Friday, September 28, 2012
Since attending this years fest, I have been working a bit closer with Hushy from the Coffins Slave and will be assisting him to put together a physical 'zine to promote the festival. Over the coming months we will also see multiple interviews with bands playing the festival and reviews of their releases on Witching Metal.
The first two announcements have recently been made available via the Coffins Slave's official website and on Facebook. For those of you who have not yet seen these announcements, here they are:
TICKETS ON SALE at the below sites.
www.thecoffinsslave.com (No Booking Fee) PH: +61 0499073122
VENUE: THE MANNING BAR
DATE: JUNE 7-8 2013 (Long Weekend)
Confirmed Bands are as follows:
FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT: Sep 1st
SADISTIC INTENT(usa) http://www.myspace.com/666sadisticintent
MIDNIGHT (usa) http://totalmidnight.webs.com/
NOCTURNAL GRAVES(vic) https://www.facebook.com/nocturnalgraves
CAULDRON BLACK RAM(sa) http://cauldronblackram.com/
GRAVE UPHEAVAL(qld) https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grave-Upheaval/131857073578133
BLACK JESUS(vic) http://blackjesussaves.bandcamp.com/
SECOND ANNOUNCEMENT: SEP 25th
EREBUS ENTHRONED(nsw) http://www.seancerecords.com/erebusenthroned/
HORDES OF THE BLACK CROSS(vic) https://www.facebook.com/HordesOfTheBlackCross
KINGDOM OF DECAY(nt) http://kingdomofdecay.bandcamp.com/
SEE www.thecoffinsslave.com for more info
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
MAW & SEPULCHEROUS: We have set on our path to perform Death Metal as we see it should be, as a primitive, ritualistic embodiment to worship and explore the spiritual depths this world can offer, and to see into the world beyond the walls of life. Death Metal, to us, represents transcendence through black spiritual magic and esoteric philosophies.
Since the beginning it has been solely the two of us. We have played with several other musicians, and will utilize them for live performances, but we will remain a two piece in our concept and creative processes.
As far as influence goes, our inspirations stem from the hordes of Vasaeleth, Cruciamentum, Nyogthaeblisz, Wrathprayer, Grave Miasma, Teitanblood, Martial, Proclamation, and Temple Below.
2. I understand your band – MANIFESTING – is very much a recent endeavor –
and that one can find almost next to nothing about your band on the net –
does that bother you somewhat or are you happy with your current status?
What are your thoughts on the whole rockstar temperament that so many bands
tend to fall into after a little attention?
S: It bothers us none, when someone stumbles upon our manifestations and finds them spiritually and musically gratifying, that is the true essence of the underground to us verses promotions on every outlet to the point where individuals know the name not for the music, but for the advertisement factor. Rockstar temperament is for those who have chosen this outlet as a social stance and reputation.
M: There may not be a lot of information on the internet because there is not a lot of information to share. As you said, we have only recently begun forming our material together, and our next release will only be our second undertaking. This interview will help get more information out and available for anyone that is interested. Rockstar temperament comes about when the attention from the music, and your persona within the band, become so ingrained in your ego that you feed off of that. It is parasitic both to the band and to its audience.
3. As an underground band, how important is the recording of demos for you?
Does it help the band and individuals within the band with musical growth?
Some so-called “underground” bands tend to skip the demo chapter and be liable to release a rather mediocre first album; your thoughts?
S: Demo recording is important, it allows listeners to see how the band progresses and also forms a signature for what is to come, therefore it is vital to display growth as a band. Not to mention, it's what keeps the underground alive, forwarding demo tapes to each other, trading, that whole experience alone provides something on another level. Bands that skip the demo route seem to be in a rush, and wanting to be the next big talk with a fancy LP or professional CD.
M: The recording of our first demo, Primeval Adulation, was an important step for us. Being a first release for both of us, we were very fortunate to come into contact with Antitheist Disseminations who released and distributed it. Writing and practicing those first four songs established our rhythm of working together and coming up with new ideas for riffs and transitions that flowed very well. I can not imagine working with a third party involved in the creative process, since we work so well together and our minds are always in the same sphere.
4. So what would you say are the prime aspects for an underground band such as yourselves – especially in the more obscure realm of things?
S: The prime aspect for Manifesting is indulgence of the dark and sinister spirit through creation. For us, the prime aspects are more than just music creation and production, we live and write through another plane of thought, it is the most important aspect for us and to not hinder such creation with technicality and over the top nonsense.
