Monday, October 26, 2009

REBELLION "Perjuangan"

REBELLION “Perjuangan” (Nusantarajim Prod.)
Shocked. REBELLION managed to slap me hard in the face just from the ‘shocking elements’ of it. This is not my usual feedings for the ears. Although formed by some of the guys from KREMATION, a death Metal band, this is nothing like it. This is some kind of free-flowing, art-rock music. If you’re locals I can easily says this: “macam band Indonesia yang selalu kita dengar kat radio”. I bluff you not, songs like “Harus Setia” in this humble release can easily give those Indonesian pop-rock bands a run for their money. Play this to your woman, you might get laid in no time. It is that good, in that, err; tearjerking, soppy nature of it that is. Approach this with an open mind. I did just that and guess what I’ve found? Those couple of strong tracks in their own sense, that is. Go commercial, REBELLION; and show them what the underground musicians are capable of if they ever to get astray as ‘extreme’ as this.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

GORESLUTS "Cumshot Kamikaze"

GORESLUTS “Cumshot Kamikaze” (Dark Coleseum Recs./Morgue Café Recs.)
With such a predictable name and album title, without anyone asking I’m gladly announcing it as a porn-relishing feast. And without sounding a little pretentious or anything, I have to tell you that I got through this successfully. That is in the sense that “Cumshot Kamikaze” never give me the urge to press the ‘stop’ button incessantly. How predictable, how limited the genre might(seems) to be, GORESLUTS does it varied enough that the linearity boredomness escapes me. Some unnecessary sound-samples (some are very well-fitted, believe me), this is an admirable Malaysian porn-perverted grooving gore grind death assault. And no grunts on the final product either; good production, excellent artwork, nicely done layouts, etc; they’re very well in line with what GORESLUTS try to offer. Favourite song? ‘Bukkake Café’, absolutely. I do not support female-degradation of any kind, but in here it is some fun shit, hehe. They’re cum-soaked, they’re foul-mouthed. Good.

POLONG "Worship In Jahanam Darkness"

POLONG “Worship In Jahanam Darkness” (kvlt666)
Just one look on the cover and I guessed that this must be another AS SAHAR worshipper. Flip on the traycard and yez, a cover of AS SAHAR’s ‘Meditation Embun Pagi’ is here. POLONG, you made me smile. Now let’s get on with what to be offered here. Don’t get misguided first and foremost. I don’t mind at all with all these ‘AS SAHAR-ness’ if it’s being done well. And this doesn’t apply to POLONG solely. Very well, the cover-artwork itself sets that kind of ‘mood’ for “Worship…”. This crude sounding recording delve into the eastern mystickal realm once again, and I bet that they, the POLONG guys, eat, sleep and drink ‘Meditation Embun Pagi/Santau’-era AS SAHAR and nothing else. I hear it, yez; those familiar signs. Some passages could’ve even end up in AS SAHAR hymns should they get stuck up in that aforementioned era. Luckily for POLONG, AS SAHAR are way past that. I can vouch for POLONG in the future, should they get even better and less juvenile, if you wish to savour those moments once again.


Allow me to justify another big nod of approval for SYMBIOTIC IN THEORY. “Scream Theory” is without doubt one of the better self-releases of the local scene. The first thing I’m going to be discreet upon is of course the music. The very music. That, in reality; is what to define a release for. Solely for that reason. And I won’t be wrong if I deemed their music as technical, prog-inclined death Metal. And they handle it the way it should be. The songs are tight, solid, and served well. I have no complaints on it. What matters is whether you dig this kind of death Metal or not. A cover of ATHEIST’s ‘Unquestionable Presence’ included as well, reminding you of one of their obvious heroes. Or take NECROPHAGIST for the most recent ones (the band name, isn’t that obvious enough?heh). The decision to record this in Indonesia of all places resulted in that mammoth-like juggernaut of “Scream Theory”. The recording studios and its people in the local scene should take notice. Solid.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


HELLBANGERS DOMINION compilation CD (Eternia Records)
How much work being labored to make this compilation a reality? Just take a look at its 12-page booklet and make your own guess. The layouts are darn simple, but it’s scarce to see an album, yet alone a compilation; with booklet that’s more than 4-pages in the local scene. In tandem with the simple concept though, the label adorn it with participating bands’ pictures and the email/website/address related to them in case further information is needed. 16 bands, 13 Malaysians; and 1 each from the Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei scene. No prizes given if you’re right by saying that its aim is to expose the talents in the Southeast Asian Metal scene. AKHNAKH is the first in line, “Vengeances for The Mortal” is a melodic jibe rooted in staunch eastern death Metal. Rough production aside, it is actually a good song to start it all with. Worth checking out. NIGHTSHADERS took the ‘easternity’ further with “After Us”. If you’ve heard of them before, you should know that they’re not ashamed of their melodic eastern death Metal path, and the song here is another testimony of this. Continuation is in the hands of HELDRASIL, “Proud Land” being another Southeast Asian Melodic spices, this time complete with female voices part that actually attempt to sing rather than just being there. Can’t get enough? ZURIARTS eastern black Metal of the ‘as-expected’ kind took centre-stage with “Dead to Hell”. Now, NOIRATASYA from Brunei. “Era Fantasia” is a hypno-like effects heavy, death black Metal hymn, something like a hybrid between THE MYSTICKAL EAST and RUST SAKARATZ, being the other bands that the main person involved in. Nice twist to the compilation’s proceeding anyway. Next is HAYAGRIVA, weaving their magick the way you know it. It’s always about the ‘vibe’ for these guys, no mistaking that it’s HAYAGRIVA indeed. TASYIM “The Blessing Moon of Telok Tongkang” will always be another proof of what they could be. TASYIM is the Malaysian answer of ‘Vittra-era’ NAGLFAR and AMON AMARTH soaked with a lot of somber, gloomy atmosphere. CASSARRAH is death Metal alright, but judging by this “World Destroyer” their brand of death Metal is one that’s open to various influences and elements, old and new. There’s only one chance of thrashing it out here with LOGAM “Darah di Hujung Sabil”. Some rusty speedy hellthrashing bastardizationis the fukking game here, and that ‘Malay heavy-Metal’-stylized of singing might just add to that ‘authenticity’ found here. “Darah di Hujung Sabil” will not sounds out of place if it was released in the late 80’s local Metal scene. I’ve always consider LARRONG’s demo as one of the finer ones from the local scene, and seeing they’re still here after all these years could only fuel my expectations. “Narratik” sounds unmistakably LARRONG, though there’s this slight hunch of ‘this could have been better’ lingering, at least they’re still here, and yez; they’re capable of more than this sample. Grind is not forgotten, DAMOKIS making sure of its presence with “Extremely Sounds from Scratch”, some rotten grind death done by experienced hands. DIMAN goes on another eastern black death Metal rampage, the instrumental “Preposterous” is nothing short of a homage to the eastern Metal scene. AMETHYST is probably the prominent gothic-tinged Metal bands of Malaysia, “Mimpi” with their singing female vocals is an ample truth on that. Dreamy, spacey, trippy, definitely one of the more outstanding songs here. Even with its ‘thin’ production HELLGHAST “Cry Bloody Sorath” is one cruel sounding old-skull death Metal feast. I could only imagining it with a ‘fuller’ production. “Syurga Di Bawah Telapak Kaki Anjing” by FUNERAL INCEPTION is the most accomplished song here. I couldn’t reiterate it being perfected than what it is; absolute crushing brutal death Metal with just the right production. Last on the line is another brutal death Metal assault by Malaysian very own NECROTIC CHAOS. “Dead Man Walking” is by far one of the darkest sounding NECROTIC CHAOS ever. When everything’s being touched, “Hellbangers Dominion” is one of the better ways to check out just a glimpse of what the Southeast Asia, Malaysia in particular; scene has to offer.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

BURNING SPHERE "Deceit Theory"

BURNING SPHERE “Deceit Theory” (Nusantarajim Productions)
At first I was about to condemn the keyboard-parts, alas upon further listening they sound quite befitting to the songs though. Those keys, no matter how cheapo-sounding it is to my distorted ears, actually accentuates the BURNING SPHERE compositions. “Deceit Theory” is a by-product of daily diets on some kind of CRADLE OF FILTH-poppy darkness and a hefty sum melodic death, PLUS by listening to those ‘I think I’m Metal but I’m not’ disillusioned hardcore bands out there, hehehe. Actually they’re very much in the same vault of DAARCHLEA, another young band that emerges from the local scene not so while ago. And as the aforementioned band, BURNING SPHERE are actually pretty good at what they’re doing. This leaving us up on the sole reason of personal preferences. Well, this might be ‘the’ sound of the so-called extreme music for the youths nowadays. So if you’re into it, no disappointments expected from BURNING SPHERE then. “Deceit Theory” isn’t really what I would like to hear everyday, but they’re quite apt at what they’re doing, I think?

