MERRIMACK are now revealing the second crushing song taken from their forthcoming fifth full-length, which bears the title ‘Omegaphilia’ and will be released on June 9th.
MERRIMACK comment: “Our will to create a record that is more rooted in the 90’s era of black metal becomes pretty obvious on ‘The Falsified Son’, which is a straight forward and simple track. Our typical lead guitars, the slightly dissonant end, the addition of a guitar solo, and the mid-tempo middle break make it a strong tune, which has proved to be very well received at our latest live performances. The lyrics deal with the way of life that we have chosen and its consequences – with black metal (which is mentioned in the song) being an immense part of it.”
MERRIMACK have previously unveiled the cover art (by Dehn Sora) and track-list of ‘Omegaphilia’, which can both be viewed below.
1. Cauterizing Cosmos
2. The Falsified Son
3. Apophatic Weaponry
4. Gutters of Pain
5. Sights in the Abysmal Lure
6. Cesspool Coronation
7. At the Vanguard of Deception
Musicians as any artists can be roughly categorised into different groups by their approach to composing. There are those for example, who come with restless souls and always try to find new ways and break into uncharted territories. Others prefer to evolve within a certain genre, driven by a desire to hone their skills and striving to bring their art to perfection. MERRIMACK as black metal traditionalists obviously belong to the latter circle and their fifth full-length with the apocalyptic title ‘Omegaphilia’ is an impressive demonstration of how far the French band has matured.
MERRIMACK are breathing fresh life into an exhausted genre, not by heaping up epithets such as progressive, post-, and avant-garde, but by razor-sharp songwriting, captivating melodies, and close to perfect arrangements. ‘Omegaphilia’ achieves excellence through hard work and experience that shows through on every single song.
MERRIMACK were founded by guitarist Perversifier in 1994 with a clear vision to keep the black metal flame burning as an act of aesthetic terrorism – as adamantly based in the underground as opposed to any attempts to co-opt, commercialise, or turn the style into a self-parody.
With a number of demo recordings (‘Prologue’ – 1995, ‘Act 1’ – 1995, ‘Horns Defeat Thorns’ – 2001) and split releases (with Hirilorn in 1998 and Sargeist in 2002), the French gained respect in the scene by remaining true to their words. Although MERRIMACK decided to reach out to a larger audience with the release of their first full-length ‘Ashes of Purification’ (2002), the Parisians did not sever their roots with the underground at any time.
‘Of Entropy and Life Denial’ (2006) and ‘Grey Rigorism’ (2009) followed and witnessed MERRIMACK closing ranks with the most influential, active, and authentic acts of the French black metal scene. Their classic combination of harsh sound with epic structures appealed to critics and fans alike and put the band on their celebrated first US tour with MARDUK and NACHTMYSTIUM in 2009.
Following the recording of ‘The Acausal Mass’ (2012) again in the legendary Necromorbus Studio (WATAIN, DESTRÖYER 666), MERRIMACK embarked on a European tour with Norwegian icons MAYHEM and accepted invitations to prestigious festivals such as Hellfest in their native France, Germany’s Party-San Open Air and Summer Breeze and Montreal’s Messe des Morts in Canada.
Having firmly established their black name and message around the globe, MERRIMACK are setting a bold exclamation mark with ‘Omegaphilia’. Be warned, this album is determined to remain in your playlist for a long time.
LEGACY OF EMPTINESS was originally started by Eddie and Kjell-Ivar as a tongue in cheek BM-project called Permafrost back in 1995. A few years later, Øyvind joined on keyboards and the band recorded a couple of demos with this lineup and left the project to bleed out in the early 00’s.
In 2010, the band came together and decided that the songs they had left years ago were too good to be left behind, and thus decided to record them properly for,once again, for their own amusement. The result was the self titled debut album containing 5 old tracks and one brand new; it was released in 2011.
The band is unveiling their new chapter as they are to release their sophomore full length ‘’OVER THE PAST’’ via Black Lion Records. All splendidly mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö, one of the biggest inspirations of the band. Dan Swanö even performed Lead guitar on ‘Evening Star’, final track from the album.
