Jul 172018
 


photo by Shani

 

(We are delighted to present Comrade Aleks‘ extensive interview of Sharon Bascovsky, founder and mainstay of the ground-breaking Pittsburgh death/doom band Derkéta.)

Derkéta was formed in Pittsburgh in 1988 by Sharon Bascovsky (vocals, guitars) and Terri Heggen (drums). Influenced by bands like Sepultura, Death, Massacre, and Bathory on the one hand, and by bands like Black Sabbath and Candlemass on the other, they worked out their own low-tuned and a bit slowed-down death metal, which later transformed into something that was labeled as death/doom metal. Two demos and one EP (1990’s Premature Burial) was all the band recorded before they split up in 1991.

Sharon tried to resurrect Derkéta in 1997, then in 1999… It’s a long story, but finally, the full-length album In Death We Meet was recorded in 2012. Sharon played a few shows with a new lineup, then came a single, Darkness Fades Life in 2014, and then… Actually it wasn’t even clear if Derkéta were still an active band until I wrote Sharon and asked her all the questions I had accumulated through a few years. Continue reading »

Jul 162018
 

 

(Comrade Aleks brings us this interview of Vitaly Larv, guitarist/vocalist of the Russian band Psilocybe Larvae, who released a new single just last week.)

Psilocybe Larvae was born in the Russian underground about 22 years ago. Mixing black and death/doom metal, they came through their searches to an extreme progressive mix which is hard to define sometimes, but the band tagged it “manic depressive metal”. Their fourth album Labyrinth Of Penumbra was released in 2012, the band’s line-up changed, and who knows what happened during the period since then!

However, Psilocybe Larvae have returned with a new single, “The Fall Of Icarus“, so it’s time to remind our readers about the band and try to sort out what’s been going on. The band’s founder Vitaly Larv (guitars, vocals) takes the floor. Continue reading »

May 282018
 

 

(Comrade Aleks has brought us this wide-ranging interview with Alwin Roes, one of the original members of the resurrected Dutch death-doom band Dead End, who released a first album through Vic Records in 2016. As discussed in the interview they have a new album coming later this year, and many other plans in the works as well.)

Dead End is a relic of a past epoch. The band was formed in 1988 in North Brabant, Netherlands, and was one of those few first bands who explored death-doom metal. They managed to record two demos Tales (1991) and Purity (1992) that lead them to the EP Wartime In Eden (1993), and then Dead End was disbanded.

None expected it, but the band was resurrected in 2014, and their debut full-length Reborn From The Ancient Grave saw the light of day two years after this return. The details of Dead End‘s early years, the reasons to continue spreading death-doom bliss, and future prospects for the band are covered in this interview with Dead End’s original bass-player Alwin Roes. Continue reading »

May 142018
 

 

(After a seven-month hiatus, we present the continuation of a series of reviews prepared by our Russian connoisseur of all things doom, Comrade Aleks.)

First, I was busy finishing the Doom Metal Lexicanum book, and then I put the weight of the “Lexicanum II” project on my shoulders, but blood calls for revenge! And I have some obligations, so here are four overviews of doom albums you may have missed at the end of 2017.

 

Alastor: Blood On Satan’s Claw (Ljudkassett!)

Blood On Satan’s Claw is the second Alastor EP for 2017, and actually I wonder why they didn’t release one full-length album instead. This time the Swedish quartet prepared two ten-minute tracks with a deep psychedelic touch and pop-occult lyrics. The record surpasses its predecessor, Blood Magic, with more effective songwriting and delivery, though the production is on the same underground level. The vocals on these new songs sound different. Actually I was thinking that Alastor had recruited a lady on vocals, but I was wrong. It’s still their bass-player, R, who sings. Continue reading »

May 032018
 

 

(In this new interview Comrade Aleks poses questions to Frederyk Rotter, founding vocalist/guitarist of the Swiss band Zatokrev.)

Fourteen years ago Basel-based power-trio Zatokrev recorded their debut self-titled album. Frederyk Rotter (vocals, guitars), Marco Grementieri (bass), and Silvio Spadino (drums) brought forth a tensive, savage, and energetic blend of extreme doom and sludge. Over the years the band went through a series of metamorphoses, developing with each new record and enriching the sound with post- and some avant-garde influences.

Since April 13, a vinyl reissue of Zatokrev has been available for shipment via Plastic Head. It’s a good reason to talk with Frederyk about Zatokrev’s milestones, as he’s the only member left of the original lineup. Continue reading »

Apr 162018
 

 

(Comrade Aleks brings us this interview with three members of the Tennessee funeral doom band Loss, whose new album Horizonless was released last May by Profound Lore. All photos accompanying the interview were made by Diana Lee Zadlo.)

