Ill – “Gotten Gains”

Ill – “Gotten Gains” (Glassville Records)

I was never a big fan of Sade so I felt less than inspired to pick up on a band whose guitarist / vocalist (Ryan Waters) was also a member of her group – but Ill are something else babaay! Also from the deep south, Ill take in the gospel soul vocals of Kings X, add in the funky rhythms of Fishbone, amp it up with some RATM attitude in their punchy riffs and cap it all off with some Hendrix inspired solo work. So if you’re into experimenting, then songs like ‘Christine’, ‘Bitch’ and ‘Castration’ will no doubt float your boat as they shake n slide, rock n roll and teasingly tempt you to try something different. Now that’s a trip baby.

What The Night Brings – “Bound By Apathy”

What The Night Brings – “Bound By Apathy” EP (www.facebook.com/Whatthenightbrings)

No doubt some malevolent, brooding beast – and then some! This is ferocious terror core from the wilds of Buckinghamshire taking the piston aggression of Machine Head or Sepultura and melding it with angst ridden Brit-core bands like Stamping Ground or Knuckledust. Not for the faint hearted, this is music of our down trodden times, reflecting people who are walking powder kegs waiting to kick off – well, at least these four thugs manage something more positive taking out their frustrations in songs like ‘Barren’, ‘Front Towards The Enemy’ and ‘The March That Makes A Man’. No apologies, no sell out, this is the darkness to end civilization by.

CRIMSON SHADOWS

CRIMSON SHADOWS might mix power metal with death metal but it isn’t as bad as it might sound. They actually manage to pull it off really well. Find out more by reading this interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

The Canadian metal scene seems to have numerous of bands to showcase but few make it big outside of their native borders. What is it about Canadian metal bands and the international press that doesn’t mix?
-That’s a really good question and to tell you the truth I don’t know if I have the answer for you. I personally think it’s just a simple lack of opportunity over here. Metal does have a following in
Canada but we’re not as lucky as other people in the USA or Europe. What I mean by that is, if it’s not a signed band then no one really cares here. The local scene in the Toronto area has been dying pretty steadily for the last four or so years. We used to have so many amazing venues, great promoters, and there used to be some pretty decent turnouts as well from random on the street who didn’t know any of the bands playing. Now, most of them are closed down and it doesn’t look like that’s stopping anytime soon.

Crimson Shadow as a name doesn’t really give away what kind of metal you play. How conscious was the choice of band name in order to reveal as little as possible about the sound?
-It’s funny you say that because the name “Crimson Shadows” is actually taken from a fantasy novel series written by R.A. Salvatore. With death metal bands named “Job for A Cowboy” and metalcore bands named “We butter the bread with butter” I don’t think people really take the name of a band seriously anymore. I’ve found recently that a band name is simply just that … a name. It’s just something to identify with and I think it’s the responsibility of the band to make their own name stand out within a genre.

Power metal and death metal are two metal sounds that don’t really mix well. Yet you chose to mix them. How do you get power metal to gel with death metal? What part is what in your sound?
-We really wanted to do something different and original. There are tons of power metal bands that sound very similar and lots of death metal bands that are the same way but we see no reason why you can’t mix the two. In short we write power metal music with an extreme feel, and we have death metal vocals as the main focus, we also have some clean vocals to add in a little more melody.

What was it that made you chose to mix these two styles of metal? What bands inspire you to take this bold step into unknown metal territory?
-Being huge power metal fans we found a lot of friends and fellow metal lovers don’t enjoy the high singing that is power metal vocals, so we decided to throw in death metal vocals and it turned out pretty well! As song writers we are always trying to push the envelope and do things nobody is daring to try. Many of the bands who inspired us are DragonForce, Children of Bodom and Blind Guardian who all have done different things to change the genre of metal to their own style. We never like to write the same song twice and we always like to mix it up so venturing out into unknown territory is pretty standard for us! We like to go on our own music quest!

How long in the making has the debut album “Glory On The Battlefield” been?
-The album has been about 4 years in the making. We had been collectively writing songs over that time, along with playing shows. The main problem that delayed the release was numerous bass player changes. Now that the album is being released, and we have a steady bass player, we are looking forward to get back into writing and recording a follow up album.

