English Black Metal is seeing a strong revival with bands up and down the country laying down their own perception of the genre and making the sound their own. From the WW2 addicts Eastern Front and Stahlsarg to the folkloric bards of the heathen lands Winterfylleth and Fyrdsmann, now Old Corpse Road are ready to join the celebrations.
Having recently released their new lyric video 'Herne Of Windsor Forest', Durham's sons of nature-based Black Metal Old Corpse Road are going places with their second album 'Of Campfires & Evening Mists' due to drop 27th May via Cacophonous Records.
Therefore GMA decided it was time to hunt down these beasts of the forest, pin them down to the mushroom-engulfed forest floor and interrogate them in their own backyard. Four members escaped with only The Dreamer giving into mercy...
Guys, how does it feel to be releasing your second album "Of Campfires & Evening Mists"?
The album has been a long time in the making so it is fantastic for it to finally about to be released.
Also, how does it feel to be releasing your first album via Cacophonous Records, of whom have a long-standing record of supporting Black Metal?
The band grew up listening and following Cacophonous, as teenagers we idolised everything they brought forth. This period was a special time and Cacophonous was responsible for cementing Britain's name in the Black Metal history books, so to be connected to this is very meaningful to the us. I still remember journeying to Newcastle HMV to purchase Cradle Of Filth - the Principle of Evil Made Flesh shortly after its release.
The dedication and support from a legendary label is incredible. For Cacophonous to have faith in our vision and music is a humbling experience. It is a great honour for the Old Corpse Road moniker to sit alongside many of the bands that inspired our journey. The Cacophonous label history speaks for itself, but to be part of its future and to be joining our brothers The Infernal Sea and The King is Blind in the next chapter of the label is a truly incredible opportunity. We hope our partnership with Cacophonous proves to only strengthen the burgeoning UK Black Metal scene.
Since you sing about British Folklore, and bands like Winterfylleth, Cnoc An Tursa, Wyrdsmann, etc sing about very similar topics, could it be said that British Black Metal holistically is finding a newer refined identity?
There is definitely a historical and heritage aspect to all of those bands, however there are many British bands representing other aspects of black metal, be it misanthropic, satanic or esoteric. The wonderful thing about the British scene is the lack of a uniform identity, for example there is no defining sound (as you may find with the classic Swedish, Ukrainian or Norwegian sounds). The uniqueness of British bands is our identity, and has in turn lead to a more unified scene as there is a lack of competition.
Could you shed light on the inspirations behind "Of Campfires & Evening Mists", what have you done different? How did you go about the writing process?
The album came about as a natural reaction to our previous album 'Tis Witching Hour'. Where 'Witching Hour...' focused on the dark and gothic, 'Of Campfires and Evening Mists' is an illuminating album drenched in autumnal evening glow. The key to the album is summoning the primeval awe within our listeners, where the spiritual effects of campfires and evening mists upon those gathered is given life. To this end the music, artwork and album title have been created and adapted in such a way as to present this theme in a cohesive and unifying manner. Natural colours, earthly tones and a simple lyrical narrative are key features of the aesthetic.
Initially inspired by a Wiccan Beltane gathering at Thornborough henge the concept has grown from a simple pagan ritual into a full concept. Using the principle of the druid rites as an analogy to those who gather in the wilderness and share tales of old, the album is broken into 3 parts. In terms of what we would do different I don't think there is anything that comes to mind. Due to the amount of time it has taken to complete the album I believe we were able to evolve and modify the music until we were entirely happy.
The writing process is very organic in the band, we tend to jam ideas and bring songs together in our rehearsal room. In all of our creativity we let the music tell us where to go, riffs lead comfortably into other riffs, ambient sections grow and expand as we play them. Where most bands processes can be very formulaic we tend to rehearse songs in a live environment for months modifying and evolving the structure until completion. Although the themes and atmospheres were very obvious from the outset, the ideas evolved steadily as the music grew and this is a very slow but enjoyable process, lacking in any dramatics. We found, as with our past works, that as we prepared and researched ideas they came together in a very organic way.
Relating back to question 3, could you argue that your music can be used to educate people, especially those studying British Folklore and / or mythology?
Our approach to our lyrics relies heavily on remaining true to the tale. We avoid poetic license as much as possible and for this reason our lyrics can be used effectively as a teaching tool. A strange aspect is that we are carrying on the folklore tradition by passing on the stories as our ancestors did albeit in extreme musical form rather than spoken word.
Assuming there will be a tour in support of the new album, are you looking to target new areas to perform? Perhaps continental Europe?
We are always open to playing new places in support of our music. The band would love to break into Europe and will be taking any opportunities we get.
What would you say is the greatest challenge for any unsigned metal band to overcome at the moment? (Feel free to use your own experience(s)).
With the advent of easy home recording and the ability to collaborate and share music online the musical landscape has changed a great deal since our first experiences of being in bands. Along with this dramatic change has come a whole new raft of challenges for bands. Some of these are simple such as trying to stand out in a scene that is flooded with artists, others are far more damaging. The biggest one for Old Corpse Road is trying to stay afloat financially. The growth of downloading and streaming services has made a huge impact on physical sales. Although we all support the digital era, it is hard to deny it is not having an effect on bands. There no doubt need to be a shift in the current systems that allow greater rewards to bands and allow them to continue.
Finally are there any greetings, thank you's, etc you wish to send out?
There are way too many people for us to thank easily, as we have been fortunate enough to have met so many incredible and dedicated people. In keeping with the new album it is perhaps easier to say Hail and Farewell to all those that have ever supported us!
'Of Campfires & Evening Mists' is out 27th May via Cacophonous Records.
"Interestingly Vedic metal has drawn the attention of musicologists and has it has been studied by music teachers in local schools here"
As Singapore's veteran metallers Rudra announce details of their eighth album, GMA caught wind of this and decided to drag Kathir Aryaputra (lead vocalist / bassist) into our interrogation room and question about Rudra's motives, their alibi's, etc well there history, future and what 'Vedic Metal' really is about.
So guys, what's the latest news from the Rudra camp? What plans have you got for the rest of 2016?
"We have been pretty busy with the recording of the new album in the last 10 months. We hope to see that done within the next few weeks and finally have the album released in July / August. After which we should be touring and playing shows to promote the album."
You're due to drop your 8th album, can you give us an in-depth disclosure about what fans can expect and what song titles have you already got? What do they mean?
"The new album sounds to be much like in the vein of "The Aryan Crusade" and "Brahmavidya: Primordial "I. We have incorporated exotic Indian musical elements such as the tabla, sitar, classical female vocals, flute, Indian drum percussion and even the didge. We are working with reputable musicians from Singapore in order to do that.
The album is also going to be shorter than the last one with fewer but faster songs. The lyrical theme surrounds the Mandukya Karikas, which is a 1500 year old Sanskrit text about Vedic non-dualism. Every song in the album is sort of a commentary on a verse or two from the text."
