Back in 2012 I interviewed Carnifex drummer and founder Shawn Cameron before a show they were opening for Fleshgod Apocalypse and All Shall Perish. The dude was polite, friendly and more importantly unwilling to go into too many details and throw then label Victory Records under the bus (on the record anyways…) . Almost two years later and a lot has changed. The band is gearing up to release their fifth album, Die Without Hope on new label Nuclear Blast Records, and embark on a headlining US tour. I caught up with Mr. Cameron again to see how much better things are for the band in 2014
Alphabetical Interview Archives
2011 saw the debut album from Visceral Disgorge, Ingesting Putridity. This Baltimore, Maryland brutal guttural death metal band were only interested in creating some of the most punishing death metal out there and they did it with ease. The album contains 9 songs of sheer extreme slam brutality with songs that are super catchy so that you can hum the tune while bashing holes in your house from creating circle whirlwind pits! I’ve seen Visceral Disgorge live several times and they deliver an extremely tight and brutal set and the local crowd just eats it up every time. I have been in touch over the years with their singer, Travis and have hung out with him at the local shows. A true underground supporter of the scene and he wants the best for his band, as well as the local death metal scene. Just a really down to earth dude who just so happens to have a super killer death metal voice
Back in 2012 Unique Leader Records released one of their best albums that year, Obeisance Rising, the debut from Hideous Divinity. I love the Italian death metal scene and it has nothing to do with me being Italian. It goes all the way back to Necrodeath and their stunning debut album, Into the Macabre, back in ’87, when I purchased the beautiful double gatefold vinyl. Over the last decade the Italian death metal scene has continued to grow and transform itself into a country that is a force to be reckoned with. The bands are getting more and more vicious and the Hideous Divinity album last year, for me, was spectacular.
Emblazoned, burst onto the scene in 1999 and put out a demo in 2001 called Nocturnal Arsonist and then an ep in 2005 A Ceremony of Hellfire. This past year they unleashed a brand new incredible ep The Living Magisterium. The band incorporates killer blackened death metal with elements of thrash and some doom/death metal. I gave this ep high marks a while ago and think it’s fantastic. It’s really powerful and everything from the singing to amazing guitar riffs will stay embedded in your head for days on end. They hail from the midwest in the U.S. and anyone that knows anything about American death metal knows that some of the sickest and most depraved bands, as well as serial killers, come from this area. Kevin Forsythe is the guitarist for the band and I’ll forgive him for calling the Cowboys, the Cowgirls, since he’s a cool dude and sent this interview back to me quicker than Aaron Rodgers can say “My collarbone hurts”. My interview with him is below and be sure to pick up The Living Magisterium right after you read this.
Deicide is death metal royalty. Despite some ups and down the band is 11 albums into a genre defining career and with the 11th album, In the Minds of Evil released late in 2013, Glen Benton and co. are still on top of their game, being as brutal and anti Christian as ever. However, other than Benton and drummer Steve Ashiem, the band has undergone some line up changes. Gone are the long time Hoffman brothers replaced by Jack Owen and at one point Ralph Santolla, but there is some new blood in the Deicide camp now and that new blood is Guitarist Kevin Quiron.
I first heard about Epicardiectomy sometime in 2012 and after hearing some internet snippets I rushed to find their debut cd online, Abhorrent Stench of Posthumous Gastrorectal Desecration, on Coyote Records. Suffice to say this Czech Republic band became an instant favorite of mine. Playing a ridiculous heavy slam death brand of death metal that is pure knuckle dragging brutality. With song titles aptly named, “Fornicating in Pulverized Feces” or how about the top forty hit, “Feasting on Putrid Hysterectomy Remnants”? Tongue twisters to pronounce, yet complete brutal head smashing viciousness.
The announcement of the Ghoul Tour was a very exciting moment for the american fans of Dir en Grey. With the Japan-based band’s last US Tour canceled due to the hospitalization of their vocalist Kyo, it had been been a decent number of years since the last US show. Famous for their on-stage self-mutilation, shocking performances, and otherkin-identifying fanbase. Dir en Grey would also be supported by Dagoba, a metal band from France, who had released their fifth full-length album, Post Mortem Nihil Est earlier in the month. It was clear that this event simply could not be missed. On the day of, I set off to attend the show with high expectations.
I first saw Pyrexia live, at a small Long Island, NY club in 1992, called Sparks. Their demo, Liturgy of Impurity had just been released and they opened for Suffocation that night, Human Remains were also on the bill-it was insane, so was Immolation. Damn talk about a line-up! I was blown away by Pyrexia and picked up the demo and shirt. To this day this is one of my all time favorite demos and live the place went nuts and I was in the pit doing wind mills like a bastard! The band had a knack for creating brutal NYDM that was so catchy that the songs attached to your brain instantly upon hearing them for the first time. Back then, man I would sing the title track all the time, Virgin Mary violated, conceived you, a son of Satan, crucified for your denial, where is he who art in heaven? Then BOOM-it goes into that crucial slam part that you just wanted to punch holes in walls-live this part was one of the most vicious live experiences you would encounter.
