Tag Archives: black metal

juodvarnis

Review: Juodvarnis – Mirusio Zmougas Kelione

In some ways many metal listeners have divided opinions when the topic is “black metal.” Most of them find it raw or pretentious, but there are some that adore every melody that could come out of a black metal song. Juodvarnis, a lithuanian Epic/Pagan Black Metal band is just like a problem solver at this point. This band’s versatility lies in combining epicness of the pagan take on the black metal genre and folk, heavy, doom, and stoner metal elements, wrapped with a touch of progpower.

The band from Vilnius released two albums so far. “Mirusio Žmogaus Kelionė”, their second album carries every single element that is specific to the mentioned genres. Very epic, at times softened by great high pitched clean vocals, you can also find a fair dose of doom metal. Lyrically the album has its own dark side either. The songs are written in Lithuanian, a language that sounds as a perfect fit for the music Juodvarnis creates.

There is astonishing black metal drumwork in the songs, there are great heavy metal guitar solos, accompanied with tasty folksy elements. But besides that what takes the attention at the most is high-pitched clean vocal that is combined with screams. A rare singing style, which also makes the album unique itself.

There is a similarity between with the known doom bands such as Candlemass, While Heaven Wept, maybe a little of Solitude Aeternus and there is a smell of Void of Silence in the vocals. In some parts you find similarity with Moonspell and a little bit of early Amorphis. As all these bands are far from black metal, and that is what makes Juodvarnis different. A must-listen album of the year right here.

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nomadic

Review: Nomadic – Horror

Nomadic is an American black/death metal accompanied with various other influences. The band has released their debut EP record Horror in April.

Horror features some impressive death metal riffs and brutal vocals, which manages to catch the listener’s attention from the beginning! Although the record is not the typical ‘raw’ death metal one, the vocals and the drums (from time to time) give us that raw atmosphere. The guitars, on the other hand, are quite brutal and show us the diverse and melodic side of the album. In this sense, the record is brutal but also melodic and catchy; I am sure that the listeners will want to hear the record again and again to hear a certain guitar riff, brutal vocals or the crushing drums.

nomadic-horror

A highlight in the atmospheric elements; this aspect made the record much more fascinating and even a bit diverse in my opinion. I even thought to myself that the band could have gone a bit further with the atmospheric approach by using more synths or orchestral elements.

Horror marks the great start for the band. I am looking forward to what Nomadic will come up with in the future. If you have a chance to see them live, don’t miss it!

Links:

Bandcamp

Facebook

Hornwood Fell

Interview with Hornwood Fell

Italian black metal band Hornwood Fell returned this year with their second album “Yheri.” Singer, guitarist, and bassist Marco Basili answered my questions about the band’s work.

In your Bandcamp description you describe Hornwood Fell as “Italy’s woods-obsessed band. Can you elaborate on that?

Hi guys! You see a lot of Black Metal is greatly inspired by images of dark, snowy forests inhabited by grim creatures. Bands like early Ulver or Darkthrone inspire us for example. It is our way of expressing how our music refers to that type of music, to those bands, as well as the fact that I am surrounded by woods and countryside where I live (my brother Andrea has moved to the city now). In our small medieval village at the foot of the Cimini mountains there are only trees, moss and the cold weather arrives early. Where I come from it is easy to find yourself in thick, gloomy forests, catapulted into the type of world often described in Black Metal.

For the style of music you create, you managed to build something by different vocal and guitar approaches. Tell me how do you go about creating a song.

We generally start by composing the melody and then add the lyrics. In this case we are talking about an album, a Concept in which the music follows the words step by step; much of the work of the vocals and guitar were suggested by the Concept. I must admit that we have played many other styles of music in the past; this last album contains a lot of the type of music we played in the past with our old band “Kailash “.

Yheri

What does the title of your new album “Yheri” mean?

Yheri is a concept album and it is also the name of the protagonist of the story.  “Yheri” comes from the German word “Ihre” which means “Them” in English. We have rearranged the term a little with the aim of describing the concept from a visual point of view. Taking the first letter in the word and looking from bottom to top, the “Y” starts with a line which then becomes two, then there are letters that form a bridging narrative that leads towards the “i”, which is visually a line with a dot on the top. This has much to do with the concept: a single entity, a separation, a path and convergence on one point.

Comparing your two albums, do you see a clear progress in the sound of Hornwood Fell?

There are many new elements such as clean vocals and an Avantgarde Metal sound to our music now compared to the first album. I do not know whether we are making progress but this latest album is certainly different from the first.

Marco Basili

Marco Basili

Does the music you listen during the creative process of a song/album effect your songwriting?

Of course! It’s good that it happens. It gets us going especially at the beginning. I am also extremely influenced by images; films are a great source of inspiration as well as the sensory world, which provides me with food for thought on a daily basis. It would be really difficult for me to compose without this union: a fusion of various points of view, which makes this world fascinating in my opinion.

