Interviews

Interview: Ashen Horde

Tell us about your latest release: the main concept; what fans should expect; what were/are your goals with it:

Tintregen is an EP that explores the theme of torment. While not connected by a story (as has been the case on previous Ashen Horde releases), each song examines the subject in a different way. From nightmares and invasive parasites to imprisonment and the loss of a loved one, Tintregen focuses on how we react when thrust into agonizing situations.

Musically, the EP continues Ashen Horde’s blending of various extreme metal genres, incorporating elements of death, black, thrash and grind, among others. The band aims to challenge listeners, but not ostracize them.

Did you have a specific sound in mind when you formed the band, or did that grow and evolve as you played together?

I’ve always loved bands that don’t feel bound by a specific genre or sound. The ultimate musical freedom is to play what feels right, regardless of whether it fits into a specific box. Ashen Horde was my attempt at doing just that: writing the music I wanted to hear and play, but not forcing it into a specific label. I do think the band has evolved, but the core intent has not changed.

How does your writing process normally work out?

I almost always write the music first. There’s nothing quite like the rush of being creative (or at least trying to be). Sometimes I’ll sit down with my guitar and see what happens, and other times I’ll think of melodies when I’m doing random things. I’ll mix and match, change and revise until I have a song that makes me happy. Lyrically, I tend to just throw a bunch of ideas on paper (usually around a theme) and see what happens. I can’t speak to Stevie’s writing process, but I love that we have very different styles when it comes to lyrics, as it really adds another dimension to the band.

What are your ambitions and how far do you want to push your band?

Honestly, I just want to continue pushing Ashen Horde as long as I’m enjoying it. I realize that extreme metal is unlikely to make me a rock star, and I don’t expect we’ll ever headline Hellfest. But being able to make music that I love, and that other people surprising seem to be into, is what I find satisfying. I’m certainly not opposed to becoming wildly popular, of course, if that’s an option on the table, haha.

What are your influences/musical references and the impact those same influences had in your sound?

So many bands could be blamed for the Ashen Horde sound! I am an absolute music-obsessed lunatic, and love so many bands and styles. Clearly, my love of black and death metal cuts through most obviously, but I like to think that everything I love influences what I write in one way or another. So while it’s the proggy weirdness of Enslaved and Ihsahn, the chaos of Brutal Truth, the endless riffiness of the Wildhearts, the cold grimness of Tulus and Darkthrone, or the relentless melodies of Helloween and Stratovarius, it all shapes what we play.

What’s next for you?

We’re already knee-deep in work on our fourth album, which we’d like to release next year. We’re hoping to partner with a great label that will help us build our profile and get our music to the right ears.

Interview: MYSTAGOGUE

Tell us about your latest release: the main concept; what fans should expect; what were/are your goals with it:

Raw, intense, melodic atmospheric black metal. To the point, short songs, dark and atmospheric but most of all: really intense!

Did you have a specific sound in mind when you formed the band, or did that grow and evolve as you played together?

The band was started with a specific sound in mind: black metal, to-the-point songwriting and intense, high energy but also catchy! not difficult dissonant sound.

How does your writing process normally work out?

We create riffs at home and finish them in the rehearsal room.

What are your ambitions and how far do you want to push your band?

We want to records great records and play live alot!

What are your influences/musical references and the impact those same influences had in your sound?

nineties black metal, raw black metal, atmospheric black metal.

What’s next for you?

Play gigs, work on new material.

Interview: Morgengrau

Tell us about your latest release: the main concept; what fans should expect; what were/are your goals with it:

While our debut demo “Schattenzeiten” tends to a rather raw and primordial sound, in “Staub zu Staub” we emphasize more the atmospherical aspects of Black Metal without neglecting its powerful and energetic spirit. Also the lyrical concept evolved, since we now focus more on topics related to the driving emotions of human beings, live, death and nature rather than pure anti-Christian content. “Staub zu Staub” consists of 11 tracks with a total playtime of over 63 minutes.

Did you have a specific sound in mind when you formed the band, or did that grow and evolve as you played together?