 

Some doom bands are really slow in everything they do. The depressive, crushing, unearthly funeral doom band Loss (Nashville, Tennessee) was formed in 2004, yet their first full-length Despond appeared only in 2011. Well, the band recorded two demos before it and took part in three split-releases, but they really used their time in considering Despond. Six more years passed, and then we got the second album – Horizonless.

I’d like to point out that Loss recorded it with the original lineup, so that’s a good sign of healthy atmosphere, however it doesn’t change the fact that Loss’ sound is damned ruinous again… but what else could we expect?

We had a conversation with three of Loss’ members not so long ago. Here it is — John Anderson (bass), Tim Lewis (guitars), and Jay LeMair (drums) tell their story of Loss, Horizonless, and their 14 years of doom. Continue reading »

Apr 062018
 

 

(Comrade Aleks presents this interview he conducted with Pascal Vervest, founding guitarist of the Dutch band Fall.)

 

Doom metal isn’t the slowest music in the world, but playing slow sometimes means “recording slow” as well. Netherlands-based funeral / death doom outfit Faal (which means “Fail” in Dutch) appeared in the heavy underground in 2005 and their first album Abhorrence-Salvation saw the light of day through Ván Records in 2008.

The combination of sub-genres Faal practiced brought some fresh vibe, but the band didn’t make haste and took their time in finishing a second album. The Clouds Are Burning appeared in 2012, offering the listeners a 45-minute-long voyage in the depths of depression and bitter grief; and, well, it even has some pretty extreme moments there…

With the third full-length record, Desolate Grief (Ván Records, February 2018) it seems that Pascal Vervest remains the only original member of Faal. How did he manage to keep the band in the same vein? I’m going to sort it out. Continue reading »

Apr 032018
 

 

(Comrade Aleks brings us this extensive interview with Vanessa Nocera, vocalist and bassist of Wooden Stake and a central figure in other bands such as Cauldron Burial and Vaultwraith.)

 

Originally born in Kentucky, this project was raised by Vanessa Nocera, who has performed in a half -dozen of more extreme bands, such as black death outfit Cauldron Burial. In Wooden Stake she has mixed old school death doom with traditional doom metal since 2010.

From the very beginning she has handled bass and performed all sorts of vocals, from clean ones to hungry and savage harsh ones. She recorded the debut full-length Dungeon Prayers & Tombyard Serenades with Wayne Sarantopoulos (guitars, drums, keyboards), and the second album A Feast Of Virgin Souls was done with William Wardlaw (guitars, drums). Three years have passed, so what’s happening now? Where are the new stories of gore and horror? Where are new tunes from the gloom of the basement?

I approached Vanessa to clarify the current status of Wooden Stake and to learn about its origin. Continue reading »

Mar 162018
 

 

(Comrade Aleks brings us this interview with Andy Clarke of The Crawling from Northern Ireland.)

 

Lisburn-based death/doom outfit The Crawling have been philosophizing on the themes of depression and misery since 2014, yet their debut full-length record Anatomy Of Loss, released by Grindscene Records in 2017, sounds like a full-scale anger-management course. Seven songs with an ideal total running time of 45 minutes will draw you in to an aggressive and bitter mid-paced death/doom nightmare. The Crawling are pretty melodic, but these melodies are razor-sharp and effective as a knife; besides that, the lyrics are quiet realistic. There’s not anything unnecessary on this album.

Do The Crawling have something new? I’ve asked Andy Clarke (guitars, vocals) about it, and thanks to him for the time he spent answering this. Continue reading »

Feb 202018
 

 

(In this new interview Comrade Aleks brings us an extensive discussion with Kat Shevil (ex-Blessed Realm), the vocalist/drummer of the British death-doom band Uncoffined.)

 

Uncoffined was raised on the ruins of the traditional doom metal outfit Blessed Realm in 2011. Blessed Realm existed as Tears from 1993 ’til 1994 and then the band acted under its blessed name ’til 2002. It was split without even a full-length album in its discography, but in July 2017 At War With False Noise released Doomography 1993-2002, a collection of demos and unreleased tracks.

Besides that, three ex-Blessed Realm members — Kat Shevil (drums, vocals), Gory Sugden (bass), and Jonny Rot (guitars) created the horror-movie-influenced satanic death-doom metal outfit Uncoffined together with guitarist G.Hall. Well, how much of death is in their doom? Do they still hold on to the traditions? Kat knows better, let’s give her the floor. Continue reading »