Sep 082017

 

(Greek writer Aggelos Redneck of Rockoverdose.gr brings us this interview of Gunther Theys, founder and still vocalist of the long-running Belgian black metal band Ancient Rites, whose latest album Laguz was released after a long hiatus in 2015. The interview was conducted in anticipation of Ancient Rites’ performance at the Arcane Angels Festival, which will take place in Athens on September 16-17, 2017, alongside such bands as Primordial, Taake, and Zemial.)

 

First of all, we’d like to know your thoughts on the latest album of the band Laguz”. It’s been two and a half years already since its release. How did the fans react to it? Are you fully satisfied with its sound? 

I think Laguz is our most complex album so far from a technical point of view, consisting of many layers. It’s an album that has to grow on the listener, as one keeps on discovering details. On the other hand, all musical elements have intensified, it is an intense album. The fans responded positively, but of course people have their preferences, which is normal when a band exists for as long as we do and each album sounds different.

What I find important is that the essence of our work, the A.R. universe, remains intact. Like a travel through old, forgotten worlds. I still believe in every album we ever did for they all represent important eras in our band’s history. Our musical progress is a natural, organic one, but I wouldn’t mind releasing a very raw, primitive album either. We never plan our sound, we are not influenced by any current trends or external situations. We simply create what we feel, regardless of any commercial feedback.

Aug 252017

 

 

(Greek writer John Sleepwalker of Avopolis.gr brings us another interview, and this time we have his e-mail discussion with Alan Averill (Nemtheanga), frontman of Primordial and Dread Sovereign and the once (and perhaps future) Blood Revolt. This interview was conducted in anticipation of Primordial’s headlining appearance at the Arcane Angels festival in Athens on September 16, 2017.)

 

It’s been 3 years already since Where Greater Men Have Fallen. A release considerably dark, compared to the ones that preeeded it. Do you believe Primordial lost a part of their darkness along the way, or maybe it has transormed in more subtle ways? 

Have we lost a part of it? I don’t know about that… the last album is definitely darker, for example, than the debut. Or in my opinion any of the first 4 albums. If we did lose our darkness, then how is the last album darker than the ones before? Strange question.

Aug 162017

 

(Comrade Aleks is back, and brings with him this interview of Steve Colca, guitarist/vocalist of Austin-based Destroyer of Light.)

Horror movies, bloody sacrifices, and a bit of smoke – these topics work better when you play slow and low stuff. Just like Destroyer of Light do. That Austin-based band crawls out of their dungeon with seven new tracks entitled Chamber of Horrors.

It’s their second full-length, and the men naturally reached another level in their musicianship, keeping the same grim and hard sound. The feature of this record is a wider range of influences (including a heavier, sludgy sound), yet all of these imprints fit Destroyer of Light’s image well.

Need some darker vibe? Here it comes! “There’s a murder at the altar, So his spirit will arrive!”

Jul 312017

 

(Argentinian writer Matías Gallardo rejoins us with this interview of Michael Czerwoniuk, vocalist/guitarist of the UK black metal band Wode, whose new album Servants of the Countercosmos we reviewed here.)

 

After releasing their self-titled debut album last year, British black metal act Wode became one of the most exciting bands around the obscure corners of the underground. With a particular blend of fury and catching melodies that resemble both early ‘90s Norwegian legends and classic heavy metal heroes, the Manchester-based quintet started a path that was followed earlier this year with the release of their sophomore album, Servants of the Countercosmos.

Released by the renowed Italian label Avantgarde Music, Servants… is a massive and violent sequel plagued with some of the best and most extreme riffs you’ll hear this year. In barely 31 minutes, Wode managed to craft another piece of chaotic blackness. Below you can read the chat vocalist/guitarist Michael Czerwoniuk had with NCS.

Jul 212017

 

(In the fifth and final part of a week-long series of interviews by Andy Synn, he talks with Scott Mellinger of the Pittsburgh band Zao, whose late-2016 album The Well-Intentioned Virus was reviewed by Andy here.)

Last, but by no means least, in my retrospective on some of 2016’s unsung heroes we have a band who are probably the most well-known out of all five, though still nowhere near enough in my estimation!

