Thursday, 25 December 2014


This earth is arid and barren, adorned with charred remains of lost grace.
Yet seekers shall follow those pathways of bane, woe, scourge, and plague, 
Darkness reigns. None shall see redemption.
None shall find peace.

2014 was not a prolific year for me but I know its loaded with an enormous amount of big releases. I heard 100+ albums this year and avoided many. Every album that gets made, people behind it try to make the best effort that they possible can, yet most of the albums released in 2014 surrender everything I have during a first listen besides there's nothing left to engross when I listen to them again. But its pretty apparent what kind of tunes I've been digging this year. Absolute highlights for me this year are ''Enemy of Man'' and ''Nothing but the Whole''. Did I like début work of Sinmara? The Dead of the World? new Mortuus? Yes, I liked them all though have no deep impact on me. I've no best of 10 or 20 album list yet I wanted to write about the best metal albums I heard this year. 

1) Kriegsmaschine's Enemy of Man - This ek'statik album leads on to a stygian voyage where inventiveness flow on. Maze of mesmerizing strokes of drumming and genuine guitar make this album an aurally delightful one that engrosses us with its enchanting beatific way. Tracks proffer plenty of unalloyed pleasures. The drumming on the album is certainly spectacular, great style and variations, besides the lyrics is another aspect adding to the total appeal of the band other than the music. I have enjoyed it immensely.

2) Emptiness's Nothing but the Whole - NbtW is their most creative album. A kind of experimental attempt which is both unique and unclassifiable. Emptiness have attained a new level of musical brilliance with this release. They just try to do whatever seems interesting to them, without thinking too much about what is going on around them and that´s the way it has to be. Emptiness wanted to make a timeless records, and avoid all clichés that would bring them down to any precise point in time. I emphatically say, Emptiness are best!

3) Thy Darkened Shade's Liber Lvcifer I: Khem Sedjet - Its brimming with subtle nuances and oodles like some classic raw BM records yet still maintain its individuality. Structurally the album sticks to heavy/old school metal feel thoroughly the record which is engrossing and entertainment same time. Its characterizing by vicious precision of the guitar riffs, ideal drums and powerful vocals all over the rush of the rhythms. This is the true essence of BM óld skool'. TDS are agile and they throw the right amount of suppleness in the compositions that makes LLI appear truly unforced.

4) Nightbringer's Ego Dominus Tuus - ''Ego  Dominus Tuus'' is chilling to the core. The indomitable strength lies in the record is unforgettable subtle riffs within the roiling mass of symphonic chaos which opulently layered with sinister atmosphere, that's the crux of the album. Hail Nightbringer. Oh black metal, what would I do without you? 

5) Abigor's Leytmotif Luzifer (The 7 Temptations of Man) - Abigor are absolutely individual and developing something new with every album and I don't call the new album is a summation of what they portrayed in the past. (I love listen to Apokalpse and LL in a row). Here we can sense a perfect production that brings out all the songs at best. Each song is structured with many variations. A sonic devotion to the Devil. What more is there to offer than them-self? This is not an album to dissect and analyse. It’s something to be felt and something abstract that deals with inner emotions. 

6) Teitanblood's Death - Unmatched contemporary savagery besides the epitome of grotesque art. An apt album title. Flagrant ride of heavy blasting percussions, chaotic compositional structures, strong lyrics, good production works are the characterizations of this total annihilation. Cover art done by Timo Ketola. The imagery in some lyrics is very intense. I am thinking how amazing it would have been if they'd make a video for the track Sleeping Throats of Antichrist. Verily verily I say unto you, this is DEATH METAL.

Shine you terrible lamp of Wisdom, Shine upon the desert fields of night. 
Shine within flesh and blackest mire, for my tongue has a dire taste for fire. 
I've become something that I've never dreamt of before.

Perhaps I've a special liking for metal bands that abound in ideology, originality and truthful in their beliefs which are the reason why I am recommending above mentioned albums to anyone out there. Extremely memorable and near flawless albums. They all have one thing in common: they're thoroughly individual and sound very refreshing. They're actually doing something new and original music. Such intense ideologies, lyrical philosophies and musical intelligence which is not very easily available around now. Maybe, it’s not music that defines black metal. We extreme metal aficionados are a particularly well informed and opinionated lot when it comes to this extant genre. These albums that mean a lot to me. I am truly enthusiastic. Buy Cds, years later, it could be your most valuable possessions. None shall defy.  Even I miss an album, impressed with the samples that I had heard from Ain Sof Aur. I can sense that Ophis Christos is one of a pleasurable albums in 2014. Probably the best black metal band in recent years!

What I look forward to hearing in 2015 are Slagmaur, Amestigon and Serpent Noir. Actually, can't wait to listen to ''Erotomysticism'' as its rooted in more classical sound capes, hard rock and some occult metal sound. Daemon Worship Productions will be handled this release. Hopefully, I will get to see Inquisition and Napalm Death live in July 2015 at B'lore Open Air. You seriously cannot believe the level of chuffedness going on right now. If all goes according to plan it will eclipse it. Jesus is ideal but you Christians, you are not like him. Wishes everyone who likes that kind of a thing ''Merry Yuletide''.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

An interview with Wilhelm Lindh of The Gardnerz.

My new interview with Wilhelm Lindh of Swedish progressive death/doom band, The Gardnerz. Some of you are aware of this band, or some you may never have heard of before. Whichever it is, I hope that you find this interview illuminating and informing. They are about to create death metal in another way and have a lot to say.

I) I came to know about The Gardnerz by Transcending Obscurity, they are about to support and elevate deserving bands from obscurity around the world. How important are all these promotions to you/band personally? Besides, do you have a future plan or a strategy that should help your band to become more famous or successful? Or do you feel more comfortable in the underground?

Wilhelm: I think this kinds of promotion is very important, I mean that is how we get the name and the music out there. Especially since we are a small band that doesn't have the resources to take out ads in big magazines and such. We are going to continue using the same kind of promotion for our next album and hopefully that will take us to new heights. For us it has been great working with Transcending Obscurity since they have spread our name in a part of the world where we were not that well known. And Kunal at Transcending has done an amazing job for us! Besides this kinds of promotion we will doing some more competitions and such. I think we will always be an underground band, the music we make will never appeal to the masses and for me that is not an issue. I feel that I would rather make music that I enjoy and have a limited fan base than doing something commercial just to get a famous band. Don't get me wrong I would love it if The Gardnerz would become bigger of course, but I would never change what we do to get there. So to answer your question, I am happy in the underground.

II) Six years have elapsed since you started your band. I know it is not a great amount of time but obviously, you got older; and being this entity a part of your lives. One must always move forward because life itself is changing, the music is changing. The music is now more mature than before, musicianship improved that is distinct on Exiting Reality. Since 2008, how do you see the band’s evolution during the last 6-7 years? What has changed, what hasn't?

Wilhelm: - The things you mention of course comes to mind. But one of the biggest things for myself is that I have found exactly what I want to do. I look at our first album as an experiment where I was trying out things and trying to figure what I wanted to do. I mean I had an idea of what I wanted. But I feel that today that idea is crystal clear, I know exactly what I want the band to sound like and what I do not want the band to sound like. I started this band as a little solo playground for myself as I was very tired of being in bands and not being able to do exactly what I want to do. So I still approach writing the same way. What has changed, hmm not that much actually, some members has come and gone. I have been very fortunate to play with really skilled people and most importantly good people. I guess the biggest thing for me that was very important and still is very important is the notion of self. I want to create music that sounds like The Gardnerz, I don't see a point in playing music that sounds like a clone of someone ells.

III) Your unique and highly realistic way of thinking and profound musicianship is absolutely good. As a musician, as an artist, as an individual, do you think that this kind of music or the music you make for the band have led you into directions you wouldn't have expected?

Wilhelm: - First of, thank you very much. Most defiantly, and in many ways. I think listening to metal has given me many things. One thing that pops up is a large vocabulary of nasty and disgusting words ha-ha. Since lyrics, titles and band names in metal generally stretches way beyond most other genres I think metal is a great teacher.And if we look at it from the perspective of playing, the things I have gotten from playing is too many to mention. Meeting, both in real life and online so many people that I would never have meet if I was not in a band. I mean I have gotten many "holiday homes" all around the world from getting in contact with people through the band. So far I have my friend Nuno Ribeiro in Portugal twice. A guy I got to know when his zine reviewed our début album. I have many people to visit that I have meet through the band and music in general.

IV) The music of The Gardnerz is refreshing combination of technique, wary, candour and grace. Indeed, a death/doom metal with a different perspective. This kind of creative effort is what contemporary metal band needs today. But a track like “Transylvanian Hunger” is a nondescript in a first few listens but later I arrived at a profound conclusion that it’s a ne plus ultra. My question is, in what way can we say that The Gardnerz is very much your personal expression?

Wilhelm: - I would like to say that The Gardnerz is an extension of myself. I always strive to create something unique. I mean it is not that we are doing something that is totally new. But at least I want to try to create something that sounds a bit different. We are working in the confounds of the death /doom metal genera but I feel that just because we play a certain style. We do not have to check of every box. I think it is way more interesting to throw in different influences. In this band I have taken all my musical influences. Everything from Katatonia, Bolt Thrower, Broken Hope, Acheron to Jj Cale, Bob Dylan and John Prine. 

