Incognosci – A Biography Of Madness

A Biography Of Madness Cover Art

Incognosci – A Biography Of Madness
Extreme Sound Records
Release Date: 22/10/2020
Running Time: 27:04
Review by Victor Augusto
8.5/10

Incognosci have finally released their debut album and maybe you are thinking that in front of us is a raw album made by people without experience. Sometimes it can happen with young bands releasing their first material, but I must tell you a few details that you probably don’t know about this Brazilian group. It is not easy to have a Heavy Metal band in my country (as you already know from me writing about it hundreds of times) and it is even worse if you play extreme Metal. In this case, the members have taken more than a decade to release this debut after line-up changes and all the struggles that being in a band demand. Of course, they are extremely active in their local scene along with other bands, like Gutted Souls, for example. However, if you look at it from a commercial or business point of view, it is horrible for a band to spend so much time without a release, but if you take the time to listen to “A Biography Of Madness”, you will understand how it was actually good for Incognosci!

Firstly, they are very experienced musicians as a consequence of all the years working together and with other bands. What every member does here is almost as if they are aliens from a distant and evolved civilization, playing on our humble planet. They are insane on their instruments. I could swear that I was listening to a band with more than three albums released and that survive by travelling around the world on long tours. This is obviously not the case with Incognosci, but what they have achieved as musicians is astonishing and they have delivered an incredibly mature work. There is a good balance between being extreme, but not sounding exacerbated or massive.

Now, let’s talk about the music itself. “A Biography Of Madness” is extreme Death Metal with Gore elements. It combines the aggressiveness and speed of Cannibal Corpse with elements of Obituary or Deicide from the Tampa Death Metal scene of the 90’s, mostly in terms of arrangements. There is also a much-diluted Djent feel which brings a modern flavour. The musical highlight are the complex variations they have created inside each song. It is insane how they vary the sonority many times with tremendous speed.

Having Jonathas “Jon” Pereira as lone guitarist sets him free to explore interesting techniques with his guitar, but it could also be because he has a killer bassist alongside him. Marcos Medeiros is highly creative with his bass and all the independent bass lines he has written are astonishing. Sometimes, it is like hearing hellish funk rearranged into Extreme Death Metal, as you can hear on the intro to ‘Perfect Specimen’. ‘Tales Of Insanity’ also has amazing bass work and Marcos fills the rhythm section during Jonathas solo, without worry. You will not notice that empty feeling, bands with one guitarist, sometimes have during solos!

Iron has a powerful, guttural voice and he has explored different vocal lines. This is the first time I have heard him doing ‘Pig noises’. He has departed from the usual style of Death Metal singers in one small detail. I can understand many things that he sings, and it shows his great ability on vocals that are noisy, but clean at the same time. Maybe, it is similar to the David Vincent (Morbid Angel) way of singing. Finally, the drum work that Braulio Drumond has put together for the album is the most impressive thing here, in my opinion. Many drummers can play faster than the speed of light, but to play fast with many tangled parts…well, few people can do that. He also hits his drum kit HARD and the music never sounds repetitive thanks to him. The opening song ‘Aftermath’ is a good example of what I am talking about!

The experience of the individuals has made “A Biography Of Madness” a terrific work. The album is short, the production is organic, the arrangements are very well thought out and the complexity of the compositions makes this an easy album to digest. It is a blend of the good and gold Old-School Death Metal, but with new elements. There is not a single song that sounds boring. All of them have received good attention and they are very professionally written. As a result of all these positive aspects this is an album that you won’t get tired of after 2 or 3 tracks, which can sometimes happen.

“A Biography Of Madness” is an amazing debut, I promise you.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Aftermath
02. Awaken The Desperate
03. Perfect Specimen
04. Traumatize The Masses
05. Eleven Years
06. Tales Of Insanity
07. Final Descent Into Madness
08. Trapped In Spontaneous Disintegration

LINE-UP:
Iron – Vocals
Jonathas “Jon” Pereira – Guitar
Marcos Medeiros – Bass
Braulio Drumond – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with OPHION

Ophion Logo

EMQ’s with OPHION

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Dominican Republic based Extreme Metal band, Ophion. Huge thanks to, Focalor and Monarch, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

We are Focalor and Monarch of the band Ophion and we play extreme metal, or, as some would prefer to say, Blackened Death Metal. The band was founded sometime in 2017 with the intention of creating music centered around a series of concepts ancillary and very generally summed up by the name of the band.

How did you come up with your band name?

Focalor: The name originates from a treatise entitled Ophiolatreia on the universality and worship of the serpent, as well as another work, now lost, but mentioned therein, by Pherecydes Tyrus named Theology of Ophion.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

Focalor: We hail from the Dominican Republic, even though Monarch is currently based in Spain.

The metal scene in the Dominican Republic can be understood as an ebbing and flowing of sorts, with some periods of activity driven by particular bands and supporters, who carry the scene for some time, and then retreat into inactivity, giving way to other small waves of bands and supporters, albeit with the occasional ‘survivors’. It should be remarked that extreme metal, I.e., death and black, have proven to be the most enduring.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Focalor: Ophion’s debut album “Antediluvian” was released a short while ago, on 2nd September. More recently, we’ve published a drum cam for ‘Panophion’, as well as a live session of sorts for ‘Kalassa’. We are currently working on a concept video for the track Atlantean Gates.

‘Kalassa’ (Lyric Video)

‘Panophion’ (Drum Cam Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Focalor: Dissection, Deathspell Omega, Behemoth

Monarch: As far as vocal style and arrangements, I’d say Nagash from Troll, Thebon ex-Keep of Kalessin, Satyr from Satyricon and Attila from Mayhem. However, as for focus on lyrical content, doubtless, Dani Filth.

What first got you into music?

Focalor: When I was about five, I was completely seized by guitars at music shops, after having discovered, of course, bands such as Metallica, and their “Black” Album and Black Sabbath’s “Heaven And Hell”, which I had received as a gift from my mother. Later on, at about 9, I came to discover other bands like In Flames and At the Gates – I remember being filled with a desire to dominate my instrument more fully, you know; and, when I reached my 13th year, I put together my first band: Soul of Death.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Focalor: Ihsahn (Emperor)

Monarch: Keep of Kalessin

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Focalor: Wacken Open Air. I really like how so many subgenres are brought together in one place,  the audience’s incredible energy and scenography, lights, sounds, the whole deal.

Monarch: Beyond the Gates. There’s something about Norway.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Focalor: Beer!

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Focalor: Thank you for supporting us and long life to metal!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Focalor: Jon Nödtveidt de Dissection

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Focalor: We both appreciate the creative and recording processes. But not being able to fully live off it is quite unfortunate.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Focalor: More opportunities for bands to make the art economically profitable.

Monarch: No room for weakness in extreme metal. Go listen to it.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Focalor: Dissection – “Storm Of The Light’s Bane”

Monarch: Covenant – In Times Before the Light

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Focalor: Digital possession can never replace the value of physical ownership. Vinyl or CD’s.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Focalor: Destrucción Masiva 2017

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Focalor: Sound engineer, photography, and video production for metal bands

Monarch: Music should not impede one’s other industries.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Focalor: My band brethren.

What’s next for the band?

Focalor: Finish music video for ‘Atlantean Gates’ and continue working on new music for the next album.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

www.ophion-official.bandcamp.com
www.open.spotify.com/album/3dM33JvJLstCIgcxfg1O2e
www.youtube.com/channel/UCrBJQKz3pQh53ungXTWw7YA
www.facebook.com/temple.of.ophion

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Focalor: A Cuiskit? Nay, not all problems can be solved by the mixing of parts…

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

First of all, we have to thank for the support in the Europe scene, waiting this way also to get in touch deeper in other countries, also letting all you know we are currently working on our new material, let’s keep in touch and long live to metal.

