THE PROPHECY

If you haven’t discovered THE PROPHECY by now you really should seeing as this is a band that deserves all the attention that they can get. Doom doesn’t get much better than this. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

It’s been almost 4 years since your last album. How much do you think this absence has hurt the band?
Greg – We are definitely not an ‘album per year’ band because we’ve always wanted to tour what we have made and take it to as many people as possible. Like all metal-fans going to gigs is what made us want to be in a band when we were kids and we all feel it’s what being in a band is about. We wanted to take some time out from writing and getting ready to record and show what we had got. Between Into the Light and Salvation we’ve done a lot more festivals and travelled as far and wide as we could and it’s given us a chance to revisit some of the dreams we had for the band when we first started playing together 12 years ago and that was to tour, travel places we never thought we would end up and drink beer and sleep with other metaller’s from around the world.

You guys seemed to be off to a very good start with your first two albums. What happened after album three that made it all come to pretty much a halt?
Greg – We kept playing gigs and having fun. It’s a different approach to practice our live set as opposed to writing and more detailed. In our formative years we managed to build such a great reputation for our stage show and live performance that we never really found the opportunity to relax and take time out to try create new things. With this album we changed our mindset and decided to spend all of our rehearsal time creating and working within a concept to make all the tracks congruent to the framework.

You are now on your fourth album. How hard was the third one for you? Was it as difficult as it is said to be?
Greg – I love working in the studio and having the opportunity to build the layers that have been in my mind for many months and it’s one of the most rewarding aspects of being in a band. Into the Light and our deal with Code 666 meant we could spend more time in The Priory than we could have afforded as an unsigned band and we could really construct the songs how we wanted. With Salvation we spent even longer in pre-production time in preparing how we were going to use the extra weeks; we were even rehearsing the third and fourth part harmonies to different sections! There was a concern that deconstructing the songs in this manner could have been anti-productive and taken some of their soul away but we found that in getting to know these songs more intimately we fell more deeply in love with them and started identifying more parallels between our previous work and our current.

What does it mean to have two bands (My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost) that pretty much invented the whole doom/death genre being native and perhaps not too far from you geographical?
Greg – Not much really. When I was growing up I wanted to be a guitar hero so never got into either of them.

Has there been any band’s that has been more important than others in shaping your sound?
Greg – If we’re going back 12 years then its Carcass and Queen.

What kind of bands did you see yourself being up against when you started?
Greg – Whoever was on the bill above us. We’re still like that now and that energy and desire to be the best of the night, no matter how big they were, really pushed us to be the best we could be…and if that wasn’t possible….we’d cheat.

How has THE PROPHECY developed over the years? How much is left of the original intentions?
Greg – Our original intentions was to play music that I remember thinking should be ‘beautifully brutal’. Aggression and power that enraptured and created a feeling of euphoria. I thought it would be something new using ‘darkness’ to create a polar emotion of joy and contentment. It all sounds very grand eh? But remember, I was a 14 year old philosopher and idealist when we started. Those feelings are however still what I aim for as an overarching rule but I no longer dismiss riffs or rhythms if they don’t immediately fit that mould. We were always cocky enough to want to ‘show off’ our individual skills in each track and I think that bit is still there, but we have a little bit of maturity now that lets us decide what level of showing off works. We found we could be clever in different ways that weren’t too overt; that kept the song as the focus, whilst each individual could still be doing something of interest.

When you play the kind of doom that you do where do you find inspiration?
Greg – We’ve never had any direct influences and I haven’t heard any bands that do what we do and I’ve always found parallels with other bands difficult to digest and often feel a lot of reviewers see it as an easy way out for reviewing albums. As a group we each listen to vastly different music, don’t agree on the same films, prefer different beers and food and spend our free time doing very different things so it amazes me we have something as huge a concept as creating music in common. Everyone brings something different to the party in their approach and we stick it all in the pot and see what’s there.

Is literature a great influence? Or is that a bias that British bands should be more intellectual than its European brethrens?
Greg – The rest of the group is all very intelligent and they each owe me a beer.

What would you like to the see the future bring to the band?
Greg – I hope we get to see some of our older fans in the summer. We have neglected some of the areas that we loved travelling to each year as we started flying to gigs further and further away. So we really miss Germany, Holland and Belgium. You never get used to seeing the crowd wearing 10 different types of The Prophecy t-shirts – shirts from 10 years ago with the writing barely left. It’s very humbling to realise that your music is as important to others as it is to you. Some of our fans became our friends and it’s been far too long since we’ve seen each other and raised our horns and our tankards to heavy metal. Plus, they will probably need a new t-shirt by now and I have just the thing.

