Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Interview with SACRAMENTUM in Issue#3, 1998

The best blackened Swedish death Metal legacy will always be DISSECTION – SACRAMENTUM – DAWN. Those are the compulsory three if you wonder what makes them absolutely revered by the scene in general. Here’s an interview with Sacramentum’s mainman Nisse Karlen, in the year 1998.
Speak something about your latest release, “The Coming of Chaos”?
“The Coming of Chaos” was recorded in June 1997 in Los Angered Studio in Gothenburgh where we live, the record contains eight tracks and an infernal and chaotic outro and was released on CENTURY MEDIA in September 1997.
No more Dan Swano to engineer and co-producing it. Why?
Well, as you probably know we have worked with Swano two times before and we felt that we needed to change studio to be able to develop our infernal sound.
And what made you chose Andy LaRoque? How about his work then?
We chose Andy because he has a very good studio here in Gothenburgh and we had been visiting the studio when other bands recorded and we felt that this studio would be the place where we would feel most comfortable in working. It’s been a pleasure to work with Andy since he is a very nice guy and also a damn fine musician, we will for sure use his knowledge again.
No more in Unisound too. Opted for a different sound, I guess…
Sacramentum will always progress and don’t stand at the same point all the time, but everyone will for sure recognize the infernal sound of Sacramentum.

Why you didn’t use the artwork of Necrolord for “The Coming of Chaos”? His work on “Far Away From The Sun” is brilliant.
The reason why we didn’t use Necrolord this time was that we wanted something different like we always have done. I mean the first cover is a photo and the second cover is a painting. And this latest cover is computer made and I feel very satisfied with all the covers. They have their own unique feel and I think it would be boring to use the same artist all the time.
What is your lyrics about? “The Coming of Chaos” is some kind of a conceptual album right? And the song, “Black Destiny”, will have its continuation in your next album?
Well, yes and no. Some of the songs are connected to “The Coming of Chaos” and some are not. The lyrics is about the blackness and frustration of my own soul, it’s hard to explain. You’ll have to figure it out yourself. Yes, “Black Destiny” will continue on the next album which will be entitled “Thy Black Destiny” and it will be recorded in November 1998.
What is the relevant of the two naked girls photographed with the album?
Haha! It has nothing to do with the actual album, we wanted to have something different than just standing there and since we enjoy naked girls very much we choose to have these beauties as a contrast to us.
Sacramentum produced all the releases by themselves. You don’t really trust other people huh?
We totally know what we want and we know how Sacramentum should sound so we don’t need anyone to tell us how we should sound. People can come with opinions and we listen to them but it’s Sacramentum who decide if it’s good or bad and you’re right we don’t trust anyone to shape OUR sound.
Your line-up seems to be pretty stable with only three members since “Far Away From The Sun”. What made you kicked-out those ex-members? Three is a family?
Yeah, we have found the ultimate line-up now but it would have been a lot easier if we had a second guitarist. But it’s impossible to find one who’s not already playing in a bigger band since we are very careful with who is worthy to play for us. You have to be a good musician and have the same personality as we have. The reason for kicking the old bandmembers out was that they were not dedicated to what they were doing. They did it because we told them to and they thought it was fun. We cannot accept such behavior.
Sacramentum frequently plays live-shows. You’re using sessionists in them?
We always have a session guitarist with us since much of our music is based on two guitars. For the first European tour we used Nightmare from Swordmaster and on the second tour we have used Vassago from Lord Belial and he is also rehearsing with us nowadays but he is not a full member of Sacramentum since he has Lord Belial.
Sacramentum’s sound is great Swedish death Metal with blazing technical parts…
Our influences comes mostly from old heavy Metal bands and a lot of speed and thrash bands where we have our roots. A lot also comes from within ourselves, moods and so on.
And does the fact of being Swedish contributed?
I don’t really know. But probably I think that you get influenced by everything you hear and see. So if we lived in Malaysia we might have sounded completely different but it feels very weird to think like this because we would still have our early influences from the beginning of the 80’s but who knows.
Is anything such as ‘Gothenburgh Sound’ really exists?
I don’t know. It’s just that there are some bands from Gothenburgh who plays aggressive and melodic music. It’s not that many bands from Gothenburgh who sounds like this. It’s more in other cities in Sweden who want to have a piece of the cake for the winning concept. Gothenburgh sound or not, who cares.
What do you think about the comparison people always made between you and Dissection?
It’s rather frustrating because I think we are far more aggressive than Dissection and I also think we have our own unique Sacramentum sound, but we play similar kind of music and because Dissection became known before us, people like to compare us to them. The truth is that we have been around for as long as Dissection but they spread their name better while we just played and didn’t care much.
“The Coming of Chaos” also marks the changing of the label for the band…
After we had released “Far Away From The Sun” we didn’t have a contract anymore so we started to send out promo packages and some labels were interested in signing us. So we started to negotiate with some of the labels and came to the conclusion that CENTURY MEDIA would be the best option for Sacramentum. We are very satisfied with all that CENTURY MEDIA have done for us so far. The only problem is that we really could need some better equipment but CENTURY MEDIA is not very interested in that because it costs money and they want to make money but hopefully this will change.
How would you compare the works of ADIPOCERE and CENTURY MEDIA?
Well, ADIPOCERE is an underground label and is run by one guy and CENTURY MEDIA is a big label with over 50 employees. So there’s a very big difference in professionalism and promotion and so on.
The Swedish bands (well, lots of ‘em), has kind of losing their aggressiveness, and are veering towards more melodic lately. What is your comments about this?
There are very few bands who can do this good so I think it sucks. I have nothing against melodies as long as they are not happy circus melodies. And that’s the problem, everyone seem to like this happy sounding shit, extreme Metal should not be happy. I really don’t like this. Aggression is important. Fight it. Fight till death.
I don’t think Sacramentum will get rid of their aggressiveness…
No, we will never get rid of it. It’s like you say, a very important part of our sound. Aggression and intensity is Sacramentum’s trademark.
Sacramentum is already in the scene for a while, what’s the secret?
I think that you have to be yourselves and to be comfortable being yourselves. Be true to yourself and to your surroundings, that’s the combination for success I think. Years of hard work is of course a big part of it as well.
What is the importance of image then for a band?
As I said in the previous question, I think that by being yourselves you gain a lot more than pretending something. It makes the music and the lyrics really mean something important to yourselves and hopefully to others as well. Image can sometimes be cool and interesting but that’s nothing for Sacramentum.
Since the very beginning of Sacramentum’s existence, what is your main ambition by joining the Metal scene? Has it been fulfilled?
When we started it was just because we wanted to make extreme music, violent music. We had no ambitions whatsoever. Then thing started to happen. A lot of people liked the stuff we made. So we became more serious and after we had recorded the MCD “Finis Malorum” we realized that we could really achieve something. So we kicked out the unserious members and started rehearse more often and that’s the way it is. I think that everything we could dream about then has been fulfilled but we will carry on for many years to spread our message of hatred.
Reveal us Sacramentum’s forthcoming plans…
We will play live as much as possible in the nearest future and we are working on our forthcoming album “Thy Black Destiny”, which will be recorded in November ’98. Thanks a lot for the shown interest and good luck with your ‘zine. Let misanthropy and sodomy show the way. Die hard.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

SPELLCASTER "Spellcaster"

SPELLCASTER "Spellcaster"
The advent of ‘bedroom bands’ is something that’s a norm these days, and while the growing numbers are admirable, sightings of useless craps emerging are nothing unexpected. Well, that’s the case with all releases anyway isn’t it. Spellcaster was born as a creation moulded from the tiniest of ‘studios’ imaginable. Here’s a journey into the mind behind it, into realms of musical landscapes evoked from his very own experiences and taste, fruiting a product of instrumental Metal of the various kind, when the lack of vocals are substituted with the instruments taking the turns being the lead that the other parts and bits should follow. I’m very sure there’s only guitars and programming samplers (loads of ‘em) being utilized here in accordance with the creator’s capabilities of utilizing them. Fragments of Metal from various kinds are, as I’ve stressed, everpresent; there’s no pin-pointing the exact direction of Spellcaster. Here and there you’ll hear this and that. The experience is somewhat akin to that of later days Nomicon, if you need some reference, probably something to do with the frigid, numbing sensaural claustrophobia by listening to this. Spellcaster’s music is progressive and experimental without (fortunately) leaving the aggressiveness behind. But this, the tendency of being here and there all over the place; plainly kill the focus if you try to imply it. You’ll end up being taken on a topsy-turvy ride. The programmings used are OK I guess, but those keys; whenever they’re in the lead, very much reminds me of ancient 8-bit or 16-bit video games. Perhaps geared towards the ‘musician-at-heart’ crowd, though, this release is. I don’t know. Your reviewer here always take pride in being a listener, not a musician; and those listening experiences are what you’ll always going to read should you even bother doing it.

Interview with CATASEXUAL URGE MOTIVATION in Issue#3, 1998

Whenever I’m in need of some demented, mechanized gore; Catasexual Urge Motivation will always be on the top of the playlist. Their “Encyclopedia of Serial Murders” is my permanent reference. Briefly changing the name to Vampiric Motives before using the C.U.M monicker again, this is one fine interview.
Hello Tomoaki. How’s your sickening bizarre life there?