Basically all signs pointed towards black metal. Back in the days around our founding years, our music was rather primitive. Nevertheless this does not mean that it was not demanding for us. However, as our lineup was completed around the time during and after the release of our demo, today we can make the most of it. Ultimately, it is a continuous process of self-discovery that is not less dependent on different life situations.

How does your writing process normally work out?

We always start out with writing the guitar riffs. This defines the overall structure of the song and provides the appropriate framework for the drum and bass parts. After the sometimes necessary fine tuning process we last add the vocal line and start to rehearse the song.

What are your ambitions and how far do you want to push your band?

It’s been 10 years now. Somehow this long time seemed to be way too short. Everything has an end, but we do not think about that yet. There are many interesting individuals out there in the metal scene that we would like to get to know.

What are your influences/musical references and the impact those same influences had in your sound?

Each of us has his passion and his own favorites. We can say that they influence us to make music, but they do not influence our musical content directly.

What’s next for you?

To put it in a nutshell: the next 10 years have already begun! In the near future, we will head over to finish the songwriting process and prepare the production of our next album so that we can provide our fans with new matieral in the first half of 2020.

Interview with Mindreaper (Melodic Thrash-/Death Metal)

Tell us about your latest release: the main concept; what fans should expect; what were/are your goals with it:

“Mirror Construction (… a disordered World)” is about reflecting on the everyday realities of people. All songs describe how advanced, hypocritical and mendacious our society works. The lyrics of the songs represent a kind of held out mirror in a metaphorical, philosophical, imaginative, but above all always enlightened rational point of view. Sometimes it is thematically individual acting persons (Bull’s Eye, Mirror Artifacts, Purity of Wrath, Against the Flood, Torch’s Fall) or the big picture and its effects (Enigma, Stillborn God, Passage to Extinction, New Age Tyranny, Story of Rejection).
From the time we did started the writing process we tried to be clear in our minds and mostly open for any kind of inspiration we can get, because the new record was a down from the scratch project in comparison to our last records. Our main goal was to write an album that satisfied our artist ambitions that we all can stand behind forever. Fame or any financial milestones do not cloud our judgements in term of writing music. But we had enough self-esteem in our art that we could announce a larger amount of people, what we luckily achieve with the help of Black Sunset/MDD. The people can expect a record full of straight Death/Thrash Metal Tracks with a little bit old school vibe in it, without trying to be a copy of it.

Did you have a specific sound in mind when you formed the band, or did that grow and evolve as you played together?

That is a little bit difficult. The Line Up of the Mirror Construction for example has changed dramatically compared to the other releases. Due the times of the Absolute Zero EP or the Human Edge LP our old guitar player Gunter was the main composer of the song. Ens and myself were not a part of the band due the time. As we joined the Band, he decided to leave the Band and there were only 4 songs left we could use, because I have written them with him together. But the rest of the songs had to be written down from scratch. Accordingly, it came to a completely different song writing because I love a lot of music, which is not necessarily rooted in Death/Thrash Metal. Especially the elaboration of details is very important to me because in my opinion it gives a song a greater depth, even if it is simple from his main arrangement.

How does your writing process normally work out?

I write down the music stuff with guitar pro, where I tab the Guitar-, Bass-, Keyboard-and Drum-Arrangements. If I have a satisfactory construct I share it with the other members and they give me their feedback, what could be changed or not. Depending on that, I continue to work until everyone can identify with the basics. Then we record Demos, where the Vocals-Arrangements will be worked out. But that lies most of the time in the hands of Sebastian and Manuel. Sebastian of course had written the bigger amount of the Lyrics in the social critical style Mindreaper stands for. But in the case of the song “Story of Rejection” from the new Album the words flew through my head forthwith the time I had complete to wrote down the music immediately, so I decided to made an Vocal-Demo the show the guys what is my imagination. Luckily they liked it and recorded the vocals and lyrics compare in that way I did that Demo once. The same goes for the song “Mirror Artifacts”, where Manuel came up with the lyrical inspiration. Because he sings also in another band and has a lot of experience singing in choirs and stuff like that. But at last the main part for the writing of lyrics lies in the hand of Sebastian. That whole development over the last 2-3 years was not really planned as a band. It just happened how it did very naturally and we are glad we have found our way of song writing now.

