Saturday, April 17, 2010
Symbiosis/Ancient Tundra - These Engulfing Winds Never Die CD/DVD
Full-length/split, Hypnotic Dirge Records, March 14th, 2010
Here we have the latest release from both Italian dark ambient artist Symbiosis and Canadian neo-classical ambient artist Ancient Tundra. Few and far between is the split album that actually works throughout its entirety. Split albums usually work best when each artists offering compliments the other while still retaining the ability to stand on its own. Fortunately for this album, its works in the manner in which most split albums fail. This album is also unique in the respect that it is a CD/DVD combination release, so both the audio and visual mediums are explored to their fullest ability. Thus, the album will be reviewed in two phases; audio and visual.
The album starts with the offering from the project Symbiosis. This project has been around for quite some time, having numerous releases on various labels. This release finds the project honing some of its most developed and intricate compositions to date. Enveloping, atmospheric and fresh sounding, the sound is best described as neo-classical inspired dark ambient music. Classical styled instruments make up the bulk of the soundscape, drifting between somber, haunting and epic. Symbiosis creates a sound that is much like the soundtrack to an album that does not currently exist. The movements are sweeping and charismatically cinematic. While listening to his half of the album, I continually found myself visualizing an overtly abstract piece of film noir playing out as each track entered and faded back into the abyssic mind of the projects creator. All of this ends on the hauntingly somber finish of his portion of the split; a distant, harrowingly epic musical piece that fades away on an almost hopeful note, thus laying the framework for the second half of the split to enter.
The Ancient Tundra half of the album begins with a cyclical sounding synthesizer that almost gives the illusion of being trapped in a glacier. Everything can be seen, but has a thick sheet of ice obscuring its true identity, freezing you alive while you try to look out and get a last glimpse of life before dying. The overall feeling from the Ancient Tundra half of the record is very mournful and almost like the idea of eternal winter; frost covers the plains, seeds freeze and rot in the ground, all is lost to the great mystery of nature. Ancient Tundra also manages to infuse his works with some haunting vocals and minimalist percussion to add a bit more depth to the melancholy. I must also add that his second track "Land of The Midnight Sun" is one of the most depressing and mournful ambient pieces I have ever listened to. Its very dirge-like and sorrowful, almost like the song to be played at the funeral of the person you most love. His half of the album ends with what almost sounds like the second movement of the first track, ending his portion on the same kind of feeling that it opened with.
The DVD portion of the album is split into 3 sections; one for Symbiosis, one for the label (promotional videos) and one for Ancient Tundra.
The Symbiosis section of the DVD is made up of 3 videos, one of a Symbiosis track not featured on the album and two for the artist's solo project. The Symbiosis video is somewhat of a narrative slideshow kind of video. Still images are presented (of people in nature, nature itself, space, etc.) with overlays of text to tell a bit of a story. The bulk of the text is in what appears to be Italian, so I cannot recite what exactly it speaks of, but based on the imagery used, it is some kind of story that involves the tale of a land far away in the throes of the deepest winter. The other two videos are super abstract collages of random imagery allied with dark militant-esque industrial musical pieces. Shapes move to and fro with snippets of people, candles, architectural works, color treatments, etc.
The Ancient Tundra portion of the DVD was a bit more of what I had expected to see; landscapes of winter set to music. Each track from the AT side of the split is given a video treatment, as well as an track not on the album and a montage of the original footage from the first 3 videos. I think the visuals used in the AT portion of the DVD were selected well and fit the sound/theme of the music to a T. Desolate landscapes, barren trees, a single person walking amidst a sea of snow, all compliment the chilling and somber tone of his soundscapes. The color patterns in the AT videos are also very fitting, cold color patterns and tone evoke the feeling of the music. Many of vignettes are slowed down and progressively take form over the span of the track.
I enjoyed this release quite a bit. I found the attention to detail was well formed and complimented the release the way it needs to be, in order to be fully realized. The sound production is clear, vast and easy to enjoy. The video production is of medium quality, but fits the music perfectly. I personally enjoyed the Ancient Tundra side of the split more, not to say the Symbiosis half was bad, because it was quite good, but the AT material was a bit more to my liking. Plus I also think the AT portion of the release was a bit more fully realized and cohesive to the concept of the album. But overall I found this album/package to be very enjoyable in all its aspects. I must also say the packaging was nice as well, a super jewel box layout, which contained a booklet with some stunning landscape photography.
