Tuesday, June 30, 2009

BRABAZOM "Beast of Mortality"

BRABAZOM “Beast of Mortality” promo EP ‘09
Now if this is to be remarked upon, taking into account that I simply don’t have all the resources to sample everything from the local scene, it is one of the more promising black Metal demos I’ve encountered in years. There certainly is nothing revolutionary here, but what BRABAZOM do is nothing short of presenting what they know best without the daunting task of trying to be original and such. “Beast…” consists of three well-honed melodic black Metal not concerning about anything else. They go for the balls here, no bullshit allowed. They shift between being aggressive and melodic as necessary, worthwhile to mention that they didn’t rely solely on the keyboards to create the atmosphere needed. Couple that with their awareness of not dragging things far from what it’s supposed to. A glimmering three tracker effort, what more could be said. Sure, you might argue that you’ve heard it somewhere, but if it’s being done properly those are just lame excuses. Show me more.

INNARDS DECAY "Ignorance of Humanity"

INNARDS DECAY “Ignorance of Humanity” MCD
I’ve always regard INNARDS DECAY as another of the uprising brutal death Metal bands from the very own fertile soil of Malaysia, period. “Ignorance…” proved me right, but not entirely so. You see, herein it’s brutal and blasting all over, yes they’re in abundance. But that’s not the entire perspective of INNARDS DECAY. If this self-released MCD is the one to be judged from, it is apparent that INNARDS DECAY do want it to be blasting and brutal, but not without a twist. Just listen to the songs here and you’ll admit there lie some variating influences snugly tucked within. Some inventive arrangements here and there, occasional thrash, or even utterly dark, harrowing orientated riffage; among others, are to be found within. Brutal and blast, doubtless; it’s a welcoming fact INNARDS DECAY proceed them with multi-angled approach, where variations are things that shouldn’t be denied. The result is simply an interesting listen for a genre deemed too often as predictable and limited. Horns fukking up, or penis stiffening up; if you will.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

UNLIGHT DAWN "Unlight Dawn"

UNLIGHT DAWN “Unlight Dawn” MCD (Evildead Production)
Tight-fisted, bullet-ridden, christ-devoured black Metal from Unlight Dawn takes no prisoners. Right from the opening scream in track number one “Born With Satan (Pure HellSeed)” – hear this at maximum volume, you’ll understand my point. Unlight Dawn takes you on a tormenting, taunting, glorious fast black Metal throughout this 4-songs MCD. Taking ques from the sound of Swedish black Metal that is untouched by melodic plague, fukk it; Unlight Dawn does it so well. If you’re delved into this type of sonical impurities, for (un)god sake, you’ll be hooked on this. This MCD stands firmly on par with EVILDEAD’s previous release, that excellent Mantak “666” MCD, complete with a similar production result (Hellvete Studio to the fore once again, being utilized here and there on this). Can’t help sensing a bit of ‘Mantak-ness’ as well though in some part, probably due to the production, and of course their single-mindedness in the compositions. To hell with originality if you can pull it off well, hahah. I’m impressed. One ferocious Malaysian release. Qualities churning out from the Borneo in recent times just keep my adrenaline pumping. Be proud.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

IMPERIAL "The Conquering"

IMPERIAL “The Conquering” single ’09 (Astral Lore)
Who (in the local scene especially) would have thought to hear about Imperial again, after something like 10 years or so of silence. Well, in true Ripley’s style, believe it. And take a very serious heed of it. “The Conquering”, being a single it is; features one sole new song bearing the same title. You’ll have to deal here with some of the fresher direction and sound you could garner from the Malaysian (black) Metal scene, period. Still rooted in black Metal, the Imperial of today delivers their craft in a somewhat modern (in a positive sense) progressed template, and the result in “The Conquering” is well-elaborated atmospherical Metal of the blacker kind that defies from being short-sighted of various other extreme music nuances. The effects and samplings here are utilized adequately and do their job well, punctuating and enhancing the main structures whenever needed without fail. Included in this single too is “The Conquering” in rawer rehearsal mode minus the effects, confirming the bare essence of Imperial is still black fucking Metal. Ahh, and the 1995 demo “Emperor of the Hordes” is included here as well, the Imperial in their mid-paced, Greece-influenced, and of course; fukking Hellion Studio-produced years. Herald the second coming of Imperial. With the debut album forthcoming, I highly encourage you to delve into “The Conquering”, and prepare for what is to come.