Ophion Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Eximperitus – Šahrartu

Eximperituserqethhzebibšiptugakkathšulweliarzaxułum – Šahrartu
Willowtip Records
Release date: 29/01/2021
Running Time: 38:34
Review by Dark Juan
8/10

Alright, muckers? It is January, it’s pissing it down outside and I am being forced to dispense cuddles to the warhound that goes by the name of Sir Zeusington-Zeus VC, KCVG, MM, Croix de Guerre, DFM and Bar because he’s feeling sorry for himself. Hence, I am typing this with one hand so it’s taking a while. Now I have been invaded by the rest of the pack – the Dread Lord Sir Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover is trying to attack my feet whilst Hodgson Biological-Warfare is insisting it is time for his tea, three hours too early. The travails! The travails I go through to bring you high quality record reviews, my dear, beautiful readership! (Insert dramatic collapse upon my chaise longue with a hand to my fevered brow here.)

However, January has brought me some music to listen to, and as you all know I am a child of extremity in both styles of music and concept. The bar has been set extremely loftily indeed for high concept extreme metal of late, with Manchester’s The Machinist and Canada’s Fractal Generator releasing genre smashing works of absolute genius – have a root on Ever-Metal’s review section and you’ll find me unleashing disturbing torrents of enthusiasm about them. However, we are not here for me to tell you how great they are in this instalment of manic frothing about metal. We are here to discuss something rather more exotic.

Eximperituserqethhzebibšiptugakkathšulweliarzaxułum (I shit you not and I’ll only be spelling that fucker once, everyone else shortens it to Eximperitus, but I am an annoying bastard and I have decided the band for the rest of this review shall be known as Dave) are from Eastern climes, more specifically Minsk in Belarus, which, let us be fair, is not a hotbed of metal talent normally. ‘Šahrartu’ is Dave’s second album and a companion piece to their debut, nattily entitled “Prajecyrujučy Sinhuliarnaje Wypramieńwańnie Daktryny Absaliutnaha J Usiopahłynaĺnaha Zła Skroź Šaścihrannuju Pryzmu Sîn-Ahhī-Erība Na Hipierpawierchniu Zadyjakaĺnaha Kaŭčęha Zasnawaĺnikaŭ Kosmatęchničnaha Ordęna Palieakantakta, Najsta” which is apparently written in a transliterated form of archaic Belorussian. Whereas that worthy release (which I am NEVER typing again) concerned itself with life and creation, “Šahrartu” (translated by the joy of Google Translate as something resembling Devastation) is a companion piece more interested in the darker side of life and more specifically the end of it. Also, the lyrical component of “Šahrartu” follows a fairly unique path, being composed to a specific form and having only eleven lines to each song and I am probably not having the full experience of the album as Dave themselves say that there are (and I’m quoting them here) “In comparison with previous releases, the lyrics of ‘Šahrartu’ seem drained. There is no former plethora of terms, names, allegories, epithets and metaphors. But despite the apparent simplicity and accessibility, this is an extremely conceptual work. The design of [the] physical format contains a lot of connecting links, references and unique elements, without which a complete understanding of the release is impossible. The spells on the album noticed by a watchful listener serve the focus of Black Logos within microcosm. They are composed in so called artlang, a constructed language for a work of art.”

Which for this Satanic simpleton means that Dave are extremely interesting. The music they play (there appears to be three members in the limited photos of Dave that I can find and ABSOLUTELY no suggestion of their names anywhere on the interwebs) is technical death metal with a large and puissant esoteric component. The production of the record is somewhat…unusual. The drums are muffled and lack punch, yet the cymbals are pin sharp. The bass is satisfyingly huge (fnarr, fnarr) yet the guitarist’s pedal box appears to be a Boss MT-2 and a compressor and that’s it apart from the echo and chorus. However, Dave 1 (I have ascribed numerical values to the members because I have no other way of telling you who’s doing what) is a fine player and his riffs run from the awesome to the sublime. Dave 2 (bass) is also a worthy musician, twatting the cables that pass for strings on his instrument with speed, precision and considerable aplomb. Dave 3 (drums) appears to be an amphetamine fuelled madman – on opener and instrumental (emphasis on the mental) ‘Šaqummatu’ he goes from slow, gentle tinking on cymbals over the sound of arctic winds through to what can only be described as a rampant, speed fuelled onslaught on his kit as the guitar builds up from quiet to fucking loud. So, all three Dave’s in Dave are very good musicians. Thankfully, they can write some absolutely brutal music as well as being skilled players. They have mastered a rare thing with death metal – they have managed to light and dark work. The sheer sonic mayhem of death metal is occasionally mastered and it flows organically into beautiful, quieter passages that still drip with venom. VocalDave (or possibly Dave 4 – fuck knows and trust me I have scoured the internet for hours trying to find out for you all) is a mighty DM vocalist – his throat has been constructed from RSJs and hydrochloric acid and his is a bowel shaking rumble. Clearly, he is not human.

I can’t pick out standout tracks because this is an, “Antique tragedy in six acts, each of which is a chapter dedicated to a certain stage in the existence of being” and therefore has to be taken as a complete body of work in six movements. Using that as a basis for my opinion, I have to say this is one of the most expansive and experimental esoteric records I have heard in a long while and I am definitely going to be buying a physical copy so I can get the full experience of Dave. Plus, I am a denizen of the underground and for our kind of music Eastern frontiers are about as underground as you can get at the moment.

Is it worth your pennies/dollars/kopecks then? Oh hell yes, as long as you can ignore the slightly dodgy production and are able to grasp that song titles are in a variety of ancient languages, you’ll love it. I did.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Запатэнтаваная сістэма ацэнкі брызг крыві ў цёмным коле) makes its first appearance of 2021 in a spangly, ABBA inspired new jumpsuit and awards Dave (Eximperituserqethhzebibšiptugakkathšulweliarzaxułum) a mighty 8/10. Marks off for shocking guitar sound and dodgy production. Otherwise, it’s a great record.

TRACKLISTING:
(Thought you might appreciate the translations and the languages)
01. Šaqummatu (Sumerian – Silence)
02. Utpāda (Sanskrit – Genesis)
03. Tahâdu (Assyrian – Becoming/Prosperity)
04. Anhûtu (Akkadian – Dilapidation)
05. Inqirad (Arabic – Decay)
06. Riqûtu (Akkadian – Absence)

LINE-UP:
Dave 1 (GuitarDave )- Guitars
Dave 2 (BassDave) – Bass
Dave 3 (DrumDave) – Drums
And possibly a Dave 4 (VocalDave) doing vocals.

It’s not me not doing due diligence. I have spent rather a long time researching this Belarusian band and it is nigh on impossible to find anything out about them as people. Hence, they are all called Dave, as every band in the western hemisphere has had a Dave in it at some point.

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

A Nameless Dread – The First Nothing

A Nameless Dread – The First Nothing
Self-Released
Release Date: 31/10/2020
Running Time: 27:36
Review by Dark Juan
8/10

My Legions! Fear not for your exile for the good of the realm shall soon be over! Then you can go back outside and continue your work of subverting the word of the False God while you are rampaging around Heron Foods and Iceland and Bargain Booze (or CK’s if you’re in Wales) buying anything that catches your fancy for Yule, and checking out the arse of that attractive checkout attendant on the way past after making such a dent in your plastic, you’ll be paying for it until the Rapture. It just so happens I might have the soundtrack for the madness of Yuletide (I refuse to use the name of the False Lord with regard to this time of year. I have no time for imported Middle Eastern death cults. Transubstantiation, indeed… Our Lord Belial would be mocked unmercifully if His minions wandered around claiming eating a bit of dry bread and supping some wine turns into a bit of prime evil rump steak and Holy vampirism. I mean, just fuck off) in the form of this South African extreme metal band named A Nameless Dread. See what I did there?

Yes, Africa. Not a continent that is YET currently renowned for heavy metal music. However, we at Ever Metal are committed to sharing with you metal from across the globe and especially from underrepresented nations. There will be more from Africa, I can promise you, because from what I can judge from AND (I’m not writing it a million times so sod off) there is a rich and untapped vein of talent in that there continent. Anyway, A Nameless Dread are from Johannesburg and quote that they have influences from cosmic horror to gore. These are interests that Dark Juan can only encourage.

