DSBM Legends Shining release video teaser for Art House documentary feat. Niklas Kvarforth

SHINING have released a video teaser for an arthouse documentary feat. Niklas Kvarforth, entitled “Cold Void”. The notorious founder of the Swedish black metal act is the focal point of a new movie. The documentary tries to capture a personal portrait of Niklas Kvarforth, who has made headlines that have involved addiction, suicide and self-destruction, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, passion, and exceptional musicianship. The project was undertaken by arthouse producer Claudio Marino and his film production company Artax Film.

“Cold Void” is scheduled for release in autumn. More information about Artax Film can be found at this link: www.artaxfilm.com

Claudio Marino states that “Cold Void” is a film for anyone interested in life stories, and was not made with the intention of pandering to SHINING’s fans. It is very much a personal journey, bringing a much-needed clarity and lack of sensationalism to the subject of Niklas Kvarforth.

He also comments: “I’ve known about Niklas and his music for a long time. His story interested me and I wanted to know more about him as a person. I did some research and we got in contact. I showed him my documentary trilogy ‘Blood and Spirit’ and he was interested in working with me. We got along from the start and he proved to be very cooperative. He was brutally honest, and never left any of my questions unanswered.”

Claudio Marino is known for his documentary “Blood and Spirit”, a trilogy about three different artists who live for their art, a tattoo artist, an mixed martial arts fighter, and a Satanist, who happened to be Erik Danielsson from WATAIN

SHINING are embarking on their first headlining tour in the US today. Co-headlining will be label mates REVENGE. All currently confirmed dates including a performance at Germany’s With Foll Force Open Air can be viewed below

05 May 17 Baltimore, MD (US) Sparta Inn
06 May 17 Trenton. NJ (US) Backstage at Championship Bar
07 May 17 Quebec (CA) L’anti Bar
08 May 17 Montreal, QC (CA) Theatre Fairmount
09 May 17 Toronto, ON (CA) The Garrison
10 May 17 Detroit, MI (US) Harpo’s
11 May 17 Chicago, IL (US) Reggie’s
12 May 17 Kansas City, MO (US) Riot Room
14 May 17 Boise, ID (US) The Shredder
15 May 17 Vancouver, BC (CA) The Red Room (without Revenge)
16 May 17 Seattle, WA (US) Studio Seven
17 May 17 Portland, OR (US) Tonic Lounge
18 May 17 Oakland, CA (US) Metro Opera House
19 May 17 Las Vegas, NV (US) Adrenaline
20 May 17 Los Angeles, CA (US) Complex
21 May 17 Phoenix, AZ (US) Joe’s Grotto
23 May 17 Austin, TX (US) Grizzly Hall
24 May 17 Fort Worth, TX (US) Rail Club

SHINING are more than just a band. In fact each release, every concert and interview becomes a bloody battleground, on which Niklas Kvarforth struggles with his inner demons. The frontman and only remaining original member has never been shy to let the world know about his mental afflictions, which seem to complement or even spark his outstanding talent as a composer and musician. His ninth album, ‘IX – Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends’ is another excellent example of Niklas’ genius. Reaching back to their black metal roots, SHINING simultaneously melt eclectic influences from progressive rock, jazz, even pop and more into deeply emotional laments from the dark side of the soul. Niklas’ vocals come in an even greater variety of expressions which few would suspect in a singer coming from the extreme metal scene. Moments of pain and confusion turn into insane outbursts of anger. Despair shifts into melancholy and an eerie sense of timeless beauty permeates all. Lacking any tolerance for false tuning, technical flaws and lack of ambition, Niklas has literally beaten any weakness out of his band, which demonstrates its remarkable prowess far beyond any average on this record. Founded in 1996 by Kvarforth, SHINING self-released ‘Submit to Self-Destruction’ in 1998 and spawned the term “suicidal black metal” with this debut 7″. A couple years after first full-length ‘I – Within Deep Dark Chambers’ (2000) and sophomore album ‘II – Livets Ändhållplats’ (2001) had cut deep marks into the underground scene, Niklas replaced his whole crew and started a continuous cycle of changing his line-up. With MAYHEM drummer Hellhammer on board, ‘III – Angst’ (2003) and ‘IV – The Eerie Cold’ (2005) began to gather major metal press attention. SHINING then focused on bringing their vision and often controversially received live performances to Europe. Yet Kvarforth’s mental health led to cancelled tours, physical and psychological fights within the band, and finally a break-up. Not content to let things rest after the breakdown, the restless singer returned with new members and the massively successful album ‘V – Halmstad’ (2007). SHINING had reached headliner status and toured with big acts such as SATYRICON and MAYHEM. Several line-up changes later, the Swede once again entered studio and recorded two albums in one session. ‘VI – Klagopsalmer’ was released in 2009 and two years later ‘VII – Född Förlorare’ darkened the light of day. The band also received their first gold disc for the single ‘Förtvivlan, Min Arvedel’ in Sweden. After rotating more musicians in and out, SHINING returned with ‘Redefining Darkness’ (2012) and a less aggressive, yet more sinister sound. Before signing to Season of Mist, the band released the project ‘8 ½ – Feberdrömmar I Vaket Tillstånd’, which featured six of Kvarforth’s favourite vocalists. In August 2014, SHINING entered Andy LaRocque’s Sonic Train Studios to record their ninth album. ‘IX – Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends’ is the sum of Niklas Kvarforth’s musical evolution and experience so far. And while nobody expects the Swede to deliver a record to booze and sing along to, the charged word “art” enters the mind unbidden. This masterpiece should interest lovers of music far beyond the narrow confines of extreme metal. Plug your headphones in and find out for yourself!

