LIVARKAHIL

French metal might have lived in the shadow for a long time but now we finally see it stepping out into the light (darkness) and with giant steps too. LIVARKAHIL deserves your attention. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I gotta ask about the band name. It seems a strange one to me. What’s behind it?
-LIVARKAHIL means “karma”. It’s very important to the band to have a goal and do what we have to do to get it. Each action you do has a consequence. That’s the meaning of LIVARKAHIL

Do you feel that people are coming round to French metal now days?
-Indeed. There’s a lot of very good bands here, in France. World knows Gojira of course, but we have some huge band here like : Dagoba, Kronos, Svart crown and many more. I think that French death metal scene got his own “touch” that’s why people are coming around to French metal.

When you play death metal how do you go about choosing what style to play?
-Well… we didn’t chose, we just do it ! It’s like breathing… We play death metal the way we want to do it ! It’s a way of life, that’s all.

Where do you find your greatest inspiration? What influences you the most?
-I didn’t listen to metal each day. I find my inspiration in life, human kind, religion… I plug my guitar and I play what my fingers want to play !

I often wonder why bands releases EPs and not only albums. What is there to an EP that motivates its release?
-We’ve released 2 albums and this Ep is not a “simple” Ep. Signs of decay, our second album, is a concept album based on religious autocracy and we wanted to “close” this concept with 5 more tracks dealing with the judgment of God. That’s why we chose to release an Ep for free download.

How do you feel that the band has been received by the fans? What kind of reactions have you had so far?
-Awesome ! Fans and media really enjoyed this release ! We’re very happy and proud of what we’ve done.

In building a fan base you have to do certain things. What things would you never do just to promote the band?
-I think the most important thing is to be what you are, don’t try to pretend something else. Do what you do with your heart. That’s the most important thing.

Do you feel that you’ve maximized the potential of the band so far? What else can you do to reach more fans?
-LK is a “young” band you know, and I’ve got some ideas for the future of the band 😉 So no, I haven’t maximized LK’s potential yet !

How much of a live act is Livarkahil? What kind of live show do you present?
-It depends… But we always try to offer a good, religious, martial, show ! It’s not a show, it’s a ceremony.

What can we expect from the band in the next 12 months?
-A lot of gigs ! We have to promote our second album and our EP ! See you on the road and thank you so much for your questions !

NEGLIENCE

For some reason I totally missed thatNEGLIENCE released an album on Metal Blade. Don’t know if it’s me or if it’s Metal Blade that has lost teh touch but this band deserves your attention. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I’m sorry to say so but I totally missed out on your Metal Blade album when it was released. What has it meant for the interest in the band that you’ve released an album on such a big label?
-Well don’t worry too much about it, the album was meant to stay for a while, so the important thing is that you caught it now. First of all, it meant an achievement of some of our goals that we set to ourselves a while ago. Like every band we always dreamt of getting a really big label to release our album, so to actually see something like that come to life is amazing. It tells you that you’ve obviously been doing something right and it inspires you to push on harder. Secondly, it meant a lot for us in terms of recognition. It introduced our sound to a wider audience that we probably wouldn’t have reached otherwise, at least not for some time, and that means the world to us. Even if it helped us reach out just to a single new fan, I still consider it a success.

What kind of reactions have you had to your album?
-I’m happy to say that the reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, with a lot people recognizing that Negligence is a bit more than just a generic Thrash band spree. We put a lot of effort into song writing, lyrics and the whole conceptual image of the album, so it’s great to see that people dig it. We’ve also gotten numerous positive critiques on the sound production, what makes us even prouder since we recorded and mixed the album by ourselves in our home studio. Like positives, there were also a few negatives, but to me that’s only natural, since you can’t be right up to everyone’s alley. Some people were dissapointed we weren’t wearing white hi-tops and others felt that not having breakdowns and emo screams is “too 80’s”,…but you know, that’s how the music industry is today.

The album is quite old by now. What have you in store for us starving metal fans?
-I’m very happy to say that we’re currently deep, deep in the process of pre-producing our new album. We’ve got like, 8, 9 songs 80% done, so realistically we’re aiming to be done with the pre-procuction phase by the end of the summer. It takes a long time for us to get things done the way we like them, but we’re pushing ourselves harder than usual so hopefully we’ll be talking specifics by the end of the year.