As you are the pioneers of 'Vedic Metal', a truly unique and phenomenal sub-genre, could you tell us what it entails, what the future looks like for the genre and whether the genre could be used to educate listeners?
"Vedic metal is a name we coined to distinguish ourselves from the different styles of metal. While we have broadly played the generic Death and Black Metal styles, we have also infused it with carnatic ragas and other Indian folk melodies. More than that our lyrics surround the theme of Vedic philosophy and Sanskrit. This is Vedic metal to me.
The recent decade has seen a couple of bands adopting this genre and making it famous and also innovative. I truly believe that this genre could be further exploited and has great potential. Interestingly Vedic metal has drawn the attention of musicologists and has it has been studied by music teachers in local schools here. I think the future looks promising."
Christian Metal has existed for a while, so surely it's only a matter of time before Hindu Metal makes an appearance, do you guys feel that metal music can be used as a way to express religious beliefs but ironically is seen as a threat to mainstream religion?
"In my opinion metal can be used to express anything and everything. And we have seen Christian metal bands like Seventh Angel, Stryper, Mortification and Ethereal Scourge. I love these bands. But I am a little sceptical about the marriage of Extreme Metal and god loving lyrics. Certain religious ideas can be too mushy for extreme metal. I find that a great mismatch. The depiction of God or any religious belief has to match the intensity of Extreme Metal or it may end up sounding lame and cheesy. Imagine a guy screaming “God is Love” with a shrieking voice. So there has to be some kind of compatibility with the musical intensity and the lyrical content. I found the recent Stryper album to be a little too preachy and mushy, at least for me but I loved their ‘Against the Law’ album.
People do consider us Hindu Metal at times cause you can’t run away from that. But I am a pluralist and hence we have no ‘divine message’ for you except that of pluralism. Rudra is not one of those bands that uses metal as pulpit to preach its philosophy. We write about non-dualistic philosophy (advaita) from the Vedic culture, much like poetry but with intellectual honesty. To me what I write fits perfectly into Extreme Metal. The philosophy is as extreme. This is to me the hallmark of Vedic Metal which Rudra plays, that of non-dualism where dualism is systemically dissected and demolished with 'devotion'. Ha ha. "
Where does your forthcoming album sit in relation to your previous albums? Is this the strongest album you have done to date? What are your inspirations and influences for the new album?
"Like I said earlier, the album sounds a lot like "The Aryan Crusade" and "Brahmavidya: Primordial I". So it is going to be intense and heavy. It has become a cliche for bands to always call their forthcoming album their strongest. I am not going to say that. But this album is not going to disappoint our fans and fans of Extreme Metal. The new album expresses adequately the dilemma of expressing the non-dual dimensions of reality within a framework of duality. As contradictory as it may sound, this album has achieved the fine balance of serenity and tranquilly with ferocity."
Will there be a tour or at the very least an album release show? Are there any plans to tour the UK / EU?
"Yes, an album release show is definitely on the table. We would love to tour the UK / EU but we have not spoken to any promoters yet in that part of the globe. We really need to get there soon."
What is the current state of the Singapore Metal scene, is it stronger than ever? What problems over your career did you notice about the scene? (Media? Labels? Oppression?)
"No problems. We strategized our career and managed our own expectations. So we have always been happy doing this and we don't see ourselves stopping this in the near future. We will keep churning out albums as long as we can.
The Singapore Metal scene has always been consistent. Nothing much has changed. We have a small but committed scene of which we are proud of."
If metalheads visited Singapore, what tourist attractions could you recommend for people to visit? Are there also any good rock clubs / bars? Is there any social stigma to metalheads, that is are black band t-shirts band or are they tolerated?
"I have no recommendations for places in Singapore. I believe most rock clubs are dead.
We used to have that stigma of wearing black or sporting long hair etc. But to date that stigma has gone. I don't think the problem is as bad as it used to be. So all is good."
Will the album be solely released in Singapore, or have you got deals in place worldwide?
"This album will be a global release. We are currently in the midst of signing a record label for a global CD & digital release of the album. And we are also looking at releasing the album on Vinyl as well."
Finally do you have any hello's, thank you's, etc you wish to send out?
"Thanks for reading this interview."
Bloodstock "is the best independent metal festival, and we hope to play again soon".
Following the latest album release by East Anglian Black Metal horde The Infernal Sea, it was about time we gave them a grilling as we interrogated them about their latest album, what the future of Black Metal in the UK holds, thoughts about Phil Anselmo's recent outburst and once again the fabled Eurovision question.
Buy "The Great Mortality" from their Bandcamp page:- https://theinfernalsea.bandcamp.com/
Jonathan Egmore sat in the interrogation room with us on this one.
So Jonathan, what's new in The Infernal Sea camp aside from the new release? What makes this release distinguishable from your previous releases?
"Hails! We are currently writing for our next release. I can’t really say too much, but we have some music and theme ideas, and it’s quite an exciting time for the band in general. On the whole, ‘The Great Mortality’ is the band at its most dangerous. Previous releases merely touched upon the sound we have aimed to achieve over the last 5 years or so, with this album the bar has been raised musically, and aesthetically. Also working alongside Cacophonous Records has helped us reach a wider market, and we are very proud releasing the album on a label with such a rich heritage."
Would you agree that British Black Metal is not only celebrating a resurgence but also a newfound renaissance?
"I would say so, yes. Especially the fact that ‘The Great Mortality’ is being released on Cacophonous Records, which for the many that don’t know, opened up the UK Black Metal scene by releasing the first Cradle Of Filth release ‘The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh’ in 1994. There is a lot of younger talent being recognised now with the help of good promotion, festivals, zines etc. The 90’s resurgence has been helped heavily with the influx of reissues over the last few years, making material from the Scandinavian scene easily accessible to newer fans that wouldn’t have gone out of their way to buy it before. You can clearly hear that influence in a lot of bands within UKBM, it’s an exciting time for the underground scene."
Do you feel Black Metal is more of an art rather than a music genre? Is it still seen as Satanic?
"I think in essence, especially nowadays, it is seen as a style of Heavy Metal. I think to the uneducated, it is seen as Satanic. I think I have more Death Metal albums in my collection that are seen as Satanic, than Black Metal records. For me, it is an art. It is a means to forget, it is a style of music to express misanthropy, extremity, to reflect on past demons, to appreciate the wild and to praise the older masters. It is for me, the most underground style of music, and should be kept for our own satisfaction."
2016 is in full swing, so what plans have you got for the entire year?
"Writing a lot of new music for the new album, playing more shows, festivals and touring across the UK/EU!"
