Thursday, May 25, 2017

F41.0 Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Ave. F41.0 has been evoked in 2007 to materialize my vision of utterly sinister, yet memorable soundscapes. The first album "Near Life Experiences" has been released in 2013 via a small german label called Empyre Music. It didn´t take me long to feel the will to get  the "project" on stage so i recruited a couple of trustful musicians to get things started. We had a couple of live experiences and I started to record the follow-up "BÜRDE" in 2015, which has been released on may 19th this year via Geisterasche Organisation.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Using a drumcomputer and a very harsh sounding guitar-setup served my idea of what I wanted to express with "N.L.E.". The debut has a vibe of audible degeneration and takes a deep step into mental horror. "BÜRDE", the new album, tries to pursue another approach on the concept behind F41.0 . I wanted everything to sound more genuine and authentic, so i decided to use real drums (brilliantly performed by my mate T.Parkinson / Todtgelichter) this time. Another change is the more prominent use of guest singer Frederics desperately yelling vocals, which fitted perfectly to the whole concept behind "BÜRDE". But the pillars of the bands instrumental countenance remained similar to what I started with the debut.

3.This is the first album since 2013, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
Well, i am not the kind of artist who is working on music 24/7. Ideas do come, when the time is right, and i am not hunting them just for the sake of it. Additionally it took quite some time to get the live lineup ready and stable since most of my supports are  working individuals. So spare time had to be divided carefully in general. Last but not least the preparations for "BÜRDE" as well as its recordings took way more time than expected.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects that you explore with the newer music?
The lyrical side of "BÜRDE" is a subordinate to the images displayed with its title (english-"burden"). Sufferage,Weightlessness, Disorder, Despair, Rage..
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'F41.0"

The meaning can easily be googled. The driving force behind is bound to what the term is standing for. Generally, personally, whatsoever.

6.On the albums you record everything by yourself but have a live line up, are you open to working with other musicians on the recordings?
As i mentioned above i already did. "BÜRDE" features many guest musicians such as A.Schmied (Mor Dagor), Metvs (Signum Karg) or Nebular (Atras Cineris / Kratein) for example. Frederic (Todtgelichter), and Asgoroth (TCO, Narvik)  lent their voices for "N.L.E." as well as for the new album. So i am far from insisting to do anything myself in future even though i feel it might be time to reduce those contributions for the next output.
But since i am a real bad drummer it is quite secure that drums will at least be handled by T.P. again.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
The first live experience has been a real special one since somehow it symbolized a new step for F41.0 to me. But the time on the road we had doing two open air shows in 2015 has also been memorable. I am lucky to have a live lineup consisting of close friends, so everything went smooth yet concentrated.
What you can expect from a concert? We try to let the music speak so there's no lavish "ritual" to be expected when you book us!
8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
I am not keen on touring for weeks and months to "promote the band" (= sell more records), but we will surely keep on playing several selected shows like we did the years before. Some vague things are already planned but bookers might get in touch with us.

9.The new album was released on 'Geisterasche Organization', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
As far as i know they developed from organizing concerts to a record label concentrating on unique black metal based art. We got in touch a couple of years ago and they were the first to book us for a concert. The event was small yet enjoyable and perfectly organized, so we stayed in loose contact afterwards. When they asked me to join the ranks of their label things went quite fast. I aways liked smaller, yet engaged labels who are still catching fire for their releases. And with interesting german bands like Nemesis Sopor or Frostreich i am in good conditions i guess.

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Feedback usually comes from people based in my homeland germany, be it via e-mail or face to face after one of our gigs. The conversations are of mostly positive nature and i do feel satisfied when extern listeners seem to understand, what F41.0 is about.

11.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that you are a part of?
Most bands I used to be involved in have split up or been put on ice.  So besides some loose projects F41.0 is the main centre of my activities.

11.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
I will keep things as i always did. F41.0 will continue to record, release and perform pitch black metal.
But: A couple of new songs have lately been carved in stone and it seems the next step for the band leads into more aggressive and harsh structures again..

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Too many to mention!  There is a wide range from oldschool black / death metal to all kinds of alternative /independent music in general that influenced my way of writing songs. Concerning newer releases i´m not that up to date to be honest, since i´m mostly bored from what is hip, be it metal or non-metal music. But I still am enthusiastic about publications from bands like Blut Aus Nord, The Ruins Of Beverast, Soap&Skin, Muse or Deathspell Omega for example.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?
Well, even though most movies suck, i love going to the cinema for example. Good motion picture art has a huge impact on me. As well as inspiring discussions or enjoying my home´s landscapes.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank your for your interest in F41.0.
Listen to the music via Spotify or one of the numerous illegal download blogs and if you like what you hear / see - feel free to support the artist who spent shitloads of time and money for it.
--> http://f410pitchblackmetal.

