Wednesday, February 20, 2019

metal from Russia; interview: Second to Sun

This publication has reported on the extreme metal of Second to Sun by sharing the band’s videos. Upon researching the Russian entity’s discography and history, it became obvious that something interesting in happening with prolific music coming out under the name Second to Sun. In this interview Vladimir Lehtinen answers questions about the music and life in Russia.
Friends! How is the Russian winter for you in 2019? I’m near Seattle and it is usually not very cold here and we don’t get snow, except on occasion. But we do get lots of rain. How is life for Second to Sun in Saint Petersburg?
Hello and greetings from Russia, despite all the crap that media keeps saying, this winter was beautiful, not very snowy though, but you might be surprised – actually rainy. I might be mistaken, but we have quite similar weather, seeing that Seatle and Saint-Petersburg are on the same latitude. We are doing good and working on new songs. Gleb (vocals) and Maks (bass) are living in Siberia, that’s where you find real cold weather.
Did your band really have two albums in 2018?
In 2018 we have actually released three albums: “The Black”, re-release of our instrumental album “Blackbound” with vocals and “The Walk” in standard and instrumental versions. So that is correct.
Do metal fans in your city come to your shows?
Honestly saying, we’re not playing gigs. Although, we have many listeners. And I feel bad for this, but at the same time we still don’t do gigs, because I’m a stubborn person and I want to create new music and not work at shows. Showmanship is musicians work, but writing albums is art.
Russia is a big, big country. Do you tour in Russia and the neighboring countries?
Russia has the same picture as I have described above: we have listeners, but not everywhere. To have a tour around Russia popular bands needs a few years, we’re not so popular on the other hand – so we’ll manage in one year, ha-ha. As for neighboring counties, if we take internet statistics, we’re more popular in Germany and Scandinavian countries than in Russia, also in Canada and the U.S. We would be very happy to visit those countries and Seattle too.
Tell us about The Walk. What inspired this album? One song is called “We Are Not Alone” and then another is called “We Are Alone,” ha ha ha! You have one called “From Outer Space.” Are extraterrestrials an important theme on the album?
Heck, we publish detailed information for each track in our social media and you can easily find it and read it, we have it on Bandcamp as well. We’re a band with idea, since we play black metal music, but you might find it funny that the name of the album is taken from Pantera’s “The Walk” and it’s intertwined with the album art and tracks, when each separate track takes you on some kind of trek: Say for example, “We Are Not Alone” is about a priest, who went to baptize pagans during christening of Rus and “We Are Alone” is about time, when I went to my father’s grave and recorded ambience at the graveyard. “From Outer Space” is somewhat an intro to a next track about a train, which was enveloped by some kind of mystic or alien power, which moves with incredible speed. In short, the main theme of album is mystic, but it is hard to tell the story in one sentence. I’m trying to make musical pictures and embed them with philosophy. It might be stupid nowadays, but I can’t fight my own nature.
Who are the members of the band in 2019? It began as a solo project, right? What motivated Vladimir to become such a hardworking musician?
Well, I’m basically project’s mastermind. Gleb Sysoev on vocals and Max Sysoev on bass guitar (Max and Gleb are twin brothers) and Fedor Brovskiy on drums. I write all instrument tracks, music and lyrics. I have my own home studio and I mix a lot of Russian bands and some international bands, but also my own friends (Max and Gleb’s other project Ultar and their yet another project Grima). I’m not motivated by anything in particular, I just feel that this is my life’s calling.
Here in the United States in the movies and in the news Russians are always evil people. The news never has anything positive to say about Russia. If you were to see the U.S. news, I think you would be surprised how much bad news about Russia there is in the U.S. How is it in Russia? Is the news in Russia always bad about the United States? Are the Americans evil in the Russian movies ha ha ha?!
Man, that’s totally screwed up, you know. I think it is all based on a fact, that in the U.S. people don’t know much about Russia, because they never spoke to any Russians, and nobody in Russia ever spoke to Americans. Last year I have mailed about 100 CDs of my music to US fans. I never met an unpleasant person out of those, I spoke a lot to them in social media and in person on few occasions. All these news are political bullshit, which our governments need to keep milking money off us and show us some form of enemy to keep us together. Because when people are together, they are a flock. And every flock has a shepherd. We have entirely the same here in Russia and I’m so sick of this media bullshit. I don’t want people to argue, I want them to experience positive emotions and clarity from good music. I fucking hate these media, that keep publishing all this paid bullshit. I know that’s what they do to earn their living, but is it worth making a conflict between millions of people basing on some fake causes. I don’t think so.
And yes, in mainstream Russian movies, Americans are depicted as evil and dumb and this is bullshit, too, this is sick and not right.
Here in the U.S. the working class is concerned with having a job so that they can provide for their families. American workers are not like the CIA, FBI and government agents in the movies. How is the life of a metal musician in Russia? What types of jobs do you have? What are some cool things about life in Russia? What do you like about living in your city?
Well, again I can say it’s the same here: no KGB agents and people are working to make ends meet.
But Russia is not as you might imagine it in America. Probably you think of us as a unified country, but in fact we’re united only in our language. Imagine that Saint Petersburg HDI is as high as in New York or Canada, but a neighboring Russian region has HDI, just as Uruguay or even Cuba and they’re practically living in communism. And don’t forget that we have many religions spreading across the regions and we don’t have racial diversity as you have. Probably it’s hard to imagine, but this is how Russia is. In some northern parts you can actually meet a bear on the street, and in Kuban’ region they have ostrich farms. This is the way it is. Metal musician’s life in Russia is not much different from life of such individual in Norther (less) and Eastern Europe. If you take Siberia and Urals, it’s quite slow paced and depending on the region you might be earning less than what you need. I have my own business in music, I write, mix and supervise music for hire, Gleb and Maks are renting costumes, do audio recording and teaching and Fedor is a sound engineer.
City where I live is 300 km away from Finland and the climate is pretty much the same and everything else is similar to Europe, aside from more people. Saint Petersburg is a cheap city by US standards. Food, alcohol and clothing is cheap and people are not very talkative. We often go hiking in nature in Russia: hunting and fishing are very popular as well as sauna bathing (with vodka or beer, just like in Finland). Russians spend a lot of time in gyms. But here we don’t go to the mountains a lot, because there are no actual mountains in the region and you get used to the grey weather and I personally don’t really enjoy, when the sun gets out. Such weather has a special artistic atmosphere. Russian people “When in Saint Petersburg – drink”, because we have so many bars and drinking spots around. Saint Petersburg is really fond of its soccer team – Zenit, we have local wrestling federation, but it’s not so popular and I personally love ice hockey.
But if you go 2000 km south, you’ll find an actual Wild West version of Russia with their own rednecks – Cossacks. So keep in mind, what I mentioned earlier. And 2000 km is not much in scale of Russia, some people take plane trips that long to get to work.
How are you feeling with multiple albums finished and released in 2018?! Does it matter to you if you get good or bad reviews? How can U.S. fans support your band?
I feel great. And it’s marvelous to be a creator. A lot of reviewers don’t really get in depth on our albums, thinking that if the band doesn’t go touring, you can just forget about it and skim through the album randomly. For example, one guy in Germany first made a negative review and only after three months he actually got to listen to it and read some additional information (initially he found out about the band from a video on Train 1702), in the end he was so inspired and bought a CD. Our music has an idea and nowadays it can be considered wrong and difficult. But aside from that we stick for heavy and atmospheric sound and despite having memorable hooks and refrains, but people prefer distilled and compressed sound of modern metal.
On the other hand there are people who make actual serious reviews. And we would like to thank them greatly. Listen our album all the way through, that’s the reason why it was made. I put my soul into each album and it’s very important for me not to become popular, but to find somebody, who shares similar perspective on the world and enjoys what I do. And judging by the positive reviews, there are some people like this. You can listen to our music on any digital distribution service: Apple Music or Spotify. You can easily find us.
We also have merch and it’s all presented at Bandcamp: You can always support us by buying digital release, CD or T-shirt.
Or you can just share our music with other people, that’s also a good way to show support.
Are you working on new music already?!
Hell yeah! And you should expect a new single album this or next month. We’re working hard, but music is what we dedicate ourselves to.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019