MILITANT ATTACK "Hostile Takeover"

MILITANT ATTACK “Hostile Takeover”
You guessed it right this is thrash Metal. Some fukking raging thrash Metal from Borneo. And that’s it. What else there is to be expected. Except, except; if I could get my wishes granted, there should be better vocal-lines in here, some vocals that could keep up and punctuate the aggressive (aggressiveness is in abundance here anyway, great that these guys managed to pull it off) music they deliver, vocals that always stay in the line and not out of it. And what else a good thrashing bash-up needs vitally rather than some memorable, catchy parts. And they should be executed as tight as possible. That, my friend; are what epitomizes a satisfying thrashing delirium for me. Do those, and the thrashing greatness is there for the taking. Keep it up, never lose that already ever-present aggressive nature.


ENSEMBLE OF SILENCE “Dark Moon Rising” live promo
This is a good sounding live promo. Whatever the band means by ‘live promo’ anyway. But, as it is, the recording is good enough, audible enough for a promo. ENSEMBLE OF SILENCE assembles themselves into the melodic Metal realm, being more death and conventional heavy Metal inclined more than anything else. And by melodic I don’t mean a direct descendant of anything remotely ‘Swedish’. They rather sound very close to the Malaysian scene itself. Melodic the Malaysian way. That’s the main ground here, and they’re playing around in that compound. As long as it doesn’t cross that ‘melodic’ border, ENSEMBLE OF SILENCE are just comfortably in the zone. Two originals and a cover (SIL KHANNAZ’s “Kiss of The Whisper”, which I won’t get into further; pretty sure I’ve mentioned about it in some reviews here, hehe). Those two, I tell you, lingers in all their melodic-ness. And what is that I hear? This sounds more and more in the same breath of present days SIL KHANNAZ. And no, it’s not because of the cover song.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

ATOMICDEATH "Missile Massacre"

ATOMICDEATH “Missile Massacre” cassette EP (Black Konflik Records)
What will happen if a crust and a black Metal band confines in each other and having a mutual butt-fest? Enter ATOMICDEATH, and the fornication spells only one word, ‘thrash’. Fukking ‘thrash’. Made up of members from APPARATUS(crust) and D.C.A(black Metal); the cassette only release “Missile Masacre” became a fierce destruction of stripped-down raw meat-style no-nonsense total thrash Metal approach. These 5 tracks are pure bastards of good ol’ thrash Metal whoreship, more then once the fondness for Araya and co. are shamelessly emulated therein. ATOMICDEATH are short, sharp, straight and to-the-point. Guitar solos are kept at a minimum, but what the fukk, here it’s thrash approached crustifully yours. So the aptness for simplicity and raw energy are here to stay. Solid.
Black Konflik Records, PO Box 28, 27600 Raub, Pahang, Malaysia

Monday, July 13, 2009

ATHOTORGH "Promaster Dieyana"

ATHOTORGH “Promaster Dieyana” LP (Gempita Records/Morbid Invasion Rex)
Sure, this is an old one. But seeing how good this is, and considering the fact that it’s the first ever vinyl release by local labels, and of course for the unreleased “Einchfriekel” track, why not we reminisce a bit eh? “Promaster Dieyana”, being a 12 years old release done by Ultra Hingax Productions, still retains its title as the definite Malaysian thrash Metal assault ever, undoubtedly due to ATHOTORGH’s enviable penchant of writing catchy-as-fukk pure adrenaline-driven underground thrash Metal the Malaysian way. It is all in its entire glory here, immortalized in pure black wax. I have to praise the labels involved for opting to have it all in 45rpm speed, the tracks are screaming for it. Talking about “Einchfriekel”, this unreleased recently recorded track shows ATHOTORGH in a more direct approach, very to-the-point aggressiveness feel in it with the structures are leaning more on the speed Metal appetite; then being thrashed, ATHOTORGH-style, at will. One thing for sure, they never lose their extremelyfrustratinglybrilliant catchiness. ATHOTORGH will always be ATHOTORGH. The presentation itself is overwhelming in a certain way. Included is a 20-page A5-sized booklet reeking with ATHOTORGH-ness and a poster. Apart from minor fault like spelling mistakes (“Einchfriekel” spelling on the sleeve and the centre-label, for example), it is all a job done right, a labour of love shining bright, huhuhu. A well-deserving tribute to one of a kind Malaysian band. This is a piece of Malaysian underground Metal scene history. Limited to 250 copies.

ISTIDRAJ "Blasphemized Perversion"

ISTIDRAJ “Blasphemized Perversion” MCD (Bidadari Desecrators Legion Records)
Anyone who is familiar already with ISTIDRAJ; I can tell you this: nothing else is to be found here except a polished ISTIDRAJ. This is applicable if their earlier releases are to be taken into considerations. Here’s how to put it in perspective: the ISTIDRAJ of today are more straight-forward/direct, for instance those so-called melodic-ness are still there, but they’re being done in a much more aggressive, direct way. To pin-point their sound, I’d prefer this: European black Metal-influenced, yet there’s still that certain touch of eastern black Metal that wouldn’t just let them go; and several nods to the more traditional thrash and black Metal sounds. Far from being groundbreaking, yes; but to regard “Blasphemized Perversion” as a worthless release is not the point either. This is a good 10-minutes plus of, err, perversion, I’d prefer a longer duration of ISTIDRAJ though. Hats off for the great cover-photo, I have a soft spot for these kind of ‘em, hehe. Ah, and a decent cover-version of VON “Satanic Blood” anyway. Bidadari Desecrators? A true BLASPHEMY/Ross Bay Cult homage eh. Whatever, nice cover-photo. Great cover-photo. Shit, I can’t stop.

Friday, July 10, 2009

PATHOGEN "Blasphemous Communion"

PATHOGEN “Blasphemous Communion” (Evildead Production)
Yet another MORBID ANGEL-infested death Metal slugfest on the offering. Throw in some other various influences from the untainted real death Metal sounds, and Philippines’ very own PATHOGEN executes their duty, and things are more deservingly interpreted this time around. It is well-played, decently produced, so all that’s to be expected are all here; just to put everything presented in one crammed sentence. Reasons good enough seeing this being released in various formats, including on LP by Iron Bonehead of Germany. This pro-cdr version on Evildead is strictly in 200 copies existence. “Blasphemous Communion” is being what it is, a tolerable, to-the-point death Metal orgy, well-heeled on underground enthusiasm and integrity.

MORTUARY ANCESTOR "The Reincarnation"

MORTUARY ANCESTOR “The Reincarnation” (Evildead Production)
MORTUARY ANCESTOR is a well-versed name in the Sabah/Borneo scene, I might say so. It’s been a while that I’ve heard of anything from them. Along came this CD in the mail then. Here lies several tracks recorded on different occasions. What I’m hearing in this is some straight-up, honest death Metal in the tried and tested ancient formula, heavily leaning towards those prescribed by MORBID ANGEL (there’s even a cover of their song here), unmistakably so. I regret the muddy and crude recording quality though, it certainly affects my appreciativeness in a way or so. There should be more that I could have lashed out from this release, if only the productions could be a tad better. And if my memory serves me right, I’ve heard of a more inspired MORTUARY ANCESTOR before “The Reincarnation”, another fact that could be challenged given a better, proper production they definitely deserve. Only for the die-hards, “The Reincarnation” is.

