INFERNAL TENEBRA

INFERNAL TENEBRA was another totally new band to me but from what i heard I just knew that I had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl © 2012

You guys are totally unknown to me. Could we please have a short introduction of the band?
-Infernal Tenebra started back in 1999, constantly evolving and enduring the hard conditions of the Croatian underground metal scene with two self-released albums “Beneath the Twilight” (2001) and “The Essence of Chaos” (2007). We signed with Massacre Records in 2012 and our new album entitled “New Formed Revelations” release date is December 7th, 2012. The album was mixed and mastered at Fascination Street Studios by Jens Bogren (Kreator, Katatonia, Paradise Lost, Amon Amarth).

How hard is it to come up with a style of metal that hasn’t been heard before?
-Actually, metal is constantly evolving through incremental touches. It’s not necessarily a bad thing building up your own style on the strong foundations already established in extreme metal music. We always liked metal bands that had great compositions and versatile and rich vocals and you can definetly hear it in our music. The music also came naturally. We incorpored some intricate elements but wanted to keep it as clean and simple as possible.

When you plan for an album how hard is it to pick the songs that are the best and leave the rest to their own destiny?
-It’s not hard at all. We work very carefully on the songs nowadays. Infernal Tenebra has a colorful background and we learnt a lot from past mistakes. The song writing depends on the song. Some of them come out easily, others need more work, but we essentially write until we’re satisfied with the result. All band members contribute to the song writing process. “New Formed Revelations” was written with the lyrics and vocal lines in mind from the start, so every song is there for a reason. We also made a decision to put on the album eight tracks, as we didn’t want any filler to be in. We’ll continue that way.

What is the difference between having the backing of a label and doing it yourself?
-We’re blessed with having such a professional label like Massacre Records. Although people tend to think you can make it without a label supporting you, it’s only partially true. A professional label pushes you constantly to give the maximum, to evolve and be better. In our case, it works. When we were on our own, we were doomed to Croatian and regional scene and struggled in the underground for a decade. Now we have a chance to expose ourselves to a wider audience, have them hear and see what we are about, and improve upon ourselves as we surely have much more to offer.

What would you say have been the highlight of band so far? How has the journey been compared to how you imagined it to be?
-Well, there are several aspects of the “highlight” thing. Being signed to Massacre Records is like a dream come true to us. We also see it as a new begining. This summer we played Bloodstock Open Air in UK and we had a great time. Having the opportunity to share stage with so many great bands you’re actually a big fan of is a priviledge of its own. We believed in ourselves, passed many obstacles, as I can’t even decribe how hard it is to make anything for a band coming from Croatia.

Being a metalhead is often described as being a part of something greater. Do you feel that too? What has it given you guys?
-You know, reflecting on the previous question, let me share a few lines from our past. As Croatia was a very closed country (had a war in 90-ies, crisis etc.) seeing metal bands was almost impossible. One of the first bands to visit Croatia was Napalm Death and our drummer Sandi escaped the army to see them. Can you believe it, haha. That’s the spirit and commitment you would expect from a real metalhead. Although we’re not nearly as crazy as we used to be, we enjoy being a part of the scene every moment. The metal community has given us much back. We have a band now that got recognized in the metal community and we’re a part of the scene, as a band and as individual fans of the metal music. You feel it every day when you turn on your favourite music, got to a concert or enjoy a cool festival. I remember waiting for hours to get a CD from my favourite band signed. Now I share stage with that same band. Isn’t that awesome? And you know what, that’s the way it should be. As long as one supports the metal community, it will give back something.

When you play metal of the harder kind you are supposed to be harder than steel. How annoying is it that people has pre-conceived ideas what you’ll be like?
-I never liked the “contest-style” music. It’s not about BPMs, or being more than human. I think it’s exactly the opposite. It’s about being human, expressing what you feel, getting your thoughts out, your fears, your dreams. It not about pretending being something you’re not.

