Friday, May 31, 2019

interview: S91

S91 is a melodic progressive band from Italy. Their 2019 album, called Along the Sacred Path, tells nine stories about nine important figures in the history of Christianity in the West, such as Joan of Arc and Martin Luther. Why focus on the history of Western Christianity? How does the album fit with the band’s objectives? Let’s see what they say!
Congratulations on the album! It’s a quality melodic, progressive album with good performances. Who is answering this interview?
Hi, thank you, it's a great pleasure to read you, we are Francesco “Franz” Romeggini, guitar player / male vocalist and Giacomo “Jack” Manfredi, bass player
Where in Italy is your band based? Is this a studio project?
Franz - We live in Tuscany, central Italy, we are not in the same city, but we live in the same region. S91 is not a studio project, but unfortunately we rarely play live
There’s one song for each person that you write about. Is this a concept album?
Jack – “Along the Sacred Path" is a concept album that traces the history of Christianity, continuing what was told in "Behold the Mankind" (our 2016 concept album). As you said the story is told through the life of nine key figures that are not always considered positive by everyone. The main goal is to show how the Gospel message has spread in its original form, becoming the fabric of the modern Western society. The Sacred Path is the one that many walks along, unconsciously sometimes; talks about all those actions done by inspired men which have brought benefits to the history of humanity and to the Western society even if they look regrettable or morally unacceptable.
How difficult was it to pick only nine people? Who writes the lyrics?
Franz - Yes, it was difficult to choose the nine, we tried to select the ones who has more interesting stories (for example fighters like Godfrey or Joan of Arc, a revolutionary theologian like Martin Luther or Bonhoeffer, a pastor who tried to act against Nazism).
Jack - All the characters of our album were committed to doing something good in their lives. And they succeeded.
Franz - Giacomo Manfredi (bass player) has the main inspiration about the concept and the lyrics, he wrote it, I (Francesco) and Maria (singer) helped him.
The artwork looks like it is NOT a sacred, peaceful path, but rather a path of vultures.
Jack - That could be an impression at a first watch, but the meaning is a bit different, If you look at the center, you can see the Campanile di Curon (tower bell of Curon) which is today the only visible part of the ancient village of Curon Venosta (in the north of Italy), now completely covered by mud. The idea is that the Church resists despite the gossip, the disregard, and the scandals.
Franz - The vultures and the macabre landscape are the sinful word the church is putted inside, but church still survives and God's plan is never stopped.
How was this band formed? Was there a different singer before?
Franz - The most of us met at church, and we always wanted to be a Christian band, in the beginning we had three female vocalist, Maria, Sefora (Sefi) and Tania. In “Volontà Legata” (demo 2011) we had both three, then Sefora and Tania decided to leave the band, but we are still good friends with them (especially Giacomo Manfredi, he is Sefi's husband, special friendship is required here eheh ;) )
What do you think about all the in-fighting and wars in history between Christians?
Franz - We think in-fighting between Christians is a pure non-sense, this is not what Christ teaches us to do. All the differences between Christian churches are source of wealth. When a church believes to hold the truth it automatically fails. The churches must dialogue between them and discover the common points to grow up.
Is everyone in the band Christian?
Franz - We are all Christians except the drum player, he is not atheist, he is more like agnostic, but his way of thinking is very close to our one. We have been friends for a long time and we have been always discussing about Bible, faith, church, etc.. and music of course ;)
How much experience do you have in other bands?
Franz – Yes, we did, everyone of us played in some other music projects; right now Francesco and Maria plays in their church, worship service, Giacomo (drum player) plays in another rock-band and I play in an orchestra (my main activity, I'm a professional musician). Things in Italy are going ok, everyone of us works and most of us have family, even it's not the best place for musicians, but life is ok.
Do the Italian publications cover your music?
Franz - In Italy we had some good reviews, but few interviews. Sometimes our music is played by italian rock publications, but the most of our listeners are out of Italy.
For readers of this interview that believe in Jesus Christ, what would you like to tell them about your music and your band?
