mercredi 25 août 2010

EXECRATION A feast for the wretched Review

EXECRATION (US) – A feast for the wretched
CD 2008 – Comatose Music
9 tracks - 30'35
Rated: 6/10
Colorado-based deathsters released their first record of brutal death metal following the typical rules of US brutal death metal, and I ain't surprised the band is now signed on Unique Leader Records. After a promising demo, repressed on CD on Comatose Music, EXECRATION twisted the knife almost one year after.
If you're into poets like GORGASM, LIVIDITY (more the recent records), LUST OF DECAY, INHERIT DISEASE, etc... you'll probably find a morbid excitement with "A feast...". EXECRATION is very brutal and can play really fast but they had the intelligence to vary their music a bit (listen to the excellent "penetration butchery"!) with slowdowns or unusual breaks, but don't worry, this is not progressive music!
The most significative thing for me is the guitar sound of EXECRATION which really helps the band to create a malignant vibe, especially during some riffs or harmonies. It reminds me the morbid sound of "Tomb of the mutilated". Unfortunately, the band didn't reach the same atmosphere on stage taking in account the videos I checked on You Tube: the band is as brutal as a common brutal death metal band is.

jeudi 29 juillet 2010

GRAVEYARD interview (July 29th 2010)

Here's a small interview with Javi of GRAVEYARD, I love their first record "One with the dead", a blend of finnish and swedish old school death metal with a pretty good songwriting. I send him the questions yesterday and get them back this morning...

-Morbid greetings Javi & 666 thanks for answering this fucking interview. You know it's quite a pain in the ass to get my inties back sometimes!! I don't know whether my questions suck or the guys are too lazy, ahaha. So first, let me know what's in your player while answering these questions?

Hey Jim, what’s up? Right now I’m listening to one of my favorite bands of all times: CORONER, and their “RIP” album, one of the best Thrash albums ever made. Then I will go for something older maybe… As usual, I always start with Thrash and Death and then move to Rock’n Roll and Hard Rock… What about some good old WITCHFYNDE? Mmm, sounds good to me!. I know what you’re talking about, I run my own zine Hellspawn Mag and I agree with you, lazy musicians suck, especially when they show interest for the interview and then disappear…

-Then here's a non-musical question but I'd like to ask it, are you proud of your country winning the World Cup, I think Spain totally deserved it as it's the best team for some years now! But maybe you don't care about it, ahahah?

I fucking love soccer. The same with Sbe, GRAVEYARD’s other guitar player. The other 2 guys in the band hate it… We won the World Cup because we have the best team so justice was made this time, hehehe. Sorry for France, it was hilarious, I couldn’t believe what was happening with the once loyal and winner French team... You know what? 8 players out of the 11 main soccer players in Spain were from F.C. Barcelona and that fucking rules.

-So now let's come back to our main interest, which is your band GRAVEYARD. I discovered the band with the EP tape version of "Into the mausoleum" where you play some old skull raw death metal, a kind of mixture of influences like INCANTATION, AUTOPSY, ABHORRENCE, FUNEBRE, etc... I guess the response has been more than positive as it has been released several times in different formats. Do you still have good feedback about this material? What's your opinion about it almost three years after its recording/releasing?

Well, I prefer to refer to “Into the Mausoleum” as a demo released on several formats, more than EP or MCD or any other “professional” format, I mean, it was recorded as a demo and released originally as a demo. It has demo sound, demo ideas, demo approach… Its pretty weird because everybody saw a lot of finnish influences on that demo and the truth is that we’re not that much into Finnish death metal. Of course we know and love some of those bands you mention like ABHORRENCE or FUNEBRE, but I would never consider them as our main influence. “Into the Mausoleum” sounds similar to those bands not because of the music, but the sound itself which is pretty bad (in underground terms “bad” is referred as “dark”, “creepy” or “atmospheric”, you know!). I mean, people consider it Finnish because of the sound, not the songs. For me, those songs are a mix of Finnish, Swedish, American, British, Dutch, German… Death Metal!. By the way, I would never change anything on that demo, I like it the way it is, with the pros and cons. It was released in MCD, tape and vinyl 10” format.

