FUNERAL

FUNERAL pretty much defines what funeral doom is all about. This Norwegian band has been through more sorrow than pretty much all other bands have yet they still carry on. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

How hard was it to come up with the band name in the first place? How does the name match where the band is today?
– Back when we picked that name, we wanted a name to reflect our music, and my thoughts regarding this was giving the listener an atmosphere attending a real funeral, which is both sad and beautiful at the same time. Something which has always been a goal with my music.Some say we are saluting depressions and sadness, I say we praise melancholia and the beauty in this.This is still my vision of both the name and our music to this day..

When you go through difficulties both in your personal life as well as in the life of the band, how hard is it to get through them, to see a better scenario at the end of the tunnel?
– It always depends on the matter, really..I am quite a positive person(believe it or not), and I always try to think that there are better days ahead,even though it does not seem so in the moment..So I will say one will find a light in the tunnel, alright..Almost all bad things go away with time, one just have to stand up, not giving in and look for brighter days. I have over the years received feedback from fans telling me they find some kind of comfort in our music, that makes me really humble, and also gives me strength to continue writing music. I will though point out that I mainly write music for myself, and it’s really a way of channeling out different emotions..

When you`ve released a couple of records how do you continue coming up with new stuff to write and record?
– I constantly write music, and I am aiming to do this until there are no music left inside. There is no problem so far. Concerning records, I always aim to top previous efforts, and have high expectations to myself. This is often a task. It’s a lot of songs I have not used on an album, because I find them too weak..Often I have these projects lying there, and try to pick up the tread years later, and it often works. So whenever there is a record out, there are always some really old material in there somewhere. There is also a matter of line-ups and new ears, giving you new ideas and so forth..

What is it that makes somebody want to be a part of a band? What do you get out of being creative?
-For me it was very natural. I have always had a huge fascination for music, and started very early playing guitars, later on starting different bands. I had a goal as a kid actually, to start a proper band and get a record deal, and I worked towards that goal for many years. It’s a great way of expressing emotions, and it’s a kick when you are in a band that works good, really. Of course it’s also a matter of playing the music you love, and music you don’t necessary find elsewhere. I get some sort of kick and satisfaction of being creative, and writing music which also other people like.

Do you feel that Funeral get the appreciation that you feel you deserve?
-Sure..Maybe not in Norway, though..It seems like doom-metal never really get much fans here, as everyone are into BM it seems. We daily get correspondence from people everywhere else, though..But as mentioned earlier, I really get a kick out of even if one person likes the band..The music is mainly written for ourselves, and is a way of letting out creativity. it seems like it always is some doom-metal inside that wants out, Funeral is our cure.

How different are the responses you get from abroad compared to from home? Where do you see Funeral doing the best?
-As mentioned above, we always get much more positive reviews and appreciation abroad..I know Germany really likes us. We have also done very well in Italy, Belgium, and really in all European countries, as well as the middle east, south and north America.

When you play slow music what are the greatest challenges? How do you keep it interesting?
-Well, we like longer and slower songs, so we try to write them not too monotonous. try to break them up with only orchestra, choirs etc. But in our music the songs are not prog- metal, and people liking doom-metal know what they get. Personally I like all our songs, maybe the slower ones the best. It’s also a task drumming these beats. I always try to fill in with some not too technical drumming, but something that you can actually hear that I don’t just play 4/4 beats in 80 b/m. I think this lifts the music a bit, and makes it more interesting listening to. We do the same with guitars, solos, bass guitars(even using fretless bass this time)..So there are a lot of layers in the music, that will take a while to discover…The same thing with the orchestration.. A lot of details.

If you were pressed to put a label on your music as a selling argument what would that be?
-doom-metal, spiced with bombastic orchestration, lots of memorable melodies, variety and atmosphere.

How important are the social media these days in the promotion of the band? Is there any danger in relaying too much on the impact of the social media?
-Very important if you want to succeed as an artist and get your name out there. Paper mags hardly exists anymore, so you definitely have to rely on the underground via social network. As a band Funeral already have a name, because of the length of our career and the amount of record-releases. New bands will have bigger problems, I believe, because of all the new bands out there..