Shadowflag Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
We recorded ‘The Delusion Machine’ at the end of last year. We then spent time making sure that the sound was exactly what we wanted for this album. We found the process of writing this album (our third) incredibly difficult especially given the central themes that we were addressing. We immersed ourselves into the true futility of existence and wanted the final recording to represent every part of that struggle. We have also spent some time making a video for the first single, ‘The Beasts That Perish’, and this was released in May. This involved filming on hillsides in freezing cold winds – so the struggle lived on! Other than that, we released a single called 'Mourn Defeat' in January, with an official video, in aid of the mental health charity 'MIND', we have played a few live shows including a short tour with our good friends in Stahlsarg, and we have started to bring some of the new songs to the live arena.

2.How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recordings?
We would certainly consider that this album captures struggle and desperation more than any other. We have always maintained a groove to our song writing – in the same way as, for example, Satyricon or The Infernal Sea, but there are more nods towards a more traditional style of black metal on this album. The spoken word is still present and is intertwined within the songs – a good example is the last song on ‘The Delusion Machine’, called ‘Singularity 45’, where we have finally managed to use a spoken word line as the main vocal, and it only adds to the crushing heaviness of the song. It’s these type of achievements that we are the most proud of.

3.You refer to your music as 'poetic black metal', can you tell us a little bit more about this term?
Well, the ‘poetic’ bit is easy. We all adore the use of spoken word and voice as an art form, and we make sure that on each album we include short passages wherever we can. Our self-titled first album was a 5000 word epic poem interweaved with music so this definitely a description with which we can always identify ourselves. We consider ourselves ‘black metal’ because we view it as the only true genre where absolute artistic expression can be allowed to wander and thrive like no other. Black metal provides a blank canvas – unblemished by the constraints and limitations of the world in which we dwell. It allows Shadowflag to develop organically and naturally like no other genre would, and it has given birth to one of the most dedicated followings around. It’s a sound that doesn’t just push the boundaries, it has no boundaries in the first place.    

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
On ‘The Delusion Machine’, we collectively made the decision to face our most chilling concept yet. Presenting the human species as being without purpose, the album explores the fear of the absolute nothingness within everything that mankind has become. There has never been a more poignant time in history when the reality of the vacuum at the centre of existence has been so apparent. ‘The Delusion Machine' is a bleak representation of futility and despair, yet also holds some hope within these barren soundscapes. Although this is fairly straightforward to summarise, confronting the pointlessness of life ended up having a very profound effect on each of us as well as the album itself. You only have to listen to tracks like ‘The Brutality’ and ‘Kingdom of Zero’ to understand a little more about where we were at.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Shadowflag'?
‘Shadowflag’ is the name of the ship in the story from our debut album, ‘Shadow Flag’. It represents salvation and resolution. We can relate to the journey of the Voyager as told in this album. Thus, we chose it as our name. The poem was written before the band was formed, and Carps and I both felt that Shadowflag was the true representation of us. It is mere coincidence that it is used in the Pearl Jam song ‘Garden’ – although the lyrics to that song could be an inspiration in themselves.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We have played a whole load of shows and enjoyed every single one of them. Our stage performance is high-energy, captivating and dark – and we enjoy constructing sets with high points and low points, rises and falls. It keeps the audience guessing and gives us some freedom to flow with the music. Some of the best shows we have played include the ones at our spiritual home, Scruffy Murphy’s in Birmingham. Also, we have played festivals like Beermageddon and were invited to play at Northern Extremity XIII in York.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
For sure. We have an album launch party on June the 23rd in our hometown of Cheltenham and then we play at Carpathian Alliance festival in Ukraine in July. Following that, we are looking at a few more short runs of dates in September, a big show at Scruffy Murphy's in Birmingham in November, and then finish up at the fantastic Blackwood Gathering in Cumbria, UK in October. We then plan to start filling our gig calendar for 2018. .

8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
We are currently unsigned and we don’t see that as a major issue. We have had some label interest but we didn’t feel that it would work for us in the right way. We think that bands have to realize that being signed is no longer the holy grail as you can do a great deal on your own, and labels have to realise that you have to work even harder than ever for your bands right now. If the right label came along, and we felt it was right for Shadowflag, then we would jump at the chance.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Fantastic. We seem to have picked up fans all over the place. Mainland Europe is always a feeding ground for the extreme end of music, but we have also seen great interest in South America and the USA. We do find that we gather fans whose tastes are wider than black metal which may mean that we are more accessible in a way. That’s got to be a good thing, right?