Speaking of new music, check out the band's new music video 'Entombed In Darkness' below:-
In spite of recent comments made by Phil Anselmo r.e. 'white power', do you think racism is still an issue in metal let alone generally? Would you be surprised to know that metal exists in Sub-Sahara Africa? (e.g. Botswana)
"I don’t think so, only to a small minority that maybe go out to seek that kind of scene. I have been a metal fan for over 20 years, and I have never witnessed any racism at any point at any shows or festivals (and yes, I have seen Pantera!) I think the media is a huge culprit for blowing up things as soon as the word ‘racism’ is involved. I’m not surprised at all, we frequently receive messages from all over the world from different fans from different cultures, and its fantastic. Metal has always been about unity, so lets keep it that way."
You played at Bloodstock back in 2013, how would you sum up the festival and please tell us who you saw at the festival?
"It was fantastic. Playing Bloodstock is still a huge highlight for the band. Especially for me, seeing Slayer & Anthrax the same weekend was a dream come true. I personally love Bloodstock and will continue to attend every year, it is the best independent metal festival, and we hope to play again soon. There is actually a campaign on Facebook started by one of our followers to get us on this years Bloodstock, you can go show your support here." https://www.facebook.com/TheInfernalSeaforBloodstock/?notif_t=page_invite_accepted
What song from 'The Great Mortality' is your favourite and why? Would you submit any for Eurovision contention?
"Personally, my favourite song on the album is ‘Plague Herald’. It shows a different side to the band for the first time, in that we don’t have to play at a thousand beats per minute all the time to sound heavy. That’s an interesting question, I don’t think we would’ve ever thought about doing that to be honest!"
Speaking of Eurovision, if there was to be a metal version of said contest, do you think it would take off? Would you participate? What would your thoughts be of a metal-based Eurovision song contest?
"I’m not sure if it would take off. The Eurovision song contest is so very politically fuelled and very tongue in cheek. I’m not sure if it would really suit our style to be honest. That being said, it would probably make for some interesting viewing depending on what bands were to attend."
Finally are there any hello's, greetings etc you wish to send out?
"Infernal hails to all our dedicated followers who have supported us on this dark journey. Hail Satan! Hail the darkness!"
By GMA's Bangladesh Correspondent Nabil Abaddon
Global Metal Apocalypse has always been at the forefront in covering undiscovered talented Metal bands from the obscurest of places. In the past, we have covered some really talented and uprising bands from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand etc.
This time our attention turns towards the Sri Lankan Black Metal quartet Serpents Athirst, who are causing quite a stir in the Asian Metal scene. Formed in 2011 and performing regularly at local venues with a demo tape released through Eternal Transmigration Records (Bolivia), the band gained widespread attention when they played at Trendslaughter Fest IV (India) and shared the stage with the likes of Impiety and Orator.
They recently signed to Irish label Invictus Productions to release their upcoming EP. Serpents Athirst are going to tour Bangladesh and play at the Banish The Posers Fest 2014 on November 7th.
Banish The Posers Fest is the biggest Extreme Metal festival in Bangladesh and was established by the local cult organization Primitive Invocation. The festival started last year with the bill comprising of
Thailand's Savage Deity, Bangladeshi bands Morbidity, Orator, Nafarmaan and Warhound, India's Purgation and Malaysia's bands Lobotomy and Kathgor,
This year Primitive Invocation took the next big step in their existence by announcing the first ever major Asian Metal band Impiety (Singapore) to perform at this year's Banish The Posers Fest. The rest of the line up includes Serpents Athirst (the first ever Sri Lankan band to play in Bengal), Orator, Nafarmaan, Morbidity and Enmachined.
Click here to read about the event.
Returning back to Serpents Athirst, GMA caught up with their drummer / main composer Obliterrator and he had a lot to say.
Infernal hails Obliterrator, can you tell our readers a few things about the first period of the band?
Hails Komrade! Serpents Athirst formed in 2011 by two members in order to spread our message to the select few through live rituals and releases. Our influences from the start varied from savage acts like Venom, Blasphemy, Sarcofago, Black Witchery, Bathory and Immortal.
How does the band name depict the ideologies of the band?
Trends have caused a countless number of blemishes on this world and in order to project our hate towards trends, organized religion and weak monuments, we’ve chose the best representative to invoke that flame and spread our message: the serpent. A vile horde of serpents growling in thirst of the bloodshed of the weak. Our lyrical themes include death worship, theistic satanism, blasphemy, war and violence.
This is the very first time that a Sri Lankan Metal band is going to play in Bangladesh. How excited is the band in terms of performing at Banish The Posers Fest 2014? What should the Bengal hordes expect from Serpents Athirst?
We’re absolutely stoked. We have played with a few hordes previously at Trendslaughter. Impiety and Orator are just a few who shared the stage with us. It’s an honor to share the stage with more Asian bands. Serpents Athirst will promise to deliver the most destructive performance at this bastard of a ritual!
It seems that Serpents Athirst's compositions are velocity driven; its hateful and bestial. How does the band write its songs? Does the guitarist come up with the basic structures or are the lyrics written first?
I, stand as the composer of the band. However, at our own ritual sessions / rehearsals, there are instances where the rest of the brigade puts a mould together and is then sharpened and ready to spread like venom at the next live ritual.
Check out the song ‘Ritual Vomitting’ from their upcoming EP here
Serpents Athirst's upcoming EP "Heralding Ceremonial Mass Obliteration" is to be released through Irish label Invictus Productions. How did this record deal come about? Speaking of the EP, can you tell us about the songs in it? How much time did it take to make the entire EP?
We were offered a deal for the EP. Considering the fact that Invictus Productions is a pioneering establishment, we got hold of the deal and are currently working with Darragh from Invictus to get this EP released. The EP features 3 Songs + samples / interludes which were all put together within a period of 3-5 months.
By GMA's Bangladesh correspondent Nabil Abaddon
If you follow our interviews regularly or keep track of what goes on around the South-East Asian Extreme Metal scene, then you should know about the uprising Bangladeshi Black / Death Metal force called Nafarmaan! Nafarmaan, which means 'the detested', 'the disobedient', 'the blasphemer' in Arabic / Urdu, was founded back in 2008 by the drumming virtuoso Nohttzver, who is also known as the co-founder of the legendary band Weapon.
Of course, one has to know that Weapon was initially founded in Bangladesh, released an EP called “Violated Hejab” and then shifted to Canada. Nafarmaan unleashed their diabolic rage against all the false paradigms on stage for the first time on 16th of November at the Banish The Posers Fest, which was put up by the local cult organization Primitive Invocation and featured bands from Thailand, Malaysia, India and Bangladesh. A full gig review will be coming your way soon.
I spoke with Nohttzver just a few days before the show and talked about Nafarmaan’s upcoming debut EP, future plans and also tried to throw a glance at his story of getting into the devil’s music and much much more.
