Posts Tagged ‘Metal’
Jon Pettersson is no stranger to the Metal world, he is a member of bands like Wombbath, Ashcloud and Just Before Dawn. A couple months ago, Transcending Obscurity released their debut album Den Förstörda Människans Rike from his new project Henry Kane is newest band from and it sounds awesome. The albums combines buzzsaw grinding guitar riffs with deep growled vocals in Swedish. I spoke to Jon about the album, horror movies and the possibility of Henry Kane live shows.
Read my interview with Jon Petterson on the Everydayhate blog
It has been a while since I have done a label profile here. Satanath Records is a record label and distribution from Russia. Similar to the labels profiles earlier, Satanath is mainly run by one person, Aleksey. I started following the label recently due to their unique releases from around the world. They have been really prolific, releasing 26 albums in 2016.
I spoke to Aleksey about the origins of the Satanath Records, the memorable moments and problems in running a label and more.
Hi Aleksey, you started your label in 2012. How does it feel looking back? You also have a sub label, Symbol of Domination. How did it come about?
Hello! I have two labels, Satanath Records and Symbol Of Domination. SR only for metal, founded in 2012. SOD in 2013 (founded by my colleague from Belarus), it releases unformat + music style is not suitable for the SR. There was another sub-label DeadDogSkull & HeilHellProductions, for unformat, founded in 2012 too, but he separated himself from us in 2014. There is still a distro GrimmDistribution (founded in 2011 by the same colleague from Belarus).
How did you decide to start a label? Why did you decide to start a label that releases only extreme metal music?
Back in that time I had an ambient project with the same name – Satanath (founded in 2011). Also I had another project that was more close to metal – Abigorum. One day my Belarusian mate asked me to print cover art for his band because he knew my profession is publisher (but I didn’t work by it). I printed the cover art for him and thought “Oh, it’s so easy, I can print something myself”. That was the moment when I decided to start a label. At the beginning I wanted to release only my own and my friends music, as most of the new labels. I printed my first demo and then a few other releases. Need to notice that I began printing from the CD-R editions from time to time printing CDs until the end of 2013, then since 2014 – CDs only. Now is two persons behind the label – me (boss) and my wife. But mostly I do everything by myself – design, advertising, printing.
Your first release was the self – titled demo by Abigorum. Did you plan on releasing albums by other bands then?
Of course! I on my label I release music I personally liked only. My music taste is wide, there can be not only satanic black metal, but classical thrash or avant-garde progressive metal for example. I try to keep within genres music that we release but we can provide help to anyone would need to have their release printed. We will just help to print the edition, without putting our own logo on it.
Having a record label requires a lot of commitment. How do you manage running a label? What do you look for in bands before signing them to your label? What has been your most memorable release so far? What are the problems that you have faced running the label? Do you have any advice for someone planning to start a label now?
All the money goes straight to fund new releases and keep the work of the label up, not to the iPhones and cars. Of course we have a very productive collaboration – the more people involved into release the more release will be spread worldwide. Also both label have album in their release catalog. Mostly I print everything here in Russia because price here is not that high as in Europe with the same good quality. I work like that because I have no trouble with our custom, my ‘secret friend’ works there so he can help me with parcels. Sent anything from Russia it’s always much harder that got anything from abroad so custom trouble with other countries is very rare. The latest case was about new Exterminas (italian black metal) album when parcel had been damaged by US Postal Service in United States and 200 CD copies of this album what was sent as a partake for a partner-label were broken…
Pretty interesting how people see us from abroad (probably many of them thinks that in Russia everyone drink vodka, eternal winter and white bears walking across town, through our label is from Saint Petersburg, near the Finland, so we consider ourselves as Europeans as well), but here we almost sure that we are one of the biggest labels on the CIS territory which dedicated to satanism and all black metal band can send us their demo submissions. CDs, tapes, vinyl, as everything else like books and board games slowly dying because of the progress, but people who appreciate physical formats is stays anyway, so everything seems not so bad. And yes, at nowadays is even like some kind of a ‘fashion’ to make himself individual by living in the old school way and resist digitalization. But I’d rather find here an golden mean.
I will say about the groups that have written to me, not that I found myself (there are many). To be honest – country of origin speaks for itself. For example first release with 6 bands together with the darkest corners of the Asia: Barzakh (Indonesia) / Goresluts (Malaysia) / Horrific Disease (Japan) / Savage Deity (Thailand) / Shadowmirth (Brunei) / Suicidal (Singapore). For me it’s hard to imagine what kind of life people live in Asia or what kind of metal scene they have in Brunei for example. Anyway split was good and bands participating their is serious just very small amount of bands can get to the Western market, so almost nobody knows them. With Russia almost the same and next release a bit of provocative – Ildverden, this band from Crimea and they use ukrainian language, they contacted me and asked me to release their album after the annexation of the Crimea by our criminal government so I released it as Ukrainian band as musician and we wanted. Our label apolitical, but most russian people are so stupid that could not support the musician. And third album and band that surprised be that’s Hatecrowned from Lebanon. I didn’t expected to hear any metal from there. Of course they have their own underground scene as in Iran or Iraq but it’s hard to imagine how it’s is happening in their Muslim countries. If they’re caught – they’ll be publicly executed on the square, but probably I know nothing about it and it’s just a stereotypes. Anyway music is great, so there’s a double interest to release it.
