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Posts Tagged ‘Thrash metal

Oliver (Black Lion Records) interview

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It’s been a few months since I featured a label on the blog. The label being featured this month is Black Lion Records from Sweden. In the past 5 years, they have released albums from all across the board – death metal, black metal, thrash metal and even funeral doom. I was keen to know more about the label after following them for over a year.

I spoke to Oliver Dahlback about the origins of Black Lion Records, running a label and what to expect from them in the coming months.

 

 

Hi Oliver, you started Black Lion Records in 2012. How does it feel looking back at the past 5 years?

Really 5 years time flies, I am still picking up bits of 2016 it feels strange looking back, as it feels as if it was just last night it all started in my old apartment. I think I am still trying to grasp everything that has happened the last year in general really. I don’t think I ever expected things to go this way or go this far or rather explode as they did…so I don’t really know how I feel , what am I meant to feel. I feel that something has happened.

How did you decide to start a label? Why did you decide to start a label that releases only extreme metal music?

That’s an interesting question, the fun thing is I don’t know how it started, I never had any plans on turning this into a label or even making it further than my apartment door. What I do know is I had a strong vision of what i wanted to do with Black Lion as a zine, I wanted to make a difference I wanted to be able to help bands, I wanted to help other realize their value and their game in the whole cycle. that you can do what you want as long as you don’t stand in the way or deny anyone else the same.
I wanted to make a difference in the local scene I didn’t want it to die, I believed that if I could just change a small thing or do a certain small deed, it would help, and that is how the zine called Black Lion productions was started, we were no wow zine 10 people at most visiting if at all. I never in my million years thought that something i started for fun could attract a larger following. but my idea attracted others who believed what I believe. and that’s how I meet Marcos for example , he saw my passion and vision, but most importantly he saw WHY I did it.. Because in the end it doesn’t matter what you do because you’re just like anyone else no different no better, we didn’t do anything particularly different from anyone else… but it was the reason the WHY we did it that sparked interest in people and that spark spread amongst others who shared our vision. and that’s kinda where it took off, when I found Why I did it… the why is because I wanted to make a difference with helping young and upcoming bands making their way into the scene… and getting more known. It just so happens that a record label was the way for me to reach out and help bands… I don’t regret any anything.

why only extreme metal music? the reason for just releasing Extreme Music is because it was the music scene I loved and followed myself simple as that actually… no deep meaning behind it… it just fell natural. I mean why release something you can’t stand behind.

What have been the most memorable releases on your label so far?

I think all are memorable in some way, but the biggest “game changer” was indeed Hyperion a fresh local band from Stockholm, We never in a million years thought that we actually would make it far we thought maybe someone might pay attention but neither one of us could have ever dreamed of this huge massive feedback and journey that exploded in front of us. Their debut album did indeed break us.
I think still today we’re still trying to understand how it all happened and trying to make sense of it , we kinda just had to roll and grow with the bands we have now.. It’s been an amazing journey together. and it’s far from over. But we are eternally grateful to everything.

What is the biggest problem that you faced so far in running the label?

oh dear its a lot everything from trying to balance the life of working almost 24/7 with the label , being to stubborn to actually just get a day job. Actually getting an economy seem to be the most thing.
thats why its always huge delays in our releases because everything comes from my own pocket, nothing is savings or big trust fund.. its all comes down to hard work and sometimes luck with some smaller sales.
Another problem was the whole how do we go from here! what’s the next steps to take… What am I expected to deliver after this, there was a lot of questions and I think there still is. Tons of questions i still wish to have answers to but that’s something different. But in general to be honest it’s all struggle really, finding money to pay for pressing then shipping, it’s not cheap to ship cds across europe.
I think my biggest problem running a label has been understanding the whole game we are playing. that its all for nothing in the end actually if you look at it blunt.

You invest in something and you expect nothing in return. But you spend maybe 20-50.000 each time of course it leaves a mark. Passion will drive you far but sooner or later you either hit a wall or you start to think or reflect over the cause of things. WHY do I do this, it’s clear What I do but Why ,so we start of thinking about everything we do and why we do what we do. and my Why finally was clear to me years later that it’s because I want to make a difference with everything I do my goal is not to become the best or richest it’s to be better than I was last night, I lost my path when everything exploded, because I didn’t know my Why i did what I did after I had accomplished something I didn’t even expect. My Point is always start with why! ‘WHY do you do what you do.

