Tuesday, 31 December 2013


Every year, during the last week of December, the zines/blogs staff discusses the top ten list of everything - movies, music albums, books etc. As a metalhead, I am also interested to make a list. Personally 2013 was not a very eventful year for me. I was unable to participate in some great gigs due to non-availability of train tickets, and other personal problems. This year, I could connect with some of the best musicians in the scene. I had great experiences interviewing bands like Chaos Invocation, the ultimate thrash metal act Chaos from India, Preludium from Poland, an interview with Kalevi Uibo from Chaos Echœs and an interview with Odem from Russia.

What I look forward to hearing in 2014 is "Writhen Unto Abraxas" by Mitochondrion. The third album is getting structured and bastardized in full glory I guess. Besides, stuff from Ascension, Necros Christos, Nightbringer, Venenum, Drowned and if possible Dead Congregation. Hopefully I will get to see Impiety live in February at Trendslaughter Fest IV.

I am remembering those albums released in 2013 that were significant to me for their profound and aesthetic merit. I find it impossible to pick the best/favourite listens in 2013 as there are some albums that are just so unforgettably written and they stand out in my mind. I probably heard 150-200 albums and avoided many but its pretty apparent what kind of tunes I've been digging this year. Here is my list of what I think that are some of the superexcellent metal album releases in MMXIII. Let's look at those extremely talented bands who made 2013 noteworthy for us.

Apart from "The Word As Power" by Lustmord, my favourite listens are...

1) Chaos Invocation - Black Mirror Hours -  This album is darker and quite different from the début album. Black Mirror Hours is less raw than In Bloodline with the Snake, but still aggressive, more powerful and atmospheric with very profound lyrics. There's a lot happening in every song, such as twists, variation and different vocals. Lyrically and musically Chaos Invocation are great and they offer more than what beats in their chest. Let chaos thrive... There is no other metal album I listened with much fascination and interest this year.

2) Acherontas - Amenti - Ψαλμοί Αίματος και Αστρικά Οράματα - Sheer aesthetics of black metal stumbles right from the first tune. The new hymns slay as much as anything they've done. Special collaborations took place in this new opus as Naas Alcameth from Nightbringer, Edgar Kerval from Emme Ya and other artists contributed as well. Edgar Kerval has created 5 rituals tracks like intros between each track with invocations and mantras. Every work of Acherontas is an expression of esotericism. Released on World Terror Committee in May. I was sure that they were going to contribute something great to black metal this year and gladly, the expectations are mostly attested.

3) Cultes des Ghoules - Henbane, ...or Sonic Compendium Of The Black Arts - This Polish group is like ' De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas' played with Mortuary Drape influence with a touch of Drawing Down the Moon by Beherit. The album is raw and putrid besides gloom and crawling black metal delivered in extra long songs with a lot of class and its a sonic ritual of devotion to the Devil. If you felt disturbed while listening to this, then Cultes des Ghoules are obviously doing something great.

4) Wormlust - The Feral Wisdom - The audio autopsy called "The Feral Wisdom" is an amalgamation of the unyielding vocals with furious blasting and riffing. The first two tracks are more chaotic and intense, rest go right down deep into endless darkness from which there is no bottom. To me there is no doubt that whenever anyone talks about the beast of 2013, The Feral Wisdom will figure on top. Demonhood Production handled this uncomfortable black metal release whereas its Cd version in digipack unleashed by Daemon Worship Productions.

5) The Ruins of Beverast - Blood Vaults - The Blazing Gospel of Heinrich Kramer - If you're familiar with the band's style this album won't come as a surprise to you. Lengthy compositions featuring an array of atmospheric and hypnotic components and the use of a variety of extreme vocals and choral singing define the style of this great band. Recent material also features substantial influence from the funeral doom metal genre. In terms of the sheer atmosphere, here Alexander manages to produce quality stuff. All of his works are astonishing as he constructs a huge part of the atmosphere in the compositions and arranged to fit flawlessly into a greater whole. Approach it with an open mind.

6) Cult of Fire - मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान - This is not an extra-ordinary album but good in many ways. Czech sitar artist Ladislav Brom has contributed on this album which make things interesting. The Sitar incorporating in the song structure is equal to pure bliss besides the lyrics printed in the booklet in Hindi but they sing in Czech. The eight songs of this album have plenty melodic arpeggios. The particular song “Kali Ma” reminded me of Mgla for some reason whereas the other songs are lot differences. Cult of Fire is one of the most interesting acts coming out of Eastern Europe right now.

(Triumph, Genus released a feel-good album “Všehorovnost je porážkou převyšujících” this year. If this isn't for you, try another black metal band from same country, like Inferno, which is excellent. “Omniabsence Filled by His Greatness” has portrayed pretty good uses of dissonance and atmosphere and great production).

7) Gorguts - Colored Sands - Look at your life and think about what has change in the last twelve years. Probably a lot and you have gone through it all without hearing anything new from Gorguts. Gorguts have enthralled us often with the impeccable albums before, and “Colored Sands” is no exception. It 'sounds' like ulcerate a bit indeed, but the content is constructed in a different way, a far more interesting and developed way. In shaping this colossal massiveness, bassist Colin and drummer John Longstreth deploy several inventive gambits that send us one of the best metal albums this year.

8) Bölzer - Aura - I have been totally entranced by this duo von Zurich. This Mephistophelian duo plays fiercely grandiose blackened death metal which emphasis some doom elements to their sounds. On “Aura” are packed with verve of a perfect blend of black and death. A momentous release for sure. what a delight for the ears. Atmospheric intricate guitar parts are suffused into the aesthetics of improvisation. They’re constructing an amalgamation of atmospheric, evocative, brooding melodies. I ween that they can pull off this level of expression on a full-length. Bölzer are aiming high. This is essential to check out.

9) Portal - Vexovoid - There’s no way to deny the ingenuity and brilliance of Portal’s Vexovoid, it’s an album that should in no way be missed. Vexovoid reverberates with horrific nuances of horripilating dissonance. Crushing riffs, drums and the equally dark and disturbing and sumptuous atmosphere by the heavily down tuned guitars and bass make this album memorable. The production quality exhibited on Vexovoid is arguably the finest that the band has ever had; Cover to the album "Vexovoid" by Rev. Kriss Hades. Released on Profound Lore Records.

10) Obliteration - Black Death Horizon - Obliteration are really a great death metal composers better than many older bands. 'Black Death Horizon is a carefully-crafted and appealing death metal album of them that is much craftier than Nekropsalms and Perpetual Decay. It's sharp, and without any doubt, Autopsy-like atmosphere strikes are impeccably orchestrated. Obliteration is an act of the highest calibre and this album that I would love to hear again, and maybe again, and again. BDH strikes the pantheon of must-listen album with grace. These guys, along with Diskord and Execration are redefining Norwegian death metal oeuvre.

11) Sickrites - Irreverent Death Megaliths - Irreverent Death Megaliths is viciously atmospheric and haunting lp. Vocals are deep and sepulchral. There is no such barbaric level of riffs or drums, and it does not feel incredibly tight and consistent whereas almost slow and atmospheric. Undoubtedly several notches above the standard genre fare. Irreverent Death Megaliths provides nothing extraordinary but satisfying and unstoppable old school death metal. Fantastic artwork to go with it too. The Cd version of this release will be handled by Osmose Production in 2014. Behold - Osmose Productions.

12) Grave Miasma - Odori Sepulcrocrum - UK’s Grave Miasma is seriously one of the most enrapturing death metal bands around; besides, I had faith in their works. Début album Odori Sepulcrorum sounds pretty okay to me. It has a more sepulchral, atmospheric and cavernous sound but it’s not a unique and highly influential record I think. The album gives some high but not several atmosphere of freshness. Tracks like Eoxaтoс, is exceptional.

Music is mightier than its creator.

  • An Arrow In Heart - Aosoth
  • Clutching Revulsion - Ulcerate
  • Coronal Mass Ejaculation - Bölzer
  • Death Meta - Antediluvian
  • Ember's Voice - Gorguts
  • Eoxatoc - Grave Miasma
  • Festival of Devotion - Cultes des Ghoules
  • Iconoclasm - Irkallian Oracle 
  • In Tamas They Dwell - Orator
  • Kilter - Portal
  • Monstrance Clock - Ghost
  • Ordeal - The Ruins of Beverast
  • Pillars of the Fallen Light - Sickrites
  • The Essence Unbound - Gevurah
  • Vitriol - Carpe Noctem
  • Wanderer in the Outer Darkness - Tribulation 

That's all from me. Okay.

Fuck hope and Godspeed.

Have a blissful travel towards 2014.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Requiescat in pace LSK (Marianne Séjourné).

