Interview with Human Cull

Human Cull Logo

Human Cull’s latest release Stillborn Nation is a fantastic slab of top quality Grind chock full to the brim with maximum aggression. I quizzed them for more info…

For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!

We are Human Cull, a 3 piece grindcore band from south-west England.

How did you form?

Human Cull was the refocused effort of a former band. We had a bit of a line-up change after our old drummer left, so I moved from guitars to drums and Edd added playing guitar to doing vocals.

What are your influences?

The usual mishmash of old and new grindcore bands, early (proper) death metal, thrash, crust, heavy metal, lots. Basically anything we think we can get away with chucking into the mix.

What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?

Everyone should check what the UK grindcore scene is putting out at the moment, because there are some excellent bands in there; Fetus Christ, Atomck, The Atrocity Exhibit, Evisorax, Godsick, Oblivionized. There’s a list as long as my arm of lots of different takes on fast noise.

Human Cull

What was your writing process like for the songs of Stillborn Nation?

It was very organic (as cliché as that sounds). Edd and I would hash over ideas ’til something stuck. There were no shortage of ideas so we had to be pretty brutal with it all to weed out the weaker bits. Eventually we got to a point where we were happy with all the new stuff. There’s some re-recordings of older tracks on there too that had slowly changed over the course of playing them live so many times.

What can you tell us about the lyrics?

We try and take a few different themes and construct a bleak narrative about them. It’s a mix of current and often political situations, apocalyptic future sci-fi esque shit and some other bits and pieces, but all from a pretty nihilistic point of view.

In my review I praise the growling of the vocals in particular, comparing them to the characterful delivery of The Red Chord. How much thought went into the vocal patterns and rhythms?

With Edd and I both having to play instruments as well as doing vocals we tried to make sure we could play the songs live as well as just record them. Some are easier than others. The vocals are an important aspect to the texture of our music to us so we try and make them as fitting as possible.

Are you happy with how the album came out?

Yes. We always have set out to make music we’d enjoy listening to and I think we’ve managed it. We recorded with Dan Couch (from Godsick) and the album was mixed by William Blackmon (from Gadget), and they both did a great job of capturing the kind of sound we were after.

What does the future hold for Human Cull?

We’re hitting Europe next month for a tour with Oblivionized, Temples Festival in May, and more writing and recording for some more releases and splits we have lined up. We like to keep ourselves busy.

Thanks!

Interview with Gravehill

Gravehill Logo

Gravehill will shortly be releasing their new album Death Curse which is chock full of top quality Death Metal riffage and mouldy corpse-bothering. I asked some questions while Thorgrimm and Abominator stank up the place…

Hi, for people unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself.

Originally formed in 2001 as a three piece and within the same year recorded “The Practitioners of Fell Sorcery” demo and as quickly as it began, the original line-up disbanded soon after the début demo. In 2006 GRAVEHILL reformed with original drummer & founder Rhett “THORGRIMM” Davis and vocalist Mike Abominator, “the brains and heart of the current GRAVEHILL.” Over the course of 2007-2009 GRAVEHILL released 2 CDs with ENUCLEATION Records… the “Metal of Death” / “The Advocation of Murder and Suicide” CD/EP and the “RITES OF THE PENTAGRAM” CD. Soon after the RotP CD release with ENUCLEATION Records, the label folded, leaving both releases free. They were later given to IBEX MOON Records for a combined release of “Metal of Death / Advocation & Rites of the Pentagram” CDs adding a live DVD to the package as well!

By the summer of 2010 GRAVEHILL toured the U.S., added a new guitarist Matt “Hellfiend” Harvey (EXHUMED, DEKAPITATOR, REPULSION) to the line-up and by 2011 played the 9th annual Maryland Death Fest supporting their sophomore record “When All Roads lead to Hell” CD with DARK DESCENT Records (www.darkdescentrecords.com).

2012 began with a line-up change, by adding 2 new full-time guitarists known only as CC DeKill & Hell Messiah to replace Matt Hellfiend & Bodybag Bob due to their momentous touring schedule for EXHUMED.

2014 sees GRAVEHILL deliver their most stripped down and powerful release to date. On April 1st, 2014, GRAVEHILL’S “Death Curse” will be unleashed on CD/Digital formats (vinyl soon after) through DARK DESCENT Records. Over 35 minutes of powerful death metal in the old vein including guest appearances from some of the biggest legends of death metal (Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler of Autopsy and Kam Lee (Massacre, Death and Bone Gnawer). “Death Curse” includes artwork by another legend, Christopher Moyen (Incantation, Blasphemy and more).
<ABOMINATOR> Thorgrimm just put our “BIO” here because we are dead tired of answering this question…….. NEXT!

What are your influences?

