Slow – V – Oceans (Review)

SlowSlow is a solo funeral doom band from Belgium and this is his fifth album.

From the man involved with bands such as We All Die (Laughing), COAG, Merda Mundi, Cult of Erinyes, and many others, this is 57 minutes of atmospheric funeral doom that’s come to drag you down into a bleak, watery abyss. Continue reading “Slow – V – Oceans (Review)”

Merda Mundi – VI – Khaos (Review)

Merda MundiMerda Mundi is a one-man Black Metal band from Belgium. This is his second album.

The brains behind this outfit we already know due to some of his previous releases, (C.O.A.G., We All Die (Laughing)).

Merda Mundi play raw and misanthropic Black Metal that’s brutal and not for the easily scared.

The label blurb makes comparisons to Anaal Nathrakh and Antaeus and it’s easy to see why; this is a visceral and bloody assault that leaves no stone unturned in its quest for carnage.

The music is harsh and fast, with a good recording that brings out the grime and grit of the songs without sounding too rough around the edges. The album sounds on fire and every bit as dangerous.

The music gallops along at a frenetic pace. The guitars rage and the drums bludgeon. The vocals sound utterly unhinged and quite daemonic in places.

This kind of music has a deep love of all things brutal and is evil enough to cater to those who love both types of Black Metal. Lurking underneath the brutality and devastation is a deeper level; these songs also have dark melodies and atmospheric sections that don’t let up the intensity but do add another layer of listening experience to the tracks. It’s skilfully done.

If you want an album that knows how to create malevolent atmospheres as well as being able to rip your head off then VI – Khaos is the place to be.

Interview with We All Die (Laughing)

We All Die (Laughing) logoIn the very near future We All Die (Laughing) will release their first album Thoughtscanning, an ambitious and absorbing début that’s sure to earn them many an accolade. I was honoured to get to ask them a few questions about this involving musical journey.

For those that are unfamiliar with We All Die (Laughing) – introduce yourself!

Déhà (all instruments, vocals) : WAD(L) is a band (not a side project) from myself & Arno Strobl, making some weird but effective mixture of progressive dark metal, with black, doom, blues & jazz influences. Don’t expect something too fancy/avant-garde (yet?), this release is dark and depressive as it should be. We’re existing since 2012, we released recently the début, “Thoughtscanning”, a 33-min piece of dark metal, through Kaotoxin Records in 2014, preorders finish soon by the way, so get it since you’re getting a bonus track, which is a cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black”. The album was recorded at my former place, in Belgium (HHStudios) – the mix & mastering was made by El Mobo from Conkrete Studios. The dream production.

As the band is a collaboration between two artists who are already involved in other bands – can you tell us a bit about the background of the band and how the project started?

D : It all started by having a normal contact with Arno concerning my German band “Maladie”. We discussed about plenty of things, musical & cooking mainly, and as Arno is one of my 5 influences with singing, I was really eager for him to listen to my stuff. I sent him the demo version of what became this album, and he was loving it so much that we finished talking by “We have to do something, asap” and voilà.

Arno (vocals) : As every single artist uses to say in every interview in the world : “It came out very naturally”. Sometimes you meet someone and click at first sight, it feels natural to launch a common project. Needless to say it’s not every other day that you feel the need to invest yourself in a new band with a person that you just met. It’s all about intuition, In that very case, my first meeting with Déhà was almost surreal. We were like “Guy, you just said what I was about to tell you”. A kind of magic, to quote that famous Genesis track (oh wait, was it The Police ?)

What was the inspiration behind Thoughtscanning?

D : As cheesy as it sounds, catharsis. Inner envies, self destruction, thoughts, philosophy, …
A : Years of mental cancer that eat you from the inside. Lack of self confidence, guilt, fear… Basically, the main disease of our era, along with back suffering of course. Both of us have a very different way of shouting out this kind of feelings to the world. But we tried to express it together; and here’s the result.

What influences did you draw on when creating this album?