Queen among rats
Sighing for death
Crowning your death.
The time has come
Let the rivers overrun
Her time is now
Black flame aspire
As above so below
Where are her wings now?
Where are her wings?
Let her fly in splendour. 

Monday, 4 November 2013

Towards the Blaze of Perdition.

Blaze of Perdition had a terrible car accident while driving to Austria on second of November. Ikaroz is dead and the others in the car severely injured, while Sonneillon's situation is very critical. I have never met or spoken to them but the news of serious car accident and death of one of the members left me with an incredible sense of loss. Rest in abyss Ikaroz and I wish Sonneillon and others a speedy recovery.

Let him reach what is hidden
Let him reach what is forbidden
The day of his triumph approached
In the time of darkness.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Fire Walk With Us: An interview with Chaos Invocation.

Chaos Invocation is more than just a band; it is a fraternity of burning faith and aspect of luciferian manifestation. The urge to materialize their religious and spiritual direction into a musical entity was the reason why they gave birth to Chaos Invocation. They follow a path that only a few characters on this earth dare to walk, a path that must men aren't even able to find or once they became aware of it. Chaos Invocation shine upon you all. Those are carved in traits of horror and disgrace as they strike over cosmic structures.

2004 - Mention German black metal and the first thought that comes to my mind is Chaos Invocation. It was established in 2004 by satanic seed Andre, as an aspect of their faith to life. The basic idea has always been to combine religion with music. The trio will surely appeal to fans of Ascension, Watain or Order of Orias even it is not a copy of it but there are some similarities in the sound. Chaos Invocation is truly a great band of their craft. A trio consisting of Malte on vocals, Thomas on drums and Andre does guitars and lyrics. With the original line-up they rehearsed in 2006, the "Bloodline with the Snake" album, but this only started in early 2009 and published a few months later. Since 2008, they work with WTC to inject us the essence of the triple six. They build a temple, build a link, build a channel to mysteries and to the paramount level. Let chaos thrive...

2009 - In Bloodline with the Snake. Well-crafted splendor songs are not only ecstatic but certainly demand a lot of careful listening, which I always love doing. ‘In Bloodline with the Snake’, the debut album is fierce and dark and beautifully portrayed in its most parts and it is deeply satisfying in its exploration of dark disharmonic melodies. The fifty minutes of chaotic invocations were unleashed by indomitable World Terror Committee. Opening track, ‘Channel to Mysteries’ can evoke a contemplative mood, and is a nice intro, some ambient work, and eerie atmosphere which sets a perfect way for the rest of the album. I believe that all good-minded musicians retain that contemplative mood in their music to hold the attention of the listener. The tracks ‘The Seer Of Divine Fire’ and ‘Injection - Poison of The Black Prophets’ were brightly constructed songs that keep us great mood till the very end and undoubtedly the best moments. The motif of the album was that it emanates a mystical atmosphere. The lyrics of the band are mind-blowing and thought-provoking. It’s touching upon the precipice of the Satanism quite cool to read. Don’t think that Satan and Christian related themes are such vague concepts today as completely irrelevant in 21st century. The strong ideals such Satanism is always going to find a perfect fit with strong arts like black metal. For them, Satanism and Black metal are a nearly perfect symbiosis. Nowadays the situation of metal scene is quite same everywhere, whereas I prefer to search for something inspiring in art besides black and death metal have seen a dramatic change in the past a few years as many bands with new sounds, themes and thoughts. Chaos Invocation is my favorite band now. The level of purity and strive for artistic excellence in Chaos Invocation are really praiseworthy. I say, Chaos Invocation is a group of people leading the way in new developments or ideas in Black Metal. Suck the essence of In Bloodline with the Snake. I am sure you will drown yourself in the echoes of violence. From the darkest path, to the highest peak and the deepest pulpit, it will eternally follow thee.

2013 - Black Mirrors Hours follows the path deeper into the dark, and you'll find the core of the beckoning flame...Black Mirrors Hours, second full length album. Enjoyed it immensely. The death knells of this album are ringing and should be heard in every corner of this planet through their recent live rituals and their label. The album is darker and quite different from the debut album but they are continuing to create their best work. ‘Black Mirror Hours’ was one of the most anticipated albums in 2012 but it saw the light of day only during March 2013 due to numerous delays. Sophomore attempt is a cacophony of endless power. Its dark curses of tongue. Their hymns of death on new record are so forceful sounds. Hear the screams of burning mouth of Malte whereas Andre and Thomas manifesting or constructing the chaos and darkness. The portal opens with Delirium Worship & Total Abandon and energetic rivers flow. A true initiation they bestowed this time. Faces On My Spiritual Plane is nearly a perfect stuff and admirable in its purity and lengthy. The album runs a long hour, but with a long time listens it can NOT be bored because it needs some patience and a mood to devour the essence of Chaos Invocation’s hymns and World Terror Committee treats their musical abilities as well. Production played a big role this time too. I guess that, WTC and Chaos Invocation have a contiguous view on some important ideological terms.

"Infernal queen, darkest Mother; let us suck the nectar from your breast"

Chaos Invocation are the wanderers on the earth of snakes. This path is everlasting, twisting experience and a gateway to spiritual freedom for them besides greatest treasure of all. It’s been a decade since Chaos Invocation were born in this bloody horizon and treated us with two majestic albums and in future we'll be eagerly waiting for their music as their music tastes venom as they offer more than what beats in their chest. They will never stop evolving to new and unseen states. They are a black metal but they don't want to be everybody's darling or most likable band in the world. WTC is the most satanic label in the world and an apt label for these kinds of bands. Their releases are quite unlike anything else in modern black metal. Chaos Invocation reaches the level of ultimate power. There are bands not to be found but to be recognized.

Here is an extensive interview with A. who does guitar and vocals for the band. Interview conducted by Ebby Sasi and Roy Kristensen.

Before we enter the domain of your first part, named “In Bloodline With The Snake”, let’s shed some darkness on previous matters. Such as, what led to Chaos Invocation? Where did the urge to make strong black metal origin from? 

"The urge to materialize our religious and spiritual direction into a musical entity was the reason why we gave birth to Chaos Invocation. We follow a path that only a few characters on this earth dare to walk, a path that most men aren't even able to find or once they became aware of it, leave again after they hobbled a few frightened steps on it. We grow with every step and the greater the distance we left behind gets, the greater and brighter will Chaos Invocation shine upon you all."

Some may think that people who perform the art are miserable humans who feel like outcasts of society. Well, let’s assure the world that this isn’t so. In fact, many are parents, many have enough money to feed an African tribe on their own, houses, big TVs, etc. Isn’t it then strange that many also has the need to make black metal? Can one really live a happy life and make socalled trve black metal? 

"Well, we have our homes, we work for our outcome and at times we even have some friends around us. Still we have found something in life that others cannot count to their values. This something might appear extreme, still it satisfies us, it strengthens us and fills our veins with joy. It is our faith, that is the urge of Chaos Invocation and therefore a transformation of Black Metal. This musical "style" has always been made for individuals with a strong and unique character. Concerning the bands that bother us with their whimpering moaning monologues of their desire of death and their inner agony because their cat died 14 years ago, well maybe they should realize their musical vision. We are using this live to fulfil our goals as this will lead us to the next and higher form of existence."

As a musician one needs a certain level to perform interesting music. And when the music reaches the level of Chaos Invocation, one needs to improve even further. How did you develop as musicians in order to fulfil (or at least come closer) to your darkened visions? When did it all change from playing notes and chords into making dark music with a purpose?

"Chaos Invocation is growing together with and inside of us. The process of creating music is comparable with the cycle of birth. While the labor pains lead in the process of birth it is an inner pressure inside of us that needs to be released once it became too big. This pressure is the result of our impressions and inspirations which we gather on our path. This procedure has been the same ever since the founding of Chaos Invocation. As you can see, the creation of our music is a very natural flow which we simply let happens."

Isn't it somewhat sad that so many great bands are probably neglected due to people thinking that everything was better in the 90’s? I mean, with bands such as Dødsengel, Watain, Deathspell Omega, Abigor (after 2005) and others I’d say that black metal has musically and philosophically never been any stronger. Does Chaos Invocation plan to become a huge success like Watain, or do you feel more comfortable in the underground? Does your ideology need any different touches to become bigger, stronger and perhaps even better (if possible)? 

"First of all, the music of Abigor has been outstanding since the beginning. (Definitely yes - Roy) Anyway, we can agree on this one. The philosophical component seems to be more significant these days. It is raising this genre to a brand new stage. Of course, the 90's were something special, but we look anything than wistful into the future. Our ideology does not see success as a lodestar; success is simply a side effect or a result of living-out our ideology. We do not have a future plan or a strategy that should help us to become more famous or successful. As we already mentioned, the creation within Chaos Invocation is a natural process and we don't have the intention to adjourn this divine flow."