Welcome to GMA once again brother Nohttzver. Well firstly let me tell you that Nafarmaan looks awesome in the rehearsal video (Bloodsoaked Revelations); which has been uploaded on Youtube a few days back! So when is the EP “Quayamat Lullaby” coming out?
Great talking to you guys as always. Yeah the rehearsal video was captured by a close brother of ours Sajid [Roadkill Tilt], the response of which has been outstanding so far. The EP is due for release in two formats; Tape (200 Copies) via Graceless Recordings (USA) and CDR (Limited to 66 Copies) via Asian label MTD Productions. If everything goes accordingly, both formats will be available within Dec 2013 / Jan 2014. There are also plans for a re-release and also a special release only for the sub-continent with a bonus track. Fans can view the rehearsal video here
As you know, three bands from Bangladesh: Nafarmaan, Enmachined and Abominable Carnivore were supposed to headline at two different Metal fests in Kolkata and Mumbai in September, but could not go to India due to Visa complications. How do you see this issue? If I am not mistaken, the organizers from Kolkata, Putrid Ascendancy has postponed their event Ritual Ascension Fest to December. Any updates on that?
Yeah it is just ridiculously f***ed up. The Embassy people involved with these Visa formalities are lame and uneducated Motherfu*kers. I’m sure that the guys from the other bands who were involved with the fests in India will surely agree with me on this as well. You’re right about Ritual Ascension Fest getting postponed to December. However, it seems that it might get postponed further until we all resolve our visa glitches. If we fail, then the show must go on and in that case we’ve already officially told Putrid Ascendancy to do the fest without Nafarmaan headlining. Our brothers from Putrid Ascendancy especially Carnage Desecrator have been more than supportive and their cooperation on the matter deserves sheer respect.
So BTPF is going to be Nafarmaan’s debut gig. What awaits the Metalheads? What should they expect from the band at the event?
Yes it will be. What awaits...don’t want to say much on that since one needs to witness Nafarmaan live when they are their most lethal.
Tell us a bit about yourself Nohttzver, how did it all start for you? As in discovering Metal music, playing drums and everything. Who are your inspirations in drumming?
(laughs) that will take quite a while to sum up. It started at the very early age of ten; 1989 to be exact. I’ve said this in another interview and probably will say this always. None of this would’ve ever happened If I hadn’t watched Legendary Bangladeshi Metal / Rock band ‘Rock- Strata’ Live in 1988. Watching them live with Legendary Bangladeshi drummer Mahbubur Rashid on drums did it for me. I also owe much to my elder brother who was a bassist himself and was responsible for introducing me to Metal. In 1992 I formed ‘Phantom Lord’ along with Ex-Rock Brigade members, a lineup that specialized in Heavy Metal and Thrash, and later ‘Metal Warriors’ was formed with the same lineup but with the exception of the former vocalist. I’ve also worked in a popular mainstream act of the country called ‘Ark’ from 1993 to 1996, which actually f**ed me up rather than help me with music. Then around 2004, Weapon came along which I co-founded along with longtime friend Vetis Monarch. I guess you know the rest.There are quite a few drumming inspiration ranges from John Bonham, Igor Cavelera, Dave Lombardo, Neil Peart to Ustad Allah Rakkha Khan.
The “Violated Hejab” line up: from left to right Kapalyq (now known as Skullbearer), Vetis Monarch and Nohttzver.
Would you like to take us through your war-gears?
Well at the present I don’t have much of it, except my Eight and half inch Pearl Snare (Steel), a pair of Good Sabian High-Hats, a worn out Zildjian China and a pair of Axis Longboards XL2 pedals.I guess I’ve only kept the stuffs that best represent my signature. I’ve also got a quiet big and rare collection of drumsticks which is also one of my hobbies.I miss my old kit and I hope I get to build one once again.
You are also known for designing the legendary logo of Weapon as well as the logo of Nafarmaan afterwards. Recently, I have noticed some pictures of you making the design of Enmachined’s merch on Facebook. How did that come about? Have you ever thought of doing this professionally?
Weapon’s logo is something I will always be proud of! Firstly, I don’t draw professionally. It is more like a hobby and a passion kinda thing for me. Well, the Enmachined kids were stuck with what to come up with or who to approach for their debut shirt. It was actually Abir (the vocalist of Enmachined) who shared the problem with me and our talks progressed and I asked him as a brother if they needed my help with their artwork. I asked for a day to come up with a draft but ended up doing the final one instead. I think I called him after half an hour later and handed it over to him.
You were the co-founder of Weapon and now you have founded Nafarmaan. Whats that particular thing in Black / Death Metal that made you choose this path and has kept you in it for this many years? How do you define this sub-genre of Metal?
Black / Death Metal is not everyone’s cup of tea. I mean one just does not like this form of extreme metal. Personally, it always had a huge impact and significance in my life and I felt the most comforting in expressing myself through this extreme art form. I have always led life in a rebelliously turbulent and hostile way and always sought the most pleasure exploiting and indulging in the extreme; may it be perception, religion, war whatever. Black / Death Metal is a vile form of art and it’s the last thing for soothing ears and timid cupid hearts.The relation and the connection has to come from within. This is what best defines me.
I would like to ask you a question that I have asked in my earlier interview with brother Skullbearer. What do you make of the decision that Vetis Monarch has taken to let go of the Metal musician’s life for good?
Well it is his life, so it is his Decision. But I am proud of the fact that he took Weapon where it is today.
During the Weapon era in Bangladesh; Vetis Monarch and Nohttzver during their practice sessions!
What are the future plans for Nafarmaan?
As you already know we have also recorded two extra tracks apart from the four tracks in the EP, so the obvious judgment for those unreleased tracks would be either be a Compilation or a Split. I can vouch for the band and say that Nafarmaan is productive and active than ever. The songwriting is going simply great. Five songs have already been written for the Full-length, three amongst them are good for recording. Apart from that and as you already know, Nafarmaan is live ready and we are keen on impaling our flag of Nafarmaany on foreign territories as well as participate in worthy domestic onslaughts from now onwards.
Gratitudes for your time Brother! Eagerly waiting for the EP and looking forward to the debut performance. Ave! Would you like to say anything to your fans?
Gratitude to you and GMA, your support have been much appreciated. The wait for the EP will soon be over and I can also assure you that Nafarmaan will have some great news for you in 2014. As for the fans ...Stay true, if not to metal at least to yourself !! Check out the EP teaser here.
Amidst the horrific weather outside and sheer distance between Gibraltar and the UK, DSBM one-man project Days Of Our Lives found the time to sit down with GMA and report about the project history, current events, future plans and spoke about the Gibraltar Metal scene. Coincidentally the sole musician Nathan Colombo is also GMA's Gibraltar correspondent, read the interview below:
Days Of Our Lives, how did the name come about and why that name?
