NEURONIA “Insanity Relapse”

NEURONIA
“Insanity Relapse”
(Metal Scrap Records)
I liked Neuronia’s last album. Now they are back with a digital only release. I will not hold my aversion against digital releases against the band. I will judge this purely on the basis of the music. I get at punk feel to Neuronia’s metal that makes me think of the way Volbeat bring Elvis into their hardrock/metal. I like it. It adds to the feeling of this being more than just another metal record. It makes me sit up and take notice. But there is also an annoying side to this. I can’t for the life of me recall what band it is that Neuronia reminds me of. I have it on the tip of my tongue but I can’t get it out. Oh well, while I figure it out I’ll continue to enjoy this record to its fullest. Anders Ekdahl

NORDHEIM “Lost In The North”

NORDHEIM
“Lost In The North”
(Maple Metal Records)
Folk metal has literally exploded in the last couple of years. Nordheim can best be described as folk metal. I don’t know why but I get a Korpiklani feel to the band. That it is more party than battle over them. More mead flowing than bloodshed. This is the kind of metal that I can stomp my feet to and feel jolly in a none comical way. This is metal that is full of life and that feel invigorating. That it is basically black metal with elements that can be labeled folk is of minor interest. This is metal for those of you who like Immortal, Arkona and any band that is closely similar to those two. This is metal that puts a smile on your face. And that can’t be a bad thing, can it? I’m glad this came my way. Anders Ekdahl

PAGAN FLAME “Symbols of Life And Light”

PAGAN FLAME
“Symbols Of Life And Light”
(Wolftyr)
I had a hard time reading this Canadian band’s logo. I even had to ask the band what it said to be able to decipher it. Now that I know the band’s name I can leave that and concentrate on the music. To be honest I have no idea what folk metal is. But somehow I suspect that is what this band is all about. And to be quite frank I don’t give a rat’s ass what they call their metal as long as it is good. And good this is. I’m not up to speed on all the Finnish folk metal acts but I guess that this would end up somewhere between early Finntroll and Ensiferum. Maybe with a little Turisa thrown in for good measure. The basis is raw extreme metal that has been sparkled with elements of folk-ish arrangements. I don’t know. What I do know is that I enjoyed it. Anders Ekdahl

PLACED CALLED RAGE “S/T”

PLACE CALLED RAGE
“S/T”
(Escape Music)
Back in 1995 I wouldn’t have given this album five minutes of my time. Simply because I didn’t know of it back then. I have no idea what the Long Island, NY sound is or what is sounds like but I get a strong beach feeling listening to this. It does kinda remind me of a harder Bon Jovi or a Sass Jordan with a harsher voice. I can see this working in a smoky bar way back in the room. There is that feeling to it. I like the fact that they are using a piano. It adds to the sound in a way. This was a blast from the past in a way that I had not anticipated. This is the kind of music I can drive to. Put it in the CD-player and just let it rip as you fly down the country roads going nowhere. Anders Ekdahl

SOULICIT “Parking Lot Rockstar”

SOULICIT
“Parking Lot Rockstar”
(Thermal Entertainment)
Whenever I see the word soul in connection with a hardrock album I get a chill down my back. I remember how bad funk metal was in its worst moments. Soul metal does not sound like a too enticing idea. But I had not worried. The soul here lies in the performance more so than in the sound. This is American hardrock the way that they do so well. Big melodies, guitars that roar and a voice that is a force of nature. I have no idea what Wichita, Kansas is like but I guess it is no wonderland. Which would explain why Soulicit sounds the way they do. What else is there to do than to play hardrock? And they way they play. This is so full of life that it’d wake even the worst coma patient from his/her sleep. Anders Ekdahl

AUROCH

Some let the music do all the talking while others don’t seem to know when to stop talking. AUROCH are of the first. Interview questions answered by – Seb Montesi – vocals / guitar. Anders Ekdahl c2012

You guys have a new album coming. What can we expect from this album?
-I wouldn’t ‘expect’ anything, if I were you. I hope we’ve created something unexpected and surprising.

How do you avoid repeating yourself when you record a new album?
Well, seeing as how this is our first record, and is drastically different than our demos, its not really a risk.

When you decide on a name for the album what is it that you look for?
-You need something that punches out and is catchy and memorable, but reflective on the values and mantras found within the work…

Something I often wonder about is how important the track order is. Do you think much about how you place the songs?
-Great question. This was actually an area of massive debate as we are all very stubborn people. We would argue back and forth, without resolution, on the proper oder for weeks, but we eventually came to see that there was a much more natural order sitting right in front of us that we could not really deny.