INSENTIENT

The LA scene might be best known for The Rainbow Bar and Grill or that place where Lemmy hangs out or even for all the hair bands of the 80s but there is more to it than that. INSENTIENT is proof of that. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

For us not in the clue could you please give us a short introduction into what is Insentient?
-Insentient is a Los Angeles based blackened death metal band that was formed in 2009 by Leslie Medina. The band was mainly a solo project that I had started as a creative outlet that gradually developed into a full band. The current lineup consist of myself, Leslie Medina – Guitars/Vocals, Kimberly Orellana – Guitars, James Coppolino – Drums, and William Palacios- Toledo – Bass/Backing Vocals, who recently joined the band early this year. The style we have has drawn comparisons to bands like Death, Dissection, Hypocrisy, and Necrophobic, to name a few. Expect to hear some melodic guitar riffs, guttural vocals, intense blast beats, with a touch of shred guitar. Audio samples can be found on http://www.facebook.com/insentientofficial or via http://www.reverbnation.com/insentient. We will be recording early January 2013 with John Haddad of Trench Studios, which features artwork from Tom Bates. This will be our first album and is set to be released in February/March, so keep a look out and check out our page for updates.

When you start a band do you do it with a clear intention as to what you want to achieve? How do you find your way to a sound?
-When the band was started there was no initial direction that I was headed in. The only goal in mind has always been to create music, no matter what is sounded like. At this point in time there is every intention of being as successful as possible and pursuing this as a fulltime career. If it doesn’t pan out I am completely fine with that but every attempt will be made to further promote Insentient and put us on top as a well established working band. Finding the sound we want is based on writing music that flows and sounds good to us. It is that simple. When writing something and going with what sounds right, you can’t go wrong. There is nothing set or a sound we are looking to create. We each have our own influences and now that there is a new lineup you can expect the band’s sound and upcoming material, after our pending release, to evolve as the styles merge. It is my belief that music is best written when there are no rules/guidelines in place to stifle your creativity.

Do you feel that you are a part of a scene? How does one know when one is a part of a scene?
-I prefer the term “community” mainly because the people involved are just that, a community. We all share a common love for music, performing live, all while supporting as many people as we can. We work together in an attempt to unify artist and fans, something that I think is lacking in the music community now a days. You’ll know that you are part of the local music community when you not only have the mutual support from others but are actively involved in supporting others. Whether it be through passing out flyers for friends gigs, going out to local shows, or losing a few hours of sleep due to staying out to watch all the bands on the bill. Your participation and those who join you as a result of your support is how you know you are a part of the “scene”.

When you are a small band about to take on the world how do you go about spreading the name of the band?
-There are many ways to go about it. Granted, it may not be top notch marketing like some labels can afford to dish out but there is a plethora of tools for musicians to take advantage of. We go about spreading the word about the band via social networking sites we know all very well like Facebook, Reverbnation and more, These are sure ways to go about it without leaving hole in your pocket. There is no shortage of resources, it is just a matter of how much time or funds can be allocated in promoting the band. Sometimes just keeping it simple by promoting at shows, and networking as much as possible among peers can help significantly.

Can you describe the feeling you got the first time you was made aware of there being fans in places other than the surrounding burrows?
-Shocked, a sense of achievement, and humbled is the best way to describe the feeling in knowing that there are fans outside our area who are following Insentient. Shocked because on some level there is always doubt that tends to linger in the back of my mind that what we are striving for may not necessarily come to fruition. So when we hear of new fans, not only within our region, it pushes those thoughts aside and makes us work harder. A sense of achievement because the path for a musicians is not an easy one and it wears on you mentally, physically, and financially, so to know that the work you put in is paying off is very rewarding.

When I got into metal in the 80s a demo was a tape. Today a demo could look just as great as professional CD. Is a record label a necessity today?
-With the way times/technology have changed, I don’t think it is necessary to be signed to a label. It is easy for artists to do just as much as a label does, though it may not be on such a huge scale. The ability to purchase equipment for your home studio, CD duplication, merchandising is not out of reach any more. It will cost you a bit but is not something that is completely inaccessible.

When I think of LA I think of great contrasts between the glamour and the dirt. What is it like to be a metal band in such a contrasting place?
-Being in a metal band in the Los Angeles area can be tough. The area is heavily saturated with talent and there is a ton of competition within a genre that is already underground. The fan base for new artists is dwindling and those trying to keep a foothold have to combat new and old fans and their perception of the local metal scene being dead, though they do nothing to keep it thriving.