When I started this band I was so fed up with the asphyxiation of clone bands. The scene was and is overflowing with bands that are just a bland copy of other bands. And I see no point at all to do the same thing. I mean I took influences from the bands and artists that I mentioned, and others of course and mixed it all together. Besides the musical aspect, the band is filled with my ideas and thoughts. In the lyrics and cover art. I have not written all the lyrics but all lyrics are based on my ideas and thoughts.  

V) The Gardnerz music is not immediately liking thing as one must approach it with open mind. Yes, the transmutation of practice and true beliefs into music imbues the power and forces that the ordinary crowd cannot experience, but don’t you think that people will understand your concept and what The Gardnerz is all about, beyond the music?

Wilhelm: - I think that The Gardnerz is a band that you either get or you don't. I do not mean in an elitist way. But with a band name like ours you have to have an opened mind and drop your pretentions. I have read many comments where people have dissed us because of the name. And stupid as this might sound, that was sort of the point. I wanted to create something that represented myself, and I think a slightly dyslexic landscaping enthusiast is a perfect metaphor for myself ha-ha. If people get the message we try to get across? I don't know, if people do that makes me glad and if they are just in it for some slow tunes I am all for that as well. I personally don't care that much about lyrics when I listen to music. If the lyrics are good I see it as a very big plus. But if not it is not a deal breaker for me. Sure if the deviate too much from my core beliefs I generally stay away.

VI) The creation of your music is a very natural flow which you simply let happen. You have said “I create music that I find interesting, no matter what twists and turns it might take”, so the next record will be a new musical direction of your oeuvre? I am curious about how the next record will turn out, but methinks that it will top everything that has yet been created by you. People want their metal albums to be worth the money and time they spend on it. 

Wilhelm: - Well not really, we are still doing the same melodic offbeat death doom metal. I mean I try not to repeat myself to bad. But I am still using the same general idea for what I want to create. The new album contains song written from 2010 to 2013, so it will have a bit of everything in them. I have a few different ways I like to create styles, and those few tricks are still being used. I hope the new album will not disappoint. We had 15 songs and we choose the once we liked the best, and the once that worked best together as an album. I am very proud of the songs and I think it is the best we have done. I mean if I did not what would be the point in doing it.

The listener today is often very picky on what they buy. And I think that is fun and exciting. As you say that puts the pressure on me to create something awesome. I hope we have pulled it off. I think we are living in very interesting times for creating music. Because of the advances in technology anyone can create a decent sounding album in the bed room. This of course has left the scene over flooded with mediocre shit, that is the bad side but the good side is that the more shit there is the more nuggets of gold there are.

VII) It’s good to know there are some bands who aren't afraid to innovate and keep the music fresh. The mini-album “It all Fades” provides what I am talking about. It has surely a progressive and unpredictable approach. That stuff is worth more than just a full-length album and it is worth keeping close to my heart as it’s mollifying me a lot. Are The Gardnerz really about trying to be innovative and avant-garde for its own sake, or rather concerns your quest to reach the essence behind this music? And what Intentions and the mission you wish to pursue within your art and altogether?

Wilhelm: - I am not really trying to be anything, I just want to create music that I would enjoy myself. And also to have fun with music, I think the aspect of fun is what the most important part is for me. I see creating a song as laying a puzzle, I love that part of playing around with ideas and just see what happens. Since I am not a trained musician a lot of what I do is just experimentation and seeing if things work together. And how things work together. I have learned everything I know about theory through creating my music. After creating something that sounds nice, I have tried to figure out why and thus learning about harmonies and so on. 

My mission with the band was and is just as an outlet for my ideas. I find it very relaxing to just sit down and create my songs. I write music and demo the songs at the same time (since I have a tendency to forget otherwise) and that is if we take it to essence is what I want to do. It is also extremely cool to see the songs take shape and change when the other members add their parts to the song. To relate to what you asked, I think if you try too hard to create something it will generally not turn out that great. I mean if I sit down and go, OK now I am going to create something great and unique. The result will most often result in the opposite.

VIII) The song writing is so focused on “Exiting Reality”. Rather than just attempting to go for a straightforward death/doom approach. You did your devoir to please the listeners methinks. The lyrics deal with philosophical ideas which is another aspect adding to the total appeal of the band other than the music. More thoughts I get when I listen to the music and read the lyrics. How much of a role yours own personal philosophical beliefs play in the music? Don’t you have the intention to make your philosophical ideas comprehensible for everyone?

Wilhelm: - I would say that it has played a huge role. Both in the lyrics and the music. As I said before the lyrics all deal with my own ideas and thoughts. Sometimes written sole by myself and sometimes interpreted by Niclas. For example the title of our début album was "borrowed" from the main book that I used while writing my bachelors essay at university. So I think it is pretty safe to say that it is an extension of myself. The title of our EP "It all fades" was about my view on humanity and our place on this earth. I see us as a pest that will end up killing ourselves. And the earth will keep on spinning in space long after we are gone. And soon enough all traces of our existence will be erased.

Not really, I have no intention to do missionary work ha-ha. I mean I feel that the band is enough to get my ideas out. And for that matter I think there are way more intelligent and articulated people out there spreading the good word about for example atheism and the dangers of religion. I have always been a "whatever floats your boat" kind of a guy. So whatever makes someone ells happy why I should judge?

IX) You are a voracious reader I presume and that is such thing to be emblazoned your imagination for the band or to exalt your wisdom. Besides, which writers or persons have influenced you most and aesthetically as well as philosophically how do you want them to align with your vision and develop accordingly? And would you ever consider placing your ideas in a different context? Such as writing a book, blogs etc.? (Smile).

Wilhelm: - I read a lot when I was at university, but after that I felt a bit burned out with academia. And reading tricky books. I have more tried to live my life according to the principals of the Philosophers I read in my youth. I have been greatly influenced by Epicurus, Phyrron, Nietzsche, Diogenes the Cynic, Horkheimer/Adorno and Baron D' Holbach. I could mention many more but these are the once that I think meant the most to me. I have planned to re-read Thus Spake Zarathustra this summer while I am at holiday. One thing that bugs me about all the philosophy I have read is that I never seem to remember quotes. I would love to be able to throw around some nice Nietzsche quotes. But I can't. I always just remember general themes and such. But I guess that is better than nothing.

I have been thinking about writing a book, but I guess it would be a novel or maybe a thriller. I don't really feel like writing a gospel or something, as I said before I think there are way more intelligent people out there who has done that way better than I ever could. And regarding blogs, I hate them. So I would never get one myself. Don't get me wrong I think they can be a great platform for zines/bands and so on. But just as a place for me publishing my rants, I pass. I get enough keyboard time doing interviews and writing my songs. So I am content with that.

X) Many bands out there are clearly based upon Anti-Christian ideas and so forth. Do you think that Satanism and anti-religion themes (in Death Metal) are such vague concepts today as completely irrelevant in 21st century? And, this is an age of bands trying to attract people solely through cover artwork, bizarre lyrical themes or trying to be more Kvlt. A very few musicians like you have been able to break out of this mould.

Wilhelm: - I think that bands using this just for the shock value these days are on very thin ice. Since in my opinion the whole satanic things is so done to death it is not very interesting or provocative any more. If the band members are real Satanists, then I see why they should not sing about it. I do believe that the listener today is way harder to shock. So just using Satanism today as an image thing is something that is disappearing.

Regarding the anti-religious themes I think they are most relevant today. I mean with growing radicalisation on all religious fronts. I see a growing need for the anti-religious movement to grow and spread. But then again, if done purely as a shock thing. I don't see a point. Maybe I have a very Scandinavian point of view since our society is totally secularised and you are viewed as weird if you are religious. I mean here there is no shock value at all singing about that religion is bad. One thing I do believe is that the age of "Neanderthal" anti-religious lyrics are gone. I will not mention names, but there are many bands that I love with all my heart, but their lyrics are so corny, Satan this, fuck god that. I think the listener today is way pickier than before. Maybe I am getting old, but I remember a few years ago when one of my favourite black metal bands released an album (again I will not name the band since I am in no way interesting in making any fan boys wet their draws) I could not get in to it since the lyrics was just so weak.

XI) Are you guys more familiar with each other’s attitude? (I think not. that’s why Niclas left the band. A jokes apart). 

Wilhelm: - I think we know what we all think and believe pretty well. I mean I have known Niclas, Francisco and Vedran for a pretty long time at this point. Even thou I have not known our new vocalist Johan that long, he and I have had some very interesting and in depth conversations. So I am pretty sure I know what he believes more or less. For me it has always been very important to have members in the band that I like on a personal level.

I have played in many bands where we did not meet at that level. And that always lead to problems. So I said to myself when I started this band that I would rather just create demos by myself that no one would hear than use members I did not like at a personal level. He he well since he did not want to sing about unicorns like I have planned for the next album, he had to go ;-).

XII) I hope that the new album has some new twists vocally for Johan. And is it possible to compare Johan Berstrom with Niclas? Tell us about their nature and way of working on music. Niclas was a lyricist too.

Wilhelm: - I am sure the vocals will be absolutely sick on the new album, we have not started working on them thou. I have some ideas and I know Johan has some ideas. We have only spoken about the vocals in a broad sense. Johan said that he does not want the vocals to change too much, he wants it to sound like The Gardnerz. 

Obviously he sounds different than Niclas. But he wanted to keep the general idea and style of what Niclas has been doing. When it comes to vocals I give the vocalist total freedom to do whatever they want. I mean I want the main vocals to be growling but all ideas are welcome. If it works, great if not we will just try something different.