What kind of marketing do you do?

My approach to marketing has changed so much in such short time, if i may go back to my previous talk about always start with why…and the importance of understanding marketing and the act of What Vs Why
we all fight for the same audience and we brand ourselves with various slogans to stand out but most companies fails where it should start. Because we forget why we know what we do and how but WHY, the same thing is with music marketing.

The saying goes you need to understand why you are selling it we all know what you are selling.. But why should anyone care about this band, let’s take Hyperion for example. Originally I wanted to co release it with Satanath records because I had no money to actually press CDs it was crazy huge prices sweden reserved to bands that had big fan base or at least day jobs. I asked Alekseys if he was interested but he turned me down right away… more or less didn’t think it would be any profitable nor make a huge impact.. So I thought to myself lets try and do my own way, I didn’t have much skills in marketing but I knew how to talk.

Hyperion had a great sounding album that was hidden away more or less. Because they were not known or on nuclear blast or any other major label that someone was gonna bother to pay attention to unless you showed it to them, and the whole point of this is to explain the importance of understanding why it all suddenly started to escalate. Not because of its name because if you asked someone in early 2016 nobody had heard of a Black metal band from Sweden called Hyperion, it wasn’t on the map, not because they were not good , but because nobody had bothered to check them out… Until they had a reason. Their new album came out it was getting good reviews, all over the place.

But our biggest challenge was how do we promote this amazing album for real we had no huge funds or anything like that to spend on ton of ads, etc but we had the word of mouth and a key thing We knew why we wanted to push this band because we believe they could be the next thing. so I started to tell people like hey dude check out this killer band we believe they might be the next big thing in the underground scene, and that person then listened to it and agreed and believed what I believed , he told his friend who then told two other people. and that’s how it started to escalate the album moved by word of mouth have you heard thing amazing record from a new upcoming band from sweden.

What changes have you noticed in bands/customers in the past decade?

The Importance of always freeing time to talk to your supporters, and one thing I always will know is that i never see myself as someone with high status, i am just like anyone else, who just followed my vision and took risks accepted failure.
one rule is the importance of customer service that one I take very serious , today when you have customer service it means waiting in a long cue until it’s your time or in best case you get number to call… when I grew up If I wanted to have answers it was just walk right into the store and ask the employee about the product today we have minimized that contact. we have answering machines for everything, we have ton of automatic emailing just for the sake of it… Instead of letting people feel that they are actually talking to someone real, since when is a person a luxury. that’s why I always try to be online and as quick as possible to replay to all emails.

What do you look for in a band before you sign them to your label?

There are many things to look at for example if may joke about I usually say to friend when ever he sends a new band with a landscape beautiful artwork I say – oh nice Avantgarde music ,,must be really busy, I assume that everything that looks all gracefully and landscape-ish will already be signed to avantgarde music for 100 years, lol

The most important thing is to understand is that it’s not what you offer or how, it’s why! why do you want to sign that band because you think they have great potential or because maybe you think they have a profit but that’s a result of what we do. it’s a cause of that something you worked for has expanded. What I look for is new fresh artists unknown names that nobody really know about that I can help to grow from the first steps.

Have you been in a band? What instrument do you play?

Not for a long time, I play a bit of guitar.

Do you have any advice for those planning to start a metal music record label?

My best advice is start with asking yourself Why do you want to start a label ?

What are the upcoming releases from your label?

We have a lot of upcoming albums

Legacy Of emtpiness Over the Past June 12th
Mordenial The Plauge July
Caoimhn The Age of Wolves EP
Mist of misery – Fields Of isolation
Mist of misery – Shackles of Life

And in The fall we have Defiatory’s new album
Deathmarch
Eufori. new album
Wormlight’s new album

 

Here are a few releases from Black Lion Records to check out

Written by trendcrusher

June 11, 2017 at 12:29 am

The Furor Interview

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The metal scene in Australia is underrated. I’ve got know of more bands from the country through Transcending Obscurity who has put out releases from 3 Australian bands this year. One of the bands is The Furor, a black/thrash metal band from Australia. They have released 4 albums In the past 15 years and last month released their fifth album, ‘Cavalries of the Occult‘. The album is an intense mix of death, black and thrash metal.