What kind of local scene is there today in and around LA?
-The local scene in Los Angeles is an active one, to a certain extent. There is no shortage of local bands to suit everyone’s musical taste. You will always find a show(s) going on every weekend and during the week as well. Yet with so much activity it is still lacking in support from music fans. One might ask, how could the scene be dead if there are gigs going on just about every day of the week? Well that is the problem. There are countless promoters/bands putting shows together that overlap, which in turn divide the fan base. You have great sounding bands playing at different venues on the same night so the turnout to many of these shows are quite low. I hate to make it sound so bleak but I have witnessed this so many times. It is likely to continue unless some effort is made to organize the shows that go on in a way that benefits everyone who is involved. On the flipside, you will also find a good amount of musicians who are working together to help promote each other, combat the decline in support, and assist those looking to come to Los Angeles to play gigs. Bands and local promoters like ourselves, Nihilitus, Infinite Death, Skoffin, Death Inquisition, Syrebris, Servile Conceptions, Casket, Exmortus, Madrost, Homeless One Productions, MMR Productions, The Static Age, to name a few, are always pushing to help out, hoping that the support will begin to grow.

How fickle are metal fans of today? How easily impressed are they by the mainstream promoted bands?
-Fickle, no.…not at all because saying so would imply that there is some leeway/interchangeability. It is the complete opposite. From what I have seen, not many fans are eager to give new up and coming talent a listen. Mainstream bands, no matter how much they are promoted, are judged on the same level. It is tough trying to impress a crowd that contains many musicians…some who forget that it’s about the music. Instead your met by a roomful of cross armed judges who look at the technical aspects /proficiency of the music/musician rather than simply allowing themselves to listen and respect that every artist performing/has their own form of e_xpression. Heck I’ve caught myself doing it and it’s something that I try to refrain from doing. Many fans, not all, are pretty much set in their ways, know what they like, and aren’t usually duped into checking out new bands no matter how much promotion they are bombarded with.

What would you like the future to hold for Insentient?
-I would hope that the future would hold some bigger shows for us in the United States and abroad. Insentient just want to write great music and have fun doing it. Thank you very much for your interest in our band.

PLECTOR

If you haven’t discovered PLECTOR yet I’m sorry to say that you are too late. With a farewell album out now this might be the last chance you have to get acquainted with the band. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

From what I understand this is the last thing we will hear from your guys. How hard is into make a decision like this?
-Well it’s always hard to give up something that’s been so important to you but when the commitment isn’t there anymore is better just to be honest about it. Faking progress is not our thing.

How much do you sacrifice as you are trying to get your band going? How much can you sacrifice before it becomes too much?
-When you’re doing everything on your own it’s basically a fulltime job while having a paying job on the side to finance the whole thing. Booking your own shows and paying for everything (logistics, recordings, distribution etc.). But I know of bands that have sacrificed a lot more and are still struggling so we’re not unique at all.

When you look back at what you actually achieved with the band what kind of highlights have there been?
-There’s certainly a few. The first time in the states was kind of a rip off deal though but the second time around was great in terms of being on the road with awesome and true people.

Do you think that you’ve made the prefect swansong album with “Punishment Day”?
-Compared to the previous album we’ve improved a lot but perfect no (laughs).

What would you do if the album all of a sudden takes off and this is actually you break through album?
-That would be a big surprise but we’re not naive. As long the people who would like to listen to our music can do so it’s satisfying enough. What counts as a breakthrough these days anyway (laughs)?

When you know that there will be no continuation after this album how do you motivate yourself to promote it?
-That’s for the record label to answer.

How hard is it to promote a band in this day and age when there are hundreds of bands on all different social media just waiting for a chance to bite?
-Well our decision to quit pretty much says it all. A band’s success can’t only be measured in YouTube views. I mean, only 60 gigs during a 6-year period is just pathetic.

Do you feel any bitterness that you haven’t reached further than you have?
– I’m bitter as fuck (laughs)! Maybe we were never meant to reach the bigger stages. It is what it is, damn deal done.

How do you want the band to be remembered?
-As a couple of random guys in flannel that played heavy music.

What will you do now that the band won’t be there for you?
-I don’t know yet. Maybe I’ll record a demo on my own and see where it leads or join some other project. I just wanna have fun without the pressure of trying to make it big you know.