Johan has told me that he is not that used to do "black metal" vocals but that he is willing to try. And that is all I ask. One of the things I liked about working with Niclas was that he had a huge range so the vocals where very varied. And that is something that we are going to try to keep. Yes Niclas wrote a lot of the lyrics and a lot of the times we wrote together. I think that we will continue in the same way with Johan. We have lyrics for one song that Niclas finished. So I think we will keep it since Niclas gave his blessing.

XIII) Is Paulina Strihavka involved in other bands to uplift and enrich her artistic excellency? I love Paulina as she can manage to capture the emotion and vitality of the music you make, that is distinct on It All Fades. I wanted to express my desire to listen more from her in the near future.

Wilhelm: - She plays in a cover band called "Thoms Trio". Head over to and check it out. I heard her talking about some other projects. But nothing concrete. But don't worry she will be on the new album. As soon as Johan is done with his parts we will fill the rest of the album with Paulina’s amazing voice. And if you search Wilhelm Paulina on YouTube you will find some cover songs (plus pictures of my cats) she and I recorded around the time of It all fades. The idea was to create a band out of it. I hope these songs and news will hold you over!

VIV) I'm not so fond of all the new death metal bands out there but I am liking what The Gardnerz do as you will never stop evolving to new, unseen states of music. The Gardnerz are enfant terrible! Real music written by real people with unique ideas, who can express them thoroughly but that's lacking these days I think. With this we come to an end of this conversation. This is just another interview of The Gardnerz. But it’s my pleasure to interview a ripsnorter like you. Aurevoir.

Wilhelm: - Thanks a lot for taking your time to talk with me, and thank you for writing interesting questions. That is also something that is lacking today! Keep your eyes open for the new album that will be released late this year!

Thanks for the support!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

In Memoriam. Steeve Hurdle (August/15/1971 - May/20/2012).

A homage to Steeve Hurdle on his second death anniversary.

Myriad images flash one's mind at the mere mention of Steeve Hurdle as we can recognise him easily when we know his style. With his passing, we have lost an excelsior musician perhaps as importantly, Gorguts have lost an innovator. Who died of surgical failure aged 41 in 2012. There might have been great architectures of grotesque aural art before and after Steeve but the only thing which always stands the test of time is art. He had managed to keep fans fascinated by his incandescent transcendental creativity for Gorguts for years. And his grandiose presence, in albums including, Inverted Decay (1992), Purulence/Amaymon split (1993), Obscura (1998), and Negativa (2006) have led to the boundaries of compartmentalization. Although Obscura overshadow Steeve's other works. 'Purulent' is by far, one of the most brilliant works by this exceptional guitarist-vocal.

What I really like about his music composing is that it’s always on several level. He had a big role in bringing the dissonance and complexity to song writing, For example, 'Sinking into Transparency' was a game changer for death metal. Love that song I mean, their entire side of that split was way ahead of its time just like Demilich. His works are eternal, it’s not stuck in a time as they are forever. It something that is made incarnate. Today May 20th 2014, Steeve Hurdel's second death anniversary.

Latest being drowned
In fictive degradation
Coming depression revolved
Around an Earth
Nostalgia excludes the whole
As spleen takes over me
Resound, the echoes of my threnodies
And then the fact of being
Has no longer meaning
The hymns of light
They'll sing once I'll be gone. 

He was 9 years old when his parents gave him his the first guitar.
He was born on 15th August 1971 at St. Vincent hospital in Sherbrooke, Canada. He took an early interest in Metal. He threw himself into music with compelling enthusiasm and worked constantly. He could express the potential depth through his bands. The vibrant mind of this luminary forever sought new avenues to satisfy his creative urges. He had written lyrics for Gorguts, to which he belonged to another level with his artistic vision and genius.

The Different people like Steeve Hurdle for different reasons, my affection for this departed soul comes from that fact. It was not about enjoying Steeve's guitar execution style or Luc's brutal vocals, the music of Gorguts in the nineties was like a mind-numbing atmosphere of the crypts of insanity and delirium and goes to an apocalyptic direction. Such intense musical intelligence, which isn't very easily available around. There have been bands that successfully warped the genre 'death metal' to a remarkable degree, creating originality through creativity and undiluted personal expression.

A track like 'Clouded' provides a good reference of what I am talking about. An unexplainable atmosphere comes whenever I attention to it. Timeless, that one word that keeps playing in my mind whenever I listen/think to 'Obscura' as it was technically impeccable. I love when Gorguts gets slow and dis-harmonic, the sound is akin to the pure agony one must feel from trying to reach a stage of enlightenment. A struggle, catharsis that never seems to resolve itself. A few words about the album itself. "Obscura" is almost like a religious experience to me. When I first heard 'Clouded', I was crushed and transcended. Magical, is an appropriate word. I was 9 or 10 years old when it was released but its songs refuse to fade out even today, when I am 24. The densely enraptures music was a true classic for sure. Cannot possibly imagine a better song than 'Nostalgia' or 'The Carnal Stage' on this immaculate album, or for that matter, a better album than 'Obscura'. 

More to the point, Obscura, as the name is an apt title for the collection of epiphanies present on this work of art. Scathing and pummelling and yet highly subtle. This was definitely one of the most eerie and abysmal sounding albums ever. Ne plus ultra. 

The cover art (he embodied the mediating figure on the cover) and lyrics also enhance the experience of the music on this album. That's how albums should be presented to an audience. Everything should be well conceived, with much thought put into every detail so that every component makes the album whole. Music, vocals, lyrics, artwork they all matter that's why I like concept albums even albums that aren't necessarily considered concept albums, sort of are like Obscura for example. There is a unifying theme throughout the entire record, nothing was random. It’s cinematic, in its delivery. Steeve gave some serious innovations for this massive third record of Gorguts. This album, which is Hurdle's peak. They felt special and unique, and discovering them was like uncovering some lost and forgotten treasure. Now it is a repository of memories. 

Another album that gave me a similar dark religious experience was DsO's Fas -Ite... The use of silence and minimalism in part makes me feel like I'm suspended high above in cathedral of horrors. The cover art is so absolutely fitting for that record, the depiction of Lucifer falling from god's graces, falling in endless darkness from which there is no bottom. Another album is 'The Destroyers of All' by Ulcerate and the track 'Omens' is one of my favourite modern pieces of metal/atmospheric music. The staggeringly gorgeous track is transcendental as fuck. Obscura/Fas - Ite.../The Destroyers of All stand up as the best in the last decade and a staple requirement for any true aficionado of grotesque aural art. Real music written by real people with unique  ideas, who could express them thoroughly but that's lacking these days methinks. I would like to state that Gorguts will always be the inspirational death metal band of all time and just can't believe it was two years ago today that we lost such an enormous visionary talent. Rest in peace Steeve Hurdle, still missed by so many.

After the first Negativa EP. Everybody was kinda happy
Canada, is a centre of intellectual and artistic ferment. Existing in two decades for a band is a big deal as Gorguts continue to work the best till date. The death of this extraordinary man was not the huge blow to the band methinks as this band's level of humility and respect for their art is vitalizing even today and that is distinct on colossal massiveness of 'Colored Sands'. There are countless extreme metal motherfuckers who have Steeve's aural ecstatic woven into their life. But people are usually forgotten after their favourite musicians die. It happens to the best of people, at the most they are perfunctorily remembered on their birth and death anniversaries.

He lived thousands of miles away, I have never met or spoken to him but the void of this departed man make a way to an incredible sense of loss. 2 years ago today since he left the world. Time marches on natheless memories stay. As I said before 'only thing which always stands the test of time is art'. I find that the people I don't personally know are the people I respect the most. He's the one person I regret never being able to have a conversation with. Let this day be a day of remembrance and reflection of his great music. He is a genius that the humankind has produced.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

An interview with Ain Sof Aur from Brazil.

An apt word to define the South-American metal scene is probably vast. It’s vicious in production, pulsating with talent, manifesting the original sound etc. In the recent years I did not notice any remarkable new black metal act hailing from Brazil, but there are a few great acts I sincerely respect and appreciate. Ain Sof Aur stand out when it comes to most of that 'bestial' black metal style. I can't really think of another band which sounds as destructive as them from the country.

Ain Sof Aur is a band that dealing with Vama Marga and Death Worship. It was conceived in 2006 as a medium of a destructive force against all creation. It an extension of each individual linked to their fraternity’s will. In 2012, they entered the studio to record their début album, “Atra Serpents”. The first manifestation of this luminaries seems not simple on the first listen, but reveals more layers with time. A sonic abomination of evil and death. This interview conducted by Ebby Sasi from Imhotep Webzine. Do a careful read to very profound answers by them. Ain Sof Aur are currently one of the promising bands emerging from the underground abyss of Brazil. Behold.

I) Greetings, probably this is my second interview with a band from Brazil. Before we get into the interview I want to know that older bands such as Mystifier, Headhunter D.C. Vulcano are still around as well but how is the scene in Brazil now, compared to the early years?

It depends on your concept of “scene”, what it stands for, etcetera. If the concept deals with an agglomerate of bands playing the same “genre” or type of music, or simply with people sharing interest of those bands’ music. For us it’s hard to stick to the standard perception of being another metal band reuniting with others for some drinks and headbanging. 

Our Devotion lies beyond being true or proving to others what we do or what we don’t do. It’s plain indifference. We see a lot of people desperately needing self-approval, seeking acception in groups in this whole “scene” concept. Those people try to build an elitist “grimness” based on other people’s dogmas, thoughts, including other band’s actions and quotes, to educate themselves and pretend to play some sort of sharade. They usually call this RADICALISM and bless themselves with a status of being real, a materialistic individualism to nurture ego trips and self-delusions. So, if you think about what this whole scene you speak of really is, it mostly consists of people battling over status to hyper value their own ego, which isn't really our main interest in black metal. 