Current line-up
Niklas Kvarforth – vocals
Peter Huss – guitars
Euge Valovirta – guitars
Marcus Hammarström – bass
Jarle Byberg – drums


Finnish Death Doom Band Hooded Menace start recording drum tracks for new album

HOODED MENACE are busy with the recording of their next full-length. The Finnish death doom prodigies are revealing their progress in a statement, which is given below.

HOODED MENACE comment: “We are excited to announce that Jaime Gomez Arellano (SÓLSTAFIR, CATHEDRAL, GHOST) will be handling the mixing and mastering for our new album, which is targeted to come out on Season of Mist in 2018. Drum tracking begins this weekend at SF Sound Studio. We are stoked!”

Guitarist Lasse Pyykkö sent a pre-production picture, which can be viewed below.

Season of Mist have previously announced the signing of HOODED MENACE.

Regarding their signing, HOODED MENACE commented: “We are stoked to join the very diverse roster of Season of Mist. This is a rather logical step onward on our path. New possibilities under new circumstances. We have exciting plans for the next HOODED MENACE album and we are glad we have a strong, forward-thinking label backing us up.”

HOODED MENACE are a death doom metal band that was formed in Joensuu, Finland in 2007 by guitarist Lasse Pyykkö, who had also performed in the Finnish cult death metal band PHLEGETHON. HOODED MENACE have always been open about being strongly influenced by early CANDLEMASS and CATHEDRAL as well as PARADISE LOST, AUTOPSY, ASPHYX, and WINTER. The Finns successfully aimed at playing very doom-laden death metal that combined crushing and somber riffs with an essential hint of melodies. Their lyrics are often inspired by the classic 1970’s Spanish horror movie series ‘The Blind Dead’ that included such films as ‘Tombs of the Blind Dead’, ‘Return of the Evil Dead’, ‘Horror of the Zombies’, and ‘Night of the Seagulls’.

HOODED MENACE proceeded to recorded a 2-track demo titled ‘The Eyeless Horde’ in 2007, which was released on 7″ the following year. The Finns unleashed their debut album ‘Fulfill the Curse’ in 2008 and the highly acclaimed sophomore full-length ‘Never Cross the Dead’ delighted fans and critics alike after its release in 2010. HOODED MENACE remained in a highly creative mode and increased their following with the next two milestones ‘Effigies of Evil’ (2012) and their latest album ‘Darkness Drips Forth’ (2015). last year. True to classic vinyl style, HOODED MENACE also released several split singles and EPs for example with ASPHYX and COFFINS.

As an active live band, HOODED MENACE performed at many prestigious major metal festivals such as Hellfest, Roadburn, Maryland Deathfest, Tuska, and Party San Open Air among many more. The Finns toured Europe as a headliner in 2015 and are about to embark on a North American road-trip with DEMILICH and VASTUM, which includes an appearance at California Deathfest.


UK Psychedelic Doom Rockers CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX announce European Tour Dates

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX have announced a string of European festival and headlining performances for summer 2017. The eclectic British rockers will kick off their road rage at the prestigious Hellfest in Clisson, France on June 18th. This is followed by more shows in Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland in June, July, and August.

Mastermind Justin Greaves comments: “Hello rockers! We are stoked to bring a fine selection of our songs to you this summer. Make sure to catch our shows this time round; we are not the most touring band. See you in the sun!”