STALLION FOUR

There is a pretty booming sleaze scene going in Sweden. Not that I know anything of it. I found STALLION FOUR to be different enough for me to take an interest in them and even bother interviewing them. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

What is the competition like for Swedish hardrock bands? Is there a scene to speak of?
-Well, sure there is a scene with lots of great bands, but we don’t let anything pressure us, we just keep on doing our thing, and hope that
somebody likes it.

Can you benefit from being Swedish or is it more of a burden having to live up to an already high standard?
-I don´t know if it is a benefit being Swedish, we just let the music do the talking.

Looking at your influences it seems like it is very much 80s over it. What was so great about that decade’s music?
-It was great party music that had everything. The whole vibe was killer.

How would you like to describe your sound? What has been the single most important factor in shaping your sound?
-100% horsepower rock n roll is one way to put it he he he……..I think when our individual influences of music comes together
when we write songs is what makes us sound Stallion Four.

Does it matter these days what label you sign with? What is it that you expect to get out of being signed to a label?
-Yeah, it is important to have a label that stands behind your back and promotes your band. and as for our label Pure Rock Records,
they have great distribution, and they really belive in the bands they promote.

Your music seems like the perfect live music. What chances are there to play live if you are not a big band?
Thanx!! Nice to hear that. You just gotta take every chance you get to play live and work hard to get the giggs.

Do you have any areas that you intend to focus more on to break or do you wish that everywhere is Stallion Four territory?
-It wold be awsome to play some live shows outside Sweden, hopefully in the near future.

How important is the graphic side of the band? Is it important to look the part too and not just let the music do the talking?
-We are just being ourselves and have no rules of how to look or act or so, it´s not like we have a dress code or something like that, he He He…..put on the spandex now will ya!

Are there any bands that you feel closer to? Where does Stallion Four fit in?
-Somewhere between Motörhead, Rose tattoo and G n `R.

What future is there for the band?
-Right now we are focusing on writing songs for the next album and we are also gonna record our second video from the album. Hopefully we get to play some festival shows in the summer 2013
Keep following us on facebook and myspace for upcoming events and news.

TUSMÖRKE

I knew nothing about the history of this Norwegian band TUSMÖRKE but I felt a need to know more so I had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

The twilight hour or twilight for that matter is a mythical time in folklore. How much of that mythical, mystical folkloristic stigma do you use in the aesthetics of Tusmörke?
Benediktator: In Norwegian, the word “tusmørke” is a combination of “tus”, from “tusse”, meaning supernatural being like elf, troll or subterranean beings, and “mørke”, meaning darkness; we chose the name because we sympathize with the unbaptized creatures of the night, or afternoon, rather. The lyrics often reflect mystic or romantic experiences, where the obvious reality is transcended and the magic behind the mundane is glimpsed. At dusk the imagination works more freely, opening the possibility of seeing more than what is materialistically speaking “there”. Folklore is interesting because it contains the pre-modern superstitions that I feel make the world a more interesting place.
Krizla: The connection to the subterranean wee people who inhabit the world of dusk is an important aspect of choosing the name Tusmørke. For me, the aesthetics of the world beyond is very important in our music, as well as in our stage performance. Through my songs and my flute playing, I try to convey the feeling of being at a feast with the subterranean people, a splendid and otherworldly feast that will bind the participant forever in the realm of the others, the dark and strange beings of the dusk that live underneath our feet.

What kind of progressive music history is there in Norway? Unless you have a special interest in that kind of music the rest of us don’t get to hear too much about it?
Benediktator: There are several good progressive, psychedelic and folk rock bands from Norway, with a golden age culminating in 1974. Check out Rain, Ruphus, St. Helena, Hades, Høst, Popol Vuh, Folque, Kong Lavring, Junipher Green, Aunt Mary, Prudence and so on and so forth. Some were mere local copies of their British heroes, while others incorporated original elements, mainly culled from traditional Nordic folk music. The samplers Maiden Voyage, Stellar Voyage and Aerian Voyage are good places to start. There are and have of course been interesting crossovers between jazz, folk, pop/rock and contemporary music, as well. There are loads of great artists that virtually no one has ever heard about, mainly because they had little commercial success in a country where the majority of people have very poor taste. In addition, most journalists are notoriously lazy and prefer to write about what everyone else writes about. A concise guide to the history and development of progressive music in Norway is quite a task, preferably to be undertaken by someone else. I suggest you do some research.
Krizla: Progressive music in Norway has always been a scene, ever since the early seventies. However, the live circuit has never been much to write home about in my day. I always felt more inspired by the vinyl collector scene: since music by bands like Aunt Mary, Høst or Junipher Greene was hard to come by in the early nineties when I started to get into music in earnest, an interest in prog or psychedelic music from Norway invariably brought you into contact with beardy types selling second hand records at record fairs and through mail order catalogues. The music was kept alive by these custodians of the strange and rare, more so than bands, actually. It is weird how difficult it is to play the kind of music you profess to be inspired by, and I always felt let down by the majority of bands that claimed to be a prog or psych band, but sounded nothing like the references I thought we had in common. Notable local contemporary exceptions to this rule are the bands Wobbler, Father Robin and Wind.

