Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Blaspherian (Texas, U.S.)
This year will be a special one for the band and its audience: death metal artisans Blaspherian have something exciting in store: Infernal Warriors of Death is the name of the release!
Matt (the cannons; and inverted crosses), Apollyon (the grit; and bullet belts), Joe (the thunder; and spikes), and Wes (the crunch; and pentagrams) bring the fire.
Houston = deer; Blaspherian = headlights. Your town is next!!! www.myspace.com/blaspherian
Hello! Infernal Warriors of Death will be unleashed in 2010, correct? Blaspherian maniacs in Houston are ready for it!
Wes: Hails, Mauricio! Thanks again for the honor to be included in the pages of the Metal Bulletin! Yes, we will record Infernal Warriors of Death sometime around April/May 2010 Anno Satanas, so it should be released sometime in the summer 2010. Hails to the Houston metal hordes! It’s nice to see the scene getting better, not just for us but for other local bands as well.
In a previous interview we talked about your album Allegiance to the Will of Damnation. Where will you take the dark-heavy sounds of the blasting death doom?!
Wes: We are looking forward to unleashing new material upon the metal world. We've been busy writing sick unholy hymns, that will make you bang your fuckin head for Satan. New titles, “Exalted in Unspeakable Evil,” “The Disgrace of God,” “Invoking Abomination,” and of course the title track, “Infernal Warriors of Death.” I do believe they are a natural progression from our previous works, all the classic elements are there, the only real difference is that there are more tempo changes, as well as a touch more speed.
Maybe you can talk about a couple of songs?!
Wes: Well, I think the final 2 tracks we've written are among our best and most chaotic, doomy and yet sick that we've written, we are BESTIAL UNHOLY DEATH DOOM, I think that says it all! When the new cd is released I truly feel it will represent the true Blaspherian sound.
How’s Apollyon’s role evolving since joining? How’s the chemistry for songwriting been changing as Blaspherian advances?
Wes: Apollyon has added a new depth to the vokills, he has a much broader range than Desecrator, mixing in highs as well as the killer lows. Also, his lyrics are fuckin sick. The chemistry is strong, and powerful, he fits in perfectly. We could'nt have found a better replacement for Desecrator than Apollyon!
Where do Matt’s thoughts go when performing a Blaspherian song?
Matt: It depends on where we’re playing, I listen to the song as we play it, but also I pay attention to the crowd, and watch people going off, stage diving, etc. We rehearse so much that we all know the songs well enough that even if we fuck up, we know where were at. Also I think of scenes af absolute devastation, and hellish realms of demonic supremacy.
Where’s Joe Necro in the overall structures of Blaspherian?
Wes: Joe Necro has been a very good addition to the Blaspherian musical chemistry, getting him back in the band has been awesome, he’s a great musician, a true metal head. One other quick note, we're looking for a bass player, we would really like to move Joe over to guitar, so in reality Joe’s a fill in bassist till we get someone else. So if any bassists are reading this, if you wanna try out get in touch.
Where do you record? Is it in Houston?
Wes: So far we have only recorded at Dead City Sound, which is a studio on Houston’s north side. We feel absolutely comfortable there, the atmosphere is super relaxed, and trust me, that makes a huge difference. It’s owned by our friend Chris Ryan, he’s a killer engineer and I totally recommend all bands record there!
Blaspherian is now on Deathgasm Records, along with the metal allegiance known as Abominant. Are there any plans for getting these two metal loyalists on a tour, maybe a southern tour?
Wes: It’s an honor to be affiliated with Deathgasm Records. I've personally known Evan [Deathgasm mainman] for many years, hes’ a hardworking guy with strong metal ethics. We felt it would be the best thing for us to work with Deathgasm at this time, the only other label we would have considered would have been Ibex Moon, and fuck yes, I fuckin love Abominant. All their records are sick but my favorite is their newest release Warblast, it’s highly recommended, and a tour would be sick, we shall see.
What do you think about “pay-to-play” concerts? Is it from the 80s? And is it the most blatant, greed-driven operation? Napalm Death have criticized that mentality of money-above-all-else.