I spoke to frontman Louis Rando about their latest album, writing alone and also the other bands he is involved in.

‘Cavalries of the Occult’ is your fifth album in the past 15 years. How does it feel looking back?

It feels like it’s been a long time! I’ve had a great time playing and performing metal over the last 22 years, not only with the furor, but with all my other bands, 11 of them in total. The Furor began in 2002 after the breakup of my previous band ‘Pagan’. We did 3 albums with an active lineup, performing live all around Australia, supporting some of our favorite bands and getting positive response from most people. Over time, members left for personal reasons, which inspired me to take more control of the band, writing the entirety of the last 2 albums and basically managing the band by myself, which has proven to be a difficult task. The final lineup disbanded in the last year, leaving me alone once again. I do however actively write and perform with 2 or 3 other bands, I’m always busy, so all is not lost!!!
The intention was always to go international with The Furor, touring, full promotion etc, but without a stable lineup, it’s impossible. So The Furor is now officially ‘on hold’ while I’m working with bands that have more stability.

The album is an intense mix of death, black and thrash metal. Tell us a bit more about the album.

It was written over the course of about one year, directly after the release of the last album ‘Impending Revelation’. In terms of style, it’s much like our previous albums, bombastik high speed aggressive Black/Death metal, no romantic ‘arty’ bullshit, a mish mash of my influences Morbid Angel, Mayhem, Destruction, Slayer, Angelcorpse, Immortal, Krisiun, Impiety, Nephast etc. never consciously alter the style of the music, nor do I try to get more and more brutal for the sake of it. Inevitably, things become more extreme as my playing improves. Aside from being very intense, I try to keep a good honest flow happening. There’s gotta be a good spirit to the music too. That becomes easier to achieve as I grow into myself over time.

What was the writing process for Cavalries of the Occult? Do you prefer to write alone or as part of a band?

I wrote this album, plus the 2 previous releases ‘Impending Revelation’ and ‘Sermon of Slaughter’ entirely by myself. I write the framework of the song on guitar, then I write vocals, then add drums, bass guitar and synths lastly. I started writing alone because I was the only band member left after our ‘War upon Worship’ album. I soon realised the benefits and drawbacks of writing music alone.
The upside is, I can write very quickly without compromising my ideas. The downside is, recruiting and teaching people the songs, plus expecting them to feel involved in the music is somewhat hard.

 

You also play drums for the legendary Singapore-based band Impiety. How did you become a part of the band? When can we expect a new release from the band?

I was a big fan of Impiety since I heard Asateerul Awaleen back in 1997. Their old artist (who also played in my band Pagan) introduced them to me. I eagerly followed Impiety in the years to come, and was blown away by their works. I became Facebook buddies with Shyaithan in about 2008.
I offered my drumming services to him in 2011 after I left the band Nervecell. Soon after, I flew to Singapore to prepare for our first Asian tour in Sept 2011. After that tour, we continued touring hard until 2015, doing multiple tours of Asia and Europe, plus India, Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh and China. We racked up A LOT of kilometers. I recorded drums on the Ravage and Conquer album in 2012, plus The Impious Crusade Ep in 2014.
Shyaithan has been hinting at a new Impiety release in the near future, but I’ll leave it to him to reveal the details. He doesn’t tell me anything till the week of recording anyway!! He’s quite secretive and IMPULSIVE!

You are also a part of Bloodlust, Depravity, and Mhorgl. How do you manage between all these bands? How are they stylistically different from each other?

You forgot to add Malignant Monster and Psychonaut hehe. All these bands happened across the period of about 10 years, so they don’t completely overlap and get in the way of each other. It’s a gradual process that’s quite manageable, although yes I’m quite busy and I’ve often wondered if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew… I’m not the sole writer in these other bands as I am in The Furor, so that makes it possible. Here in Perth, it’s very expensive to tour and hard to get exposure, so we pass the time by working with each other to keep occupied. I know everyone in town, so I’ve become the ‘go too’ drummer so to speak. It’s easy for me to join bands here.