Being distant, true to our ideals, free from the slavery of false individuality — i.e, having to prove oneself constantly for others, to name one of many aspects of it—, is our own reality. Answering your question, I could easily say that in the glorious times of those great bands you mentioned, people were actually concerned with the art being made and the ideology behind it. Today, I’d say people are concerned with acception and pretending to be harbingers of the past, when they have actually nothing to offer. 

II) What do you think has been the most important impact of your band? Besides, do you think that makes your band unique in terms of approach music compared to other black metal bands in your country because I can’t think of another band which sounds destructive as AsA from Brazil? 

It’s rather interesting to read about IMPACT, because we don’t actually think there’s been any.  The art conceived has one sole purpose to represent Devotion and our repudiation of frail ideals that hinder men’s real ascension. Our goal isn't directed toward the human auction or metal concerts. Of course, we do play live, but no mundane credit actually interests us. To answer such question would be to, say, claim what we have that others don’t, and this kind of attitude I’ll leave to rockstars wannabes. 

III) Since 2006, how do you see the band’s evolution during the last 6-7 years? Released two demos and a full length album, played a lot of gigs, what has changed, what hasn't?

A lot has happened since the band started, we experienced a lot in the musical field, as well as going through a lot of line-up changes (mostly bassists). 7 years is a great amount of time and, obviously, we got older; and being this entity a part of our lives, it was directly influenced by every individual’s personal experiences. So the music is now more mature than before, musicianship improved (a little, but it did) and so did many of our views within the black metal scene (to use this term from the first question). We are also changing our views on live performances, reducing them as much as possible. Good equipment is sincerely out of the question when dealing with producers and the amount of stress we usually get on the backstage when facing what we’ll have to use really affects the energy we desire to channel. It’s inefficient. So we only perform live when we are certain of at least sound coming out of amps, instead of them turning off out of a sudden, for example. The bands that are on stage with us, the purpose of the ceremony, also determine our participation on the event. 

IV) Atra Serpents is the début album which was released in 2012. It’s an essential record for sure but you may not offer much in the way of originality, but the intensity of the band is laudable. This is not an album to dissect and analyse as I said before the album is generic but acceptable in many ways but my question is that were you simply compelled to create dark hymns of your own design?

Like you stated, it’s not an album to dissect and analyse, simply because it was intended to be an experience, a spiritual immersion in the lawless Chaos that emanates from this first record. I personally don’t get reviews and analysis for black metal, which is something to be felt, something abstract that deals with inner emotions, projections and energies. So, we weren't compelled to create something plastic, or manipulated to sound grim or evil, that’s simply the work of our Devotion. The work of who we are. Atra Serpens is a destructive force of the cosmic boundaries between man and God, representing a denial of the Evangelium. It is a flirt with Death’s essence. Its intensity is felt only by those who actually understand what we aim for. Others will just stick with originality, creativity and mundane labels to describe feeling and energies that are not to be named or spoken of.

V) Atra Serepns is beautifully portrayed for its most part but were there any things that you tried to do but failed on Atra Serpens? Besides, what does this album most represent? Care to elaborate on what influences AsA, both on a musical and thematic level?

We've had many frustrations with the professionals who were supposed to help us, whom in the end turned out to really ruin many of our expectations. Atra Serpens is a low budget album in many ways, but it was everything we could afford at the time. The energy invested was in its purest form, BLACK and deadly, like venom was spew out of mouths toward existence. Still, apart from the flaws — especially in the booklet print, thanks to the company responsible for pressing it —, the result came out to be pretty reasonable, considering the circumstances it was conceived under. Atra Serpens deals with a process of man's spiritual evolution. The title 'black serpent' means, briefly, what is considered to be an abomination by right handed path religion's standards. The use of theology and philosophical views may corroborate what we say on an inverted perspective. An existence that will or have reached apotheosis through Death. This album marks only the beginning of the journey toward that goal, as a metaphor to our own initiation. 

VI) ‘Celestial Moral’ offers an intensely impassioned performance of raw and morbid black metal, filled with chaotic melodies and raw vocal lines and ‘Marduk-Apla-Iddina-II’ is perilous as the intense guitar riffs to the forceful vocal delivery and straight forward drums. How hard it was to develop those dense song structures patterns for the highly intricate music?

Like I stated, our compositions (to put a name to those manifestations) are conceived by who we are, the result of each individual linked to our Fraternity. We did not strive to make a sonic manifestation, it’s a natural consequences of like-minded individuals set up together. Usually, lyrics and incantations are the basis for guitar, drums and bass compositions, since they’ll follow the general idea behind it and what kind of energies we want to invoke in the proper way. "Marduk-Apla-Iddina-II" came out after a one year old hiatus we were forced to take when we lost two major members who moved to another city. It was S.A.’s first assault, a presentation and reminder of what Ain Sof Aur was spawned for

VII) And how do the other members' contributions both lyrically and musically fit accordingly to your expectations?

Ain Sof Aur art is the result of a group work. Even though I write the lyrics, concepts, other members play a major role in giving life to those concepts. So I would not say I have MY expectations, but WE hold it as a Fraternity, linked to the qliphotic forces that are behind each composition of ours. Our art is one, not only a mass of sound baptised under the label METAL. Its visual art, music and philosophies behind it. It is rather impossible to attribute one aspect of it to certain egoistic side such as individual expectations.

VIII) “Resquiessence in Abscess” is very fast-paced and straight-forward, this features more possessed vocals and pure chaos. I loved this one. Can you explain how much of this album directly reflects your own knowledge? Don’t you think that transformation of knowledge in to music makes uniqueness in the composition? Any personal bonding moments you care to share?

This song deals with the remains of the essence of the divine failure of Creation in men, or he who is realizing a whole new perception of existence in a metaphysical point of view. It'd be, in a certain way, a stigmata originated from the spears/swords of Death and its Holiness moulding a new form of abomination. No personal bonding moments to speak of. This manifesto is but one side of the monument we strived to build. And yes, I agree that the transmutation of practice and true beliefs into music imbues it with power and forces that the ordinary crowd cannot experience. Atra Serpens is a mark of what Ain Sof Aur actually is the worship of Death and the immersion in the Nightside of existence.

IX) No matter how brilliant the music is, if the lyrics simply suck, the whole impression suffers methinks. Tell us about the lyrics portrayed on Atra Serpens, in a more personal and philosophical way?

In general, the whole booklet is a complete concept of what Atra Serpens really is — apart from the whole idea that this album is to be felt, it is an abstract insight that might be difficult to name or explain. The booklet itself is the actual philosophy behind it, questioning the Gospel of Creation and abandoning it as a frailty of such faith is portrayed. In order to achieve higher states of consciousness one should actually acknowledge what is actually being denied, why and what for. Only them one is ready to choose what Path to follow and which goal will be pursued. Atra Serpens is the first step, a symbol to acceptance of Spiritual Death and the beginning of the journey for apotheosis.

X) Ain Sof Aur are a rather black metal act which emphasis raw sound with much élan. The album is elevated to such a barbaric level. Is it important to you to keep that aspect?

No, as this would compromise the whole concept of making art imbued with power and essence. To manipulate something is to cut loose the sincerity behind it and maculate the ideals that are behind the art. Hence, to us, it is important to keep the essence of what we want to create and the message behind it; this will be carved on the song structure, be it brutal or slow. 

XI) What other bands do you feel share the same ideals and principles of Ain Sof Aur?

It is rather difficult to speak on behalf of other individuals, but we salute and hail bands that are in conspiracy with Death and Chaos, namely the almighty Ofermod, Mortuus, Deathspell Omega, Saturnalia Temple, Teitanblood, Antinomian, Obscure Anachronism, Vulturine and many others.

XII) Being one album old band, how difficult was it to find a distributing label for your début album? Besides, how the deal with Desgraça Records did come along?

Rather hard, since we are widely unknown and that’s not a bad thing. Our art reaches the individuals, not the opposite. So no one would burn their hands for us, so our art remained quite ignored for some time. Outside of Brazil was even harder, mostly because many labels demanded demo sounds in LP or tape, which is quite hard to make around here. We’d need a label for that, at best.So we depended on MP3 to show people, and being a band from Brazil, we were majorly ignored most of the time. Then we got a proposition from Desgraça Records to split the costs for pressing the discs and we ended up doing that. We are very grateful for "Andrêy" for encouraging us to keep our black flames burning as he believed in what we did when no one else did. So there’d be no Atra Serpens now if not for his efforts. Unfortunately, he decided to end his activities and we are labelless at the time.

XIII) You are constructing songs for the next release already. Will it show a more mature side of AsA? And are there any unreleased tracks that you might release in the future?

Atra Serpens was conceived on 2010, even though it was released in 2012. So there’s an abyss of 4 years between each work, even though it’s been 2 years after we began fully working with our next release. Thus, indeed will it feature a mature side of Ain Sof Aur, though with a few changes in the line-up since the first album, being this new work very Death Metal oriented.

XIV) Can you throw some light on your view of black metal as there are some bands that they don’t enjoy to have contacts with people and never do band mail nor any kind of promotion because they believe that internet has a negative influence on black metal?

