Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Interview with Usurper done by Patrick posted on 2-26-19

Interview with Usurper done by Patrick

1.Hails how are things in Chicago this week? Please introduce yourself to the readers?

RS: Hello. I'm Rick Scythe, guitarist of Usurper. Joining me today will be our long time vocalist, Dan Tyrantor. We're going on our 26th year as a band and have our new album, "Lords of the Permafrost" coming out in March 2019 on SoulSeller Records

2.Usurper was started in 1993 when did you get the idea to start this band?

RS: Around 1992, I started coming up with ideas with our old vocalist. We began envisioning this perfect metal band we would like to see. I started writing some music, he would write some words. We discussed image and topics. We wanted to incorporate elements we missed from the original wave of early-mid 80's extreme metal bands. But it wasn't until late 1993 when all 3 of us (Rick Scythe, Guitars/bass; Joe Warlord drums; General D. Slaughter, vocals) actually got together, rehearsed and called it Usurper.

3.Who would you say are Usurper's biggest influences and how do you feel the bands musical style has changed over the years or has it pretty much stayed the same since the beginning?

RS: Bands like Celtic Frost, Sodom, Venom, Mercyful Fate, Manowar as well as old stuff like Black Sabbath, Ted Nugent. We always wanted to pay homage to the early pioneers of mid-80's underground metal and combine that style with elements of classic heavy metal,hard rock, thrash, death and black metal. It's still the same, except now we are more influenced by Usurper than any specific band. Sort of like a snake eating it's own tail.

4.Lords Of The Permafrost is the bands newest release which will be released in March.How long did it take the band to write the music for the new release?How long does it usually take the band to complete one song?

RS: I had a lot of songs, riffs, ideas since the band broke up in 2007. Dan can elaborate from his perspective.
DT: I was living in Colorado for a while. When Rick and I started talking about getting back together, he sent me a demo of some songs with an outline of where lyrics would be. We collaborated on one, and I wrote the other. I moved back a short time later, and the rest of the record came together rather quickly once we had everybody in the same room. We're all on the same page, and very particular when it comes to how an Usurper song/album should sound.

5. Usurper have been active since the early 90's has the band played live over the years?If yes what have been some of Usurper's most memorable shows and tours? And who are some bands you have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with?

RS: Touring with Dark Funeral in 1997, our first tour in Europe in 1998, Our second tour of Europe in 2000 opening for Cradle of Filth, touring with Manowar, touring with Enslaved. Headlining the main stage, day one of Inferno Fest 2006, Norway... I'm sure Dan has some other shows to mention too.

DT: An amazing headlining show in Tijuana MX, Maryland Deathfest, a few hazy nights in Canada, and I would certainly be remiss not to mention playing for a rabid crowd in the basement of a bagel shop in Ohio.

6.Are their any tours or shows planned in support of the new release if yes where will the band be playing?

DT: As of this writing, we have a record release show happening here in Chicago in March, followed by headlining one of the stages at Milwaukee's Spring Bash, and a headlining show at the legendary St. Vitus Bar in Brooklyn New York in July. There are a few more shows set to be announced, but nothing we can talk about just yet.

7.Besides the upcoming Lords Of The Permafrost release are the bands previous releases still available for the readers to buy? Besides physical releases does the band have any other merchandise currently available if yes what is available and where can the readers buy it?
RS: Many of our old released have been re-issued many times over the years without the band's consent. Also, countless people have uploaded our music without our permission on YouTube, and for some reason, YouTube allows this. As far as merchandise... yes, we will have an avalanche of merch coming out soon. Check our Facebag page for more deatils.

8.What does the term Underground Metal mean to you?

DT: To me it means playing from your gut, and writing the songs that I want to hear. The thought of following some trend, or shaping our sound in order to simply be more popular is nauseating to me. We have a small, yet fiercely dedicated legion of fans that can smell bullshit and posers from a mile away, and that's how we like it.

9.Usurper comes out of the legendary Chicago Illinois metal scene what is your opinion of the scene in Illinois over the decades? And do you feel it has gotten better over the years or stayed the same?

