Posts Tagged ‘Thrash metal


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Sigh are a band that require no introduction. They have been playing their take on extreme metal for over 20 years now. They have recently released a new album, “In Somniphobia” through Candlelight Records.

I saw them live at the Brutal Assault Festival in Jaromer, Czech Republic in August 2010 and managed to meet Marai and Mikannibal.

Thanks to Sahil “Demonstealer” Makhija for taking the photo.

Heres my interview with Marai in 2007 after the release of  “Hangman’s hymn

Hails!! How are things in Japan?

Marai: Nothing special. I’m bored and frustrated as hell as usual. Now we’re going through the rainy season, which is annoying enough!!

You describe your latest album as “thrash-metal-meets-German-symphonies! Fast, heavy, bombastic and majestic!” Could you tell us more about it?

Marai: Our musical influence got wider and wider and on Imaginary Sonicscape and Gallows Gallery, it hit the peak. Those albums had everything from metal, classical music, jazz, 60s rock, traditional ethnic music and so on.
However, this time we decided to exclude all those non-metal stuff and concentrate on heavy/thrash metal and classical music in order to make the Hangman’s Hymn world clear. Definitely this is the most consisntent album we have made, but don’t get me wrong, this is not a simplistic album at all. Or rather, I can say this is the most complicated album by Sigh.
I would not call it a concept album as it does not have any strong storyline or anything behind the lyrics, but still there are strong connections between each song both musically and lyrically. The message behind the album is very simple and clear.
I hate weak people who have to cling to the fairytales like religion. I hate greedy people who have nothing in their head but making money.
I hate 99% of people on this earth and I just want all of them to die in pain and burn in hell. I’m not pretending a misanthrope, but I do mean it!!
There are four main images described on the album, namely Heaven, Hell, Earth and Funeral. They are also depicted on the artwork of the inner sleeve.
As you see, the album is divided into three acts. Act 1 is about Earth = human greed.
Act 3 is about Hell = buring world. Heaven is described at the end of the Act 3 as In Pardisum, but it was interrupted by diminished chord very quickly, which means there’s no salvation. Funeral image is inserted in between as Requim parts sung in Latin. They all are described very vaguely as an expression of my hate and anger towards this stupid society.
Also it’s very important to enjoy this album more to know that there are lots of melodies that have meanings. The most prominent one must be the Hangman’s Hymn theme, which is the melody for the chorus of Hangman’s Hymn played by trumpets and choirs.
This melody appears in many different places on the album. Some are very prominent while others are subliminal. For example, the chorus of In Devil’s Arms actually is the Hangman’s Hymn theme.

Tell us more about “Hangman’s hymn” with regards to recording and production.

Marai: We used the same studio where “Gallows Gallery” was recorded called Stupid Moopies. As it was the second time to work with their studio engineer, things went really smooth this time. Also I used my own home studio to record all of my vocals and synthsizer parts. It was really good to record all the vocals at my studio as I didn’t have to care about the budget or time. Definitely we’ll keep this recording style for the future releases.

Rob Urbinati of Sacrifice appears on the track “The Master Malice”. How did that come about? Are you and the other guys in Sigh fans of Sacrifice?

Marai: Yes, we’ve been huge fans of Sacrifice for more than 20 years. Shinichi and I even went to Toronto to see their reunion show last year and met Rob there. We asked him if he’d be interested in doing a solo on our album and he was kind enough to accept the offer. Definitely the reunion show was one of the best metal shows I have ever seen. It was a real thrash metal gig.

Are you satisfied with how the album has turned out?

Marai: Yes, it turned out to be really satisfying. Usually there are some gaps between the ideal and the actual recorded stuff, but this time the album turned out to be almost exactly I wanted! Especially it was really good that I kept recording the vocals until I was 100% satisfied with the result.
I like all the songs and I like the result of the mixing. I like the mastering too. Definitely this is something we intended.

For someone who has not heard Sigh before, what album/albums would you recommend for them to listen to?

Marai: Of course Hangman’s Hymn!

You have been on the roster of many labels (Century Media, Cacophonous Records etc.) in the past. How is it being signed to The End Records? How did you become part of their roster?

