WEIRD FATE “The Collapse Of All That Has Been”

WEIRD FATE
“The Collapse Of All That Has Been”
(Cold Dimensions)
Weird Fate are black metal on the more esoteric side of the tracks. This is anything but fast, yet still not slow enough to be considered doom. There is a floating feel to the band’s black metal that brings it forth in a steady tempo. There is an almost soundtrack kinda vibe to the music. As if the band is trying to paint a picture with the music. If you like bands like An Autumn For Crippled Children, Lustre and Svarthi Loghin you might find this equally pleasing on the ears. I know that this is music that speaks to me on several different levels. This is headphone music. Who needs drugs when there are bands like this around. Just close your eyes and let Weird Fate take you on a journey into the nether regions of your psyche. When black metal is great it is really great. This is pretty close to perfection. Anders Ekdahl

Ministry – “Relapse”

Ministry – “Relapse” (AFM Records)

‘…kids today are so influenced by what the media feeds them..’ says Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen, the dissident Texan veteran whose career spans 30 years of perversion, drug abuse and a relentless tirade against corporate greed, govt corruption and public apathy. “Relapse” is the band’s first studio album with original material since 2007’s “The Last Sucker” and when Jourgensen starts screaming ‘…I’m not dead yet, I’m not dead yet!!..’ ya gotta wonder if he’s talkin about his ulcers or the new album – cos it’s the meanest mutha I’ve heard this year!! Yeah, no kidding, after getting used to that sampled, industro metal that the band were putting out over the years, “Relapse” is a complete shock to me: this is pure punk rock at its most abrasive, obnoxious and out rightly noisy!! Like a meeting between the Ramones and Pantera with heaps of ‘go-fuck-yourself’ attitude, songs like ‘Ghouldiggers’ are street anthems built for today’s urban mass protests taking place all over the world. Ministry have essentially captured the angst, furor, tear gas and truncheons while steadfastly keeping to their political mantras like ‘…we don’t want prison, we just want reason…’ on poignant songs like ‘Kleptocracy’. If that wasn’t enough, they even resurrect SOD’s ‘United Forces’ and take the piss back by giving it a socially conscious mix that only this deviant Ministry could achieve!

Kill Devil Hill – “Kill Devil Hill”

Kill Devil Hill – “Kill Devil Hill” (Steamhammer/SPV)

Wow. So this is the famed Black Sabbath / Pantera supergroup? Yeah, and I’d probably chuck in some Down and Dio in there for good measure! For those of you that just crawled out from under a rock, Kill Devil Hill is Rex ‘Rocker’ Brown (Pantera, Down) on bass, Vinny Appice (Heaven and Hell, Dio, Black Sabbath) on drums, Mark Zavon (Ratt, 40 Cycle Hum) on guitar and Jason “Dewey” Bragg (Pissing Razors) on vocals. Interestingly though, the core sound KDH is nothing like the aforementioned bands and actually owes more to 70s rock – specifically Zepp – along with a very strong Alice In Chains trippy undercurrent completed with a strong southern groove, especially in Dewey’s vocals. But get this, this ain’t no retro ride, so while ‘Rise From The Shadows’ may be trippy, it’s one heavy mutha from Appice’s smashing drums to Rex’s bottom end crunching bass! Essentially, it’s a heavy metalized version of Plant n Page like on thumping opener ‘War Machine’ and the piece de resistance for me is ‘Old Man’ with that heavy southern doom riff reminding me of good ‘ol Crowbar! The South has arisen again.