Do you feel that Tusmörke has a crossover potential? What kind of audience do you think Tusmörke could attract?
Benediktator: We definitely have a diverse audience already, ranging from metal-heads and black metallers to prog-enthusiasts and vintage synthesizer-fans, with architecture students, Oslo scenesters and fellow musicians from various bands thrown in for good measure. Our shows are very jolly and exciting, with costumes, dancing and on-stage banter, so that people come to our concerts even though they don’t really care that much for the music. To our great delight we usually get immediate and positive response from children and people with Down’s syndrome, for some reason. We also appeal to the elderly, at low volume.

Krizla: It is obvious that we have a great crossover appeal, in particular when it comes to the occult and the psychedelic aspects of our music. The terms psychedelic and occult currently pop up so frequently in reviews that they must be considered part of a fad. Therefore, it is a dangerous pair of terms to apply to our music, because it might throw us in with bands that we have nothing in common with. However, the occult and psychedelic music of Tusmørke does seem to appeal to metalheads, mystics, hippies, and progfans alike, making the crossover appeal of our approach to music perhaps more than just a passing thing. Our audience is typically people into dark and strange music, but also people who like the groovy aspects of psychedelic music.

Do you feel that Tusmörke has anything spiritually in common with Norwegian black metal?
Benediktator: That depends entirely on what you mean by Norwegian black metal. What was once a counter-culture is now a part of the mainstream entertainment industry, which we abhor and reject. Regarding early Norwegian black metal, we have explored several of the same themes lyrically and probably share the same feeling of being out of step with current values and trends, resulting in an uncompromising anti-conformist stance. We feel an affinity with Darkthrone and Isengard (or Gylve, to be precise), Ulver and Burzum, for example, but not at all with bands like Dimmu Borgir.
Krizla: When it comes to common spiritual denominators between Tusmørke and Norwegian Black Metal, it must be pointed out that the Norwegian Black Metal scene has always been predominantly spiritually bankrupt and full of posers with no real experience in the occult. From my experiences in ritual magick and life as a scholar with a working knowledge of a dozen extinct languages spanning the high cultures of the last five millennia, I find little to admire in the spiritual aspirations of the Norwegian Black Metal scene in general. In my experience, the scene is based in beer induced ecstasy, something I of course am greatly sympathetic with, but cannot regard as very profound or meaningful as a way to grasp hidden knowledge concerning human and divine existence. Apart from the beer crowd, there is a thriving scene of devil worshippers and chaos magicians in Norway, but I never quite understood their obsession with rot and death. To me, magick is to celebrate life and love. Therefore, I would say that the spiritual common ground between Tusmørke and Norwegian Black Metal is merely superficial, rooted in a common fascination with mythology and occult imagery. We weave our magick to change the world into a luminous manifestation of mystery, love and ecstasy.

What type of bands do you feel that you are close to in spirit and sound?
Benediktator: All bands who like to see their audience dancing and having a good time are kindred spirits of ours. In addition we like to create a sinister and dubious atmosphere, mixing emotions of joy and happiness, wonder and awe. It doesn’t matter what genre they subscribe to, as long as they are serious and like to have a good laugh at the same time. We like our bands to be reckless, passionate, groovy and style-conscious.
Krizla: In my mind, music can be strange and uncompromising and at the same time groove and bounce and appeal to the rhythmic faculties of the body. My favourite song ever is Candy Corn by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band. It is so groovy and silly and yet so profoundly holy I get the shivers every time. There are not many bands I feel a community with today, in particular because very few bands have an intention of getting their audience to take part in the experience of the music by dancing and getting their groove on. Most rock musicians in Oslo have come to accept that a concert should consist of half a dozen songs performed before a mostly silent and attentive or beer-swilling and shouting audience. We aim for a séance and an inclusive ritual more than a performance of a series of songs. In this sense, the Oslo group Beglomeg is close to my idea of putting on a show.