When you’re not listening to, writing or playing metal, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently?

You mean metal albums? Nothing new, but the albums currently inhabiting my car are Suffocation- Pierced from Within, Nifilheim- Devil’s Force, Deicide-Once upon the Cross, Abramelin-Deadspeak, Absu-Abzu, the first Job for a cowboy album, Slayer-Hell Awaits, Marduk-Panzer Division Marduk. I don’t actively seek out new bands, but I do check out bands if people highly recommend them. I’m usually too busy with my own music and various obligations to keep up with newer releases.

Destroyer 666 are one of most well known extreme metal bands from Australia. Which are the bands from Australia that you think the readers should know about?

Ok here’s a list of old and new bands… Denouncement Pyre, Abominator, Bestial Warlust, Darklord, Nocturnal Graves.

You have toured around Europe and Asia. What have you been your favourite venues/cities to perform in?

All places have different things to offer, India has the best food I’ve tasted and offers the biggest culture shock, Malaysia has a diehard Black Metal scene and great landscape/beaches, Europe has big crowds, big bands and well organised shows, Dubai is an amazing modern city located in a harsh desert landscape, China was a rare treat with some great sightseeing, Australia is home so it’s great fun. I really enjoy the competitive nature of music in Europe, but I love the food and culture of Asia. That’s about as specific as I can be.
I love touring PERIOD!

Is The Furor going to perform live again? Do you have any shows planned this year? You have been active with Depravity of late. Is there anything we should know about that band?

Jarrod the guitarist from Depravity actually played in The Furor before, and I’ve played in previous bands with Depravity members for many years, so I’ve got a long working history with the members, even though the band is new. Like I said earlier, it’s hard to make a functional band out of The Furor when I’m the one writing all the material. People always want to perform music they have a hand in writing, which is fair enough.
Keep your eyes on Depravity because we intend on pushing the band really hard, staying together for a long time, and doing all the things that make a band great.
Check out our bandcamp page for info and download our EP ‘Reign of the Depraved’ for free.
https://depravityaustralia.bandcamp.com/

Thanks a lot for the interview, support the furor and download the entire 5 album discography here https://thefuror.bandcamp.com/

 

Listen/Download  ‘Cavalries of the Occult‘ below

 

Written by trendcrusher

May 14, 2017 at 12:26 am

Introducing: Surtur

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Surtur band photo

Who: Surtur The band is Riasat Azmi(Vocals) Shadman Omee (Guitars) Masnun Efaz (Bass) and Rifat Rafi (Drums)

Where: Dhaka,Bangladesh

What: Surtur released their EP “Descendant of Time” last month. “The EP has four songs, one of which is a guitar instrumental. All of the three songs have different backdrop but they all share a common theme.” said vocalist Riasat Azmi describing their debut release. “That is making a stand for what you believe in and holding your ground. The title track is a fantasy about a heavy metal messiah who will put an end to all the hypocrisy we see around. Maggot Filled Brain was written with the shitty political culture of Bangladesh we keep seeing everyday here. And Demolisher is a song about a grave where the members of a tyrant regime will be buried after being overthrown by a revolutionary insurgence.”

How: “Our guitarist, Omee , is the principal songwriter of the band. He had the riffs all worked out in the mind so that created the skeletons of the songs. They took the entire shape after we rehearsed them altogether.” said Riasat about how they wrote the songs on the EP. “Rifat put his inputs, Efaz inserted the low ends and lastly I (Riasat) added the vocal portions. The songs were ready almost a year ago and we played them live before releasing the EP.”

“We started tracking the drums at June of this year. For various reasons, the recording process was a bit slower than usual. The whole process ended at September and we started pressing the physical copies after that.” said Riasat explaining the recording process.