Unisonic – “Ignition”

Unisonic – “Ignition” EP (earMusic/Edel)

Unisonic is the rock band formed by ex Helloween vocalist Michael Kiske – and what a ripper it is too! Assembling a formidable crew in Pink Cream 69ers Dennis Ward and Kosta Zafiriou, ex Gotthard member Mandy Meyer and more recently, Kai Hansen, Kiske has spared us nothing! I guess the obvious expectation of Unisonic’s music would be that of Helloween part 2, not unreasonable given the live bonus track of ‘I Want Out’, where it’s good to hear Kiske’s vocals still bearing up to those soprano levels. However, for their own material, Unisonic have drawn from their collective experience where the title track opener is reminiscent of an upbeat ‘Coming Home’ from the Scorpions, whereas ‘My Sanctuary’ seems to be a slower, melodic rock version of Iron Maiden with lyrical references to ‘..running free..’ (well, Kiske was considered as Bruce’s replacement…Ed), and ‘Souls Alive’ is mid tempo melodic power metal with soft interludes that allows Kiske to demonstrate the soulful side of his vocal capability. All in all this is an impressive release befitting the pedigree of the musicians involved, so I hope it goes beyond ‘project’ status to becoming a full time band in its own right!

Kissin’ Dynamite – “Money, Sex & Power”

Kissin’ Dynamite – “Money, Sex & Power” (AFM Records)

Do you like Money, Sex and Power? Indeed, gimme more, gimme more! So scream these five hairspray rockers who look like they just stepped outta Gazzari’s onto Sunset Strip back in the 80s – except they’re from Germany, Bavaria to be exact, more commonly associated with lederhosen than leather LOL! Typically taking their inspiration from GnR, Crue and Skid Row, in terms of their look, attitude and sound, what sets them apart are the strong Germanic melodies turning the likes of ‘Sex Is War’, ‘I Will Be King’ and ‘She’s A Killer’ into catchy singalong anthems. Pioneered by the Scorpions and taken further by Accept (when they were melodic), Germany has never really had an equivalent to those 80s bands but Kissin’ Dynamite could be the nitro that Europe is looking for – either way, get ready for some Swabian sleaze metal LOL!!

Mad Max – “Another Night Of Passion”

Mad Max – “Another Night Of Passion” (Steamhammer/SPV)

Another amazingly resurrection – this time from famed 80s Christian melodic metal band, Mad Max, from Germany. As I remember, they were on the verge of success but never got a shot to make it to the US owing to some label FUBAR – but hey, that’s rock n roll! 25 years on, they’re trying to give it another go, and damn fine effort it is too! Just noting the album’s title, it seems to be take from their 1987 “Night Of Passion” album, and that’s pretty much where anthemic songs like ‘Rocklahoma’ and ‘Back And Alive’ are still at – LOL, did these guys skip the 90s!? Power melodies laced with harmony choruses and driven by heaps of purebred rock riffs courtesy of Michael Voss and Juergen Breforth’s guitar work especially on the closing instrumental of ‘True Blue’. Having talented producer / musician Voss still in the band has made all the difference: from his superb classic rock vocals which aren’t a million miles from Stryper’s Michael Sweet (if thankfully without the latter’s religious fervour!), to his superb songwriting and generally giving the band a contemporary sound while sticking to that original formula. The return of Mad Max is to be heralded, that this album is graced with all the hallmarks of that glorious time is nothing short of a miracle!

Furyon – “Gravitas”

Furyon – “Gravitas” (Frontiers Records)

Hmmm, sounds like a Vin Diesel flick LOL – and not a million miles away either given that the band’s take on their handle is of a prime warrior name! The music however, is somewhat mellower being a less down tuned (and prob less stoned – Ed) version of Alice In Chains, but with the powerful Americana guitar work of Alter Bridge, completed with the raw, hard rock vocals of Matt Mitchell. If my memory serves me correctly, “Gravitas” was actually released a coupla years back as a self release and promptly sold out, so this re-release by Frontiers will no doubt do justice to classic rock songs like ‘Stand Like Stone’, ‘Desert Suicide’ and ‘New Way of Living’, all of which could steam up any bar!

KULT OF AZAZEL

KULT OF AZAZEL has been at it for a very long time now. For that they deserve respect. If you like your black metal Americanized then look no further. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

For a band that has been going for as long as you guys have what would constitute success to you?
-I would have to say that keeping this band going the past 13 years, the amount of material we have written, the releases both in full length and splits we have put out and all the shows we have done. If the band ended tomorrow I could easily go to the grave knowing that Kult ov Azazel left some form of legacy. That is what I constitute as success.