The name came to me a few years back when I was trying to find my own path in music. I wanted a name that reflected on a personal level which will also allowed the band to "change" overtime. The idea was for the project to reflect the day to day life that I live, sometimes happy, sad, angry, etc. The name seems silly to some but to be honest I couldn't think of a better name for the project.
Now you exclusively play DSBM, who inspires you and what makes your music DSBM?
I have always taken inspiration from my own life really. The past, present and future will always have a massive part in the music I create. I guess writing about it helps me to cope? Black Metal and DSBM has played a huge part in my life. It's pretty much all I listen to and I wanted to create art just like that. What makes my music DSBM? I'd have the say the amount of emotion behind the music that I put into it and the not keeping to any musical "standards" and "rules" that most genres have. DSBM for me is freedom of expression for the artist, anyone can do just about anything to create their art especially in this genre.
And what of the Gibraltar metal scene, what can you tell us about that?
It's pretty dead to be honest... however with other genres there's LOADS of things going on but with metal music there's not much going on. Metal bands don't last long here for some reason and break up as fast as they formed which is a damn shame really.
For those thinking of visiting Gibraltar, what attractions should they visit?
Gibraltar has a lot to offer for those history buffs, you know the great siege tunnels and all that. I'd say Gibraltar has a lot to offer for music fans also. For those into rock and metal music they should visit the Rock on The Rock club which has concerts going on every weekend and even brings in bands from pretty much anywhere to play some tunes and drink some booze.
So you have an upcoming release, tell us more about that?
Yeah I will be releasing my first album under the Days Of Our Lives name at the end of the month. It is entitled "Trapped Inside Past Memories" which you can figure that its based on the past. A lot of work went into it, I'd say more on the stress part really. I had planned for some guests and in the end it just ended up being me solo once again... Well not 100% solo as N.F (a good friend of mine) helped me co-produce it. Those who are familiar with my music will get what they expect... slow, depressive, minimalistic black metal.
And what future plans does Days Of Our Lives have?
I'd like to say play live but my bad luck with session musicians has been a freaking hassle. Maybe one day... MAYBE haha. I have a lot planned though, recording wise. I've been asked by a lot of bands to do some splits and they are all being sorted out right now actually. The big thing I have planned really is next year when I plan to release four albums "Spring", "Summer", "Autumn" and "Winter", which will each be released in their respective seasons. I have been working on these albums since I started working on "Trapped Behind Past Memories" so I have been quite busy but there is more to come... ALOT MORE
Finally are there any hello's, greetings, thank you's etc you wish to issue?
Well first off I want to say thanks to you for interviewing me and thanks to those who have supported my project over the years. My album is out on the 31st October 2013 so if anyone is interested now you know I guess? Support the underground scene! Bye!
"Here in Norway, I think most people separate the murders, the church burnings and the music, because it's a few individual people who does it"
GMA caught up with Sarke, front-man and multi-instrument player of Sarke from Norway. Speaking to him about We selected 7 of the questions with the best answers, but you can hear the entire interview by clicking the audio button above. (finish after typing up intie)
You've recently released or going to release in the next couple of days your third album, could you explain the concept behind the album title?
Yeah, well it itself is a made up word as are the previous two albums, I wanted to... the meaning of the word is a kind of door into the darkness, halfway into a darker side, so for me it's a door that is halfway.
Now Norway, since Black Metal started in Norway it has gone through a first wave and a second wave, is Sarke part of a third wave would you say?
I don't see Sarke as a Black Metal band, I don't think Sarke is hard enough or dark enough to be a real Black Metal band and I think people think that way because it's from a cold and awesome tone of Darkthrone and Satyricon, that it is easy to put Sarke into the Black Metal genre but I think that Sarke is much more than just a Black Metal band, it's more of a dark rock, heavy music I think, I don't feel that we are a Black Metal band.
Comparing the upcoming album "Aruagint" to the second album "Oldarhian", what has changed in between the two albums?
Cyrus is not in the band anymore, it's not a big thing, he took up parts with other bands and also Nocturnal to do some guitars, but otherwise it's the same band and music-wise we haven't just continued the Sarke sound, we've added some new elements and we've kept a lot of it, so for me maybe the picking between the first two albums, I feel.
The Norwegian Metal scene has not always been in positive light, especially when you have people like Varg Vikernes (who did the church burnings) and most recently the Norwegian extremist Anders Behring Breivik who took ideologies from Vikernese, so do you think that Black Metal is not looked upon in a positive way in Norway because of these atrocities?
Here in Norway, I think most people separate the murders, the church burnings and the music, because it's a few individual people who does it and it doesn't seem like it affects the music and the popularity of it, so it's not as positive as speaking about the Black Metal because of Dimmu Borgir, and Enslaved; although it's not a Black Metal band it always talked about, but these bands are very popular here and when we are on TV they speak well and they speak in a positive way, also Satyricon is popular and so it's been very accepted here and usually the peoples who burns things and are doing bad stuff, it's a smaller band who is not popular usually so it doesn't, it goes more on the person themselves rather than the music. Of course it was a bit different in the start in the beginning of the 1990's because then Black Metal was not so well known in the world so then when people who did something, it's Black Metal, but that's a long time ago, so I guess in the last 15 years it has found a positive way.
Does the Norwegian government offer any incentive for youth to learn how to play musical instruments, is there some sort of encouragement?
Yes in Norway it's like they support the music and they also give money to bands to tour and to record albums, but it's not just Black Metal it's all genres, so Black Metal gets money and so does Jazz and Pop, but they also have some rehearsal places so we can say that for the Government, they don't care if it's pop music or Black Metal, they just want to export and distribute it.
When you went into the studio and sat down and decided on what music you wanted to play, what lyrics you wanted for certain songs, where there any songs that you felt did not fit onto this album?
I usually throw away the song before it's done if I'm not going to have it on the album, so I usually finish only the songs I'm going to have on the album and I made 'Strange Pungent Odyssey', it's a special song, but I wasn't sure if the band would accept it but they all liked the song so we had it on the album, so that was one of the songs that we were unsure about. But I showed them the song before we went into the studio, but that was maybe a song I was not sure that the song was going to be on the album, I also do the lyrics at the same time as I do the music so I don't finish a song before the lyrics are finished, so I don't write a lot of lyrics and then write the songs I just add the lyrics to the songs as they are done together.
Finally are there any hello's, thank you's, greeting you wish to express to friends, family, band-members, colleagues, etc?
Of course our management, Gunnar is a very good man and also Lars-Erik vestry(?) who produced the album with me, he knows the sound I want and his work is very good so those are the main two people, but also the people involved with Sarke and of course all the bands. But I guess it would have to be those two.
'Aruagint' is out now via Indie Recordings
By GMA's Bangladeshi Correspondent Nabil Abaddon.
