About This Blog

This blog is for unsigned Metal bands and bands on small labels. Whilst setting up my promotions company, I noticed that a lot of sites don't cover demo bands and bands just starting out. Hopefully this small corner of the internet will have redress the balance, ever so slightly

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Deep Underground UK - Nefarious Dusk / Torver

 Paul who is in both Nefarious Dusk and Torver answered some questions from Sandy

What is the history of Nefarious Dusk?
Nefarious Dusk was started in the winter of 2007 by me and Aske when we recorded the original version of God is Dead which was never released, we then tried to make the project into a live band but that didn't last too long so we ended up putting everything on hold until 2011 when I decided to bring it back, but didn't really do anything with the project until around late 2013 when I got Azrael of Ethereal Forest involved with the project and since then we have been working on an album which will consist of material dating back to 2007 but all recorded between 2013 - 2014.

What inspires the music of Nefarious Dusk?
Anti - religion as that's what we are mainly about.

Is there a good scene around your home town?
No, as I live in a small town on the north shore of the estuary of the River Duddon in Cumbria, surrounded by mountains, valleys forests and sea, so as you can imagine it's a pretty isolated place, so not many bands or even Metal fans.
But we do hold the highest number of Black Metal projects between me and three others who are from Millom. 

Do you have any more new music in the pipeline?
We have just recorded Hans Siste Vinter by Darkthrone which will appear on One Cold Night In Norway, a tribute to Darkthrone which should be released during December.
Also we're currently in the progress of working towards an album titled In Northern Mist,  and that's all I can say about that really.
Expect it to be released some time next year.

What is the most important element of black metal for you?
For me it has to be the atmosphere of course, I really enjoy bands that manage to bring a load of atmosphere and creativity to their music. For example early Emperor with their first album In the Nightside Eclipse that album contains stacks of atmosphere and other bands like Zyklon B, Judas Iscariot, Sear Bliss, early Dimmu Borgir and countless other bands that use synths and keyboards in their music which add to the atmosphere.

What's the history of Torver
Torver originally known as Sitri started around 2012 when me and Burn's decided to do a side project with some material that we felt wasn't suited to Helvellyn.  We ended up working on a split release with our friends Funeral Path, which is now finished and being released on cassette by Mordgrimm records. 

What inspires the music of Torver?
The first Torver release was inspired by demonology, anti - religion and Blackened Punk more in the vein of NatteForst and maybe a tiny bit of late Darkthrone with the style of drums we used. But with our new line up we have taken a different direction, it's still primitive but we have a new vocalist and Azrael has joined us on synths so it will have a different sound once we have it finished.

Do you have any more new music in the pipeline?
Indeed we do, we are working on a split release with another UKBM band who we are friends with.

I can't give out to much information about the split, but it will be released during early December and it's one I'm looking forward to.

Deep Underground United Kingdom is available for just £2 from Bandcamp

Deep Underground UK - Blind Spite

What is the history behind Blind Spite?
Blind Spite was formed in 1996 in Cumbria, and since then has been through myriad line-up changes and refinements of sound, culminating in the more blackened sound on our last two releases. We've gigged around the country in various iterations with more gigs on the way in support of Extinction Event.

Who are your main inspirations musically? 
In terms of other bands, the influences we draw on are hugely varied. The main bias is between black metal such as Emperor, Altar of Plagues, Hate Forest et al and Death metal along the lines of Morbid Angel, Immolation and Death, though the variation externally to that ranges through from Drone and Noise through to Thrash, Doom and pretty much everything in between - between the members. We all generally have things that are a big influence personally that other members don't like so much, which is important in that it forces influences to be incorporated as into the whole outfit in new ways, particularly with the way heavy music as a whole is diversifying in the contemporary climate.  The main driving force is definitely the blend of Black and Death metal though. That mix of atmosphere and pounding brutality, that exists between the two genres.

You've released 5 EPs now, is there an ambition for a full length or is it to be a more short release schedule? 
Not as such - We tend to record things fairly organically, so a release is dictated by when it feels naturally ready to go. This is also dictated to a certain degree by lineup changes, but we are currently sitting at our strongest to date, and progress towards another release within the year seems positive. What length or form that will take remains to be seen...

What is the scene like around your home? 
We're now based in both the North East and North West, with two members living in Newcastle, so we often play in the North East, as the scene in Cumbria is not particularly great (though there are slowly growing hidden gems gig wise periodically), predominately due to geography - it's a lot more difficult to get people together and build a scene when cities are so small and bands and transport networks are so separate. The North East scene on the other hand is thriving and expanding, and allows for a great deal of gigs on very varied bills.

What's been the best moment in the band's career so far? 
The whole progress towards the release of Extinction Event has been a major positive for us, particularly the involvement of Legion Blotan and their support in helping us release it. The whole set up has put us in a very promising position looking forward, both in a live setting and in recording more material. That is probably the key thing - the best moment is that it provides us with even more means of moving forward.

