Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: Abhorrot - Sacrificial Incarnations of Perpetual Death


Gaudiness! Just adjust your eyes for that monstrous artwork by Alexander Brown!
This is not the new Bölzer but the second EP of the deathwatchers of Abhorrot.
Uglier and more fiendish than their fellow countryman Pungent Stench have ever been, Abhorrot rumble through this 4 tracker with the same concious intention like Teitanblood (old), Sadomator, Vilifier, Impetuous Ritual and so on and forth.

Not that I was almost expecting it, the instruments overall sound is alot like if they were recorded in a womb or a catacomb, rooms that produce natural underdamping atmosphere. Of course we also have some reverb (underground, eh?) but still, you can figure quite easy what these two guys are doing.

Prehistoric is what would describe the guitar tone at best, primitively punishing as Nuclear Holocausto Vengeance himself on the beloved 1991 Beherit classic "The Oath..."
Yet the string section is pushed in the background and tubby which gives me the feeling that there is alot of potential in terms of effectiveness that is there but not called.
They have very brute songwriting and great rythm but this is just abating and sad especially because the whole EP is a great fusion of finnish, dutch and swedish Death- and Black Metal.

A radiant example of how good this EP actually is, is the complete side A that contains the tracks "Sacrificial Revelations of Carved Flesh" and "The Burning Incarnation of Death". When the brutal penetration of Asphyx and the vile malice of Blasphemy meet, catastrophe is imminent and so it is here.
Abhorrot master both, the fast-paced and the mid-tempo parts with ease and keep everything in the flow. It is almost fun (sic!) to listen to this EP. The drums are flagellating the string section on a remarkable high level for this kind of primitive sounding music which makes this a necessary listen and utter "How-to-do-it-right" for the whole lot of bands that also float around in the same genre.

Song number three - the first on the B side - sounds pretty south american to my suprise. The overall diverse and positively varied riffs move away and get rightfully replaced by a cudgel made of Sarcofago and typical swedish D-Death Metal riffs.

The harshness of the vocals is pure Metal excess drowned in dinosaur blood.
T. Blackpriest is whipping out his most fuming mouth. 

Fenriz would say: "How fucking primitive can you get?"

"Sacrificial Incarnations of Perpetual Death" is a huge paean to the early 90's without a doubt. It is merging, teeth-grinding and in the end, spitting you out leaving you curious for more. 

The things I do not like on this EP are not terribly wrong, they are just not matching the standard that I acquired after liking and listening this thing for a few times. First world Death Metal problems.

-Wiedergänger





Origin: Austria
Founded: 2007
Style: Death Metal
Type: EP
Year: 2014

12" MLP, Yersinia Pestis






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Abhorrot Official:  here
Abhorrot on Facebook: here
Yersinia Pestis: here

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Review: Maze of Terror - Skullcrusher

Reason #52 why South America Metal still has alot of advance to us european and american people: They give a shit. THEY shit on any form of musical adulthood. Starting from the EP title (Skullcrusher) (another fav. of mine: everything with a fuckin' in it) to the songtitles (Lord of Destruction) over countless project's names (e.g. Power from Hell).
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Maze of Terror are still captured in the play yard of extreme aggression. No comfort, spikes everywhere, upholstered in denim.
Skullcrusher is far away being "bog standard" but also not too close to really kick my ass.
Uniqueness is a thing these peruvian guys never heard off but that in fact is not too bad.
The effectiveness of proven structures conceals their lack of ideas.

It would give me a hard time if I had to decide if this is either straight to the point exciting because of its simplicity or plain boredom caused by the riffs we've all heard more than a thousand times.

Great are the really angry vocals. That dude is pissed! Unfortunaly, it's the only real standout feature on this record.
Another unfortunaly for the fact that after listening to "Skullcrusher" for the third and fourth time, I really started to dislike, if not hate, it. 
The closing track "Run with Death" manages to get along with one riff.
And it's not that "Thunderbelial" awesome sort of one riff.


To the bands defense it is also the least to say that I am not really a Thrash maniac.
Some records are growers to me and some are not, this definitely falls under the last category and even adds a downward spiral.


If you like it straight in the ass check Maze of Terror out, if you like mature music, you can pass this EP. It's a violent and rough quickie.

-Wiedergänger
 



 Origin: Peru
Founded: 2011
Style: Thrash Metal
Type: EP
Year: 2012

First and second press on tape:
Total Desaster Prod. (100 copies)
Capricorn Records (300 copies)




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Maze of Terror on Facebook: here

Friday, April 11, 2014

Interview: Pax Romana Promotions

Eigenes Logo anpassen.
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Wiedergänger: Hello Steve, Pax Romana is a new name among the Neofolk concert organisers. You are located in England, the home of Neofolk. London has quite alot of Neofolk shows compared to other big cities throughout Europe. Why was it necessary to start Pax Romana then if you already have a good amount of promoters and a rather healthy scene? Tell me what's wrong.