Forbidden Records have rereleased some older stuff of yours. What was the idea behind that release?
-It’s been something that people have asked us to re-release for years. I had been kicking the idea around when out of the blue Forbidden Records approached me with the offer of re-issuing it. So when the guys at Forbidden mentioned they wanted the re-issue to focus on the days when we were known as Azazel I decided to not only re-issue the Order Of The Fly but to also add all music we ever recorded under that moniker that have been out of print or never released on CD. There’s also an unreleased version of our song Garden Of Shadows that we re-recorded in 2008 while we were in the studio recording Destroying The Sacred. So this has been properly titled the “Ultimate Edition” due to the bonus material that has been added to the release.

‘I have to admit that I’ve only heard one album of yours before this rerelease and I wasn’t too impressed by it at the time. Now I understand it. Is that a common thing with your music that it takes time for people to understand it?
-To be honest I cannot comment. Some love us, some hate us and some have hated us only to change their minds down the line and vice versa. Music like any art is subjective so really everyone has their own likes and dislikes and truthfully at the end of the day I don’t lose any sleep over what others think.

What is it that you like to convey with your music?
-Disgust, contempt, hatred and unbridled blasphemy.

There’s a lot of talk about USBM now as if it is a cohesive unit. Do you feel a part of it? What is USBM to you?
-USBM is nothing more than an acronym and one I don’t ever use to describe this band although others may. What it is to me is something I wish to be no part of. Another reason we do go out of our way to be part of the scene.

When you started all those years ago what was it that influenced you?
-I was influenced to play this form of music long before I started Kult ov Azazel. I grew up listening to Venom, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Destruction, Bathory, Sodom, Possessed, Exodus, Slayer and so forth. These were the bands that truly inspired me when I was a teenager. Still to this day many of them are still the inspiration when it comes down to me playing or composing music.

How have the things you’re influenced by changed with time? How different is the concept now compared to when you started?
-The concept is the same. Nothing has changed there. When I started this band we had a blueprint and I have not and will not stray from that. It is one thing time will not change. As for the influences they remain the same as well. I think a better way of putting it is over time and with age other influences have come into play but these do not waiver me from the path I set this band upon.

With a couple of releases under your belt do you feel that you are a part of a bigger entity or do you operate in your own vacuum?
-We definitely still continue to operate in our own vacuum. We want to be the outsiders. Although there are some that will always put a label on the band in some form or another we are very reclusive and avoid being part of any collective.

To me there seem to be a plastic kind of God fear in the States that dictates the agenda. How does one navigate through the bullshit of it?
-I do not see America that way. Yes, there are some religious nuts here like there are all over the world but God is fading in America. Eventually God will be dead in America. The only people that cling to God and religion are those in rural areas but technology and consumerism is changing that. These two things will replace religion here in another 15 to 20 years.

Is there newer stuff to materialize in the future? When can we expect to see a new Kult Of Azazel album?
-We are in currently in the writing process for the next album which will be titled Violators Of The Covenant that will be released on Negativity Records. Then there is the split 7” also through Negativity Records released last month with us and Teratism which is titled In League With Satan. This split is each bands interpretation of Venom’s classic hymn and limited to 666 copies. Anyone interested in obtaining a copy can do so from the label or directly from us by writing to us at kultovazazel@kultovazazel.com.

NEIGE et NOIRCEUR

NEIGE et NOIRCEUR is a Canadian black metal band with a twist. If you like your BM filled with atmosphere and haven’t checked out this band yet you should do so by reading this interview to begin with. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I speak no French whatsoever so everything in French sounds romantic and exotic. Could you explain the idea behind Neige et Noirceur?
-The idea behind Neige et Noirceur (translation of : snow and darkness) has always been to create original dark music in line with the cold seasons and the spirit that goes with these. I switched between different styles depending on my mood, whether it be Doom, drone, dark folk and for sure black metal. But almost everything in French, which is of course my native language. As do a lot of black metal bands around the world as a matter of fact.

From what I understand you’ve gone more guitar oriented on this new album. Was that a conscious decision or was it more a spur of the moment kinda thing?
-I wanted to start this album without wasting any time with a sleep-inducing intro. I think after all the releases I made, the public needed something going straight to the point: fast black metal.