18 Jun 17 Clisson (FR) Hellfest
19 Jun 17 Liege (BE) La Zone (+Trap Them)
20 Jun 17 Wiesbaden (DE) Schlachthof (+Trap Them)
21 Jun 17 Segrate (IT) SoloMacello Fest
23 Jun 17 Aarau (CH) Kiff (+Trap Them +Ghost Bath)
24 Jun 17 München (DE) Saint Helena Festival
14 Jul 17 Sankt Goarshausen (DE) Night of the Prog
04 Aug 17 Raversbeuren (DE) Lott-Festival

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX have previously released a clip for the track “Scared and Alone”, which has been created by renowned Romanian artist Costin Chioreanu. The animation revolves around the illness of depression, which is represented in song and visuals by the metaphorical “black dog” – a slang term expressing this severe and dangerous medical condition. You can watch the video here:

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX will be touring in support of their latest album ‘Bronze’, which is still available in various formats through the Season of Mist shop.

Artwork and track-list of ‘Bronze’ are shown below.

01. Dead Imperial Bastard
02. Deviant Burials
03. No Fun
04. Rotten Memories
05. Champions Of Disturbance (Pt 1 & 2)
06. Goodbye Then
07. Turn To Stone
08. Scared And Alone
09. Winning A Losing Battle
10. We Are The Darkeners

Bronze consists primarily of copper, but it is the inclusion of other metals and non-metals that gives this alloy its specific characteristics. Ever since mankind discovered the secret of its making thousands of years ago, the golden and shining bronze has changed the course of history, spawned destruction and war, yet also been crafted into desired objects of extreme beauty.

You will find each of these traits inherent in the sixth studio album of CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX, which is aptly taking its title from this fateful alloy. Instead of copper, dark rock forms the base ingredient in this musical amalgamation process, but it is the addition of metal, progressive influences, gothic, wave, even pop, and many other elements as well as a changing cast of musicians that result in each song shining with its own individual hue and tone. Yet a deep sense of anguish, despair, longing, loss, melancholy, and nostalgia forms a binding force that holds ‘Bronze’ together and formulates an encompassing theme.

This musical darkness is reflected in the lyrical themes dominating the record, which partly revolve around battling inner demons and resisting oppression. The constant struggle comes as no surprise when taking into account that poetic mastermind Justin Greaves has recently gone public about his personal fight against severe depression. For him, not letting the “black dog” devour you is a big message mixed within his songs.

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX have always confounded critics trying to pin their style down ever since multi-instrumentalist Justin Greaves recorded his first ideas in 2004 – which earned them tagging attempts ranging from “stoner prog” to “freak folk” to “psychedelic doom”. Despite the wide range of musical leanings within their albums, there are a unifying dark streak and sombre melancholy running through the songs. Founder Justin Greaves had already made himself a name as drummer for IRON MONKEY and ELECTRIC WIZARD among others. When the multi-instrumentalist finally decided to stand on his own musical feet, CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX was born as a project. This involves a changing cast of musicians and live set-ups, which mirror the ever ongoing evolution of the band and the fact that the songs were mostly not composed with their live performance on mind.

Between 2007 and 2014, CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX released a string of five critically highly acclaimed studio albums – from ‘A Love of Shared Disasters’ (2007), via ‘The Resurrectionists’ (2009), ‘Night Raider’ (2009), ‘(Mankind) The Crafty Ape’ (2012), until ‘White Light Generator’ (2014). This was complemented by EPs ‘I, Vigilante’ (2010), ‘No Sadness or Farewell’ (2012), and ‘Oh’ Ech-oes’ (2015), the live recording ‘Live Poznan’ (2013), and the ‘200 Tons of Bad Luck’ compilation (2009). Their ‘New Dark Age Tour EP 2015 A.D.’ was the band’s first release on Season of Mist that came with an extensive homage to PINK FLOYD. The strong influence of the UK rock giants can still be felt on ‘Bronze’, yet while CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX never denied their roots, this outstanding act has long created their own sonic cosmos and now takes it a dimension further. Be warned that ‘Bronze’ will infect you with a most deep fascination. Shine on…

‘Bronze’ was recorded at Chapel Studio and mixed with Karl Daniel Lidén.


US Doom Legends Saint Vitus kick off European tour tonight

Following their shows at both Desertfest editions in Berlin and London, SAINT VITUS are now ready to kick off their European tour at the Helvete Metal Club in Oberhausen Germany tomorrow, 2nd of May. The godfathers of American doom metal will be supported by Norwegian brothers in spirit, TOMBSTONES. The final curtain will fall at the Pokalen in Oslo, Norway on May 13th, but SAINT VITUS will return for a performance at the French Fall of Summer Festival in Torcy (close to Disneyland Paris) on the 8th of September.

