“The main thing for me is Al's tone,” [enthused Lee Dorrian, owner of Rise Above Records and former CATHEDRAL vocalist as well as Morris worshipper since the late 80s] “It’s so brutal but in a natural way, no frills, straight for the gut. Listening to his riffs is like being stuck in a vat of molasses, unable to move with a rotating grinder lodged into the middle of your forehead down to the base of your stomach. It’s that heavy!”
30 September, 2013
They believe themselves to be ‘Time Warriors’ and they are convinced that fifty years from now they “would still rock the silver socks of any future man, woman or robot”. They think of a time warrior as “someone who digs really good rock'n'roll and fights all the bad music that’s on the air nowadays by coming to a bad ass show, rocking out and buying real music.” They, ladies and gentlemen, are from Sweden, and they are called HORISONT because:
“those with the artistry and soul required to make music that stirs the blood will never stop chasing that distant horizon, and so HORISONT have both the name and the know-how to blow minds and disperse life's oppressive clouds”
Their labels, Metal Blade Records and Rise Above Records know that real rock'n'roll cannot be faked; real rock'n'roll is apparently “the immortal celebration of prized atavistic values - power and volume, sweat and adrenaline, uncompromising good times and the invigorating squall of past, present and future colliding”. And HORISONT, allegedly, embody just that: “they are real rock'n'roll incarnate - an exhilarating blast of sonic euphoria, custom built to raise spirits and quicken the pulse of any right-thinking rock or metal fan”. So, if you still don’t get it, and you would really like to – you can. Just order HORISONT's new record ‘Time Warriors’ which is out now, September 30th, 2013, in Europe here (Rise Above store) and which will be out tomorrow, October 1st, 2013, in North America here (Metal Blade Records), or get it from iTunes:
“When a band is trying to recapture the sounds of the past, it’s easy to fake a lot of things,” [wrote Gregory Heaney, AllMusic] “The one thing you can’t fake, though, is the sense of drama, especially when it comes to prog rock and proto-metal. … HORISONT are a band battling with the flow of time, going backwards in a genre that’s all about pushing its sound into darker and more extreme territories. And while they’re not the first band to attempt this, they certainly seem to be taking it seriously, never making a joke out of the galloping sound that helped to influence generations of metalheads in the U.K. and beyond. In a way, the band feel like Civil War reenactors, giving themselves totally to the past in order to make the experience more real for the people of the present, and it’s that dedication that makes ‘Time Warriors’ an album worth spending some time with.” [More here]
The purveyors of the “New Wave of Swedish Old Mans Rock”, HORISONT, are Axel on vocals, Charles and Kristofer on guitars, Magnus on bass and Pontus on drums. Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, they time-travel since 2006. The successor to their 2010 debut album ‘Två Sidor Av Horisonten’ (or “two sides of (the) horizon”), was called ‘Second Assault’ and was issued through Rise Above Records and Metal Blade Records in 2012. Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic, had picked two possible angles to approach HORISONT's sophomore effort (that of “an eclectic collection of songs devised by a band that refuses to be pigeonholed” and that of “[a band] still unsure of what it wants to be”) and had argued that “neither angle can change the fact that most of these songs are both engaging and intriguing in their own right” (more here).
HORISONT features: Axel – vocals, Charles – guitar, Kristofer – guitar, Magnus – bass and Pontus - drums
27 September, 2013
First they sneak up on you with that Fursy Teyssier-created stop-motion video for ‘The Wood Hag’, and once you hear the rest of it, it’s hard not to fall under THE VISION BLEAK's spell; in conspiracy with their label Prophecy Productions, the duo's new album is available for listening in all its Brothers Grimm & Co-inspired entirety here (Prophecy Productions YouTube channel) and below. The press release is calling the ‘Witching Hour’ creepy and haunting entertainment and besides, the flute is a killer - so get your own copy of the album and help THE VISION BLEAK to spin another tale here (Prophecy Productions shop). ‘Witching Hour’ is out now in Europe, September 27th, 2013 and will be distributed in North America from October the 8th on.
Guitarist, bassist and keyboardist Ulf Theodor Schwadorf (of EMPYRIUM) and singer, drummer and keyboardist Allen B. Konstanz (of NOX MORTIS) founded THE VISION BLEAK in 2000 in Mellrichstadt, Germany. The masters, as well as the downright inventors of the horror metal genre, first recorded a demo called ‘Songs Of Good Taste’ in 2002, which they followed up with a self-titled single a year later. Their debut full-length, ‘The Deathship Has A New Captain’, issued in 2004, recreated scenes from John Carpenter's “The Fog”, Friedrich Murnau's “Nosferatu” , Fritz Lang's “Metropolis” and recalled the legends of Werewolves and Frankenstein, with an added touch of H.P. Lovecraft. Their second album, 2005's ‘Carpathia – A Dramatic Poem’, was described as “nothing less than a horror metal concept album par excellence!”, and its successor, 2007's ‘The Wolves Go Hunt Their Pray’, provided ‘By Our Brotherhood With Seth’, THE VISION BLEAK's anthem and the high point of the band's every concert. On their fourth album, 2010's ‘Set Sail To Mystery’, THE VISION BLEAK succeeded to combine the driving goth-rock of ‘The Deathship Has A New Captain’, the drama and heaviness of ‘Carpathia - A Dramatic Poem’, and the Nordic aggression of ‘The Wolves Go Hunt Their Prey’.
