Cold Rush – “Disclosing The Vicious Seeds”

Cold Rush – “Disclosing The Vicious Seeds” Maxi CD (Rock N Growl)

Despite the deathlike title, Munich’s Cold Rush are in fact, an electro goth band sorta following in the tradition of fellow Germans Rammstein or Stahlmann. Baritone vocals, funky electronics and a heavy beat define songs like ‘Daily Crime’ and ‘White Z’ although I haveta say they are the most metal I’ve heard so far, probably cos of their liberal use of double bass drumming and that the vocals do alternate into raw, hardcore style. Although I found it an interesting combination, the issue as always is where it fits especially when I picture a latex clad mascara nightwalker in 8 inch stiletto heels (so that’s what you do after Battlehelm? Ed) trying to groove when the drummer goes berserk on his kick drums LOL!

FORTERESSE

I like the cold, dark black metal that Forteresse present on record. It’s like being left alone in a winter wasteland with nothing but snow as far as you can see. Blinded by the snow all you can do is turn to your inner vision for any sort of comfort. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

With a new album out, how pleased are you with the outcome of it?
-We are pleased enough. It ended up surpassing the expectations we had set out for it when we started working on it.

Forteresse are quite a bit into its career. How do you view the progression you’ve made from that first record up till this new one?
-I don’t know. We just record what comes naturally. There is obviously no point in creating the same record over and over so with each new album we try to experiment new directions, while keeping true to the nihilistic doctrine we have followed so far. We just walk the path our hatred takes us to.

In being black metal, what kind of aesthetic do you practice? What is black metal to you?
-To us, Black Metal is about elitism and hatred. It is about voicing our desire for liberation.

To make it easier for people to find what they’re looking for we need to compartmentalize. Do you ever find it restricting having to obey to pre-set ideas of what is what or do you feel free to do whatever you like and still have people following you?
-We do what we like. If people do not like it or disagree with what we do with Forteresse we certainly do not care.

How important is the regional underground scene in forming the band’s direction? Are there anybody specific locally that influenced you to go in the direction you went?
-Many things inspire us from people who led our province towards liberation to earlier Québécois Black Metal projects. We have a few worthy allies within the Québécois Black metal scene, mostly in Québec city. Projects that share our views regarding the freedom of our province and importance of our culture and language.

What is it you want to achieve with Forteresse? How has the idea changed compared to the way it looked when you started?
-Forteresse is the voice of our nation’s grief. It displays our disgust of today’s society and explores the dark regions of our province’s forests and mountains. It is the wrath of our ancestors and the cold wind of old in our faces. This was and will always be what this project is about. This is what we wish to achieve through our sonic explorations.

I’m not implying that Canada is backwards or anything but it seems that not too many extreme metal bands have made it big lately outside of Canada. Do you have any idea why that is?
-I do not know nor care. Making it “big” is way beyond the point of creating Black Metal.

How important is it to promote the band for you?
-All promotion is done by our labels. Very little promotion is made by the band directly other than a few rare interviews. We recently put up an official Facebook account only so that people may get information regarding the band and available merchandise straight from us and not unofficial, erroneous sources.

Once you let something you’ve created go it will be there forever. Does that feeling of having a legacy ever scare you? That people will still be listening to your music even after the band is gone.
-What we do of the time we are spending on earth justifies the reason we are born in the first place. If we manage to leave our dark mark through our music then we will have accomplished an important part of our objectives.

Do you see Forteresse taking you long into the future or do you see an end for it?
-I do not know about this. Only time will tell. There is no point in speculating in this as there is no way in telling what will happen tomorrow.

KILLED THE FIXTION

New Jersey often ends up the end stick of any joke. Resting in the shadow of the Big Apple, NJ is the place you move to to die. But that is not the whole truth. Think Whiplash if you want just one cool meal band hailing from NJ. Think Killed The Fixtion if you want another metal band. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

New Jersey is often at the wrong end of the stick in every joke. Is it as bad as it often is portrayed by the rest of the US? Is it the dullest state in the US?
(Nelson): For the 1st part of the question, I think about what Howard Jones said at the Killswitch concert in “09. He said “Jersey is a dirty whore. You might smell a little bit & you might look a little funky, but damn it feels good to be in you.” In all seriousness, it’s not that bad. There are a lot of things to appreciate like anywhere else, you just have to look for them.

What kind of metal scene do we talk about today in NJ? I remember some pretty cool NJ-bands from the 80s.
(Kevin): The New Jersey Metal Scene is mainly composed of Death Metal, Deathcore, Hardcore, & a lot of quote on quote breakdown bands. There are a few that try to break away from mold, but predominately that’s the current state of metal in New Jersey.