Is there any local bands or bands you've played with that you'd recommend us to check out? 
We're all involved in various other bands below:

Plague Rider (Technical Death Metal, the Jake and James Play in) www.facebook.com/PlagueRiderUK
Lump Hammer (Repetitive riffy sludge that James is involved in) www.facebook.com/hammerslumps
Recusant (DSBM featuring Matthew and James) soundcloud.com/plaintivebearer
Censored (Stoner Rock with Anthony on drums) www.facebook.com/themightycensored
Dolmen Dweller (James's Vocal Drone project) https://dolmendweller.bandcamp.com/album/exit-from-the-nest-temple
Colugo (James and Jake's ambient project) https://soundcloud.com/c-o-l-u-g-o

Other bands that we've played with worth checking out:

And there are so many more - the scene through the North East and into Scotland is really excellent at the moment.

Thanks for your time, please end by telling us why we should check out your material? 
If you're a fan of people doing something new with the existing metal format and pushing boundaries whilst still maintaining that degree of force that lies at the roots of heavy music, then we're a good choice. Immersive atmospheres and pummelling sounds to enforce the idea of your own pale insignificance in the face of the vast uncaring universe.

Our bandcamp is here: https://blindspite.bandcamp.com
Our Soundcloud stream is here: https://soundcloud.com/blind-spite

Deep Underground United Kingdom is available for just £2 from Bandcamp

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Deep Underground UK - Deadman's Blood

Deadman's Blood was formed by me in 2011 as a solo studio project. I wanted to have an outlet for my love of old style Death Metal so it didn't interfere with my Black Metal band Witchclan.
My favourite decade for Death Metal is 1985 - 1995. I love the Swedish sound from the Sunlight studio in the late '80's and early '90's and so that had a massive influence on the sound, musically. I recorded a demo entitled 'Tales of the Darkside' which sold out within two weeks. Among the people who got hold of a copy was Kam Lee who took a great interest in the band, and played it on his internet radio show.
The following year I recorded the now sold out EP 'Product of a Deranged Mind' which had guest vocals from Kam Lee and Mike Browning plus guest lead guitar by Brian Werking. That's pretty much the history of the band so far.

Most one man bands are Black Metal based, you’re greedy and have two different bands, one Black Metal (Witchclan) and Deadman’s Blood, which is Death Metal. Do you create the music differently for each band. And which one’s easier to write for?
 That's a hard one actually. I suppose they're just as easy as each other but I have to be in the right frame of mind, and have to have been listening to the right music for inspiration for the days running up to a recording session. I can't write classic sounding Death Metal quite as well when all I've been listening to is Burzum and Darkthrone.

The general writing process is pretty much identical for both bands - I map out a general drum pattern and then just sit down and start jamming out some riffs and see what sounds good. Once I'm happy with a bunch of riffs, I'll start recording and get the song flowing, seeing which riffs work best with others and so on.

Once I have all the guitars and bass recorded, I go back through the drums and edit them, adding sections out and adding things in here and there until that sounds good. The last thing is always the vocals - but this is also one of the most time consuming parts.
I use three or four different tone vocals in Deadman's Blood so I have to sing each song up to four times so I can blend them all together and remove the parts I don't want to use. The overall vocal effect is great because rather than just one monotone growl, I end up with a much fuller sound and the dynamics of it all make for a very demonic sounding effect.

I grew up in the golden age of horror films and watched most of them before I was 18. I think the one that scared me the most was The Burning, mainly as it made me jump like hell. A lot of Deadman’s Blood is influence by this genre. What’s the big fascination with horror? And as these kind of films don’t scare me at all these days, what do you recommend to the old heart pumping once again?
 Well I'm a 70's child, and grew up in the '80's so I just about remember the huge scandal in 1985 here in the UK where the government banned 39 movies and dubbed them 'Video Nasties'. I used to go to the video store with my Dad in the late '80's and hire out films to watch over the weekend. I got into Horror at a very early age. I had a fascination with the macabre, and loved imagary such as skulls and zombies so Horror movies were an instant attraction to me.

The first Horror I saw was A Nightmare On Elm Street and from that moment I was instantly hooked. In the '80's I went on to see The Evil Dead and The Exorcist and so on. It was in the late 80's that I moved onto Thrash Metal having been more into stuff like Ozzy, Guns n Roses and Alice Cooper on the years running up to discovering it. I'd already got into Megadeth and Metallica but for me, the real Thrash came when I purchased Slayer's 'Hell Awaits' in 1988. This to me was like listening to a Horror movie. The lyrics were the most extreme I'd heard so far and this fueled my desire for more extreme Metal and more extreme Horror!

By 1991 I had watched as much Horror as I could get my hands on and I had discovered Death Metal - Bolt Thrower's 'Warmaster' being the first album I bought, in its week of release. At this point - a new magazine called Thrash n' Burn was out and I was quickly able to discover other bands - two of which were Autopsy and Cannibal Corpse. Being a Horror fan - the lyrical approach of these bands were ideal for me and it's stuff like this which gave me inspiration for Deadman's Blood.