How much time and effort do you devote to the band in order for it to happen? What sacrifices have you made and what sacrifices are you ready to make?
-We devote two nights per week for band rehearsal/discussion for it to happen, along with any other night that we could use a meeting, or an extra rehearsal. We have sacrificed countless amounts of things including: jobs, relationships, family, friendships, health, and money just to name a few. We are ready to make all the same sacrifices and more to play music for the rest of our lives. We love what we do and there is no better feeling in the world than being up on that stage playing for people.

How do you avoid making the same mistakes bands before you have done?
– While some mistakes are unavoidable (playing poorly promoted shows and not getting properly paid ) in the Canadian scene, it is quite easy to make good decisions as a band to bring you to the next level. To avoid making mistakes you have to make sure everything you do as a band is constantly pushing you forward and never standing still such as new merch designs, bigger gigs and stronger songs. The only real way to avoid mistake are to make a few yourself along the way.

With the accumulated knowledge of all the bands making it before you out there how easy is it to put together your own manual of how to make it?
– As easy as it may seem to make it, it still takes a lot of hard work and dedication from all the members in the band. You may be able to take certain steps towards your goal but every music scene has its challenges you have to get past and sometimes it just takes time and hard work for you to be noticed by the right people. Making good contacts and surrounding your band with the right people (manager/booking agent ) can lead to great success!

Where do you see the biggest potential of attracting the biggest accolade for your music?
– We take a huge influence from European and Scandinavian Metal bands and have already had some recognition in those areas. One of the greatest things about the internet is that you don’t need a major label to get your music to other countries. It’s obvious that the biggest market is always the US because of how close the cities are and how much press is around everything that goes on. We hope that the world will take notice of what we are doing and not get stuck in one certain area

How do you go from releasing an album to touring in support of it? What kind of master plan do you have for the band?
– Well once we fully release our debut album we will have a few small tours in our area leading up to an East Coast tour in the summer. We hope to be touring more throughout the end of the year as well. Right now we have a few distribution deals in talks but as an end goal we would like to record our next album with a label who will put us on the road or 6-9 months out of the year. We all love playing shows and being on the road and want to make that our full time job.

ELVENSTORM

I simply love ACID and have so ever since I discovered them in the 80s. When I heard ELVENSTORM the first time I was immediately brought back to that time. Not that the band can’t stand their own ground. This is heavy metal the way heavy metal is supposed to sound. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I gotta admit that I was pretty thrown off by the name. I kinda expected some trolls and elves fairytale metal and not the ACID induced, borderline speed metal I heard. What was the thought behind the band name?
-With the band name, we didn’t want to sounds like all these folks fairytale metal bands.
It more reminds me the power and speed of a storm attack coming out from an old age that’s why we used to choose this band name. No keyboards, no princess, only traditional and powerful heavy metal.

How hard is it to have a clear vision of what it is you want to do with the band when there is so much to choose from if you want to take the easy way?
-I know, heavy metal is not really the easy way to the success, but anyway, we play what we want and what we like most. Heavy Metal is a part of our life, it’s a passion first. As say Kai Hansen in his song “Heavy Metal is the Law” : We need it as a liquid in our veins instead of blood” I think it’s the best way to play this kind of music, by passion.

To my ears there is a classic European heavy/speed metal sound to your music. Where does that come from?
-I think it’s coming from a melt of all our influences, you know, myself and Michael are really influenced by the German Heavy Metal bands like old Helloween, Running Wild, Grave Digger, Paragon, Wizard … and Felix was playing for a long time in Lonewolf, . We don’t want to sound like one or other bands, we just create songs with our own influences so I thinks that European Heavy Speed Metal is the right term

With a new an album out on a label that is anything but metal how much of a help is that to bring the band even further on?
Yeah, our first album is out on Inferno Records, it’s really the kind of label we wanted. Fabien is doing an absolutely great work, and is one the most serious, courageous and passionate people I ever seen. I think it’s the best way to start with a first album. There was no real problem with the production of the album. I still don’t know where we will release our second album, but we are 150% satisfied by the Inferno records’s job.

How do you avoid being seen as a cliché and instead be taken serious doing the stuff you like?
-For us and many people, Heavy Metal is not a “cliché”, we played it with guts and hearts.
Chains, leather, spikes and other stuff are part of the game. It’s more a way to be instead of a “cliché”

How hard do you work on the display of the bands image in order to set you apart from the rest of all other hopeful metal bands?
-There’s a lot of good metal bands in the newcomers, but we’ll bring something new with our songs.
It’s not really current to hear Heavy Speed Metal with female vocals on the newcomers.