Opprobrium: The Fallen Entities
Label: High Roller Records; Release date: 22. Feb. 2019
With a history that reaches back to the 1980s and to the international rise of death metal, this band is one that some old-school fanatics might already know. The first album is from 1988 and the 1990 album on the up-and-coming record label Nuclear Blast earned them a permanent place in the history of extreme metal. To make a long story short, in 2019 they return some three years after their previous album. What is the situation in 2019? The album features a chunky production with thick guitars of the classic death metal tone that they are known for, a style that has thrashing rhythms with the heaviness of death metal. The music works for one main purpose, and that is to make fans feel the music as moshing and headbanging tunes.
The band delivers sharp riffs on every song and it is very much uptempo and fast throughout. These blood brothers are confident, and why shouldn’t they be? They have a good legacy. Do you want to know what this music is? Just look in the mirror, my thrash and death metal maniac friends, and you will know. This band thinks like you. No messing around. Plug in, and rock! Mosh if you want, bang your head if you need it, tap your toes if you must.
The album sounds strong. The vocals are with the full force of the body, a semi-intelligible roaring growl. Play this album. Reliable. Trustworthy. There’s satisfaction in hearing veterans sticking to their story. There is no wimping out here and no softening with age. That’s an offer you can’t refuse.

King Apathy

King Apathy (formerly Thränenkind): Wounds
Lifeforce Records; February 22nd, 2019
The music is generally slow and midtempo, with some chugging and with melodies present. The overall sound is mellow, melodic and slow, a catchy type of downtempo; easy to understand and enjoy. On occasion they speed up, but it’s not the norm.
The big contrast to the instrumentation comes in the form of the hardcore punk scream-shout growling. This is the only type of vocals on the album for 97% of the time. The vocals are generally on the harsher, abrasive side. The vocals might make you think that the music is extreme, noisy stuff, but the fact is that the music is rather melodic, mellow and memorable, but decidedly not upbeat and not joyful nor cheery. It’s music that is unhappy, but it is done so well that the listener can find a certain type of reluctant joy that comes from said style.
The band is a left-wing pro-environmentalist type of political entity, and so the lyrics are going to be important for the fans who agree politically, but it’s not like you can understand what the vocalist is growling. For instance, I do not have the lyrics and I have not been able to understand the words, maybe a few here and there.
There are three questions to be answered. First, would you like to hear and get into some slow and melancholic music? Second, do you like this type of vocals; are you willing to give the vocals a chance or are you against hardcore shout-growling? Third, is the left-wing politics going to be a problem for you?; are you opposed or in favor of bands using their music to promote a perspective of environmentalism? These Germans do know exactly what they are doing with their music. They do it very well. It is convincing.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Lance King

Lance King
Nightmare Records
Release: 29 March 2019
1.ReProgram 03:26
2.Pointing Fingers 05:26
3.Stand Your Ground 04:13
4.Technology 06:45
5.Reaction Formation 05:28
6.Limitless 05:18
7.Wide Open 05:02
8.Chaotica 04:16
9.Spell of Domestication 05:26
10.Perfect World 04:35
11.A Mind at War 09:58
total time 59:53
The singer Lance King has an incredible discography that fans of melodic and progressive heavy metal really owe it to themselves to spend the time investigating all the albums in which he has sung. Blessed with a very pleasant singing voice, and no doubt the result of lots of hard work, King brings a lot of life to the music. On March 29th, 2019 King will have a new album called ReProgram that lasts about an hour. The prog power fan that is new to the works of King should start here and hear this most recent work, while those already familiar the artist will be pleased to hear the talent and quality.
These songs illustrate where King is musically in 2019. The voice has always been high and smooth, and in the past on some albums the voice has gone very high. On this album the voice is still high, as usual, but it is slightly lower in tone. Each song has high spots in the choruses that contrast a bit more with the lower range used for the verses. Keep in mind that King has been singing with bands since at least the middle of the 1980s, but probably years before that. That’s a whole lot of singing experience, skills and knowledge under the belt. King’s voice has always sounded fresh and young, perhaps he always has been blessed with smooth pipes, and on this album the voice sounds healthy and strong.
The music is melodic and catchy progressive traditional heavy metal. It uses prog rock, classic and hard rock tropes as part of the overall framework of the songs. For instance, on the song “Technology” there is a guitar solo with a tapestry of the blues and classic rock, done so subtly. It’s a nice space rock moment in a song with a catchy chorus. The point here is that there are different layers on the album, but it’s all done under the umbrella of melodic heavy metal. Given that King has invited various friends to contribute on the album, there are some small and interesting differences in the songs that happen naturally from having different personalities involved.
This album is a coherent presentation of music that features stories about the need for new ways of thinking. King has often been concerned with lyrics that say, if the world seems like a mess, just take a look at the mind. In King’s perspective, people are driven by the belief that we know everything, that we are our own gods. We reap hatred, arrogance, pride, addictions, misery, the love of money and other evils because it’s what we have sown. That’s King’s point, to reboot our ways of thinking, as the album title says.


8 February 2019
This band must have pondered for a long time the question: What do you have to do if your objective is making your music sound, above all, beautiful? You already know how to be heavy. You already know to how growl like lion and you already know how to do raspy vocals. If you wanted to, you know to how do sick black metal. You already know to do death doom. You figured out how to sound somber. You know all this. Heavy. Slow. Growling. Fast parts. All those bases are covered. Now how do you go about making it beautiful? Or at least, beautiful to fans of metal and doom, given that beauty is in the eye of the beholder?
This is how they solved the riddle that they put before themselves. The guitars stay away from abrasive, loud obnoxious pounding groove or power chord rhythms, and focus on developing slow or midtempo melodies that make possible a quick understanding of what one is hearing. It is pleasant, mellow, soothing sounds, not overpowering loudness. The music doesn’t ask you to be quick or be dead, it asks you to settle down and enjoy the melodies. It doesn’t demand that you love it or leave it, it is patient with you, and gives the room and time to figure out the epic heaviness at hand.
Growling in metal in general is harsh on the ears, though it may sound good to the people who are already fans of it. Screaming has the same problem. This album does have a bit of black metal raspy vocals, but the band is keenly aware that they have to be careful with it. Therefore, they couple it with the lower growling to soften the harshness in order to steer it towards elegance in doom. The main vocal style is the low growling that is present as a vibe, a mood, a gentle monster, if you will, not as a shock to the ear. With such an album, and given that the band is already big time on this road, they would benefit from allowing themselves even more freedom by letting the melodies stand out even more. The keyboards work well with the album and it would be great to go at it and use them on a more upfront or at least on a more constant basis throughout the songs. This album is recommended highly to devoted fans of death doom, especially fans of the melodic-melancholic elegant-sublime kind of death doom.