Jack - We really hope you enjoy both music and lyrics, we hope you feel connection between them and become curios about the nine characters (their stories have so much to teach us about faith).
What would you like to tell fans of progressive and melodic music who are not particularly religious? In your opinion, is your music only for Christian fans?
Franz - Our music is for everyone, we really love to share it with non religious people, we hope they could anyway be interested in stories we tell. If you are not a believer you could anyway discover the historical meaning of these characters and (why not) redefine your opinion about Christian church influence in Western society.
Many people have the misconception that Christianity is a Western religion. Yet, Christianity existed early in places like Ethiopia and Egypt, and today Christianity is a growing religion in Africa. It looks like you have studied the history of Christianity, what interesting things have you discovered about Christianity’s history outside of Europe?
Franz - Years ago I read a book called “Eternity in Their Heart” by theologian Don Richardson, talking about pre-Christian monotheism, You'll be surprised how many societies far from Europe had a Christian-similar religion, it's like the gospel reached all mankind before Christ in many different forms
Jack - There's one thing I discovered that shocked me. In India, there is a group of Christians who trace their origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. We are talking about a tradition ancient like the Catholic one. They are not just a small group but they are millions!
Why do you choose to play a style of music that is so friendly to Satan and the values of Satan (many metal bands glorify murder, violence, blasphemy, alcohol, fornication, etc.)?
Franz - We love this music, when you write your own music you decide the message you want to bring, this is the secret of making art, you are not forced to do anything you don't want to do. Yes, many bands used metal music to speak about devil worship (especially in extreme metal) but I think this is something old right now. There's a lot of metal albums about good-evil fighting and fantasy themes, sometimes I read lyrics very similar to Christian albums; maybe the characters are not called “God” or “Jesus”, but their actions are very similar; so I wonder why Christian metal sounds strange to someone. We feel our mission is only to tell about the history (and the meaning) of our faith, nothing else, if this could help someone to find his spiritual path this is a gratification for us.
What is the current situation for touring? How can fans support your band directly?
Franz - The situation for touring is quite bad, we have no gigs planned, we would like to tour but it seems very difficult for us. About merchandise we have CDs on sale, two albums (“Behold The Mankind”, “Along The Sacred Path”) and a demo. The two albums are also available digitally on Spotify, iTunes and all the main digital stores.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Born Without Blood

Seattle has it coming.
Born Without Blood is a band of brute savages dedicated to the art of brutalization of metal music's hearing destruction powers. The false will disintegrate upon the wall of the true American brutality's Born Without Blood's desire to loud and blasting. Growl, scream, blast, solo, growl again and some more, bang the head, hurt the neck in the morning and apply Icy Hot for pain, and you'll be alright-ok-alright, alright.
Born Without Blood = brutality = you mosh = me M.O.S.H.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Illimitable Dolor

Illimitable Dolor
Leaden Light
Transcending Obscurity
20 March 2019
I first heard this band while on vacation. At the beach boys were running along with the waves while the little California girls were building sand castles, and the parents were taking in the sun, and I was absorbed in death doom while getting sunburned. I found out that this band is from Australia, according to Metal Archives, and this is their second album. They began in 2014, and in 2017 their debut album was out and now this is their 2019 album. I see on Metal Archives that they are in a bunch of other bands, but I’m not sure if I have heard any of them.
They play doom, a genre plagued by mediocrity. I cannot believe that you guys are loving just about any ole Jane and John getting together to drink beers and playing slow music with fat-belly screams over it?! Everyone and their cousin has nowadays formed a doom band and everyone else is raving about it. Well, the mediocre doom has been building up for oh I don’t know how long, but I keep thinking bad doom will never die but Illimitable Dolor shows up and makes me realize doom’s going to be ok. Illimitable Dolor says to doom fans, don’t worry, baby, everything will turn out alright.
