Sep 012014


From the Vastland began life as the one-man project of an Iranian multi-instrumentalist known as Sina, following the end of his involvement in the prolific Iranian black metal band Sorg Innkallelse. From the Vastland’s debut album, Darkness vs Light, The Perpetual Battle, was released in 2011. That was followed by Kamarikan in 2013 (which we reviewed here), and then by a striking live performance that same year at Oslo’s Inferno Festival (reviewed here), where Sina was joined onstage by a such luminaries as Thor Anders “Destruchtor” Myhren (Myrkskog, Zyklon, Morbid Angel) on second guitar, André “Tjalve” Kvebek (Pantheon I, Den Saakaldte, Horizon Ablaze) on bass, and Vegard “Vyl” Larsen (Keep Of Kalessin) on drums.

From the Vastland has now recorded a third album that we’ve been eagerly awaiting. Its title is Temple of Daevas and it’s scheduled for release by Non Serviam Records on October 6, 2014. For the new album Sina again composed all the songs, performed lead vocals, and laid down the guitar tracks. He was joined in the recording by Vyl on drums, Tjalve on bass, and by Terje Olsen (Chton, Khonsu) as a guest vocalist for backing vocals.

Today we have the pleasure of premiering a stream of one of the new album tracks: “Wrath of Aeshma”. Continue reading »

Jul 312013

(In this post Andy Synn reviews the second album, released earlier this year, by Iranian one-man project From the Vastland.)

When it comes to writing about albums from further afield – in particular those somewhat removed from the terrifying hegemony of Western imperialism (cue scary music) – there’s an occasional tendency for reviews to offer up the sort of opinions that are ultimately damning with faint praise, in the guise of being positive and supportive.

All too often I’ve seen reviewers focus on the “hardships” or “difficulties” of being a metal band from a country where the political or religious climate is far from conducive to it, to the extent that the actual quality of the musical output is considered only as a secondary factor.

Now I’m not saying that Metal should be a genre confined solely to the privileged few of the First World, but what I am saying is that excusing an album’s lack of quality because of its creators’ circumstances is akin to saying “that was good, for a girl” – condescending and ultimately unhelpful. You shouldn’t write a review if you have to lower your standards to give it a positive appraisal. It does everyone involved a disservice.

Thankfully, there’s no such issue with Kamarikan, which is a nasty little phenomenon in its own right. I just felt it was something to bear in mind for the future. Continue reading »

Apr 022013

(NCS writer Andy Synn has returned from Oslo’s Inferno Festival and brings us a multi-part report of what he saw and heard, beginning with this post. More will follow in the days to come.)

So here’s how Inferno Festival works… though the event itself is a three-day affair situated at Rockefeller/John Dee, there’s an opening day on the Wednesday featuring an array of bands performing at a series of different venues around the city.

For the first time this year I was officially accredited as “Press” for the event, meaning I was invited to the Opening Party at the Rockefeller lounge, which kicked things off just before the various bars and clubs started the evening’s festivities. I have to say that I definitely appreciated the free beer (a rather bitter, but ultimately rather nice, Norwegian brown ale called Nøgne Ø) and free food on offer, as well as the opportunity to mingle with other attendees (hello to Liz and Lewis, if you’re reading this) and stalk various band members.

The party itself also had a couple of presentations explaining and extolling the history of Inferno and its connections with the Oslo metal scene and with the Indian metal scene with which it has steadily been building a relationship. Continue reading »