After a seven year break Zao returned in 2016 with The Well-Intentioned Virus, their tenth/eleventh full-length album (depending on whether or not you count the 2003 re-recording of All Else Failed), which proved to be one of the finest slabs of music the band had ever produced.

Now, a little over half a year later, I wanted to catch up with the band and welcome them back to the land of the living, as well as grill them on their time away, and what it took to produce an album which may well go down as their magnum opus.

Jul 202017

 

(Continuing his week-long series of interviews focusing on un-sung bands with stellar 2016 albums, Andy Synn today talks with guitarist Piotr Chmielecki of the Polish band Koronal.)

Fit to bursting with twanging, tensile riffs and gigantic, gigawatt grooves, Flicker Away, the debut album by this powerhouse Polish quintet, rapidly rocketed its way to the top of my “most listened to” list soon after I discovered it at the tail-end of 2016/start of 2017.

In fact I loved it so much that I was more than happy to state that I actually preferred it to the new Meshuggah album, The Violent Sleep of Reason… an opinion which I still stand by today!

But whether you’re onboard with that statement or not, I ‘m pretty certain that you’ll still agree when I say that Flicker Away was (and is) one heck of an album, and one which definitely deserved a lot more praise and attention than it actually received.

So, with that in mind, please give it up for Koronal!

Jul 192017

(In the third installment of Andy Synn’s week-long series of interviews, he talked with members of the Vancouver BC band Riftwalker — guitarist/vocalist Miles Morrison, bassist/vocalist Spencer Atkinson, and drummer Zan Petrovic — whose 2016 album Andy reviewed for us here.)

Progressive/Technical Death-Thrash combo Riftwalker wowed a number of people with the release of their debut album, Green & Black, in October last year – and I can only imagine that number would have been even higher if that band hadn’t flown under the radar quite so much.

But right now we have an opportunity to correct that (at least a little bit) by bringing the band another dose of well-deserved attention!

Jul 182017

 

(In the second installment in a week-long series of interviews, Andy Synn talks with members of the Norwegian band Endolith, whose 2016 debut album he reviewed here.)

For the second in this interview series on some of the “unsung heroes” of 2016, we’re travelling to Tromsø, Norway, to discuss Metal and metaphysics with progressive death-groovers Endolith, who released their fantastic debut album, Voyager, in December of last year.

******

First question – nice and simple – how are you guys doing at the moment?

Frode: Hello, we are doing fine. In fact we’re actually in the middle of writing our sophomore album, and we’re more than halfway through. We’ve been working continuously since the release of Voyager and it’s looking good!

Spirits are high, and we feel that we are honing our sound further, trimming some of the fat that may naturally accumulate on a debut album, and making perhaps more cohesive material.

Jul 172017

 

(Andy Synn brings us this first in a week-long series of interviews, and today’s initial installment is a discussion with vocalist/guitarist Andreas Schmittful of Germany’s Phantom Winter.)

One of the great things about being a part of a blog like NCS is being able to write about whatever bands/albums you find interesting, with little to no editorial interference, and no real pressures with regards to deadlines or being made to stick to a certain party line.

And that’s not something I take for granted.

Like the man said, “with great power comes great responsibility…”, and, for better or for worse, I have a platform here which means my voice reaches a lot further, and a resounds a little more loudly, than it would do otherwise.

And since I’m going to be rather busy this week due to a combination of day-job and band-life demands, I thought I’d take this opportunity to use that voice and draw attention to a handful of artists whose albums were, through no fault of their own, largely overlooked in the celebratory orgy of 2016’s End of Year listfest… beginning with Germany’s own Phantom Winter.

Jul 112017

 

(On June 9th Agonia Records released In Death, the latest album by the Swedish black metal band Svartsyn. As always, it was all the work of Ornias, this time aided again by the drummer Hammerman. Norway-based Karina Noctum was able to put questions to Svartsyn, and she brings us the results of the dialogue here today.)

 

Svartsyn is a Swedish one-man band that started in 1991 under the name Chalice, renamed Svartsyn three years later, and ever since it has stayed true to the cold and dark Black Metal sound. Svartsyn is at the lifeless heart of Black Metal.

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I think Svartsyn style is kind of trance-inducing, pretty dense. How do you achieve this sound?

I follow my instinct of how I want my sound. I work very hard to achieve this sound.

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