Monday, July 6, 2009

BESTIAL HORDES / HEREAFTER "Street Metal Terrorist"

BESTIAL HORDES / HEREAFTER “Street Metal Terrorist” split
HEREAFTER presented here three tracks, totally raw rehearsal recording specifically done for this recording. For whatever reason they opted for rehearsal recording is beyond me. I’ve missed their previous outputs before, but what summed up from the tracks here they deliver some raging furious thrash Metal from the deepest bowels of the earth. Some quite solid, but standard and predictable underground thrash Metal served fukking raw. Thought HEREAFTER raw enough? Enter BESTIAL HORDES with another three tracks here. And they are even more uncontrollable. Get ready for some fukked-up shit here. Bestial sounding blackened thrash Metal seems to be the ingredients. BESTIAL HORDES are here to make it as ugly and disgusting as possible, and on most parts they seem to be able to do so. Just listen to the straight-forward simplicity and vile vocals. BESTIAL HORDES are here to annoy you, and if they succeed they’ll piss on you for fun. Just hoping that the lousy drumming of track three “Born In Fire” will be rectified though. It is so bad.

BILHARZIA "Mujjahid D' jannah"

BILHARZIA “Mujjahid D’ jannah” CD EP
With “Mujjahid D’ jannah”, I can safely say that one of the (if not THE) most ferocious Malaysian release ever to be witnessed should be this release by BILHARZIA. They made my job of deciphering them easy, simply because they do it so well. Expect to be pummeled by this excellent three pronged-attack of fast, precise, cunningly executed death Metal; any other fukking nonsense is crushed to dust. They rammed you up in no time, I kid you not. Just revel in the blitzkrieg, a pure pleasure, and whenever those breaks and intimidating solos rare their heads, they’re so… glorious. Important to mention is also the lyrics, sung entirely in Malay, thus becoming some of the meanest, hate-filled Malay songs ever to be devoured, being spit forth mercilessly. To top it all up, the cover art is plain ‘disturbing’. I couldn’t praise it enough, and certainly have no intention of licking up their asses. That is not the case entirely. It is just that good. THAT good. M.A.N.D.A.T.O.R.Y.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

BRABAZOM "Beast of Mortality"

BRABAZOM “Beast of Mortality” promo EP ‘09
Now if this is to be remarked upon, taking into account that I simply don’t have all the resources to sample everything from the local scene, it is one of the more promising black Metal demos I’ve encountered in years. There certainly is nothing revolutionary here, but what BRABAZOM do is nothing short of presenting what they know best without the daunting task of trying to be original and such. “Beast…” consists of three well-honed melodic black Metal not concerning about anything else. They go for the balls here, no bullshit allowed. They shift between being aggressive and melodic as necessary, worthwhile to mention that they didn’t rely solely on the keyboards to create the atmosphere needed. Couple that with their awareness of not dragging things far from what it’s supposed to. A glimmering three tracker effort, what more could be said. Sure, you might argue that you’ve heard it somewhere, but if it’s being done properly those are just lame excuses. Show me more.

INNARDS DECAY "Ignorance of Humanity"

INNARDS DECAY “Ignorance of Humanity” MCD
I’ve always regard INNARDS DECAY as another of the uprising brutal death Metal bands from the very own fertile soil of Malaysia, period. “Ignorance…” proved me right, but not entirely so. You see, herein it’s brutal and blasting all over, yes they’re in abundance. But that’s not the entire perspective of INNARDS DECAY. If this self-released MCD is the one to be judged from, it is apparent that INNARDS DECAY do want it to be blasting and brutal, but not without a twist. Just listen to the songs here and you’ll admit there lie some variating influences snugly tucked within. Some inventive arrangements here and there, occasional thrash, or even utterly dark, harrowing orientated riffage; among others, are to be found within. Brutal and blast, doubtless; it’s a welcoming fact INNARDS DECAY proceed them with multi-angled approach, where variations are things that shouldn’t be denied. The result is simply an interesting listen for a genre deemed too often as predictable and limited. Horns fukking up, or penis stiffening up; if you will.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

UNLIGHT DAWN "Unlight Dawn"

UNLIGHT DAWN “Unlight Dawn” MCD (Evildead Production)
Tight-fisted, bullet-ridden, christ-devoured black Metal from Unlight Dawn takes no prisoners. Right from the opening scream in track number one “Born With Satan (Pure HellSeed)” – hear this at maximum volume, you’ll understand my point. Unlight Dawn takes you on a tormenting, taunting, glorious fast black Metal throughout this 4-songs MCD. Taking ques from the sound of Swedish black Metal that is untouched by melodic plague, fukk it; Unlight Dawn does it so well. If you’re delved into this type of sonical impurities, for (un)god sake, you’ll be hooked on this. This MCD stands firmly on par with EVILDEAD’s previous release, that excellent Mantak “666” MCD, complete with a similar production result (Hellvete Studio to the fore once again, being utilized here and there on this). Can’t help sensing a bit of ‘Mantak-ness’ as well though in some part, probably due to the production, and of course their single-mindedness in the compositions. To hell with originality if you can pull it off well, hahah. I’m impressed. One ferocious Malaysian release. Qualities churning out from the Borneo in recent times just keep my adrenaline pumping. Be proud.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

IMPERIAL "The Conquering"

IMPERIAL “The Conquering” single ’09 (Astral Lore)
Who (in the local scene especially) would have thought to hear about Imperial again, after something like 10 years or so of silence. Well, in true Ripley’s style, believe it. And take a very serious heed of it. “The Conquering”, being a single it is; features one sole new song bearing the same title. You’ll have to deal here with some of the fresher direction and sound you could garner from the Malaysian (black) Metal scene, period. Still rooted in black Metal, the Imperial of today delivers their craft in a somewhat modern (in a positive sense) progressed template, and the result in “The Conquering” is well-elaborated atmospherical Metal of the blacker kind that defies from being short-sighted of various other extreme music nuances. The effects and samplings here are utilized adequately and do their job well, punctuating and enhancing the main structures whenever needed without fail. Included in this single too is “The Conquering” in rawer rehearsal mode minus the effects, confirming the bare essence of Imperial is still black fucking Metal. Ahh, and the 1995 demo “Emperor of the Hordes” is included here as well, the Imperial in their mid-paced, Greece-influenced, and of course; fukking Hellion Studio-produced years. Herald the second coming of Imperial. With the debut album forthcoming, I highly encourage you to delve into “The Conquering”, and prepare for what is to come.

Interview with LATHEBRA in Issue#3, 1998

Dark, enchanting, sophisticated, meticulous, particular…. Such are the fumes of the short-lived musical entity of Lathebra. Interview with G. Principe. C. and F. P., who is now the owner of eccentric Italian dark music label MY KINGDOM MUSIC.
First of all, why’s the demo titled “Angels’ Twilight Odes”?
G. Principe. C. – The twilight of the angels is a sort of mystic reign which represents a partial subversion of the normal existence. The title expresses the contrast between what is real and what isn’t real, a contrast which at the same time represents the inevitable union between matter and the spirit. The title of our demo is the symbolic place of the lathebra: an angelical twilight and we are the angels of this twilight…
For the demo, you have to attend a seven days studio session until it is completely finished…
G. Principe C. – Seven days are surely a lot of time to record a demo but I think that they are not too many. We wanted a work that satisfies our expectations under every single point of view and I can affirm that we are very satisfied about the final result even if the complete and total satisfaction is an utopia.
It’s neatly packaged, so you must be aiming for something more than just to introduce Lathebra to the scene…
F. P. – We have had the consciousness to have a good product since the beginning, so the fact to present it in a professional way, with a good production, a professional layout and a neat package has been just a consequence of our aim to present us in a certain way. Then Lathebra is not a simple band who play music to enjoy the listeners. Through our music we want to express our feelings and sensations and the only way to do it is to give to the listeners a visual scenario of what we feel, a picture which goes beyond the musical aspect.
Lyricwise, it seems that they’re some kind of revealing one’s ultimate feelings and emotions.
G. Principe C. – Lyrics are a sort of thoughts written in poetry and so they are subjected to personal and relative interpretations. What I can tell you is that they represent the ‘darkest’ side of our concept, the Lathebra’s gloomy manifestation and, by the way, they are something of really intimate and deep. They come from our innermost recesses….