Although it’s been close to 20 years since Yugoslavia went under. Yet I have not come upon too many Slovenian, Serbian or Croatian metal bands. Are you guys bad at promoting yourself outside of your home country?
-Heh, I wouldn’t say we’re bad at it, we’re just a few steps behind unfortunately. The scene here simply hasn’t evolved so much as it has in Germany, UK, US and Sweden for instance. Now I’m not saying that there’s no scene here, it’s quite the contrary actually, the metal scene is real big, but when it comes to getting some leverage for the little bands to stand out, there’s no one there to help you out. It’s hard, really hard to get a big label or support a big name outside the border and I wouldn’t say that bands have only themselves to blame.

How do you promote your band the best way to gain the most public interest?
-We’ve got a label for those things, so if you’re trying to say that we’re not doing enough, you should tell that to them, haha! Promoting live, definitely. We’re a live band that comes to life on stage and I’m sure that anyone that has seen us play live can remember one thing or another from the show. There’s no promotion plan or nothing, we just let our music do the talking and if people like what they hear, if they get on the same level, they’ll pass the album or the mp3 on to their friend and that’s the greatest promotion you can ever get. We’ve got a video, facebook, twitter and all that crap, but like I said, words of mouth are our biggest allies.

Playing thrash in 2012 seems like being stuck in the past. What kind of thrash scene is there worldwide today?
-I think that’s a misconception. Why should Thrash be a thing of the past and Heavy Metal not, for instance? It’s a thing of the past only if you want to see it that way, but of course you have to differenciate between the music and the image, I’m strictly talking about music here. We never started writing music with a sole purpose of making Thrash music, we just composed what was natural to us and if people categorized it as Thrash than why not, but if anyone says that we’re stuck in the past then I’d have to strongly disagree. We’re not all that into reliving the 80’s, I mean it’s been a great period of time for metal, probably the best so far, but times move on. As far as the modern Thrash scene today, I can’t say I’m too fond of it, nor do I follow it much too be honest and I wouldn’t really count Negligence under its representatives. Ideologically and musically I don’t think we have too many things in common.

Playing live is probably a necessity. What kind of live scene are you part of?
-Playing live would be a necessity if we’d live off music, but to us that’s still aeons away, so for now playing live is still a complete joy and not just a sheer necessity. For me personally performing live represents the best thing about being in a band. It’s the only place where I can express myself even better than in the studio.

How do you as a band that is on the way up get on the right kind of tours and festivals? What does it mean to play with the right kind of bands?
-It means everything actually. There’d be a big difference if we’d go to Stockholm next week by ourselves probably playing in front of 50 people or if we’d be supporting Megadeth in front of a sell-out crowd. It gives you leverage, it helps you to introduce yourself to an audience that would have otherwise maybe never heard of you, so of course it means a lot. Right kind of tours and festivals…I think it’s only natural that you want to open for the bands you grew up listening to, so we always steer towards those waters and besides I don’t think we’d really “rock the house” all that much on an Pagan metal fest, so obviously you’ve gotta pick things that go together.

What kind of scene are you a part of? How much camaraderie is the in the national metal scene?
-I know that people say that the music business is a bitch and not exactly a place where you’ll find too many friends , but I have to knock on wood and say that we’ve always somehow dealt with good, friendly people that helped us a lot on our way. Slovenia’s scene is a very active one, but real small, to the point where most of the bands know each other well, so there naturally is cameraderie as well as a lot of bullshit, just like you would have expected.

What would you like to happen to the band in the future?
-It’s always nice to think big and bold, but for now I’d rather just stay realistic and hope to see our next album go triple-platinum in Uganda. Joke aside, I’d love to see us make it big and selling out big venues, but if we learned something so far is that you need to be patient, set your goals and just take each opportunity as it comes.