How different are your sound to older progressive bands sound? How much do you take from the past in forming your sound?
Benedikator: The sound on “Underjordisk Tusmørke” is heavily characterized by the use of synthesizers like Mellotron, Chamberlin and Minimoog, thus making it a lot more ‘60s or ‘70s vintage-sounding than the live experience at our concerts. Our sound is quite unlike that of a lot of other bands in that we don’t use electric guitar in the typical rock or blues tradition, instead making room for a lot of flute, bass riffs and oohs and aahs. We steal in equal measure from the past AND the future, I guess.
Krizla: Our sound is of course different from the older bands because the equipment has changed a lot since the seventies. Although we do use a lot of vintage analog equipment, we also exploit the wide range of possibilities that new technology offers, in particular in terms of recording. However, for my part, the flute hasn’t changed all that much since the seventies. Also, I use mostly old fashioned effects and filters for the Theremin. I constantly listen to old psychedelic and progressive albums for sounds to emulate, in particular the more subtle details, like warbling Moogs in the background or interesting use of delays, echoes and flanged sounds. There are so many great sounds available to any inquisitive listener today; that is a great difference from when I grew up and you had to actually know somebody with an original record by 50 ft. Hose or July to listen to it. Today, everything is available online for a listen. I find that is a great source of inspiration, to listen to all the strange and fantastic tunes from around the world, in particular from the sixties and seventies that have become readily available in the last decade, either as re-issues on vinyl or simply on Youtube.

How would you like to describe the evolution of Tusmörke? Where did it start and where will it end?
Benediktator: Tusmørke is but a brief, ever denser twilight between two nights. It started in darkness and it will end in darkness.
Krizla: Tusmørke has always been a vehicle for personal songwriting and a vent for deeply felt ideas about sound. Now, the lineup is better than ever, with no focus on egoistic concerns such as the wish to become rich and famous and full attention to songwriting and the realization of ideas for great sounds. Tusmørke started out as a corner trio playing medieval music and it will probably end as a group of buskers in a cave in Nordmarka luring wayward skiers to their death.

How much do you work with darkness and light in your music? How important is the lay out and lyrics to the overall feeling?
Benediktator: There is plenty of both, I would say. There is definitely a morbid fascination running through a lot of the material, dealing with occult phenomena and visions of the apocalypse. Hopefully, the listener will perceive more of the bitter-sweetness of melancholia and nostalgia than straight stark suicidal depression in our music. We hope to convey a feeling of the joy of battle and a devil-may-care attitude. Lyrically, themes often come from works of literature, presented in pop form, in a way trivializing high culture through our low-brow kitsch filter. The lyrics are the key to really understanding Tusmørke, if that is what you are after. It is also possible to just enjoy the music for the grooves.
Krizla: To me, darkness is the most pressing quality of reality and of course this influences the lyrics and the music. In my opinion, the light can only be attained by a negation of the dreariness of existence in modern society, through the invocation of love and life. The lyrics to a great part reflect this struggle for wonderment.

What has been the greatest feeling with Tusmörke so far?
Benediktator: For me, the pinnacle so far was the release concert for “Underjordisk Tusmørke” that we had at Mir in Oslo on November 9th with Wind, Moist Vaginas and dj Krokfot. The venue was absolutely packed and so many of our good friends were there, making it a proper celebration of everything we have accomplished so far. It’s fantastic to feel the love and support of people who are important to you and even from people you’ve never seen before, but who feel connected to you through listening to your music.
Krizla: To complete the first album “Underjordisk Tusmørke” was a great feeling, because so much music had been waiting around for this one massive manifestation. I was very eager to finalize a stage in the development of ideas that had been floating around for close to fifteen years concerning some of the songs. Other songs were fresh ideas that it was a great pleasure to see realized in a finished format.