Hadal Ascending
Unholy Conspiracy Deathwork / WOOAAARGH
7 December 2018
1.Paradise or Perdition 04:01
2.Tales from the Depths 06:01
3.Black Incantation 03:17
4.In Ecstasy 04:53
5.A Glowing in the Dark 04:08
6.Black Dragons 03:17
7.Architect of the Portal 03:57
8.The March 04:16
9.Children of the Sea 03:09
10.Conquering the Stars 05:55
total time 42:54
This album is compact and efficient, and it has all sorts of goodies that make it enjoyable and headbanging. In this extreme metal album there are various things taking place that make it fun in the way that the songs are constructed. The basic frame of the songs is by itself strong, but the fact that the band has gone beyond the meat and potatoes of the songs and added more elements is what makes it worthwhile. The vocal style is growling, the guitars are tuned down, and the drumming goes into blasting often, although blasting is not the only mode of operation, not at all As a way of illustrating what is going on here, let’s randomly choose songs 4, 5, 6 and 7 and see what they have to offer.
song 4. Some blasting, but also midtempo, with some breakdown chugging. Very nice heaviness and deep growling. The breakdown/chugging sounds awesome, and the use of some subtle melodies really give the song the vibe of both death metal and deathcore heaviness, but with some slight dissonance to great effect. When the song ends, the band takes away the extreme metal, and lets you hear some melodies they used, an example of another layer that has been there in the song, but that repeated listens reveal even more.
song 5. This one is typical of how the band works with different energies and is not afraid to mix it all up in the space of four minutes: slow parts, blasting segments, tremolo picking, super heavy-duty massiveness, low and high growling. How do they do it in four minutes? Well, they do it. It’s not chaotic, but it is kind of crazy, but it works!
song 6. The chugging breakdown parts are so good, with a bit of some good ole pinch harmonics. The blasting parts rock, too, of course. They throw down a bit of guitar hero licks. Overall, however, the guitar melodies coupled with the chugging make this track very fun.
song 7. The band’s ability to go from chugging breakdown to blasting to melancholic slow and back to death metal chugging moshpit heaven is a pretty cool thing. They don’t hesitate to inject blasting parts and their drummer certainly knows how to work in that pocket. As the song heads to the final lap, they hit you up with some monk chanting, yes, monk chanting, as they take out the song.
Conclusion. The songs are concise and efficient as can be. They find a way to stay on point even when they can do it all, reworking all sorts of styles into a coherent whole. Surprisingly fun.


Conspiracy Theorist
Release: 15 February 2019
This album is hard as nails. They do not care for making the music too melodic. It is hard-driving, grooving-thrashing pounding metal. The vocals are super aggressive and abrasive on the ears. The guitars, bass and drums work in marching unison with the purpose of making you form a moshpit or to jump into one or to make you think that you are going to bench press 500 pounds today and do 100 pull-ups at the gym. If you are driving and are listening to this album, you will probably get stopped by the long arm of the law looking to make you pay some money to the government.
No melodic singing. No sweet whispers in your ears, just aggro-angry metal to rile you up even more about politics, the government and the extraterrestrials. Oh, those extraterrestrials! In the middle of the album there is a quick break of two minutes of mellow, and the last song is a relaxing tune that shows that these Canadians can be melodic if they want to, but they don’t feel like it. This is a song for cooling down, for after your workout at the gym or after moshing. The band has figured out that they are good at what they do, and they are not going to mess it all up by pretending to be the most eclectic band. Find out what you do well and stick with it. That’s their philosophy. Look into this band if you enjoy the in-your-face no-nonsense aggro-groove thrash fueled by anger, hatred and high voltage metal. It’s not going to be pretty, and it’s going to be abrasive.


Hic Sunt Leones
Rockshots Records
Release: 8 February 2019
According to Metal Archives, this band began in 1992, and this is the fourth album, but the music sounds very modern, like an amalgamation of death metal, metalcore, thrash, groove, and melodic death metal all joining together. At times, the riffs sound like big thrashing rhythms to get you moving. Somewhere in there is the energy of the guitar found in both thrash and classic melodic death metal. It’s music that is fun, upbeat and easy to understand as upfront, muscular songs. The fact that they use a melodic style to the thrash riffs makes it all that much easier to get into. The energetic overall sound is helped by the use of the melodies because the album does stay intense throughout.
The vocals are busy-body growling and screaming, with a big metalcore/melodic death metal edge. Fans of the raspy screaming should hear this particular style. On this album the vocals control the feel of the songs because the screaming is right up there with the speed of the drumming and riffing, present constantly. This album is especially recommended for huge fans of the melodic death metal and metalcore screaming. The music ends up as a mix of headbanging, fast songs that have immediate impact, with abrasive, harsh screaming that is designed joyfully to destroy people’s hearing. If you like aggressive growl-screaming and melodic extreme metal, give a listen to this veteran Italian act that has been making noise for decades now.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Washington state concert calendar, updated February 15, 2019