<THORGRIMM> VENOM, AUTOPSY, MASSACRE, HELLHAMMER, BATHORY, SODOM, 80’s SLAYER, etc. We are influenced mostly by 80’s and early 90’s Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal, Death Metal, Black Metal, Punk and Crust Punk. In most reviews we are called “Black/Thrash Death” or some variation of that. We just call ourselves Death Metal, everything we play is that to us, but call it whatever you want.
<ABOMINATOR> We are the FLEETWOOD MAC of death metal. Except we aren’t witches dancing around in sequenced moo-moo dresses and we don’t get fucked by penises dipped in cocaine like good Ol’ Stevie Nicks. I would say that I have a better voice than that stuffy ass, friend egg tits Christine McVie as well. Although it would be pretty cool to have a 34 inch cock like Mick Fleetwood. I think he fucked Stevie, Christine AND Lindsay Buckingham all at the same time didn’t he? Maybe even got a piece of that John Weasel Wort or whatever his name was on bass. Wasn’t that fucker in those Harry Potter movies?

What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?

<THORGRIMM> Autopsy – The Headless Ritual / Rose Tattoo- Assault & Battery / Hail of Bullets – The Rommel Chronicles / Venom – Possessed / In Solitude – Sister / Wasp – Inside the Electric Circus / Behold! The Monolith – Defender/Redeemist / The Upper Crust – Let Them Eat Rock
<ABOMINATOR> Axegrinder-Rise of the Serpent Men/ Rea Respirator-Slapp Loss Alla Band Tape/ GBH-City Babies Attacked By Rats/ Tygers of Pan Tang-Wild Cat/ Demigod-Slumber of Sullen Eyes/ Sweet Savage-Take No Prisoners/ Scholastic Deth-Book Attack/ Lubricant-Swallow the Symetric Swab demo/ Bloody Phoenix-Ode to Death/ Peter Gabriel-So/ Warsore-ALL/ Roky Erickson-Don’t Slander Me/ Machetazo-Ruin/ Hellnation-Thrash or Die/ Nuclear Death-Wake Me When I’m Dead demo/ Agathocles-VNA split/ Mastication demo ’91.

GravehillGive us a bit of background to your latest album.

<THORGRIMM> We started the writing for the album in mid-2012′ after we got things rolling with CC & Hell on guitars. The songs came together pretty quickly, and by early 2013′ we had the entire album written along with jamming some cover songs we’d been doing for fun. We recorded all the drums with John Haddad at Trench Studios (who had recorded us in one way or another on our first 2 albums), we recorded all guitars, bass and vocals in our home studio with our guitarist CC at the helm and gave the final tracks to Dan Ochoa to mix and master. We took more of an active role in this album than all previous, we had the opportunity to take advantage of what we couldn’t before. We tried for a couple years to get art from Moyen and had the cover done by him a year before the album was done simply cuz he was available then, again we took whatever advantage we could when we could.
<ABOMINATOR> Right now we can tell you that it’s the best thing that we have ever done. Until we get sick and tired of it and the next album comes out. Wait, we are already sick and tired of these songs. Oh well. Just go buy the fucker so we can take our drugs and fuck our hookers.

How are the songs written?

<THORGRIMM> Unconventionally. Most bands have a chief writer or a writing team or whatever. We just get together in rehearsal, and start woodshedding ideas. Starts with one idea/riff and then we all contribute to that idea/riff, somehow a song gets arranged out of it. Hopefully one day we can just sit around, drink beer, listen to AUTOPSY, GG ALLIN & SODOM and write an entire record in one afternoon. Maybe the next one?
<ABOMINATOR> We can shit and fart out ideas all day and night. Oh and puke them out too. Death Metal should be done this way and THIS way only. Some of these new “death metal” bands sound like they come up with their 137 ideas in some fancy lab of some sorts. Carefully piece stuff together with a fine toothed comb. We just use the blood and semen that’s on our hands, rub it in your face and start the fucking heavy metal. Our songs smell worse than we do.

Tell us about the lyrics.

<ABOMINATOR> My diatribes that I put together for this band keeps me out of prison. That being said, I’m not “singing” about butterflies, saving the world or my failed relationships from 1998 that I still cry about. It’s a heavy dose of hell, throw in some Satan and top it off with a lot of cursing and there you have it. This shit just spews out of me like a puss filled zit. I then spread that pus all around until everything is covered. God loves ugly. Good thing God also fails and I don’t give a fuck what he loves. I LOVE TO SMELL MY OWN FARTS.

Are you pleased with the way Death Curse ended up sounding?

<THORGRIMM> I think it is closest to what we wanted to achieve then what we’ve done before. We want the drums to sound like drums, the bass is in the mix, and the guitars are heavy and raw. Having better gear helped this time out also, as well as not cutting corners on what sound we want to hear. Also the recording work CC contributed was a major factor also.

GravehillHow do you think you fit in with the Death Metal scene as a whole?