In what way can we say that Chaos Invocation is very much your personal expression? I mean, if it weren’t personal, you’d rather make pop music or something… Would you say that “In Bloodline With The Snake” was an evolving idea from numerous and frequent observations? 

"The album was the result of five years work after the formation of the band… "In Bloodline With The Snake" is our first confession of faith and describes the level of evolution we had at that point. One should not forget, that we are wanderers on the path of snakes. This path is an everlasting, twisting experience and a gateway to spiritual freedom, the greatest treasure of all. So, "In Bloodline With The Snake" is just a result of the first five years of this journey. The first chapter ("The Search Of Keys And Gates") is yet not closed and we will reveal further experiences of this time in a not so distant future. Fire walk with us!

The album has been released by two different labels. Why did this happen? How much did you sell of the first version? 

"The intention was to guarantee a worldwide availability of the record. This idea was brought into live by W.T.C. Canonical Hours should take over the US market and the "Terror Committee" the rest. But we do not know how many copies were sold, not to mention the estimated number of internet downloads. It is simply not important for our future way of working. We do not define success in the number of sold copies or in how many people are standing in front of the stage. Success to us is the assurance that we have put sweat and blood, fear and an iron will into the realization of our musical visions. We want to be thrown back into the madness we were drowning in while recording every time we listen to the result."

"Channel To Mysteries" can evoke a contemplative mood, and is a nice intro, some ambient work and an eerie atmosphere. It sets a perfect way for the rest of the album. I believe that all good-minded musicians retain that contemplative mood in their music to hold the attention of the listener. Any comment?

"No, you are speaking the truth... this time."

What kind of response did the album receive? Those few I know who’ve heard it talks very well about it, despite the rather obvious Watain inspirations. But no matter similarities, I’d say that Chaos Invocation has a slightly less melodic and a bit darker approach, when it comes to “In Bloodline With The Snake”. Did people really understand your visions?

"Probably not that many, no. It is not a band like Watain that has an influence on us, but a spring of inspiration which lies beyond all creations of others. The musical analogy to Watain, which we haven't found till today, might lie in the fact that both bands have a similar urge and follow their path with hearts filled with fanatic passion. To get back to the question, we do not have the intention to make our creation comprehensible for everyone."

In the titletrack it says “We believe in the trinity of devotion, abuse and malice”. I could narrow-mindedly ask why, but let me rather ask what it is with malice that attracts you, that you choose to believe in? And when you speak of abuse, then abuse of what?

"Let me tell you, that this lyric was written seven years ago. It is a relic of a time where the denial of the established forms of religion had more importance in our live than today. The aforementioned line simply describes the event in the Garden of Eden and is, from our point of view, a trinity with a biblical fundament. See it as a quote. Chaos Invocation is a circle that is constantly evolving. Maybe we would write things different today, but still we can identify us with the old songs."

When I read the lyrics of the debut, I feel alien to your visions. It is neither the various names, nor the horrendous images therein, but more the thoughts I get when I listen to the music and read the lyrics. When I read, I wonder what you think is wrong with human kind, what is so wrong that you want to harvest the madness of Satan, that you will reach the level of ultimate power, an evil power from what I understand? 

"No, the ultimate power we are speaking of is not to be called "evil", as it lies beyond all lower minded perceptions. It is the power to explore the own subconscious and its unlimited potential. This will lead to a divine state of awareness, the full realization of the higher self and the unshackled flow of the serpent within us. When you look back on human evolution, especially on the last two decades you will see that things have begun to evolve into the right direction. At least in some cases. Even science has discovered the theme of "human consciousness" and can no longer deny that there is something more than our five senses want to tell us. But only the future knows if this is just a trend or really a next step of the human mind. But it is a fact, if you do not focus on your own spiritual increase, you will lose every form of sanity once your consciousness embraces its full form in front of you. This embrace is a gift to us and we see it as an impulse of a Luciferian origin. This impulse sleeps in the heart of every man, realize it and open your inner gateways to know god!"

The new album is also unleashed by World Terror Committee, which some say have rather unaccepted views on various themes, such as for instance races, racism and human worth. But I couldn’t find anything in your lyrics that make me think nationalism, NSBM or things like that. What made you go for World Terror Committee that couldn’t find in other labels? Or was it simply a best-offer thing? 

"We don’t give a shit, honestly! We don’t care about things that were brought to the table again and again by the same kind of wiseacres. Once and for all: neither "Chaos Invocation" nor the "World Terror Committee" pursues political interests. The latest commitments of bands should really speak for themselves… But let’s get back to your question. The World Terror Committee is the most Satanic label on this planet. And that was exactly what we were looking for. We never wanted to work with a label that, while financially supporting us, does not embody with our religious background. We are a black metal band and for this reason alone we should not and don’t want to be everybody's darling or the most likeable band in the world. We will always raise our middle fingers to those who put a political stamp on us, since this false and insubstantial action pollutes our work. Fuck you! Anyone who feels bothered by our label should move quickly and harass someone else. Chaos Invocation is the wrong band for this person. My recommendation: James Blunt and Co."

The début album is a strong musical black metal vision. It’s fierce and dark, yet also melodic at times. How have people responded to your music in the live-situation? What have you felt when you played your songs in front of a visible audience? 

"Most of the time the audience reacts pretty retained, maybe because they do not quite understand what is happening in front of their eyes at that moment. When we perform live we have to deal with the fact that most people do not know us, which might explain the problem. On the other hand there have been nights where the audience simply went insane and the flow of energy in these moments is assuming a definite form. But this is rather an exception; most people are simply too rooted in this physical form of existence."

There are probably still those who claim that black metal is not for the masses and shouldn’t be performed live. Oh well… In today’s scene one must play live to make some money from the music, as far as I understand. Why do Chaos Invocation choose to play live? 

"These mentioned rituals are the main reason, these nights full of flowing energy between band and audience. We see it as a way of symbiosis. Money cannot be mentioned here, because we usually just get enough to cover the travelling costs."

In these days where the almighty internet, our new god/devil, is more alive than ever, it seems like many people have rejoined my love for physical products, like vinyls. How important is the whole package to a band like Chaos Invocation? Can the music be completely felt without being a trinity (booklet, music and lyrics)? And on the same theme, do you care about the negative sides with the internet, knowing that Chaos Invocation sadly will not be your only income? 

"We prefer to believe in gods that manifest in front of us and do their illuminating work. We prefer the trinity mentioned by you as well, since the lyrics are always significant. No matter how brilliant the music is, if the lyrics simply suck, the whole impression suffers. I can understand those who download a record first to find out if they like it or not. There are too many releases out there and one has to measure from which ones he wants to have the original format. Of course it would be perfect for us if Chaos Invocation would be our source of subsistence, but let’s face it, it is not possible at this point. Maybe we will find a way in the future, which gives us the opportunity to focus 100 % on the work of our circle."

The new album “Black Mirror Hours” was done in 2012, but not released until now due to what I expect to be underground delays. How did the recording process go, now three years after the one for your début? Did you change anything special to bring out the very best and darkest of you? 

"The recordings for "Black Mirror Hours" started in October 2011, for "In Bloodline With The Snake" in September 2008. Even though three years lie between both outbursts of madness, the process of recording has not changed. We take the nearly finished song to the studio but always find enough space for spontaneous ideas. It has always been important to us to create an atmosphere, inside the studio, in which we feel comfortable, an atmosphere in which the gods that are beneficial to our work can manifest. The smell of death usually is the mark we leave and we hope that this miasma ruins the residence of the bands that come after us to record their bullshit."

The new album has a more brutal sound and I’d also say that it sounds more unique than your début, which was closer to let’s say Watain as one example. The album is also darker. At the same time there’s a lot happening in every song, such as twists, variation, different vocals. What made you change/develop your music from “In Bloodline With The Snake” to today’s Chaos Invocation? What vision did you have when you began to write “Black Mirror Hours"?  

"Black Mirror Hours" stands for the unfiltered impact of our believe unto our lives, suited in a musical robe. The knowledge we gained on our path needed to be recorded. We simply had to wait for the eruptions to come."

As said, the new album feels more unique, but still one must find inspirational sources outside one’s own mind in order to develop. What were your main inspirations, musically and lyrically speaking, for “Black Hour Mirrors”? 

"Our faith is our inspiration and the result of this inspiration is Chaos Invocation."

When you write a new song, must it be better than the former or could it be that it is just another vision from the darkside? When I listen to the excellent “Black Mirror Hours” I definitely feel that you strive to not repeat yourselves, since every track has its own identity, yet still all of them being with the frame, if you see what I mean.