Greetings Shah. My life has been quite ok but it is not as sick as you consider. Yeah, sometimes I watch porn movies but not every night.
C.U.M has released the debut CD “Encyclopedia of Serial Murders” in Sept ’96. How’s the response? Tell the readers something more about it.
Sure, it does. The response is really sick as we wanted. Every sick mother fuckers loved it very much. Unfortunately, we haven’t received all the responses from people we sent the promo yet. And because of label’s support to promote the CD as he, Frank the label’s owner, is really busy with his life and stuff. As far as I’m concern, we did really good job for the promotion work by ourselves instead of the label. So, time will tell. Well, the CD contains some older songs from our ’95 demo, split 7” ep’s, ’96 demo, and many new songs of course. It seems that everyone thinks it’s a grindcore album but we think it’s a death gore Metal with huge grindcore influence. The sound maybe caused it but we don’t care. We are not as good as we’re just now playing. 22 tracks of pure brutal and sick grinding death gore Metal in 61 minutes long. Very heavy sound and ultra sick puking vocals on it. Faster than the speed of light. Groovy as fuck. Check it out.
You released the CD on DELIRIA PRODUCTIONS from Germany. Why did you choose this label? This is the second time you made a deal with them, so how do they treat C.U.M?
Yes, it was the second time he released our stuff on his label. First one was “Satsujin Live” studio live tape ’96 anyway. We choose this label because Frank is my personal friend before the release. He really loved us from the beginning. It’s a simple reason that he wanted to release it and we agreed. DELIRIA PRODUCTIONS is still a very small label that only cares for grind, HC, noise, experimental stuff. Not so many releases on the label yet, and it was the first CD product of the label. We really thank him for the release.
You’ve planned to release the “Fantasy Wants Victim…” on V RECORDS, but it is cancelled. Any problem?
We didn’t cancel it. V fucking RECORDS refused it. The label offered to many bands for CD’s but nothing has been released yet. Andrew of the label is a liar. Don’t trust him and forget the V RECORDS’ name. In the beginning, V RECORDS wanted us an MCD consists of our ’96 demo. But we changed it to full length album consists of unreleased materials. “Fantasy Wants Victim…” album was a compilation stuff consists of never released tracks recorded back in ’95 and ’96. The album was screwed up now. So nobody will release it at the moment. We used a couple of tracks for our next cassette EP’s which will be out soon (or out by now I think).
C.U.M consists of you and your brother, Yuzin. Is it convenient enough to have only two members? Do you try to keep it that way?
Yes, we are. It has been really good enough to have only two human beings in the band. I used to play in a band before with four other guys but I was sick and tired of that line-up. I want to control everything. This way we have a really good relationship between me and my brother. There’s less argument, less fight. We used to listen to the same kind of music and we know what we want to play. There’s no room left in the band.
You’re also using a drum-machine instead of a real drummer. I personally think that without a real drummer the sound produced is a bit ‘hollow’, if you know what I mean. Maybe there’s no drummer that could provide the pace and speed that you prefer huh?
Thanks so much that we are a ‘hollow’ band, ha. We use it because we have huge Industrial music influence. Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Godflesh, Pitch Shifter, Dead World, Gore Beyond Necropsy etc. used machine and we are the same. Why not? They’re pretty cool bands and we followed. We never have searched any human drummer for the formation. We want to be different. We’re not a rock n’ roll band. There’s no room left for a human drummer, either. I like machine sound. But we haven’t reached the top yet but maybe someday.

You recorded your debut CD at the Meat Fuck Semen Studio. I bet that it’s owned by you. By the way, the production is quite good too for what it is.
Thank you so much. Yeah, it’s my room! I used to play in the real studios before but I didn’t get the sound I really wanted there. And the cost of using a studio is really high here in Japan. So, we decided to record all the materials by ourselves using my own room with an 8 track recorder and some effects. I’m not satisfied with all the records being released but they’re all fine so far. I’m always thinking about tomorrow. Future brings hope, as far as I know I think so. Next recording will be our second album that will be stronger than ever. With the same studio and technique of course. Our sound is getting better and better.
The time-gap between each of your releases is quite short, I must say so. Is it because you have too many songs?
It is because of labels’ request. They wanted from us some new songs and we recorded them for that. I’m responsible for song-writing but most of the songs (70%) are not as good as I wanted. Actually, it’s really easy for me to write a typical grind/death songs that we did in the past (the 70% I mean). Other songs that I’m really pleased with are not very easy to write. It’s getting harder to write good songs for me. But I will try, I will try to write as many good songs that I want. We have some other unreleased tracks that didn’t see the daylight but they’re crap. We have to take much time to compose a good song. I write the songs for me, for my enjoyment. If you like the songs, that’s cool.
You also have another band in the name of C.U.M FEATURING CYBER E.M.F that has recorded an Industrial album “Cyber Gore”. What’s the differences since the line-up is the same? Just the musical concept?
It’s not another band. It’s the industrial side of C.U.M. All songs (except one) were released under C.U.M monicker before on the CD, tapes. We re-arranged the songs to very Industrial direction using gigantic Industrial rhythm and mood. Because, to prove that we have huge Industrial influence. No one did that Industrial meet Gore before, but we did this already. Epoch making stuff. The line-up is the same. Sure, it has to be called musical concept, an Industrial album. I think I already talked about the formation. Hey, anyone who’s interested to release it, get in touch.
I’ve noticed that your song-titles are quite long and dealt with hyperperversitygorelustmurder type of topics. How do you able to write such lyrics? Where do you get your inspiration from? Do you stay in contact with any serial killer?
You’re right. They’re very long for a title. Some of the songs have the same content as the title, some may not. All the lyrical contents is my brother’s responsibility. I don’t know why they’re so long. That’s maybe because he wants to be different than other band’s boring short titles and lyrics. Yes, there are lyrics in Japanese sometimes. They’re long because he said what he wants to say in a long title, and lyrics (sentences). That’s enough space for him to say something about serial murder. There’s no inspiration as we know very much about killing and murder. “Murderous Philosophy”, if you ask me. I don’t need to get in touch with any serial killers because we are the serial murders.
Sorry but I have to admit that I don’t find too much originality from bands of this genre. Am I right, Tomoaki?
I think so too. Who cares about originality. We need brutality. I’m sure that Internal Bleeding, Cryptopsy, Torture Crypt, Deranged and lots more bands copying Cannibal Corpse but they’re really big in the scene because they are all very brutal. I couldn’t find any single piece of originality in them. But every brutal death Metal fanatics like them so much, why? If we play that kind of music, we can be very big? We don’t want to be like them but we need brutality. Hey, lyrical element shouldn’t be an originality. The music that is being played is the main thing. If you want an originality, listen to NOT death Metal and grind. Death, black, doom, grind, noise, industrial, experiment, sound like all the same to me. There’s no original bands today. We don’t follow the originality. All we need is the brutality.
I think grind death Metal is quite popular there in Japan, but I think it might be overcrowded with those. A phenomenon? Which bands stand apart from the rest?
You’re totally misunderstood. It’s not really popular here at all. Phenomenon? Bullshit! We’re the only band who plays grind death gore Metal in Japan. 99% of bands here are playing boring grindcore, hardcore, crustcore, noisecore, grindnoise. There’s no band who plays pure death Metal. I don’t give a shit and don’t care what will happen to the Japanese scene. We, C.U.M, don’t belong to the Japanese scene. And I know nothing about grindcore and noisecore scene. I don’t care if you say S.O.B is your favourite band because we hate them. We hat 100% of Japanese grind stupidity. No one stands out. I think we have now loads of enemies but we don’t care. We care for us.
There’s also a cover of “Defiling the Grave” from the gods Impetigo in the album…
It’s one of my favourite Impetigo songs. Why not? We covered some Impetigo songs before because they’re the only band that influenced us. Also the song is/was Stevo’s favourite. Stevo told me via email after he listened to our CD. How cool, isn’t it? We don’t have influential bands now. Some of our older songs remind you of somebody because they’re too old and we didn’t have ourselves at the time. However, time has changed. We learned how to be like ourselves. I didn’t listen to death/grind stuff for almost a year now. So, who might inspire me in those days?
You’re also doing this Corporal Arts ‘zine and now it is RIP and you made another called The Banned…
I quit everything related with fanzine for some time now. We’re concentrating on band’s activity. I lost interest to help bands. And I don’t listen to death/grind so much now, how can I do this?
I give you the honour to devour some ultrasikkgore messages to close this interview then.
Thanks much for this great interview. I mean it. You’re honest. I like this kind of interview. Well, I used to say ultrasickgore messages before but I quit. People seem to misunderstand when I say like that because they think I’m a moron or something. I just would like to say goodbye and see you soon again.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Interview with HORNA in Issue#3, 1998