Abominable Carnivore, formed in 2011, is an uprising Black / Death Metal force from the holy soil of Bangladesh. A country, largely populated by Muslims and has more to offer than you think. Abominable Carnivore sings the darkest lullabies and preaches about what is unholy and morbid. They had their debut EP ‘Light Devours Our Lust’ released via Dust and Guilt Records in 2012 and since then they never looked back. Abominable Carnivore had a destructive Nepal tour and now they are looking forward to desecrate India at the Entombed Metal Fest: Volume 4!
I Nabil, spoke to Dip Demodulated, the vocalist of Abominable Carnivore in the the dark streets of the capital city Dhaka and talked about their upcoming India Tour, their full length album and much, much more!
“Coming from a country which is massively supported by Muslims, it's pretty tough to do any kind of Metal music”
Ave brother! How is the band doing currently?
Ave! The band is alive again after a short hibernation. We have not performed at any gig for a while. We are back to our businesses and getting ready to slay!
Abominable Carnivore is going to headline the Entombed Metal Fest: Volume 4, Mumbai show which follows your Nepal tour in February, 2013. This is just great! How excited are you guys for the big event in India? How is the band preparing for it?
Obviously we are pretty much excited for the show! We are also very aware of the line up from top to bottom and it is going to be quite a competitive show for all of the bands. We toured Nepal and showed no mercy there. Mumbai will be no different! We are also looking forward to play with some class metal acts like Plague Throat, Gutslit, Insane Prophecy, Fragarak, Grossty and Dormant inferno. It is an honor for us that we’ll be sharing the stage with them. It is going to be a blood-shed battle and we are honing ourselves accordingly.
What are you guys expecting from the Mumbai metalheads? What do you have to say about Frameshift Initiative for organizing this unholy congregation of metal savagery?
Our thoughts and ideologies are pretty much similar with them, although Black / Death Metal is new in our country, Mumbai metalheads have been worshiping and preaching this music for a long time so they should brace themselves for total war! Also its going to be a big honor for us to be a part of this with them, performing at their festival. As for the organizers, killer initiative and gratitude to them for inviting us to be a part of the most chaotic, ruthless and intense gig of the year. I hope it will be a great one as well as it will help to make the bond of both countries and the bands stronger.
Alright, it has come to my attention that Abominable Carnivore have started to work on new songs for the full length album. Is that true? How are things working out? When are you hitting the studio?
Yes that is true. All the structures are ready for our new album which will come out very soon, the label will be announced later. Things are working out quite nicely and we are working hard both on the lyrical theme and instrumentation so that our views flourish well throughout them. We will be coming up with a new song which we will release for everyone before the Indian tour. Hopefully after coming back from India, we will then hit the studio for the rest of the materials to be recorded.
Talking about the lyrical theme, Abominable Carnivore deals with occultism. Is it going to be same for the full length album or is it going to be a conceptual album?
Pretty much. But we have also worked with issues like killing and the darkness of nature. ’Nazara’ is a good example of that. Our next album is going to be little different from our EP “Light Devours Our Lust" and yes it will be a conceptual album. There will be a lot of dark imagination incorporated into the lyrics. We wanted to push ourselves to cross the barriers and the new album will be a good example of that.
Coming back to the tours, Abominable Carnivore toured Nepal in February 2013 and played two gigs in Pokhara: ‘Valentine Massacre’ and ‘Butcher The Values’. How were the shows? Tell us about the Nepalese metalheads and organizers from ‘Brutal Pokhara’? Would you like to go to Nepal again to play more gigs?
When we went to Nepal, we neither had any expectations nor any clue about what was going to happen there. But we were overwhelmed by their hospitality and it did not take us much time to get friendly with them despite the language differences. Our first show ‘Valentine Massacre’ was pretty massive and we played in front of a crowd of some 1500 people open air! So that was a big thing for us as we do not get that sort of turn out in extreme metal shows back home in Bangladesh. We really enjoyed playing there and the crowd was moshing, headbanging and killing each other. It was intense!
As for the other gig, ‘Butcher The Values’ was organized by ‘Brutal Pokhara’ and we played with Narsamhaar and some other extreme metal bands from Pokhara. It was a pretty good experience. The show was in a bar and there was a crowd of 200-300 people. At first, the stage was set up outside the bar in an open space. But later on they had to change the set up and move inside due to the sudden downpour. It was really a good experience!
Two other bands from Bangladesh are also touring India in the same month! One of them is Nafarmaan, a Black / Death Metal band which was founded by Nohttzver (ex-Weapon). Then there is Jahiliyyah of the same genre, who are immensely talented and skillful. Apart from that, there was Eternal Armageddon which is disbanded now. What do you think about the Black / Death Metal scene and the whole metal scene overall in Bangladesh? Is the sub-genre growing in popularity in this part of the world where people are known to be more religious?
Coming from a country which is massively supported by Muslims, its pretty tough to do any kind of Metal music at the first place, let alone Black / Death Metal. But I would like to say that things are really changing around here which we could not think of five years back. A lot of bands are pumping in in the Metal scene but yes, the popularity of Black / Death Metal is relatively low in this part of the world. The foundation of Black / Death Metal on this holy land lays deep with the birth of the mighty Weapon. Eternal Armageddon also played a significant role. Though we only have a few Black / Death Metal bands but all of them are doing great music and the flavors really vary from band to band. As for Abominable Carnivore, we do what we believe and preach. Jahiliyyah and Nafarmaan have their own distinctive philosophies and flavors. We do have a strong community here amongst the bands. We (Abominable Carnivore) want to stay like that and keep producing quality music. As a matter of fact, we are doing pretty good as per our plans!
About the whole Metal scene, massive changes and improvements have been observed in the last few years. A lot of talented bands are coming up and they are focusing more on the originals. There are organizations like Primitive Invocation and Metal Morgue who are putting up quality shows. We had Manzer (France), Infernal Curse (Argentina) and Abigail (Japan) in Bangladesh. A lot of our bands are touring abroad and representing our country which is even greater! Altogether, our scene is getting better day by day, year by year.
Just out of curiosity, what influenced the name ‘Abominable Carnivore’?
Very interesting question you have asked. During the early days of this band, I was looking for such a name which would have that violent, extreme and ruthless vibe in it, keeping the sound we wanted to produce in my head. “Abominable Carnivore”, the name has those elements in it and it really represents those things, thus was the name fixed!
Well, share us which bands have been on your playlists lately!
Recently I have been listening to some interesting bands / albums constantly. Firstly, I would like to mention the latest album of Deeds of Flesh. I think its pretty cool and insane stuff! I am also listening to this really old band called Hideous Divinity and Evile’s new album ‘Skull’. That’s pretty much it at the moment.
Would you care to reveal a little as to what holds for the band in the future?
We are planning on touring with some Asian bands which I won’t reveal much about right now. You already know that we are working on our full length album. Theres a possibility of coming up with a split as well. As for the local shows, I can’t say much right now as there may be some chain shows this year and we are talking with some Asian bands to tour Bangladesh. It is going to be killerI Hopefully!