Interview with LATHEBRA in Issue#3, 1998

Dark, enchanting, sophisticated, meticulous, particular…. Such are the fumes of the short-lived musical entity of Lathebra. Interview with G. Principe. C. and F. P., who is now the owner of eccentric Italian dark music label MY KINGDOM MUSIC.
First of all, why’s the demo titled “Angels’ Twilight Odes”?
G. Principe. C. – The twilight of the angels is a sort of mystic reign which represents a partial subversion of the normal existence. The title expresses the contrast between what is real and what isn’t real, a contrast which at the same time represents the inevitable union between matter and the spirit. The title of our demo is the symbolic place of the lathebra: an angelical twilight and we are the angels of this twilight…
For the demo, you have to attend a seven days studio session until it is completely finished…
G. Principe C. – Seven days are surely a lot of time to record a demo but I think that they are not too many. We wanted a work that satisfies our expectations under every single point of view and I can affirm that we are very satisfied about the final result even if the complete and total satisfaction is an utopia.
It’s neatly packaged, so you must be aiming for something more than just to introduce Lathebra to the scene…
F. P. – We have had the consciousness to have a good product since the beginning, so the fact to present it in a professional way, with a good production, a professional layout and a neat package has been just a consequence of our aim to present us in a certain way. Then Lathebra is not a simple band who play music to enjoy the listeners. Through our music we want to express our feelings and sensations and the only way to do it is to give to the listeners a visual scenario of what we feel, a picture which goes beyond the musical aspect.
Lyricwise, it seems that they’re some kind of revealing one’s ultimate feelings and emotions.
G. Principe C. – Lyrics are a sort of thoughts written in poetry and so they are subjected to personal and relative interpretations. What I can tell you is that they represent the ‘darkest’ side of our concept, the Lathebra’s gloomy manifestation and, by the way, they are something of really intimate and deep. They come from our innermost recesses….