“Hiidentorni” introduced me to the world of Horna, where uncompromising primal black Metal worship brewed in their own way is the name of the game. Countless releases of Horna are to be found after this excellent promotape, as you all are well aware of. Warmaster Nazgul Von Armaggeddon (also of Pest) answered the questions when he was still in the band.
Since the release of your promotape in CD format, what is the progression of Horna up until now?
Our upcoming MCD, “Kohti Yhdeksan Nousua” is recorded, and scheduled to be released in a few week, actually. We played some shows around Finland with Barathrum, Wizzard and Babylon Whores, and we’ve also already recorded our second full-length, “Haudankylmydden Mailta”. At the moment we are very passive, because of the military service of some of our members.
What’s the real reason of releasing “Hiidentorni” as a promotape in the first place? Why don’t you release it as your second demotape (although in one way or another, it could be called that way)?
The purpose for releasing “Hiidentorni” mainly was to send it out to labels, to hopefully get a deal to release an LP. Still, we sold it like any demo, just to get our name more out in the underground. If you think it deeper, the difference between demotape and promos is not so big after all.
And as a promotape, it has a long duration of playing time…
Yes it has. But when there are CDs released with 20 minutes of music, I think that our promo was really a run for one’s money.
What leads to that deal with SOLISTITIUM RECORDS? Any other possible releases with them?
Carsten (who runs Solistitium) liked the “Hiidentorni” tape a lot. He wanted to release it on CD, and we thought it was ok because the tape really is very professional and has a playing time of more than some of the CDs of already well known black Metal bands. We have, as I told before, recorded our new MCD, “Kohti Yhdeksan Nousua” and our second full length “Haudankylmydden Mailta” for SOLISTITIUM already, and there are no plans to change our label at the moment. I think Carsten’s done a pretty good job with our releases.

You’re developing your own direction in sound since the release of “Varjoissa”, and the result is of course “Hiidentorni”. So tell me, what is the differences of both of these releases?
If you would listen to “Varjoissa”, and then to “Hiidentorni”, I think you would not possibly even think that they were made by the same band. It is hard for me to compare these two, because I was not a member of Horna when the first demo was released. Maybe “Varjoissa” is a bit more melodic and primitive, with a lot worse sound (it was recorded with an 8-tracker, as “Hiidentorni” was recorded in a pro digital studio with 16 tracks). “Hiidentorni” is just aeons more professional than “Varjoissa”.
Has Horna found the definite form of black Metal that suited the band yet? Or would Horna never venture further than the sound displayed in “Hiidentorni”?
Of course not. If we would stop to the present situation and stop progressing in any way, it would be very unhealthy for the band. Things would be soon so much worn out, that it would not interest the listeners and neither the musicians. The future releases will be much different, especially the upcoming MCD.
Horna never longed for originality, but I could sense some of it (and also the intention for it) in “Hiidentorni”.
To speak the truth, I don’t think Horna’s music is not original at all. It’s just uncompromising Nordic black Metal, plain and simple. I cannot speak too extensively about the process of creating Horna’s songs, since all my musical donations limit to one riff on the upcoming MCD.
But you claimed originality in lyrics? Because it’s written in Finnish? Perhaps there’s other reason.
Shatraug (guitars) write all of the lyrics, except for one song, “Imperial Devastation” on the upcoming MCM, which is written by me. I don’t know if the lyrics are so original after all, they deal mainly with the destruction of Christianity. I don’t think that the fact that most of our lyrics are in Finnish makes us any more original lyrically than any other band singing in their native tongue.
The Finnish black Metal scene… What differentiate the scene there compared to other countries?
Finland has always had a scene of some sort since the days when Impaled Nazarene and Beherit were rising up in the international scene. There are now quite many newer, so called ‘second wave’ bands, that are releasing albums, like Thy Serpent, Diaboli, Darkwoods My Bethrothed, etc. Some bands I can recommend are Children of Bodom, Barathrum, Wizzard, Vordven, Tunrida, Black Swan, Dawn of Relic, Enochian Crescent, …And Oceans, NIghtside, Kyprian’s Circle, Urn, Warloghe, Flauros,Withered Garden and a lot more. Of course we have some really pathetic bands popping up like RAVENSTORM, who don’t know jack shit about the underground and are now signed to CENTURY MEDIA for 7 albums! That forementioned band has been around for a year now and they claim Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth and Emperor as their main influences. Pathetic.
Horna claims no relations with any religious groups and sects. So what is your opinion about them?
It really is not very intelligent to let someone say what everyone in the band thinks about things, since most bands are groups of individuals, and it is impossible to think that everyone in a band would think just the same as others. I personally have even planned on joining some religious sects. Of course some pathetic hippie groups which stands for world peace and love are pathetic but there are also some sects that contain ideologies and principles I find very intelligent and powerful.
And you understand yourselves as paganistic.
This case is just the same as the aforementioned. I’ve never said to be a paganist/heathen or whatever. I have been a practicing Satanist for 4 years now, and I don’t see any reason to be anything else.
And the lyrics, why do they have to be in Finnish?
I guess because Shatraug feels it suits him better. I have no problem singing in Finnish, so it is ok by me too. Still, we will have translations available for those many who do not understand Finnish.
I really like the intro… haha!
The intro is taken from some porno-movie. We thought it was cool, so we use it. We just added a bit of low-pitched speech to make it even more sick.
I don’t know why, but it seems that black Metal is getting ‘softer’ and ‘kinder’ these days…
It is true that the musical (as well as the lyrical) approach of a large part of the modern black Metal bands has become somewhat less extreme. I’m not sure how to react to this, since I admit that some of these ‘kinder’ black Metal bands are way much better musically that some bands that play fucking primitive and raw just because they simply cannot handle their instruments. Black Metal cannot be defined musically, because bands like Rotting Christ, Bathory, Deicide, Beherit and Mysticum are all black Metal, still they are completely different music-wise. This is what makes black Metal such a strong movement, musical variety. That wouldn’t be very enjoyable if all the bands would sound the same. Of course this does not mean I like some fucking wimpy lullabies with some arsehole screaming on top of it all. As long as the music is good, I support it.
And what do you think about the participation of females in the black Metal scene?
Sure, why not! I think it is positive if some of you wicked witches out there participate in the scene. I have found out that some females within the scene are way more dedicated and intelligent than most of the male ones. So actually, all you females out there MUST write to me at once!
Black Metal is the ‘thing’ of the day. I mean, lots and lots of labels are trying to release black Metal albums, and this somewhat affects the scene itself whenever crap releases are to be found…
First of all we must remember that we are living in anno 1998, not in ’92-’94, when things were somewhat in control in terms of black Metal albums released. Releasing a CD is the same as what was to release a 7”EP back in ’93. There have been crap releases ever since there has been heavy Metal. Still, it is true that labels that release black Metal just to get some money out with it exist, but still there are a fair bunch of good-quality albums released by labels that know what they are doing.
And it also seems to be profitable right? Should black Metal be linked or considered as a way of making profits and so on?

Yes, it is possible to make some money with black Metal, as it is with any kind of music. Horna was not formed to make money, but to satisfy the need to express ourselves. Still, if I could make some extra cash with Horna, I would not mind. It would give me the freedom not to care about every single penny I used. Still, black Metal will always in essence be much more than just commercial music. It is a CULT which not everyone will understand.
Horna sounds like primitive black Metal, I might say so. What about the modern black Metal then?
Yes, Horna is somewhat primitive. I don’t think it is the right thing for Horna to develops towards the modern sound of black Metal. We have found the more raw and brutal expression to be our way, and we have chosen to follow that path wherever it will lead us. The earlier days of black Metal were much more easier in a way… If a black Metal album was released, it was for sure of good quality, and the bands expressed their art in a way nobody is able nowadays. Black Metal will never be the same as it was before…
Potray Horna’s vision of the scene in their near future…
The underground scene will become more and more isolated from the mere public and commercial scene. Only those who really are into this will stay with black Metal, the rest will hopefully lose interest. Still, it is impossible to know what exactly will happen.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Interview with LANGSUYR in Issue#3, 1998

LANGSUYR circa “Occultus Mysticism” and “The Eastern Cruelty”:UNTOUCHED. Eastern Death Metal supremacy. LANGSUIR over LANGSUYR, and don't ever argue with me on that. Oh well, just leave it to where it is anyway. This interview, hopefully; will be one of those memorable reminders of what could have been, what should have been. This is one meaningful chat with Sam.
Langsuir is left to three-piece right now. How does Langsuir cope with this situation? It certainly affects Langsuir’s progression isn’t it?
It has been a major problem since the beginning even though I admit I told to some zines before that it’s not a problem. Ego problem. Yes, it does affect our progression. I wished UTM is near Ipoh so I could rehearsed more. My location is a major problem too. We could have been 1000x better if we live near ourselves. How to cope? Hmm… let see… By magic? No! Occultism? No! Mystic? No! Luck? A little bit. Commitment? YES!
Sometime ago, I heard that you’re hunting for a drummer to fill up the vacant slot. It seems that it’s still vacant till now, right? Is it because nobody is up to the capabilities that you demand? You’ll rely to the energy of Wira (Athotorgh) in times to come, or? And I sense that there’s no real bassist in the band since the beginning, am I right?
When you write a piece of music you had already the vision of how the song going to be. Basically, I already had the basic drum structure to the song. When I rehearsed, I hope the drummer will come up with a fresh idea. If not then we have to use my basic structure. If I have a drummer who can blow me with innovative drumming then he will be our drummer. Me and Azmaniarkht dig out drums even though we play guitars. Well, at the moment there are no drummers up to our par, not yet. But, we should have not wait for it. What the best we have is what we are going to use. So Wira is the guy right now. The same criteria goes to the bass player. Yeah, there’s no permanent bassist from the beginning. We are comfortable that way. We: me, Azmaniarkht and Azlanthor act as the vision. Both the drummer and bassist are the tools with limited voice given.

