(In this post our Russian friend Comrade Aleks interviews Nick “Necroskull” Ruskell, vocalist/guitarist of the UK band Witchsorrow, whose third album No Light, Only Fire, is being released on September 18 by Candlelight Records.)
It’s hard times for doom cult followers. There are so many bands that you can stray within the labyrinth of names and faces and get into the trap of another copycat band. But here we are — to spread a Word of Doom, to bring the knowledge and tunes so heavy and crushing that skies are shaking! Well, heavy and crushing are Witchsorrow, the band from London, where people disappear in fog-covered streets and are swallowed by the routine of life in a hive-city…
Witchsorrow is a headstrong band, and they’ve recorded their third work No Light, Only Fire and are releasing it through Candlelight Records. The new songs sound harsh, sinister, and straightforward, yet in a traditional doom way, and I was wondering how the band could reach such a result?
It was necessary to know, so I’ve contacted Nick “Necroskull” Ruskell, the singing guitarist of Witchsorrow.
(KevinP rejoins us with another edition of his short-interview series, and this time he talks with Jacobo Córdova, the man behind one of our favorite bands — Majestic Downfall, whose stunning new album is out now and can be heard at the end of the interview.)
K: So this is the third year in a row with a full-length album worth of material. How have you been able to pull this off?
J: I guess the reason why the band is so active is that I really like writing music and I do it as a very disciplined thing. It is a one-man job where I can decide when to do things, however I want to, without anyone on my back. I do have to say, that this time it was a bit harder than previously, since I incorporated a lot of new sounds into the music without caring or giving importance to where they came from.
K: If you found it harder to write this time around BUT you didn’t worry about what you incorporated, wouldn’t that actually make it easier, being free of restrictions?
J: Yes and no.Yes in the creative department, where as long as it sounded good I would work with it and incorporate it into the songs. No in the aspect of making such different ideas flow together in a smooth and cohesive way. That is what made me struggle more. I hate pasting riffs together without any relation.
(Comrade Aleks returns to our pages with an interview of Olly Pearson, vocalist of the UK band Moss, plus music.)
Moss (Southampton, UK) started their way through the deepest doom sewers by practicing in the disciplines of sludge and drone in 2001. Their efforts brought certain success as the band secured a contract with Rise Above Records and somehow found the keys to the hearts of doomheads outside the UK and Europe.
One of the most significant steps for Moss was the recording of the Horrible Night album in 2013, which showed a new direction that the band had started to follow. It was still ruinous and tortured, darkest doom metal, but it was played in a more traditional way, with more clean vocals and a bit less distorted tunes.
Moss sounds unfriendly and sometimes harsh, but we’re spoiled enough to like it. So I’m happy to introduce you to Olly Pearson, the band’s vocalist.
(Comrade Aleks presents this interview with George Birch of UK-based The Wounded Kings.)
Born in misty Dartmoor, raised in vapors covering the infamous Grimpen Mire, doom metal outfit The Wounded Kings started their way to listeners in 2005. The somber Embrace of the Narrow House and the mournful and mystic Shadow Over Atlantis were composed by the duo of Steve Mills (bass, drums, guitars, piano) and George Birch (bass, guitars, vocals); both albums helped the band not only attract the attention of listeners but also to get in contact with Sweden’s I Hate Records, and later in 2014 – with Candlelight Records.
George left the band in 2010, but that didn’t stop Steve, who recorded two successful albums with a new line-up that included Sharie Neyland on vocals. George returned to The Wounded Kings not long ago, and now the band is finishing a new album. What should we expect from it? Let’s ask George Birch himself.
(Comrade Aleks brings us another interview, this time with guitarist (and visual artist) Roland Scriver of the UK doom band Serpent Venom — with a stream of the band’s latest album at the end.)
Serpent Venom is one of UK doom-scene’s most perceptive flagships. Based in London, they have a contract with one of the best modern doom-oriented labels The Church Within and two full-length records at hands. Their second album Of Things Seen And Unseen has haunted me since its very release, so after one year of nightmares, I got ready to interview some of the Serpent Venom cult’s members and was lucky enough to get in touch with Roland Scriver (guitars). Roland is here today, so let’s see what he has to say.