There is no real lyrical concept on this album other than the usual suspects like darkness,hopelessness,void and the odd historical moments. Musically it’s the opposite of what the band did on their debut. This time all songs are brand new except for one that they brought along from the 90’s, heavily reworked. The cover artwork is based on the song ‘Four Hundred Years’ wich is about the ‘night of the four hundred years’ that is a description of the years Norway were ruled by foreign kings. The artist,Alex Tartsus,really caught the nerve in the lyrics and created this masterpiece.
The 09 track album is a journey towards the fantasy realm, where darkness and melody equally reign together.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: To the fans of Carach Angren, Limbonic Art, Dimmu Borgir (Old) etc.
Track – List:
4. Into The Eternal Pits Of Nothingness
5. Drawn By Nightmares
6. There -was A Man
7. Four Hundred Years
9. Evening Star
ULSECT are releasing the third new track taken from their self-titled debut album, which has been slated for release on May 12th.
The Dutch death metal innovators are now streaming “Unveil” at the link below, which can be freely used and spread.
Regarding the track, ULSECT comment: “Our song ‘Unveil’ speaks of scorned omens and the revelation of inevitable consequence. The chaos and sudden transitions that initiate this track are contrasted by a moment of clarity, ultimately leading to a crushing and repetitive mantra; a symbolization of the vicious cycle in which death is a necessity for life to bloom.”
Artwork and track-list of ‘Ulsect’ can be viewed below.
1. Fall to Depravity (06:45)
2. Our Trivial Toil (07:59)
3. Diminish (05:52)
4. Moirae (02:20)
5. Unveil (04:23)
6. An Augury (03:59)
7. The Endling (04:43)
8. Maunder (06:32)
Total playing time: 42:33
It is hard to imagine Tilburg as the heart of darkness. Yet in musical terms, this expression qualifies as an apt description for the homely Dutch city that has spawned such acts as blackened extremists DODECAHEDRON and rhythmic progressives TEXTURES. Out of this circle, ULSECT have emerged.
The death metal innovators feature guitarist Joris Bonis and drummer Jasper Barendregt from DODECAHEDRON as well as former TEXTURES bass-player Dennis Aarts. It therefore hardly comes as a surprise that elements of their origins have permeated into ULSECT’s eponymous debut album. You will find high technical precision and prowess woven into dense dissonance and lucent atmosphere.
‘Ulsect’ embodies relentless post-death metal aesthetics fraught with shifting patterns and dark tonality. The primeval forces unleashed by pioneers such as GORGUTS and DEATHSPELL OMEGA are violently harnessed to serve a sinister musical purpose. Nightmares transformed into sonic matter.
ULSECT herewith cordially invite you to dare and explore their dark dimension.
Dennis Maas – vocals
Arno Frericks – guitars
Joris Bonis – guitars
Dennis Aarts – bass
Jasper Barendregt – drums
NETHERBIRD sprung into existence October 30th 2004 in Stockholm, Sweden when Nephente, Bizmark and Grim decided to start collaborating. The was goal was to create harsh metal with influences from both black and death metal without any regard or limitation when it comes to style or even line up.
The first full-length Netherbird album, when it came out in 2008, was well received by the media and attracted a large group of fans. Due to the production being pretty heavy on keyboards and gothic elements, the band quickly gained popularity among the appreciators of gothic-influenced extreme- and sympho-black metal. The Ghost Collector is a promise of something grand and ambitious, it is a clear proof that Netherbird were always a band with a bigger vision; and it paves a solid path to the success of their recent, more atmospheric records. This album is an inspired complex venture, combining both the earliest tunes written by Netherbird co-founder Grim and songs created by the band’s main composer Bizmark between 2004 and 2008, with vocalist Nephente’s profound and imaginative lyrics crowning them. A massive guild of guest musicians that took part on the recording sessions adds to the versatility of instrumentation and stylistic diversity of the record.
Originally recorded in several sessions, this album was guested by renowned pillars of metal scene such as Adrian Erlandsson (At The Gates, The Haunted), Janne Saarenpää (The Crown), Brice Leclercq (Ages, ex-Satyricon, ex-Dissection) and Daniel “Mojjo” Moilanen (Katatonia, Lord Belial) among others, which makes it a remarkable collection of songs with a wide range of styles. Having been sold out for many years, The Ghost Collector is now being reissued by Black Lodge Records. The re-release is scheduled for the 5th of May, 2017, and comes with a new cover art as well.