Thanks for the time Demodulated! I appreciate it. Finally, if you have any words for the fans, the space is all yours!
For the fans, I would like to pay my gratitudes to them for their immense support! Fans from Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Sweden and Malaysia you guys are awesome! I would like to thank our brothers from Jahiliyyah, Nafarmaan, Dissector, Enmachined, Narsamhaar, Dying Out Flame, Insane Prophecy and Plague Throat, thanks for the immense support!
By Farzand Bawa
Nafarmaan is a Black / Death Metal band who formed in 2008 and hails from the lands of the mighty Bengal. The detested ones, the Nafarmaans each united by common hatred for the sacred entity, are bound to obliterate all who dare to stand against their ideologies; which as the name suggests is anti-religious. Vowing not to spare believers of any religion, for all is the same and hence are guilty of the same crime.
Lyrically the band never intends on exhorting anything but that which is deemed as the exact representation of their hatred for the very foundations of all so-called established religions which are a direct translation of the name of the band Nafarmaan, the blasphemer, the disobedient. On the acknowledgement of their very first live performance which will be at the upcoming Ritual Ascension Fest II, as one of the two headlining acts from Opar Bangla, Global Metal Apocalypse goes ahead and interviews their drummer, Nohttzver (ex-Weapon) and their vocalist, Imam Iblis (Bloodlust) on their debut gig, debut EP, "Quayamat Lullaby" and how the band have been going since their beginning in 2008!
The interview was conducted by "D" on behalf of GMA! Read on for further blasphemy...
Hails, hows the band doing right now and whats the killing strategy for this upcoming nuclear war invasion: War.Cult.Supremacy?
Nohttzver: Ave! Nafarmaan is doing great and are sharpening it’s blades for the upcoming nuclear war invasion at the moment. Apart from a few Visa related glitches presently the band is ready to kill.
Imam Iblis: Thanks a lot for having an interest on Nafarmaan. Much appreciated. We have been rehearsing and raging to hit the stage. Debut show seems to be just like we wanted it to be.
This is your debut performance. How excited or determined are you to desecrate and banish everything in your path at War.Cult.Supremacy?
Nohttzver: As Imam mentioned earlier, Nafarmaan was itching to go live and what better than inaugurate the first live ever in India and in a majestic city like Kolkata. Currently the Bangalore and the Kolkata hordes are considered to be the truest die-hard metalheads from India in my books. The maniacs over at Kolkata are going to witness the wrath called Nafarmaan first hand and for the first time since this is going to be our first ever live appearance, so expect nothing short of what your expectations are from us. Guess it’s pretty special for all of us.
Imam Iblis: It’s not a measure of the level of excitement or determination. It doesn’t go up or down. May it be a rehearsal or a live act, it’s always up there. Nafarmaan means just that. Uncompromisable filth and disrespect for all organized morality. We are absolutely honored to be a part of this occasion.
Going back to the very basic questions, How did Nafarmaan come to its existence? Could you tell us about its initial line up and member changes? Have all these effected the sound of the band anyhow?
Nafarmaan was a thought I conjured up. I never intended to create a line up after my former band Weapon which I co-founded as well. I was totally out of reach and didn’t have a single thing to do with music rather than even metal back around 2005 / 2006. Let’s just say I was confronting my inner demons and getting in and out of rehab ha ha. My thought progressed and started taking form in 2008 when I was approached by longtime friend and guitarist Agnee Azaab. We started writing songs and I came up with the name of the band. There has been three lineup changes so far. Vocalist, bassist and a guitarist. The former members were quite a burden for the force and none played their respective roles when called for. So parting ways was inevitable. Nafarmaan took form mainly after we got hold of Imam Iblis. The founder of the first ever Death Metal band from Bangladesh ‘Bloodlust’. He has always been a kickass vocalist with a reputation to go with that. The Nafarmaan sound was complete when in early 2012 two new additions were made to the lineup. Nafrat and Marhoum. It is just not the sound that makes us an entity but rather our ideologies, beliefs and perceptions of how we see things.
What is the meaning of Nafarmaan? Could you tell me about the ideological reference for such name?
Nohttzver: The name Nafarmaan is mainly an Islamic / Urdu name. It means insubordination / rebellious / disobedience to any forms of beliefs mostly religious beliefs and ideologies. We dont and will not support any false religions and we stand as who we are, for we are Nafarmaans.
Imam Iblis: Simply put, Nafarmaan is the worst kind of sinner. We embrace it!
Hailing from Bangladesh and playing such abrasive and harsh music with blasphemous lyrics, have you ever faced any kind of oppression or threats?
Nohttzver: Yes we have actually, and quiet a number of times. The most memorable one for us was during our recording sessions for the EP. Someone from the recording studio deliberately erased three vocal files from the vocal takes when he understood what our lyrics were about. We being who we are, went in and got things done our way. Apart from that these nuisances keeps on happening, so we don’t really give a f**k.
Imam Iblis: We would’ve been the ones who mock faith and morality even if we weren’t making music. That is the reason behind choosing such a form of music to vomit out how we feel. These threats from people with zero sense of humor and rotten cum in their head have been coming in for years. These things don’t matter.
Could you shed some light on the bands musical references? What kind of bands or musicians have influenced the style you guys play?
Nohttzver: Our influences ranges from Polligiti (subcontinental folk songs), eastern classical, to the vilest extreme forms of noises there are.
Imam Iblis: I personally listen to most forms of music. There’s just way too many to name. But I think my influences come more from literature and art than music itself. A 70% - 30% split would be approximately correct.
Could you tell us about how Nafarmaan writes their material as in song writing process, is there any particular process you follow?
Nohttzver: Basically till now me and Agnee writes the skeleton of the tracks and the rest of the band works on it. Lyrical concept is thought of before making the riff lines. So, you can understand, the riffs are made to follow the profanity the words describe.
Whats your opinion on the Asian underground cult movement? Since Nafarmaan will be on a compilation featuring some of the most influential bands like Mantak, Belligerent Intent, Orator, Twisted Fate, Savage Deity etc..
Nohttzver: As you know, we are already a part of a compilation involving the bands you mentioned. Great ties and brotherhood between us. The Asian underground scene has been flourishing quite rapidly nowadays. We have nothing but respect for those who keep producing true sound of death. We as Nafarmaan, are proud to be a part of this movement which represents an authentic sound, spearheading our native sound to the global ears. And mighty proud of it too!
Imam Iblis: Ah! Excellent sound on each of the bands you mentioned. Originality is present for each band’s noise. That’s what matters. I like the way how they’ve worked to give their band’s name a definitive sound. Respect!
What do you think of Indian scene in general? Are there any bands Nafarmaan would want to collaborate with in future?
