Monday, April 11, 2011

interview with left hand path done by patrick

metal hails!!!
here is a interview i did with a new old-school death metal band from germany.left hand path embraces both the sound and feel of the early 90's death metal but also embraces the diy. ethics and stands strong even with no big label or production to support them. this is a band ALL fans of old-school death metal must hear.
enjoy and keep the flames of metal burning brightly
patrick and winter torment web-zine
http://www.friendburst.com/wintertorment.com


interview with H.G bassist for left hand path done by patrick


1.metal hails h.g! how are things going in germany? please tell the readers a little about yourself.

Hi! First of all thanks for giving us the opportunity to do this interview for your zine, we really appreciate it! Well, as it says in the header, I'm the bassist of the old school Death Metal band called Left Hand Path, which was formed in the summer of 2009 here in northwest Germany at the shores of the vast, cold and misty north sea... I'm in my late twenties now, have been living here all my life and the last twelve years of that life as a metalhead.

2.when did you first start playing the bass? are you self-taught or did you take lessons when you were younger?

I was fooling around on the guitar for some years in my late teens, so one can say I started rather late even with that one. But during that time I did nothing worth mentioning music wise. On a few occasions I jammed with some people I knew, but it was all ridiculous low-fi jam stuff and I couldn't play properly even if somebody would've put a gun to my head. So in late 2002 I finally got my first bass and indeed began taking lessons shortly after that - because I needed to get the basics right. If you've got nobody that can show you the essentials of playing and you aren't incidentally some first-rate talent who can figure out everything on his/her own, you just *need* a teacher. So that's what I did: I took some lessons for a year plus some months and after that what I did on the instrument could finally be considered "playing" instead of...whatever it was before.

3.who are some of your influences/favorite bassist? do you play any other instruments?

There are tons of remarkable players out there and I guess only a small percentage of those ever get the recognition and/or fame they rightfully deserve. But when it comes to the more well known names, I think Steve DiGiorgio (Autopsy/Sadus/Death/Testament/etc.) is my absolute favourite bassist. It's players like him who really pushed the boundaries of what the role of the bass guitar in metal music is and can be. Another elite-level player and fave of mine is Jan Erik Tiwaz who played for Borknagar for some years and also as the live bassist for Emperor more than ten years ago - he left Borknagar last spring, but I was fortunate enough to see him play live with the band in 2009 and that left a lasting impression. But the thing is; even though those bassists may be my favourites, I can't really say that they're direct influences, since my approach to playing is totally different. When I was still developing my technique, I tried my best to master the three finger plucking technique that Steve DiGiorgio is famous for, which enables you to play very fast and keep up with the guitars without having to use a pick. That technique is something I use even now in Left Hand Path. But when it comes to the other aspects of playing, it's quite different - if you ask me, there are two different approaches to playing bass in a metal/rock context: Either you treat your bass as an instrument that's completely independent of the guitars and does it's own thing - and really stands out through doing that. I'd call that the progressive way. Or you use your bass to make the whole sound as fat and bass-heavy as possible and play exactly what the guitars are playing most of the time. I'd call that approach the traditional way - and that's exactly what I'm doing: 90% of the time I play what the guitars play, but on some rare occasions I play things differently. This is just what this type of music demands and how it was and is still done by the big legends of the genre who never ventured into the more technical or progressive areas of the genre. It's fairly simple: as a listener you don't pick out the bass so easily since it doesn't push itself into the foreground, but you'd definitely miss it if it wasn't there.

About that question whether or not I play any other other instruments: other than the guitar, which I'm not that good at (being a bassist, I always fall into the habit of playing single notes, so if you hand me a guitar, I'll torment people with some mindless pentatonic solos or some easy tapping stuff instead of playing proper chords or riffs) there isn't really anything else that I play. I was forced(!) to take piano lessons when I was a kid and I absolutely hated it. My teacher didn't know the first thing about pedagogics... when you force some eight year old kid to take lessons and play nothing but classical stuff, chances are high that he or she will develop an absolute disgust towards that instrument and maybe even towards playing music in general. That's also one of the reasons why I started playing bass so relatively late: I avoided anything that has to do with actively playing instruments like the plague after those forced lessons ended and it took some years after I had become a metalhead until the urge to play some heavy stuff myself grew strong enough that I decided to give the guitar, and then eventually bass, a try. But I still have next to no clue about music theory and can't even force myself to learn that stuff, which I guess is still a side effect of those piano years. So, people: Don't force your kids to pick up an instrument if they don't want to - it's gonna backfire sooner or later!

4.when did you and you the other members of left hand path meet? was it long until you all formed the band? what is the "current"
line-up? for the readers who have never heard the band how would you describe left hand path's music?

Our guitarist and drummer played in a local Death/Thrash act called Descartar until a while ago. I'd been a fan of theirs for a while when Uffen (then Descartar, now LHP guitarist) told me about his plans of forming a project in the style of the old Swedish Stockholm sound bands when we met at some local underground gig in March 2009. That was during the time when bands like Evocation and Facebreaker who play real old school DM were getting more popular again. Since at the time I had been band-less for a while (my last band was a sludge/thrash/death metal band called Bedevil who never managed to come out of our reaheasal space), I was absolutely stoked when I heard the idea. Anyway, several months came and went, but nothing happened. I already thought the idea would never materialize, but some time in early summer we began talking more frequently about it again and eventually started planning the first rehearsal. Uffen recruited a buddy of his called Boekhoff for the second guitar - years ago he played in a local band called Torture that unfortunately never got to record something - but now he was interested in pounding out some metal again. So we had the Descartar guitarist and drummer, Boekhoff on the second guitar and me on bass, but we still lacked a vocalist. After some consideration we decided to recruit Michael from Tears of Decay as our vocalist, who is an elder statesman of the local scene: he's been organizing an annual two-day Death Metal/Grindcore festival in the local youth center for ten years now, has his own bi-weekly Grindcore/Death Metal/Thrash show on the local radio and writes for a handful of underground zines. His other band, the Brutal Death Metal act Tears of Decay, formed in 1997 and recorded their first demo in May 1999 - and funnily enough I was one of the first people to somehow get my hands onto that tape a few days before my 17th birthday in May '99... at that time I was just getting into the whole extreme metal thing, having listened to mostly standard rock stuff before. Since then his band has shared stages with various big names like Krisiun, Hate Eternal, Misery Index, etc., but due to various reasons Tears of Decay wasn't and isn't as active as they were before, so he liked the idea of starting a new project and became our vocalist. So that was the final nail, the line-up was complete now. I guess we had our first rehearsal in July or early August '09. First we thought of it as a project, but in late 2009 Descartar split up. So Left Hand Path became our drummer's and guitarist's only band at that point and thus it didn't feel like a mere "project" to any of us anymore. The line-up didn't change since then, even though our drummer moved away to study one and a half years ago and he only comes by every couple of weekends. I also moved to the Netherlands for the whole of the summer in 2010 and only was here at home on weekends. But we managed to keep things going despite all that.