Official music video for THE BLACKEST BREED by NETHERBIRD off their album, THE GHOST COLLECTOR
A broad retrospective of all rarities, covers and non-album tracks throughout Netherbird history, Hymns from Realms Yonder is a must-have for every collector. Tunes that were once available as digital releases only have now been gathered into one CD summarizing the band’s creative journey through the first decade of its existence. Written and recorded during different session and lineups, these songs present a staggering sonic rollercoaster when it comes to their sound, tone and atmosphere, at the same time remaining recognizable and keeping all the distinctive elements that made Netherbird who they are today.
Original tunes (single b-sides as well as limited EP’s material) are neighboured by several cover versions of renowned classics of metal and obscure alternative, including Annihilator, Paradise Lost, and Sentenced. Vika Yermolyeva’s masterpiece piano rendition of Pillars of the Sky is definitely a rare gem to crown the album. The album was released on 7th of April, 2017, via Black Lodge Records.
Russian one man Funeral Doom Project FUNERAL TEARS released its third full length “Beyond the Horizon” via Satanath Records & Cimmerian Shade Recordings; bandcamp exclusively streamed the album, which can be found at this location
Initiated from Tomsk, Russia during December, 2007, Funeral Tears is the solo Funeral Doom project of Nikolay Seredov (leader of bands like Стахановцы [Stakhanovite] and Taiga). Dark melodic music and lyrics convey the inner state of Nikolay at different periods of life, the struggle for spiritual balance, at war with himself for only purpose – to find his own eternal peace. With two grief-stricken full lengths and a split with Poyezd Rodina, Funeral Tears has made their place in the realm of underground Funeral Doom Metal.
The third full-length of Funeral Tears, “Beyond The Horizon”, clocking in at near an hour, creates the aura of getting buried into the grave of intense depression. Prepare to be crushed amongst the gloomy passages of 06 unadulterated Funeral Doom tracks.
Beyond The Horizon
Location: Tomsk, Russia
Release Date: April 13, 2017
Label: Satanath Records (Rus) & Cimmerian Shade Recordings (USA)
Track – List:
01. Close My Eyes
03. Dehiscing Emptiness
04. I Suffocate
05. Beyond The Horizon
06. Eternal Tranquility
TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 56:07
Nikolay Seredov – Everything
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FORCEPS is a 4 piece Death Metal band based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, born in 2006. Two neck wrecking tracks from their upcoming full length are available for streaming, find them below
During these 10 years the band made several shows in Brazil and released two DEMOS and one EP. Despite sometimes of inactivity due to changes in the lineup, the band kept its presence in the minds of local and international fans because of its identity and originality.
Musically influenced by elements of various Death Metal sub-genres such as Brutal Death Metal, Grindcore and Technical Death Metal, bringing in their lyrics a catastrophic vision of the future in a world ravaged by human action. A voracious critique of humanity’s relation with itself and with the planet in today’s world. It is a desperate narrative about the decay of the planet and the horrendous methods and consequences of post-human efforts to prevent extinction.
The first demo was released in 2007, followed by a three-track demo entitled “CORPOREALITY” in 2010, both had a good response from the public and in 2012 the band signed with North-American label Ossuary Industries and released the EP entitled “HUMANICIDE “, its reception to date showed that the band was definitely rooted in the Brazilian Death Metal scene.
FORCEPS has performed at several shows in Brazil since then, playing alongside internationally renowned bands such as Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death, Hatebreed, Brujeria, Otargos (FRA) and Symbiosis (PT) and Brazilian renowned bands Krisiun, Torture Squad and Claustrophobia.
The band returned in 2016 with a new lineup after completing the recording and production of their first full-length album. Now with the experienced musicians Bruno Tavares (guitar) and Thiago Barbosa (bass) joining forces with long-lasting members Doug Murdoch (vocals) and Emmanuel Ivan (drums), the band is re-energized and ready to release their new album “MASTERING EXTINCTION” containing ten tracks, in addition to making its first international tour in 2017.
– APRIL 2017: NEW OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO
– JUNE / JULY 2017: BRAZILIAN TOUR
– SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2017: EUROPEAN TOUR
Following on with our series on Dungeon Synth this week we have Justin from New Jersey based dark ambient act Ranseur – read on
* First off how do you describe your music to those who have not heard it before? Dark Dungeon music or?
