Dec 082021


(We present Comrade Aleks’ interview of Brett Clarin, the main man behind the symphonic black/death metal band Journey Into Darkness, whose latest album (which we premiered and reviewed HERE) was released in September 2021 by Spirit Coffin Publishing.)

Brett Clarin was one of a few guys who started the death/ thrash / doom act Apparition in 1988. They changed the name in 1991, becoming Sorrow, and got a contract with Roadrunner Records for a full-length album. Some may suppose the guys were lucky, and indeed the album Hatred and Disgust saw the light of day in 1992. But as it happens sometimes with some labels, Roadrunner switched their attention to something more appealing for them and Sorrow didn’t get their deserved exposure.

Sorrow was soon disbanded but Brett started that strange project Journey into Darkness. His first solo work under that name, Life Is a Near Death Experience (1996), was an experiment, something like darkwave, a kind of sympho black metal without vocals and actually without guitars or typical metal instruments at all. Brett left the project for 14 years but now there are two more albums in his discography – Multitudes of Emptiness (2020) and Infinite Universe Infinite Death (2021). It’s okay now!

With Jei Doublerice on vocals Brett provides us symphonic death / black metal and it’s something we’re going to talk about with him. Continue reading »

Dec 062021


(Comrade Aleks has brought us this in-depth interview with drummer Clayton Gore from the U.S. doom/death band Pulchra Morte, whose latest album, the tremendously good Ex Rosa Ceremonia, was released last year via Transcending Records.)

Five men may be too many for a doom death band, but twin guitars always give a strong hint on melodic components and Pulchra Morte prove it with two albums – Divina Autem et Aniles (2019) and Ex Rosa Ceremonia (2020). All of them for years played all kinds of extreme metal – death metal, black metal, death/black metal, sludge… I believe you’ve heard names like Skeletonwitch and Wolvhammer. And Jarrett Pritchard (guitars) alongside Clayton Gore (drums) started in the Tampa-based death metal band Eulogy nearly 30 years ago! Big guys who know how to play crushing stuff, yes.

True to tell, it’s my fault for doing this so late because Ex Rosa Ceremonia was released one year ago and Pulchra Morte was in my “need-to-interview” list for awhile, but it’s better late than never. Especially as Clayton provides us a great interview, an in-depth look at band’s own life as well as a good glimpse on the difficulties of the modern underground scene. Continue reading »

Dec 032021


(Comrade Aleks has brought us the following interview with guitarist Dragos of the fine Romanian black metal band Genune, whom we’ve praised repeatedly here at NCS.)

Genune means “chasm” or “abyss” in Romanian. It’s a fitting name for a black metal band but this trio isn’t one of those straightforward acts who praise the joys of nihilism and hatred. Dragos (guitars), Cosmin (guitars) and Istvan (vocals, bass) are rather into this modern melancholic way of interpreting the genre which helps to stream their energy not only through common aggressive channels but also through more fragile and elegant “atmospheric” decorations.

Placed somewhere in-between Bacău and Cluj-Napoca, Genune released their second album Inert & Unerring in April 2021 and it sounds like a reflection on themes of feeling and being in this very place. It’s easier to understand Genune when you watch the band’s official videos and, of course, when reading this interview we made with Dragos. Continue reading »

Dec 022021

(NCS contributor Nathan Ferreira prepared the following exhaustive retrospective concerning the work of Turkish musician Mustafa Gürcalioğlu (a current or former member of such bands as Decaying Purity, Burial Invocation, Engulfed, Diabolizer, and Hyperdontia), which includes extensive discussions with the artist.)

I’m back with another way-too-ambitious deep-dive project, inspired by my excursions into The Ruins of Beverast’s body of work earlier this year. I was hoping to get this out in time for the premieres of either or Hyperdontia, but alas, that proved to be too lofty a goal. I may have bit off more than I could chew. Either way, it’s finally ready for all your music nerd-related pleasures, just in time for you to add those two bands to your year-end lists – if they’re not on there already.

