 2020. Other than that, we'll be playing Idaho Deathfest in April and I'm sure a slew of other shows to help promote said album whenever it comes out.
Overwrought is fully based in the beautiful city of Bellingham, WA. This city always used to be one of Washington's best kept secrets, but with time, both the city and naturally, our metal scene, has grown exponentially; I'd liken it very much to Olympia (shoutout to Grim Earth). There are plenty of places to play here for a metal band, such as The Shakedown, The Firefly, Make.Shift Art Space, and some buddies of ours are even trying to book shows at the local veterans’ hall.
Is Overwrought the only metal band in Bellingham or is there a metal scene? If there are other bands, what metal bands do you like in Bellingham? Do Bellingham metal bands share anything in common, such as a sound?
As I touched on before, Bellingham has a very healthy scene right now, though we have taken a few casualties in the metal department as of recent, but there are plenty of new projects in the wings that we know of that are close to being gig ready. That being said, our brothers in Gallows Hymn are also from Bellingham and are absolutely killing it. Aside from them, Bellingham has plenty of other great metal bands: Melancholia, Serpent Sun, Cavurn, Necrotic Divine, Noceur, Mount Saturn, Dryland, Thoughts for the Builders, Tetrachromat, Purulent Conception, and our drummer is in a new death/doom band called Inexorable. Otherwise, there's plenty of other awesome punk and oddball bands such as Done to Death, Monstress, Gallowmaker, Proud Failures, Earth Years, Boxcutter, Slothmonger, The Sheen, and I'm sure plenty of others I'm forgetting. We are especially excited to see what our friends in Ex Nihilo are brewing up in 2020.
As for a Bellingham "sound", there was definitely quite a large amount of black metal bands running in Bellingham as of last year, but since some bands called it quits and new projects have gotten off the ground, there's been a healthy leveling out of different sounds within the metal scene as of recent.
Did you grow up going to metal shows in Bellingham? Are there older bands from the 1980s and 1990s from Bellingham? Or, are you a pioneering metal band in Bellingham?
We all grew up playing and going to different local metal and punk shows in Bellingham (outside of Andrew, who spent more of his teenage years in Lake Stevens). Full Frontal Assault was a huge band for Bellingham back in the day and any project that has been touched by a member of that band since has turned to absolute gold. Black Breath is without a doubt the biggest metal band to originate from Bellingham, but I have no clue as to their current status. We did also have another local progressive metal band called Wild Throne that ended up getting signed with Roadrunner records, but unfortunately split up after one album.
There were bands here back in the 80's, though that's a little before our time; the only one I know of for sure is Catastrophic Disaster. Then through the 90's and early 00's there was more of an influx of metal with bands such as Immoral Intent (which eventually sort of became Umbillical Parricide), Blood Shit, Piano Mover, and some others.
We are definitely not pioneers in this scene; it's only from all the massive groundwork that was laid out by other bands, artists, and scene supporting folk (like photographers, interviewers, promoters, etc.) before us that we have the opportunity and privilege of getting to play shows and have people attend them.
Your first recording is from 2018 and it was a demo, correct? Did you record that demo by yourselves at home? Overall, how was that experience?
Yes, our first recording was "Demo 2018". The demo was recorded entirely by our bassist, Andrew Shore, in our rehearsal space. Andrew had recorded for a few bands back in the day, such as Abject Offering, and even did some mixing and mastering on an EP by Gallows Hymn's proto-band, Empyrean.
Overall, we don't have many fond memories of the recording experience for the demo. We were working with pretty subpar recording equipment that failed numerous times within the process. Laptops crashing, headphones cutting out, mics clipping, overall, not the best time (and the demo took entirely too long to get released). But looking back on it all, we’re immensely proud we stuck it out and got those songs recorded with some level of quality.
Before the demo, how did Overwrought form and how long were you all active in the Bellingham area before recording some music?
Overwrought was originally formed as a side project by our guitarists, Trevor and Nate, and our drummer, Drake. Andrew and Keanen joined shortly afterwards on bass and vocals respectively. Trevor was playing in a tech-death band called Defenestrator at the time and Drake and Andrew were playing together in a doom project called None. Both of those projects ended around the same time at which point Overwrought became all members’ main musical focus. Trevor, Nate, and Keanen had also previously played together in a band called Bastard Son, so the formation and quick transition came very natural.
Trevor and Keanen have been playing longest in the Bellingham scene, with their first serious band being a black metal band by the name of Harlot. Overwrought has deep roots in everybody knowing each other, as Keanen and Drake were childhood neighbors, and Keanen, Trevor, Drake, and Nate all grew up in a small outskirt of southern Bellingham called Sudden Valley. It's very forested and isolated, so naturally we developed a pretty deep connection to nature and music there.
overwroughtnw.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/overwroughtnw

