(Comrade Aleks brings us his interview of pack leader Ralf Winzer Garcia from the Swiss doom band Wolf Counsel, whose new album Ironclad was released last month)
I bet that fans of right traditional doom metal have heard about the Swiss band Wolf Counsel because of their debut Vol.1 – Wolf Counsel released just one year ago, performing confident and strong doom material in the vein of the forefathers of this genre. But as for me, I almost missed the release of Wolf Counsel’s sophomore work Ironclad, which saw the light of day in September 2016. And you know… this album is an excellent example of flawless doom metal, and after a few listenings I was motivated enough to send questions to Wolf Counsel’s leader Ralf Winzer Garcia (bass, vocals).
Photo by Ann-Helén Moen Nannestad
(On October 28, Dark Essence Records will release Red In Tooth and Claw, the new album by Norway’s Madder Mortem, and in this new interview KevinP talks about the album with vocalist Agnete M. Kirkevaag and guitarist BP M. Kirkevaag.)
K: So it’s been 7 years since your last album, Eight Ways. About freakin’ time don’t ya say? (LOL)
Agnete: Absence makes the heart grow fonder? But yeah, about freaking time! The album has been ready for quite awhile now, so we’re very impatient to get it out there for people to hear.
BP: Feels great and yes, about bleep bleepin’ time! The grey cloud has finally lifted from this album’s shoulder.
K: With this new album, Red in Tooth and Claw, you finally break free of any genre classification (even though you were kinda hard to pigeon-hole before this anyways). Do you find this to be a blessing or a curse?
Agnete: A blessing, definitely! Rock is supposed to be about rebellion, isn’t it? And to me, that means disregarding or at least questioning norms in general. And certainly norms that would place restraints on your creativity. But I can see that there might be short-term marketing difficulties in it too. It’s hard to slap a sticker on the CD case saying “for fans of some other rock band”, since I think the references would be wildly different for different songs.
To be honest, I don’t really know of anyone out there doing exactly what we’re doing and I’m really proud of that. But it has never been our goal. Our music has just ended up being the way it is because it’s what we like and enjoy playing.
(In this new edition of KevinP’s short interview series, he talks with guitarist Theo Lyratzakis of the Greek band Hail Spirit Noir, whose new album Mayhem In Blue will be released by Dark Essence Records on October 28.)
K: I think it’s pretty safe to say that most people are gonna view this album as easily the best of your career. As much as I loved both prior releases, compared to this new one, dare I say they sound “half-baked”, almost “disjointed”.
T: Ha! Well, that’s always good to hear! Thank you kindly. Knowing you are a fan, it means a lot. We obviously wanted Mayhem In Blue to be our best album to date. It’s the difficult third album and a lot of work has been put into it. Not that either Pneuma or Oi Magoi disappointed us in any way but this is where we are now. And we need to express ourselves as keenly and accurately as possible. So you know, thanks.
(Norway-based metal writer Karina Cifuentes returns to NCS with this interview of guitarist Jeff Liefer and vocalist Jason Keyser of the band Crator, whose line-up also includes drummer John Longstreth and bassist Colin Marston. Their debut album The Ones Who Create : The Ones Who Destroy was released last month and can be streamed at the end of this interview.)
I think Crator is the best of all the bands you play with (Origin, Krallice, Skinless) and it makes it sound pretty unique actually. Why did you guys feel the need to start this band? What are you aiming for with this project?
Jeff: The aim was to create something punishing, dark, and cerebral. Our styles clash to create a production whose sound diverges from our separate projects yet still retaining each individual’s creative signature.
Virus 2016 – photo by Kim Sølve
(John Sleepwalker of Avopolis.gr returns to us with this rare interview that occurred at Blastfest 2016 in Bergen, Norway, last February. And the timing of this publication suits the upcoming performances by Virus in Greece this month — about which you can find info at the end of the following transcribed discussion. )
What happens when key members of Virus, Dødheimsgard, Ved Buens Ende, Thorns, Audiopain, and Beyond Dawn sit around the same table?
Admitting how unexpected this meeting was would be a reasonable mention, but I think I should better state it turned out into one of the nicest memories an avant-garde fan could cherish. This interview took place during my stay in Bergen for Blastfest 2016; I remember I had to go to a hotel for some press activities and I found there two members of Virus and Dødheimsgard enjoying a cup of coffee. While we were talking about gigs and music, we thought that was a good chance to turn this into an interview (or keep it like a pleasant discussion, taking into account its overall flow).