NERVOSA

NERVOSA is a thrash metal band from Brazil that recently signed with Napalm Records. If you haven’t checked out their video yet you should do so because this could very well be the next big thing in thrash. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

In this day and age it is a bold move to stick with playing thrash metal the way it used to sound in the late 80s/early 90s. What made you stick with this kind of metal?
-Mainly because it’s a huge influential standing point for us! When we first started writing songs we didn’t ever get to establish how we should sound or not. It was pretty organic. Since old school thrash metal is a great influence for all of us three, we couldn’t help it ended up showing its roots in our songs! We actually feel very happy when people tell us we sound like the 80, cause we really take that as a complimetn!?

What kind of bands have helped shape your sound? What sets your sound apart from other thrash metal bands?
-All of us three have pretty different perosnal influences, but we end up agreeing in bands like Slayer, old Sepultura, etc. But many other bands like Pantera, nuclear Assault, Death and Coroner are names that definetely helped us shaping our music! Honestly, I don’t think we came up with something completely new in terms of music, we’re just adding some fresh air to the old stuff!?

I saw on Youtube that you’ve made a promo video. How tough was it to get that done? What was the purpose for it?
-Actually, it was a lot faster than we thought it would be. We had two or three meetings with the videomakers, set our ideas on the table and in one day we recorded everything. In less than a week, the guys were with all the material done and ready to be released, it was really surprising. we wanted something simple, but aggressive in a certain way. That’s why we’ve put some images of us playing the same way we do live, in terms of energy and stuff, and the other scenes that appear out there are pretty related to the lyrics: you trust someone and this person stabs you in the back! Of course the lyrics can interpreted in many ways, but that lil story on the clip is one of the interpretations you can take off them!?

Nervosa is a pretty good band name for a thrash metal band. You might end up that way with too much exposure to the style. What made you chose that word as your band’s name?
We wanted something simple, easy to remember, in Portuguese, aggressive and which made reference to the female gender. Nervosa would be “angry”, but as a female adjective. I guess it couldn’t be any more perfect! People around the world can try to pronounce it with no huge problems, and maybe even remember it after a while, cause it’s easy, you know…?

I know that there is a great thrash metal history in Brazil dating back to the 80s but what is the thrash metal scene like today?
-The whole metal scene here in Brazil is incredibly huge and rich. It’s a continental country and it’s impressive how, in every city you go, there’s a good band out there. The metal scene is really strong, and many of the bands which are touring outside and inside Brazil play this metal genre. Bands here are getting professional, also, really worried about having a good recording, good videos and good propaganda aroung them, which is pretty important. I guess we have down here one of the best metal scenes… Bands are not afraid to risk, to go to diffrent paths and try different things with their music and this makes me real happy!?

I know very little about Brazil. All I know is pretty much Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia but apart from that Brazil is pretty much rain forests. What kind of places are there to play for a band that draws a good sized crowd?
-We do have a lotta forest but it’s not only about that. We have huge and pretty developed cities here, which are getting bigger and bigger… Many bands from abroad come to play here and many of the tour routes are changing, it’s not only about São Paulo, or Rio de Janeiro anymore. Many dates are being schedule in the northeast of Brazil, for example, which is awesome. We have metal crowds here everywhere you go..?

When you are a little unknown band striving to be heard what kind of support do you get from the metal fans in Brazil?
-When people here like your music, the support is endless. People wanna buy your stuff when they have money, they wanna show this to their friends. There are a lot of zines and web magazines as far as radio an internet TV shows too, so, there are many ways you can spread your music and work!?

How much time and effort are you prepared to spend on the band to make it happen? What goals do you have for the band?
-Unfortunately we have our regular jobs which don’t let us work with the band in a full time period, but right now, we’re investing a lot of time on the band, rehearsing, answering emails, scheduling shows and interviews and doing whatever is necessary for us to get where we want! We don’t spare any efforts to make it happen and we risk a lot of things to get the band into somewhere. But everything we do is believing that all our effort will be worthwhile. ?

When you release a CD (demo or album) what is the hardest part of the process?
-We’re about to release our first EP and we had no problems so far. We already signed with Napalm Records for the first full lenghth, then, I believe then when the time comes for us to record the first album, it will be kinda tough for all of us in a certain way because we’re gonna spend a lotta time at the studio, working on the songs and on the recording/mastering, and all attention is necessary during that period, but as it’s something we’ve always wished to come true, we’re gonna be able to face everything in a good way !?