The sleeve is beautified with images of women. I wonder why? Strong taste on artworks, by the way.
F. P. – I’m very delighted that you have noticed the beautiful images that are represent on the sleeve. The presence of a woman is due to the fact that the image represents, at the same time, the passionate and the spiritual side of the reality. The image is misty, enshrouded by a mystic halo and it is so mysterious that when I see it for the first time I was really enchanted by its beauty. I don’t know how to define the real sensation it gave me with simple words, but it represents in a perfect way the Lathebra’s concept and naturally the characteristics of our music and lyrics… I think it’s really superb with its mysterious charm!!!
The music is mostly covered in somber moods and depressions. Do you try to drift people’s mind with your music?
F. P. – I partially agree with your opinion because I think our music is characterized by somber and depressive moments, but these ones are often broken by dramatic and epic passages. I don’t know if the people who listen to our music are drifted by our sound, in any case we try only to express in music what we are and what we feel in a way that is more personal and as true as possible. I think that it’s the only certain aspect of our music and at the same time our main perspective, the other things are subjected to the personal opinion of the listeners.
Lathebra’s music is full of fantasy, right?
G. Principe C. – Surely my way to feel music is different by what the other people feel, so I don’t know how to answer to your question. Our music born in a spontaneous way, without any reflection. In this sense there is fantasy, even if it is absolutely not programmed. It’s natural like we are. But probably you’re referring to the compositive and creative fantasy and under this aspect, I’m agree with you undoubtedly. Fantasy as ‘mobility’ and creativity.
Basically I could sum up Lathebra’s music as some kind of melancholic, doomy type of black Metal, but maybe you have your own opinion…
G. Principe C. – Your definition of our music is probably the nearest to what it represents, almost in this moment, and to what we think of it. For what concerns our own perception of our music, all the members of the band have different opinions, but I think that they are only different opinions nothing more… The most important thing for us is that it is simply our music and we don’t care a lot about the labels that the musical scene can give us.
What are the elements that shape the sound of Lathebra? Do your surroundings play an integral part?
G. Principe C. – I think that more than the surroundings, what marksthe visions of an individual is his inwardness, his recesses. Nature, events, other aspects of the life are important too, but they are always filtered and transposed by each single individual in a different way and with different intensity. I think that the most enchanting place we can visit is our inwardness.
Do you consider Lathebra as an original band in one way or another?
G. Principe C. – Lathebra is a young band, only the time will tell if we are original. Now we have only expressed ourselves with a kind of music that we consider quite personal.
Tell us how the slow, depressive parts shape the ‘colour’ of the aggressive Metal music. It’s quite visible in Lathebra.
G. Principe C. – This is just the natural manifestation of our moods… it’s written in that way in our innermost recesses, so what you listen to in our music is the real expression of what we feel and the way in which we feel it. The blending of melancholic melodies and aggressive parts are probably the peculiarity of our sound. It’s the only way we have to express in music the different aspects of our personality.
F.P., you’re also the editor of Vampiria ‘zine. Being in a band and editing a fanzine, it must be very time consuming I guess.
F. P. – Vampiria ‘zine is my bleeding creature, probably another aspect of my personality and my essence, it’s born in 1995 with another name, Demonizzati, then I decided to change it to Vampiria. In these days I’ve released my second issue after the good responses of the first one and of a newsletter. In this issue called “The Arcane Beauty” there are 104 pages featuring interviews with all my fave bands involved in the dark, death and black scene. Some of them are Borknagar, Sopor Aeternus, Lycia, Funeral Oration, Nightfall and many others… There are tons of reviews, interesting articles about crusades, church of Satan and Gothic. I think it is a good product even if I’m not the right man to say it. You ask me if the band or ‘zine have ever bothered me. My answer is no!!! because it is a great passion of mine. Music is an important part of my life, and these are the ways I use to satisfy this passion.
Let’s talk about the black Metal scene in general. Lots of boycotting, backstabbing, gossiping isn’t it?
F. P. – I think that a true black soul doesn’t lose his time in spreading shit or praises about other bands, but he follows his own path, neglecting what happens around him. Naturally this so called mystic halo of hate that is now inside the black Metal scene is a natural evolution of the great trend that is burn around this musical phenomenon, but I remember that black Metal was born just to express the dark feelings of an individual… This is my opinion the true essence of black Metal.
A bit about the Italian black Metal scene. There’s an anti-Norwegian movement going on there right?
F. P. – Probably you know the best Italian bands involved in this kind of music (Mortuary Drape, Necromass, Funeral Oration, Handful of Hate, Opera IX and few others). Now there are a lot of new black Metal bands but I don’t see originality or true black feelings in what they propose. The only new promise of Italian scene is a band called The Magik Way, they are in my opinion a great band, one of the few new reality of Italian underground. About the anti-Norwegian movement, I know it exists, but I don’t like to speak much about it, because I think in the world there is only True music or False music and I don’t think it is so important the geographic origins of this or that band. In any case I don’t know the real essence of this movement, probably there are other reasons that I don’t know.
Does Lathebra means just a mere music group to you?
G. Principe C. – Lathebra is more than a simple band, it’s a way to see the things and the events around us. It’d exist even if it was not the representation of a band.
Got some plans already to shape the future of Lathebra?
F. P. – Naturally we are working at the following act of our musical manifestation and so we are working on new songs even if our musical songwriting is very difficult and very long, so at the moment nothing is definitive. Very soon, probably in June, We’ll take part in a Cd-compilation released by the Italian label NOCTURNAL MUSIC. It is a compilation featuring Italian bands and among these are very promising acts of the Italian scene. Other projects at the moment are very uncertain so I can only say that the future will speak for us…
Thanks for participating in this issue.
F. P. – I would like to thank you a lot for your support and this very enticing interview. It’s very difficult to answer to good questions and to give our opinion about what we feel and not about what we play. My darkest greetings to thee and… Kiss My Scars!!!


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Interview with HEAVEN GREY in Issue#3, 1998

Some convincing doom death Metal from Latvia’s very own Heaven Grey. 1998 is the year, “Memory River” for your ears. Answered by Vlad…
Tell us about Heaven Grey’s reputation there in Latvia…
Heaven Grey- a doom Metal band, taking one of the leading roles in the Latvian Metal scene. We put out our demo in 1994 titled “Under The Grey Clouds.” In 1996 we recorded and edited the first album “Memory River” that has been sold for over 1,000 copies all over Baltic states (for Latvia, it’s quite much). Nobody here (of course, Metal bands), has sold so much. We have been invited to almost all the biggest rock/pop festivals here in Latvia. We played more than 120 gigs not only in Latvia but also in Lithuania. By now we have recorded the new stuff called “Northwind”, with that it would be popular not only here but also abroad.
In the beginning, Heaven Grey used to play total death Metal with doom and grindcore elements. So, why did the music changed drastically in “Memory River”?
We really started with death Metal. The demo “Under The Grey Clouds” shows that. The change of style was connected with some personal changes as well as with personal opinions. The music of “Memory River” is more interesting and emotional than on the demo.
Besides the musical concept, what are the other things that you think differentiate your demo and the album?
The differences between the demo and the first album amongst musical are: covers, quality, amount of songs, amount of edited MCs.
Why did Heaven Grey decides to include cello as one of the main instruments? What is so special about the usage of cello in the band’s music?
The cello is used for years. Ernests was asked to play some stuff even before the recording of the demo. At first it was played only on the parts with acoustic sound, but later we decided to have fun and use it more and it sounds great. Cello brought more melody, pain to the music. The music become more beautiful, atmospheric and melodious.
Ansis was your manager before he became the vocalist of the band. How could this occurred?
During the time of the original vocalist Andris, Ansis was kinda manager. He helped us to organize gigs and was like a member of the band. After the deporting of Andris we sought for another guy but it was difficult enough to find one. On one of our rehearsals we asked Ansis to try himself as a singer. He tried and it was not bad at all. Step by step he worked out his voice and after some gigs we decided to have him for eternity.

