Nine Circles ov… India

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My pen pal Manny-O-War is the editor for metal website Nine Circles. I did a round up of the Indian metal scene for the website.

Nine Circles

Food courtesy of the one and only Babu Ji. Absolutely delicious food courtesy of the one and only Babu Ji in Alphabet City.

Metal is not music that you would normally associated with a country like India. The best known music export from India is Ravi Shankar. I have been following Indian metal bands for over a decade now and have noticed the bands evolve. Bands are putting out releases with better quality production and much better artwork. Here are some of the releases from the past year that you should check out: (In alphabetical order)

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Written by trendcrusher

July 18, 2016 at 5:35 pm

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Satyricon are legends in the black metal scene. Their contribution to the black metal scene not just in Norway but its significance worldwide is undeniable. This year marks the 20th anniversary of their third album ‘Nemesis Divina’.


As a young metal head listening to Satyricon over a decade ago, I no idea that I would interview the band. I spoke to drummer FROST about ‘Nemesis Divina’, their shows in India, and also their upcoming albums. Read the interview on Transcending Obscurity

Written by trendcrusher

June 20, 2016 at 3:59 pm

Blaakyum interview

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Blaakyum is a thrash/heavy metal band from Beirut, Lebanon. The band came third place in the worldwide finals of the Metal Battle at Wacken Open Air last year. Currently the band is working on the release of ‘Line of Fear’, the follow up album to their their debut ‘Lord of the Night’.

I spoke to vocalist/guitarist Bassem Deaibess about their new single ‘Riot again Riot’, their upcoming album and also their gig in Dubai this weekend.


The band has been around for some time now. How did the present line up of the band get together?

A constant fixed line-up is fictional, for bands in the Middle East and elsewhere for sure, but mainly for people in the Middle East. That is mainly due to the fact that not only are Rock and Metal underground genres but also because it is a constant sacrifice to be in a band. So Blaakyum’s line-up changes have been sporadic. The longest line up stability held from 2012 till February 2016. Our beloved drummer is immigrating to Canada soon, so he left the band to make space for someone else to step in. We were lucky to discover a very young talented drummer through a Facebook post. His name is Hassan Kheder. Sadly he will not be able to perform with us in Dubai because the absurd law there says that even artists cannot enter clubs to perform if they are under 21. So for our show in Dubai, Ziad El Alam (ex-Kaoteon, Zix) will perform in Hassan’s place. Also, our bassist Rany Battikh, who has been with Blaakyum ever since it was reformed in 2007, is no longer able to commit to us especially for touring and gigs outside Lebanon, and for that we have also been very lucky to meet Pierre Le Port who recently moved to Lebanon, and who has agreed to join the band. As for my brother Rabih Deaibess, he joined Blaakyum in 2012 during “The First In Line” tour of Lebanon after Elias Njaim, who recorded “Lord Of The Night” with us, was unable to perform as a permanent member of the band due to his work commitments.

Last month you released a new single Riot against Riot which sounds awesome. Tell us a bit about the single.

We wrote this single during the garbage crisis protests-turned-riots in August 2015. We had just come back from Wacken Open Air to find Lebanon thrown into chaos. We were angry and frustrated, some of the band members including myself and Rabih took part in the protests and are active in the civil movement, and it was natural to let our frustration and anger have an outlet of expression through our music. The song itself has never been performed live before, and if luck has it we might perform it in Dubai for the first time.

You have recorded your second album ‘Line of Fear’ last year with Manuele Pesaresi at Dyne Engine Studios in Italy. Tell us about the album?