Being from NJ how much do you look to the bands on the other side of the Hudson? Are those bands the ones you measure yourself against?
(Abbad): Actually I don’t think we measure ourselves against anyone. We are musicians. All we care about is making great music that we enjoy, and hopefully the fans appreciate as well.

What’s up with all the breaks between growl and clean vocals? What’s so wrong with just letting the song run its natural course without breaking it up with all the breaks and stop and go of modern metalcore?
(Nelson): I’m not going to say my vocal style is unique, but it’s the way I feel I should express myself in my own music. As for the screaming, singing , & the different transitions between the two, it’s my personal way of expressing pain, happiness, sadness, & all other emotions through music.

How much of an anti-drug statement is the band name Killed The Fixtion? What made you go for this as the band’s name?
(Abbad): Killed The Fixtion destroys anything that has to do with following a trend. We represent the ideal of Pantera’s Great Southern Trendkill. We are totally about being true to ourselves. “To Thy own self be true” (Ving Rames), & we killed our fixtions a long time ago. So the name just came to our bassist while he was trying to give a name to the band. He showed us the name & we never turned back.

What is it that inspires/influences you as a band? Anything more that the other that has shaped the way the band came out?
(Kevin) Music from all different genres leaving nothing out & life experiences inspires/influences the band. For example, I’m influenced from anything from percussive music, Native American music, & the blues. Everything really has the same amount of influence on me. The ambition to create our music is always the same.

How hard is the metal scene to break into for a new and unknown band? How do you go about finding the right channels to spread the word of the band?
(Robert): It’s easy to break into the NJ Metal Scene for a new & unknown band. We’ve been in the game for 3 years now & we’ve gotten pretty far in all aspects of being a musician. It really all comes down to how bad you want it & how hard you work. The right channel to spread the word about your band is at your fingertips. All you have to do is use the internet.

With NY, NY so close by how much of a live scene is there in NJ? Where do you play if you want to reach the right crowd?
(Robert): There are always a lot of shows here in New Jersey & a whole bunch of people come out occasionally. There is never not a show in New Jersey, but people don’t always come out. Sometimes it’s the bands fault for not promoting, but people will come out if you work hard. It really doesn’t matter where you play, it only comes down to promoting & working hard.
Nevada has Reno and Las Vegas. New Jersey has Atlantic City, “the poor man’s Monte Carlo”. What is it like growing up with a sin city so close by? Can you as a metal band gain anything publicity-wise from all the people that come through that city? Handing out flyers etc.
(Nelson): It’s actually kind of funny. I used to go to Atlantic City a lot as a kid & it’s actually a funny place. It’s like fucking Disney World in the day time. At night, it’s nothing but crack whores & gamblers. It doesn’t really affect anyone other than the city, & it is 2 hrs away from anyone. I feel like a lot of things get lost in translation in the city unless you are a huge commodity. I doubt you will get anywhere, but hey the promotion is worth the try.

Where do you take Kill The Fixtion from here?
We move forward & on to bigger things. We will be releasing a new single titled “Moonlite Blue” which was recently recorded at world famous Trax East Recording Studios with Eric Rachel & it will be mastered by the great Allan Douches of West West Side Mastering. The sky is the limit. Thank you for taking time to interview you, we greatly appreciate. Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening, & Good Night.

LEAD THE FOLLOWER

LEAD THE FOLLOWER might very well be the next big thing to come out of Texas. So catch them now and be first to spread the word of greatness before the rest of the World catches on. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

When you mention tech metal and Texas in the same sentence I come to think of Watchtower. What is it that inspires you to write and play the music you do?
-It’s really hard to put a band into a category with all the “sub-genre’s” there are these days. Like our bio says “put it into whatever category you want, we just hope you dig the tunes.” LTF was actually started by two drummers, Wes Niemoeller (Rhythm Guitar) who is a drummer turned guitar player and Jesse Gonzales (Drummer). Most of the songs started with a drum beat and then guitar riffs were written to them. This is why our stuff is so percussive and poly- rhythmic. We are all big fans of bands like Meshuggah and Mnemic (and a bunch of others) which helped to shape our tastes and our approach to what we do as musicians.

I like the play on words in your band name. Is there any greater significance to it?
-The name came about one night when Wes And I were talking about how long we had been working on this project (since 2006) and what little amount of progress we had made up to that point. We realized that in all our past projects we were a part of the groups but not really the driving forces behind them. We decided that it was time to stop relying on others to do things, take control of our own destiny and do whatever it takes to get this thing off of the ground. I believe my quote was “Fuck this follow the leader shit! Lead the fuckin follower”. Our own personal motto if you will. We liked it, it stayed.