5. Please elaborate on the type of direction that you opt for with MANIFESTING and whether or not there is any specific type of atmosphere that you set to achieve with your music? Does having an “original” sound have any significance to you?
M: I alluded to this in a previous question. We strip away convention to reveal the dried, cracked bones beneath. Death Metal is our tool to express the fascination death holds, and to emulate our thoughts and experiences from our journey so far. Our atmosphere is the black fog of death and our worship to the true lord of the Earth. Focusing on making our sound original was never a large goal in my mind. I already know what I like to hear music wise, so I will emulate that as best I can while retaining some semblance of identity. I would prefer to avoid the “-clone” tag but if that happens, it happens.
S: The direction we choose to walk through our music is a dark ethereal form. The atmosphere we set to achieve is disgustingly evil and marauding, coming from planes of existence that is a foreboding elemental field. However, this path cannot be achieved by harsh music alone, it is the lyrics that are what are truly important and what I encourage people to read. Originality is important, however tribute and salutation to previously etched signatures is a way of the underground. While having originality is immense, showing the musical influence goes without question.
6. Elaborate on the band’s ideology and the source of inspiration behind your sacrilegious testimonies.
M: Manifesting, for me, is the perfect outlet to express where I am, and what I have experienced in my spiritual journey. All of the lyrics I write are based upon things I have seen while meditating. Certain songs came about differently, such as Archon of the Red Temple, which wrote itself following the events of the Rites of Darkness III festival in San Antonio, Texas. The only force worth following is DEATH because it is a human constant. No matter who you are, where you are, or what you become, death will always find you. That is a truth I realized at a very young age, and it will follow me until the end. That is definitely a mindset I bring with me at all times.
S: Our ideology is that of death and various left hand paths of the occult. I find that Manifesting is a form of my spiritual views and admiration of the darker spheres of practice and also past experiences that were mystifying and mysterious. Most influence comes from the absence of light, the presence of unseen entities felt around me not only physically, but mentally, and past experiences during live rituals of which I walked away with the idea of what doctrine I choose to forge in the band.
7. In your personal Satanic philosophy, are you aligned with any existing institutions/movements or is your path a purely individual one? What do you think should define a Satanist?
M: I can not identify with any group claiming the Satanic title. I have several friends and brothers who do, and that's fine, but it is not for me. Individuality should define who is and who is not a Satanist, and I think you lose some of that in a group setting, which is only natural and perfectly acceptable as human nature. Satan is, to me, the primal force permeated throughout the undercurrent of the Earth. It is the lion being hand fed a juicy steak; he is going to be full tonight. Satan is the survival of life in its purest form. Only death is a stronger force, because death is constant. Life may always exist in some form, somewhere, but death will always persist.
S: I am not aligned with any organization or movement and never will be. While I agree with M, its fine for those who choose it, it is not where I see myself. Meditation and practice is much more vitalizing when experienced in a primal state, alone.
8. When considering the concept of morality, do your views align with dualism?
M: I can not say so, no. The idea of the eternal struggle between good and evil, bad and good, is a pattern in human culture, but it does not reveal the truth of the world. Morality is a milky grey soup, not split between two extremes. We all operate within the ocean of moral ambiguity and rarely is there ever a case of purely good or purely evil. These are romantic notions. The real world is fantastically dull.
9. What advantages does your mode of perceiving morality hold over others?
M & S: We aren't blind with what is good and what is evil. The world is ultimately devilish and evil, in essence, only the strong survive. Our viewpoints allow us to overlook the propaganda others thrive and talk about and make ourselves stronger. A lot of people are concerned about things beyond their control. We shy away from that illogical stress and manage ourselves accordingly with the realistic demands of life that we can meet head on.
M: To go on a small tangent, being a part of MANIFESTING has become a surreal experience because it is the first tangible element of my life that has the potential to become bigger than myself.
10. What’s the connotation behind the monicker? ("Manifesting" and your pseudonyms)
M: The name for MANIFESTING came about once we started formulating songs and lyrics together. The theme we had started with our material spawned on its own and as soon as I said it aloud, it became our title. Its inference should be obvious with one glance at our lyrics. The best part about it is, when you search for "Manifesting" on Youtube, you probably won’t find our material immediately. Instead, you'll find dozens and dozens of people's videos about "manifesting" love, money, and power. It makes me laugh every time.