DT: I feel very fortunate to have grown up here when I did. Bands like the original Devastation, Abomination, Master, Trouble, etc. weren't only great Chicago area bands, but just great bands in general terms. I don't get out to as many shows as I used to, but on most weekends here, there are usually 2-3 different local Metal shows to choose from. Chicago is a tough town, and it's reflected in the music.

10.Who are your all-time favorite bands coming out of the scene in Illinois? And are their any new bands you could recommend to the readers?

DT: As previously mentioned, Master, along with Abomination and Deathstrike. Devastation(IL), Sindrome, Maimed, Slauter Xtroyes, Zoetrope, Contagion. I don't know much about newer bands. I'm old.

11.As mentioned earlier in the interview Usurper was started back in the 90's.Did you read a lot of fanzines back in the 80's and 90's? If yes what were some of your favorite fanzines to read?
RS: I liked Morbid Magazine, Norway, Voices from the Darkside, Germany, Slayer Mag... fuck, I'm having a hard time remembering all the cool fanzines. I have a box of them in my garage though.

12.Tape-trading was also a big back in the 80's and 90's did you ever do a lot of tape trading? What were some of your favorite bands and demo's you traded for back in the day?

DT: I did a lot of tape trading and letter writing in the late 80s and early 90s. Some of my favorite demos are from Nihilist, Grave, Nirvana 2002, Malevolent Creation, Cynic, and Solstice.

13.When you need to take a break from working on new music or band business what do you like to do in your free time?

RS: I like to hang out at home and not be bothered. I will paint, hang out with my dog and my woman, sit in backyard with a telescope. I would like to invite Dan over too from time to time as long as he doesn't insist on "doing his act".

DT: Mostly just stare blankly out the window, share deep meaningful conversations with my dog, reckless driving, and working at the nuclear plant.

14.Thank you for taking the time to fill this interview out do you have any final comments for the readers?

RS: Thanks for the support!

DT: Yeah, thanks!

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Monday, February 25, 2019

Putrid Coffin--Under The Cemetery cd {Australis Rec.} posted on 2-25-19

Putrid Coffin--Under The Cemetery cd {Australis Rec.}
Putrid Coffin are a new band coming out of the Chilean old school death,thrash metal scene.Under The Cemetery is the debut release featuring seven tracks of raw death metal with a healthy dose of thrash metal influences.The guitars are played with a lot of skill and speedy patterns.The guitarist does slow to a more mid paced range even adding some well written and played solo's in the music.The vocals are old school gruff growls and some screams are entertwined into the music.If you are a fan of early to mid 90's death thrash metal then do yourself a favor and check out Putrid Coffin's debut release today.
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Sunday, February 24, 2019

Swarm Of Hatred--Shrine Of Negativity cd {Australis Rec.} posted on 2-24-19

Swarm Of Hatred--Shrine Of Negativity  cd {Australis Rec.}
Swarm Of Hatred are a band who come out of Chile's black metal scene.Shrine Of Negativity is the debut release featuring eleven songs of well executed and performed black metal.The guitars are mainly done with extremely fast and chaotic guitar patterns but the guitarist does slow to a more calm mid paced range throughout some of the songs.The vocals are a mix of gruff growls and some black metal screams are used throughout the songs.If you are looking for a great new band that combines both ultra fast black metal mixed with some well played slower sections then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Shrine Of Negativity today.

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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Interview with Ashen Horde done by Patrick posted on 2-7-19

Interview with Ashen Horde done by Patrick

1. Hails how are things going in California these days? Please introduce yourself to the readers?
 Hey! Things are going pretty well here. It’s been rainy for the last few days, which is the closest we get to proper winter here, haha. Certainly, nothing like most of the U.S. is experiencing, which reinforces why I’m happy that I moved to L.A.! Anyway, I’m Trevor Portz, writer and guitarist/bassist/clean vocalist for Ashen Horde. We play extreme progressive metal, and have a new album, Fallen Cathedrals, coming out March 22. It will be available on CD, LP and digitally via Extreme Metal Music/Rockshots Records.