What is the Texan scene like for a band like yours? Are there a huge crowd of appreciative fans?
-The Texas scene is cool for a band like us. We aren’t what you would expect from Texas metal but that’s what makes it fun. Our music is very specific but catchy enough we think for most metal enthusiasts to enjoy. The feedback has been great so far.

What would the world of complicated metal have looked like without Meshuggah?
-Pretty boring if you ask us haha. They’re a band that redefined how heavy music is played. Even back in the days of the ” None” EP, we knew that they weren’t just a band but a completely new genre of metal waiting to happen. Not very many bands can say that they pioneered a sound, those guys can. Eternal respect.

How do you go about finding out what to do and how to do stuff when you are new as a band? Is there some kind of catalogue you can browse finding stuff out?
-This band is new, but we are all veterans so to speak locally. We draw from our past experiences and the experiences of friends and peers. If we come up against a situation we’ve never dealt with before, we just try to approach it as practical and level headed as possible. I’m sure we’ll discuss management a little further down the line.

How hard is it to promote your band with no label backing, no physical copies of the music and playing the kind of metal you play?
-Not too hard really. It gives us the freedom to deal with things at our own speed rather than on someone else’s time line. With technology being where it is today, you can do a lot more of the work yourself. You just have to be motivated to do it. We figured that most homes these days have a computer and it’s much easier to download songs into your music library or mp3 player than it is to keep up with CD’s. Stickers and shirts with a web address on them work out better than you would think. We plan to start recording a full length album around March or April which will be pressed and packaged, but our demo we decided to keep simple. There will probably be some copies made eventually, it’s just not a priority right now.

What kind of live scene are you a part of? Are there any other bands in your area that suits you playing live?
-We are a part of the Austin metal scene as a whole. Austin is pretty diverse as far as metal goes actually, the unfortunate part is that there aren’t enough of each type to create separate scenes. There are a few bands that have a somewhat similar style to ours but not many. We’re also just getting started so this could change.
How far do you see this whole digital evolution taking the music industry? Is it the death knell of the physical record as we know it?
-Unfortunately so I think. There are just so many ways to send and receive information now that physical copies of things are becoming less and less necessary. I had a guy tell me recently that the cool thing to do lately is press cassettes of your music. I thought “didn’t we just phase out cassettes not all that long ago? How can they be “retro cool” already?” I thank the DJ culture for keeping vinyl alive though.

What would you say has been the hardest ordeal so far for Lead the Follower?
-So far the hardest ordeal for LTF has been staying patient and waiting for the right circumstances. Finding band members for this project was no easy task and we could have settled a number of times but the music would have never been what we envisioned it to be. Letting it happen naturally and in its own time has much longer lasting effects.

What do you see for the band in 2012?
-Hopefully a lot more gigging, a full length album and really just a chance finally to introduce Lead The Follower to the world.

WYKKED WYTCH

WYKKED WYTCH is a name that everybody into extreme metal should be familiar with. This band has been at it for some time now and with a handful of albums to their name there is no better time than now for an interview. Anders Ekdahl © 2012

What was it that made you start Wykked Wytch in the first place? What’s up with the spelling?
Ipek- I’ve been doing music my whole life and originally started out as teenager singing pop & opera in Europe. Then when I came to the states I became fascinated with Hard Rock & Metal and eventually formed my own group which became Wykked Wytch. Originally inspired by Mercyful Fate & Testament those bands made me want to sing metal. The unique spelling was not to confuse the band it with anything else. Now it is recognizable as extreme metal band fronted by the wykked one herself IPEK.

Is there any greater concept behind the band? How would you like for the band to be portrayed?
Ipek – The concept behind this band is a feel like female warrior being in a many metal battles and surviving. Made me stronger therefore the concept is a metal band that never surrenders. I care less how you portray the band, other than make music the way I like it: heard, heavy and nasty yet could be angelic at times. Looks can be deceiving.

For somebody who has been recording albums since 2000 under this moniker do you feel that you’ve achieved what you set out to do?
Ipek- I been recording since 1996 with the band’s first album “Something Wykked This Way Comes” and have no intentions to quit any time soon, WW It’s basically my baby and solo project and have gained cult following since day one, I’ve achieved a lot of stuff that I wanted to do, but there’s a lot room to grow still and many more goals to obtain. I say yes I have made my mark and not getting confused with $$$ signs (because haven’t seen any yet). As a musician I satisfy my needs each time I create an art and that is my goal and agenda. Some highlights have been touring with some of my favorite bands, worked with top metal producers & directors that I admired. Also having ‘Howard Stern’ playing my music and talking with him on his show. You should always continue to evolve as if you are never satisfied with your project. Always new and fresh ideas flowing around my head and that keeps me going. A predator never stops hunting just because he catches his victims each time. You keep on going!