Marai: Well, I must admit that we’re really bad at business and had lots of bad luck with the labels. First we were on Deathlike Silence Productions but Euronymous got killed before the album was out.
Then we signed to Craphonous, who was probably one of the worst labels in the world. They used to have Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Primordial, Bal-Sagoth etc. but ALL of them left the label. What if they had treated those bands properly???
They still claim the right to our albums, that’s why those albums can’t be re-released. Then Century Media, they were very professinal at what they were doing. I have no words on Baphomet.
As we’re no good at business, I asked the guy at Century Media who was in charge of us for some help, and he introduced us The End Records. Definitely they are the best label we have worked with. They respect their artists and also they’re very seirous about their business.

What albums are you currently banging your head to?

Marai: I still listen to lots of 80s metal and punk from the 70s/80s such as Sacrifice, Celtic Frost, Venom, Deathrow, Warfare, At War, Repulsion, Death, Kreator, Agent Steel, DRI, COC, Beyond Possession, Septic Death, GBH, Discharge, Amebix, Antisect, Crass, Sham 69, Stiff Little Fingers and so on. I don’t know very much about today’s bands, but I enjoy some of them like Municipal Waste, Blood Tsunami, Bludwulf, SSS, Merciless Death and so on.

How did you get into metal? What was the first metal band you heard? Which was the first metal gig you attended?

Marai: In the 80s when I was a teenager, heavy metal belonged to the mainstream here in Japan too, so it was nothing unusual to listen to the artists like Ozzy Osbourne and Iron Maiden, and I had several classmates with the similar taste. But I was the only one to keep searching for something faster and harder. I was totally blown away by a Slayer cassette tape which one of the classmates gave me, then I kept digging thrash metal and hardcore stuff.
I don’t remember what the first metal band I heard was, probably Iron Maiden or MSG. The first metal gig I attended was Metallica. It was Master of Puppets tour just after Cliff got killed.

What is the main inspiration behind your music?

Marai: All the music I listen to more or less could be the inspiration. Also if you open your mind, everything could be the inspiration such as movies, books, TV shows, newspaper, daily life etc.

Tell us a bit about the metal scene in Japan. What are your favourite bands from Japan?Could you recommend some bands from Japan that we should check out?

Marai: Well, I guess the scene is the same everywhere, I mean a few really good bands and lots of crap. My personal faves are such as Abigail, Sabbat, Barbatos, Defiled, and Gallhammer. Those bands are worth checking out.

Are you aware of bands and the music scene from the Arabian Gulf?

Marai: Yes, I know there’s a scene and heard of some bands, but unfortunately I’ve never heard their music yet.

Are there any plans for gigs, tours in the coming months?

Marai: We’ll play a few gigs here in Japan, but other than that, no gigs outside of Japan are being planned at the moment unfortunately.

Thank you for answering all my questions and also for your time. Doyou have any final words or comments?

Marai: Thank you very much for the interview!

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Written by trendcrusher

April 22, 2012 at 1:19 am


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Sacrifice are a kickass thrash metal band from Toronto, Canada. They released their debut album “Torment in Fire” in 1985 and went on to release 3 more albums “Forward To Termination”,“Soldiers of Misfortune” and “Apocalypse Inside”. They broke up in 1993 soon after releasing their 4th album. They got back together for a one night only performance in 2006 for the “Day of the Equinox 2” festival in Toronto. Below is an interview I did with vocalist/guitarist Rob Urbinati in 2007.
Since the interview they have released another album “The Ones I Condemn” in 2009 and have been playing festivals around the world, “True Thrash Festival” in Osaka, Japan most recently.

How did it feel to be back on stage with your mates kicking some ass at the “Day of the Equinox”?

Rob: It was definitely an incredible feeling. Just to have the four of us in a room rehearsing for a week was great…it has been a really long time since we’ve all been together. We were really young when the band first started, so we were kind of grew up like brothers. To be onstage again, the reaction we received at the show and the confidence that we displayed that night to destroy made it a night that I will NEVER forget. We never really talked about it, but I think we needed to prove that Sacrifice is more than relevant in today’s scene of “nu-thrash”.

Is there any chance of you guys getting back together?? Releasing a new album? Touring?

Rob: All of us are working on new material, other than that we have no other plans.

I’ve heard that your set at the “Day of the Equinox” was video-taped. Any plans to release the footage on DVD?