Since you mentioned me recommending some good Horror - good lord, I'm not so sure I'd know where to start - the list is endless!
Here's a handful which, apart from the first three films that got me into Horror as I mentioned a moment ago, are some of my favourites of the Horror genre;
Zombie Flesh Eaters
Cabin In The Woods
The Brood
Nightmares In A Damaged Brain
August Underground Trilogy
The Possession of Michael King
The remake of Evil Dead is awesome too - and I usually hate remakes.

You did a really cool limited edition tape for Product Of A Deranged Mind, with 10 different coloured tapes. They sold out amazingly quickly, aren’t you tempted to do another batch, or release something similar? 
Yes - the tapes sold out within 45 minutes of going on sale - I was genuinely shocked. There weren't a massive amount available but even so, I was very pleased about that.

Next year I will begin work on the first full length from Deadman's Blood. At this point, I don't know whether that will be something that's self-released or if it will be through a label but I do know it's going to be some of the best old style modern Death Metal you will have heard in a while - and lyrically, it will be some of the most gruesome and depraved stories you've ever been told.

You’ve been making music since what? 1990? What’s the biggest difference between now and then, apart from the internet? 
Well, Witchclan was formed in 1990 but I didn't actually join until 1993 but even before I joined the band I was writing lyrics and recording my vocals so I could perfect my style so when you look at it that way you could say it's nearly been a quarter of a century of composing underground Metal in one form or another.
I suppose the biggest difference is people's attitude. Back in the 80's and 90's there was a real feeling of unity between the tape traders, bands, and so on. That seems to have withered somewhat.

Bands hardly ever write a letter anymore when they send you something. In the early days, if you bought a tape or something from a band, you'd receive a newsletter, hand written letter, bunch of flyers, maybe a promo band photo or whatever. These days, whatever you've bought or traded just arrives on it's own. It's almost slap dash in the sense that not many people seem to have time to talk to each other.
I guess you can blame the internet for that though - although you did say 'apart from the internet'. But I think that's what the point is here - it's technology, it's progression - a sign of the times. Life is faster these days, everything is disposable, because everyone's on the move - everyone's going somewhere and everyone wants to get there quicker than the next person.
I'm a very old fashioned person - I like things to stay the same and I can be very nostalgic. I look at the years between 1985 and 1995 as the best years - and so this really all connects to the reason I started Deadman's Blood in the first place - for the true love of the old school Death Metal sound.

And do you think the scene is better off or worse off with the internet? 
Well that's a double-sided sword for me. I say that because it has its good points and it has its bad points. The good points are that you can connect with people and bands that previously would have been near impossible.
You get to discover new bands and hear things you probably couldn't have done without the worldwide web.

On the flipside, it also has some bad points, like I was speaking about previously. We live in a disposable society now and that means everything - even music. Kids today are too quick to click a button and download something rather than buying it. Okay so you get your bands and labels who enable downloads which you pay for but it's these pirates who are killing sales for a lot of bands.

Now don't get me wrong - I know what people say - the downloaders are the tape traders of today, and in some respects I would say that's true to a certain extents but what I'm getting at as well is that without downloads, record sales would be back up to where they should be. I'm not in this for the money, I never have been but there are a lot of bands who try to earn a living from music and it pisses me off that people out there steal new releases. I mean, that's not collecting music is it... it's all about buying the records. and the tapes and showing your true support to the bands you follow.

Deadman’s Blood have been quiet the past couple of years. What’s next for the project?
Yes indeed, there's been nothing new done since 2012 but the reason for that was that I was writing and recording my other band's new album. That's finished and is release on 31st October so next in the pipeline will be a full length from Deadman's Blood. This new record is going to be something very special so keep checking the Deadman's Blood Facebook page and the official website for updates on that. The new album will be in the works soon!

Deep Underground United Kingdom is available for just £2 from Bandcamp

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Deep Underground UK - Nordenglander


There’s a lot of beautiful music mixed up with the harsher Black Metal tones of your music. Where do your various influences come from? And is nature a big influence, as well as other bands?
Band wise my influences mainly come from the likes of early Emperor, Drudkh, Graveland,  Bilskirnir & that sort of thing, I'm obviously a fan of the one man metal project too but I also listen to a lot of instrumental music, I'm a huge fan of the likes of Buckethead, Vai, Satriani etc. The nature aspect is a big influence on me too, living in a small town I'm surrounded by acres of moorland & countryside, so i's kind of impossible for me to overlook it's beauty & not notice it. 

Like me, you’ve had a run in with the Russian sites that exploit bands and labels by stealing their music. How frustrating is this as musician when a group of selfish individuals (potentially) ruin all the hard work you put into creating music.
Yeah, I just couldn't understand why they would steal something I was giving away for free (????) . I feel for us underground acts it is a shame that people feel the need to do this as we've put heart & soul, and often our own money into these releases only to have it uploaded to illegal sites where we receive nothing in return, in my opinion it's like tape trading without the actual trading.