What was the last gig you attended?

“Spectral Forest” great italian band, in my opinion.

What have you been listening to lately?

In this days i’m listening to Symphony n.3 and Piano Concertos by “Einojuhani Rautavaara”, Alien Syndrome 777  album “Outer”. It is a great album! Corpus Christii  album “Palemoon”, also this is a great work.

Andrea Basili

Andrea Basili

How do you see this kind of music scene in your country? Do you believe it is on the place in deserves to be?

In Italy creating any type of musical or artistic expression is complicated to say the least. Fortunately the web has somehow made it possible to overcome these enormous barriers. Today the music scene in Italy is full of great bands that are good enough to compete with those of other countries (who do not need mentioning) that have made this type of music fashionable again.

What is your favourite beer?

India Pale Ale beer, love it!

Thank you! See you next time.

Jeff Carter

Interview: Jeff Carter of Darkening

I have previously wrote about Darkening‘s debut album “Augür” here, and I felt that it was necessary to conduct an interview with the band’s mastermind Jeff Carter and find out what lies behind the music he brought into life through this release.

Jeff was kind enough to answer my questions in the interview below.

Alright, first things first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

Life is going pretty well, actually. With the release of the album, I seem to finally have free time here and there to do other hobbies besides music.

Speaking of new music, you recently released an album. Are you satisfied with the reception you received for “Augür” so far?

Yes, so far, the reception has been quite great. There are a few music entities interested in hearing where I take things next, being as this was kind of a surprise album for older fans of mine – they are excited as well. Kind of a different musical approach than people are used to hearing from my earlier compositions, which incorporated input from other musicians (Deus Invictus, The Chariot, were some earlier work of mine).

Darkening - Augür

What is “Augür” about?

On a personal level, Augur is about many things…some of which I will not get into…but to basically graze the surface – nightmares, omens, and how they correspond to real life situations and events. I sought to capture the essence of what it is like or might be like right before something tragic happens directly to oneself, predominantly the feeling that you know deep down, via sickening feeling, that you or someone else has a cursed existence for the next few minutes. There are many stories that sort of link together a tragedy, or string of tragedies. Some subjects include a religious person seeking death after being misled by a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a girl who grows up in a government facility who finds out she has special telekinesis after the tests and unleashes the power on all humanity, and finally a person who is possessed with a spirit which makes him a werewolf, among other subjects. All stories are partially inspired by my love for horror movies, but interlaced with the fact that some things aren’t explained, and some things that happen in life can be quite creepy and unsettling. Darkening is the band that specializes on bringing that fear to music. The term “Augur” itself means “interpreter of omens”.

Jeff Carter
Are there any touring plans?

Not in the immediate future, being as we are a studio band. Of course as coverage, exposure, and fan base increases…so would our desire to support it with a live show.

While we’re on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

I would really love to get out to the UK, Germany, Sweden….to name a few…

Who and what inspires you the most?

Mysticism, nature, heavy metal bands of the 70′s. Myself and the studio players on this album included, do not really like very many “newer” metal bands….we grew up on the 90′s death metal scene and kind of skipped back to old Black Sabbath. Of course music inspires us, inspires me…so I really won’t go into too much without sounding like just another musician in an interview…haha. Obviously my family goes a long way towards my inspirations. Lastly, Darkening is mostly inspired by pioneers in art and music…and by the fans.

What other genres of music do you listen to?

Lots of electronica (progressive house….I guess because it’s “prog”). Um….anything from jazz to reggae to 80′s pop. Anything can be entertaining if played with precision and done well. I am a huge fan of The Police, in fact, that is where a lot of my drumming influence comes from. And of course: Motorhead.

Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

Huge Stewart Copeland (The Police) fan. I grew up listening to his drumming in the weird reggae time signatures, which kind of opened up the door for me as a kid to listen to bands like Rush, Yes, and Blue Oyster Cult. I learned to play “blast beats” when I was 12 years old after getting pretty hyped up hearing a Cannibal Corpse album I bought at the record store. Took a while, but after jamming with high school friends and acquaintances for years, I tried to step up my game on drums to a “professional” level – trying to make as few mistakes as possible. After all, if it wouldn’t sound good on an album…why bother playing? Perfection was key. With guitars, bass, and singing on albums…mainly got the practice in on other peoples’ guitars…and singing in my car when I was younger. It took years before I tried to test my vocals out in front of people. Also a pretty big fan of Opeth and some of the other Scandinavian bands out there.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

Just would like to say thank you to the fans for their support, thank you to Annie and all at Prog Sphere for what they do, and thanks to Progstravaganza for the superb interview. You all are great! Happy Holidays from the Darkening camp!

You can buy “Augür” from Bandcamp here, and follow Darkening on Facebook.