Washington state concert calendar, updated February 15, 2019
February 16 Keep Metal Alive Fest IV: Xoth, Witch Ripper, Gravewitch, Vile Effigy, Nocturnal Mayhem, others at The Charleston, Bremerton, WA
February 16 Hell’s Belles (AC/DC tribute) at 7 Cedars, Sequim, WA
February 16 Endorphins Lost, Black Queen, Great Falls at Highline, Seattle, WA
February 16 MOTU, Effluvia, Overwrought, Shades of Memory at The Plaid Pig, Tacoma, WA
February 16 Hacksaw, Disease, Oxygen Destroyer, others at Pizza Palace, Seattle, WA
February 17 CHRCH, Un, Old Iron at Substation, Seattle, WA
February 17 ApHelion, Gallows Hymn, Overwrought, Speaks in Tongues at Columbia City Theater, Seattle, WA
February 19 Traitors, Angelmaker, Vctms, others at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
February 21 Traitors, Angelmaker, Vctms at The Pin, Spokane, WA
February 22 Soulfly, Unearth, Incite, Skinflint, Rutah at The Pin, Spokane, WA
February 22 Into the Storm, Grim Earth, Maklak, Blightmaker at Substation, Seattle, WA
February 22 Maestus, Ninth Moon Black, Entrail at Cryptatropa, Olympia, WA
February 23 Soulfly, Kataklysm, Incite, Skinflint, Odyssian at Club Sur, Seattle, WA
February 23 Toxic Reign, Oxygen Destroyer, Kömmand, Schmutzhund at The Valley, Tacoma, WA
February 23 Skelator, X Suns, Demonhammer at Screwdriver Bar, Seattle, WA
February 24 Abstracter, Hissing, Foul at Highline, Seattle, WA
February 25 Abstracter, Hissing and Isenordal at The Plaid Pig, Tacoma, WA
February 25 Werthless, Beldam, Dilapidation, Tenrai at Central Saloon, Seattle, WA
February 26 Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Necrot, Blood Incantation at Showbox, Seattle, WA
March 1 Hell’s Belles (AC/DC tribute) at Manette Saloon, Bremerton, WA
March 1 Voidthrone, Beldam, Orator, Izthmi, Noceur at The Plaid Pig, Tacoma, WA
March 1 Conan, Sixes, Usnea, Heiress, STAHV, Witch Ripper, Summoned by Giants, Teepee Creeper, Ray King at Substation, Seattle, WA
March 2 Pustulous, Werthless, Goon, Dead Obvious, Corpse Religion at The Bombshelter, Tacoma, WA
March 2 Blood and Thunder, Dilapidation, Odyssian, Opropos at Mirkwood Public House, Arlington, WA
March 2 Hell’s Belles (AC/DC tribute) at Chalet Theatre, Enumclaw, WA
March 2 Massacre at the Opera, Hands of Deliverance at O’Malley’s Irish Pub, Tacoma, WA
March 3 Steaksauce Mustache, Foes, Pound, Zan at The Pin, Spokane, WA
March 4 Steaksauce Mustache, Foes, Florida Man, Smooth Sailing, Zan at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
March 6 Steaksauce Mustache, Foes, others at The Plaid Pig, Tacoma, WA
March 6 Deterioration, Caustic Wound, Disease, Bummer at Black Lodge, Seattle, WA
March 6 Witchpriest, Namea, Themyscira, Carnotaurus, Darkmysticwoods at The Plaid Pig, Tacoma, WA
March 8 Heartbreaker (Led Zeppelin tribute) at Rocko’s, Everett, WA
March 9 Gevurah, Diabolic Oath, Blood Atonement, Plague Bearer at Highline, Seattle, WA
March 9 Avoid, Truth Under Attack, Dead Crown, I Am Infamy, others at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
March 11 Alterbeast, Aethere, Continuum at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
March 12 Cradle of Filth, Wednesday 13, Raven Black at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
March 13 Rivers of Nihil, Entheos, Conjurer, Wolf King, Armed for Apocalypse, Odyssian, Nott at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
March 15 Coven 6669, Witchaven, Xoth, Orator at Highline, Seattle, WA
March 16 Space Vacation, Skelator, Hellfire at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
March 16 Within Temptation, In Flames at Showbox, Seattle, WA
March 17 Witchaven, Xoth, Beyond Theory, Toxic Reign at The Plaid Pig, Tacoma, WA
March 18 The Browning, others at The Pin, Spokane, WA
March 19 The Browning, Betraying the Martyrs, Extortionist at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
March 19 Baroness, Deafheaven, Zeal and Ardor at Showbox, Seattle, WA
March 21 Effluvia, World Peace, Bloodstained Concrete, Bummer at The Plaid Pig, Tacoma, WA
March 22 Greyhawk, others at Erebus, Kelso, WA
March 22 Y&T at Club Sur, Seattle, WA
March 22 All That Remains, others at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
March 22 Deafheaven, Baroness at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
March 24 Metal Yoga at Substation, Seattle, WA
March 25 Prying Free, Simulation Theory, Forever Convicted at Tony V’s, Everett, WA
March 26 Aborted, Cryptopsy, Benighted, Hideous Divinity at Highline, Seattle, WA
March 28 Isenordal, Shrine of the Serpent, Dissidence, Drouth at Black Lodge, Seattle, WA
March 29 Children of Bodom, Swallow the Sun, Wolfheart, Hollow Cry at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
March 29 Prying Free, 2Klix, Malevolent Breed, Groundfeeder, The Mischief Committee at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
March 31 Uli Jon Roth at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
April 3 Lord of War, Alukah, Discord Curse at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
April 3 Fates Warning, Queensrÿche at Neptune Theatre, Seattle, WA
April 6 Splintered Throne, Sin Circus, others at Tony V’s, Everett, WA
April 12 Anvil at Tony V’s, Everett, WA
April 13 Anvil at Jazzbones, Tacoma, WA
April 13 Tetrachromat, In Rapture, Impurities, Thread the Sky, Rookie Warhead at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
April 13 Hypocrisy, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Aenimus, Orator, Whythre at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
April 13 Washington Deathfest IV Anniversary Show at The Charleston, Bremerton, WA
April 14 Aggression, others at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
April 19 & 20 Washington Deathfest IV at Erebus, Kelso, WA
April 19 Top Knot Fest 2: The Drip, Steaksauce Mustache, others at Southgate Roller Rink, Seattle, WA
April 19 Thor, Leathürbitch, Greyhawk, Solicitor at Highline, Seattle, WA
April 20 Deathbed Confessions, Great Falls, Foes, Florida Man at The Plaid Pig, Tacoma, WA
April 21 Horrendous, Of Feather and Bone, Cavurn at Highline, Seattle, WA
April 23 Enterprise Earth, Lorna Shore, Bodysnatcher, Within Destruction, Imposter of Humanity, Esophageal Deterioration at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
April 23 Psycroptic, Cannabis Corpse, Gorod, Micawber at Club Sur, Seattle, WA
April 25 Uada, Wormwitch, Cloak, Isenordal at Highline, Seattle, WA
April 26 Massive Scar Era, Siren’s Rain, others at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
April 26 Massacre at the Opera, The Accused AD, Toecutter, others at The Plaid Pig, Tacoma, WA
April 27 Integrity, Incendiary, Funeral Chic at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
May 9 Archspire, Inferi, Virvum, Wormhole at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
May 14 Inanimate Existence, Aethereus, Pound at Highline, Seattle, WA
May 18 Hatebreed, Obituary, Madball, Agnostic Front, Prong, Skeletal Remains at Showbox, Seattle, WA
May 18 Endorphins Lost, Generation Decline, Goon, others at The Plaid Pig, Tacoma, WA
May 21 Devastation on the Nation Tour 2019: Dark Funeral, Incantation, Belphegor, Hate, Vale of Pnath, Nightmarer at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
May 25 Skeletonwitch, Soft Kill, Martyrdöd, Wiegedood at The Crocodile, Seattle, WA
May 27 Rippikoulu, Petrification, Fetid, Cerebral Rot, Drawn and Quartered at Highline, Seattle, WA
May 30-June 1 Northwest Terrorfest at Neumos/Highline/Barboza, Seattle, WA
June 7 Plaguebringer, Aethereus, Toxic Reign at The Plaid Pig, Tacoma, WA
June 9 Flotsam and Jetsam, Dead by Wednesday, Coven 6669 at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
June 11 GloryHammer, Aether Realm at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
June 16 School of Rock Bellevue: The Big 4 of Thrash at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
June 21 Judas Priest, Uriah Heep at ShoWare Center, Kent, WA
June 22 Coheed and Cambria, Mastodon, Every Time I Die at Marymoor Park, Redmond, WA
July 11 The Ruins of Beverast, Dispirit, Nightfell at Highline, Seattle, WA
July 13 Ozzy, Megadeth at Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, WA
July 20 Appice Brothers - Drum Wars with Carmine and Vinny Appice at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
September 5 Iron Maiden at Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, WA
October 2 Kamelot, Sonata Arctica, Battle Beast at Neptune Theatre, Seattle, WA
October 6 Delain, Amorphis, Anneke van Giersbergen at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
October 26 D.R.I. at El Corazón, Seattle, WA

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Downfall of Gaia

Downfall of Gaia
Ethic of Radical Finitude
Metal Blade Records
Release: 8 February 2019
The duality of the album is very appealing to those listeners that would be willing to allow themselves the pleasure to see what happens when the music goes from grim blasting speed to slower melancholic-melodic moods. The band has dedicated a serious effort to making both sides of the coin be good quality. The fast side has good, subtle melodies that make the music remarkably pleasant. With today’s technology it is possible to have frenzied speeds of grimness, as is often the case here, but make it all sound professional (not homemade/garage recording) and smooth, while retaining the hyper speeds. Sometimes the tremolo picking reworks and elaborates a repeating pattern and make it seem almost hypnotic. The melodies, of course, help to frame the extremity in ways that are surprisingly amenable.
Perhaps a relatively accurate way to get to the melancholic-mellow-melodic side of this album is to say that overriding trait of the music is the continuous, persistent and constant use of notes that evoke various forms of sadness. Once you sign on the dotted line and you say that you do want to dedicate the time to the album, that you want to ride it out and go with it and see where it takes you, then you find the joy in that journey.
It is an ambitious album that works anywhere from melancholy to headbanging moments. It is as if the band were using the principle that an instrument like the guitar can yield music that shares commonalities with an instrument like the piano or cello: the mellow, even relaxing feel, the pensive mood, the somber vibes. The album is 40 minutes long. That’s long enough to present a good, serious challenge, while still maintaining the joy of discovery, and also instigating repeated listens of this gem.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

interview: Verminlord (part 2)