<THORGRIMM> We don’t fit into any “scene”, in fact is there really a “scene”? There is an ongoing misunderstanding of what “Death Metal” is, due to so many stupid sub genre’s, the whole genre is confusing and overrun by hipsters with opinions I could give 2 shits about hearing. Nothing against the DIY collective, all those who bust their ass to get headbangers in the door, buying the merch and keeping the gigs alive, all the power to them. I’m just one of many in a band in the Greater Los Angeles area who is a part of the madness. Does GRAVEHILL have anything to prove? No. We are exactly what we are, Death Metal. If anyone feels the need to challenge that, go for it and eat a dick while you’re at it.
<ABOMINATOR> FUCK THE DEATH METAL SCENE AND FUCK ALL SCENES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you think there’s life in the maggot-ridden corpse of Old-School Death Metal yet?

<THORGRIMM> I’m a long time fan of Motorhead and AC/DC, which at one time or another have been bad mouthed by the media (past & present). Words like “Boring”, “Unimaginative”, “Unskilled”, “Barbaric”, “Primitive”, “Raw”, etc… These 2 bands haven’t reinvented the wheel. They are the fucking wheel! These bands don’t need to apologize for who they are, they do what they do and do it well and are happy doing it. That’s my point of view, GRAVEHILL is not here to provide something new, something innovative. We let the jazz pussy’s do that. So to answer your question more directly… don’t care.
<ABOMINATOR> DEATH METAL ETERNAL!!!!!!!!!! LIFE SUCKS SCUM FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!! We will fuck and eat the pussy of that corpse. WE LOVE OLDER WOMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What does the future hold for Gravehill?

<THORGRIMM> Gigs to support the release, we have a short run with DIOCLETIAN in May booked so far. We plan on making a pro music video for one of the songs on “Death Curse” next month. We’d like to release our own 7″ EP and a split 7″ EP in the future also but circumstances have prevented that by no fault of our own, but we will not stop trying. Any labels and bands interested, come our way.
<ABOMINATOR> I look forward to a really good shit in about 30 minutes from now.

Nice.

Interview with Our Last Enemy

Our Last Enemy Logo

Our Last Enemy have recently released their latest album Pariah, in all its Industrial Metal glory.  I got to grill Matt Heywood and Oliver Fogwell from the band about the album and what makes them march to the pulsing, Industrial beat.

For those who are unfamiliar with you – introduce yourself!

We’re Our Last Enemy and we’re from Sydney, Australia. We play a type of Industrial Metal. We like the listener to decide what it is exactly.
We are:
Oli – Vocals
Bizz – Guitar
Jeff – Keys
Matt – Bass
Zot – Drums

How did you form?

The band was formed in late 2006 in Sydney, by Oli, Jeff and myself (Matt), and we were introduced by a mutual friend after our previous bands had disbanded.

Bizz joined the band in 2010 after leaving his previous band Genitorturers and re-locating to Sydney and was also introduced by mutual friends.

Zot joined the band in 2013 and had originally played in a band with Oli before Our Last Enemy. It’s all in the family here down under! There’s a lot of history and experience between the members having played in various bands for many years.

Our Last EnemyWhat are your influences?

We all have different a varied styles of music that we listen to individually, with the common thread being metal, electronic music and just plain weird shit!

In terms of what influences us, I guess we influence each other when someone brings in an idea for a song and what that idea makes the rest of us feel or think.

What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?

Well I know all 5 of us love the new-ish ‘Bring Me The Horizon’ album, I know they’re very “scene” and popular at the moment – But that album is fucking brilliant! So we would recommend that album for people who can look past their “scenester” audience.

I’m also listening to Phil Anselmo’s new album – Walk Through Exits Only – Its great! It’s a no bullshit album that doesn’t pull any punches and doesn’t try to be one form of heavy music or fit into some sub-genre! Phil is still one of the best frontmen in the world!

Why did you decided to incorporate Industrial and atmospheric parts into your songs, rather than just sticking to the more “traditional” instruments?

That’s a good question – probably because anything traditional bores the living fuck out of us! All 5 of us would rather punch ourselves repeatedly in the testicles than listen to an entire album of like…U2 or Coldplay or something like that.

But I guess it’s because we all love different styles of music even some “traditional” style of rock music… some.

So there was never really a moment where we decided to incorporate industrial or atmospheric parts into our songs it’s just what we do.

Our Last Enemy

Are you happy with how the album came out?

Yeah, very happy… Having Christian (Olde Wolbers – ex Fear Factory) on board as producer was great, it was a great learning curve for us and it was great to have his experience in the studio.

We tried to give the listener as much value as possible, choosing our favourite songs and also adding the remixes from Mortiis, Angel (Dope) and Travis (Divine Hersey) who we thought did a great job.

What can you tell us about the lyrics?