We finished laying down the tracks last year, but the mixing and mastering process was finished a couple of weeks ago. First we would like to point out what a positive and relaxing experience it was to record at Dyne Engine Studio, despite the rush and the extensive work. Manuele Pesaresi is such a remarkable person to work with, calm, understanding, patient and highly talented. The majority of the songs on the album, which amount to eight, were written between 2012 and 2015. Some of the songs started as intro riffs we did during our 2012 tour; one song in particular, Wicked Revelation, was written as early as 2011. The initial plan was to have a theme based around our own literature and historical heritage, hence the song Baal-Adon, but the events of Massacore 2012 (a new wave of witch hunting and idiotic accusations of Satanism and Devil worshipping that Blaakyum and Kimaera were directly accused of by the Lebanese media following a joint concert with the name Massacore), changed our plans. The album theme is based around cultural terrorism and the basic right of freedom of expression. Maybe few songs are a bit cynical but that is what happens when an entire society bullies you and pushes you around with ignorance and superstitions.

How does the album compare to your previous album ‘Lord of the Night’? Have you tried anything different this time around?

Lord Of The Night was in some unusual way a “Best Of” album, not of previously released songs obviously (except Am I Black) but because of the long time that Blaakyum had existed and the endless live shows we had; we picked the best songs we had been composing over a decade and made them into an album. It was our debut and it had a wide, varied range of styles and even genres, including orchestral compositions and ballads. We just wanted to capture what Blaakyum was about all these years. Line Of Fear is a more defined album, it is way heavier, way more Thrashy and way more aggressive than LOTN, and because we are a bit more experienced it was better produced. Also we further emphasised oriental elements in the music. Although LOTN had such elements in songs such as ‘The Land’ and ‘March Of The Eastern Man’, it was a shy attempt. In LOF we upped the dose, the Tabla (also known as Dirbakkeh in Lebanon) was used way more frequently and more aggressively; in fact, we never expected that Tabla could be such Heavy Metal and even Thrash/Death Metal friendly. As always what we are trying to do is to have an oriental sound yet without compromising the heaviness and thrashiness of the music. The majority of Oriental Metal bands in the Middle East rely on keyboards to make the sound more oriental. What we are doing is making the Metal sound oriental, not just add oriental elements to the music. Thus we did not use keyboards at all in LOF, except for the album intro which was in collaboration with the highly talented Mood Yassin.

When can we expect the album to be released?

Mid to end of June 2016.

What are the bands from Lebanon that you recommend we should check out?

I am pretty sure no matter what bands we name here we will be forgetting other great bands, but those that come to mind are definitely Kimaera, the Lebanese Ambassadors of Doom, Zix the True Lebanese Metal Warriors, if you are a fan of Manowar and Iron Maiden Zix will be your thing. Inner Guilt are not for the faint hearted as they are one of the most aggressive Death Metal bands in Lebanon. We also have a comeback of two legendary bands in Lebanon Blood Ink and Element 26 who merged into a supper group called Ink26, you definitely need to check these guys out. Last but not least there are two up and coming bands that are really worth the support, one is a traditional Heavy/Thrash Metal band called Phenomy, and the other is a modern wave Djent/Metalcore-ish band with a very fresh and interesting musical approach called Qantara, if anyone is in town and these guys have a gig, make sure not to miss it. I am sure I am forgetting many other bands, oh yeah… there is also Eden, and Amadeus Awad, there are some Black Metal bands but I am not sure how active they are, such as Deathlam for example.

You are touring Europe alongside veteran thrash metal band Onslaught as part of the Thrash Mercenaries Tour in September. How did you become a part of the tour? What are you looking forward to at the tour?

I do not know how it actually happened exactly, after Wacken a lot of eyes were on us, naturally it is not just the fact that we ended up the 3rd best unsigned Metal band in the world’s biggest Metal competition, as we all know such titles never last more than few weeks, it’s that the biggest Metal festival on earth noticed a band from Lebanon and it was not expected. So we know that we made a bit of noise somewhere somehow. But it was that night when our manager contacted us and asked us to name bands we would like to perform with. I gave one name: Onslaught, of course I gave other names later after being urged by the manager to give more. Other band members also gave the name Onslaught among others. Then few days later our manager just announced to us that we will be touring with them. As we understood, our single Riot Against Riot and our portfolio of live performances caught the attention of Onslaught’s promoters and we were chosen!
We are eager to see how we will handle the pressure of performing 16 dates in 16 consecutive days without any day off, this will be the ultimate test. Needless to say we are thrilled to meet Onslaught, such a privilege has never been given to us before, although we did meet a lot of our favourite bands during our tour in 2012 and our show at MetalDays in 2013, but to have the chance to spend 16 days with one of our idols is beyond anything we expected. As well as Onslaught, the tour has two great bands on the bill Mors Principium Est and NO RETURN. Besides the fact that the bands are extremely friendly and such a delight to be around, they are very talented and… well, this will be one hell of a tour \m/