Okay, describing the music... think Master, Autopsy, maybe Massacre, some simpler Asphyx and some very slight influence from the old Stockholm bands. As I mentioned above, during the planning stage, we thought of playing more in the style of Unleashed, Evocation, Nihilist and early Entombed, but things eventually developed into a different direction, so that now we've got more in common with the bands of the old Dutch Death Metal scene like Thanatos, Gorefest and Asphyx. Our roots definitely lie in late 80s, very early 90s Death Metal. The band's approach is simple and to the point without any unnecessary technicalities. And the thing is: in a live situation this formula seems to pay out. During our first gig we ourselves were floored when we realized how powerful and punchy our stuff sounded, which is exactly what we originally intended.

5.the band recently released it's 3-song debut demo "time to die".how long did it take you guys to write and record the songs for this release? are you and the other members of the band happy with how everything turned out?

That's an interesting and funny question. During the first months of the band's existence the songwriting process wasn't exactly fast, but it wasn't really slow either. So the songs progressed at a relatively normal pace. At that time we were rehearsing about twice a week. But then, as I mentioned above, our drummer moved away in the fall of 2009 and since then we've only been able to rehearse when he comes home every few weekends and that has slowed us down considerably. From August to December 2009 most of our first two songs was already written, but after that, progress was *really* slow. I guess the time with the least band activity was winter/early spring 2010. In summer last year things eventually started rolling again and we wrote our third song called Suicide of Mankind and began writing parts of the fourth one. Late summer and early fall was spent putting the final touches on what we had so far and to make things tight enough, so that we could enter the studio, which we did on October 23 that year.

As for the recording: when you're a metal band here in East Frisia and want to record a demo or album, you've got more or less just two options: Either you save some nice amount of money and enter one of the world's best studios for metal, namely the "Soundlodge Studio" (where bands like God Dethroned, Cliteater, Dew Scented et al. have recorded their albums) - or you enter the local lo-tech crap studio (ahem, sorry) where 90% of all bands from this area recorded their demos over the last ~11 years and which costs almost nothing ...needless to say we went for the latter option. The recordings were one big beer fueled, nicotine infested, chaotic mess. We had lots of fun though :) We entered the studio on Saturday, October 23 and recorded the last takes until Sunday afternoon, the 24th. After that we spent at least four days mixing those three songs, since the first rough mixes were truly unbearable utter crap. Just to give you one example: our vocalist didn't use a pop filter in front of the mic and held the mic in his hands as if he was singing live, which is alright as long as you later edit out the popping sounds which will inevitably appear as a result of that. But on the first mixes you could hear each and every popping sound clearly. Besides that it sounded as if he growled from out of a card box or something similar. Just imagine the extreme opposite of what audiophiles call "brilliance" and you get quite close. Want to hear another one? Here you are: Michael re-recorded the first scream on Birthless Grave, because he wasn't content with how it turned out on the first take. So he did it again properly - BUT ...the studio "engineer" used the wrong (first!) take in the final mix. I kid you not. And honestly, some other things could've been done better as well. We recorded everything without a click, which caused a problem during the guitar tracking of the third song: the speed of the already tracked drums was slightly fluctuating, so our drummer had to re-record the drums for that one in order to enable us to go on. I could tell you some other things, but I'll leave it at that. So are we happy with how it turned out? I guess so. All those little flaws make it sound very oldschool-like, so it fits the music. I just wish the guitar sound was different. I wanted to have the classic Sunlight Studio sound on the demo which Entombed, Dismember & co. are famous for... I did several days worth of research prior to the recording about how to perfectly nail that sound and assembled all the info during that time. We had everything we needed: I had my Boss HM-2 pedal and our guitarist had a Digitech GNX3000 - so if you combine those two, fine tune the HM-2 the right way, use the Marshall amp and cab simulation of the GNX3000 and then go directly into the board, you're halfway there. All you need after that is an EQ-ripper plugin during the mixing stage, which you use to rip the right guitar frequencies from a reference recording (e.g. any early Dismember, Nihilist, Entombed album). Then you apply that EQ data to your own tracks and THEN finally you've got the absolutely deadliest, meanest, chainsaw guitar sound possible. This is exactly how it was done on Bloodbath's debut full-length and on the new Entrails album (although I don't know about the GNX3000 regarding the latter). But well, I think there was no real interest from the other guys, at least they preferred a more standard guitar sound and so that never materialized on our demo. Maybe it was the right decision after all, I guess we'll never know.

6.how has the response been from the press and the fans?

Fans of old school Death Metal seem to love it. We sent out loads of promos during December and January and the reactions were interesting to say the least: We got some real good reviews, e.g. in the biggest German print mag for extreme metal and in some webzines, but some other webzine journalists prefered to just butcher the demo - and all of those did it for the same reasons: they complained about the production, complained about us having a name that sounds like a hommage to Entombed, while we don't sound like Entombed and generally complained about a supposed lack of tightness and the simplicity of the riffing. The funny thing is... I don't know if you're familiar with Rogga Johansson's project "Bloodgut" - the first Bloodgut album was released some months ago and that is really cheaply done old school Death Metal with the crappiest sound imaginable, absolutely half-assed playing, drums that remind of a cheap punk band and generally it sounds like a joke (not to say anything bad about Rogga Johannson though - I love almost all his other projects, but Bloodgut is just that: a joke). THAT album got good grades, about 70 out of 100pts, in exactly those zines that at the same time butchered our demo, although that Bloodgut album is 100 times worse than our demo in every single department they criticized us for being bad in. So, it's easy to see that there exists a lot of double standardism and hypocrisy even in the so called underground metal press. But well, that just applies to a handful reviews. Those people who know what this music is about seem to like it - and that's all that counts.