There is a central theme to the album on a character we call ‘Pariah’ who causes/follows/is a witness to anything devastating in our world, whether it’s the past, present or future. He doesn’t die, he doesn’t live. He’s is neither the devil nor god, he is just devastation. Or a very unlucky soul.
What is your aim with Our Last Enemy – what do you want to achieve?

Our answer would be the same as any honest band or artist, without getting into a particular agenda – we want to get our music out to as many people as possible, pushing our particular style of art as far as we can, which we hope will lead to a strong career so we can continue to make music.

What does the future hold for Our Last Enemy?

Well, our album drops on March 11th 2014 all over North America through Eclipse Records. We will be doing a North American tour soon, which we can’t elaborate on anymore at the moment and in the meantime we’re writing our second album. We like to stay busy.

Thanks!

Interview with Blowsight

BlowsightBlowsight’s new album Life & Death is a breath of fresh air for the more commercial side of hard music, and as I said in the review of the album it makes me realise that perhaps all is not lost for for this brand of Rock. Let’s catch up with the band’s singer/guitarist Nick Red to see what he has to say…

For those that are unfamiliar with your band, introduce yourself!

We’re a four piece Stockholm based rock band, formed back in 2003. We’ve been touring all over the world, mainly Europe but some shows in the states have also been done. Done a handful of albums and had a good time along the way, to put it simply…!

How did the band form?

Me and [guitarist] Seb started jamming on our favourite songs from our favourite bands, Machine Head, Pantera, Metallica, Sepultura, that stuff, in a smokey basement in Stockholm. I had been writing songs for a couple of years, he heard them and liked them. So we teamed up with [drummer] Fabz and [ex member] Flavia Canel and started rocking the Swedish underground scene. Nowadays we’re boosted by the bass lines of Mao, who joined the band a couple of years ago.

What are your influences?

It depends. My rock influences are Metallica, and in particular James Hetfield. The reason why I picked up a guitar in the first place. Amazing stage appearance, amazing rhythm guitarist… that dude is a machine. A soul filled machine. I picked up the guitar and jammed along to their latest album “Death Magnetic” the other day, and there’s some quite challenging stuff going on there that I didn’t think of while just listening to the tracks. So definitely Metallica. Apart from that, I have to mention Refused, Sikth and Machine Head in the metal area.

What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?

At home, I rarely listen to a lot of metal music. Sure, I’ll pop some Slayer albums every once in a while, but I preferably spin a lot of Björk, Radiohead, Sofia Somajo, Frou Frou, more electronic and no-guitars-to-be-found kind of music. But to recommend? Mao played me this band called I See Stars, in the car the other day, and that was pretty damn brutal. Heavy stuff. I’d recommend them, check ’em out. Also, Fit For A King kicks some major ass. I would love to mention We Butter The Bread With Butter, but I haven’t heard enough. Fuckin’ love the name though! *laughs* Also, this Swedish band called Durango Riot rocks my shirt off, very energetic and fiery stuff, and contains one of the wittiest, nicest singers I have ever met.

What did you want to achieve with your album?

Achieve? To produce some good, high quality music. Music with passion, music that speaks to you. Previous albums, I’ve been showing my darker, angrier side, but I’ve become more mature and on the latest album came to realize that it feels better to sing about hope, joy, you know. Focus on the good things in life. That’s why I love the band Hatebreed, their lyrics are very “think for/believe in yourself”, and I endorse that. I think the next album, planned to be released this fall, will show a lot more of that. Those themes inspire me.

Blowsight

How did you come up with the songs on your album?

I write about 95% of the music, in our Studio “Shed Evil” here in Stockholm. I record almost every day. Not always Blowsight material, but for other artists or just to keep the creative muscle busy. When my band brothers come by, I play the stuff for them and they add their own flavour to the songs, pitch in ideas and “maybe try this?” or “I hear this instrument in the background”, whatever. The main idea for Blowsight that we had since day one, is to record whatever we wanna play live. Doesn’t matter if it’s punky, metal sounding, poppy, electronic. A lot of genres fit under the Blowsight umbrella. Hell, on the new album I even convinced them to go a tad country!

How did the recording process go?

We actually just refreshed the demo versions I recorded. Added [drummer] Fabz drums, recorded the guitars and bass lines over and threw in more dubs, more synths etcetera. That’s the benefit of having your own studio – you can go in and add, change, twist, rearrange whenever you feel like it. I produce and mix every project. I guess you can call me a control freak. I know what I like.

Are you pleased with the end result? Would you do anything differently next time?

There’s always, ALWAYS things you want to change. Every musician feels that. I’m my own most evil critic, hands down. I’m the one thinking “damn, I should’ve tried this scale on that solo”, or “maybe if I would have sung it THIS way”. But that’s what keeps me ticking as an artist. Imagine recording the “perfect” album. That would be horrible. Where would you go from there? *laughs*. But I am very, very pleased with the result.

