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Saturday, 4 March 2017

AKRAL NECROSIS - UNDERLIGHT (album review)



*** Review originally published in AEA Zine check them out HERE*** 

AKRAL NECROSIS - UNDERLIGHT

This some rather punishing black metal from Bucharest in Europe. Akral Necrosis are a talented bunch too... this is technically accomplished black metal .... off the top of my head I can't think of that much to relate it too as it also crosses into death metal territory with some "off tap" (as we aussies like to call it) guitar work. Akral Necrosis have the usual black metal riffage and brutal as all hell drumming, but it is never sloppy or off time, this is very professional stuff. Upon listening to there are some cool ethnic scales displayed in the guitar playing (some middle eastern sounding stuff later on in the album), a great command of chordal melodies and strange dropped chords which make for a truely etherial atmosphere, which is hard to do when playing so fast. The lads came together from a bunch of 'melodic bands' and their command of melodic guitar playing certainly shines through on this release.

I have nothing to say about these guys that is a top notch release and very professionally presented music the recording quality is excellent and every note and nuance in the music comes through well. Put Simply, these guys have kicked my ass. I am in awe. It would appear I'm not the only one either as these guys have shared the stage with luminaries such as Rotting Christ, Hecate Enthroned, Ancient Rites, Absu and Septic Flesh (amongst many others)


HAIL AKRAL NECROSIS and give the guys a like on facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/pg/akralnecrosis/
or listen and download their stuff at:
https://loudragemusic.bandcamp.com/album/akral-necrosis-underlight

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

SOME COOL (BUT SELDOM HEARD) GEMS FROM THE UNDERGROUND

revenant - prophecies of a dying world LP  - one of metalmixtape.com picks for most undderated albums ever!


This is just a bit of fun, but as we know there are thousands of underground bands that have a lot of talent that for whatever reason never break out of their local scene to even get known in the metal scene so here's a few of them that I've heard either back in the day or some how come across in my metal journey since... here is a few gems I've uncovered... all good and all worthy of a listen ... if even only post-humously:

Sorcery (Sweden)
Ripper of a Demo Cassette - great riffage and songwriting and truely far more deserving than some of the stuff that made it big from the same era !

 
SADISTIC INTENT - USA
California's Sadistic Intent did enjoy some level of underground notoriety but I always felt they should have been bigger. Things looked up for the band in a big way when Jeff Beccera from Possessed decided to reform his band with most of the members of Sadistic Intent as backing/ touring musicians.. which worked well for the "Possessed" brand but Sadly no news from Sadistic Intent camp of late (except strangely enough an Australian gig a few years ago) since :/



RIPPING CORPSE - USA
Formed in 1987 from New Jersey , Ripping Corpse were one of the first technical death metal bands... following closely on the heels of Morbid Angel (remember this was before Canniabal Corpse) oddly enough the band did feature Erik Rutan who later went to to play for Morbid Angel



REVENANT - USA
Revenant made it past the demo stage and managed to put out 2 rather polished and musically accomplished records and the above mentioned video clip... I by chance managed to buy one slab of said vinyl back in the 90's and was blown away by it... truely legendary stuff from these guys.... They even released the albums on a then underground and largely unknown label (nuclear blast records) and still manged to avoid any media attention and eventually faded into obscurity. Shame this makes me sad, as the band had a lot to offer!

Friday, 24 February 2017

Interview with MIKE BROWNING from NOCTURNUS AD


***Interview orginally published in OBSCURE CHOAS ZINE***

We were lucky enough to catch up with an underground metal legend Mike Browning (Pictured far right) from the original lineup of Nocturnus, while Nocturnus are dead Mike has resurrected the music under the banner of  "NOCTURNUS AD" over the last few years, playing old songs off the first album "The Key", new material they've been composing and some very early "Morbid Angel"  material (Mike's first band). As part of their new run of shows they will even be playing a metal festival in Melbourne (Insurrection of Darkness) on the 10/11th of June with Nocturnus playing two sets, headlining both nights and one of the sets will consist of a full set rendition of their legendary first album "The Key"


Hello Mike! Great to have you on board for a few questions! First up, thanks for taking the time to talk to us and secondly thanks for making some truely timeless music!

Actually Thank You for doing this interview with me to for supporting all the stuff that I have done, without support from people like you, I wouldn’t be here right now!

I've saw a post that you guys were working on some new music... I am exceedingly happy to hear this! Can you spill the beans on how this music will compare to the groundbreaking albums you (and the then lineup of Nocturnus) released in the late 80's early 90's?