What plan do you have to get people to notice just you?
– The label’s promotion and the social networks helps us a lot to promote our music.
We also will promote this record on the road, we are actually booked on France, Germany, and Italy.After we don’t have any plans, we don’t calculate, let’s see what happened in the future

How do you get on the European summer festival circle when you are just a small band on a small label?
-It’s quite hard, because we have to prove on stage the value of the album.
Even if we don’t play festivals this year or later, we are really pleased with all the shows we have and to visit different countries.

How pleased are you with “Of Rage And War”? Is it even possible to describe the feeling of accomplishment you felt seen the album for the very first time?
-We are totally pleased with this records, it’s the accomplishment of years of great hard work.
When we received the pack with the cds, it was a sort of relief and the end of months of hardworking !!! I’m also happy with all the reviews he had and the satisfaction of the people when they listen our record

What would you consider being the next logical step in the evolution of Elvenstorm?
The next logical step is the release of our second album. We are actually working on new songs and I really hope to enter the studio at the end of the year for the recordings of this new one. It will be an album in the vein of “Of Rage and war” but with more maturity and more power !!!!
Stay tuned !

Laura F

ESSENZA

ESSENZA lingers somewhere back in my memory as a band that I have heard of but never heard a single note by. Now that I’ve corrected that mistake I gotta admit that they impressed me deeply. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

When I saw you band name in my review list I immediately recognised you from the 90s/early 2000s. Still this was my first encounter with an album from you guys. How much of an existence in the hidden have the band lived?
(Carlo) Yes, you are right! Our band is in activity from 1993. We started to perform in the Italian underground when we were very young, and before our last cd “devil’s breath” we published two-demo cds, a live cd, an EP, and two official full-lenghts… but before 2007 all our songs were in Italian! Probably for this reason Essenza’s early works are not very known. With the EP “Dance of liars” and the following “Devil’s breath” we tried to reach a wider public. At the same time, also our music changed from a classic hard rock to an heavy metal style with strong thrash/power influences. But the rock ‘n roll attitude remains the same.

Would you say that you’re a thrash metal band? In my ears I can hear similarities to bands like Powermad. A band that tried to broaden their appeal.
(Carlo) Not a pure thrash-metal band. Our songs contain typical thrash metal riffs, and you can find also power/prog references… but in general the song writing reminds the classic hard-rock style: I love to define this mixture of styles as the distinctive feature of Essenza music.

When you have been going for so long as you have and still are pretty much an underground band, what is it that still drives you to play/record the music you do?
Alex) We always play for the music itself and, naturally, we shout out all that we have to tell. You know, make music is a strange kind of passion, and the efforts to keep it alive, must come from the inside of you, and not from inside your wallet.

How hard is it to find a record label that believes in you when you come from Italy and play thrash metal oriented music?
(Alex) In Italy it isn’t a hard work, it is almost hopeless. As you have already said, our music was born in the underground and seems that always will be in the underground. But we keep looking for some label interested in our music but, so far, only names from other countries appears on the horizon.

When you are pretty much DIY how hard is it to get gigs and festival appearances in order to expose the band to a bigger audience?
(Alex) It is really a hard work. You must have multiple faces, one for play and for sing your music, and the other is for organize and promoting the events. The bigger the gig is, the bigger are the efforts to be in there. Sometimes I hope that some big label begins to take over the second face, leaving to me only the face of musician.
“Devil’s Breath” seems to be an album from 2009. What is it like to still promote something that is that old?
(Carlo). We are an underground band without the sponsorship of a big label. Promotion, booking, and all the other activities, depends on our forces. Step by step, “devil’s breath” cd has been first promoted by live concerts, internet and Italian specialized press, and now, after two years of delay, it was included in the Andromeda Rock Distribution catalogue. For us this is a very good result, leading us to start the international promotion and the research of a new label for the next studio album!