When you record a new album do you have a check list of things that you want to make better from the last time?
-Not in tems of song writing, no.

Where do you want to take the band with this new album? What would be considered a success and a failure?
-Many bigger plans have already been set in to motion fom what little publicity we’ve already received pre-release. This is already a huge success. Failure is not ever something that crosses our minds.

When you have a couple of albums behind you do you notice that more doors open up for you? That you are not considered new and wet behind the ears? Do you get more respect?
-I will make sure to let you know as soon as we have a couple of albums behind us, haha.

You guys seem to play/tour North America/Canada often. Do you see an increase in interest in places you re-visit?
-Definitely the goal right now is to leave Canada and play outside these walls, but yes, it is always pleasing to see more infected each time one revisits a locale!

How do you avoid boring the fans by constantly playing the same places? How do you take it one step further?
-A good question. So many terrible bands here in Vancouver seem content with playing the same pub every other week for the same 30 people. This is definitely something we avoid. One must be prolific enough, but retain an element of exclusivity.

What would you like to see happen to Auroch in the future?
-On a smaller time-span: I want this album to reach the intended ears. In the grand scheme of things: fucking world domination.

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/aurochmetal

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/aurochband

DEMISE OF GIDEON

DEMISE OF GIDEON are another band that came to me courtesy of the net. I immediately knew that I had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

What made you go for the Demise oF Gideon moniker as a name for the project?
I wanted to incorporate the visage of Gideon, as a symbol of power, society and religion. In this modern world we are so close on a daily basis to losing not only ourselves but also our society and civilization. So DoG is a symbol of humanities inevitable decline as the world, technology, pace of life over takes us.

When you only have the studio as a playing ground does that give you a greater freedom to create?
I think in many ways, yes. You tend to let things that would inhibit your from performing a piece live through and be a part of the structure of your project. Extra layers, be it guitars, synths, symphonic, or vocals. So in the sense of not being able to put on a stage without a lot of musicians, or sequencing.

What is it that you want to achieve when you start a project that you can?t get out of your ordinary band?
well I haven’t been in an ordinary band that does original in a long long time. all of my original music has been done in a project setting since the 2001. My normal way of doing things is now project based, and the live band is the extra odd part of my life. Besides DoG; I have Fateless Tears, Viggenblot & my solo work, all of which are within a studio project setting.

When you try to combine different styles of metal what is it that you pick from each style?
well when I wrote the music for the album I wanted to mix the story and thematic writing elements of Prog with the power and aggression of modern metal. So added Growls, Screams, & melodic textures of Death Metal, Metalcore. Then all of that blended with a heavy metal base.

Is there one specific international metal scene that is of greater importance to you?
we both look towards the Gothenburg Melodic Death Metal scene. Also, we are both into the Power/Prog bands that came out of that region of Sweden.

What kind of metal climate is there in New Mexico? Is there any style that is more popular than any other?
it is fairly diverse but contained to Extreme Metal, a lot of Grindcore and Hardcore bands. In this area you have a lot of Grindcore, with Djent, and Dubstep folks popping up.

Has modern technology made it easier to be DIY? Do you need a label to release a record?
definitely, without a doubt. there are many avenues the independent artist can take to have their music heard and to greater or less success get paid for it.

Does releasing stuff digitally bring with a greater freedom to do whatever you like?
yes and no, you still have to think about making music people want to hear, or else you are just creating noise, which if that is what you want to do, of course that might be someones idea of freedom.

Is there ever a risk of the digital revolution killing the music scene when people expect to get everything for free?
I believe that has already begun, with the abundance of music being released it was invertible. Peoples ability to create is so vast now, the separation between what is a hobby/amateur and professional is getting narrower, thus the line between free and market economy narrows.

What future do you plan for DOG?
right now we haven’t really discussed where DoG is headed, Chris is working hard on his new Amadeus record, which I am producing with him. In addition, I am working on a new solo instrumental project and a new vocal project, I have also been working with The Minstrel’s Ghost which is a Prog Rock project based out of Tuscon. At some point we will take a look at another DoG release. However, currently nothing is set in stone. I would like to say thanks to Battlehelm for giving us this opportunity, Hails n’ Horns to all the metal brethren out there.

ELIMI

ELIMI were off to a great start but then everything seemed to fall apart. Now they are back for a second try. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Your “Asylum” album was originally released by a small Italian label that now seem to have disappeared up their own ass. How frustrating is it that all your hard work has gone up in thin air?
-Of course it is very frustrating. And they didn’t do a good job getting the album out to distributors and mailorders before they disappeared either. So we were very disappointed though we thought it was a good label.

