Mar 042014

(NCS writer BadWolf interviewed Neill Jameson of Krieg and Twilight, whose third and final album is due for release in a couple of weeks. To say it’s a wide-ranging, no-holds-barred discussion would be an understatement. You don’t want to miss this.) 

When it comes to the US Black Metal movement, few individual musicians have made as much of a splash as Neill Jameson. He released his first demo tape as Imperial in 1995—just a year after Mayhem’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. In the nearly twenty years since, Jameson has produced raw and honest “bedroom” black metal as the sole member of Krieg. Many consider his 2004 LP The Black House to be essential USBM listening. There will be a new Krieg album this year on Candlelight, but first Jameson needs to live through the press cycle for the third Twilight album, III: Beneath Trident’s Tomb.

Jameson had his hands full recording III, dealing with a rotating cast of characters. Twilight has been blighted by negative media attention since the arrest of founding member Blake Judd (also of Nachtmystium). Judd is now out of the band, but Thurston Moore of esteemed noise-punk outfit Sonic Youth is in. Alongside them stands super-producer Sanford Parker, as well as Stavros Giannopoulos of The Atlas Moth and Wrest of Leviathan. These five musicians are giving Twilight the swansong the project deserves.

Jameson took time out of his busy schedule as proprietor of a record store (the man’s Facebook posts, often putting his own customers on blast, are among the funniest you’ll read) to talk with NCS about the tumultuous story of Twilight, from beginning to end.

Mar 042014

(NCS contributor KevinP somehow convinced Theoharis (above, middle), the guitarist and vocalist of one of my favorite bands, Hail Spirit Noir, to talk to him. Maybe all he had to do was ask? Having read the interview, I’d like to request a round of applause for both of them.)

K:  You, Dim, and Haris are all in Transcending Bizarre?, whose last album was in 2010.  You formed Hail Spirit Noir in 2010 as well.  Is the timing of this a coincidence?

T:  Haris actually had the idea for some time before 2010. What happened was that one of TB?’s members and a really good friend of ours, S.A Akis, died right in the middle of the recordings of the third record.  We completed the record but the whole thing just took a lot out of us. Once we were done with that, Haris presented to Dim and me demos for what would become Pneuma and the whole thing got started.  So, I don’t know if that counts as coincidence.

 

K:  Transcending Bizarre? is not standard black metal, but I wouldn’t call it “off the wall” by any means.  Hail Spirit Noir is a much further ‘left turn’ compared to what you were doing.  What made you come up with this unique hybrid sound?

T:  Haris wanted to pay tribute to all the prog rock he was listening to and the atmosphere of the 70s horror movies.   But with a more sinister twist and a sound, that despite its roots, being in that era would sound up to date.  In simple terms the original combination was late 60s/70s prog rock+ black metal+ horror movies.  But it all ended up with our combined influences a lot weirder.

Mar 032014

(In this post our friend and well-known Eli Manning apologist KevinP interviews Ed Warby, who’s a fixture in a plethora of strong bands, including The 11th Hour, DemiurgAyreon, and Hail of Bullets — whose most recent album we reviewed here.)

 

K:  Now that we are about 5 months post release of Hail of Bullets’ third album, III: The Rommel Chronicles, and you’ve had some time to reflect, how do you feel about it?

E:  To be honest I haven’t listened to it in a while, but I feel good about it. It’s as good an album as we could make. Reviews were great again, the “best album yet” far outweighed any “not as good as the debut”, so that’s fine with me. When I look back I see three slightly different albums that form a cohesive body of work, pretty much the way we envisioned it when we started.

 

K:  So has the recording process changed since the last album?

E:  Dan Swanö did visit the studio this time to help set up the drum mics.  But otherwise it was done just like On Divine Winds: recorded at my place, mixed by Dan (in Germany, he’s moved).  The mixing took a few weeks and we’re constantly in touch about every detail.

