Jul 102017

 

(After a hiatus in which Comrade Aleks was writing a book about doom, he returns to NCS with this very engaging interview of Cory McCallum, bassist of the Canadian band Olde, whose new album is headed our way next month.)

Olde (first known as Corvus) have provided their crushing down-tuned rumble since 2014. Olde’s place of origin is Malton of God-blessed Ontario… The band is big, they play as a quintet: Doug McLarty on vocals, Chris Hughes and Greg Dawson (who’s known also as a sound producer) play guitars, Cory McCallum is the bass player, and Ryan Aubin is the drummer, coming from Sons of Otis.

Their first record is a full-length album named simply I. Hypaethral Records released it as a 12” vinyl on November 12, 2014. Olde’s debut was a damn focused, tight, and fierce blend of doom and stoner with violent sludgy vocals. They kept well the balance, but they don’t identify the band with any of those things (though their songs contain elements of each). They just tried to write heavy riffs, heavy parts, heavy songs. They aimed for that, and they got it…

Olde’s second full-length Temple is going to be released by STB Records in August (it follows the band’s Shallow Graves EP, released last August). We made a decision to do this interview with Cory McCallum to bring you much information about this release.

Jun 062017

 

(KevinP brings us this interview of Enrico Schettino, guitarist of Italy’s Hideous Divinity, whose superb new album Adveniens was reviewed by us here and is available now via Unique Leader.)

 

K:  How does it feel to exceed expectations with the new album for the second time?

E:  It feels good indeed, if this is what people truly believe. I mean, to exceed expectations sometimes looks like the only way in death metal nowadays. Competition’s insane. And also, people’s judgments leave you disoriented.  This is our life, sometimes we are at ease with the pressure, it compels us to push the envelope.  Some other times, we decide to take a deep breath, a step back, and do our thing:  rewrite, relisten, erase, rewrite. “Ad libitum”.

In other words, I really didn’t know what “expectations” were!  Too many different awkward ideas about how a band should sound today.

Jun 022017

 

(We present Argentinian writer Matías Gallardo’s interview of Oskar J. Frederiksen, vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the Danish band Slægt, whose excellent debut album Domus Mysterium was released on May 5 by Ván Records.)

 

If you already know Denmark’s prodigal sons Slægt then you are aware of the amazing tunes they’ve been putting out since their formation in 2011. If not, then you should know they initially started as a black metal band with ties to the traditional sound of the genre, but mutated into a completely different beast with 2015’s EP Beautiful and Damned, a surprising collection of songs that mixed the dark atmosphere of black metal with the electricity of classic heavy metal heroes like Iron Maiden or Denmark’s coolest granddads Mercyful Fate.

After signing with German cult label Ván Records, this year saw Slægt taking their music to a new level with Domus Mysterium, an album that blends sophistication, aggression, and melody in equal parts and should grant this four-piece a place amongst the most exciting new bands in the extreme metal scene. Oskar J. Frederiksen is the lead vocalist, lyricist, and rhythm guitarist of the band and he kindly answered the following questions for NCS.

Jun 012017

 

(KevinP returns to NCS with another edition in his series of brief interviews, this time talking with guitarist Mikka Lammassaari from the Finnish band Wolfheart, a perennial NCS favorite whose latest album Tyhjyys was released earlier this year and reviewed here.)

 

K: This is now the 2nd album you’ve been a part of after Tuomas [Saukkonen] handled all the duties himself in the debut, Winterborn. So has your role changed since Shadow World?

M: This is a pretty common misconception, since I was already contributing the guitar solos on Winterborn. On Shadow World my role expanded a bit as I wrote a couple songs and was more involved in the guitar recordings.

On the new album Tyhjyys, I had to step back a little bit because my little baby boy was born and I wanted to shift focus more towards life at home. I still managed to squeeze in the founding of one song and got to write the guitar solos, so I´m very pleased with that.

So my role actually got a bit smaller on the new album, but Tuomas did amazing work writing the songs and recording guitars, so all went well.

May 302017

 

(Greek writer John Sleepwalker of Avopolis.gr brings us this interview of Ministry guitarist Sin Quirin in advance of Ministry’s first appearance on stage in Greece on June 1.)

 

First of all, I’m glad I get the chance to speak with someone who was a part of the latest Ministry line-up, before the band split up in the late ’00s. I was fortunate enough to see you at Hellfest during the tour you did for The Last Sucker and what I’d want is to compare your live setting at that time with Ministry’s present stage show.

When I saw you, you were playing behind bars, as if you were inside of a cage. Do you present the same visual on your current tour?

No, no more fences! Thank god for our faces! Even though this fancy scenery looked cool, it often ended up falling on our faces. So, no fences this time around.

May 222017

 

Originally formed circa 1972, the California heavy metal band Cirith Ungol released four albums between 1980 and 1991 before disbanding, and in the process amassed an ardent world-wide fan following. The band reunited in 2015 for the Frost and Fire festival, and are continuing to forge ahead with festival appearances — and writing new music as well.