Help, help me, Rhonda, help me get bad doom of out my life! After hearing so many mediocre doom bands, here is an excellent reminder how death doom is done right. A lot of doom is so average. It must be embarrassing for other doom bands to hear this album. Hey, maybe it’s a good thing for us if more doom bands hear this album! Maybe it will motivate them to stop wasting our time with their aimless alcohol-fueled jam sessions being passed off as “albums”? Maybe it will make more people realize how truly unskilled they are and make them finally stop being in bands? Wouldn’t it be nice if we were spared the bad doom, then we wouldn’t have to wait so long for bands to break up, and wouldn’t it be nice to live together in the kind of world where mediocre doom does not exist? You know it’s gonna make it that much better, when we say goodnight to bad doom and we can stay together with great doom. Oh, wouldn’t it be nice?
What a difference it makes when it is a full band and with all the instruments. The keyboards and the guitars work very well together to create real melodies that are inviting. Under those melodies the rhythms move and change the landscape. The lame obsession with playing slow and monotonous music is not found here. It is death doom, but melody, melancholy and songs are the rulers of this realm. Often this band makes the guitar practically sing the requiem, and that’s not easy to do. Top notch death doom of majesty and melancholy.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

interview: Bläkken

This Polish extreme metal band hit the ground running in 2018 with their demo Bläkk Blood, an impressive first recording that sounds big and powerful, plenty brutal (featuring the loving title “Meat Grinding Death Machine”) with a dash of melody here and there, and all headbanging extreme metal. In 2019 they have another recording, this time it is called The Ascendancy of Evil. The music is immediately likable as headbanging extreme metal with a surprisingly clear production that sounds good to the ears. This band is starting to sound very promising and that first recording was no accident. They have a clear idea of what their sound is, heavy, not so focused on speed although speed is in there, but more focused on the particular direction of the songs, and not so much obsessed with making sure that all the songs sound like 100% death metal or 100% black metal or any stylistic restrictions like that. In short, while the lyrics are brutal and typical of extreme metal’s focus on the sick, demented side of life, the music shows a certain maturity that extreme metal bands do not show on their early recordings. One question that remains is: Can this band keep things going or will they break up and be just another band that once seemed promising as an extreme metal act? It is a question with no answer yet. We’ll just have to wait and see. Check out this interview and check out the music by going to the link at the end of the interview.
Tell us about your band and the name.
We're Bläkken from Poland. We were founded in 2017, debuted on stage on December 30th 2017 as a supporting act for Vader and played 25 concerts in Poland, Germany and Sweden ever since. I'm Piotr, the rhythm guitarist, and I'll be answering your questions. And about the name... well, we were trying to come up with a name for our band for quite some time, month or two I think, and we weren't happy with anything. One day I was listening to Blackened by Metallica and that moment when Hetfield screams BLACKENED really struck me. I immediately saw the name "BLÄKKEN" in my head and loved it. Guys loved it too, so that's the story. It doesn't really mean anything. Though we would love to blacken the world and the sun with our music.
Reviewers and fans like to categorize. What genre do you call your music?
At first we wanted to play stoner/sludge metal with black n' roll vibe, but we failed. Right now we play black/death metal with thrash influence, but we don't limit ourselves with any genre. We play what we want and how we want, no matter if it's black, death, thrash or any other shit. We just play Bläkken.
Is there a good metal scene there where you live? Where in Poland does your band operate? How is life there in general where you live, work and school and stuff?
We all live in Szczecin, it's one of the biggest cities in Poland, located in north-western part of the country, close to the German border. The metal scene isn't really existing here. There are maybe 4 or 5 metal bands but they are rarely playing any concerts here or anywhere in the country so we're not interacting with each other really. Sure, we have friends in some of these bands, but it's not Bay Area or anything. At the moment there are only 2 clubs where we can play but we are more focused on conquering new areas than playing in our hometown so we don't mind.
Life here is alright, quite average. It's not hard to get a job, education is fine. We do have 'bad' parts of town where it's easy to witness violence and crime, but overall it's not that bad. The only problem is money and politics. We are way poorer than Germans or Swedes and our currently reigning party sucks big time. We all are working day jobs, two of us are also still studying at University of Szczecin and I just graduated. So as you can see Bläkken is a big part of our lives, but it's not our entire life.