So, yeah, this is my first foray into the world of African metal and I’m excited by it, so far. AND play a form of extreme metal that has leanings towards the earlier death metal end of the spectrum with added At The Gates and Deicide. Vocalist (to say singer would not be strictly accurate considering what he does with his voice) Rhett Freeman unleashes the kind of vocal apocalypse that would delight any fan of early death metal, being as he appears to be able to cover a range from vomiting up his own anal tract to screaming like there’s sharp stuff being jabbed into his eyes. He has a fine voice for this style of music. The guitar work of Damian Buys is also punchy and excellent, and to his eternal credit, he does not just rely on mid paced chugging. There’s some interesting and unusual discordant riffing in places that lifts AND above the usual pile. The songs are all fresh and original and all sound different to each other (Six Feet Under’s last record was a shocker for the songs sounding the same). The bass work is also satisfyingly huge and the drums complex and engaging. However, the production (I know I bang on about production a lot but it’s important for your listening pleasure) is woolly as fuck, man. The guitar work sits far too far forward, the vocals also and the bass sound, although loud as fuck and guaranteed to shake all your organs loose, overpowers the drumming to the point all you can hear is crash cymbal, a bass drum that sounds like it is being played by a wet and limp herring rather than a pedal and an absolutely inaudible snare drum. This is a shame because there are some lovely passages, especially the solo on the opening salvo, entitled ‘The Great Unclean’, which opens with some gentle guitar work, very briefly before the band get bored and instead hit you like a Rooivalk attack helicopter salvoing rockets at your sorry and soon to be violently exploded arse. A Nameless Dread then up the ante a bit on second song ‘Enter Chaos’ with a break that is almost fucking jazzy, whilst still being heavy enough to grind your balls to fluid. Rhett shows his versatility here as well, ranging from subterranean to stratospheric on the vocal front. ‘When God Blinks’ has some lovely African influenced soloing, too.

So, it’s fair to say I’m a bit of a fan of A Nameless Dread then. For my first foray into African metal, this is a fucking good record. The rest of Africa has some work to do to maintain this standard. While it’s not the most inventive record, AND have taken extreme metal (a genre that frequently disappears up its own arse in a welter of identikit riffs and roars) and kept it varied and interesting. The sub-28 minute running time for seven songs also shows the intent of the band to keep it short, punchy and meaningful. And while the production could be charitably described as a bit rough, it does manage to give the band and the songs a raw, dangerous quality that is missing from more polished releases. This album oozes sustained threat and implied violence and that can only be a good thing, boys and girls and everybody of all other genders. You could do a lot worse than buy this record as it is head and shoulders over the recent releases of some of the more established bands in the world (Six Feet Under, I am looking at YOU!)

I like it. I want more, thank you please.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Die gepatenteerde Dark Juan – bloedspatgraderingstelsel – Google Translate is a wonderful thing because I shamefully know ZERO Afrikaans) awards a worthy 8/10 for a good, but flawed record that shows considerable promise for the future. Heavy as a pair of lead underpants.

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Great Unclean
02. Enter Chaos
03. Rot With Me
04. When God Blinks
05. Bleached Bone
06. The Resurrectionist

07. Cold Black

LINE-UP:
Rhett (I keep wanting to put Butler, but I am resisting!) Freeman – Vocals
Desmond Cook – Drums
Damian Buys – Guitar
Tim Botes – Bass

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Anaal Nathrakh – Endarkenment

Anaal Nathrakh – Endarkenment
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 02/10/20
Running Time: 41:04
Review by Steven Hooke
9/10

There may not be a band that completely and totally summarises the state of planet Earth in 2020 quite like Brummie extreme metal titans Anaal Nathrakh. There’s been plenty of punk albums this year that rag on US and UK politics, social commentaries and global injustices, and there exists a near-limitless supply of blood-curdling grindcore, black metal, death metal, etc. albums to really amplify the feelings of internal frustration, Mick Kenney and Dave Hunt though bring together both sides of the turgid, decaying coin and leave you constantly coming back for more.

And it’s been pretty much the case since their inception over 20 years ago. Although Anaal Nathrakh have offered a rare glimpse into their lyrics for the latest album, they have traditionally remained reserved and protective of them, with tr00 necro experts piecing together unofficial lyric sheets, depicting the inner-monologue of Hunt’s mind as he lambasts religion, modern society and political leaders all in the name of a false freedom. The title track – which both opens the album and was used as the lead single prior to the album’s release – shows no shred of backing down, admonishing people for their callous mindset of “I side with whomever gives me a better reward” instead of looking at the bigger picture of how any particular declaration, political or otherwise, helps a broader audience.

It’s a real, organic response to the world. Hunt even states “personally, I feel more cynical, more bitter, with a greater sense that the world is fucked, and is continually re-fucked by people who have no idea what they are doing.” It’s all stuff that’s happening today too, ‘Punish Them’ acts as a short but scathing commentary to the situation involving a British woman in Malaysia being sentenced to death for allegedly smuggling drugs into the country (reportedly against her will). As barbaric as it seems to condemn someone to death for a crime even in 2020, the infamous comment sections of newspaper pages showing people to have no compassion or empathy when dealing with a person’s life. ‘Singularity’ deals with the human race’s innate ability to destroy itself, and that we’re losing our own identities to artificial intelligence, social media culture, all the while allowing a small room full of people dictate the behaviour of entire countries just to please a small fraction.

As previously stated, it’s not just lyrically where A.N. excel at bringing forth clouds of despondency; always expanding the realms and limitations of black metal to create images of horror in their sound, “Endarkenment” continues the trend of “let’s make something really bastard heavy, add a melodic bit that people can sing along to, but sing in a King Diamond-falsetto and sound like a ravenous harpy”.

Again, the title track is an early example of this as well as a prime example of Mick Kenney’s ability to tell a story through music and structure. Pitched as the complete antithesis of ‘enlightenment’, the high-pitched shrill vocal echoes Hunt’s clean delivery of “endarkenment”, the encroaching evil in an already chaotic and unstable environment. ‘The Age of Starlight Ends’ is another great example of this, with the pitch of the chord progressions steadily increasing, only to drop on the bellow of the chorus.

The deeper into the album you go, the more experiences you are sure to find. ‘Thus, Always, To Tyrants’ is a song that sounds like it’s collapsing in on itself, with some exceptional guitar work from Kenney for good measure, ‘Libidinous (A Pig With Cocks In Its Eyes)’ and ‘Create Art, Though The World May Perish’ sound plucked from an alternative universe where Niklas Kvarforth pursued a career in power metal and ‘Beyond Words’ is dissonant noise that make Author & Punisher blush.

“Endarkenment” is a triumphant onslaught of aggression. An ever-elaborate world of discordance and melody, knee-jerk reactions and patience, fear and, well, more fear. But if nothing else, it is a testament to a band 20+ years and 11 albums in that can remain concise and relevant to the world around them, but to also maintain such a profound level of quality in their delivery.

Anaal. Fucking. Nathrakh.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Endarkenment
02. Thus, Always, To Tyrants
03. The Age Of Starlight Ends
04. Libidinous (A Pig With Cocks In Its Eyes)
05. Beyond Words
06. Feeding The Death Machine
07. Create Art, Though The World May Perish
08. Singularity
09. Punish Them
10. Requiem

LINE-UP:
V.I.T.R.I.O.L. – Vocals
Mick Kenney – All instruments

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Steven Hooke and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with DEATH PLAGUE

EMQ’s with DEATH PLAGUE

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Queensland, Australian based Extreme Black/Death Metal band, Death Plague. Huge thanks to vocalist, Dam Kel for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Dam Kel, I’m the vocalist of extreme metal band Death Plague, from the Sunshine coast of Australia. The band formed in 2017 and we’re a 5-piece act. In these early years we have already done a demo/EP called “Smear Your Blood”, we have a new album coming out this year, and we have played many shows and mini fests , as well as organising and running our own shows and mini fest.