Steve: Good evening. Well, as you rightly point out England is the birth place of the neofolk scene, but apart from some of the older more established acts, London tends to miss out on a lot of the quality European bands. As you know I'm a big Rome fan and although I've been listening to them since around 2006, it wasn't until 2013 that they first played a show in this country. Now that's just one example, but Rome are a huge band, with much cross-genre support. Why did it take six or seven years for them to land on our shores? Is it because of the fans, the promoters - I don't know, but it's certainly something that I aim to get to the bottom of and remedy.

So yay for ye olde english neofolk and nay for the more international acts. I can see where your effort comes from. You've mentioned Rome, will Jerome headline the show with Kirlian Camera and Naevus in July or will you give Ms. Fossi and her boys the preference? Naevus would deserve a headliner spot too of course!

That's exactly it, and it's something that's concerned me for many years. When it comes to the Martial Industrial side of things we are missing out a great deal and that is something I will also address. Jerome will be opening the proceedings at our inaugural show, mainly because he is performing a solo acoustic set. As you rightly state, all three acts deserve an opening spot, but I think the current order will work well, with Rome and Naevus building up to what should be an excellent and long awaited performance by Ms Fossi & Co.


That was one of the next things I was about to ask... Martial Industrial - atleast from my perspective - never made it to the 'big stages' in the last 1-2 years. Unless Triarii headline a bigger show, there is not much going on the live sector.

It's funny you mention Triarii, as they are one of the acts that I want to get over to the UK as soon as possible. You are completely right of course, and I will be working hard to ensure the choice Martial bands start hitting the stage again soon. I think one of the major problems is, especially for smaller promoters like me, is that these shows tend to require an awful lot of planning and sourcing of equipment. It's not as simple as a couple of guys with acoustic guitars - as the stage show usually requires a lot more to bring about the perfect aesthetic, which in my book is nearly as important as the music itself.

Funny contradiction. Imagening that Martial Industrial is done mainly by guys or girls sitting infront of a computer screen figuring everything out with their tools and a midi-keyboard. But when it comes to playing live, you need like 6 different drummers and 4 flutists. The curse of modern times.

Are you facing any major problems while making everything ready for the first Pax Romana event or is everything running smooth 'til now? Any big things that are still on your to-do-list?

Haha, well yes I suppose so, but being a bit of a romantic, I don't really like to ruin the magic by thinking about such things. As long as the finished product works well and the live show has the right feel and aesthetic, it doesn't really matter how it came about.
There were a few teething problems initially, but everything is on track. Everyone involved has been extremely helpful, from Jerome designing the flyers/posters (which I asked him to change/update about 100 times) to Lloyd (James - Naevus) helping with some of the logistics). We also have the support of some real heavyweights in the scene including Cold Spring Records (no introduction needed) and the show is being sponsored by Zero Tolerance Magazine, so all in all things are going very well indeed. The only thing left on my to-do list is to get hold of a cello for the evening, but this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

You have also told me something about your next show, again well-renowned artists. Would you like to elaborate on this or is all this still under the mantle of silence? 

Well, I can't really say much about that at the moment and I'm not sure if it will go ahead. Rest assured things are always working behind the scenes, but like I said, we don't like to spoil the magik...
 

Mainland Europe has a blooming Neofolk scene but you english guys seem to lose on the long run. How was the recent crowd support on past shows for 'hometown' acts? Are people still hungry to see the locals?

That's a very good point. I assume you are referring, in part at least, to last years' Death in June show in London. In all honesty I think there was something lacking. Maybe because it was the third year in a row for me seeing them, maybe because it was supposed to be at much more intimate venue (thanks Antifa!!) but I don't think the atmosphere as a whole was as good as the reunion show in 2011. It was great to see Miro (Snejdr) performing a few tracks with Doug, but for me the night belonged to Spiritual Front. Probably because I had waited so many years to see them (see earlier comments about the lack of European artists here).

I think people are still hungry to see our great homegrown acts, and the evidence can be seen by the likes of 6<omm playing in a few months. Towards the end of last year I was lucky enough to go to the Naevus album launch with Black Light Ascension (and Factory Acts), which was packed out. The reception Andrew King received when he played with Changes late last year is also testament to the dedication of our small, but growing scene. There also seems to be a lot more crossover these days from the extreme metal scene, which only adds to the popularity and support of the wider neofolk scene.

Since you won't spoil on future events, is bringing underground projects from more different soils a thing on your list? Eastern european acts never play 'near us' for example, if they play live at all.