About your latest recording’s artwork, is this a special painting for your band or is it an old painting?
Yes, it's a painting by Léon Bonnat called "Job". It was made somewhere around 1880 I believe. There is no concept. We just decided that the song "The Ascendancy of Evil" has the best title for the whole album, we told our graphic designer that we need a cover art to fit that name and he came out with that. We loved it, people also seem to enjoy it so we're satisfied with the outcome.
You have a lot gore and brutality in your lyrics. Is it from horror movies and the news?
Yea, the real inspiration for our music is life itself. Most of our songs are inspired by real life events, urban legends, tragedies and such.
Does the title The Ascendency of Evil express your views? Do you consider yourself religious (satanist, etc.)?
Wow, that's a hard one. We're not satanists, that's for sure. One of us is even a catholic (won't tell you which though!), but we're mostly atheists. We just don't give a flying fuck about god or any 'spiritual' authority.
Do your lyrics express a hatred of women, like on “Lethal Lover”?
I don't think you've paid enough attention when you read the lyrics to Lethal Lover, dude. This song is a classic love story. Boy loves a girl but this girl does not love him back. So the boy decides to kill a girl so no one can ever love her. Classic, right? We love women. Women are awesome and we're so fuckin' happy there are so much of them at our concerts. But if you're a woman and you're offended by us using a word "slut" in our lyrics... then just fuck off.
Does Poland being part of the European Union make it easier for you to tour in Europe?
Yea, Poland is in EU. It is easier only when it comes to visas and paperwork, there are no borders, we can travel through EU only with our IDs. But it is expensive. Prices and salaries are very different. For example - a college student in Poland can earn about 3-4$/h working at McDonald's, while the same student working in German McDonald's would earn 10$ and a Swede would earn 15-20$. Poland is a pretty fucked up country. I remember some guy from Jackass called Poland the Mexico of Europe. It's about right. Every concert outside of our hometown comes with some sort of sacrifice. It's always a challenge for us financially so we can't really afford playing every weekend, though we wish we could.
Does everyone in the band want to tour a lot?
We're very ambitious when it comes to our music. We would love to be able to make a living playing music, we would love to tour all over the world. We do have girlfriends, they're not quite happy with us going on tours, but c'est la vie, baby. They know they can't chain us down and force us to choose between them and Bläkken because we would chose Bläkken every time.
What would you like to say to American fans of brutal metal in regards to your band?
Support the underground, support your local scene... and fuck your politics! Man, we would absolutely love to play a U.S. tour. But unfortunately, it's hard as fuck. Poland is the only U.S. ally that can't come to U.S. without visas. Also, we're one of the most loyal U.S allies, so we believe it's really fucked up. But that's politics, politics are fucked up all over the world, there's not much you or me can do about it. Thank you very much for this interview and we would like to thank each and everyone of our U.S. fans and readers of Metal Bulletin for reading this. Keep supporting metal all over the world, but keep supporting Bläkken the most! STAY BLÄKK!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

interview: A Vintage Death

A Vintage Death is a solo project of atmospheric doom from Italy. Totally new to this publication, below is an introductory interview that should interest fans of one-person DIY atmospheric doom. The interview has details about the recording Acrid Death Fragrance and also about life in Italy for A Vintage Death. Hear the music for yourself at the link at the bottom of the interview.
Hello, can you please introduce your project A Vintage Death?
Hi everyone, my name is Carmine and I am the only and only member of the A Vintage Death project. For me it's my first solo experience, even though in the past I was part of several bands, so far, my most important project has been with Rising Moon, where however we were only two members to compose and take care of the band, so let's say I'm at ease. I have make all sound of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and voices. I was born as a drummer, I always played drums in my old bands, so I didn't have any problems recording the real drum parts on the EP. I also personally take care of the recording, I am at my first experience, I do not have a professional instrumentation or a modern software, so the results are not of high quality, but for the genre proposed and for a first job I consider myself quite satisfied.
Carmine, is A Vintage Death your first band/project?