"Maw" came about after out first performance on Halloween of 2011. A badass and personal friend of the band, David J., said to me afterwards, "I have never seen your mouth open so much." Inspiration, haha.
S: Sepulcher refers to a site of burial of the dead. Sepulcherous is the title I chose because of unearthly experiences in the past on sacred land. While afraid at the time, I was deathly intrigued. It only made sense for me to create and manifest through this title because it still hasn't left my thoughts this day.
11. You guys are from Minneapolis – so maybe you can tell us a little bit about the local scene over there – what are some worthwhile bands to check out, and how often are you able to attend good shows?
S: The scene here, as far as underground, obscure metal is suffering yet still alive in a small circle. Local bands we support include Teratism, Diabolical Sacrilege, and Malidecere. Our support and hails go out to Antitheist Disseminations for the unrelenting help and faith in us as a band. Good shows are rare; however, once in a blue moon there are some immense bands that roll through such as Inquisition, Archgoat, Ghost, and others.
M: At the time of this writing I am finishing my last year of college in a smaller town four hours away from Minneapolis. This makes it impractical to practice often with S, and impossible to attend many shows that happen throughout the school year. Luckily I am almost done and then shortly thereafter will have much more time for practice and concert attendance. I will be driving to the cities for INQUISITION on October 19th, however.
12. Are there any recent bands that have caught your awareness?
What have you been listening to lately? Also, don’t feel shy to mention some of your favorite albums/releases (old and recent).
S: Salem Rages is my most listened to recent discovery, I found their first 7 inch in a bargain bin here in Minneapolis and was hooked ever since. Patecabra had caught my interest from complete darkness the past year, pure Chilean darkness. I have somewhat of an obsession with the Chilean metal scene. My favorite bands from the Chilean scene include Temple Below, Wrathprayer, and Perversor. For a less christraping atmosphere, I indulge in Green & Wood and The Builders and the Butchers first LP lately.
Anything Southwestern and American I will whole heatedly enjoy and worship. Among my favorite bands; Vasaeleth sticks out, along with Nyogthaeblisz.
M: TENTACLE from Boston, Massachusetts has caught my ear recently. Fantastic Doom/Sludge material there, and their first release is on Youtube in its entirety, truly great stuff. INTO DARKNESS from Italy has also caught my attention recently - top quality Death/Doom channeling Asphyx and Mythic. I’ve been listening to Antediluvian, Cruciamentum, and Sanguis Imperem constantly for the past few weeks. As far as favorites goes, my favorite band over all others is INQUISITION, a band which has done no wrong in my book. Every album is a masterpiece. Hail the Cult!
13. Tell us about any upcoming material and what your plans are for the future?
If any worthy maniacs out there are interested in getting in touch, how should they do this?
S: We have just finished recording an upcoming EP entitled "Descension Through The Seven Forbidden Seals". Layout is in progress at the moment and is scheduled for a CD release through Antitheist Disseminations (Antitheistcult.com). This is the label that released our demo tape when we had no name for ourselves. Our eternal respect and support goes out to Antitheist. We are in talks now to release the LP through Satanic Skinhead Propaganda later on after the initial CD release. Until then, we plan on playing local shows and perhaps even going on tour, but that is all speculation as of now.
Maniacs can summon us through Manifestingdeath@hotmail.com
14. Well, that’s that – thanks for your time!!! Feel free to cast your final curses!!!
M & S: Thank you, James, for our first interview! It feels good to finally get some of our larger ideas written down. An immense thank you and salutations to all of the insane maniacs who have supported us in the past, and to those who are interested in the unending chasm of MANIFESTING. FYHS
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Little has changed in regards to Lindgren and co.’s musical approach over the years, but, their tried and true groovin’ OSDM formula never disappoints. The way the band switches between crushing death/doom and more straightforward “TURN UP THE HM-2 AND GO FOR THE FUKKING THROAT D-BEAT D-BEAT D-BEAT UUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH!” thrashing Swedeath always manages to put a devilish grin on my face.
Long-term Grave fans will not be disappointed at all with “Endless Procession of Souls”. The usual Celtic Frost, Entombed, Dismember and Sodom influences are there, as well as the doomier moments which bring Asphyx/Hail of Bullets to mind. There’s nothing flashy or technical to be found here, so the hipster wannabe death metal crowd can fuck right off and stop reading now. The guitars sound thick and meaty, accentuated by a heavy bass tone, Ola’s vocals sound ugly as ever and the drums just totally pummel the listener to a bloody pulp.