02 May 17 Oberhausen (DE) Helvete Metal Club
03 May 17 Wiesbaden (DE) Schlachthof
04 May 17 München (DE) Backstage
05 May 17 Schaffhausen (CH) Kammgarn
06 May 17 Tilburg (NL) Little Devil
07 May 17 Haarlem (NL) Patronaat
09 May 17 Osnabrück (DE) Bastard Club
10 May 17 Hamburg (DE) Hafenklang
11 May 17 Aarhus (DK) VoxHall
12 May 17 Karlstad (SW) Club Pebbles
13 May 17 Oslo (NO) Pokalen

SAINT VITUS Fall of Summer
08 Sep 17 Torcy (FR) Fall of Summer

Formed in 1979, SAINT VITUS were largely influenced by BLACK SABBATH, whose song “Saint Vitus Dance” obviously inspired the moniker. Since their debut album ‘Saint Vitus’ came out in 1984, the Americans have released seven more full-lengths and two EPs that are summarily considered to be classics of their genre.

‘Live Vol. 2’ will also be released as a special digipak edition containing a digisleeve as well as a triple gatefold vinyl, which are both strictly limited and will contain ‘Marbles in the Moshpit’. This live recording from Ontario, Canada in December 1984 was previously available as a bootleg and on limited vinyl, and features the line-up Dave Chandler, Mark Adams, original singer Scott Reagers, and late drummer Armando Acosta, who sadly passed away in 2010.

If you feel like you were born too late, are thirsty and miserable, and dying inside, then just look behind you, lean back and ride those white stallions on ‘Live Vol. 2’! SAINT VITUS will never be a waste of time!


Interview with John Cobbett from Hammers of Misfortune

Pretty stoked on this interview – John Cobbett from Hammers of Misfortune is underground metal legend, having played with Gwar, Ludicra, Vhol, Slough Feg, Amber Asylum and now leading Metal Blade’s progressive metallers Hammers of Misfortune – read this and learn something

* So you guys have been going for about what 15-16 years now? Can you give those who are new to the band a brief history of how the band came together and what everybody does?
The band started out as a solo project with just me. Eventually a real line up formed around it and we went under the name Unholy Cadaver for a while. We changed our name to Hammers of Misfortune and released our first album in 1999 or 2000, somewhere in there. Since then we’ve had many line up changes, too many to go into here. We have six full length albums to our name. Our current line up is:

Joe Hutton: vocals
Leila Abdul Rauf: guitar, vocals
Sigrid Sheie: organ, piano, vocals
John Cobbett (me) guitar
Paul Walker: bass
Will Carroll: drums

* What musical influences does Hammers of Misfortune have?
To name a few… Early Van Halen, Uli Roth era Scorpions, Yes’ first 3 albums, Metallica’s first 3 albums. Classical music and certain songs (“Windmills of Your Mind” is a good example. Certain songs have been very influential.) The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Leonard Cohen, the Beach Boys and the Beatles. I mean, I could go on and on… My favorite band is probably The Sweet.

* Growing up – what live show did you catch when you thought “this is what I want to do with the rest of my life”?
Yes. I saw the Obsessed open for the Bad Brains when I was 14 years old. You know when you’re that age, new neural pathways are being formed that will determine a lot for the rest of your life. Obviously this mind blowing experience permanently warped my young brain.

* Name a classic rock song you wish that you had written
“Kill the King” by Rainbow. Such a kick ass song. “Flying Alone” on the latest album is a bit of a tribute to that song.

“Sigrid and I moved to Montana, so we don’t even live in the Bay Area anymore.”

* Off the top of my head most of you guys are in other notable Bay Area bands (We have interviewed Leila Abdul-Rauf about Cardinal Wyrm and the ladies from Ludicra (Laurie and Christy) re: their new band Ails. I have also seen one of your other bands Slough Feg before , by chance in some bar in SF (down an alley way and thru some restaurant)how do you guys manage to find time to do Hammers of Misfortune and all your other bands?
Ha, I think i know which gig you are talking about. Can’t remember the name of that place…

It’s quite challenging, to be honest. Everybody is always busy. It’s especially hard now that a few of us have young children. Also, Sigrid and I moved to Montana, so we don’t even live in the Bay Area anymore. We manage to find a way. I end up doing a lot of the work by myself. I don’t ask people for their time until it’s absolutely necessary.