Next week you will perform at Blast Night 3 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. What are you looking forward to at the show?

I have performed twice in Dubai before, and our sessionist Drummer Ziad performed there once with Kaoteon. But it is Blaakyum’s first time in Dubai. And we are eager to see how the Metal Scene in Dubai is, how well they support and appreciate the local Middle Eastern scene. Dubai has been famous for its glamorous Metal Scene during the 90s with Dubai Desert Rock Festival, and it has been the hub of Metal in the Middle East, almost every great Metal band has performed there, and so we are so excited to go there and meet that vibrant Metal society. I have been many times to the Music Room during daytime to rehearse with my Syrian band The Hourglass when they were to perform there, so I’m super excited to be back in the Music Room as a performing artist.

As this is your first time in UAE, what can fans expect from your set in Dubai? Do you have anything special planned?

For sure we will be giving our best in Dubai, it is uncharted territory for us and we are eager to conquer it. We will be performing mainly from our upcoming album, with some songs from our debut. Unfortunately due to the fact that our drummer will not be allowed to perform with us, we had little time to prepare what we originally had in mind for Dubai. We are rehearsing constantly with our replacement drummer Ziad El Alam who has been doing an amazing job given the extremely short notice time and tremendous pressure that he is having to deal with to memorize our songs which are rhythmically very complex and not too straight forward. Also sadly our Tabla player is not able to be with us in Dubai due to his pressing commitments in Lebanon. So we will see how it will all turn out, one thing for sure, we are eager to bring the house down no matter what \m/

Thanks for answering all my questions. Do you have any final words?



Check the poster below for all details about ‘Blast Night 3’

Blast night 3


Written by trendcrusher

June 1, 2016 at 10:00 am

death by fungi interview

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death by fungi is a hardcore punk band from Mumbai, India. Formed in 2013, the band released a self titled EP last year. Earlier this month, the released another EP, ‘in dearth of’ which features a more melodic sound.

I spoke to vocalist/guitarist Vrishank Menon about the ‘in dearth of’ EP, recording it and also their plans for the rest of the year. 

death by fungi

What made you decide to start a hardcore punk band? What about the style appeals to you?

I can’t say! I got into punk rock when I was very young, right after I got into Slayer and Metallica, but mostly listened to skatepunk bands like Strung Out and Propagandhi. As I got older, I got into eighties hardcore (Black Flag, Minor Threat), metalcore (Shai Hulud, Converge, Integrity), powerviolence (Spazz, Charles Bronson) and post-hardcore (Fugazi, Glassjaw, Nation of Ulysses).

The music was very empowering, it was fast and it broke musical convention – as a 12 year old, I loved that! I still firmly believe that most alternative genres of music we listen to today – be it alternative rock, metal, math rock, whatever – comes from hardcore and hardcore ethic.

Mumbai is a city better known for it’s metal than punk scene. How did you find like minded band members? How did the band get together?