How did you come up with your band name?

At the time we wrote our first lot of songs, we felt plagued by our own creation. And for myself personally, the band had become my reason to die, so if this is the last project I do then I’m taking it to the end. Death Plague is who we are, it’s our way of life and we are in it until the end.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We are Australian based band and Brisbane is the main city near us. The scene is ok but can be fairly hard to judge as to how gigs will plan out. There is a solid following, but with the way the restrictions are with licenced venues it makes it very hard to get people motivated to come out and make a night of it.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

So, the last release we did, the ‘Parasitic Homicide’ music video, was a while ago, however, stay tuned for our upcoming tracks. It’s heavier then before and really showcases us as a full-on machine.

Who have been your greatest influences?

My greatest influences have been Wednesday 13 (not just the music but the amount of work he puts in, the guys a freak) Satyricon, Soulfly, Psyclon Nine, basically anything that’s creative and catchy.

What first got you into music?

Oh man, just the feeling of being able to express yourself on that kind of a platform! It’s absolutely awesome being able to make a connection with people live or even through recording.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Locally (Australia underground wise) I’m currently collaborating with members of both Awful Noise and Terra Mortem. I think international it’s a massive playing field and hopefully we can collaborate with many different bands out there.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Definitely would have to say Wacken. I know, reach for the sky’s, but that place is just a freak of the best talent the world has to offer in metal, it’s my Graceland.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

A hug (laugh) ok back story… At a show, some member of the crowd went to knuckles me, I did and said into the mic “is that how humans connect?” then another member from down the back ran up and said “no this is how we connect!” and gave me a hug. Very weird moment but hey, if that’s not metal…. I don’t know what is!!

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Album is almost finished, not too much longer! We will be seeing you all very soon and the party will be massive!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

I don’t think I’d bring one back to be honest… they would be cranky, pissed off and smell really fucking bad. I think we should let their legacy live on. They were who they were and that’s what makes them special in almost every way.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love being creative and connecting with people and crowds. I don’t think I hate anything… oh… I stand corrected, I hate having to wait for our own stuff to be ready to showcase. I just wanna get it out there and have some fun.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Downloads. All the way, they should not be allowed. Yes, it’s convenience but it’s worth nothing to the eyes on the computer screen. The physical copy always has cool designs and a booklet and is just… so much more worth it. Can’t sign a computer screen for someone. Think about it…

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Soulfly “Dark Ages”. So many great tracks, never gets boring.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Yea… I’d say CDs, unless it’s great vinyl. Cassette tape was never really a great idea. I think it was good for the time but yet it was never timeless.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

By far it would be an interstate show in a place called Newcastle! Best crowd, shot them beers (like a whole fucking keg), it was incredible just how much love we got from that place.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I think Marketing. I’m creative and always trying to do some weird stuff with posters and designs and how to reach people. It’s all really fun to me.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

My band members, they are the best mates and the strongest team I’ve ever had in my life.

What’s next for the band?

Studio time, upcoming shows, and focusing on where we go next and how we achieve that. It’s always good to have goals and accomplish them.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

www.facebook.com/pg/deathplagueww

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

They are clearly biscuits, although, maybe we are wrong about that as well. Maybe the are not either cake or biscuits, one of those questions that will keep you up at night that’s for sure.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Stay tuned, some awesome stuff coming, support your local scene and help the bands make your life a little bit less sucky It’s ok to escape and shut off the world while listening to music. Stay safe.

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQs with BLOOD OF ANGELS

EMQs with BLOOD OF ANGELS

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Tampa, Florida based Extreme Metal band, Blood of Angels. Huge thanks to guitarist, Aaron Robinson, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Aaron Robinson, I am the guitarist for Blood of Angels. I formed the band in October of 2015. Our debut EP, entitled “Rise of the Fallen Gods”, did well and won a few awards.

How did you come up with your band name?

Blood of Angels was a name that I had in mind for a couple of years before I formed the band. The name really suits us. As far as a business sense, it’s a name that works with metal music that does not pigeonhole us into a single sub-genre. It is easy to remember. From a personal side, we are a band that does not subscribe to any form of organized religion. Since most religions have this mythological idea of angels, spilling of their blood is a metaphorical statement to abandon organized faiths.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We are from Tampa, Florida USA. Our Tampa metal scene is resurging. You can see the building blocks being put back into place. We have a great studio in town that loves punk and metal music. The venues that started in the 80’s, that are still around, are getting great attendance for the scene. It is fantastic to see the Tampa metal scene make a comeback.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

We released our debut EP “Rise of the Fallen Gods” in 2017. We’ve recently completed our new album “Failure of Faith.” We hope to have a release date soon.

Who have been your greatest influences?

We are influenced by Slayer, Cradle of Filth, System of a Down, and Dark Tranquillity.

What first got you into music?

My dad was a fan of the early metal bands. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Blue Oyster Cult, among others. Listening to heavy rock was something we bonded on. When I was ten my dad picked up the Ozzy Osbourne “Randy Rhodes Tribute Album.” I became obsessed with that album. I just fell in love with Randy’s guitar playing. I wanted to be able to do it as well.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

They are really is not one musician that I would love to collaborate over any other. I am always open to create new songs with different artists. Recently we did a collaboration with hip-hop artist Amiss Omega. We did a killer track with hip-hop blended with black metal influenced riffs and drums.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Wacken Festival for sure. That is the grand-daddy of all metal festivals!

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Nothing weird, I got some cool friendship bracelets. Also, a Viking style drinking horn.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

We cannot wait to get on the road and see everyone. Hopefully, our tour with Laang in August will be able to go on.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

That is a tough question. Besides Randy Rhodes, probably Jim Morrison. He really understood philosophy and I am sure the conversations we would have would be transformative. I would be interested in what he would say about the current situation.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love connecting with people who love music as much as we do. I do not like having to buy-on to tours and festivals.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

As I stated in my last answer. I do not like having to buy-on to tours and festivals. I do not see the reason behind charging bands $2,500 to play a festival.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Dark Tranquillity – “Where Death Is Most Alive.”

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Since I am a 90’s kid, I really love the polished sound of CD’s.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

The Tampa Death Fest last October. It had an awesome and very receptive crowd. We had a great show.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I would have pursued a career in academia. I would have done research and published books on ancient societies.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Kerry King, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Daniel Tosh, Steve Harris, and Johnny Depp.  It would be one eclectic dinner party.

What’s next for the band?

To release our new album “Failure of Faith” and tour as much as possible.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

www.bloodofangels.net
www.facebook.com/bloodofangels1
www.twitter.com/bloodofangels1
www.instagram.com/bloodofangels
www.youtube.com/bloodofangels
www.numberonemusic.com/bloodofangels
www.reverbnation.com/bloodofangels1

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Both, it’s hard to decide!

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you for the opportunity to connect with your audience. We hope to see everyone as soon as Covid-19 passes.

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder

Interview with Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder
By Dark Juan

Good afternoon, you beautiful bunch of misfits and miscreants! I trust you have been following the gospel of Dark Juan and have given your livers a workout worthy of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime? Have you been defiling with wanton and base lusts the bodies of those closest to you as you have been exiled for the good of the realm? If not, I WANT DETAILED REPORTS OF WHY NOT ON MY DESK THIS AFTERNOON! If there was ever a time for peace and love to flourish it’s now, boys, girls and persons of other genders. I request and require that you show love to everybody. Love is the law.