I would recommend this album to fans of ambient and/or neo-classical music. Even to those who enjoy soundscape based music, as the album has a very cinematic quality throughout its duration. This is a great slab of dark ambient music, cannot wait to see what both artists have in store for the future.
Reviewed by E. - Symbiosis side = 7/10 - Ancient Tundra side = 8/10
Ludicra - The Tenant
Full-length, Profound Lore, March 3rd, 2010
USBM is something that has been very give or take since its inception, many of the projects flooding out from the US are contrived, poorly executed and pointless. Over the past few years they have been some serious strides in its movement, with some amazing bands taking form. Ludicra, while not a 'new' band, are one of the few who give the US scene some noteworthy credit. While they have referred to themselves as 'Grey metal', to these ears, its as black as it gets. I have been a fan of this West Coast act for quite sometime, but I was really thrown for a loop with their new album; The Tenant. After a label change and a few years putting the album together, Ludicra has created their most mature and amazing album yet.
The Tenant displays outstanding musicianship, songwriting and performance ability. Every song is unique, impeccably well-executed and plays out within the album almost like a concept record. Each song has its place in supporting the others and if taken away, would not give the album its whole sounding feel. Melodic and sometimes angular guitar riffing (with some killer solo/lead work), pulsing low-end bass, grinding drums and passionately executed vocals make up the bulk of the album. The songs twist and morph between doomy dirges, punkish rages, atmospheric post-rockish sections and blasting, intense black metal. There is not a single dull moment on this album, each track is meticulously structured, given room to breathe and then allowed to collapse atop the listener. Each member of the band shines in this record, all complimenting each other but still standing ground on their own.
The production is outstanding on this album; clear, warm, super dense and beautifully organic. There is no muddiness or awkward sound colliding, each instrument is clearly heard (the bass tone is amazing and each note is noticeable - quite a feat on a black metal album) and comes together in a huge wall of sound. The album sounds big, boomy and is sonically pleasing in every possible way.
The artwork is quite noteworthy as well; odd urban meets organic photography that depicts typical home-esque settings in very atypical scenarios (a bed in a lake?) and is adorned with some beautiful spot varnishing. Every single aspect of this record is complimentary to each other and was undoubtedly well-thought out. This is a fully realized and composed piece of artwork that is unique and amazing in every way. I truthfully have not a single bad thing to say about the album.
It may still be early to make calls and there have been some amazing records released this year already, but I am picking The Tenant to be my personal favorite record of the year. Yes folks, it is THAT good. Do not sleep on this album, it is worth every last second spent listening to it and absorbing it. Absolutely amazing.
Reviewed by E. - 9.25/10
Burzum - Belus
Full-length, Byelobog Productions/PHD, March 8th, 2010
This is undoubtedly the most anticipated record in black metal for well over a decade. While many of the reviews I have already seen of it are either wholly praising or bashing the album, it is safe to say there is no real middle ground in regards to this record (or Varg himself). While many fans were anticipating some more akin to his older works, many of us knew that this simply was not possible. How could some one who has been imprisoned for all that time come out and make the same thing he made in his youth? He simply could not, people change a great deal of time and Belus is a key testament to that. While listening to this album there is one thing that is undeniable; this is a Burzum record, plain and simple. Everything that made Burzum who he was is still intact, just refined a bit and presented in a new fashion.
The simple yet breathtakingly hypnotic riffing is still used, the simple, short-cycled drum rhythms and the underpinning counterpoint bass are all still here. The only real difference is the vocals, the vocals are very much like the ones presented on Filosofem, just without all the distortion and thin production. Another big difference is the usage of clean vocals and while Varg did hint to these on older recordings, they are much more prevalent on Belus.
Everything presented here is classic Burzum, funneled through the filter of a much older (and maybe calmer?) man. To these ears, this album was a step right back into the 90s and seems like a perfectly logical follow up to the mind-bending masterpiece that was Filosofem. Its almost as if time had stopped for all these years and Varg managed to pick up exactly where he left off before his imprisonment, just channeled through the spirit of an older, possibly more wise person.