Listen to “Descendant of Time” below

Written by trendcrusher

December 8, 2015 at 10:00 am

Introducing:Vantablack Warship

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Vantablack Warship

Who: Vantablack Warship The band consists of  Yannick “Pil” Pilon (Vocals), Pat Gordon (Guitars) Thierry Hivon (Guitars), Kurt Clifford (Bass) and Pierre Pitre (Drums)

Where: Montreal, Canada

What: Vantablack Warship released their self titled EP last month. “The EP is simply put a homage to the music we have always listened to and enjoyed as individuals and as a collective but morphed into a collection of riffs‎ and tunes which with a touch of 2015.” said bassist Kurtis Clifford “This is not so much a thematic EP, but more so a collection of ideas and thoughts on current day events or subjects of interest.”

How: “The song writing process was pretty straight forward. A member would come to the jam space with a riff or general skeleton for a song, the band jammed it out. If the song seemed solid, we would Pil (vocals) and Kurt ‎(Bass) hash some lyrics and have Pil throw something on the tunes once they were pretty much final mode.  We worked on this off and on for a year. But it all came together in about 12 to 15 jam sessions. Very spontaneous and easy process.” said Kurtis about how the wrote the album.

“The recording was also relatively painless. Once everything was set up in the studio, it took us basically 8 hours to pull it all together, i.e. lay down the tracks. ( Very S.O.D.ish…).” said Kurtis about the recording process.  “We spent more time though fine tuning lyrics in the studio and getting those just write. The band is made up of experienced players and the songs aren’t that complex to play, it was therefore relatively simple to record.”

Listen to “Vantablack Warship“below

(Band Pic by Wayne William Archibald)

Written by trendcrusher

November 6, 2015 at 7:33 pm

Smouldering in Forgotten Interview

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Smouldering in Forgotten are an extreme metal band from Bahrain. They have been around for a decade now and have released 2 full length albums. To mark their 10th year as a band, they released a single “Siren of Truth” earlier this month. I spoke to their vocalist Mardus and drummer Busac about their new single, being a metal band in Bahrain and also their upcoming album.

SIF

Voidhanger (guitars), Tael (guitars), Mardus (vocals), Busac (drums) and Husam (bass) (Left to Right)

 

It has been 10 years since you started the band. How does it feel looking back?

It’s been one hell of a ride for us, going through phases, learning curves, and achievements. All this definitely added up to an unforgettable experience. We are just die hard metal fans that also aim to be the most evil sounding band in the country. The journey has been fulfilling so far, but is far from over.

How did the band get together? Was it easy to find like-minded musicians in Bahrain?

It wasn’t as hard as you might imagine as the Bahrain metal scene is fairly small, especially considering this was back in 2005. Everyone knew everyone else and it wasn’t hard to come across people with the same interests. The lineup started with Mardus, Busac, and Void, and the band grew from there. We were joined by Tael and Husam, who really were the final missing pieces to completing the SIF sound.

Tell us about the scene in Bahrain, how much has it changed in the past decade?

The scene is small but also very strong. It has been steadily growing and improving over the last decade and there is so much potential that the world has yet to see. The only downfall about the scene is the lack of frequent events. As it stands, proper metal gigs happen about once a year on average, which sometimes discourages a lot of the musicians here. Although in hindsight this could also be a useful filter to bring out the ones who are truly passionate about their art.

What are the bands from Bahrain that we should check out?

Rain in Hell, Lunacyst, Motor Militia, Bloodshel, M.U.S.T, Through Sunken Eyes, Majaz, InsideOut, Narjahanam. Just to name a few.

To celebrate 10 years as a band, you have released a new single “Siren of Truth”. Tell us a bit about it.

We went with a more straightforward approach to the song writing. We tried to keep it catchy, groovy, but still true to the extreme sound. Just something that gets the audience moving. For lyrics, we talk about a fictional creature that causes chaos everywhere it goes, so much chaos that it has eventually dug its own grave and is cursed to remain there forever, feeding on itself.

Siren of Truth is also significant to us because this was the first track we were actually able to record live drums. Since the band started, we struggles with locations and equipment, which made live drum recording almost impossible, so we resorted to using a drum machine to be able to continue with the music.

The single will be on your third album. Tell us about it. At what stage is the album at the moment –writing or recording?

The album is still in its writing phase. A lot has already been written and we definitely have a clear direction on where we want to take our sound next. “Siren of Truth” is already foreshadowing how we approached the music writing for the album. Lyrically, we decided to tackle some taboo subjects that happen in the real world.