7.has the band started working on new music/songs for the next release? when the band does start rehearsing and writing new songs how long does it usually take to complete a song? do all the members take part in the in the music-writing or does 1-2 members handle it all?

Yes, since the demo was recorded we've already finished another song and it's our best one yet, if you ask me. We also started writing another one months ago, even prior to the recording sessions, but that one has yet to be finished. As I already mentioned, it takes us quite long to write our songs - mainly due to us not being able to rehearse as often as we'd like. On average it takes us four months to write one song. All of the riffs are written by our guitarists. Our drummer comes up with drum patterns that fit those riffs and then we assemble it all together. Most of the time is spent finding the right riff progressions. Sometimes we get stuck after having written half a song and have to continue later, which is why there's still a song from last year that we have to finish.

8.who usually handles the lyrics for the songs? with a band name like left hand path.i was curious would you consider the band a satanic death band or do you prefer to stay away from the religion topic in lyrics,etc?

Michael writes all of the lyrics. He presents them to me in German and I translate them for him into English, since otherwise zey could turn out a bit awkvard. Originally we both wanted to keep the lyrics in german - for obvious reasons: it's our mother tongue, it's easier to express yourself in that compared to any second language...and well, it would've been cool to somewhat stand out from the masses, since there aren't that many Death Metal bands using a language other than English for their lyrics. But since our guitarists absolutely hated the idea, we had to scrap that. Oh and we're definitely not a satanic band; we'd rather comment on religion related themes from an objective, observing standpoint. The lyrics on our EP are really personal stuff for Michael, at least two of them. And Suicide of Mankind is more about an apocalyptic scenery where mankind managed to ruin the planet forever. We have not included a lyrics sheet in the current edition of our EP, but the lyrics can be found on our web-presence and somewhere else on the web as well. It's obvious that most people don't really care about lyrics in (death) metal, but we try to write some stuff that has substance instead of growling about zombies or chainsaw massacres... if one makes an effort to write good songs, then in my opinion one shouldn't lower their quality later on through stupid lyrics. Once in a while zombies are nice though, but we'll leave that to others ;)

The band name can be interpreted in various different ways: the term has it's origins in some ancient texts about Hinduism. Originally it meant treading a path towards spiritual enlightenment that was considered extreme in nature compared to the usual "right hand" path (the left hand was always considered to be the filthy one), e.g. achieving enlightenment through massive intoxication instead through abstinence. It's just that the so called western world adopted the term and since then used it for describing everything that has to do with the evil or "dark" side of generally accepted religions - one example would be considering satanism the left hand path of the usual right hand path of worshiping the Christian god. So in general, to get back to the core of the topic, Left Hand Path is a synonym for going against the stream, for rebellion and for keeping an extreme attitude while being at it. And we can't deny that's it's also a nod to Entombed's debut album and through that to the old times of the scene in general (but those journalists that I mentioned in my earlier answer like to use this as an opportunity to slag us off for being uncreative or wannabe-clones of Entombed or something along those lines... anyway, we try our best not to care).

9.what is your opinion on religion? {both christianity and satanism,paganism,etc.etc..} what do you think humanity and the world would be like if religion were never invented,thought-up?

Organized religion is a joke if you think of it. It's 2011 and even now every week there are millions of people running into their local temple to worship a fictional character called god and conduct various rituals. And all of that is openly accepted and considered perfectly sane. But to each their own I guess. It wouldn't really be a problem for people who don't want to be a part of it, if it wasn't for converting religions. The problem arises as soon as they want to spread their "message" while believing in a black and white "us (the enlightened sheep) vs. them (the unbelievers)" scheme. It ranges from the witnesses knocking on your door in the morning to the ancient bloody crusades, the massacres of the conquistadores in South America, etc.. At the end of the day most religions are merely a tool to control people, a kind of organized brainwashing. I think if religion had never been invented, those people who want to control the masses would just find other ways to reach their goal, e.g. through spreading some mundane ideologies (just look at any "-ism" for a good example). When it comes to satanism... I see that more as a philosophy. Most people are familiar with the so called LaVey satanism compared to this occult variety that Crowley was famous for practicing, but I'm not really interested in any of that, because it's rooted too deeply in Christianity for me. The cliché value of satanic metal is great though. There's nothing better than putting on a Deicide album when you're in the right mood and it goes: "saataaan!!". That works for me, but other than that I think satanism is better suited for scaring some dumb little kids. Furthermore I guess in metal this blunt criticism of Christianity has already been done to death. I mean yeah, we know Christianity is *still* a problem, but by now everyone's mother and her dog should already know this. And also I think Christianity is on it's way down anyway, while it seems that Islamism is the real threat right now. Have you heard of those riots last week, where some 20 people got killed in Afghanistan, just because some guy in Florida recently burnt a damn Quran? Or those riots in several countries some years back just because some newspaper in Denmark printed some funny cartoon drawings of their beloved holy prophet. That is insanity at work, man. But only a handul of metal bands write about that stuff (and those who do, do it in a pretty stupid way, at least from what I have seen to far). Paganism is something else entirely for me - like Buddhism, which could be considered a form of Asian paganism. As far as I know, no form of paganism has ever tried to convert the masses or established laws for the whole of society to follow. Paganism is more like an individual spiritual practice and a way to stay connected to your heritage. The big religions encourage humanity to rob nature of everything people want and need, since they see a human's existence on earth merely as a kind of waiting room for heaven (or hell for that matter). In contrast to that most paganist philosophies encourage their followers to respect nature and to make sure it's kept intact for future generations, which is how things should be in my opinion - and you don't have to be a hippie or tree hugger to see the point in that.

Despite all that I don't have a problem with followers of any religion as long as they don't try to convert me or judge me for not sharing their beliefs. I even have a good friend who is catholic and he's one of the coolest people I know and even sometimes listens to death metal :) Besides that there are so many people who consider themselves Christian in metal... just think of Araya, Mustaine, I guess Halford, isn't even Ralph Santolla of Deicide(!!) known for being a practicing catholic?! So as you can see... a lot of that satanic stuff in metal is nothing but image, atmosphere and show. I'm just glad that there are almost no religious bands in the Death Metal genre, especially compared to Metalcore and Deathcore, where those guys all seem to accumulate.