All in good time my friend. Hmm, an interesting question. Coming from a Black Metal background, I understand what you mean about 'the underground' but I don't think it has as much relevance in neofolk/martial industrial, for it's a pretty small scene in itself. There are many great bands hiding in the hinterlands of our beloved Evropa, and I would love to see more of these hitting the stage if that answers your question? Eastern Europe has many interesting acts and a real passion that we don't see too often. As you know, it's an area I'm particularly interested in and I look forward to working with these acts in the future.


Good time seems to be now.
We had a little break on the interview and you already announced your next show. The London date of the Fire + Ice, Knotwork and While Angels Watch 'The fractured Europe tour'
. Ian Read of Fire + Ice recently said that french based label/booker Autre Que is now handling their touring duties, can you tell us something about the process of working together with other bookers and how much different it is from doing everything solely?


Hi again, I guess we’ve both been busy!That’s correct. The latest show is being organised by Pax Romana and Sowilo Media, with help from Autre Que. Naturally there are many benefits of working together, not least being able to split the cost/risk, as neither of us would have been able to bring this show to London on our own. Plus, me being a newcomer, it’s fantastic to work with Dev (Sowilo/While Angels Watch) who has been happy to share his experience with me. We had talked about joining forces in the past and it’s an honour to work with him and Nathalie at Autre Que.

Since you're located in London... what else should the dignified neofolker see when he is in town beside that big clock thing?

Concerning London; the big clock, as iconic as it may be, is not the only attraction. London isn’t known as haven for neofolk, but hey, that’s why I’m here and it will soon be synonymous with the genre if I have my way.

Are you planning to get any additional attractions aside the live music? Art exhibitions or campfire romantic and such...
Mentioning additional things to concerts, what is your opinion on concert or festival shirts? I, personally, hate them.


It would be nice to branch and I have some plans for future attractions, but it’s still early days. I discussed having some sort of art installation at one of our shows and hopefully in the future this can happen. It would also be nice to plan a two day event to rival the big german and european shows, but I must learn to walk before attempting to run.


Let's end it here. Thanks for the talk Steve and all the best for Pax Romana. Do whatever you want now. 

Thanks for the interview! 
We hope to see you at one of our shows soon (on stage or in the audience).
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Pax Romana Promotions on Facebook:  here
 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Interview: Darkwood


What have Beate Uhse, Jean-Luc Picard and Henryk Vogel in common? Not much you think? You are probably right. Still, aviation is running like a golden thread through all their biographies.
Beate Uhse was one of the first german female flying pioneers.
Picard the captain of the Enterprise.

And Henryk Vogel?
Read below.

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JH: Greetings Henryk, what can we expect from the Darkwood camp this year?


Henryk: At the end of last year we finished our recent full length album "Schicksalsfahrt". This studio release is dedicated to aviation. This recording is meant to be a sonic homage to pilots struggling with nature and techniques, stepping on new territory. The CD came out in a digipack with 16-pages booklet, the LP is limited to 520 copies and came in a gatefold sleeve with golden coloured vinyl. We used some really beautiful photographs which are all originals I bought on flea markets over the years or found in hidden boxes on attics. The same applies to "Ins dunkle Land", by the way. Combined with quotes and old poems, those two mentioned digipacks and the LP are really more than just the music on it. My layout girl did a really great job.
So now we will go ahead focussing on live gigs and promote some of the new songs and also some of the older ones which we have never played before.
For instance, we played in Moscow last year and I know that people really like "Aftermath" from "Herbstgewölk" because of containing a sample from the movie "Stalker" by Andrei Tarkovski. This song is more like a soundscape and hard to play live with all the noises and samples but we finally managed using a keyboard instead of backing tapes. Another song was "Der Schaffende" from "Weltenwende" - I had to do drumming and lyrics at the same time and we were adding some trumpet and keyboard noises - and people told me right after the "Runes & Men" show that they were really happy that we played this particular song.
Apart from all the live shows, I will take myself some time to pay my debts to answer all the interviews I have confirmed last year.

Darkwood has given a few concerts last year after a long hiatus.
Has there been more interest to see you perform live or are you growing more fond of performing? From what I have gathered, neofolk concerts in Central Europe are often opposed by certain political activists. Has Darkwood encountered any problems over the years?
For example, I have read that in 2002, before your performance at the Wave Gotik Treffen festival in Leipzig, you published a bulletin where you stated that there were no political aims behind your music.