As a one man band, you can’t really function without the internet these days. Apart from the bootlegging, what are the positives and negatives of the internet for you?
Ah, the glorious internet, you either love it of hate it. It has it's purposes & it has it's downfalls, I suppose it's best use is the fact you can spread things far & wide quickly.

Are you obsessive about what you create? I can imagine someone in your position can change something 50 times before they are happy with the finished product.
Yes, very. It comes to the point where a lot of ideas get scrapped, a lot of unfinished material, simply because I can't or haven't the knowledge to cover all bases needed which can get quite frustrating. I'm a guitarist , not a drummer or keyboardist, so the writing & production process becomes very long & laborious indeed, I haven't any formula as such it's more when it comes it comes, one bit at a time.

I’ve seen you advertising for musicians in the past, is Nordenglander going to evolve into a full band one day?
I'd like to take the act to the stage if possible, not sure if the same material would get played live though, I think there's too many layers & instruments going on all at once, so maybe a stripped back version without the synths would work, I think I/we would have to work on material for a full live set.

What’s next for Nordenglander?
I'm currently on with recording my third release, which should hopefully be finished & out there very soon, it has more of a concept to it than previous work, kind of a tale put to music. It will be distributed by both myself & Senseless Life .

Deep Underground United Kingdom is available for just £2 from Bandcamp

Deep Underground UK - A Dying God

A Dying God is a band without absolutes, without objectives, only the will to create, the will to rule, and the will to overcome. Since forming in 2012, A Dying God has released a single, Zarathustran Blues, and their demo EP, Anthems To Ascension. Drawing heavy conceptual influence from great philosophers such as Nietzsche, Plato, and Hobbes; A Dying God seek to explore ideas of power and the self through their ventures and flirtations with the enigmatic sounds of Black and Extreme Metal. We are the Gods now.

There are a few religious, or possibly anti-religious references in your music, band name, song titles etc…  What inspires the band?
I wouldn’t say that we are an explicitly anti-religious band (our name is more of a tribute to Celtic Frost and Tom G Warrior, who’s music has been a gargantuan influence on myself and others in the band) but overall we take a lot of influence from philosophers like Nietzsche and Hobbes whose ideas indeed criticised or at least contrasted to a lot of religious ideas. Lyrically we aim to explore ideas of power through the medium of these thinkers and their works, but this isn’t restricted purely to how religious these ideas were; for example currently I’ve been writing a lot of lyrical material inspired by philosophers such as Plato who were massively influential on the religions of today and we have an upcoming split with songs inspired by the English Protectorate in the 1600s. No-one in the band is particularly devout to any faith but I’d hardly say we’re as militant with our atheism as some of our contemporaries. The ‘God is Dead’ aspect is more of a homage to Nietzsche than a rallying cry against the faithful.

Musically, you’re quite difficult to pin down. Apart from the more obvious blackened tones, you mix everything up rather nicely, without conforming to any particular genre. Is hard to make your music different than the countless clones out there?
Finding your sound as a band is definitely a hard milestone to reach and we still aren’t sure we’ve hit it yet, our sound has matured significantly since the days of Anthems; but with regards to that release it was written under a constant shifting of influences which kept the musical ideas fresh and varied. On some songs I’d be writing riffs inspired by Ihsahn and Mastodon and on others the influence would come from bands like Winterfylleth and Anaal Nathrakh; back in those days we weren’t too sure of what we wanted to be as a band but as of late when writing for the new release the music has become a lot more coherent and there’s definitely more of a refined, structured, style to it with a much greater presence of black metal. Making different music isn’t hard necessarily, just requires a wide range of inspiration.

Your Anthems To  Ascension has been out a while now. Have you any more releases planned? And did you do a physical release or was it only available via Bandcamp?
Currently we’re writing for a new EP and a soon to be recorded split release when we procure ourselves a new vocalist, Cromwellian Knights, that we’re doing with Morvidus (our drummer’s solo project which I’d highly recommend), the details of which will be released at a later date along with the artwork. Anthems To Ascension did indeed have a 25 copy cd run which we sold at our last two gigs (we still have a few left) and a few may still be available in the demo section of All Ages in Camden. We have no plans yet to create any more copies due to it being free on multiple sites online.

As your drummer has moved a couple of hundred miles up North, how will that affect the band over the next few years?
Hopefully his relocation shouldn’t hinder us much as a unit, rehearsals would be less frequent but we’ve been playing together for around 2 years now so there’s enough chemistry between the band members to account for the slight reduction in full band rehearsals. In terms of writing, the process will become more dependent on internet communication and sending tabs over between us but overall this shouldn’t drastically affect our ability to compose and rehearse. There’s even been talk of recording and gigging up there in the (hopefully) near future.

What’s the biggest hurdle for a band just starting out in an ever changing music scene / industry?