The sleeve is beautified with images of women. I wonder why? Strong taste on artworks, by the way.
F. P. – I’m very delighted that you have noticed the beautiful images that are represent on the sleeve. The presence of a woman is due to the fact that the image represents, at the same time, the passionate and the spiritual side of the reality. The image is misty, enshrouded by a mystic halo and it is so mysterious that when I see it for the first time I was really enchanted by its beauty. I don’t know how to define the real sensation it gave me with simple words, but it represents in a perfect way the Lathebra’s concept and naturally the characteristics of our music and lyrics… I think it’s really superb with its mysterious charm!!!
The music is mostly covered in somber moods and depressions. Do you try to drift people’s mind with your music?
F. P. – I partially agree with your opinion because I think our music is characterized by somber and depressive moments, but these ones are often broken by dramatic and epic passages. I don’t know if the people who listen to our music are drifted by our sound, in any case we try only to express in music what we are and what we feel in a way that is more personal and as true as possible. I think that it’s the only certain aspect of our music and at the same time our main perspective, the other things are subjected to the personal opinion of the listeners.
Lathebra’s music is full of fantasy, right?
G. Principe C. – Surely my way to feel music is different by what the other people feel, so I don’t know how to answer to your question. Our music born in a spontaneous way, without any reflection. In this sense there is fantasy, even if it is absolutely not programmed. It’s natural like we are. But probably you’re referring to the compositive and creative fantasy and under this aspect, I’m agree with you undoubtedly. Fantasy as ‘mobility’ and creativity.
Basically I could sum up Lathebra’s music as some kind of melancholic, doomy type of black Metal, but maybe you have your own opinion…
G. Principe C. – Your definition of our music is probably the nearest to what it represents, almost in this moment, and to what we think of it. For what concerns our own perception of our music, all the members of the band have different opinions, but I think that they are only different opinions nothing more… The most important thing for us is that it is simply our music and we don’t care a lot about the labels that the musical scene can give us.
What are the elements that shape the sound of Lathebra? Do your surroundings play an integral part?
G. Principe C. – I think that more than the surroundings, what marksthe visions of an individual is his inwardness, his recesses. Nature, events, other aspects of the life are important too, but they are always filtered and transposed by each single individual in a different way and with different intensity. I think that the most enchanting place we can visit is our inwardness.
Do you consider Lathebra as an original band in one way or another?
G. Principe C. – Lathebra is a young band, only the time will tell if we are original. Now we have only expressed ourselves with a kind of music that we consider quite personal.
Tell us how the slow, depressive parts shape the ‘colour’ of the aggressive Metal music. It’s quite visible in Lathebra.
G. Principe C. – This is just the natural manifestation of our moods… it’s written in that way in our innermost recesses, so what you listen to in our music is the real expression of what we feel and the way in which we feel it. The blending of melancholic melodies and aggressive parts are probably the peculiarity of our sound. It’s the only way we have to express in music the different aspects of our personality.
F.P., you’re also the editor of Vampiria ‘zine. Being in a band and editing a fanzine, it must be very time consuming I guess.
F. P. – Vampiria ‘zine is my bleeding creature, probably another aspect of my personality and my essence, it’s born in 1995 with another name, Demonizzati, then I decided to change it to Vampiria. In these days I’ve released my second issue after the good responses of the first one and of a newsletter. In this issue called “The Arcane Beauty” there are 104 pages featuring interviews with all my fave bands involved in the dark, death and black scene. Some of them are Borknagar, Sopor Aeternus, Lycia, Funeral Oration, Nightfall and many others… There are tons of reviews, interesting articles about crusades, church of Satan and Gothic. I think it is a good product even if I’m not the right man to say it. You ask me if the band or ‘zine have ever bothered me. My answer is no!!! because it is a great passion of mine. Music is an important part of my life, and these are the ways I use to satisfy this passion.
Let’s talk about the black Metal scene in general. Lots of boycotting, backstabbing, gossiping isn’t it?
F. P. – I think that a true black soul doesn’t lose his time in spreading shit or praises about other bands, but he follows his own path, neglecting what happens around him. Naturally this so called mystic halo of hate that is now inside the black Metal scene is a natural evolution of the great trend that is burn around this musical phenomenon, but I remember that black Metal was born just to express the dark feelings of an individual… This is my opinion the true essence of black Metal.
A bit about the Italian black Metal scene. There’s an anti-Norwegian movement going on there right?
F. P. – Probably you know the best Italian bands involved in this kind of music (Mortuary Drape, Necromass, Funeral Oration, Handful of Hate, Opera IX and few others). Now there are a lot of new black Metal bands but I don’t see originality or true black feelings in what they propose. The only new promise of Italian scene is a band called The Magik Way, they are in my opinion a great band, one of the few new reality of Italian underground. About the anti-Norwegian movement, I know it exists, but I don’t like to speak much about it, because I think in the world there is only True music or False music and I don’t think it is so important the geographic origins of this or that band. In any case I don’t know the real essence of this movement, probably there are other reasons that I don’t know.
Does Lathebra means just a mere music group to you?
G. Principe C. – Lathebra is more than a simple band, it’s a way to see the things and the events around us. It’d exist even if it was not the representation of a band.
Got some plans already to shape the future of Lathebra?
F. P. – Naturally we are working at the following act of our musical manifestation and so we are working on new songs even if our musical songwriting is very difficult and very long, so at the moment nothing is definitive. Very soon, probably in June, We’ll take part in a Cd-compilation released by the Italian label NOCTURNAL MUSIC. It is a compilation featuring Italian bands and among these are very promising acts of the Italian scene. Other projects at the moment are very uncertain so I can only say that the future will speak for us…
Thanks for participating in this issue.
F. P. – I would like to thank you a lot for your support and this very enticing interview. It’s very difficult to answer to good questions and to give our opinion about what we feel and not about what we play. My darkest greetings to thee and… Kiss My Scars!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Interview with HEAVEN GREY in Issue#3, 1998

Some convincing doom death Metal from Latvia’s very own Heaven Grey. 1998 is the year, “Memory River” for your ears. Answered by Vlad…
Tell us about Heaven Grey’s reputation there in Latvia…
Heaven Grey- a doom Metal band, taking one of the leading roles in the Latvian Metal scene. We put out our demo in 1994 titled “Under The Grey Clouds.” In 1996 we recorded and edited the first album “Memory River” that has been sold for over 1,000 copies all over Baltic states (for Latvia, it’s quite much). Nobody here (of course, Metal bands), has sold so much. We have been invited to almost all the biggest rock/pop festivals here in Latvia. We played more than 120 gigs not only in Latvia but also in Lithuania. By now we have recorded the new stuff called “Northwind”, with that it would be popular not only here but also abroad.
In the beginning, Heaven Grey used to play total death Metal with doom and grindcore elements. So, why did the music changed drastically in “Memory River”?
We really started with death Metal. The demo “Under The Grey Clouds” shows that. The change of style was connected with some personal changes as well as with personal opinions. The music of “Memory River” is more interesting and emotional than on the demo.
Besides the musical concept, what are the other things that you think differentiate your demo and the album?
The differences between the demo and the first album amongst musical are: covers, quality, amount of songs, amount of edited MCs.
Why did Heaven Grey decides to include cello as one of the main instruments? What is so special about the usage of cello in the band’s music?
The cello is used for years. Ernests was asked to play some stuff even before the recording of the demo. At first it was played only on the parts with acoustic sound, but later we decided to have fun and use it more and it sounds great. Cello brought more melody, pain to the music. The music become more beautiful, atmospheric and melodious.
Ansis was your manager before he became the vocalist of the band. How could this occurred?
During the time of the original vocalist Andris, Ansis was kinda manager. He helped us to organize gigs and was like a member of the band. After the deporting of Andris we sought for another guy but it was difficult enough to find one. On one of our rehearsals we asked Ansis to try himself as a singer. He tried and it was not bad at all. Step by step he worked out his voice and after some gigs we decided to have him for eternity.