 

K:  Was there any consideration of NOT using Dan this time around, just to be different?

E:  None. He did an early test mix for one song and it was dead on, so there was no reason to try something else.

Feb 212014

(Our man BadWolf did this interesting interview with Ringworm’s screamer and lyricist, Human Furnace. We’re also streaming some new Ringworm jams at the end.)

The Human Furnace has a lot going for him: the best stage name in heavy music, a voice to match, and a new album, Hammer of the Witch, coming out on Relapse. For those not in the know, HF fronts Ringworm, a seminal Cleveland band with formal ties to Hatebreed and Terror. For what it’s worth, I like Ringworm’s take on metallic hardcore better than those other bands—it’s more vicious, and less focused on sing-along breakdowns, even though Furnace and company bring the hooks on Hammer of the Witch with songs like “One of Us is Going to Have to Die.”

Furnace is the only consistent member of Ringworm—the band dropped a required listen with 1993′s The Promise, and then split for most of a decade when some of Furnace’s cohorts went on to join the mighty Integrity before the band re-united in the early aughts. Ringworm’s been going strong since, and a lot of that has to do with Furnace’s powerful pipes and tireless work ethic. We chatted about being a ‘head from the Midwest, the blurred lines between metal and hardcore, and how he keeps his voice in tip-top shape (hint: it’s nothing good).

***

Feb 162014

Last July I wrote about a crowd-funding campaign that had been launched by Conquering Dystopia — the band created by guitarists Jeff Loomis of Seattle and Keith Merrow of Portland, which also includes bassist Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse) and drummer Alex Rüdinger (The FacelessOrdinance). That campaign was wildly successful. I splurged on it myself, with a donation that offered a very enticing perk — a meal in Seattle with Loomis and Merrow. And yesterday that happened.

We met at the Hard Rock Cafe at 3:00, and what followed was an extremely enjoyable 2 1/2-hour conversation that ended only when the two needed to hit the road for the drive to Portland, where Jeff is helping Keith and his wife move into a new house (I think we can all agree that there are few truer measures of friendship than one dude helping another one move).

It wasn’t intended to be an interview, but I can’t resist sharing some impressions of the people and some news about both Conquering Dystopia and the future plans of both men. First, the news…

The Conquering Dystopia album is nearly ready for release — perhaps a matter of two or three more weeks. But the guys want to be definite before announcing an official date, and they’re not quite to that point. They are both clearly delighted with the way it turned out and excited for people to hear it. Jeff described it as a “guitar roller coaster, with hills and valleys, cinematic soundscapes, and some experimentation”, and he said it’s very heavy.

Feb 052014

(Our Russian guest writer Comrade Aleks returns with a wide-ranging interview of the very articulate guitarist for an Italian doom band named Fangs of the Molossus.)

Fangs Of The Molossus are a psych-doom metal band from the Florence area. This bunch of doom-occultists have been doing their sinister deals since 2011, yet the band’s debut self-titled work was released only in July of 2013. Fangs Of The Molossus’ album represents some of most recognizable features of the Italian doom scene – the stuff sounds mystic, slow, and progressive, with that good well-known horror-vibe of the local scene.  Ancient Roman and Etruscan history and mythology, early 70′s horror movies, escapism conception, science fiction literature, a Beksinski painting, and a comic book by Hideshi Hin are all reflected in Fangs Of The Molossus songs. Count J. Vendetta (guitars) reveals some secrets of muscial occultism from Florence.

*** 

Hello Count Vendetta! Fangs Of The Molossus released a self-titled album in July of 2013. What has happened in the band’s life since that moment? Do you already concentrate on the writing of new stuff or still watch listeners’ reaction to the debut LP?