What do you expect from the future
Krizla: There are several more releases in the pipe line and a lot of concerts coming up. Also, we have lots of songs waiting to be rehearsed and more material is written every month, so I can only say that I expect the future to bring lots of more work.
Benediktator: Hopefully, Yellowstone will erupt in a super volcano that will plunge the world into an eternal snow-clad twilight, a never-ending Norwegian black Easter where the remaining 5% of the human race depend on cross-country skiing and cannibalism for survival and recreation. Tusmørke see their role in this as providers of ski instructions and light entertainment. Barring the apocalypse, I expect the album to continue selling well and that we will finish recording the next album by the end of 2012 and have a 12” out in around the vernal equinox of 2013. Hopefully we’ll we doing a couple of gigs abroad quite soon, first of all with Hexvessel in Finland. In the meantime, we have a string of concerts ahead of us in Oslo and we continue rehearsing material for album number three.

ABYSSE “En(d)grave”

ABYSSE
“En(d)grave”
(-)
French instrumental metal?!? WTF!!! OK, I might be a bit harsh here but the whole idea of instrumental metal makes me cautious. I get strong vibes of something extremely jazzy and spaced out. But then again it could be Oh so beautiful. This isn’t half bad. Actually this is pretty cool instrumental metal. Not the kind that makes you sleepy and just want to lay down. This is pretty hard stuff for being instrumental. OK, I might have had a somewhat biased view on what instrumental music could do for me but this is actually way better than I ever imagined it could be. I’m taken on a ride that brings me down in the valley and up into the hills. I get taken high up in the air and way down underground. Just listen to this album and enjoy the journey ABYSSE takes you on. Anders Ekdahl

THE ADVENT EQUATION “Limitless Life Recollections”

ADVENT EQUATION
“Limitless Life Recollections”
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For some reason I hold the Mexican metal scene in high regards. The bands that I’ve heard so far from Mexico have all been at least good enough to warrant an ear or two. Hopefully THE ADVENT EQUATION will do so too. This Mexican band is one of high technical skills making me think of a less intricate Toxodeth or some of the newer djent bands that have come in the wake of Meshuggah. If you like your death metal on the technical side with a touch of Opeth prog then this is the album for you. I know what I like and I like this album a lot. And for all the right reasons too. This is a high light for me. Anders Ekdahl

AENAON/STIELAS STORHETT “Er / Alter Ego”

AENAON/STIELAS STORHETT
“Er / Alter Ego”
(Possession Productions)
A split 7” might seem like an great idea on paper but once you put in on your turntable you’ll realized that it means more work than it might be worth. All that turning the vinyl has to pay off for it to be worthwhile. How do you review a split 7”? a split between a Greek and a Russian black metal band. The Greek side makes me think of a more dramatic Satyricon. There is that same feel to this track that with an added touch of something that seems genuine Greek. The Russian side is more conventional mid tempo black metal but with a dramatic touch too. This is a split that compliments each other in an almost perfect harmony. Now that I’ve become acquainted with these bands I need to check them out further. Anders Ekdahl

AFFLICTION GATE “Shattered AnteMortem Illusions”

AFFLICTION GATE
“Shattered AnteMortem Illusions”
(Metal Inquisitions)
French death metal! I really, really look forward to take on this one. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There are some countries’ metal that I hold in higher regard than others. French metal has always had a special place in my metal heart. I thought that this was going to be some sort of totally blackened in your face death metal but it turned out to be heavy like Asphyx used to be heavy. This is some brutally heavy death metal that has that old Autopsy feel to it. This MCD turned out to be so much better than I had ever expected. Another French band to add to my list of cool French bands. This is really old school death metal played the way it sounds best, with true conviction. I’m pretty stoked right now. Anders Ekdahl

ANTIM GRAHAN “Wish You Death”

ANTIM GRAHAN
“Wish You Death”
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I don’t know of that many metal bands from Nepal or any other country in that region. I might be pretty biased but to me Nepal is only mountains and very scattered population but I guess that there has to be towns too where a metal scene can grow and prosper. For some reason this reminds of Master’s Hammer. Don’t know what it is about this but I can’t shake the feeling of it being in the vein of Master’s Hammer. Any which way this is pretty dramatic metal that borders black/death metal. And while it might be more black metal there is that feel of death lingering in the air. I can’t help liking this. I was a bit skeptical to begin with because the album didn’t look like it could turn world’s around but it actually proved to be of interest. Anders Ekdahl