How much of a relief is it to have somebody professional helping you out promoting the band? How do you go about choosing who’ll represent the band?
(Carlo) Today, the rock/metal underground is full of agencies, promoters & Co. that in many cases are only speculators… Nevertheless, a professional help is necessary to bring the music out of the rehearsal room! Now we are in the roster of Red Cat Promotion, and we are very satisfied by the work of the agency.

How easy is it to trust outside people with band related issues? What is your worst experience dealing with un-trustworthy people?
(Alex) In a couple of occasions, the audience (and the gig promoter) was expecting some mysterious non-rock non-metal music. In that gigs we played harder that never before so, whoever didn’t like our music, had to RUN away as fast as possible. Ah ah ah!

With so many years in the scene what would you say has been the highlight so far for the band?
(Carlo) We are very proud of our last studio-cd “devil’s breath”, our heaviest cd, but we are sure that the next work will be even better!

If you look to the sky what do you see for the future of the band?
(Alex) You may not look to the sky, it is better to have a look to the underground. There is an entire world there, we don’t want to climb any stairway to heavens, we simply want to keep playing “our” music in the way “we” want. Yeah, ok, a “major” kick in the ass will make anything simpler. Finally, we would thank you for the interview, and we would invite you all to visit our official website www.essenzamanagement.com. Horns up!

THE FORCE

THE FORCE is a thrash band that took me back to the 80s and the second wave of thrash metal. Being a huge fan of that era and having grown up on that kind of music I just had to interview this Paraguan band. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

For all of us new to The Force could you please introduce the band?
The Force: Thanks for this interview Anders! The Force is a Thrash Metal Band with a lot of N.W.O.B.H.M influences from Paraguay, we are Mike Martinez on guitars and vocals, Juan Barrios on bass, Edu Valezuela on guitars and Bruno Romero on drums, we started in march 2007, released our first demo “Old School Metal Onslaught” with 4 tracks in December 2007, then we got a deal with Kill Again Records from Brazil, and released 2 albums so far “Possessed By Metal” in 2008 and “Nations Under Attack” in 2011, we also appear in the “Schizophrenic Lunatic” compilation of the same label featuring among others Violator, Hirax, War hammer etc. We also have a live demo called “Live Assault” from 2009, and a split album called “Thirsty Of Metal” released in Colombia with the bands Dominus Praelli (Brazil), Ursus (Colombia), Strike Master (México) and ourselves.

What is it about thrash metal that is so great you want to play it yourself?
The Force: Previously Juan and Mike already had a band called Overlord, playing thrash metal in the mid 90’s. So is the style we always loved, the classic sounds of thrash metal, the speed, aggression and violence mixed with great riffs from the traditional metal bands.

Listening to you I get the impression that you feel that the 80s thrash metal scene that started with Metallica’s “Kill ém All” is the best. What is wrong with the newer thrash metal and what is so great about the old school?
The Force: That is the sound we identified ourselves from the beginning! There’s nothing wrong with the newer thrash sounds, except that the old way of thrashing is waaaay better!!!!

How much of an influence is NWOBHM to The Force? What is it that is so great about the NWOBHM that it still 30 years later influences people?
The Force: Since we started out as headbangers in the early 90s we always loved the traditional metal bands such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden; Accept, Riot etc. We discover more British bands from the early 80s as time went by, such as RAVEN, ANGELWITCH, TANK, TYGERS OF PAN TANG, and we fell in love with that sound. I think people still love those bands 30 years on because they did great metal music in its purest form, there was a lot of talent plus honesty, and that translated to the music.

When we speak of South American metal we tend to think of the whole continent as one country. What is the thrash metal scene like in your country Paraguay? Is death/black metal bigger?
The Force: The scene here is strong but kind of scattered, Thrash Metal was always a big influence, the first metal bands in the 80’s like RAWHIDE, BATALLÓN played thrash. Then in the 90’s there was a big Black Metal and Death Metal scene, but from 2000 on there was more variety of styles, I mean there always were Traditional, power, speed metal bands but nowadays there a more of them and each with its own audience. We usually play with Heavy and Thrash Metal bands, but from time to time we play with the extreme metal scene and even with the punk/hardcore scene.