Have you been in a band? What instrument do you play?
Abigorum – everything. The group formed after the ambient project Satanath because a new style in which I wanted to try myself, did not fit into the frames of ambient. Genres of project is different and varies from many styles, so as I have broad musical tastes. No texts. music tells about deep matters as space, death, philosophy. More instrumentals. First there were session musicians such as Amezarak, Astarium, Winter Vampyr, Misanthrofeel, Dmitry Kolosov, but then project became a solo, as I’m a perfectionist and I can not work with people.
In the past 5 years, a lot of music listeners prefer streaming and downloads to buying cds. What other changes have you noticed in customers? What is next for Satanath Records and Symbol of Domination? What are the next releases from the labels?
Yes we sell digital on bandcamp too, it’s not big deal, 21st century, internet age! we’re not underground label with only physical sales. We will continue to release various bands, new or famous. Depends of life situations… Thanks for interview!
Here are some of the best releases from Satanath Records & Symbol of Domination
Indian readers can buy Satanath Records releases from Metal Masala
Jeff Loomis is known as the guitarist for Nevermore. He has since joined death metal band Arch Enemy. He has a solo project as well as one with notable muscians such as Alex Webster and others in Conquering Dystopia. Next month, he’s doing a multi-city tour of India, in the following cities – Delhi, Guwahati, Chennai and Bangalore. I spoke to him about his different projects and what has kept him going on for so long.
Read my interview with Jeff Loomis on Transcending Obscurity
With just over 2 months to go for the end of the year, there’s been another killer release from the Indian metal scene; Burn up the night by heavy metal band Kryptos. The band are one of the oldest surviving metal bands in India. Over the past 18 years they have released 3 albums.
Burn up the Night released through AFM Records features a straight up 80’s heavy metal sound which will appeal particularly to “old school” metal fans. I enjoyed the album as the songwriting and production contrasts with the sterile sounds of upcoming bands
I (Peter ‘Trendcrusher‘ K.) spoke to vocalist/guitarist Nolan Lewis about their change in sound, music videos and their recent European tour.
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NWOBHM band Mythra have been cited by Lars Ulrich of Metallica as one of his his early musical influences. The band reunited last year after 30 years and released a compilation album Warriors of Time: The Anthology via Skol Records. Mythra are now signed to High Roller Records and are heading to the studio to record a new album album titled Still Burning.
I spoke to the band about their The Death and Destiny’LP, their deal with High Roller Records and also what to expect from their upcoming album.
Read my interview with Mythra on Transcending Obscurity
Pulse of Nebulea are an international progressive death metal band. I first met Hisham and Martins (vocalist and guitarist of the band) when they were part of a band called Samosa Terror in Dubai close to a decade ago.
A couple years ago, Martins linked me to a single from the new band he was working on with Hisham. The track was ‘Elusive Elation’ and I was really impressed by the instrumentation as well as production. They have finally released their self-titled debut album earlier this month. The 8 track album has been described as “Progressive death metal” however you can hear hints of melodic death metal and even power metal. The catchy guitar riffs are well complemented by growled vocals. ‘Triumph of the Sun’ and ‘Drone’ are a couple of my favourite tracks from the album. An impressive debut release, Pulse of Nebulea are a band to keep an eye out for in the future.
I spoke to Hisham and Martins about the album, and their future plans.
You have been working on your album for some time now. How does it feel to have it finally released?
MP: It feels absolutely fantastic! So much time and effort was put into writing, producing and recording it, I really thought it was never going to end.
HC: We poured a lot of ourselves into this album. Listening to the final product reminds us why it was done in the first place. Hearing this album is like listening to our thoughts. That, in itself, fills me with immense pride.
Hisham and Martins were part of a band in Dubai. How did Dirk Verbeuren become a part of Pulse of Nebulea?
HC: Yes, we first met and formed a band when we were in high-school in Dubai. Noticing our similar interests we immediately clicked and knew we were going to be working together for a long, long time. Both of us being huge fans of melodic death metal, especially the old school Swedish kind, we naturally have always loved Soilwork. When Martins started looking for potential drummers, Dirk was obviously our first choice.
MP: I got in touch with Dirk through my friend and co-producer Matt Wicklund (Ghost Ship Octavius, ex-Warrel Dane). At first when I reached out to Dirk, I did not get a response for several months, because he was on tour. I also spoke to several other drummers, received many demo recordings, but didn’t quite find the right musical fit. Eventually Dirk replied back and said he really liked the two demos I sent him, which later became the singles we released in 2014, and decided to take part in our project. After we had done the first two demos, we absolutely loved the collaboration and asked Dirk if he would be interested in becoming a member of the band, to which he agreed. As a result, Dirk did more than just record drums for the album, he also took part in arranging the songs and breathing life into them. As a result the whole collaboration turned out far better than expected, I honestly can’t imagine having worked with any other drummer.