How pleasing is it that you have an album out now? What kind of feelings is involved with releasing an album?
-We’re glad the album is finally being released as we went to hell and back to make this happen the right way. Can’t wait to get out and play it for the fans. But it never stops. There are ideas and songs already being cooked for our next release.

What does the art work say about the title of the album?
-The artwork is an adapted version of our idea made possible by the brilliant Gustavo Sazes (Sepultura, Arch Enemy, Firewind…). It is about humanity left with itself to reflect upon its decisions, directions and paths taken. It’s about fallen leaders and regimes, about humans struggling to find its place in a society where there’s no place for them.

What would the ideal future bring to you?
-It would be great if we could get fired from our everyday jobs and do Infernal Tenebra music for the rest of our lives. Not much we’re asking for, right? Hahaha.

THE STOMPCRASH

I could see the THE STOMPCRASH having a crossover potential. Especially in this day and age where boundaries seem to be more lose than ever. For that reason alone I had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

How do you take literature into music? What is it that you focus on in the literature that you can transform into music?
Chris: I read a lot of books, I love every kind of books that give me emotions, no matter of the author, the historic period or genre but I have to say that books written in the late XIX century and in the first part of the XX, have something more for me, authors like Wilde, Poe and Lovecraft remain my favorite but also an author like Dick can excite me and bring me to write lyrics. The focus is more on the atmosphere than on the story, we always try to reproduce the images, the sounds, the scents that come from book’s pages.

How different is the first album to the second one? What kind of progress have you gone through?
Chris: I think the new album “Directions” has a more conscious sound, we changed our writing and we have moved on new unexplored, for us, territories.
Musically speaking Dani has the main parts of the songs, it?s more melodic and based on keyboards parts, I wrote the lyrics and sing almost all the songs.
A characteristic is that the sound vary from song to song, you can find different genres and different stylistic undertones
but overall you can always recognize The Stompcrash style.This new album is more emotional than the first, maybe because there are our personal changes inside in the four years passed from “Requiem Rosa”. It?s a romantic album, full of stories and atmospheres coming from literature, history and personal experiences.Another thing is about the recording quality, the first album was mainly recorded in our home studio and then mixed in a professional studio, this new album was totally recorded and mixed in a professional studio so the sound is more clear and more adapt to be played in a club.

Do you feel that you have a crossover potential to get a following both in the metal scene as well as the dark wave/electro scene?
Chris: We don’t have the typical metal sound, we don’t have muscle guitars and a thunderous drums so I don’t know if we can be potentially liked by a metal fan. We are more oriented to an eighties sound, we are still inspired by bands of that period from The Cure and Bauhaus to Depeche Mode and Simple Minds but we are also listener of many metal bands. I think there are many points of contacts between darkwave/gothic and metal so probably we have many fans that love both genre.

Do you feel that you fit in in different genres of music? Where do you fit in in the global music scene?
Chris: As you can hear on our new album “Directions” you can find that every song have a different approach and could be part of another genre. We like to try to not repeat ourselves, we always try to explore new sounds and we don’t want to be labelled only as a darkwave band. We have a very heterogeneous fans and we like that.

We’ve heard of Italo disco. We know of Italian progressive metal. What kind of darkwave/electro is there in Italy?
Chris: There are many darkwave and gothic bands in Italy, the movement is alive and kicking and there are many dark and gothic events every week.
In Italy the dark bands are more oriented on postpunk and ebm mainly but I think we are far away compared to Germany and Uk.

What kind of following do you have in Italy? Where have you had the greatest response so far?
Chris: We experienced that our kind of music is better received abroad instead in Italy, it’s not simple to do a good gig in Italy. Consideration and support for the band is frequently better outside Italy, it’s a fact. The majority of our fans are based in the north and east of Europe so our wish is to play there in the next months.

What was the intention of forming the band in the first place?
Chris: The band born by a casuality, a chance encounter, just following the love for a kind of music and for great band like The Cure and Depeche Mode and we decided to give real expression to our creativity through the music.
In these 10 years we made 2 albums, some compilations around Europe and many many live gigs, I think we are grown but we have more to do ad to say.

