Aug 202014

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: West Virginia’s Byzantine are nearing the end of a Pledgemusic crowd-funding campaign to help finance the making of their next album, To Release Is To Resolve, and NCS writer TheMadIsraeli caught up with the band’s main man, Chris “OJ” Ojeda, in an exclusive audio interview that we’re streaming at the end of this post. TheMadIsraeli introduces the conversation as follows:

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Chris “OJ” Ojeda from Byzantine is a riot.  The guy’s got an obvious fire for what he’s doing, and handles the hardships he’s endured with a surprisingly casual and hopeful outlook.  He’s one of my favorite vocalists out there, and his riffs are distinct and have always stood out to me.

As the driving force behind Byzantine, the guy may feel like he’s got a load on his shoulders to prove that the band’s stellar comeback comeback album (2013′s Byzantine) wasn’t a fluke.  From what I’ve heard of the new record, though, I’d say we’re in for something better than even that last one. You’ll get a taste of it at the end of this post.

Aug 152014

(Our Russian contributor Comrade Aleks interviews guitarist Björn Anderssen of Sweden’s Ocean Chief.)

Björn Anderssen is a skilled channeler who transforms chthonic energies of primordial forces into massive and distorted guitar vibes. He is one of the founders of Swedish doom/sludge/stoner act Ocean Chief, who released their new album Universums härd through the well-known I Hate Records.

As the sea of sound spreads its black waves and consumes us, to become one with the cosmic ocean and find ourselves as tiny sparks of light amidst its senseless vastness… just try to relax and find the joy of primitive and wild delight.

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Hail Björn! How are you? How goes the promotion of Ocean Chief’s new album Universums härd?

Hey! So far it’s all been good. The reviews has been overly positive, and most people seem to embrace the change since the previous albums. This one is much more dynamic in tempos and songs, hence easier to digest for the listener. Obviously not everyone has been as happy as others, but what can you do?!

Jul 242014

 

(In this post, Dane Prokofiev returns to NCS with a new installment in his Keyboard Warriors series, in which he poses unpredictable questions to metal writers of all kinds. Here, he interviews our friend Tom Campagna.)

Pokémon and metal. You never thought these two words would appear in the same sentence, eh? The two objects seem like polar opposites, sharing a relationship resembling the one shared between light and darkness, hot and cold, truth and Tyranny of Tradition, God and Satan, etc.

But metal writer Tom Campagna (ex-The Number of the Blog, ex-Metal Injection), who is an ardent fan of the Pokémon role-playing videogames, thinks the two share similarities. As one of those dudes pining to be “the very best like no one ever was,” you really wonder how he still finds the time to teach high school mathematics, write for About.com Heavy Metal, and occasionally contribute articles to some other metal websites.

 

Why do you like metal?

I love metal because of the excellent release of emotions that one has while listening to it. The history of the genre is also something that really strikes me as important, too. For a kid who was constantly quizzed by my father about “who is this band” and “what song is this,” I kind of developed that into my own world of music.The small size of the scene is also nice because you can certainly talk to members of your favorite band and sense the sheer level of appreciation from these individuals. People who scoff at heavy metal have never given the genre a chance; but if everybody loved heavy metal like I do, the scene would be enormous, and we wouldn’t want that would we?

Jul 222014

 

(In this post Russian contributor Comrade Aleks delivers an interview of Mikael Monks of Sweden’s Burning Saviours.)

The combination of doom metal and rock from the 70’s has became actual genre nowadays. It feels like a damned lot of people miss the good old days when things looked more or less simpler. Good melodies, a recognizable retro sound, and lyrics on familiar themes are enough to satisfy our needs, and it’s not necessary to be original in that case.

The Swedish band Burning Saviours have been playing doom metal / hard rock since 2004 in the name of almighty Pentagram! A few successful releases have brought Burning Saviours a well-known reputation, and I Hate Records has decided to remind us about the band’s deserts with the release of a compilation named Boken om förbannelsen. I got in contact with Mikael Monks (guitars, vocals) to clarify details of the album.

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Jul 172014


Djinn and Miskatonic

(Today our Russian contributor Comrade Aleks brings us Part 6 of a six-part series in which he puts the same five questions to doom bands from around the world, and introduces us to their music at the same time.)

Sometimes I use this unpopular “quiz” format because there are too many interesting bands that I would like to bring to light, and in my opinion it’s a good way to spread some news and to get new points of view on a few issues (including even some political questions). The list of questions I put to the bands is below:

1. What is the band’s latest news and what are your plans for the near future?

2. What do we get (in the broadest sense) from the release of your last album?

3. What is the best response that your band has ever received?

4. What role does the church (or any other religious organization) play in your life or (let’s take it wider) in the life of the heavy scene? Is there any spiritual, religious, or antireligious component in your songs?

5. What does the Media in your country tell about the situation in Ukraine? And how do you see that situation? Some people from other countries have asked me strange questions about Russia’s policy, and let me say that I have a few friends in Ukraine and my colleagues have relatives there, and believe me, there’s no media in ANY country that is showing the problem as it really is. We can watch as the Cold War turns into real warfare.

Today, we bring the answers to these questions from Djinn and Miskatonic (India),  Et Moriemur (Czech Republic), Hooded Priest (Netherlands), Mythological Cold Towers (Brazil), Orthodox (Spain), Soom (Ukraine), and Talbot (Estonia).

Jul 162014

Abske Fides

(Today our Russian contributor Comrade Aleks brings us Part 5 of a six-part series in which he puts the same five questions to doom bands from around the world, and introduces us to their music at the same time.)