-If I was asking about your EP in the previous questions, it's because your first album comes with the same morbid death metal, but with a more powerful sound, a better songwriting where the swedish & finnish influences are put forward. "One with the dead" combines the massive sound of swedish bands like DISMEMBER or ENTOMBED with the haunting cold melodies of FUNEBRE or DEMIGOD for example. What is a conscious change? I mean the American influence has disappeared according to me?

For me, “One with the Dead” has the same songs that made “Into the Mausoleum”. Actually, most of the riffs and ideas came from the same period of time. The only difference comes from the sound which is ten times bigger and better on “One with the Dead”, of course. I don’t think American influences have disappeared, I can see some MORBID ANGEL, OBITUARY or AUTOPSY influences here and there, but you know, when you use that fat guitar sound, it seems like only Sweden existed within the Death Metal map, haha!. As I told you, we don’t write “Finnish” or “Swedish” or “American” riffs, we write Death Metal riffs that sometimes sound similar to DEMIGOD, sometimes to MORBID ANGEL, sometimes to MORGOTH, sometimes to ENTOMBED or sometimes to BOLT THROWER, that’s how it goes, Death Fucking Metal!. That’s what is all about…

-In the instrumental track "Abandoned churches" we can hear typical heavy metal harmonies reminding IRON MAIDEN, but with the GRAVEYARD touch! Still a fan of the band and their actual music? Are you eagerly waiting their new record "the final frontier"?

We always state that; we’re a bunch of Metalheads raised on Heavy Metal music above everything. So Heavy Metal is the beginning and the end. In the middle you can find some Thrash, Death or whatever, but its always Heavy Metal, don’t forget that. We’re living a weird and crazy times where Heavy Metal isn’t getting the recognition it deserves so a song like “Abandoned Churches” is kind of a tribute to that particular music, style and way of living. We respect punk and hardcore, but we come from Heavy Metal and we needed to make it clear to our listeners. “Abandoned Churches” is a prove of that. IRON MAIDEN are the biggest band playing those twin guitar melodies, but they weren’t the first one, remember SCORPIONS, RAINBOW or THIN LIZZY!. So we can say that the song wasn’t inspired directly by IRON MAIDEN but the whole hard rock / heavy metal movement from the 70’s and 80’s. To be honest, I lost my interest in IRON MAIDEN back in the mid 90’s, actually, I haven’t heard any of their last 6 or 7 albums, only a few songs and for me it will never be the same. Of course it is Heavy Metal and it’s still well done, and that’s why I respect it, but the songs themselves lost the catchiness from the 80’s and that’s a fact.

-Your material has been released on different formats. The tape format is released by french label Ars Funebris Record. I guess you're satisfied by their job, but how comes the cooperation with them? It's quite surprising as they mostly release black metal. Which format do you praise the most?

We only wanted to release our material on CD and vinyl if possible, but the guy from Ars Funebris offered us to release it on tape so we accepted. For me, the main formats are CD and vinyl so I don’t care that much about the tape. Of course it’s cool to see your music on tape again! But it is a minor format compared to CD and vinyl. “Into the Mausoleum” could have been better, you know, it was released on a Maxell tape with printed booklet, but “One with the Dead” looks quite better and more professional. It won’t sound too “underground” to your ears, but 90% of records in my collection are CD’s. I have something like 3 or 4 hundred vinyls and some other hundred tapes, but thousands of CD’s. To be brutally honest, I think it’s quite snob and freaky to see all those 18 years old dudes worshipping tapes or vinyls and hating CD’s, that’s a stupid trend. I’m sure they ALL listen to CD’s or mp3 when they’re alone at home, let’s face it!. I listened to tapes and vinyls when I was a teenager in the early / mid 90’s because CD’s were pretty expensive and I didn’t have a CD player, that’s the truth…

-On a gig matter, do you manage to play with GRAVEYARD as much as you want to? Do you easily find places to hit the stage with GRAVEYARD? What are your conditions for doing a gig in and even outside Spain?