In other news, I spoke to one of my musical heroes and it was surprisingly NOT the fucking car crash I expected it to be, considering I am an enthusiastic and somewhat demented amateur music journo. Couple this with an accent thicker than the mud at the bottom of a drain and a sense of humour that could charitably described as baroque and you might consider that Mr. TREVOR FUCKING STRNAD OF THE BLACK FUCKING DAHLIA FUCKING MURDER actually deigning to speak to me and being a consummate gentleman throughout was something of a minor miracle. He happily appeared to be able to put up with all kinds of amateur nonsense, such as a Northern monkey rapidly riffling through notes and simultaneously soiling himself and Lord Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover alternately yowling, barking, meowing and for one glorious moment mooing. He did this with grace, class and bonhomie. Trevor did, not Igor. Igor’s a twat. I present to you all, my Church of the Poisoned Mind, the verbatim conversation we had, INCLUDING my deeply embarrassing fangirling.

I wonder whether animals can have species dysphoria? It would explain much about Igor. Anyway, the “interview”…

Dark Juan: Good evening, Mr. Trevor Strnad. I’m Dark Juan and I am the ridiculously overexcited idiot responsible for the 10/10 review your album “Verminous” got from Ever-Metal.com.

Trevor fucking Strnad!!!: Ah, thanks a lot man, that’s awesome. I’m very flattered by that.

DJ: (frothing in a frankly disgraceful fashion): Mate, what a record! In fact it’s not a record; it’s a weapon, man!

TS: (Laughs ): Fuck yeah, dude. Glad you like it man.

DJ: (heart rate still not normal and running off pure adrenalin and copious amounts of cider): It’s awesome. Forgive me for being a prat because this is my first time interviewing a major metal star and I’m shitting bricks about it!

TS: (one wonders how often this man comes up against pretenders of music journalism): You’re doing good man, no worries.

DJ: (desperately trying to appear professional and failing catastrophically): “Verminous”, first of all, a total contender for record of the year as far as I am concerned.

TS: Big words there, I like hearing that, man. Thank you so much.

DJ: First time I listened to it, it was almost simplistic, but on repeated listens it opens up in front of you and you have got these polyrhythms and super complicated riffs and your vocals range from the depths of hell to taking God’s head off with a buzzsaw. It’s got everything.

TS: (struggling gamefully on and proving his professionalism considering the fact that there hasn’t been an actual QUESTION yet): It definitely has more layers to it (than previous releases) and I don’t think it reveals itself fully the first time you listen to it, you know. There’s definitely some information to unpack over time.

DJ: (Deciding that now is NOT the time to preach his own somewhat confused faith): Yeah, I get that totally. Do I detect a SLIGHT HINT of antireligiousness in there, by any chance? A tiny bit of not liking the church?

TS: (Perhaps composing a stern email to the PR company to make sure this doesn’t happen again in his head): What else is new, man?

DJ: (finally managing to marshal his confused thoughts into a form that might actually have a question in them): So, your vocal style. I’ve noticed that you have said that Carcass was/ is a major influence on you. Was that Jeff or Bill’s vocals?

TS: (the man is a legend. He hasn’t yet screamingly clawed for the end call button): Well, it’s both actually. I wanted to be able to do both vocals with one person. I know I’m not the deepest, most guttural on the low end of all the guys out there, but I’m influenced from that Bill Steer mid rangey grittiness you know. It was listening to the “Tools Of The Trade” EP, that was the first glimpse of Carcass that I had and it’s still my favourite of their output you know? I have the “Tools Of The Trade” tattoo on my arm and yeah, dude, I’ve just been aping those guys ever since (laughs) and on the song “How Very Dead” (on “ Verminous”) I was trying to sound like I have an English accent and really going for Carcass.

DJ: (on safe ground at last!): Yeah, I thought I detected a real classic Carcass vibe on “The Leather Apron’s Scorn” – my favourite song on the record.

TS: Yeah, that song’s cool man. It’s different for us. It’s kind of progressive and very groovy. There’s a lot of groovy stuff on this record which is kind of new territory for us. Yeah man, that’s a definite high point of the record for us. A very creative song.

DJ: I have been a fan of The Black Dahlia Murder since 2003 (Trevor interrupts in surprise, “NO WAY!”) Yeah, man, you’re one of my favourite singers…

TS: You’re making me blush over here!

DJ: (inappropriate sense of humour immediately making an escape out of the box it had been beaten and forced into): Never thought I’d hear a bearded man tell me that but (TS is busy laughing) this record really does transcend all your other releases to date as far as I am concerned.

TS: Thanks, man. Yeah, “Nightbringers” was such a success, and having Brandon (Ellis – lead guitar) in the fold now we have a lot of creative juice and everything was just going right so it just gave us the confidence to push things a little further than we have done in the past. We are very happy with how it came out and it feels like a very proud moment for us.

DJ: (finally behaving like a fucking journalist!): Talking of Brandon, what did he bring to the party that wasn’t there before do you think?

TS: Um, Ryan (Knight, ex-guitar) was another awesome songwriter too, so I don’t wanna slight him but Brandon has this youth and this excitement to be here amongst the band. He’s just the most creative person we have had and he’s the most musically inclined, honestly. He’s the most educated, I mean he taught himself to play guitar from different sources on the internet and has never taken a lesson in his life which might surprise a lot of people. He’s just kind of a virtuoso and he looks at music in a different way and we have all been learning a lot from the guy even though he’s the youngest member of the band – He’s wise beyond his years and he has definitely taught us a lot about songwriting and different detail you can weave into a song and to consider the very minutiae of a song and I think that’s what makes these songs special , a little more elbow grease and he’s got a unique way at looking at songcraft and I think it’s kind of affected us all and we’re just trying to keep up with the kid. He’s lifted us all up and inspired us all and he’s definitely the guy you want in your band! Just feels like a really great time in TBDM history and feels like a real high point right now.

DJ: (having nearly shat himself with relief at getting a reasonably interesting question in before his already shaky confidence falls apart): That’s something that really shines through on the record I think. That kind of indefinable something where you can just tell that people are really enjoying playing that song, that’s what shines through on “Verminous”. That’s what makes it special I think.

TS: (doubtlessly relieved to be talking about the album instead of responding to Dark Juan metaphorically prostrating himself in front of him): Right on man, I’m glad that came across. It was fun to build from the ground up. Giving Brandon more control this time, with him recording most of the record, I think was a good move and gave us more control and able to take it really slow and look at things with a microscope. I think this is going to be our recording process from here on out because it was so successful. He stepped into the band and wanted to have a big piece of the pie and be creative and in control of things and we trusted him. We trusted him a lot on “Nightbringers” during the mix and he took a lot of control then and he just showed us what he could do, so this time we trusted him with more responsibility and the record is that much better for it. He’s just that kind of take charge kind of dude, man.

DJ: “Nightbringers” was such a massive success, you were touring that for two or three years, right? I mean, touring “Verminous” is kind of on hold because of coronavirus which means you could end up touring an album that’s a year old. What does that make you feel like? Do you feel the songs will stand the test of time or do you chalk “Verminous” up to experience and record a new album for the touring cycle?

TS: Um, I still think people are going to be excited to hear the songs and they have a lot of time to listen to it and fester on it. Honestly, from our point of view being in the band, there’s nothing better that could have happened during this than drop an album. That’s the ultimate content you could have and entertain all these bored people right now. The pace of life at the moment is so freaking slow. There’s time to enjoy art and absorb it, so in a weird way I think this has turned out to be advantageous, you know? Um, it’s just that it was nothing that we could foresee but we could have got caught at the end of a record cycle with no new content or anything else to offer up so honestly it’s turned out to be the best kind of thing that could have happened, I think. Honestly, it has hurt the sales a little bit, not being able to go to the record store, also we were booked to go on tour with Testament which would have been our biggest tour ever. But I’m hoping we can just jump back into this thing and pick up our momentum where we left off and hopefully people will be excited to hear these songs.

DJ: This record, I’ve found when I listen to it, third or fourth time through, you have so many different influences on it… Instead of the straight up melodeath on previous releases, there are so many disparate influences you have managed to weld into a cohesive whole and it could all so easily have sounded like a load of metal pans falling down the stairs. Has the songwriting taken longer than usual, or is it luck or judgement?