What was behind the reason to release it again on a different label, beside the obvious reason?
-It doesn’t feel like it’s been released before, not for real. So we wanted to re-release it on a better label, a serious label. I’ve been in contact with Unexploded before about Elimi and they have shown interest so they were our first choice. This time the album will reach out to a bigger territory.

Elimi often gets compared to this whole “shoegazing black metal” scene that has been invented. Where do you see yourself fit in?
-Elimi is not about fitting in. We have no limits on the music. Sure, we’re mainly a black metal band but it’s more genres in our music than that. It will be shown more of that in our future material.

Elimi is a hard name to decipher. What is behind it?
-We found the name in a text we read about a catholic priest who signed a contract for a pact with the Devil. The contract was signed by the demons: Lucifer, Beelzebub, Satan, Astaroth, Leviathan and Elimi.

Does being a Swedish black metal band give you any advantages? Are you being treated with more respect?
-I haven’t really thought about it, nor have I experienced it or have something to compare with. But we are treated with respect.

How much time and effort do you spend on writing music and lyrics? Is it an easy process?
-I spend a lot of time writing music in those periods I’m in the writing mood. Many riffs are being thrown in the garbage because I want to be really satisfied. And then it’s not just the writing for me, it’s the whole process of making bass lines, the drum beats and putting everything together.
Tobias is writing most of the lyrics and I know, when he writes, he also has thrown away many lyrics because he isn’t satisfied enough. It’s always been as if the lyrics are made for my music and the other way around, it always fits perfect. I don’t know if it’s an easy process, but I don’t think it’s hard.

When you are a part of a scene does it ever become frustrating that people think you are something else than you actually are? That you are being judged on the scene more so than on the music?
-I haven’t noticed any of these things.

What was it in the first place that made you want to play black metal? What is there to this style that is so great?
-We wanted to play dark and extreme music because it fits what we want to express. Black metal as genre is not always great but if it is used in the right way it is the perfect tool to express your inner darkness.

When will we see anything new from the band?
-In 2013 or 2014. We are working on the material for our third album now and I have music for five songs.

What can we expect from the band in the near future?
-We are currently putting together a new line-up and if it works out we hope to get out and play some live shows soon.
http://www.elimi.se
http://www.facebook.com/elimi.sweden

MY OWN CHAOS

As soon as I heard of MY OWN CHAOS I knew that I had to interview them. My questions were answered by vocalist Connie Chaos. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

It seems to me that there is a band under all un-turned stones in Canada. What is the story of the band?
-My Own Chaos formed out of the ashes of a band called Splatter, which was a Ole’sg band (Guitar). Needless to say that band fell apart but Oleg and I decided to keep things going as we worked well together and there was a chemistry in the song writing between us. We forged ahead and created My Own Chaos. And yes we are Chaos.

How would you like to define your sound to somebody like me that is totally new to the band?
-We draw from many influences. I am influenced by Devin Townsend, Strapping Young Lad, Faith No More, etc. Oleg is pretty influenced by Ministry, Prodigy, Enigma and Judas Priest. Steve is influenced by more Punk/Grunge styles like Nirvana, and other styles like Primus, and Cypress Hill and Stony is influenced by bands like Overkill. So we are all over the music map. We simply mix it up and call it chaos. It’s a new genre

When you are an underground band how do you make yourself heard? What sharp elbows do you use to get your name on everybody’s tongue?
-We tour as much as we possibly can and get ourselves in front of as many people as we possibly can. All of us have flexible day jobs so we can tour at a moment’s notice. We also try to keep the media informed of what we are doing through our publicist. We send out our music to various metal stations around the globe and keep on top of social media sites (facebook, etc) This is the era of advanced communication. In a lot of ways, with the advent of social media, it’s easier to get the message out.

I sometime wonder how you go about recording an album. What is the hardest part in that process?
-The repetitiveness is the hardest part that’s for sure. We record our rehearsals and listen back to them to help prepare us for the studio so that we are in and as efficient as possible. In the studio time is money so making sure you are able to nail down your parts is very important. Rehearse rehearse rehearse.

When you are in the studio how much do you compromise? How much do you listen to the producer and how much do you run your own race?
-It’s definitely a learning process. When you are a fresh band in the studio with a producer it’s hard to know which way is right sometimes. To be honest we feel that we listened to the producer too much on the last recording in some places. We are definitely happy with the album and how it turned out but looking back I wish we would have stuck to our guns in a few places. Sometimes you have to follow your instincts. It’s your art and deep down you know what is right. I think it’s a matter of finding the right producer who you are able to have that balance with. Now that we have that experience and knowledge under our belt, we will use it in the future.

