Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Interview with Epoch of Unlight

Way back in the late 90s/early 2000s, The End Records were arguably the best independent record label around that wasn’t one of the ‘big’ four- Nuclear Blast, Century Media, Relapse and Metal Blade- when it came to underground metal.

With releases from bands like Agalloch, Ulver, Arcturus, Anathema, November’s Doom, Crisis, Love History, Sculptured, Scholomance, Unexpect, Virgin Black and others, the label was diverse, ambitious and often genre bending.

But for me personally, one of the band’s early flag ship US bands that was able to compete with their European brethren was Tennessee’s black metal act Epoch of Unlight.

Interview With The Project Hate MCMXCIX

Question: name a Swedish death metal band that has been around for over 20 years, and has released 14 consistently good albums in that time span? Chances are you were not thinking of The Project Hate MCMXCIX, the brainchild of one Lord K Phillipson, a gentleman whom I have conserved with over the internet over the years since the third album, Hate, Dominate, Congregate, Eliminate. His supporting cast has changed over the years (though he has been finally locked into a stable group of hired guns for a while now), but one thing remains; the absolutely monstrous albums he and his troupe kicks out.

And what makes it even more impressive is that the last 6 albums have been donation funded, paid for by fans of the project, via ‘donation experiments’ whereby fans can donate money, and upon a certain amount being reached, he commences assembling his musical avengers and recording the album and sends those results digitally to those that donated. There is even a limited CD run if the fans, again want to pay for the whole CD-making process.

Interview With Abscession

Listen, I know we haven’t done an interview in a few years. But I thought I’d dip my toes back in the interview well and see what happens. And what better place to start than one of the year’s best Swedish death metal offerings from the multinational act, Abscession. I love me some Swedish death metal, and these guys are pretty much near the top of the peak for the genre.

Interview With Revel in Flesh

In 2012 I was quite impressed with Germany’s Revel in Flesh debut album, Deathevokation.  Really taking the Swedish bludgeoning guitar tone and brutalizing throughout the entire album.  There was and continues to be a decent amount of melody on all their releases and the song structures and catchy tunes stick in the listener’s head long after the music is turned off.  Since then Revel in Flesh has released 3 other ferocious death metal albums and the new one Relics of the Deathkult is actually a compilation of prior 7″ and split eps.  As always the care and concern with presentation has always remained top shelf with Revel in Flesh. Their album covers and layout designs are some of the best in the entire scene.  I developed a friendship with the singer years ago and Ralf is a die-hard death metal fan who just so happens to have a monstrous voice.  He has a variety of tones going from the brutal deep lows (my favorite) and higher pitched monster screams.  He not only loves classic death metal but has a very good understanding of classic metal, in general-which I surely appreciate.  Once you read this interview, please pick up all their releases and like their FB page and spread the word.  Also, buy some merch from them and any US promoters please get Revel in Flesh to the States to play some damn shows.  They are one of the best death metal acts around. 

Interview With Vomit Remnants

Vomit Remnants have been a force in the international death metal community for over twenty years. It has been nearly twenty years since they last released a full-length album. 2017’s Hyper Groove Brutality released on Unique Leader Records is an album that was not without challenges. In this interview I have a conversation with Keisuke the drummer of Vomit Remnants. We go over Japanese language, the influence of Internal Bleeding. The bands that influenced them and what the challenges were in reforming Vomit Remnants and finding a label to work with. We also get into some of Keisuke favorite bands and talk about the scene in Japan.

Interview With Withered

Back in 2006, I saw Dismember, Grave, Vital Remains and Atlanta’s Withered at a hole in the wall venue in St. Louis, MO. Dismember and Grave were two Swedish death metal icons, Vital Remains were still basking in the afterglow of Dechristianize and new comers Withered had recently released Memento Mori, a solid Swedish styled death metal album with some black and sludge metal thrown in. It remains the best show that I have ever attended. After the show, I hung out with Withered front man Mike Thompson as I had recently interviewed him for Metal Maniacs. He was one of the nicest, most down to earth dudes I had ever met and we stayed in somewhat regular contact. Fast forward a decade.

Interview With Dave Ingram

Any given time, when requested to list my favorite death metal albums of all time, Benediction’s “The Grand Leveller “always finds its way on the list. With typically scrappy British gusto, it shoulders its way in among the heavyweights like Morbid Angel, Death and Suffocation. The singer on that album and the four subsequent Benediction albums was no other than Dave Ingram.