10.in your opinion what is the best and worst thing about the underground scene? and what does the term "underground metal" mean to you?

The best thing about it is that you get to know people all over the world who are as into the stuff as you're yourself. A true underground maniac has a different attitude to this music compared to somebody who just downloads the newest releases from Roadrunner Records and then "realizes" that Extreme Metal "has always been boring" just a few years later. The dedication of the people involved in the underground is definitely what continues to amaze me and makes me confident when thinking of the future. Another good thing is that there's next to no money involved, so no label will pressure a band to conform to any trends, like it happens in the more mainstream metal scene, where various bands adopted Nu-Metal influences when that style was popular and where some heavier bands now integrate breakdowns and stuff into their sound, just to appeal to the Fashioncore crowd and make a few extra bucks because of that.

Regarding the term itself... to me "underground metal" means the scene revolving around bands who are either unsigned or signed to really small DIY labels which are devoid of any commercial interests. Some people seem to think of everything that isn't Maiden, Priest, the Big Four or Pantera as "underground", which would qualify 90% of Century Media's and Nuclear Blast's roster as "underground" and that's obviously b.s.. In the true underground scene there are no ads for a band's new album, no Nightliners on tours, no best-of releases and no recording studio bookings that span three months. But there's dedication, honesty and authenticity.

What the worst thing is? Hard but good question. In my opinion the underground scene could even be better than it is now, if people would think a little bit more outside the box and dare to try new things. It seems as if the scene is stagnating and one rarely hears anything new. But most people involved seem to be o.k. with that. In our local scene some people start to complain if there's a concert every two weeks because they think it's "too much", which is something I disagree with. What can be better than having the possibility to bang your head at an underground gig every weekend? In the Netherlands, which are just a few miles away from here, they seem to do it the right way: sometimes there are metal gigs - not festivals - with nine or more bands playing, starting in the afternoon... they've got a nation wide contest for underground metal bands (some may dislike the idea, I think it's great) and there are even Death Metal gigs on x-mas eve - I saw the God Dethroned release party for their newest album on December 24 last year and it was mindblowing! All those ideas could be adopted by the underground in general. Also playing gigs in unusual places, like that 70000 tons of metal boat trip this year in January, this is something that is rarely done. There could be more collaboration between local bands in a live setting, etc.. It all could be more exciting than just having a standard gig every few weeks where you get shitfaced - and experience that over and over again until you're 70.

11.also i know you are an old-schooler like myself and have seen alot of changes in the underground the last 10-15 years.so i was curious what do you think were some of the biggest changes? also i have heard some say that "metal underground" is dead or dying. would you agree or disagree with this statement?

The underground is definitely not dying - it may be stagnating, but not dying. It also depends on where you look: in many places like Asia for instance, it's still getting bigger. But one can't deny that the changes over the last 10-15 years have been huge, mainly due to the rise of the internet. I myself have just experienced it from 1999 onwards, but anway. It's not as exciting as it was in the old days, because now it's so easy to find the stuff you're looking for and once you've found it, you can download it within seconds. The thrill is gone for the most part. But this is just a nostalgic point of view. If we're honest, we can be thankful about how easy things have become nowadays. I guess pros and cons come with every major change, whether you like it or not.

Another thing I noticed that *really* bugs me is the fact that nowadays lots of people seem to expect you to have a flawless, professional production, perfect artwork and everything that comes along with that even as a *demo* band! Those reviewers for example, who said the sound on our demo was shitty... I wonder what the hell they expected?! Sure, it doesn't sound like a $10000 production, but just ten years ago it would've been considered standard and pretty good for an underground-band. Twenty years ago you got tapes with self-painted covers and nobody complained either... it's getting ridiculous. So yes, there's been a huge change in values over the last years. If you think of it you could say that the true underground has become even more underground now, mainly due to the aforementioned people.

12.you and the band come out of the mighty german scene.so i was interested in your opinion of germany's metal scene?

Germany's scene... well, if you believe that Encyclopedia Metallum website, Germany is the country with the second most bands in the world, right behind the USA, which should be a good thing. But then one has to wonder why such small countries like the Scandinavian ones are still dominating the European metal scene, even though Germany is so huge, population wise... I think the problem with the scene here is that people are good at copying, but they're afraid to leave their comfort zone and try something new. I mean, what innovation has come out of Germany in the last 15 years? Sweden had it's Stockholm DM scene and the Gothenburg sound, Norway had it's Black Metal wave and it's Gothic Metal scene, Finland spawned bands like Children of Bodom who are being copied over and over again and also underground stuff like Funeral Doom originated there... but when I think of Germany, only very good copies of all the aforementioned styles come to mind, but nothing that originally came from here. In the eighties we had our Thrash scene with Kreator, Destruction and Sodom - it was a heavier version of the US Thrash scene at the time, which could be considered quite innovative. Also in the eighties this European Power Metal style was developed mainly here in Germany. But after that I don't know of anything that contributed to the development of metal in general that came out of the german scene, which is a shame. Oh, I forgot Rammstein ...they're even being copied by foreign bands like Turmion Kätilöt from Finland, but exceptions confirm the rule ;) On the other hand, we aren't the most innovative band on earth either, so who am I to complain? If you ignore the missing innovation in our scene, one must admit that it's really, really good. There are so many great bands all over the country, it's impossible to list them all. Also one must not forget that the scene isn't just about bands, but also about gigs and festivals - and Germany has got to be one of the best, if not *the* best country in the world in that regard. Besides that the country is full of metalheads, among them also lots of young people, who thankfully do not all listen to Metalcore. All in all it's one of the best countries for metal in the world, period.

13.who are some of your all-time favorite german bands? are their any new bands coming from the depths of germany's underground you think the readers should watch out for?

In the all-time favourite category: Definitely Fleshcrawl! Those guys have been around since the early 90s, playing Stockholm style Death Metal and they never released a bad album. The last one came out in 2007, so I hope we'll hear some new stuff soon. They've been signed to Metal Blade Records since '99, so their stuff shouldn't be too hard to get hold of. The second favourite would be Disbelief. They're one of the few German bands that have their own distinct style and they've also been around for a long time now and were even signed to Nuclear Blast for a while. Their latest album came out last year. Okay... after that it gets hard to choose... as I said, there are so many great bands here. But here's an insider's tip: Mourning Caress - if you are into more melodic DM. Their debut from 2002 is an absolute classic and they are about the release their third album this year I guess.