Sometimes I use this unpopular “quiz” format because there are too many interesting bands that I would like to bring to light, and in my opinion it’s a good way to spread some news and to get new points of view on a few issues (including even some political questions). The list of questions I put to the bands is below:

1. What is the band’s latest news and what are your plans for the near future?

2. What do we get (in the broadest sense) from the release of your last album?

3. What is the best response that your band has ever received?

4. What role does the church (or any other religious organization) play in your life or (let’s take it wider) in the life of the heavy scene? Is there any spiritual, religious, or antireligious component in your songs?

5. What does the Media in your country tell about the situation in Ukraine? And how do you see that situation? Some people from other countries have asked me strange questions about Russia’s policy, and let me say that I have a few friends in Ukraine and my colleagues have relatives there, and believe me, there’s no media in ANY country that is showing the problem as it really is. We can watch as the Cold War turns into real warfare.

Today, we bring the answers to these questions from Abske Fides (Brazil), Esoteric (United Kingdom), Obake (Italy), StoneBirds (France), Stoned Jesus (Ukraine) and The Curse of Wendigo (Ukraine).

Jul 152014


Eye of Solitude

(Today our Russian contributor Comrade Aleks brings us Part 4 of a six-part series in which he puts the same five questions to doom bands from around the world, and introduces us to their music at the same time.)

Sometimes I use this unpopular “quiz” format because there are too many interesting bands that I would like to bring to light, and in my opinion it’s a good way to spread some news and to get new points of view on a few issues (including even some political questions). The list of questions I put to the bands is below:

1. What is the band’s latest news and what are your plans for the near future?

2. What do we get (in the broadest sense) from the release of your last album?

3. What is the best response that your band has ever received?

4. What role does the church (or any other religious organization) play in your life or (let’s take it wider) in the life of the heavy scene? Is there any spiritual, religious, or antireligious component in your songs?

5. What does the Media in your country tell about the situation in Ukraine? And how do you see that situation? Some people from other countries have asked me strange questions about Russia’s policy, and let me say that I have a few friends in Ukraine and my colleagues have relatives there, and believe me, there’s no media in ANY country that is showing the problem as it really is. We can watch as the Cold War turns into real warfare.

Today, we bring the answers to these questions from Eye Of Solitude (United Kingdom), Father Merrin (France), Grimpen Mire (United Kingdom), KYPCK (Finland), Narrow House (Ukraine), and Vin De Mia Trix (Ukraine).

Jul 152014

photos by Samantha Marble

 

I don’t consider myself a very good interviewer, which is why I don’t do it very often. Of course, this means that my deficiencies in skill are compounded by inexperience. But I really, really like the new album by Brooklyn-based Mortals – Cursed To See the Future — and when I learned more about the fascinating backgrounds and day jobs of the three women in the band, I felt I had to put my insecurities aside and try to talk with them.

And that happened last week. It started as a Facebook chat and ended via e-mail, and I had a blast. I also learned a valuable lesson about interviewing: When the people you’re questioning are smart, funny, and really interesting, the resulting interview can be highly entertaining even when you, the interviewer, don’t know what you’re doing. You just have to keep the subjects talking.

In this case, the subjects were Caryn Havlik (drums), Elizabeth Cline (guitar), and Lesley Wolf (vocal and bass) – and I’m very grateful to them for giving me so much of their time (and for indulging all the jock questions).

Before getting to the questions and answers, I think it’s important that you listen to a Mortals song or two, just in case you don’t know what they sound like. Because when you hear the way they sound, I think it’s going to make the conversation even more interesting. So, listen to these:

Jul 142014


Altar of Oblivion

(Today our Russian contributor Comrade Aleks brings us Part 3 of a six-part series in which he puts the same five questions to doom bands from around the world, and introduces us to their music at the same time.)

Sometimes I use this unpopular “quiz” format because there are too many interesting bands that I would like to bring to light, and in my opinion it’s a good way to spread some news and to get new points of view on a few issues (including even some political questions). The list of questions I put to the bands is below:

1. What is the band’s latest news and what are your plans for the near future?

2. What do we get (in the broadest sense) from the release of your last album?

3. What is the best response that your band has ever received?

4. What role does the church (or any other religious organization) play in your life or (let’s take it wider) in the life of the heavy scene? Is there any spiritual, religious, or antireligious component in your songs?

5. What does the Media in your country tell about the situation in Ukraine? And how do you see that situation? Some people from other countries have asked me strange questions about Russia’s policy, and let me say that I have a few friends in Ukraine and my colleagues have relatives there, and believe me, there’s no media in ANY country that is showing the problem as it really is. We can watch as the Cold War turns into real warfare.

Today, we bring the answers to these questions from Altar Of Oblivion (Denmark), Barabbas (France), Boneworm (USA), Matus (formerly Don Juan Matus) (Peru), and Evoke Thy Lords (Russia).

Jul 102014

(Our man BadWolf recently interviewed Landphil, who is a member of Cannabis Corpse, Municipal Waste, and Iron Reagan. Here’s what happened.)

In less than a month, Islander and myself will be waist-deep in filthy metal once again at this year’s Denver Black Sky Festival, and while that fest boasts more than a handful of great grind, crust, hardcore, and death metal acts, it’s a joke band that has me stoked.

Well, not exactly a joke band. Cannabis Corpse is no laughing stock—the group’s grasp on old-school death metal fundamentals is strong. But the band’s sense of weed-pun-based humor is proudly dispalyed on every album cover and in every song title. I’d expect nothing less from another project featuring Landphil, the powerhouse Virginian who also does time in Municipal Waste and Iron Reagan.

In anticipation of the fest, and Cannabis Corpse’s new album, From Wisdom to Baked, we chatted a bit about what it takes to be a funny man in metal, as well as the loss of GWAR’s David Brockie. Oh, and a bit about weed. But that should go without saying.

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