“Memory River”… being released by the band independently? Couldn’t find any label address in the inlay, but what’s the relationship with MAPL Music?
The “Memory River” was financed by ourselves as well as the design of the cover. The label MAPL helped us just to promote and distribute it here in Latvia- that’s all. If I have to answer why there is no address on the cover- I don’t know. My opinion is that they weren’t interested in because they sign mostly pop-dance music but helped us because of good friendship.
Vyacheslav Niketin composed most of Heaven Grey songs right?
On “Memory River”, the themes mostly were written by Vyacheslav but it doesn’t mean that the others are less productive. The main part is done by him but their own things and shades are done by everybody. But on this new album, Sigvards and Vyacheslav write songs partly.
And what about the lyrics? They’re kind of depressive, I think.
All the lyrics are written by Ansis. They tell about relations between people, about life, about love, hate. There is no aggression or evil, or satanic stuff in the lyrics.
What’s so special about the music that made you choose doom Metal?
The style of doom is the most emotional, atmospheric, sorrowful, among the others. You can brightly show your inner, emotional world, your experience.
Looking at the current doom Metal scene, what could you say about it?
I think the style of doom is interesting enough but, unfortunately, there is tendency to play it as it was already played. However, the new bands will take place of the old ones.
What about the gothic music, which is much more associated with doom Metal these days?
The style of gothic is much equal to doom. The lyrics and music. I like such bands as The 3rd and The Mortal, Funeral, Moonspell but actually I don’t care about the names of styles. We like all music and who cares about titles.
I don’t know much about the Metal scene there in Latvia…
By now the scene of Latvian Metal has become greater as it was some years ago. Big festivals take place once in a two months, but little club-gigs every week. Riga (our capital) is the hometown for all the leading bands- Skyforger, Neglected Fields, Sanctimony, as well as there are some bands with perspective all over the country.
You will release your second album, “Northwind” on Wild Rags Records?
In days we had to cut the relations with the label WILD RAGS in the US and Richard Gee because of his now very understandable way of working. He said too much unspecific things. Also many good friends from other countries told us to cut off the deal because of the bad reputation of the label. We have many offers from different labels and we’re seeking for the best contract.
The album title, why “Memory River”?
The name “Memory River” presented vocalist Ansis. I think he wanted to show some episodes of his life but I don’t know which ones, really.
Will Heaven Grey remains like this in the future, sound-wise etc?
We’ll be truthful to the style we play. The approvement is the new stuff “Northwind”. The new one is more melodic than “Memory River”, but also includes some hard rock stuff. The vocals are more extravert and atmospheric. You can’t live without experimenting.