RAZORWYRE

I love classic heavy metal. Always have and always will. So when we see another revival I’m the one at the forefront cheering on. New Zealand’s RAZORWYRE is metal, period. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

I can’t help feeling that there is a certain 80s theme to Razorwyre, from the artwork to the spelling to the music. What is it that inspires you to write and play the music you do?
Z Chylde: Yeah dude! All my inspiration for the band comes from the great music of that era in particular. Most of the dudes in the band are pretty big fans of classic thrash, heavy, power and speed metal, and i guess a lot of what inspires me, and what i listen to everyday since well before starting this band – are the classic NWOBHM and USPM bands in particular. We love that music and that’s the kinda style we wanted for this band. I love the sound, the attitude, the lyrics, the artwork, and the lifestyle of that shit and worship these bands. We’re paying homage to those titans of the 80s, i guess.

As someone who has a very hard time to just stick to one kind of metal I find it fascinating the way bands find their way to the metal they play. What would you say is the pivotal moment that steered you the way you ended up sounding?
Calavrias: Good question!! My friends in my hometown. One person in particular for me, James McInnes, put me onto Judas Priest & Dio, after that, it was all down hill, or should i say uphill? If downhill is good, then i went way way downhill. After that, i got into some of the greats like Accept, Exciter, Riot.

As somebody who hasn’t been part of a band is life in a band just like ‘Spinal Tap’ or ‘Wayne’s World’, it is you against the world and nothing can touch you?
C: hahahaha, as funny as it is, it pretty much is exactly like that sometimes/most of the time. You think things are going great and you are going to conquer the world, then someone will bring you back down to reality and slap you out of your rockstar day dream. But more times than most me and Z are pretty much like Wayne and Garth.

How much of a scene for your kind of music is there in New Zealand? Can you draw a crowd large enough to play gigs outside of your local pub
Z :I dunno man, NZ has its metal bands and stuff, but it’s not really a cohesive scene, particularly not for traditional/speed/power metal – that kinda stuff. There are a lot of hardcore metal fans at our shows, but also all kindsa people really. Older traditional metal fans, young hesher kids, hardcore fans and just music fans in general. The band definitely seems to have a large following locally – which has always surprised me. I never would’ve expected that, playing this kinda music, but i certainly appreciate it. I suppose the band is definitely developing a following throughout the country, but the shows in Wellington (hometown) are always guaranteed to be a lot bigger. I’m still stoked that so many people all over get in touch with us online, and show up at the out of town gigs though.

I get a feeling that the New Zealand metal scene is very inclusive, in that you help each other supporting the bands. What are your impressions of the NZ metal scene?
C: haha how do you know that? you know what….you are generally right. The scene is so small bands will be playing with other bands of different genre all the time. It actually works out really well, instead of seeing 3 bands of the same genre, you get to see a Black/Trad/Stoner.

When it comes to selling CDs. Where do you see you biggest potential? Any place you’ve so far had more response from than others?
C: Europe. in particluar, Germany. Hahaha. Those germans eat this stuff for breakfast! Is it ok to say that? Or is that a little gay? Now that i have said it it kinda seems a little gay. Germany has brought shit loads of everything we have. Followed by those crazy Greeks (my heritage, not sure if that has anything to do with it, you know, supporting one of their own). Usa is getting more and more popualr also as a trend. The young ones are getting into it again like it once was.

Having signed with French Infernö Records. What will this mean for the band? It’s not the world’s largest label.
C: Its not the worlds biggest label ?!?! fuck. That was the whole reason we signed! They promised us 5 star hotels and private jets, i thought it was all just coming and thats why i haven’t mentioned anything yet to the owner. Speaking of the owner, Fab, he is once committed metal head. He is so great. Just a passionate dude who loves old school heavy metal like the rest of us. What does this mean for us? WE CAN SAY WE ARE SIGNED hahaha. and if anyone like Sony comes along they will have to deal with Fab haha. Inferno has just released the album on CD on his label. We are also working with Helmut (another great human being) who runs Underground Power in Germany. He released the the album on Vinyl, in fact it was the first release on UP. He used to have another record label back in the day, then he was a distro for years and now looks like he is releasing again which is awesome. He has some great releases coming up which i cannot say.

With a new album out now how do you intend to support it? Will you be touring in support of the album?
Z: Well, I think the plan is to play the fuck out of a release gig in Wellington, then hit up a bit of a tour across the country. The days the internet is pretty great for letting people know the album is out, and we’ll be selling it through our facebook, bigcartel and all that shit for as cheap as we can possibly sell it for. Interviews like these help get exposure, and last time round we got a flood of very positive review for what was a pretty raw and rushed demo EP. Hopefully we get some good feedback and it will encourage people to check it out for themselves. We’ll eventually put it up for free download first, maybe once we recoup a fraction of the costs!

