Tuesday, 25 December 2012


"Without music, life would be a mistake" 
Repent! Repent!
For the LORD has risen high and proud
His chariot drawn by rats and vultures
And adorned with heads of skeptics

The LORD is on the prowl tonight
The LORD will be diligent
For there are many to be smitten
and the LORD loves holocausts

The hand of the LORD is eager to bestow
Yes, The LORD will bestow his grace
Until you pray for the fall

He shall distress the weary
He shall disgrace the meek
He shall rip out the eyes of the lame
And he shall cripple the blind

Repent! Praise! Repent!
Praise the LORD of hosts,
of bestial and human filth,
of blistering gangrene
and crawilng carnage,
of death piled upon death,
the great sower descends
to reap the crops.

Musically and personally, 2012 has been a great year for me. I listened to a great amount of music, and I experienced more quality well-crafted splendor black metal albums this year as well. Besides, I joined one of the finest and longest international music webzine called Imhotep Webzine this year. I wish to extend my thanks to Roy Kristensen for giving an opportunity to write for his zine. My first ever interview for Imhotep with Gene Palubicki from Perdition Temple was certainly one of the best experiences I could ever have. And I could connect with some of the best musicians in the scene. I had great experiences interviewing bands like, Lvcifyre, Wargrinder, Necropsy Room from Brazil, An interview with excellent Umesh Amtey from The Ash Eaters/Brown Jenkins, Azoic from Iceland, and Stoic Dissention.

My best/favourite listens in 2012.

1. Dødsengel - "Imperator" (Terratur Possessions, Barghest)
2. Mgla - "With Hearts Toward None" (Northern Heritage Records)
3. Svartidaudi - "Flesh Cathedral" (Daemon Worship Productions, Terratur Possessions)
4. Deathspell Omega - "Drought" (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)
5. Monolithe "Monolithe III" (Debemur Morti Productions)
6. Evoken - "Atra Mors" (Profound Lore Records)
7. Indesinence  - "Vessels of Life and Decay" (Profound Lore Records)
8. Weapon - "Embers and Revelations" (Relapse Records)
9. Azoic - "Gateways" (self-released)
10. Antediluvian / Adversarial - "Initiated in Impiety as Mysteries" (Nuclear War Now! Productions)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Interview with Terry Eleftheriou of Wargrinder

Terry Eleftheriou, the living legend among metal musicians. Like golden rays of 90's, memories are still afresh in his mind. Terry who debuted in a band as a drummer in mid 90's. Music though has always been his prime passion and Terry at the moment is reveling the success of début album from Wargrinder.

ST: Its a pleasure to have you in this interview Terry. It’s good to know that TFZ from Angstridden has joined Wargrinder as a guitarist. And he’ll help to construct the songs for the next full-length but which is scheduled in 2014!

Yeah it took me months to decide on whether I needed another member in Wargrinder since the band has been only me for many years, but it didn't take long at all to think WHO it should be. Longtime fan and recently a good friend, TFZ will help me with the new and more demanding material, especially as far as the speed goes!! I remember his letters from the 1st demo cd I did back in 2001!

ST: Good news is that you are going to release a compilation CD of the band's previous releases via Regimental Records (USA). The CD will be released in December of 2012. The title will be "Erased Seeds of Ignorance".

I'm very excited about this since these were released a long time ago and they're almost impossible to find! Especially the 1st demo cd and the 2nd demo tape cannot be found. It's time for the people who got The Seal of Genocide in their hands to get to know the first steps of the band!! The demos are so raw and brutal I think the cd will do great!! Thanks to Kim and Joe from Regimental Records for the cooperation and support by the way!!

ST: Recently, Pete Helmkamp lends his mayhemic vokills performance on one of the tracks on III Command Of The Absolute Chaos by Blasphemophagher. His contribution always will be great as well. My question is do you have plans to let Pete do guest vocals for your next album?


ST: Now we can talk about the debut album which was released this year through Nykta Records. The material is varied, dynamic, and it possess a raw and primitive atmosphere besides featuring a variety of tempos and showcasing great skill in songwriting. The production is definitely has an underground sound. How satisfied have you been after the release of debut? It’s not shitty under-produced sound and Satan-praising screeches all the time. And yes, production played a big role. How the deal with Nykta did came along?

The guys from Nykta supported me from the early days when we traded for the demos and when I told them that I got a full cd in my hands they were more than happy to release it. What people don't know is that The Seal of Genocide was originally recorded in 2005!!!Of course it sucked so I never let the label release it. I wasn't happy with the sound, the drumming and the guitars since somebody else played them. I did bass and vocals. So in The end of 2010 I went to the studio and recorded the whole cd from the start. 

Of course I did a few changes and added some extra material...I'm very satisfied with Nykta's release and I'm happy to tell you that they're almost out of copies so I arranged with Regimental Records to re-release it! Of course that will happen when Nykta is completely sold out I want to be ok with these guys and after all WE are the underground there's no room for assholes!!!

ST: The opening track ‘Burning Idol’ makes it clear that Wargrinder is going to go in a different direction than the average blackened death metal band. Short tracks but the band keep things tight and hits listeners with catchy riffs. Wargrinder does run into some issues with repetition riffs but I believe Wargrinder could outshine some of the groups in this genre. The vocals have a distinctive raw black metal feel. ‘Nykta Records’ treat your musical abilities as well; I think they did the best they could do. How much were you satisfied with the amount of promotion done by them?

Yeah I agree with you on the repetitiveness. That only occurs in the older tracks and these were composed back in 2003-2005!!!Long time ago...I was still in the whole demo mentality and didn't really care about refreshing the compositions. Of course when the time came to re-record the cd I left the old songs as they were and wrote new songs which you can easily distinguish since they got a much better structure. Nykta did the best they could and that's why 80% of the copies are already sold since February this year!!! I didn't expect the cd to do so well to be honest. I was scared that the world has gone far too long without Wargrinder. Apparently this wasn't the case.

ST: The intensity level returns with the next song called ‘Swallowed by Silence’. It wastes no time getting right to the point besides the listener barely having a moment to mentally focus on the riffs before the vocals rise up. Aggressive and powerful. Seriously, people like you creating the most profound and grotesque art in this genre.

I'm glad you like it. Swallowed is one of the old songs and the main riff has a Blasphemy-like tone and beat and then changes to double bass Rapture style from Morbid Angel. Although I must say it’s definitely not one of my best songs out of the album.

ST: ‘Hollow Grace’ begins with a drum solo and it accompanies interesting bass tune. That soon transitions to a riff that is reminiscent of Angelcorpse. There are somewhat thrashier riffs on ‘King of a Fallen Age’ that are interspersed with the sinister tremolo picking and the haunting lead guitar. The riffs are very much in the typical Gene style. The faster parts include some thrashy riffs and double-kick drums. This is what I like about your music. You are associated with grind influenced blackened death metal for long as there is something inexplicable chaos about Wargrinder’s music, more accurately Angelcorpse continues in the form of Perdition Temple or Wargrinder. 

You cannot get closer to my mind with what you just said. I have so many influences that I try my best to mix with my personal style and what comes out is Wargrinder...King of a Fallen Age was composed in 2001 and originally released in 2002 in that split tape!! Fucking fast shit huh?? The Hollow Grace intro riff is so grind core I just love the bass guitar sound! It's what made Wargrinder stick out all these years!!!Wait 'till the demos come out this December!!!My MAIN influences are so many that I cannot mention them here I need a whole page for that. But just for reference: Apshyx, Terrorizer, Angelcorpse, Morbid Angel, Destroyer 666, old Kreator, Sodom and the absolute gods of raw sound Venom!!! Although I wouldn't compare my guitar abilities to Palubicki’s let’s not go nuts.

ST: The final track ‘The Principles Of Ancient Discipline’ is probably stands out for me. Excellent song writing. Awesome guitar riffs that are fucking raw and hateful Black Metal that keeps in the tradition of old school.  It is not a copy of them but there are some similarities in the sound. I am comparing you to the bands like Order from Chaos, Angelcorpse, and Perdition Temple. Do you think that this ‘genre’ is getting more popular besides more bands are tending to this genre these days?

