(Our Russian friend Comrade Aleks has been busy — for the second day in a row he brings us a new interview. Today, his conversation is with Nicolas Miquelon, lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist of the Québec band Norilsk.)
Norilsk is a Russian industrial city, the world’s northernmost city, with more than 100,000 inhabitants — and it’s one of most polluted cities in the world due to intense mining, a bleak land of ore and melted metal, of biting frost and acid rains. But Norilsk is also the name of a death/doom band from Québec, Canada, and their debut full-length record The Idea Of North will be released on the 10th of March through Hypnotic Dirge Records.
I found the band on their label’s new compilation Subarctic Nocturnes: Doomed to Be – Vol.1 (available here), and it was a worthy discovery. Are you ready for the cold, distorted, and burning breath of arctic wind? Nicolas Miquelon (all instruments but drums, and vocals) is here to spread the very idea of North.
(In this post our Russian contributor Comrade Aleks interviews Alex Schenkels, vocalist of the Dutch psychedelic doom/stoner band Yama.)
Yama have been playing their heavy and driving stoner for about five years, but their first full-length album Ananta was released only at the end of 2014. It was worth waiting for it — a bunch of strong, highly energetic, and catchy songs that evoke no less enthusiasm than the new works of more famous bands. Yet I don’t want to waste your time with a long foreword, ’cause Yama’s frontman Alex Schenkels is already here.
Hail Alex! You have released Yama’s grand debut about a month ago. How long did the band work for this release?
Hail Aleks! Yeah, Ananta has finally found its way to the public. It’s been quite a long process to be honest. We recorded Ananta approximately 1.5 years ago. Due to many factors the release got postponed several times.
(Our Russian contributor Comrade Aleks returns with this interview of Christian Draghi, vocalist/guitarist of Italy’s Doctor Cyclops.)
Take the map of Italy and find the small town Vaghera in Lombardy. Do you see it? It’s there in the North… Yes, that’s right. It’s a place where the Maserati Brothers were born, four gentlemen who created what has become one of the world’s best luxury sports cars for a long time. But today this place is more interesting for us because of Doctor Cyclops; they’re a trio who have been playing pretty original retro doom rock since 2007. Their songs have a unique Italian touch – some prog elements, something from the atmosphere of Argento movies, and something elusive and really fresh. And they are not as simple as one might think.
I had this interview with Christian Draghi (guitars, vocals), and we discussed their two albums Borgofondo and Oscuropasso. After that I have even more respect for the band. So here he comes – Doctor Cyclops.
photo by Duffi-Graffie
(Wil Cifer interviews Ritual Butcherer, guitarist, composer, and co-founder of Finland’s Archgoat, whose new album The Apocalyptic Triumphator is one of 2015′s high points so far.)
Your new album The Apocalyptic Triumphator has really set the bar high for metal coming out in 2015. One of the most impressive things about Archgoat is the fact that despite being incredibly heavy, you guys pull this off and still write good songs instead of placing all the focus on the heavy element. What do you attribute this to?
Our whole composing process is guitar-riff orientated and everything builds around the guitar parts. If the guitar riff is good and in company of 4-5 equally good riffs, it is then easy to add tempos with the drums to keep things interesting, but if the guitar part is weak or mediocre the drumming or vocals will not help the situation. We have in the two last recordings really wanted to get a heavy and thick sound because it just works with our hymns. And the drop tuning we use adds even more beef to the whole barrage of sound.
How has the songwriting process changed for you guys over the years?
In the beginning we all participated equally in hymn writing, but I have been ￼taking more and more responsibility than in previous years and now have alone composed all the music from Heavenly Vulva as for The Apocalyptic Triumphator. It is, though, irrelevant who of the members does what, as the band is a band, and not for personal glory but for the glorifying of Lucifer.
In the span of only four albums and about six years of recording, the Swedish band Lifelover made a remarkable impact on the evolution of metal and on the hearts and minds of their fans. After the death of co-founder Jonas “B” Bergqvist in 2011, the remaining members laid Lifelover to rest.
Several years later, however, the survivors of Lifelover formed a new band named Kall, a band we’ve been following and covering since the first news of its existence began to circulate in the underground. Kall’s self-titled debut album (reviewed here) appeared last fall, and another song also appeared even more recently on one of the excellent Elemental Nightmares splits (reviewed here).
Recently Prophecy Productions has announced that in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Lifelover’s formation, the band will reunite (without “B” of course) to perform a special concert at Prophecy Fest this coming September. And that provided the occasion for me to conduct the following e-mail interview with Lifelover / Kall guitarist “H.” — who talks about the reunion concert, the formation of Kall, and what lies ahead.