* You have worked with some really notable record labels (Profound Lore and Metal Blade) over the years with Hammers of Misfortune..do you have any preference with working with labels compared to going it the DIY route? What can they bring to the party that bands can’t do themselves these days?
Distribution, know-how and PR. A label knows how to put out records, deal with cover art, pressing plants etc. better than a band is going to. Distribution is still a big deal, especially with people buying vinyl again. And PR is huge. You could put out the best album ever recorded but no one will know a thing about it without PR. A label like Metal Blade has the PR game down way better than any band member could hope to. All this stuff is probably too much for band members to deal with. Unless they quit their job and just do band business full time.

* How does the songwriting process work with H.O.M? Does it all start with you or is it a group effort?
I do most of the songwriting by myself. We just don’t rehearse enough to collaborate heavily. Once we get together everybody has their chance to offer their 2¢ about the arrangements etc. I’ll work on a song for months sometimes before I feel it’s ready to bring to practice.

“I don’t think folks have the budget to hire producers these days, but I’d love to try it.”

* If I am not mistaken you also produce the bands albums too – how did that come about? Self taught or do you also produce other acts?
At some point I started getting really interested in recording. By the time Hammers and Ludicra started recording I just naturally fell into the role of producer. I would be there every minute of every session, making a lot of decisions. I guess it was an accident, done out of necessity. I’ve never produced other people’s bands, but I’ve thought about it. I don’t think folks have the budget to hire producers these days, but I’d love to try it.

* What’s the recording process like for you guys? Many bands I deal with these days prefer the digital / pro tools set up as opposed to the old school tube amps and 2″ tape days. You?
We’re more into the tube amps and 2” tape, for sure. However, we normally do a combination of analog and digital recording. The sound will hit tape before it enters pro tools. Most of the mixing is done in Pro Tools, but I’m less and less into plug ins and digital effects as time goes on. On our last album (Dead Revolution) we didn’t use any digital effects at all. All the reverb was off big 4×8 reverb plates, and the rest of the effects were stomp boxes and tape delay.

The way we record is standard enough. We play the songs through with the whole band, and then we overdub keys, guitars and vocals. We don’t use metronomes or tempo maps. Lately I’ve been doing some interesting things with re-amping.

* I know you guys have a big tour this summer – do you have favorite cities and towns to play?
I’m sorry to say we aren’t doing a tour this summer! We’d like to, but Joe is going to be a first time dad coming up here, and Sigrid and I have a 2 year old. We’d have to take a mobile day care unit with us! We’re a pretty obscure band at the end of the day, we don’t exactly pack large venues. We have pretty good shows in Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Austin and New York. And San Francisco, of course. In other places we don’t seem to draw very many people. I don’t know if it’s just the terrible performance of our former booking agency or what. We haven’t had great luck with touring.

“There was the time we forgot to lock our trailer and all our stuff was falling out on the highway all the way from Des Moines to the Twin Cities.”

* Any classic tour stories from previous tours?
Well there was the time we forgot to lock our trailer and all our stuff was falling out on the highway all the way from Des Moines to the Twin Cities. We spent the next day retracing our steps and trying to find our shit. It was awful!

* You were in GWAR for awhile right? How did that come about? You must have some hilarious stories about Dave Brockie?
I knew Dave from the punk scene in Washington DC. We got along great because we both loved music and comics. I was only in Gwar for a few months. I never put on a costume or played live with them. Dave was a hilarious guy, definitely the kind of guy that just takes over the room when he walks in. One of the most charismatic people I’ve ever met.

“The stereotype of SF being full of weirdos was definitely true.”

* The Bay Area has been a prolific breeding ground for rock musicians since the 1960s? Why do you think that is?
It’s interesting because you could hardly have 2 more opposite scenes; the 60s Grateful Dead scene and the 80s Thrash scene with Metallica etc. There was also some amazing stuff from the Dead Kennedys to Neurosis and Sleep. There was just a lot of creative energy in music (not so much anymore, unfortunately). The Bay Area never became a big time center of the music business, like Seattle, LA or Brooklyn. I guess there was a lot of friendly competition, which just makes everyone work harder. And yes, the stereotype of SF being full of weirdos was definitely true.

“SF is the poster child for devastating gentrification”

* I spoke about this with other Bay Area musicians in recent interviews – are you very concerned about the rapid gentrification of the Bay Area? I know many musicians are thinking of making the move to LA simply because its cheaper
Yes, in fact, as I mentioned above, we have already left San Francisco. The City has changed so much, it’s not the place that I fell in love with all those years ago. It’s a great place to be rich, or homeless. It seems like this is happening in a lot of cities now, but SF is the poster child for devastating gentrification. All the real culture has been priced out.

* What can we expect from H.O.M. for the rest of 2017?
I hope to get started on album number 7 pretty soon. We’d love to play some festivals!

* Any final words?
Hails and thanks to you and everyone who reads this!