Imam Iblis: Promising acts are coming out these days from India, especially Bangalore and Kolkata. Necrodeity, Purgation, Armament, Kapalin, Bevar Sea, Witchgoat just to name a few, and there are, Kryptos, Dying Embrace from the legendary ones. About collaboration, as I mentioned, these bands all have great sound, so when/if it happens you guys will be the first to know!
Tell us about the scene in Dhaka, In past and present. In term of purity of Metal, accessibility of skilled and knowledgeable musicians and work ethics? Also tell us about the fans and how they support metal? Do they support the bands by attending gigs, buying the official merch and materials? Hows the gig scene in Dhaka?
I’d say it has been quite unfortunate for the Bangladesh underground scene for many years. No point detailing out the reasons, but it has been quite poor in most of the faculties you mentioned. However, for the past few years, things have started to look promising. There have been some excellent underground concerts, involving international artists as well. Fans seem to have taken a great interest in researching about the kind of music they actually like, getting their hands on official merchandise. This could be a good start.
Going back the EP, that is coming out soon, "Quayamat Lullaby", when did the band started writing the EP?
Nohttzver: F**k! That will be from 2008, the concepts and the song writing process started from then apart from a track or two. I must also mention that the songs wouldn’t have been what they are if it wasn’t for one of our brother Godslayer’s contribution. We are indeed grateful to him.
The EP seems to have four songs, is there anymore song the band had written?
Imam Iblis: Six tracks were recorded that night. The 4 tracks of the EP and two other. One of them, ‘Azaab Al Muminun’ is getting released on the ‘Southern Death Compilation CD’.
Nohttzver was the former drummer of legendary black metal band Weapon, so how Nafarmaan is different from Weapon? Is it a continuation of old primitive black metal sound of Weapon or separate entity that has its own musical DNAs?
Nohttzver: Weapon was Weapon. My era with Weapon mostly emphasized on songwriting that dealt with basic Death / Black or rather Black song structures but with utmost rawness. Nafarmaan is completely different from what you’ve heard from Weapon, the only two things you might find similar are one being Nafarmaan as like Weapon will give you something entirely different sound wise, and two you can relate to my playing a bit.
Name 5 most favourite albums that are important to Nafarmaan.
I:Blasphemy – Fallen Angel of Doom.
Sarcofago - I.N.R.I
Mayhem - De Myteriis DomSathanas
Venom – Black Metal
Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness
The list is endless.
Any words to the fans?
Nohttzver: Submit and Embrace the wrath that is called Nafarmaan.
What is your opinion about the guys at Putrid Ascendancy?
Nohttzver: Those guys are sick! Total respect to what they are doing to keep the true form of extreme metal alive, may it be gigs to promoting true deserving acts. This undoubtedly one of those banners from India who really knows what they are doing. Their support and brotherhood in its entirety is very much appreciated and cherished by us all. Our best wishes to them.
Imam Iblis: Excellent metalheads infest what is called Putrid Ascendancy. Support from Nafarmaan for all the madness they are to bring! Hails!
We wish Nafarmaan a very successful invasion in Kolkata. KILL! Also total support for this upcoming EP! Keep the black flame burning and cult alive! Thanks for this interview! Ave Lucifer!
Nohttzver: Thanks, Ave!
Imam Iblis: Thanks a lot. Till we meet in Kolkata.
Nohttzver - Drums (ex-Weapon)
Nafrat - Guitars
Imam Iblis - Vocals (Bloodlust)
Marhoum - Bass
Agnee Azaab - Guitars
EP teaser:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNFHK5nrY6Y
_ I caught up with Mr V (Andreas Hedlund - on the left) of Swedish Black/Folk Metal duo Vintersorg about their upcoming album, band history, the Swedish Metal scene and some other questions here and there, heja Sverige!
Who came up with the band name and what does it mean?
Mr V: The band name is something that I came up with back in the beginning of the 1990’s and an approximate translation would be something like “Winter Sorrow” but it has a more poetic feeling in Swedish, as well as a close bond to our folklore and historical writings.
What languages are your songs generally in and what are the main lyric topics?
Mr V: The songs on the new album are all in Swedish but we’ve had albums that are all in English also. It’s a matter of inspiration and what kind of emotional basis we want to transfer to the listener. I’m in some other bands as well where the lyrics are all in English so it’s nice to have both languages to express myself through. The lyrical content swirls around the relation between man and nature, on both physical, biological, mental and a historical plane and with nature I mean everything from the surroundings to the cosmological matters that have spawned us as humans. The lyrics have quite a poetic tone and are equally important as the music.
If you had to describe your music without using genre-tagging or clichés, what would you say?
Mr V: It’s hard to describe Vintersorg in words as it’s a mixture of many different musical elements. You have a lot of folk music, then a large portion of metal, the more calm and nearly ambient elements and all balanced out by a very intricate instrumentation. I also use a lot of different types of vocals and a lot of vocal harmonies…you see ..it’s impossible.
Your forthcoming album ‘Orkan’ will be your eighth album, what have you made different (if anything) from this album compared to your past albums?
Mr V: Vintersorg has always been a band that has evolved with every new album and that’s a very strong foundation in our art. To feel free to evolve and discover new grounds to embrace, just follow where the inspiration takes you and not calculate how that will effect the band commercially, that’s what real art is about from where I’m standing. The album is a continuation from the last one “Jordouls” but with some fresh angles and a more perfected production I would say. Some song have a bit darker atmosphere but I’m all from the inside..so it’ll be interesting to see what people from the outside will think.
How popular would you say Metal music is in Sweden in general and are there any upcoming young bands you wish to note?
Mr V: I think metal is very popular and is a large genre that covers people from 15-50 years old, just look at Sweden Rock festival…it’s a huge festival for a country that only have 9 million inhabitants. I’m not that updated about the scene as I live quite remote from the large cities, very far north actually and I mostly listen to old progressive and symphonic rock.
In respect of your upcoming release, which tracks would you say stand out from the album?
Mr V: It’s an album where all the songs need to be there to have the total atmosphere of what we wanted to achieve this time around, but songs like “Istid”, “Polarnatten” and “Myren” is some that will dwell your mind for a while I guess.
What plans does the band have for 2012 and beyond?
Mr V: Release the album and start work on the next one, we’re not a live act at this point in time. But we have so many things to do with our bands like Borknagar, Fission, Cronian and TME and we’re now resurrecting the old troll OTYG and are going to do a new album with that band as well…so we have plenty to do.
If you could give any advice to musicians who want to form a band or bands but not sure how to do it / having trouble doing so, what would you recommend?
Mr V: Just follow your vision, even if that some time means that you need to struggle a longer time than if you jump on the most popular genre of the moment, but you’ll last so much longer and it’ll give you much more back emotionally, and for me music is very much emotion based.
Finally are there any plans to tour the UK at some point?
Mr V: No, as we don’t play any shows at all.