And people would certainly not forget the sensational news of your ex-drummer, Adjheez who’re now playing in a so-called alternative band Sky Juice. I really like to know what do you feel and think about this? Does this also means that he doesn’t play anymore with your other band Vociferation Eternity?
I have sense it even before he was out because I know he was playing with his friends in an alternative band. Well, I have no problem with that. He should have his decision but he should have played with more independent form of music, be it punk or hardcore. Alternative sucks heh! Playing in that band means that he has to beg for recognition. He has to beg for mercy from the press, the electronic media and all those commercial butts. He has no voice on his band. The label tells him what to do. He just nod ‘yes’. No question asked. He even has to beg for people to buy the product. But again, it is his decision. Not the one that I will venture in the future though. Now, what else can Vociferation Eternity do when he’s already in contract for three years with the band. He can’t play with any band other than his Sky Juice. We are not nuts who wanted to get sued in the future. So we said, “Adjheez (or Jay), you’re a poser”.
What’s your personal evaluation on your latest release so far (although it’s out ages ago), “The Eastern Cruelty”? I’ve been informed that it’s the fastest selling local extreme Metal release so far? I’ve also heard that it didn’t came out as what you’ve expected it to be? What’s the problem with it?
Fastest selling local extreme Metal release? Heh, even if it’s not true, I’ve already flattered with your suggestion. That is a boost! Production-wise, it’s crap. It could have been better. Good songs but shit production. It should have been re-recorded. Too bad nice idea just being dumped out coz of the production. Well, I really don’t want to talk about it (even though we hope it sells so we can suck out the royalties!)

“Occultus Mysticism” certainly is the stepping stone for Langsuir to carve a name in the local extreme Metal scene and abroad. Do you still admiring it in any way? The first 500 copies of its re-pressing on EASTERN GRANDEUR PRODUCTIONS are sold-out by now. Any further plans with EGP?
“Occultus Mysticism” is a nice start because at that time (1993), local demos were recorded in a shitty studio. So, we came out with a 16-tracks recording quality with three pieces of death Metal shit. The first pre-hearing we did in Ajak’s (owner of ULTRA HINGAX PRODUCTIONS) house, he was totally impressed. Well, if I can quote him… he said he has not heard our kind of death Metal since ages! That was certainly a start. Yeah, in a way, I still admire it even though we hesitate to play any of the numbers in our gig. Well, it may be interesting, but not as interesting at the time when it was released. The 500 copies thru EGP was sold-out. EGP has planned to put it on MCD + some new songs on it. Nothing is certain yet.
And compared to “The Eastern Cruelty”, people say that Langsuir is more black Metal-orientated then. What’s your words?
We have not deviate from death Metal. Never. Don’t be confused with our painted faces in the cover. It was really, a mockery when we use it. At that time, I guess we are the first local band to wear full paint onstage. We are not a black Metal band. Never was and never will.
How’s the idea of ending the song “Bastardised Rejaman Sihir” with the old 60’s song “Pontianak” came up? You’re really hooked-up to that song huh?
It came out spontaneously during our rehearsal. Azmaniarkht who came out with that shit. I thought it was cool and it may fits our song. It does, well at least to us. Why? You didn’t like it? Maybe because of my solos? Or maybe it should have came out proper vocals? Why don’t give it a toast and let’s dance?
What about that song with total Malay lyrics, “Tangisan Embun Pagi”? I’m sure that it’s probably the most difficult song to write for Langsuir so far? I mean, marrying our soft, artistic language of old-times with death Metal hymns? It must be painstaking…
“Tangisan Embun Pagi” is the hardest part in the EP. It has a lot of twist, music-wise. We have some parts where I have to really twist my fingers to one side while Azmaniarkht has to twist his on the other side. But when combined together, it’s like watching “Silence of the Lamb”, a real twister shit! Not to mention, to exactly combine Malay lyrics with music that is full of aggression. You’re right. It’s really painstaking. A lot of effort was given to the song. It will be our greatest piece of shit.

So, does “The Eastern Cruelty” a conceptual piece? Tell us about it; and perhaps what do the songs in it tells about? The cover is very much linked with the song “The Seven-Headed Dragon of Pelangi”? At least, it really gives out some well-connected feel with the songs, so…
Conceptual? Now, that’s interesting. I mean, no one had ever thought it of being conceptual. You are the first. Well, I really don’t know. Probably yes or no depending on how you are looking at it. Lyrics-wise, they are not connected. It’s true the cover is a mirror to the song “The Seven-Headed Dragon of Pelangi”. But it is not a conceptual album. Maybe in the next release?
Langsuir plays occult death Metal. People tend to think that occultism and Satanism are very much linked with each other. I heard that Langsuir views this in quite a different way.
Honestly, I really don’t care on this subject. You see, when you play in a band for, say, 6 years, that is not an important thing anymore. When you are just being chained with certain topics, it really don’t get you anywhere. Well, OK maybe we did write on the subject 2-3 years ago but today, we really don’t give a shit. I tell you what, when you get older, you see things in a different way. There are lots of this world than you could probably can imagine. We see it as a tool. Not an absolute. We prefer to stress on the musical side, if you know what I mean…
Your influences in the making of your songs rooted out from our own heritage of occultism. Why are you ever so interested in it? How deep have you studied it? And what can you tell us when you compare it to that of the Westerns?
Generally I have answered this in the last question. Just to add… I have no deeper understanding on the Malay heritage. Let make it this way, if I concentrate more on the philosophy than the music, I may end up being a historian! Shit, I dig out the music more than anything. If people just can understand this. I don’t deny that it influenced us a lot in making music. But it does not make sense anymore when your heart is hungry for more. Those subjects will or may not be our choice in the future. What is certain? We play death Metal with ‘Malay’ feel. Yeah, ‘Malay’ feel : social, emotional, thinking, vision, pain, trauma etc. not specifically myth and mystic.
You’ve got two new songs under your belt, namely “Ku Cemari” and “Descent of the Fire-Breathed”. They’re scheduled to be released in the Ipoh Metal compilation by ULTRA HINGAX PRODUCTIONS soon. Are they still in the “The Eastern Cruelty” vein? “Ku Cemari” is another song with all Malay lyrics right? “Descent of the Fire-Breathed”, a continuation of “The Seven-Headed Dragon of Pelangi”?
Yeah, you’re right. “Ku Cemari” is basically a 3 minutes piece of shit with some fast twist on the guitars and drums. The aggression is in the vein of “My Oath For Thee” but the twist is more like “Tangisan Embun Pagi”. The lyrics is on vengeance. It’s about one man who has a deep hate on this other guy. Inspiration – Hang Tuah myth. Venue – could be anywhere. Date – could be anytime. “Descent of the Fire-Breathed” is more melodic. Mid pace with longer duration of playing close to 6 minutes. Unlike “Ku Cemari” which has little riffs being played again, “Descent of the Fire-Breathed” is more conservative. Even though it is not meant to be the same to the song “The Seven-Headed Dragon of Pelangi”, it accidentally has the same feel. If people feel it is a continuation, it will not do any harm anyway. It was not our intention. Lyrics-wise, it is a play of imaginations, which I bind together with my Malay feels. It will appear on the UHP compilation. It will probably be titled “Hail To Ipoh” coz there’re only Ipoh bands playing in the compilation.