The hardest parts of being in a band these days is finding a style or image with which you can really promote yourself, the other is getting gigs. With the increased availability of music technology the number of bands, especially in London, has greatly increased making getting a gig a bit more of a competitive process. That said, the current Metal scene in London is quite amazing, with bands like Premature Birth, Anoxide, Morktar, Voices, and Exquisite Ending putting out powerful, solid releases that really keep the scene interesting.

Any last words?
Thanks for the interview and the support! All of our music can be downloaded for free at our bandcamp: adyinggod.bandcamp.com, for any updates on our latest musical affirmations you can find us on Facebook and follow us from there. Our Cromwellian Knights split with Morvidus will be released earlier next year, with more details to be released in the following months.

Deep Underground United Kingdom is available for just £2 from Bandcamp

Monday, 27 October 2014

Deep Underground UK - Austerymn

How did Austerymn start, I understand the band has quite a history going back a long way?
Yes in fact it was 24 years ago, back in 1990 we formed. The exact details are hazy now! But basically I'd (Rik) been in an Iron Maiden cover band from 87-89 but had been turned on to the heavier side of things by Critch and a mutual friend Mark around 89. I was already a big thrash fan but as soon as I heard death metal I wanted to play that way! But remember back then there were not many bands in the UK playing that style. Thrash was what sold and soon grunge took over from thrash! Critch was in from the beginning but we just couldn't get a stable line up. We recorded the Dead demo in 1990 (under the name of Perpetual Infestation) on a mates 4 track. Then in 1993 recorded at a real studio the Visions Of The End demo (as Godless Truth). With good friends on Drums and Keyboards but both of them were only booked for this session they had no desire to play our kind of music.

Then we went our separate ways when we went to university!
I was still writing/demoing potential material until 1996. But nothing ever came of it!

Who are the band's main musical influences?
I could write a huge list but the originals I guess, Death, Autopsy, Master, Morbid Angel, Napalm Death, Carcass, Bolt Thrower, Paradise Lost, Entombed, Dismember, Carnage, Celtic Frost, Obituary, At The Gates. (Sweden in general) new bands to like Cruciamentum. But loads more!

What drew you to play death metal?
When you're 14/15 years old and you hear something this new and fresh that seems to sum up how you're feeling then as a musician you got to do it!! Plus music generally is a positive way to get rid of negative energy, no matter what type of music you play, metal, hip hop, pop - whatever if you enjoy it and it helps you great! The same with sports, art or anything like that!
I've lost good friends over the years as they had nothing positive to draw on when things got shit!
I did, I'd thrash my guitar until my fingers bled or smash the hell out of a drum kit.
Death Metal became a part of who I am!

What is the next step for Austerymn, gigging, more releases?
 We have been doing shows most of this year and they will continue around the UK into next year!
April 15 will see the release of our debut album on Memento Mori records! I've just seen the front cover and it looks sick! Totally old school DM! It's a drawing/painting like in the old days!!

Finally, please tell us what it is about Austerymn that should make people seek you out from all those other bands out there?
Well there is tons to choose from and so many good bands, but all I can say is we are true to the old school because we were there! We've lived it for 24 years and we give a shit! We give 110% every time we pick up a guitar or a drum stick be that live or in a studio setting! Wearing our hearts on our sleeves!
We are not about re-inventing the wheel! We are about doing the old school justice by doing it well!!


Thanks for your support


Deep Underground UK - Carnivorous Forest

This compilation is for UK Underground bands and I have to make a small confession here, well you do actually. You’re an imposter and you’re really Canadian. But you’re fully involved in the UK scene. How much does it differ to the Canadian scene?
The Canadian scene is complex. Canada is a gigantic sprawling mass; it's fucking huge. It's so massive that it has several different scenes that don't really see eye to eye with each other. I'm from the East Coast, so there is a huge raw black metal scene. Which is awesome and regretfully shit at the same time.
You have a group of people fiercely dedicated to sleazy and rotten crusty black metal, but that dedicated group is very insular. They are so anti-melody that a few /stellar/ melodic black metal bands have shuttered themselves because no one will bill them, no one will watch them when they do get to play live; it's rotten.

The UK scene is great because regardless of whether it's raw black metal, melodic black metal, acoustic black metal... People listen. And people are interested. As an outsider looking in, this place is awesome. I am really glad to be part of it.

You did the debut gig for Carnivorous Forest the other week at The Blackwood Gathering. How did it go for you?
The debut gig was a blast. I wasn't sure what to expect and I don't think the show goers knew either. It was a very humble performance, but it was great to get those songs out there. I'm hoping to sort out two versions of the band: One for acoustic shows and one for full on metal shows. Just gotta find the right people.

I’m a big fan of your Neo Folk work. Is that a direction you’re going to stick with, or will you mix it up with your more aggressive work?
The neofolk work is something I am in love doing but it's also somewhat a necessity at the moment. I've been shuffling around to a lot of different couches and floors for the last few months due to personal circumstances. That being said, I absolutely love playing neofolk and jamming in as many black metal influences I can without it getting /too/ metal. I'm going to return to the aggravated cacophony I started the band to play, but I will always have neofolk only releases and performances.