What are your ambitions and how far do you want to push your band?

We want to continue our chosen path and play as many single live performances and touring we can. This is the most intense communication with the people. re thankful and really open minded for any offer we can get.

What are your influences/musical references and the impact those same influences had in your sound?

I can answer this question only by my taste of music and my imaginations of good and fluently records. I have always preferred records that tell a story and have a lot of dynamics. Memorable moments are one of the very important things for me, from the first until the last song. A lot of Death and Thrash Metal these days are boring. Repetitive Riffs over a lot of Blast Beats and most of the time you only hear an over triggered Bass Drum. Ive been growing up while listening to Rainbow, Sabbath, W.A.S.P. as well bands like Opeth, Death and Emperor. That are all bands who created a unique sound at their time and they have written songs you will never forget from my opinion, regardless of a polished or rather rough production. I would certainly not say that we have already achieved something like that, but my lesson I have got from these acts is to pay attention to memorable moments. We are not planning that we have to be sound special unique, if we are coming to the song writing. At last we want just to create music which will hopefully not forget so fast.

What’s next for you?

From now on we are looking forward to complete our planned gigs for 2019 and searching for offers 2019/2020. At the same we are working on new songs and have finished a bunch of new demo tracks of it. Furthermore we hope that the gap to the next release will not taking 6 years again.

Interview with Ciminero (Doom Metal / Occult Rock)

Tell us about your latest release: the main concept; what fans should expect; what were/are your goals with it:

The main idea was to create and explore different ways to write music, without too strict boundaries, and gathering together the input of everyone. That’s why the name of the album is “Subterranean Awakening”; it’s the beginning of our project. After the Awakening, we are ready to ascend even more! Fans should expect a fresh blend of doom metal, occult rock, Italian mysticism with Finnish heaviness. Our goals are to reach people, play live, and get a wider distribution.

Did you have a specific sound in mind when you formed the band, or did that grow and evolve as you played together?

We didn’t have one specific sound in mind, especially because each band member has a different musical background. We just knew it would have doom metal / occult rock influences. We also trusted those different backgrounds would be a positive starting point. The songs came naturally and surprisingly fast. Indeed, we hit the studio 5 months after our first rehearsals!

How does your writing process normally work out?

The writing process starts with someone having an idea, even our drummer Riku has been active with riffs. First we jam with the ideas and once the song has its structure, Valentina adds the vocals.

What are your ambitions and how far do you want to push your band?

Keep making music we are proud of, and develop as a creative quartet. We are ready to go where the music takes us. We want to reach our fans in Finland and abroad.

What are your influences/musical references and the impact those same influences had in your sound?

To be honest, it’s hard to name specific bands. We take our influences from music with captivating melodies, no matter which genre.

What’s next for you?

Playing gigs and recording album number 2. We will hit the studio next April, and we are really excited about that. So, stay tuned!

Interview with Godless Agenda (Thrash Metal / Death Metal)

Tell us about your latest release: the main concept; what fans should expect; what were/are your goals with it:

The music can be categorized as thrash metal with growling vocals and elements of death metal. It is quite diverse with fast parts, heavy parts, mid-tempo parts, groovy parts and more melodic parts. The lyrics are mostly inspired by real life events, but the title track is about the gruesome killer bunny from Monty Python’s Holy Grail. The cover art has been created using private photos from Sulawesi in Indonesia and the Chapel of Bones in Czech Republic. The goal is to share our music with the world.

Did you have a specific sound in mind when you formed the band, or did that grow and evolve as you played together?

The sound is a reflection of the music we want to listen to. The album is recorded in the span of 3 years. The track “Death Awaits You All” is recorded in May 2016, while “The Legacy of Man” was finished in April 2019. So you can hear the evolution of the band’s sound on the album.

How does your writing process normally work out?

