(Our guests Dimitris Mentes from Greece and John Sleepwalker present this interview with Matt Weed of US atmospheric space metallers Rosetta.)
Current times have been insurmountably busy for Rosetta, a band known to push their boundaries into new unexplored territories with no tight restrictions blocking their view. Starting with their freshly pressed digipack versions of Audio/Visual Original Score and A Dead-Ender’s Reunion, their plans seems to include a number of CD, vinyl, and cassette releases along the way; a special treat for the fans, as this is the first time any Rosetta releases will be materialized on tape.
Therefore, shortly before embarking on a full-scale European tour with fellow sludge/post-metallers North, Matt Weed was kind enough to inform the two restless interviewers about his cooperation with Arcane Angels and Translation Loss Records. Among the answers you’ll read about his views on their digital releases, his recent studio work, and current gig preparations with their renewed line-up, as well as a deep sense of gratitude expressed towards the loyal commitment of their fans.
(Comrade Aleks interviews Peter Svensson of the Swedish doom band Void Moon.)
Void Moon rises again, radiating its mournful and dark shine for those who prefer slow and low doom metal. Their second full-length Deathwatch released by Sun & Moon Records in March 2016 has a deeper concept behind it, so it’s not just a collection of true doom dirges but also the result of considered and rigorous work. Void Moon bass guitarist Peter Svensson was on tour with Goatess when I sent him the request about an interview, but answered pretty soon on my recall — much appreciated.
(Our Russian correspondent Comrade Aleks, who usually furnishes us with interesting interviews, brings us a combined review and interview today.)
The Italian band Messa first saw the light of day in 2014, and I believe that this quartet will surprise you with their alchemical combination of doom, hard rock, drone, and prog music. The Aural Music label released Messa’s debut record Belfry on May 6, 2016; they promised obscure and evoking doom, “scarlet doom” as they say. Mark Sade (guitar, bass, ambient stuff), Sara (vocals), Mistyr (drums), and Albert (lead guitar) run this coven; all of them have different musical backgrounds and it directly reflects in their music.
The band’s name speaks for itself, and Marco tells why they picked up this one: “Basically we were looking for a name with a few characteristics: Italian, with a female touch and kind of gloomy. Messa in English means Mass and it means a lot for us and especially for our society around us”.
(Our friend Vonlughlio interviews vocalist Mallika Sundaramurthy of the Massachusetts death metal band Abnormality.)
This time around I have been given the opportunity of doing an interview with Mallika Sundaramurthy (vocalist of Abnormality) and to talk about metal and the band, amongst other things.
First of all, the band formed back in 2005, in Massachusetts, and since then have released a demo in 2007, the EP The Collective Calm in Mortal Oblivion in 2010, and their debut album Contaminating The Hive Mind in 2012. Last month on the 29th they released their sophomore effort entitled Mechanisms of Omniscience via Metal Blade Records.
I discovered the band in 2012 but don’t remember who sent me a YouTube link with one of their songs. I do recall that person saying that the band had a great BDM/Technical balance in their song structure and delivery and a woman as their vocalist. I must confess that I was skeptical at first, since up to that point I wasn’t familiar with women performing at the front of a band in this type of genre. Yes, shame on me, and once I heard the song I was blown away by the pure talent that all the musicians displayed. Long story short, their debut album ended up in my top 25 of that year:
(Comrade Aleks brings us his interview with Trent Jacobs, guitarist of Portland’s Holy Grove.)
Nowadays there are a lot of doom bands with female vocals and lyrics about all the mystic stuff you ever could imagine. It is harder and harder to sort out anything in this scene besides the big names that are on everyone’s lips. But here we are! Here we are to help you, and that’s why I want you to pay attention to Holy Grove, a really strong doom-quartet from blessed Portland.
They’ve been in the game for nearly four years, but their first self-titled album was released just five weeks ago. Why so long? That’s the question for Trent Jacobs, Holy Grove’s guitarist.
(Comrade Aleks conducted this interview with guitarist Conrad Viz of the L.A. band Ancient Spell.)