"Our faith is very multilayer, which of course has a positive effect on the music."

When it comes to lyrics, do you think that the strong ideals such as Satanism are always going to find a perfect fit with strong arts like black metal? 

"For us Satanism and Black Metal are a nearly perfect symbiosis."

It says in “The Black Mirror Hours”: “Keep on pushing forward from the tree of life towards the tree of knowledge!”. When you look around you, witnessing the world and it’s “development”, do you see any hope for human kind, since it seems like people just live instead of striving towards the tree of knowledge? I don’t know if this is anything that you had in mind writing these words, but it made me ask still..

"This is something I did not have in mind while writing this line. Nevertheless, this is a legitimate question. We live in a stressful world that is dominated by money and lack of time. The man is much too caught up in his everyday life and rarely develops multidimensional. His dimension mostly consists of his job, his family and sometimes of his hobbies and what he calls his religious belief. So where does his development start and where does it end? What kind of knowledge does this man acquire? How much does he want to acquire at all. We know, that most religions are built up on seeded, moral values, or let us say limitations. Who still thinks about what “life” really means? I can only be glad that I'm of a different nature, if not this world would be a pretty meaningless place. But, we also recognize that the world is changing. The man started to search for other components in his dimension. The esoteric idea is spreading…"

One of my many favourites on the new album, “Hypertoxication”, is surely a progressive and unpredictable tune. When you write such a track, do you decide on beforehand that it will be an ever-changing track with details that appear only after numerous spins? I love the idea that I expect you to change from some slow part to some fast, like most bands do, but no, then you just change into something else and still slow… 

"No, we don’t decide that before we write a song. We just let the outbreaks of accumulated creative energy happen. Of course, it also happens that we change a detail afterwards, but that is the exception and normally everything remains as it was created in the moment of this eruption of creative energy."

When I read the lyrics, it seems to me, if one could even dare to try to summarize things up with one sentence, that “Black Mirror Hours” is a tribute to death. No matter wrong or right, what is your view upon death and our society’s incredibly stupid view that looking young is the only meaning in life? Fear of death is fear of life itself, since the way you live your life will decide if your death is a worthy one…? 

"Black Mirror Hours" is a compendium of the experiences that we made since we walk upon the path of snakes and a dedication to the dark Gods. The death of the human form of existence plays an important role on this album, but as a tribute to death I would not label this album for myself. However, I will not limit the possibilities of interpretation here. "Black Mirror Hours" may finally mean something different for everybody. If you interpret it like this, OK."

It is not enough to mention Satan in the lyrics to be a Satanist. Of course. But how do you view Satanism in connection with Chaos Invocation? Is it only the lyrics that decide if a band is Satanic, because how can a note be Satanic? Does a single note for its own has got any satanic potential? 

"Yes, just look at various magical systems. There you will see, that a single note, if only repeated long enough, is able to show you the world behind this construct, the world without end, inside and beyond. But of course the summation of notes is not only able to create a musical aura, but even to create a wild, chaotic and satanic character. The lyrics alone cannot fulfil this goal as well, as they don't prove if the band takes the theme very serious. The entirety of it lets us hear, see and feel the abandon through which the music was created."

There are probably as many genres of black metal as there are black metal bands, but with Chaos Invocation I think black metal is more than sufficient. There’s a drive in your music that you rarely find in black metal. It moves forward and downwards all the time. Do you think that people will understand your concept and what Chaos Invocation is all about, beyond the music?

"We don't hold on to illusions here. Probably there are not that many people out there that are able to understand and bear what Chaos Invocation is all about. There is no other explanation why some piles of flesh try to imply us with their degenerated political and moral values. The awareness of most people is very limited and narrow minded. Only those who approach us completely impartial are getting a chance to understand what happens inside our circle. Chaos Invocation is more than just a band, it is a fraternity of burning faith and an aspect of Luciferian manifestation."

The album is a grower. The first few times it was a bit disappointing, since the début is so strong. But slowly and definitely safely the album began to grow on me. I noticed different parts that stand out and now I'm sure it’ll be one of 2013 brightest/darkest moments. What do you expect from the album and the response on your creation? And, where will you take Chaos Invocation from here? 

"It seems nearly impossible to answer this question, because essentially there are no boundaries for us. Music knows no borders and our lives and faith are aligned to transgress every threshold. Therefore it is one of many logical consequences, that Chaos Invocation will never stop evolving to new, unseen states. We are all very curious about how the next record will turn out, but at the same time we know that it will top everything that has yet been created by us."

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Inquisition: towards the vast vestibule of sovereignty.

Black metal has always been alchemy of sound, ideal, and aesthetic and human mind is such a fruitful place to plant the seeds of evil. Inquisition does it with their music. Their music is primitive with a very personal touch. A band, we can instantly recognize with their ultra-fast chord picking with pummeling drums and inhuman form of vocals or, slow, deep and dark riffs combined with sudden tempo changes to faster sections based around blast beats and high-speed riffing; at times adding melodic solos. The classic Inquisition sound involves the combination of old school thrash metal-influenced riffs with darker and more chaotic black metal, primarily involving fast, tremolo picked minor-key guitar riffs, thus creating the trademark Inquisition sound. Dagon is not just screaming out at top lung and he believes that identity is important to him so he figured what can he does that the majority are not doing. That’s quite hypnotic and a true cult. Bow to Inquisition faithfully. Bow to them splendidly. 

Dagon and Incubus are the followers of Heathen culture. The elements of nature grant them wisdom, domination, power and control. The evil seed 'Inquisition' blossomed in 1988 in Cali, Colombia, planted by Dagon. He was just 17 ​​when He created Inquisition. The band started as a thrash metal act, and in 1994 evolved into raw black metal. When you extensively listen to a bunch of artists so passionately for so many years, you might be Influenced by what they play. Needless to say did Inquisition's influences at that time were included Kreator and Sadus. Thus Inquisition's first record was 'Anxious Death' in 1990. Twenty minutes long EP included only three tracks of aggressive thrash metal.  It’s riffing and execution is comparable to that of an above mentioned bands. The second release was 'Forever Under'. It has eight tracks which run 38 minutes. The riffs are really there as much as they were on the Anxious Death. On this demo, songs were written between 1990 & 1992. Some tracks were not included in the first recording due to the lack of money for sufficient studio. Forever Under is neat and attractive. Two of my favorite tracks here included ‘Artist Of Illusions’ and 'Wasted Importance'. The songs on this record have definitely had some killer riffs going on. The song structures are catchy. Unconventional time signatures and impossibly unorthodox, drumming/guitarring styles are appreciated here. They were good in what they were doing. 

'Incense Of Rest' (1996).

Well, it's a good one but what I may be expecting little more, to be very honest with after couple of listens it does not give me what Forever Under offered but I must not compare. I know they were not the same band from first two releases so maybe I'm a bit more open to accept their change in direction on Incense of Rest. The thrashy vocals have changed into high-pitched black metal screams. They did eventually broke away from style and Inquisition moved into a darker arena. The instrumental track Meditation Before The Kill is stagnant and uninteresting. The title track is worth a listen as it's just typical black metal. But it's okay release (Whenever I found a particular uninteresting album, I kept hearing it till repeatedly to start liking it. Such is my addiction to music of evil and death). I think the writing process of every Inquisition releases (between 1988-1996) took a considerable amount of time.

Voyage of souls - Incense of rest. Voyage of souls - Mystic hymns cried.

The annihilation that rising from their burning chest. 'Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult' which the band's 1998 début. It still stands today as the Inquisition most impressive output, with ripping old school black and the echoing riffs, signature vocals. Inquisition has here over an hour of meticulously grim, wicked evocations. The vocals on 'Those of the Night' are invocative, spoken, They simply set a mood of serenity with a reptilian tone whereas 'The Initiation' is a simply beautiful hymn as its morbid entirely different, goes in the way of folk / black metal pattern of the riffing. They made effort to bring something new to the table. 'Summoned by Ancient Wizards Under a Black Moon' is a stand out track by its mind-blowing composition. I simply loved the structure of the song and these guys' have a profundity and a sharp sense of observation and fair for precision. They gathered in a magic circle singing ancient hymns in the name of Satan.

They used a bass player for three shows back in 1998. We can see him in the original "Into The Infernal Regions of The Ancient Cult" Cd photos, and since then never tried again having a third member, They really have always been a duo. Now they're tighter, faster and heavier. The elements they had before have been worked on and improved, and that's evolution. The début sounds war. Legion marching ... War drums beating ... Weapons striking ... Christian falling ... New world reigning ... Pagan victory ... This is a unique black metal release which has a very ritualistic feeling.