One of the biggest changes outside of the vocals is the production. Gone are the old, cavernous and cold sounding recordings of the past. That production is replaced with a shockingly warm and thick sounding record that works quite well with the new material. This album is not overproduced by any means, but is clear, warm and has a depth that is much different than his earlier works.
On numerous forums I have seen lashings about the possible use of a drum machine and the album being home recorded. To that I say, even if both of those were true, would it really matter? It seems many people have been inclined to use any little thing to mar this record that they can. To me, it makes no difference. I could care less if he used a drum machine or recorded it at home, simply for the fact that this is the Burzum record I had very much wanted to hear. I did not have high hopes for this album at all, but even upon the first listen I was convinced that Belus truly was and is something special.
Aside from Sverddans (which is a good track, just a bit out of place amongst the rest of the album), I do not think Varg could have recorded a better 'comeback' album. It continues the past tradition of Burzum, but adds new dimensions and facets that are very much fitting to the record. For some it may take many listens to the album before they get what is really happening here, but the time invested is definitely worth it. A truly outstanding album, as only Varg could have presented it.
Reviewed by E. - 9/10
Friday, April 16, 2010
SEMARGL (Ukraine) - "ORDO BELLICTUM SATANAS"
Full-length, Twilight-Vertrieb, March 12th, 2010
Released March 12th, 2010... This is the fourth full-length album from SEMARGL and it reaches beyond any existing current styles of heavy music, presenting the listener with a creative meld of aggressive Satanic Black Metal, Death Metal vocal counterpoints, elements of old-school Thrash and Black'n'Roll dynamism combined with a totally unexpected new approach to the bands original sonic assault including some Electronic elements and various female vocals of varying styles!
First of all, let me start this Review by saying this is one of the hardest albums I've ever had to review, not because I like it or don't like it or can't describe it accurately... but rather because it is so diverse that it leaves your jaw hanging on the ground, after multiple listens I still didn't know how to approach reviewing this album. I've sat on this album for a whole month now and still couldn't come up with an acute approach to capture it accurately! It really is an album that has to be heard rather than dissected and analyzed to death!
There are some quite distinct influences directly linked to the creative input of the various guests on the record including Jonny Maudling (BAL-SAGOTH , MY DYING BRIDE), Nera (DARZAMAT), Iscariah (IMMORTAL, DEAD TO THIS WORLD, NECROPHAGIA), Novy (DIES IRAE, BEHEMOTH, VADER), Vrangsinn (CARPATHIAN FOREST, NATTEFROST, PHOBIA) and if I remember correctly, Ashemidi (MELECHESH).
The album contains 12 separate tracks, built around the bands common ideological Satanic manifesto, written and Recorded in Kiev at Blacklight Recording Studio. Includes a terrific 16 page booklet with marvelous artwork and photography!
It's going to very interesting to see how audiences take to this record; in one sense the record is so overtly creative that it will undoubtedly win over new fans and that same creativity and diversity is also sure to drive away many Extreme Metal purists. In order to fully grasp the direction SEMARGL have chosen to take their sound, we need to follow their slow burning evolution from their diabolical Debut album, "ATTACK ON GOD" which while a symphonic BM album was quite an extreme album in it's own right! The bands 2nd album, "SATANOGENISIS" saw SEMARGL progress into a more modern SATYRICON type direction as well as dabbling in dark electronic sonics, further explored on their 3rd full-length album, "MANIFEST"... when following their evolution it's easier to see how they arrived at this point!
The first 2 songs the band played live, from the new album, prior to it's release displayed a much more direct driving Thrash influence in both the drumming and riff style... some will hear an early METALLICA Thrash riff influence in the aggressive, punchiness of some of the new tracks. The band decided not to make the entire album follow that path and added female vocals on several tracks as well as Industrial Electronica to certain trax that will remind some of a mix between RAMMSTEIN and PRODIGY, and are quite surprising to say the least! Nera from DARZAMAT appears on the track "Credo Flaming Rain" and the song begins with a beat and sound reminiscent of Trip-Hop in the vein of PORTISHEAD and proceeds with a steady clean female vocal line for the duration of the track! Whereas on other trax like "Credo Possess", female vox are used as a backing enhancement or additional element to the male gravel throat-ed Death Metal style vox by Rutarp while a Thrashy straightforward chugging riff plays over a steady Thrash beat.