Does it actually mean that you no longer have a deal with NEBIULA PRODUCTIONS?
It was a short deal with UHP with no real black and white. We are not in deal with any label yet.
And that deal with NAZGUL’S EYRIE PRODUCTIONS from Germany. How has it been going on? I’ve heard there’s some hassles circling the deal? Have they released “The Eastern Cruelty” on MCD format? And what about the album deal?
The latest news that I’ve got from NEP is that they are dead already. Rumours are that an English label has bought NEP. I guess that what it, the deal we signed ages ago is invalid. So we are free. So, no album and no MCD from us thru NEP.
The local extreme Metal scene is getting better these days, so it seems. Being an ‘avid’ scene-people for quite a while, it really is worthwhile to know your opinion about it…
The scene is in its peak. Where in the history in Malaysia that you have countless bands and local labels who fully concentrate in the Metal scene? These are the years. Instead of being ‘poor’ in the past, you get some extra cash from it right now. We are the band from the second generation so we can’t really care on the scene from the first generation. It’s over years ago. We respect the first generation as pioneers. If not because of them, we may have started late. Well, you can’t hold anything to start, right? If they don’t start, we might have started it. Well, the reason of this intended ‘sarcasm’ is, the past is over! There is no reason to hope bands like Rator and Punisher to resurrect. We already know that such reunion will spell disaster! Remember the Rator resurrected in ’94 (gig)? They play crappier than anything you can imagine. The Metal scene is much better now. Some people say it is not the same. Yes because the past is smaller than the present. Of course there is no denial that you have some clowns here and there at the moment but it is really our decision to choose. You want them to be alive, you should support them or either way around. I don’t know about the past, but today it is more money-oriented. The labels and organizers gain a lot from us, so we want our shares too. It is ethical. But I know some organizers who sucked too much, well at least that is what I feel.
What about your other activities? When will the latest issue of Krenmaut (#3 I think) will finally be released? Give us some latest information on Vociferation Eternity…
DO NOT HOPE FOR #3 TO BE OUT! The issue was lost when my computer stucked. So, it will be no more. It really pissed me off that I will not continue it in the near future. I have a better idea with my Malaysian Metal Madness homepage. It’s more practical and efficient. Vociferation Eternity will be entering the studio in April ’98 hopefully for the second album. At the moment the songs are more Swedish oriented on Dark-E’s side while on my side it is more progressive. You have to wait for the full impact (if there is any). At the moment, I’m enjoying my full week of holiday after finally finishing my studies. Then I’ll be doing my work as a Research Assistant before continuing for my Masters degree in Civil Engineering. I hope that this will give a boost to those who are still studying heh…!
That’s it. I think this would be sufficient to get us something about Langsuir while waiting for further releases. End up this interview with something…
Thanks for the refreshing interview. I complete this task in 1 hour 30 minutes. Hmmm, I would probably like to ask those out there to buy our stuffs (if you don’t have it yet) from Nebiula Productions. Thanks to the fans who have been faithful and understanding. Metal forever!!! Hail and kill!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Interview with MOURNING SIGN in Issue#2, 1997

One short interview. Based on one song. How could that be? ‘En to Pan’ is an excellent song, that is; featured on the legendary W.A.R compilation volume 1. This interview serves it purpose though back then, the time when I didn’t know shit about Mourning Sign.
Say as you wish.
Hello everyone. How’s it hangin’? Mourning Sign has been around since 1992.
I only got the chance to hear “En to Pan”. Any other releases of Mourning Sign so far?
Here’s our complete discography: “Last Chamber” (a demo) released in ’92, “Alienor” (miniCD) released in ’94, “Mourning Sign:Mourning Sign” (fullength) released in ’95 and “Multiverse” (also fullength) released in ’96.
Basically from your song, I can conclude that your musical style is some kind of a Swedish melodic death Metal variations.
Our concept is not to have a ‘concept’, I think… We try not to imitate any bands, for the plain reason: why be a copy of some band or so, when you’ve got something unusual or unique to say with your own music.
What about Mourning Sign lyrical approach? “En to Pan” is about Pan, the God of Nature, right?
Yes. Pan is the ‘dude’ with the flute but “En to Pan” is Greek and means : all is one, and the meaning of the lyrics is something for whoever is listening to find out for themselves.
How did Mourning Sign managed to contribute a song on that W.A.R compilation?
It’s simple. Wez from W.A.R likes us and and wanted us to contribute with a song…
All of you, except Hendrik, do the vocals. Is there any problem with Robert’s voice?
No, no problem at all. We just made it that way. Hendrik has got his revenge on us. He’s the one who’s reciting the lyrics on “Neerg” on our new album.
Who’s this Pelle Saether which co-produced “En to Pan”?
Pelle has been around in the music business since… who knows? He’s been singing in many bands. He’s also the owner of “Studio Underground” where we’ve recorded our albums.
What about the use of additional instruments to Mourning Sign…
When we made our first album we tried different things in the studio with the keyboards. On “Multiverse” (the new CD!) there isn’t any synths at all. Instead we got a violin player for two songs. Additional instruments are great, if they add something to your music otherwise, why bother?
Why do you choose to play this type of music? The compositions, does Kari writes all of it?
Good question, I’m not sure, I guess it has something to do with the energy in our music that makes us playing it. And yes, Kari is our main songwriter. He’s the one who has to purge, then the rest of us mould it to what becomes a Mourning Sign song.
What’s your opinion on the Swedish Metal scene right now?
It has changed I guess. Many bands (in my opinion) do sound alike. There isn’t any new angles. There’s a few bigger rock acts and then there’s copycats. And the Metal scene is small. Not too many bands tour as much as they did a few years ago. Record sales has decreased too.
This is the first time I’ve ever came across a band from Hallstahammar. Is there any more potential bands beside yours?
No, we are the one who rule the Hallsta mob of music (ha ha!). But seriously, there’s some bands around here but none of them has made any records or so. Hallstahammar is a small place and we know each other who’s involved with music really well! We’re one big happy family…
What do you think about the latest development in the (Swedish) scene, like the bands on Cold Meat Industry for example?
Sorry, I don’t know anything at all about Cold Meat Industry, but generally I think the scene and genres are mixed up with all kinds of styles and I think it’s great!
What will Mourning Sign brings up next?
For the moment, not a lot. We’ve had some difficulties with our record label and it has kinda messed up things for us, but we’ll make it!
Anything else to add!
Hopefully you’ll find our records out there. They are released through GODHEAD RECORDS in Italy. If there’s some troubles finding them, contact Mr. Editor for the address. So long everybody!

MOURNING SIGN c/o Petri Aho, Kapellgatan 15, S-734 35 Hallstahammar, Sweden

Interview with PURNAMWULAN in Issue#2, 1997

Purnamwulan showed some good promises with their “The Fullmoon Over The Kliwon”, but that is the only release that you could ever hear of them till today. Words has it that there’s an unreleased demo lurking somewhere, not being released due to the bad sound produced. Exactly not in the state of knowing the latest development of the band nowadays, and of course lots have been happening as well (Sanghyang Wulan is no longer the Aavimarga in Hayagriva, etc, etc), here’s the 1997 interview.

I think a few Javanese words would be great to start up this interview…
Sulamet nang siro… of course, it means “Blissful and Well-Being Upon You”…
Purnamwulan, does it mean ‘fullmoon’? Why did you choose this name?
Yes, it means fullmoon… It’s very unique and specific to describe… the roots is the main point why I’ve choose this name as the band’s name… the fullmoon has a lot of inspiration to me and of course to all of my band’s line-up… Therefore, the fullmoon is the main roots, so, here I don’t want to take pathetic things to mention towards my band’s name… Purnamwulan gives to us an enlightment and it has a vast meaning of the fullmoon in fifthteen’s night of Friday’s night in Javanese calendar… I sing my songs with my mythologickal lyricks in Kaendranian Heathendoms’ Javanese Kingdom… Purnamwulan are ours!!!
“Java Celestial Ethos Metal”. Give us the full description of this particular style of music that you claim your own. In what way does ‘Javanism’ connected with the music and the band?
“Java Celestial” came from our mystick and poetick lyrics, narrating about the kingdom of Suralaya and Singhasari in Javanese Deities mythology… It happened in Kaendranian’s epically and historically… and the main point of the most unique life-style of Javanese cult and culture… “Ethos Metal” came from our aggressive, enthusiastic sound and musickal style… containing the vast meaning of art!!! Also have a little connection with Java’s musickal style eventhough there are no traditional Java equipment included… just listen and get an appreciation on our songs!!! Of course, Javanism does connected with our life-style, musick and the band because honestly, we came from this blood-roots!!!
You’re also involved in Hayagriva as Aavimarga, Sanghyang Wulan; so made you decide to be in two bands at the same time? What’s the latest news on Hayagriva right now?
Both of them is my main bands… I’ve arranged myself into these two bands without any problems because we’re undergoing and living together under the same roof… and I’ve done everything for both of my bands successfully… In other words they really need me… At this moment, Hayagriva is still preparing for our forthcoming release… Just wait and see what is to come from Hayagriva!!!
You’re involved in both bands so the similarities will always be there…
Yes, you’re right… I agree that I really can’t avoid the similarities in the vocals parts… Anyway, I’m trying my best to do it differently… the similarities is only in Eastern style… I mean, Hinduism and Buddhism roots… The differences is only in the concept and style… Purnamwulan is more into mythology and Hayagriva more into mother-nature… Both of them were universal… that’s all!!! “Seropoh Sombrong Mabhur”. Does this song is written in Java? What does it all about?
Absolutely, true… the hymns of “Seropoh Sombrong Mabhur” lyricks was taken from my late grandfather and my elite descendants (nominated as Jawa Ponogoro) magickal spells or mantra for the magickal weaponry of flyingself kris and it’s dealing with the spirit of daughter namely Sombrong… The spell must be cast before she does her ‘job’… and of course I am the true one of Java real life as I’ve mentioned above…
Purnamwulan is very much linked to the moon. What the moon really means to you and in what way does the moon ‘eclipses’ Purnamwulan?
If you really don’t know about Java races unique life-style… this is a little bit about it… An occult source have been sworning in the flowing blood of Java’s individual person and an enlightenment was given to it… So, the moon is the main ceremonial emblems to do with occult source of Javanese black magick… It’s the main subject and inspiration for Purnamwulan and we’ve come from this blood!!! I hope you’ll understand… What do you mean by ‘eclipses’? ‘Eclipses’ will ‘loosening the power’ of Us… That’s all!!!
All lyrics are written by you…
The story behind Java’s roots is the actual thing I’ve express in my lyricks… I’ve my own stand-point to write my lyricks… Let the myths, the legends and the cults of Java remains again and that’s what Purnamwulan exists for!!!
Why don’t you sing all of your songs in pure Javanese language?
It is just an ‘introduction’… we’ve plan for it and we’ll do it in upcoming releases… just wait and see what is to come…
Any specialities of a Purnamwulan live-shows? I think that gig in Ipoh on 2nd March ’97 is Purnamwulan’s first ever show, or am I wrong on this?
As the other bands done on stage, we’ve done successfully… I guess, the specialities, we’re just wearing Purnamwulan ‘s ‘uniform’ in our action on stage and I’ve six times singing on stage… You’re really misunderstood cause this 2nd March is the third time we’ve done gigs by featuring our new line-up and this is the greatest for us!!!
I can say that you’re not using any additional instruments on the “The Fullmoon Over the Kliwon” demo. Don’t you ever interested to use for example keyboards in your songs?
True…!!! There are no Java traditional equipments such as nafiri, rebab, rebana and so on… added in our first demonstration cassette… but we will do it in our forthcoming release… Right now, we have our own latest songs and it’s different with the previous ones… on some of them we’ll use keyboards sampling to make the song more enlightment and beautiful…
What do you think about the eastern Metal scene right now?
Anyway, be honest in what you’ve done!!! Do the right way to the eastern Metal tunes… eastern Metal is not for the stupids… Get an observation before you involve in these things… Actually, eastern Metal is only for eastern blackness spirits!!!
How important is the band Purnamwulan to you.
The important things to mention about is my true race and I knew what I’ve involved on towards Purnamwulan…
So what can we expect from Purnamwulan after the good demo?
See what is to come for the forthcoming future time and it’s up to everyone should expect us… Behold, for ‘sheeps among the wolves’!
Help us to spread our words of revenges and hate… Let this poisonous weapon embracing your soul!!! “The flame of revenge and hate will forever burning deeply in our heart and chest” is the actual meaning of “Sombrong Urep Nang Jungringsakalaka!!!”