Rob: Yes it will be released at some point.

After you guys broke up did you think that 4 of you would get back together to play a show again? That you material would be re-released and enjoyed by a new generation of metalheads?

Rob: It blows me away when I meet younger Sacrifice fans, in many cases weren’t even born when our first album came out. Even the fans that are old enough to have enjoyed our music or live shows back then, that our music still holds something for them. I had no idea then, that in 2007, people would still be interested in our material. One thing about Sacrifice, is we love to be able to be in contact with fans now. In the 80’s there was no internet obviously…so we enjoy just answering questions, or whatever on our website, forum, or myspace.

What have you guys been up to since you broke up?? Doing something related to music or in other fields??

Rob: I’d been active musically in Interzone, and Waramp. I also just jam with friends, and write a lot at home.

Marquee Records has done an awesome job with re-releases of you first three albums. How did the deal come about? Is the deal for 3 releases only? Are they going to release your 4th album also?

Rob: I can’t say for sure right now, but yes they have done a phenomenal job on the reissues.

What were your influences growing up?? Musical and non-musical?

Rob: I think everyone into metal feels somewhat alienated, and that draws them to the music. My older brothers were all into heavier 70’s rock that was a huge influence. I grew up pretty gifted in school and that all went out the window when I started playing guitar. Musically, my earliest memories of influence were my brothers Alice Cooper albums, and the song Hocus Pocus by Focus. Later I discovered Kiss and Sabbath, which led to Maiden, Priest, and ultimately to Venom, Mercyful Fate, Anvil, etc.

What were your visions/goals when you first started the band?

Rob: To play Larry’s Hideaway and be the fastest, heaviest band we could be. We were extremely short-sighted. Reality happened faster than thinking of our goals.

Your video for the track “Re-animation “used to air frequently on Television. Tell me about the video.

Rob: Fringe Records suggested we do a video, we figured at best it would get played once. A guy that worked for Musique Plus(Quebec Much Music), John Zytaruk offered to do it. Originally, the location was supposed to be a church, but that fell apart at the last minute so we cleared out our producer Brian Taylor’s loft apartment which had a huge main room, and we did it there. That song pumped out really loud through the P.A. all day and I can only imagine what the neighbours thought. The end result was a lot different than the flashy, over produced videos at the time…it looked raw, black and white. It looked underground. We were extremely shocked by the response, having it in rotation, the song being used for the metal show intro…I think a lot of Canadian metal fans felt pride to see a thrash band from home on the telly. John Zytaruk became good friends with us and it was great for all of Sacrifice to see him at our reunion show. It’s funny to hear people now say “It looks like the Metallica video for One”, because John kind of pioneered that look. Ours was out way before Metallica even considered making a video. People used to say theirs looked like “Reanimation”.

How was the scene in Toronto in the 80’s and early 90’s??

Rob: Anyone that was there says it will never happen again. The metal and punk scene was very close. Thrash broke that barrier, I remember the first few hardcore shows Joe and I went to, we were the only ones there with long hair. People looked at us funny, asked what we were doing there…pretty much all the local bands were glam and we were more interested to see Direct Action than Helix or whatever. Eventually more thrash bands started and a great scene started from Slaughter and Sacrifice. When an underground band came to town, it was an event that EVERYONE went to, because there weren’t many bands especially that toured.

Were there any fanzines in Toronto at that time?? Tell me about them.

Rob: Lots of fanzines. I can’t really remember many names.

Were there any metal shows on radio/college radio?

Rob: Aggressive Rock on CKLN 88.1. Brian Taylor’ show was the highlight of everyone’s week. I know people that still have cassettes of his shows.

Tell me about the tape-trading scene then. Which is the furthest place from Toronto that your tapes reached?

Rob: Everywhere really. Asia, South America…I think the weird thing for us was to get mail from the old eastern bloc countries. We were all raised to believe that the communist countries had absolutely no freedom, had no access to music, etc…but we received tons of mail from Poland, Czechoslovakia, U.S.S.R.

You play quite a few shows at Larry’s Hideaway. Tell me about that place.