“Memory River”… being released by the band independently? Couldn’t find any label address in the inlay, but what’s the relationship with MAPL Music?
The “Memory River” was financed by ourselves as well as the design of the cover. The label MAPL helped us just to promote and distribute it here in Latvia- that’s all. If I have to answer why there is no address on the cover- I don’t know. My opinion is that they weren’t interested in because they sign mostly pop-dance music but helped us because of good friendship.
Vyacheslav Niketin composed most of Heaven Grey songs right?
On “Memory River”, the themes mostly were written by Vyacheslav but it doesn’t mean that the others are less productive. The main part is done by him but their own things and shades are done by everybody. But on this new album, Sigvards and Vyacheslav write songs partly.
And what about the lyrics? They’re kind of depressive, I think.
All the lyrics are written by Ansis. They tell about relations between people, about life, about love, hate. There is no aggression or evil, or satanic stuff in the lyrics.
What’s so special about the music that made you choose doom Metal?
The style of doom is the most emotional, atmospheric, sorrowful, among the others. You can brightly show your inner, emotional world, your experience.
Looking at the current doom Metal scene, what could you say about it?
I think the style of doom is interesting enough but, unfortunately, there is tendency to play it as it was already played. However, the new bands will take place of the old ones.
What about the gothic music, which is much more associated with doom Metal these days?
The style of gothic is much equal to doom. The lyrics and music. I like such bands as The 3rd and The Mortal, Funeral, Moonspell but actually I don’t care about the names of styles. We like all music and who cares about titles.
I don’t know much about the Metal scene there in Latvia…
By now the scene of Latvian Metal has become greater as it was some years ago. Big festivals take place once in a two months, but little club-gigs every week. Riga (our capital) is the hometown for all the leading bands- Skyforger, Neglected Fields, Sanctimony, as well as there are some bands with perspective all over the country.
You will release your second album, “Northwind” on Wild Rags Records?
In days we had to cut the relations with the label WILD RAGS in the US and Richard Gee because of his now very understandable way of working. He said too much unspecific things. Also many good friends from other countries told us to cut off the deal because of the bad reputation of the label. We have many offers from different labels and we’re seeking for the best contract.
The album title, why “Memory River”?
The name “Memory River” presented vocalist Ansis. I think he wanted to show some episodes of his life but I don’t know which ones, really.
Will Heaven Grey remains like this in the future, sound-wise etc?
We’ll be truthful to the style we play. The approvement is the new stuff “Northwind”. The new one is more melodic than “Memory River”, but also includes some hard rock stuff. The vocals are more extravert and atmospheric. You can’t live without experimenting.

Interview with ETERNAL THRONE in Issue#3, 1998

ETERNAL THRONE is a ‘love it or hate it’ affair. Their demo of ‘raw black Metal’ caught glimpses nevertheless, and obviously piqued my interest on them. Short-lived they may seem, here’s one of those interviews, perhaps something to read.
How’s the debut demo, “Eternal Throne” being received by the scene so far?
To be honest, we are moved by the response. So far, our eternal brothers in Malaysia were our #1 listeners so far, and we had various reviews good, bad, ugly and these are positive signs for our band.
Eternal Throne exists since 1991. But there’s no output from the band until the year 1997. Line-up problem?
Eventhough we’re formed in 1991, the band was in common dilemma like attending to stupid National Service, schooling and most of all our line-up was not really into making any demo at that moment.
Your materials are dark and raw black Metal. Do you consider your musical direction original? That guitars sound reminds me very much of Darkthrone’s “A Blaze In The Northern Sky.”
So far as we are concern we played our own material, about the guitar’s sound similar to Darkthrone’s “A Blaze…” it’s purely coincidental. No intend to copy or whatsoever, afterall I don’t mind what people might label our style, our music sounds like, the bottom line is we believe in our ability and that’s what we got!
The drums pattern, it’s a bit unusual for me. Is it intended to be that way? The double bassdrum parts are a little awkward, I might say so…
Musically we arranged as a band and that is the sort of drum sounding that we want. Eventhough it sounds awkward, its sounds were in line with our way of “Dark Raw” concept. Anyway the double pedal was not in good condition! Fuck the studio!
The demo… how’s the making of it? Is it really easy to get the sound that you warranted? Satisfied?
Frankly we are very happy and satisfied with the whole demo, even time constrain, we managed to get the sound we wanted most.
What about live-shows? You’ve played in the jam-session of a Johor gig not so while ago right?
Ya, Johor’s jamming session was absolutely great experience, it was our first appearance on stage and its kind of thrilling! Anyway we were glad that it goes fine and thanks to our eternal brothers As Sahar, Beast, Knight and Kibosh Sybil Kismet for their support.
And I’ve also heard that you’ll never play live in Singapore, why?
Simple. Fuck Singapore! Hail Malaysia!
Where the hell is Seventh Gates of Hell now? It seems that you guys respect him a lot. Tell us a bit about him, and also Beast.
Ok, Seventh Gates of Hell had changed to be a better person after he had overcome his ‘personal problem’, sorry we can’t elaborate more, he’s doing fine right now. Seventh Gates of Hell were someone we look up to as his contribution to our band in a spiritual way, without him we won’t be into black Metal kind of thing. Hail to our eternal brother Seventh Gates of Hell. Beast is another individual whom we respect as best friend and eternal brother as he was the only survival soul remain. He is around us most of our time even good or bad days! Hail to Beast!
What’s your relationship with the band Netherealm? I’ve got the chance to hear their demo, and it sounds quite like Eternal Throne’s.
OK, Netherealm kind of music is a mix of Norway and Swedish style musically, I am the sessionist drummer of Netherealm and it’s a great experience working with Knight and Sam of Kibosh. Eternal Throne respect Knight as a friend and also Netherealm as a band that could be a force to be reckon with.
The Singapore scene, it seems that the black Metal bands there have their own circle of friends and despise bands that’s not one of them…
Ok, I don’t give a damn about the Singapore circle or what it is called, as we are concern we only support our eternal brothers such as As Sahar, Kibosh, Netherealm, Dicius and of course all Malaysian bands like Langsuir, Sil Khannaz, Hayagriva, Aradia, etc.
Being an eastern black Metal band, how does it feels? It’s pretty different from the Westerns…
It’s true we can’t really copy all Western bands concept and music but we can take them as an inspiration figure and we could do it in our unique Eastern concept. For us we like and hail Norwegian bands like Mayhem, Darkthrone, Dimmu Borgir, Kampfar and Emperor because they came from the same country but still had their own different style! For us we took them as an inspiration but add our own pattern of play.
So, it actually means that Eastern bands should seek for their own sound, isn’t it?
If possible yes, uphold our Eastern mystical roots.
But I could say that Eternal Throne sounds very much like those Europeans and so on, so…
Whatever it is we are an Eastern band and we are happy to be that way, it is up to individuals to decide.
There’s no ‘real’ artworks on your demo cover. Is it not that important?
As you know, it’s our first demo, we don’t really press for the cover but in the future who knows, maybe a better logo for instance, but we are happy with the simple logo cover of our first demo. “Tak kisah cantik atau buruk, asalkan muzik kita faham cukuplah”!
What do you think about the black Metal scene nowadays in general?
In general? Lots of wave change and most of them wanted to be true black Metal head. But we don’t care about all this nonsense.
By playing your own music, you believe that it’s a truly, great eternal quest towards your own throne. Could you tell us a bit about the ‘throne’ that you’re talking about and aiming for?
“THRONE” to us is “Singgahsana yang abadi”. It is verse spiritually of peace… in our souls by playing our music we feel and it’s great to have that divine experience.
A true black Metal band is not justified as one only by the music they play is simply called ‘black Metal’, isn’t it?
It’s not too easy to be true in everything in life, you had to focus yourselves into this avenues and understand it. Eternal Throne believe that ‘black Metal’ is an art of spiritual, mystical, knights.

ETERNAL THRONE c/o Black Emperor, Blk 14, Kampung Arang, #07-33, SINGAPORE 431014

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Interview with SACRAMENTUM in Issue#3, 1998

The best blackened Swedish death Metal legacy will always be DISSECTION – SACRAMENTUM – DAWN. Those are the compulsory three if you wonder what makes them absolutely revered by the scene in general. Here’s an interview with Sacramentum’s mainman Nisse Karlen, in the year 1998.
Speak something about your latest release, “The Coming of Chaos”?
“The Coming of Chaos” was recorded in June 1997 in Los Angered Studio in Gothenburgh where we live, the record contains eight tracks and an infernal and chaotic outro and was released on CENTURY MEDIA in September 1997.
No more Dan Swano to engineer and co-producing it. Why?
Well, as you probably know we have worked with Swano two times before and we felt that we needed to change studio to be able to develop our infernal sound.
And what made you chose Andy LaRoque? How about his work then?
We chose Andy because he has a very good studio here in Gothenburgh and we had been visiting the studio when other bands recorded and we felt that this studio would be the place where we would feel most comfortable in working. It’s been a pleasure to work with Andy since he is a very nice guy and also a damn fine musician, we will for sure use his knowledge again.
No more in Unisound too. Opted for a different sound, I guess…
Sacramentum will always progress and don’t stand at the same point all the time, but everyone will for sure recognize the infernal sound of Sacramentum.