THE VISION BLEAK features: Ulf Theodor Schwadorf - guitar, bass and keyboards and Allen B. Konstanz - vocals, drums and keyboards
You know what they say; in each and every one of us there is a little bit of LOWCITYRAIN, HERBST, LANTLOS and IMPAVIDA, and these ingredients come together especially well in one Markus Siegenhort from Rheda, Germany, who this time (LOWCITYRAIN) immerses himself into the 1980s and the New Wave bands such as THE CURE, the KILLING JOKE and the ASYLUM PARTY, as well as contemporary dreampop/chillwave acts such as M83 or WASHED OUT. His latest music project's (LOWCITYRAIN) self-titled debut album is out now in Europe, September 27th, 2013, and will be issued through Prophecy Productions in North America on October the 2nd. ‘LowCityRain’ awaits your order here (Prophecy Productions shop), so get your CD, LP or CD with goodies (box) as you are listening to the full album here (Prophecy Productions YouTube channel) or below. Now, you know what I always say; to each his/hers '80s, and believe you me, mine were anything but what follows, heh:
“ ‘LowCityRain’ is loneliness and hope, distraction, ecstasy and escapism. It is a reckoning with your own inadequacy and uncertainty under the cover of the style and the dolce vita of the 1980s: the yearning for comfort, dancing alone with your eyes closed, lonely car rides through the centre of the city at night, the aloofness of the girl who doesn’t even know you...”
LOWCITYRAIN features: Markus Siegenhort – everything and Felix Wylezik - session drums
26 September, 2013
Proud to be depicted as “complete oddballs; the Mad Hatter's tea party irregulars with an “Alice In Wonderland” surrealist brand of dark metal cabaret”, VULTURE INDUSTRIES also make music worth listening to - and worth buying. Their third full-length will be issued through Season Of Mist on September 27th, 2013 in Europe and on October the 1st in North America – and while you are placing your pre-order for either CD or LP version of ‘The Tower’ here (Season Of Mist e-shop), listen to the entire album below, courtesy the label. ‘The Tower’ was recorded at the vocalist Bjørnar E. Nilsen's Conclave & Earshot Studios in Bergen, Norway, mixed by ENSLAVED's Herbrand Larsen, and mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden. VULTURE INDUSTRIES' new animated clip was created by Costin Chioreanu:
“Admittedly, there’s a significant cheesiness quotient that’s met on VULTURE INDUSTRIES' ‘The Tower’. But instead of a grating wink of self-awareness or a dunderheaded charge into lousy metal, it approaches unconventional metal in an expertly balanced way. The band's style is fluid, running between ENSLAVED-style blackened prog and Mike Patton-grade carnival barkery. So while it doesn’t have the panoramic bleakness of ALTAR OF PLAGUES' ‘Teethed Glory And Injury’ or the polar reversal of DEAFHEAVEN's ‘Sunbather’, its smart choices make for a damn fine metal record,” [wrote MetalSuck's Sammy O’Hagar – more here:]
Formed in 1998 in Bergen, Norway, VULTURE INDUSTRIES, who were initially known as “Dead Rose Garden”, these days claim Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Alice Cooper, as well as ENSLAVED, MASTODON and NEUROSIS (among numerous others) as their influences. Their 2002's demo, ‘The Enemy Within’, and 2003's ‘The Sleeper’, followed by 2005's EP ‘The Benevolent Pawn’, earned the band comparisons to the PROVENANCE, SOLEFALD and ARCTURUS. They recorded their debut album between 2006 and 2007 at the producer and vocalist Bjørnar E. Nilsen's Conclave & Earshot Studio and released it through Dark Essence Records in 2007, followed by ‘The Malefactors Bloody Register’ in 2010. Both albums were received favourably by the European press.