Hi, and thanks for contacting us: it’s always nice to get in touch with people from different places and with different cultural backgrounds. Since the self-produced album came out we have spent some time writing new material (three or four new songs, depending on how satisfied we will be in the end), we’ve played a few gigs with other Italian bands, like Caronte and Shinin’ Shade, and opened for Mondo Generator at Castellina Musica W, last August. Then the “I Drink Your Blood” single was released. The rest is recent history: trying to understand how to move for the second full-length release and considering some offers from small independent Italian labels.

Jan 232014

(We welcome the return of guest writer Alain Mower and the third in his series of interviews of women in metal. In this edition, he talks with two members of Portland-based Eight Bells – Melynda Jackson and Haley Westeiner — whose 2013 album The Captain’s Daughter turned a lot of heads.)

This series is dedicated to creating discussion and awareness by expressing the observations, thoughts, and opinions of current prolific metal musicians who, in their spare time, also happen to be women. This began as a direct response to the few stragglers in the community who think that there is still a place for misogyny in metal.

If this results in you punching some loud-mouth, drunk sexist at the next show you go to or calling someone out when they question the attendance, attire, or musical capabilities of a woman at a show, then that’s all I could ever ask, and then some.

Jan 102014

(Our Russian correspondent Comrade Aleks put 3 year-end questions to 14 bands, many of whom may be new names to NCS readers. In this 3-part post, he shares their answers and their music. Today, the featured bands are The Grand Astoria, Vin De Mia Trix, Who Dies In Siberian Slush, and Without God. Find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.)

This publication is the last thing I could do before I fell into drunken slumber after horrible celebration of the New Year then coming and now here. Men from a few euphonious bands of Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia were asked three similar questions, and soon, answers were given. What did I ask them to share with our readers in these gloomy winter days? Oh, I guess here they are…

1. What is the band’s latest news? And what are your plans for 2014?

2. For what events do you remember 2013? Events from the world of music, political stuff, personal stuff, or even that bad weather – that damned winter without snow?

3. And the last one – what would you like to wish for our readers and your listeners?

Here we go again, to spread the Word of Doom, Death, and Damnation (as well as Goodness and Virtue). Happy New Year!

Jan 072014

(Our Russian correspondent Comrade Aleks put 3 year-end questions to 14 bands, many of whom may be new names to NCS readers. In this 3-part post, he shares their answers and their music. Today, the featured bands are HalterMontezuma’s Revenge, Psilocybe LarvaeStation Dysthymia, and Stoned Jesus. Find Part 1 here.)

This publication is the last thing I could do before I fell into drunken slumber after horrible celebration of the New Year then coming, and now here. Men from a few euphonious bands of Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia were asked three similar questions, and soon, answers were given. What did I ask them to share with our readers in these gloomy winter days? Oh, I guess here they are…

1. What is the band’s latest news? And what are your plans for 2014?

2. For what events do you remember 2013? Events from the world of music, political stuff, personal stuff, or even that bad weather – that damned winter without snow?

3. And the last one – what would you like to wish for our readers and your listeners?

Here we go again, to spread the Word of Doom, Death, and Damnation (as well as Goodness and Virtue). Happy New Year!

Jan 062014

(Our Russian correspondent Comrade Aleks put 3 year-end questions to 14 bands, many of whom may be new names to NCS readers. In this 3-part post, he shares their answers and their music. Today, the featured bands are A Young Man’s Funeral, Decay of Reality, Ennui, Ethereal Riffian, and Evoke Thy Lords.)

This publication is the last thing I could do before I fell into drunken slumber after horrible celebration of the New Year then coming and now here. Men from a few euphonious bands of Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia were asked three similar questions, and soon, answers were given. What did I ask them to share with our readers in these gloomy winter days? Oh, I guess here they are…

1. What is the band’s latest news? And what are your plans for 2014?

2. For what events do you remember 2013? Events from the world of music, political stuff, personal stuff, or even that bad weather – that damned winter without snow?

3. And the last one – what would you like to wish for our readers and your listeners?

Here we go, to spread the Word of Doom, Death, and Damnation (as well as Goodness and Virtue). Happy New Year!

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