Why you didn’t use the artwork of Necrolord for “The Coming of Chaos”? His work on “Far Away From The Sun” is brilliant.
The reason why we didn’t use Necrolord this time was that we wanted something different like we always have done. I mean the first cover is a photo and the second cover is a painting. And this latest cover is computer made and I feel very satisfied with all the covers. They have their own unique feel and I think it would be boring to use the same artist all the time.
What is your lyrics about? “The Coming of Chaos” is some kind of a conceptual album right? And the song, “Black Destiny”, will have its continuation in your next album?
Well, yes and no. Some of the songs are connected to “The Coming of Chaos” and some are not. The lyrics is about the blackness and frustration of my own soul, it’s hard to explain. You’ll have to figure it out yourself. Yes, “Black Destiny” will continue on the next album which will be entitled “Thy Black Destiny” and it will be recorded in November 1998.
What is the relevant of the two naked girls photographed with the album?
Haha! It has nothing to do with the actual album, we wanted to have something different than just standing there and since we enjoy naked girls very much we choose to have these beauties as a contrast to us.
Sacramentum produced all the releases by themselves. You don’t really trust other people huh?
We totally know what we want and we know how Sacramentum should sound so we don’t need anyone to tell us how we should sound. People can come with opinions and we listen to them but it’s Sacramentum who decide if it’s good or bad and you’re right we don’t trust anyone to shape OUR sound.
Your line-up seems to be pretty stable with only three members since “Far Away From The Sun”. What made you kicked-out those ex-members? Three is a family?
Yeah, we have found the ultimate line-up now but it would have been a lot easier if we had a second guitarist. But it’s impossible to find one who’s not already playing in a bigger band since we are very careful with who is worthy to play for us. You have to be a good musician and have the same personality as we have. The reason for kicking the old bandmembers out was that they were not dedicated to what they were doing. They did it because we told them to and they thought it was fun. We cannot accept such behavior.
Sacramentum frequently plays live-shows. You’re using sessionists in them?
We always have a session guitarist with us since much of our music is based on two guitars. For the first European tour we used Nightmare from Swordmaster and on the second tour we have used Vassago from Lord Belial and he is also rehearsing with us nowadays but he is not a full member of Sacramentum since he has Lord Belial.
Sacramentum’s sound is great Swedish death Metal with blazing technical parts…
Our influences comes mostly from old heavy Metal bands and a lot of speed and thrash bands where we have our roots. A lot also comes from within ourselves, moods and so on.
And does the fact of being Swedish contributed?
I don’t really know. But probably I think that you get influenced by everything you hear and see. So if we lived in Malaysia we might have sounded completely different but it feels very weird to think like this because we would still have our early influences from the beginning of the 80’s but who knows.
Is anything such as ‘Gothenburgh Sound’ really exists?
I don’t know. It’s just that there are some bands from Gothenburgh who plays aggressive and melodic music. It’s not that many bands from Gothenburgh who sounds like this. It’s more in other cities in Sweden who want to have a piece of the cake for the winning concept. Gothenburgh sound or not, who cares.
What do you think about the comparison people always made between you and Dissection?
It’s rather frustrating because I think we are far more aggressive than Dissection and I also think we have our own unique Sacramentum sound, but we play similar kind of music and because Dissection became known before us, people like to compare us to them. The truth is that we have been around for as long as Dissection but they spread their name better while we just played and didn’t care much.
“The Coming of Chaos” also marks the changing of the label for the band…
After we had released “Far Away From The Sun” we didn’t have a contract anymore so we started to send out promo packages and some labels were interested in signing us. So we started to negotiate with some of the labels and came to the conclusion that CENTURY MEDIA would be the best option for Sacramentum. We are very satisfied with all that CENTURY MEDIA have done for us so far. The only problem is that we really could need some better equipment but CENTURY MEDIA is not very interested in that because it costs money and they want to make money but hopefully this will change.
How would you compare the works of ADIPOCERE and CENTURY MEDIA?
Well, ADIPOCERE is an underground label and is run by one guy and CENTURY MEDIA is a big label with over 50 employees. So there’s a very big difference in professionalism and promotion and so on.
The Swedish bands (well, lots of ‘em), has kind of losing their aggressiveness, and are veering towards more melodic lately. What is your comments about this?
There are very few bands who can do this good so I think it sucks. I have nothing against melodies as long as they are not happy circus melodies. And that’s the problem, everyone seem to like this happy sounding shit, extreme Metal should not be happy. I really don’t like this. Aggression is important. Fight it. Fight till death.
I don’t think Sacramentum will get rid of their aggressiveness…
No, we will never get rid of it. It’s like you say, a very important part of our sound. Aggression and intensity is Sacramentum’s trademark.
Sacramentum is already in the scene for a while, what’s the secret?
I think that you have to be yourselves and to be comfortable being yourselves. Be true to yourself and to your surroundings, that’s the combination for success I think. Years of hard work is of course a big part of it as well.
What is the importance of image then for a band?
As I said in the previous question, I think that by being yourselves you gain a lot more than pretending something. It makes the music and the lyrics really mean something important to yourselves and hopefully to others as well. Image can sometimes be cool and interesting but that’s nothing for Sacramentum.
Since the very beginning of Sacramentum’s existence, what is your main ambition by joining the Metal scene? Has it been fulfilled?
When we started it was just because we wanted to make extreme music, violent music. We had no ambitions whatsoever. Then thing started to happen. A lot of people liked the stuff we made. So we became more serious and after we had recorded the MCD “Finis Malorum” we realized that we could really achieve something. So we kicked out the unserious members and started rehearse more often and that’s the way it is. I think that everything we could dream about then has been fulfilled but we will carry on for many years to spread our message of hatred.
Reveal us Sacramentum’s forthcoming plans…
We will play live as much as possible in the nearest future and we are working on our forthcoming album “Thy Black Destiny”, which will be recorded in November ’98. Thanks a lot for the shown interest and good luck with your ‘zine. Let misanthropy and sodomy show the way. Die hard.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

SPELLCASTER "Spellcaster"

SPELLCASTER "Spellcaster"
The advent of ‘bedroom bands’ is something that’s a norm these days, and while the growing numbers are admirable, sightings of useless craps emerging are nothing unexpected. Well, that’s the case with all releases anyway isn’t it. Spellcaster was born as a creation moulded from the tiniest of ‘studios’ imaginable. Here’s a journey into the mind behind it, into realms of musical landscapes evoked from his very own experiences and taste, fruiting a product of instrumental Metal of the various kind, when the lack of vocals are substituted with the instruments taking the turns being the lead that the other parts and bits should follow. I’m very sure there’s only guitars and programming samplers (loads of ‘em) being utilized here in accordance with the creator’s capabilities of utilizing them. Fragments of Metal from various kinds are, as I’ve stressed, everpresent; there’s no pin-pointing the exact direction of Spellcaster. Here and there you’ll hear this and that. The experience is somewhat akin to that of later days Nomicon, if you need some reference, probably something to do with the frigid, numbing sensaural claustrophobia by listening to this. Spellcaster’s music is progressive and experimental without (fortunately) leaving the aggressiveness behind. But this, the tendency of being here and there all over the place; plainly kill the focus if you try to imply it. You’ll end up being taken on a topsy-turvy ride. The programmings used are OK I guess, but those keys; whenever they’re in the lead, very much reminds me of ancient 8-bit or 16-bit video games. Perhaps geared towards the ‘musician-at-heart’ crowd, though, this release is. I don’t know. Your reviewer here always take pride in being a listener, not a musician; and those listening experiences are what you’ll always going to read should you even bother doing it.

Interview with CATASEXUAL URGE MOTIVATION in Issue#3, 1998

Whenever I’m in need of some demented, mechanized gore; Catasexual Urge Motivation will always be on the top of the playlist. Their “Encyclopedia of Serial Murders” is my permanent reference. Briefly changing the name to Vampiric Motives before using the C.U.M monicker again, this is one fine interview.
Hello Tomoaki. How’s your sickening bizarre life there?