In creating the music do you think in terms of images? How do you create the music you do?
-When I am alone at home, in autumn, winter.

How important is the graphic side of Neige et Noirceur? Does that side have to correlate with the music side or can they be two different entities and still gel?
-No, everything has to be related from my point of view. As a matter of fact, when I finish an album, I draw something directly related to the music and texts. I’ve always made all the artworks for Neige et Noirceur.

In being alone does that give you greater freedom in creating the things you want? Are there any limitations to doing it on your own?
-When you’re alone, everything is possible musically, and the only limit is your audio equipment or your lack of imagination. Many black metal bands are lacking in imagination…

I know of no other metal genre that has so many one-man projects as black metal. Is there something to black metal that suits loneliness better?
-I have no idea why. But to be honest I think many of these young individuals are in fact lacking talent, as black metal is overcrowded these days. I still carry on because I like expressing myself through this music, but I’ve never tried to be famous or anything like that. In fact, nobody knows I play/record Black Metal except my girlfriend. Today, anyone can record black metal, you just have to listen “Zarach ‘Baal’ Tharagh”, but the musicians who have a culture and talents are rare. They are the ones that strike a chord in the listeners, and their art can become a cult, as opposed to those who scream on and on that they are cult!

I only know the stuff I’ve read about the Quebecois black metal sound. Is there a specific Quebecois sound and what is it?
-Not sure exactly if there is something specific to it, but I know that in Quebec, the bands feel all brothers, which is a good of thing. Our scene is booming and it’s great but sometimes I’d wish the bands from Quebec would bring something new to the sound of black metal. At least here, we are not afraid to sing in our native language. It’s our greatest pride.

To me the geography of Canada is strange with a small stretch of the country being French speaking. What is it like to live in a part that is in minority language wise but still have so much power over the rest of the country?
-Canada is divided into several provinces (or states.), and as you’ve said Quebec is mostly French. I was raised in French. The rest of Canada needs us, so they must do business. But I dream of having my country and I’m proud of my roots and my traditions. Sadly, many do not care about Quebec’s history and dream of being American. Guess I was born on the wrong continent, as I feel much more European than American.

What kind of response do you get on the stuff Neige et Noirceur creates? Do you even care what people think of the stuff you make?
I think Neige et noirceur receives a warm welcome in Europe and the United States. But these are just things I see/learn through the internet, and it’s more of a feeling than something tangible. Most critics of my albums have been excellent, so I guess I’m making something of an impact. I must say, however, that I feel my worst album is undoubtedly “Crepuscule hivernal sans fin …”. I was unprepared when I recorded it. On the other end, I’d recommend “L’abime des jours, l’ecume des nuits”, which I feel is a record of total blackness and coldness. It’s ultra raw, and people think its a vulgar demo, but it’s actually one of my favorites, even with its imperfections, because it embodies winter feelings.

Will there be a future for Neige et Noirceur?
-There is always a future for people who are passionate. As I have some free time during the year to record, Neige et Noirceur will carry on.

OMISSION

OMISSION is just the kind of darkened death/thrash that I like. With a very 80s feel I can’t get enough of this Spanish band. Check them out if you like old Kreator and Sodom. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Why are you releasing the album on cassette too? Is there something to a tape that a CD can’t get through?
-We like to release our music in all possible ways tape, vinyl and CD, we are looking for a label to release Merciless Jaws from Hell in vinyl.
We used to buy tapes and vinyl back in the 80’s, so if we can have our own music in those formats, better.

To me Omission is so full of good old deathrash that I get all excited. What was the reason for forming the band? Was the vision clear from day one?
-The reason was that Patillas lead singer had some songs that couldn’t fit in MURO his previous band so he decided to do a project with Ivan, drummer of MURO. MURO split up and Patillas carried on with Omission and Ivan decided to play with Silverfist. Patillas had to find a full lineup to play the songs he created in the vein on old Kreator, Possessed, Destruction, Venom…That was really the beginning of all this, 3 demos many drummers and at least we have a stable lineup for 1 entire year.