The most surprising trax for me are those like "Credo Vrangsinn" which is entirely Electronica and is extremely short at only 2mins of playing time, produced and procured by the CARPATHIAN FOREST Bassist, Vrangsinn himself... this was quite a shock in some ways and will definitely have some listeners completely confused or in a total conundrum!
Another really different sounding track is "Credo Revolution" with it's high pitched backing female vocal and Electronica elements immediately reminding me of my favorite PRODIGY track, "Break & Enter", both the album version and the 2005 Live Edit Remix come to mind so I think fans of ABORYM on their "WITH NO HUMAN INTERVENTION" album might really enjoy some of the elements present on this album!
If you forget about constrictions or personal opinions regarding "how something is supposed to sound" in Extreme Metal, you will discover a heavily diversified sound teaming with a multitude of oblique ideas running in every direction yet still held together by a solid production and thematic manifesto... the key to the album is the Philosophy behind it... how to present Satanic Extreme Metal in a new and creatively inventive way that hasn't been done before by adding new elements to it and allowing those elements to stand proud in heir own right, regardless of any existing sound or on predilections or expectations listeners and fans might have! This is an album you have to listen to and go with the flow of the album, without comparing it to any other record you've heard, no matter what sonic elements are at play on any particular track!
The main thing about this album is, I think that due to it's direct approach (coupled with it's unique diversity and creativity), will translate to the live stage extremely well. The chugging Thrash riffs and drumming are sure to keep audiences headbanging, the Death Metal/Black Metal vocal combination maintains the extremity in the music, the experimentation and Electronic/Industrial elements will provide a unique background to the Metal and Black'n'Roll
at it's forefront and the female vocals will either irritate or seduce the listener into it's uniquely different atmosphere! One thing no-one can say about this album is that it isn't interesting, because EVERY song on this album is different and specific with it's own individual separating characteristics and identity! A new Era has dawned for the band in their sonic Evolution/Revolution and all I can say is I can't wait to see this band take this album out on the road and Tour the HELL out of it... THAT will win over new fans for the band and the album for sure! ONLY FOR THE OPEN MINDED, this album will either Rock your socks off with it's immediate head-bang-ability or drive you away in irritation, I don't think SEMARGL will mind either way!
That being said, my personal favouite trax are the ones that take on a more direct METAL approach such as; "Credo Sacrifice", "Credo Possess", "Credo Bellictum Satanas", "Credo Satania" and "Credo Dead To This World" from Iscariah with it's definite DEAD TO THIS WORLD style Black/Thrash attack! The album scores high on creativity from beginning to end!
Reviewed by Damien Bentley - 10/10
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
SWALLOW THE SUN - NEW MOON
Full-length, Spinefarm Records, November 4th, 2009
As seems to be the case with fellow tour mates, KATATONIA and their new album, a lot of people seem similarly confused by the new STS album! Having spoken with STS personally after their recent terrific Kraków gig, I asked them what sort of reactions they have had so far and they had mentioned that point to me in our conversations at the gig. It seems to be a bit of a mixed bag affair as far as reactions go, regardless, the music is rock solid and heavy from beginning to end but still contains the beauty of their trademark sound!
For one thing, It's far more Extreme than the previous 3 albums and the EP, but it's different sounding too... a lot of fans are apparently lost over the difference in direction on this one. When you listen to "THE MORNING NEVER CAME", "GHOSTS OF LOSS" & "HOPE" back to back, it's quite evident that that sadness in the music has taken on a different image and sound, Mikko's BM vox are more evident on the new album, mixed in with the Death Metal vox while the Clean ones have diminished in use, especially in comparison to "HOPE", which had by far the most clean vocal elements or parts to it as a whole!