We actually gave quite a few concerts between 1997 and 2005 but for personal reasons of several band members it wasn't possible to perform live until 2012.
I performed with other bands like Agnivolok, Voxus Imp., or Lux Interna, but not with Darkwood. Right now, we are five musicians again, basically the old and some new ones.
Now I could fulfil all the promises I gave over the last few years.
In 2002, we have been confronted with some accusations that we might be involved in political activities. This was more or less the time when more neofolk concerts started to take place. Some people were just puzzled by the fact that so many people would be interested in our music, so many people attended the concerts, and so many people were black-dressed, which is very common in the Gothic scene. There was an article in the local newspaper writing about Darkwood and their supposed political leanings. Funny enough, the very same day in the very same newspaper there was an article about my previous punk band Sexflush and how great they were. Maybe there was some kind of envy leading to those accusations. I just felt the need to comment all that to make myself clear that I am not involved in any kind of political activities.
 

Now
Speaking of, how is the neofolk scene doing these days in Europe and elsewhere in your opinion? Do you think neofolk is essentially about the European experience?

The scene grew in the 90ies, had its peak around 2000, and is now losing a bit of attention.
But neofolk is just a term, connected to uniforms, conspiracy theories, and good music. Now, there is only the uniform style and the good music left which is fine too me. As long as we are trying to make good music, meet each other, share some interests, don't stop to be curious and open-minded, everything is great.
Something, other music styles might have never achieved.


As long as we make records, fill concert venues, being envied, it can't be wrong. Festivals are popping up in several countries, neofolk is mixed with Mediterranean folk, American groups are joining, metal groups start to play unplugged, so it's not over by now.

You grew up in the GDR. How did you develop an interest in Paganism, writes like Ernst Jünger & J.R.R. Tolkien, poets such as Stefan George & Georg Trakl and philosophers like Oswald Spengler & Friedrich Nietzsche? Did you study them at school or was it all just socialist realism & Marx?

At school, we read books like "How the Steel was Tempered" by Nikolai Ostrowski or "Timur and his Squad" by Arcady Gaidar. They were great.
But the choice of books was dictated and followed the aim to make you a communist atheist. I didn't read Marx, by the way. But after the wall came down, after all that ordered "State Atheism" on the one hand, and all the natural Pagan rituals living on in little villages on the other hand, I tried to get my hands on as many books as possible. This would be books about Norse Mythology, fantasy books like "Lord of the Rings", "forbidden" philosophy like Nietzsche, or conservative literature like Jünger. For Jünger, it wasn't "In Storms of Steel" that I did like best. I actually prefer books like "Caucasian Sketches" where he reflects a lot about history, or "On the Marble Cliffs" where he touches a world of Magic Realism. But what impresses me most, is the combination of the personality of a writer and his work. Jünger, Trakl, Nietzsche you shouldn't see without their biographies. Jünger, the adventurer and insect collector, Trakl, the genius and incestuous drug addict, Nietzsche, the brilliant philosopher who has gone mad. That's why I am so much impressed by Exupéry, the brilliant writer and pilot.
There might be a writer, who inherited money and was financially independent and did basically nothing but writing a book and getting successful. There might be a pilot who had a lot of air fights and is being remembered for dying in one of those brave air fights.
But this man was a pilot risking his life for his ideals, doing his daily duty, for instance flying letters to through Argentina, who additionally wrote brilliant books that contain so much wisdom, so much truth. That guy really had an impact on my life and my music, not just for the recent album.
He also had a lot of love affairs, well, nobody is perfect.

In an interview you gave to the Belorussian magazine Stigmata, you remembered your service time in the NVA (National People's Army) being mainly a positive experience. The Federal Republic of Germany abolished the conscription in 2011. Do you think some kind of a national service was/is good for retaining integrity among people?

As mentioned before, I didn't really get along with state dictated philosophy.
My positive experiences do not apply to any political ideas. I was on the one side of the wall and my grandfathers and cousins were on the other, defined as arch enemies. I am really happy that it ended up as peaceful as it did.
My positive experiences were basically about learning some discipline, doing a daily duty, comradeship, interesting techniques - I mean - I was in the air force. Also, I had a lot of time to do sports and learned to play the guitar and drums.
I actually would have kept a general conscription, with the option of a civil service, if you want. It is not good that young people don't really learn how to obey anymore, learn to respect others, and learn to do your duty for a collective aim. A national service - yes - provided the fact that Germany does not start any or is not taking part in any war activities as stated so often after WWII.
And what happens? We don't have the general conscription anymore, but German soldiers stand in Afghanistan and other countries. What for?
Are we mercenaries? Paid to kill for just anybody? And who dictates that?
Our conscience? America? Is it all about money?

In 2007 you gave an interview to the Dutch webzine Evening of Light, where you wished that the music of Darkwood would have a part in the process you call "Weltenwende" ("World Solstice").
Can you elaborate on this concept? I feel you were talking about some kind of a Pan-Europeanism, but perhaps not in the way of, say, European Union. Do you think that the rise of chauvinistic populism in some European countries is contradictory to this vision of "Weltenwende"?