Wes: Pay to play simply is the gayest possible situation. It’s from the 80s and yes, of course, it’s greed driven. It began from promoters selling opening slots at concerts to the highest bidder, to make more money. It’s a good thing that Napalm has spoken out about that kind of bullshit, those type of ethics do not belong in the metal scene, as an example I would cite the downfall of the Milwaukee Metalfest, which was huge years ago. They offered pay-to-play opening slots and to me it creates a shitty situation for the concertgoers who were forced to see bands they didn’t want to and this, to me, is one reason the Maryland Deathfest is a much stronger event than Milwaukee ever was, because you cannot buy your way onto the stages on the Maryland Death fest, it has much more intergrity, and is a better value for the concertgoer.
Given your critique of religious dogma, do you feel the same about these endless wars, the corporate greed-dominance and all this thievery? Is it compatible to be a Blaspherian maniac, and then listen to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and agree with them?
Wes: Simply: yes, all the wars, greed, corporate thievery, all that bullshit is the same as the bullshit we fight against in Blaspherian; it’s all tied together. I do not and never will support the lies of corporate greed mongers, false messiahs, right-wing ideologues, with a Christian agenda, i.e. Lamebaugh, Beck, Hannity, etc., those cretins fight against freedom, and fight for a Christian America, they completely support a brainwashed subservient America, they do not want you to criticize or think for yourself. I will never support such un-American values. Also, I want to state that family values equal Christian values. I think that gets lost in the political debate, and I will never support Christian values, period.
What are y’all’s 3 most listened-to bands in the last six months?
Wes: Nile: Those Whom the Gods Detest, Asphyx: Death...the Brutal Way, Embrace of Thorns: Atonement Ritual
Matt: Blasphemophagher: For Chaos, Obscurity and Desolation, Cruciamentum demos, Vasaeleth 7"
Joe: Morbid Angel: Altars of Madness, Archgoat: The Light-Douvering Darkness, Pestilence: Consuming Impulse
Apollyon: Morpheus Descends: Ritual of Infinity, Mork Gryning: Tusen år har gått, Incantation: Mortal Throne of Nazarene
Who amongst you are the Candlemass listeners? Epicus Doomicus Metallicus and Nightfall, anyone?!
Wes: I think I can say we all love Candlemass, especially the first 2 records made a huge impact on me. I've been a fan, even before they were Candlemass, as I have a copy of Leif's previous band, they were called Nemesis, I have that 12" in my collection, and from what I hear its pretty rare, so they are an influence, to be sure, especially Epicus, which is an all-time doom metal classic!
Anything else you’d like everyone into Blaspherian to know?!
Wes: Thanks for the interview, and your support of metal. Metal Bulletin is a very important zine in Houston, and I'm glad someone is finally supporting the metal scene with this type of endeavor, because we must show that metal is about a lot more than computers, and downloading music. It’s good to see you, Mauricio, doing the hard work it takes to support the scene. I think sometimes people forget how much work, time and effort that goes into a zine, and I want you to know that we appreciate it, so thank you and hails for the excellent support.
Also, look for our split 12" with Mutilated Messiah, which will be out through Hells Headbagers records in the coming months. For more info on that release keep an eye out at www.hellsheadbangers.com. Of course, look for our debut full length this summer! Hails!!!!!!!!
Wes Infernal, 2010 Anno Satanas. THE END.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Mordenom achieves a very professional sound on their debut AGNVS DEI: uptempo/midtempo/blasting death/black with emphasis on guitar melody/riffs/solos and atmosphere, and some melody. This is a self-release, but it sounds professional, definitely not a like rough demo. Having spent all that money on the recording, you would think that they are now totally broke and living in a van down by the river.
You only live once and you might as well go for it and make the album you wanted to make, consequences be ignored. Mordenom, you have made the cd you did want to make and your hard work has been worth it.
If you want a little melody and atmosphere, with your metal, and good production, begin here. Mordenom will not disappoint.
Air guitar time! Marjan (lead and rhythm guitars) will be the guide. If you like what you hear, be supportive!
Hello! AGNVS DEI has such good, memorable songs and good sound quality. What have you done to support the release?