I prefer the term dungeon synth. Obviously it’s a recently name for a style that’s been around for over twenty five years and I’m not usually the biggest fan of subgenre tags, but this is an exception. When I first got into this kind of music there was an attitude I would always see where it was described as an inferior form of dark ambient. Because of its proximity to black metal and because of the fantasy themes there was always a lot of misunderstanding about it in the dark ambient world. The whole medieval, kind of cheesy synth thing. What we’ve been saying since the dungeon synth revival is that it isn’t a form of dark ambient, and that it isn’t really a form of ambient music at all. So the term dungeon synth has changed people’s perception of the style in a positive way. It sounds like a small thing but it led to a lot of excitement and the creation of a community around 2012-2013.
I also use some elements of harsh noise, but only as a slight influence, not as a real hybrid of the two. I use a background of unmoving harsh noise in all the songs So I would call Ranseur dungeon synth with a noise influence.
* How did you become Ranseur? Were you in regular metal bands first (Like Mortiis was in Emperor?) or is your background in electronics or video games instead?
Although my roots are in metal I have never been in a regular metal band. Ranseur grew out of two earlier projects, Emptying Place which was folky dark ambient, and Cold Furnace which was noise influenced metal. I started both in 2004. After a while Cold Furnace moved from doom metal into a kind of weird black metal, I did an ep called Death Ecstatic in 2012, but ended the project soon after. When I heard about the dungeon synth revival I was starting to feel like I wanted to be involved in metal again, and that turned out to be a good outlet. I started playing in a full band a little before Ranseur though called Human Adult Band, which plays a kind of psychedelic noise rock. Heavy Flipper influence. But that band was around in New Jersey long before I joined. All the bands I’ve been in were noise rock, but I also do an actionist industrial percussion project which is solo.
* How did you come up with the name? And what’s the correct pronunciation?
I just wanted something simple and biting so I thought I’d choose a weapon. I remembered the word ranseur from when I played dungeons and dragons as a kid. It’s a type of polearm, kind of like a partisan. I pronounce it ran-sir which I hope is right, French into English can get weird. There are some youtube videos that claim to show you how to pronounce it.
* You’ve been going for about 4-5 years now – what would you say has been the main thing you have learned in creating music in this time?
The last few years have been a whirlwind. Besides Ranseur and finally playing in a full band I also got involved in the small press world doing some fucked up books. The most important thing I’ve learned is to stick to your guns if you have an unusual idea. Sometimes people have confused looks on their faces, but I’d rather that than to invest my time playing a style the typical way. That’s part of the reason Ranseur has a kind of unorthodox sound and artwork, I really wanted it to feel personal on a lot of levels. And the other thing is to focus on the rhythm.
“There’s always a focus (besides Frozen Valley) on fantasy and feelings of nostalgia”
* How do you go about creating new music? Do you start each album off with a theme and work towards that or do you let the creative process flow through you and then base them on what you come up with?
Most of the albums I just let it flow while I was writing, I usually name the songs after I write them. The album Frozen Valley had a more clear theme from the beginning because I wanted to do something a little bit different with that and do a more winter synth related album. So that was all natural themes. But the other albums that are fantasy, I just kind of named them something that described how they made me feel. But there’s always a focus (besides Frozen Valley) on fantasy and feelings of nostalgia. Doing Ranseur has helped me return to some interests I had as a child and reminded me of certain tv shows, movies, and books that I was into at that time. That was one of the reasons I was so excited about the idea of making dungeon synth. There is this kind of naïve feeling that I had lost over the years, and a lot of us have found a way to tap into that. But I usually keep the concepts of each album fairly abstract.
* How long does it take you to write each song?
The earlier albums didn’t take as long and the first one, which was more of a demo, I cracked that one out pretty fast. But the last few have taken a lot longer to write. On Sage in the Tall Hills I started working with different rhythmic ideas, polyrhythms and sort of winding around the beat. I’ll generally work on a song and do many versions of it over a period of weeks to get it good, and for Obsidian Throne I scrapped a lot of songs that weren’t good enough because I wanted the rhythmic subtlety to be as strong as possible. But sometimes you get lucky and something comes out really interesting in only a few days. All of the songs are modal and most have a droning fifth. So I’ll usually write a theme and practice variations, and I’ll usually play it many different keys to get the right one. I’ll normally finish the songs all at the end when I sculpt the noise part separately for all the tracks and then mix them.