New bands to check out are: Parity Boot who play industrial/thrash metal and released their debut in 2009 and Lifeless, a traditional DM band with the trademark Sunlight Studio guitar sound (they've got one album out so far, released in 2008).

14.when not working on new music or band promotion. what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I used to go to the pub alot, maybe too often, but lately my budget has been rather small, so I'm focusing on finishing all those unread books in my collection. Other than that I spend lots of time on the net, talking to all those buddies of mine who moved away. But the highlights in my daily life are definitely going to gigs, rehearsing and playing live, I think.

15.well my friend we have reached the end of the interview. thank you for taking the time to fill out this interview. do you have any final
comments for the readers?

Don't support your local scene - BE your local scene! And if you want to have a copy of our promo/demo/"EP", just contact us via email or myspace, you still get it for free. Oh, and besides the german bands I mentioned above, check out Brutally Deceased from Prague!! That should be it, thanks Patrick for the interview and keep up the good work with your webzine! Hope to see some of you out there in the pit one day! \m/

to contact the band check out their "official" site here.
http://www.lefthandpath.org

Sunday, April 10, 2011

interview with demonic cremator done by patrick

metal-hails!!!
ahh the old-school is alive and well as can be heard on the new demonic cremator release "crucified" for those who enjoy old-school black metal with hints of punk and thrash then scotlands demonic cremator is a band you won't want to miss!!
metal regards,
patrick and winter torment
http://www.friendburst.com/wintertorment




interview with asphyxiator vocalist,drums and necrotica guitars and bass for demonic cremator done by
patrick


1.metal hails!! how are things going for you both this weekend? please introduce yourselves to the readers.



Asphyxiator: Greetings Patrick, i am Asphyxiator of Demonic Cremator. Things are going great, we are very busy at the moment promoting our new Demonic Cremator album 'Crucified'.


Necrotica: Hey, i'm Necrotica, having a great weekend so far, just taking it easy and enjoying time off work!



2.when did the two of you first meet?was it long until you formed demonic cremator? for the readers who have never hearddemonic cremator's music.how would you describe it?

A: Well we actually met at a gig I was playing with my old band at the time, we started talking about our favourite bands and hit it off straight away.We formed Demonic Cremator the year after (2009) because we wanted to pay tribute to the bands we love to a point.

3.you recently sent me a copy of the bands news upcoming cd "crucified"how long did it take to write and record the songs for this release?



A: This time the album took a bit more time to write and record as we wanted to get the exact sound we were looking for, that gutsy, trashy feel. In all it took about 6 months on and off, it's the way it must be. I really think you start to lose the feel and attitude with multiple takes,unless it is required for solo's and such, dive in and fuck it!!

4.are both of you happy with how everything turned out? how has the response been from the fans and press?



N: Yeah we're very happy with how the album turned out, we wanted to make the sort of album we ourselves would enjoy listening to. We wanted every song to be punchy and equally as good as the next, no fillers! So far the response has been great, can't complain about how it's been recieved so far.



5.when you all begin the process of writing a new song how long does it usually take to complete a song? do you both work on the music together or does one of you usually handle everything?



N: Every song is different, Asphyxiator writes the majority of the songs and gets it the composition down pretty quick. I then lay down the guitars and bass and then the vocals are done last.



6.demonic cremator is just the two of you. when you started this band did you plan to keep it a two-piece band or have you looked for some new members to join the band?



N: The idea of bringing other members into the band has never even been brought up, we're happy just the two of us and like the way things work. It keeps it simple. We have no need to bring other members into it as we can do all the instruments between the two of us anyway!




7.if you each had the opportunity to work with any musicians past or present who are some musicians you would like to work with?



N: I think doing something with Attila Csihar would be really interesting. He has a style of his own and has a very unique voice so yeah, that would be different!


A: For me, Tom G Warror, he always comes up with the best riffs. The old stuff is great but i'm also loving his new stuff with Triptykon too. I'm not saying we would get along though, haha.




8.everyone has their own ideas/opinions on what black metal means or stands for.so i was curious on your ideas.in your opinions what does the term black metal mean to each of you?



N: Black Metal to me means being anti- conformist, no rules. It's about being an individual and not giving a fuck what anyone thinks really and i think that shows in the music.


A: To me this means absolute freedom in my music and towards how i live my life. I am my own person and have my own ideas about how things should be.


9.are either of you currently working or playing in side-bands or projects? if yes please tell the readers a little about them.



A: I have my solo project SPIRITUS which is a slightly more 'necro' sound and concept, and has a handfull of releases,new album 1977 is being relesed in the next few months. I will also be taking this live soon.


10.necrotica you handle both the bass and the guitars for the band. when did you first start playing these instruments? are you self-taught or have you taken lessons in the past?



N: I started playing when i was fourteen, so ten years ago now. I am pretty much self taught, and learned mainly by ear with the exception of getting shown the basics from my dad.

11.who are some of your influences/favorite guitarist/bassist? besides the bass and guitars do you play any other instruments?



N: Well i have lots of influences but main ones would be Ihsahn and Blasphemer, i like their style of playing and their compositions are always different, never get boring for me! No other instruments, i own and old drum kit but have only ever learned the very basics, not even worth mentioning haha.




12.asphyxiator you handle the drums for the band.when did you start playing the drums? who are some of your ifluences/favorite drummers?



A: I sarted on the drums I think age 12 or 13, after I started learning the guitar and bass. I really wanted to get a handle on all the main instruments you know? And it has just been a case of improving constantly, which is difficult as I have no drums of my my own so they are always borrowed or hired as much as possible. Fuck i've gota say Clive Burr (ex-Maiden) and also Eric Carr (ex-Kiss) were a big influence, from watching all the old video's.


13.you also handle the vocals for the band. when did you first start singing? who are some of your favorite vocalist/singers? do you do anything special to keep your throat/vocals healthy?



A: I have been singing in all sorts of bands over the years now,so that experience has definetely helped a lot. My favourite vocalist has always been Sebastian Bach actually, what a set of fuckin' pipes!! Well I do have my rituals like taking it from the gut and trying not to shit myself hahaha.



14.the band comes from the scottish underground. what is your opinion of scotland's metal underground? who are some of your all-time favorite bands? are their any new bands you think the readers should watch out for?