New York’s So Hideous is the kind of black metal band that purists love to hate. No spikes, no corpse pain, no Satanic lyrics or imagery. Just four dudes in flannel shirts and jeans. Throw in some gorgeous orchestration and you get the perfect storm of supposed pretentiousness that linked to the likes of Liturgy and Deafheaven. But, for those willing to look past all of that bullshit and actually listen to So Hideous and their recently self released full length debut, the result will be fulfilling.
My introduction into France’s Aosoth is quite recent. Graham Landers, from Deepsend Records some time ago stated their new album was his favorite of 2013, at that time. Now I have gone on record that I’m more of an older school black metal fan, like Bathory and I still love Dark Throne, to this day. I love blackened death metal and Aosoth combine black metal with death metal influence and I agree with Graham’s assessment that IV: An Arrow in Heart is one of this years highlights. I reviewed it a while back and scored it 9.5/10 and feel this is the band’s magnum opus. Their past material, the 2008 self titled album (which I recently was able to get) and the 2009 Ashes of Angels are pure black metal, but played so viciously and amazing, that I feel they conjure up some of the great legendary black metal albums of the early 90’s.
Necrotic Disgorgement is a Midwest brutal death metal band, hailing from Ohio that have been around for a decade. They have 2 brutal albums under their belts, their 2004 debut, Suffocated in Shrinkwrap is a ridiculous brutal affair that was made even better when it was remixed and remastered several years after its initial release. They have a new album out on Comatose Music, Documentaries of Dementia. If you call yourself a brutal death metal fan and have yet to pick up this monster of an album than I can only say this…
Greece’s Murder Made God unleashed a pretty ferocious debut album several months ago, entitled Irreverence. I reviewed it on here and stated I really liked it, however I was hoping for a little more variety in some spots. Overall Murder Made God has made a splash in the death metal community with their cool band name and vicious brutal onslaught in how they approach death metal. The album is filled with vicious blast beats that will shatter windows and a pretty killer guitar sound. Vocals are brutal and will smash you in the face with no intent on letting up. When the band does break into a groove and mixes things up a bit, like on the song “Methods of Humanity”, you will swirl around the pit destroying everything in your path- this is such an amazing song and the band already has plans for a sophomore album. So in the meantime fire up some gyros, look to the Gods above, order Irreverence and read this interview with Murder Made God’s bassist, Stelios.
My introduction to Skeletonwitch goes back to 2007 when I first heard their second album, Beyond the Permafrost. I had wanted to get their debut, from 2004, At One with the Shadows, but it’s out of print and one day it will be reissued for the masses. However I was really digging the band and their blackened death/thrash attack. One of the main ingredients of a good band is songwriting and the band excels in that category. I could not believe the guitar melodies on the album, that not only were the songs brutal, but they were memorable and played with emotion. A lot of feeling goes into how the band constructs a song and how they incorporate the riffs. I love the albums after BTP, Breathing the Fire and Forever Abomination and own quite an array of Skeletonwitch shirts.
Like a small child I’ve watched Scotland’s Man Must Die grow from their 2003 demo Season of Evil, through 2 albums on Relapse, the first Scottish band to be signed to the label. A decade later the band is releasing their 4th album, Peace Was Never An Option on Lifeforce Records — and boy is it a scorcher! A revamped lineup and a 4 year break seems to have really invigorated the band as it is easily their strongest effort since 2004′s Start Killing -debut. In these 10 years, I’ve visited with vocalist Joe McGlynn a few times, as well as other lone remaining original member, guitarist Alan McFarland, and deciphered their thick accents enough to have some great conversations. So with the band reappearing on the metal map, I reached out once more and spoke with Joe McGlynn to do some catching up…
Embalmer is a brutal death metal band from Cleveland, Ohio that have been around since 1989. They have gone through band members coming and going, going on hiatus, but most of they are a major influence on the brutal U.S. death metal scene, as well as many overseas bands associated in this particular genre. When I joined Internal Bleeding, in 1994, their Rotting Remains demo became one of my favorite demos of all time. Beyond brutal, fantastically brutal vocals and just well played extreme underground death metal. Back in the 90’s we played with Embalmer many times live, and they were one of the heaviest and best brutal bands that I was fortunate enough to be on the same bill with them.