Verminlord is a one-person black metal entity in the United States. Starting in 2016 the recordings have kept on coming down the pipeline, including a demo, a few singles, an album, a few EPs, and split. This publication is going to get to the bottom of these developments and figure out for the readers what is going on with all this recording activity through the interrogation of a thousand and one questions. Let’s see what happens.
This was the first part:
Of course, you do the shriek vocals, right? But do you do the singing, too?
VL: Yup, all vocals come from the same weird mouth hole.
What are your feelings about your singing voice at this point? How much practice do you do for singing? The singing sounds like it comes from the tradition of The Sisters of Mercy, Tiamat, Type O Negative and on through various forms of goth music, including rock and metal. But actually, where do you feel that you are inspired from for the singing?
VL: I feel like my singing has improved greatly since the first release. I feel like on the most recent release Sojourn I’m the most comfortable with my voice.
All the bands you listed are definitely places I’ve gathered inspiration from but I’d say honestly the band I took the most from at least in vocals is the rockabilly/doom-country band Murder By Death. I’d love to even give 10% of what Adam Turla does. I’d also say Peter Murphy had a big impact on me. I saw Bauhaus perform with Nine Inch Nails in 2003 and it was a pretty life altering show.
Would you ever consider recruiting some friends to play live?
VL: I feel like if the stars aligned and I asked them really nicely I could assemble a band. I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up but I’d like to perform a few shows in 2019. Live music was such a part of my life until the last 5 years. I’ve thought about doing a tour up the coast ending with my old home of Seattle.
Sometimes it’s just hard to find the time to organize everything.
Do you feel comfortable calling your music black metal? If people called it goth rock, would that bother you?
VL: I call Verminlord “atmospheric depressive black metal” but I know a lot of trve black metal fans don’t really like my music. I think one of the most incredible parts of black metal as a genre is that it lives in this weird experimental space where you can bring in all these foreign ideas and concepts and dump them into the cauldron.
I imagine there are some people who don’t agree with me but that’s how I see it. There are definitely a few tracks that would fit into the “Goth Rock” space, especially the EP “Visions Of A Cursed Warlock”
In 2016 the first recording was issued. How long did you cook up those songs before making them available to the public?
VL: I wrote that demo in a weekend of fury, frustration, and despair. I remember at the end of it how fucking shakey my hands were.
Then you kind of went crazy bananas on us and released another recording called Anguish in the same year of 2016. What was happening? The artwork on the cover is from 1878 and it is by August Friedrich Albrecht Shenck, correct? To use that art, do you have to pay money to anyone or is it public domain?
VL: Hahaha when i find something I like, I do it hard and often. Writing black metal became my artistic outlet. 2016 was a pretty hard year. So the music flowed through me pretty easily. I could finally exhale all my frustrations and sadness into something that wasn’t self-destructive. That is correct, it’s one of my favorite paintings. The painting is old enough to be used under creative commons laws. I think I saw it in art gallery when I was living in Europe in 2009.
You went even crazier in 2017 and did five various recordings as separate releases. Were you unemployed and had all this extra time to be making music?
VL: At the end of 2016, I was laid off from the job I hated and the apartment I wrote VL Demo & Anguish was going to be demolished to build new shitty condos. The woman I was seeing at the time got into a study abroad program and was moving to Bangkok. I asked her if I could join her and she said yes. I sold all my shit and packed what was left. My carry on luggage was my BC Rich Warlock. I still have the guitar, but she got a little damaged from all the travel we did.
I switched back into freelance role and was working as a comic artist and colorist. In between gigs I was exploring Southeast Asia and I would be inspired by temples, ancient sacred groves, and epic holy caverns. How could I not write that much music when I’m surrounded by that?
With all this music activity, do you have time for hobbies or is it an all-consuming thing that leaves you little time for friends, family, relations and hobbies? Putting out all this music by yourself, what you found out about yourself in the process, the work, the stress, the lack of sleep and everything else?
VL: I’m a workaholic. I’m a weird place now where all my old hobbies have become how I make a living. At this point I’d say Verminlord is my only hobby. I don’t mean to diminish its value but I also don’t think anyone goes into black metal and thinks “I’m going to be rich!” Every song is very personal to me. When I recorded the shrieking vocals on the track Sojourn I was literally crying because of what the song was bringing back up. I’m not ashamed of that either. It’s fucking depressive black metal.
Have people in your family and friends ever asked you why you put yourself through all this work making extreme music?
VL: My family has always been very supportive of my musical efforts including my exploration of metal. Most of my friends generally like the instrumental parts but the vocals tend to be the more difficult part to digest haha.

interview: Negative Slug

On February 11th, 2019 the Croatian heaviness purveyors Negative Slug struck back with a work that can be only the work of not-so-sane musicians. They lovingly decided to call the 21-minute recording Knee Deep in Raw Sewage. Hip hip hooray! Joy to the world and happiness to everyone! Or maybe not. They call themselves Negative Slug and they think of such deranged titles. What if this publication sends them some questions about what exactly is taking place in the world of Negative Slug in Croatia, and let’s see if we can figure out what is motivating these young people? What if this publication can cheer them up with questions about depression and alienation? Sounds like a recipe for a good time at the O.K. Corral. May the odds be ever in your favor! Let the games begin and may Tom Brady’s luck accompany you in your journey through sludge, friends.
How is the life of a sludgecore band in Zagreb, Croatia in 2019? Do people in your city understand your music or are you too crazy for Zagreb?
Hi to all the readers of Metal Bulletin Zine, my name is Sven and i`m representing sludgecore band Negative Slug from Zageb, Croatia. The life of Slug in the year 2019, it started pretty busy, released one ep at the start of year and yesterday (I`m writing this 12.02.2019.) we have released our brand new record titled “Knee Deep in Raw Sewage”.
Played some gigs (Zagreb, Split, Zadar) and I must say that the response so far if you ask me about the fans that it’s getting better and better, so I think I don’t want to be egoistic or something like that, is that the people in our city/country maybe started to understand our music, if not that then the quality of live performance, but all in all I do think that playing sludge in Croatia is like someone asked you believe it or not type of question so yeah maybe not crazy but something awkward definitely.
Who are the members of Negative Slug in 2019? Did you have the same members when the band began in 2015?
Members of Negative Slug year, 2019 Neven Polsak – Guitar, Marijan Skrin-jar – bass, Marko Balenovic – drums, and myself Sven Polsak – vocals, and we all play on “Inbreed Retard Ep” and on the new album “Knee Deep In Raw Sewage”, 11.02.2019. The lineup in this four years of Negative Slug changed just once when Mario Komin – drums (Bliss Of Corpse last release) was replaced by Marko in the year 2017.
The first song on Inbreed Retard (Self-Humiliation) is a quick heavy rock (part sludge, with a bit of grind) song, but then the second one is more than 12 minutes of noise. It sounds like you are playing a record backwards for 12 minutes, kind of cutting and pasting the same sound for 12 minutes. Was this an experiment done by one member of the band?
The ep “Inbreed Retard” was accidentally made, it wasn’t planned, we had in plan to release just Nun`s Piss (single) before the album, but after we finished with recording, mixing, mastering our mastermind Neven just made a little experiment, he played with new record and has done something like reversing the whole album and we did like it and the same thing he did on our first album “Tumor” in a different way and Turd Gobler ( second song) had to be the last track on our new album, but in the end we decided that its maybe better to put her out to breath on her own and we chose Inbreed Retard (first song from ep) to be just one more song from upcoming album just for fans (if we have some ) just to hear in which direction the bend is going on new record.
Back in 2015 the band released its self-titled recording. It is big sludge raw music in slow motion! What inspired the formation of your band in 2015? Were you in other bands before Negative Slug?
The band on their self-titled release was trio (Neven – Guitar, Vox, Marijan – bass, Mario – drums) I came in a band a little before recording of “Anguish” Ep and on first hand as far as I know the whole thing with the band didn't been take serious at the start and the only thing was just to jam the three of them and make some ugly sludge in vein of the bands we all respect in one way or another, after all if you ever gonna go to our gig our something, we always play some cover songs to pay the tribute to bands that inspired us. At the time musically the inspiration came from the bands like Sabbath, Cathedral, Iron Monkey, El. Wizard, Ramesses, EHG, Grief, Vitus, Old High on Fire, Scum Era Napalm Death, Burning Witch, Fistula, Methdrinker, Entombed, and the bands we play/played before Neg. Slug we all are different styles musically and the list is next: Duskburn, Among The Firs, Sljam, Nina Herr Trio, KlP, GromRitual, K3P, Garbage Display, DR(0)GA, Siroke Ulice, Kiwango.
Then again in 2015 there was another Negative Slug recording called Anguish. Do you record your music together in the house of one member of the band?
At that time I came to the band and in the beginning Negative Slugs first two recordings were recorded in about one session per recording and they were recorded just to be recorded nothing seriously was back then like I said before, it was Neven ideas which he had in his head at that time and then he was the only one behind mix and all and back then we didn’t have some quality equipment to record our self but now in some ways we have to make some improvised studio in our practice space.
How did people in Zagreb react to your album Tumor in 2016? The album is, of course, sludge and it is music of a twisted reality, kind of insane and angry. For you, does your music reflect your own anger or confusion about life in Croatia? For instance, are drugs are a serious problem in Croatia?
Tumor reactions, as I remember they were good, we played first gig for that album with Monolord and have some cool gigs, so it was good and about the album itself it was the reflection of the situations in our life at that time, so yeah anger was present like always when you live in corrupted fucked up from retarded idiots who look just for their interests and unfortunately very beautiful country, then pain on some way, the title itself came when one of our friends got testis cancer, but he got through that now, so yeah the situation or the atmosphere of the album has a little of that on it because the situation was bad and now is even worse, and for the drugs, the government is looking at them, like its medieval times, so yeah for them its evil but alcohol and all the shit they did they have to ask themself why they live then.
Do you think that depression is important as a source of inspiration of Negative Slug? Do you personally feel alienated from society or is this sludge simply the music you play, but it is not necessarily a reflection of your mental state?
Maybe for the atmosphere yes, I don’t fill alienated from society maybe sometimes when you have problems with stupid people who don’t understand anything and in Croatia there are a lot of people who are like that, and this version of sludge is the sludge we always wanted to play in and from my side of watching sometimes is a reflection of my mental state but it’s a good trigger to puke out my anger because all the bullshit I have to get through the day.
Your grandparents and parents grew during Stalinist times in Croatia when it was part of Yugoslavia. But, for you, how do you feel about life in Croatia nowadays?
A lot of our friends and unfortunately a lot of young people moved in better countries so in Croatia there will be like in 10 to 15 years just old people, stupid government and their stupid “UHLJEB” families and me. So it’s very bad to live for young people.
In 2018 Negative Slug had the EP Bliss of Corpse, which has a very grim cover artwork. The sound quality is good and the songs are a filthy, dirty raw sludge. It seems like Negative Slug could be a doom band from New Orleans, U.S.A., actually. I think it is good sludge and maybe fans of Eyehategod and Crowbar would enjoy your music. Did you get some good reviews and some interviews for this recording?
Thanx for kind words , the artwork was done by one of our brothers a very good friend of ours Romario (huge talent) who moved to Ireland, looking for a better life (he did the cover for the new record), my thoughts about our sludge it mashup of everything for every sludge fan if he like that visceral kind sludge we do. Yes, there were some good reviews and I did some interviews at the time when the ep was released even the No Clean Singing site has the premiere of that ep.
Do you plan to play shows in your region of Europe? Croatia is part of the European Union, right? Does this make it easier to play concerts in Western Europe?
The current situations for live shows is that we have played last week two gigs (08. & 09.02.2019. with excellent band and very good people and friends of ours Wizard Of Stone Mountain from Croatia, Split and have talked maybe to book some gigs together to try to play as many shows but it all depend on situations we all have to go through work and all that mambo jambo thing that we all have to deal with in life. We would love to do as many gigs as possible and as far as I saw in countries we have played so far Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Novi Sad, Czech Republic, there were fans from town to town it depended where we were heading but we would love to play as many gigs as possible. Croatia is a part of EU, but it isn’t easier to play concerts in Western Europe because you are from Croatia and you have to do don’t know what just to get the gig, unfortunately and I hope some booking agent who is willing to help Negative Slug to book more shows if someone reading this. :D
What do you want to say to the U.S. fans of sludge about Negative Slug?
To all the Zine readers and sludge music lovers maybe we aren’t the best sludge or inventors of something new in sludge music but if you listen to our songs you will see the visceral structures of sludge combined with other genres that there is some potential and if there ever gonna be some booking agent interested to bring us down to the US, that we would love to do it and we would not disappoint live, so hope you like our sludge and it’s real.
Do you have any other news?
Yes, our new record is out 11.02.2019. Negative Slug, Knee Deep in Raw Sewage, you can download for free the record on our Bandcamp page even Dan (FISTULA) from Patac Records put the album on his Bandcamp label page for to people to hear some new underground bands and we are thankful from him for doing that, so hope you will like the new record to support us and help us somehow to play more shows and we are working on some split release with our buddies from Hungary, Her Highness and on some ep maybe more splits so the future looks good but first promote this new records with as many gigs as possible.