Most of the tracks start with Øystein recording some riffs and then Helge writes the lyrics, but some tracks are also created based on the lyrics. All the recordings are done in Øystein’s home studio. Øystein create, play and record the music and Helge help out with the arrangements and do some additional vocals.

What are your ambitions and how far do you want to push your band?

We have families with small children, so there will be no 3 month world tour, but look forward to playing selected live shows in Norway and abroad when we have a full line-up. So no plans for world domination, but we think that we have created great music that we want to share with the world. A great way to achieve this is to get signed to a record label to increase the distribution.

What are your influences/musical references and the impact those same influences had in your sound?

Mostly 80s thrash metal (Slayer/Metallica/Sepultura/Sodom/Kreator/Testament++) and old death metal (Death/Asphyx/Obituary++). We create music that we want to hear ourselves, so it makes sense that the music we listen to are reflected in the music we create.

What’s next for you?

We have a new bass player that are currently learning the songs and are also in contact with a potential new drummer. Hopefully we will be able to recruit a second guitar player for a full line-up. Have 5 more tracks that are more or less finished. The track we are currently working on, “Screams of the Dead”, should be 100% finished and recorded before the end of the year. The track sounds great, so looking forward to hearing the finished product.

Interview with Algebra (Thrash Metal)

Tell us about your latest release: the main concept; what fans should expect; what were/are your goals with it:

This album is a story about who we are and where we are going, building upon the themes from our previous albums and the meaning of our name Algebra:

The Universe is all mathematics, therefore those who control the data and know how to use it have the power. This discovery has been in the hands of humanity for centuries and is now, more than ever, propelling our evolution, growth and inequalities. This makes us even more constrained by selfishness and anxiety, on a planet with limited space and resources. We are now worrying and ineffectively talking about sustainability, but the majority of us do not want to give up earning more, a more luxurious lifestyle and more kids. Likewise, companies, organizations and nations do not want to give up their goals of being number one, otherwise they will get crushed by the others.

Humanity has been worried about the end of the World for millennia, but soon we will not even be able to hang onto hope, since we have increasingly better data and studies to prove climatic, economic and political disasters are near. In these times, we might turn to new religions, praying for technology and artificial intelligence to solve all our problems, when in fact it centralizes power even further and, some day, could even lead to a Singularity that will replace us or maybe an even worst “sci-fi” scenario: use the data from our consciousness to resuscitate us and trap us in a simulation. However, according to simulation theory, this may already be the case and, if so, it would be a great explanation for existence, where God is a Singularity without empathy and we are just data and code.

The goal of these lyrics were to try and make some sense of the World and use these ideas to create an album which can lead to positive outcomes and satisfaction, such as connecting with others who are also feeling a bit lost.

Did you have a specific sound in mind when you formed the band, or did that grow and evolve as you played together?

We always stuck to a more old school thrash metal sound, but have always tried to incorporate elements from other styles of music, especially death, prog and groove. As we went on, the songwriting and technical skills did get better.

How does your writing process normally work out?

For each album, the process was quite similar. Phil, Tony and sometimes myself would send each other some riffs or partial song ideas around, Tony would use them and arrange them into a proper instrumental version of the song, without the solos. The four of us would then give feedback, maybe tweak them in guitar pro before or after we have played them together during rehearsal. Sometimes we would also make a demo recording to get a better idea, where I could then test my lyrics, vocals and solos. Once we had about 9 songs, Tony recorded the drums, Phil and I did the rhythms, I would do the leads, Mat then did the bass and then would come the final details: my vocals and solos. Unfortunately, this time around there was a bit of stress at the end of the process and after 12 years Tony decided to leave to focus on other projects where he could work more independently. After that, Phil and Mat decided they wanted to call it a day as well since they are quite busy with other things, so I am now alone in the band.

What are your ambitions and how far do you want to push your band?

I have found some new members and would love for us to tour for this latest album, make new songs, new albums and see how far we can go. Music has always been one of the only things that made sense in my life, so I feel it is necessary to push this project further.

What are your influences/musical references and the impact those same influences had in your sound?

