Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Interview with Asphyx

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.

Interview with Coldsteel

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.

Interview with Morgengrau

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.

Interview with Dodecahedron

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.

Interview with Gorguts

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.

Interview with Deserted Fear

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.

Interview with Unfathomable Ruination

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.

Interview with Zealotry

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.

Interview with Zombie Holocaust

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.

Interview with Holy Grail

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.

Interview with GWAR

Could you imagine the world without GWAR? Seriously: imagine that GWAR never existed and their legendary stage shows never happened. How scary of a thought is that? The Virginia-based veterans of everything gory, vile and flat-out wrong have been soaking concert hall patrons with blood and semen for decades and there doesn’t seem to be any quit in the band at all. They’ve released countless full-length albums, even more VHS/DVDs, comic books, action figures… You name it and GWAR has done it. With a new album on the horizon – their first in three long years – and currently trekking across North America, the mighty GWAR have endured quite a bit throughout their history, but the group remains as strong as ever. In fact, it can be argued that GWAR hasn’t been this powerful since their “glory days” of the early ‘90s. Luckily for this scribe, GWAR came through Las Vegas and performed at the Hard Rock Café on the Strip. was fortunate enough to sit down and chat with GWAR mastermind Dave Brockie, aka vocalist Oderus Urungus, several hours before their show.

Interview with Jungle Rot

Jungle Rot has been carrying the flag of true American death metal for two decades and they’ve never been stronger than they are today. Fresh off their latest full-length album Terror Regime, the Wisconsin-based band is hoping to continue the uptick they’ve been on and carry that into the next decade of existence.

Interview with Xanthrochroid

For those who are fortunate enough to have heard the debut full-length album from Lake Forest, California’s Xanthochroid, you already know how diverse and majestic the music is. A young band with an insane amount of talent and maturity, Xanthochroid is undoubtedly a band with a brighter future than most of their peers. A perfect blend of sweeping atmospheres, melodies, symphonic/orchestral elements and chilling black metal, Xanthochroid’s latest release Blessed He with Boils is nearly flawless.

Interview with Entrails

Anyone that reads this site regularly know I have a huge love of old school Swedish death metal. Pretty well anything with that HM2/Sunlight sound sounds gets me more excited than Kim Kardashian in an NBA locker room. And 20 years after the genre’s originators like Entombed, Grave, Carnage and Dismember spewed forth from Stockholm, the genre is experiencing a comeback of massive proportions. For the last few years the HM2 sound and style has been in a resurgence with bands from the UK (Binah), Poland (Ulcer, Kingdom), the US (Abysme, Terminate, Horrendous), Germany (Revel in Flesh, Lifeless), Spain (Unconsecrated), The Netherlands (Funeral Whore, Massive Assault) and even the Czech Republic (Morbider, Brutally Deceased), just to name a few. But standing atop of the genre, are acts that hail from the genre’s homeland: Sweden. From the recent reissues of long long classics like Uncanny and Toxaemia, to new blood like Blood Mortized, Malfeitor, Usurpress, Morbus Chron, Bombs of Hades, Bastard Priest and Rogga Johannsen’s 4,456 bands, the Swedes are back. And none is more happy to be back than Entrails. Originally forming in 1990, but never recording anything, one could argue that their loooooong awaited debut, Tales from the Tomb was essentially a dusted off, unearthed blast from the past, re-ignited this whole resurgence. And now their third album, Raginf Death has just been released on Metal Blade Records- a far cry from obscurity 23 years ago. I overcame the language barrier and caught up with founder and guitarist Jimmy Lundquist to dig further into the pile of Entrails…

Interview with Icons of Brutality

The Netherlands is country known mostly for two things (depending on the type of person you are): arguably the best kickboxers/Muay Thai fighters on the planet and some of the baddest, most crippling death metal bands in all of Europe. If not for the Netherlands, we wouldn’t have been exposed to such legendary acts of Pestilence, Asphyx, God Dethroned, Hail of Bullets, Gorefest, Sinister, and countless others. Enter the newest member to the Dutch tree of death metal: Icons of Brutality.

Interview with Amorphis

Amorphis is one of those bands who always did things on their own terms. They never pigeonholed themselves into one specific genre of metal, constantly experimenting with various sounds and adding elements to their music not typically found in regular metal. Amorphis, as defined by their name, are a band without boundaries, a band without a determinate form. The Finns were one of the first metal acts to ever infuse traditional folk elements to their sound and since the early stages of the burgeoning Scandinavian metal scene, they garnered a legion of loyal fans. Fast forward almost 25 years since the band’s inception and Amorphis is still standing tall amongst their peers. Two EPs and ten full-length albums in, Amorphis just released Circle, an album that revisits many passages of their career as well as a few new wrinkles here and there. was fortunate enough to speak to guitarist and founding member Esa Holopainen about their latest release and Amorphis’ legacy. Considering everything that they’ve achieved and where they stand right now with their brilliant new record, it’s safe to say that Amorphis certainly has come full circle.

Interview with Noumena

Back in 2005, I reviewed ‘Absence’, the second album from melancholic Finnish death/doom metal act Noumena. Despite competing directly with the likes of Amorphis, Insomnium, Swallow the Sun and Rapture, the release was one of my favorite releases of that year. The very next year the band released ‘Anatomy of Life’ — once again to critical reviews. However, the band then went silent. Real silent. After being on the verge of truly breaking out, they were not heard from again for seven years. Until now.