Rob: I’ve played in a lot of bars. Nothing was like that place. It was filthy,disgusting whores, junkies living in cockroach ridden rooms upstairs, but the bar had the best sound system in the city and was the most metal place I have ever been in. Great bands played there, Slayer, Exodus, Discharge, G.B.H., Mercyful Fate, Anvil.It is a shame that it was destroyed. I still remember the guy’s name who booked our first show there, Fred Chagpar.

Do you keep a track on the Toronto scene now?? What are your thoughts on it?

Rob: The scene now is probably bigger than it ever has been. The local bands are great. It has been so long though, since a band has come out of Toronto that has really broken out worldwide.

What songs/songs do you feel can be described as a “Sacrifice” song?

Rob: The 5 songs that I think best define us (for me) are Reanimation, Flames Of Armageddon, Burned At The Stake, In Defiance and The Entity.

Which album would you recommend to someone who has never heard of Sacrifice before?

Rob: Forward to Termination.

Rob, you feature on the latest Sigh album “Hangman’s Hymn”, you play a solo on their song “Dies Irae/The Master Malice” how did that come about?

Rob: I met Mirai and Shinichi here at Day of the Equinox. I’ve kept in touch with Mirai a bit, he asked if I would do a solo and of course I did. The album is awesome.

You have shared the stage with various bands like King Diamond, Megadeth, Voivod, Motorhead and many more in various cities of North America. Which was your favorite city to perform in?

Rob: Toronto and Detroit were my favorites, but everywhere was great except Lawrence, Kansas.

You played quite a few shows with Razor and Slaughter, did you guys ever hang out to together,get drunk etc??? Do you keep in touch with them? When was the last time you saw them?

Rob: Yeah, we had a lot of fun with both bands. We kind of grew up with the Slaughter guys and we still keep in touch a bit, mainly through email. Razor, we also have a lot of history with and probably my most memorable tour was with them across our massive country of Canada.

I noticed you thanked Molson beer in the Special thanks on the “Soldiers of Misfortune” album. Having surely had many, many beers (different types I hope) since, do you still like Molson Beer?

Rob: I can’t stand Molsons now unless it’s free

I’m pretty much Guinness in the winter and Corona in the summer. I like a lot of different beers, but funny enough, few are Canadian.

If you had to do things all over again, would you do anything differently?

Rob: No. We never really cared about being rich or famous. I’m satisfied with what we accomplished. People think that when you are in a band, your ambition is to be a rock star. We just wanted to play punishing music. Everything else was a bonus.

That’s about it. Thanks for answering all my questions. Do you have any final words or comments?

Rob: Just a big thank you to all the people who have supported us over the years and everyone who has recently discovered SacrificE.

And thanks for the interview!!

Written by trendcrusher

March 10, 2012 at 3:14 am

Nervecell – Psychogenocide

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My review of the second album of Nervecell, “Psychogenocide” is finally done. Its a really good album hence I wanted to take my time before reviewing it. This review originally appeared on

Nervecell is the biggest metal band to come out of United Arab Emirates. The release of their debut album, “Preaching Venom” and also their Tours across Europe, Middle East, India and most recently Philippines has got them a fan following from all over the world.

The album starts off with the “Anemic Assurgency”, an Oud instrumental that then gives way to the brutal riffs on “Upon an Epidemic Scheme”. The title track has the band firing on all cylinders, you cannot help but lose control and headbang along to it. “Shunq (To The Despaired…King Of Darkness)” features Karl Sanders (Nile) and is the first extreme metal song with both Arabic and English lyrics. “The Taste of Betrayal” is one of my favourite songs on the album, it really showcases the chops of both Rami and Barney. The vacant drum throne is again filled by Dave Haley (Psycroptic).

Overall this is an angry album, some of the songs reflect the current situation in the Middle East and North Africa. The band has added Arabic elements without taking away the brutality, something that makes them stand out from their peers in the Middle East. Wojtek & Slawek Wieslawscy from Hertz Studios, Poland have done a great job mixing and mastering the album. Björn Goosses (Killustrations) has depicted the concept of the album pretty accurately in the artwork, which is one more reason that you should buy a physical copy of the album.

Keep an eye out on Nervecell as they will only get bigger and stronger in the coming years. Head to the Nervecell Online store and pick up a copy of the album.

More reviews coming up soon.

Written by trendcrusher

June 5, 2011 at 10:02 pm