May 012019
 

 

(One of our Norway-based contributors, Karina Noctum, brought us this two-part interview of Seidemann, long-time bassist for 1349 and the principal creative force behind Svart Lotus. The interview was conducted shortly before 1349‘s recent performance at Inferno Festival in Oslo and will be continued tomorrow. The interview includes photos from Inferno Fest by Metal Exposure and Silje Storm Drabitius, and we thank them for allowing us to use them.)

Before 1349‘s majestic performance of pure Black Metal immersed in aural hellfire at this year’s Inferno Festival in Oslo, I got the pleasure to interview Seidemann (bass). This is the first part of the interview, in which Seidemann presents insights about the creative process behind the band’s latest EP, Dødskamp, which was a musical interpretation of a work bearing the same name by the famed Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, and an in-depth talk about Seidemann‘s band Svart Lotus.

Here you will also find some information about what is to come for 1349 in the near future, and that topic will be further extended to the second part of the interview to be published later. Continue reading »

Apr 042019
 

 

(Norway-based contributor Karina Noctum returns to us with the following interview of Mattias Hemminby of the Norwegian bands Eldamar and Askheimr.)

This is an interview with Mattias Hemminby about his one-man Black Metal project Eldamar and his new project called Askheimr.

When it comes to Eldamar, I think that the music has a great atmosphere influenced by Burzum and the greatness of Lord of the Rings. I have always found Eldamar pretty peculiar and interesting due to its pretty harmonious composition. Eldamar’s style is ambitious and aesthetically beautiful and not easy to achieve, especially taking into account all the limitations a one-man underground project faces, but in spite of this the result is favorable and I enjoy the music a lot. I think it has a touch of uniqueness in the way it has been put together, and of course its “Norwegianness” surfaces. adding a lot to it.

I have always been interested in one-man projects, and this is another one that has not only captivated me but many others. Eldamar has been well-received in the atmospheric Black Metal world since its inception and now it has a fan base. But the same composer has engaged in other endeavors in the form of Askheimr, which is a Black/Death band that draws from Scandinavian influences, particularly from Finland.

What follows is an introduction to both bands, an inquiry into particulars about composition and the thoughts behind Eldamar and Askheimr, and what we can expect in the future. Continue reading »

Mar 212019
 

 

Ascension MMXIX will take place on June 13 – 15, 2019, in Mosfellbær, Iceland, about a 20-minute drive or half-hour bus ride from the city center in Reykjavik. Over those three days 30 bands from a dozen countries will perform at the Hlégarður venue. The impressive line-up includes not only Sólstafir and the best-known names from the vanguard of red-hot Icelandic black metal but also such U.S. bands as Akhlys, Drab Majesty, and King Dude; Antaeus and The Order of Apollyon from France; Auroch and Mitocondrion from Canada; Mgła from Poland; Sweden’s Tribulation; Akrotheism from Greece; Jupiterian from Brazil; and the Belgian band Wolvennest.

Ascension is the spiritual successor to the widely acclaimed Oration Festival, which ran for three years (from 2016 through 2018) in Reykjavik. Like Oration, Ascension is the brainchild of Stephen Lockhart, who is the owner/operator of both the Icelandic record label Oration and of Studio Emissary, where Lockhart has been responsible for recording, mixing, and mastering an extensive list of great metal releases since the studio’s founding in 2010. The bands with whom Lockhart has worked through the studio have formed the nucleus of both Oration and now Ascension, but the appeal of the festivals to performing bands obviously extends much further. Continue reading »

Mar 152019
 


Photo by Cristian Carvallo

 

(Our Russian friend Comrade Aleks brings us a new interview, this time with Rodrigo Poblete, guitarist/vocalist and a founding member of the Chilean band Lapsus Dei.)

Starting as a melodic death-doom band in 1998, the Chilean group Lapsus Dei went through some transformations during their career, and now the band stand on the threshold of a new metamorphosis.

Their discography isn’t that huge for a band who have celebrated their 20th anniversary –- two EPs, three full-length albums, and a split album with Officium Triste — but this initially anti-clerical doom is damned expressive and too strong to pass it by. So let me introduce you to the band’s only remaining original member — Rodrigo Poblete (guitars, vocals). Continue reading »

Mar 112019
 

 

(More than two years have passed since Floridian NCS contributor KevinP last delivered to us an episode of his series of brief interviews, which he calls “Get To the Point“. But today he revives the series in a conversation with Greek musician/vocalist Van Gimot, the creative force behind both Virus of Koch and Agos, two entities whose music blends black and death metal, and other ingredients, in different ways.)

 

K:  So people might know you from Virus of Koch.  But the last few years you’ve worked on Agos almost exclusively.  Why?

V:  Regarding my music, I tend to go with the flow. I don’t force anything. I focused on Agos simply because it inspired me and let me channel my creativity and thoughts at this particular time. Agos and V. O. K. are two distinctive entities in my mind serving different needs of expression. Currently, I am working on V. O. K. material as I feel the time is right. Continue reading »

Feb 122019
 

 

(Comrade Aleks is back! And he brings with him this interview of Christian Kolf from the German band Owl, whose most recent album, Nights In Distortion, was released last fall by Temple of Torturous.)