With so many great bands coming from all South American countries is there any sense of competition between the bands as to who’s the greatest band on the continent?
The Force: There are great bands in every country, depending on which scene you are referring to, if we talk about Thrash Metal, there’s no denying that currently VIOLATOR is the biggest in south America plus they really are a great band, specially live!!, But if you refer to the scene in general SEPULTURA, SARCÓFAGO,RATA BLANCA from Argentina and CRIMINAL from Chile and MASSACRE from Perú are the more popular bands out of south America, and we are not big fans of either of those bands, although we like some of their stuff, we are more into bands like BYWAR, ANTHARES, TAURUS, RIFF, V8, ARKANGEL and RESISTENCIA from Venezuela, WITCHTRAP, SPLEEN from Colombia etc. From Paraguay we love SACRO, KHYRON, POWERDRIVE, THE AXE, SLAYGROUND, PATRIARCA, EVIL FORCE, 220 VOLTIOS…

How important is it that everything (band photos, cover artwork etc.) looks the correct way? Is there a theme to the bands aesthetics?
The Force: WE think is very important but not in the “selling the band” way but to reflect tha attitude and sound of the band. Since we are a very traditional band, that would be the theme to our visual side.

What kind of live scene infra structure is there in Paraguay for small metal bands? Can you tour the country in support of the band?
The Force: Here we have many great recording studios and places to play live, but all of them are in the nations capital, Asunción and nearby cities, there`s also a big scene in Ciudad del este, but is very difficult to tour the rest of the country, the costs would be too high for the local promoters. I think that we lack more magazines and underground network radio to strengthen the metal scene in Paraguay.

Is it easy to get support from the local/national scene if you are a small band releasing records on small, badly distributed labels?
The Force: The local support is always strong for Paraguayans band, I mean the headbangers really go to the shows and buy the demos, records, t-shirts and patches. But the difficult thing is to get sign to a label since there are almost NONE here, except for some more mainstream pop/rock labels, so the majority of bands in Paraguay are signed to Brazilian, Mexican and Colombian labels.

What kind of future do you see for The Force?
The Force: We are currently working on the songs for our third record, and then of course we will continue to play to those who are there to listen. We are metal fans and get a lot of excitement from playing it and we gonna keep doing it as long as we possibly can, there are a lot of more fucking riffs to be played!! Thrash till we die!!

HOLY BLOOD

HOLY BLOOD is a Ukraine folkish metal band that I came upon by chance searching for something completely different. They fascinated me enough to want to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I have to ask about your band name. What is Holy Blood and why is it the name of the band?
-We are Christians by faith, and for us, Holy Blood is the main symbol of it.

I know nothing about being a metal band in the Ukraine. What is that like? How does a metal band get treated by the authorities?
-There are a lot of good quality metal bands in Ukraine, but most of them are only known in their homeland. There is no metal industry, thus many bands do not even publish their own music, and those who write, as a rule selfpublished, in very small print run sold at concerts. Therefore, the world almost unaware of the existence of some great Ukrainian metal bands, although many of them could become a serious competitor to many European bands.

Looking at you promo shots I get the impression that you are strong Ukraine folklore and traditions. How does that mix with metal?
– Slavic folk is different from the Scandinavian folk, it has more majeure tunes. But it does not spoil the metal music in conjunction with Slavic folk music. We play tunes we’re used to from childhood on that our music is not only aggressive but also fun, cheer up.

Having released four CDs and not being that well known to most metalheads, is that a problem? What do you do to promote the band the best way possible?
– We are well known at home, we gigging frequently and our name is permanently on hearing the majority of Ukrainian metalheads. But outside of Ukraine, we rarely have gigs, so our music does not known well. We would be pleased to have it changed, and we hope that we will have more opportunities in the future.

How would you describe you music to somebody new to it? Where do you draw the biggest influence from?
– Light folk metal with screamo, female vocals and the use of various folk instruments. The influence of folk-Ukrainian Slavic, as well as bands – Svartsot, Falconer, Eluveitie, Cruachan, as well as At The Gates, Pagans Mind and so on.

Where do you fit into the Ukraine metal scene? Is there such a thing? How big a problem is fascism/racism/intolerance in the Ukraine metal scene?
-In Ukraine, we are one of the oldest bands, so many of people know us, listen to and respect. We do not support the extreme political movements, though not quarrel with them, our lyrics call to love our motherland. For the Nazi movement, this theme as close. But we have no enmity with appeals to other people.