What’s next for Blowsight?

We’re releasing this song called “Winter Show Mercy” at the end of February, dedicated to the homeless people having an extra hard time during the winter season. It will be a charity song. I recorded it and got help from my brother Kristofer laying the bass tracks, due to Mao being out of town. He’s an amazing bass player, so I know he’d do the job done. And Seb’s ears are surreal, so I put him on the task to master the tune. Turned out great.

We’re gonna go play some Swedish shows this spring, and then we’ll try to head over to the US in the summer. More info about that will be posted on our Facebook page, as soon as we got… that…. info *laughs*. I also have this EP that I recorded for a person I loved about five years ago called “The Eli EP” that might, MIGHT be released. We’ll see. Stay tuned!

Cheers!

Interview with Dinner Music for the Gods

Dinner Music for the Gods Band 2US group Dinner Music for the Gods release their first album Beautiful and Treacherous very soon. They play exotic and fanciful Instrumental Metal with a variety of influences and with a definite cinematic quality. I asked them some pertinent questions…

To those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself.

We’re based out of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA and consist of 4 longtime friends (two of us are brothers). We all share similar musical interests, and have a chemistry that we feel translates in our compositions.

Give us some background – how did you form?

Everyone in the band grew up in Las Vegas except for Andy. Jim, Matt, and Darrin started as kids playing Judas Priest, Scorpions, and Metallica covers. Eventually that morphed into writing original music. Andy joined the band in 1995. At this point everyone in the band started to broaden their musical horizons beyond metal and had discovered 70’s jazz/rock fusion bands like Al DiMeola and Mahavishnu Orchestra. This was an important element in Dinner Music for the Gods evolving into an instrumental band. We started out as a band that wanted the traditional metal lineup consisting of a drummer, guitarist (or two), bassist, and vocalist. The 70’s fusion bands gave us the blueprint to creating a sound that didn’t require a singer. Eventually our writing evolved as such that we felt that we didn’t need a singer.

What’s the mission of Dinner Music for the Gods? What are you looking to achieve?

The mission of DMFTG is to create music that satisfies us as artists. It would be nice if people connect with the music but the most important thing to us is creating something that is completely genuine without second guessing what others will think of it.

What is the meaning behind the band name?

One of the band’s influences is Al DiMeola, a Jazz/Fusion guitarist. He has a song called Dinner Music of the Gods, and we just thought it was a powerful and interesting name.

What are your influences?

Our influences consist of Kind Diamond, Iron Maiden, Van Halen, Al DiMeola and Mahavishnu Orchestra, to name just a few.

dinner music for the gods

What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?

Mostly we are stuck in 80’s metal mode as far as what we are currently listening to. We were impressed by Bruno Mars’ performance at the Superbowl. It is refreshing to see a pop artist that can actually sing and play an instrument well that doesn’t need to be auto tuned to sound good. That guy is the real deal and deserves all the success that comes his way.

Your album conjures up, for me, images of high-society parties and James Bond-style spy shenanigans. Obviously it’s subjective, instrumental music especially so, but what kind of images did you plan on giving the listener?


That is awesome! The album was composed in Matt’s converted garage/studio/bar in Las Vegas – the antithesis of high-society partying. We never have a plan in mind for us or for the listener as to imagery or feel. All of our songwriting happens during rehearsal. Someone will play a riff and from there everyone jumps in and adds to it. If it is any good it just keeps growing until we feel it is a complete song. For us it is all about inspiration and not calculation of imagery.

Give us some information about the songs themselves and the meanings they have.

We think a good album and song should play like a great movie, from action to emotion, to suspense and intrigue. We feel each song is like its own little move and that it should take you on an adventure. Absent of vocals the songs may have even more meaning for the listener because everything isn’t so literal and spelled out. Dynamics are an important element of our sound – both live and recorded. Dynamics in volume, and speed, with diversity in musical styles are all present in our sound. Metal is the common denominator throughout all of the songs on “Beautiful and Treacherous” but Sofia has an obvious Latin vibe. Wind through the Trees is more of a ballad. Ghost Troopers has a Spaghetti Western feel. Being able to control volume, intensity and speed we feel are attributes that come with maturity. Whether it is in music, cinema, food, or whatever – dynamics make for a more rich and enjoyable experience.

Dinner Music for the Gods Band 1

Are you happy with how the album came out – is there anything you’d do differently next time? What’s next for Dinner Music for the Gods?

We are very happy with “Beautiful and Treacherous”. We know how to write songs and put on a good show but the studio is not especially natural for us. Frank Klepacki did an amazing job with the mix and production. Frank is an accomplished musician and knows how to bridge the gap between musicians and the recording console. We don’t know if “Beautiful and Treacherous” will sell 5 copies or if people will respond to it but we can take comfort in the fact that it is the best songwriting, musicianship, and production that we are capable of.