How different will it be compared to your second album “I, Devourer”?

I, Devourer was a completely separate journey because it was more of story-telling. The album tells an entire story, with each track representing a specific chapter in that story. We talked about topics such as revenge, insanity, wars, and death.

Do you have a tentative release date for your third album? When can we expect it?

We’re definitely aiming to push our standards even higher with this album, so we can’t promise a specific release date until we’re sure we have something that is worthy. Realistically though, we’re aiming to have something ready by mid 2016.

Listen to “Siren of Truth” below

Written by trendcrusher

October 25, 2015 at 11:31 am

Nervecell – Human Chaos

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Nervecell are the oldest surviving metal band from UAE. I remember reading about them on phride.com when they first started out and since then have bought all their releases and seen them multiple times live. In the past decade, I have seen Nervecell go from a band playing club shows in Dubai to now a band that tours across the world. In 2011, they were named as one of the “Defenders of the faith” by Metal Hammer Magazine.
Nervecell’s first release, the ‘Human Chaos’ EP came out in 2004, I spoke to Barney Ribeiro, guitarist for the band about the EP and the impact it had on the band and the music scene in United Arab Emirates.

Nervecell 2004

Barney Ribeiro (Guitars), James Khazaal (Vocals & Bass) and Rami H. Mustafa (Guitars) (Left to Right)

 

“It feels great man, I distinctly remember the entire process we went through during the recording stage. At that point back in 2004, we were just another local band based in Dubai that had been around for 4 years playing the average local Dubai gig once every 2 months you know. Looking back now and considering how far the band has come since that EP is completely insane!” said Barney looking back at their first release. “It’s a fact that the “Human Chaos” EP officially put us on the metal map internationally. I remember the guys and I were really stoked by all the reviews we received that year from the EP, it really over exceeded our expectations and motivated us to keep pushing forward.”

The band started in university just like most metal bands in UAE.  “I am the only original member from the first Nervecell line-up in 2000. How I met James and Rami was almost meant to be.”said Barney about how the present line up of the band got together. “I remember we needed to record a demo (2 tracks) as a requirement to enter this Battle of the bands contest. So we knew a few friends in AUD (American University in Dubai) where we also used to perform at quite frequently who were going to help us record this demo. So during that recording session a lot of the students who went to university there kept walking in and out of the auditorium where we were recording this demo. Two of those random students walking in and out watching us that day was in fact James and Rami haha…I remember briefly exchanging a few words with them that night. Few months later we ended up becoming close friends and eventually James joined the band as the bass player and Rami soon after as the second guitarist as I was the only guitar player in the band up until 2003.”

nervecell_human_chaos

In 2004, not many bands from UAE had released an EP or album. “The idea to put out an EP only came about when we noticed the fans at the local gigs we played at started asking us how they could find or buy our music, and that sort of struck an idea with us.” said Barney about how the band decided to record their music. “So while balancing our studies (we were all in university back then) we decided to take the summer of 2004 off and hit the studio to record the “Human Chaos” EP. In our mindset back then we really didn’t have any goals as such to be the “first” or to make or break any records being a Middle East based band. Our progression as a band has always been very gradual with everything we set our minds to. I remember telling ourselves we just wanted to put something out as product and have something to look back at. None of us would ever be able to predict what the future would hold for us that’s for sure…It’s been a hell of a ride man but ZERO REGRETS!”

The EP was written while James and Rami were in UAE and Barney in Canada. “We used to write individually a lot and send each other files over the Internet. It helped stay in touch as friends but also as band members as well.” said Barney describing their writing process while he was away. “I would return home to Dubai every summer though and that was when we would line up shows as well. I mean this was all we ever wanted to do anyway, so it was kind of natural for each of us to write even though we were in different continents for that period of almost 4 years when I was away in Canada.”

Human Chaos’ was recorded by Kiran Sequeira at his home studio. “It took about 3 to 4 months actually as far as I remember. The reason it took us so long was very much due to the fact that we were working with Kiran’s schedule. The guy had a full time job so the weekdays were hard to deal with anyway, seeing that he only had so much time for us after his work.” said Barney about how recorded the album. “We would try and get as much done in sessions over the weekends but we couldn’t really get every weekend available either to work with him. Hence the reason why it took us so long again, but oh well you learn to work with what you have and one thing we definitely did not have at that point of time was a huge budget! We pretty much used the money our folks would give us to buy food and other basics while being university students to invest into that EP.”

