May 222017

 

Originally formed circa 1972, the California heavy metal band Cirith Ungol released four albums between 1980 and 1991 before disbanding, and in the process amassed an ardent world-wide fan following. The band reunited in 2015 for the Frost and Fire festival, and are continuing to forge ahead with festival appearances — and writing new music as well.

Greek writer John Sleepwalker of Avopolis.gr returns to NCS with this interview of Tim Baker, Greg Lindstrom, Jimmy Barraza, and Rob Garven leading up to Cirith Ungol’s performance at the Up the Hammers Festival in Athens, Greece, on May 27, 2017.

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First of all, what made a Cirith Ungol reunion possible after all these years? I think there was quite some interest from Greece too, for quite some time, but the band was very negative until now…

Rob: Jarvis Leatherby from Night Demon lives in our home town and he told me that when they traveled to Europe on tour they would see many fans wearing “Cirith Ungol” shirts, and patches, and many there knew of our band and music. I had sworn a blood oath that I would never play drums again, so I had always told him very politely that I was not interested. Everything changed at the “Frost & Fire” festival in 2015. Oliver Weinsheimer from the very famous and exclusive “Keep It True Festival” had come over for the show. Jarvis and Oliver asked to speak to the band alone.

May 192017

 

(Guest contributor Pablo Balbontín, editor of the Spanish webzine Subterráneo, brings us Part 3 of an  interview of Vön Pax, vocalist of the Spanish band Barbarian Swords, whose latest album Worms we premiered last November in advance of its release by Cimmerian Shade and Satanath Records. Part 1 is here; Part 2 is here.)

 

The genres you play, black and doom, don’t have much acceptance in Spain, and even in the underground are misunderstood. They don’t have much support, unlike thrash or death, but nevertheless Madrid, the dark (venue), which is more focused on doom and gothic metal, has been a complete success. So, seeing how those styles aren’t very valued, did you think that you wouldn’t succeed in your own country?

Von Päx: That’s a quite complex answer that I could be answering today. Let’s make clear that, in Spain, the most minority styles are black and then doom. That’s a battle that you have already lost. In this country they like blast-beats. If you don’t play fast they are not gonna like you. In addition they also don’t understand shrieking voices. If it isn’t guttural, you also have already lost support.

May 182017

 

(Guest contributor Pablo Balbontín, editor of the Spanish webzine Subterráneo, brings us Part 2 of an  interview of Vön Pax, vocalist of the Spanish band Barbarian Swords, whose latest album Worms we premiered last November in advance of its release by Cimmerian Shade and Satanath Records. Part 1 is here; Part 3 will appear tomorrow.)

 

Your relationship with labels, it’s a mess… First of all, you’re signed with Cimmerian Shade Recordings, and then with Satanath Records and The Ritual Productions. Some of them have carried out with the CD version, I think Cimmerian handles the cassette version… Why did you decide to work in this way? What does each one do? Which are their tasks? Perhaps they handle the distribution for some different countries?

Von Päx: This was organized in the underground way. I mean, we are a tiny band. Only a madman can get ahead of our music and invest in it, and we were lucky to find that. Cimmerian Shade Recordings from the USA handles the double gatefold vinyl, the double cassette edition, limited to a red one and a black one, and then a Digipack CD, which is pretty awesome.

On the other hand, Satanath Records from Rusia and The Ritual Productions from Netherlands both produce the regular jewelcase.

May 172017

 

(We welcome back guest contributor Pablo Balbontín, editor of the Spanish webzine Subterráneo, who brings us this interview of Vön Pax, vocalist of the Spanish band Barbarian Swords, whose latest album Worms we premiered last November in advance of its release by Cimmerian Shade and Satanath Records. We’ve divided the interview into 3 parts, with Parts 2 and 3 coming in the next two days.)

It is quite ironic to do an interview via Skype with Vön Pax, singer of Barbarian Swords, in the middle of a Christian holiday, as it is Christmas while we are asking him about Worms, and he does not get along well with the dominant religion in the west.

It was a kind evening in which he gave us some extensive and sincere answers to every question. And so we spoke about the album process, some curiosities, disgusting stories surrounding it, and talks about a porn actress. It was an unusual interview for the one who writes this, and possibly for the one who was behind the screen, too. This is how the evening developed.

May 112017

 

(Music journalist Konstantin, who in past years has written for Serbia’s Nocturne Music Magazine, makes his first appearance at NCS with this extensive interview of Kozeljnik, founding guitarist and composer of the long-running Serbian black metal band The Stone and a participant in many other groups as well. Part 1 of this interview can be found HERE.)

