Argorok – Usurpator

Argorok – Usurpator
Self-Released
Release date: 20/11/2020
Running Time: 48:02
Review by Dark Juan
8/10

Hello, minions. I no longer know what day it is. The days just merge into one long constant grind interrupted only by the joyous inky blackness of sleep. I’m completely sober (there is an unopened bottle of whiskey sitting in the kitchen, which is fucking unheard of at my gaff) and I am just seated upon my couch, staring into the ineffable darkness and contemplating a life well wasted. Not because I have been disporting myself in a genial and self-destructive fashion as is my wont of a Yuletide, but more because I’m fucking shattered from work. Two consecutive 96-hour work weeks, followed by an upcoming third and the running around that normally happens around the False God’s illegitimate son’s birthday have wiped me out, hence the reason why I have not been quite so productive and cheerful as I usually am, for which I can only profusely apologise, not least to our esteemed Editor, Metal Monarch and all-round good egg Richard “You Had Better Write Something Soon Or I’ll Tear Your Nipples Off” Tilley…(The bloody cheek – Rick)

Note: Mrs Dark Juan just asked who I was writing about and looked confused when I said Argorok. She said Aga-Rock? Do they sing about large country homes and equally large stoves? I will take care of her later…

In other news, 2020 has been a bit of a motherfucker hasn’t it? Can’t wait to see the back of the twat, to be honest, but it has been a vintage year for underground metal. I’ve not been this excited about the music for a long time and it just seems to be getting better and better. May 2021 see the back of this unprecedented pandemic (it will happen sooner if you all JUST FOLLOW THE FUCKING RULES FOR A BIT) and we can actually go out and have gigs again.

So, having dragged the ancient and recalcitrant magic electronic box of tricks from the dank cupboard of its semi-retirement, I am listening to the stylings of a new German beat combo named Argorok. The estimable Rick added this to my review list because he thought I might enjoy it, as I am somewhat of a fan of Neue Deutsche Härte and the German language, being as Argorok’s style can best be described as the result of a filthy, perverse drunken liaison between death metal and Neue Deutsche Härte, having been egged on to do so by folk metal and industrial. Then power metal stopped for a quick look before shuffling off home, disgusted but also desperate for a frenzied wank. So it is an eclectic mix of styles – obviously there is a large element of Neue Deutsche Härte, with the mid paced marching tempo – immediately I am reminded of Eisbrecher, Rammstein and Megaherz with the industrial perfection of the riffing and with the frequently staccato keyboards stabbing through the heavily produced guitar sound, but they differ from those three NDH luminaries by veering off piste into the black runs of power and folk metal – the middle eight of ‘Königin der Asche’ being a notable and very groovy demonstration of this. The keyboards are of note because they frequently add a second line of melody and gorgeousness beneath crushing heaviness – more often than not there are lovely little piano melodies hiding in darkened corners and the keys also act as a second rhythm instrument in concert with the guitar – a fine example of this is on ‘Kalter Stein’. ‘Katharsis’ is also interesting as it contains a short sitar passage. Yes, a fucking sitar!

The vocal is also interesting to your erstwhile correspondent, as it is a full-blooded death metal roar in the classic style, but utilising the German language. Now, those of you that frequently follow the bollocks I write, and appear to keep getting away with against all the odds, will note that I am something of a fan of the German language, regarding the guttural nature of it as a perfect fit to the industrial base of Neue Deutsche Härte. I am pleased to report that it sounds absolutely fucking uncompromisingly murderous when you hear a death metal vocal sung in German – vocalist Boa has a set of lungs and a throat seemingly constructed from angle iron, gorse bush thorns and sulphuric acid which only enhances the experience for he is a fine vocalist, capable of singing cleanly with a gravelly deliver y or full-on bowel shaking churn. Bassist and programmer Bill also has a very appealing death scream which underpins the main vocal nicely…

So, we are being unremittingly positive here, aren’t we? We can’t possibly have that for too long and there are some faults that need rectifying – The sequenced drumming sounds far too artificial and soulless on the metal passages, although it is a bonus for interesting patterns on the more outlandish parts of the record, for example ‘Meister Der Lügen’ which appears to take the form of a nursery rhyme before going to some very dark places indeed. And there are times when the guitar overwhelms everything else. There are also other times when the Neue Deutsche Härte overpowers the more interesting parts of the music. That’s a shame because Argorok have a LOT of potential to be even better than they are already. Don’t get me wrong – I love this band because I love industrial, NDH and interesting influences and German vocals but they could be even BETTER if they dialled back the metal and went to more experimental places. The Machinist and Fractal Generator have a lot to answer for regarding this as they have totally blown away all opposition as far as experimenting with the death metal sound goes – Argorok aren’t quite at that level yet, but the potential is there, because “Usurpator” is entertaining as fuck and if you love Rammstein, OOMPH!, Megaherz et al, you’ll be pretty pleased with Argorok.

To quickly summarise, I like this band a lot, but it’s a pretty raw product. With some work it could be truly ground-breaking.

Meine Herren von Argorok, ich liebe Ihre Band und Ihre Musik.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Das Patentierte Dark Juan Blutspritzer-Bewertungssystem – I’m not apologising, I fucking love doing that in different languages) awards Argorok 8/10 for a flawed but still most worthy album, and one that will be in fairly constant rotation in the Mighty Gothikpanzer (which has split an intercooler pipe somewhere. The bastard.)