Inquisition reached a new level with 'Invoking the Majestic Throne of Satan'. It's more powerful and aggressive. They do everything in an engaging and interesting way. It's hard to believe a two-piece can sound so full and crushing. They have instruments of torture in the hands of sin. This album is a battle that will never have an end. It's utterly captivated me on first listen. They're very much Immortal-driven. Of course Immortal were inspirations for Dagon, but this duo having their own thing going on here. 'Rituals Of Human Sacrifice For Lord Baal' is pure brilliance. It's just that the compositions are based around guitar melody rather than just a rhythmic structure. It's a mix of several types of metal, everything ranging from heavy metal all the way down to black metal. It's quite obscure chant-like and demonic-like vocals. 'The Realm Of Shadows Shall Forever Reign' is ecstatic as the album was very rifftastic but some songs did only have two or three riffs for example, very simple straight forward songs, Dagon spends lots of time searching for the perfect riffs that will allow a song to be so basic yet fulfilling to the listener.

"In the name of Satan, Lucifer and all demons of the Infernal Cult...
We speak the words of truth that we have been given by your wisdom.
We sing the imperial hymn as our tribute to the pantheon of hell".

Magnificent Glorification of Lucifer was their third album. The band's distinctive sound has not changed. Easily it's refreshing to hear black metal intricacy played through a different plane of creation. Here's what happens when you have musicians with solid and true musical integrity, weaving a unique and far-removed sound with atmosphere and intrinsic personality, as well as eschewing the disparate musical competition plagues did ninety percent of technical metal these days. The songs on this album all containment of acclamation of different speeds, moods and breaks in style did gives each song a unique atmosphere.

Some albums surrender everything we've during a first listening. There's nothing left to discover when you listen them again. But on Nefarious Dismal Orations, there's not a boring moment. The more I listen to it, the more I notice some memorable riffs here and there. That's a credit to a band. Indeed. A strong band-like Inquisition is viable to create something worth listen. On this album a rawness did reaches out. Melancholy moan of mystic wind, melodies of sadness that sing the hymnCreates Inquisition something undeniably strong hymns about Satan, but it's equally relaxed and soothing in many ways. It has become far more pristine besides the song has enough memorable arrangements did helped to define the masterpiece of them. The difference between "Nefarious Dismal orations" and the past albums is this particular one is tighter and faster, a very vicious album compared to the past ones being very dark or heavy. Why does this album have an end? Such an album would be inconceivable today because no one would listen to finding a tune, I may be wrong but thematically, Black metal is going through a creative and experimental phase these days.

Their concerts are something like obscure rituals rather than typical black metal gigs. Dagon says: "One guitar, one drum kit and vocals can really create a firestorm When you perform in a ritually induced mind, invoke the spirit of Satan and treat your instrument and sound with dignity and respect."

Desolate Funeral Chant a song which is very closes to me. Well, Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm is outstanding and always an enjoyable listening experience. Dagon's leads the charge for some outstanding harmony arrangements. This album has grown into an absolute favourite of mine. It is heavy enough to satisfy black metal lunatics. They are in a new age of black metal where more and more people laugh at Satanism but Dagon is going more towards astrophysics on this album, and keeping things a little colder based on science. He's trying to find something new and interesting, but they got to keep Satan in music. The inspiration comes to him emotionally by reading a lot of information on cosmic research, he has to enormous passion for the cosmos. The complexity and mystique of our universe is the most incredible thing we as humans will ever be viable to witness in any lifetime, there is absolutely nothing equally did is amazing and complex. The cosmos and all of nature itself holds the secrets of mankind, creation and destruction, everything about it is so Satanic in essence, the "Black Metal" in essence. Nature in general is his great inspiration. Nature here on earth and nature up in the skies.

Their majesty shall rise again in 2013 as they're making music for next full-length album. They're extremely professional people and performing to their highest abilities while they maintained the spirit and essence of what makes this music what it is, never losing focus on that. I believe that they can contribute something great to black metal in 2013. 

"Symphony plays... music of the dead and darkness sings
Funeral chants... wicked lord of song and words of sorrow
Pagans dance... holding black torches as a symbol of death
Lonesome tomb... summons me to eternal realms"

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Negative Plane: The word, a name uttered in the darkness.

Some of listeners search for something radically emergent and fresh in music, but it must be at least well-balanced. Those bands can’t be against experiments, especially when bands succeed and validate themselves as the things go with Ulcerate or Deathspell Omega. But according to practice, most of experimental representations we are having today in Death and Black metal don’t present any seriousness and durability. Nevertheless, each one runs his own path, said by Odem. The advent of synthesizers, electronic music and the use of computers, has enabled for some very interesting creation of sounds and has brought with it, beautiful sonic textures and layers of audible dimensions otherwise not possible to create…and in some cases, very ugly textures. This is true of every genre of music but it’s important to know that technology isn't the destination but the road to reaching good music. Since any besotted aficionados can take the technological advancement and start a band, sometimes it kills the true craft. Too many bands are doing everything perfectly on the click to the point where the entire album might as well be programmed but what really makes up a band? A band is made up of individuals with similar goals and a common vision, driven by a higher force towards creating true art.

Negative Planecalling them simply black metal fails to describe how versatile they are. Negative Plane, a black metal entity from New York. Formed in 2002 in Florida as duo. When its comes to Negative Plane's music, its not simply black metal as the band gives serious importance to innovations as they risen from a sea of cacophony and darkness. Negative Plane consists Diego Garcia on Bass, Bestial Devotion on drums and Nameless Void on Guitar and vocals. They are not caged in bone, flesh and blood. They are the spirits of the void. They gather all as one as Negative Plane. Negative Plane is a band that possesses the capabilities to forge a path of their own making. Since the day they were spawned in Florida their aim was not purely to celebrate the ancient black metal cult but yes black metal is purely a celebration of Satan through music and the roles of black metal musicians are composing the most hateful odes to the Lord, not to be cool and become popular. Their philosophy stands for the chaos, eternal void, and death.

Impatiently waiting for their next release, hope they will release something in next year but these souls are busy with their other promising acts. Nameless Void (Ed Miller) plays in Occultation as guitarist and backing vocals. Occultation are occult doom metal band formed in 2010 and released debut album in last year through Profound Lore Records. I say that the band is similar to Negative Plane. Give a listen to - Three & Seven. Diego Garcia plays in Ominous Resurrection.  Its an unholy atmospheric black metal group with old school feeling with many influences raging from bands like Samael, Necromantia, Beherit among others. Released a self-titled demo two years ago besides re-released on Cd in February 2013 with a different cover and an additional instrumental intro track 'Precatio'. Ominous Resurrection is a slowly burning band that will get a good attention soon. O.R. Bestial Devotion also runs a black metal project called Funeral Presence. A piece band from New York. He released a self-titled demo in 2011 through The Ajna Offensive.

Negative Plane since 2006: a strikingly crafted album entitled ‘Et In Saecula Saeculorum’ was ecstatic and genuine, the album totally surprised me in many ways as it crawls in my mind and stays there. The album was something special and the band has a unique musical vision. The debut album might be the years of research and writing and hailed black metal aficionados those who experience it. There are rare moments when the album actually reminds you of that immensely enjoyable Mortuary Drape yore, though in the long listen it does not turn out to be a patch on those classic tunes. They do try to not sound exactly like anyone else but they definitely have been inspired by great acts such as Merciful Fate, Morbid Angel or Ved Buens Ende. They are absolutely brilliant and unique but people usually make comparisons with Mortuary Drape but I don't really give a thumb up to that. I’m sure some people can hear strong traces of these bands in their music, but they still don’t sound exactly like any one band. Can't really come up with one band that is similar to Negative Plane. They use their musical abilities to create the darkest sound and feeling possible, and it doesn't matter whether a riff is complex or simple. Nameless Void said to Imhotep that he's a huge fan of the early Nocturnus and could safely name that as an influence on his playing.

The band keeps you hooked on to the album right from the very start. The Chaos Before the Light is just brilliant. There are seven majestic tracks on this uncommon record which run nearly a hour long. Staring into Abyss, Advent of the Beast are exceptional. "Stare deep into the layers of the Abyss, feel the deathly chill as it stares back at you. It will reminds you German philosopher and classical scholar F. Nietzsche. Later you might be left wondering what is happening but as the album reaches in its ultimate chaos, you will be left mesmerized. Each track has its own moments, its own ideas. Each idea is so subtly and thoughtfully expressed. The overall experience listen this album actually raises weird thoughts in mind. They'd rather utilize a variety of tempos and turn the song into something new. I loved it. This album is such a masterpiece. Always an enjoyable listening experience.This proves that Negative Plane is another impeccable band which is trying to be exceptional in the genre with much élan.