Hi, Mauricio. First, thanks for the kind words. Yeah, we are definitely satisfied and proud with ourselves and the record we’ve made. I think it was two weeks after the album was finished when a release party was organized. Then we did a mini tour around Slovenia - few concerts to support the album. We've also played one open-air summer festival, MetalCamp. We’ve sold few copies of our CD, I don't know the exact figure, but I can tell you, it isn't a big number. Slowly we’re getting there, but we are realistic. For this kind of music and in the situation we're in there really isn't much more we can do. Our primary goal is to make music that sounds good to our ears and enjoy the whole process of being in a band.
Currently we are working on a video for a song from Agnvs Dei - Conjecture about Reality. That's our next "big" project. We are also working on brand new material, so we keep our selves busy. For merchandise please check out our website (www.mordenom.com) where you can order our debut album and various t-shirts.
Your album is a self-release. Impressive! Have you recovered some money? Are you optimistic about the band’s future?
We’ve managed to recover about 1/5 of the money we’ve spent for the album. But that really isn't an issue or a problem. We knew that long before we entered the studio. Or in other words: we are not in it for the money. I mean, don't get me wrong, we would all like to do this for a living but unfortunately it's just not possible (yet?). Nevertheless, I think you could say we are optimistic. I am constantly writing and working on new material, we have three interesting songs already written and a lot of good stuff is still waiting, so to speak, to come alive. As soon as we got enough material we'll demo it and head to the studio. So, second album is in being written as we speak and probably will be properly recorded in the near future.
“Towards the Iron Gates of Aeon” lasts 11 minutes. What was it about the original idea that made it 11 minutes? Would you like that song to be played at your funeral?
We are proud of all the songs on the record, every second of every song is there with purpose. That being said, Towards the “Iron Gates of Aeon” is definitely a special song. I’ve noticed it’s seen by many as the culmination of Agnvs Dei. It's the longest one and it sort of concludes the concept of the record. I knew from the first riff it would become this long, epic song and the one, which will end the record (at least in some way). Even the working title was "Ep" (translation: epic). When a song is that long you have more freedom to experiment with different themes and it wouldn't be logical to have eleven minutes of blast beats, tremolo picking, and growls. So, from the start we knew we wanted a diverse, dynamic song, with lots of drama and I think we got one.
Funeral? Well, I think in certain way the lyrics would fit pretty well, but musicaly speaking I would rather hear something mellower. Let's say Death’s Voice of the Soul would be nice :-)
You played the Metal Camp Festival. What did you like about it? I hope that some people wanted copies of your cd!
It was great. The time was good, the weather was good (in the time of our concert, otherwise it was terrible – raining all the time). That was our first open-air festival; big stage, there was a lot of people, etc. MetalCamp is really a beautiful festival and if you're a metal fan it's just cool to be there and experience it. It was actually our goal to play there since we were all fans of the festival, so when they selected us among circa 400 bands we were hyped. During the concert we had some minor techical difficulties but that didn't ruin the overall impression.
“Blessing or the Curse” makes an impact right from the beginning: Good job! This song was written by Marjan. Was it arranged by everyone? Is Marjan the one who started the band?
Yes, I wrote the song and the lyrics while Jernej, Rok and myself did other arrangements. The three of us were also founders and first three members of Mordenom. We actually don't write songs or even riffs on rehearsals, which I guess is a little unusual. We practically use them (only) for practising and "strategy". Sometimes we have little jams, and when we do them, we usually switch instruments and just play for fun. Not that it matters – “Blessing or the Curse” is the fastest (tempo-wise, 250 BPM) and clocking at 4:30 shortest (vocal) song on the record. But basically it's a pretty brutal "in your face" piece and a fun song to play live.
Are there metal bands in Slovenia that have women members? How is the metal scene growing in Slovenia?!
There is one all-women heavy metal band, I think Hellcats is their name, but I really don’t know anything about them or any other all-women band, sorry. The metal scene in Slovenia is getting stronger every day. We have good bands in all genres and some of those guys really should get more recognition for their work. Check out some of them (Noctiferia, Burning Legion, Negligence, Obduction, Neurotech, just to name a few) because they deserve it and you won't regret it. Though, I must “warn” you, for some (unknown) reason there are a lot thrash and black metal bands in our country.
“Above the Mysterious Worlds” (8:10) has a longer guitar solo/melody from 3:40 to 4:23. Do you remember when you constructed that particular part of the song?