I was very fortunate to find these people but we aren’t all that like-minded when it comes to music. I mean we all love hardcore bands like Converge and Despise You, but we come from different places, musically. I began writing punk and indie rock tunes when I was in my mid-teens and used to record songs on my own since none of my friends liked punk rock. Kamran and I grew up playing in odd bands here and there so it was natural that I’d make him play bass with me and he did. Another friend agreed to play drums but he didn’t really care. Finding Aryaman was more a stroke of luck. He used to play drums in a mathcore band with Kamran and so when our old drummer left us right before our first show, he asked Aryaman to drum for us. We had no idea but he came from a background of thrash and old-school death metal like Entombed and Morbid Angel. So he was super stoked to play fast songs with us and we all clicked immediately. The first song we jammed to was perfect and all of us established ‘musical intimacy’, if that’s a thing. We shifted to a heavy hardcore sound because of Aryaman’s influence on that band. I think we found our sound our current sound together.

cover The ‘in dearth of’ EP sounds more melodic compared to your self-titled EP. What prompted the shift in direction? Tell us a bit more about your EP.

Two songs on the EP are more melodic but the other two are much heavier than our older work. In terms of sound, we’re just doing more, not letting genre boundaries limit us. We threw in bits of post rock, skramz and emo (bands like American Football and Christie Front Drive, mind you) while fucking with time signatures and guitar tones. We just write what feels right.

What was the songwriting process for the EP? How long did it take?

It’s different for every song. Iced and Pathfinder fell together very quickly and sort of assembled themselves. I literally remember Aryaman and I spit-balling riff and drum ideas and putting together all these songs in literally less than an hour. Endless Rain and Black Lung were very different and we spent a lot of time writing those. Endless Rain was actually the first song we wrote as a band and we’ve been revising it for 2 years. We weren’t even going to put it on the EP but we had extra studio time booked, so we altered the structure and put that in.

We try to be systematic but our band works better when we’re impulsive and do things if they feel right.

The EP was recorded at That studio and a home studio. What was the recording process like? Did you try anything different this time around?

It was much better, we enjoyed the process and everything came out sounding very nice and didn’t rob us of all of our money. That Studio was great and the engineers we worked with, Anupam Roy and Abhishek Kamdar, were very helpful and added a lot to the record.

The only thing I did different was recording a lot of guitar layers.

What are your plans for the rest of the year? Do you have any shows planned?

We are recording a split with our friends from Jugaa (Kathmandu based- metallic hardcore) in the summer and I’m currently trying to book as many shows as possible. We’re also organizing DIY house shows, which should be very fun. Hopefully.

Stream/Download ‘in dearth of’ below

Written by trendcrusher

May 28, 2016 at 7:20 pm

Introducing: Allfather

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Who: Allfather The band consists of Alan (guitar), Andrew (bass), Joe (guitar), Kieron (drums) and Tom (vocals).

“Andrew (bass but at the time guitar) and I were talking over twitter about bands and stuff. Our kids went to the same small school here in Medway and one day he asked if I wanted to play bass in a band he wanted to get together.” said vocalist Tom about how the band got together. “I said I couldn’t play bass but used to shout into microphones about ten years before and would love to have a go again. That was summer 2013, we finally got to play something in December 2013 (we tried a cover of Raging Speedhorn – Fuck the Voodoo Man) and basically took it from there. Our current line up came together earlier this year when Joe joined on 2nd guitar and now it feels like we are really onto something.”

Where: Rochester, UK

What: The band released their 2nd EP, ‘Bless the Earth with Fire’ last month. “It started off as five tracks but we thought we would add Blood Red Sunset on at the end as a bonus track. We thought it was as strong as the rest of the material but it was recorded in a different studio and has different production on it so it wouldn’t really fit in.” said Tom about the release. “Our approach has always just to try and write aggressive as fuck songs that are full of hooks and catches without sounding too contrived. Overall our tone and sound is sludgey but we try not to limit ourselves to worrying about genres. We try and write what sounds good. Hopefully you’ll hear elements of hardcore, doom, straight up heavy fucking metal, bits of stoner and even a bit of bounce.”

“Lyrically there is probably an overall theme of death, I mean come on, we are a metal band. Andrew and I share lyric writing duties. For us they need to mean something but also sound fucking cool if you’re singing along.” said Tom explaining the lyrical themes.