interview: Eighty One Hundred

Eighty One Hundred is Italian traditional heavy metal from Naples. Their debut is called Heaven in Flames and will be out in January 2020. This publication sent out questions to the band to find out more about the music. Below is the exchange.
Please tell us about band: the name and the members.
That’s me, Screamer, singer. Mr. White, on the lead guitar. Taker, on the rhythm guitar. Doc, on the bass guitar. Thunder on drums.
We were born in 2016. This is a new band. Each one of us had his background in underground music scene. We used to play in several underground HM bands such as Endless Scream, Black Inside, HeavenInShine, The Boorish.
E1H has several meanings: Literally it is the zip code of Naples (80100). The real meaning has to be searched in a system that wasted and turned our land in a colony and that won't let us emerge.
How is Naples for heavy metal music? Do you plan to tour in Italy and Europe (especially Germany)?
There are amazing Neapolitan HM bands, but sadly all of us have to play outside Naples or our region, especially in Northern Italy (such as Florence, Milan...). We have played around Italy across 2018/2019. We performed about thirty gigs. Honestly, we want to focus on countries where heavy metal is more considered than in Italy, such as Germany, Poland, USA. In Italy it’s very complicated to go out with our music. We don’t know if the Germany fans know about us, but we hope so and it would be very nice to play there.
What bands inspired your music?
Our music draws inspiration by classic heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden, Helloween, Queensryche, Metal Church, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, but we don’t want to forget band such as Rammstein, Symphony X, Nevermore. I’m trying to have my own sing style, but it’s undeniable for me to be inspired by Bruce Dickinson, Geoff Tate, Michael Kiske and Devin Townsend.
Is “Power of Revolution” a political song?
It has not to be considered a violent song. It’s a song dedicated to all that people tired to be enslaved by this conformist society.
Is “Mater Gaia” about the environment?
You’re right on the environment. We are living in a devastated and polluted world, especially in our land. We are sick of it. In the middle of the song, there is a speech by Severn Cullis-Suzuki when she was just thirteen about the nature who impressed us a lot.
What types of situations apply to the song “Heaven in Flames,” in your experience?
Living in a city denigrated by people that think it is dirt, violent and full of Camorra [crime syndicates]. These stuffs exist, but there is more. When something of good pops up it is immediately choked in our land. We may be not saints, but we are no devils either.
You have good melodies. Is there a method to the madness?!
Those melodies that give us creeps. 😊. We don’t have any patterns or rules to follow at the very first stage. Usually I come with a vocal melody or someone proposes a new riff. Than we work on it and, after several hearing, we may change everything if the song is not valid for us.
The album is actually from 2018. Is there a second album planned?
Both things. We are preparing a “melting” album and bring either the debut and the new one on the stage on 2020.
What do you want new fans to know about your band?
Our dream is to bring our music all around the world. For any bands, I guess, coming to USA is a dream. We’ve grown up with Bay Area influence and the Sunset Boulevard myth.
Where can we hear your music?
You can hear and buy our music on our social channels and our website or buying Heaven In Flames on Pure Steel Records web store.
YouTube Channel: youtube.com/channel/UCaN9f3LTp3OPYWAeyxX2DRg
Facebook: facebook.com/EightyOneHundred/
Spotify: open.spotify.com/album/754s0lV9vSr4TNmS4AeSjT
Website: eightyonehundred.com
Thanks!
Thanks to you for this chance to hear us out. Stay Rage. Stay E1H.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Excuse All the Blood metal music show ON now Friday night

your friendly Washington State metal music radio program Excuse All the Blood is ON right now because 10:00 p.m. in the Seattle region of the United States.
The Christmas edition of 2019.
radiofreeamerica.com/station/kaos

hear a new RAT KING (WA state) song

RAT KING will return with a new album in 2020, but they already have a new song ready for the crazies willing go to the land of experimental extreme metal along the lines of grind, death and all those goodies.
Rat King
Vicious Inhumanity
Within The Mind Records
17 January 2020
ratkingband.bandcamp.com/album/vicious-inhumanity