Nah this genre never had any ups and downs, with Impiety, Angelcorpse holding the torch and bands like Diabolic, old Vital Remains, Impiety, and Order from Chaos standing tall. This particular scene was always in the shadows as far as publicity goes, talking of course about actual financial success. But the fan base has always been strong and indeed nowadays there are so many bands that even people like us who trade nonstop and buy cds all the time, don't know half of what's going on...This song started originally as a few riffs I wanted to give to Naer Mataron when I was in the band, but it they didn't match the rest of the material. When I played them to my wife she loved it and insisted that I include them to the Wargrinder cd. So I completed the song with more riffs, put it in the debut and dedicated it to her. It's definitely more black metal than the other tracks.

ST: Terry has been part of many metal bands as you started your music career with Wargrinder in more than a decade ago am I right? Whereas ‘The Seal of Genocide’ was a result of twelve years after the formation of the band. Do you feel that Wargrinder is still underrated band?

I actually started playing in bands in 1995 and before that did rehearsals at junior high school. But I did my first demo tapes in 1997 and in 1998 I did a little death metal nothing that serious but it definitely created the path that led me to my career today. Yeah I absolutely feel that Wargrinder is underrated and that's why I started taking care of things a lot more lately, lots of e-mails tons of trades and some interviews here and there. Everything helps, that's for sure. All it needs is to be heard. The quality of the music is guaranteed.

ST: You are a drummer by profession but how comfortable or challenge was taking vocal and guitar duties for The Seal of Genocide? 

Album that barely lasts more than half an hour.The whole Cd took me about 12hrs to record. There weren't any delays although it WAS strange for me to record guitars and bass, since it was the first time after 7 years, and of course the 3rd demo was a lot smaller in duration, yet it was cool to hear my drumming and play guitar at the same time. Plus there was no metronome. I've always recorded drums to a click so it was definitely strange but after recording guitars for the first few tracks I loosened up.

ST: Terry, you have drummed for Angelcorpse, how important was Angelcoprse for your career? Besides, you apprised a lot of amazing responses from Perdition Temple as Gene had a definite idea about what he wanted from you. How did you meet Pete and Gene as you from Greece? How was/is your experience working with them?

I never got to actually play with Angelcorpse. I found Gene through MySpace and sent him a message as a fan. I was moving to the US at the time and they weren't satisfied with the live drummer so he said that who knows we might cooperate someday. One thing led to the other and I ended up sending them a promo package with cds from my whole career. The fact alone that I was mentioned on the band's page as the new drummer was an honor for me. I was the only guy I can remember walking around in my area and downtown Athens with the Angelcorpse long sleeves. Been a hardcore fan since Exterminate came out. I never rehearsed the Perdition Temple tracks before I got in the studio. I only practiced them at home and mapped out everything on paper. I recorded everything by memory since there was no guitar on my headphones. Just a metronome and my paper. Gene was indeed ecstatic when he got the drum tracks. Judging by his reaction I'd say I performed 95% close to what he wanted.

ST: Words such as War, Army, Vengeance, Blood and Death can be found in the lyrics.

These are the things that I find most interesting and exciting. Always with a respectful approach of course. I just love war history and history in general. I like to use emotion in my music. No emotion no Wargrinder. It helps to let out the negative energy through music. It works like that for a lot of musicians out there. If it wasn't for that a LOT of people would be in jail right now, trust me...Or in trouble in general..

ST: Words do a major thing. They provide food for the mind. When a book is able to motivate the minds of its readers, then that is the real success for its author. I’d like to know about the most influential authors/books for you.

Too many book titles to mention so here’s the authors: Aristotelhs, Epiktitos, Heraklitos, Protagoras, Pythagoras, Diogenis, Anaksimandros, Thalis from Miletus. My absolute passion is Plato and Heraclitus. Especially Plato's writings changed my life. Plus dozens of war and history books, too many to mention.

ST: What is it like working with musicians from other bands? All the bands you have worked with so far have been amazing and there has been a lot of learning in the process I think. Embrace of Thorns, Stutthof, and these bands are fantastic and have their own approach to make music.

The bands you mentioned were just quest appearances. I was never a member. It's true that it's difficult to be able to match your style with so many different musicians but if you got the ear for what you do, it just happens naturally. You got to step out of the "drummer" sometimes. Being a good or bad or whatever drummer isn't enough you got to think as a MUSICIAN and understand what the rest of the members want. THEN try to deliver that as a full concept. Just do that and you will always be in demand. Right now I play the drums for these bands: Wargrinder (bass and vocals as well), Crucifiction (Gr), Apocalypse Command (USA), Altars of Teshub (USA brand new project). As soon as I get back in 2014 I will record a full cd with each one of these bands. A lot of work, but a lot of fun too! Altars of Teshub is a project that include Matt from Trigon Aion and Kelly from Adipocere, both great guys and very talented musicians. I'm very excited about that one since the material is insanely fast. These guys are trying to kill me haha!! I'm also working on a new project but nothing is official yet. I'm the composer on this one and I'm not playing the drums. You got to visit my Facebook page for updates since that project started a couple of weeks ago, we'll see how it goes.

ST: As I said before, we have mostly seen you working in Blackened death metal bands; do you think this genre has better prospects from other genres such as black metal? You have appeared in Theosophy by Gauntlet's Sword with hateful beatings.

Yeah Theosophy is a beautiful record. Too bad the guy doesn't play music anymore. I think that the popularity of a band depends on its style; I mean a death metal band can be great but it takes more than that to sell like Cannibal Corpse or any of the bigger names. Same with black metal. As for myself, believe it or not I've done probably the same amount of black metal recordings as much as I've done death metal. Here's my full discography aside from 2-3 more demos I did in the late 90's: 

1. Celestial Scream - Promo 2001
2. Stellar Darkness - Promo 2001
3. Wargrinder - Command for Wargrinding - demo cd 2001
4. Wampyrinacht - We will be watching 2001 (unreleased)
5. Scythe - promo cd 2002 (unreleased)
6. Legions of Antichrist - promo cd 2002 (unreleased)
7. Sun of Nothing - Demo 2002
8. Wargrinder - New age Terrorism - split tape 2002
9. Sun of Nothing - And voices, words, faces complete the dream 2002
10. Stutthof - Towards thy astral path 2002
11. Bullet hole - Incarceration 2003
12. Naer Mataron - River at dash scalding 2003
13. Crucifiction - Crucified with horns demo 2003
14. Wargrinder - Superior Onslaught - split cd 2003
15. Stutthof - An ode to thee ancient great goddess 2004
16. Chaosbaphomet - Temple of the Serpent Baphomet 2004 demo tape
17. Naer Mataron - Aghivasiin (lessons on how to defeat death) 2004
18. Gauntlet’s Sword - Conquer Miss 7’’ 2005
19. Naer Mataron - Discipline manifesto 2005
20. Naer Mataron - 7’’ split with Voice of Hate 2006
21. Gauntlet’s Sword - Theosophy 2006
22. Embrace of Thorns - …for I see death in their eyes…
23. Naer Mataron - Praetorians 2008
24. Perdition Temple - Edict of the Antichrist elect 2010
25. Crucifiction - Portals to the beyond 2010
26. Wargrinder - The Seal of Genocide 2012
27. Naer Mataron - I am the Light of the World 7'' 2012

ST: Are there any plans for a live performance from you for Wargrinder? Au revoir.

No, at least not yet. I'm focusing on composing right now since I'm on abroad and I got material for 2 full length cds haha! The next cd will blow you away I promise. Keep an eye out for the demos this December from Regimental Records!!

You can follow me here:
http://www.facebook.com/terry.warhead (news on all of my projects, discography)

Thank you for the great questions! Support the extreme metal scene!

ST: Thanks to Autumn P for the images and logos.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Interview: Stoic Dissention

A Colorado-based band, Stoic Dissention's creation came about with the end of their bass player Dave and Zach’s band Acheronian Dirge. Stoic Dissention plays an amalgamation of black and doom metal. Through luck they came across Isaac and Kelly besides they found that they had common taste for what they wished to express musically and decided to pursue it. From there Isaac's roommate Peter joined the band on drums and thus had a full line-up for Stoic Dissention. They released a demo earlier this year and it sounds immense! Six tracks of deep spheres will propel you into a swirling void of aural effects as from Peter's apocalyptic grooves and hellish blast beats to Isaac and Kelly's infernal dirge filled harmonies, Dave's pulse of decay bass and Zach's decadent chants and howls of despair, they've created a mighty force indeed.