How: “The songs were written in 2014/15 and we recorded it at the end of last summer with Jason Frye at Son of Sun studio in Margate. In terms of songwriting our general approach is that Al (lead guitar) or Andrew come up with some guitar demos, we out them up on Soundcloud for the band to listen to, we pick what we like, take it into a studio and work it through” said Tom describing their songwriting process. “We keep reviewing and tweaking it until we think it is good to go. We are now working on new material and it’s the first time Joe has done it with us so we are looking forward to seeing what he can bring.”

“I think about 5 days. A day of drums, a day of vocals and then about 2 and half days of guitar and bass. Those were hard days but well worth it. Doing vocals I drunk a whole bottle of honey and still came away with no voice” said Tom about how they recorded the EP.

“Keep playing shows where and when we can. We all have jobs/families etc. so touring is going to be hard” said Tom about their plans for the rest of the year. “Also writing new material. Not sure how/when we’re going to try and release it but it would be nice to have a couple of new songs coming out by the end of the year but we will see how it goes.”

Stream/Download ‘Bless the Earth with Fire’ below


Written by trendcrusher

May 18, 2016 at 10:00 am

Imperium Interview

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Imperium is a popular name for a metal band. According to Metal Archives, there are 15 bands with the name, from Chile to Slovakia. There are 2 from the UK. Imperium is a death metal band started by guitarist Mike Alexander. Earlier this month, the band released their second album ‘Titanomachy’ featuring Doug Anderson (Unfathomable Ruination) on vocals. Inspired by Greek mythology, the band have released a solid slab of modern death metal.

I spoke to vocalist Doug Anderson about the album, the current state of death metal and also the possibility of them performing live.

Tell us about the origins of the band. How did you’ll get together?

The bands formation in 2010 consisted of Trigger the Bloodshed and The Bridal Procession members Robert Purnell and Steve Garnier and founding guitarist Mike Alexander. The debut album ’Sacramentum’ dropped in 2012.

With line up changes and injuries, Mike had to take his time preparing the new material. The songs have been a long time coming, and now with myself on vocals, we are finally ready to unleash a new chapter from Imperium.

How did you become a part of the band? Did it have an impact on the writing process for the album?

I was put in contact by our mutual friend Mike Barber, who I played in Prostitute Disfigurement with for a spell. I recorded a demo for Mike (Alexander) and the rest just fell into place.

Music wise the album was more or less finished, I just came in for vocals. I wrote all the lyrics and patterns of course, and there the themes began to develop.

Imperium - Titanomachy

Your latest Titanomachy is about Greek mythology. Tell us a bit more about it.

The first album was heavily rooted in the history of the ancient Romans. ‘Titanomachy’ goes back even further, to the source of the Roman gods, whose origins were lifted from Greek mythology.

The whole album covers many of my favourite myths and monsters from Greek mythos. The title track itself covers the Titanomachy, the war between the titans and the gods.

What was the recording process for the album? How long did it take?

The album had already been written and recorded for some time before I joined, over a year infact. When I stepped in, it took around 6 months to have everything finalised, and the actual vocal tracking process took a weekend. A few months later we had the mixed and mastere

The album is being released by Ultimate Massacre Productions. How did you get signed to the label?

I heard of the label through Mallika and Serge, and approached them myself. Both of them play in successful bands in their own right (Abnormality and Epicardiectomy) and trusted what they had to offer. It’s been a mutually beneficial deal through and through.

What are your thoughts on the current state of Death metal?

It’s quite an amazing time for death metal in some ways. Imperium itself is a great example of the internet age getting a chance to shine.

I have met Mike twice. Ever. I met Chuck Creese our producer, once. Since signing to our label, I have never met a member of the Ultimate Massacre productions team. Yet together we have managed to bring what was needed to produce a really great piece of music for the whole world to hear.

it’s a very modern way of doing things, but can saturate the scene with an over abundance of content. More bands means more good bands, but also more boring bands. But If the listener is savvy and knows what they want to hear, they can track down a nearly endless supply of high quality death metal.