The main influences are thrash and other styles such as death metal, prog, heavy metal, groove or even grunge. This includes bands like Slayer, Sepultura, Metallica, Kreator, Exodus, Testament, Nuclear Assault, Forbidden, Evil Dead, Exhorder, Megadeth, Pantera, Machine Head, Gojira, Pestilence, Morbid Angel, Death, Decapitated, Nostromo, Vomitory, Nirvana, Nevermore, Dream Theater and many more…

What’s next for you?

I am showing the new guys the songs, promoting the new album and getting a few gigs lined up. I also just wrote the first Algebra-style song ever since the other guys left. The new guys will probably help me tweak the songs and make sure they are up to the standards we are going for. But with Phil, Mat and Tony out of the equation, the style could end up changing quite a bit. It will take some time to adapt and, although I am sad to see my three band mates go, a new phase with new people and ideas could be very exciting.

Interview with Infamy

Tell us about your latest release: the main concept; what fans should expect; what were/are your goals with it:

‘Age of Deceit’ was released on July 3rd, 2019. As the title suggests, the overall theme of the E.P. revolves around the fact that everything we think we know about politics, religion, media and all the other institutions is fundamentally wrong and that there exists a reptilian race that has been ruling us for millennia.

Listeners can expect 5 tracks of pulverizing old school heavy metal in the vein of bands like Judas Priest, Megadeth, Motorhead, Accept and Saxon.

Did you have a specific sound in mind when you formed the band, or did that grow and evolve as you played together?

We always knew that we wanted to play old school heavy metal but we added and removed certain influences as we went along and the five bands mentioned earlier i.e Judas Priest, Megadeth, Motorhead, Accept and Saxon are our most prominent influences.

How does your writing process normally work out?

Since all of us lived far apart from each other within the city and had very little time to get together and jam, we would work on rough demos with programmed drums at home and flood our respective google drive accounts with the same and construct songs after repetitive trial and error.

What are your ambitions and how far do you want to push your band?

We are hell bent on becoming an international touring band in the next 7 years or so. We wish to write and spread our music as far as we can, as best we can.

What are your influences/musical references and the impact those same influences had in your sound?

We draw influence from bands of three genres of music – Traditional heavy metal, Thrash metal and Glam Metal/Hard rock. Our influences include – Judas Priest, Saxon, Accept, Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Metallica, Motorhead, Whitesnake etc.

What’s next for you?

The plan is to play in as many cities as we can within India and eventually reach out to other countries.

Interview with MAGEFA

Tell us about your latest release: the main concept; what fans should expect; what were/are your goals with it:

This is our first EP , with some new Death Metal songs we have written and performed over the last 3 years , with influences of classic death metal bands like :Carcass, Obituary , and other bands like Triptykon , Behemoth ,etc.. We have more songs to record , which is planned for next year .

Did you have a specific sound in mind when you formed the band, or did that grow and evolve as you played together?

Every single song has started as an idea from the mind of our Lead Gitarist/Vocalist Kevin , but ended up completely different once we all played together .

How does your writing process normally work out?

As far as is goes , Kevin records an idea of a song and bring it to us . We than start developing this idea into a new Song .

What are your ambitions and how far do you want to push your band?

We would really like to have a spot among the Extreme Metal Festivals in Germany , continue writing more songs to bring out as our new Album later next year .

What are your influences/musical references and the impact those same influences had in your sound?

Magefa has a music style mixing Death Metal with influences from bands like Carcass, Obituary, Death and Triptykon.

What’s next for you?

We hope to get noticed and exposed to more fans and play in some more gigs around the Extreme Metal Festivals in Germany .

Interview with Kalmo

Tell us about your latest release: the main concept; what fans should expect; what were/are your goals with it:

Kalmo is raw, dark, brutal and experimental doom metal. Music is done with true blackened heart. It opens gates to hidden emotions of metal lady or lad. It is one of a kind. It is DYI and unique.
What Kalmo does is not for the masses. It is for the people interested in things in shadows, things people who go with the standard flow never think and shun. In case you want to stand in the darkness and stand out from the gray mass, you are into what Kalmo does.