Black metal is a manifestation of individualism in a sense, although not the material individualism that symbolizes ego trips and superficial satisfactions. I speak of one’s inner emotions, feelings, energies that can only be manifested through this form of music in an aggressive or introspective way. Also, it’s a powerful medium to the dark forces that are to be channelled with our music.

XV) Are you involved in other bands to explore your artistic excellency? The interview ends here.

No, not at all. Ain Sof Aur is the sole work of the people behind it. Thank you for the opportunity to chat a little and for the interest in our art. 

Salve a Luz de Lúcifer e a Serpente de Fogo.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Interview with Insepulto (Costa Rica)

For those who don’t know Insepulto from Costa Rica, they play death metal. When it comes to Insepulto's music, it is not simply death metal. Insepulto is more a traditional type of death metal band. The début ‘Morbid Spawn of Resurrection’ is not something to be forgotten fast as this album is death metal perfection besides shall always stay pristine, without factors like 'time' and 'age' affecting it. I say “If you’re old school death metal maniac, you are going to love this band. If you’re not OSDM aficionados perhaps you should check out this band anyway”. Read this interview to know more about the band. Undoubtedly one of the best death metal bands around there.  

1) Let me ask you an important question first. How important are these promotions to you/band? 

The Master Butcher – First off, thanks for the chance my brutal friend. And concerning your question, we really take seriously the interviews. Actually, every interview that we have received has been responded by the three of us. That pretty much shows what interviews mean for us.

U.Xerxes.H - First and foremost, thank you so much by giving us this space to promote INSEPULTO. Well, to me is one of the most important aspects for the band. Doing interview is the best way to know what’s exactly behind the aims of the band as about its concept, ideology and stuff related to its universe. So, as for us go, answering interviews is the most important aspect of all this work we do for INSEPULTO since it is the way for the people to know how much involved we are in the concept we purvey.

A.P. - Hello Ebby. Thank you for your interest in INSEPULTO. The music will always speak for itself. But we firmly believe that reviews and interviews are the most basic and most important ways of promotion. That is how one gets to know the individuals behind the aural concept.

2) The next album is getting structured and bastardized in full glory methinks.

The Master Butcher – Yes…we are in the process of building it. Alfonso has been composing really cool stuff, Gilbert is also bringing some of his ideas and so far I've written some lyrics for songs such as “Just another Fucking Growl”, “Moribund Sentinels of the Abyss” and so forth. In general terms I would say that Insepulto, musically speaking maintains the punch and heaviness of our 1st obscure aura to our sound…but all in all…we keep praising our devotion to this music through the band.

U.Xerxes.H - Well, there isn't that much to say. We are just preparing the material and thus far just some full completed songs are ready. There is no title yet and at least we have some sketches for what is going to be the visuals as about pictures, lyrical concept and front cover. Yet, there is nothing concise. The only concrete news about it is the fact we are going to release it via Spanish label, Memento Mori since their offer was pretty much what we strived to get and thus far it has been the best choice for us.

A.P. - I think this album will be different. On our début album, the music was all mine and I was composing and structuring everything by myself. This time I am getting a lot of feedback from U.X.H. and the Master Butcher. So you can expect the same attitude towards Death Metal in general, but with some new influences and a lot more darkness and evilness in the atmosphere. Some of the songs are already done and they sound really dense and pounding! I do think we will achieve a much heavier sound with the new material, adding the usual INSEPULTO style of mid-paced Death Metal we have been striving for since the beginning.

3) Do you think that you do have a much possibilities of forming a full line-up at the moment for a live performance? Or is it insurmountable effort?

The Master Butcher – We've spoken about playing live, I shouldn't see any problem finding people to complete the line-up for that. But I don’t know. So far we've been concentrated in the album. Some time ago I heard that we could have some chances to play a big festival here called “Rock en el Farolito”, but we said it was better to use our time and efforts with the new album. However, I know we will be playing live in the near future…hopefully we can record it.

U.Xerxes.H -  I think it is possible but it isn't something we long for at the moment. I would like to play live with INSEPULTO, the music has been written to get the shit out of everybody when being in the pit. But at this point, some aspects should be solved before we would consider forming a full line up for such a task. We’ll see... I don’t know at this point what would happen in the end. So far, we would take care to write and record the next album and we’ll see if we set a whole line up for a live performance.

A.P. - So far, everything has worked steadily and smooth enough for us to remain a 3 piece band. That is our core. But a live performance has been talked about more and more. Enough people has already asked about it. Even though the logistics are somewhat complicated, I do think we will eventually have the chance (or chances) to play live. We have 2 persons in mind, a guitar player and a drummer and they are interested in joining us live. I can tell you that the possibilities for a live show increase exponentially with time.

Morbid Spawn of Resurrection.
4) What has the last 20 years been like for you guys? Band formed in 1993, début album in 2012. A long gap indeed. How have you kept yourself busy in this long period? For example? 

The Master Butcher – Yeah, quite an indeed gap I must say. But the truth is after letting Insepulto rotting in the grave for 20 years, the three of us concentrated in our bands. In my case I was really focused with Pseudostratiffied Epithelium, a band that Alfonso, another friend named Johanns and I, formed in 1992. After recording a promo 1993 called “Grotesque Genital Dismemberment” Alfonso was out and I remained with new members and recorded an Ep called “Sodomizing Children Corpses” and a Split CD called “Sinistrous Necromantika”. Then I got offline the scene for some years and and came back in 2003 with a new band that I'm still currently with called Mummified, so far we’ve recorded a MCD called “Protocol of Mummification” and our full length album “Embalming the Nazarene”. Besides of this we've kept active searching music and reading quite a lot interviews and reviews. So we've always been “updated” on what the underground is producing.

U.Xerxes.H -  As about me is concerned, I've been busy with CTTIH MAG and also with PAGANUSDOCTRINA which are my main priorities when it comes to metal. Anyway; I wasn't part of the former line up which took place back in the 90’s as it was the case for A.P and Ronald. So, I took part of this band until 2008 when it came out from the grave.

A.P. - Both Master Butcher and me were part of the original line up along the other guys, but since we never went past the concept, a photo shoot and some music, I can't even consider calling it a band back in 1993. It was a project and it remained as such until I brought back the name in 2007. It got stuck in my mind since then, because I wanted it to happen all along. The idea of having all these guys involved was great. Sadly, nothing happened with the original line up. I kinda retired from the Underground scene in the late 90's and went to play and write songs with other bands. I also widened my horizons listening to a lot of different music I foolishly ignored for years. I played with 6 or 7 different bands, ranging from Hard Rock to Thrash to Contemporary Metal and some Hardcore. Music wise, I got stuck with my favourite albums from the 80's and 90's and never really got into post-2000 metal scene. So yes, I was busy, but kinda far from the Underground.

5) You grew up listening to 80’s, 90’s metal, so you've literally seen different eras in metal and you guys must have good enough experience.

The Master Butcher - Well yes, we’re veterans in this metal thing to say the least and in my case I've seen several fashions through the time. For example the Sepultura fashion in the 90s where every band wanted to sound like the “Beneath the Remains/Arise” then the Pantera fever. So again, everybody wanted to copy that approach. More recently I've seen tons of female fronted bands sounding the same or the Melodic Metal Core trend…in the end, I've confirmed that good bands go beyond fashions or trends.

U.Xerxes.H -  Well, yeah! That’s right. We've seen the emerging and dawn of trends. We have been exposed to a lot of music which at least to me has allowed be to enjoy almost every metal style available, others more than others, but that’s part of the game I guess. I can listen to every band and enjoy it without attaching me to absurd “true metal” argots and pussy crap like that. Too much mumbling in the scene if it would make a difference if you enjoy Slipknot or Benediction. Who gives a slight fuck, anyway? As about creating music is concerned, I guess we all got experience enough to shape our own crap and delivering it to the world. However, in my case, I'm still learning.

A.P. - Time is just a sense of continuity and it shouldn't matter. But the scene and the Underground have managed to stay the same, for the better. As individuals, we all met back in the day and still we have our own points of view of the 80's, the 90's and the post-2000 eras. We share the same opinions and the same taste for music. And that is a great aid when writing music and lyrics and setting all the aspects that we think work better for us as a band in our genre. Experience also helps a lot. We know what to do and what not to do. We have seen a vast number of people/bands come and go and we certainly want to transcend this dimensional plane as individuals and as a band.

6) Which bands do you consider as an integral influence on the music of Insepulto?

The Master Butcher – In my case I have plenty of bands I totally worship. For example I’ pretty much into 90s Finnish death metal: Demigod, Adramelech, Purtenance, Rippikoulu are total gods for me. I like some US stuff such as Horror of Horrors, Embryonic Dead, Sadistic Intent, Skeleton of God and I always have had deep admiration for Abramelin from Australia…fuck…what a band!!! And also, among my favourite of all times, there is one band from Honduras called Horgkomostropus. Simply brilliant for those who seek that evil and obscure sound in death metal. Newer bands? Sure there are many I worship, for example Krypts, The Ascended or Stench of Decay from Finland…Burial Invocation from Turkey, Denial from Mexico…Dead Congregation, The Grotesquery, Funebrarum, Horrendous, Superior Enlightenment and so many others. I mean, I try to search new bands despite the fact that the majority of what you find out there might be a copy crap of some mainstream bullshit. And U.Xerxes.H says - To me, it’s pretty simple. The bands that influenced us are basically the pillars of our own current taste as about Death Metal, the kind we grew up with and still fiercely get hold on to. So, bands that influences our shit comes from BOLT THROWER, DEMILICH, BENEDICTION, DEICIDE, MALEVOLENT CREATION, MORBID ANGEL, ACHERON, NAPALM DEATH, GOREFEST, GORGUTS, PESTILENCE, NIHILIST – ENTOMBED, DISMEMBER, UNLEASHED, among a long list. Today, I listen to the old fathers of the genre but also the new death metallic breeds. I didn’t get stuck in the past you see, I listen to almost everything in metal is concerned and other non metal music. From HAIL OF BULLETS, NECROS CHRISTOS, FUNEBRARUM to SLIPKNOT, 30 SECONDS TO MARS, TERRY REID, DAFT PUNK, and a lot of music. I’m not tied to only one musical style. Anyway, the music I feel more connection with are Black Metal in its rawer satanic verge and also Hard Rock Glam Heavy metal. As you can see, I'm an open minded bastard, a ” poser” if you wish!