TS: It’s a lot of years of experience of writing Black Dahlia Murder songs. In the last few years, I think the goal has been to make the most dynamic music we can make. Music that really takes you on a ride and has different emotional flavours to it and I got to agree that we did add a lot of approaches that we didn’t have before. We got songs that are pretty rock injected where we close the high hat and just rock out and we have never done that before. You have “The Wereworm’s Feast” for example which is very King Diamond influenced, very classic heavy metal feel to it. Yeah, I think this record has a lot more style and we are becoming more comfortable and spreading our wings and focusing on that aspect of it. It is definitely a cocktail of that classic Black Dahlia Murder sound but also mining from different corners of heavy metal.

DJ: (having managed to obtain the dizzy heights of competence for all of seven minutes before plunging back down into the black murk of idiocy): I finished the review off by claiming that “Verminous” is the first metal album that doesn’t need more cowbell.

TS: (Laughs): We definitely did put some rock in there! It’s Brandon’s influence. He’s not like your normal 26 year old. He’s definitely a child of the 80’s and he’s very progressive in what he writes and he has pushed us all in that direction to be more creative with what we do and lifted us up and we are all just trying to keep up with him and he’s inspired Brian (Eschbach – guitar and vocals). Brian has turned out some of the best songs he’s ever written and it’s just a great line up right now. It’s the culmination of a lot of positivity, a lot of great times together – we toured together for three years off of “Nightbringers” together and had a great time and a lot of success. We just took all of that praise for that record and the positive vibe and just pushed it into this record and it made us very creative and something that felt new for us.

DJ: (in sensible question SHOCK!): Do you know what kind of response you had with online and pre-sales? Are you selling well?

TS: (Clearly wondering what sort of madman has been allowed to talk to him this time): Yeah man, we have hit the charts pretty hard which was surprising. I have to credit a lot of it to our fan club, the Blast Fiends, they have a Facebook group that really focused on collecting Black Dahlia stuff, vinyl variants and they are just total hounds for the record! So some of those guys showed up and bought a lot of copies and they are like our unofficial street team and they have really pulled for us so we could hit the charts hard, and we made some waves in the press because of it. Even during this pandemic we are able to make waves so that’s pretty cool.

DJ: Got any words for the Blast Fiends while you’re here?

TS: Thanks a lot guys, we really appreciate it. We do this for you guys and you are a huge part of it and we have yet another victory for the Black Dahlia campaign!

DJ: (still panicking like a schoolgirl but much less obviously now): “Verminous” – The title gave me the impression you were trying to evoke the seedy underbelly of life in general. Do you want to expand on this? Are we (the metal kids and the alternative people) the kind that are creeping out of the sewers to terrify the norms?

TS: Yes, that’s how I see it, man. The world on the album cover is sort of a metaphor for our place underground, literally underground. I look at metal, and especially death metal as this kind of hidden world, a secret that most people can’t see. They can’t see the value of it, they can’t see the culture of it and they can’t see the positivity of our scene, and how it’s like our lives and it’s so important to us and it’s a secret, a hidden world and it’s a plague we’re spreading, like a plague of knowledge and an awareness, an awakening to this world of freedom from religion, creativity, free thought and unfiltered art. I mean, death metal is not made for everybody – it’s made for a select few and it’s a labour of love. If we had any delusions of trying to become rich or hugely famous we would have been a totally different kind of band. It’s an act of love and something we pride ourselves on making this music and staying extreme. This is the culmination of years of hard work, trial and error when writing in the past and I feel like we are an older, wiser band right now but also that we are still young with regard to how creative we can be. I feel like this is the opening of a new chapter where we can be more creative as a band. We’ve been together for twenty years now of history with the band, but I still feel we have another 20 years. I can’t see us doing anything else. It’s been my entire life, this band, we’ve gone so hard in one direction and Brian especially, being the other original member, and we have to just see this through. We have to keep going and I feel honoured that people have stuck around and we have had so much success and that’s a big inspiration to make our music as good as we can and to keep our fans happy. It’s a never ending thing, man, and it keeps snowballing out of control, the success of this thing and we have to honour the initial opportunity Metal Blade (record label) gave us and just push it to the hilt.

DJ: (gotta hit those clichés!): Do you view “Verminous” as your “Reign In Blood moment”, or is it more your “Show No Mercy” moment and you are going to grow bigger and more expansive?

TS: (to his eternal credit, NOT rolling his eyes at the demented Englishman): I kinda see “Nightbringers” as more like “Reign In Blood”. It was more of an attack, attack all the time record with a lot of information crammed into it. More of a barrage, if you know what I mean. “Verminous” is more a “South Of Heaven”, where it has a lot more variety and is more dynamic. It still has its fast parts, but it’s much more like us opening our doors, spreading our wings and using this dynamic energy. We wanted the album to feel less samey and have real variety in the songs and let the songs stand out as their own entity. We tried to make the compositions more epic, this time around, definitely less intensity at times, perhaps some buildup, to have some tension, release and to have the chance to really emote this time round. We have a lot of melancholic songs that are gripping on that level and trying to be a more emotive package as a whole and really trying to elicit a response from the listener.

DJ: (now having calmed down somewhat and actually doing what he’s supposed to): Songwriting techniques – how do you go about it? Do ideas spring from a single riff, or a lyrical idea, or a title idea? How does The Black Dahlia Murder work as a musical entity?

TS: The lyrics come second. I’ll have a list of some ideas that I kick around but for the most part I’m reacting to what I hear in a song. Either guitar player will demo the song in ProTools and by the time I hear it, it has both guitars, it has bass and it has programmed drums that sound pretty good. Then our drummer rewrites the drums hit for hit what will end up on the album and then I’ll start writing with it. I’ll sit with it, I’ll listen to it a gazillion times in my fucking underwear and really it’s a challenge to me and something I look forward to. Listening to the song a million times and then plotting how the plotline is going to go up and down with the music. I try to make the story fit every moment of the music and it is a challenge to write in those confines but it’s also very cool when it all comes together. I try to make the lyrical climax come with the musical climax so it makes this bigger picture. I really care about the lyrics and it’s not just something I scribble down but I try to bring somebody in. I try to make the listener go to a different place or imagine a different character. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s a hell of a challenge though. The rest of the guys pretty much write in solitude, either guitar player and it’s been this way for a long time now since we had members living out of state and we are pretty used to being spread out – there’s a lot of WhatsApp group texts that we talk to each other through, emails with ProTools files and we are used to this way of working now. Before we all used to write together in one room at band practice, but now we don’t have a traditional band practice anymore. We will get together before a tour all in the same spot and freshen up on things for a couple of days but now we rely on everyone looking after their own upkeep at home and keep their chops up on their own time and that’s a big responsibility but it’s just how this thing works now. The creative process is something I look forward to – every time I come back to it I’m excited to see where the band is musically and with every record there’s a big jump with creativity and I think the guys absorb a lot of information during three years of touring. We play a lot of music to each other, we play a lot of shows, see a lot of bands, so even though we are cranking out these records at a fairly alarming rate, there is a lot of growth between records and this is the most growth we have had between albums and a lot of it has come from “Nightbringers’ ” success. I’m looking forward to the future man. I see us pushing the boundaries further in the future.

DJ: I’m looking forward to seeing you tour in the UK as soon as this virus is done with. You’re going to be hungry. I expect you’ll be tearing my face off…

TS: There’s talk about maybe January for Europe and the UK. I think it might be our first tour back, but I’m not sure just yet.

DJ (who actually really does need to visit the lavatory at this point such is the relief of ending this extremely stressful experience): How different is Trevor Strnad, mad bastard throat with The Black Dahlia Murder, to Trevor Strnad sitting peacefully at home?