However, what we didn’t know at that moment was that more people would sit down and join our company, while the interview was still taking place. You could easily tell this resulted in a meeting with a scene, and not with a band, even if some mandatory subjects are unfortunately missing. Needless to say, of course, Czral was a bit too kind — he felt quite sick and his cough was intense, but still wanted very much to participate. This, of course, is one of the rare occasions you don’t really encounter, so I think it is time you should grab your own cup of coffee, for it is quite an interesting read.
(Comrade Aleks is back with an interview of Erik Sugg, vocalist/guitarist of North Carolina’s Demon Eye, who brings us lots of news about the band’s next album)
It started when Erik Sugg (guitars, vocals) and Larry Burilson (guitars) played in a band named Corvette Summer which covered ‘70s rock bands (Budgie, UFO, Humble Pie, and others), and that’s how they met Bill Eagen (drums, vocals) and Paul Walz (bass). Once after a weekend on a wooded mountainside Eric returned enlightened and asked if the guys could support the riffs he wrote there alone on an acoustic guitar… Just like that story with Moses – you know… The real commotion started.
So since 2012 Demon Eye have recorded two stunning, successful albums performed in the way of heavy doom metal charged with demonic energy! The debut full-length Leave the Light was full of sheer killer-songs, and the sophomore work Tempora Infernalia developed its ideas further. Just one year has passed since the Tempora Infernalia release, but I’m already anxious as the news has spread that Demon Eye are in the studio again. Are they conjuring a new ominous grand work? Erik Sugg will answer this and few other questions in the interview below.
(Norway-based Karina Cifuentes usually brings us interviews (such as the one yesterday with Saor), but today she introduces three underground bands to your ears — though one is accompanied by an interview.)
This time I wanted to introduce some underground bands here. So I have selected some thrash bands. When it comes to thrash I tend to prefer it mixed with some other genre. This is because I really like variety and complexity just to keep it interesting.So the first one will be Infant Death from Trondheim (Norway), the city where the infamous The Mysteriis dom Sathanas cathedral is located.
(Norway-based Karina Cifuentes returns to NCS with this interview of Andy Marshall, the man behind Scotland’s Saor, whose new album Guardians will be released on November 11. Photos by Land of Light Photography.)
When it comes to composition of both music and lyrics, do you need to have a particular mindset or do you need to be at a particular place to compose?
I don’t need to be in any particular place but I like to take my acoustic guitar with me when I’m visiting my family’s cottage in the Isle of Skye. It’s really remote and the landscape from the garden is stunning. I also get a lot of inspiration from hill walking or when I’ve been out exploring in the wild. Sometimes it just takes a film, book, or soundtrack to trigger my creative side. I usually start out with a guitar riff or melody then start adding other instruments. As for mindset, I definitely have a place in my head I go to when I’m writing Saor material. It’s total escapism.
(Comrade Aleks conducted the following interview with Monolith Wielder, whose debut album will be released by Argonauta Records on October 17, 2016.)
Tight and powerful, Monolith Wielder breaks into the American doom stoner scene with their loud and savage debut full-length. Their riffs are overflowing with energy and fuzz, and they have enough enthusiasm to perform their songs at full capacity. Monolith Wielder was built on the stones of the Maryland doom scene and fed with Pittsburgh’s very soil; they know how to play it heavy and straightforward.
Break the Chains! Lift Your Eyes! And reach Illumination!
(John Sleepwalker of Avopolis.gr returns to us with this interview of Youth Code’s astonishing frontwoman Sara Taylor. The band’s latest album, Commitment To Complications was reviewed on this site here.)
Youth Code is the most unconventional, yet simultaneously accessible, EBM band that would break into your house and smash your TV in pieces. By drawing their inspiration from old industrial to hardcore punk music, their blend of influences deliberately exhales remarkable amounts of intensity in ways rather provoking to all human senses. Sarah Taylor, however, was kind enough to answer our questions on the band’s not too distant past, as well as their current goals and creative focus on their music. Without denying, of course, how the internet is partialy responsible nowadays for a big loss of magic in our music.