Our first show since the completion of Beautiful and Treacherous will be this month opening for Winger in Las Vegas, followed by several more local shows. We plan a small tour through the Western United States in the Spring and Summer and hopefully follow that up with a few shows in Europe late 2014.

Thanks!

 

Interview with Upyr

Upyr3Bulgarian Blackened Doom band Upyr have recently released their very impressive first offering Altars/Tunnels, which is gathering them positive reviews all over the place. I was privileged to be able to grill them on the subject…

For those who are unfamiliar with the band – introduce yourself!

Brodnik: We are five mates who share the same need for expressing ourselves in the most grotesque and depressing ways the music allows.

V.B.: We are what represents the blackest of doom metal in the Bulgarian underground.

What are your influences?

Brodnik: The landscapes of our musical influences are quite vast and the borders kind of fade. If we begin with the ugliest of primitive black metal howls of Hellhammer, Bathory and the first releases of Sodom for example, pass through the mournful mists of Evoken, My Dying Bride and Tiamat, explore the psychedelic dimensions of Sleep and Neurosis and then take it south for a swamp ride with a blast of sludge to break it’s bones – that’s Upyr. The hardest part is to have all that in the bag and still make it sound simple and clear in form.

V.B.: In the cauldron we have mixed the legacy of Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus with the dirtiness of Electric Wizard and Eyehategod. Outside of music we are inspired and provoked by life itself with all its philosophical and everyday aspects.

upyr4What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?

Brodnik: From the recently produced albums I really appreciate Alkerdeel, Cough and Windhand. The Autopsy new album is a must! That’s what metal should be for me. Also tons of neofolk and post punk.

V.B.: Watch out! A Bulgarian band – Obsidian Sea with their debut album. Venomous Maximous, early Danzig stuff and the everyday dose of Johnny Cash.

What is the Bulgarian Metal scene like? How do you feel you fit in?

Brodnik: To talk about a strong metal scene in Bulgaria is a bit harsh. There are acts of class and original ideas but they are rather sporadic and they don’t lead to one strong core. We were welcomed very well by now. All our shows were well attended and we found bands that we share the same ideas of creating music with. That’s more than we expected. We will continue with the same passion to try and built those foundations of a scene because the audience here is very well educated, demanding and most of all deserving.

V.B.: Ok, Bulgaria is a former “communist” country and the iron curtain was no shit. The metal and the whole rock scene as a whole were almost forbidden and rather marginal till the early 90’s. That has had it’s effects on the forming of any kind of scene unfortunately. There is enthusiasm but it’s still hard for a Bulgarian band to expand its fanbase outside of the country.

What were your motivations to create this release, and why this style of music?

Brodnik: I’ve dig in almost every extreme and provoking genre of music and I had my share of playing in different bands but since I was a kid I was looking for something specific and with each next album and knowledge I’ve got, it was becoming clearer what it holds. You know that feeling. When I found doom metal, and especially depressive doom metal I felt like home.

V.B.: That’s the genre that unites us in this band, no matter of our different backgrounds. The right moment had come and we recorded, mixed and released the demo in the most natural way.

Brodnik: We released our first songs quite early in our time as a band because we needed a kickstart. Also I believe that releasing music no matter on what format is the most important part of the life of a band. That’s what remains in time, that’s the evidence of what you felt together in a certain period of time.

Altars/Tunnels is an extremely strong first release – how did the songs come about?

Brodnik: They came out almost by themselves, just after a few sessions of playing together. There are no newbies in the band and that also helps to achieve exactly what’s inside you.

V.B.: We never start with the idea of creating a certain type of song. It all begins in the rehearsal room with a riff or idea, then it turns into a jam, till we get the right pulsation of the upcoming song. We let our souls do it instead of our brains.

Upyr1What can you share about the meanings behind the songs?

V.B.: The lyrics are all written by Brodnik and they are deeply emotional. ”Hymn to Pan” is inspired by the original text of Crowley and I don’t think that’s a big surprise when you listen to our music.

Brodnik: They are profoundly emotional and true to my being. It’s an enormous amount of suffering implemented in the lyrics and the way I express myself through various vocal techniques. I try to create a world within the world, but the epicenter of it is the really messed up mind that I own. “Before the Altars of Necrotic Karma” is about the never-ending feeling that we’re doomed and we’re not meant to reach happiness, freedom or any kind of a conclusion or meaning for our existence. “The tunnels of my Sleep” is about my expanding problems with sleeping, I have insomnia that can last 4/5 days and cycle every second week, It’s really a different state of mind that you get into…

How did the recording process go?

Brodnik: The others recorded the first two songs live in a cheap studio for about a few hours, after that I recorded the vocals and we spent some time in the mixing room so we can get exactly what we wanted from the sound. The bonus song that’s only on the cassette release is a rehearsal jam of the dirtiest kind and sounds more like a demo.