The addition of Kai Huhto to the band seems to have really pushed their sonic boundaries to exciting new levels. In conversation with him, he mentioned that the band had encouraged him to push a little harder with some of the more Extreme Metal elements he has brought to the table, having played in ROTTEN SOUND and WINTERSUN, it comes as no surprise to me whatsoever and can only be a good thing for the band. Pasi Pasanen had a different drum style but the bands creativity has benefited from a new solid element with the addition of Huhto's creativity to the mix!
Mikko has also enhanced his vocal elements on the album as mentioned earlier, as well as being STS's vocalist he is none other than the vocalist in Finnish Symphonic BM band ALGHAZANTH... who also have a new album due soon! With ai upping the ante in the drum department, mikko seems to have reached new extreme vocal highs on the album as well.
The rest of the band work well together in creating a new upgraded atmosphere that is still STS to the bone but doesn't stagnate or tread water in old waters... the ship has left the harbor and is out to sea on a new journey... "NEW MOON" will surely win over new fans who have never heard of the band before based on the strength of this new album and their current tremendous European tour with KATATONIA, who incidentally make the best touring counterparts for STS as both bands sounds work well together in attracting a similar audience but winning over fans to their own individual trademark sounds along the way as well!
The new album comes with tremendous artwork in a light sepia eggshell yellow colour and a woodblock print style with a marvelous booklet and an illustration on each page with full lyrics additionally provided.
Reviewed by Damien Bentley - 8/10
Monday, April 5, 2010
1.You seem to be quite a busy guy lately.What has been keeping you occupied?
Busy my good sir would be an understatement. As far as art goes , lots of stuff still in the camp. Cardiac Arrest Shirt, Gravehill shirt, Beyond Hell cover, a few logos, Think Again cover. I’m sure there’s more but my brains is fried right now! Ha!
2.Lets start off with your love of art. When did you start drawing? When did you realize you were gonna make something out of it??
Well I’m sure every artist says they have been drawing since they were little kids. I know when I started drawing and noticing “holy shit how did my hands do this?”, was in 5th grade. A few of my friends and I would draw Mortal Kombat characters killing each other haha! As soon as I got into junior high school I started taking art classes and really wanted to do art for bands. I was always the kid in the back of the class doodling. Teachers would try and catch me not paying attention but as listening.
3.Have you always drawn horror/gore stuff or would you say your ability far outreaches this style of art??
Well I’ve always been of fan of gore, horror, sci-fi stuff. But I leaned more toward like crazy mutants and cartoony stuff. I didnt really start focus on the gore till middle of high school. Well I can’t say that really. I’m sure I have plenty of sketch books from my junior high days in the basement with gore, boobs, sex, and alien bondage!!!
4.What was you introduction to extreme music.Do you feel like it was a natural vehicle for your talents?
The first metal record I ever heard was Black Sabbath’s Paranoid. Still, one of my favorite records of all time. My old man played it for me in his 93 firebird haha!! I was blown away. I would say that I got into the heavier stuff later that same year. Cannibal Corpse was the first death metal band I ever heard and the rest is chaos and history. I think music does inspire me quite a bit, especially death metal old and new. It’s one of the view art forms that’s pretty much un-supervised so you can create as you wish. Yes you do have the parent advisory sticker but who the fuck pays attention to that.
5.What is your prefered method when doing art,pencil,photoshop,paint?Do you usually stick with the same thing or do you expieriment with other ways of creation?
I do a pretty good mixture of both, computer and traditional hand stuff. I don’t really have a preferred method. I think it really depends on the band I do the art for. Some bands I think need that gritty, dirty, “sketchy” feel. Others I think need a more cleaner approach to their design. I don’t do much experimenting when I do a piece. However, I do learn a lot from each piece I do and apply it to the next.
6.I know you recently found out you are having another child.Congrats to you!!How do you balance your passions and family equally?
Thanks man!!! Um well to put it blunty..i don’t balance it very well at all. I pretty much live at my desk. Which does indeed suck at times. That’s why you have to love what you do because you will have to sacrifice something for it. During the summer months though I plan on cutting my work load to spend time with my ever growing family. I have a kick ass wife who does understand my love for the art and music, but even sometimes I get buried in a piece or just so tuned in to it, she has to pull me back out to reality! Haha!