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Who knows? We try and do things a bit different on every album. We have a process where we just write whatever comes naturally to each of us, and then throw them into the simmering cauldron. We are actually doing that right now and ‘The Delusion Machine’ hasn’t even come out yet. We find it the best time to write. And then, when we are least expecting it, a beast of a thing clambers out of the cauldron….and there’s our new album.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
We are all a little different really. We would always say that the bands that influenced Shadowflag would be the obvious ones like Satyricon, Emperor and Enslaved, but we have roots running into bands like Kreator, Testament and Tryptykon, or Paradise Lost and Blut Aus Nord. Individually, we have very extensive tastes and are always devouring new music and this blends into our common approach. At the moment, we are into The Infernal Sea, Anaal Nathrakh, Sathamel, Batushka and the new Overkill album is pretty full on.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Everything – the world is a fascinating place so we just wander about taking it all in. Seems odd we all ended up here, doesn’t it? Then we generally drink a few beers and go and do something musical.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Nothing more from us….except to say thanks very much for giving us a chance to let you know about our forthcoming album and we hope to see you on the road sometime.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Abduction/To Further Dreams Of Failure/Inferna Profundus Records/2017 CD Review

  Abduction  are  a  solo  project  from  the  United  Kingdom  that  plays  a  very  mdern  yet  traditional  style  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2017  album  "To  Further  Dreams  Of  Failure"  which  was  released  by  Inferna  Profundus  Records.

  Dark  background  sounds  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  direction  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  songs  a  more  raw  feeling  along  with  some  high  pitched  black  metal screams.

  A  great  amount  of  90's  second  wave  infleunces  also  get  mixed  in  with  a  more  modern  occult  style  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  the  vocals  also  get  deep  and  demonic  at  times.

    One  track  also  brings  in  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  samples  while  some  riffs  also  add  in  a  touch  of  blackened  death  metal  and  when  guitar  leads  are  utiized  they are  done  in  a  very  dark  and  melodic  fashion  and  as  the  album  progresses  the  music  starts  adding  in  more  depressive  elements  and  melodic  chanting  can  also be  heard  briefly  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  ambient  style  synths.

  Abduction  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  has  second  wave  infleunces  while  also  mixing  in  some  more  modern  occult  and  depressive  elements  to  create  an  album  that  realy  stands  out,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark,  depressive,  occult  and  anti  religion  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Abduction  are  a  very  great  sounding  modern  and  treaditional  black  metal  solo  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Miser  Destructor"  and  "Catacomb  Chant".  8  out  of  10.



Malauriu/Heretical/Iam Mors Regnant/Zolfo/2017 Split 7 Inch Review

  This  is  a  review  of  a  split  ep  between  Italy's  Malauri  and  Heretical  called  "Iam  Mors  Regnant"  which  was  released  by  Zolfo  and  we  will  start  off  the  review  with  Malauriu  making  a  return  with  their  raw  style  of  black  metal.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  a  very  fast  and  raw  black  metal  sound  that  utilizes  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  grim  screams  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sound  very  powerful.

  The  music  also  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  90's  second  wave  infleunces  and  the  song  also  brings  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  death  and  human  misery  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  track  from  Malauriu  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  raw  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  their  song.

  Next  up  is  Heretical  a  band  that  plays  a  very  symphonic  form  of  black  metal.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  wth   blast  beats  along  with  some  heavy  guitars,  symphonic  elements  and  grim  black  metal  screams  a  few  seconds  later  and  the  riffs  also  use  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  operatic  female  vocals  are  also  utilized  briefly.

  A  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  can  be  heard  in  their  track  while  the  music  is  more  rooted  in  the  90's  style  of  symphonic  black  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  to  the  point  where  you  can  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  while  the  lyrics  cover  Occult  Philosophy  and  Suicide  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  track  from  Heretical  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  symphonic  black  metal,  you  should  check  out their  song.

  In  conclussion  I  feel  this  is  a  very  great  sounding  split  and  would  recommend  it  to  all  fans  of  Italian  black  metal.  8  out  of  10.

Mortespermia/IX/2017 EP Review

  Brazil's  solo  project  Mortespermia  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  that  continues  the  raw  and  necro  style  of  black  metal  from  previous  releases  and  this  is n a  review  of  his  self  released  2017  ep  "IX".

  Acoustic  guitars  and  grim  vocals  start  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  heavier  yet  melodic  direction  as  well  as  adding  in  depressive  screams  and  atmospheric  elements  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  During  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  songs  a  more  raw  feeling  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  dark  and  melodic  fashion  and  throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  cries  along  with  spoken  words  can  also  be  heard  briefly.