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Interview with FUNERAL RITES in Issue#2, 1997

When “The Wintermoon…” was released, it felt like a ‘friendly-slap’ on the forehead of the black Metal scene at that time. Everywhere you could only find Norsk-influenced black Metal demos in abundance then, something that could alter a bit of that linearity would be very much welcomed, and of course, appreciated. Thus came Funeral Rites with this demo; heavily, proudly and brilliantly done in awe and respect for the old, traditional black Metal sound. Important to mention too, that they’ve done it convincingly. This interview emphasized on that period of Funeral Rites. Kentaro speaks on behalf of them.
Funeral Rites is definitely a band that I don’t know much of. So Kentaro, brief us the history of Funeral Rites. Has the line-up changed a lot of times? How did you get the name ‘Funeral Rites? It seems that a lot of bands has either the word ‘funeral’ or ‘rites’ as their name, do you think that by using this name your band will get a better recognition?
Funeral Rites is a Japanese black Metal band. The band was formed December 1994. The first line-up was Kentaro (guitar&vox), Nobuyoshi (guitar), Takehiko (bass) and Masahiro (drums). Our first gig was in March 1995. At that time we played cover songs of early thrash Metal bands like Sodom, Bathory and Celtic Frost. After the first gig, our line-up was changed to Kentaro (bass&vox), Hiroyuki (guitar) and Masahiro (drums). After that the guitarist was changed to You and Yuki (keyboards) became our member. Then December 1995 we released 1st demo, “Demo 1”. This demo tape get good responses. We managed to make friends with many black Metal bands and fans and make distribution contracts with some labels. And October 1996 we released 2nd demo, “The Wintermoon…”. The present line-up is Kentaro, You, Masahiro and Aki. Our band name Funeral Rites was named after the song “Funeral Rites” from Sepultura. This song was contained in their 1st album “Morbid Visions”. I like only their first album. So our band name was named after it. I know many ‘funeral’ songs and bands like “Funeral Fog”, Funeral Winds, Funer(e)al Moon and etc. But I’m proud of our band’s name because it is simple and quite cool. I know another Funeral Rites from Poland. They seem to have released their first album, but I have never heard it. They must have the same sense as us.
Let’s talk about “The Wintermoon…” demo. How’s the response? Satisfied with it?
“The Wintermoon…” is our second release. It was recorded September 1996 and released October 1996. In this demo there are many middle tempo numbers and keyboards part than our first demo. The responses to it is good. But I’m not satisfied with it yet because our second demo was released just now, last autumn.
I think Funeral Rites are influenced by old black Metal bands. Is it true? I wonder why it is such a norm in Japan. I mean, most of the other Japanese black Metal bands like Sigh and Abigail are also mainly influenced by the old bands.
Yes, we are influenced by old black Metal bands (Sodom, Bathory, Hellhammer, etc). and today’s black Metal (Mayhem, Emperor, Burzum, etc.). And in Japan almost all the black Metal bands are greatly influenced by old black Metal. Sigh plays many cover songs of Venom and Abigail plays cover songs of Bulldozer in their gigs. We play cover songs of Sodom, too. I think the reason why is because there are few good today’s black and thrash Metal bands (thrash Metal was dead long ago). Many of today’s black Metal bands are imitations of today’s black Metal bands like Emperor, Satyricon, Cradle of Filth, Marduk and etc…. Against it, many old black Metal bands had originality. So we listen to old black Metal very much and we are greatly influenced by them. But we must not become an imitation of old black Metal. Today’s black Metal bands including us must make original black Metal music. I think Sigh and Abigail have their original style. We always try to make our own original style too.
On the demo there’s a cover of Sodom’s classic “Blasphemer”.
Sodom is one of the greatest black Metal bands that influenced us. Especially I like their debut mini, “Outbreak of Evil” and first album “Obsessed by Cruelty” very much. In our gig we don’t have any permanent keyboards member. So we play many cover songs of Sodom besides our original songs and recorded their classic “Blasphemer” in our second demo.
I noticed that keyboards are widely used on your songs and it’s quite successful. Does keyboards remain an integral part of Funeral Rites’ compositions?
Many keyboards parts give our songs atmospheric and illusional impressions. But I have not ever studied music theory and keyboards (I write all of our songs). So our keyboards parts are difficult especially. And I try not to rely on keyboards too much because I think the most important point is guitar riffs if you’re talking about Metal music. But it is true keyboards parts are important to our music.
What are your lyrics dealing with? How important is the lyrics to you? Why don’t you sing in ‘Nihongo’?
Lyrics is very important to black Metal. My lyrics deal with Satanism, many satanic stories, human beings and etc. They are based on my belief, but not based on realistic problems. I don’t sing in Japanese language (‘Nihongo’) because the pronunciation of Japanese language does not go well with Metal music. So I don’t sing in Japanese language. Judging from the demo, I think Funeral Rites prefer the slow, midtempo, doomy type of black Metal.
Yes, our second demo include many middle and slow tempo numbers by chance. But our first demo include fast black Metal numbers. On the whole half of our songs are fast numbers and rest half of them are middle or slow numbers. Our next release will include fast black Metal number.
Your demo cover. I think it’s too simple and look like it was done in a rush. I would like to know the hidden messages behind it. Some says the logo is not that attractive too.
Our second demo cover was painted by You (guitar). It may be too simple, but I think it is easy to see and it’s attractive. I like it. The crucified Christ means the fate of fools. I don’t like a logo that is difficult to make out. Many great bands have simple logo. I like a simple logo too. I don’t think our logo is not attractive. If there are people who think our logo is uninteresting, I don’t take notice of them. The music is important than the logo to us.
Some people tend to agree that an eastern black Metal band will never have the capabilities and achieve the so-called ‘evil’ of the bands from the north and the west. I would like to hear your comment.
If they think the eastern black Metal bands will never have the capabilities and are inferior to the north and west bands, they are people who cannot think progressively. Because almost all the black Metal bands came from the north and west till now, they must think so. I don’t like to stick to that old custom. They should appreciate the band regardless of the country if the band makes good music. I think many eastern bands have originality and scarcity value because there are few eastern black Metal bands.
Tell us more about the Japanese culture. Is there any traditional belief of spiritualism, Satanism, occultism, etc? If there’s any, I hope you don’t mind to tell us a bit about it.
In Japan many people make much of spiritual power. It’s called “Konjo”. Many people say that spiritual power bring about a miracle. I think so. Satanism and Christianity are not familiar with many people because religion is separated from our educational system (of course there are exceptions…). So many people grow without being conscious of religion. But I passed my school days in mission school and became aware the contradiction of Christianity. So I became a Satanist. I think Satanism is a metaphor that a crisis of our world. Occultism… there are many occult movie and book in Japan. I like occultism, too. In Japan there are original occult stories, “Kwaidan” written by Rampo Edogawa.
From your personal opinion, what can you describe about this whole universe and its creatures?
This whole universe is wide. There are still many things I must know of. So I cannot describe it clearly.
Give your personal comment on how a black Metal band should live their life as.
Black Metal bands including us should establish their music style and their belief. And they should pursue originality without sticking to a fashion.
What can you predict of the eastern Metal scene two or three years from now?
Eastern Metal scene (especially in Japan) will not change because Metal music is not a fashion music and a number of people that listen to Metal music seems to be in stability. The originality will be kept instead.
Can we expect a Funeral Rites album soon?
We will release third demo or an MCD this summer. But we won’t be impatient to get a success for example an album deal. We will continue making our music from now on. We are a black Metal band forever.
Add some final words.
Death to false black Metal!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

RANDOM address

These should be the permanent, eternal addresses of RANDOM.