A: There really isn't that much of a scene as such, i tend to keep away from this side of things and just concentrate on our music. Yes we have some friends in the scene but it doesn't strickly apply to Black Metal. Thats why i have started my own label, Unholy Resurrection Records, i want to discover new unknown Black metal bands mainly Scottish to get things going here.




15.well necrotica,asphyxiator we have reached the end of the interview.thank you for taking the time to fill out this interview. do you have any final comments for the readers?



N: Thanks for the interview. Check out our new album 'Crucified' which is out now on Unholy Resurrection Records. Also, i have just started design label doing album artwork for bands so any bands interested check out http://www.myspace.com/merciless_designs



to check out and contact demonic cremator check them out on one of their many sites!!

http://www.myspace.com/demoniccremator
http://www.reverbnation.com/demoniccremator

and bands,labels,fans be sure to check out necrotica's new site and design label here!!!!
http://www.myspace.com/merciless_designs

interview with crucified mortals done by patrick

here we have a new interview with the excellent death/thrash/horror metal band crucified mortals!! i have heard this bands named mentioned a few times over the last few yrs. but wasnt until i got the bands "self-titled" debut i heard first hand at their metal brilliance!! the band doesnt fuck around with flashy technical playing or over-the top brutality like so many u.s bands instead they mix in the classic sounds of early 80's u.s thrash and some "classic" sounding swedish guitar driven death metal for a unique yet metal-filled release. fans of pure metal mayhem will worship crucified mortals so read the interview and buy their debut cd on hells headbangers!!!
thanks and keep the flames of metal burning brightly!!
patrick


interview with Reaper vocalist,guitarist for crucified mortals done by patrick



1. metal hails Reaper! how are things going in ohio? please tell the readers a little about yourself.


I am the bassist and vocalist of Crucified Mortals, I started the band back in 2001 and am proud that now after 10 years it is still in existence.




2. when did you and the other members of the band meet? was it long until you formed crucified mortals? what is the "current" line-up? for the readers who have never heard the band how would you describe the bands music?


I met Sebastian first in 2003 I believe and Zack a little later that year, Crucified Mortals was already started by that time and Zack didn’t join the band right away. Our music is lyrically based on horror and we are commonly described as Death / Thrash which I personally agree with. Current line up:
Reaper: Vocals / Bass
Zack: Guitar

Sebastian: Drums






3. the band recently released it's self-titled debut cd through the mighty hells headbangers rec. how long did it take the band to write and record the songs for this release?


All the songs were written at numerous times so it’s tough to say how long it took, but guessing I’d say a year. The recording itself took a little over a year and mostly because of the many problems we faced that set us back tremendously.






4. are you and the other members of the band happy with how everything turned out? how has the response been from the press and fans?


We are all happy with how it turned out, the response from fans has been good, no one from the press has given it a downright negative review but for the most part their reviews suck because it’s usually worn out people reviewing so they don’t really give anything a passionate listen, it’s just another task for them.






5. does the band have any upcoming shows or tours in support of the new cd? if yes where are some places you will be playing? who are some bands you will be sharing the stage with? if you had the chance to set up a "dream" show/tour who are some bands you would love to play/tour with?


No plans to tour and no shows have been scheduled. A dream tour for me would be great accommodations, comfortable traveling conditions and enough stage room to do the type of display/show I’d like. As far as bands it really doesn’t matter, from my experience I’ve met great people from touring with bands I knew nothing about and in the end that’s what matters.






6.how often does the band get to practice? have you all started working on new songs for the next crucified mortals release? when you all begin writing new songs does the whole band participate or does one or two members usually handle everything?





When we have something going we usually meet once a week. Yes writing for a new album has been started. Usually myself and/or Zack will write something on our own then bring it to practice and we tweak the song as a band if needed.






7. who usually handles the lyrics for the songs? what are some topics/subjects you all write about?


I handle all the lyrics, there has been only one song which I didn’t entirely write and that is “Converted By Decapitation”. Our lyrics are usual based on or inspired by horror.




8. what does the term "underground" metal mean to you?




Passion, do it yourself, and an escape from the commercial music crammed into your ears daily. It’s a scene which musicians can freely express themselves and write their music the way they want it. The end result is an honest representation of one’s ability as an artist to write and perform. Whether a band is as tightly played as Iron Maiden or as poor as a beginner first learning his instrument there is an audience seeking to hear your music.




9. I know you have been a part of the underground scene for many years so i was curious how do you feel the scene has changed over the years? Do you feel it is better or worse than it was say 15-20 years ago? and also i know in the past few years i have heard some say the "scene" is dying or dead etc.. what is your opinion towards this subject?


With the internet and recording technology being so advance anyone with a couple hundred bucks and web connection can record a pretty good sounding demo then get it out to the world. There is an audience for anything and everything no matter how bad it may be so how could the “scene” be dying? People seem to confuse the fact that just because 20 plus years ago when there was a thrash boom or a death metal boom it was a fresh new sound and that it doesn’t exist today now that it’s not fresh. There are just as many good and bad bands coming out now as there was then. I think they just believe it’s dying because you hear so many more bad bands now as opposed to then because it’s so easy to record and get your stuff out there. Unless these people are referring to a particular area’s scene dying, I think the scene as a whole is very much alive.






10. Do you or any of the other members of crucified mortals play in side-bands or projects? if yes please tell the readers a little about them?




I have been involved with a few side projects, I played Guitar and Bass in Spawn Of Satan on a split 7” w/ Evil Angel and played bass on a few Spawn Of Satan recordings which have not been released yet. A few years ago I also played bass for a project called Nordic Mist. I was a full-time member of Nunslaughter from 2005-2010 where I had played both guitar and bass, but in the later years just bass. Zack has a very Slaughter-ish sounding punk band called Nekrofilth which he does vocals and guitar for and he has been the guitarist for Nunslaughter from 2006 till the present.






11. You and the band come out of the great state of ohio. i know back in mid- to late 90's ohio had a strong metal scene with some great bands. what do you think of today's ohio metal scene ?


I can only speak for North Eastern Ohio and realistically that seems to be where most of the bands are/were from. Metal is very much around, but I think time, drugs and egos have really secluded most of the veteran fans and musicians from being very active in making music and coming out to shows. Which unfortunately an older crowd is what the scene is mostly made of. But the people who are excited about metal give it their heart and soul, some of the biggest metal fans I have met and know are here. I think we have/had some great bands from the area but need some more younger people to get involved and keep it going.