Tracklist (With helpful and probably hilariously inaccurate translations):
01. Aus Der Tiefe (From The Depths)
02. Protector (Do I really have to translate this for an English audience?)
03. Odyssee (Fairly self-explanatory as well.)
04. Refugium (This ain’t even German so I’m not playing)
05. Königin der Asche (Queen Of Ashes)
06. Kalter Stein (Cold Stone)
07. Hinter Der Maske (Behind The Mask)
08. Katharsis (Erm, yeah. You can work that out for yourselves too)
09. Meister Der Lügen (Master Of Lies)
10. Tag Des Zorns (Day Of Anger)

LINE-UP:
Boa – Vocals
Andy – Guitar
Bill – Bass, programming, backing vocals

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.

EMQ’s with ENDSEEKER

EMQ’s with ENDSEEKER

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with German Old-School Death Metal band, Endseeker. Huge thanks to vocalist Lenny and drummer André 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?

Hi, my name is Lenny and I am the vocalist of Endseeker. Today I got a reminder from Facebook regarding our first photo session back in July 2015. But for me it feels like yesterday. The band was completed in March 2015 after a few months of searching for band members. Jury (Guitars) had the idea to start the band for many years and wrote the first Endseeker songs in 2014. I added the lyrics. This is on our “Corrosive Revelation” EP from 2015. For the release of this EP we got a label-deal with FDA Records just before our first ever live show! That was pretty cool! Two years, and a whole bunch of great and crazy shows later, we released our first full-length – “Flesh Hammer Prophecy”, again via FDA Records. And now, just over two years later again, we signed to Metal Blade Records (yeah!) and released our second album, “The Harvest” on September 13th 2019 worldwide.

How did you come up with your band name?

When we started the band, there were a few possible band names. Finally, Endseeker won, because of its strong symbolism. We have a lot of experience playing in different bands, and different genres so we were already old and tired when we started playing together! This band will probably be our end! Another way to see the name is in the context of transience. In the nature of humanity, the end of things disappears from people’s consciousness, but in death metal there is another philosophy; We celebrate the end.

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

We are from Germany. The metal scene is strong here. Big acts are supported as well as the underground. However, the amount of underground metal shows seems to increase, so not every concert is sold out. But if you want, you can visit metal shows every single day. Also, the festival scene shows how strong metal in Germany is. Healthy environment!

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

We released the first single of our album as video and a limited 7 inch vinyl of only 333 pcs. You can watch “Spiritual Euphoria” on YouTube here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxbDKvkRkiI

The album “The Harvest” was released September 13th via Metal Blade Records.

Who have been your greatest influences?

As a band our greatest influences come from Sweden. Just to mention a few: Entombed, Grave, Dismember. My personal influences are Bands like Rammstein, Cannibal Corpse and Krisiun. But for sure, there are a lot more influences.

What first got you into music?

I started playing violin at the age of 7. So, I’ve been an active musician for a long time. Metal came later, when I was about 14 or 15. I remember my dad gave me “Herzeleid” and “Sehnsucht” from Rammstein as a gift with the words ‘this will be good for you, son’. And he was right! When I was 17, I started my first metal band, Prophet, playing heavy metal, then shortly after I started Devastator, to run free in brutal death metal!

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

We already collaborated with mighty Marc Grewe who was the vocalist of Morgoth, and kind of a hero for us. We do a duet on “Flesh Hammer Prophecy” on the song ‘Black Star Rising’. There is also a video on YouTube where we performed the song live together. It was really cool! On “The Harvest” Mika Lagrén from Grave plays the solo on our cover version of ‘Symphony of Destruction’. At the end of the year we played some shows together with our goat-brothers, Milking the Goatmachine! This could’ve been called tour-collaboration, because we love the same food. I’d like to see us release a split with a befriended band in the future, but there’s nothing planned yet.

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

I am a huge fan of the American Kitchen and have had many road-trips there. A dream would be to play the Maryland Death Fest or the Las Vegas Death Fest. But it’s not so easy for European bands to play in the U.S. In Europe we have several festivals I want to play, too. Wacken, Hellfest, Rockhard, Rockharz, Obscene Extreme, just to mention a few!

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

Haha! Unfortunately, nobody sends us gifts, but to receive a bra on the stage (happened Summer Breeze Open Air 2017) is always a nice souvenir! I am happy that nobody gives us body parts, or dead animals! But someone once gave us a vintage looking usb telephone receiver – we never found out why…!

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

Be yourself. Stay true to yourself. Don’t believe everything someone tells you. For example, what I write here! And of course, don’t behave like an asshole! Life’s too short. And thank you so much for your support! We highly appreciate it! You rule!

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

Jill Janus.

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

I enjoy that I have a reason to travel the world doing what I love. When there are people in the audience in a bad mood, I enjoy the transformation into a positive mood while we are playing. Hate is exaggerated. But it would be cool, when playing in a metal band could become more than just a hobby. This is so difficult these days.

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

More appreciation for everyone! Creating music should not be like chicken breeding. And the fans should not only be consumers. Band and fans should grow as a family.

Endseeker’s drummer, André then answered the rest of the interivew.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Of course, there are several albums I could mention. I would spontaneously say “Burn My Eyes” by Machine Head.

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

I’m still one of the dying breed that buys physical records. Mostly CD’s.

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

For me personally, this was our gig at Summer Breeze Open Air 2019. We’ve never played in front of so many people before and the atmosphere was fantastic!

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

As a teenager I was a pretty good athlete. But then the metal came along and that was the end of my sports career, haha!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Good question. Definitely not my band mates; They drink all the beer away!

What’s next for the band?

First and foremost, we want to play as many gigs as possible in 2020. Some shows are already fixed and several more are in the planning. We also want to work on new songs in the near future.

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

www.facebook.com/endseekermusic/
www.instagram.com/endseeker_official
www.youtube.com/channel/UCKgQIMAtwCuceeSRTcyA2Hw
www.twitter.comEndseeker666

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Neither. I consider them a crime of taste!

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

Thank you for your support! We hope to see as many of you as possible somewhere at our merch stand and have a beer together! See you on the road!

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.