2. When did you first discover black metal and who were the first bands that caught your attention? Who are some of your current favorite bands and artists?
My first taste of black metal came via the “World Domination II” sampler from Osmose Records in the late ‘90s. I don’t actually remember how I got my hands on it, but it blew my mind. The tracks that I remember leaving the biggest impression on me were Immortal’s “Nebular Ravens Winter” and Enslaved’s “Forgotten.” The songs were so grim and dark (which I believe is a song on the newest Immortal disc), and didn’t sound like anything I’d ever heard. I had been into death metal for a while, but I was instantly hooked on the atmosphere and bigger focus on melody (particularly on the Enslaved track). Of course, that led me to Emperor, Mayhem, old Cradle of Filth, Ancient, Satyricon, Borknagar and all of the other amazing 90s BM bands. I have to admit that I’m pretty terrible at keeping up with current bands, and when I discover something new, it’s usually a band I somehow missed for many years… a good example would be Nocternity from Greece, who I believe has been around since the 90s, yet I only just got into. I’ve also really been digging the Slegest catalog; great black n’ roll. Cor Scorpii is another good example of a band I just got into (despite being a long-time Windir fan) but at least they’re only about 10 years old! Current favorites: Vreid, Tulus, Khonsu, Einherjer. Not new, but all still relevant and excellent, IMO.

3. When did you first get the idea to start Ashen Horde? How did you choose Ashen Horde as the name of the band and does it have a special meaning?
Ashen Horde became a reality at some point in 2013. I had moved to L.A. from New York, and after a failed attempt to get a band going, decided to try my hand at doing something by myself. My first go at it was a grindcore/punk album under the name Bite Wound, but that fizzled out quickly. It showed me, though, that I could make records on my own. I’d been writing songs that would become the first Ashen Horde album for many years (beginning in New York), and decided it was time to finish them and get them out. It was a lot of work, but the album (Sanguinum Vindicta) and accompanying EPs got a good response, which was enough for me to make Ashen Horde my main musical focus. Name-wise, it really doesn’t have any special meeting. Honestly, I don’t even remember where it came from—I just remember being on the subway in L.A. when it came to me, and I couldn’t wait to get out so I could Google it and make sure no one else had it, haha.

4. What is the current line up of the band and for the readers who have never heard Ashen Horde's music how would you best describe it? Who would you say are the bands biggest influences?
 For the upcoming album, Fallen Cathedrals, the lineup consists of myself on all instruments and clean vocals, and Stevie Boiser on harsh vocals. Having Stevie involved has been awesome, as I was never able to deliver the vocals I had in my head… I tried, but all I ended up with were vocal nodes and mild disappointment. While I was always happy with the music, this is the first release where I feel the vocals are on the same level. Genre labels can be difficult (and often limiting), but I suppose “progressive black/death metal” is probably pretty accurate. While Ashen Horde certainly has black metalcore, I like to bring in things I love from across the extreme metal spectrum. Thus, you’ll find elements of death metal (melodic and old school), thrash, grind, folk/pagan, and on and on. My goal with Ashen Horde is really just to put in whatever I think makes a song work. Hell, there’s a weird acoustic thing in the middle of “The Vanishing” that I’m even surprised by! As for specific influences, I’d say all of the bands mentioned above, plus a shitload of other stuff: Moonsorrow, Brutal Truth, Thyrfing, Arcturus, Vintersorg, Queensryche, Carach Angren, anything Devin Townsend, Opeth, Amorphis, Dark Tranquillity, Khold, Turisas, Finsterforst, Mithotyn, Testament, old Sepultura, etc. Everything is fair game!

5. I believe Ashen Horde is a two-man band would you like to add more members to form a full line up or do you prefer to work as a two-man band?
While I enjoyed doing things on my own, having Stevie involved has helped convince me that it’s time to expand. I’m already in talks with a bassist and drummer for the next record, so it seems that Ashen Horde may turn into a full band! Of course, everyone involved lives in different parts of the world, so playing live could be a different story, but I’m pretty sure we can make it happen.