Owl is the Bonn-based project of Christian Kolf (vocals, guitars, synth) who created it together with Patrick Schroeder (drums, percussion) in 2010 in order to explore death-doom territory that he hadn’t crossed yet in his progressive death-doom band Valborg. Christian is pretty prolific. He also played atmospheric progressive sludge in Woburn House, some prog metal in Island, not not long ago he joined the black metal crew Absolutum, and he gained some experience in a few other acts as well.

Owl’s a strange creature, more so that owls seem to be. Their first two full-lengths, Owl (2011) and You Are The Moon, I Am The Night (2013), were experiments in the field of pretty proggy death-doom metal with quite complex and aggressive compositions, and the following EPs — Into The Absolute (2014), The Last Walk (2014), Aeon Cult (2015), and Orion Fenix (2018), show Owl’s development in another direction. The latest result of the band’s inner changes is the Night In Distortion album (Temple Of Torturous, 2018). It’s tagged as ambient doom metal, and this description is partly close to the matter.

I was impressed by this material and got in touch with Christian to ask him a few questions about Owl’s past, present, and future. Continue reading »

Feb 062019
 

 

(In this new interview our Norway-based contributor Karina Noctum talks with guitarist Tjalve of the Norwegian black metal band Svartelder, whose latest album Pits was released by Dusktone on January 26th of this year.)

Svartelder is a Norwegian band that caught and kept my attention ever since I first listened to them. They bring forth dark melodies that are characteristically Norwegian. I can’t say I can compare their music to other bands directly, but however it does evoke Mayhem, Arcturus, and perhaps a bit of modern melody also comes to mind, like the sound of Old Man’s Child, although faintly. But this is why Svartelder is interesting. The music is a bit familiar, but it is something different at the same time.

The composition and performing reflect the high skills of seasoned musicians such as Tjalve (1349, Den Saakaldte, Pantheon I), Doedsadmiral (Nordjevel, Doedsvangr), Spektre (Gaahls Wyrd, Horizon Ablaze) and Renton (Trollfest). Their latest album Pits, which is out now, is very interesting as a whole. It stands as a cohesive piece; the songs seem to fit an overall plan when it comes to the song order (this is something to be truly appreciated in this era of iTunes albums made so that each song targets one particular section of the market). Pits is enjoyable because of the particular considerations that seem to have been given when it comes to tempos and arrangements, as well as the excellent musical performance.

But anyway, you should definitely try it for yourself, and form your own opinion, because it is worth your time. And now, we talk with Tjalve: Continue reading »

Jan 172019
 

Left to right: Dan Darforth (Bass), Carl Stjärnlöv (Guitars), Sverker Widgren (Guitars, Vocals), Pär Johansson (Drums)

Photo by Jens Rydén

 

(This is a very interesting interview conducted by our Norway-based contributor Karina Noctum with Carl Stjärnlöv, guitarist/songwriter of the long-running Swedish metal band Diabolical, whose fifth album Eclipse will be released on February 15th.)

 

You tour in Europe, you have established the band, and many have listened to or seen you live here, but how would you introduce yourselves to a U.S. audience? Diabolical can no longer be described as just another Swedish band (and good for you 🙂 )

We’re a death metal band that has evolved into something else; we’re not bound to any traditional views of what death metal or black metal “should” sound like. While we still have our foundation in death metal with some dashes of black metal, our music incorporate choirs, orchestral parts, and mellotrons. On our new album there’ll be plenty of clean vocals as well. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that bands such as Pink Floyd and King Crimson are held in just as high regard as Morbid Angel among the members of the band, and I think that’s reflected in our sound. Continue reading »

Jan 072019
 

 

(Comrade Aleks rejoins us with the following interview of Salvatore Fichera of the Italian black/death/doom band Sinoath, whose latest album in a career which began in 1990 is 2018’s Anamnesis.)

This band has a long and complicated story and a pretty short discography containing only three full-length albums. Having started in 1990 in Catania, Sicily, they recorded their first album Research in 1995 after two demos — Forged In Blood (1991) and Still In The Grey Dying (1993). It’s hard to categorize this material but it’s done on a converging of death, black, and gothic metal, with some Italian dark prog influences.

The band was finished in 1996, but seven years later it was restored with Sinoath’s initial drummer Salvatore Fichera. The new album, Under The Ashes, turned out to be darker and heavier than its predecessor, but the band didn’t aim to strengthen their position from there and laid down again after that. After 11 years of silence in terms of album-length releases, Sinoath returned again in 2018 with their third album, Anamnesis, which combines doom metal with some other influences. I’ll try to sort out everything in this story with Salvatore himself. Continue reading »

Jan 032019
 

 

(Comrade Aleks returns to NCS in 2019 with more interviews, beginning with this one, in which he talks with Levi, vocalist of the long-running Polish black/death band Neolith, who are now at work on a fifth album.)

Neolith is a pretty old band from Poland. They started as a death/doom outfit in 1991, and kept a down-tuned vibe for almost a decade. A series of demo-tapes and the full-length Igne Natura Renovabitur Integra (INRI) were influenced by the UK Doom Trinity’s stuff to some degree. However Neolith’s anti-Christian message demanded a more suitable form of exposure, and they’ve done it in a blasphemous death/black metal way from their second album Immortal (2004) through the fourth one, Izi.Im.Kurnu-Ki (2015).

The band are half-way to new work, I Am The Way, and we had a nice talk with Neolith’s initial vocalist Grzegorz Lukowski, a.k.a. Levi. Continue reading »