Before you began Stoic Dissention your musical efforts were concentrated on your long term black metal project called Acheronian Dirge. Can you discuss how Stoic Dissention was conceived and what inspired this new musical direction?

Stoic Dissention came about when Acheronian Dirge ended. Still wanting to work on arcane themes and despondent principles I start talking to Dave our bass player about returning to the essence of what we lost with the passing of our previous band. Dave and I started asking around for kindred spirits and happened to be at a Centimani and Kastigation show where we met Isaac and Kelly. Both were interested and thus the inception of the band came about. Our drummer Peter came along a few months later and we've been dredging a path ever since.

What do you feel about the number good reviews your mini album Senium has received? Six melodies for 37mins long Ep. All the songs are relatively lengthy.

We were glad that Senium was well received. It’s good to hear rewarding comments about something you grasp at so passionately. I believe it was a combination of proving to ourselves we were capable to write something so vehemently held close to us musically and talent wise. Luckily we are all rather like minded with what we wished to achieve as a final outcome. The length of the songs we felt perfect for achieving everything we wanted to convey without drawing out too much. The life of an entity with a succinct purpose and function.

As the opening track ‘An Ubiquitous Coming’ begins to meander through the guitar and it joins drums later you prove to be a brilliant exercise with enticing vocals. Senium is not something to be forgotten fast! It’s a perfect amalgamation of black and doom metal, quite weird but original. You put out very dark and depressing music.

Thank you! The darker side of the mind and heart has always held me in a certain fascination and depression being one of the strongest emotional states it was only natural for me to want to convey it with the meager talents I can portray. Luckily for me both mediums (black and doom metal) coincide with my expression also. Their embodiment of the mysterious and dark in a congruent state of mental decay was a key part in bringing A Ubiquitous Coming to form.

‘The Arcane Rites…for me some fond memories attached with this song. Vocals reminiscent me that Senium sounds not completely different from Acheronian Dirge! What is it that you learnt from your first band that helped shape your versatile vocal?

Essentially it’s just practicing and pushing myself beyond the limits I originally believed possible for myself. I liked what I did in Acheronian Dirge and felt I should carry on what I was doing. That was my foundation, and then I added and played with certain aspects to start to bring out a stronger representation of what Stoic Dissention represents. The new album has some new twists vocally for me which am good so that I don't become stagnant as an artist.

I’d be happy if Acheronian Dirge are still active. Stoic Dissention's creation came about with the end of bass player Dave and your band Acheronian Dirge, but is there any possibility of re-union of Acheronian Dirge? 

As far as we know Acheronian Dirge is no more. Clay (A.D.'s guitarist) and I have talked about maybe working together on a black metal project but with schedules and life and our bands we'll have to wait and see if it comes into fruition. I do what to do another black metal project so hopefully one day soon. The anger within black metal is a very cathartic release and I find it paramount for me to have that form of release. 

Acheronian Dirge was not the most prolific band in the US metal scene. Had been in existence since 1998, had only released a full-length album, along with three demos and an Ep release in 2009 but the band had built a strong cult following for it, were you happy with what you've achieved with the Acheronian Dirge?

Yes and no. I think we did well representing what we wanted to get across musically, yet feel it needed to be better represented. A lot of the fault lies in the fact that both labels we were signed to did not have a strong work ethic and understanding of what was needed to help bands on their line-up. Also we started writing and recording a second full-length that was never completed which is a letdown. It is weird now that people enjoy what we were doing when at the time we didn't really have much support externally. I guess its good black metal if you stay "cult".

I love Acheronian Dirge and I love Kastigation! So what happens if these two bands create music together? Hell yeah something likes ‘Deception of the Genuine Intellect’. This is constructed with slowly excursions that sustain the excitement until the end. How did you meet Isaac and Kelly?

Thank you, we were going for an actual blend of doom and black metal and "Deception" is a great example of our ideas brought to form.  I met Kelly a few years back at a Watain show I believe. Also Acheronian Dirge and Kastigation played a show together at the end of a tour we did in 2009. Isaac I met about a year later at a Kastigation show and we talked about music and found we liked a lot of the same bands (although we did argue a lot too).

Stoic Dissention as you guys have learnt a lot of attention through an Ep release besides you guys recently shared a stage with amazing Nightbringer and Weapon. Zach and Kelly, tell us yours live experience with them? Musically, both are unmatched insanity but two of my absolute favorite. 

It was a great show, although Nightbringer was a little different as their vocalist was touring Europe at the time so their guitarist filled in on vocals. He did well but it’s not the same as the regular line-up. Weapon was awesome and is great people as well. Total annihilation! A great time for sure. Hopefully there will be future shows with both.

Kelly, Kastigation is one hell of an Ep. All the music Kastigation has recorded has a different vocalist as well as you do high pitched growls in dreadnought’s new stuff. Do you have plans to do vocals for Stoic Dissention?

Thank you! We have just recently begun toying with the idea of having clean vocals incorporated into our music. Along with harsh vocals, I've begun singing clean which has opened up new possibilities for future songs. Zach has a new lyrical idea for a song that splits the lyrics between two people as two different characters, where one would use harsh vocals and the other would sing. We should start piecing this idea together in the near future.

How do you go about creating a new album? Zach, Can you discuss what is involved in the creative process for you? What are your main influences for your upcoming release? How many compositions will there and how will it be different from Senium?

When creating new works it usually starts with Isaac and Kelly presenting some riffs to the rest of us and we change them or add to them. As far as my portion of writing for me I listen and critique mainly. I might have some suggestions here and there but when you’re working with people more talented than you musically there is only so much I can do to contribute in that fashion. My moment usually comes after we have a partial song then I start writing and or placing lyrics to the music. Then I work on the placement and so forth. For the new release I and a lot of influence from a myriad of sources but mainly from the music itself. The music was very compelling and actually brought everything forward, almost an invocation of some inner demon summoned by the music working as an incantation. The difference between “Relinquished...” and “Senium” is a more refined approach and presentation. We also branch out into some funeral doom on this album.  There are 3 songs and it’s about 50 minutes of dark psychedelic depressive music. Also it is a conceptual album, so all the songs tie into each other. I think it’s the natural next step in our approach.

Any particular offers already from any labels?

No not yet but hopefully.  We are currently searching and have a few in particular that we want to work with.

You grew up listening 80’s, 90’s metal, opera and classical so you’ve literally seen different eras in metal and you must have good enough experience, what I’m saying is do you wait for music to come to you or do you keep up some sort of writing routine?

Yes I have been around for many different "trends" and styles in the metal scene. Some good many more bad! With my own music I try and do both.  If a song is captivating to me I will write for it but also I try and write by myself for a multitude of different reasons. It helps with staying sharp and keeps the creative process more prolific as well as honing my craft to a more succinct image.

What do you think about the many bands who copy someone else's style?

I find it disappointing that many people actually support these acts. Imitation is supposedly the sincerest form of flattery but it’s also a dead end way to help destroy a scene. A saturation of unimaginative and basically untalented people trying to pass themselves off as musicians. I understand being inspired by a band and all but there is a limit before its plagiarism.

American bands have always had a place in our heart since the late 80’s due to their uncompromising attitude to create the profound music. How much do you feel part of an American metal scene? Are there any great new bands coming out from your area in the near future?

There is a very small scene here but it is decent. It’s growing though slowly. America has been a strong institute as far as uncompromising and angry in its musical forms. As far as a part of the American scene we are barely part of it since we are so "underground." We are hoping to be more contributing though in the future and let everyone know we are a force to acknowledge. There are some good Doom metal bands, but black metal wise I can't think of any right now besides “Achral Necrosis”. They have a good Scandinavian throw back sound. 

I'm obviously a big fan of instrumental music, and would love to hear more in the black metal area. Instrumental metal seems to be a wide open playing field right now; I hope more bands explore this sound. Can you tell us your massive interest on Dark Ambient music?