What will the near future bring to Nervosa?
-After releasing the EP and the album, we plan to keep touring hardly in Brazil and start planning with our manager and label a South American , North American and European tour. All of this, of course, after making everything we can to make our music get to the greatest number of headbangers which is possible!

SKALD

SKALD might have been scorned in most reviews but give them a chance and you’ll notice that there are more to them that meet the ear. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I’ve thought hard and long on it but I still have no idea why people want to play folk metal. What is folk metal exactly?
-Why people would want to play folk metal? I have no idea actually. For us in Skald, I think it came naturally because of our shared enthusiasm (at least in the past) for Otyg. The term folk metal is, as I have understood, very personal for me these days. I don’t think that just by adding weird instruments upon a foundation of black metal, it automatically becomes folk metal. For me, it is much about a certain feeling and melody. Good examples of folk metal bands that I like are Otyg, Isengard, Storm and Grimm. It has something to do with a certain Nordic folk music feeling that is transferred into metal. Thus, you get folk metal. At least that’s my opinion.

How much better is the name Skald than if you’d been called Bard?
-If we’ve been called Bard – I would associate it with that annoying character in the Asterix-comics and the old drummer for Emperor. I never associated Skald with anything in particular, we just felt that it suited our type of music quite good.

Is there a greater tolerance to bands not singing in English today?
-I have no idea actually and I don’t care. I like bands that uses lyrics in many different languages and I cannot speak for the rest of the metal community. But I guess there might be a greater tolerance today, now that folk metal has become more “popular” to some extent.

What made you want to sing in Swedish exclusively?
-It had less to do with singing and more with the fact that I had so many lyrics written before we even started Skald and they were mostly in Swedish. And since the original idea was to start a band in a similar vein to the (then defunct) Otyg, it was natural.

What kind of lyrical topics do you deal with?
-Earlier it used to revolve much around nordic folklore and old fairytales. I’ve changed that approach somewhat during the years and nowadays my lyrics are a little more rooted in reality and less fantasy-like.

You seem to divide people in two camps. Those who like you and those who can’t stand the vocals. I’m somewhere in between. How little do you care about what people think about your vocals?
-Haha, I’ve yet to come across anyone to actually say that they like my vocals. But in reality, I don’t care that much at all. Truth is – I am very much aware of the fact that I am not a good vocalist in any way whatsoever. I have actually changed the way I am singing a lot if you compare the demos and the MCD to the full-length, but I can’t say that I’m constantly working on improving my vocals since I don’t have the time for that. We’ll just see what the future brings.

Your album has been out a while now. What feelings do you have now that it is behind you?
-Mixed feelings indeed. There are some good tracks here and there and some that had been with us for way too long, but in the end, we just wanted to get the (already delayed) album out as soon as possible. Therefore, the entire recording, producing and mixing was very rushed to say the least. But this was our debut album and we learned a lot from it and there are definitely some things that we will do differently the next time.

When do you start to think about the next step for the band? As soon as you’re done with the album?
-No. We just basically let Skald drift into the periphery once the album was done. “Vitterland” was a very tiring process and we kind of put Skald to a rest once it was released. I did some minor, minor promotion but that was it. We have tried to do something new since, but were are lacking both ideas, direction and passion right now.

What is the best way to promote your band; playing live or relying on the social media?
-The best way is probably playing live, but since we’re more of a project than a band – we don’t play live at all and don’t plan to either. Social media can be good, but I wouldn’t say that we rely on it either. As I stated earlier, Skald is more of a project than a real band and we’re just glad that some people like our music. But in all honesty, we make music solely to satisfy ourselves. We just got damn lucky and landed a record contract out of the blue. That made it easier to spread our music and I like it for what it is, but apart from keeping our website and Facebook page updated – there’s very little promotion involved.

What does the future look like for Skald?
-I would say bleak. We’re currently taking a break due to work and longtime illness, but I’m sure we’ll be back in one way or another. David is composing stuff whenever he finds the inspiration and time and the things I’ve heard so far sounds great. I have just started to write lyrics again for the first time in a couple of years, so things are moving somewhere on the horizon. If I were to take a guess, our future material will sound more blackened and less folkish than earlier.