(We present Wil Cifer’s interview with Voivod drummer Michel Langevin (Away).)
Here’s an interview I did with one of the most underrated drummers in metal — Away from VoiVod, who I caught up with on the Space and Grind Tour, where they continue to steal the show from Napalm Death.
Caught the show last night and you guys were amazing, one thing I thought was interesting was that all of the songs except for the new one were from Nothingface” and back, and when I heard Target Earth I thought, “Wow, this is the album that should have come after Nothingface” just from the vibe it had.
Away – We have three sets and songs from Target Earth are on two of them, but we have been debating that, since we are on tour to promote that album. What do you think, should we play more from Target Earth?
(In this latest installment of his “Get To the Point” series, KevinP poses 5 questions to multi-instrumentalist “A.C.” of the UK band Throes, whose debut album Disassociation is coming out March 22nd… and we have a new song to stream as well.)
K: Another day, another new band from you. So what’s this all about?
A: Throes comes from a turbulent time. It was originally formed as a full band in 2011 but due to DG’s term of house-arrest we were forced to disband. There’s not a great deal worth delving into with regards to the history of Throes. In fact, we’d rather leave most of it feigned in mystery. This is for a variety of reasons but mainly because when you look at the current incarnation of Throes it bares no similarities to its predecessor (i.e., as opposed to being a full band), it is now a two-man outfit with all instrumental and writing duties handled by myself and vocals performed by DG.
K: So musically what were you aiming for on this, as opposed to the plethora of other bands you are involved with?
A: This has a whole load of electronic influences and definitely takes a much more experimental approach than any other record I have done. Also, I wrote the material over a fairly short period of time in comparison to what I would normally spend on a record.
(Our Russian contributor Comrade Aleks brings us this interview of Scotty Simpson, vocalist/guitarist of Ohio’s Beneath Oblivion.)
It’s time to dig out this piece of doomy sludge! Beneath Oblivion (Ohio, USA) have been in business since 2003. This band isn’t hyperactive, as they have only two full-length records so far – Existence Without Purpose (2006) and From Man to Dust (2011). But Scotty T. Simpson (guitars, vocals) sent me an e-mail with the good news of some new songs that Beneath Oblivion is working on. Do you need some violent, maniacal, and depressive tunes? Scotty has a few ones for you.
Hi Scotty, how are you? What’s the weather in Cincinnati?
Hi Aleks! I’m doing alright as of late; been playing a lot of doom metal lately, and that has a way of pushing all of the negativity out of my system… The weather here is snowy today, and it could be warm tomorrow. Cincinnati is always up and down, never consistent.
Hah, do you always play doom when you feel negative vibrations? And what do you do when you have no chance to play but you really NEED to push this negative stuff out?
Haha. I wish I could play doom metal whenever I feel negative vibrations… but I don’t always have an amp and guitar right next to me. Fortunately, I probably could just scream my head off whenever I feel that way, but people would think I’m totally nuts, which I may well be. What I do is let that build up and go to the stage, studio, or rehearsal space with said energy and put it out that way. If I don’t get to put out that energy, crank up an amp, and scream my head off, I can turn into a real manic depressive asshole. My girlfriend will usually let me know if it get’s to that point and tell me to get the fuck out of the apartment and into the rehearsal space.
(KevinP brings us another edition of his short-interview series, “Get To The Point”, and he talks with Astrous, vocalist of the Greek black metal band Aenaon. But this time the interview includes both a news scoop about the new Greek supergroup Katavasia and the world premiere of a new Katavasia song.)
K: So what’s the big news you want to share with all of us today?
A: I feel great to announce a new alliance in the Greek Black Metal circles which is called KATAVASIA. This new project consists of well-known musicians and guest appearances, aimed to produce the unique sound and spirit of the early Greek black metal era.
K: Can you tell us who is responsible for this alliance?
(Comrade Aleks interviews Markus Stock of the German band The Vision Bleak, among others.)
If you like really dark and mystic metal, then you should certainly know the German project The Vision Bleak, a duo of Markus Stock and Allen B. Konstantz. They boldly explore a world of myths and horrors, writing album after album; the fifth full-length record Witching Hour was released in 2013, and I felt a need to know if the band had plans for something new for us.
Markus is also a mastermind of the forest-influenced band Empyrium, and an honorable member of post-black-metal project Eudaimony; it was obvious that he had a lot of things he could tell us about.