7.Has your art been able to help you generate extra income,or does this really not interest you.Is this more of a passion then a job to you?
Well as I first started out a few years ago i did shit for free. Like free free. Not even for merch. It did open up a lot of doors for me for sure. But as my family grows and as money gets tighter I have started to charge. Its still not much but its enough. I started up a label that ive been pouring money into. That money comes from my freelance work. I’m slowly starting to make more and more where I can divide up my freelance income to bills and the label.
8.What artist really got you into wanting to do album art,logos etc?
Arthur Adams, Kevin Eastman, Peter Larid, All the artist that did the Garbage Pail Kid cards!!! Sam Kieth, Wayne D Barlowe. Those are the non-music artist! I would have to flat out say the man that got me wanting to do this was the one, the only, Vince Locke. Hopefully, one day I can meet the man and shake his hand.
9.What if you can,name you 5 favorite album covers ever!!
Arrrrggg only 5?!?!?! Hahaha! Cannibal Corpse-Eaten Back to Life. Nihilist-Collection. Autopsy-Mental Funeral. Deceased-Luck of the Corpse. Cradle of Filth-Cruelty and the Beast (sorry naked chicks in blood are awesome). There is a shit ton more, but those I consider my favorite.
10.I know you are also in the band Kaiju and you just released your first album.How is that going and what has been the response so far??
Nevermo….I mean Kaiju is doing great! A lot of people really like the songs on our page and a few have coughed up the bones to snag a disc(THANK YOU ALL). Joel and I are very happy with the way the disc turned out. Joel is an INCREDIBLE musician! We have (hopefully) a few splits coming up with some killer bands. SO we are going to keep on writing and recording. Maybe a label will pick us up for our next full length! Probably not ha!
11.Do you do the band just for fun,or is this something that you have big plans for?
Well I always wanted to hear a band that did songs about giant monsters. Everything else is done, zombies, gore, porn, violence, robots, relationships etc….. Oh I’d say a year maybe a little bit more ago, I got in contact with the drummer of Decrepitaph. I asked him if he would like to help out with the band. He was all for it even had a song he thought would work great! I started doing lyrics and working on vocals, but it never came to be. I was really busy with art and family life and he had many projects in the works at that point. So I put the beast in the grave.
Fast forward to a few months ago and I got in touch with Joel from the killer band Monument of Bones. Told him what I had in mind he thought it was a great idea. And he just started puking out these killer songs. And after all that work here we are with our first full length. “Big Plans” might be a stretch. We have some splits planned that we would like to see on vinyl, and we most likely will do another full length if a label picks us up. But no world tours with Nevermore or Ace of Base are planned. So all in all, its for fun.
12.You also are the founder of sheperd of rot records.When/how did you conceive this idea and how are things going with it so far?
Shepherd of Rot started around the same time as Kaiju did. I wanted to work with bands that I really dug a lot. I wanted to release their album or ep and bring it to the masses. Basically, I wanted to release bands that I listened to. Not that fit in a niche or had 8million plays. And I think I’ve done that. As of right now the label is doing….well its doing. Its pretty shitty out there now. The economy blows. Lots of people trade, which is fine and awesome! But the $ is coming in fast enough for labels (SOR included) to keep churning out the releases. I was never in this for the money, but I also didn’t start this to set money on fire . Godspit’s “We are Godspit” is the next release on SOR. A fucking ridiculous band that worships motorhead. Check them out please!!!! After that, the label will go into the crypt for an undetermined amount of time to regain some the money I put into it. I’m not dying, I’m not going bankrupt. I’ll still be promoting/trading/selling all of the SOR releases. SOR is just going into a deep slumber for a while to focus on my art and family.
13.What are your future plans for the label?Are you in this for the longhaul?It has to be tough nowadays with the current economic setting.
Haha guess I answered that already. It is hard. Really hard. Shipping is stupid expensive. Lots of bands are pricks. Lots of labels are pricks. There are still a few great people out there that are willing to help you out. And I have no problem returning the favor! The metal business isn’t really for metal fans. It seems now a days everybody is in a band or has a label. Which is fine, but I think I enjoyed being a fan more.
