(Comrade Aleks returns to NCS with this interview of Luther Veldmark of the multinational group King Heavy.)
It started for me with Hooded Priest’s album Devils Worship Reckoning – I like good old-school doom metal, and this record had enough catchy riffs to make me wait for new release. This record also is remarkable for me because of the really possessed and expressive vocal lines performed by the band’s frontman Luther Veldmark. The new album isn’t ready yet, but at least I got King Heavy, as Hooded Priest has been keeping silent up to now.
King Heavy is the product of a collaboration between Luther (based in The Netherlands) and three members of the Chilean bands Procession and Mourners Lament. King Heavy recorded the EP Horror Absoluto in 2014, so it’s time to ask that will come next. Luther Weldmark himself is here today!
Hail Luther! How are you? How much longer did your beard grow since we talked last time? It was in 2011!
Hello Alex, great hearing from you again. The slower my music the faster time flies!
Since you asked, I suppose my beard is a bit longer than last time, actually I don’t think it’s that extremely long, but yeah right, I don’t go that often to a barber. I do cut my beard on the sides from time to time, that’s about it.
(Our Kansas-based friend Derek Neibarger — the man behind the Godless Angel death metal project and the inventor of the Cat Hand Rest©, brings us his interview of Dave Matrise, vocalist of Jungle Rot.)
I have to extend a very heartfelt thank you to Kenosha, Wisconsin. The fourth largest city in the state has given us Mark Ruffalo, the best Bruce Banner aka The Hulk. And more importantly it is the home of the death metal monstrosity, Jungle Rot.
Formed in 1994, Jungle Rot has delivered seven crushing full-length albums. With their eighth album on the way and a coveted slot on this year’s Rockstar Mayhem Festival, it was the perfect time to catch up with vocalist, Dave Matrise, to talk about what looks to be a very exciting year for these death metal legends!
Derek: Hi Dave! Thank you for taking time to do this interview for me! Jungle Rot entered the studio last month to begin working on your eighth album. How are the recording sessions going, so far? Do you have any idea when the album will be released, or when we’ll get to hear some new music?
Dave: Hi, yes we went into Bell City Recordings on April 17th. I could not be happier with how everything is coming out. Again, we went into the studio ready for war. We all had a job to do and everyone did it well. Knowing just what we had and what needed to be done to make this another J-Rot release. The album will be available on June 30th and I’m sure a video will be released at the same time to let everyone get a taste of it.
(KevinP brings us this “Get To the Point” interview with Calvin Robertshaw, guitarist of My Dying Bride, who have a new album coming later this year.)
K: I’m not going to rehash ancient history too much. I’d rather focus on the here and now, plus the future. Buuuut, you’ve been away since 1998 and as soon as they announce Hamish’s departure, they announce your return. I gotta assume you’ve kept in touch over the years or had previous talks of rejoining the fold?
C: Yes, after leaving, I stepped away from music completely for a couple of years before they approached me and asked me to tour manage. That lasted for 3-4 years before the birth of my son. We’ve always kept in touch since then. I’ve been with Andy’s sister for 17 years.
Andy initially approached me in 2013 about the possibility of filling in for Hamish at a couple of shows. But nothing ever came of that, until mid 2014, when I was asked about rejoining full time.
(New Zealand-based metal writer and broadcaster Craig Hayes brings us this interview with Rigel Walshe of New Zealand’s Dawn of Azazel, whose phenomenal comeback album was released on April 28.)
When I think of places around the world which have been the birthplace of great death metal, I typically think of well-known metal spawning grounds such as Florida, Brazil, New York, and Sweden. The last city that comes to mind is Waterbury, Connecticut. Thanks to IHATE, I’ve been shown the error of my ways.
IHATE is the twisted brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Bob Taggett. His musical prowess is easily on par with the death metal greats, delivering crushing slabs of riffage over steamroller percussion. My introduction to IHATE came in the form of the super-creepy music video for “Stretcher”, a first-person view of a psychopath stalking his victim. The track comes from IHATE’s full length demo, which features the familiar gurgling roar of none other than Chris Barnes, from Six Feet Under.
I was incredibly fortunate to be granted an interview with Mr. Taggett, who was more than happy to talk to me about the origin of IHATE and what we can expect next from this remarkably talented musician.
(Our Russian comrade Aleks presents this interview with members of the Belarusian doom band Woe Unto Me, with musical accompaniment of course.)
What do you know about Belarus? Okay, besides that it’s a post-USSR country and it’s ruled by the “last European dictator” as some impressionable ladies say… I think that Woe Unto Me is a good occasion to take a look at this corner of the metal scene and discover there some new names.