The original term "Weltenwende" has an esoteric meaning in a way that some people have the ability and might finally receive the Gnosis - a higher knowledge - necessary for the re-birth of a new mankind.
When I was talking about a process called "Weltenwende", I actually meant to help people by means of art and music to live in a more conscious way, to change the mind of people from a mediocre, populist, and naïve way of thinking to a more detailed and more responsible way of thinking, considering environment, and future generations. I also hoped for a change from hypocritical Christian religion - with all its alleged pities for the weak, but suppressing every other religion, women, sexuality, always trying to accumulate treasures - to Pagan believes, which would be the natural and more fitting belief here in Northern Europe. The Pagan believes are closer to nature - sexuality, tolerance, gender equality has been a common thing until Christianity and its Inquisition has wiped away all the knowledge of our "witches", brought us taxes, prostitutes, decadence, torture, crusades, stakes, child molesting priests, and whatever the inglorious list of Christian values incorporates.
 

This "Weltenwende" is not connected to a European Union or political idea. If you ask me about the European Union, well, everybody can see that the idea of a European Union doesn't really work out right now since it is just an artificial economic conglomerate instead of a union of people. The traditions of each country, the abilities and specifics of each country are denied and wiped away, huge companies are driving cheep goods and food throughout Europe ignoring all reasonable ecological rules, the politicians only do their 'jobs' for a lot of money instead of considering what they do as their mission - of course not - because they don't have any. I understand if some people want their countries to be within the EU to escape poverty and lack of prospects.

But it is only for a while until they are forced to do things that are not good for their economy and people. I understand if other people don't want their countries to join the EU to go their own way - but will they manage if the
EU octopus stands against them? So finally it's not a question of being in the EU or not but a question of changing the greedy system as a whole.
Else the average people will always loose and the companies, banks, and politicians will always win. People have to change the whole system by changing their attitude and not 'taking part' anymore. Don't believe in TV, don't believe in the need of military invasion since it is always for financial reasons, consider what you buy, don't buy the cheep goods from far away, teach your children in your way of thinking and let the school teach them mathematics, travel to learn, talk to the people from other countries, you will realize that they have exactly the same kind of problems and the same awareness of the real enemy.

There is a strain of Germanic Paganism going through your work. Do you think a shift towards Pagan spirituality would be good for Europe? If so, do you think each group of people should embrace their ancestral ways (Slavic, Greco-Roman etc.) or should Europeans pursue for some kind of a syncretism instead? Some claim that Christianity has become an integral part of the European heritage and spirit.
What are your views on this?


As stated before, I think it is necessary to shift towards a Pagan spirituality within Northern Europe. I understand that we cannot turn back the wheel of history to a time before Christianity with living in the woods or caves and human sacrifices, but we have to adopt a more spiritual way of living closer to nature, more accepting nature. It might make sense to incorporate values of other believes like altruism, or fasting, but especially in Christianity it is said that man is the dominator of animals and nature, and everybody is striving for wealth, and this attitude will lead us directly into the decline of the West.
The more frugal and less ignorant and arrogant religions of the South and the East seem to be much further ahead. That's why so many people become interested in Buddhism, for instance. But shouldn't it be Paganism to go for since our roots are Pagan, and then we might adopt beneficial parts of the other beliefs to gather people and finally save Europe from total bank
capitalism, total consumption, and decline.

A recurring theme in your work has been the second World War. Even though on the surface your new album "Schicksalsfahrt" ("Destiny's Journey") is centred around the themes of aviation, I feel that the shadow of World War II is looming overhead, much like the silhouette of the Junkers Ju 88 pictured on the album's booklet. Would you agree? What led you into choosing the theme of flying and how much your own experience in the air force had to do with it?

The shades of the past still determine the life in Europe. Wherever you go, whoever you talk to, the two World Wars are still omnipresent, and in fact, nobody should forget about them, since this would mean repeating it sooner or later. "Schicksalsfahrt" is about aviation in general, but in special it is about the life and works of Exupéry, one of my favourite writers, who died in WWII, so of course war would be a topic again. Not all of my songs are songs about war, maybe half of them. But nearly all songs in the common pop music scene are pure love songs. I just felt the need to add some new topics like Paganism, travelling, war, history, seasons, and now aviation… And yes, I used to be in the air force and as a child I of course wanted to become a pilot, so this is one of the things I have always been obsessed with.

Many of your album covers feature different statues and memorials. Could you tell more about them, what they mean to you and how they correspond with the themes of each album?