We have done something like 30 shows with GRAVEYARD since early 2008 which is quite good if you have in mind that our singer/bass player Julkarn lives 400 km far away from us. That distance is a handicap so we can not rehearse with him as much as we wanted. Besides, he’s unemployed so everything is more difficult now. Anyway, we have played a lot of shows here in Spain with bands like DEAD CONGREGATION, MACHETAZO, AVULSED, TORMENTED, PROCLAMATION, NOMINON, LIE IN RUINS, HAIL OF BULLETS, ASPHYX, ARTILLERY, NECRODEATH… And some other shows outside Spain in countries like France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Sweden… with bands like KORGULL THE EXTERMINATOR, HORRID, NECROS CHRISTOS, KAAMOS, MORBOSIDAD, NIFELHEIM, NOMINON, TORMENTED… Conditions? We don’t usually ask for money, just 4 flight tickets, 4 beds (hotel, your home, a dirty garage… whatever!) and shitloads of cheap beer. Remember the last condition, that’s the most important one.

-Let's talk about the spanish scene, cause without being the most over-swarming metal scene, it owns maybe good bands in different styles: AVULSED, UNNATURAL, FERMENTO, CEREBRAL EFFUSION, GODÜS, SCENT OF DEATH, MACHETAZO, WORMED, and many others, but these bands have some years of existence. Which more recent bands (or maybe less known bands) would you suggest to someone interested by the Spanish scene?


-Again about your musical scene, do you consider Spain having a solid underground and supportive metalheads? Even if not the most known scene, you have dedicated bands and labels? What are the most awful trends happening actually? Do you have also to face these emo/deathcore bands or these bedroom black metal bands?

Well, its difficult to consider Spanish scene as a “scene”, you know, here 1 metalhead out of 500 does something, the rest are spending money on beers, cocaine or stupid Dani Filth homo clothes… We have some cool bands, labels, distros or promoters, of course, but remember that Spain is almost a 50 million people country, I mean, probably smaller countries like Portugal, Greece, Holland or Sweden have 10 times more people involved in the scene than here. Spain is the sun & party country, and it affects Metalheads that don’t want to pay for CD’s or shows because its better to “drink and sniff” that money. Fortunately, lately there’s more people involved in zines, labels, bands, distros… And that’s cool!. Trends here? Well, for me one of the most stupid trend here is “to be Underground”. Of course the emo/core trend is bigger, but I don’t care since I don’t see myself into the same “league” as those emo bands / assholes. That’s why the “Underground” trend worries me the most, you know, it’s happening in my “real metal” world!. I’m fucking sick and tired of some undergrounders, honestly, fucking fake, a fraud! You know, that stupid “competition” to make people realize who knows more obscure and Underground acts, even if those bands were FUCKING CRAP. I hate that kind of “if it’s from the 80’s and has raw sound, it’s cool” approach. Go and use your “demo from 1987 (downloaded on mp3 from the Internet, of course) from X megatruekvlt underground unknown act” as a dildo, jerks!. Honesty is really missed those days Jim, it seems it is all about forums, myspace and other platforms to show how “Underground” you are. And it sucks big time.
-We can clearly make a difference between some death metal "school". I mean it's easy to recognize the Swedish sound (ENTOMBED, DISMEMBER, UNLEASHED, etc...), a Dutch sound (PESTILENCE, ASPHYX, SINISTER, etc...) as well as the American sound (DEATH, MORBID ANGEL, OBITUARY, etc...). Would you say the Spanish sound does exist? For example AVULSED is quite a particular band with its own sound & vocals. Do you see any other bands with their own sound? On the other hand, some bands manage to mistake you like the German FLESHCRAWL who totally sound swedish-like...or the Swedish IMMERSED IN BLOOD who totally sounds American brutal death metal....after all it's just a matter of influences!