  On  this  recording  Mortespermia  creates  a  stle  of  black  metal  that  is  very  raw  and  necro  while  also  mixing  in  a  great  amount  of  depressive  themes,  the  production  sounds  very  dark,  raw  and  lo-fi  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Portuguese  and  cover  dark,  depressive  and  occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Mortespermia  and  if you  are  a  fan  of  raw,  depressive,  necro  and  occult  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Morte  Negra  III"  and  "KoM.M.Mando".  8  out  of  10.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Burnt/Astarium/Scolopendra Cingulata/Gnosis Of Death/Narcoleptica Productions/2016 Split CD Review

  This  is  a  review  of  a  3  way  split  album  between  Russia's  Burnt,  Astarium  and  Scolopendra  Cingulata  called  "Gnosis  Of  Death"  which  was  released  in  2016  by  Narcoleptica  Productions  and  we  will  start  off  te  review  with  Burnt  a  band  that  plays  a  very  raw  and  keyboard form  of  black  metal.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  ambient  style  keyboards  and  after  the  intro  the  music  goes  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  direction  that  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams.

  Keyboards  also  mix  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  at  times  along  with  the  music  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  mid  90's  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  melodies  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  guitar  riffing  and  acoustic  guitars  are  also  used  briefly.

  Burnt  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  goes  back  to  the  earlier  days  of  the  genre  where  they  started  mixing  keyboards  into  the  music  while  also  capturning  the  raw  feeling  of  those  days  which  has  been  lost  over  the  years,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  adn  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  depressive  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Burnt  are  a  ery  great  sounding  old  school  raw  and  atmospheric  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  their  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Dead  People"  and  "Suicide".

  Next  up  is  Astarium  continuing  his  symphonic  style  of  occult  black  metal.

  His  side  of  te  split  starts  out  with  ritualistic  and  demonic  voices  before  adding  in  more  of  a  symphonic  style  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  his  side  of  the  recording  and  on  th  second  the  music  gets  heavier  while  mixing  the  symphonic  elements.

  During  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  both  the  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  give  the  songs  a  more  raw  feeling  while  the  vocals  use  both  grim  and  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  riffs  also  using  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion.

  Astarium  creates  another  recording  that  is  also  in  the  occult  style  of  occult  black  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  yet  heavy  at  the  same  time  while  the  lyrics  cover  darkness  and  occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Astarium  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  occult  or  symphonic  black  metal,  yiou  should  check  out  their  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Spirits  Of  The  Dead".

  Closing  the  split  is  Scolopendra  Cingulata  another  band  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  raw  form  of  black  metal.

  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  spoken  word  samples  before  going  into  a  more  heavier  and  melodic  musical  direction  where  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on their  side  of  the  recording  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  Vocals  are  mostly  grim   black  metal  screams  along  with thee  solos  and  leads  adding  in  a  melodic  style  and  the  tremolo  picking  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  and  90's  second  wave  feeling  and  atmospheric  keyboards  can  also  be  heard  in  the  background  briefly  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  their  last  track  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  in  the  instrumental  ambient  direction.

  On  this  recording  Scolpendra  Cingulata  takes  the  raw  black  metal  style  and  mixes  in  more  keyboards  to  add  something  new  to  their  music,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Russian  and  cover  history,  war  and  literature  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Scolopendra  Cingulata  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  raw  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  their  side  of  the  split.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Rassvett".

  In  conclusion  I  feel  this  is  a  very  great  sounding  split  and  would  recommend  it  to  all  fans  of  Russian  black  metsl.  8  out  of  10.

Astarium/Epoch Of Tyrants/More Hate Productions/2016 EP Review

  Russia's  solo  project  Astarium  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  that  continues  the  symphonic  style  of  occult  black  metal  from  previous  releases  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2016  ep  "Epoch  Of  Tyrants"  which  was  released  by  More  Hate  Productions.

  Ocean  sounds  along  with  some  synths  and  clean  guitars  start  off  the  ep  and  after  awhile  programmed  beats  are  added  onto  the  recording  and  on  the  second  track  the  music  goes  into  more  of  a  heavier  and  symphonic  direction  as  well  as  introducing  melodic  guitar  leads  onto the  recording.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  along  with  the  tremolo  picking  giving  the  songs  a  more  raw  feeling  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal screams  with  soem  grim  touches  and  the  music  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  you  can  also  hear   all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  and  some  songs  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  war  samples  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  arevery  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  bringing  in  a  few instrumnetals.

  Astarium  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  the  symphonic  style  of  occult  black  metal  from  previous  releeaases,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  while  the  lyrics  cover  War,  Satanism  and  Occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Astarium  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  symphonic  and  occult  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "SS (Satanic  Squadron)"  and  "In  The  Twilight  Of  The  Gods".  8  out  of  10.