Blind Justice
Underground Power Records
release: 4 February 2019
They have a song called “Shred or Die,” and I don’t want to die, so I choose the second option. Now, that’s how you want to party! You bring the apple juice and chocolate milk, Jojo will bring the cookies and the old Savatage records, Z will bring the vegetables to roast on the grill and those Saxon tapes recently found at the store, and I will bring the boombox and the cassette tape with the songs from this Spanish band. I should bring a couple of Van Halen, Priest and Accept titles, too.
The first song by this traditional heavy metal band features some very nice and memorable guitar work in the solos. The singing is good and the song is a power rock anthem, but the solos made me notice. It turns out that it was not an accident. They have the power rock anthems and solos to wake up anyone looking to rock out the classic way.
These Spaniards are apparently obsessed with comic books, but they are even more obsessed with rocking hard from dusk to dawn. Some songs have a bit of the classic rock vibes, some are steel heavy metal anthems and plenty of high screams and guitar solos. The goal is music for a good time and a good time it is. Play it once for a good time and play more times for air guitar wizardry, and you can sing along or pretend to sing along.
The album has a fat drum sound, and the whole album is anthemic and upbeat for party rocking too loud all the time at home and in the car. The production is good, there’s lots of banshee screaming and soloing. By the way, that song I mentioned “Shred or Die”? It’s the last one and it is a shredfest as you would imagine. Very entertaining album.

out now: thrashers HELLNITE

Midnight Terrors is the name of the 2019 album by the band Hellnite on Sliptrick Records. They have the album streaming in a bunch of places if you just go to the link below. Who they are and what they are about is explained in the official information below.
Thrashers HELLNITE are proud to present their debut mosher "Midnight Terrors" out now as of February 12, 2019, via Sliptrick Records. The full length is lyrically a paranormal and sci-fi themed concept album with influences from classic heroes such as Kreator, Slayer, Death along with next-generation thrash and heavy metal such as Havok, Skull Fist. The debut album was written and recorded by founding member, vocalist, and guitarist Paolo Belmar who formed HELLNITE originally in Mexico City in 2010 and has now re-established the band Edmonton, Canada with a live line up consisting of bassist Konnor Miskiman and drummer Ryan Payne.
Belmar adds: “I have been working on 'Midnight Terrors' since 2014 when I lived in Mexico and I think it will be well received from people who are into oldies and classic metal. I’m proud to say that it is something that I made to happen by myself. I want to say thanks to everyone who joined me in this trip and put a piece of effort in order to bring this album to life, Hellnite will live forever AND the next album will be even better (I can’t wait). I hope this album provokes curiosity; my purpose is to catch people’s attention so they can follow the next movements of the band, which are going to be a little bit twisted in comparison with 'Midnight Terrors'."
The album is available from Sliptrick Records along with stream and download on iTunes, Spotify, and all major online retailers.
Phantom Force

Booze Control - ATTACK OF THE AXEMEN (Lyric Video)