224, Jalan Abdul Rahman
Kaw Per Melayu, Kg. Baru
28700 Bentong, Pahang

Interview with IRONSWORD in Issue#2, 1997

Back when power Metal was not actually the ‘thing’ in the general underground extreme Metal scene, there’s Ironsword from Portugal brandishing some serious Lusitanian Power Metal Thunder with their debut promo- tape in ’95. Evolving into a full line-up band nowadays, and have released three albums so far, the quest of Tann is continuing, not to forget that he’s a seasoned person in the Portugal underground scene, having played in bands like Moonspell, Alastor, Filii Nigrantium Infernalium, and the great Decayed. Impressive resume nevertheless.
Your opening summon to all the readers, Tann…
A big Hail and Kill to all the readers of RANDOM fanzine! Thanks Shah for this opportunity and all your shown support…
Introduce a bit of Ironsword’s history for those who don’t know it yet.
I hope it will clear up everyone in just a few lines, oh well, let’s try… Ironsword is a power Metal band formed more or less in late ’94, and it’s completely inspired by old Metal 80’s bands like Manilla Road, Manowar, Saxon, Maiden, Priest, Running Wild, etc. It was supposed to start in early’89 under a different name, with line-up etc., but it took me all this time to recover, and put myself on the right track again. In between I have played in other bands, which helped to delay the real beginning of Ironsword. I am the only member, I released in late ’95 a 3 song promo tape that received good feedback… that’s basically the history of Ironsword so far, so there is not much to tell!
So, Ironsword is a one-man band. Don’t you find that it’s quite difficult to be the one who handles all the instruments? Why do Ironsword is a one-man band? Do you try to make it that way or planning to get some new members soon? I think chances of playing live are rather slim too for a one-man band.
Not only I’m the one who handles all the instruments, but the mail, interviews, photos, designs, etc as well, and it’s pretty hard sometimes when you get overloaded and quite often there’s no spare time left. But anyway, I love what I’m doing, it’s a very old dream of mine that came true, there is no one interfering my ideas, projects, slowing me down or whatever, everything is under control, you know. It may sound a bit selfish of me but I don’t feel it’s necessary at the very moment adding more musicians to Ironsword because since the beginning it was made to retain as a one-man band. Sure it would be great to have a stable line-up to do some gigs or maybe a tour but if it will ever happen, everything must develop naturally, and besides it would have to be a big event with lots of cool pyrotechnical effects etc. and for that you need money and to be at least well known. Sometimes I think of that possibility, and it’s a question I always have to face during interviews, with friends, family etc. Maybe one day my stubbornness will have no basis…
In this era of the ‘awakening of black Metal’, it’s quite refreshing to hear a band that plays a different concept. So Tann, why did you choose to play power Metal?
Ironsword means power, means Metal! I chose to play power Metal because I only like 80’s Metal in general. May it be hard rock, speed, thrash or black Metal. It’s in my vein, my spirit! Obviously if I would form a thrash or black Metal band myself it would sound totally different from you are used to hear from new bands. I can only play in the old style. You know I come from a very old-school Metal and these new bands I don’t find them exciting at all. I even don’t know what is black Metal nowadays because all bands seem to label as one, so…
You’ve started Ironsword for about 6 years before you finally unleashed the promotape to the public. Why did you take such a long time before you start promoting Ironsword?
As I’ve told you previously, Ironsword was supposed to start in ’89, but meanwhile I joined other bands for reasons I felt it were right back then. Only in late ’94 I decided to move forward, and a year later I released the promo, and begin with the promotion etc. but since I’m alone taking care of the band, it’s always difficult to follow a certain timing, you know. A lot of things get delayed, sometimes you have to choose between an interview or a song you’re composing and I simply cannot do both things at the same time. Well, afterall it is my quest, I will not give up no matter what…
You claimed that Ironsword plays Lusitanian Metal, what is it, really?
“Lusitanian” literally means the inhabitants, tribes of pre-Celtic origin which lived in Portugal, formerly known as Lusitania, in the Iron Age period. They were known as the Lusitanians. Some people still use this word to describe something mythological, immemorial, epic… so it makes sense to label my music as pagan power Metal or just Lusitanian Metal, since I come from Portugal, I was the first as well to come up with this label even when I was playing in other bands and everything in Ironsword is connected with this side of Portuguese historical background.
What about your lyrics then?
As I was telling you in the previous question, everything in the band, may it be image, lyrics, music etc. is connected with Lusitania and its people. My lyrics deal with its mythology, legends, heroic deeds, battles, swords and magic, ancient rites etc., basically it deals with Paganism, but I guess viewpointed in another direction than most band usually do. My lyrics contain a lot of forgotten honourable values and principles from the elder times. I personally think that the lyrics are a complement of the song itself and vice-versa. Hmm… I don’t need any special occasions to write lyrics or music, usually it happens naturally, it flows when I’m inspired, no matter how and when, but sometimes I can be completely blocked as well!This is an excerpt from your promo booklet, “I behold from the mountains the thousand hoisted banners from countless pagan hordes, prepared to fight and die against the world, spouting their ‘true’ words of death, evil and destruction… ironically, these mortals have been clouding each other only…”. Hmmm…
When I wrote that, I wanted that people would have their own opinion after reading that sentence, to judge for themselves. I know the truth behind, I know what it means for me, and I can assure you that it has a lot of meaning, you can apply for example for music, for people’s mentality and behavior etc. It was just opening my heart…
I think you take your national culture seriously, Tann. What is the connection between your eternal belief and your songs?
I’ve been studying for quite a while the past of my national culture, and it makes me very proud to know the glorious history of my pagan forefathers, it’s something of high interest I consider very important because I do feel personally linked with that period of history, I’m still Lusitanian though blood and soil. It’s like if I belonged to that period. The band is just a way to express the knowledge, to put me closer to this matter. Unfortunately, nowadays people don’t care for old values, for their own history etc. They care more for materialism than knowing more about their lives, their history.
Your influences comprise of old Metal bands like Manowar, Bathory, etc. Don’t you have any new ones which you liked the music? What do you think about the extreme Metal scene of today compared to the early days?
I just like what I feel that is good music, so that’s why I only like 80’s Metal bands mostly! Besides, I like classical music, especially Wagner. Of course I like as well some new bands, those which I’m in contact with, friends of mine, like Cruachan, In The Woods…, etc. Well, they know who they are, so I don’t need to tell the interviews. Hail and Kill to all of you in case you read this! As for the other questions you made, I guess you can compare the musical evolution and progress with other expressions of art. Since we are heading to a position that soon there will be nothing left to invent, while some bands follow the trends, others have to search for new things to sound original for how strange it may seem for your ears, so that’s why the whole thing is becoming so senseless. There’s no Rock n’ Roll spirit anymore! Just pure materialism, music for profit etc.!
“Ironsword music is full of strong feelings and atmosphere.” What are the feelings you’re talking about?
Longing for my homeland, for a noble life with honour, glory and pride, battles fought for freedom, to be one with nature etc. Those are the feelings I’m talking about.
Some people confine to the thought that says by singing in their own language will give some extra plus points. So why don’t you sing in your own mother tongue, Tann? Do you agree with such opinion like above?
To tell you the truth, I’ve thought of that previously, but I realized that people would not understand the lyrics and what I was singing, except maybe for Portuguese people that are familiar with. I agree it may give more atmosphere if you sing in your mother tongue, making it more mysterious, mystical, ancient etc. but on the other hand there’s always the problem that only a few could understand and it can cause lack of interest before others. I think anyone can do whatever he wants! Perhaps I will do in the future a couple of lyrics in Portuguese or Latin, but nothing’s sure yet. We shall see if it works!
Any upcoming releases from Ironsword soon? Is the demo “Power Metal Thunder” had been released?
The demo “Power Metal Thunder” will hopefully be released in a couple of months, as well as a new promotape “Get What You Deserve!” filled with covers from Saxon, Judas Priest, Manowar, Anvil and a lot more heavy Metal bands. Besides that, I’m still negotiating with the German label N.E.P for the release of the first album, hopefully still this year, so I’ll be pretty busy as you can see…
What about some poetic words a s a closing for this interview?
Well, I’m listening to Virgin Steele, honestly I don’t feel too inspired to write poetry, but I can write something like “Hard n’ Heavy on Metal, Raise the fist of the Metal child, Iron, leather and Metal is the law, Under the sign of Metal we fight!”. Hail and Kill!