14.You are obviously a very busy dude.How do you make time for normal life,if you have one.Is there anything you enjoy outside of art and metal?
Normal?!?! Haha whats that? My life consists of living on the damn computer at my full time job. Come home, eat, play with my kid and dog. Put the kid to bed, grab my wife’s tits for a bit, go to work on band art, then sleep. Before I became an “adult” I would go to local shows a lot. Going to local show is great! A fun time is always had even if all the bands suck except for one. I highly suggest supporting your local metal bands, because you never know what could happen. I used to watch horror movies, scifi flicks, monster movies. I used to breed reptiles for a while too. I did saltwater fish for a while too. I’m kind of an animal nerd.
15.What if you can think,is your proudest accomplishment from the the standpoint of being an artist.What is your hands down favorite piece of work?
Damn another tough question haha! One of the first full layouts I did was for the hardcore band Hammer Bros. That was one of my proudest moments. Actually doing something I had dream of doing for years. That was a great feeling. I guess doing art for bands is like screwing women. The first one is fucking awesome, the rest are great too. Some not so much, but still better than jerking off into a fleshlight.
16.If you could do art and layout for one band,who would it be?
Cannibal Corpse or Danzig. If I ever got to do art for either of those two, I would retire.
17.What do you have in the works.What art and bands are you working with currently?What can we expect next from Nev?
Well I got the Cardiac Arrest shirt just about done. Gravehill shirt is coming to a close. Beyond Hell cover still working on. I’m finishing up the back tray for the upcoming album from Scaremaker. Theres lots of logos in there too.
18.Ok last question,5 favorite albums of all time...GO!!!!!!!!
Arggggg!!! Another killer question!!!
Cannibal Corpse-The Wretched Spawn
Cardiac Arrest-Cadaverous Presence
Deceased-Luck of the Corpse
I can listen to those disc for the rest of my life and not get tired of them.
19.Ok thats it man.Thanks for taking the time to do this,i appreciate it alot.Any final thoughts.Tell the readers how they can find you and get in touch!!!
Hey thank you man!!! Keep up the great work!! I really enjoy what you are doing!!
Support your local metal. And FUCK Godzilla 1998.
Anyone can get a hold of me at the following:
Shepherd of Rot Records
Interviewed by B.S.O.G.
Friday, April 2, 2010
KATATONIA - "NIGHT IS THE NEW DAY"
Full-length, Peaceville Records, November 2nd, 2009
This album blew me away! Wow! I never thought I'd say "I LOVE KATATONIA", but I do now... they were just a band I could never seem to get into before, but this album really changed my mind, it's beautifully dark and I highly recommend this album to any fan of OPETH, IHSAHN, EMPEROR, SWALLOW THE SUN, DIABOLICAL MASQUERADE and perhaps even elements of PORCUPINE TREE can be heard in some parts, actually, fans of newer SHINING might even enjoy this album as well! (When I last spoke to Kvarforth, I asked him what he'd been listening to lately and if I remember correctly, i think he said quite a bit of KATATONIA.) I can't stop listening to it, over and over again! Tremendous stuff, and the most shocking thing is I NEVER liked KATATONIA before !!!
I love SWALLOW THE SUN as well and I definitely see similar elements in the music on this album and the music of SWALLOW THE SUN, very complementary bands for a live gig for sure! A lot of it reminds me of Mikael Akerfeldt's clean vocals in OPETH as well, and as a huge fan of IHSAHN's solo work, perhaps I have him to thank for opening my mind up to this style of music more... along with my continued fascination for SWALLOW THE SUN. I think even DEVIN TOWNSEND fans will find something to revell in here as well!
Great band, great album... and again, I never ever though I'd ever say that! Thoroughly enjoyable, darkly beautiful music with terrific clean vocals... Jonas Renkse has a truly affecting voice! You should feel the hair on the back of your neck standing up listening to this album, every song is tremendous. Some might say depressing, others will agree with me and say it's beautiful... lush production and guitar work that accentuates the vocals in every sense of the word, even the drumming enhances the mood of the music. It could be THEE most vocally centered KATATONIA album yet infact! Listen and enjoy!
Reviewed by Damien Bentley - 10/10