We All Die (Laughing) band

D : We’ve been destroying plenty of limits we had. We released ourselves for this album, for lyrics but also for our ways of singing. Arno & I are what I could call “polyvalent vocalists” and we used it for the better on this album. But I can’t say it brought only good stuff, since it’s quite hard to listen to this album without going down with it.
A : Thoughtscanning has been quite a challenge to both of us. We felt we had to spit out the best of our artistic skills while at the same time being true to the initial purpose of the album, which was the lyrical bottomline around disease. It’s a tough thing to stay true to yourself while trying to create something that doesn’t sound too 1) miserable 2) childish 3) exaggerated 4) no 4, sorry. It’s been my constant fear while recording the album not to sound like a parody of depressive metal. Looking back upon what we achieved, I feel relieved, because it definitely sounds like what I/we wanted.

How did you go about writing this album? What was the process involved?

D : I started it in the beginning of 2012, wanting to make something different from what I’m used to do, a bit more complex music but still affordable / digestible (since I’m a huge fan of chaotic music). I took 6 months to make it. Then, like I told you, meeting with Arno, we made the first demo with voices. Then I unfortunately lost my backup harddisk, so I had to re-track everything (which I did in one week in 2013), then one week of cooking / recording voices, sending all that to El Mobo and voilà. We had a lot of funny moments, as well as unfunny moments (hence the music), but we were not stressed about anything (time, deadlines, etc) so this is an amazing memory.

Why did you decide to produce one very long track instead of a selection of shorter ones?

A : This was no choice nor any of a decision. We had this long track that was begging for us to play it and dress it up with sincere words. Therefore we just had to focus on it and give it all our best.
D : I believe that for any length of music, a trip has to be settled. Which means simply that if you feel, as an artist, that this trip shouldn’t be finished in several minutes, you should let it go and vary it. This song, Thoughtscan, is long because the concept demands it. You have to feel the slight variations throughout the album, and the same riffs coming up again sometimes but different, so you can just… feel it.

The album takes the listener on a musical journey through different moods and feelings – how important was this to you when creating the song?

D : That goes perfectly with the previous question : the trip I was talking about, that’s the reason. Plenty of moods, from sad complaints to harsh primal violence, to philosophical questions, to inner wars…
A : Once again this may sound very cheesy but the track is the exact Xerox of life itself, at least the harder moments of it. It’s a succession of sadness, anger, introspection… Depression is a complicated matter. The end of the album that sounds like a light of hope could well be also like the new start of the cycle, and a new dive into darkness. Because that how it goes.

What plans do you have for We All Die (Laughing) in the future?

D : We all will make more music (or die trying). Believe me, this is just a beginning.
A : That’s for sure : we’ll soon have more work on the slab together. I just hope we’ll come out with an album that won’t be as painful to record. I’m not talking about our relationship that’s been great from both ends, but because we had to come out with personal things there that were hard to handle.

Thanks for your time!

We All Die (Laughing) – Thoughtscanning (Review)

We All Die (Laughing)This is a sublime Progressive Metal album that consists of just one 33 minute song named Thoughtscan.

Useful starting reference points for this band are Green Carnation, Katatonia, Anathema, etc. although they have enough individuality to exist on their own merits.

This release takes the listener on a journey through splendour and horror; through new life and decay; never knowing where it’s going to stop but knowing that the experience is more important than the destination. And We All Die (Laughing) do so love to provide a great experience. Whether the parts of the song are quiet and considered, or heavy and energetic, they have a firm grasp on the quintessential essence of what makes this kind of music so appealing to Progressive Metal fans – being transported to somewhere else.

There are subtleties and nuances in abundance in this release, as well as stand-out moments that instantly grab you and soul-searching melodies and harmonies aplenty.

A thoroughly ambitious debut release that largely succeeds in reaching its goals and sets itself up nicely to build on this epic effort in the future. As a collaborative effort between two artists in their own right, I can only hope they work together again on this project as there is more to be had here; more to be explored and the veil torn back to reveal more hidden wonders.

Listen intently and absorb completely.