The new EP by Philadelphia’s Fight Amp(utation) is a whirlwind roller-coaster ride — or it would be if a roller-coaster were capable of leaping off the rails with a mind of its own in addition to veering up, down, and sideways. It’s only six songs with a total run-time of about 18 1/2 minutes, but Fight Amp pack a lot of head-spinning diversity into that span of time. It’s the kind of music that keeps you pinned in place, gleefully wondering what the hell is coming next.
Precisely for that reason, it’s also the kind of release that justifies a track-by-track commentary from the band — and that’s exactly what we have for you here. But you need to listen to the songs either before or while you’re reading — or ideally, do both. A stream of Constantly Off is at the bottom of this post, along with a Bandcamp link where you can pick it up if you like what it does to you. And to get an LP edition of the album, Brutal Panda has got that HERE.
(Comrade Aleks presents his interview of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Mats from the Swedish band Ereb Altor.)
Ereb Altor is a band that doesn’t need a special introduction. It was founded in 2003 by two members of Swedish traditional doom outfit Isole (Mats and Ragnar) to channel their inspiration by Bathory (of the “viking period”) in a new direction.
Cyclone Empire released the fifth Ereb Altor record Nattramn in April 2015, and this new work continues the line of the two preceding albums as the band holds onto the combination of epic Viking metal with both doom and black elements. I was lucky enough to draw the attention of Mats, and he patiently answered my questions.
(Comrade Aleks brings us this interview with Anton Avramov, guitarist/vocalist of the Bulgarian doom band Obsidian Sea, whose new album Dreams, Illusions, Obsessions was released earlier this year.)
The geography of the doom metal scene is very wide; you can find interesting outfits all around the globe — in Iceland, in Tasmania, in Russian Siberia, and even on the Azores Islands in the middle of Atlantic Ocean. Some countries, such as the UK, are overwhelmed by doom bands while other countries are dark corners.
Obsidian Sea is a power trio from Bulgaria. Their first record Between Two Deserts was filled with good traditional doom and was released three years ago by Solitude Productions. When time came to do a sequel release, the men decided to do it by their own hands.
Here’s a record of our interview with Anton Avramov (guitars, vocals), so you have a chance to hear a story of Dreams, Illusions, Obsessions’ origin and Obsidian Sea’s perspectives.
(Comrade Aleks interviews Jacob Nordangård of the Swedish band Wardenclyffe.)
Sweden outfit Wardenclyffe were named after one of the most ambitious Nicola Tesla projects, so this doom band moves a bit aside from the main occult direction which was set to the scene by dark gods. Wardenclyffe consists of Ola Blomkvist from doom congregation Griftegard, Micael and Emil of death metal project Terrorama, guitarist of the black metal band Misercordia, Robert Karlsson, and former Doomsday Cult member and the band’s mastermind Jacob Nordangård.
I asked Jacob about Wardenclyffe, their debut record Control All Delete, and other stuff. It must be said that some of the answers were pretty unexpected. So, don’t waste time, and let’s read this interview in the name of Nicola Tesla!
Hi Jacob! Van Records released Wardenclyffe’s debut record on the 31st of January. What is the band’s state now?
We are preparing and rehearsing for a recording of the two new songs, “The Omega Point” and “Rockefeller”. Set to be released in December.
(KevinP brings us another installment in his ongoing series of short interviews, talking this time with one of our favorite metal artists, Italy’s Paolo Girardi.)
K: So how did you get your start being one of the “go to” guys for metal album covers?
P: I already had done some local metal demo and CD covers here in my small town and villages around the ’90s and early 2000s. But then my friends Blasphemophagher wanted something for their first album, then second, then third and the most recent one. This gave me more popularity in metal. After that I did Diocletian, Tyrants Blood, In League with Satan, etc.
Three years ago (almost four maybe), I reached the point when I could live by painting alone, working all over the world. No more need to work in country, as frescos restorer, carpenter, or other occasional work. I was so glad ’cause I’ve never quit painting, even when I had to work 11 hours per day. After that, my daily wrestling training, then painting ’til after midnight. I’ve always believed at every cost. Obsession, passion, love, stubbornness, madness. Now, I still work hard to do my best for my respectful clients, bands, and labels.