Yes, we are working on a full albums worth of songs for Nocturnus AD. Right now we are working on our 7th new song and our goal is to have 9 for the album. Four of the songs will continue with The Key story and one will be the followup to Neolithic and another will continue with Lake of Fire and Standing in Blood and the others will be various subjects. As far as the music, it is kind of a cross between The Key and Thresholds.

Your second album Thresholds is a personal favourate of mine, and was probably the first ever 'technical death metal' record I heard. How does a band progress from there? Are you going to keep pushing the bounds of technicality or persue another angle? Do you guys feel the need to compete with younger bands that are playing tech death today?

I really had wanted to continue with The Key story lyrically on Thresholds, so since I didn’t sing on Thresholds, I didn’t write very many of the lyrics either, so there were really no connections between the first 2 albums at all like I had wanted to originally do after The Key, so at least now with Nocturnus AD I xan go back to continuing with The Key story as well as the other song connections I had mentioned. I do think our new songs definitely push the limits even more because the new material has elements of both, plus its even heavier and maybe a bit faster too. What we are doing still has a lot of the old school feeling to it and I don’t think there is still another band that you can compare us to, so even with these newer young bands that have a lot of speed and technical abilities, most of the music is very stale and has no originality to it.

As a teenager I read and studied your lyrics rather closely.. How important do you feel the lyrics are in a death metal band.... you guys have a very strong occult / fantasy angle on the band .... is it crucial to the band and why do you do it?


Lyrics are of different importance for everyone, but for me they always tell a story and they actually fit with the atmosphere of the music. That is why I always wanted to have keyboards in the music to give it an evil almost cinematic atmosphere so that fit with the right lyrics make each song like a mini movie. The content of the lyrics are just basically things that I am interested in in my real life, like the occult and science fiction horror.

When you look back on the early days of Nocturnus do you feel the band was underrated?

We were really starting to do well, but because everyone in the band but me wanted to get a front man and go more diverse and less evil occult lyrics, so we did on Thresholds and even though it was a great album, it only sold 1/3 of what The Key did, so I can only imagine what might have happened if we had written The Key part 2 with me singing and writing most of the lyrics, it might have made us much bigger instead.

Nocturnus music is not simple shit... How importantly do you rate musical theory for yourself and other death metal musicians learning the trade?

More of the technical end started with Mike Davis, because before that the band was simpler and heavier, but with new people in the band the music changed and evolved and got even more technical. And the guitar players in Nocturnus AD are both amazing musicians with a different style from each other, but I think that sometimes, especially lately, that the guys in the newer death bands just want to be as fast and technical as possible, but they also sacrifice feeling for technology.

Poster for Nocturnus first ever Australian Tour!
Is Nocturnus embracing the modern era of digital music? Do you like it? Do you use bandcamp/ Itunes or whatever? How do you feel about this stuff?

I don’t mind having a mix of new technology for spreading the music, but I also want to be on a label that will do old school vinyl a cassettes too for the collectors. The one good thing about the digital age is that now musicians songs can be tracked for sales a lot more accurately and at the same time you can reach everyone on the entire planet who has a computer or a phone, so it has made access to your music a lot better.

Nocturnus' records were markedly 'singular' to anything else in the metal scene at the time... I'd love it if you could share some of your influences with us

Since I grew up in the 1970’s I have a big range of influences from stuff like Led Zeppelin, Rush,
Judas Priest and Black Sabbath, then I got more into metal like Angelwitch and Venom and then it got even heavier into Celtic Frost, Slayer, old Bathory and stuff like that.

Be sure to sign up to the NocturnusAD facebook page!
For more great metal check out http://www.metalmixtape.com




Tuesday, 7 February 2017

INTERVIEW WITH TONY DOLAN FROM VENOM INC

Venom Inc!



Well... I just had the honour of talking to Venom Inc. front man Tony (The Demolition Man) Dolan about about the huge news that they have been singed to Nuclear Blast Records....  For those that may not be aware Venom Inc... features original Venom founding members Tony Bray (Abbadon) Jeff Dunn (Mantas) and of cours bass player / vocalist Tony Dolan (who replaced Chronos after the original lineup of Venom fell apart in the mid 80's)


You just broke the news that Venom Inc. will be signed to Nuclear Blast Records.... This is a big fucking deal!!! so whats the plan of action from here?
Yes, well, we were already working towards the album demos so now it is all systems go to get the albums completed and out as soon as possible..as we have a full year of touring already looming...