Of course, I remember. First part of the melody was written at the same time as the riff. I knew we needed a change in rhythm and atmosphere, a break if you want, and that arrangement was perfect for it. The 2nd part was actually improvised in the studio. I was just playing around with a melody I had and when the right one came we just pressed the record button and record it (along with it's harmony). As for solos goes, I see them as a little "song in a song". Before I begin writing one, I always have a general idea of how it should sound, where it should go. Usually I hear certain melodies in my head before I actually start to play. Then on some parts I just improvise and get some quality passages from that. This normally gives me about 90% of ideas, the other 10 are always in the air :-)
Are you college students? How expensive is the university? In the U.S. it’s expensive: more and more only for the kids of the rich and middle classes, but not for the working class?
We all have jobs, except our vocalist, he still goes to college. He studies at Faculty of Electrical Engineering. Yes, we know all about your education system. Things are a little different here. The education (tuition) isn't that expensive, but the cost of living is high, scholarships are low and very few get them. Meanwhile, a good education doesn’t necessary mean a good job. It's probably more important to be in the right place at the right time, gain as much experience as possible or to have some kind of connections, but I don’t know, man. You probably know how things currently stand as the global economy continues to weaken. I must also point out that we all come from a middle class working families, so it's been/is pretty hard for us to finance ourselves because we rarely get money from our music and we basically do it for the pure love and passion for the music.
You use a lot solos. Do you think that your music would lack the dimension of melody and memorability without solos? Does Rok Stopar play any solos or are all done by Marjan?
Yeah, I think our music would lack if solos weren't there. We are a guitar/riff-oriented band. Our songs simply call for good lead parts. Basically it all depends on what kind of music you listen or play. For example, if I listen a band like Gojira, I don't miss them. On the other hand, when I'm listening Nevermore or let’s say Necrophagist, I would miss them. I grew up on rock and metal bands that have solos in their songs and when I discovered instrumental (guitar) music and all those crazy jazz-fusion players I fell in love in it, so they were always part of my playing.
I think they definitely add something to the song, but a song should never depend merely on solos. I take them like some "cherry on top" kind of thing. Good, strong, interesting riffs are music bones and therefore rhythm is way more important than any solo, so we are very careful that a song (or talking about solos) has a good progression of riffs and rhythm.
I wrote and played all solos on Agnvs Dei.
You live in Slovenia. Unlike the U.S., it’s not far to go to other countries. So, do you go to metal shows in other countries?
We are surrounded by 4 countries; Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. And since we're in the EU it's pretty easy to travel to other countries as well. We also have a lot of concerts in Slovenia (approximately one every day) so there really is no need to travel far away. And with festivals like MetalCamp and Paranoid Open Air you’re able to see a lot of different bands in just few days (although we all know the difference between festivals and headlining shows). Personally, I'm very picky with the bands I listen and concerts I see. So, in 2009 the one that stuck with me would probably be Opeth on Progressive Nation Tour. I prefer quality over quantity, so if I see one good concert once a year, it’s been a good year." THE END.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Avenger (Czech Republic)
Avenger has done their part of the bargain with a great release, Feast of Anger/Joy of Despair.
The problem is getting metalheads to check it out. Once you do, it will be an attractive proposition, and a difficult one to turn down.
Here’s an argument for it. The band, who are well versed in classic metal/death/black, have a tremendous ability to utilize their own creativity/feeling/atmosphere: through their use of the tympan (which gives their music a solemn tone of classical heaviness), well-placed melody/catchy riffs while retaining a decidedly traditional black/death metal sound, the solid sound quality of the recording, and a certain Avenger-ness, like talent and songwriting ability, that makes the band click; plus, guitar catchy solos, the combination of uptempo, blasting and midtempo patterns. They certainly have made a serious effort and it shows very well.
How good can it be? It’s got the metal tradition, memorable songs and a creativity that is not be taken lightly or to be dismissed.
Hear the song “Vitriol” on their myspace and just think about it. Is it generic guitar playing? Does it sound like it has no feeling? Or does it suggest something else? Are they actually that good? Their release answers in the positive. And yet here they are, waiting for the metal-hunters to discover Avenger.
Honza (guitars and vocals) answers the questions.
Congratulations! Feast of Anger/Joy of Despair is very good!
Hi, Mauricio thanks for nice words.
Has it improved your situation in the Czech Republic?