Dark ambient music is the perfect form of meditative pure expression almost an anoesis. A bliss of the perfection of simplicity brought about by the expression of soundscapes and moods of psychological decay in an almost classical approach. I've been enjoying how some have been adding guitars to the music to an almost funeral doom style. I cannot wait for more people to try their part in this genre as long as it doesn't become generic.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Interview with Umesh Amtey from The Ash Eaters/Brown Jenkins.

The Cruel Side 2011
The world is collapsing slowly. That is the idea one is left with after listening to 'Death Obsession' by Brown Jenkins. Brown Jenkins’s second full-length album was completely a masterpiece. It came through Moribund Records in 2009. Perhaps that is my most satisfying listening experience ever. But the band is no more. Umesh Amtey who served as vocal/guitar duties for years in Brown Jenkins as now he continues Brown Jenkins in the form of The Ash Eaters. Its latest two releases have got rave reviews in the underground. Ask him what the happenings within The Ash Eaters lately are, he says, 

“Everything’s fine with the band and with the music right now. No problems or anything…other than finding all the time/space I need to write or concentrate on what’s happening, but that’s often just a temporary day to day thing. As of right now, the beginning of September, the plan is to write for another two months or so and then release another long EP, this time based around blues music and some of its earliest recording musicians. I've been studying Robert Johnson’s guitar techniques/writing a lot. In the music itself it might not often be so glaringly obvious…but the influence and intent will be there. I don’t know if I’ll be going out of my way to provide blatant signposts in the songs, ha! It’ll just all be there as part of the sound, I think. That’s usually the way I incorporate things”

ST:Your name sounds Indian! Does anything connect you to India somehow? How satisfied have you been after the releases of Ibn Ghazi and Ruining You? Don’t you feel you have more accepted in TAE than in BJ?

My father’s Indian, that’s all. I was born in the United States, not much really connects me to India. I do want to travel there someday, of course. I think I would love it! Hopefully it will be soon.

I frankly don’t know about the level of acceptance, popularity, etc. yet. It’s probably much too early to get a feel for those things right now. The new band hasn’t been around that long, I’m doing stuff that’s kind of offbeat or strange/different, and I don’t think anyone really has a handle on it. That’s okay. I want the music to keep changing anyway. I want every release to be different…although of course it’s always going to be me playing guitar, or writing the music. I know Jenkins had its fans…but to tell you the truth outside of a few friends of mine and musicians I know, etc. I never got much feedback. For the most part that music seemed to be ignored. Maybe people will get into it someday. Who knows? Again, with TAE…it mostly seems to be ignored by larger press, zines, whatever. I don’t really mind it…as long as people are listening to it and like it (or it means something) to them, it’s fine. The internet helps tremendously with that. How many listeners do one need? My main goal is to just build up a body of work, to release things in a consistent manner and to grow as a guitarist and/or musician. I like to work constantly…I want to be like a craftsman or artisan (ha!) or producer of distinct, individual objects. I don’t feel like I’m even close to being able to fully express what I want to say through this form of music…I have to keep this going, expanding, making it deeper…but experience and music play off of each other. As the music reflects more of my inner life I’m able to reflect better on it as well, they mirror each other, double each other’s meanings or messages. They alter and warp each other. I know for a fact that if I don’t go out and have new experiences or change my thinking…the music just stagnates.

ST: Probably, musical styling of Brown Jenkins continues on in the form of The Ash Eaters. I’ll say your music is stereotype, but no other bands sound like this… The first thing that stands out about your music is that it can create a hypnotic mood! You are able to convey emotions through your music, perhaps the most important aspect of your music besides the harsh guitar tones vibe is nothing new for your music. The highlights of your releases are dense production and repetitive riffs, which actually make no sense. Is this something that you especially wanted to incorporate in your compositions?

I love playing and writing for the guitar…so that’s what I mainly concentrate on…and I seem to be naturally attracted to really dense, crowded, complex soundscapes in rock music, just layers and layers of individual guitar parts weaving in and out of each other. I don’t really know what people are hearing when people say the music is “repetitive” or whatever, that’s often just the surface layer, I guess? Underneath that there are all kinds of things flying in and out of the main riff themes or melodies, adding to them, subtracting from them, harmonizing, etc. So if one really pays attention I think it opens up a bit more. I don’t enjoy simple, obvious music…to me it has to be technical and intricate in order to hold my attention or interest. I suppose that hypnotic, “airless” quality comes from the density, as you said, one’s ears can get overwhelmed…but that’s my favorite feeling in music! I want it to create an entirely different/new world the listener can get trapped inside, I want it to be suffocating…but also, yes, emotion is really what drives the music when it comes down to it. There are a lot of little technical flourishes and musical puzzles, etc. that makes me smile but the end result must be emotional, evocative, and able to transport me (and hopefully other listeners) outside of “reality.” I love that in music…the ability to create atmospheres and emotional landscapes that escape the ability to describe them with language, they are both below and above the relative irrelevance of paltry, pale, one-dimensional words.

ST: You grew up listening 80’s, 90’s metal. So you’ve literally seen different eras in metal and you must have good enough experience, what I’m saying is do you wait for music to come to you or do you keep up some sort of writing routine?

I practice every day…and I try to write every day as well. I actually have a routine, I plan out everything, so…yes, I never wait for “inspiration”, I think that’s a mistake – I believe I learned that from reading about Rodin or Rilke, I can’t remember. Be open to inspiration, yes, but also just be constantly working anyway. Force yourself to if it’s necessary. I could wait for years for the “right” inspiration! I suppose practicing guitar and then writing are just part of my “lifestyle” at this point, it’s like anything else…eating, working, exercising, listening to Coast to Coast AM, etc. I try to produce a few good riffs or song segments every day…it doesn’t always work. Some days I won’t be able to write anything, some days I’ll write ten perfect riffs in a row without stopping, breathlessly. That’s a great feeling when that happens. But…it’s like being a fiction writer (I suppose it’s just another species of this), if you produce a certain amount of work each day it just builds and builds up and before you know it you have a finished album, EP, demo, whatever. The important thing is to exert oneself, to stay busy/active, learning, writing, experimenting, listening, and thinking about music, the pleasure is in this work itself. It’s rewarding in itself every day. Also...if you have a large amount of concentrated work to look at when assembling songs or albums or whatever, you can afford to eliminate everything that doesn’t directly add to the impact of what you’re trying to say. The weak parts are left behind, if you’re lucky. I suppose that’s also a matter of subjective judgment, of course. Luckily I’m the one writing so I get to decide. 

But also, regarding the first part of your question: I’ve been listening to metal since about…’85 or ’86. So, yes, I’ve seen many things come and go. I still think there is a definite “history” and path of evolution, something musicians are themselves constantly playing off of or toying with, referring to, etc. and that part of the overarching genre continues to excite me. I find it difficult to understand why anyone would ever want to stop experimenting or creating new things and just am “satisfied” with a set style or form of music, never changing…or the people, for example, who attempt to simulate/mimic/emulate styles from the past. I don’t comprehend the motives, the results or the enthusiasm. One must always move forward because life itself is changing, the history outside of music is changing.

Cold Hearts (2011)
ST: My first exposure to The Ash Eaters came from hearing the demo ‘Ruining You’ and I was extremely satisfied with it. What prompted you to dedicate ‘Ruining You ’to your girlfriend Mary and to the city of Austin? Four tracks for 40mins long demo and all the songs are relatively lengthy. You wanted this demo to be more personal and profound?

Well, the first release, “Cold Hearts”, was actually the demo per se. That was recorded in 2010 during and between moves around the US. I finally released it in 2011. It then hit me, you know, that in this day and age there’s no use calling a release a “demo” or an “EP”, a “LP”, anything at all. There’s not really much of a point in even having a “release date.” So now I suppose I’ll just title releases and people can decide what they are. Ha! But… “Ruining You” has five songs on it…I called it the first LP although it was actually recorded before “Ibn Ghazi.” It’s more than two years old at this point…in the meantime my playing and writing has been progressing as usual, only a small part of which was displayed, I guess, on “Ibn Ghazi” as the latter was written/recorded very quickly. What I tend to do is work on a release, record it and…then it simply sits there until I feel like letting other people hear it.