Unfortunately, in my opinion Spain never had a “Death Metal” trademark sound if you know what I mean. Spain was always the land of copycats, I mean, most of the Spanish Death Metal bands never tried to do something “different”. Besides, you have to know that none of the Spanish bands got a respectable success outside the country (Maybe AVULSED, HAEMORRHAGE and MACHETAZO but nobody else). If you check out Spanish Death Metal demos from 89 to 92 or so, you will always find copycats of CANNIBAL CORPSE, SUFFOCATION, CARCASS or UNLEASHED. I’m not complaining, I mean, GRAVEYARD isn’t an original band, but that’s the truth. Even in France you had some bands trying to do something original like AGRESSOR, LOUDBLAST, MISANTHROPE or SUPURATION. Nowadays, Spain is basically known for his Crust/Grind/Death bands like MACHETAZO, HAEMORRHAGE, NASHGUL or LOOKING FOR AN ANSWER which is pretty cool because finally we have something “typical Spanish”, hahaha! (In Spain, that “typical Spanish” sentence always makes reference to bad things…). I think AVULSED is OK and they have been playing for ages, so all my sincere respect for them, but I don’t see that band as an “original” band (Sorry Dave!), I mean, they play standard Death Metal with more brutal vocals, but nothing new on the Death Metal’s horizon!. ASPHYX created an style, BOLT THROWER created an style, DEATH created an style, SUFFOCATION created an style… That’s the difference. But you know, it is just my opinion, probably Mr. Dave Rotten won’t agree, I’m sure of that! J

-What comes to your mind when I mention my country France? Do you know any good bands/labels from there? Have you ever been to the Hellfest who happened every years in Clisson?

Good old bands like AGRESSOR, SHAKIN’ STREET, LOUDBLAST, TRUST, MASSACRA, ADX, MISANTHROPE… Good labels like Adipocere, Holy Records (Cult label for me), Osmose… I’m basically into the 90’s stuff made on your country, I don’t know what’s going on nowadays in terms of Underground bands or labels. I know BLOODY SIGN, Ars Funebris Records, ZOLDIER NOIZ, the guys from the Pyrenean Metal and my friend Morgan from Rock Hard France!!!. But that’s all… I never went to Hellfest, but I would love to!. Now, I’m addicted to Party San in Germany, best festival ever!.

-Javi, you and your mates play (or have played) in many bands like OF DARKNESS, THE BLEEDING SUN, LUX DIVINA, TERRORSPAWN, etc... It's really impressive how involved you are in metal music. What so many projects bring to you as a musician? What are your favourite musical styles and and your all-time favourite bands? I know that you're an ultimate MÖTÖRHEAD fan (or is it Julkarn?). Have you ever think of doing a cover band??

Over the years, we have played in several bands but most of them were just alcohol-related projects, not real bands. I’m also running my zine Hellspawn, I’m working now on issue #7. I run my own studio as well Moontower Studios which is my job actually, so I can say I live Metal 24 hours a day, haha. I consider my self pretty open minded, I mean, I enjoy music from Rock’n Roll and Hard Rock to the most extreme Black/Death stuff. I like a band as long as they are honest and deliver good music, I’m not that worried if they play the “right” kind of music for the Underground standards or not. My personal favorite style has always been Hard/Heavy Metal and Thrash music from the 80’s. But you can also find some crap on those genres, just look at the Under one Flag roster and you will find tons of third division thrash stuff there!. Both me and Julkarn worship MOTORHEAD all night and day long. But it isn’t a stupid blind following, I mean, I like THIN LIZZY, SODOM, SCORPIONS, UFO, early DEF LEPPARD, TANK, ANGEL WITCH, JAGUAR, VENOM a lot and also other bands related to MOTORHEAD’s style. Mmmm, it would be cool to do a cover band, but I’m sure we would be too drunk and wasted even before the show to play the right way, that’s what happens when you listen to MOTORHEAD before going on stage. For instance, we’re rehearsing “Deaf Forever” which should be featured on an upcoming 10”.

-What's your future plans with GRAVEYARD, you have a new track on myspace in the same vein as the album, maybe heavier, where did you record it? Are you still working on the next record? A split EP with WINTERWOLF is also planned? How did you get in touch with them?