6. If you two had the opportunity to work with any musicians{past or present} who are some musicians you would like to work with?
Top of my list would be Ihsahn—everything he does blows my mind. Obviously, his solo work is pretty far from what he did in Emperor, but he always seems to write exactly what I want to hear. I also love that he doesn’t seem to feel constrained by any style or genre, and does whatever he wants. Seriously, “Until I Too Dissolve” from Arktis could almost have fit on one of the most recent Dokken albums! (That’s not an insult, BTW.) I’m also really hoping I can work with Jens Bogren at some point; I’d love to have him mix our next record. That dude has magic ears. Others on my short list: Ivar Bjornson, Lars Nedland, Andreas Hedlund (aka, Vintersorg)… I’d love to have Alexi Laiho and Alex Skolnick lay down solos somewhere. Oh, and people say I look like Dave Grohl, and he seems to into every type of music, so I’d like to bring him into the Ashen Horde fold for something. Suspend reality for that one, haha.

7. Fallen Cathedrals is the bands newest full length how long did it take to write the music for the new release? How long does it usually take to complete one song?
 Top to bottom, I’d say it took about 2-3 months to write the music, and about that long to write lyrics. Once the music was written, I sat on the demos for a couple months, just to make sure I was happy with everything. Actual guitar tracking and drum programming took another few months, and vocals several more. (Stevie’s active in several other bands, so he had to slot things in as he had availability.) Then mixing took for-fucking-ever, since I could never settle on a mix (even more reason I want to hand the next record off to someone else for that part!) I don’t know if there’s a standard length of time for me to finish a song, but 2-3 months from beginning to end is probably pretty realistic.

8. Who usually handles writing the lyrics for the music? What are some topics you wrote about on the new release? Which usually comes first the music or the lyrics?
I do the majority of the lyric writing, though Stevie contributed to this album as well. The lyrics on Fallen Cathedrals tell the story of an economically divided city, with the two sides falling into an all-out class war. Each song details an element of the story, as the two sides become increasingly more brutal and vicious. It was inspired by the novel “High Rise” by J.G. Ballard, and examines close people are to pushing aside their humanity in favor of primal violence. I write music first almost exclusively, though tend to have an idea of what part of the story each song will tell, and try to write music that fits. While I’m adamant about keeping politics and religion out of Ashen Horde’s lyrics, I can’t say the stories aren’t influenced by what’s going on around me.

9. Besides the upcoming Fallen Cathedrals, release are the bands previous releases still available for the readers to buy? Other then physical music releases does the band have any other merchandise currently available if yes what is available and where can the readers buy it?
Yes! Everything is available at our Bandcamp site (http://ashenhorde.bandcamp.com) and through Big Cartel (https://ashenhorde.bigcartel.com). There are CDs available for the earlier albums (Sanguinum Vindicta and Nine Plagues), with the latter also available on gatefold double LP. We have two 7” singles, Echthros and The Alchemist, and I actually found a couple copies of the very first EP (Ab Initio) on pro-cdr, so jump on those before they’re gone! Of course, everything is also available digitally, not only on Bandcamp, but also on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc. In addition to the music, we do have several shirt designs available, and there are shirt/vinyl combos for the new album.

10. Ashen Horde comes out of California's black metal scene what is your opinion of the metal scene in California?
This may make me sound like a dick, but I really don’t follow the CA metal scene very closely. Honestly, I only tend to go to shows for bands I’m already into, so I don’t really know what bands are out there, but I’m sure there are a lot of good ones. If I have a free night, my first priority is to work on my own music, but I should probably make more of an effort to see what’s going on in my own backyard!

11. Who are your all-time favorite bands coming out of California and are there any new bands you feel the readers should check out soon?
 We’ll have to step out of the extreme metal world for this one, haha. My top California bands are mostly the bands I got into when I was younger and first discovering metal. L.A. Guns, Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Love/Hate, Testament, Megadeth, The Doors, Ratt… most are still active, too, which is awesome.As I said, I’m not too aware of killer new Cali bands. I know people are really into Deafheaven, but they don’t do much for me. My buddy Jay has a band called Catatonic Society that are pretty sweet—they have a bit of a stoner/Sabbath thing going on. Of course, the new John Garcia album is fucking great.