Absolutely no … I started playing drums since childhood, then the classic local school cover bands. Around the age of 15 I had my first real band "Condanna", from where I and the guitarist then founded "Body Grinder" and later changed our name to "Rising Moon". I've always played drums, but sometimes I wrote riffs, played keyboard parts, and enjoyed backing vocals. No, as a child I have never sung or taken singing lessons, guitar lessons etc., then my parents do not play any instruments, nor listen to much music, they are practically the anti-music ahahah!!!
Does the music on the recording sound like you originally imagined?
Absolutely no ... as I said before, the songs in the EP have undergone a long and laborious development over the years, made up of dead times and hard moments, so let's say that it was an evolutionary process that led the songs to change skin and mood over the years. I can safely tell you that the essential differences from how I developed the songs in the past and how I completed them now can be looked for in a greater melodic component that was missing before, the embryonic songs were much cruder and dirty, even the arrangement of every riffs is certainly much more sought after and outlined. I am happy with how the songs sound today and I believe that I will continue on this path, marking the Black, Doom and Death Metal components even more if possible.
Did you grow up in Italy, Carmine? What Italian heavy metal music did you like when you were a teenager?
Yes, I was born and raised in Italy, in a small town in Abruzzo. In adolescence, before discovering Heavy Metal, I mainly listened to Italian rock, then one day a friend of mine gave me a tape to listen to, it was "Slowy We Rot" by Obituary and from there it all changed. I'm not a real lover of Italian metal, we're known beyond borders for metal genres that I don't particularly like. I could tell you about many valid bands that I loved, but let's say that I really enjoyed the first albums by Sadist and Necromass.
What international metal bands did you like back then?
I grew up listening to American death metal, my favorite bands are Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, Deicide and then I approach the Swedish death metal like At The Gates, Dissection, Hypocrisy above all. Lately I'm more in the Black Death Doom Metal genre, I still listen to all the old bands, but to be honest I don't really appreciate their latest works, except for the Hypocrisy!
Do you live now in the same area where you grew up? Are there metal music concerts where you live?
Yes, luckily for me I still live in the land where I grew up, I love my land and I feel good here. I live in a small town with my family, here I have everything, sea and mountain near me. For small concerts in my area I can't complain, in fact for some years now the situation has definitely improved, there are really delicious concerts and festivals.
Are you a big fan of football like many Italians?! Sometimes it looks like Italians have two religions: 1.Christianity (of course) and 2. football. That’s true in Spain and England, too, of course. Do you follow football news and events?
No, absolutely not ... I do not follow football, I rarely see any match (on TV) of the Italian national team, when at least it has got qualifiers tournaments hahaha !!! Anyway as a child I loved Juventus, so let's say Juventus is still in my heart, but nothing more ... if it wins or loses for me it makes no difference. Yes, in Italy football in particular is very popular, maybe I would say too much for my taste, lots of money goes around it and I don't like it. So let's say I'm not true Italian, because I'm not a Christian and I don't follow football hahaha !!!!
Sometimes, in the news, like recently, we see in the news that Italian football fans seem to hate African or Black football players in Italy because the Italian fans insult the Black players. As an Italian, how do you feel about this issue?
Yes, even if I don't particularly follow this sport, unfortunately the sports news more and more often reports episodes of racism in football, and I'll tell you that lately (also thanks to the government that we have now) even in the social chronicle the cases of racism have increased. Yes, as Italian the fact embarrasses me a lot and I think that in a developed and civilized country this is a serious flaw.
Please tells us more about Acrid Death Fragrance. When you began A Vintage Death, what type of music did you want to make? How old are the songs? Is this all new music?
A Vintage Death is a project that I have been carrying with me for several years and that due to lack of time and important family commitments I have never been able to realize it, then everything went well in the last year, where I gathered all the ideas accumulated over the years and I poured them into "Acrid Death Fragrance".
Are all the songs about death? Have you experienced the death of a friend or family recently?
Natural death has always attracted me since I was a child, from the stories of my grandparents to the hypothetical life after death, to nocturnal walks in cemeteries, everything for me has always been a great source of inspiration. I am 40 years old and currently I have not had so many deaths in my life, but some of them have marked me very emotionally, to one of them in particular I have dedicated "Acrid Death Fragrance".