Greetings Shah. My life has been quite ok but it is not as sick as you consider. Yeah, sometimes I watch porn movies but not every night.
C.U.M has released the debut CD “Encyclopedia of Serial Murders” in Sept ’96. How’s the response? Tell the readers something more about it.
Sure, it does. The response is really sick as we wanted. Every sick mother fuckers loved it very much. Unfortunately, we haven’t received all the responses from people we sent the promo yet. And because of label’s support to promote the CD as he, Frank the label’s owner, is really busy with his life and stuff. As far as I’m concern, we did really good job for the promotion work by ourselves instead of the label. So, time will tell. Well, the CD contains some older songs from our ’95 demo, split 7” ep’s, ’96 demo, and many new songs of course. It seems that everyone thinks it’s a grindcore album but we think it’s a death gore Metal with huge grindcore influence. The sound maybe caused it but we don’t care. We are not as good as we’re just now playing. 22 tracks of pure brutal and sick grinding death gore Metal in 61 minutes long. Very heavy sound and ultra sick puking vocals on it. Faster than the speed of light. Groovy as fuck. Check it out.
You released the CD on DELIRIA PRODUCTIONS from Germany. Why did you choose this label? This is the second time you made a deal with them, so how do they treat C.U.M?
Yes, it was the second time he released our stuff on his label. First one was “Satsujin Live” studio live tape ’96 anyway. We choose this label because Frank is my personal friend before the release. He really loved us from the beginning. It’s a simple reason that he wanted to release it and we agreed. DELIRIA PRODUCTIONS is still a very small label that only cares for grind, HC, noise, experimental stuff. Not so many releases on the label yet, and it was the first CD product of the label. We really thank him for the release.
You’ve planned to release the “Fantasy Wants Victim…” on V RECORDS, but it is cancelled. Any problem?
We didn’t cancel it. V fucking RECORDS refused it. The label offered to many bands for CD’s but nothing has been released yet. Andrew of the label is a liar. Don’t trust him and forget the V RECORDS’ name. In the beginning, V RECORDS wanted us an MCD consists of our ’96 demo. But we changed it to full length album consists of unreleased materials. “Fantasy Wants Victim…” album was a compilation stuff consists of never released tracks recorded back in ’95 and ’96. The album was screwed up now. So nobody will release it at the moment. We used a couple of tracks for our next cassette EP’s which will be out soon (or out by now I think).
C.U.M consists of you and your brother, Yuzin. Is it convenient enough to have only two members? Do you try to keep it that way?
Yes, we are. It has been really good enough to have only two human beings in the band. I used to play in a band before with four other guys but I was sick and tired of that line-up. I want to control everything. This way we have a really good relationship between me and my brother. There’s less argument, less fight. We used to listen to the same kind of music and we know what we want to play. There’s no room left in the band.
You’re also using a drum-machine instead of a real drummer. I personally think that without a real drummer the sound produced is a bit ‘hollow’, if you know what I mean. Maybe there’s no drummer that could provide the pace and speed that you prefer huh?
Thanks so much that we are a ‘hollow’ band, ha. We use it because we have huge Industrial music influence. Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Godflesh, Pitch Shifter, Dead World, Gore Beyond Necropsy etc. used machine and we are the same. Why not? They’re pretty cool bands and we followed. We never have searched any human drummer for the formation. We want to be different. We’re not a rock n’ roll band. There’s no room left for a human drummer, either. I like machine sound. But we haven’t reached the top yet but maybe someday.

You recorded your debut CD at the Meat Fuck Semen Studio. I bet that it’s owned by you. By the way, the production is quite good too for what it is.
Thank you so much. Yeah, it’s my room! I used to play in the real studios before but I didn’t get the sound I really wanted there. And the cost of using a studio is really high here in Japan. So, we decided to record all the materials by ourselves using my own room with an 8 track recorder and some effects. I’m not satisfied with all the records being released but they’re all fine so far. I’m always thinking about tomorrow. Future brings hope, as far as I know I think so. Next recording will be our second album that will be stronger than ever. With the same studio and technique of course. Our sound is getting better and better.
The time-gap between each of your releases is quite short, I must say so. Is it because you have too many songs?
It is because of labels’ request. They wanted from us some new songs and we recorded them for that. I’m responsible for song-writing but most of the songs (70%) are not as good as I wanted. Actually, it’s really easy for me to write a typical grind/death songs that we did in the past (the 70% I mean). Other songs that I’m really pleased with are not very easy to write. It’s getting harder to write good songs for me. But I will try, I will try to write as many good songs that I want. We have some other unreleased tracks that didn’t see the daylight but they’re crap. We have to take much time to compose a good song. I write the songs for me, for my enjoyment. If you like the songs, that’s cool.
You also have another band in the name of C.U.M FEATURING CYBER E.M.F that has recorded an Industrial album “Cyber Gore”. What’s the differences since the line-up is the same? Just the musical concept?
It’s not another band. It’s the industrial side of C.U.M. All songs (except one) were released under C.U.M monicker before on the CD, tapes. We re-arranged the songs to very Industrial direction using gigantic Industrial rhythm and mood. Because, to prove that we have huge Industrial influence. No one did that Industrial meet Gore before, but we did this already. Epoch making stuff. The line-up is the same. Sure, it has to be called musical concept, an Industrial album. I think I already talked about the formation. Hey, anyone who’s interested to release it, get in touch.
I’ve noticed that your song-titles are quite long and dealt with hyperperversitygorelustmurder type of topics. How do you able to write such lyrics? Where do you get your inspiration from? Do you stay in contact with any serial killer?
You’re right. They’re very long for a title. Some of the songs have the same content as the title, some may not. All the lyrical contents is my brother’s responsibility. I don’t know why they’re so long. That’s maybe because he wants to be different than other band’s boring short titles and lyrics. Yes, there are lyrics in Japanese sometimes. They’re long because he said what he wants to say in a long title, and lyrics (sentences). That’s enough space for him to say something about serial murder. There’s no inspiration as we know very much about killing and murder. “Murderous Philosophy”, if you ask me. I don’t need to get in touch with any serial killers because we are the serial murders.
Sorry but I have to admit that I don’t find too much originality from bands of this genre. Am I right, Tomoaki?
I think so too. Who cares about originality. We need brutality. I’m sure that Internal Bleeding, Cryptopsy, Torture Crypt, Deranged and lots more bands copying Cannibal Corpse but they’re really big in the scene because they are all very brutal. I couldn’t find any single piece of originality in them. But every brutal death Metal fanatics like them so much, why? If we play that kind of music, we can be very big? We don’t want to be like them but we need brutality. Hey, lyrical element shouldn’t be an originality. The music that is being played is the main thing. If you want an originality, listen to NOT death Metal and grind. Death, black, doom, grind, noise, industrial, experiment, sound like all the same to me. There’s no original bands today. We don’t follow the originality. All we need is the brutality.
I think grind death Metal is quite popular there in Japan, but I think it might be overcrowded with those. A phenomenon? Which bands stand apart from the rest?
You’re totally misunderstood. It’s not really popular here at all. Phenomenon? Bullshit! We’re the only band who plays grind death gore Metal in Japan. 99% of bands here are playing boring grindcore, hardcore, crustcore, noisecore, grindnoise. There’s no band who plays pure death Metal. I don’t give a shit and don’t care what will happen to the Japanese scene. We, C.U.M, don’t belong to the Japanese scene. And I know nothing about grindcore and noisecore scene. I don’t care if you say S.O.B is your favourite band because we hate them. We hat 100% of Japanese grind stupidity. No one stands out. I think we have now loads of enemies but we don’t care. We care for us.
There’s also a cover of “Defiling the Grave” from the gods Impetigo in the album…
It’s one of my favourite Impetigo songs. Why not? We covered some Impetigo songs before because they’re the only band that influenced us. Also the song is/was Stevo’s favourite. Stevo told me via email after he listened to our CD. How cool, isn’t it? We don’t have influential bands now. Some of our older songs remind you of somebody because they’re too old and we didn’t have ourselves at the time. However, time has changed. We learned how to be like ourselves. I didn’t listen to death/grind stuff for almost a year now. So, who might inspire me in those days?
You’re also doing this Corporal Arts ‘zine and now it is RIP and you made another called The Banned…
I quit everything related with fanzine for some time now. We’re concentrating on band’s activity. I lost interest to help bands. And I don’t listen to death/grind so much now, how can I do this?
I give you the honour to devour some ultrasikkgore messages to close this interview then.
Thanks much for this great interview. I mean it. You’re honest. I like this kind of interview. Well, I used to say ultrasickgore messages before but I quit. People seem to misunderstand when I say like that because they think I’m a moron or something. I just would like to say goodbye and see you soon again.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Interview with HORNA in Issue#3, 1998