The discography of Mustafa Gürcalioğlu was one that I wanted to give in-depth coverage to for a few reasons. One, it’s incredibly consistent – I don’t think the guy’s put out a stinker yet, and even the ones you don’t think you like tend to grow on you over time. Two, it starts out good, slowly gets better, and it sounds like the best is yet to come, since the most recent albums by all four of his projects are the strongest. Three, there are enough small differences between albums and different bands that you can tell them apart, but because of the aforementioned consistency, you’re still guaranteed a solid listen while also getting something new along the way. No one has given his discography the appreciation it deserves – if you didn’t get the hint yet, pound for pound it’s one of the best in metal.

Since Mustafa is a more accessible and/or approachable character than Alexander von Meilenwald proved to be, I was able to flag him down and ask him a ton of questions, so with each venture into one of his bands, I’ve included some information straight from the creator’s mouth (keyboard?) to add extra context and colour. In addition, I’ll kick off the article with some more general questions so you can get to know the man behind the music a bit more before fully taking the plunge. Enjoy! Continue reading »

Nov 242021


(It seems that Swedish songwriter, musician, and vocalist Jonny Pettersson is always extremely busy. This year he participated in a new album by Massacre recently released by Nuclear Blast, a new album by Wombbath that’s coming out in late December via Transcending Obscurity, and a lot more. In this new interview NCS contributor Karina Noctum caught up with him to discuss these events.)

Massacre has always been one of my preferred bands when it comes to American DM, so when I heard that a new album was finally in the making, it was pretty awesome news. It became even more interesting upon learning that there were talented and experienced Swedish and Norwegian musicians participating in on the album. So I took the opportunity to talk with Jonny Pettersson, not only about Massacre’s Resurgence, but also about Wombbath’s upcoming release, Agma, which is definitely a must for fans of Swedish DM. Continue reading »

Nov 232021


(The music, the artwork, and the lyrics of Vancouver-based Crystal Coffin are fascinating in and of themselves, but reveal themselves to be even more fascinating and alluring with the additional info furnished by this excellent interview of the band conducted by Comrade Aleks.)

Oh modern black metal scene! A cabinet of curiosities! You can find everything here from old school die-hard true and evil devils to Cascadian naturalists, from true / untrue occult visionaries and charlatans to bands who are hard to categorize. And as many bands say, they don’t care about categories and genre definitions, it’s for labels, for listeners and for us “journalists”.

Crystal Coffin is another blackened riddle one could notice due to the premiere last month of their second album at NCS. This Vancouver-based trio performs (crazy or intellectual – choose for yourself) progressive and melodic black metal with truly authentic stories behind their albums.

Crystal Coffin is carried on the shoulders of Rob Poirier (drums), Aron Shute (vocals, bass), and Lenkyn Ostapovich (guitars, keyboards), and well, it seems we spoke with Lenkyn, but most of the time his voice did sound like the voice of Crystal Coffin’s collective mind, and that’s not bad as far as it works. Continue reading »

Nov 042021


(In this fascinating new interview Comrade Aleks talks with Geoffroy “le Veuzou” from the distinctive French folk/black metal band Paydretz, whose debut album was released by Antiq Records in early October.)

I hope our constant readers are used to long interviews because for our luck there are a lot of both new and old bands who have something to tell and to open our eyes on the things previously unseen.

When I received a new promo pack from Antiq Records there was a new name on it – Paydretz — and again the cover art did its work, making me play their debut album Chroniques de l’Insurrection and try to search for the story behind it.

This French trio consists of Sven Avel Viz (guitars, bass, drums), Michel de Malvoisin (guitars, backing vocals), and Geoffroy “le Veuzou” (vocals, bagpipes, whistles and keyboards). Geoffroy explains the name of the band: “Paydretz” was the nickname given to the fighters of the Vendean general Charette, who came from the region of Retz, in French “Pays de Retz” which gives us “Paydretz”.