Genital Mutilation in the Name of God is an edgy release, with a few delicate subjects being tackled, namely genital mutilation and sexual violence. What inspired you to tackle these subjects?
Genital Mutilation focuses on the first two tracks of the album; it's a concept I thought up ages ago. Long before I had any actual “band” per se, I would spend my days dreaming about concepts for songs and albums. One idea that always stuck with me were two songs: Carving the Cunt and Cocksucker. Two songs revolving around the darkest side of humanity: The brutalizing of children's innocence by their religion blinded parents.

For me, an album isn't complete without a concept. Whether it's a blatant and theatrical storyline like King Diamond's albums or a more abstract idea, I like there to be a thread running through the lyrics. Genital Mutilation is a dark topic, but it's the darkness of man that drives me to write.

Cocksucker has a ridiculously catchy chorus. Did you not think us poor souls that would sing along when you created this song?
Haha, yeah. I'm particularly proud of Cocksucker. It's a stylistic idea I picked up from Sol Invictus and was further influenced by The Meads of Asphodel. Write the catchiest hooks you can but make sure the lyrics are fucking rotten to the core. I love the dichotomy of beauty and brutality of a song like Jewkiller: Catchy as hell, but you'd never be able to sing it while doing your shopping.

You’re also involved in a number of bands, as well as your podcast. How do you find the time for all of your projects?
Time is something I wish I could buy more of...

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Deep Underground UK - Arcane North

Arcane North was conceived in late 2013 by William. Feeling the desire to create dark and mysterious yet at times beautiful black metal, William began work on the first musical output.

Based in the North East of England, William drew inspiration from his surroundings. From the bleakness of the moors, to the verdant greenery of the valleys and through his own dreams, nightmares and darkest fantasies, the concept of the Arcane North was born.

Through the months of February  to May 2014 the debut offering 'Enter the Arcane North' was written and recorded entirely by sole member, William. 3 tracks of dark, hypnotic black metal with a sense of melody and orchestration. Close friends of William have likened Arcane North's sound to a crossover between Summoning and Burzum.

Arcane North are yet another project from the very North of England. I’m amazed at the number of quality bands emerging from your part of the UK right now. What are they putting in the water up there to produce just a plethora of quality underground metal?
Interesting point. I’m not sure really but there does seem to be something special about the north. I’m not saying that it’s necessarily a better breeding ground than the south though as there are to me equally as many fantastic acts from either side of the divide.

There’s perhaps something about the north that is different though. We have a blend of landscapes from barren moors and bleak industrial coastlines on the east to the luscious greenery of Cumbria on the west for example. The blend of grimness and beauty perhaps leads to a lot of the inspiration that northern bands take.

It’s exciting to come from an area where so many fantastic acts are based. The UK in general has always struggled in the black metal scene but recent years are proving that we have a lot to offer.

Your music is of truly epic proportions. The 3 tracks on your debut, Enter The Arcane North clock in at around 30 minutes. When you decided to start Arcane North, what was your original concept and is the actual realisation of what you’ve created the same as your original blueprint for the band?
I originally started the project as an experiment to teach myself home recording. The original intent was maybe to demo a few songs and I was surprised with the result and decided to make a better go of it. From me sitting at home, with a few beers or a glass of wine and my guitar and keyboard, eventually came the 3 tracks that would make the EP. The concept was easy for me to work with and felt natural and fitting to the music.

I know Bathory are a big influence on your music. Bathory is revered in Extreme Metal, probably on a similar level to Ronnie James Dio to more traditionalist Metalheads. What made Bathory so special?
Bathory was innovative and completely ahead of its time. Sure you had Venom and some other bands doing similar things but essentially Bathory in my eyes created what we now recognise as the black metal sound and the Viking metal sound. These templates have been used by countless bands over the decades and I don’t know many people/bands in this scene who wouldn’t class them as some sort of influence.

Quorthon always put his heart into his music. You can hear this most prominently I’d say on Hammerheart, an album that is simply one of a kind and one of my favourite albums ever. I’m not old enough to have appreciated the impact that the early Bathory albums would have made on the metal scene but retrospectively it’s not hard to imagine how they must have sounded at the time.

On the subject of Bathory, I am currently working on a tribute song so expect to hear some news about that soon.

I noticed a couple of other studio only band influences. Would Burzum and Summoning be fair references?
Pure and simple, when I started playing around with the first songs for Arcane North I deliberately wanted to make something that was a blend of Burzum and Summoning. It all came from the first song ‘Ravenous and Cavernous’ which was essentially based on the sound of ‘Dunkelheit’ by Burzum mixed with the orchestral synths of modern Summoning.

From that point the songs progressed into a sound I have found which I am happy with. Burzum and Summoning are still very much a big part of my sound but I think I’ve found a little unique spot somewhere along the line which people seem to like.