“Hiidentorni” introduced me to the world of Horna, where uncompromising primal black Metal worship brewed in their own way is the name of the game. Countless releases of Horna are to be found after this excellent promotape, as you all are well aware of. Warmaster Nazgul Von Armaggeddon (also of Pest) answered the questions when he was still in the band.
Since the release of your promotape in CD format, what is the progression of Horna up until now?
Our upcoming MCD, “Kohti Yhdeksan Nousua” is recorded, and scheduled to be released in a few week, actually. We played some shows around Finland with Barathrum, Wizzard and Babylon Whores, and we’ve also already recorded our second full-length, “Haudankylmydden Mailta”. At the moment we are very passive, because of the military service of some of our members.
What’s the real reason of releasing “Hiidentorni” as a promotape in the first place? Why don’t you release it as your second demotape (although in one way or another, it could be called that way)?
The purpose for releasing “Hiidentorni” mainly was to send it out to labels, to hopefully get a deal to release an LP. Still, we sold it like any demo, just to get our name more out in the underground. If you think it deeper, the difference between demotape and promos is not so big after all.
And as a promotape, it has a long duration of playing time…
Yes it has. But when there are CDs released with 20 minutes of music, I think that our promo was really a run for one’s money.
What leads to that deal with SOLISTITIUM RECORDS? Any other possible releases with them?
Carsten (who runs Solistitium) liked the “Hiidentorni” tape a lot. He wanted to release it on CD, and we thought it was ok because the tape really is very professional and has a playing time of more than some of the CDs of already well known black Metal bands. We have, as I told before, recorded our new MCD, “Kohti Yhdeksan Nousua” and our second full length “Haudankylmydden Mailta” for SOLISTITIUM already, and there are no plans to change our label at the moment. I think Carsten’s done a pretty good job with our releases.

You’re developing your own direction in sound since the release of “Varjoissa”, and the result is of course “Hiidentorni”. So tell me, what is the differences of both of these releases?
If you would listen to “Varjoissa”, and then to “Hiidentorni”, I think you would not possibly even think that they were made by the same band. It is hard for me to compare these two, because I was not a member of Horna when the first demo was released. Maybe “Varjoissa” is a bit more melodic and primitive, with a lot worse sound (it was recorded with an 8-tracker, as “Hiidentorni” was recorded in a pro digital studio with 16 tracks). “Hiidentorni” is just aeons more professional than “Varjoissa”.
Has Horna found the definite form of black Metal that suited the band yet? Or would Horna never venture further than the sound displayed in “Hiidentorni”?
Of course not. If we would stop to the present situation and stop progressing in any way, it would be very unhealthy for the band. Things would be soon so much worn out, that it would not interest the listeners and neither the musicians. The future releases will be much different, especially the upcoming MCD.
Horna never longed for originality, but I could sense some of it (and also the intention for it) in “Hiidentorni”.
To speak the truth, I don’t think Horna’s music is not original at all. It’s just uncompromising Nordic black Metal, plain and simple. I cannot speak too extensively about the process of creating Horna’s songs, since all my musical donations limit to one riff on the upcoming MCD.
But you claimed originality in lyrics? Because it’s written in Finnish? Perhaps there’s other reason.
Shatraug (guitars) write all of the lyrics, except for one song, “Imperial Devastation” on the upcoming MCM, which is written by me. I don’t know if the lyrics are so original after all, they deal mainly with the destruction of Christianity. I don’t think that the fact that most of our lyrics are in Finnish makes us any more original lyrically than any other band singing in their native tongue.
The Finnish black Metal scene… What differentiate the scene there compared to other countries?
Finland has always had a scene of some sort since the days when Impaled Nazarene and Beherit were rising up in the international scene. There are now quite many newer, so called ‘second wave’ bands, that are releasing albums, like Thy Serpent, Diaboli, Darkwoods My Bethrothed, etc. Some bands I can recommend are Children of Bodom, Barathrum, Wizzard, Vordven, Tunrida, Black Swan, Dawn of Relic, Enochian Crescent, …And Oceans, NIghtside, Kyprian’s Circle, Urn, Warloghe, Flauros,Withered Garden and a lot more. Of course we have some really pathetic bands popping up like RAVENSTORM, who don’t know jack shit about the underground and are now signed to CENTURY MEDIA for 7 albums! That forementioned band has been around for a year now and they claim Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth and Emperor as their main influences. Pathetic.
Horna claims no relations with any religious groups and sects. So what is your opinion about them?
It really is not very intelligent to let someone say what everyone in the band thinks about things, since most bands are groups of individuals, and it is impossible to think that everyone in a band would think just the same as others. I personally have even planned on joining some religious sects. Of course some pathetic hippie groups which stands for world peace and love are pathetic but there are also some sects that contain ideologies and principles I find very intelligent and powerful.
And you understand yourselves as paganistic.
This case is just the same as the aforementioned. I’ve never said to be a paganist/heathen or whatever. I have been a practicing Satanist for 4 years now, and I don’t see any reason to be anything else.
And the lyrics, why do they have to be in Finnish?
I guess because Shatraug feels it suits him better. I have no problem singing in Finnish, so it is ok by me too. Still, we will have translations available for those many who do not understand Finnish.
I really like the intro… haha!
The intro is taken from some porno-movie. We thought it was cool, so we use it. We just added a bit of low-pitched speech to make it even more sick.
I don’t know why, but it seems that black Metal is getting ‘softer’ and ‘kinder’ these days…
It is true that the musical (as well as the lyrical) approach of a large part of the modern black Metal bands has become somewhat less extreme. I’m not sure how to react to this, since I admit that some of these ‘kinder’ black Metal bands are way much better musically that some bands that play fucking primitive and raw just because they simply cannot handle their instruments. Black Metal cannot be defined musically, because bands like Rotting Christ, Bathory, Deicide, Beherit and Mysticum are all black Metal, still they are completely different music-wise. This is what makes black Metal such a strong movement, musical variety. That wouldn’t be very enjoyable if all the bands would sound the same. Of course this does not mean I like some fucking wimpy lullabies with some arsehole screaming on top of it all. As long as the music is good, I support it.
And what do you think about the participation of females in the black Metal scene?
Sure, why not! I think it is positive if some of you wicked witches out there participate in the scene. I have found out that some females within the scene are way more dedicated and intelligent than most of the male ones. So actually, all you females out there MUST write to me at once!
Black Metal is the ‘thing’ of the day. I mean, lots and lots of labels are trying to release black Metal albums, and this somewhat affects the scene itself whenever crap releases are to be found…
First of all we must remember that we are living in anno 1998, not in ’92-’94, when things were somewhat in control in terms of black Metal albums released. Releasing a CD is the same as what was to release a 7”EP back in ’93. There have been crap releases ever since there has been heavy Metal. Still, it is true that labels that release black Metal just to get some money out with it exist, but still there are a fair bunch of good-quality albums released by labels that know what they are doing.
And it also seems to be profitable right? Should black Metal be linked or considered as a way of making profits and so on?

Yes, it is possible to make some money with black Metal, as it is with any kind of music. Horna was not formed to make money, but to satisfy the need to express ourselves. Still, if I could make some extra cash with Horna, I would not mind. It would give me the freedom not to care about every single penny I used. Still, black Metal will always in essence be much more than just commercial music. It is a CULT which not everyone will understand.
Horna sounds like primitive black Metal, I might say so. What about the modern black Metal then?
Yes, Horna is somewhat primitive. I don’t think it is the right thing for Horna to develops towards the modern sound of black Metal. We have found the more raw and brutal expression to be our way, and we have chosen to follow that path wherever it will lead us. The earlier days of black Metal were much more easier in a way… If a black Metal album was released, it was for sure of good quality, and the bands expressed their art in a way nobody is able nowadays. Black Metal will never be the same as it was before…
Potray Horna’s vision of the scene in their near future…
The underground scene will become more and more isolated from the mere public and commercial scene. Only those who really are into this will stay with black Metal, the rest will hopefully lose interest. Still, it is impossible to know what exactly will happen.