* Recording wise what sort of gear do you use? Dedicated software like protools or?
I have a much more stripped down approach than what has become common in dungeon synth. I mainly use a PCM based digital keyboard, although I have used square wave synths and analogue synths a little. All the songs are two tracks, one with the synth and one for the noise, so I don’t do extensive overdubbing and I don’t use VSTs at all. Some of the albums used lo fi microphones. I use pretty bad software, I always keep it simple and don’t use many post-recording effects.
I might add that I don’t have a problem with other projects using more modern or polished methods with all the new software. My focus is mainly on writing and performing a single solid keyboard part, but any approach is fine with me as a listener.
* In your mind how best should people enjoy your music? Out in the woods? On their daily commute to work?
I think it depends on the person, I don’t really have that so much in mind when I make the albums. But I do listen to dungeon synth a lot when I’m driving.
“I’ve thought about turning the noise track on and then walking out with a battle axe or something”
* Have you ever considered doing live shows? I saw Mortiis play in 1999 in London – he had a backing track and acted out parts to the songs throughout the set.
That’s awesome you saw Mortiis, but yeah I have thought about it. There are no immediate plans but I would like to do it sometime this year or next year. Because my version of the style only uses one keyboard track it wouldn’t be much of an issue. I play live with other projects but I always felt if I played with Ranseur it would have to be at a metal show, and there haven’t been very many in New Jersey in the past few years. We’ll see what happens. I don’t know if I’d do theatrical stuff or not. I’ve thought about turning the noise track on and then walking out with a battle axe or something, but nothing more involved than that.
“I’m definitely influenced very heavily by The Haters, The Rita, and Sudden Infant.”
* What artists inspire you?
My primary influences with dungeon synth are the artists I heard prior to the revival, Burzum, Mortiis, Vond, Dead Can Dance, Trollmann Av Ildtoppberg, and Summoning. But some of the stuff that came out earlier in the revival had an effect on me, Erang, Lord Lovidicus, Til Det Bergens Skyggene. But the project that really made me want to start playing this style was Abandoned Places. I’d never thought of playing this kind of music in a way that was that weird and that dissonant, my idea was to use a wall of noise instead of dissonance and keep it modal. On the noise side I’m definitely influenced very heavily by The Haters, The Rita, and Sudden Infant.
But despite all this shit I’m saying about noise I was also listening to a lot of Manowar, Omen, and Dio when I started Ranseur. Because despite the fact that I’m playing an obscure electronic style and mixing in all of this weirdness with the noise, I wanted the project to have the feeling of metal at its heart.
* What can we expect from you for the next album?
The next album will continue the more rhythmic focus of the last two but will have more percussion (all directly from the synth in real time though, no overdubbing). It will be a little more technical than the other records. It’ll be a little noisier than Obsidian Throne because I went with a softer hiss on that one. At this point it will probably be called Goblin Music, and it will probably have a tape release on Path of Silence Records who released my previous tape Obsidian Throne.
* Any final words?
Thanks for the interview and everybody who checked out the project.
NIGHTBRINGER are are unleashing their complete forthcoming new album ‘Terra Damnata’, which has been scheduled for release on April 14th.
NIGHTBRINGER comment: “With Terra Damnata we have tread even deeper into the labyrinth of certain esoteric traditions and sacred mythos, closer to the heart of the living darkness that destroys all and liberates but few. The spirit of the album is one of an ever backwards turning and embracing of both terror and ecstasis, love and death, before the gods and daemons of the Age of Misrule.”
NIGHTBRINGER have previously revealed the new artwork and the track-list of ‘Terra Damnata’, which can both be viewed below.
1. As Wolves Amongst Ruins
3. Midnight’s Crown
4. Of the Key and Crossed Bones
5. Let Silence be His Sacred Name
6. Inheritor of a Dying World
7. The Lamp of Inverse Light
8. Serpent Sun
NIGHTBRINGER are pushing forward in their fast-track evolution with grim determination. Their forthcoming fifth full-length ‘Terra Damnata’ takes at least as big a step into new musical dimensions as its predecessor ‘Ego Dominus Tuus’ (2014) – yet without straying from the band’s original black course.
