Nov 242023

(Today we present a discussion by Comrade Aleks with the always-interesting Roman from the unconventional Norway-based black metal band Bizarrekult, whose sophomore full-length was released last January by Season of Mist.)

There are too many bands nowadays, and it’s difficult to keep in mind all the new releases which deserve your attention. We already interviewed Roman “Bizarre”, the leader of Bizarrekult, about a two years ago discussing the band’s long story, his relocation from Siberia to Norway, and his first Bizarrekult album Vi overlevde. The band was heavily rooted in black metal, but back then it already demonstrated a lean towards progression in other directions.

Their second album Den tapte krigen, released by Season of Mist Underground Activists in January 2023, and the sense of artistic freedom which fills it, is exciting. There was no way but to get in touch with Roman again. Continue reading »

Nov 222023

(Not long ago the former Belarusian band Woe Unto Me, now relocated to Poland, finished a  tour of Europe in support of their exceptional 2023 album released by M-Theory Audio. At a break in the tour Comrade Aleks conducted an extensive interview of the band’s co-founder Artyom Serdyuk, and at last we present that today.)

Woe Unto Me (Grodno, Belarus) crossed the borders of funeral doom metal some time ago, but we label them now as a funeral band almost by inertia. Both the EP Spiral-Shaped Hopewreck that we discussed two years ago here with one of the band’s founders Artyom Serdyuk (guitars, vocals, keyboards) and the new, third album Along the Meandering Ordeals, Reshape the Pivot of Harmony carry us further to the territories of the progressive genre with the deep atmospheric feeling.

The band just returned from a mini-tour and now the guys prepare to start another one, so I’ve tried to catch up with Artyom again and to talk about the new album and the situation around the band. Continue reading »

Nov 142023

(Not long ago Supreme Chaos Records released a new album by the part-British, part-German doom band Thronehammer, and shortly before that august day Comrade Aleks spoke with the band’s vocalist Kat Shevil Gillham. Today we present that discussion.)

Thronehammer is a doom metal band formed by guitarist Stuart West (Obelyskkh, Versus the Stillborn-Minded and so on) in 2012. Slowly he formed the full lineup, and one by one albums started to appear.

Usurper of the Oaken Throne (2019) and Incantation Rites (2021) were good ones, but the new full-length Kingslayer which was released on the 3rd of November by Supreme Chaos Records is another thing. I agree with the album’s official press-release, which says “The nine epic new movements on Thronehammer’s Kingslayer culminate into the band’s most versatile material to date, with more metal energy than ever fueling the album, with their riff savagery fully on display in every track”.

Thronehammer’s singer Kat Shevil Gillham shared a few thoughts about the new stuff and the situation around the band not long before the release. Continue reading »

Nov 072023

(We present Comrade Aleks‘ most recent interview of Cardinals Folly frontman Count Karnstein, which took place shortly before the release of the band’s newest album by Soulseller Records. He precedes it with a brief review that explains why the album is one you shouldn’t miss.)

This most productive and passionate representative of the Finnish traditional doom metal scene work without sparing themselves. Since the release of their debut full-length Such Power Is Dangerous! in 2011, Cardinals Folly got their portion of well-deserved recognition with five full-length albums, and that’s without counting three splits.

Yes, the guys spent the first years of their underground career trapped in the genre clichés and timidly adhering to the precepts of Pentagram, Reverend Bizarre, Saint Vitus, and beyond. But over the years, their dark, oppressive, sometimes epic riffs began to give way to bold, self-confident heavy metal. Cardinals Folly are still good when it comes to traditional doom, but the fast tracks, which only became more numerous with each album, sound so natural and challenging that even the most stubborn puritans of doom are unlikely to challenge the band’s primacy on the Finnish scene.

Live by the Sword is quite close in sound to the balanced pace of the previous album Defying the Righteous Way, but more often these songs break forward with an attacking gallop. Eight new tracks fit into 40 minutes and are perfectly invigorating. Continue reading »

Nov 032023

photo by Ester Segarra

(Comrade Aleks has brought us a very special interview with Dayal Patterson, the proprietor of UK-based Cult Never Dies, with a focus on the dramatically expanded second edition of his seminal 2003 book about black metal.)

There are a few books dedicated to such an important extreme music genre as black metal, and Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult is the first one you really need to know. First released almost ten years ago, it remains a key tome, answering almost any question one could have regarding all the contradictions and rumours you might hear about the blackest of arts.

Those aren’t empty words, as the book’s author Dayal Patterson performed absolutely in-depth research and managed to keep his work away from just a collection of bare facts. The book was filled with fresh interviews getting first-hand information from the bands, and from afar, it looked like fair and solid work.

It was released by Decibel back then, and now by Dayal, who already runs his own well-known publishing company Cult Never Dies. It’s not just a publishing company but “the home of metal literature, a publishing house, merchandise company, label and mail order dedicated to underground metal and cult art”.

Dayal was returned the rights to Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult, and he spent the last entire year preparing its massively reworked anniversary edition. The new edition is significantly bigger than the original one: it contains one and a half times more text, twice as many photos, and twice as many interviews. Ambitious, isn’t it?