All right, let's just go through a few examples and name the origin and the ideas behind. The cover of "Heimat & Jugend" shows a grave in Belgium with a picture of a women in a frame, the frame next to her stayed empty. On the backside there is a grave showing a WWI steel helmet covered by ivy leaves. The story you might find in between.
"Ins dunkle Land" shows a WWI memorial in a little city in the Harz, I just liked this particular one since it seemed so desperate and magic at the same time. The topic of "Ins dunkle Land" were the occult background and causes of WWI and WWII. The album is a like a spiral downwards, like a torrent into the dark land of metaphysics. It starts with the end when a tiny female voice states that 'only one grain of sand is all that remained from the vast empire'. All songs in between represent personal fates, travels, dreams, mourning, memories of the past. The last song "Grillenspiel" is about the start of WWI as described in the same titled short story of Gustav Meyrink. This topic is hard to visualize, that's why we have chosen the memorial with shapes nearly dissolving in darkness.
"Herbstgewölk" was about Cold War and nuclear weapons. The statue shows a man with clothes and a cap in 50s style showing traces of corrosion and decay. In the background, there is a mushroom cloud - so the danger is obvious. Apart from mentioning the atom bombs that have been dropped on Japan in the song "Orders", this album is not connected to WWII but rather to the Cold War period that followed after - so this album is not about war, but about the arms race and the Damocles sword of nuclear power.
A third and obvious example is the cover of "Schicksalsfahrt" which shows a relief of the female pilot Melli Beese which you can find near her house of birth in Dresden. The sculptor was friendly enough to image her with pilot goggles, so we thought this would be an impressive cover also showing the female contribution to aviation.
We are actually not obsessed with statues or memorials in general since we are also using a lot of photographs, but we are obsessed with strong characters and expressive faces, which can be statues, memorials, relieves, old photographs, or even paintings.

You run your own imprint Heidenvolk, which has released most of the Darkwood's albums. How do you feel about people downloading your releases for free? You have been posting fan made videos featuring Darkwood's music on your Facebook wall, so I take it you are not completely against people spreading your music over the internet. Do you personally prefer physical releases over the digital ones?
I believe Heidenvolk's catalogue consist solely of CDs. What are the reasons behind that? Are you planning to release other formats?


Well, if people upload their favourite tracks with the cover picture or an own photograph on Youtube, I think it's all right to spread the music and rise discussions. I usually get to know new bands myself by surfing through Youtube. If they create own videos to my music, it's even better, I really enjoy them and often link them from our Facebook site rather than pure sound streams to add an optical dimension to the music. We also have a Bandcamp site to give people the opportunity to go through some albums and download them for a small price. As far as I know, our distributor TESCO also made a contract with iTunes. So this is all reasonable and legal to my understanding. What I don't like and don't understand - if people download all 13 releases somewhere, share them, distribute them, or even sell them, without really listening to the music. I mean, when we create albums, it takes us a long time to work out the topic, create the music, and find the real mood and order of the songs.
If all the songs are just files which are not connected to albums anymore, and have no particular order, Darkwood albums don't really make sense. I am still a CD listener, going through the complete album, thinking about lyrics, reading in the booklet. Of course, you will sooner or later have your favourite songs on each album and might only listen to those in the future, but for the understanding of the music, it is important to take care of the topic and order of songs. Real fans do, and if somebody is listening to a lot of Darkwood, has all albums on his hard disk or mp3 player, and also takes care of topics and order of songs, he or she will sooner or later buy at least one of the albums to own a real CD with artwork.
Fortunately, this is what a lot of people do, and I appreciate that.
Speaking for myself, except getting to know new music on Youtube, I still buy CDs, even very old ones, to own the artwork and to listen to them on a CD player, and of course LPs, since listening to vinyl records is a totally different sound and experience. Older stuff, which has been recorded for LP, like for instance old The Cure albums, I still listen to on LP, newer stuff I prefer on CD, especially if there is a lot of minimal sound or electronics involved, like Portishead or Massive Attack.
For Darkwood, I have often produced a very minimal sound with tiny noises, like on "Heimat & Jugend" or "Herbstgewölk", I don't know, if this would work on LP. But for the folky tunes with many layers and a lot of audio instruments, vinyl is an option, also because of the possible artwork. That's why we did "Weltenwende" as a 10inch EP, re-released "Notwendfeuer" as LP, and did "Schicksalsfahrt" as CD and LP. We will also try "Flammende Welt" on LP, but I had to remix the music, else vocals, noises, or whispering would get lost in the bass lines.

I believe you have an interest in uniforms and that you collect militaria. Could you tell more about this hobby of yours?