A.P. -  I can easily pinpoint my main influences and most of them show throughout INSEPULTO's music, in my humble opinion. The whole British Death Metal/Crust/Punk scene had a huge impact on me back then and still does. Bands such as NAPALM DEATH, CARCASS, BENEDICTION, DOOM, AZAGTHOTH, EXTREME NOISE TERROR, BOLT THROWER, CEREBRAL FIX, ELECTRO HIPPIES, PARADISE LOST, MY DYING BRIDE, DEFECATION, UNSEEN TERROR, ONSLAUGHT and all the others. They had it all: the heavy as fuck production, the "I don't give a fuck"-Punk attitude and the means to hit you with a wall of sound so dense that everything else sounded tiny in comparison. I mean, I am also a huge fan of the mid-late 80's Brazilian scene, the 90's USA/Florida Death Metal scene and the NWOSDM. And yes, I might say I find myself listening to a lot of my favourite albums pre-2000. I am not stuck in the past, but I don’t listen to old stuff a tad more than I listen to new stuff. Also, I have discovered a bunch of new bands that impressed me and surprised me in all levels. Some of those brilliant bands that have been in my playlist for a while are: PORTAL, DISMA, ALTARS, BOLZER, BLOCKHEADS, INSECT WARFARE, INSORCIST, SULPHUR AEON, GRAVE MIASMA, BLASPHERIAN, MITHOCONDRION and EMBRACE OF THORNS, just to name a few. Unique music made by unique individuals. I am glad I got to discover them, because nowadays, you need to be selective. There are way too many bands and albums out there and just a percentage of them may be worth your time and money.

7) Everybody among us likes and knows early Xysma, old Disgrace, Nihilist, Abhorrence (of Finland), etc. Bands like these truly define that death metal and extreme metal in general is nothing less than grotesque aural art. Do you think that Death metal is one of the most excellent canvases for portraying the artistic excellence? And that’s why you formed INSEPULTO.

The Master Butcher – Absolutely agree with you my friend. Death Metal is a type of music meant to be evil and obscure. That’s why I just can’t understand how these new bands are playing that happy type of so called death metal. Seems like their main goal is to get more attention from the media and for that, they got to have a friendlier image and concept, soft enough to be accepted by the majority of this new public that consumes such product. However I wouldn't say we formed Insepulto to say/teach “this is how death metals should be or should sound”. Not at all. We formed this band because we praise this music much and took our devotion to another level.

U.Xerxes.H -  I think music as a whole is an excellent canvases to portrait artistic excellence, no matter the style. So, Death Metal is the one to portrait the essence of death, despair, rottenness, disgust, satanic worship that defines the non conventional aspects of human life. So on that department, the style accomplishes its task. We did form the band just because it pleases us to play this music and we enjoy it so much. There’s no hocus pocus behind this art we play, there is not a definitive ideology although I myself hold to a Satanic Ethos, but as a band there’s nothing related as ideology to purvey.

A.P. - I agree with you Ebby, up to a certain point. Artistic excellence can be achieved in a lot of different ways. True art is original, non-compromised, detailed and chaotic at the same time. It's been said that most art expressions can only be product of madmen. Picasso's art was once considered grotesque, as well as Poe's, Nietzsche's and Dali's. Death Metal shares all of these pre-conceptions. It is a perfect medium of expression, the expression of Death itself! It is darkness, evil and the grotesque made music. Whoever invented the genre as it is, namely POSSESSED, SLAUGHTER, MANTAS/DEATH or any of the other pioneers, they were madmen. Going against the world, bringing sheer aggression and brutality to a world oblivious to evil. INSEPULTO is our way of showing our respect to these madmen. It is our way of expression and devotion to a genre that marked us in a lot of ways back in the day. We are not going to set the bar higher or to bring new stuff to the table. It's all about the music and the feeling behind it.

8) How do you perceive the kind of death metal albums being made today, and how do you see yourself fitting to it? [There are people who belong to the "iT sUkZ cUz iTz noT oLd sKeWlZ" category as well whereas as bad as people who think old school sucks because it's not technical. [Laughs] just saying but yeah it’s a fact].

The Master Butcher –Yes. Quite a controversial I must say. My point of view here is that I don’t care if a band is new or old. That’s secondary, as long as the band has its own personality and feeling. And as long as isn't a mere copy of something else, for me is enough. I feel deep respect for a band like, lets say Demigod or Krypts. There might be 20 years of difference between each other, but both are simply great. They're not similar at all, but both preserve the feeling of obscure heavy death metal from Finland…get my point?

U.Xerxes.H -  Quite honestly we don’t do things to fit. We just do our shit with the primal aim that we should like it first. That may sound as a cliché but is an absolute truth regarding our way to create our songs. I don’t give a slight fuck if the bands are technique or “simple” in structure as long as it keeps the essence of its concept and achieves to transcend a feeling more than just a fucking showing off contest with no horizon at all. I like some of the new records released, I think there are very cool bands working their shit such are HORRENDOUS, GRAVEYARD, BACKYARD MORTUARY, NECRO CHRISTOS, GRAVE MIASMA, FORCE OF DARKNESS, among a hell of other great bands. But there are other cheap clones that the only thing they do is to fill the lowest scope of fifth rate crap!

A.P. -  It's curious. For all these new "I listen to metal because it is cool" fans, I've met a few individuals, that despise being relatively new to metal, already have that Underground attitude towards the scene. It's good to know that these guys at least have made up their minds when it comes down to keeping the Underground alive. On the other hand, I absolutely hate that tag. Back in the day, the music and the bands now labelled as "Old School" were happening. They were going around, putting out demos, 7"s and albums. That is how I got to discover the genre and some of it's finest exponents. So, all that "Old School" is not old at all to me. Now, it doesn't matter if you talk about PESTILENCE, ATHEIST, GORGUTS or any other technical Death Metal bands. In the end, technical or primitive, it is all Death Metal!

9) You guys aim to restore the essence of 90’s death metal through the compositions I think because ‘Morbid Spawn of Resurrection’ is a barrage of pure old school death metal perfection. Great vocals, feel-good riffs, groovy and a great production work. It’s done in the best way possible I think. It cannot get any better than this in this day methinks. Do Insepulto seek to ‘revive’ death metal?

The Master Butcher – Wow, thanks for the words my friend. As mentioned somewhere above, I think we've always wanted to do just one thing with Insepulto and that is to praise the music we so much like. The music that has been with us for the past 20 years. For some reason, we just can’t sit down and listen other bands. We needed to do our own thing…ha ha ha…is kind of a narcotic dependence we have!!!

U.Xerxes.H -  Thanks for the compliments my friend! I don’t think we aim to revive death metal, we just play the kind of death metal we love the most and with the one with grew up and got fun with. So, that pretty simple. There is nothing beyond that other than experience the old flame still running in our veins.

A.P. -  Thank you for your comments. It is good to know that you and other people enjoy listening to our music as much as we enjoy writing it. INSEPULTO is not here to bring back Death Metal. Death Metal has been constant since 1980. It has remained unburied, undead and in deep slumber in the Underground. And that is where it will remain eternally, in my humble opinion. We just wanted to pay homage to our influences and favourite bands! That's all.

10) Had you debuted album back in the 90’s, rather than today, do you think your band would have had a better recognition?

The Master Butcher - It’s hard to say that. Now, being completely honest, recognition has never been something we consciously seek forth. Don’t take me wrong, we feel really pleased with the response obtained from people. It feels great to know that so many people share the same vision for this music. But we do what we do just because we like it. We all live normal lives, pay bills, family and work, so this music and the band is, at least in my case, a component in my life to keep everything balanced.

U.Xerxes.H -  Not at all! I think releasing INSEPULTO up to these days was the great choice time did for us. Back then promoting a band was really difficult because we were all teenagers and most of us did not have a job so we couldn't cost any promotion, qualified studio and experience to record an album. It was better to let time do its course and wait although we didn't aim to reactivate the band consciously, it just happened. For me, having a trio in the band and the facilities technology provide us to record and produce, make everything easier to write the music and present it on a qualified professional way and there’s no room for cheap standards now.

A.P. -  Well, looking back in time, I really don't think that our album could've been released back then, for a bunch of reasons. Also, technology has advanced a lot and it definitely helped us with our début album. Recognition? INSEPULTO is not making music for such trivial reasons as recognition. We make music for ourselves. And if there are people out there who share our vision and like what we do, it's all a plus. But that is about it.

11) What were your major influences while making “Morbid Spawn of Resurrection” Of course comparisons with early Deicide/Bolt Thrower are inevitable as are shades of it.