12. who are some of your all-time favorite bands from ohio? are there any new bands you think the readers should check out?


I really like Decimation, I released all of their demos on CD a few years ago. Destructor which of course is a classic; The Vladimirs, Faithxtractor and Estuary all have shared members yet a sound of their own and excellent music. Mortifier is a young thrash band who are passionate about their music and not just some trend followers.






13. coming back to the band you handle guitars for the band. when did you get interested in playing guitar? are you self-taught or have you taken lessons in the past?


This record is actually the first recording which I didn’t play guitar I played bass and vocals. I was interested in playing guitar when I was 14 and I pretty much just figured it out on my own.






14. who are some of your influences/favorite guitarist? do you play any other instruments?


Nicke Anderson (Entombed, The Hellacopters, Death Breath, etc.) comes to mind, a pioneer for Swedish Death metal and a very versatile musician. I play bass and am screwing around with drums.




15. you also handle the vocals for the band. when did you start singing? who are some of your favorite vocalist? do you do anything to keep your throat / voice healthy?


I started “singing” when I started playing guitar, I was influenced by Mille Petrozza when trying to find a vocal style so I’d same him from the “Pleasure To Kill” days, even though I sound nothing like him. I don’t smoke cigars/cigarettes or marijuana and usually don’t sing unless it’s for band practice or recording.






16. well Reaper thanks a lot for taking the time to fill out this interview. do you have any final comments for the readers?




Check us out if you have not heard our stuff already and keep an eye on our future releases.


To order a copy of the debut cd check out "hells headbangers" shop.
http://www.hellsheadbangers.com

Sunday, April 3, 2011

new metal reviews for 4-3-11

metal hails!!
here is a new batch of reviews for all of you to sink your teeth into.if you missed my previous blog. i have decided to "add" the genres of old-school death,thrash/speed metal,heavy metal and some newer death bands if i like their music and they don't have a rockstar attitude. i hope you all enjoy the new reviews and find some new bands to your liking!!!
until next time,
patrick and winter torment web-zine
http://www.friendburst.com/wintertorment


crucified mortals-crucified mortals cd {hells headbangers rec.}
{reviewed by patrick}
old-school death/thrash lives and it has never sounded better or more fierce.ohio's crucified mortals have nice catalog of back demo's,splits,.but have unleashed their full-length debut with eleven tracks of early 80's aggressive thrash guitar oriented music mixed with some early 90's u.s style death metal this is a perfect blend of uncompromising,unrelenting death/thrash.guitars are played with alot of chaotic violent riffs and pure metal solo's but also within the chaos the band showcases some well-written and even complex structures.the vocals are gruff growls.the production is pure-perfection it is not extremly raw/thin sounding like so many from the 80's were but is also not over-produced and weak like so many of todays bands.it fits the band chaotic sound very well giving the listener the chance to hear every guitar note,thunderous drum or horrific growl.crucified mortals is a must have for all fans of old-school death/thrash
label contact
www.hellsheadbangers.com


disentomb-sunken chambers of nephilim cd {obsidian rec.}
{reviewed by patrick}
i recieved this from a good friend of mine who is also a zine editor but disentomb didn't really fit their format so he sent it my way. i have to be honest i am a picky old-bastard with alot of the newer-death metal bands out today.but i have to admit i enjoyed listening to sunken chambers of nephilim alot! disentomb are fairly new band out of the legendary australian metal scene. disentomb play fast,brutal death metal the band seems to have a nice mix of semi-technical riffs and solo's {without loosing the heaviness or going over-board like so many bands today} the drums are executed nicely with pounding riffs and violent patterns. the vocals are a little deeper than the average death growl but i wouldn't call em guttural by any means. fans of the newer-brutal death metal style should defintly give disentomb a chance.
band contact
http://www.myspace.com/disentomb


fester-winter of sin digi cd {abyss rec.}{reviewed by patrick}
winter of sin was originally released in 1992 but thanks to the u.s label abyss records it is now being re-relased so both old and new black/death metal fans can bask in the greatness that is fester! fester comes out of the legendary norwegian underground and lets face it back in the early 1990's no other country came close to releasing great black metal like norway.fester was defintly ahead of their time and went against the norm {remember this was originally in 93 before black/death was blended together by so many} instead of the raw,primitive style that norway was known for fester played fast black metal but their guitar riffs/chords were a little thicker and even had a few solo's entertwined the riffs to give them a death metalish feel and sound.fester even went a little further to make winter a sin a "classic" within the black metal scene by adding some avantgarde and melodic interludes to their already gloomy and grim sound.even today in 2011 festers-winter of sin still stands out a great and original masterpiece. defintly get this if you like original and dark black metal.
label contact
www.officialabyssrecords.com


Hat--vortex of death cd {abyss rec.}{reviewed by patrick}
vortex of death is hat's {or hate in norse,swedish language} second release.looking at the band's bio it looks like the band originally started in 1993 {under the name ravnr} and was on hiatus until 2006 when the duo returned as hat. this is defintly a must hear if you are a fan of the "classic" cold,grim black metal that norway is best known to produce.the band has a great sound and are obviously know their instruments as they play the old-school style of norwegian black metal but they do it with enough original ideas they don't come off sounding like a 3rd rate clone.defintly a must hear for fans of old-school norwegian black.
label contact
www.officialabyssrecords.com



insidious omen--Annointed with blood of chaos Mcd {ahdistuksen aihio rec.}
{reviewed by patrick}
insidous omen are a 2-man band coming from the depths of the u.s black metal scene. insidous omen play primitive and vicious black metal the way it was meant to be played. no compromises,no atmosphere just pure violent machine-gun style blasts,killer whirlwind guitar riffs and demonic vocals to tear your weak soul apart. if you are a fan of early 90's black metal and some newer war-styled bands then defintly check out insidous omen.
label contact
www.ahdistuksenaihio.com