While ‘Ego Dominus Tuus’ amalgamated traces of quintessential elements taken as inspiration from EMPEROR, DARK FUNERAL, and DIMMU BORGIR among other black classics into a dark American alloy, ‘Terra Damnata’ seems to systematically sever such ties to the previous orthodoxy found on ‘Hierophany of the Open Grave’ (2011). NIGHTBRINGER have sharpened their claws and unafraid of dissonance dare to take their songwriting where it hurts.
At the time of their founding, NIGHTBRINGER were conceived as a conduit for contemplations on the mysteries of death as it is understood in the tradition of the magical arts. Formed in the year 1999 by vocalist and guitarist Naas Alcameth and former member Nox Corvus, the outfit from Colorado, United States chose Scandinavian black metal as the foundation of their artistic expression. NIGHTBRINGER developed along the lines of second generation Black Metal, while continuously expanding their own unique sinister mark on sound. After unleashing several demos and split releases between 2001 and 2006, their debut album ‘Death and the Black Work’ arrived in 2008. Two years later, sophomore opus ‘Apocalypse Sun’ followed. Erupting from the US underground, NIGHTBRINGER found themselves opening for major scene acts such as WATAIN, KRIEG, and PROFANATICA.
Having firmly established their place within the elite circle of US black metal, NIGHTBRINGER are bound to break through new boundaries with ‘Terra Damnata’.
Continue our series of Interview with Dark Dungeon Synth artists this week, today I speak with Elric Uk Dungeon Synth artist deeply inspired by Sword and Sorcery Author Michael Moorcock – read on
* Can you give us a history of Elric, How it all began.
I just deleted my original answer to this question because it was too morbid.
* Were you in any metal bands before you started Elric?
* What were your musical influences, to me most metal guys who play “dark dungeon music” were inspired by Mortiis and Burzum..you?
Burzum and Beethoven are my favorite artists. Dauði Baldrs is perhaps
the greatest album of the 20th century.
* Do you take inspiration from video games and or films as well as music?
8 Bit video games yes. Films not so much.
* Did you take piano lessons as a kid or are you self taught?
Yes, the former.
* What’s the songwriting process for you like?
Capture inspiration in the moment. Little to no revision afterwards.
* How about recording? Do you use protools? garage band or? Again are you self taught or do you have a friend that went to audio school who helps you out?
I do everything myself, no help.
* Have you played any live shows yet? If not do you have any intention of doing so? If so how do you see the show? Just you with a keyboard or some level of theatrics would be involved?
Unlikely to ever do live shows, but have theorized how the live
version would be performed. It would not include theatrics.
“I was so inspired by the Elric series – in particular the character himself, rather than the story per se, someone I found I personally identified with deeply on various levels.”
* The name Elric is well known as a character from the Michael Moorcock novels right? When did you get into reading them? As they were very popular in the 70s!
Indeed, there can be only one Elric. I have to admit I was a latecomer, and only began reading Moorcock in 2016 (most of what I read is non-fiction….I live in my own fantasy world and barely require additional fantasy day to day). I was so inspired by the Elric series – in particular the character himself, rather than the story per se, someone I found I personally identified with deeply on various levels. So I moved to create this project as a tribute to it. Since then I have explored the Moorcock multiverse, and I do consider him on a level near-ish – but by no means on par with – Herbert and Tolkien.
* Sword and Sorcery fiction on the whole (Tolkien, Robert Howard etc) was big in the late 60s and 70s but it was usually seen as the realm of dungeon and dragon playing “nerds” Are you surprised by the renewed interest in this style of fiction in the last 10-12 years? And the fact that now all the “cool kids” love shows like Game of Thrones?
Not surprised. LOTR film trilogy began the repopularization,
subsequent cultural sweep has been thoroughly predictable.
“Tolkien of course is a genius of the highest order.”
* Outside of Moorcock – who do you rate in the world of Sword and Sorcery fiction?
I prefer history to fantasy. Will Durant is my favorite author.
Frank Herbert is my favorite fiction author. Dostoyevsky 2nd
favorite. Tolkien of course is a genius of the highest order. I am
intensely picky with how I spend my (infinitely finite) time with
books. Fire and Ice is a great film.