The Master Butcher – Music wise, I think Alfonso is the right person to talk as he composed the entire album. For the vocal work I wanted to do something really focused on a type phrasing that added heaviness and rhythm to the music. I've always thought Glen Benton is one of the best singers because you can follow each of the words he sings and I wanted to reinforce that legible approach; not the vocal tones but the clarity and metrics in the phrasing. Gilbert is pretty much connected with things such as Mistifyer, Embrace of Thorns and bands into that line, so he brings some of it also.

U.Xerxes.H -  Well, there’s not much to say actually. As about me is concerned, I guess I answered part of this question somewhere above. Anyway, it was amusing when we decided to re-record the whole album because we just didn't feel comfortable with it. So, everything was delayed but the waiting was worth of it.

A.P. -  As I mentioned my main influences in one of the answers above, you may already have an idea of the musical point I was at when writing and putting together the riffs and the songs for our début album. Curious enough, most of these riffs and songs I recorded when I was "away" from the Underground between 1997 and 2007. I had been working with other bands and other types of music. So, when inspiration hit, I kept recording whatever came to my mind. In the end, I used almost all of these ideas for INSEPULTO. Somewhere left behind, but you never know. I may use them for our second album.

12) The first track ‘Epitome of Rigor Mortis’ is a sheer aesthetics of death metal stumbles right from the first tune. The vocal is another aspect adding to the total appeal of the band other than the music and lyrics.

U.Xerxes.H -  On this department, I will let The Master Butcher do his remarks. I just like the fucking song so much and love every piece of it. So you crazy bastard, be my guest here and do your job! Ha ha ha!

The Master Butcher – Thanks. Insepulto vocals are really made thinking the phrasing. Adding heaviness and punch to the overall atmosphere the music evokes. Lyrically speaking, I tend to write about general things in a death metal way, For example, I did a couple of lyrics dealing with the three of us like “The Posthumous Trinity” or the one called “Epitome of Rigor Mortis” deals with the bands we’re or have been connected(Colemesis-Paganus Doctrina and Pseudostratiffied Epithelium). Now for the new album I did a song called “Moribund Sentinels of the Abyss” that pretty much serves as a tribute to the old Costa Rican bands that started the whole thing here in the early 90s. So the story goes about a person that arrives to a mausoleum at the border of an abyss and, once entering, finds all the ancient bands covered by time and dust still beholding the scene from that abyss. So it is not just a mere listing of bands, but I am name them all in certain moments. Gilbert also writes cool lyrics but his approach differs from mine.

13) Gilbert’s bass work on the album is laudable. It shows that he’s meticulous about crafting the music for bands he working on. Omnipotense Aeternae Diabolous is no exception.

The Master Butcher – Well, I must say that Gilbert and I are not musicians. The musician here is Alfonso. However, in Gilbert’s case, he manages to create extremely cool lines either guitars or bass, either with Paganus Doctrina or Insepulto. His contribution is really important and part of the overall band personality.

A.P. -  During the time I was recording and arranging INSEPULTO's basic tracks, U.X.H. was busy with his own job (he is a self-employed structural engineer), in the middle of the recording of PAGANUS DOCTRINA's debut album and in between work for his zine, CALL TO THE INFERNAL HORDES. Since he was in a really tight schedule, we decided that I would record the bass lines and so I did. This time, since he has some time off his regular schedule, he will get on the saddle and be an active part of the recording/composing of our second album.

14) New technology brought a lot to music; it has added tools to musical expression, which is good for those who know how to use them. Alfonso Perez did an amazing job here. He used to be a drummer but why did he does programmed drums on this album? He became creatively weak while making this album?

The Master Butcher – Yes. I think Alfonso did a very cool job composing and making arrangements to the songs. When we were both in Pseudostratiffied Epithelium back in the early 90s, then he was playing drums. If you listen that promo, you can hear this mother fucker attacking the drums in such a killer way that well. It is no strange to find some of it in Insepulto, despite that drumming work has been programmed. In the end, it still preserves the feeling and that what counts for me.

U.Xerxes.H -  Alfonso, you have to explain this question since you are the pussy who got weak and didn't accomplish to record the drums the death metallic way! Hahahahaha! Go for it, dude!

A.P. -  Thank you again for your comments. And yes, technology has evolved a lot and it is, nowadays, a big aid when putting together songs and arrangements. As you said, I used to be a drummer. But I haven't played or practised in 10+ years. My drum-set has been in storage for the same time. So, playing the drums myself was out of the equation. It would've taken me a lot of time to actually get back into form AND then go into the studio to record the actual drums. The drum programming was a painstaking process that took me around 3-4 months to complete. Why? Simple: I wanted to have a human feel in the drums. I edited each pattern and each break as if I would've played it. I put a lot of attention to detail (let's say I am obsessive most of the time), so I took all the time I needed and finished when I felt satisfied with the results.

15) Anything importance is going on right now. Perhaps getting a new label, resonating new tunes in head etc.?

The Master Butcher - Besides of the doing the album and getting ready to record it. I think some t-shirts are coming along the way. We've always wanted to make some cool shirts and seems we’ll go for that quite soon.

U.Xerxes.H - Well, actually there are some cool news. We just signed with Spanish based underground death metal label, MEMENTO MORI for the release of our second album which is being written while you’re reading these lines. But for this, I will let Alfonso so explain how things go. In a small advance, I can tell you that I'm writing more lyrics for the record and have some riffs to show Alfonso and Ronald and see if they could fit to INSEPULTO or just leave them for PAGANUS DOCTRINA.

A.P. - The well-respected Spanish label Memento Mori will be in charge of releasing our second album. Raul is not only a great guy and a devoted fan of Death Metal, but also a person with an Underground attitude and a dead-serious label owner. We have settled for a great deal we couldn't refuse. I have 5 completed songs and I am already working in 4 more. We want to have enough songs to hand pick 10 or 12 for our next release. As soon as all the raw tracks are done, we will have our listening session and the usual brainstorm, so I can go back to recording and arrangement until we have exactly what we want.

16) Anything else you’d like to tell through this interview? Warmest regards, Insepulto’s greatest fan from India.

The Master Butcher – Thanks to you my sick friend. Greetings to all your readers and remember: STAY BRUTAL MOTHERFUCKERS!!!....C’YA!!!

U.Xerxes.H - Thank you so much Ebby for such a strong support to the band. We are now working in new shit and expect it to be out by the end of the year or beginning of 2015. We’ll see how things go. But now, INSEPULTO is walking steady and it seems to be we are here for more years to punish your ears with some old styled metal of death... Hails! AmSg!

A.P. - First of all, thank you again Ebby for this interview. It's an honor to have a space for INSEPULTO in the mighty IMHOTEP zine. Thanks to all the people that have contacted us with their criticism, it's all welcomed. Also, huge thanks to all the maniacs out there that have bought our début album. For our second album, we can only promise another slab of the music we have devoted our lives to: Death Metal! Only Death is Real!

Monday, 3 February 2014

An interview with Edgar Kerval of Emme Ya.

Emme Ya is the in deep exploration of Edgar Kerval in the fields of sonic mutations and hybrid sounds capes emerging from astral atavisms experimented time ago. Emme Ya is a black planet with two suns (256=11x23 E.Q) in the Sirius binary star-system in such planet resides mostly of loas, spirits from Atlantean tradition and extra-terrestrial emanations surrounding the aura of planet earth. The main influences are the ancient mystical cultures, as Atlantis, Sumerian gods, voodoo pantheon, atavisms, and diverse abstract forms which reflects into their mind, more than the perceived reality hidden in ancient stellar wisdom. Such vast forms are channels of perceptions which he focuses through the band. The transmissions appeared to his mind in a mutating way, showing him that path to follow...a dark path beyond the stars. I have often pondered the thought of interviewing Edgar Kerval entered mind some time ago. Now the time has come for you to see this conversation with him. Hark. Besides, today is his birthday. On this special day, we wish you all the very best to you man. Have a resplendent journey towards 2014.  

You are currently working on a collaborative release with one-woman sound-scape artist Abby Helasdottir of Gydja from Wellington...

E.K. - Yes actually we are working with Abby from Gydga and me on some ritual sonic experimentations which will be soon available in this existential plane. The music is from intense to deep and ethnic, having a powerful dose of our eclectic magickal nature which are transmutation of lustful and penetrating hymns to Hekate-Lilith. Some sample track can be heard here. Emme Ya/GydjaShe is definitely one of the most creative artists visually and musically too. An honour to work with her. Also we are planning another album together with my brother John Longshaw from the cult BLACK SEAS OF INFINITY, GYDGA and EMME YA called Mictecacihuatl.

The artwork on the ‘Chthonic Transmission’ is done by Abby, she does all the art for Cold Spring Records.

E.K. - The artwork visual expressionism from Cthonic Transmission is really power, an alchemical transformative process in man, to release its most in deep feminine currents and how such energies are moult into astral planes to create a deeper communion with which I call The Red Gods. She is a very creative artist more from her can be checked on this page.

When got you interested in Ritual Ambient music as it is the most spiritually powerful forms of art to manifest our dark thoughts?

E.K. - So ritual ambient has been a powerful and manifested weapon to transcend another subconscious levels and astral planes, the deep dense atmospheres showed me too many masks still exploring and transcending so many worlds, so many path and labyrinths. So many year ago I got a tape of ‘Zero Kama’. Back 90’s, I was totally hypnotized by such incredible and deep ritual transformations. My eyes were into some stuff from Lustmord, Nocturnal Emissions, raison d'être, among others.

Your ideology plays a great role in your music creation process I believe. Whereas how Emme Ya has or ritual ambient music shaped or changed your personality?