The book is available for preorder in late November and will be dispatched shortly before release. Meanwhile, we had a great interview with Dayal, and it should be interesting to any black metal fan.

Continue reading »

Oct 312023

photo by Frank Ralph

(In mid-August Profound Lore Records released Distortions, a new album by British doom metallers Godthrymm, and today we present Comrade Aleks‘ interview with two members of the band, Hamish Glencross and Shaun Taylor-Steels.)

The name Godthrymm is familiar to many, and doom fans couldn’t help but hear how this UK-based band fired off one after another top-notch EPs A Grand Reclamation (2018) and Dead in the Studio (2019), and then struck with an epic full-length manifesto, Reflections (2020).

Their traditional, epic-oriented doom metal has deep roots. The singing guitarist Hamish Glencross went through the universities of My Dying Bride and Vallenfyre. The drummer Shaun Taylor-Steels played not only with the Brides, but also with Anathema. And if we dig deeper, we can easily find that both of them studied the basics of doom back in the ’90s, as part of the ever-memorable Solstice team.

Hamish and Shaun, along with bassist Sasquatch Bob and Hamish‘s wife, Catherine, who this time sings and plays keyboards, returned this August with a new album, Distortions.

(This interview was conducted shortly before the release of the album and was first published in the Spanish metal-magazine This Is Metal.) Continue reading »

Oct 262023

(In July of this year Soulseller Records released Weltende, a new album by the German extreme metal band Porta Nigra. It led Comrade Aleks to contact the band, and the following interview with guitarist/bassist Gilles deRais  was the result.)

German band Porta Nigra is labeled as “avant-garde black metal”, and it seems to be truth. It was founded in 2010 by Gilles deRais (guitars, bass) and O. (drums, vocals), who recorded two full-length albums as a duo. But sometime after, Porta Nigra turned into the full band, and now they’ve returned come with the fourth full-length album Weltende.

This authentic material has a rich cultural background, rooted in both Belle Époque and Fin de Siècle, so don’t expect an ordinary black metal deviltry from this band. We tried to learn more about Porta Nigra and Weltende from Gilles deRais and in some way we succeeded.

(The interview was initially done for the Spanish magazine This Is Metal, and I’m glad to share its full version here.) Continue reading »

Oct 252023

photo by Afra Gethöfer Grütz

(Comrade Aleks has brought us an unusually good interview with the thoughtful founder and guitarist of the unusual German black metal band Nebelkrähe, whose first album in 10 years will be released on October 27th by Crawling Chaos.)

NCS readers have already had an in-depth look at Nebelkrähe’s new album ephemer. This German band returns with their third album after a ten-year hiatus, and their sophisticated blackened metal.

There was much said about them in the previous video premiere post and there will be a lot said in this current interview. We spent enough time with Nebelkrähe’s guitarist Morg, and I hope that this interview will not only answer your questions about the band but also will stimulate you to search for more. Continue reading »

Oct 232023

photo by Ester Segarra

(Last week we reviewed the new album by Iran-born, UK-based Trivax (recently released by Cult Never Dies), and today we follow that with a wide-ranging interview by Comrade Aleks of the band’s founder Shayan S.)

Trivax was started in April 2009 in Iran by Shayan S. (guitars, vocals) who moved to Birmingham in 2011 and reformed the band with a new lineup there. The first one who joined Shayan back then was the drummer Matthew Croton, as the current bass-player Sully get involved in Trivax in 2018.

While the first album SIN (2016) didn’t have a big impact, it seems that the new full-length blackened death metal manifest Eloah Burns Out will have it. Trivax came fully armed. Their new video “Azrael” is striking and kind of shocking; their performance at the Cosmic Void festival in London got its praise too; and Eloah Burns Out itself, released by Cult Never Dies on September 29th, promises to be one of most authentic extreme albums of 2023.

Let’s take a look at the modern world’s lunacy and satanic magic through the Trivax prism together with Shayan. Continue reading »

Oct 172023

Photo Credit: Twan Spierings

(At the end of September Eisenwald released Spiritus Sylvestris, an excellent new album by  the Dutch band Iskandr, and that moved Comrade Aleks to get in touch, leading to the following interview with founder Omar K.)

Iskandr was started by multi-instrumentalist Omar K. in around 2016 as his solo black metal project. The solo-project turned into a duo as the drummer Mink Koops joined Omar, and since then they started to work together.

Primordial and natural, Iskandr’s black metal evolved from Heilig land (2016) to Euprosopon (2018), and then from less blackened Vergezicht (2021) to brand new and ethereal Spiritus Sylvestris, which was released on September 29th.

The chain of metamorphoses leads the project to a new form that combines black metal spirit and a deep, in some ways heathen magical, and almost psychedelic, experience. As Omar, the band’s ideologist, says: “I wanted to write a eulogy to the world we have lost; a funeral dirge for the natural world we have left behind and an omen to the world that is to come”.

We caught Omar in the middle of Iskandr’s tour, but he found time to answer a few questions. Continue reading »