There’s a lot of shit going on. Antichristian Front should have sent “One with the Dead” to the press plant so the vinyl edition will be available very soon. Psychedelic Lotus Order from China is working on an official GRAVEYARD Bootleg called “Death After Live”, scheduled for somewhere this 2010. We have some minor releases prepared like a 7” with Finnish masters WINTERWOLF (Julkarn contacted them or they contacted us, don’t remember!. They’re also in a Spanish label, Xtreem Music…). All the stuff is in the label’s hands (Doomentia Records) so expect it after summer. There’s also a 10” released by a new label managed by some legendary guys on the making, we will announce it very soon!. The new song “Deathcrowned” that you heard on our myspace belongs to that 10” and I think it is GRAVEYARD 100%, a little bit more “original” than our previous songs maybe. We record ALL our stuff (except “Into the Mausoleum”) on my studios Moontower Studios. I guess after summer we will start working on our new album which should be recorded around early 2011.

-The interview is over Javi, thank you for your time, keep on playing metal of death, you can end it with anything you want to add.
Keep it morbid, death metal eternal!

Hey Jim, thank you very much for the interview, hope to meet you someday with some beers and ugly, outdated and unfashioned Metal records around!, Cheers!


mardi 20 juillet 2010

DIKTAT demo 2008 review

DIKTAT (France) – II
Demo 2008 – Self released
7 tracks - 31'08
Rated: 7/10
DIKTAT is a french undeground band created in 1997, that people may know without listening to their music in fact. They released a demo tape in 2000, some brutal death metal reminding a mix of old CANNIBAL CORPSE (Butchered at birth), early DISGORGE (demos era) & early DEEDS OF FLESH. The whole sounded quite brutal and technical, however sometimes quite a nonsense in terms of strucures and the sound wasn't very good. Some obvious potential but also some improvement was expected.
Eight years later, here is this 2nd demo, and as I almost expected, DIKTAT becomes more technical and brutal. The sound of this 2nd demo is also better and the tracks gain in coherence. DIKTAT remains in the brutal death metal creed, got higher in the technical level and mastery. They also took the opportunity to record again two tracks from the previous demo and the lifting is impressive.
The new musicians and the years of work set an obvious progression, now DIKTAT are more in the stream of bands like ORIGIN, SEVERED SAVIOR, DEEDS OF FLESH, maybe not as brutal but surely less linear and with a great malignant touch in some harmonies. Hope we won't wait for ages until their next assault...

jeudi 15 juillet 2010

Zinophrenia Zine #6 review

ZINOPHRENIA Zine #6 (France)
November 2009
54 pages A4 – French written

Doing a zine, most people have influences and usually at the beginning you copy a bit what others do around. On the case of Zinophrenia, I must say that Yves the editor has a personal way of doing a zine. When you quickly look through the pages you feel like this has been done in a hurry without care. In fact Zinophrenia zine is made of a particular care: the set-up is ultra basic (done through Words software of something alike) with very few images. Then the lay-out, sine cover, logo and everything's is done handwritten. His draws are very amateurish plus he adds several sentences & jokes here and there. Firstly he can seems completely childish but then it gives a particular tone to the rag, something off style.
About the zine content, Yves deals with different musical styles and featured cool interviews with RESISTANCE or SOL (a doom/death metal band from Denmark, not the nazi crap from Australia) and inties with average (not to say mediocre) bands like EMBRYONIC CELLS, JEFF/EMMOS /etc... and SEARING SKULL. Yves asks interesting questions or at least tries to deepen them and usually the bands play the just have to be into their music I guess!
There are also a good bunch of reviews with demos, CD, tapes, vynils and zines covering many styles as well from death to black metal, maybe too much black metal stuff whose best fate is ending in the trash, but then again it's a matter of taste. Yves reviews a lot of underground releases and describes them straight to the essential.
The zine got a personal artcle dealing with love! Yeah I guess it's a pretty unusual theme in our hateful and intolerant underground. Yves dare to ask about love to Lord Azmoth, Jeff (EMMOS...), Mrikk (from FAZ), Kurgan & Luna from DUKE records (those freaks are definitely crazy!), Carl Warslaughter from BESTIAL MOCKERY, etc... some answers are really surprising.
To sum up, Zinophrenia Zine is a rather cool bunch of paper, not the kind of zine for everyone, but a personal one without great ambition: a FANzine!
The zine available for 2 euros.
Contact: Yves BLOUMENTZWEIG – 37 rue des Vosges 67540 OSTWALD – FRANCE