I had an idea to do an interview with Ancient Spell. It is a Los Angeles-based band that combines classic doom metal and aggressive thrash elements in their music. They were formed in August 2012 by the guitarist Conrad Viz and recorded two albums – a self-titled debut in 2013 and the sophomore Forever in Hell released by Minotauro Records in 2015. Well, you see – it’s interesting and, let’s say, an original mix, so it’s worthy of your attention.
Occasionally I’ve sent questions to the band, and at the same time received answers from both Conrad Viz and Donnie Marhefka, Ancient Spell’s frontman, so in the end I have two interviews with quite similar questions but with different answers. Here’s the interview with Conrad, you’ll be able to find our interview with Donnie a little bit later (during this or next week) on doom-metal.com. Enjoy the Ancient Spell.
They are only two studio albums into their career, but Crescent Lament have already carved out a strong aural identity for themselves in their chosen sub-genre. The indie Taiwanese metal band started out playing traditional symphonic gothic metal (Behind the Lethal Deceit, 2011), before switching to oriental gothic metal on their most recent album, Elegy for the Blossoms (2015).
Making the stylistic switch was an excellent move on their part — their current sound not only suits the geisha concept of Elegy for the Blossoms to a tee, but is also an exemplar of East Asian, erhu-infused metal. This is not to suggest that the band’s non-aural features are not noteworthy, though. One need only peruse the lyric booklets of Elegy for the Blossoms to see that Crescent Lament take their poetry and history seriously. In this interview, founding member and drummer Komet Chou details the historical basis of the lyrics of Elegy for the Blossoms, and his translation of the lyrics from Taiwanese to English.
(We present Comrade Aleks’ interview of Jayesh Talati, guitarist/vocalist of the Australian band Indica, whose new album Stone Future Hymns was released earlier this year.)
Indica is an experimental psychedelic doom outfit which incorporate influences of stoner and noise in its musical body. Being active since 2012, Indica has lived through necessary lineup changes, yet its core has remained the same – Jayesh Talati (guitars, vocals) leads his project deeper into his hazed trips, or rather real hallucinogenic adventures. The result of his collaboration with new members is the fresh full-length album Stone Future Hymns. Jayesh is here to share the news about Indica and its works.
(Comrade Aleks brings us another very entertaining and informative interview with the two core members of the unusual Breton band Stangala.)
That extravagant outfit from Brittany returns after three years of searches with a new refreshed sound and new avant-garde melodies which were formed under the name Klañv… Oh, well, let me introduce you to the Stangala band.
They started in far 2006 as a trio – Steven Le Moan (guitars, vocals), Thomas Coïc (drums), and Alexandre Miossec (bass). This lineup recorded the Boued Tousek Hag Traou Mat All debut in 2011, “drug-fueled” psychedelic doom rock with some Breton tunes and Breton lyrics. About two years later the band (without Alexandre this time) took part in split-record with the Stonebirds group; this work was named Kreizh Breizh Sessions – Vol.1. This time Stangala performed a highly eclectic mix of doom stoner with black metal, with some Breton colors as well.
And now? Their second full-length Klañv, released by Finisterian Dead End on the 24th of March, shows avant-garde Celtic doom black rock as it probably could be. It’s an imprecise term, but you can easily check it – there are a few necessary links down the text. Oh, and the text… It’s our interview with Steven and Thomas.
(Comrade Aleks rejoins us with an interview of members of the Finnish band Tombstoned, whose new album II is set for release by Svart Records on April 22.)
I was lucky enough to get promo of new Tombstoned album II, which turned out to be a pleasant surprise as I had never heard about them before. Born in 2010, this doom metal outfit (some may add “psychedelic” to this definition) already had an EP Searching/ Let Go (2012) and a self-titled full-length record (2013). The band acts in the form of a power-trio, with Olavi on bass, Jussi on guitars and vocals, and Akke as the drummer.
Their classic doom metal shapes really have psychedelic nuances and a few recognizable features of ‘70s rock music, taking into account that all the instrumental parts are extremely catchy (taste “Pretending to Live” or “Haven’t We Seen All This Before” and you’ll have a general view what Tombstoned are about). Oh, one more thing – good news for those who secretly love The Cure, because sometimes the intonations of Jussi’s vocal parts remind me of Robert James Smith, and that sounds cool!
Enough talk from me! Let’s give space to Jussi and Olavi to tell us how to get Tombstoned.