The recording had it’s share of funny incidents. “There was this one time I was tracking guitars and Kiran’s girlfriend was sitting right behind me on the couch and stretching her hands out while she was totally engrossed watching TV with her headset on.” said Barney looking back at the recording sessions. “So she had no idea her hands were like touching my shoulders or my hair or something while she was stretching, and I of course had my headphones on too as I was recording my guitar tracks. So typically I assumed it was James or Rami trying to distract me or annoy me while here I am totally focusing on nailing my guitar parts for the EP. So basically I ended up abusing the shit out her without even knowing what was actually happening going “Stop…stop touching me you F#^ckin #%^^%%&” haha… It was hilarious because I only later noticed Rami and James sitting down away in the corner totally cracking up watching this whole awkward situation take place.”

The EP got reviews from across the world and opened up quite a few doors for the band. “Absolutely, it was totally overwhelming. We were blown away by the amount of great reviews we received week after week. I mean we sent out a few copies ourselves by mail to magazines and websites, zines etc. but we got reviews from a lot more places than we anticipated via the Internet. It was really motivating for us to be honest because we had no idea the reach we were going to receive beforehand. It was an incredible time for us man.” said Barney about the response they received. “Because of that EP we got the slot to open for the Dubai Desert Rock Festival in 2005 with Sepultura and Machine Head. As well as a tour in Australia as our first official tour ever outside the UAE, followed by a few one-off shows in Egypt (out of all places) and later on our first European Festival appearance too in Tolmin, Slovenia at Metal Camp, which is now called Metal Days Festival. So like I said, it really did open a lot of doors for us, so to say we are happy with the response would be an understatement.”

“I would personally like to re-do some of the drum tracks that were programmed on the EP.” said Barney about things that he would like to change about the release.”I mean for the time, budget constraints and facilities available in Dubai that we had back in 2004 we did the best we could. But yea looking back 10 years later I think that is the one thing I would probably change, at the same time the whole rawness of the EP is what makes it special it its own way I guess.”

Nervecell are currently working on their 3rd album. “You can definitely expect it for a 2016 release, not earlier because there is a lot that goes on before we even set a confirmed release date.” said Barney updating us on the status of the album. “We are writing music as we speak and will continue to do so for the rest of 2015. We also just recently left Lifeforce Records and signed with Unique Leader Records for the new album, so we look forward to putting out our debut with them and we can’t wait until we unleash it onto the rest of the world and see where that takes us next!”

Here is me favourite track from the ‘Human Chaos‘ EP

 

Written by trendcrusher

August 11, 2015 at 11:51 pm

Spiral Ascent – A look back at the debut album of Kryptos

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As a collector of CDs, there are a few that stand out and one such album is Kryptos Spiral Ascent. The Bangalore based band’s debut album was incidentally the first Indian metal album, I’ve owned. Over an email interview vocalist Ganesh discusses Kyrptos’s formative years, the Bangalore metal scene and ten years of Spiral Ascent.

Kryptos - 2004

Nolan Lewis (Guitars), Akshay Patel (Guitars), Ryan Colaco (Drums) and Ganesh K (Vocals/Bass) (Left to Right)

On Kryptos’ early years:
Kryptos started out as a college band called “8 on the Richter”. “8OTR (hated the name) was a band I had put together with a bunch of dudes in late 96/97.” said Ganesh about the band. “I met Nolan at St. Joseph College of Commerce’s admission queue. We didn’t quite take to each other, but I remember our dads talking about some shit. Next thing I knew, we were in the same class and shared common tastes in heavy music. It was in passing I asked him if he played the guitar. Not only did he say yes, he owned a guitar AND an amp. That did it. I spoke to the rest of 8OTR and he became a member. A few line-up changes followed and it was just Nolan and I – we decided to look for a drummer. We found Chinlen Singh through an ad I placed on RSJ [the now defunct magazine]. It was then that we decided 8OTR sucked. We needed a better name that would reflect what we were into and what we intended to write.”