What would you say has been your hardest set back that has set the band back instead of taking it forward?
Ipek- Hardest setback has been always band members. Sometimes band is desperate for finding good loyal members and so you settle with what’s available to you at the time because you need to continue recording and touring. You find out later that they were bad choices and don’t work out. Then to regroup and find the right people, you lose a few months or a year. It takes time to get back on track again and not to make same mistake. This is not a money making business for us, so finding hard working, hungry, motivated musicians on the same page as yourself is hard, especially since its extreme metal. You can always release an album every year with people who are not skilled or inspired but that is not my way. I rather wait till the time is right come back strong with great product even if takes a few years. I will never compromise my music just to have an album out. . Yes many line-up changes delays your dreams. oh well i’m still here very much alive and ready to KILL!

To me it seems like Wykked Wytch don’t get the same kind of deserved attention that other extreme metal bands get. Why are you considered less interesting compared to other bands? What have you done wrong to not get the same amount of media interest?
Ipek- Many factors involved in that. For one there are a lot more bands and labels out there than ever. We’ve never had a big push and never on a large label. For example having a bigger label behind you pushing the band and promotion and your album being available to in every country and nonstop touring definitely would help. We’ve done the best we can do within our means. Our last 3 albums were on an European label with not US distribution, so we concentrated on touring Europe with little or no tour support with limited promotion. Not the mention we live in male dominated society in music world females being treated as a sex object and not being credited as a credible musicians. It’s not until recently that more females have been in the metal scene. When I started I couldn’t even name any. Also Media underestimates the power of females .Women Musicians work just as hard as men so I can’t change the world but I can try to keep infect my own disease. I have done nothing wrong and i’m not about to sell out like some bands to water down my music or showing tits and ass to get media to respect me. The true diehard fans appreciate m y art and I care less about corporate whores whether they like me or not! My goal was never about cashing out rather playing music with passion. I can honestly say our new album “The Ultimate Deception” on Goomba Music is getting the best push than any of my other albums have so hopefully we will get exposed to a large audience with this release.

How pleased are you with your new album? How does it fit in with the other albums you’ve released?
Ipek- I’m extremely happy and satisfied with our new baby, we worked very hard to make it so the result is obvious. As far as how is it to compare to my previous albums? I think this album is the natural continuation from the last one ‘Memories of A Dying Whore’. Each album we’ve done is different than the rest, has to do with where were at the time and the members in the band. On this album ‘The Ultimate Deception’ we bring in a new guitarist/songwriter Nate Poulson, who brought fresh, modern, and technical shit on the table and made this album to a totally new dimension for the band. But also keeping in mind our past to make sure this still fits in to what we do. We believe in evolving each album and do not like keep putting out same album each time. With that said nothing much changed I have always maintained the integrity, quality of my music we just got more mature this time and decided to leave our comfort zone and expand our horizons.

You’ve been through some labels by now. How does this new one compare to the old ones?
Ipek-yes , I have gone through few labels and I am not about the trash anyone here so what’s in past is past with that we are moving forward. So far Goomba Music has been doing a great job pushing the release. The label knows that we have a following but never had the right push. That’s and that’s one of the reason why they signed us, recognizing the great music but also hard work and integrity of the group. They are doing their best right now to spread the word and pushing the album. The label has a job and so does the band. Our job is never done and we have to work hard to make sure that this is a success and we move forward.

Is the recording industry in such a distress that we hear reports about? How bad is it really?
Ipek- We all know how the music industry right now. The expectation for sales is not very optimistic even for the big bands but there are still true fans out there willing to buy rather than steal. You cannot rely on album sales or touring to make a living. Even the show attendance is even declining. People rather sit in front of the TV or computer than go out and see live music. In the old days people camped out in front of record stores when a big release would come out, now people sit in front of the computer to see when the album will leak. Maybe free downloading helps new young bands needs an exposure but band like us been around needs support and that comes from cd sales and tours. If you cannot produce an income from sales how can you tour? .