Venom pretty much shaped every black /death / thrash heads childhood does it get weird when people come up to you and ask you wierd shit like im doing now?
Hahahahaha.....we were ALL from an extreme area of industry at a shit time so it shaped all of us...is it weird? No, it is humbling to us all and an honor that anyone has influenced anyone through their art

I have heard on the interwebs you guys and Chronos aren't exactly seeing eye to eye with the usage of the name 'Venom' are you going to keep using this name and what are your thoughts on Chronos' protestations?
A: No thoughts at all, he can moan for the rest of his time if that makes him feel happy, we are just doing our thing and the rest is of no importance. Seeing eye to eye? Well, we just tell the real story, he chooses a kind of strange series of alternating facts. The official biog on his site that he administers himself has changed 6 times in 10yrs so it is hard to keep up to be honest. He does what he does and hopefully he still does it well but beyond that we don't care. The name was given to us and the logo we use is the one Abaddon designed originally with the addition of Inc. We don't do as he does and spend time in interviews and onstage to audiences, disrespecting anyone...it's just not who we are..

A little about yourself Tony.... what musicians inspired you to play as a young fellow?
I was raised on Rock N Roll, then lived during the Glam period in the UK as we as hearing the likes of Kiss and Aerosmith etc...when we moved to Canada in the mid 70's but truly, I was inspired by the US punk outfit the Dickies, who pay fast and furious in 1978!! Then I heard Motorhead and it was a over...THAT bass...THAT Man...I was sold. Many bassists are influential to me but to just get up and play it was him and his band...When I formed my own Metal band I thought...what if the speed of the Dickies met the sheer volume and power of Motorhead...and years later, who would have guessed what was to happen in our musical world

How important is the spiritual aspect of music for you ???..... I believe I read somewhere that you are a satanist (don't worry I am one too.... and I won't tell anyone...) is this a sideline or a core aspect of your life and music?
CORE....how important....it IS ALL

You started playing bass in a band called Atomkraft... What was life like then and how has it progressed now (you had great hair back then by the way!!!)?
Hahaha...great not sure but hair...ahhhh yes...lol. I started as Guitar/Vocals but switched to bass/vocals when we lost our bassist before some shows...and never looked back. Life was adventurous then and full of excitement and hope...now? It is exciting and full of pleasure...I was rushing to eat up the word back then and it passed too fast...now I am taking my time to dine properly

How did you get involved in Venom in the first place?
I was waking down the street when.......lol. We had a close association since the start and when Cronos wanted to move away from the heavy dark stuff and be more like the Dave Lee Roth kind of thing...he left and there was a deal on offer...I was approached by Abaddon (who had been part managing my other band and also had just completed a tour with us as tour manager...and along with the Venom Manager...they offered me the job. They thought I was best qualified in Knowledge and style...I then helped bring Mantas back as I said there had to be 2 for it to be legitimate in my eyes...and WE were born again.,

What do you think about the black metal bands of today? Most of which are influenced by Venom... Do you feel any affinity with them?
Do I? No...are we ALL connected...hell yes...as a father teaches the  son or daughter to take what he has done and make it better and expand on it...so goes the influence...in all things extreme, they all followed the path laid by Venom and Motorhead but influenced along the way by King Diamond, Chuck Schulder, Bathory, Tom Warrior etc etc....the greatest thing...they made Black Metal, the genre, their own and a proud style of extreme music...THAT is incredible

Regarding Jeff.... Can you give us some background on what makes him tick? Fave bands? influneces etc.... he is a ground breaking gutiar player and many would like to know!
Tea.....Martial Arts.....his music...playing...he lives to pay his guitar...a prolific writer, always doodling riffs..lol. He now has his home studio and is into producing BIG time...loves it...spends days in that cave hahaha....fave bands? He Loves KISS but main, Judas Priest...influences are many favs...Gary Moore  and Zak Wild he likes a lot but direct influence? There can be only on and that is KK Downing....He never see's himself and groundbreaking but that is why he is my brother....I like humble...when so many are arrogant for no reason deserved...he is not...

I'm not sure if this question effects you or the other guys in the band but obviously venom influenced some big bands (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth ... and not to mention my own band hahah) does it shit you up the wall to see these dudes become world wide sensations? I don't think venom ever got the recognition they deserved from either the original lineup or the lineup that you were in? What's  your thoughts on this?
Well, I think for them more than me that does smart a little but it was just situations and decisions that were to blame...as friends and peers...I think there is always the greatest respect....and NOW anyway....We will be joining them again....albeit a tad later than expected but...we always prefer to make and entrance!! lol We are the guys who don't care whose party it is...we'll come take everything anyway....