How does the initial vision change as the band grows older and start taking on a life of its own?
-The vision is still the same, blasphemy, anti religion, old school attitude, what may change is the studio sound, ok we may introduce more melody in the solos, but that is our NWOBHM roots showing off, we try to sound better without fall in the new trendy compressed mastered sound, we like to sound the old way, if possible without mastering, but nowadays it’s almost impossible.We still went on stage with the will to take over all souls around, we don’t play a lot because of family stuff, we won’t do big tours, basically we play weekend festivals, but at least those festivals are getting bigger and bigger which is good.

Do you guys constantly feel that you are evolving or is that a bad word in your mouths? How far can you take Omission before it stops being Omission and just ends up a wet spot on the floor?
-It’s a bad word hahaha, if you call evolution from “Kill `em all” to “death magnetic”, I don’t, it’s a totally different band with the same people, and we all love Metallica until the black album, for Omission we prefer to sound like Omission all the time, like Desaster, Nifelheim, Misfits, Decayed. We may change the way it sounds but not the songs, we decided that Patillas will compose everything, so with no outside influences I think the essence will be kept, if it changes, we are honest enough to part ways, we are not here for the money…what money??hahahaha.

I know so very little about the metal scene in your corner of Europe. What kind of following do you get playing the kind of metal you do?
-Here in Spain we play in local festivals, for an average of 200 people if we play in Madrid we can get a bit more metalheads, with the second release we are getting a bit more attention from the media, it seems that people like us on stage which is good.

How much of a live scene is there for you to enjoy? Can you set up a national tour and not play to the 50 closest fans every time you show up in a new town?
-We can play like twice a month all around Spain for different people, we also play a lot in Portugal, the good thing in our music is that we can play with bay area sounding bands with black metal bands, death metal and even heavy metal bands, all the music we like which I think is great for us to be allowed to meet all those different bands.

What is it like releasing albums on smaller labels? How much of a source/tool is the underground metal scene in spreading the name of the band far away?
-We were born underground and we will die underground, all we want is to do what we want, as long as we can, we don’t want to be a 5 year thrash metal band because of all this waves that people talk, we are here to make a career our own way, we want to be here for the next 20 years, we do it for ourselves step by step, we don’t care about new trends, we are old school nearly 40, old guys hahaha.
About small labels, they invest the money that we don’t have to release our music, that’s great, than we can play live to spread our name, also one good thing in the underground is the spreading of the word, now with internet it’s easier to meet people all around the world, we appear in some splits with bands from Brasil, Germany, Greece, Malaysia, that is the power of the underground, we are all as one.

How do you use the digital era in promoting the band? Any benefits/disadvantages in promoting the band digitally?
-We use the social networks to spread the word, it’s free, we can meet our fans and we can arrange gigs as we won’t sell millions of records I don’t see any disadvantage on it, we can sell our merchandising all over the world.
http://www.omission.es
http://www.reverbnatino.com/omission
http://www.myspace.com/omissionthrashmetal
http://www.facebook.com/satanicspeedthrashmetal

Are the underground metal fans loyal or do they too download illegally and therefore bring forth the apocalypse of underground metal?
-Back in the 80’s I had many records in tapes, did many tape trading with foreign bands and then pass it to friends in tapes, I think it’s the same now, the difference is that now everybody has a band, back than to buy a guitar was almost impossible, now every kid gets a cheap guitar and learn to play with youtube, too many bands to get the attention of the media, the problem is the millions of fake bands in internet, if you download who loses money is not the musician is the label, musicians can get some money with merchandise not with records, for underground musicians I don’t see illegal downloads a threat.

Do you have any future plans for Omission in 2012?
-We are pre producing our 3rd album, will enter studio end April and hopefully it will be released in September. Finally we will be playing in SWR Barroselas, and in Spain we have like 5 dates already booked so it will be a evil year spreading the anti religion word, also waiting to play in some central European festivals and drink some beers.

Hailz!!!

Marco Marouco

http://www.omission.es
http://www.reverbnation.com/omission
http://www.myspace.com/omissionthrashmetal