Apr 072018
 


photo by Unai Endemaño

 

(Andy Synn returns with another installment in his Saturday series about lyrics in metal, and today we have a fascinating and eloquent discussion by J. F. Fiar, the vocalist and bassist for the Spanish band Foscor, who has penned the lyrics for their songs, in Catalan and English, for the last four years.)

 

Foscor’s latest album, the stunning Les Irreals Visions, was a beautifully bleak, moody and multifaceted delight, and was so good I declared it one of the Critical Top Ten albums of 2017 and at one point described it as:

“…an album that is simultaneously easy to pick up, and nearly impossible to put down…”

Hopefully, like me, you’ve found it just as difficult to stop listening to and, if so, you might be interested in hearing from the band’s long time vocalist J. F. Fiar about his life, his lyrics, and everything he’s learned along the way! 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 042018
 

 

(The members of Dreamarcher hail from the Hardanger district on the west coast of Norway, and their latest EP, Harding, was released on March 9th. Here, Norway-based NCS contributor Karina Noctum talks with the band’s Ruben Aksnes.)

 

Dreammarcher combines different influences. At times the music can resemble something like Cult of Luna, but for the most part it is progressive, and in a rock fashion; I think of The Mars Volta. The faster parts are a hybrid of hardcore and Black Metal. Clean vocals in an American style that at times remind me of bands from P.O.D to Fear Factory, but are rock-like for the most part.

I’d say Harding, their newly released EP, has a complex array of different vocal styles, a mesh of different genres, and interesting song structures. They have even brought folk into the mix by using the fiddle, which was, I found out, a symbol of rebellion in Hardanger, the Norwegian region the band hails from. 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 312018
 

Photo by Maciej Pieloch Photography

 

(Continuing with his Saturday Waxing Lyrical series, Andy Synn questions vocalist/guitarist Nick Forkel about his approach to the writing of lyrics for Turbid North.)

 

As you may know, Turbid North’s fantastic Eyes Alive was one of my outstanding favourite albums of 2015, and I’ve been singing the band’s praises ever since, and trying to get as many of my friends (and even a few of my enemies) to listen to this three-piece’s unique blend of devastating Death Metal riffage, megaton metallic grooves, and psychedelic progressive melody, as possible.

Unsurprisingly I was quick to get in touch with the band’s vocalist/guitarist Nick Forkel when I first decided to pursue “Waxing Lyrical” as a regular column, and he was kind enough to furnish me with the following information regarding how he first fell into the role of lyricist, and how he’s developed as a writer over the years. Continue reading »

Mar 292018
 

 

(The multinational band Sojourner released their second album earlier this month through Avantgarde Music, and in this post our Norway-based contributor Karina Noctum provides thoughts about the music and also elicitsthoughts from vocalist Emilio Crespo about his approach to the crafting of Sojourner’s lyrics. You’ll have a chance to listen to the music as well.)

 

I don’t remember precisely how I found Sojourner, but what I do remember is that the cover of the first album dragged me to them first. When I saw it, I thought it had to be some sort of atmospheric band and I had to check it out. Yes it was, and a very impressive one. The best atmospheric music (for me) is created by a combination of all the musical instruments and the vocals, layered in such a way as to create the effect, rather than elevating one layer “above” it all — such as something ambient thrown in for good measure — which feels disconnected from everything else.

That discovery of Sojourner was in 2016 when they released Empires of Ash, but now they have released a new album, The Shadowed Road, which again reveals a good production that has rendered a layering to my liking. This album has been carefully made, and particular care has been taken in preserving a contemplative mood throughout the album, while including a variety of rhythms and dynamic song structures. Continue reading »

Mar 242018
 


Withered 2018 – photo by David Parham

 

(In this week’s edition of Waxing Lyrical, Andy Synn elicits thoughts about lyrics from Withered guitarist/vocalist Mike Thompson.)

 

If you don’t know the name Withered by now, stop what you’re doing and go listen to their latest oppressive opus Grief Relic (which I hailed as one of the best albums of 2016) right now.

Then, if you want to delve further back into the band’s discography, go check out Memento Mori, Folie Circulaire, and Dualitas, which I have fortuitously collected together for you here.

Now, despite being busy prepping for the band’s upcoming tour with Canadian grindmeisters Wake (which, by this point, will actually have begun), I was lucky enough to grab some time with the band’s long-serving guitarist/vocalist Mike Thompson and bully him into answering some questions for the latest edition of Waxing Lyrical. Continue reading »

Mar 212018
 

 

(With a bow toward the Waxing Lyrical series begun by Andy Synn at our site, Karina Noctum posed questions to Morean of Alkaloid (and Dark Fortress) about his creation of lyrics for the ravishing new Alkaloid album, Liquid Anatomy, which will be released by Season of Mist on May 18th. The answers are fascinating.)

 

Alkaloid are going to release their latest album called Liquid Anatomy on the 18th of May, and I took this opportunity to ask about the lyrics. Musically, we know already it is going to be a remarkable album because the band counts among its members such metal luminaries as Hannes Grossmann, Christian Münzner (Obscura), Danny Tunker (Aborted, Prostitute Disfigurement, God Dethroned), and Morean (Dark Fortress, Alkaloid, Noneuclid).

Morean is not only a versatile vocalist, but also an excellent guitarist and a classical composer. His hymn to the city of Rotterdam was performed by the Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest not so long ago. If you are interested in classical music then I recommend you check his double guitar composition Schattenspiel.

We have Morean’s opening insights into his writing of lyrics and choice of themes, and that’s then followed by a more detailed dialogue. Continue reading »

Mar 172018
 

 

(Andy Synn continues our new regular Saturday series in which he discusses metal lyrics with bands whose music you should also get to know if you don’t already.)

 

Having recently dropped one of the most vital and visceral albums of 2018 so far, an album which I fully expect to make an appearance on numerous “Best of…” lists come the end of the year, Conjurer are currently riding a wave of popularity and critical acclaim which seems unlikely to die out any time soon.

So now seemed like the perfect time to grab hold of the band’s guitarist/vocalist Dan Nightingale and get him to spill the beans about his writing process, inspirations, and all that jazz. Continue reading »

Mar 162018
 


Photo by Mattias Nilsson/Madcap Piktures

(Not long ago Andy Synn launched a regular Saturday series at our site called Waxing Lyrical, devoted to discussions with metal musicians about the lyrics of their songs and the process of creating them. That inspired Norway-based NCS contributor Karina Noctum to pose similar questions to Swedish musician Johnny Pettersson, and you’ll find his answers below, following Karina’s introduction.)

 

Musician Jonny Pettersson from Sweden has been prominently featured here on NCS with many of his bands. He is pretty active and some of his most-known bands are Syn:drom and Wombbath. Other projects of his are Just Before Dawn, Ashcloud, Gods Forsaken, Henry Kane, and Ursinne, to name a few.

With such a vast discography this article will focus primarily on his Swedish DM band Wombbath, whose latest release was a split with Germany’s Obscure Infinity called Upward On A Thousand Lies (Wombbath’s side was premiered here), but with attention also given to Henry Kane, which soundwise is in the same vein but tending more toward grind, and last but not least to Gods Forsaken, a DM project with a mix of mid- and fast-paced parts. It is definitely recommended for fans of Bloodbath, Dismember, and old At the Gates. An interview about Gods Forsaken conducted by Decibel Magazine can be found here. Continue reading »