In regards to M:PIRE of EVIL (the guys last band before rebranding to "Venom Inc...") how would you say the sound and playing has progressed?:
We we still have that album almost competed so we' get to that too..we are not that band re-branded as this band...that band is different, we do what we want...in every way...unrestricted...and that may seem odd as if VENOM INC is restricted but what I mean is...there is no particular theme with the one and a definite theme with the other...Musically....we have liberties we may expand on with M:PIRE we will not with VENOM..

Your predecessor (Cronos) was an intimidating and larger than life front man... I would love to hear how you stepped to the plate and faced the music as the new front man of venom... it must have been scary!
Scary???Ahahaha...erm no...I/m not trying to be disrespectful at all but I wasn't on the same side of the fence as you...so for me...intimidating? No...larger than life? Yes...Funny, nuts...always jumping around...all of that has gone now of course...and it's a shame but...who cares...life moves on...I never gave him a thought once...I don't FOLLOW people....I am just ME...that's what you get....I was me when I came in...because I was me before...I left as me and I am here as me..like it...good..thanx , cool, don't ok...no worries...see ya..., we all have things we like and dislike..that's the beauty of life..always full of choice.,...I joined as me and wrote my songs and attacked the old songs with the passion I felt for them....just like I do now...I play from the heart and with honesty and the songs need to be slammed into you not done as a cabaret medley, this was never the Rolling Stones...hahaha

Your recently announced Sign up with Nuclear Blast could really put your guys back on the map and show a lot of young players (and even a former member) how its really done... Is there anything you have in mind that will stamp the boot of trad metal down on their faces? Whats the plan? I hope Nuclear Blast gives you guys the respect you deserve!
NB are the best...we ALL know that and I have wanted them for over 8 years for us and 15yrs before....loyalty is all and we will deliver the best we can possibly give...This band is REAL...this band MEANS it and this band will show why Metal was and is and will be so important to generation after generation of young people who need to feel less alone and that when you need to scream....you can....louder than anything and heavier than you thought possible.....all anyone has to do is join us....and feel it burst right into your soul....ALL HAIL

for more great articles and reviews check out http://www.metalmixtape.com

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

HEATHEN DEITY - RELIGIOUS PURIFICATION THROUGH FIRE DEMO

HEATHEN DEITY - RELIGIOUS PURIFICATION THROUGH FIRE DEMO

Heathen Deity are Black Metal from Merry old England.... their album starts out with the usual atmospheric intro that many band before them have used.... and then into the real stuff .... nothing unique or particularly groundbreaking but I have to admit the boys are pretty good and know how to construct a good song. Quite solid stuff... Kinda reminds me of Satyricon but most black metal fans would get something out of this.... the third song however starts to set them apart some very emotional old english style acoustic and clean tone electrics make for a very atmospheric listen showing how much talent these guys have. The recording is suitably grim but clean enough to let the listener comprehend what is going on which I think is important... this isn't your usual 'recorded in a toilet demo' it actually sounds pretty good and conveys the black metal feeling rather well.



https://heathendeity.bandcamp.com/…/religious-purification-…

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

SOME NEW SHIT I'VE BEEN REVIEWING

Here's some stuff I've been reviewing for Obscure Chaos Zine based out of New York... its not the usual lengthy album reviews I normally do but more snapshots of the band for their facebook page:


PROBLEM WITH DRAGONS (MASS, USA) 

Problem with Dragons​ are a doom/sludge band from massachusetts USA... they combine riffage with some dissonant soundscapes its more than just doom tho as there are some faster metallic / punkier bits but all through the album that sludgey doom sonic range is present with lots of delicious feedback. The vocals can be harsh or eeiree/haunting affairs with some cool multilayered effects. This is not going to be for everyone but if you can imagine a cross between earlier bloody kisses era Type O Negative and Pentagram with all your favourate sludge thrown in this may be just the ticket for you!


https://problemwithdragons.bandcamp.com/album/starquake


KOLD CREATURE (QLD, AUSTRALIA)

Kold Creature are a vairied and interesting act featuring some heavy and powerful vocals that range from a nu-metally Korn to an older school Testament style heavier vocals... with some quite interesting riffage with a great command of lighter and heavier styles and which might appeal to fans of machine head and some dynamic drumming these lads from Queensland, Australia are making some pretty cool noises .... definatley worth a look and a listen!

https://www.reverbnation.com/koldcreature/songs