Does the thought of death worry you (and the people that you leave behind)?
Death is a natural event, sooner or later it comes just a matter of time. I often think of my own death, in my head I imagine so many possible scenarios, but in reality I hope for a natural death and without suffering, perhaps at a considerable age. I have a wife and a small child, so if death must come I hope this happens as late as possible, maybe when my daughter is old enough to understand how life works.
What do you believe will happen you die? Do you believe in Jesus Christ and the Bible or do you believe that it is mythology? What are your reasons for accepting God or for rejecting God?
No, I'm not a Christian, I consider myself an absolute atheist. My idea after death is simple and concise, that is nothing ... like before being born, nothingness, even after death, nothingness. Many people believe in the afterlife, of a new life, maybe meeting new loved ones in earthly life, it would be really nice and the very idea fascinates me a lot, I really hope so, also for me. I do not believe in god, but I do not reject him either, I strongly respect those who think differently from me, every person has reasons to live and live. I categorically reject fanaticism, be it religious, cultural or ideological.
On the recording Acrid Death Fragrance what equipment do you prefer?
I am not a guitarist, so I am not so knowledgeable on the subject, I don't have a favorite brand, I simply use the one with a sound more suited to my music. For the EP recordings I tuned my guitar 2 tones and a half below and for the distorted sound I used the classic Metal Zone pedal, nothing simpler.
When you think about the sound quality of Acrid Death Fragrance, are you pleased and satisfied with the sound of the drums? What about with the vocal styles? If you make future recordings, what elements of the recording process do you think that you would like to improve?
Surely there is to be improved, on all aspects ... When I started recording the EP I didn't know where I would end up, what kind of sound I would get, everything was born by itself, slowly, day after day. I really like drum sounds, it's really raw and essential, I think it fits well with all the other instruments. The growls vocals are the most criticized part of the whole job, I have never used this type of singing in my life, except sporadically in some past work and I think I absolutely have to improve them. However, as a first job I feel quite satisfied with the overall result.
What would you like U.S. fans to know about A Vintage Death?
I would like to invite your readers to listen to the project at least once, it's a first job where I tried to devote myself to 100%, it certainly has a lot of flaws and it doesn't sound very professional like recording or anything, but I think it's a great base, on leather work and do better. I'm working on future songs and I don't have a precise direction, but everything I create are the result of my feelings and moods transformed into notes.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

interview: Andrey Tollock (Ukraine)

It is difficult enough to be a one-person project and take care of all the music and details yourself. It’s more so if the political situation around you is chaotic, tense and violent, as it has been for several years now in Ukraine where Andrey Tollock lives. Generally speaking, since 2013 Ukraine has experienced upheaval and violence, and some general estimates say that 9,000 people have died, other estimates put it closer to 13,000, or more; it’s hard to say what the real numbers are. In Donetsk where Andrey lives there has been fighting between the forces of the Ukrainian central government and the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, and this conflict is not resolved.
This publication sent some questions to Andrey about the music that he makes. Check out the music at the links at the end of this interview.
Hello! Can you give us information about yourself and your music?
Hi there! My name is Andrey Tollock. I’m from Donetsk, Ukraine. I have two projects: Haissem (melodic black) and Sunset Forsaken (melodic doom/death). I’d started to compose music for Haissem in 2014, but the debut album has been done only in 2016. At the current moment, Haissem’s discography consists of four albums: “Maze Of Perverted Fantasies” (2016), “Hatavism” (2017), “Panacea For A Cursed Race” (2018) and “Demonotone” – the brand new one (2019). Sunset Forsaken has the only one work for a while – “Chameleon Waters” (2018). The second album is in process.
Do you do it all by yourself? Do you collaborate with others?