How much of a DIY ethic is there behind Wykked Wytch?
Ipek -Wykked Wytch has been DIY since its inception and still is. I’ve never waited around for anyone to do something for us. Always financed and booked my own shows, tours, promotion, etc.
Fans think making an album it’s free have no fucking clue how much time and money is involved to release an album. Our last album we released under our own label practically bankrupted me, combined with all the years of doing this., paying studio time, engineering, mastering, merchandise, adds, videos, printing, etc. Even with our previous releases on a label and this release our albums have been self-financed. .The label only can do so much for you and if you want more need to take into your own hands. My advice to new bands is if you want to dedicate yourself to a band, be prepared to do everything for yourself and spend lots of time and money. No one is going to do it for you. Rockstar fantasy days are long gone.

With a new album out how do you take it from here to get the maximum from it?
Ipek- Well we already started getting very favorable and intelligent reviews this time it seems like media is now realizing WW is a not a gimmick band and won’t go away. We are talented musicians doing music for love and passion and we are here to stay like it or not. Haters always gonna hate. Next month we shoot a video and fews month will start tour campaign and promote the album the best way we can. It’s up to fans to pick up the ‘The Ultimate Deception’ and enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it!

AK-11“Legendary, Demonic & Invincible”

AK-11
“Legendary, Demonic & Invincible”
(-)
I don’t know why but for some reason Russian is a fitting language for extreme black metal. There is something to Russian that is so direct and harsh that it cuts like a hot knife through butter. You know that they mean business, no monkeying about here. AK-11 are black metal in the same way that Norwegian bands used to be black metal, a tad more primitive than f x Marduk or Dark Funeral but with the same attack as those bands. I like this kind of black metal that takes no prisoners and makes no excuses. It’s like being slapped in the face with a wet cloth over and over until you cave in to the pressure. As this is just a demo AK-11 are at the beginning of their journey but I for one will gladly join them on their future adventures. This is the kind of black metal I like to hear more often. Anders Ekdahl

DEAD “Thundaahhh”

DEAD
“Thundaahhh”
(WeEmptyRooms)
This is not the German Dead that has been going for aeons. This Dead originates from Australia. The first time I heard this album I thought that there was something wrong with my computer, like its speakers being torn or something. The second time I realised that it should sound that way. There is a punky noisecore/powerchord side to Dead that takes a while to get used to. It is like the band has a desire to not write songs in a traditional vein. That is until you dissect it thoroughly. Then you discover that this isn’t that unconventional noisecore act you thought at first. That it is noisy it is but underneath it you’ll discover a desire to actually write songs. Maybe not my first choice of music style but on a good day I too can enjoy music like this. Anders Ekdahl

DISEASE ILLUSION ““Backworld”

DISEASE ILLUSION
“Backworld”
(Ultimhate Records)
Disease Illusion are so new to me that I have no expectations whatsoever about what they’ll sound like. That it is death metal is clear from the first second, well it takes a short intro before it all breaks loose. There is a slight Swedish melodeath feel to the music but with a rawer edge to it. I like that edge. It makes them stand out from all the overly melodic death metal hopefuls we keep encountering. You might have noticed that I have a soft spot for Swedish melodeath and especially for bands that makes me think of early In Flames and Dark Tranquillity. Disease Illusion makes me think of earlier versions of these Swedish metal gods. I can’t help but not to like Disease Illusion. There is something so charming about their death metal that it is hard not to be positively surprised by it. Anders Ekdahl

HOPE DIES LAST “Trust No One”

HOPE DIES LAST
“Trust No One”
(Standby Records)
I might be getting older but I still love metal even if its shape has changed over the years. When I got into it back in the 80s NWOBHM was the thing of the day. Today it is so different with all these different genres to choose from. Italy’s Hope Dies Last sound anything but Italian. Thos could easily be mistaken for an American band. Or for Sweden’s Sonic Syndicate for that matter. This is melodic, modern metal with screamy contra clean vocals. I have no idea what to call this kind of metal but for some reason I like what Hope Dies Last has accomplished. There is something infectious to their metal that I find thoroughly entertaining. I guess that they have found the right balance between aggression and melody for me to dig in deep on their metal dish. Anders Ekdahl

MORDAX “Violence Fraud Treachery”

MORDAX
“Violence Fraud Treachery”
(Ultimhate Records)
Say Danish metal and I sit up and take extra notice. I have only good memories of Danish dynamite. From back in the days to present time. I have not come upon that many bad Danish acts over the years. Partly because I haven’t come upon that many Danish acts period but also because there seems to be a standard to which Danish bands are held that is high. Mordax are no exception. Their death/thrash is up there with the best. This is music with a drive and a soul. While not being the world’s fastest metal band Mordax still manages to work up a sweat. It is refreshing to hear a guitar solo after having heard so many modern metal bands that seems to think that guitar solos are heresy and an abomination. Call this old school if you like. Call it retro. Call it whatever you like. I will still call this good metal. Anders Ekdahl