I get the impression that Holy Blood is a live band. What kind of places do you play and what reactions do you get?
-Basically, we’re playing at home, the local clubs. But sometimes we do get out from Ukraine. We’ve played in Moldova, Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Finland.

What kind of general reactions do you get to the music Holy Blood play? Where would you say is your greatest “arena”, the place with most followers?
– We have fans all over the world, but most of them in Latin America. What is the reason, I can not explain.

How has it helped the band that you’re on an American label now? Have you noticed an increase in interest from the rest of the World?
– Thanks to the American label, our music is now available not only in ex-USSR. We are hardly able to make our music so accessible outside of Ukraine. The fact that we have fans not only among Russian-speaking countries, it is a merit the label.

What would you like to achieve with the band? Any grand plans for world domination?
-Our dream at this point is to begin to be published on some major label like Nuclear Blast. This would help us with more efficient spreading of info about our existence. In this case, the potential audience would be more opportunity for us to hear.

SOLEIL VERT

I can’t keep emphasizing how fun it is to discover new bands and what great tool internet can be in that search. French SOLEIL VERT came to me when I surfed Myspace (yeaH, it is still worth something) and I knew that I had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Since I don’t speak French Soleil Vert are just words without any meaning. Can you please explain your band name to me?
-First of all, thank you for getting in touch with us! We are pleased taking part in this interview! SOLEILVERT (we like to spell it this way) take its name from Richard Fleischer’s 1973 movie “Soylent Green” entitled in French “SOLEIL VERT”, which could be translated into “Green Sun”, which has no connection to the original title. We liked the sound and concept of this name and we liked also the idea behind this movie, a thriller leading to a horrific discovery, with a 70’s touch to it. We also wanted to use a French name, even if we sing in English, to get rid of the rock/metal scene standards. And don’t get us wrong, there’s no connection with Charlton Heston or the NRA.

I want to say that you draw influences from this or that band but I can’t think of any bands right now to compare you to even if I have them on the tip of my tongue. What influences you?
-We all have different influences and we try to mix them to give a specific colour and flavor to our music. With basic metal/rock influences shared by all four of us, each one has a “specialty” that he adds to our music. Romain (guitar) is really into the so-called doom/stoner rock scene with bands like Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Electric Wizard, Clutch to name a few, Charles (drums) is more into the hardcore/emo/punk scene with bands like Suicidal Tendencies, With Honors or Agnostic Front, Nico (bass), more into inde/noise/indus that helps our music having some atypical “melodic progressions”. Sheby (vocals) is influenced by punk and metal scene and is a big fan of Prong, Killing Joke, and more recently bands like Red Fang for example. With these influences, we mix heavy, down tuned and groovy guitar riffs with melodic and while distorted progressions from the bass, fast attack rhythms and catchy & aggressive vocals.

Judging by the description on your MySpace page you don’t want to limit yourself to just one genre. If you where under the threat of a gun how would you like to describe the sound of SoleilVert?
In this way, we like to define our sound being simply stoner rock, as this genre is not really well defined and combines lot of different sub-genres under one banner. It is sometimes close to metal, to punk or doom (not in our Dear Domineering EP but in the other songs). Why don’t we call it “urban stoner rock”? as this could be simply stoner rock or desert rock mixed with urban influences like punk, hardcore or indie rock.

To me the French metal scene has always been a rather secluded one with bands singing in French exclusively. But that has changed and more bands are being heard worldwide. How much do you look to the French scene past/present for inspiration?
-In each country, there are bands singing in their own languages, and I think that’s great. Maybe we will do some songs in French but that’s not easy to sound great with French lyrics. A lot of band have turned using English in their songs, as this is a standard for rock and metal songs, combine it with a better average level in English in France, and you will have more and more bands singing in English. I remember not listening to French bands in the 90’s, but the metal scene here as pretty much evolved since then. A lot of bands have appeared offering quality and innovative music to the global scene (Gojira, Klone, SUP, Kickback…). There’s also Internet and digital music that has allowed a lot of bands to get known worldwide. To support our local stoner scene, there are a dozen of bands in this scene that really rocks here (check out Psychotic Reactions V1 compilation) and that are supported by dedicated initiatives (Stoned Gatherings, Glad Stone Fest…).