Songs like “Amongst Marble and the Dead”, “Passion of the Weak”, “Winds of Chains” and “Epos” present nothing new or original by any means, but that’s what makes them great. Grave is one of the few bands who can churn out the same stuff for years and still completely kick arse. I hope they never change.
Ataraxy has been in the business of making old-school death metal for about 4 years now and are just about to drop their first full length album, entitled “Revelations of the Ethereal” on Memento Mori Records, following their previous demo and EP efforts. The 8 tracks on “Revelations…” reek of disgusting old-school Finnish death metal in the style of early Demigod and Convulse, as well as newer acts such as Krypts and Stench of Decay, however, Ataraxy have also put their own personal twist on this ancient sound by throwing in a bit of Asphyx and Bolt Thrower influence as well.
The guitar sound is crunchy, dense and muddy all at the same time, which contributes greatly to the eerie atmosphere that Ataraxy present. The vocals are more throaty than guttural, conjuring the outright aggression of Martin Van Drunen. The tempos tend to stick to a slow-to-mid-pace which suits the band perfectly and I think speeding things up too much would have a negative effect on the music. It’s that dark Finnish “doominess” that these Spaniards really excel at.
It’s damn near impossible to pinpoint stand-out tracks on an album as consistent as this, but I think “Ethereal Slumber” with it’s combination of crushing mid-tempos, doom passages, dank and murky atmospherics, somber harmonies and the occasional outburst of anger is my personal favourite. However, this opinion could change next time I listen, as every track is a winner.
"Revelations of the Ethereal" will be out soon on Memento Mori Records.
Hell United is a Polish black/death metal band who has been steadily releasing material since 1998, although until 2007 they went under the moniker Eclypse. “Aura Damage” is their second full length under the name Hell United.
For some odd reason, I wasn’t expecting much from this album, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well executed their brand of blackened death metal is. Very obviously influenced by bands such as Sadistic Intent and Arkhon Infaustus, the songs range from volatile tremolo/blast sections to crushing slower sequences and these Poles have crafted some pretty cool tunes. “Aura Damage” is still a rather straightforward and brutal beast, but the consistent changing of tempos and mood keeps things interesting enough.
I really can’t find too much to say about this album, as there’s nothing to really brag about and there aren’t exactly any stand-out tracks (in my opinion), but in saying that; there’s also nothing to complain about. Hell United simply stick to what they know best, which is pure and unadulterated death fucking metal. As it says in the promo sheet I received; “There is no mystery, just blood, bones and meat”.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Alright, some of you may remember the EP, Salvation, that Altar of Oblivion put out earlier this year. Well, they just released their second full-length, Grand Gesture of Defiance, and let it be known that these Danish doom metallers have yet to disappoint me so far. It's a grand gesture of daaaaaaamn good doom metal.
The album spans out to be roughly thirty five minutes long, just a few minutes longer than the previous EP (I guess the difference between an EP and a full-length for them is just one song or five minutes). One would think a doom metal album would be longer than that, but it's thirty five minutes I'm happy to spend listening. Even if it's a few minutes longer than the EP, it does seem like they have trimmed out the fat in their music. Slow, plodding riffs are intermingled with intricate melodies and operatic vocals. Six or seven minute songs are the norm, but the songs flow so smoothly you'll hardly notice as the air is filled with Sabbath-esque riffs and Candlemass-like overtones. Each song seems so wonderfully crafted, going from slow dirges to a little bit of a mid tempo riff to change the pace. And, there are solos! Something that was missing in the last EP. They may not be super-shredderific solos a la Yngwie, but I think the melodic lines fit with the music that's being created. There is even an acoustic track. Yes, I know, an acoustic track on a metal album -gasp-. It actually has a cool Western feel to it, a really dark and ominous Western feel to it. Two tracks to check out: "Where Darkness is Light" and "In the Shadow of the Gallows" (I think all six tracks are worth checking out though).
My only complaint is that the production is a bit dry compared to their previous works. It doesn't sound as atmospheric as Salvation. But I don't think that diminishes the album much. It does make it sound like an early Solitude Aeturnus album. The songs still carry the Gothic stride found in every Euro doom band of their ilk. It's a solid record, I think it's too early to judge on whether it's a sort of magnum opus or anything, but in all certainty it is a solid and consistent record. I think we can all look forward to their next product. Pick up a nice Lovecraft novel and put on this album, they'd make a great pair, like your girlfriend's ta tas.