BATTALION Welcome to the warzone Review

BATTALION (Belgium) – Welcome to the warzone
CD 2008 – Shiver Records
10 tracks - 42'16
Rated: 4/10
Second album for these death metal soldiers I didn' t know before and whose musical battleground is war! The production is massive and clean, a bit like a brand new tank just getting out of the army plants. First it looks impressive and shiny but on a musical point of view that's not so lethal. The riffing is quite common even if held by the bonecrushing sound. They can remind a tasteless and basic version of MALEVOLENT CREATION mixed with some ABORTED in their deathcore period, so not the kind of stuff I'm fond of... BATTALION mixes deathcore with some thrash/death stuff, the whole produced with a clinical sound that doesn't prevent the record to be boring. I guess the band may be more entertaining in a live situation. BATTALION certainly got a killing capacity, but on the warfield, you're stained with blood, mud, shit and you're under a relentless fire... and I don't feel this fury while I'm listening to this record.

vendredi 9 juillet 2010

HERPES demo 2010 review

HERPES (France) – Doomsday
Demo 2010 – Nihilistic Holocaust
5 tracks - 22'41
Rated: 6/10

A new act from North-West France into the arts of old skull deaf metal! Would I say that the stream is growing bigger (a bit like in Sweden), after AFFLICTION GATE, NECROS, NECROWRETCH, HERPES seems to be the latest graveyard spawn into old school death metal. The influences are obvious, nothing new from that side, but is that decently played and before, do they have the vibe that makes you shake the head, dig the grave and feast upon the corpse?
Well, for a first demo that's a satisfying start, the sound is crude (especially the drums) but good when it comes to other instruments. HERPES combines influences from the old releases of bands like DEATH, NIHILIST/ENTOMBED, AUTOPSY plus recent bands like DEATH BREATH (probably the most obvious approach) or even TRIBULATION (for the horrific side).
The tunes are good but hardly demarcate with the influences, HERPES shall found the personal touch to avoid being a vulgar tasteless clone. They have a cool rocking touch, and unleash great solos and other lead-guitars in the AUTOPSY (deep) vein, a good point though, dig it deeper in that ways you freaks!!
Tape version available through Carbonized Cells Recs.

mercredi 30 juin 2010

PUTREVORE Morphed from deadbreath Review

PUTREVORE (Spain/Sweden) – Morphed from deadbreath
CD 2008 – Xtreem Music
8 tracks - 32'29
Rated: 7,5/10
Dave Rotten and Rogga Johansson who teamed up into a death metal band, that sounds juicely putrid to my ears. The result is some pretty decent low-tuned death metal, closer to the US old school death metal scene (old MORTICIAN, old INCANTATION and ROTTREVORE), and with Finnish death metal remnants (ABHORRENCE, DEMIGOD, ...). The whole is damned heavy as fuck, and sometimes you even have some deadly groove like on "the skies vomit sulphur", a kind of march of the dead, PUTREVORE manages to create some catchy tunes. Some tracks get slower, reminding doom/death metal, and kept an horrific mood strenghtened by the ultra low guttural vocals of Dave Rotten, this guy's amazing and doesn't use any effect!
"Morphed..." is the perfect soundtrack for any zombie movies, one can't only reproach the absence of guitar solos, maybe some variation in vocals like screams, but that's a pretty decent death metal release. This projects differs from what Rogga usually creates, I mean different from stuff like PAGANIZER, RIBSPREADER and their small swedish brothers.
If you're looking for horror-filled death metal to accompany your wandering nights in cemeteries, you have here the best tunes to rock your flesh eating comrades.