When you write songs do you go through some sort of process? How hard is it to come up with new stuff that is better than the old one?
Chris: Dani and I usually write songs together, in this album I was more focused in writing lyrics and Dani concentrated herself in creating melodies, after that we dedicate other time to complete the construction of whole song and then Diego and Grace put their personal touch.This new records contains songs written in four year and chosen between 20 songs. For this record we have have recorded all the 20 songs in our home studio producing a demo records from what we have selected 12 song that we have re-recorded in the studio. Sometimes it’s not hard to come up with a song but some songs could be very difficult to complete and take some time before to come up in their final version. We never know if the new stuff is better than the old one we discover that only playing the new songs live.

Is there a dress code to the band The Stompcrash? How important is image to the band?
Chris: The image is very important for every band, we are still working on it and trying every time to find something that are comfortable with what we play and with what we are in that specific moment. There just one dress code: black!

What future do you see for The Stompcrash?
Chris: In these 4 years from the last record “Requiem Rosa” we have written a lot and now we have many new songs. Soon will be a new professional videoclip and maybe a new EP or album. Next spring we will play at two international festivals one in Munich one in Austria. I wish there will be the chance to play live for every people wants to ear us. Step by step the band is grown, until now was a walk I hope the band will start to run! We will not wait four years anymore for our third album!

ACRIMONIOUS “Sunyata”

ACRIMONIOUS
“Sunyata”
(Agonia)
Let’s hope that this album don’t leave me bitter and resentful. I have no idea what to expect from Acrimonious despite the fact that the band name seems awfully familiar. But then again perhaps it’s more the word than the name that lights tiny sparks in my head. At least it started the way I imagined that it would. This is promising to be some very hazy music. I get a strong Jimi Hendrix/early 70s British vibes just from looking at the cover. Mix that with a sound that is more death/thrash metal of yesterday and you get a pretty strange idea of what this is all about. If you like your metal a bit on the adventurous side then Acrimonious might not be for you. This is pretty much very old school in sound. I like it. Anders Ekdahl

ASHES YOU LEAVE “The Cure For Happiness”

ASHES YOU LEAVE
“The Cure For Happiness”
(Rock’N’Growl)
Here we have another of those bands that I’ve known of for ages but haven’t bothered checking out. And it’s not because they are Croatian. I have no prejudice against Croatian bands. I just haven’t gotten round to checking them out. With this being their 6th album you could hope that the time is now for the band. They seem to have struggled enough by now. I love My Dying Bride and have done so since that very first demo I got by them. Subsequently I’ve fallen in love with all bands that have followed in the footsteps of them since that day. Ashes You Leave have that same melancholic touch that make this kind of metal so bloody great. Not having any prior history with this band is not a disadvantage. This is another great melancholic metal album. Anders Ekdahl

DAVID CARON “Thru Never Ending Black”

DAVID J CARON
“Thru Never Ending Black”
(GMG)
I don’t know how bright it is to release a double CD with close to 30 tracks but red has to be given where it is deserved. You can’t complain that you haven’t gotten enough songs to enjoy with this album. That I have no prior knowledge of David Caron just makes this so much more worthy of my attention. Now I really get to make his acquaintance. And the first thing that hits me is how British this sounds. It made me think of old bands like Rio or Shy. Bands that have both the melodic and the bluesy side. It also brought about memories of a time that was simpler. This is like being back in a time when movies like Back to The Future was the latest craze. A time when the future looked bright and not like now a dystopia. This turned out a jolly good album. Anders Ekdahl

CROSSPLANE “High Speed Operation”

CROSSPLANE
“High Speed Operation”
(7Hard)
I keep returning to where I started off once upon a time whether I like it or not. Even though extreme metal got me totally hooked in the 80s I can’t seem to shake off that very first meeting with hardrock/heavy metal. Not that I want to. If it wasn’t for that I would not be where I am today. And the fact that I like discovering new good music. As long as it is good I pretty much don’t care what genre it is. What I like about this album is the bluesy edge that the music has. It might bring back memories of the 80s but since I don’t live on nostalgia this is just as good today. The thing I like the most about this album is that it isn’t too polished. There is a dirty edge to it that makes it sound more genuine. This is like if Accept continued with that guy that did “Eat The Rich”, David Reece. Good stuff indeed.