Great doom metal!
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Flagellated Seraph seem to have popped up out of nowhere, baring little information about the band except that the member(s?) has been involved with Putrified and Infuneral. “Beyond Salvation” is the Stockholm based black metal bands first and only studio output so far; a full length which was released back in July on the excellent label, Hellthrasher Productions.
Given that this is Flagellated Seraph’s debut release and there is almost no available information regarding the band, I really had no idea what to expect and dove in to “Beyond Salvation” blindly. Listening to a new band with no expectations is always an interesting experience and my experience with “Beyond Salvation” was a rather enjoyable one. Upon pressing play, I was greeted with haunting organs and melancholic yet heavy guitar lines accentuated by a surprisingly audible bass presence.
Flagellated Seraph don’t exactly bring forth a “new” outlook on European black metal, but, they do throw some interesting things in to the mix such as the aforementioned organs, melodic yet hard-hitting riffs, vocals that sound like Martin van Drunen doing his best attempt at black metal, a few moments where the bass takes the lead and is allowed to shine and there are also some slower, more depressive sounding parts which fit in well with the more aggressive or dissonant sections. The mixing and mastering, which was done by Devo from Marduk at Endarker Studio, gives the music a somewhat clean sound that still sounds suitably rough and sick.
“Beyond Salvation” is a well written album that the band obviously spent a lot of time on and really surprised me, given that Flagellated Seraph appears to have come out of nowhere. If you’re a fan of Swedish black metal, I’d recommend giving it a shot.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Lustration is a black/thrash/death metal band from Brisbane that features current and former members of Vilifier, Demonreich, Shrapnel, 308 and Spear of Longinus. Previously they have released one demo, entitled “Goetic Invokator”, which will be included as bonus tracks on their debut album “Psymbolik”, soon to be released on Supremacy through Intolerance.
Their sound is a mish-mash of early S.O.L., Celtic Frost, atypical Aussie black/thrash and early death metal a la Possessed. The guitar tone straddles the line between black and death metal with the riffs ranging from mid-to-fast tempos, the bass isn’t very audible but it has a presence and follows the guitar. The vocals range from low-mid range grunts to occasional higher-pitched shrieks that wouldn’t sound out of place in a straightforward black metal band.
The production on “Psymbolik” is suitably rough and raw, fitting the harsh and primordial music rather well. All the songs sound distinct from each other yet are still similar in style, allowing the album to flow as a whole. The standout tracks for me would be “Baptism of Blasphemy”, “Algolrythymn”, “Cosmik Devastator” and “Fall of the Rebel Angel”.
With “Psymbolik”, these Brisbane based heathens have delivered a solid piece of raw old-school extreme metal. Not the best album released this year, but definitely another killer record worth adding to the collection.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Funeral Whore is a Dutch death metal band that formed in 2006 and has previously released a few demos, an EP and a split. “Step into Damnation” is their debut album which was released back in February on Mexican label Chaos Records.
“Step into Damnation” is a rather varied beast of an album, taking influences from the old-school Swedish scene with a bit of Bolt Thrower worshipping, a touch of Obituary and some Dutch DM influences such as Asphyx as well.
The rhythm guitars have a Swedish buzz-saw tone to them whilst the lead guitar uses a more “soaring” tone. The drumming is a particular highlight on this album, while pretty simplistic and nothing flashy; the drums manage to keep your attention throughout the whole record, particularly on the track “Obidience”. The bass tone is punishing, but the bass itself doesn’t do too much aside from follow the rhythm guitar. The vocalist has a good mid-ranged guttural pitch that sounds similar to the vocalists in a lot of other Dutch DM bands and isn’t anything new, but it suits the music perfectly.
The pace changes a lot on this album, ranging from mid-paced grooves to sludgey doom sections to crusty d-beats and even the occasional blast beat. All the songs are pretty good with notable highlights being “Obidience”, “The Bitch Died”, “El Salvador Death Squad”, the Autopsy-esque “Threesome”, the title track and “Wasteland of Corpses”.
All in all, Funeral Whore has delivered a killer slab of old-school death metal worshipping brutality that should keep the long haired old dudes in leather jackets happy for a while.