Does it mean anything that other French metal bands are getting known worldwide for your desire/motivation to make it worldwide (if others can, then we can too)?
-Hard rock/metal bands, even if they existed before since the 80’s, used to be pretty confidential, as it was difficult to expand their fan base outside of our borders. Today, more and more French bands are getting known outside France, and of course, that’s great to have this trend as a backdrop. Our music is meant to be shared worldwide, and the Web is helping for that, but for us recognition for our music has to be at a local level first, because it’s the only way to solidify a strong fan base.

How far can you take it on your own before the burden becomes too heavy to carry?
-We will be able to continue making some shows in France as we have developed some connections to play live music. We will continue writing our songs without boundaries in term of style and will continue trying to promote our music the best we can by ourselves. One key point for being able to continue will be the money available: we want to produce a full length album and we have identified our sound engineer, the songs we want to record, but recording in a professional way is a process that costs a lot, and along with creating our visuals, our promotion, and our booking in a professional way, that will cost money. We also have our day work and we will have to cope with that as you don’t make your living with the kind of genre we’re playing.

When you do things on your own (releasing albums, having promo shots taken etc.) do you look for talent only within the border of France or do you look elsewhere to?
-In fact, we didn’t even think of that, we are looking in our close network, people that can help us. There would be no problem to work with foreign talents, but for now we are building our thing up with people we can easily see.

How do you build a network for setting up tours and things when you have no label backing you?
-That’s a good question! We keep on connecting to people that are organizing venues, or other bands in the same genre. We know people that know people that… Things are really uneasy in Paris as this is not the rockest city in the world. There are plenty bands that are willing to play which represent a large market for stages/scenes. In order to play with good conditions you have to secure the selling of an increasing number of pre-sold tickets, and we are pretty bad at doing it ! We would be pleased to be supported by a label, this would help us going one step further.

How important is it to present a unified image for SoleilVert? Or does anything go as long as the music doesn’t suffer?
That’s very important for us to get along with each other. When we formed the band in 2010, we all had previous experience in other bands, most of the time with long time friends. We got to know each other and I think we get along very well, which was a big challenge when you got to start from ashes. Now, I can say we’re pretty much on the same phase so being united or looking united is not really a challenge. Not being united would affect our music as we do it mostly for having fun all together.

If you were to predict the future for SoleilVert, what do you see?
-A big bright Green Sun? In the near future, we would like to release our first full album this year and maybe interest a label that could help us in this project and to defend it on stage on a national level, maybe as opening acts for bigger bands. Then, we would like to play in Europe, maybe in some festivals.
Thank you for your interest in the band, see you maybe one day in Sweden !!
You can download our EP “Dear Domineering” on Jamendo at this location, listen to it and share to your “real” friends ! http://www.jamendo.com/fr/album/98432

AVENGER “Bohemian Dark Metal”

AVENGER
“Bohemian Dark Metal”
(Deathgasm Records)
There are so many bands in the World that it is hard to keep track of them all. I’ve been aware of Czech Avenger for some time now but never got round to checking them out. Now that time has come. And I like what I hear. There’s a slight Swedish death/black metal touch to this but mostly it stands very well all on its own. If you like your extreme metal fast paced and with a slight symphonic/epic touch then this has all that. There is a groove to this that adds to the overall impression. There is so much going on in the music to keep it from going stale. I’m reminded of bands like Algaion, perhaps a bit of Norwegian Hades Almighty – not so much in tempo as in atmosphere when I listen to this. All these impressions leave me with a feel-good state of mind. What more can you expect. Anders Ekdahl

DARKNESS BY OATH “Near Death Experience”

DARKNESS BY OATH
“Near Death Experience”
(Cyclone Empire)
I can’t help wondering whom all these bands that keep releasing albums are aiming for. We are just so many that are into metal that someday we’ll all overload/dose on metal albums. Until that day comes I’ll just keep on discovering new and cool bands. Don’t know how cool Darkness By Oath are but that they have overdosed on At The Gates is clear from the word go. Listening to “Near Death Experience” is like listening to the follow up to “Slaugther Of The Soul”. I’m not complaining. I love that album. I even saw At the Gates very last show before they broke up the first time. Don’t know how well Darkness By Oath will go down with the hardcore ATG fans but among us that don’t care too much this will be liked for what it is; a cool Swed-death album. So for all of you that like screamy vocals, galloping guitars and a thunderous pounding this is da shit. Anders Ekdahl