TS: I dunno man. I don’t really feel that I have two faces. I feel like I’m the same person here too (at home). A fun, easygoing metalhead. A lot of my life revolves around music, you know, collecting music and being a hound for the underground and checking out new bands and checking the scene… getting metal in the mail every day… I don’t look at what I do with The Black Dahlia Murder as a job, that’s an insult to it I think, it’s so fun. It is hard too, there’s a lot of sacrifice and a lot of hardships. Tours are largely very boring – there’s a lot of waiting around and shitty travel situations and you can liken it to camping at times. It’s not really glamorous and a lot of people don’t really think about or see the amount of work that it entails. I basically gave up my entire life to do this and I love it, I love staying in touch with the underground and it fuels my passion for The Black Dahlia Murder. I’m pretty much the same guy behind the scenes, you know, a big metal nerd!

DJ: Maybe a slightly quieter one than on stage…

TS: A little more reserved. There is a dark part and it’s a release for me to be on that stage and embodying the demonic characters that I have conjured up. Getting into that villain role – I feel that death metal is villain music and we’re the villains to societal norms and religion and it’s all about celebrating freedom, celebrating the underground and the friendship and the culture that’s there and there’s so much positivity there for “negative” music. I think people give us a bad rap, man.

DJ: Thank you, Sir Trevor of Strnad, for putting up with me barking drunken questions at you and basically flailing desperately to appear like I know what I’m doing… You fucking legend.

TS: Thanks a lot, man, it was fun. Take care.

And that’s fucking that. If you need me, I’ll be in a darkened room with an IV of absinthe and 24 nubile young virgins. Knock before you enter, otherwise it’s at your own risk.

Buy “Verminous”. It’s awesome. And so is Trevor Strnad.

“Verminous” by The Black Dahlia Murder was released by Metal Blade Records on 17.04.2020.

LINKS:
www.tbdmofficial.com/
www.facebook.com/theblackdahliamurderofficial/
www.twitter.com/bdmmetal
www.instagram.com/theblackdahliamurder_official/
www.youtube.com/user/blackdahliamurdertv

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with SECOND SHOOTER

EMQ’s with SECOND SHOOTER

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Los Angeles, California based Extreme Metal band, Second Shooter. Huge thanks to vocalist, Melanie Johnson, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Melanie Johnson and I’m the vocalist of extreme metal band Second Shooter (groove metal/hardcore/thrash). The band has a kind of weird history. The two remaining original members, long-time friends Travis Hildreth (guitar) and Jim Wilinski (drums), were part of a band called Salvage 67 in 2015, when their vocalist went to prison for killing his wife. So that brought the band to a screeching halt.

Now that they’ve had some distance from the situation, we do make jokes about how that’s a pretty metal story (and we call my microphone at the studio the “Murder Mic”), but of course it was absolutely devastating to everyone involved. It took the band a while to move on; sometimes they didn’t even have the heart to pick up their instruments at practice. And I don’t mean to discount the pain of the victim’s loved ones, who are suffering to this day. Sorry to start the interview with something so heavy!

Anyway, the band in its current iteration came together in 2018 when Wynn McElwee (guitar), Jeff Clark (bass) and I joined.

How did you come up with your band name?

Unrelated to the murder thing, I promise! I wasn’t there when it was conceived of, but I know part of its appeal is the ambiguity. It could refer to JFK conspiracy theories, or to hypothetical shootings; it’s a common term in photography; and people always come up with other possible interpretations.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We’re in Los Angeles, California, and honestly the scene is great here. The local scene is large, excitingly diverse, and very mutually supportive. And all the big acts come through because we’re a huge city. Sure, it isn’t as big as some of the major European cities for metal, but still – no complaints!

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

We just released this video for ‘1 in 6’ from our self-titled EP. It’s a super aggressive, super feminist song, and the video really captures that (thank you so much to TJ Grof, Rhys Green, and Sarah Doerner!):

Who have been your greatest influences?

For my vocals, I draw inspiration from all over the spectrum of heavy music, including some metal-adjacent genres like hardcore, post-hardcore, and even emo. For the band overall, some major influences are Pantera, Korn, Slipknot, classic death metal, early thrash metal… really all over the place. We like groovy, we like brutal, we like fast.

What first got you into music?

My mom is the coolest person I know and has introduced me to a large proportion of what I’ve listened to throughout my life. She also took me to lots of concerts as a teenager and she loved them as much as I did. She took me to my first show – Green Day – and some other great high school memories with her include seeing Opeth, Megadeth, Sabbath with Dio, Dream Theater, Machine Head… not to mention totally-not-metal bands like the White Stripes, the Shins, Death Cab for Cutie…

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

I haven’t really thought about that! In the abstract I’d like to feature a male vocalist for the contrast, but when I think about who I’d really love to work with and who would sound sick on our tracks, I think of like, Angela Gossow (ex-Arch Enemy), Tatiana Shmailyuk (Jinjer), Māra Lisenko (Māra)…

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

I don’t know a lot about the international festivals, which I’m sure are the best, so I’ll keep it local-ish: I think it would be pretty sick to play Las Rageous.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Ooh, none of those yet. Fan art would be weird but also fun.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Send me fan art ;). Just kidding. I’d say: make some art! Music, visual art, poetry… even if you don’t think you’d be good at it, if you have any inkling at all, you should definitely give it a shot. Having a creative outlet is great!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Chester Bennington’s suicide tore me apart. His music got so many people through rough times, gave people hope, literally saved lives… and it’s so tragic not only that he’s not here anymore but also that he couldn’t save himself.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Ahh I enjoy everything about being a musician! Seeing people rocking the fuck out at shows, hearing from people that our music really resonated with them, the satisfaction of a song coming together… everything! Well, I guess not the pay-to-play culture of the big venues in LA.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

The pay-to-play thing is lame. For people who aren’t familiar: P2P is when a venue says, “Here are X tickets, sell them at $Y each and give us that much money.” So, in theory you could break even or make a profit, but in practice that never really happens — we aren’t going to charge our friends or fans face value if they’re getting their tickets from us.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“The Shape of Punk to Come” by Refused. Just so sick beginning to end.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Was never into vinyl. I bought a lot of CD’s for most of my life, but streaming has absolutely taken over. You have access to everything!

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

All of our shows have been such a great time! It was super exciting and an honour to open for Jinjer in September of last year. Equally fun was a “Women Who Rock” show the next month, featuring local female-fronted bands ranging in heaviness from an acoustic set to… us. The crowd response was so great!

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Well, music is my hobby and my real job is as a software engineer. Without music, I’d be what I was a few years ago: a software engineer in desperate need of a creative outlet!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Definitely some (extremely) high-ranking American politicians and some powerful people who have gotten away with assault, then I’d burn the place down. Sorry not sorry.

What’s next for the band?

We’re writing a bunch of stuff and I’m absolutely psyched about it all. We plan to release a full-length this year. We haven’t played in a few months because we’ve been focusing on new material, but we are itching to get back on stage!! Got some shows in the works.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

www.facebook.com/SecondShooterBand
instagram.com/SecondShooterBand
www. secondshooter.bandcamp.com

And of course, we’re on all the streaming platforms.

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I’m an American, I don’t understand Jaffa Cakes or the metric system!

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

This was fun! Thank you so much for Ever Metal for the opportunity and all the hard work you put into your site!

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Olan Parkinson and Steve Maher of Abaddon Incarnate

Interview with Olan Parkinson and Steve Maher of Abaddon Incarnate
By Tammy Lomax

Hi Everyone, Rick Here,

In the underground extreme music scene Irish Deathgrind outfit Abaddon Incarnate could be considered a seminal band within the genre. They’ve been around for over 25 years now but there have been some interesting developments of late. Our very own Tammy recently got the chance to have a chat with Drummer Olan and Guitarist Steve about not only these, but also the bands history!

Tammy: Firstly, congratulations on the recent news with being signed to Transcending Obscurity Records for a multiple album deal. How are you feeling about this? And what will this entail for 2020 and the future?