invasion-orchestrated kill maneuver cd {rotting corpse records}{reviewed by patrick}
now this is what i call pure death metal!! with so many bands today either trying to out do each other with over the top technical guitar riffs and solo's or the god-awful death-core shit trying to be passed off as pure death.it is nice to see a band that plays pure heavy straight-forward death metal. this is a band that will crush anyone and everyone who gets in their way.orchestrated kill maneuver features 12 neck-snapping bombastic tracks of heavy bass,guitars and pounding drums that will pummel your senses into oblivion.the band does not hide behind any kind of imagery or impress anyone with over-technical guitars,no melody. invasion just create what they love and what they know and that my friends is pure,heavy in your face death metal!! with no apoligies.this is probably one of the best u.s death metal bands i have heard in sometime and highly recomended to all fans of heavy straight-forward death metal.
label contact
www.rottingcorpserecords.com




left hand path--time to die cdr demo {self-released}{reviewed by patrick}
germany's left hand path may be a new band to the underground.but the members are not playing in various bands over the years until recently joining forces to form left hand path.left hand path play the pure old-school death metal style from the 80's and early 90's.heavy mid-paced guitars and thunderous bass and some excellently played drums combined together nicely.the band instantly took me back to the early 90's {and my personal favorite time/style for both death and black} the band are not total clones as they have enough good ideas mixed into their music to make the 3 songs on the demo interesting and to keep the listeners attention without compromising the feel and sound {the demo even has the same sound of the early days not too raw,but not polished or clean like most of today's demo bands} of the bands old-school style. this is a MUST have for all fans of early 90's gods such as benediction,grave{1st release},and others from this time.
band contact
http://www.lefthandpath.org


Nunslaughter-DEMOslaughter double-cd {hells headbangers rec.}{reviewed by patrick}
here is a real treat for all of you long-time metal-fanatics brought to you by the u.s legends of death and one of the u.s leading pure-metal label hells headbangers.Nunslaughters first 6 demo's and various 7inch tracks. as if this was not enough for a real metal-filled treat included on the double cd or 4-lp box set is demo from death sentence {a band some members had pre-nunslaughter!}
just in case some reading this is new to the scene or if you have never crossed-paths with nunslaughter. the band nunslaughter has been a major force within the true,diy death metal underground for 22 years! yes 22 you saw that right.nunslaughter play death metal the way it was meant to be played raw,filthy,uncompromising and just plain heavy.this is a band that doesnt follow any trends or worry about whats the flavor of the week instead just keep pumping out one great metal-release after another. if you are a fan of this band you know what to expect so buy this! as mentioned if you have never heard nunslaughter and enjoy the old-school raw sounds of early death metal then buy this you will not be disapointed!
label contact
www.hellsheadbangers.com


pasadena napalm division-P.N.D e.p {abyss records}{reviewed by patrick}
pasadena napalm division is somewhat of a metal crossover band.featuring members of d.r.i,dead horse and verbal abuse.this is bands debut e.p and for the style it is it is not bad but honestly not my type of music. i remember listening to d.r.i in highschool and still enjoy them from time to time. but pasadena napalm division seems to be lacking something i can't quite put my finger on it.their are fast,catchy guitars,sing-along vocals and choruses and the punk attitude.so i will end by saying if you are a fan of the above mentioned groups or a fan of crossover metal then you might enjoy the band as well.for me i am gonna listen to the more brutal styles of death or black metal.
label
www.officialabyssrecords.com
band contact
www.pasadenanapalmdivision.com

sanhedrin--salvation through sin cd {self released}{reviewed by patrick}
the u.k's sanhedrin have released a very impressive debut.salvation through sin is defintly a impressive debut and listen.the bands music can be best described as atmospheric black metal.the band never goes full-on with the hyperspeed black metal.but the band defintly keeps the pace going with intense,fast black metal with interludes of dark atmosphere and eerie horror-movie style soundscapes.the band also uses keyboards like so many in this genre but sanhedrin use them to their advantge and keep them entertwined within the guitars,drums and vocals letting them blend in nicely for another layer to sanhedrin's already darkend atmosphere and sound.fans of old-school raw black metal will probably not be to interested in sanhedrin.but if you enjoy well-played atmospheric blackend death with alot of class and originality then sanhedrin is a band you should really check out soon.
band contact
http://www.myspace.com/sanhedrin666




spiritus-beauty of death cd {svartlagh records}{reviewed by patrick}
spiritus is the new project from asphyxiator {who some might know from his old-school black band demonic cremator} the biggest difference between the two bands is spiritus has alot of raw,early 90's influence in the music but also some ambient interludes and a modern black metal feel to some of the songs.the vocals are screams with some industrialized influence for a mechcanical sound to the vocals on some parts which is different from the plain old screams of alot of black metal bands. the music of spiritus is mid-range sounding with raw guitars,drums and ambient/instrumental interludes between each song which gives spiritus a bit of originality and breaks up the onslaught of raw black metal.beauty of death is a good start for spiritus and i for one am looking forward to seeing and hearing more from this band in the future. fans of raw black metal with ambient influence should check out spiritus today!
band contact
http://www.reverbnation.com/spiritusBM





torture division-evighetens darar cd {abyss records}{reviewed by patrick}
the musicians of sweden's torture divisions are no strangers to brutal ity.featuring vocalist/bass player jorgen sandstrom{vicious art.ex-grave,ex-entombed},tobias "tobben"gustafsson{vomitory} torture division start things off with thunderous drums,heavy guitar riffs and never let-up the brutality.the guitars are heavy fast riffs mixed in with some more mid-paced riffs and few solo's entertwined.the drums are crushing thunderous beats mixed with outburst of blasting insanity.the vocals are brutal swedish growls with some screams added to the brutal mix. if you are like me and have never heard this band before but you enjoy classic swedish brutal death metal then pick up torture division as soon as you can i guarantee you won't be disapointed.
label contact
www.officialabyssrecords.com
band contact
www.torturedivision.net




W.A.I.L-W.A.I.L Cd {ahdistuksen aihio prod.}{reviewed by patrick}
finland's w.a.l.l {which stands for wisdom through agony into illumination and lunacy} have released a brilliant debut!5 tracks of crushing death/doom metal the band seems to draw alot of inspiration from early death/doom gods such as mournful congregation,thergothon,disembowlment etc.the band is not all depressive,and bleak music as the members of w.a.i.l have some dark atmosphere entertwined within the crushing dread and their are even some expiremental music/sounds throughout some of the the long,epic songs.this is defintly a band that has found a musical formula that works for them and also the added influence helps the band stand out from the endless sea of death/doom bands.this is a must hear for all fans of crushing doom with some originality.
label contact.
www.ahdistuksenaihio.com