V.B.: We should not forget that it’s a demo release. A friend of the band helped us with the mixing with great dedication and that brought the raw live material to another level without killing its punch.

Are you pleased with the end result of Altars/Tunnels? Would you do anything differently next time?

Brodnik: I’m pleased that we put out the songs in a release quite fast because that’s what matters. I believe that the magic of it is you can’t touch it when it’s out. I’m not a fan of reissues or remastered albums.

V.B.: I’m completely satisfied with the end product. There’s a lot of atmosphere. Nobody knows what it’s going to be next time but for sure the production will serve the music.

What does the future hold for Upyr?

V.B.: 2014 started more than well for us. The cassette release by Serpent Eve Recs. is already sold out in just a month and the guys from the label are working on a second edition due to the big interest. The reviews were really flattering for us and we will give our hearts to have a great 2014 year together.

Brodnik: We have two shows in February with KYLESA (USA) and TURBOCHARGED (SWEDEN), then we will take a short break and we will come back in April with a surprise. We plan some shows outside of the country too. Thank you for your interest!

Thanks!

Upyr2

Interview with Corpsessed

Corpsessed Logo

Corpsessed are soon to release their début album Abysmal Thresholds which is, quite simply, a stunner. We’ve barley scratched the surface of 2014 and already I’m pretty certain this will make it into my end of year list. It’s that good. And terrifying. Read on if you dare…

Hi! For people that are unfamiliar with Corpsessed, introduce yourself!

Quite simply, Corpsessed is a five piece death metal band from Southern Finland. We started the band in 2007, and so far have released 2 EPs and our first full-length album “Abysmal Thresholds” that came out in early 2014.

Give us a little background about the band.

The history of Corpsessed is rather brief, though most of us have been playing in different bands for quite many years before this. Niko (vocals), Jussi-Pekka (drums) and Matti (guitars) met in 2006 while playing for fun in another band. We wanted to start something more serious and death metal oriented and asked Jyri (guitars) to join in, and so Corpsessed was born in the beginning of 2007. Mikko (bass) joined us in 2009. This is probably also the point when the bands sound and direction got more defined and we started to concentrate on recording our first output “The Dagger & The Chalice” EP, originally meant as a demo, which got us signed to Dark Descent Records. In 2012 we released our second “Untitled” seven inch EP and tightened the band by playing a load of gigs. The year 2013 was dedicated fully in creating our first full-length album “Abysmal Thresholds”, which is now released in the beginning of 2014.

What are your main influences?

The influences are quite numerous ranging through death, black and doom metal. Mostly the stuff from early 90s, especially the Finnish death metal bands of that time. Movie soundtracks and dark ambient plays a somewhat significant role as well, mainly in the atmosphere part – the music is still pure death metal.

What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?

Lot’s of stuff. Besides the old classics (that you always return to) some more current bands that we’ve been listening to at the moment include Tyrants Blood, Bölzer, Death Toll 80k, Nails, Anhedonist, Pseudogod, The Ruins of Beverast and Wodensthrone… and probably loads more, there’s 5 people in the band with a broad taste in music so the list could get long.

The sound of Abysmal Thresholds is absolutely horrifying – what made you decide to concentrate on creating such an atmosphere?

Thank you. It probably wasn’t a conscious decision in anyway to concentrate on certain kind of atmosphere. That’s just how the songs came naturally to us. Sure, we have preferences how we would like our own material to sound and we push it towards that direction, but it’s not really anything too planned out – the music just flows out that way, and we know what kind of riffs fit the concept of the band. The sound comes mostly from our love for atmospheres that evoke dread and horror and the low frequencies on guitar and bass, music that resonates your whole body and almost suffocates you. That’s how we sound live, and tried to capture that on the album.

The songs bleed malevolence and ooze evil. How did you come up with the songs?

Corpsessed BandMatti or Jyri usually write riffs on their own, sometimes even full song structures that they bring to the rehearsals. We then start working on them as a group making our own arrangements to the riffs and structures, adding details and playing around with the different moods and atmospheres. It all starts with the riffs and the drums usually set down the structure of the song. We know when the song is complete when it flows naturally (to us) and has a sense of wholeness to it.. Vocal arrangements come last. We always start with different kind of rhythm patterns for them that serve the riffs and then make the lyrics fit them. But in the end, creating the songs is not something you can pin point down to some details or patterns, you just feel it.

What’s next for Corpsessed? What does 2014 hold?

Well, we just completed the debut album which was actually quite an arduous experience so don’t expect a new album too soon. We don’t have any big plans yet. Let’s see how this album is received, do a few live gigs and slowly start composing new stuff at a natural pace when the ideas and inspiration flows for them. We’d probably like to do an EP or two before even thinking about a new full length album, as those are always huge projects that require a lot of time and work.