Will Arcane North remains a studio project, or do you see yourself expanding it into a full band in the future?
If I had the time and could find the right people I’d definitely do some live shows. Whether that ever happens is another question. We’ll let fate decide!

What’s next for Arcane North?
I was initially working on a full length release but have been asked to do a couple of split releases so I am now focusing on them. I will then work on an album for late 2015.

I’m also doing a cover of Darkthrone’s ‘The Claws of Time’ for a tribute album which is scheduled for release in December. For this track I’m also working with a real drummer, Julian who plays in many other UK acts including Wreodhan Healh, Annwn and Praesider. It’s somewhat ironic that he lives in Cornwall, which is about as far away from the north as possible, but he’s a great drummer and having real drums on the recording will make the world of difference. Hopefully I’ll also be working with him on future recordings.

Expect some news to surface regarding the splits in the very near future.

Deep Underground United Kingdom is available for just £2 from Bandcamp

Deep Underground UK - Wisdom Without Worship

Wisdom Without Worship was born after years of frustration and stagnation within the almost non existent Cornish metal scene. We are a two piece band who wish to push the boundaries of extreme metal.

Your music is some of the most extreme and unorthodox I’ve ever come across. What drives you create such chaos?
What drives us is a blend ov frustration, will power, hate and anger all driving towards the core ov life. The quest for wisdom without worship.

How much does your surroundings influence your music? Last years harsh winter must have been a huge source of inspiration.
Our surroundings are hugely inspirational we live in a forgotten corner of Britain where nature still rules the landscapes, the earth is a huge source ov energy and the inexorable spirit ov nature is something we are very much aware ov. The harsh winter was certainly an inspiration but no more than the rest ov the year everything is cylclyptic in its energy and so we must draw from everywhere experiences flow into our minds.

You take such care with the presentation of your music, digipack releases, lyrics sheets etc… Is the physical format still important to you?
To us, as we both owning substantial extreme music collections it is hugely important. A physical collection ov extreme sound to us is an integral part of becoming a extreme music lifer. When you purchase our music it is not just a different arrangement ov sounds you have heard before it is rather a piece ov art that we have hewn from the barriers that hold back the chaostream. 

To allow the owner a glimpse ov what lies ahead in our realm ov chaos the whole physical package is part ov our history you now share with us. So yes the physical format is the be all and end all.

Having grown up in the same area of Cornwall where you yourself live, how did you discover Metal in such a desolate musical wilderness?
Personally I have the film Ace Ventura to thank for my gateway to extreme metal, back then it was a lot of hard work finding out about and exploring the underground extreme music world (especially in Cornwall which has practicaly nothing). Mail order catalogues etc where the only contact with the wider world it is much easier and better now with the Internet although some ov the magic has certainly been lost along the way.

I know you’re actively looking for new collaborations for you to add vocals to. What sort of projects are you looking to form?
I am first and foremost a extreme metal vocalist I learnt to play other instruments because I had no alternative (and subsequently ended up loving it). I am just looking for projects to try out different things with. It would be nice to have some criteria to fulfil, for example someone may want the black metal style for one project and someone else may want pure death growl for another and anything inbetween I'm open to experimentation ov the chords.

And no-one will have a clue what I’m talking about here, but having seen the pictures of you dancing around St Just during Lafrowda 2014, did any of them end up in the Cornishman?
Ha! Not so far as I know? I like to drink a lot and I guess the thing about living in a small community and waking up not having a clue what you did the night before is that everyone else always does. ;-) Still I'd never change it. kernow bys vyken! 

\m/Grandfather Nebulous\m/

Deep Underground United Kingdom is available for just £2 from Bandcamp

Deep Underground UK - Slaughter Throne

Slaughter Throne

What is the history of Slaughter Throne? How did you guys come together?
Well the band's name "Slaughter Throne" had been an idea of Adam's (our vocalist) for years. He had read a tale of a king that faced his enemies in battle and made a throne from their bones. Andy, (our lead guitarist), had been in several unsuccessful bands before Slaughter Throne, however through these past experiences, his song writing had progressed and his preferred style became blackened death metal. Adam and Andy met at Bloodstock 2013 and they were both looking for new projects at the time, as both of their current band's weren't working out. After Bloodstock, Andy sent Adam a track he had written and it all took off from there. Our former drummer was found online advertising to join either a thrash, black or death metal band so we now almost had a full line up. Our rhythm guitarist, Liam met Adam at a call centre and he happened to be a black metal fan, what are the chances? Adam had told Liam about the band and he was intrigued to find out more about it. After being shown a rough recording of "Baptizo de sanguis, Liam was sold." The next addition to the band was Brant, our bassist. At this point we had recorded two demo tracks and Brant had shown interest in the band. He had a few financial problems, however managed to look past them and join Slaughter Throne. The final addition to the band that completes our current line up, is Stephen, our drummer. Andy already briefly knew Stephen from attending several of his band Tyrant's gigs over the past year or so. As we had played with Tyrant a few times with our old drummer, Stephen had took notice of us. Therefore, after we had parted ways with our old drummer, Stephen contacted us, asking if he could audition. As we had booked studio time to record out EP, his audition actually ended up being the performance used for the EP. He learnt our tracks in under a week, which was very impressive, how could we say no to that?