Being from the other side of the World how do you set up a tour in like say Europe without losing too much money on it? What is the best way to tour Europe/USA?
C: hahaha dammit I was hoping you were going to tell me !!! I am currently doing this at the moment. Wow, never knew how much was involved with sorting out a overseas tour, and especially from doing it from NZ. Everyone has been super helpful and its shaping up quite nicely. This will be our first overseas tour so hopefully goes ok! i have 200% faith in myself hahaha. If anyone is reading this and would like to host us in your town get in touch !! Europe only hahah. But our first date will be KEEP IT TRUE Festival in Germany and we can’t fucken wait !!! Liege Lord! Possessed! Warlord!

Do you see a great future for Razorwyre now that you have a new album out?
Z: Hahaha, fuck dude – I dunno about a “great” future, but we ain’t going away anytime soon! We hope to just keep writing music, recording, and releasing stuff as frequently as we can! I’ve got shitloads more ideas, and Chris and I have been doing some work on new songs lately. We hope to get another release out, and the shows seem to be getting more and more packed, so I’m guessing people haven’t had enough of the ‘Wyre yet. Heavy Metal is forever, and we hope to be part of it for a long time. Thanks to dudes like you for taking the time to do this, and help get the word out!

WILT

WILT is Canadian black metal. Wide open spaces of plain nothingness surrounded by even more vast wilderness or not. Perhaps Canadian black metal is all about urban warfare. Read this interview and find out more. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

Is Canada a great place to play black metal?
-Canada is fantastic for black metal. Harsh climates, lots of open land and extreme bands. It really brings forth a visual experience to the music. Some fantastic black metal bands are home to our “Great White North”.

What in the sound of black metal was that caught your attention? How would you like to describe black metal?
Jordan: The sound in black metal that really grabbed my attention is the emotion backed by the ferocity of riffs and vocal style. Lately i have been listening to a lot of atmospheric stuff so it has been a really great journey into my mind. Black metal, to me is a journey throughout your body, unlocking emotions that may have been locked away or, medicate wounds that have been seemingly fresh.
Brett: What caught my attention was the intensity and emotion of the music. Black metal is cold, sorrowful, desolate and, bleak

Where do you draw inspiration from? What triggers your fancies?
Jordan: My inspiration is rooted from a lot of doom metal bands and atmospheric black metal… thought inspiration comes from anywhere it seems lately.. from the beginning of this project the main inspiration was doom/black metal for sure.
Brett: When writing Wilt’s music, I tend to draw a lot of inspiration from where I live, the natural landscapes and the beauty of nature.

What is the whole point of releasing an EP? Why not go for a full album?
-We started this project roughly around 2010 and it has been a while since fans heard anything as far as music from us. We really wanted to kick off the tail end of 2012 and the new year by introducing the metal world to true, deprived, cold, black metal.

To my ears black metal is extremely suitable for concepts. Is there a concept behind Wilt or the EP?
The overall concept of Wilt is to portray the extreme climate and the damages done to the world we live in. To feel the pain and anguish of nature through sorrowful music.

Being from Central Canada seems like a lonely place to come from. What kind of scene do we speak of in your area?
Jordan: As a promoter since 2006 and been across Canada I can safely say that our scene here in Winnipeg is so eclectic and massive. We have something like 50? bands just from our own hometown. It’s fantastic to see everyone feeling inspired to create a band.

How much does a band’s geographic location play a role in how its sound is shaped? Does it even matter?
Jordan: As mentioned above our sound is greatly molded by our geographical location. The barren winds of the prairies can be very very cold and bitter at times. So we try and craft music to say ‘this is where were from, here’s what it feels like’
Brett: I think it plays a great role in how the band sounds and I do believe it matters because it’s what makes the music genuine.

What is like to be a two piece? How do you divide the different shores between you?
Jordan: Being a two piece is fantastic, we don’t differ on ideas very often and when we do we come to a even compromise to make the material really shine. Collaboration is just so much easier. With me handling the lyrics and vocals Brett has free Reign to explore his mind to create essentially magic in the studio. With the next album that will be portrayed quite eloquently.
Brett: I love being in a two piece band. In the past I’ve often not been happy about my writing or the bands themselves due to having 4 or 5 different inputs. With two people I have the opportunity to create my vision.

How black metal is the social media? How do you use it the best way?
-Black metal in the social media is kind of a weird area. Facebook seems to be doing really well… but our bandcamp has been getting massive hits which is impressive.

What future do you see?
Basically the plan for the future is hopefully hit up a couple festivals, tours and one off shows. We intend to release a second full length sometime next year and hope to do a small tour in support of it.