Interview with Cnoc An Tursa

It goes without saying that the United Kingdom has birthed some of the greatest acts the rock and metal world has ever heard. Pink Floyd. Led Zeppelin. Black Sabbath. Iron Maiden. Napalm Death. Carcass. Cradle of Filth. The list is seemingly endless, though the majority of what many believe to be the best of the best hail from England. Yes, Ireland has had its fair share of terrific musicians/bands over they years but there’s one country that is hardly, if ever, mentioned as even a hive of metal: Scotland. With their debut full length The Giants of Auld just released last month, black/folk metal act Cnoc An Tursa are hoping to change that.

Interview with Terminate

The retro death metal movement is as strong as ever these days, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Add to the pile of corpses and rubble a young Chicago-based band in Terminate. Fresh off the release of their debut album, Terminate appears poised to be one of the bands to lead the latest wave of old school death into the future. Guitarist/vocalist John Porada took some time out of his day to chat with TeethOfTheDivine about their maiden release Ascending to Red Heavens and of death metal in general. Bludgeoning the underground in one of America’s best metal cities, Terminate’s take on a vintage sound suits them well and it’s only a matter of time before the metal world is much more familiar with them.

Interview with Saille

Remember the days of the late ‘90s when it seemed like everybody and their brothers started up a symphonic black band? Old school black metal bands began infusing orchestral elements to their sound, melodic death metal outfits incorporated some Cradle of Filth-y nuances, and the trendy thing to do was add female vocals into the mix. It was a fun time for a while because some of the releases were top notch. But like every fad – especially in metal – it dies off almost as soon as it starts. For a few years, symphonic black metal was scoffed at for the most part because the bands were either A) trying too hard to sound like their heroes; B) were just not that good; or C) both.

Interview with Thrawsunblat

If you go and find the review I wrote for Thrawsunblat’s second opus Thrawsunblat II: Wanderer on the Continent of Saplings you will ascertain how enamored I was with the trio’s eloquent take on folky, misty black metal. A project that once involved Woods of Ypres’ David Gold, it has been kept alive by Joel Violette, who performed on the tragedy stricken Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light.

Interview with Mortillery

Edmonton’s Mortillery gets it right. Debut album Murder.Death.Kill (HPGD Productions) really set the tone for the Canadian thrash metallers; everything from the album title to the artwork to Cara McCutchen’s vocal ferocity to the up-the-irons mentality lived, breathed, and puked METAL. Napalm Records heard it, got it, and snatched up that debut album for reissue, including the vinyl treatment. But it is with The Origin of Extinction that Mortillery have raised the bar and unknowingly dared bands the world over to try and top it. Blazing riffs, lacerating solos, vocals that move from thrash brutality to wailing heavy metal singing, and consistency of catchiness all the way through to the end. I can’t get enough of it, which is why The Origin of Extinction is a virtual lock for my 2013 best-album list. Guitarist Alex Gutierrez spoke to me about the finer details of what it’s like to be in a band of metal fans making music for metal fans and not giving a damn about wheel reinvention.

Interview with Skeletal Remains

Without having to do too much mental legwork, pondering the current state of death metal spews forth (perhaps in a literal sense) the word “boring.” It’s boring because the new crop of bands that inhabit it aren’t trying very hard; they’re just referencing their copies of Mental Funeral or Eaten Back to Life and running with it, doing as little as they can to establish their own sound. Worst of all, it’s an accepted practice. People are inexplicably excited about the retro death metal movement, even if it threatens to send the style hurdling toward the Stone Age, well before Venom could piece together a power chord. Better yet, why aren’t more bands copping Obituary? …..

Interview with Ancient VVisdom

Distractions were a-plenty as we huddled with four members of Ancient VVisdom for our scheduled chat in the main backstage area of Mr. Smalls Theatre in Pittsburgh. Royal Thunder vocal queen Mlyn Parsonz stood a few feet behind us, trying to freshen up after their set. Various members of Enslaved’s crew shuttled in and out, oftentimes yelling loudly (in Norwegian, of course) to each other. To top it all off, emerging funeral doom crew Pallbearer was on stage, no doubt lambasting the crowd with maximum levels of distortion and deafening chugs. Yet, somehow, the interview went off without a hitch, as singer Nathan Opposition, guitarist Ribs, lead guitarist Mike, and bassist TA, proved to be some of the nicest dudes around while we huddled together.

Interview with Desecresy

If you love your death metal dark, acrid, and Finnish, then look no further than the two-headed beast that is Desecresy. Exploding (or maybe “oozing at a medium pace” would be more fitting) onto the scene with Xtreem Music release Arches of Entropy and topping it up with last year’s The Doom Skeptron, the DM dirge of Desecresy is among the best I’ve heard, even in consideration of a Finnish scene rife with some of the world’s finest bottom-fed Chuggers of DM Darkness. Multi-instrumentalist/composer Tommy Gronqvist and catacombs-dwelling belch-bellower Jarno make one Hell of a team. Tommy offers this Demonstration of Death at no charge to the reader. Rejoice!