Negative Plane grabbed my attention two years back when I was enlightened “Stained Glass Revelations”. With a debut release Negative Plane already built some sort of fame in the underground circles of black metal. The sophomore album Stained Glass Revelations could have been a precious little gem and does have a fucking quality to it and turned out to be an appealing record. They bestowed it upon us a unique impression unlike any other album. Their second long-anticipated full-length album was released on Invictus Production. It’s not completely different what they have portrayed in the past. Stained Glass Revelations was a natural musical progression from their first album and it took over three years to write. They have added bells and clean vocals in certain parts to enhance the atmosphere. It took a long time to get it recorded and get the artwork done for Stained Glass…

They would much rather has one great album every few years than release mediocre albums just for the sake of having something out every year. The lyrics for The One And The Many are tailored to match each riff, and would not work at all for The Number of the Word since the riffs don’t match and the feeling of that song is different and according to band that "there are a lot of black and death metal, where bands just add lyrics haphazardly to music that sounds nothing like what the words are saying". The otherworldly atmosphere, dark sounds and weave them into voids of riffs where an unmistakable combination of sophistication and primitive black metal character come together like nothing before. Complex, hypnotic, warped and surreal sound intricate, and ringing with the utter chaos of fulfilling cymbal abuse and rigid rhythms are just pure. Particularly Lamentations and Ashes transports me to an indescribable state. That's not something you expect from a typical black metal album, but Negative Plane aren't a typical black metal band. This duo is obviously extremely skilled in a technical sense as it’s not about showing off their technical skills. It’s about writing good songs that always will be remembered. Almost every song of Negative Plane is good. A treat to our senses.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Murilo Ramos's first European trip.

It is good to hear that Murilo Ramos's, (bass player of Brazilian death thrash metal band Necropsy Room) first European trip in July. This would be a surreal experience for him and Murilo would also be witnessing some other great acts. Be there...

Sunday, July 7, 2013
18:00 to 22:30 in UTC +01

Green Door Store presents:

TROOPS OF DOOM: Brazilian Sepultura tribute band playing all the classic tunes from the albums Morbid Visions till Roots!

Hailing from Goiania, Brazil, Murilo Ramos (Necropsy Room / Heaven's Guardian) will come specially for this event! Do check his interview here > Murilo speaks.

JOAN CASALS MUSIC EXPERIENCE: Featuring members of Hades Lab paying tribute to the fallen soldiers of Metal, covering Sodom, Decapitated, Vader & Suffocation.

KING GOAT: Prog Metal Doom based in Brighton and if you want to que band harks back to the good old days of 70s and 80s Doom Metal Goat King then are your band. 

A Hundred Black Kites : Hundred Black Kites are an experimental 2-piece based in the Brighton area. Combining the atmosphere of Post Rock and the ambient's of Shoegaze, the band Further integrate these elements into crushing and intense Noise Doom Drone To provide for a huge sonic experience.

FRI DRUGS AND ROCK N 'ROLL: We are happy to bring you a very high standard gig with the greatest names in rock and heavy metal. We are very serious about giving the audience a great time and being highly entertaining.

The event starts at 6pm.
Entry £ 4
The provisional stages times are as follows:

Troops of Doom 9:30 / 10:10
Couple Joan and The Hades Lab Experience 8:45 / 9:15
Goat King 8:00 / 8:30
The Hundred Black Kites 7:15 / 7:45
Fri Drugs and Rock N 'Roll 6:30 / 7:00

This is benefit concert for Cancer Research UK and all money raised go to the proceeds!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass - Passages (1990)

Pandit Ravi shankar, whose mastery over the sitar helped rejuvenate the classical instrumental tradition in India and popularize Indian music in the West through concerts and collaborations with well known artists. In “Passages,” however, the recording project in which Shankar collaborated with Philip Glass, the collaborators exchanged compositions, themes and melodies they had written.

"A brief examination of two of the tracks from the album will lend the listener an idea of the processes involved in the making of the album. The opening “Offering,” written by Shankar, is treated by Glass in a manner that steers it away from any immediately audible raag roots. In some ways it seems more like a Philip Glass piece, touched by his minimalist approach.“Sadhanipa” the four note theme written by Glass, loses it minimalism in the arrangement scored for it by Shankar. Within a minute of the statement of the theme at the beginning of the track, the arrangement moves towards Panditji’s trademark lush linear orchestration, marked by a virtual absence of harmony and counterpoint, but replete with sitar, sarod, tabla, mridangam and a host of other instruments, often in the call and response format. The use of paltaas or melodic patterns used in Hindustani classical music are recognizable, as are tabla and mridangam patterns over which corresponding melodic parts are placed. The music of the album is undoubtedly born of a commitment to collaboration".

Friday, 10 May 2013

Interview: Chaos (Ind)

Chaos, a straight forward thrash metal band from Kerala, India. This Indian act started in 2005 when two kids made the clear choice to play aggressive metal, those young boys were guitarist Nikhil and vocalist J.K. Their influences at that time included the bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, etc. 2013 - they released their debut album entitled Violent Redemption which sounds very good. The more I listen to Chaos, the more I like them as the more I listen to Violent Redemption, the more I notice some memorable riffs here and there. This album is a worthy listen and it shines well through Keshav Dhār’s production. I have decided to interview Chaos to get them attention worldwide through Imhotep Webzine. A band which deserves way more recognition.

My first question is that any particular offers already from any labels?

Nikhil: Nothing as of now. We've recorded the album on our own.

When you started Chaos in 2005, I think that there was not anything comparable to your type of bands in Kerala. Was it difficult to find thrash metal fans at that time? What kind of kids came to see a Chaos show back then?

When Chaos was formed back in 2005, Trivandrum had a few bands that we could look up to. And most of the bands including us were playing covers. We were heavily inspired by bands like 'Transmigration', 'Rubber band' and 'Rage'. They had already gained a small but very passionate crowd who would never miss any of their shows. Of course that crowd included us too. As far as finding an audience is concerned, the music that we played was so rare at that time that the people who loved it, did show up, no matter what. And I'm not just talking about Chaos; it was the same for all the bands back then. And, yea we obviously didn't sound the way we do right now.

How hard or easy was it to find like-minded musicians from your area to collaborate on Chaos? Would you like to go a little bit more in-depth about the band’s history?

I met JK back stage at a local college fest. He saw me hanging around with an electric guitar in my hand. He walked up to me and we started talking. In fact, the first thing that he wanted to know was if I'm a Metallica fan. And the funny thing is that the next thing he wanted to know was whether I'm interested in starting a band with him. But all jokes aside, finding a stable lineup for the band has always been a pain in the ass. It's very difficult to find like-minded people who share the same kind of passion that you do for the kind of music that you play. We've especially had trouble with finding the right drummer! We've had over a dozen drummers over the years, and no I'm not exaggerating. And why did we form a metal band? Because we love the music!

The debut album 'Violent Redemption'. You have maintained a level of thrashiness and speed on each track. Is it important for you to keep that aspect of the band? I presume, Chaos have highly influenced by early 80s iconic albums of Slayer, Megadeth, Vio-Lence, and Pantera etc. How have your feelings toward this music evolved?

You are spot on! We idolize bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Pantera, Anthrax, Testament etc. And when you extensively listen to a bunch of artists so passionately for so many years, you can't help but be influenced by what they play. For me personally as a guitar player, when I got hooked to Pantera, Dimebag Darrel just opened up a whole new sonic buffet that I was never exposed to before. And all these bands did play a major role in shaping up the sound that we have right now.

Violent Redemption is an aural delight for thrash metal aficionados. It has the best vocals, some of the impeccable riffs, and definitely the catchiest songs even Violent Redemption is not perfect album, but far, far better than the usual. My question is do you think the idea of thrash metal is changing or losing its priority in these days? Because “Thrash metal aren't dead motherfuckers“ is one of the best comments for Game on YouTube as the track sounds inevitability. If I am not mistaken, you created this track years back and played at Kerala Rocks 2008 in Cochin.

Thank you so much! Yes the metal genre as such has been evolving and taking different forms and that's a very good thing. At the same time, the straight forward raw and aggressive sound that used to symbolize the metal genre is slowly disappearing. Complex song structures, unconventional time signatures and impossibly unorthodox drumming/guitarring styles are more and more appreciated by most of the listeners now a days. May be because most of them are musicians themselves. Chaos still sticks to Old school thrash because we love listening to simple, old school straight forward music and we love playing it too! And gladly, there are still people out there who enjoy the kind of music that we play. We were really happy to see that you tube comment!

We did play the song 'Game' at Kerala Rocks 2008, but that was an older version. We came up with this version while in the process of recording 'Violent Redemption'

Ungodly Hour is the introduction which sets a good way for the rest of the album. I believe that all good-minded musicians retain that contemplative mood in their music to hold the attention of the listener. Any comment?