Booze Control is traditional heavy metal from Germany. Their new album is coming up soon. It will be called Forgotten Lands and it is programmed for February 22nd, 2019 on Gates of Hell Records. Find out more about the band through the official information and look into how to get it at the links below.
On their Gates of Hell Records debut Forgotten Lands, Booze Control continue to evolve into classic metal songsmiths with tracks that adopt a more serious tone than previous efforts. Recorded in October 2017 at Overlodge Recording Studio in Harz Mountains, Germany, with Martin Schnella handling engineering duties, Forgotten Lands finds Booze Control successfully bridging the gap between NWOBHM and old-school American and European metal. The band also parlays more serious lyrical content into songs that are filled with spiraling melodies, driving rhythms and catchy vocal lines from Kuri. The band's songwriting diversity is on display with "Of the Deep" as well as "Attack of the Axeman," songs that peddle an epic flair with a classic metal foundation.
Formed in 2009 in Braunschweig, Germany, Booze Control came together at the spur of the moment when guitarist/vocalist David Kuri, bassist Steffen Kurth and drummer Lauritz "Lord" Jilge, were asked to assemble a band for a local event. The trio quickly gathered in a local rehearsal room to write songs in preparation for the show, thinking all along the band would be short-lived. But, to their surprise, more gigs followed, as did second guitarist Jendrik Seiler. Booze Control started to enjoy their new compositions, which, in comparison to the more technical nature of their previous outfits, was welcome. Soon, their debut EP, Wanted, was released in 2009, followed up by 2011's Don't Touch While Running.
However, leading up to the creation of their 2013 album Heavy Metal, Kuri and Jilge had a revelation while watching Iron Maiden's Beast Over Hammersmith live video. The conviction in which Bruce Dickinson sings, the energy of the band and the charisma they displayed while on stage needed to be followed in Booze Control. Prior, Booze Control was riding the somewhat clichéd boozed-out rock band angle a bit too hard with their first releases. While the songs were there, the delivery wasn't, so the band made a concerted effort to improve their songwriting and stage presentation for Heavy Metal. They succeeded in doing so, setting them on a path for the ensuing 2016 The Lizard Rider album and their latest and first LP for Gates of Hell Records, Forgotten Lands.
Now ten years into their career, Booze Control has already gone well beyond their humble origins and party-time ethos. Booze Control invites you to take part in their continued evolution on Forgotten Lands.
Booze Control - ATTACK OF THE AXEMEN (Lyric Video)

Monday, February 11, 2019

Second to Sun is extreme metal from Russia

Below you will find two videos from the Russian band Second to Sun, and also some official information about them. If you like the videos, be sure to listen to the album at the link at the bottom here. A couple of months ago their new album was released. The band works with various aspects of extreme metal, including quite a bit of black metal, but they go to a bunch of other places with their music, actually, that open-minded BM fans may find interesting.
Second To Sun is a metal band from Saint Petersburg, Russia, founded in 2012 by its guitarist Vladimir Lehtinen. Second To Sun concentrate on the musical and creative aspect more and use visual elements on every song (artwork, lyrics, behind the song infos etc.) to give more depth and back story to the music. The band's music contains a blend of metal genres: on the one hand, it has the many rhythmic elements of groove metal; on the other -hand, it continues the legacy of such classic Scandinavian black metal bands as Emperor, Mayhem, and Dakthrone. Such diverse musical roots of the band protrude from Vladimir Lehtinen's songwriting, Gleb Sysoev's soul-crushing vocals and Fedor Borovsky's groovy drum lines. The band releases two versions of each album - the vocal and the instrumental one. Each individual instrumental composition is accompanied by unique artwork and a hefty description of the story the composition tells, which provides a deeper insight into the music, as well as the band's inspiration and creative process. Second To Sun has released released two albums - The First Chapter and The Black, and has now released its third album The Walk.
Second To Sun - We Are Not Alone (Official Music Video)
Second To Sun - New World Order (Guitar Performance by Vladimir Lehtinen)

Sci-Fi Power Metal DIRE PERIL Playthrough For "The Predator" Inspired "Yautja (Hunter Culture)"

DIRE PERIL is a treat for the power metal fanatic. The album is more than an hour long and it checks all the boxes for the style. The great singing, the boatloads of riffs and solos and the memorable songs, it has everything and more. Below you can watch the playthrough video, which is cool and everything, but after that the power metal zealots really should go listen to the complete album at the link here below. Read this official propaganda about the band, but find out for yourself what power metal excellence you have been missing. Don't delay, go bang your head now.
The American power metal band DIRE PERIL, which is a duo that features Jason Ashcraft of Helion Prime and John Yelland of Judicator, now has its debut full length and it follows DIRE PERIL's three previous EP releases Astronomical Minds (2013), Queen of The Galaxy (2014) and Through Time and Space (2015).
Inspired by all manners of science fiction, The Extraterrestrial Compendium bases each one of its 12 songs on classic sci-fi movies including Predator, Total Recall, Starship Troopers, and E.T. and features guest performances by Brittney Slayes (Unleash The Archers) reprising her role as Barbarella for a re-recorded version of Queen of the Galaxy and the mighty Arjen Anthony Luccassen (Ayreon, Star One, The Gentle Storm), who lends his voice and guitar skills to album-closer Journey Beyond the Stars.
"The album takes you on a journey all based on different sci-fi films. From fast aggressive right hand attacks (in style of Iced Earth) to softer acoustic passages", says Ashcraft.
Dire Peril - Yautja (Hunter Culture) - Guitar Playthrough

CONTRARIAN streams a song in anticipation of new album

The prog death metal band Contrarian will have its new album ready for the world in March. While people wait they can hear how the new music will sound by sampling a new track at the link below. Here is the official information coming from the ministry of propaganda for the band.
Rochester (NY) - U.S. progressive Death Metal squad CONTRARIAN will release new album Their Worm Never Dies, March 15, 2019 on Willowtip Records.
A new school of old school death metal. Creating death metal that is authentically new while have a natural memory and understanding of the old. Rooted in early 90's progressive death metal, but with an unrelenting forward thinking approach, CONTRARIAN return with their third full-length release Their Worm Never Dies.
Spearheaded by guitar player Jim Tasikas, alongside George Kollias (Nile) simultaneously handling drum and vocal duties, CONTRARIAN is not a super group, but a unit of like-minded musicians that coincidentally converged on a vision of what a modern death metal band should sound like.
Organic sounding, yet aggressive and melodically complex, Their Worm Never Dies is packed with snake-like Schuldinerian-style riffage and atmospheric variations that will provide a wholly enticing listen to all those willing to take in its eccentricity.

Sunday, February 10, 2019


Release: 8 February 2019
Here and there, the album has some brief moments of melody in the guitar solos, but the meat and potatoes of it all is the approach of “chug’em and blast’em all from here to eternity” with death metal. Sometimes the mood slows down just a bit so that you can hear those nasty buck bass lines plucking; sometimes the chugging steps up to the plate and demands all the attention. Presiding over the glorification and exaltation of “modern death metal 2019” is the growling, a mostly low method of animalistic vociferation.
Repeated listens show some subtle details that are pretty cool. The guitar solos make more sense, the chugging becomes more contagious, and the hyperblasting is better understood. The album is not a retro or nostalgic style of death metal but rather the modern, clean-production that pushes the wall of sound as close as possible to the ears of the audience. The band does not want anybody complaining that the loudness is not loud enough. If it’s too loud, you will have to be the one to turn down the volume, not the band. It’s never too loud for this band! Open this door like you open the door in the January cold air in Minnesota: get ready for the blast that you are about to receive. Dedicated die-hard death metal fans of the loudest, fastest, most brutal forms of the genre should be the prime and preferred headbangers that will enjoy the album the most.
It's interesting just how melodic the band could be if they wanted to do it. Some of these solos are sweet and catchy, but just in case you are getting too sentimental, bang bang bang blast blast!!, and they are right back in the moshpit metal mode. They have the skills to go all melodic on you, but let's not get twisted, that's not this Italian band because look at their name: What is it? Do you see it? What is it? Exactly! You can't go sawft if you give this name to your band. You gotta live up to your name. Dive into this brutal blasting death metal and you will discover buckets and buckets, tons!, of fun. The blasting is awesome, the growling is hooray, the riffs are made for headbanging, the bass lines are so foine, and the solos are tasteful, compact and efficient. I have been listening to this album a whole lot and it just gets better and better and better. This album is seven foot tall and you can’t teach that! Rock out, amici and amiche, in low places!