DIRTY AGE “Plug In”

DIRTY AGE
“Plug In”
(7Hard)
Dirty Age sounds like it could be some sort of reallygreat music. I’m not one for slagging off a band for wearing make-up if they do it well. Or for being a down’n’dirty AC/DC like band. On the contrary. I can find the fun in dressing up for the act. Dirty Age conjures up images of a band that tries to be somewhere between AC/DC and Krokus with an added touch of sleaze. Don’t know how true that is but that’s what my mind tells me. And it did start as expected. There was that Krokus/AC/DC feel to it that I wanted so bad. This is like the stadium rock that ruled the 80s. This has that bigger than life kind of feel to it. The “forget today and live in the future” kind of mentality that seem to go with the 80s sleaze rock. So if you miss bands like Warrant and Cinderella you might get your daily fix from this or if you like bands like Crazy Lixx and what else the Swedish glam/sleaze bands of today are called then this is for you. Anders Ekdahl

ENDEZZMA “Erotik Nekrosis”

ENDEZZMA
“Erotik Nekrosis”
(Agonia)
This is a total blank for me. I sometime pride myself for being down with the underground but I have to admit defeat on this one. There are way too many bands out there to have any sort of clue about them all. Sometime you come up empty like I did with Endezzma. Even if I’ve come upon the name previously it hasn’t sunk in or stuck by me. This is black metal. That much I’m sure of. But what kind of black metal is it? I’d say that this is like a cross between all the Nordic variants. I get an Impaled Nazarene vibe, some Dark Funeral feeling and even some Darkthrone simplicity. Or perhaps this could be described as a cross between Motorhead and early Bathory. All I know is that it all sounds so familiar in its old school simplicity. This is basic without becoming Hellhammer basic. There is a cool deathrash feel to this album. That time doesn’t matter, just great music does. A surprise that I’ll take with me for a long time. Anders Ekdahl

ERATIC ESCAPE “S/T”

ERRATIC ESCAPE
“S/T”
(Iron On Iron)
I’m a huge heavy metal fan. Have been so since the early 80s. Can’t seem to get enough of the stuff. So when I stumbled upon Greek label Iron On Iron it was like heaven had opened up for me. The bands I discovered the first time around were all so great that I had to interview them all. I have the same kind of hope this time around. There’s a thrash metal aggression to this that I like. This is heavy metal on the more edgier side of things. This is borderline metal. It makes me think of Anthrax, Megadeth and the more melodic side of thrash yet this isn’t per se thrash. I haven’t heard an album like this in a very long time. It is a nice break from all the other stuff I hear. I like it. Anders Ekdahl

FRAGMENTS OF UNBECOMING “The Art Of Coming Apart”

FRAGMENTS OF UNBECOMING
“The Art Of Coming Apart”
(Cyclone Empire)
I reviewed an album by Fragments of Unbecoming once upon a time. I liked their Gothenburgian metal back then. But that was ages ago. What the band has been up to since then I have no idea about. They could have gone either way since then to now sounding like Mr Bungle’s most inbred cousin or something. But to my joy they are pretty much the same band that they were back when I reviewed them the first time. This is pretty much along the lines of all the bands that followed in the wake of At The Gates. This is melodeath supreme if you like. I’m a huge sucker for that whole Gothenburg sound and devour everything that has the slightest connection like there was no tomorrow. I have no idea why I stopped following this band but having heard this new album I will look up all the previous records. This is my style of metal. Anders Ekdahl