Did you have a specific sound in mind when you formed the band, or did that grow and evolve as you played together?

I wanted it to sound brutal, full, overwhelming – something that creeps under your skin slowly. Not with one go, not even with second listening, perhaps not even with third, but after a while.

How does your writing process normally work out?

It depends. Sometimes I have lyrics ready first and a riff fits to some phrases there and writing a song starts from there. Sometimes I have an idea for the riffs or even a full verse or chorus and I start to write lyrics on that. There is no one pattern how these evolve. As I am working on all the instruments by myself the writing process is slow.

What are your ambitions and how far do you want to push your band?

I want to release more EPs work on new music videos. I have storyboards ready for some, but the production is something I will need to figure out 😀
As being one man’s mayhem, playing live may be unworkable. However, you never know what will arise from the mist of dark dungeons in the future.

What are your influences/musical references and the impact those same influences had in your sound?

Some of the artists and bands that inspire Kalmo are Celtic Frost, Triptykon, Slayer, King Diamond, Candlemass, Black Sabbath, Gallhammer, Hellhammer, Vorum, Master. The true seed of Kalmo was laid somewhere in the mid-80s. Celtic Frost’s Circle of Tyrants ignited the fire. Now, after some 35 years, the flames are so high that they scorch the heights of heaven.

What’s next for you?

With debut EP release “Demoni”, as a demonic rite of passage, Kalmo is ready for more. New dark verses are being written. New evil psalms are being silently chanted in the darkness. The sinews of the sinister are gaining power. The doom will be inevitable. The forms are to be casted. Longer term visions are composing something to be made in vinyl.

Interview with Dusk

Tell us about your latest release: the main concept; what fans should expect; what were/are your goals with it:

Dusk on this new release created a new different dark atmospheric sound with an industrial feel; full of relenting uncaring pounding drums at an inhuman speed up to 600 BPM and inhuman growling vocals.

Did you have a specific sound in mind when you formed the band, or did that grow and evolve as you played together?

As soon as the band was complete, yes I had a specific dark atmospheric sound in mind and also most of the atmospheric melodies already prepared before the other instruments.

How does your writing process normally work out?

The main atmospheres and obscure melodies are our platform, so once those are finished we go ahead and start the Guitars, Drums, Bass and vocals.

What are your ambitions and how far do you want to push your band?

The main goal of the band is to have a unique Dark Industrial sound with Black Metal DNA that difference us with the rest of the bands of the genre.

What are your influences/musical references and the impact those same influences had in your sound?

Musical influences are from Industrial Metal, Darkstep and other electronic genres up to Black Metal, Bands like: Ministry, Aborym, Fear Factory, Misticum, Anaal Nathrakh and Blut Aus Nord.

What’s next for you?

Next step for us is a debut live performance, and a tour after that; we also will start in 2 months a new “EP” with a similar sound and feel.

Interview with Enemy Awake

Tell us about your latest release: the main concept; what fans should expect; what were/are your goals with it:

“The Enemy” is our debut album. The concept is to bring Melodic Thrash/Death Metal with the classic Stockholm sound. Taking influences from Entombed, Dismember, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, In Flames, etc and give the fans a new option. Our goal is to be the new big Swedish Metal band and start the New way of Swedish Metal!

Did you have a specific sound in mind when you formed the band, or did that grow and evolve as you played together?

Yes! We love the classic Stockholm sound and we wanted to use the sound from the beginning and take influences from differents genres like Melodic Death, classic Death and Thrash Metal.

How does your writing process normally work out?

First Ivan starts working with the music, recording the guitars, bass guitar and programming the drums. When everything is done is time for Melinn to write the lyrics. Good comunication and open mind is very important for a good result.

What are your ambitions and how far do you want to push your band?

Our ambitions is to be one of the best Swedish Metal bands and show the poeple that nothing is impossible to do if you work hard and always give 100%. We have no rules, no limits and we wanna push the band as far as it goes!

What are your influences/musical references and the impact those same influences had in your sound?

Entombed, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, Pantera, Metallica.

What’s next for you?

We are working with the songs to our second album.