Yes in a spiritual sense, ritual music has reached a deeper state in all my masks into this existential plane and other astral explorations. It’s like a gateway to self-transformation and alchemical catharsis mutating all the time, and offering you diverse eclectic methods of self-transformations. All such alchemical process rise in the spectral aeons of EMME YA back in 2008 when the spirits know the red gods, show me this transcendental entity and then start to work on my ritual chamber in the creation of ritual sonic sigils and massive handmade instruments. Of course the spiritual exploration plays and important role in all my life and magickal creations.

What is the meaning and inspiration behind the project’s name? And what esoteric knowledge plays in the development of your music and art works?

The name Emme Ya emerged in a strange way into my life back in 2008. I was dreaming and in such voyage, I was naked running into a long cold labyrinth, images and symbols around spoken to me in strange ways; days after, I was painting and drew a kind of image of some candles burning and some faces (spirits) coming from the candles, later I became so obsessed by a book called “The Voudon Gnostic Workbook” by Michael Bertiaux. So I bought the book and my surprise when reading it was the first rituals involved the use of candles to evoke spirits of voodoo pantheon (loas). So I was involved into some practices, and from somewhere comes the idea about a distant planet of dimensional structure from Sirus system, so I start to read some books and stuff and find EMME YA, there were a kind of synchronity between rituals, loas and magical currents all of them converging into this project. With months of development and hard work into such magickal currents came to my brain the idea to create a kind of artistically musical project involving my knowledge and experimentations. And then Emme Ya was born as shining light evoking the most primal and obscure aspects from my being and everything begins to mutate and transform itself into strong musical structures which got the attention of a lot people worldwide due the nature and primitive explorations generated here.

“The Black Opal Eye” is exceptional and “The Night Ov Pan( Hymn For A New Dawn)” creates a weird atmosphere through a melancholic flute nuances besides on “The Servants Ov The Star And The Snake” various other sounds such as animals, whispers from beyond, are floating around on “Aerum Vel Saeculi”. So, I ask you, Edgar, what kind of effect would you like to add in your music for those who listen to Emme Ya?

The most important element with each one of my ritual transformations through EMME YA is to open a vast magickal vortex in order listener can travel and to return to such pre-eval state of consciousness via sonic mandalas as I call my music and then to start the alchemical process to transcends from human to god in diverse astral and chthonian worlds.

Pre eval atavism of the shadows.
The album “Chthonic Transmission” didn't let me down as the slow, beautiful patience in your compositions are so careful choices of sounds. How careful were you in shaping the structures of the songs on this album?

For me, the most important goal is to create a special atmosphere, which could evoke feelings desirable and various reflections in the human soul and thus cause deep vibrations. One of the points of my creations is the fact I am mostly into improvisational stuff so nothing is planned in a determinate album. I just go to my ritual chamber and start to work on dense sounds, ritual mantras, analogue sounds put them together and incredible this one became so deep and strong. After that some small changes here and there and ready. The point is that I need to be in an especial mood or charged ritualistically talking to transcends in the creative process of EMME YA and my related projects.

Tell about the track called Reversed Kundalini (Trasmutation Rite) as its menacing force of pure sound wave power... 

One element of the release that has been consistently lauded is the artwork associated with it. Reversed Kundalini (transmutation Rite) is the suggestive and hypnotic entrance to B universe through anal masturbation and high dose of magickal plants. The percussive sounds and mantrals seems to create a powerful effect when hearing in a high volume.

Emme Ya collaborated with Luna Dopa year’s back and the release is still good. Luis Gabriel creates ritualistic ambient pieces, which surely will transports us to such unknown regions of our subconscious, with deep engulfing drones that grow stronger and is swelling like the ocean to take the listener deep into his magic sound world. What in your opinion is the most singular and unique aspect of his way of working?

So working in split release with Gabriel Luis and LUNA DOPA was really great. He is a very creative artist and the result was really potent. I have lost his contact for some years but I am sure he is somewhere developing its great ritual explorations

“Sabbatica” is an anthology book relating several writers, which is a collected book dedicated to Death and Qayanite traditions and is the way the astral paths of sorcery and magick. SABBATICA is a massive volume with more than 200 pages including essays, praxis/ritual, and arcane poetry.

SABBATICA “the seas of death and the arcana of death bringer. The first in a series of grimoires that will open a pathway of instruction to powerful fetish rituals, death devotional chants, and invocations dedicated to death deities, necromancy and other in depth explorations and its transgressive nature veiled through knowledge. The book came in two beautiful editions. The regular edition with a great cover by Nestor Avalos and the lodge edition cover done by Hagen von Tulien. So Frank from Nephilim Press did a great work. This anthology offers a unique amalgamation of contributors, each offering all of their knowledge within the pages of this. Authors included here are:

S. Ben Qayin -Dead but Dreaming, The Arte Of Necromancy And The Calling Of The Fallen-
Nicholaj De Mattos Frisvold -The Waters Of Death And The Graveyard Of Stars-
Sean Woodward -The Death and The Resurrection show-
Bradley Allen Bennett -In The Garden Of Bones: Working With Death And The Dead In Paneonic Witchcraft-
Robert Angelo Dalla Valle -Provocation: Justitia Omnibus-
Edgar Kerval -The Crown Of Black Thorns: Explorations and invocations of our holy mother death-
Ljossal Lodursson -The ultimate touch Of The Great Poisoner-
Aion 131 -Nanthtantrika Pitra Paksha Puja- (HOnoring The ancestors & Hallowed Dead)
Kyle Fite -Seven Feet Under: The Hearth Of Fire Beneath The Tongue Of Silence
CLaudio Calvalho -The Triumph Of Death
Andrew Dixon -Arutam, Muisak, Nékas. Three Souls of the Shuar.

Illustrative art by: Hagen Von Tulien, Oryelle Defenestrate Basculae, Kyle Fite, Vaenus Obscura, Magick kazin, Robert Dalla Valle, CLaudio Calvalho, Edgar Kerval.

Also you work in Qliphoth journal which has released two editions and third one comes in November. Edgar’s first book was called “Via Siniestra -Under the Masks Ov the Red Gods”, and was released in February via Aeon Sophia press from Holland.

Qliphoth has become a cult inside the esoteric magical counnity due the high transcendental exposition of diverse artists, magick and devoted souls looking to express its most rotted magickal creative side here. The first editions were sold out and the third one is out now via Nephilim press.

Qliphoth journal is a grimoire focusing the diverse paths of magick in its entire splendour. Our main focus is to cross the paths of knowledge via praxis, ritual and gnosis. Working intensely in each one of the volumes offered here. Through this III opus called - The Cycles Ov Primal Kaos - we focus to go back to such primal states of consciousness through the methods of atavistic resurgence, awakening the immortal essence of the self, through the development of our own divinity with direct experience with spirits, servitors, guardians, loas of our own temples.

Baratchial sigil
With via Siniestra I call this book as devotional experimental magick, working intensely with 7 spirits I discovered called the red gods. So on the book there is an each explanation how to work with each one of them specifically and how to connect the tunnels which connect us with such transdimentional forces. The book was released in English by Aeon Sophia press and also there is a Colombian version from Ophiolaetria, and a Latin America by Black tower publishing’s. Next year a French edition by Ars Senestra is coming somewhere in 2014.

The second book will come this year and it’s called “Ast ma iun - Eos Tar Nixet” via Qliphotica and will include a ritual CD too.

My second book “Ast ma iun - Eos Tar Nixet” will come out this year and will contain my deep explorations about each one of the qliphothic sheels with a personal perspective. Also dealing with lots of rituals and devotional mantras and a ritual CD included for the practitioners own use. This book will be really potent one. The introduction has been done by Asenath Mason from The Temple Of Ascending flame and some images done by Sean Woodward. Sigils and art by me too.

There’s never a guarantee that information on-line is accurate. Do you rely on the internet for information for your books?

My books are just personal experiences, during long process of praxis rituals and deep inner transformations.

How open are you to other genres? You have participated in some releases of Black Metal bands, most recently on Amenti… You have created 5 rituals tracks like intros between each track with invocations and mantras.

Yes for me it was an honour to participate in an amazing ritualistic black metal album as the ones of Amenti, released by the cult black metal band ACHERONTAS, so the album itself is charged with some primigenian energies latent in each one of the hymns gathered here.

How did Acherontas approach you for working with them on their fourth full length album? And how did you arrive at the point where you could make music for Amenti…

Acherontas V.p and I have a deep relationships for ages. He is a brother and one of the creative souls in Acherontas. So he also have a powerful ritual project called Shibalba, so we spoke one day and we finished working in a cooperation so I create some Sigils and ritual tracks, he also did 2 amazing voices in two tracks for the debut of one of my projects THE RED PATH coming next year via Noctivagant records in the head of Phil Brito.

Archaic is a new project of you and Phil Brito from Noctivagant Records.

: Archaic: is one of the best and penetrating projects I ever worked. Dense and vaporous since the beginning will growing as a black hole in the cosmos devouring everything its step. So proud to work with my brother Phil in this project a second album will be out somewhere in 2014 too.

How has life been besides working on music related stuff?

As you perhaps know, I live in a deep region in the shaman lands of South America, Colombia, so most of my time is in my ritual chamber, painting, writing and creating music. Too hard to find a job when you’re a 41 years old man, but I survive here.

Thanks a lot for the interview and visit and keep updated to my ritual manifestations:

: ARCHAIC: -      
NOX 210      
Edgar Kerval -