12.Besides working in Ashen Horde do either of you currently play in any other bands or solo projects? If yes please tell the readers a little about them?
 I actually just finished an album with some amazing musicians, but can’t share much about it just yet. I will say that it’s very inspired by the 90s black metal sound, so for those that aren’t as into the mix of styles I throw into Ashen Horde, this one is much more stylistically consistent. We’ll be shopping it soon, so hopefully, I’ll be able to formally announce it in the near future. Stevie is extremely busy, so there’s plenty to be on the lookout from him. The first Equipoise full length will be out March 8, and Inferi has a record coming out in Spring. Tethys are also working on their first album, so the shelves with be flooded with Boiser this year!

13. When you need to take a break from working on new music or band business what do you like to do in your free time?
 For the 11 months of the year that it’s not raining, I love to hike, bike and just enjoy the SoCal life. I’m very into travel, and my wife and I are working toward hitting all 7 continents by 2021 (with Antarctica being number 7, not surprisingly). I made my first trip to Japan last year, and loved it, and will be visiting Morocco this year, which will be my first time in Africa. Other than that, the usual: hang out with my wife and friends, chill with my dogs, watch Netflix (just finished “Maniac” which was really bizarre), and listen to music as often as possible!

14. Thank you for taking the time to fill this interview out do you have any final comments for the readers?
Thanks for your support! I hope people like the new record; Stevie and I are very pleased with it. Stay metal, and support the underground!
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Monday, February 4, 2019

Interview with Neil Carter all instruments for 10:13 done by Patrick posted on 2-4-19

Interview with Neil Carter all instruments for 10:13 done by Patrick

1.Hello Neil how is the new year starting out for you? Please tell the readers a little about yourself?
- This years starting out good. It was a long hard road to get to this point. I'm kind of the guy that's been alongside since the founding bands, but realized over time if anything was gonna get produced around my drumming, then I would have to make every other instrument happen myself. I can't help but roll my eyes when I hear of another one-man Black Metal band. Usually the drums and vocals are worlds away from what I've become accustomed to. I wanted to make something that was listenable for myself.

2.When did you first become interested in writing and playing music? What were the first instruments you learned to play?

- I guess I should at least start from the beginning. Without knowing it, before birth I was already being exposed to stuff from how my parents were into music, so by the time I could 1st hear anything I was taking in these experimental Prog bands whether I liked it or not. I did'nt really fully understand or appreciate my folks until I got around and saw a little culture. I just assumed every Dad randomly had Suicidal Tendencies or Slayer on vinyl here and there. From that foundation I was then able to stay up to 11:45 and catch the og Headbangers Ball where the 1st night I recorded Morbid Angel's - Rapture video. I too this day think it's a top 3 song and video. Beavis and Butthead came along around the same time with some tasteful bands that I would go buy. Around 12 1st tried guitar and it was'nt making sense so I gravitate toward wanting to play drums. I got a kit around that age but never put out any recorded music until now in my 30's. And it was best that way because I still feel it's barely acceptable.

3.Are you self taught or did you take lessons when first starting out? What instruments do you currently play? And are their any instruments that you would like to learn to play one day?

-The Accordion would be insane if you could skillfully play it, but to just go nuts on pulling out some slow demented tones. Everything I play now: drums, keyboard, bass, guitar, harmonica is all self taught. I  did'nt have the drive once I started having school friends to go out and be seen. I had a lot of impatience in public, so early on I would drum along as best I could to the Death, Suffocation, Entombed, or Monstrosity albums.

4.Who are some of your biggest influences and favorite musicians?

-Marco Kehren of Deinonychus, Misteltein and Tony Macalpine have paved the way.

5. Neil when did you first get the idea to start the band 10:13 and how did you choose 10:13 as the name of the project and does it have a special meaning?
- I just chose my birthday. I figured October Friday the 13th could be some special show where I murder someone. I knew I would be going at this alone so I did'nt mind. Oathbade was what I had for a band name in my head many years prior.

6.Who would you say are some of the bands biggest influences on the debut recording? And for the readers who have never heard the bands music how would you best describe the style and sound?

-The biggest at heart from around the world was Xasthur. I use to have such in depth thoughts with myself on how that had to have affected Scandinavian bands. I to this day have not heard much come near that realm. It's like people put their heads in the sand until it went away. I personally want to hear other bands pick up with elements of where he left off. For those that have not heard 10:13...each instrument is doing its own things. I think it's a little difficult for certain people to be ready for that kind of experience. For #1 it's really depressive, but also the layering takes a decent system or headphones and definately your full attention repeatedly. And honestly who has that kind of time. The drummings pretty blasty on parts with a few different technical genres influencing me. It can be sporadic on a couple songs, but others have underlying repeating parts. I try to set a theme with movie samples and vocals that are pretty tragic.