Friday, May 8, 2009

RECIDIVIST "Peaceful Of Doom"

RECIDIVIST “Peaceful Of Doom”
Death Metal on the offering, and Recidivist does it the old-school way. No ultrafast blastbeat, no dizzying fretboard shredding, there ‘re only feelgood old-school death Metal here. Wait, did I just mention ‘feelgood’? Do such words accepted within the death Metal vocab? But then , that’s the word instantly emerged listening to this “Peaceful of Doom”. It’s not happy-sounding death Metal, no; but it ain’t that evil too. That’s right. Everything is predetermined here, no way surprises. That is what you should get from them. They’ve released a mini-album prior to this, my guess is this is the way they sounded too. You see, Recidivist confine themselves in that safe zone of traditional death Metal, and I won’t see them ever going out from there anytime soon. You know what to expect then. If I’m not mistaken, this recording (a live studio session I think) is being given free to anyone interested. Contact the band.

SAMARTARY "Kebangkitan"

SAMARTARY “Kebangkitan” (Wira Athotorgh Production)
“Thrash Kemelayuan” is their own description of their sound, and who could blame them for claiming as such. This is as rusty a Malaysian thrash Metal can get, and there should be more than once occasion that you’ll be reminded of the Malaysian thrash godfathers Black Fire upon listening to “Kebangkitan”. The similarities are there, totally barenaked; and transparent enough for everyone to see.Summing it all up, this is thrash Metal the Malaysian way, comfortably draped in mid-pace throughout most of the proceeding; and if you’re familiar with Malaysian rock and heavy Metal scene of the late ‘80’s and early ‘09’s, this one reeks of it, so pungent that suggest it is the band’s intention of showing it. But hey, I traced some old Greek black Metal-influenced riffs here too. On a more personal level, I do wish that the band produce more of those faster passages though. And on the last song, I can’t help but noticing that the vocals seems like playing catching-up with the rest of the instruments. A well-balanced minimal production though, no need to be grumpy on that. Now, Malaysian thrash Metal, anyone?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Interview with MANIAC BUTCHER in Issue#2, 1997

Self-proclaimed the only true kings of Czech black Metal, but who could blame them? The duo Barbarud Hrom and Vlad Blasphemer had, from their early years right up until 2002, delivered what they know best: fucking raw black Metal with no compromises. Splitting-up for the reason of getting disgusted with the current black Metal scene, you should know what to expect from them. Barbarud Hrom was summoned…
Vomit some blasphemous introduction to all the readers…
Hell-o! Here’s Barbarud Hrom, singer of Maniac Butcher and Dark Storm and owner of PUSSY GOD RECORDS.
Suddenly, “Barbarians” CD was released in Nov ’95 and Maniac Butcher is carving a name in the black Metal scene. Does Maniac Butcher personally satisfied with this release and how’s the reaction from the Metal scene?
We are very satisfied with our debut and also the major parts of listeners, because sells are very good and also reactions were very positive.
Maniac Butcher’s sound is almost similar to the Scandinavian bands. What is your comment about this and does Maniac Butcher is really influenced by the Scandinavians? Don’t you ever wish to be a so-called ‘original’ band?
We don’t see original to use many instruments (like flute, violin, cymbals) or to do some mixture of more styles. We believe in true METAL sound – one male vocals, two guitars, bass and drums – nothing more!
“Lucan-Antikrist” was released in Sept ’96. From my point of view, the difference between “Lucan…” and “Barbarians” is only in the production. They’re basically in the same vein.
We love our style, so there’s no reason to change it. We tried only to do darker riffs and of course, production is much better than the debut.
On “Barbarians”, the lyrics dealt with pure antichristianity whilst on “Lucan…” it is about the Lucans (correct me if I’m wrong). So what made you change the topics, Barbarud?
I think the main topic is the same. Because the lyrics of the second album tell the story about bloody fight of Lucans against Christians.
Could you tell us more about the ‘Lucans’?
Lucans were our paganic ancestors, cruel barbaric warriors, eternal adversaries of Christianity. Zatec (our town) was the centre of their mighty empire (8th-12th century). Their blood is in our veins. We are true sons of them.
Lots of black Metal bands nowadays are using keyboards and female vocals. Doesn’t Maniac Butcher plans on doing so?
No!! If you take any primitive slow guitar riff and join some keyboards line, it will sound each time ‘well’. It is easy and the most of bands do it by this way… but we don’t like it!! The forever best hordes Mayhem, Darkthrone and Immortal didn’t need some fucking keyboards too!! I remember ancient times when it was a shame to use keyboards in Metal.
Maniac Butcher sings in Czech language. Do you think by singing in your own mother tongue, it fits the songs better?
Maybe… and maybe it can sound interestingly in black Metal scene. From the beginning (’92) we use Czech language. “Lucan…” is written in old Czech language (language of Lucans) – so, it can be interesting also for Czech listeners. By the way, English translation are written on the CD booklet too.
Since that you’re singing in Czech, why don’t you name the band in Czech too?
Ha – it is a very often question… The name “Maniac Butcher” is much older than the real band (it is from ’88-’89). Well, it is in English, and it is not ‘suitable’ for today’s black Metal hordes… but we have strong relation to it and we will never change it!! If we would translate it to Czech – “Sileni Reznik”, I’m very sure that very few people will be able to write it without mistakes and no one would remember it…
You and Vlad are also in the band Dark Storm. Both of you are also doing another band called Nhaavah. For what reason that you decided to form these other bands beside Maniac Butcher? Is there any differences between these three bands?
Nhaavah is only a studio project. We’d like to use bass and drum-machine for ultrafast passages. But in this time we have no free money and time to record it. Dark Storm is a real band with four members. I sing there (as in Maniac Butcher), Vlad plays drums in Dark Storm but guitars in Maniac Butcher! Both bands play quite similar music, but 90% of Maniac Butcher music is written by Vlad and Dark Storm music is written by Martin Desecrator and C.O.F.E.E. Dark Storm music is more primitive and lyrics are in English. By the way, debut CD “Four Lucan Emperors” is out from Nov ’96!!
What about the Czech Metal scene right now. Before this, I only knew of Master’s Hammer and Root. Any other ‘bohemian horns’ that is great in your opinion? Will Bohemian bands take the black Metal scene by storm once again?
I don’t think so… because there is too many hordes in other countries. We must fight very hard for good position in the world black Metal scene. From the other Czech hordes I would recommend you only two names, Unclean and Sorath. There is also several young bands. But the most of them are only bad copies of famous hordes, without any own philosophy (stolen riffs etc.).
Lots of black Metal bands are despising each other by accusing words like ‘trends’ and ‘false’ between them. What do you think differentiate the ‘true’ from the ‘false’? Do you ever give a damn about this situation?
One year ago, I thought that 99% of all bands are true people which love their music. But if I see some new Czech bands, I must change my opinion. What do you think about, when some Czech bands have lyrics in Norwegian, sings about the Vikings, and use photos with plastic Viking helmets and wooden axes on the cover…! Also one other band stole my own lyrics “The End of Messiah”. They changed only several words… their version is called “The End of Christ”. I think it is real hard to say ‘true’ about these hordes.

You set up your own record label, PUSSY GOD RECORDS. Tell us more about it and what are you planning to release in the future?
My forthcoming releases: CD of Unclean “Ten, co sevyhyba svetla” March ’97, CD of Sorath “Gnosis” May ’97, 3rd CD of Maniac Butcher “Krvestreb”, EP of Nazgul (summer/autumn ’97) and 2nd CD or MCD of Dark Storm (till the end of ’97).
You seem to have some problem finding a suitable second guitarist. Is this problem been settled now?
Yes, from May ’96 Lord Uncleans (Pan Necistych) is our new member. He leads his own studio band Unclean. We have known them for a very long time – he is a good friend and honest man… and of course- very good guitarist.
On the first CD, the cover depicts the bandmembers riding horses, second CD depicts you with a sword and of course, riding a horse too. So what are you trying to portray from the covers?
I think that three things – cover, title and lyrics should have common concept. So “Barbarians” means warriors on horses, “Lucan…” means warriors and horses too. Moreover, many bands use ‘war-painted’ photos on the cover, but horses are unique in my opinion. New album will be called “Krvestreb”. It is a name of mighty falcon in old Czech language. It is a symbol of power, freedom, fight against Christianity. It will be again something common with the Lucans. But I’m not sure if we will use again the horses on the cover…
Anything that we can expect from Maniac Butcher soon?
Instead of a new album, we would like to make two videos for songs “Zatecky Hrad” and “Postledni Bitva” from “Lucan…” soon. We only wait for better weather. Now it is too cold and snow is everywhere. We will make it on one castle-ruin and we don’t want to make it in snow. Many people would say that we copy Norwegian hordes, if we would make it in snow. It seems only Norwegian bands can use war-paints or snow, only Norwegian bands can play black Metal. All bands from Norway are true, all the rest are false trenders…?? Sorry, I don’t think so!!
If there’s anything else to be said, devour it now.
I’d like to give my dark greetings to all my Malaysian friends. Thanks for the support!! Death or Die!! Black or Bye – Forever!!