release date: January 18th, 2019
Iron Shield Records
This album is loyal to the old-school traditional heavy metal. You can tell that they have a tremendous amount of pride in their honest-to-goodness good ole rowdy-bar rocking heavy metal. It looks like they have no fear of the truth; they want people to hear the music as they would play it live; kind of raw, pretty tough in spirit and keeping it pretty real. The band is saying that they are not robots but people playing their instruments for real and delivering the rock.
The band began in 2012 and this is the second work. In other words, this is new music crafted with the objective of celebrating the legacy and the future of the heavy metal of big riffs, solos and memorable songs. The album sounds inspired by the classics. That’s the whole point, to play classic-style songs that can stay in the memory after the music stops.
People like to celebrate the new. New this, new that, new beeper, new typewriter, new spandex pants, new leg warmers, new 8-track tape, new floppy disk, new El Camino truck, new Members Only jacket, new Swatch, so on and so forth, but this German band prefers to stay with what has proven to work time and again without fail. The old heavy metal always works whether it is 1979 or 1999 or 2019.
Therefore, how about some unpretentious, downhome traditional heavy metal just like your old uncle Steve Harris and Paul Quinn talk about all the time? Cheer up, listen to this album, and tonight we’re going to party like it’s 1979.

interview: Plague Pit

This extreme metal band is totally new to this publication. They released their album Topheth Ablaze this past January. After listening to the band’s approach to their music, this publication sent them some questions to introduce them to U.S. readers. Be sure to listen to the album at the link at the end of the interview.
Plague Pit is based in Dublin, Ireland, right? But, actually, your band is new: formed in 2016 and now you have your debut album: Topheth Ablaze. Who are the members of the band and do you all live in Dublin?
Yes, we’re based in Dublin, Ireland. Plague Pit is a fairly new band, indeed, but we’re seasoned metalheads and have been in a bunch of different bands throughout the past couple of decades. Topheth Ablaze is our first proper album, but we’ve released our first material in 2018, I-MMXVIII, and while we think of it as a demo, it has 8 tracks and is of a similar length to Topheth Ablaze. We prefer to keep the identities of our members private, but yes, we all live in Dublin. I handle guitar and lead vocal duties.
Have you lived in Dublin your whole life? In your opinion, how is Dublin for metal music? In the U.S. young people like deathcore; various forms of doom get attention; so does old-school death metal. What is it like in Dublin for your extreme metal?
No, I haven’t lived all my life in Dublin. Dublin is better for metal than any other city in Ireland, but it’s not great. Ireland doesn’t compare to the US when it comes to alternative culture at all. It’s a very normative and homogenous society. There’s absolutely no coverage of any sort of metal music, be it on the radio, printed or even online press. That being said, the Irish have received Plague Pit very well and we’re thankful for that.
Would you say that your life has been good in Dublin? Would you say that you are hopeful as a person or rather a pessimistic person?
Dublin is all right. I’ve been able to write a lot of music and record two full-length albums here, so I’m not going to complain. I haven’t had any significantly bad experience here that couldn’t have happened anywhere else. I would say I’m more cynical than pessimistic, but I certainly am not a hopeful person.
What is your opinion for recording drums in your music?
Due to the limited amount of capable musicians in our - admittedly small - network, Plague Pit has been a duo for most of its existence. And that has worked to our advantage. I don’t think we’d be able to put out 2 albums in such a short period of time if we were a full group. We don’t use acoustic drums. Not everything you hear is programmed though, we try to keep it as organic as we can, given the circumstances.
Plague Pit also has a bit of a claustrophobic production. Not too clean. It’s raw and dirty. How much of this sound is by design?
On Topheth Ablaze I’d say the final product came out closer to what we had in mind than in our previous effort. Most of the sonic fingerprint of the album is a result of deliberate choices. We have a very limited budget though, so it would be dishonest to say the album sounds exactly like we wanted. I’m not a huge fan of the typical reverb-soaked production of some of the recent Death Metal that got popular, but I understand that for this style to work there needs to be a compromise between clarity and atmosphere. I don’t think our albums sounds as cavernous as say, Portal or Altarage though.
Blasphemy seems like an important part of Plague Pit. Do you agree? We hear that the Catholic Church and religions have covered up many crimes like rape and sexual abuse. How much of this constant news has affected your outlook on life?
I definitely agree. I became a metalhead from a very early age and detached myself from my family and, as a result, from religion, so I wouldn’t say any of the drama involving the Catholic Church has personally affected me in any way. In Ireland they’re still a strong institution, but they’ve been quickly losing support as the results of the last few referendums clearly show. Their continued influence on society, culture and law has caused lasting damage everywhere they’ve settled, though. I’m not willing to cut evangelicals any slack either, because from my experience they tend to be just as bad, if not worse.
Of course, we also see terrorists and governments in the world committing crimes in the name of God. Do these things also color your perspective?
I think terrorism is more a consequence of abject misery and war than religion. Governments using religion to justify whatever it is that they’re doing is just plain dishonesty and has little to do with religious doctrine.
You have some blasphemous song titles. Personally, do you consider yourself a devil worshipper, an atheist, an agnostic or simply irreligious? Do all your lyrics deal with religion?
I worship Slayer. Not all of our lyrics deal with religion. “Mercurial Emanations” and “Gone Astray” from the last album are two examples.
Musically speaking, what inspired the formation of Plague Pit? To me, Plague Pit is death metal that uses both the old-school brutality and also the dissonance that younger bands love. But what type of music did you have in mind?
We’ve been metal fans for a long time and have toyed with the idea of playing together for many years, but circumstances up to the formation of Plague Pit didn’t allow that to happen. I’d say you’re right on the money with the description of our music. Our first release is a bit more retro than Topheth Ablaze, but we’ve retained that old school impetus. Dissonance has been a part of Death Metal since the very early days and I use it in my riffs. I don’t like it when every single section is trying to be more dissonant than the last though, as that tends to lessen the effect and results in muddy, washed-out songs that all sound the same.
How does Plague Pit sound in relation to the metal that made you want to play music?
Slayer and Morbid Angel are by far the bands I’ve listened to the most in my life and I’m still a huge fan of some of their material. They’re absolute classics and I think very few of the bands that came after them managed to captivate me as much. I came across Death and Black Metal very early on and never looked back. I can’t speak for the personal experiences of the other half of Plague Pit, but we have very similar musical tastes. I think Plague Pit is an honest, heartfelt homage to the music we grew up listening. I don’t think we’ll ever hold a candle to Slayer or Morbid Angel, though.
Plague Pit has a lot to say about religion. What about politics? What do you think about the political parties in your country?
As a member of Plague Pit I don’t have anything of value to add to the political debate. As an individual I have very strong political views but I would rather not associate them with my band.
Leaving organized religion and political parties aside, what do you believe happens when you die? Do you think that people that say they believe in the afterlife, are those people crazy and lying?
I have no idea and nobody else does either. It’s difficult for me to entertain the idea of an afterlife, I’ll say that much. I understand the lure of the metaphysical because it comforts people about the unknown, about the end of life. I don’t think everyone who claims to have had a supernatural experience is lying, at least not consciously. I’ve never been convinced by any of those stories though, because out of all the possible reasons for something to happen they have to pick the least likely, most far-fetched of them. People may be biased towards believing in the supernatural rather than being dishonest. I do find it very amusing when people fall for spiritual gurus or any of that paranormal bullshit.
Metal Bulletin Zine is a zine in the United States. What would you like fans of U.S. of extreme metal like death metal to know about Plague Pit?
Some of the absolute best metal in the world has come out of the United States. We’re very thankful to everybody who takes their time to listen to us. Americans make up for a lot of our listener demographics, so we’re very, very thankful for that! And thank you for interviewing Plague Pit!
Do you have any other news that you would like to mention?
Yes. Our first release, I-MMXVIII was released on CD last year by Ablaze Records, from Mexico. We still have some copies left and we’ll be listing them on our Bandcamp. We’ve begun writing new music as well, but it’s early to say when that’s ever coming out.