7.Results of An Iron Age is the debut release which you are self releasing towards the end of January did you look for a label to release the debut or do you prefer to self-release your music?
- I never looked for a label because there was always one more step I seemed to be undertaking. By the  end of the process I had managed having pieced together getting it produced, so I went with creating UncleBaby Records. I have gotten randon contact about European distribution since releasing this a week ago. I'm definately interested in manufacturing as much as I can while I'm able to.

8.How long did it take you to write the music for the debut release? How long does it usually take you to complete one song?

-I wrote about 2 albums worth in the span of a very productive year back in 2014. So this debut is some newer and old material. The songs I chose to hold off on were so important that I wanted to build up my muscle before recording them. The recording process After the drums can take two to three weeks if I'm quick. I write and rehearse a lot of the parts as I'm recording the final. But after mixing and everything, one song has a few months if not years into them. I'll write the keyboard chords 1st, then I have to think ahead so far into the song (which is near impossible) in order to come up with drum arrangements. Bass is very important to me, and more important than non-musicians think...so that comes following. What I do next on clean guitar is a lot where the Xasthur atonal influence comes in. I wanted those clean parts to be very stale/colorless in delivery. Lead and rhythm guitar complete the shading with slow to fast tempos.

9.Besides the upcoming debut release do you have any other merchandise currently available or more coming out this year? If yes what is available and where can the readers buy it?
- I have the album artwork on shirts. The physical disk along with those aswell are on my bandcamp. I wanted to keep the number of music accounts small. Facebook I use basically to get to the bandcamp and youtube page.

10. I know you had some guest musicians appear on the debut release, are their any plans to add more members to do some live shows or is this strictly a studio project?

-If Im able to stay on track these next few months with rehearsing, people just might see a live show of some sort in 2019. Other live musicians are out of the question for the next few years....but I'm a Drummer, so who wants to see anyone else around. Any future albums will definately have some guests  I threatened to work for me.

11.Besides working in 10:13 do you currently work with any other solo projects or bands? If yes please tell the readers a little about them?
- There are a lot of bands I would've been thrilled to drum for at some brief period of their career, but I could'nt see myself setting up and driving around for anyone else at the moment. The 5 bands I would join I could'nt because the drummers are all assassins. Anyway I feel people got all jacked up on the internet and frankly they're taking a lot of understanding on my part, as I feel it's the same with them. I feel until people soften up a bit, the best thing for me to do to ride this out is to make some tunes.

12.When you need to take a break from working on new music or band business what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

-Right now I start the last season of Trailer Park boys, before that I went through the Sopranos and East Bound and Down. I don't do much other than work and music at the moment, but I do occasionally enjoy commercial free tv for samples or a break.

13.Thank you Neil for taking the time to do this interview. Do you have any finally comments for the readers?

-Thanks for taking an interest in the band. I'm already of the mindset of taking the style to a more hypnotic/listenable direction. Some of the songs on this debut cd are nearing 4 years old so I'm eager to bite a chunk of meat out of the face of the next one....


WitchGoat--Egregors Of The Black Faith cd{Morbid Skull Rec.} posted on 2-4-19

WitchGoat--Egregors Of The Black Faith  cd{Morbid Skull Rec.}
WithGoat are a new band who come of El Salvador's black thrash metal scene.Egregors Of The Black Faith  is nine tracks of aggressive and violent thrashing black metal.The guitars are played with alot of skill and extremely fast patterns.The guitarist does write some memorable and catchy guitar patterns even adding some welll performed solo's.The drumming is done in the same vein with fast and crazed  drumming parts.The drumming is mainly played in the fast paced realm but does write and perform some mid paced drum patterns mixed into the music.If you are looking for a new band that combines the intensity of the 80's thrash gods and the bands own creative and violent writing ability should check out Egregors Of The Black Faith release today.

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