ANGER AS ART “Hubris Inc”

ANGER AS ART
“Hubris Inc”
(Old School Metal Records)
My new year resolution for 2012 (yes, last year) was to try to be positive and expect the best from everything. It hasn’t always been easy but for most of the time I’ve succeeded. And when you get a band with a name like ANGER AS ART how can you be anything but positive that this will blow your socks off. If there is such a thing as old school thrash then this LA band is just that. I sit with a big grin on my face and just dig along to this album. I can’t seem to fend off the sheer power that this album transpires. This is what metal sounds like when it is at its greatest. I need to check out their back catalogue immediately. Anders Ekdahl

CARONTE “Ascension”

CARONTE
“Ascension”
(Lo-Fi Creatures)
I have in the past complained about instrumental metal. To which I find myself liking bands that aren’t that full of vocals all the time. I really like the instrumental interludes that bands like Dream Theater (prog metal) or Dawn (black metal) have in their music, where the vocals take the backseat and the instrumentalists get to show off. CARONTE might be a completely different beast to the two previous mentioned metal bands but this lot too have those parts in their music where the vocals take a back seat. I’m a huge fan of doom metal and this is some pretty cool stuff. Think Cathedral mixed with Candlemass and you get a pretty good idea where this lot is on the map. Anders Ekdahl

CORPUS MORTALE “FleshCraft”

CORPUS MORTALE
“Fleshcraft”
(DeepSend)
I thought that I had already reviewed this band but when I searched the site I couldn’t find any review. Strange but I guess my brain could play a trick on me thinking that I like this band already. I hope that my brain is right and that this Danish band will be super duper good. I like bands like Suffocation that go for the throat almost all the time. The relentless attack to your jugular. CORPUS MORTALE might seem more restrained but this is death metal the brutal way. Keep the kids at a safe distance or they will be slaughtered by the sheer force this album produce. There is something to the raw for-the-throat death metal that I find almost cathartic. More of this stuff and I’ll be a happy and a complacent dude. Anders Ekdahl

CRIMSON BLUE “Innocence”

CRIMSON BLUE
“Innocence”
()
By some strange coincidence I get sent review stuff from Russian bands by way of a Israeli pr firm. Not that I complain. Metal is universal and I really don’t care where I get sent stuff from. What really matters is if it is any good. CRIMSON BLUE as a name doesn’t give away too much. This could be plain heavy metal, death metal or any other form for metal. I’m not even sure where they come from. I’m not sure if I’d label this goth metal but there are those kind of vibes to it. Perhaps a tad Norwegian like Tristania or Sins Of Thy Beloved. There is that weird twist to this that you find in those two Norwegian band’s music. This isn’t your straight forward goth. Perhaps a tad Atrox too just for good measure. I found myself liking this quite a bit. I need to know more about the band. Anders Ekdahl

DEATH AGONY “Carcinogenic Memories”

DEATH AGONY
“Carcinogenic Memories”
(-)
Another slash of French death metal. What have I done to deserve this honour. The ones I’ve heard lately have all been to my liking so it is with great trepidation that I take on this one too. I love me some really good death metal. That feel of being blown away by the sheer power of the down tuned guitar is like heaven to me. This is so guttural and rotten that I can’t but like it. Death metal that sounds like it’s stuck in the deepest mud puddle is my weakness. This is the kind of stuff that I grew up to. The stuff you had on rehearsal tapes that you had traded for with friends from all over the world. This is what death metal was all about when I got into the heavier end of the stuff in the 90s. This is the stuff that I could listen to until the day I die. Anders Ekdahl

DIABULA RASA “Ars Medioheavy”

DIABULA RASA
“Ars Medioheavy”
(Moonlight)
I honestly don’t know the difference between folk, pagan or heathen metal. Not that I really matters in the long run. I like all metal that is good. DIABULA RASA is supposedly an Italian folk metal band that is highly anticipated. And this started on a high note. From the fist note I found myself being intrigued by the music. And it continued that way. If this is what folk metal is all about then I’m hooked for life. This is some of the most uplifting stuff that I’ve heard in a long time. I almost feel like stripping off all my clothes and dance naked around an open fire praising mother earth. This is one release that I will treasure for a long time. Anders Ekdahl

HATERIAL “Twisted Verses”

HATERIAL
“Twisted Verses”
(Wormholedeath)
If my memory doesn’t serve me wrong this is another Finnish act. There seem to be countless of these all over the frozen wasteland that is the Finnish country side. And I don’t mind. I don’t feel threatened by the number of Finnish bands out there. I just feel a sense of pride that the Nordic countries produces so many great acts and that the World’s eyes are turned to our nick of the wood. This is thrash metal on the more aggressive and extreme side. The kind of stuff that is more towards hardcore than pure heavy metal. I love the aggression that pours out of every crack and blister on this album. Throw in some more modern, almost metalcore touches and this album stands out as a great contender to all the trendy stuff that is out there. Anders Ekdahl