We have received mostly very positive reviews in the Czech metal media, a few interviews but that’s all. As with every album, you can find people who like it and people that don’t. We haven’t watched any great increase of fans interest in our band. But at the same time, we are not complaining about it. Our Dark Metal path has been always for those who wanna discover emotions and harmonies that are deep and obscure and are not attractive for the uninitiated. The past 17 years have proved that we are probably never going to do a music for the masses.
And what about the rest of Europe?
Our last gig outside CZ was I think in 2002 or 2003. We would like to set up a small tour over Europe in 2010. But its only a plan so no idea if it really comes to reality.
Your lyrics are in Czech. What are the concepts for “Voices of Delirium” and “Ritual of Wrath”?
Yes, Czech is my native language that’s why I can use it much better and more effective or maybe even poetic way, simply much better than English for me personally. “Voices of delirium” is an instrumental track, full of sounds of alcoholic delirium halucinations sounds. “Ritual of wrath” is about letting wrath go its own way without any limits or moral borders. If you wanting to kill, why not to do it. If you wanting to eat human flesh, why not do it. It’s also parallelly compared to sonic brutality, flaming nails, hammers whatever. Any ritual that helps you handle your anger in your fantasy is cleaning, liberating, washing stress away.
You have a tympan player: Jarda. Is this an inspiration from Master’s Hammer? Celtic Frost has some moments like that on “To Mega Therion,” too. Does Jarda come from classical music?
Ha ha, no, he is not a classically skilled musician. He is normal metalhead like all of us. This guy first appeared in Avenger as a session bass player. Adam, our that-time-bassist was a professional soldier and he went for a mission to Bosnia for 6 months. So Jarda took it as his replace for a few gigs. When Adam came back, we were too sorry to let Jarda simply go as he proved himself as very good friend and mate. So we bought tympans and he has kept playing with us since then. Yes, the inspiration is of course coming from Master’s Hammer. But generally the sound of this instrument is the most fucking diabolical it could ever be. So we have always longed for having it in a band.
Avenger is a band since 1992! How has your musical philosophy changed from 1992? Do you have day jobs?
Yes, of course, we have daily jobs. One has to live out of something. I’m probably the most lucky guy, I have built a recording studio that earns me for living. But all the other guys have jobs totally unrelated to music. Our music path has been less or more still the same all the time. We are dark pilgrims. That is probably what made us form the band back then.
Do you have other bands or is it just Avenger?!
No, I’m the only creative power in Avenger since 2002. In the past Ramus was also writing lyrics and/or a few riffs but life is life and sometimes it keeps you more busy with other things than just hobbies and music. We will see with the next album, maybe Ramus will join the process again. But I have always been very majoritarian music author in Avenger and I think it will always remain so. As for my other bands, I’m at the moment member of these: Panychida, Radiolokator, Oblomov, "25". My past is also connected to bands as Maniac Butcher, Darkstorm, Judas Iscariot, Nargaroth, Krieg, Morrior, In Articulo Mortis. About 30 bands in total.
How has the economic situation affected you? Less concerts?
Strange question, to be true. I don’t know what to say. Is it a politic question or a music question? Because I’m not able to tell you something serious about economic situation (maybe except that I do shopping today for what I earn yesterday, with no fucking reserves ha ha :-) Generally, yes, there are maybe not so many gigs in here like it was in 98 - 2002. But I think money is not the only thing in the background. I was so lucky to give intensive gigging when not so fucking too many bands were in here. Today the amount of bands in unbearable so people are overloaded and lose their interest. That’s why gigs and everything ends in shits. But I guess this is not a problem of just Czech Republic.
How can people get your other albums, like Godless? And you have a DVD, too?
You can check www.avenger-cz.net or www.myspace.com/avengerofficial where you can check our news, merchandise and/or find a contact. First 2 albums are sold out, we have a few last copies of Godless album, and the DVD is a half profi recording of our 15 years anniversary gig. It was shot on 3 cameras, the sound was taken by 2 condenser microphones in the hall. Anything can be ordered also directly over email: email@example.com .
What else do you have to say to readers of Metal Bulletin zine?
Thanks, Mauricio, for this intie. CHAOS AND DARKNESS FOREVER!! DARK METAL RULES! H. THE END.