The year is 1991 and the debut album from Netherlands act, Asphyx is released, The Rack. One of the greatest death metal albums of all time that merged doom metal seamlessly into their sound. Only 1 year later, saw the release of Last One on Earth, even heavier than their debut and just as crushing. The band released other scorching albums/eps; Crush the Cenotaph, Asphyx, God Cries, On The Wings of Inferno and their unofficial 1990 debut Embrace the Death. Now while all these other releases had some other members here and there on the releases they were still excellent. Throughout the years this wonderful band has influenced not only numerous bands, but now generations, since the band has been around for over 2 decades.
Coldsteel is a Long Island, NY melodic thrash band that were formed in the 1980’s and they released a bunch of demos before their full length album, Freakboy, came out in 1992, on the now defunct Turbo Music. I used to see Coldsteel in NY and they always put on an energetic set and connected to their fanbase due to their down to earth and fun personalities. Vocalist, Troy Norr, actually became a family friend and came to my parents house a bunch of times and the band were nice enough to include my brother and myself in their album thanks list. Anyway the band could thrash with the best of them, like Overkill and had enough Anthrax style in your face gang choruses to stomp people in the pit too. The other side of the band were their incredible melodic edge with beautiful solos, bass lines and some excellent vocal variations, by Troy.
One of the best-kept secrets in extreme metal certainly has to be Austin, Texas’ Morgengrau, a quartet that plays a near-flawless brand of vintage death metal. Their debut album, Extrinsic Pathway was released in April via Blind God Records and to say it’s a hidden gem of crushing death would be an understatement.
DODECAHEDRON is yet another home run of a recommendation from my boy Graham Landers at Deepsend Records. What drew me to the band was the bleak cover design, reminding me of a lot of the Finnish death metal bands that I love, with their designs. DODECAHEDRON are from the Netherlands playing a hybrid form of black metal, with some death metal influences, however this band creates some menacing atmosphere that reminded me a bit of Ulcerate and Mitochondrion, and I was hooked once I heard their debut self titled album, which was released last year.
I have to admit to being fairly late to the Gorguts party. My first actual Gorguts purchase was 1998s Obscura, and like most, back then it simply was too forward thinking and mind blowing for my tiny brain. However, as I got involved in this journalism stuff, was exposed to more realms of musical creativity, I came to appreciate Obscura for the genius it was and even went back and picked up the rest of Gorguts’ early catalog, which I had merely dismissed as Death clones when they first came out as well as the band’s then swansong From Wisdom to Hate.
It should come as no surprise that Deserted Fear hail from Germany, where killer metal is coming out, literally on a daily basis. Also on the killer FDA Rekotz German label, the band’s My Empire debut last September should be picked up by fans of not only the Swedish/Asphyx sound, but also the 90’s Floridian dm sound. One of the things that was eye catching when I first saw the album cover is the killer artwork, surrounding a cemetery-it’s good to see bands still putting time into creating killer artwork and this reeks of old school through and through. Mr. Dan Swano helping to create a massive sledgehammer sound and really Deserted Fear are amazing.
Last year Sevared records put out one of their best albums ever, in my opinion, from Unfathomable Ruination- Misshapen Congenital Entropy was a highlight for releases last year. Massively heavy, brutal blast beats with guttural vocals, but also some technical aspects to the well played songs. I thoroughly enjoyed the enormous bass bomb drops that appeared in various parts of the album, which created a more brutal environment for the songs to even sound more lethal. Around for a mere 3 years the band has seen their popularity grow as they perform with national acts and devastate crowds and they are one of the best bands coming out of the UK, at the moment. Just look at the fuckin crazy looking album cover. That ginormous monstrous plant thingy looks to wreck havoc upon your mere mortal soul if you fail to purchase their debut cd. Their guitarist, Daniel Herrera, was super cool in getting the answers back to me quickly and here is what he had to say regarding the inner workings of this great young band.
The far reaching influence of Immolation has reached new heights over 20 years after the band released their debut, Dawn of Possession in 1991. In recent years the resurgence of old school death metal has peaked with a plethora of bands culling both from Immolation as well as the well documented Stockholm sound. One such band reaching into the past, culling from Immolation as well as Gorguts and other early but forward thinking death metal stalwarts is international act, Zealotry.
To get a pulse on what’s been happening in Oakland’s underground metal culture, we spent a day in the lives of 6-year bay area veteran ZH, who has straddled the line of punk, thrash, and metal, to eventually define their own sound with the release of their most recent album: Entitled to Enlightenment.
On the verge of potentially breaking out into the “mainstream” of metal, Pasadena, California’s Holy Grail seem to be doing all the right things. Their sophomore full-length album Ride the Void has been met with positive reviews and their popularity is growing each day. It seems as though before long, these “kids” from the West Coast will be a part of a core of younger bands leading the metal brigade into the next generation.