Interview With Woe

Brooklyn’s black metal act Woe has been to the top of the mountain and the bottom of the valley. From stunning debut as a one man black metal act almost a decade ago, to almost breaking up, founder Chris Grigg has seen it all. After a 4 year layoff, Grigg is back with a new album, some new members and the return in “Hope Attrition”, which drips with a cathartic venom of a man and a band that has something to prove. Ive known Chris for a few years, back when he was called “Xos”, and thought I’d reach out to see how hte new album and lineup came about as well as the last couple of albums….

Interview With Revel In Flesh

One of the better and most consistent band currently atop the Swedish death metal revival is Germany’s Revel In Flesh. As prolific as they are awesome, the band is now four albums in, in just 6 years, each as good as the last. The latest release, Emissary of All Plagues, was released late last year on Cyclone Empire and sees the band

Interview With Invasion

I’ll get right to it- Indiana’s Invasion have been around a while, plying their war themed death metal since 1999. They started as a more Swedish styled band and really got my attention with 2002s Bezerk Artillery Barrage, one of my early reviews back in the digital days. At the time, a US band using the Stockholm sound was virtually unheard of. They followed it up with 2010 Orchestrated Kill Maneuver, another slab of Swedish styled chainsaws. But then the band went quiet for a while. 8 years later we have Destroyers of Mankind and the band has now leaning on their American heritage for a far more USDM styled sound. I caught up with Peter Clemens Invasion founder and a busy man involved with many other projects.

Interview With The Project Hate MCMXCIX

Lord K Phillipson, the founder of The Project Hate MCMXCIX, is and has always been one of the most outspoken and opinionated dudes in metal. Ever since we started conversing around 2003s Hate, Dominate, Congregate, Eliminate in the days. From the internet, labels to illegal downloads, The man has always had something to say. And right now he has a lot to talk about as the The Project Hate collective has just unleashed their 11th album, Of Chaos and Carnal Pleasures to the masses. Amd yet again the release is a fan funded, digital only release as Lord K continues to spurn the industry and record labels.

Interview With Vex

While Texas is more know for its brutal death metal and pure black metal, lying amid the reeds is Vex. Vex are neither. Instead, the band plays a form of hybrid between atmospheric black metal and melodic death metal. They have been around since 1999 but only have three albums under their belt — including the just released ‘Sky Exile’ on Eiwaz/Bindrune Recordings (a perfect fit) and those with a taste for more progressive, organic metal, will find a lot to like about them.

Interview With Abysmal Dawn

By the time you read this article, California’s Absymal Dawn will be embarked on one of the year’s (if not longer) best death metal tours. They will be opening for three certifiable legends in Cryptopsy, Cannibal Corpse and Obituary. But Abysmal Down is no normal opener, a wide eyed rookie death metal act. These guys have been around since 2003. Have released 4 albums, 3 of which on metal behemoth label Relapse. So these guys DESERVE to share the stage with such seminal acts.

Interview With Bulletbelt

Horror and metal have always been gore filled bedmates and inherently related. The misanthropy the (sometimes unfortunate) misogyny, the shock value, the violence, the extremity and the allure for society’s outcasts. The relationship was perfected in 1986s Trick or Treat (not the 2007 shit fest) with Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons bringing metal to the big screen.

Interview With Brutality

The US and mainly fertile Floridian death metal explosion of the early 90s is stuff of legend; Death, Cynic, Atheist, Obituary, Deicide, Nocturnus, Malevolent Creation, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse and the Morrisound ‘sound produced some of the best death ever, that to this day is considered seminal and whose influnce is still going well over 25 years later. Well in 1993 a band called Brutality released Screams of Anguish on label monsters Nuclear Blast, and while it arguably juuuuuust missed the genre’s peak its more classical based style insured that it rubbed shoulders with some of the classics of the day.

Interview With Vehemence

In this ‘journalism’ gig you run across hundred of people and bands. I’ve done countless interviews, got countless emails and Facebook messages and so forth, but you rarely make a connection. Something more than just the grinding wheels of music and reviewing/interviewing. However, sometimes you do make a deeper connection and dare I say, friendship. I like to think I made one such connection with Nathan Gearhart, the vocalist for the re-activated Arizona Death metal band, Vehemence.

Interview With Multinational Corporations

It is without a doubt in my mind that Pakistan’s crust/grind champions Multinational Corporations are the best new grind band of the last decade.  I’d stake my reputation, house and hell my balls on it!  Taking their name from a blistering cut off of Napalm Death’s Scum classic, the duo of Hassan (vocals/words) and Sheraz (all instruments) do it in the same old school fashion as the legends from which they culled their namesake.