As for dedications…the reasons for dedicating it to my girlfriend should be obvious, I hope. I also dedicated it to Austin because that city means a lot to me…both throughout my emotions and imagination and then as a thread through my personal history. Austin has always been very inspiring to me. I suppose “Ruining You” is more personal…as it’s mostly about women from my past! It was put on paper in a time of deeply disturbing turmoil/upheaval, to say the least. “Ruining You” was mainly written in a burst about two months long. That’s probably the shortest writing period I’ve ever had for an album…so I guess that stuff just needed to get out.

ST: Have you continued to write your lyrics in the same way as you did in Brown Jenkins? From ‘Ruining You’ - “No Road Back as we fated to death! Vulgar-winged with fear! Delicate sense of gunsmoke! No road back at all!” What were your thoughts while writing ‘No Road Back’? A recent survey found the US rate of gun related murders is almost 20 times higher than next 22 richest and most populous nations combined. A dozen guns are legally sold every minute in the US! A gun cultures that glories violence, increasing religious intolerance, racial tension. And there have been mass murders occurring where lone gunmen shoot innocent people: first, there was the incident at the theater in Aurora, Colorado on July 20th where 12 people were killed and 58 injured. Ah! It’s weird and pathetic. Tomorrow it can be any one of us.

The gun violence in the US has a lot of different causes…I feel like most of them are simply clichés at this point and there isn't much use going into them. This country is tearing itself to pieces as it’s manipulated by the wealthy, plutocrats, corporations, globalists, etc. Divide and conquer the same old story. But to answer your question: I usually work on lyrics very slowly, just building up phrases and sentences the same way I collect riffs or song segment ideas/themes, at some point they get put together into a cohesive whole…and then I’ll go back and rewrite them, edit them, etc. All of the lyrics have really personal meanings, I’m not sure I could ever fully explain them. I think they compliment the music and vice versa. I hope that people read them…but I know how it often is, mostly people seem to be interested in the music alone. That’s fine. Only when I actually plan out vocal patterns or whatever (and that’s rare these days) do I change things around to suit phrasing. As far as that particular song goes, “No Road Back”, what can I say? It’s about Texas and a girl. *grin*

ST: Hate, Depression, Melancholy are integral part of your band’s theme. What are other themes that are important to you as a musician? How serious do you take the lyrical side of your songs?

I really enjoy writing the lyrics, they’re very important to me. So important, in fact, that I often don’t want to mangle them by actually singing them. For me they’re just texts to accompany the songs, I don’t think of them as being something I want to force down someone’s throat (or ears) by screaming them over the rest of the music. But…themes in the music? I hope they’re obvious in both the guitar writing and the lyrics, right there on the surface. So, yes, it’s a lot of melancholy, insanity, depression, bitterness, disgust, disappointment, outright hatred in places, but it’s also an attempt at transcendence, at rising above all of these “all too human” concerns. For me this music is very soothing, bracing, cheering…it helps to heal. I don’t know what it’s like for other people. This kind of music makes me very happy. I like to sit right in the middle of all of that chaos, usually with a smile on my face. 

ST: Would you say that poets are natural ambassadors?

In that they can often express and/or explain things that other people can’t, or create empathy through relation of the subjective (molded into a verity, an “eternal” value)? Yes. But poets have also been documenters of dissent, fomenters of revolution, seducers. I can only think it depends on the individual writer.

ST: 'Ibn Ghazi’ is heavy and raw with plenty of dissonant atmosphere. Indeed, I can think of no other band that would sound the same or similar. ‘Cold Hearts’ (2011) has to be the best sounding release which you have ever produced. The mastering task was suavely accomplished by you and did a great job there. Besides the male sound chanting make it more amazing. Umesh, There is a clear Paracletus (DsO) feel on Cold Hearts. Do you really recognize your music as the French sound?

I really like/ enjoy a few of the French black metal bands. Deathspell Omega, Blut Aus Nord, Aosoth, etc. I don’t think they have any influence whatsoever on my music, though. In a few cases it might simply be that we all share (along with many others) a similar approach to warping black metal and guitar playing into a more “modern” form to reflect our reality through dissonance and odd chords/harmonies…but in black metal now this entire paradigm is something of a given quantity, it seems to be the accepted path towards progression and experimentation. It’s just one path among many, however. Black metal, as an all-encompassing genre, is so varied, large and niche-ridden at this point that I don’t know if the label even means anything anymore. I just call it all “rock music.” The thing is…if one is a rock musician, to me that means being able to sample from, explore or reference every other form of rock. It’s a massive legacy/history to wrap one’s head around at this point. There are ways of disappearing inside of it everywhere, at any point in the past.

ST: The artworks associated with your releases are very simple but it seems that you are very influenced by art in some ways. Why did you choose such drawings for the front cover of (Cold Hearts, Ruining You) releases? I feel it too amateurish; I’d like to know the reasons that led you to pick those specific drawings. What got you interested in Art works? 

A lot of the time, in terms of design, I tend to prefer bold, strong images and very simplistic/minimalist layouts. I suppose the basic idea behind the art for the first four releases was to have a kind of old school, ‘90s death metal demo feel to it, just have the xeroxed art and not have any distractions. I usually prefer black and white things…not just in album art but in almost all things. I also feel it kind of displays the point of the releases anyway: the music, not much else. So of course it’s “amateurish” but then again this is an age of bands trying to attract people solely through cover artwork and bizarre logos or whatever…I don’t care about any of that. I gravitate towards iconic images, you know? I think the images on the covers of the releases pretty much explain/give the general feel for the entire thing. Whatever’s left outside of the music itself is in the lyrics, that’s where the real story resides. But I’ve been interested in art and design for a long time…if something looks “amateurish” it was meant to look that way. Ha! I’m not exactly sure what first drew me to art…the same instinct I had to pursue literature, I suppose, or music. All of it = culture or intellectual productions of societies and that’s what I’m mainly obsessed with. Believe me…if I could draw or paint at all I would simply do all of the artwork for my own releases. I’ve had a few bad experiences with visual artists in the past (the usual things, I guess) and these days…often I would rather do everything myself. Why not? Besides…it tends to speak to the point of this band being different, not just slapping a silly logo on top of whatever artist is currently trendy and hoping it will move some units. I dislike that entire notion of “product” design, like records or albums or whatever is just another consumable object…”entertainment.” No logos, no standard art, no touring (if I’m lucky), no street team, no bullshit label “promotion”, no t-shirts and coffee cups and Frisbees, no lifestyle branding, no corporate “sponsorships” - it’s band, not a vending machine. It’s about the music.

ST: What does the artwork for Ibn Ghazi represent?

Almost every aspect of that recording comes from studying the Koran. Every line of the lyrics is either a direct quote from the Koran or a line that was changed in a minor way. The image on the front is an old qibla indicator, used to find Mecca from one’s location while traveling and the handwriting, etc. in the artwork is either quotations from the Koran or complementing Biblical scripture. It’s all mixed together. The phrase “Ibn Ghazi” comes from Lovecraft, however. Of course! I don’t know if all of this actually “represents” anything…it’s just part of the overall work. The music and the lyrics/art reflect each other to create a whole, an entity. I like to think of these things as something one would see in a dream, maybe not completely in reality.

Ibn Ghazi - (2012)
ST: Brown Jenkins gained a lot of attention through a short period as released two masterpiece full length albums, two demos and Ep’s in between three years. Are you happy with what you've achieved with Brown Jenkins? How has Brown Jenkins shaped or changed your personality?

Sure, it was great for the time and I felt like the band had the number of listeners it deserved, I suppose. I know that music means something to people and that’s interesting/pleasurable for me, it makes one feel like one’s music matters. Then again…with the last LP, “Death Obsession”, I felt a great reluctance to continue. I didn’t enjoy what the legacy of the band was setting up for its future. I hope that makes sense. I no longer liked the name, I didn't like the older music, I wanted to escape everything the band represented and the time, in itself, when it was written or recorded. “Death Obsession”, in particular, was written at a really bad time in my life and I feel fine simply leaving it behind like a monument. I rarely listen to that music anymore, to tell you the truth. Perhaps it’s too personal; it’s like a time machine. I don’t want to go back there! 

ST: How did you become interested in the works of Algernon Blackwood and Lord Dunsany? Can you briefly discuss your research interests?