What is it like to be a touring band in Canada? Most of the country is just wilderness.
-There is certainly a lot of driving between destinations. As well coming from British Columbia we have the mountains to contend with so travelling in the winter is a lot more difficult due to the weather conditions. Canada is great though and people all over the country are pretty friendly and hospitable. There is always an adventure and I have met the most amazing people on the road.

What does it mean to have people taking care of the boring parts of being a band; the promotion of the band?
-It’s part of what you have to do in order to get to where you need to go. Its great being in a band where everyone pitches in on the promotional part and is willing to do what it takes to help. This is something that sets My Own Chaos apart from a lot of other bands. Usually in most bands its one band member that takes care of that. In our band all of us do it and it makes a huge difference. You certainly can cover more ground. As well having help outside of the band assists us a great deal as well.

I can sometime feel that the social media has been given a too big importance. How do you use these kinds of tools the best way?
-I am constantly hooked in and connected to social media. Its about being able to deliver information and get what people need from you in a timely manner. Time is a precious resource these days so it gives us a chance to get our music out quickly and efficiently. We definitely use social media to our advantage.

How much has the digital download hurt the metal scene? How do you make the most of the change in people’s way to consume metal?
-Sales are down, but exposure is up. As more people hear about you, they are coming to your live shows to check you out. They buy a CD and a T shirt when they see your live show. So in the end it works itself out really.

What would you like to happen to the band in the future?
-We would like to play Wacken-the festival in Europe. We would also like to do some touring overseas. It will happen soon…we are working on it!!

MYHRDING

MYRHDING is another Swedish metal band of which there seem to be a never ending stream of. Check them out after you’ve read this interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I get a feeling that your band name has something to do with ancient Swedish. What made you want this word as your band name?
-Yes, the name Myhrding/Myrding is another form of the word “Myling” wich means Murdered. A myling was in the Swedish folklore an unwanted and un-baptised child who was sat out to die in the forest. When the child had died it would come back for revenge and haunt the family until it would have a name and find some sort of revenge.

You’ve just released your new record. What do you expect it to do for you?
-Yes that’s correct. The album “A legacy of shadows” was recorded in 2010, but has been delayed for various reasons. We don’t have any specific expectations really… We made the album for ourselves. But if some people will buy the album and like the music it’s just a bonus.

When you release a record on a small label how much work do you have to do yourself to help promote it?
-We don’t have anything to compare with. Since this is the first label we’re working with.
But we do what we can. Today is internet a very good tool to spread the music. Some live performance would be the best, but we have not been able to perform yet. But this is one thing we are working on right now.

How hard is it to get a sound that is perfect for your music? How do you find the right kind of people to work with?
-Well, when we write the music its not so hard for us, because we do the kind of music we like and we don’t feel that we have to sound in a special way. When it comes to work as a band we didn’t have much of a choice, because there are very few in this area that listen and play this kind of music. When it comes to the studio and recording people I just had one person in mind and that was Rickard (owner of Art Decay Studio). A very good person to work with who comes with great idéas and gives a helping hand when it’s needed.

When you play black metal I get a feeling that there is a greater degree of ideology behind it. What kind of ideas do you build your music on?
-The music itself is what I wrote before: Based on what we like and find it in a motion that fits our personalities and feelings. Then the lyrics (which I and Kristoffer write) are mostly about the dark side of life, Death, agony, dreaming away from life and a sick world, Nordic history. But also our repulsion to Christianity. We also use some Nordic and mythological elements sometimes.

When does black metal stop being black metal? What is it that makes it black metal?
-We don’t really see ourselves as a pure black metal-band, more as a black metal-inspired band. But to answer the question, I would say that black metal is the Devils music and a work for his glory. Its an endless war against the weak light of God and total devotion to the death and darkness.

How hard is it to make a name for yourself in a scene that seem to be divided between the ?true? and the rest?
-No idea. And that’s not really important for us.

How much do you pay attention to being on the right side of ?true?? What is true in black metal?
-Nothing we think about, we walk the way we feel without follow any kind of “metal rules” or something like that,

What kind of live scene is there for black metal in your area? Where do you receive the best response?
-None at all. We live near the city Jönköping, which is called “The Jerusalem of Småland”. It’s a disgusting city with terribly many churches and Christianity… A thing that just gives us more fuel to the hate and more inspiration to do music.

What future is there for Myhrding?
-We are constantly in writing-mode and we have once again an album in the luggage.
Then we have plans to try to do some performance…. then we have to see what the future brings.