Interview with ETERNAL THRONE in Issue#3, 1998

ETERNAL THRONE is a ‘love it or hate it’ affair. Their demo of ‘raw black Metal’ caught glimpses nevertheless, and obviously piqued my interest on them. Short-lived they may seem, here’s one of those interviews, perhaps something to read.
How’s the debut demo, “Eternal Throne” being received by the scene so far?
To be honest, we are moved by the response. So far, our eternal brothers in Malaysia were our #1 listeners so far, and we had various reviews good, bad, ugly and these are positive signs for our band.
Eternal Throne exists since 1991. But there’s no output from the band until the year 1997. Line-up problem?
Eventhough we’re formed in 1991, the band was in common dilemma like attending to stupid National Service, schooling and most of all our line-up was not really into making any demo at that moment.
Your materials are dark and raw black Metal. Do you consider your musical direction original? That guitars sound reminds me very much of Darkthrone’s “A Blaze In The Northern Sky.”
So far as we are concern we played our own material, about the guitar’s sound similar to Darkthrone’s “A Blaze…” it’s purely coincidental. No intend to copy or whatsoever, afterall I don’t mind what people might label our style, our music sounds like, the bottom line is we believe in our ability and that’s what we got!
The drums pattern, it’s a bit unusual for me. Is it intended to be that way? The double bassdrum parts are a little awkward, I might say so…
Musically we arranged as a band and that is the sort of drum sounding that we want. Eventhough it sounds awkward, its sounds were in line with our way of “Dark Raw” concept. Anyway the double pedal was not in good condition! Fuck the studio!
The demo… how’s the making of it? Is it really easy to get the sound that you warranted? Satisfied?
Frankly we are very happy and satisfied with the whole demo, even time constrain, we managed to get the sound we wanted most.
What about live-shows? You’ve played in the jam-session of a Johor gig not so while ago right?
Ya, Johor’s jamming session was absolutely great experience, it was our first appearance on stage and its kind of thrilling! Anyway we were glad that it goes fine and thanks to our eternal brothers As Sahar, Beast, Knight and Kibosh Sybil Kismet for their support.
And I’ve also heard that you’ll never play live in Singapore, why?
Simple. Fuck Singapore! Hail Malaysia!
Where the hell is Seventh Gates of Hell now? It seems that you guys respect him a lot. Tell us a bit about him, and also Beast.
Ok, Seventh Gates of Hell had changed to be a better person after he had overcome his ‘personal problem’, sorry we can’t elaborate more, he’s doing fine right now. Seventh Gates of Hell were someone we look up to as his contribution to our band in a spiritual way, without him we won’t be into black Metal kind of thing. Hail to our eternal brother Seventh Gates of Hell. Beast is another individual whom we respect as best friend and eternal brother as he was the only survival soul remain. He is around us most of our time even good or bad days! Hail to Beast!
What’s your relationship with the band Netherealm? I’ve got the chance to hear their demo, and it sounds quite like Eternal Throne’s.
OK, Netherealm kind of music is a mix of Norway and Swedish style musically, I am the sessionist drummer of Netherealm and it’s a great experience working with Knight and Sam of Kibosh. Eternal Throne respect Knight as a friend and also Netherealm as a band that could be a force to be reckon with.
The Singapore scene, it seems that the black Metal bands there have their own circle of friends and despise bands that’s not one of them…
Ok, I don’t give a damn about the Singapore circle or what it is called, as we are concern we only support our eternal brothers such as As Sahar, Kibosh, Netherealm, Dicius and of course all Malaysian bands like Langsuir, Sil Khannaz, Hayagriva, Aradia, etc.
Being an eastern black Metal band, how does it feels? It’s pretty different from the Westerns…
It’s true we can’t really copy all Western bands concept and music but we can take them as an inspiration figure and we could do it in our unique Eastern concept. For us we like and hail Norwegian bands like Mayhem, Darkthrone, Dimmu Borgir, Kampfar and Emperor because they came from the same country but still had their own different style! For us we took them as an inspiration but add our own pattern of play.
So, it actually means that Eastern bands should seek for their own sound, isn’t it?
If possible yes, uphold our Eastern mystical roots.
But I could say that Eternal Throne sounds very much like those Europeans and so on, so…
Whatever it is we are an Eastern band and we are happy to be that way, it is up to individuals to decide.
There’s no ‘real’ artworks on your demo cover. Is it not that important?
As you know, it’s our first demo, we don’t really press for the cover but in the future who knows, maybe a better logo for instance, but we are happy with the simple logo cover of our first demo. “Tak kisah cantik atau buruk, asalkan muzik kita faham cukuplah”!
What do you think about the black Metal scene nowadays in general?
In general? Lots of wave change and most of them wanted to be true black Metal head. But we don’t care about all this nonsense.
By playing your own music, you believe that it’s a truly, great eternal quest towards your own throne. Could you tell us a bit about the ‘throne’ that you’re talking about and aiming for?
“THRONE” to us is “Singgahsana yang abadi”. It is verse spiritually of peace… in our souls by playing our music we feel and it’s great to have that divine experience.
A true black Metal band is not justified as one only by the music they play is simply called ‘black Metal’, isn’t it?
It’s not too easy to be true in everything in life, you had to focus yourselves into this avenues and understand it. Eternal Throne believe that ‘black Metal’ is an art of spiritual, mystical, knights.

ETERNAL THRONE c/o Black Emperor, Blk 14, Kampung Arang, #07-33, SINGAPORE 431014