Your self-titled album is a killer mix of death metal and progressive metal. Tell us about the album.
MP: Hisham and I have always been fans of progressive metal. For me, personally, Edge of Sanity and Opeth have been huge influences. Musically the album is a mix of all the different kinds of music we like, there is death metal, black metal, groove, orchestral elements, and even power metal, for example, before I added the guitar and keyboard melodies, Triumph of the Sun sounded just like a Manowar song.
HC: Vocally, the aim was to diversify, mixing different genres and vocal styles to create a unique and versatile sound. Also, we aimed to take the listener on a journey to try to experience events and themes which occur constantly around us, but are only subconsciously perceived. With astronomical themes, like Triumph of the Sun, the sun turning into a red giant, and hardships of suffering a man goes through without questioning the reason, like Elusive Elation.
With Hisham in Germany and Martins in Latvia, how did you manage to write and record the album?
MP: Since we already keep in touch on a daily basis, it really wasn’t all that difficult, thanks to modern technology that permits it. We already make an effort to see each other in person two times a year, which gives us time to also work on the songs in person. Hisham and I both have home recording capabilities, so we record on our own, exchange ideas and spend long hours fine-tuning them over Skype.
HC: I record vocals in my basement with a cheap mic and interface, Martins is the one with an actual studio. I took two trips last year, in March and September, to fly to Latvia to do the final vocal recordings for the album. Dirk did all of his parts in LA and sent them to us, as we proceeded with the recording process. Martins handled everything else on his own.
The album has been mastered by Dan Swanö (Unisound). How did that happen?
MP: Mixing this album was quite a serious ordeal for me. Even though I do have a reasonable amount of experience, mixing my own music is always the worst, it never feels done and there is infinite room for improvement. I spent an absolutely insane amount of time mixing this album and was never really quite satisfied with the result. Eventually, I made the decision to take a vacation, an entire month off from the project, when I got back, I sat down and finished it. Turns out that stepping away from something that had become an obsessive habit and clearing my mind, was all I needed. I knew right from the beginning that I wanted the album to be mastered by a name engineer, to give it that extra sparkle on top, so I had contacted three different engineers. Dan replied quite quickly and said that he’s extremely busy and will probably be unavailable until late autumn, but told me to send the mix over anyway, and he will have a look. It didn’t really work out with the other guys, but Dan got back to me in 4 days time with a finished master and the response: “Sounds fucking great I must say. Great mixwork!” That was single best response I could have ever gotten as an up and coming engineer and artist, especially, since Dan is one of our musical idols.
What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?
HC: During the album writing process artists like Dark Fortress, Cattle Decapitation, Be’lakor, Opeth, Insomnium and Sikth made a serious impact on the different vocal techniques I implemented and experimented with. And lately I’ve been really enjoying the new albums by C.B. Murdoc, Black Crown Initiate, In Mourning and Ihshan.
MP: Well, Hisham already mentioned a lot of artists that I also really enjoyed, but I suppose musically, a lot of the compositions were heavily inspired by orchestral music and scores from films and video games. The longer and more atmospheric songs heavily rely on slow buildups and extensive layering, which is something I learned from composers like John Williams and more contemporary artists like Leprous. Atmosphere is something I believe many artists these days overlook when recording and producing albums, which is something the Black metal artists usually aim for as the single most important element, as opposed to technical proficiency that most modern bands focus on. One of the most life-changing musical experiences that I’ve had in recent years, that made me re-think the importance of composition and structured chaos is Gorguts – Colored Sands, an absolute must listen album to any metal fan who is looking for something out of the ordinary.
What are your interests/hobbies outside music?
HC: I am a full time architecture student, which takes up nearly all of my free time outside of music. As architecture is a creative output, it gives me inspiration for developing new ideas in music and vice versa. When I do get free time, I either spend it watching TV shows, informing myself about history, geography and politics, or I just go outdoors.
MP: Since I work full time in software development, I don’t have a lot of free time either, which is probably why it took three years to get this album done. But I really enjoy drinking craft beers, watching and reading science fiction, space operas, and fantasy.
Is the band going to be a studio project or a live band also? Do you have any plans to perform live soon?
MP: We are currently putting together a line-up for live shows and we will be embarking on a short Baltic regional tour this September. With this we aim to gain experience and build on the momentum in order to play festivals next summer.
HC: The main difficulty is finding a suitable drummer, as Dirk is unable to join us due to his obligations with Megadeth.
Thanks for answering our questions. Do you have any final words?
HC: Thanks for having us! Please, check out our album and videos on YouTube.
MP: Hopefully our fans won’t have to wait 3 more years for the next album.
Both: Jus drein jus daun!
Listen to Pulse of Nebulea below
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