It is not that I have a systematic interest in uniforms or militaria.
For uniforms, I basically like the fact that they look beautiful, especially in the case of women. For militaria, I don't really collect them in the way that I go and try to buy certain things from a certain period. It's more like that I keep things that cross my way in one way or another. For instance, I kept the steel helmet and gas mask I used to wear when being in the NVA. I own an Irish parachute waistcoat, because it's warm and I can keep all the stuff like capotastos, plectrums, and guitar tuner in the pockets. Somewhere there should also be an Austrian camouflage shoulder bag and a green Eastern German army rucksack. An NVA paddock should also hide in my wardrobe.

Darkwood has been active for about a decade and a half by now.
How does the future look like?


Oh, that's true, it's already 15 years now - time passes by. Later this year, we might do some re-recordings of older stuff that is sold out and some newer stuff which is played differently on live shows, either for compilations or for a small release. If we re-release something, we will do it as a high quality release with a lot of dedication as usual. We already did with the limited vinyl re-release of "Notwendfeuer" as LP and LP box done by the Russian label Fronte Nordico which has been praised a lot. There will also be a re-release of the "Flammende Welt" album on vinyl, which will be pressed by TESCO. Also, the compilation "Places" published by the Spanish label Caustic Records should come out around May this year containing a quite forceful version of "Stiller Bund". In August, we will play at the Entremuralhas festival in Portugal together with Allerseelen and The Legendary Pink Dots to name a few. We will also try to arrange gigs in some countries we haven't been to yet but
always wanted to play. So maybe we can meet each other in personal some day...

At this point, I want to thank everybody, who is supporting our music, be it for short or long term. I also want to thank those who were interested enough to read this until the very bottom. Last but not least, I want to thank J.H. for the interesting questions and for the patience he had since it took me about a year to finally finish this interview.


...and then!

 
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Darkwood Homepage: here 
Darkwood on Facebook: here

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review: Teitanblood - Death


All the ads in the magazines or online, the printed flyers in your favorite metal club that praise someones album as 'the most extreme thing you have ever heard'... Oh how wrong they all are. 
Behemoth's fronter Nergal continues to fool the people with his 'The Satanist is the most extreme album ever' gibberish, no worshipper of the Metal of Death gives something about to sell as many copies as possible and to make 'The Satanist' a commercial success.
Do not get dazzled by the big, bright light that these words cast unto your eyes. 
As readers of this blog, I anticipate that you have a good taste in music. 
He is promoting another mediocre Behemoth album with big his words. 
But turning rhetoric into action? Nevermore.
Just another feast for the sheeply Behemoth mob.
I here, was lying in wait for something bigger. The true great all-overwhelming darkness. 
I wait for the big chasm that was quietly announced at the last day of 2013.

An album that needs no big promotion or talk. It needs no talk at all. 
No pointless interview statements, extensive touring, magazine coverage or online reviews. 
And to be honest, I was not sure if I should write this review at all.
Just out of pure respect for what Teitanblood achieved with 'Death'.

But here we are now, on our way to the pits of the utmost Golgotha.
Step by step...




Origin: Spain
Founded: 2003
Style: Death Metal
Type: Full-length
Year: 2014

CD / DLP
Norma Evangelium Diaboli (Europe)
The AJNA Offensive (USA)
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To Hell :Anteinfierno:
Where hell is just another phrase to emphasize evil or cruelty, Teitanblood go over the full distance and way beyond. It is not understated that the opening track 'Anteinfierno' is the diabolus in musica.
The armageddon that breaks loose here during the first 40 seconds is just the harbringer of what is about to come on this 68 minute long ride.
Everything is set clear to me now.

To Die :Sleeping Throats of the Antichrist:
The throats of the Antichrist, they are not sleeping. They are Teitanblood.
Where Anteinfierno pulls the rug out from under your feet, landmark number two on our ride is persisting your brain with what is pure darkness.
The skin pounding of J. is hammering on your skull on a almost inhuman level.
What then start in the middle of the song, is the trademark guitarwork that makes Teitanblood what Teitanblood is: Death

Never to return :Plagues of Forgiveness:
Furiously ejaculating, we go on to station three. What started before, gears up now but still keeps the same spirit. 
The cauldron battle between the string and the drum section continues.
All archangels being raped by Azazel's legions.
Riffing somewhere between Blasphemy and total sonic terror.
In terms of production, Teitanblood managed to find a good balance between 'Seven Chalices' and 'Woven Black Arteries'

Elder transformation :Cadaver Synod:
To my suprise, Cadaver Synod starts with a great old school Death Metal vibe that quickly turns into furious guitar putridity.
These bits of old school return from time to time, so the riffs vary from primitive barbarism to screaming madness, sheer listening pleasure.
NSK's chanting makes you freeze in silence, his voice is far away from anything sane.
Frontal storm attack is the law. The best song on 'Death'.