* What did you think of the latest Lord of the Rings movies and the Hobbit films? (I loved the Hobbit novel more as a kid but loved the LOTR films more than the Hobbit trilogy)
Lord of the Rings trilogy was passable – barely. The Hobbit trilogy
was pure abomination (in the Herbertian sense).
“War is an ongoing symptom of human civilization”
* Moorcock was hugely influenced by German writer Bertolt Brecht and he was greatly inspired by world war 1 (as was Tolkien) do you think we shall see a new wave of writers traumatized by the constant wars in the Middle east in coming years?
Nothing new. War is an ongoing symptom of human civilization. I
don’t see why recent wars would inspire any differently.
* You released 2 albums in Jan of 2017 – what more can we expect from you in 2017?
Albums 3 & 4 were released April 1st. Watch for them to arrive soon
at some cassette distros.
* Any final words?
Thanks for the interest in the music.
I’ve been listening to what I call “Dark Dungeon music” since Mortiis first left Emperor, anyone who tries to tell you that Dark Synth music is not part of Black metal has never heard of Burzum… this week I talk to some of the best of the new breed of Dungeon Synth artists – first up is Spectral Kingdom – read on.
* So how did you become Spectral Kingdom? Tell us a little history about the act
I was given some old recording equipment by a friend and decided to put it to use. I’ve been a fan of dungeon synth for awhile so I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do from the beginning.
* You are based in Virginia right? I imagine you live out in the woods somewhere – where the nearest neighbor is a good 5 minute drive from you – please don’t spoil it by telling me that you live in the suburbs or downtown Richmond?
I won’t ruin it for you then haha.
* Speaking of Richmond are you involved in the local music scene at all? Richmond has had a great music scene since the Gwar days if you ask me. I have my theories but why do you think a city of that size has such a healthy scene?
Richmond is home to a ton of very dedicated individuals who keep things moving. Booking shows, starting bands, going to shows, making zines, etc. Staying active in the community. To me, that matters a lot. It’s also one of the only major cities in a very rural state so that probably has some influence on population density.
* Did you play in any bands (metal or otherwise) before you became Spectral Kingdom?
I currently play in a death metal band and have been involved with various black/death metal projects over the years.
“I’m self taught. Keeping my set up simple enables me to go slowly and play around until I find what works for the song”
* Have you had any formal piano training before doing this ? or are you all self taught?
Nope I’m self taught. Keeping my set up simple enables me to go slowly and play around until I find what works for the song. I have a basic knowledge of chord structures but when it comes down to writing I find that the logical next steps are easy to find if your patient. If you sit there long enough you’ll eventually find those notes.
* What’s your recording set up like?
That I’m afraid I cannot answer! Secrets of the trade.
* How did you get into home recording? What was your learning curve like?
This is the first project I’ve recorded. It wasn’t too hard, but I’m lucky to have a few friends that have studios of their own, so whenever I ran into a problem I could just give them a call. There are also tons of informative videos on the internet that I found helpful.
* Have you any plans to play live shows? I remember seeing Mortiis play live in 1999 – he played to a backing tape and acting out parts of his songs to fit the mood. It was great
I have no plans to perform live with Spectral Kingdom and I don’t expect that to change. I don’t think what I do would work well in a live setting. It’s killer you got to see Mortiis though!
“Diamanda Galas is a big influence on this project.”
* What inspires you to create? Which bands or films?
Diamanda Galas is a big influence on this project. She creates an insane atmosphere for her art. Max Ritcher is another. Very simple elegant stuff. Of course there is the black metal influence. In general I feel inspired to write more from internal things than external, at least for Spectral Kingdom.
* What bands are you listening to right now that continue to amaze you?
Dead Congregation’s latest output blew me away. Caveman Cult from Florida came through recently and played two killer shows. Blood Incantation. Antichrist Siege Machine. This list could go on forever so I’ll leave it at that.
* You are pretty prolific with your releases – what can we expect next from Spectral Kingdom?
A cassette release of “II”, the latest offering, should be available soon the Path of Silence label. Beyond that, I hope to have a new tape out closer to the end of the year, maybe sooner if all goes well. There is also a split that I have recently finished, but I do not know when that will be available.