Olan: Thank you, Tammy; yeah it is great news and great timing. We were planning to record in 2020 anyway but now to have an official platform through which we can release it is amazing. I have known of TO records for a long time and always admired Kunal’s drive and his dedication to real underground bands and really heavy stuff too, almost like the Indian Relapse Records. So, in June we are heading to Foel Studios to record with Chris Fielding which is awesome. I have worked with Chris several times now. He is just great, a thorough professional and just gets heavy dirty music. He has good history with Irish bands too having recorded with both Primordial and Mourning Beloveth. With regard to the future, who knows, Abaddon have always been an unknown quantity, but history has shown that we ‘do not go gentle into the good night’ so I would expect something ferocious for full length no 6.

Tammy: Kunal Chokski (owner of TO records) mentions that he has been a huge fan of Abaddon Incarnate since the release of “Nadir” in 2001. What is your favourite track on this album and why? And can you guide us through the process of how you wrote the album?

Olan: Ha heavy question; I of course have several! I’m going to pick two if I may? Opener ‘I Will Nail You In’ has got to be up there. It’s just relentless from start to finish and the lyrics match, just full on without being overly graphic, but full of genuine vitriol. Ironically the title came about from a joke which I will tell you in person one day. It’s still a staple in the live set, our ‘Angel Of Death’ if you will. I also love ‘Unclean’ I think as a contrast it is a bit more mid paced but with a real groovy middle 8 but it literally is unclean, it feels it, it’s a filthy song, again the subject matter is quite dark! I wrote the lyrics for this one, and I love exploring the blackness within humans and the depravity that we are capable of.

The writing of “Nadir”, once it got underway happened quite quickly. We actually had about 10 tracks written for an album and thought we were almost there with the process. It felt strained and not very natural though, we hadn’t quite crossed the line into Grindcore at this stage but we were all getting into more extreme stuff, I was really loving Brutal Truth’s, Extreme Conditions and Need To Control, and we were all getting into Nasum circa Inhale Exhale and Human 2.0. So, one rehearsal Bill came in with the main riff for ‘I Will Nail You In’ and that was it, game changer. We scrapped the whole album and started re-writing and it was Deathgrind from then on. And due to the Nasum influence we asked Mieszko (RIP) would he be interested in working with us and the rest is history. “Nadir” was recorded over 2 weeks or so in his studio in Sweden.

Tammy: Abaddon Incarnate have been going for 25 years. As you might expect, during this time, some members have come, gone and returned. What inspires you to keep motivated regardless of setbacks?

Steve: I’m pretty stubborn, so setbacks motivate me. It’s sad to lose old members but people move on, the exciting part is when you get a new line-up; you get new ideas and energy!

Tammy: Abaddon Incarnate were the first extreme Irish band to play in Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. What advice and tips can you give to up and coming bands regarding networking and getting their name out there?

Steve: We were approached by South American promoters “Guts n Blood”. He did a magazine feature and the tour arose from that. Similar to our first Australian tour! If you want to get your name out there you need good distribution and good PR. Labels will do PR work but sometimes it’s worth investing in a bit more PR. We have a few individuals who do good work for us.

Tammy: You guys have had some huge achievements, like supporting massive bands Obituary, Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower etc…What has been the most memorable and rewarding so far?

Steve: Playing with all these bands is great. But the most memorable gigs are the DIY tours we headline ourselves like the Australian, South American or Russian tours we did.

Tammy: What is the most Bizarre thing that has happened on stage on a tour?

Olan: I can only speak for myself here of course but there have been a few. One gig, years ago, a guy jumped up on stage, smashed a beer glass and started cutting himself while we were playing. I also remember a gig in the Czech Republic at this small bar in the middle of nowhere. When we arrived there was no one about. No cars, chickens running around…all very weird. But come gig time people came from all over and filled the place. We had this support band and they had this dude playing guitar who had lost his arms and legs when he got run over by a train. He had this little rig fashioned where he had his plectrum attached to his stump, and he played with that…amazing! That place had some of the weirdest coloured drinks I’ve ever seen. But probably the most memorable bizarre thing for me was on that same tour. Not on stage however, but we were out with Desecration and this was towards the end of this tour. We had decided to stay in a hotel after this gig; it might even have been the last show. But we finished late, like midnight or 1am and we went back to this Hotel. It was all locked up but there was a cellar bar open there so down we went. The barman was sitting on this couch with this topless girl and watching porn, drinking a bottle of champagne. He was a very friendly chap though and brought us over a bottle of Absinthe, genuine Absinthe. I don’t think any of us had had the real shit before, but we got stuck into it. After whatever amount of time, the door burst open and these two rather large policemen barged in, guns and all, and next thing we were all up against the wall getting searched as they were roaring at the barman. But I’ll never forget just looking at the guys and everyone was pissing themselves laughing, it was so surreal, none of us had I.D. on us…nothing, it could have been a really serious situation but at the time it was the funniest thing ever. Thankfully they just kicked us out and we went to our room. I haven’t had any Absinthe since that night!!

Tammy: With some help and guidance from Zero Tolerance Magazine, in 2013, you made your stamp in Australia and have set up tours like ‘The Drunks and Convicts Tour 2017’ and a vast amount of others. Can you explain the pros and cons regarding the Australian underground scene and if there are any similarities to any of the other countries you’ve played?

Steve: I love Australia. The bands over there are quality and the scene is pretty awesome especially in places like Melbourne! We play a lot of small shows over there too but in Melbourne we always manage to do at least two gigs and get a sizeable crowd. The last tour we did there for example we did 3 Melbourne gigs in 2 weeks. Melbourne is an arty creative place. Australia is really unlike anywhere else. There is a unique vibe to the place.

Tammy: London Deathfest, Dublin Deathfest and headlining Carnage Festival in Switzerland are amongst some of the festivals you have previously played. What festivals would you like to play in the future?

Olan: I guess any of the big ones have to be on the list. Hellfest or Wacken would be awesome. Personally, I would love to get to Maryland Deathfest. But also, festivals like Fuck The Commerce and Obscene Extreme are just brilliant for showcasing the filthiest bands on the planet. But it’s important to support smaller festivals as they will be the festivals of the future. Metaldays in Slovenia for example! That is definitely one of the better new festivals. Great country too!

Tammy: Abaddon Incarnate was reformed from thrash legends Bereaved. What were the reasons for you changing the name and who made the decision?

Olan: I think it was mainly due to the change of direction, musically. We felt that the name Bereaved, while a cool name, didn’t suit the heavier, more aggressive direction the band was headed in. So, I think the decision was a collective one. We had several variations but eventually settled on Abaddon Incarnate. It suited our themes and mind-set at the time. Lyrically things have moved on, but the basic ideologies and motivations are the same. I still quite like the original logo which I designed (I use that word loosely) I can still remember the 30 or so attempts over a couple of days to get it to what it is now, Brutal Truth’s logo was the inspiration. I can still remember bringing it to rehearsals for approval, and Steve saying, “it looks like a coffee stain”, but they must have liked it because we still use it today.

Tammy: If you could all select one Icon to invite over for a good few beers and fine dining who would it be and why?

Olan: Well unfortunately, I can only speak for myself here. I would love to sit drink and talk with Reinhold Messner. Many people will know that he was the first mountaineer to summit all fourteen 8000 metre peaks and the first to summit Everest without supplemental oxygen as well as the first solo summit of Everest, the list goes on. It is an incredible feat today but absolutely unthinkable back in the days that he did it. He has written over 80 books and runs a mountaineering museum in the South Tyrol. I just think he would be fascinating to talk to. However, I could be wrong. Maybe he is sick of talking about mountains and would just want to get pissed. But that in itself would be a cool story!

Rick here again;

I’d like to thank Tammy, Olan and Steve for the interview and I, for one, cannot wait to hear the new album when it is ready. If you want to find out more about Abaddon Incarnate then click on the links below

LINKS:

Band:

https://www.facebook.com/abaddonincarnate/
https://www.instagram.com/abaddon.incarnate.official/
https://abaddonincarnate.bandcamp.com/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/7JiGOjZmUWZWyhhQsyBZs4
https://www.youtube.com/user/stevemaher666

Label:

https://tometal.com/
https://www.facebook.com/transcendingobscurityrecords/
https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Tammy Lomax and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.