And finally; with such a completely nightmare sound you’ve created here, the obvious question is: how are you going to top this? Is it even possible to take this to the next level of Hellish experience for your next album to create an even more terrifying vision? I mean, without causing your listeners heart attacks of course.

There’s always room for improvement and aspirations for writing new (and hopefully better) songs, and taking things to a next level. Not perhaps in technicality, but trying to top yourself in song writing and capturing the atmosphere, trying out different recording methods. We’d like to for example experiment with recording something completely live to try and capture the live sound even more proficiently, as we feel that’s where the band is at their best.

The future is always open and obscure.

Thanks!

Interview with Bones

Bones play a simple but very effective brand of no-nonsense Death Metal/Crust which can be heard on their recently released album Sons of Sleaze. I’ve enjoyed listening to this album and have loved their previous work in Usurper, so when the opportunity arose to ask them a few questions I dived in.

For people who are new to the band – introduce Bones!

Bones Band

Sure. Bones is a filthy metal band from Chicago. Our lineup is: Joe Warlord-Drums, Carcass Chris-Guitars/Vox and Jon Necromancer-Bass/Vox. We’re a newer band that formed in ‘09, but we’ve been around forever. All 3 of us have been in Usurper together back in the ‘90s-’00s. We play raw, unpolished metal. We’re not interested in sounding “perfect” or “clean”. We feel that Metal has lost its balls over the years. Now bands spend way too much money to make a studio perfect album that sounds stale, wimpy and terribly boring. Bones is the exact opposite of all that shit.

What are your main influences?

As a band we’re influenced by all the great metal and hard rock that mostly came out from the 70s-90s. I think it’s our individual influences that make Bones sound the way that we do. Joe is way into great drummers like Keith Moon, Dave Lombardo, Neil Peart, etc, while Chris is influenced by guitar greats like Eddie Van Halen, Uli Jon Roth, Kirk Hammett, and he’s a huge Carlos Cavazo fan. I’m way into Dee Dee Ramone, Cliff Burton, Martin Ain, and John Entwistle. Its the weird tension from combining all these influences that make us tick.

What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?

Ptahil’s “Almighty Propagator of Doom and Despair” has been stuck in my stereo for awhile. Super weird metal from Indiana/Michigan. The shit is brilliant and needs be heard to be believed. They’re even better live. Also, Autopsy’s “Headless Ritual” is fucking killer. Love it when a veteran band like Autopsy can make it seem so effortless to continue making such mindfucking, influential metal. Both these bands make pure music not influenced by image or marketing.

Your songs have a savage feeling that’s mixed with a sheer enjoyment of all things Metal. How did you create the songs?

We work together on everything. Usually one person comes up with a couple riffs that go together or have a rough idea of a concept. We rehearse often, so we bring our ideas up while they’re fresh and then we start working the problem; coming up with the nuts and bolts of arrangement, whatever. We usually have 3 very different ideas and we argue them out over a couple of weeks until we got it nailed down. Same with lyrics. It’s easier when 1 person does everything and writes everything, but we think this way the end result sounds better. It takes longer but its worth it.

Your album has a very raw and nasty sound – how much of this was deliberate and how much was chance?

Well, its what we sound like. When the band formed we all wanted a break from the formula of signing with a “big” underground label and spending too much time or money in the studio. The last albums we did in Usurper were like that. We were signed to Earache who were giving us $10,000 budgets to go in the studio for weeks and create something that didn’t really represent us. By the time a band is done multitracking and quantizing and autotuning everything you’re not left with anything real. With Bones we decided right away that we never wanted to be in that situation again. We recorded the drums, guitars and bass live. We only took a couple of takes for each song. Both of our albums were done like this. We didn’t do any multitracking or doubling of parts. What you hear is what we sound like at a show or at a rehearsal.

The feeling of the album is very much one of “I don’t care, I’m playing my songs my way”, (as it should be). How do you feel you fit into the wider Metal scene?

We don’t care how we “fit” in the scene. We never did before, and at this advanced age we could really give two shits. “Scene” people are usually “lame” people.

On Sons of Sleaze you covered Fear of Napalm by Terrorizer – how did you decide to cover this particular band/song?

Bones Logo

We usually mess around at practice with cover songs. Its hilarious sometimes, but there are always a couple of songs that everyone intuitively knows how to play like “Black Magic” by Slayer or something. We were messing around with different songs as a joke, but we kept coming back to “Fear of Napalm”. We played it with a nice groove and we thought our version sounded enough like Bones, but still stayed true to the original. We thought we’d record it when we were in the studio for “Sons of Sleaze” and see if it would make the cut with the rest of the songs. We liked the way it came out so we included it on the album.

What are your plans for the future?

As soon as I send this out I’m walking to the liquor store and then picking up a pizza…..

Thanks!