Interview With Contra

Contra ain’t nothing to fool around with, you hear me?  This is the very definition of a POWER trio.  There’s no soft stuff or any singer getting in the way, just three men bashing their way through riff after riff of runaway heavy groove with a rhythm section tighter than a noose primed for a good sunrise hangin’.  These fellas aren’t strangers to the heavy.  Chris honed his guitar chops in the much missed Sofa King Killer, Aaron’s pummeling battery was an integral part of Fistula and several other infamous Ohio sludgers and Adam’s background is a bit of a mystery to me (though I’ll find out!)

Interview With Jungle Rot

Wisconsin’s Jungle Rot have been toiling in the US death metal scene for over 20 years now. But the last few years, since the band signed to Victory Records in 2011, has seen a second coming of the long running act. The three albums for the label (2011’s Kill on Command, 2013’s Terror Regime and this year’s Order Shall Prevail), sees the band at the very top of their game, aging like a fine wine.

Interview With Nile

Back in 1998 Nile, a death metal band from South Carolina, released Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka on Relapse Records. One could argue, and i would be one of them that the release reinvigorated American metal (as well as Relapse), a death metal scene that was saturated in Nu metal, Pavement Records, JL America and Crash Music bands that were simply soulless speedy death metal clones. However, Catacombs, changed the game.

Interview With Midmourner

Midmourner is sick…  Like canker sores with a side of toe-fungus and blown bile ducts sick.  Their thick, surly sludge dementia is as pure as the artform gets; miring itself in wails of corrosive feedback, clinically flatlined riffage, morphine drip blues grooves, inhuman vocal spawn, a rhythm section that smells of extinction and enough anger to put the band members’ in an institution for life.  With lunatics that have served time in seminal Alabama destruction squads Molehill and Residue, Midmourner have dropped a six song doozy with their debut EP, Adorned in Fear and Error.  It’s been great catching up with vocalist Shane George lately, since our last conversation via email many, many moons ago.  Crack a beer, raid the medicine cabinet and let’s have a little Q & A intoxication! 

Interview With Palace in Thunderland

It’s getting harder to be heavy AND original these days.  In the world of riffing it seems a template was created and thusly many are following along instead of attempting to pioneer something different.  I think I can say with certain sanctity that Palace in Thunderland are doing something different and succeeding.  These guys have been around for a long time (over a decade) and are a home to members of esteemed bands Black Pyramid, Blue Aside and Space Mushroom Fuzz.  They took a five year break, returning from the void with an exciting vision collecting together the best of 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s heavy rock.  There’s no aping, lifting, copycatting, etc.  The foursome simply calls upon their idols for inspiration, taking the asteroid handed down by the elders and crashing it into Earth.   I sit down at the edge of the universe for an interview meet n’ greet with these entheogenic lifeforms.

Interview With Mörbid Vomit

While Sweden is the birthplace and home of buzzing, midrange death metal, other countries have dipped into the sound and come up with impressive takes on the sound. The Czech Republic (Brutally Deceased), Poland (Ulcer, Hereza), Greece (Wreckage), France (Skelethal) and even the US (Fatalist, Unwilling Flesh). Well Finland has their own impressive addition in Mörbid Vomit, an eclectic collective of current and former dudes from Black Sun Aeon, Devilhorn, Kivimetsan Druidi and The Zombi.

Interview with Gruesome

Gruesome released one of the best death metal albums of this year in ‘Savage Lands’. Not only that, but the album is an excellent love letter to the older Death -albums, old school death metal and most of all, to Chuck Schuldiner. We chatted briefly with one of the main motors of Gruesome, drummer Gus Rios, about how the band came to be and how ‘Savage Lands’ turned out how it did. So sit down, pour yourself some Chianti, eat a corpse and let death consume you.

Interview With Shroud of Despondency

I owe Shroud of Despondency’s Rory Heikkila an apology. Not only was I extremely tardy in my reviews of the band’s albums—Pine and Tied to an Dying Animal—this interview was supposed to occur months ago. Quite frankly the band slipped through the cracks of my massive backlog of metal to review, emails to answer and interview requests. I guess my situation sort of mirrors the band’s trials and tribulations as they have slipped through the cracks of even metal’s most independent labels during the band’s 15 years of existence (and 18 or so releases)…