I don’t remember exactly at this point…it’s been a long time. But it was probably through Lovecraft. About ’92 or ’93 I started studying “weird” or occult/supernatural literature, its entire history, in depth and I moved from one writer to another in a type of of natural progression…either sampling or reading entire oeuvres. If anyone reading this is interested in such things I highly recommend Lovecraft’s “Supernatural Horror in Literature.” It’s still a fantastic study or overview of the genre. But I was studying British and American literature in college anyway…this was simply a part of my independent research. I read everything I could get my hands on…luckily I was blessed with a fantastic university library to go through (The University of Texas). Blackwood and Dunsany were both tremendous influences on Lovecraft…but I still prefer Blackwood’s fiction. Dunsany is often much more of a fantasist or myth-maker, Blackwood was interested in various psychological aspects of horror or the supernatural. For me, still, the most important writers in that form of fiction are Machen, M.R. James, LeFanu and Blackwood. I can almost dispense with the rest!

Death Obsession
ST: Most of your projects are short-lived. And in some of the situations it has in turn caused abrupt endings to otherwise promising projects. You are associating with black metal only or do you think that other metal genre such as Death metal is a limited musical form, that you can’t really progress?

I suppose at this time I can claim the music of my band fits in this or that genre…but the truth is that I don’t really know anymore. I started out playing metal, of course, but grew into playing all different kinds of things. I try to incorporate everything I like into what I play…or rather, I don’t even try, and it’s just there. So I honestly don’t think of “genres” anymore or anything like that…if music has a guitar in it, for example, I just think of it as “guitar music.” I don’t want to have any limits whatsoever on what I can play, or what I can use in a song. For me that’s what this new band is really about…no limits, no genre boundaries, and no real definitions other than just “rock music” right now. But…of course a lot of what I was originally inspired by to write stuff for the guitar is still going to come through. There’s a lot of post-punk music in there, noise rock, black metal, old death metal, pop, blues, whatever. I want to incorporate more and more…but (most of the time) solely by using the guitar, not adding in specific genre qualities or signifiers by piling on samples, synths, FX, etc. I’m still convinced that the perfect rock band simply equals guitar, bass and drums. Sometimes vocals. Ha! No matter how long the projects or bands stay around…it’s always going to be me doing the writing, so…whatever? I suppose it’ll always really be the same band in different disguises. I do often think that death metal, in the traditional sense, is a really limited genre…but there have been bands that successfully warped those genre boundaries/definitions to a remarkable degree, creating originality through creativity, stubbornness and undiluted personal expression. Black metal might be a little more open now…but maybe only, as I was saying before, because the genre envelope was ripped open a long time ago. One can get away with calling almost anything “black metal” these days…I suppose all it really means is that the musician(s) at some point were influenced by recognized black metal originators. Every week, it seems, some new band comes along and pushes the boundaries farther back. This is a good thing…at the center, at the core, something is still inspiring everyone.

ST: You are a voracious reader I presume.

I read a lot…it’s a habit I formed at a really young age. I've always loved to read and I hope that will never stop. Originally, going back to when I was a teenager (or maybe even younger?) I wanted to be a writer…I was attracted to the pursuit, the passion in it, the idea of being an artist in that way, the clichés surrounding the lifestyle, etc. I decided to simply read every “great” work of literature ever written in order to train myself for that life…so for years and years that was my main pursuit, reading and thinking about literature all day, every day. I later grew extremely disenchanted with those ideas and moved on to other pursuits…but I still read, I still follow contemporary literature and/or writers and I’m constantly going back and revisiting things I read before. Fiction, however, no longer interests me that much anymore. I’m usually reading history these days…

ST: An interview with Umesh Amtey was one of my dreams! I always had in mind to conduct an interview with you. Thank you that are all from me.

Thank you very much, Ebby! I appreciate the time and effort you put into this interview and I hope I answered most of your questions. If any readers want to hear the music of The Ash Eaters you can go to:

Thanks again!


Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheAshEaters.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Interview: Azoic (Iceland).

Icelandic bands have been continued to surprise us with their uncompromising attitude to create the profound music. We've experienced majestic Svartidaudi and Chao before. Here Slaying Tongue presents an exclusive interview with Azoic from Reykjavik. A pure Icelandic terror! The band is already well-known across the globe for its debut album called "Gateways" which was released this year and it sounds cavernous and horrific dissonance on the senses. Thematically and stylistically the band marks a new chapter in the oeuvre of Iceland's metal history. The band members are unveiling the musical depths of Azoic. Behold! A fine experimental black metal group. 

ST: When you started Azoic, there were some comparable types of music in underground. So I think it was not difficult to find fans for your band even though your influences are still obvious, there is a lot on this album that is either Deathspell Omega or Dodecahedron but still rather pure Azoic. Was this album a conscious effort to make people to understand that "this is the main essence of Azoic" or was that just a chance outcome of your writing?

Probably a mix of both, it would be lame to completely mimic other bands but it’s also fairly hard to be completely original. But if you take some time to consider your own musical direction, influences, etc., and put ideas into new and fresh perspectives the possibilities should be endless."

ST: "Apeiron" is essential. It’s simply a masterpiece. Black metal with chaotic death metal riffs and relentless drums making it big through an insane atmosphere. There's also a chorus in the song and it comes off as point and needed. My question is what were your feelings while composing "Gateways" and what were your expectations after the release of it? As I said before "Gateways" contain elements already heard from bands Deathspell Omega and Dodecahedron. These bands offer a different, more structured and consonant vision but there are some similarities with the sound of Azoic but on "Gateways"’s each track its own identity and feel. I’d say "Gateways" is primus inter pares. 

"Wow thanks! The only distinct feeling put into the writing was to make music that I would like to hear myself. My expectations after the release was not high but it has really spun off with over 1000 downloads worldwide which is amazing to us."

ST: Nowadays, I'm not so excited whenever a death metal or black metal album is released. Maybe, it all seems like it has been done before or may be I’ve heard too much but Azoic are odd. It’s really good to see bands like Azoic and a few others who are shaping an aesthetical and conceptual format of this genre. Even though I don’t like when every band which slightly experiments with disharmony is automatically compared to Deathspell Omega.

"I agree, the extreme music genre is a relatively young one and it grew with such rapid speed creativity vice until the last years of the 90's and the first years of a new age. In recent years you cannot name your band 'Morbid Death' or you'll be ridiculed, there is a vast sea of bands out there and it's hard to pick out the good ones unless they stand out."

ST: "Skywatchers" is a maelstrom of hybrid technical blackened riffs played at some of the most addictive relentless pace; "A Portal" is a bizarre form of experimental that progresses so supremely with dissonances and sick structures and it continues on with "Monasterium", which is mind blowing and it's not entirely predictable. Of course these majestic tracks are intelligently-crafted. Man, I want to know your overall viewpoint on extreme music!

"Extreme music as all music should be a portal for something not expressible by our language; Depression, melancholy, anger, and hate and all the other, never fully expressible by other means. The ones that fail to realize this and take on making music for some other causes, like the ol' fame and fortune thing won't relate to true music loving people."

ST: Explain the concept and theme behind the song "Wisdoms Prayer" which has a very dissonance and progressive structure which is bound to be compared to Mitochondrion and create spine-chilling atmospheres accompanied by prophetic lyrics. The lyrics tell a story of a man who is the leader as a solution of our future. Do you think our end is near? Are we facing doom soon?

"The concept behind that song is simply to practice reason, you don't have to look far in your nearest surrounding to find some fucked up things that should not, and don't need to exist. But I don't think the ‘end' is near, mankind is probably going to thrive for hundreds of thousands of years into the future practicing warfare and raping our surroundings."

ST: Are you a voracious reader?

"Yes just as you need to train your body, you need to train your mind and the only way to do that is to challenge what you feel is your own reality and concept of 'life'."

ST: The "Gateways" concept is lyrical interpretations turned into visual ideas with the whole concept intended to be dark and mysterious! The artwork represents elements of the lyrical content and the actual individual songs themselves all represented in some form in the final image! Tristan Barnes had the pleasure of creating the album cover for it. How did you guys find him as he’s a new brilliant metal artist from the abyss of Victoria?