Your 'Wrath of An Ancient Darkness' EP has gotten some good reviews, including from myself. Who are your main musical inspirations?
 Our main musical inspirations as a band, would definitely have to be Behemoth, Watain and Belphegor.

Do you come from a thriving local scene, or is there not much of that in Leeds?
 There’s certainly a great Metal Scene up in Leeds. There’s a bugger-load of bands from all different sub-genres of Metal constantly gigging in the area. There was a Thrash Metal all-dayer in August, and we’re on the line-up for Gorefest later this month, which is a Black/Death Metal all-dayer. You also can’t forget that Damnation Festival is held in Leeds every year, which always has a marvelous line-up!

Who are the best bands you've played with that we don't know about?
Valafar and Sathamel are probably the best extreme bands we’ve gigged with and they’re all really awesome people.  Pravitas are another great local band. They’re more Tech metal, but they’re so incredibly tight as a band, and their guitarists are bloody amazing. Last but not least Mountains Crave, which we have played with several times already. A fine atmospheric black metal band indeed.

Finally, what's next on the cards for Slaughter Throne, a new release, more gigs? 
Many more gigs are on the cards and we’re currently writing quite a few new songs that are leaning more towards the black metal side of the spectrum, so we shall hopefully be producing another EP in the near-future with some marvellously dark new material!

Deep Underground United Kingdom is available for just £2 from Bandcamp

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

BOTW - Slaughter Throne

Band of the Week - Slaughter Throne

Slaughter Throne are a relatively new bands from Leeds in the North of England. They only came into existence at the back end of 2013 and they're already hitting their local gig circuit. They'll be aiming for pastures new next year, with a slot at the Eradication Festival in Cardiff already confirmed.

They've showcased their pulverising brand of Blackened Death on their debut EP, Wrath Of An Ancient Darkness, which is available from Bandcamp for a very reasonable £2

And 2015 could see the band release their debut album as they are currently looking for a suitable label. And I'm sure an increased presence in the live environment will also be in place.

Let's hope they can build upon a very good 1st year and can make some progression in the murky depths of the underground


Maahlas - Nightmare Years

Maahlas - Nightmare Years

This is the 2nd Norwegian band I’ve reviewed in the past couple of days. Maahlas are slightly different as one of the bands creators is from Turkey, so there is a very slight undercurrent of Eastern influences. The rest of the time, Maahlas are ripping the skin from your face with their ferocious onslaught.

You remember the 1st time you heard The Haunted? This is similar in its viciousness, but there’s also a softer side to Maahlas as they blend together many influences, from Black Metal, Thrash, Melodic Death and even more Progressive tendencies. The different genres are integrated very well, even when everything goes off on a tangent and noodling Prog sits very comfortably with more vehement stylistics. The only time it doesn’t work is when the vocals on An Ancestral Memory become too commercial and it gets a bit too Metalcore (or whatever genre it is) for my own personal tastes.

But that is just a very minor blip, on an otherwise excellent album.

At the moment there are only 2 official band members, vocalist Levent and guitarist Cuno, but thankfully they employed a real drummer for this album as a drum machine would have killed the natural aggression, as well as the flow of the varying styles.

These guys are definitely ones to watch because, with the right band members, they could become a very potent force in the next couple of years.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Dimenzion: Psychosphere - Collapse

Dimenzion: Psychosphere - Collapse

I think I’m going around in circles today. The label has described Dimenzion: Psychosphere as Industrial and I’m arguing the point to myself as to whether I’d label them the same way.

Dimenzion: Psychosphere, who hail from the Black Metal stronghold of Norway, are not an Industrial band, as far as I’m concerned. Yes there are references that can be made with Prong, circa Snap Your Fingers Snap Your Neck, so the mechanical feel of that era can be felt here, as can certain backing vocals, which you wouldn’t find out of place on an album featuring Al Jourgensen.

But if you really want to dissect this, the melodies are not too dissimilar to something like Melodic Death, but Melodic Death that’s being performed by Killing Joke. And then the continued pounding, albeit at a slow Doomy pace, draws me back to the Industrial argument again.

But the vocals, at times, veer off into stunning melodic realms and this feels like an epic album that someone influenced by a tuneful version of Alice In Chains would create. Void is a truly epic track and its beauty is utterly captivating.

So forget my mental state and inability to make my mind up and check out Dimenzion: Psychosphere for yourselves. If you like anything from Alice In Chains or Soundgarden, through Killing Joke to Prong, even some lead guitar work that Wolf Hoffmann of Accept would be proud of, there’s plenty of quality to be found on this album.

In a word, classy.