Proudly standing in the underground waters for more than two decades, The Stone have engraved their name as one of the pivotal names in the Eastern European black metal scene of the ‘90s. From a war-torn country under embargo where buying the latest CD of your favorite band was practically impossible to touring with Revenge and Inquisition, they have cleared their path with strength and spirit.

In a detailed conversation with Kozeljnik (The Stone, Kozeljnik, May Result, Oculus, Murder, Ophidian Coil) we recall those days; and we discuss such topics as where metal has made mistakes in the last years and why that one legendary US act decided to have special gigs in the Balkan woods years ago.

May 102017

 

(Music journalist Konstantin, who in past years has written for Serbia’s Nocturne Music Magazine, makes his first appearance at NCS with this extensive interview of Kozeljnik, founding guitarist and composer of the long-running Serbian black metal band The Stone and a participant in many other groups as well. Part 2 of this interview will follow tomorrow.)

Proudly standing in the underground waters for more than two decades, The Stone have engraved their name as one of the pivotal names in the Eastern European black metal scene of the ‘90s. From a war-torn country under embargo where buying the latest CD of your favorite band was practically impossible to touring with Revenge and Inquisition, they have cleared their path with strength and spirit.

In a detailed conversation with Kozeljnik (The Stone, Kozeljnik, May Result, Oculus, Murder, Ophidian Coil) we recall those days; and we discuss such topics as where metal has made mistakes in the last years and why that one legendary US act decided to have special gigs in the Balkan woods years ago.

May 082017

 

(Comrade Aleks brings us this interview with guitarist Mat Davis of the North American heavy doom band Castle.)

Castle is one of the most powerful bands of the States’ heavy scene. They’ve combined doom and heavy metal since 2009, and each of their four albums is an impressive and focused work filled with concentrated energy.

The recording lineup hasn’t changed since the band’s founding: Elizabeth Blackwell on vocals and bass, Mat Davis on guitars, and Al McCartney on drums. Liz’s voice is thick and charged; each line she sings and each chord Mat produces really count.

Their latest album Welcome to the Graveyard was released in July 2016 by Ván Records and since then Castle has played a damn lot of shows, so I wondered if they’ve had time to compose some new tunes. Are you wondering this too? Okay, then this interview with Mat will shed some light on the band’s past, present, and a bit of future.

May 052017

 

(Argentinian writer Matías Gallardo presents this interview with S. Vrath, guitarist/vocalist of Craven Idol, whose savage new album The Shackles of Mammon was released in April by Dark Descent Records.)

 

Four years ago, Craven Idol’s debut Towards Eschaton put the London four-piece among the most insane and relentless heirs of old school extreme metal. This year the band takes its blackened metal one step forward with The Shackles of Mammon, an album where the influences of Poison (Ger), Bathory, Manilla Road, and Deströyer 666 resonate in an impressive landscape of filthy and addictive noise.

Guitarist/Vocalist S. Vrath spoke with NCS to share his thoughts about Craven Idol’s new masterpiece.

May 042017

 

(We present the interview by Latvian music writer Evita Hofmane with Jani Koskela, the man behind the Finnish band Horizon of the Mute.)

Finnish one-man doom/industrial metal act Horizon of the Mute has announced more live dates in support to its debut album release Trobar Clus. These shows will take place in Baltic countries, Romania, Slovakia, and France in May. Trobar Clus was released digitally and on CD in November 2016 by Death Shrine Offerings.

I had a chat with Jani Koskela (also or previously of Cynabare Urne, 0xíst, Let Me Dream, and Saattue) to hear all about his new project.

Apr 202017

 

(Greek writer John Sleepwalker of Avopolis.gr returns to NCS with this interview of Chelsea Wolfe conducted in advance of her appearance in Athens on April 29 at the Smoke the Fuzz Fest with Amenra, Oathbreaker, and Skull & Dawn. )

 

Your style has reached out to audiences unfamiliar with experimental sounds, thanks to its remarkable accessibility. Do you believe diversity can be an obstacle when aiming at new horizons, and how much do you see your sound further developing? When should we expect a new full-length release?

CW: I think sometimes being difficult to define can hold an artist back from certain opportunities, but I’ve been really lucky to still have support from a lot of really great people despite being sort of in-between genres. When I’m writing a new album I just follow my instincts and pay attention to what my bandmates and I are writing naturally, and then we hone in on that and refine it. We actually just finished recording a new album and if all goes well, it’ll be out later this year.

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