VULTURE INDUSTRIES features: Øyvind Madsen – guitar, Eivind Huse – guitars, Tor Helge Gjengedal – drums, Kyrre Teigen – bass and Bjørnar E. Nilsen – vocals
24 September, 2013
“[Explained Erlend Hjelvik, the voice:] There’s songs about trepanning (drilling a hole into a human skull) to release evil spirits which they did in the old days to mental patients. There’s also songs like ‘Nekrokosmos’ which is basically about an Anti-Christ figure coming from a spaceship down to the earth from a black hole to basically destroy everything. And there are also shameless anthems about being on the road. It’s not really folklore based. I was really inspired by BLUE OYSTER CULT and MONSTER MAGNET and black metal lyrics from bands like DARKTHRONE and TAAKE when I wrote the lyrics to the new one:” [Read the whole interview here (NoiseCreep):]
“Just when you think every possible rock & roll subgenre has already been mixed, matched, and spliced with every other available subgenre beyond any conceivable alternative, along comes a band like KVELERTAK to set you straight,” [wrote Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – read more here:]
“The lone guitar - sometimes clean, other times hugely distorted - drifts atop a swollen river of bass and drum throb. The guitarist, David Johansson, also sings, in a voice that can manage a dreamy croon but more often opts for a gravelly roar reminiscent of NEUROSIS. The rhythm section has more than one trick up its sleeve, though, sometimes opting for a bluesy swing that recalls Swedish hard rockers NOVEMBER, and on ‘Voice Of The Below’, the band launches into a SABBATHy stomp. There’s one short track here, ‘Tänk På Döden’, but one could hardly call it a single – it’s an instrumental interlude that’s just as spiritually desolate and crushingly heavy as its longer brethren, with a dash of Neil Young in the guitars,” [appreciated Phil Freeman, AllMusic – more here:]
20 September, 2013
“ ‘VI’ is a fucking beast of an album in every sense of the word. With the world sinking deeper into darkness each passing day we at least now have the perfect soundtrack for the journey south. ‘VI’ truly is the sound of Hell on Earth,” [wrote Matt Phelps, Uber Rock – more here]
“We really pushed ourselves to the limits in making this record and I think that truly shines thru in the final results. ‘VI’ is the most brutal and technical album ONSLAUGHT has ever made no question, it’s old school, it’s contemporary and it’s fucking aggressive in the extreme, with a few big surprises thrown in for a good measure… We’ve gone about the whole album-making process with a completely different approach and mindset this time around, ranging from the artwork [created by Par Oloffson] thru to the final mixes with Thomas Johansson, who I must single out for mention along with our drummer Michael Hourihan for really upping the ante in the ass kicking stakes! We’re feeling kinda proud right now and pretty confident the fans are gonna dig it too...!”
“If one needs a sports analogy, ONSLAUGHT come across like veteran baseball players who never made it to the major leagues but have done a lot of training and working out in recent years and are determined to make up for lost time. There is nothing uneven or inconsistent about this CD; the material is excellent, the performances inspired, crisp and undeniably focused,” wrote Alex Henderson, AllMusic – more here]
14 September, 2013
12 September, 2013
“The songs on ‘Soma’ fit together so well, and lead the listener on such a progressive journey from fist-pumping exhilaration to utter despair that it’s easy to imagine it as a concept album,” [discovered Karen A. Mann for About.com (more here), while the album certainly deeply affected Angry Metal Guy's Steel Druhm who spewed:] “ ‘Soma’ is 75 minutes of ponderous, tooth-rattling SABBATH riffs slowed to a dead snail's pace and each song is an extended exercise in dronation, elongation and attention deficit failure. While certainly heavy, this seemingly wood-themed album is often as interesting as its inanimate subject matter while being devoid of anything the listener can hang onto as the endless waves of monotonous riffs sweep them downstream to the moss peepery.” [More here:]
11 September, 2013
“Their music combines the brutal, downtuned riffing of traditional death metal (think IMMOLATION or MORBID ANGEL) with the dissonance and shifting time signatures of GORGUTS and the slow, atmospheric passages reminiscent of ISIS. Their use of repetition seems to owe as much to SHELLAC as to SUFFOCATION, and their ability to move the music forward at what seems like a crushingly slow pace while in fact playing quite fast is hypnotic,” [wrote Phil Freeman, AllMusic – more here:]
10 September, 2013
Shrouded in such mystery that I have never even heard of him until just now, NHOR has a new album out since August 30th, 2013. Courtesy Prophecy Productions, listen to his ‘Within The Darkness Between The Starlight’ here (Prophesy's YouTube channel) or below and, presuming you are liking it, buy the album here (Prophecy online store). Accompanied by a short story written by Nhor with unique artwork specially illustrated for the album, ‘Within The Darkness Between The Starlight’ is available as gatefold double LP limited to 500 copies. The album's cover art was created by Sin-eater.
Creating his own dreamlike world defined by music, literature, and visual art since 2009, NHOR is a one-man project from Herefordshire, Midlands, United Kingdom. He says he owes everything he created to the universe:
“I owe it to the stars and planets, to the moon and the earth, to the wind and the rain. To the forest and its creatures, everything I have is borrowed from them. My music is but a poor interpretation of their song and my imagination is but a diluted replica of mother natures.”
Nhor's musical panorama spans from piano compositions on 2009's ‘Nhor’ and 2010's ‘Upon Which Was Written Within The Stars’, to archaic black metal on 2011's ‘Whisperers To This Archaic Growth’. Each release was accompanied by Nhor's own short stories, each of which was written in the context of their releases as well as to the project's own imagery. Enjoy this enigmatic artist's entire music catalog here (BandCamp).
09 September, 2013
“Something wicked this way comes, wending its way through damp back alleyways and down leafy New England back roads, whispering through still water and dark fog. The clarion call for the next great wave of American black metal has sounded, and VATTNET VISKAR is leading the charge.”
“It may lean toward thrash as much as it does grindcore, but it’s still awfully damn ferocious,” [wrote Jason Birchmeier, AllMusic] “Jeff Walker spews out his septic vocals in a manner sure to send children and grandparents fleeing, and his lyrics are just as medically jargonistic as ever, though a bit toned down in terms of shock value.” [More here:]