(We present Latvian music journalist Evita Hofmane’s interview with the Finnish band Re-Armed.)
On September 2016, Saarni Records released The Era of Precarity, the third album by the Finnish Death/Thrash metal band Re-Armed, and in this interview we talk about the new album with Jouni Matilainen (vocals), Jussi Venäläinen (guitars), and Juhana Heinonen (bass).
(Comrade Aleks returns to us with this interview of Scott Penberthy of the Australian band Holy Serpent, whose new release Temples was revealed earlier this fall.)
Australia, with its vast areas, is a hard place to live when you play doom/stoner. You need to survive as the aborigines did, crossing huge distances to find a place where you could stay and play your tribal tunes. However, Holy Serpent have done it successfully since the year 2014 when they recorded their self-titled EP. Scott Penberthy (vocals, guitars), Nick Donoughue (guitars), Richard Orr (drums), and Michael Macfie (bass) continued to practice their hypnotic music ’til they attracted the attention of RidingEasy Records, who released the EP on CD and vinyl in May 2015 and has now released a full-length work, Temples.
Have you seen its artwork? Take a look, it’s really nice. And don’t forget to check the album. Meanwhile, let me introduce you to Scott Penberthy. He’s here to answer a few questions about new albums.
Norway-based metal writer Karina Cifuentes brings us another interview, this time with members of Sweden’s Mist of Misery, whose new album Absence we premiered and praised in a review at our site here.)
So, you guys are by no means amateurs. Tell us about your other projects, and have any of you been to a school of music?
Mortuz: I have several other projects, such as Eufori and Soliloquium, and yes, I have been to a school of music, or rather a school of audio engineering several years ago.
Phlegathon: I also play guitar in Hyperion. For a while I studied various musical courses at The University of Stockholm, but I would not regard it as such a particularly serious undertaking.
(Norway-based metal writer Karina Cifuentes returns to us with this interview of frontman Doedsadmiral and guitarist Nord of Nordjevel (“northern devil”), whose self-titled debut album was released at the beginning of this year, and who recently released an amazing video for the song “”Djevelen I Nord”.)
I think Nordjevel is one of the best new bands that we have right now here in Scandinavia. But the fact that the band has a solid sound and a pretty professional image has a lot to do with its experienced musicians, so please tell us about your background and what elements of your other bands you have brought with you to Nordjevel…
Nord: What do you mean by “pretty professional?” Haha. Well, we have been around the block a couple of times, and we had a really strong vision for what Nordjevel would be. It changed a bit along the way, as visions tend to do, but it was only for the better.
(Norway-based NCS contributor Karina Cifuentes brings us this interview with Sina, the man behind From the Vastland, whose new album Chamrosh was released last month by Immortal Frost Productions.)
You are from Iran, but moved to Norway, tell us about how did this happen?
Yeah, true. Well, it is a long story, but to make it short I can say I had another band when I was in Iran, and back in 2007 one of my albums was released on vinyl here in Norway, and then I got an email from the producer of the documentary film Blackhearts and he told me about his project and how he discovered my band by that release, and then everything started from that point when I got the chance to come to Norway and play my show at Inferno Festival. Later in 2014 by help of the Safemuse organization I moved to Norway to continue my music works here.
(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.