Greek writer John Sleepwalker of Avopolis.gr returns to NCS with this interview of Tim Baker, Greg Lindstrom, Jimmy Barraza, and Rob Garven leading up to Cirith Ungol’s performance at the Up the Hammers Festival in Athens, Greece, on May 27, 2017.

******

First of all, what made a Cirith Ungol reunion possible after all these years? I think there was quite some interest from Greece too, for quite some time, but the band was very negative until now…

Rob: Jarvis Leatherby from Night Demon lives in our home town and he told me that when they traveled to Europe on tour they would see many fans wearing “Cirith Ungol” shirts, and patches, and many there knew of our band and music. I had sworn a blood oath that I would never play drums again, so I had always told him very politely that I was not interested. Everything changed at the “Frost & Fire” festival in 2015. Oliver Weinsheimer from the very famous and exclusive “Keep It True Festival” had come over for the show. Jarvis and Oliver asked to speak to the band alone.

May 192017

 

(Guest contributor Pablo Balbontín, editor of the Spanish webzine Subterráneo, brings us Part 3 of an  interview of Vön Pax, vocalist of the Spanish band Barbarian Swords, whose latest album Worms we premiered last November in advance of its release by Cimmerian Shade and Satanath Records. Part 1 is here; Part 2 is here.)

 

The genres you play, black and doom, don’t have much acceptance in Spain, and even in the underground are misunderstood. They don’t have much support, unlike thrash or death, but nevertheless Madrid, the dark (venue), which is more focused on doom and gothic metal, has been a complete success. So, seeing how those styles aren’t very valued, did you think that you wouldn’t succeed in your own country?

Von Päx: That’s a quite complex answer that I could be answering today. Let’s make clear that, in Spain, the most minority styles are black and then doom. That’s a battle that you have already lost. In this country they like blast-beats. If you don’t play fast they are not gonna like you. In addition they also don’t understand shrieking voices. If it isn’t guttural, you also have already lost support.

May 182017

 

(Guest contributor Pablo Balbontín, editor of the Spanish webzine Subterráneo, brings us Part 2 of an  interview of Vön Pax, vocalist of the Spanish band Barbarian Swords, whose latest album Worms we premiered last November in advance of its release by Cimmerian Shade and Satanath Records. Part 1 is here; Part 3 will appear tomorrow.)

 

Your relationship with labels, it’s a mess… First of all, you’re signed with Cimmerian Shade Recordings, and then with Satanath Records and The Ritual Productions. Some of them have carried out with the CD version, I think Cimmerian handles the cassette version… Why did you decide to work in this way? What does each one do? Which are their tasks? Perhaps they handle the distribution for some different countries?

Von Päx: This was organized in the underground way. I mean, we are a tiny band. Only a madman can get ahead of our music and invest in it, and we were lucky to find that. Cimmerian Shade Recordings from the USA handles the double gatefold vinyl, the double cassette edition, limited to a red one and a black one, and then a Digipack CD, which is pretty awesome.

On the other hand, Satanath Records from Rusia and The Ritual Productions from Netherlands both produce the regular jewelcase.

May 172017

 

(We welcome back guest contributor Pablo Balbontín, editor of the Spanish webzine Subterráneo, who brings us this interview of Vön Pax, vocalist of the Spanish band Barbarian Swords, whose latest album Worms we premiered last November in advance of its release by Cimmerian Shade and Satanath Records. We’ve divided the interview into 3 parts, with Parts 2 and 3 coming in the next two days.)

It is quite ironic to do an interview via Skype with Vön Pax, singer of Barbarian Swords, in the middle of a Christian holiday, as it is Christmas while we are asking him about Worms, and he does not get along well with the dominant religion in the west.

It was a kind evening in which he gave us some extensive and sincere answers to every question. And so we spoke about the album process, some curiosities, disgusting stories surrounding it, and talks about a porn actress. It was an unusual interview for the one who writes this, and possibly for the one who was behind the screen, too. This is how the evening developed.

May 112017

 

(Music journalist Konstantin, who in past years has written for Serbia’s Nocturne Music Magazine, makes his first appearance at NCS with this extensive interview of Kozeljnik, founding guitarist and composer of the long-running Serbian black metal band The Stone and a participant in many other groups as well. Part 1 of this interview can be found HERE.)

Proudly standing in the underground waters for more than two decades, The Stone have engraved their name as one of the pivotal names in the Eastern European black metal scene of the ‘90s. From a war-torn country under embargo where buying the latest CD of your favorite band was practically impossible to touring with Revenge and Inquisition, they have cleared their path with strength and spirit.

In a detailed conversation with Kozeljnik (The Stone, Kozeljnik, May Result, Oculus, Murder, Ophidian Coil) we recall those days; and we discuss such topics as where metal has made mistakes in the last years and why that one legendary US act decided to have special gigs in the Balkan woods years ago.

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