“Vendean” what? – you wonder as I did. Yes, this black / folk masterpiece tells the story of the Great Vendean Insurrection (1793-1796) from the point of view of the Vendean insurgents… And yes – this interview will reveal more about it, so lads and lasses take your copybooks and pencils and be ready. Continue reading »

Oct 272021


(We present Comrade Aleks‘ interview of Philip Howlett, guitarist/vocalist of the  Australian doom band Lucifer’s Fall, whose newest album is out now on Sun & Moon Records.)

Finally I return to the doom-laden path and partly that’s because of a new Lucifer’s Fall album, III –From the Deep, released by Sun & Moon Records two months ago. That’s right, here we have their third official full-length but there are a dozen other releases in Lucifer’s discography. The band keep this old-school ongoing ethic so their followers have an opportunity to support this quintet from Adelaide on a regular basis.

Philip Howlett (guitars, vocals) knows how to make doom great again and leads his band towards the highest point on the Australian Doom Metal pedestal. III –From the Deep is an excellent example of traditional doom metal with some punk attitude and imagination, and thus our conversation with Phil about Lucifer’s Fall stuff turned out to be pretty constructive. Continue reading »

Oct 142021


Today we have a translated conversation between two Russians, one of them our ally Comrade Aleks and the other a member of the impressive sludge/doom band Ил (IL), and a very extensive and interesting discussion it is.)


Okay, it’s time to learn one more word in Russian and it’s IL. Il / Ил translates as “slit”, and as you can guess that fits right for a sludge band… But you know this band started back in their early days as a drone doom band, then they turned onto a hazy stoned doom path, and now ∫ performs an amalgam of hard-boiled doom metal with a tight delivery, a sludgy vibe, and authentic (!!!) pagan atmosphere.

Their fifth album Heresy / Ересь was published in December 2020, and sometimes you need time to sort things out and find how beautiful the world is around you! Il was always here, but I guess it was the video for the title song from Heresy that opened my eyes. This album is one level higher than its predecessor, Nechist / Нечисть / Evil Spirits (2017), but at the same time it’s a logical development of the grim images that Il channeled through Heresy’s forerunner.

I welcome you to research Russian sonic-chthonic ritualistic life together with Vlad Stepanenko, who has performed vocals and guitars in the band since 2013. If you ask me (and if you don’t) Il seems to be one of the three most solid and impressive Russian doom bands nowadays. Continue reading »

Oct 132021


(Comrade Aleks connected with Pim Blankenstein to discuss his band Extreme Cold Winter and the impending release of their debut album World Exit by Hammerheart Records, plus the latest news concerning his main band Officium Triste, the Dutch Doom Days festival, and a lot more.)

I learned about Extreme Cold Winter from Pim Blankenstein some years ago, I think. We’ve done interviews with Pim on a regular basis; it’s almost routine, as it seems that I’m the biggest fan of his main band Officium Triste here in Russia. And in some of these interviews he told about Extreme Cold Winter, the promising doom-death band he takes part in alongside A.J. van Drenth (guitars, bass) and Seth van de Loo (drums).

A.J. played in one of the first Dutch doom-death bands, Beyond Belief, he took part in Asphyx, and now he does deafening deathly noise with Beast of Revelation. Seth played with ten bands or so, and most of the time it was death metal. He even sang in Deicide during their tour in 2007. You see? Serious stuff.

But long story short: the trio proclaimed the start of Extreme Cold Winter in 2009, recorded the EP Paradise Ends Here in 2015, and… and… and I did check from time to time to see if there was some news on their side and didn’t find any. So I was surprised to see in my main box a promo pack with their debut full-length album World Exit some weeks ago. There was no chance to avoid it, so we get in touch with Pim and pretty swiftly this interview was organized. Continue reading »