As for Woe Unto Me – the band plays solid and mournful funeral doom. They shared the stage with Shape of Despair in Saint-Petersburg a few months ago and I witnessed this great performance. We found some time to discuss Woe Unto Me‘s creative ways with Artyom Serdyuk (vocals, guitars) and Dzmitry Shchyhlinski (guitars). By the way, I also asked a couple of questions about Disloyal, a death metal band with Artyom on guitars.
Salute! Woe Unto Me released its first album A Step Into Waters of Forgetfulness in February 2014. I have read somewhere that material for this album was being written for several years. What is its history?
Artyom: Greetings! Since the very inception of the band, we have focused on quality, striving to release a really well-thought-out, high-quality product at a decent level. Each of us had some guitar riffs and raw ideas, and we worked very carefully and meticulously on the arrangements. The last thing we cared about at that moment was time. We were not in a hurry; we wanted every idea to be thoroughly hatched in our heads, and to come to our minds naturally, through inspiration. Therefore, we decided to start the recording process when we had felt the integrity of each composition.
(Wil Cifer provides this interview with the members of Brooklyn-based Sannhet.)
I got the chance to sit down with the guys from Sannhet and we talked about various aspects of the varied sub-genres to which they are often attached, along with other musings. Right off the bat, I hit it off with their drummer Chris who was wearing a Youth Code shirt while I was wearing a Swans shirt, so we had one of those mutual admiration band shirt moments, and from there we were just friends catching up
Wil - So what is it about the scene in New York that enables it to pump out so much great metal?
Chris -Diversity, the space and room to be yourself. After living there for over a decade all the touristy elements fade, but it’s a melting pot.
(Our Kansas-based friend Derek Neibarger — the man behind the Godless Angel death metal project and the inventor of the Cat Hand Rest©, returns to NCS with this interview of two members of the mysterious Undead.)
My introduction to Undead came by way of their first single, “Voices Within”. The blog entry that accompanied the track only had a brief excerpt from Undead’s press release. It revealed some of the legendary metal acts that have influenced the band but not much else. In a time when we’ve become so accustomed to being given lengthy band bios, Undead has chosen to share very little about the band’s creation. The faces of the band members are hidden under ominous hoods, their identities a mystery. Their country of origin was omitted. The video for “Voices Within” even broke with tradition by not including the lyrics for the song. And so it fell upon the music to do the talking, and it most definitely delivered.
“Voices Within” is a sinister dose of old school death metal, rising up from the darkest depths to claw its way out your speakers with vicious riffs and demonic growls. For me it was love at first sight. I had to interview this band. My prayer to the dark lords of the underworld did not go unanswered. I was granted an interview with Necros and King Oscuros, shortly before the release of their debut album, False Prophecies.
(Wil Cifer provides this interview with Mirai Kawashima of Sigh, whose new album will be released on May 4 by Candlelight Records.)
I recently got to catch up with and pick the brain of Sigh’s main man Mirai Kawashima to discuss the new album Graveward and the ghosts of metal past, present, and future.
With Scenes From Hell you took a sharper turn into a more progressive sound. Graveward retains that but steps back into a more metal direction as well. What inspired this?
Mirai: The biggest inspiration on this album is 70s / 80s Italian zombie flicks. At first I was planning to make it filled with old keyboards like Minimoog, Mellotron, Hammond, Fender Rhodes etc., as a dedication to those movies. The final result was pretty much different from the initial plan, but I think you still sense the atmosphere of zombie movies.
I’m not sure what you meant by “metal direction”, but Graveward is filled with mid-paced to up-tempo songs, I mean they’re slower than those on Hangman’s Hymn or Scenes from Hell. In that sense, Graveward is a very metal album. Other than that, the change of guitarist affected a lot on the sound. I’ll talk about it later.
(Our Kansas-based friend Derek Neibarger — the man behind the Godless Angel death metal project and the inventor of the Cat Hand Rest©, brings us this interview of Zhema Rodero of Brazil’s long-running Vulcano, who will be performing at this year’s Maryland Deathfest in the U.S.)
The Brazilian death metal scene has provided me a seemingly endless source of exciting new discoveries for many years. Like many other metalheads, my introduction to South America’s deadliest export came in the form of now-legendary Sepultura. My insatiable appetite for new music inspired me to dig deeper into the Brazilian metal scene. My efforts have been rewarded with one savage and crushing band after another, and in the case of one band in particular I strongly believe that I might have discovered ground zero of the Brazilian death metal movement. The name of that band is Vulcano.
I don’t remember the exact circumstances under which I was introduced to Santos, São Paulo blackened death metallers Vulcano, but I definitely owe the Metal Gods of the Universe a massive “Thank You”! The death metal pioneers have released nine slabs of audio warfare since forming in 1980, and influenced an entire generation of extreme metal artists, Sepultura among them.
I was extremely fortunate to have been granted an interview with founding guitarist, Zhema Rodero.