The band is currently a studio project, do you foresee a possibility of play live in the future?

It’s something we’ve touched on, but there’s nothing to report there yet. Who knows what the future holds though!

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

To push the album to as many people as possible, and begin work on the third Imperium LP!

Thanks for answering all the questions. Do you have anything else to add?

Thanks to everyone who has supported us so far, and please check out the album on May the 7th!

Stream/Download Titanomachy’ below

Written by trendcrusher

May 15, 2016 at 10:00 am

Introducing: Slaves BC

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Slaves BC

Who: Slaves BC The band consists of Josh (Vocals/Lyrics/Drums/Art), Sean (Guitar/Vocals), Rick (Guitar), Adam (Live Vocals) and Brandon (Bass)

Where:Pittsburgh, USA

What: The band released their  album ‘All is Dust and I am Nothing’ earlier this year. “All Is Dust and I Am Nothing” is a concept album based upon the book of Ecclesiastes from the Bible. Ecclesiastes is one of the “Books of Poetry” in the Old Testament of the Bible. Many religious scholars contest its right to be included in the Bible. I can see why! At first glance, it does not really seem to fit in with the rest of the teachings and stories of the Bible. Ecclesiastes is basically like, “Go ahead, eat that dry aged steak, drink that 18 year old single malt scotch, and bang that attractive person. You can do that, but you won’t feel any better. Nothing matters. You’re all going to die and no one will remember you.” Since I was a kid, I’ve been drawn to this book. It offers a very interesting perspective on life and makes you question everything.” said vocalist Josh aboutt the album. “Ecclesiastes is extremely bleak, hopeless, and repetitive. We just tried to match the book with our music. Maybe if we had amassed a supergroup using members of Portal, Altarage, Coffinworm, Lord Mantis, and Chthe’ilist we could have come close to the spiralling darkness of this book. In all seriousness, we might as well have been writing pop punk. Nothing brings you down and makes you want to die more than reading through Ecclesiastes.”

How: “The songwriting for the album went very smoothly. Most of it was just Sean (guitar) and I just sitting down and being like “lets pretend to write sweet music” and cool stuff just kind of fell out along the way. There were a couple times when I was like, “Ok, Sean. Write something terrible” (the Slaves BC word for awesome and terrifying metal). Sean occasionally would have 10 minutes of writers block and I would just pour us both a shot of whiskey and then we would write something we loved.” said Josh about the writing process for the album.

“We started recording “All Is Dust…” in 2012 before we signed to Veritas Vinyl. We assumed we would have to put out whatever we did ourselves, so we just started recording it. But not long after, Veritas signed us. They wanted us to put out a split 12″ before doing the full length album because we had no following. In doing this, this pushed back the full length 4 years due to the amount of time it takes to get vinyl made these days. I mean, Veritas sent out for the vinyl for “All Is Dust…” in May of 2015, and we didn’t get it back until February of 2016. Those were the 4 longest and most agonizing years of my life. Just sitting on all this music that we were so excited about for so long. But its finally out! So we are on to writing the next one!”
“The recording process was fantastic, because we record with Matt Very of Very Tight Recordings. We did it in a couple weekends with Matt, but those weekends were spread out over several years. And in those weekends, we were recording stuff for our splits and the Veritas Vinyl Christmas compilation. After recording with Matt, I never want to record with anybody else ever again. Matt is something of a tone guru. He obsesses over it and makes sure that we are making the best possible sounds and that he is perfectly capturing it. He comes up with all this little neat tricks on the spot for us to try that always work out great. We call him “The Wizard” because he brings out the best in us. Plus, he loves terrible sci-fi channel movies. So like, I’ll laying down vocal tracks or playing drums, and I get to watch Sharknado 2 while doing it. #AllForTheGreaterTone” said Josh describing their recording process for the album.

Written by trendcrusher

May 11, 2016 at 6:31 pm


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