Well it depends on what you’re trying to do with your music. Some prefer some foreplay, and some don’t! It’s as simple as that.

Violent Redemption seems to mark a fresh phase in Kerala metal oeuvre as Torn is a thrashterpiece. It has an excellent lead work and splendid vocals to go with it. And Merchant of Death has a fantastic start. I think Chaos have become matured with this album. How satisfied have you been after the release of the debut album and before composing songs, are the riffs ideas already in your mind?

Glad you like 'Torn'. Right after we were done with composing 'Torn', we had a feeling that this song will connect to those who love old school metal! We are more than just satisfied with the way that things are shaping up right now. The album sounds exactly like what we've wanted it, thanks to Keshav. And from the reactions and reviews that we're getting, I guess the album has been well received! As far as our song writing process is concerned, every song starts off with a discussion about the topic that we're handling with that particular song. It turns into lyrics, and the riffs come afterwards!

War Crime is a deft presentation and it emphasis on War. Violence is as old as the story of humanity. Take the history of the last one hundred years or so and we realize how bloodlust has come to define our age. Indian subcontinent too has been fertile for the harvest of hate. Politics and religion built the biggest graveyards in this part of the world as elsewhere. What were you trying to achieve with this track or album? And what does the band really want to express through Chaos?

Exactly! Most of our songs revolve around what you've just mentioned. Politics, religion, violence and what not. Living in this particular era where it's impossible not to come across the story of a murder, rape or bloodshed almost on a daily basis, you tend to think a lot about these things. And when you do, you form opinions, and as artists, the things that we think about, our opinions and our perceptions come out as art! And I don't think any other genre of music would do justice to the kind of topics that we're dealing with. 'Violent Redemption' is an honest depiction of events that left a mark in our minds over the past few years, told from our perspective.

I think Chaos have provided a good example of creating an enjoyable and worthy thrash metal record which doesn't go bland and monotonous as some of the bands in this genre could get after a few plays. Tracks like Saint and Blacklash provide a good reference of what I am talking about. Saint is one of the best songs on the album that main riff and that solo from Nikhil are simply beautiful. That intro makes it more interesting.

Thank you so much. Glad you liked those tracks. 'Saint' and 'Blacklash' did appeal to a lot of listeners. We're happy that people are able to connect to our music.

The album has been produced by Keshav Dhar. Is that why Violent Redemption shines well? The guitar riffs show an adherence to Vio-Lence or Slayer philosophy, in some ways, while also possessing some of the vocals structures that can be found in the early Slayer material. Tell me the way Keshav Dhar treated your musical abilities.

Keshav has been amazing. He became the 5th member of the band during the recording process. He's an absolute genius. He knows exactly how to get the best out of an artist.

Who came up with the idea of cover art for Violent Redemption? A Skelton reaper, blessing like Jesux Crust who stands with a scythe in the left hand and a nocturnal moon in the back ground.

The credit for the cover design goes entirely to an amazing artist, Mr Amar Pradeep. He came up with the concept and he developed it.

It’s quite old but I ask that Sam Dunn, an American anthropologist who portraying an utterly ridiculous image of Indian metal on his so called Global Metal Documentary. What I am upset about is the portrayal of the un-necessary marriage scene amidst the gig venue and ass-shaking dances of Prabhu Deva. My only concern is that he should have researched more properly before making a documentary of that level. Do you agree with me? Besides, do you feel that the metal scene in India currently is in a new phase that shows promise?

To be honest, I did get a good laugh out of it. I was in fact very thrilled to see the Indian scene being shown in an International Metal documentary, and the only thing that I was disappointed about was the fact that he has left out huge bands like Millennium. Yes, I do feel that the Indian scene is evolving into something huge.

In the last 5, 6 years, things have changed so much in India. Many new and promising bands come out every year and there are several zines and blogs to promote bands. Besides, in B’lore, there are so many gigs are happening in a year whereas in Kerala, things are not smooth as no events are happening regularly because there is no growth in sponsorship. Do you feel that it will affect your band?

It is true that in Kerala, it's very difficult if not impossible to find sponsors for events which have anything to do with Rock music, let alone metal! They do not expect people to show up at such events. Hopefully things will change in a few years' time. 

Mortar are a promising band hailing from Kolkata and probably a well-known group to us. Very straight forward Thrash metal. They are good in what they are doing. Do you have anything to tell about them or Nuclear Winter from Bangladesh? The sheer anger and aggression portrayed on the releases of Chaos, Mortar and Nuclear Winter are magnificent and relative. Damn, what's with all the good releases set to come out this year!

They’re both amazing bands. Straight forward, no nonsense, in your face metal. That’s the kind of music that I enjoy listening to. I hope more bands come out with this kind of music.

After writing debut album, I guess it’s not difficult to come up with new ideas. So can we expect another album in early 2014? I know it’s difficult to think about the future right now but I believe the future of Chaos is bright. Talent, passion and courage are essential for musicians and Chaos have that. Ok man, it ends here. This was my first interview with an Indian band for Imhotep Webzine.

We are already half way through with our next album. For us, making music is a continuous process. The band is together all the time and we're jamming all the time so it's pretty much impossible not to come up with new material. Early 2014? Now that's something which may or may not happen! If things work out the way we want them to, it might just happen.

Thank you so much for the great interview. See you at our next show. Cheers!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Rest in the abyss Jeff Hanneman (1964 - 2013).

"Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. Whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursue". 

The almighty has fallen. No god to rule the vacant throne. Undeniably, for a thirty years beginning from the early 1980's, Jeff did have a dream run in world metal scene. His impact on the metal scene was truly huge. A great guitarist, who passed away on May second, 2013 near his Southern California home. On a Wednesday night, his driver drove him to an area hospital and Hanneman died the next morning suffering liver failure. I am not a huge fan of Slayer/Jeff but this news is completely unexpected. His maddening guitar playing was an influence for many. But fans of Slayer could never ignore him for what he was... whose death will create a void in the world of metal. 
A masterpiece created by Jeff.


Friday, 12 April 2013

Interview: Preludium

Preludium is a Death/Black Metal band from Poland that is signed to Transcending Obscurity (formerly known as Diabolical Conquest). Preludium crashed into the underground Black/Death Metal scene with its 'Infernal Force' demo which was recorded in the legendary Hertz Studio where bands such as Vader, Decapitated, Hate record their music. It created a phenomenon in the Polish underground and was promptly signed by Polish record label Redrum 666 for a multiple album deal. In 2004, Preludium unleashed 'Eternal Wrath' which was very well-received and the demand for it grew so much over the years that it had to be reissued in 2008. Preludium released its second album to worldwide fanfare and critical acclaim. 'Rape Mankind Disorder' was a beast of an album, precise, blistering and powerful. It sent shockwaves around the continent. It was followed up by the 'Abomination' EP all of which were released by the same label to increasing fan-following and shows with established bands from around the world. Preludium was noticed by Kunal Choksi of Diabolical Conquest who signed the band for a multiple album deal and gave global exposure to the Polish band. 'Impending Hostility' proves to one of the heaviest releases in recent times with a crushing sound inspired by the World Wars. Guitars never sounded so close to tanks running over skeletons, drums were too reminiscent of machine-gun firing and vocals were all-powerful and outright frightening.

It’s nice to have you in this interview for Imhotep Webzine. Preludium are coming straight out of the same land where masters of death metal like Vader, Hate and Behemoth were spawned. But I want to know the circumstances that brought the members together?

"Hello my friend. The band was formed by the Skowron brothers. First they played raw black metal in the Scandinavian way. I joined the band as a session bass player before "Infernal Force" demo recording session. After that Janek and Piotr started to compose material with many death metal influences. Unfortunately in 2003 Piotr died in an accident. August from another death metal band, Deception, joined the band as a drummer, I became a guitarist/vocalist and I brought in Wojciech as a bass player from my former band. With this line-up we recorded our debut album "Eternal Wrath" and second one "Raping Mankind Disorder".  August and Wojciech are no longer a part of Preludium. We recorded "Abomination" and "Impending Hostility" with Piotr Ungeheuer as a drummer and Deszczu as a bass player and we will record next album with the same line-up. It is very difficult to find appropriate people in such a small town like Mielec."

Preludium plays blackened death metal and have been around for years. The band have existed since 1998; have released three full-length albums, along with three demos, Have you ever felt that Preludium are still unheard in many ears and are you happy with what you've achieved with the band? 