"Actually he lived in Iceland for a few years and we met here. Seeing some of his work made it clear that he would be the right one for the job and he made the final adjustments in creating the albums concept. We could not be happier about what he brought into this project and he really took part in creating the final concept."

ST: Tell us the origin of Azoic.

"Azoic started as a one man project; the songs were created in late 2010 to 2011. Later the drummer from Atrum & Beneath offered his involvement in the project, and so the album was brought to life."

ST: Would you agree with me if I call you as “pretentious and pseudo-intellectual”? Because you are not ready to make public who you are, or are you trying to be like Deathspell Omega? Because very little is known about the members of Deathspell Omega, as the band does not have an official website and does not release information about their membership. 

"Ha ha, no, I hope we aren't 'pretentious or pseudo', man. For this album the idea was not to give out our names because they connect themselves to faces and once you've connected a face to a story you may get a 'distorted' idea of the whole concept behind that story, always picturing the faces and names. We do this automatically as it is the human nature. Taking away that human connection in my opinion enhances the whole experience, and yes, our names are easy to find just if people take some time to look by themselves."

ST: How do you see the future of Azoic and would you say that you have ideas in your mind for the next album already? 

"Gateways" is a self-released record and the debut has reached all over the globe. The plan is to play as many live gigs as possible, preferably all over the globe, and yes the writing of next album started when the writing of "Gateways" was done. There are some offers from labels being made but nothing has been decided yet."

ST: When I was listening to your band for the first time without knowing the origin I thought that Azoic was from France because it sounds reminded me some ominous acts from France. As well as France has been an amazing country for music especially for Black Metal. Is it important to you keeping the French sound?

"We don't really recognize it as 'the French sound', there are some similarities but bands all around the globe are scanning the obscure path of extreme genre mixing. But yes there are a lot of good bands coming from France, one of my personal favorites is Aosoth, you should check them out!

ST: Azoic are in the right direction but you still have a long way to go. Do you think black metal bands have become less important now from the days when you started your band Atrum? Do you think there has been a difference in the tastes of metal fans as well?

"Well the typical black metal bands singing about Satan and some goats are definitely not doing as great as they were 10 years ago. There is not much to be sought in that direction in my opinion anymore if you want to have a fresh sound. I think people are starting to see that darkness can be expressed through a broader variety of sounds and we are all about trying to expand that view."

ST: I have checked Chao and Svartidauði. Reykjavík music scene seems going to be pretty strong in coming ages. Some other bands to check out are Vanskopun, Abominor, and NYIÞ. And Carpe Noctem, they’re new music is very promising. How do you plan to fit in to the new generation wave?

"We are planning some concerts here in Iceland and there are talks about new members joining the band to make live performance possible. Our goal is to make the live experience the final piece in the concept and leave you rinsed in shreds."

ST: Since any besotted aficionados can take the technological advancement and start a band, sometimes it kills the true craft. Too many bands are doing everything perfectly on the click to the point where the entire album might as well be programmed. What are your thoughts on it?

"There has to be a human connection to the music, unless you can't relate to it as a human being. But as long as there is a true feeling behind the music it shouldn't matter, in the future music will be so fast and brutal only computers can listen to it."

ST: Let me conclude this interview here. Imhotep crews wish you all the best for Azoic and your future releases. Thanks.

"Thank you too and good luck with your project spread the terror!"

Contact: azoiccontact@gmail.com
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9evupWjS3AU

Monday, 16 April 2012

Acerbus (Ind) - “Chamber of Decrepitude” single.

The metal scene in India currently is in a new phase that shows promise. Many new bands come out every year. Acerbus are one of the promising bands from the capital of country which formed in January in 2012. They play old school death doom/funeral doom. The band’s début single titled as “Chamber of Decrepitude” has been released on their Bandcamp. It’s pretty good and its sounds immense and diseased. The track depicts a desolate journey which revolves around a decrepit man who is awaiting an impending death in a chamber which offers no hope in life. This Delhi based band has probably delivered one of the most promising “single” releases in the extreme doom sphere. Acerbus are a band that understands how to construct an aural delight in the mood of Asunder, diSEMBOWELMENT, Coffins, Mournful Congregation etc. The track Chamber of Decrepitude runs twelve minutes long. The drums and the guitars lend an epic feel to the song. The vocals alternate between a deep, gritty roar and vomiting shrieks. You can check out the track on their Bandcamp page as well. The future may certainly hold bright promises for them. They will be treating with a demo release in a few months.


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Pits of Eternal Torment by Morbidity

Demo 2012
Death metal is one of the most excellent canvases for portraying artistic excellence. Everybody among us likes and knows early Xysma, old Disgrace, Nihilist, Abhorrence (of Finland), etc. Bands like these truly define that death metal and extreme metal in general is nothing less than grotesque aural art. But there are a lot of equally good groups that need more attention and need to be discovered. Here I recommend you to check out a death metal act from Bangladesh. When it comes to Morbidity's music, it is not simply death metal.

They released a demo entitled as “Pits of Eternal Torment” via Imperium Productions in 2012. It was the first release of the band. In recent months, not many new death metal bands have impressed me as much as Morbidity.

The demo starts with "Morbidity". This is such a hellish tune! Searing cacophonous riffs filled with good structures and a filthy atmosphere. The lead lads, whose skill the band swerve by. The vocal is more powerful. "Pits of Eternal Torment" is definitely an interesting demo that manages to reconcile raw death metal of the late eighties or early nineties with a certain kind of sinister feeling which managing to be primitive but all the songs on the demo have their own touch. The feel, everything is absolutely not different in each song. Yes, this demo is putrid death metal perfection to my ears and Morbidity is definitely one of the most promising death metal acts around mainly because these fanatics keep the essence of old school purity.

The second track is "Let There Be Chaos". It’s raw and vibrancy. Morbid blackened riffs moving at a chaotic atmosphere. Let there be chaos and desecrate your Elysium. "Pits of Eternal Torment" is an assault of quick paced riffing and drumming, then the riffs developed by the distorted guitar and searing vocals. “Echoing screams of torture forever enslaved by the fire. Limbs imprisoned in merciless chains, violent slash on the throat”.

The four tracks on this mini album can completely obliterate the posers out there. The tape got everything you want to hear from a raw death metal. Brutal, fast riffing, filthy atmosphere, evil guitar tone, incredible powerful vocals. The tape is equal to total roughness. The sound of the band is pretty original because they don’t care for any trends. The production is also total original and not as boring as most of the other releases of today. The final track is a cover of Nunslaughter’s “Killed By The Cross” which recorded at a band’s live show. When listening to the demo, I did get what I was expecting. Tightly written and violently presented. These lads are definitely going to be something very special within the near future. Behold them.



  • Delifer - Vocals
  • Sethos - Bass
  • Israfel - Drums
  • Skorcher - Guitar
  • Azerate - Guitars

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Interview: Perdition Temple

USA's Perdition Temple formed in 2008, after the demise of mighty Angelcorpse. The band is just one album old (As for the album that was Gene did all guitars/bass/vocals and Terry Eleftheriou did the drum works for the record) but there is NO need for an introduction to a band like PERDITION TEMPLE as the members have been around for so long already. But something might be known, something not...who knows! So I decided to ask Gene Palubicki (also in Apocalypse Command, Blasphemic Cruelty) some questions about his whole career.

Ebby: Greetings Gene, What are the next steps in the career of Perdition Temple?

Gene: Right now I've got the line-up completed with new drummer Ronnie Parmer, bassist Gabriel Gozainy, and vocalist Collin Andrews. We've done one local show here in our city and will doing several more nearby as well as the upcoming MARTYRDOOM fest in New York in June. I've got some new songs developed but for the meantime it is time for getting these songs from the debut album out on the live front.

Ebby: Edict of the Antichrist Elect is Perdition Temple's first release, consisting of 8 tracks. Each song has interesting riffs! How long did the songwriting and recording take? The band formed in 2008 I presume. 

Gene: Some of the stuff on that album was written even prior to some of the songs that appeared on the final Angelcorpse album. One of them is being written for the most part almost 8 years ago. I wrote a lot of material that ended up just being shelved during the period of the original Angelcorpse break-up in 2000 up till the reformation that happened in 2006. The actual recording process was much more relaxed than on previous efforts being that I've now got a modest home studio set-up for recording my.