To Perish :Unearthed Veins:
Preluding 'Burning in Damnation Fires', 'Unearthed Veins' is a massive slug of Doom/Death Metal. You can scream, you can fight back but you cannot stop that you are...

To Kill Again (Arriving in Golgotha) :Burning in Damnation Fires:
...'Burning in Damnation Fires'. Similiar to 'Cadaver Synod' Teitanblood pull out the necromancer's wand of ancient Death Metal again.
Full speed ahead and on the way to make you think that there are 5 layers of guitars at the same time and NSK actually is the devil himself.
"Lay down your souls to the gods Rock 'n' roll" is an old hat. 
From now on you will do what the devil says!

To Remain Ash :Silence of the Great Martyrs:
The last station, a 16 minute postludium to your soul that parts into 7 minutes of occult hellnoise and 9 minutes of gregorian chants.
Pretty much Grindcore vocals and the 'regular' Teitanblood-ish madness.
Nothing too exciting in the Teitanblood universe here. 
The weakest song on 'Death'.

Invocatio :Résumé:
Music to die to (or for). Sacrifice hecatombs of blood to this work of the devil. 
This is the climax of Death Metal. I am very sceptic if there will be any better album this year and also: How do they want to top 'Death'?
Compared to 'Seven Chalices', 'Death' is much more intuitive which gives the whole monster an easier access. We are not close to anything like a refrain of course but due to the stronger use of simple riffs to underline the layers of madness, it sounds much more structured than 'Seven Chalices' or the following EPs.

Only DEATH is real...

-Wiedergänger


__________________________________________________________________________
Teitanblood Official: here
Norma Evangelium Diaboli: here
The AJNA Offensive: here

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Review: Mantar - Death by burning

Friends, you might wonder why the blog looks abit empty now, it is because currently we are working on a new design. The old 'roman' one was annoying me and it's time to go one step further in the right direction. You can already see the new Bellum Musicae logo in the 'Label' section.
Still, this is no reason to stop our work so let's go with another review:
Mantar - Death by burning
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When I stumbled upon the video for 'White Nights' on YouTube, I HAD to buy this album.
I did and here we are now. Mantar, praised to me as Black/Doom/Sludge mix are actually playing a style that overall can be compared to the punk/rock/metal of Kvelertak. While smoking pot and listening to 'To Mega Therion'.
Not wondering too much that Svart Records took care of the CD and the Vinyl, I still ordered the tape version. And with that, we have the only minus.
I absolutely love it when bands do collector edition tape, thanks for that but do I really have to break the wax seal to get the tape?
I know this is bitching on a very high level but somehow my collectors heart was bleeding when I had to cut the cords to open the outside packaging. Sigh.




Origin: Germany
 Founded: 2013
 Style: Black / Punk / Stoner / Doom
 Type: full-length
 Year: 2014

CD and Vinyl released by Svart Recs.
Die-Hard MC lim 125 by Breathe Plastic







On like every previous review I have read that everyone had to mention that there is no bass used on this album so: There was no bass used on this album
But it doesn't matter as the guitar sounds heavy as! Heavy galore!
This mixed with a handful of wolverine blues and newer Dark Throne results in straightforward modern metal music anno 2014.
Mantar also manage to add Black Metal, Drone or even horror-like riffs to each song when they're needed which makes this album an absolute pleasure. Everything sounds right and comfy even if the music seems very minimal, they found the perfect mix between primitive and not too easy to grasp. That they left out the bass payed off here.

Let us spot the light on the great standout track that is 'The Huntsmen'. The first few seconds strongly remind me of Mastodon / High on Fire, while the next few seconds were like 'fuck yeah Motörhead' followed by 'Ugh, first wave Black Metal' just to fall into post-rock parts. These sort of structures are very distinctive for the whole album.
This still is not the sort of Rock 'n' Roll easy listening tho. 'Death by burning' is a big chunk of angry feelings and fuck off attitude paired with a sophisticated concept.


And just to disenchant everything what I have said before about the general type of songs on 'Death by burning' that are sometimes speedy thrashers but always almost droning, 'The Stoning' could easily pass off as heavy stoner rocker with a great chorus from the depths of Nebula or Wo Fat in faster moments. A fun song!

Up next is 'White Nights' followed by the outro song that is the instrumental 'March of the crows'. You can check 'White Nights' below.

There are ALOT of influences in everything here so Mantar don't sound like anything you have heard. They simple sound how they sound. Pointing their big middle finger in every direction, 'Death by burning' surely is a favorite for the 'best newcomer' crown.


___________________________________________________________________________ Official Homepage: here
Facebook: here

Bandcamp: here