"I'm aware of the fact that Preludium's music is unknown to many people in Poland, not to mention the whole world. Our previous label Redrum666 did nothing to promote our band; no promo sending, no concert opportunities - they limited the promotion activities of their bands to pressing the CDs. To be honest, the fault is on both sides - we're picky, so we didn't want to take part in every show we were asked to play. On the top of that Preludium is not a very popular band in Polish underground and the offers of the concerts are rare, that's why! We'd like to get our music to the wider audience by playing more concerts not only in Poland but also in different foreign countries. We count greatly on some positive reviews of our albums in western webzines or magazines. There's a lot of work to be done. I wish we didn't lose our enthusiasm."

I think that you guys haven’t progressed and advanced too massively since your last effort "Abomination" as it was a very good release. The songs are very memorable as the riffs stick with me for hours. The vocalist puts on a good performance. I heard that you are working on the fourth full-length album now. Would it be a major step forward for Preludium in creating your own distinct sound? Because, after listening to "Impending Hostility" I can think of other bands that would sound the same or similar.

"Abomination" was our first release with a new rhythm section. There were 4 pieces that we composed together. Originally, those 4 compositions were to be released on a split with another band, however for many reasons we had to drop this idea. We decided to release it as a MCD. As a result of some experiments with the sound we achieved guitar tones and vocals unprecedented in death metal.Recently we are in progress of recording of our fourth album - its working title is "Redemption". It won't be a drastic step forward; we can't change our music radically. However, consecutively we add new elements to our style. We are not geared for experiments with music. We focus on making good extreme compositions filled with dark atmosphere. The atmosphere, arrangement and well-done riffs – these are our aims in music. We don't put effort in insincere experiments for the sake of doing experiments. Hopefully, we will develop our original style in each and every piece of music we compose."

Kunal of Diabolical Conquest (now Transcending Obscurity) zine will be writing spiritual lyrics for the upcoming album based on the teachings of Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda - the author of "Autobiography of a Yogi". It should be very interesting and what are your expectations about the upcoming album?

"I asked Kunal to help us with the lyrics to the upcoming album. It is a little bit risky, since Kunal comes from the other end of the world - geographically and culturally as we are. Yet, I think that such insightful, multi-dimensional and far-reaching lyrics are unique among releases of other bands. Thanks to them we will be able to get to a greater number of metal fans around the whole world."

Preludium was noticed by Kunal Choksi of Diabolical Conquest years ago, who then signed the band for a multiple album deal and "Impending Hostility" was the second release of Diabolical Conquest Records. How the cooperation with DCR did came up and how is it going on?

"Kunal reviewed our previous album "Raping Mankind Disorder"; what's more he printed the review in his webzine. He was very enthusiastic about this release. He added "RMD" to the list of the best releases of 2008. We started to correspond with each other and when we recorded "Impending Hostility" I asked him to help me with finding a suitable label for us. After some time he responded with a proposal that he could release our album under his label. This is how we started our cooperation with Diabolical Conquest. Our album is available in many distros around the world, we receive lots of reviews and were asked to make interviews - it's obvious that we are very satisfied with Kunal's work. Our new album will be released under Diabolical Conquest too. At the moment we are waiting for printing t-shirts from "Impending Hostility" album."

Lukasz Dziamarski

What were your major musical influences while writing the album? And walk with me through the different stages from the idea to the launch of “Impending Hostility”. The song structure and execution of "Death Campaign" are reminiscent of what Deicide are doing (Glen’s vocals are way more structured and rhythmic. The ways his vocals go along with the rhythm of the songs are awesome). The song "Bitter Cold" begins with a siren that soon bursts into a storm of raw hatred, vocals are powerful and the drumming is rather straightforward, though there are some tempo changes to keep things interesting. This is what I liked from "Impending Hostility". 

"Our major inspiration is metal music. Personally, I listen to different types of music. Recently death metal is not on my main playlist, however composing music for Preludium is like a catalyst for me. I prefer simple, atmospheric and brutal music. After close examination, my influences of electronic, film and Neofolk music can be heard in our death metal too.

There are two ways in which we compose music in Preludium. Janek composes lots of various riffs at home, and then both Janek and Piotrek think about how to put together the particular pieces of music. They don't do anything by force. If they are at a deadlock, they drop the subject and come back to it after some time in our workshop and make a basic frame of the composition. Since I don't live in the same town as the rest of the band, we have our practice sessions 2-3 times a month. Then we work on arrangements, guitar and drum tracks as long as we achieve satisfying result. I compose music in a different manner. I try to compose the whole piece all by myself, I write out the guitar tracks in tabs and I send it to the rest of the band. During the sessions we try to put life into them. Sometimes, the ideas which were to sound excellent in theory turn out to be insufficient and need more tuning. Only when compositions are ready, we focus on vocal parts. If it comes to vocals, no one tells me what to do; I enjoy the freedom in interpretation. This is how we work, and we will stick to it."

"Realm of Void" is dynamic. The speed and intensity are maintained throughout the album and the band keeps things tight and hit the listeners with catchy and killer riffs. The drummer in particular absolutely kicks ass. I have noticed that Preludium tracks are relatively short and the albums barely last half an hour. How much was your dedication to "Impending Hostility"? The band used a specially modified 7-string guitar for extra heaviness on the album. Besides the title "Impending Hostility" was given by Transcending Obscurity UK staff writer Ewan Gibb. 

"In my opinion, 30 minutes or so of such intense music in enough. Many ideas were omitted during the composing process. Those elements which didn't fully satisfy us were sorted out because they didn't match to the rest of the compositions. The CD was supposed to be a little bit longer, but the drummer at the last moment decided to speed up the tempo of a metronome. You won't find 10 minute epic hymns in our compositions. If someone doesn't like it, we don't care. We're too old to think about becoming rock stars. We do what we want bucking the trends and fashions. Composing the music doesn't keep us awake at night; we do things spontaneously, leaving some space for improvisation. To record "Abomination" and "Impending Hostility" we used a non-standard 7-string guitar for death metal music tunes. It appears to be trivial, yet it gives an element of surprise and originality."

Impending Hostility 2010
The album has an excellent war theme which goes very well with raging music; it seems that you are interested in World War and History. What other themes are important to you? And what does the band really want to express through Preludium?

"The lyrics of "Impending Hostility" written by Janek depict the motives of war, suffering, pain, sex, deviation and such themes. You can say typical 'metal' themes. As you noticed, the lyrics harmonise with music and cover artwork. What we really want to stress through our music is the individuality of the human being. What's more we'd like to entertain people without exaggerated preaching. In our new album we gave up the clichéd metal themes and we decided to make use of the spiritual and philosophical lyrics written by Kunal. They are thoughtful and open to interpretation."

The packing of "Impending Hostility" is specially made for the extensive war-ravaged artwork of the artist following the band's instructions. The 8-panel booklet with beautiful war artworks on both sides but the lyrics is not available as it was your choice to just keep the war-themed lyrics. Were there any particular reasons for that? 

"As I said before Janek was the initiator of creating album in the military style. The idea of the cover artwork and booklet was mine. I introduced my concepts to our graphic designer Wojciech (former bass guitarist of Preludium). He accurately conveyed my ideas about bleakness and asceticism of the booklet - no lyrics, no photos, only the scenes of an extensive battle aftermath."

When was the last time Preludium played live? I have seen some video clips on YouTube and its fucking crushing and brutal. The band is perfect to play live. You should come back for more shows. Best wishes for that. 

"Thanks for your words of appreciation. The clips on YouTube cannot express the spontaneity and chemistry which exists between the band and the audience during the gig. Our last concert took place last year. In February we played with Ulcerate and Svart Crown in Cracow. Of course we want to play more shows, however serious concert offers are few and far between. Six months ago we were to play on a big festival in Poland with such bands like Krisiun, Entombed, DHG, however due to foolishness and carelessness of the festival organizer, it was cancelled a day before the concert. We had a few inquiries about shows at the end of 2012, but it was nothing of interest for us so we decided to focus our attention on preparing material for our new album, taking into consideration that the frequency of our practice sessions in full line-up in preparation to play shows and preparing new songs simultaneously would be ineffective and would slow down our work on new material."

"Antimatter" from Mord'A'Stigmata is powerful and effective. You need to spend more time on this project, man. I heard that Ion has to travel by train every weekend to practice with bands. That's an amazing dedication to the music. Ok man, it ends here

"When it comes to Mord'A'Stigmata project we are working now on a new material. The recording session is planned for May/June. Recently, we played a 40-minute show consisting of only 4 new compositions. In case of M'a'S it would be entirely different staff. Working on Antimatter we had to travel to Biłgoraj (it's the home town of our drummer). We used to have practice sessions every 2-3 weeks and to get there it took us usually 8 hours by car both ways. Fortunately, it has changed, and now we play in Cracow - a city where I live, so it's no longer such a dedication especially on my part. 

"Thank you for the interview."