Right you are. I compose, perform and arrange music by myself. My friend and the part-time owner of the “Vetkin Records” studio, Vitaliy Dorofeev, helps me with drum programming. I always have the model of the drum arrangements and Vitaly successfully assists to realize the plan. As for collaboration with other musicians: I’ve begun to do it since 2018 when the instrumental part of “Demonotone” album was completed. I’ve decided to involve the session vocalists into process. Denis Schwan of Bredor band on the lead vocals and Dmitriy Kufley of Datura band on the backing vocals have done their work perfectly! There are my vocals on this record, too. By the way, “Demonotone” includes the tracks that were removed from “Hatavism” album due to discrepancy of musical concept. My next work, “Куһаҕан тыын” (it translates as “The Maleficent Spirit”, Yakut language), that will be out in 2020, also contains session collaborations: there will be cello and female voices.
What can you tell us about your work and your experiences in making music in Ukraine with finding other musicians and the scene there?
The area I live is called Donetsk region and it’s rather huge. Till the tragic events of 2014, there were over 5 million denizens. As for my civil occupation: I’m miner, I work down the ground, almost at the bowels of Hades …I live with my wife and kids. I performed a lot of shows in my country being a member of other bands that played pop-rock and punk, but not Haissem and Sunset Forsaken. My concert activity was from 2006 till 2013. I was winner and laureate of a number of festivals and competitions. Now I’m also having pop-rock project “Ampula Seven”.
Ukraine isn’t good place for metal music. The bands who strive to promote their music prefer to do it abroad, in Europe. Ukranian fans know about my projects, but their support leaves much to be desired. I have no budget for additional advertisement and PR. So I remain in deep underground. My music is totally dedicated to the 90s and it’s not fashionable and not popular among the fans.
Why are Haissem and Sunset Forsaken separate?
The 4th release of Haissem is done. On the 25th of May “Demonotone” will be available on Bandcamp. This work stylistically differs from the previous ones. It’s more death-metal oriented release inspired with Florida DM-school. Haissem and Sunset Forsaken are fundamentally different projects. Haissem includes the elements of melodic black, melodic death, dark metal with slight progressive influences. It’s inspired by Rotting Christ, Old Man’s Child, Cradle Of Filth, Moonspell, In Flames, At The Gates, Dark Tranquillity. Sunset Forsaken is the melodic/doom death unit. I cannot title it “side project”. It’s just another genre and style that is not suitable for Haissem’s sound and concept. SF is inspired by Paradise Lost, Katatonia, My Dying Bride, October Tide, Draconian.
Did you learn instruments and recording by yourself (with YouTube?)?
For almost a year I took guitar classes. But my further practice was exceptionally done by myself. I didn’t learn to record my music, ‘cause my friend Vitaly Dorofeev helps me with the recordings. In times when I started to practice there was no YouTube. I bought the lessons on VHS. I do not consider myself as a good instrumentalist.
Do your lyrics cover life in Ukraine? Do you write in English, Ukrainian and/or Russian?
The lyrics of Haissem & SF are only in English. And these lyrics ain’t connected with life in Ukraine. It is just the offspring of my imagination. The topics are very vast to discuss: from the appearance of religion as the way to enslave mankind mentally and physically to the reason why the people do strive to self-annihilation.
Is your family ok? The news report violence and conflict in Ukraine!
My family is OK, thanks. The political, economical & common situation in the place where I live is very complicated. But there’s no violence here locally. We are rather safe. But violence happens everywhere, even in relatively prosperous regions. Please, let me give you a piece of advice: don’t believe everything you read. We live in time of informational war and total propaganda. Mass media do lie!!!
Does the political tension make it more difficult for you to make music?
My music remains independent. It’s out of any political shit. The only thing I support is the idea of peace, the idea to stop this f***ing war and stop killing people from both sides.
Anything else you’d like to mention?
You can support Haissem below. I wish all American readers health, wealth, money, success and good luck! And, of course, be yourself! And I also wish the progress, the growth and the enhancement to The Metal Bulletin’ Paper zine!!! Thanks for interview!

read online number 170 of Metal Bulletin Zine

At the link below you can read number 170 of Metal Bulletin Zine. It features the grind of Fordærv, the traditional heavy metal of Booze Control, and the folk metal of Diaboł Boruta.