Guitars/Bass/Vocals/etc... It also shaves a lot of expenses when you're not watching a clock while trying to record your parts. 

Ebby: Who did the art work for the album Edict of the Antichrist Elect?

Gene: Longtime Death/Black metal artist Christopher Moyen.

Ebby: What led you to choose Edict of the Antichrist Elect as the title for the album? Is there any concept you depicted in this album? 

Gene: It was an appropriate title for a début for the 'new' band. Everything I've built over the years has basically created commands, or a sort of ‘law’ to how my things are done, and given my personal leanings the title really states my mission.

Ebby: Perdition Temple's first release was a full-length album. That is not usual in metal; mostly some blasphemous demos come before. Do you think that it’s because of your massive experience from Angelcorpse?

Gene: Yes. And given the volume of material I had on hand, I figured why just piece meal it out when I could just bulldoze ahead with the full album. I didn't feel compelled to need to make some 2 or 3 song teaser demo. I have enough confidence in what I do to just go for it right out of the gate. 

Ebby: Do you take inspiration from other bands or other forms of art? 

Gene: I have been amused by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche stuff as well as stuffs from De Sade, Devi, or even occultists like Blavatsky... All have had some degree of impact in having spelled out things that I feel and can relate to.

Ebby: Have you continued to write your lyrics in that same way as you did in Angelcorpse. Or have they changed? Would you like to express of your lyrical aspects on the album?

Gene: I never wrote any of the lyrics in Anelcorpse. At most I guided some of the subject matter and evolved many of the song-titles. Perdition Temple is my début for lyrics that fully represent where I am at and how I relate to certain subjects. But anyone who followed the course of subject matter with my previous band will find nothing has really changed much from the one band to this one... I have no compulsion to reinvent myself as what I've evolved to naturally is perfectly fine for me to continue with now.

Ebby: Who came up with the name Perdition Temple?

Gene: I did. Its meaning is understood as a gathering for the celebration of all Darkness, Ruin, and Abomination. 

Ebby: You are nearly two decades in the underground metal scene as a musician. How does it feel like to look back on your career? What impact do these experiences have on you as a person?

Gene: For more than half of my life now I have been somehow involved with all of this. It is for the most part the place where I find things most sensible to me. When I am at work at my job or going about other mundane "life" affairs I'm often regarded as disconnected or distracted. Which is for the most part accurate as I feel no connection to “living” as a part of anyone’s community? All the humdrum of the "normal" or "regular" world has no inspiration for me at all. The only thing that gives me any kick at all is what I am able to create from my own version of "reality". 

Ebby: How has Angelcorpse shaped or changed your personality?

Gene: I guess time has shown that this music, either in my past with ANGELCORPSE or now with PERDITION TEMPLE, or others like BLASPHEMIC CRUELTY, this is what I was intended to do. There is no other actual passion I have in life other than being creative through this form. Ask me again in 20 years if I am still around, I am sure I'll repeat this same statement.

Ebby: Are you still in contact with your old drum mates Tony Laueano and John Longstreth?

Gene: I catch up with both from time to time.

Ebby: Terry's drum works on the record is very appreciable, he certainly proves himself a talented drummer. He hits his drums fucking relentlessly, with insanely fast footwork that continues throughout the entire album.

Gene: He has a perfect choice for working on those songs and on the record. He completely understood ALL of what/where I wanted the album to go. I am certain we will do work together in the future, likely for whatever I do next for my APOCALYPSE COMMAND works. Since terry is not able to (currently) enter the USA, I've had to bring in new drummer Ronnie Parmer who is local to my area and is doing amazing work with me now on learning and recreating the album songs and has some great input for future stuff. So I guess in these last years I've been quite lucky with drummers. As opposed to many problems we had in ANGELCORPSE during it's last days...

Ebby: Edict of the Antichrist Elect was released via Osmose Production. You have a good relationship with them since Hammer of Gods (1996).

Gene: Aside from the mixing of the album which was done in a studio, all my guitars/vocals/bass were recorded on my home studio stuff, all of which is very modest gear, but quite suitable for my needs. Best part is not having someone trying to "produce" or give an outside input on what is being attempted. Osmose has always been an ally. It is possible that PERDITION TEMPLE may continue with them for the future. We'll see what happens. 

Ebby: In the studio, is it just yourself and Terry? I mean any guest musicians?

Gene: No guests on the album.

Ebby: I heard that you are working with some new members for doing live performance.

Gene: Perhaps no extended length tours since in these times we're all tied up with jobs and other responsibilities, blah blah but there will certainly be a steady stream of select shows on a consistent basis.
Ebby: Gene, you were also doing a record label called as Evil Vengeance Records. Angelcorspe's main material was released on Osmose, the singles, EP's, and live albums were released on yours Evil Vengeance Records. Is it still around?

Gene: The label thing ended around 2002. All the ANGELCORPSE ep's we essentially just official 'exclusive' band releases. All that stuff ended up on the compilation album put out by OSMOSE called "Iron, Blood AND Blasphemy" 

Ebby: Certain subjects seem to be ageless in metal. Philosophy, Apocalypse, Anti Christianity, Warfare, and Satanism are just some of them. Deicide's début album Deicide essentially took Satanism to a whole new extreme in early 90's. This was not the cheesy kind of Satanism we find in Venom or Bathory. Satanic thoughts spread through the metal music. It will last as long as metal exist.

Gene: Strong ideals are always going to find a perfect fit with strong art. It will be the same 20-50 years from now and beyond.

Ebby: We can go back in time to late 90's to when The Inexorable came out as it’s one of my most favourite albums. Edict of the Antichrist Elect has a clear The Inexorable influence; this can be heard especially from most of the riffs. I know the musical styling of Angelcorpse continue on in the form of Perdition Temple. Is this something that you especially wanted to incorporate in your compositions?

Gene: From the musical side, for me there is no separation from what I was doing in ANGELCORPSE to what I am doing in PERDITION TEMPLE. There was actually criticism about PERDITION TEMPLE that it sounded so close to the ANGELCORPSE sound. Ha, that was the point! Because though, since there were enough changes to the sound, such as the vocals and lyrics coming from a different source, it was appropriate for a name change, so I came up with the new name that best represented the place where the music now.

Ebby: I'd like to talk about your past. I have heard that while on tour with Immortal, Satyricon, and Krisiun, in support of The Inexorable, Angelcorpse had an accident in your tour van, in which Pete was injured! Can you expound on that? On the same tour, Helmkamp's girlfriend was stabbed, and he decided to leave the band and rest of you guys continued for a while but decided to split up... 

Gene: We all took some damage in the van wreck. And yes there was also the stabbing incident. We finished a few shows of that tour without Pete... and then a few weeks after the tour he decided to leave the band.

Ebby: But in 2007, the band reformed and recorded a new album, Of Lucifer and Lighting. Your first after an eight year split, offered the listeners the same ferocity that Angelcorpse's first three releases did, as well as something a little more but Pete said of the reunion."It just seems like the planets realigned. It's not like we didn't get along or that there were any bridges to mend". 

Gene: It all seemed to be a point in time that the idea was good. Pete had lyrics and I had tons of song materials.... timing seemed well. So we did the album, and also had some great tours/shows to go along with it. But I guess for both he and I our sights for the future had already begun to drift to some different places which resulted in the permanent ending of the band.

Ebby: Talking of Pete. His music is uncompromising and chaotic. A total fucking onslaught. It is a credit to him. He has always tried to do his own thing from the beginning of Order from Chaos. But I can say that Pete is an ominous musician because most of his projects are short-lived! What do you have to say about Pete Helmkamp personally?

Gene: I can say that Pete will decide on some radical direction changes at almost a moment’s notice, and in some of the situations it has in turn caused abrupt endings to otherwise promising projects. That aside, the works produced are always of a high quality standard.

Ebby: Perdition Temple confirmed to play at Martyrdoom Festival 2012 which might be the best underground extreme metal festival in USA. The fest features many other amazing bands such as Encoffination, Grave Miasma, Cruciamentum, Dead Congragation and mighty Evoken, etc.

Gene: It will be an amazing time playing with many of these contemporary juggernauts of hardline death/black metal...It'll be fantastic to contribute to blowing the whole place apart!