/Henrik

ACID DEATH “Eidolon”

ACID DEATH
“Eidolon”
(Noisehead Records)
Gotta say that I don’t think I’ve ever heard a single note by this Greek band despite them having been around for so long as they have. Can’t really day why either. I guess that they have just not come my way. Now that I have the chance to hear them I’ll take it. This is to my ears death metal that is a tad harder and perhaps not so technical as Atheist or Pestilence. If you could imaging those two bands in their early years not going so technical/jazzy then you might have an idea of where this is going. This might not be my first choice of death metal to listen to but I’m not totally averse to it. There is a charm to it that can’t be denied. And I do love a band like Coroner that wasn’t the easiest to listen to. This is one that certainly will grow on me. Anders Ekdahl

CHRIST AGONY “Darkside”

CHRIST AGONY
“Darkside”
(Metal Scrap Records)
There used to be a time when Christ Agony was the latest hype on the Polish metal sky. They were the act to look out for. Then along came Behemoth and a host of other Polish extreme metal acts. Christ Agony fell to the wayside and a whole new generation stormed forth. 2012 sees a new Christ Agony record. One that I for one look forward to hearing. This is just as I remembered it to be. Don’t go expecting the most brutal or the most evil extreme metal. What you’ll get is a cross between black and death that is played with conviction and soul. This is just as good as I remember it to be. In a way this reminds me of Master’s Hammer when they were great. There is that same kind of atmosphere to it. Anders Ekdahl

DESECRESY “The Doom Skeptron”

DESECRESY
“The Doom Skeptron”
(Xtreem Music)
I’ve been into Finnish death metal ever since Funebre and Xysma entered my life back in ancient times. Add to it early Amorphis and Sentenced and you have a pretty great base to stand on when it comes to Finnish death. This is death metal on the more doomy side. Try imagining if Bolt Thrower and Autopsy met in a dark alley. This is the offspring of that encounter. I like this simply because it is so heavy yet so “catchy”. There is something very appealing about this that gets me going. Perhaps not the stuff you mosh around to in your living room. Instead this is the stuff that you play loud on those nights when you feel a bit down. This is music to cheer you up. Anders Ekdahl

DEVILISH IMPRESSION “Simulacra”

DEVILISH IMPRESSION
“Simulacra”
(Lifeforce)
There used to be a time when Devilish Impression were all over the press. You could not turn up a page without seeing them. Then all went silent and they seemed to have vanished down a rabbit hole. You couldn’t find them even if you searched with the brightest flashlight available. Turn to 2012 and a new album sees the light of the day. Will they be able to pick up where they left off? Has a new generation of extreme metal fans come along that has no memory of them? That is all to be seen. What can be said is that Devilish Impression does not seem to have softened. This is just as I remembered then to sound like. There is a symphonic element to it that might make you think of a cross between Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth. If that sounds enticing and you haven’t checked them out yet then this is your chance to acquaint yourself with Devilish Impression. Anders Ekdahl

DISINTEGRATE “Parasites Of A Shifting Future”

DISINTEGRATE
“Parasites Of A Shifting Future”
(Massacre)
I love the fact that there are a ton of new thrash metal acts around today. It gives me great pleasure to discover them all. Disintegrate is another new Dutch metal treasure that I’ve recently discovered. Along with Izegrim and a handful of other acts the Dutch thrash scene seems to be growing strong again. And I’m not one to complain. I remember the 80s scene and what great bands that came out of Holland back then. It feels like we are back to that period again. Disintegrate are a new favourite. Anders Ekdahl

DREADLINK “Zero One”

DREADLINK
“Zero One”
(Massacre)
I am not too sure about the band name. I get strange images in my head when I see the name. Don’t know why but for some reason I react negatively towards the name. But that is me. Thankfully the music from this German band doesn’t give me the same kinda feelings. This is described as modern thrash metal, and since I have no idea what the hell that means I’ll ignore it. Instead I’ll say that this reminds me of a Morbid Angel gone thrash metal. There is that same heaviness to this as to “Blessed Are The Sick”. If that is modern thrash metal then I’m all for it. Good is it any which way. I like the heaviness that Dreadlink bring to their metal. It is like a really slow-mo blow to the stomach. You see it coming but there is nothing you can do about it. Anders Ekdahl