On Bangalore:
“Bangalore, then & now (not so much), is pretty much a classic rock/metal town. It was not odd to hear Slayer, Megadeth, Dio, Black Sabbath being played at pubs – hell! I have even heard Death’s Symbolic at a bar in Bangalore. There was a legendary wall on Brigade Road where someone had spray painted SLAYER. From college benches to pub loos, it was not out-of-the-place to find AC/DC, GN’R, Slayer, Scorpions, etc. There was a healthy local metal scene with bands like Millenium, Crimson Storm, Vulcan Haze, W.A.R.D.E.N, etc gigging. There were numerous pubs and bars that played everything from heavy blues, hard rock to early metal. There was no scene, but the seeds were sown.”

Being a part of  compilations:
Headbangalore’ was a compilation of Bangalore bands Phallusy, Threinody, Myndsnare and Kryptos. Forsaken, Forgotten (land of ice) and Clandestine Elements were the 3 tracks by Kryptos that were part of the compilation. “We were siting around Threinody’s rehearsal space, which we shared with them for a while, drinking beer and shooting the breeze when we decided that we could actually go out and do a fucking compilation.The effort was great; the involvement was spot on, but the studio and the mixing engineer sucked. The release was well received though we were never really studio ready, but then what mattered back then was the DIY approach – people dug it.”

“Back then, the only gigs that were happening were college and other miscellaneous competitions. We took part in as many. We didn’t give two hoots about winning and all that; we just wanted to play live. The law of averages caught up and won a few. One of the prizes was that we could record a couple of songs at this studio called Throatlatch Studios in Navi Mumbai. The owners then released one of the songs, Descension, on a compilation called Deep Throat.”

10 years of Spiral Ascent:
“Man, that album took forever to record. I don’t remember the sequence of events but we recorded and tracked everywhere! From Warren’s [Mendonsa] place in Dadar to a few studios in Bangalore, including Ricky Kej’s – he is a Grammy winner today – w00t! Looking back, how I wish we had someone to whoop our arses and helped us save time and money, but I would do it all over again. No regrets.”
“Few Indian bands had released albums a decade ago. “How? We just did. There were quite a few Indian bands that released original music before us. From Thermal and a Quarter to Millennium, Rock Machine to Vulcan Haze. We felt we have 8 odd songs, let’s just put it out and get on with it.”

On the line-up for the album:

“Chinglen Singh had to leave Bangalore and head back to Assam due to personal reasons. Ryan Colaco was then with Angel Dust, we asked him to moonlight for a couple of gigs we had coming. And that was that. With Akshay it was a bit more complicated. I had heard of this guy who’d come to Kryptos gigs, record it and bootleg. I loved that! I am not sure how we met, if he auditioned or whatever – but before we knew he was there. A great guitar player with quite a personality.”

On Writing for the album:
“We never sat down and said, ‘hey! Enough of the beer! Let’s write an album!’ It happened over time, when we had enough material we began the recording process.”

Spiral Ascent

On Recording the album:
The album was recorded by Clay Kelton at his studio. “Took a couple of weeks, months maybe. The process was an on-the-go one – oh Ryan’s here today, eh? Let’s track the drums! Or ‘is that Tiny (Trinity D’Souza, Cryptic)? Dude, play a solo here!’ So, it was all over the place – quite a miracle we actually put something out. Those days were a bloody haze. Bet there are a few. I remember setting Akshay’s vodka on fire once, don’t know why or what happened after. But Clay didn’t like it much.”

On the album art:
“The cover art was design by Niklas Sundin (Dark Tranquillity). Being fans of DT’s early work – musically and cover art-wise, we decided to mail him for fucks sake. When he replied it was like ‘Woah! We need to pay him money now!”

If they had to change anything…
“Apart from playing to a metronome, not a bloody thing.”

Parting words:
“Eat shit, drink beer and bark at the moon! Also, buy our merch!”

This week Kryptos head to Germany on tour with Death Angel. Those in the area should definitely head to one of the show, tour dates are below.

Kryptos Europe tour poster 2015

Written by trendcrusher

July 14, 2015 at 10:00 am